The Lab Assistants are typical laboratory scientists who are Dr. Neo Cortex's henchmen and enemies in the Crash Bandicoot videogame series.
The Lab Assistants are used as minions who try and stop the hero Crash Bandicoot from foiling Cortex's plans. The Lab Assistants appear throughout the Crash Bandicoot series disguised in different outfits and costumes that usually correspond with the theme of a level. They also have their own methods of attacking Crash depending on their disguise.
The most prominent feature of the Lab Assistants are their glasses lens, which appear on all forms of Lab Assistants that Crash may encounter in the game. Later in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, a secret room in the central hub displays how the Lab Assistants are mass produced and sent into different time periods. This suggests that the Lab Assistants were actually robots created by Cortex to serve as henchmen. When Crash destroys Cortex's time traveling machine though, Cortex lost a line of his production of Lab Assistants. However, in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Cortex is seen again with more Lab Assistants, implying that Cortex may have more than one way of creating Lab Assistants.
The Lab Assistants were seen in the original Crash Bandicoot, where they are seen taking Tawna hostage. They served as henchmen for Dr. Cortex during the game. They use different types of chemicals and electricity to attack Crash in these levels.
Aside from the Lab Assistants that hold Tawna captive in the introduction, only two forms of Lab Assistants appear in the game.
- Beaker Tossing Lab Assistants - Various Lab Assistants toss chemical beakers in Crash's direction.
- Electric Barrier Lab Assistants - These Lab Assistants create an electrical barrier in front of Crash and walks towards him when he's in range.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
The Lab Assistants return in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back as henchmen for Cortex once again. In this game, the Lab Assistants play a larger role as an adversary that Crash must try to overcome. The Lab Assistants in this game are more specialized than they were in the original game. In this game, they perform different jobs throughout the game including working in sewers and in space.
The Lab Assistants make more frequent appearances in this game, and take on more specialized roles than the previous Crash Bandicoot game.
- Parka Lab Assistant - In this game Crash encounter a pair of Lab Assistants lifting and dropping heavy metal crates.
- Sledge Hammer Lab Assistants - These types of Lab Assistants are dressed as lumberjacks and carry a big sledge hammer.
- Sewer Worker Lab Assistants - In the sewer levels of this game, these Lab Assistants can be found working on the ceiling. They are carrying welders and will quickly aim their welders towards Crash.
- Space Lab Assistants - In this game, these Lab Assistants create electric barriers that will electrocute Crash if he flies into one of them. They can be defeated when their electric current is down by spinning them into the fire that is blocking the path.
- Hunter Lab Assistants - These Lab Assistants fire bullets towards the left side of the screen in a linear path.
- Barricading Lab Assistants - These Lab Assistants carry a large door-type object and shove it towards Crash when he gets near them.
- Pipe Lab Assistants - They only serve as background enemies and pose no threat.
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
The Lab Assistants return yet again in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped as Cortex's henchmen yet again. The Lab Assistants play even a larger role than the past games, and now coincide with themes of each level. It is revealed in Warped that the Lab Assistants are mass drones mass produced by Cortex's time machine, and are warped all over the world due to a teleporter.
The Lab Assistants play even a larger role in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. Their role in each level usually fits the theme of each level as well.
- Wizard Lab Assistants - These Lab Assistants attack Crash by sending magic spells towards his direction. If a magic spell does hit Crash, he will turn into a frog.
- Knight Lab Assistants - In this game, Crash come across Lab Assistants trying to pull a sword out of the ground. Every few seconds the Lab Assistants manage to pull the sword out and swing it around in a circle.
- Frog Prince Lab Assistants - When Crash is attacked by a frog with no Aku Aku mask, the frogs will kiss him and reveal themselves to be Lab Assistants disguised as princes.
- Oriental Lab Assistants - There are several variants of these. One type likes to sit in the middle of the track and lift bricks. (weight lifting or working on the Great Wall of China?) Another runs around and carries buckets on their back, another wields a staff for defense and another opens a trap door for Coco, allowing Coco to boost up over a castle wall.
- Arabic Lab Assistants - There are a few types in these levels. The first type likes to walk away from you holding a scimitar, then come slashing at Crash when he turns around. The next one stands in the same place and throws knives at Crash . The last type is a genie that rides on magic carpets and obstructs Crash's path.
- Wave Lab Assistants - Appearing in the prehistoric levels, these Lab Assistants tend to hide in the swamp water, when Crash gets close enough they leap out and jumps on him pulling him under water, then the Lab Assistant stands up revealing themselves.
- Egyptian Lab Assistants - There are multiple types of Egyptian Lab Assistants. The first likes to pull a lever, which drops a giant concrete block that can crush Crash. Then there are ones that have flamethrowers, that try to burn Crash by moving their flamethrowers from left to right. Then there are two types of mummies, one that jumps around in a sarcophagus, and the other in a spiked sarcophagus, with the top half of it cut off and the mummy sticking out.
- Pirate Lab Assistants - They sit in Crows Nests and swing an anchor around in the pool trying to knock out Coco, they extend their anchor when Coco gets too close and cannot be defeated.
- Double Headed Troll Lab Assistants - Just as the name implies. They are only found in one level in the game; the last medieval level, Double Header. However, in the Japanese version they have one head instead of the usual two. They like to swing their giant clubs at Crash. They are also the largest version of the Lab Assistants.
- Some lab assistants appear to be piloting the smaller planes in airplane levels.
Post-Naughty Dog era
The Lab Assistants continue to show up in various appearances. They appear as enemies in The Wrath of Cortex (with the "Afro Assistant" featured in the game's credits), as well as Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, and Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage. Statues of Lab Assistants make cameos in Crash Nitro Kart in the Tiny Temple track, and they host assorted mini-games inCrash Boom Bang!.
Roles (Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex)
- Blocking Crash's way dressed as a knight.
- Blocking Crash's way on skis.
- Dressing up as a wizard.
- Dressing up as a royal servant while blocking Crash's way.
- Throwing potions at Crash.
- Spewing toxic acid at Crash.
- Shooting a harpoon gun at Crash.
- Blocking Crash's way in a diving suit.
- Dressing up as a ninja.
- Dressing as a wagon carrier intending to run into Coco.
- Driving a car intending to run over Coco.
- Shoots a laser at Crash.
- Dancing with Crash in credits.
- Banging gongs with beaters.
Roles (Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure)
- Blowgun Lab Assistant - These lab assistants shoot poisoned arrows from their blowgun at Crash.
- Sewer Worker Lab Assistant - These Lab assistants attack with her blowtorch.
- Lab Assistant with nacelle - These Lab Assistants try to defeat Crash with their laser.
Roles (Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced)
- Genie Lab Assistant - These Lab Assistants is a variant of this enemy that actually looks like a Genie and attacks by shooting magic balls.
- Mummy Lab Assistant - These Lab assistants exists in 3 types: the first is out of the sarcophagus, the second is inside the sarcophagus, the third is inside in sarcophagus barbed.
- Caveman Lab Assistant - These Lab Assistants exists in 2 types: the first is throwing a lance, the second is spits fire.
- Egyptian Lab Assistant - These lab assistants pull a lever which a giant block, the second type is using the flamethrower.
- Arabic Lab Assistant - These Lab Assistants use a sword, making them only vulnerable when their back is turned.
Roles (Crash Purple: Ripto's Rampage)
- Flame Thrower Lab Assistant - These Lab Assistants carry around flamethrowers that shoot out a stream of fire, they usually walk back and forth or just stand in one spot
- Flying Lab Assistant - These Lab Assistants wear Jet Packs and carry around a giant laser cannon to fire at Crash.