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One of the most iconic video game characters of the 1990s has made a grand return thanks to a remastered trilogy of games: Crash Bandicoot. The N. Sane Trilogy contains three titles from Crash’s early days on the PlayStation – Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped – and has received positive reviews for being faithful to the originals. But did you know about the history of this character?

Crash arrived on the scene with his first self-titled video game on the original PlayStation in September 1996. The game was developed by Naughty Dog – a developer now probably better known for contemporary smash hits such as Uncharted and The Last of Us – after the company was commissioned by Universal Interactive Studios to develop three games.

The story of the first game followed Crash as he sought to rescue his girlfriend, Tawna. Crash is a genetically-modified bandicoot who was created by the evil Dr. Neo Cortex; Cortex has been trying to create an army of modified animals to serve him in an attempt to prove his critics wrong. Crash inadvertently escapes from Cortex’s lab at the start of the game and then must travel through the island back to the lab in order to save his lady. He must defeat Cortex’s mutated minions before eventually taking down the mad scientist himself.

The game received significant critical praise upon release and Crash proved to be incredibly popular as a character, essentially becoming one of Sony’s gaming mascots alongside the likes of Spyro the Dragon and Lara Croft. Naughty Dog created the two sequels, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped, and a number of other games (including a number of kart-racing spinoffs) were released between 1997 and 2010. And then, the franchise went silent until this year, with the release of the trilogy for PlayStation 4. The series has sold more than 50 million games worldwide and remains a standout of the late ‘90s platforming boom in video games.