The Cortex Castle

The Cortex Castle

The Cortex Castle is a towering castle-like citadel home to the evil Doctor Neo Cortex and his first base of operations, and it is a location in the Crash Bandicoot videogame series.

Even though it was set on fire at the end of the first Crash Bandicoot game, it did survive and can still be seen in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back in the level "Road to Ruin". A track based on it appeared in Crash Team Racing, as well as the Citadel City section of the same game, as players can clearly see many aspects of the castle within this area. Also, he used it as his base in Crash Nitro Kart before being abducted by Emperor Velo XXVII.


Crash Bandicoot

Cortex Castle

The Cortex Castle

The castle is located on the Cortex Island, and debuted in the original Crash Bandicoot game as the fortress-like residence of notorious technologist Dr. Neo Cortex. It is where 2 dangerous contraptions, the Cortex Vortex machine and the Evolvo-Ray, are among many gadgets and weapons found at the castle. According to the game, the castle was powered by the Cortex Power Factory, a facility powered by a gargantuan nuclear chamber and owned by Cortex's minion, Pinstripe Potoroo. Crash's main goal is to make his way to the castle and rescue his girlfriend, Tawna, from Cortex, who plans to use her for genetic experimenting in his Cortex Commando army. Inside the castle, the player battles Cortex's former assistant, Dr. Nitrus Brio, as well as Cortex himself. After defeating Brio, some of the chemicals he was using to combat Crash set the castle alight, leaving Crash to flee through Cortex's lab and onto his airship where the final battle takes place.

However, the castle also appears in the beginning of Crash Nitro Kart and as a track in Crash Team Racing, indicating Cortex rebuilt it. It has not been seen since.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

In the alternate ending epilogue for the original Crash Bandicoot game, it is stated that Papu Papu sold the ruins of the castle to a resort developer and used his newfound wealth to create a souvenir shop on the island, implying the fire destroyed the castle. However, the ending is most likely non-canon, as the castle is shown to be intact in the sequel Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. The castle can be seen in the ruin levels and the introduction in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. The instruction manual implies that Cortex examined a discovered Master Crystal, the most powerful of all the Power Crystals, in his laboratory at the Cortex Vortex Space Station, implying he resided in the castle for a short period before leaving to create the improved and bigger Cortex Vortex. In addition, the castle also appears to contain the secret warp room housing levels 26 and 27. During the end of the game, the castle is also shown to contain N. Brio's base of operations where he destroys Cortex's space station with his laser beam. It is possible that Cortex regained his castle from the resort developers and rebuilt certain parts of the castle before leaving. This is supported by the fact that certain parts of the secret warp room appear to be destroyed, indicating that N. Brio secretly used the castle as his base of operations after Cortex left.

Crash Nitro Kart

Cortex Castle is seen in the intro, where it is again Cortex's base of operations, where Cortex, N. Gin, Tiny, and Dingodile are seen. The Evolvo-Ray is again seen when N. Gin attempts to zap a kart with it, but Tiny accidentally flattens Dingodile who was about to activate it. Then the tower that they're in gets abducted by Velo and later sent back to earth when Team Cortex accepts Velo's challenge.



The inside of the castle is really dark. It requires Aku Aku to act as a light sources. Part of the castle is a prison and another part is Nitrus Brio's lab.


Inside the hallways, there are many items bearing Cortex's "N" insignia. The hallways are inhabited by spiders and rats. The castle pillars are decorated with spikes and gargoyles

Evolvo-Ray Room

This room contains the Evolvo-Ray, as well as a small lamp, a window, and a table for zapping animals with the Evolvo-Ray. It appears in Crash Bandicoot and Crash Nitro Kart.

Cortex Vortex Room

The Cortex Vortex room is the room that contains the Cortex Vortex, as well as its controls, and a window. There is another area of this room with various cages for the animal subjects.

Machinery Room

This is a room that contains various robots and devices. In game, it is the Castle Machinery level.

Nitrus Brio's Laboratory

N. Brio's Laboratory is a small lab where N. Brio does his experiments. It also has two desks and a fenced opening.


The Lab is a set of hallways with technology and Lab Assistants. There are also areas of this room/hallway that contain several spiked pillars in a dark pit.

Great Hall

A chamber where Tawna is kept, there are also 2 balconies and a picture of her. Most of the hall is one giant pit.


  • Doctor Neo Cortex (semi-formerly)
  • Doctor N. Gin (semi-formerly)
  • Tiny Tiger (semi-formerly)
  • Dingodile (semi-formerly)
  • Lab Assistants
  • Doctor Nitrus Brio (formerly)
  • Koala Kong (formerly)
  • Ripper Roo (formerly)
  • Pinstripe Potoroo (formerly)
  • Evil Hands (formerly)



  • During the development of CrashBandicoot, the Cortex Castle was concieved more as a fortress than a castle tower. It was to be set atop a snowy mountain on theedCortex Island. Atop the castle, Cortex's boss fight would take place.

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