Off Camera Secrets | Crash Bandicoot – Boundary Break


Folks, the chills run down my spine as we hit episode 59 of an ongoing series where we basically take the camera anywhere we want, and we try to find secrets and new discoveries to some of our favorite games. This episode might be a little bit on the shorter side, but I do hope that you can appreciate the work that went into it. I mean, we actually had to have NekoRun make this camera specifically for the episode because one didn’t exist prior to this. But anyways, guys, I hope you enjoy it, and with that said, let’s get going. So, before I go over everything that makes Crash Bandicoot so special in its own little way, I actually want to show you some traditional Boundary Breaking type of stuff. Now this is probably the most interesting thing that I could find that wasn’t completely removed by the developers. Here in this boss fight with Dr. Nitrus Brio, you might notice that there’s two colors underneath his feet: red and green. Well, at first I couldn’t quite figure out what the reason was for this, but then, as I watched more footage, it clicked. See, what those two color stripes actually are is liquid. Every single time Dr. Nitrus Brio mixes concoctions in his beaker, these two strips are summoned from underneath his feet, and then transplanted to the bottles to serve the animation. But when he’s not mixing the potions, that liquid is once again stored underneath his feet. Funny enough, the camera used to only work with levels and not cutscenes, but due to a stroke of luck, I’m actually able to see all these scenes from a different angle now. And the first thing I want to look at is the title screen itself. Very iconic. Crash runs up to the front of the screen, and then he winces as the title screen starts to fly into the scene. And if we turn the camera around, you can actually see where the sign begins, and what the actual distance and depth between the sign and Crash himself, and then when the title screen fades into a demo, you can actually see Crash sink into the ground. Another part that you wouldn’t even think as a cutscene is when Crash starts the first level and he’s washed up on the beach. Here you can see ocean waves crashing onto the island, but you can’t see them all that well. And very much to my surprise, when you zoom the camera out during this one particular part, there is a huge texture that represents the ocean, which means an enormous part of this ocean has never been seen by players before. But interestingly enough, for the very first few frames that you can actually control Crash, the ocean water just remains for just a little bit, and the disappears forever. Some of the other cutscenes I was able to look at was the opening cutscene for the game. Unfortunately, due to the scripting, there isn’t much to see outside of the boundaries here, however, in the scene where Dr. Nitrus Brio is cranking Crash into the machine, we can actually turn the camera around to see that Crash seems totally fine with this. Maybe they gave him a little bit of a lobotomy before the procedure. Now over here in the scene with Tawna, there isn’t much to look at either, but we can take the camera from another angle and show you the various windows that show you a sky on the other side. Okay, so these needs to be explained. Zoom-outs in a Crash Bandicoot episode will not look that great, and it’s actually not because of culling. It certainly looks like culling, and if you don’t know what culling is, I recommend you check out my Wii Sports Resort episode where I explain it in detail. I’ll leave a link to that in the video description. But, yeah, apparently this is not culling. If it were, we could actually get rid of it now. This is actually something much more complicated. See, in Crash Bandicoot, you may notice that you have no manipulation of the camera whatsoever. Even when Crash can kinda get up on little corners and stuff like that, the camera typically doesn’t follow him, and it’s for a very specific reason. And as Django from Banjo’s Backpack explains, he said that the game has a list of what to draw at certain positions along the path that Crash Bandicoot walks on. And so, depending on what position Crash is when he’s walking along, determines the order that the game decides to draw the environment. I’m sure a lot of you dedicated Crash Bandicoot fans have already heard the tales of the amazing technical ingenuity that went into making this game possible, pushing it to the brink of the Playstation’s hardware. Well, this unusual method here was just another step that added to Crash Bandicoot’s absurd development legacy. When Crash does this idle animation where he throws a Wumpa Fruit up into the air, thinks it’s never gonna come back down, and then it splats him on the face, and leaves a little bit of a mess. What a neat little Easter egg to leave inside your game! But if we zoom the camera way, way out, we can actually see that the Wumpa Fruit actually gets thrown way high into the sky and travels back down organically to land on Crash’s head, though this would never ever be seen by the player. So adding this level of detail was completely unnecessary, because, as you can see, other things in Crash Bandicoot don’t use this method. Like, for example, this spider enemy right here. Although you can see the spider queued up and ready to drop down before it actually does, and that happens to be off-camera. Most of the time that the spider’s off camera, it actually ceases to exist for a while, which actually makes another great segway into bats! These bats in particular seem to have a very realistic look to them, which changed completley in the remake. But reason that why we’re looking at them in conjunction with the spider is because in certain segments of Crash Bandicoot, these guys will have a flight path that can potentially kill Crash. Now although they disappear immediately after finishing their flight path, these little bratty batties actually get all bundled up into one position and then take turns going through the flight path so that you can see all the bats bundled and frozen in one spot. So next I want to look at the character model for Crash. Now the regular character model doesn’t really have much to show, but if we freeze the game while Crash is spinning, we can see something very interesting. What we’ve got here is a 3-D model of Crash spinning. Now, in a lot of 3-D games these days, they don’t go through the trouble of actually making a 3-D model that looks like it’s spinning. No, instead they would actually just spin the character model really fast. But for Crash Bandicoot, there’s a separate character model for when Crash is spinning. And you know what? There’s actually another thing we can look at by just freezing the game. People want to know just how far enemies go when Crash actually hits them with the spin dash. And as we use this enemy as an example, we can stop the game to catch up to where the enemy is and be able to travel with it, and then when we see where the enemy disappears, we can then measure the distance between where it stopped and where it started. Crash being where it started, of course. And using the same technique, we can actually see just how far the “Checkpoint” text actually goes when Crash smashes the box. And as you can see, by pulling out the camera here, that text goes some ways away before it actually starts to disappear. Once again, the red circle represents where it ended, and Crash represents where it started. And another enemy that I want to look at real quick before we move on is the snake. The reason why I wanna look at the snake is because it has a unique pattern on its back that’s very difficult to see when you’re playing the game normally. But, since we can manipulate the camera in any way we want, we can see all the unique textures that the developers used to give it its own special design. Now, although the programmers are able to decide exactly what to get rid of outside the boundaries at any given position on the map because of how linear it is, I was able to find one of environment that’s off-camera that is rendered, but cannot be seen In the boulder dash level, the boulder covers up most of the environment. And what’s interesting is that there is a tiki head at the start of the boulder’s cycle. So although the tiki head isn’t fully rendered here, in this exact position that Crash is at right now, we can see a very good portion of it when we move the camera up. Alright, let’s talk about a couple of the bosses. Ripper Roo, we’ll start off with, is one of all the bosses that have a very restricted camera. You can’t move it in any sort of direction to see what it looks like. Well, thankfully, now we can see what this boss area looks like, at least from a different perspective, granted, you’re not going to see much of anything different as far as what environments there are based off of what we’ve learned already. But you can see here that the TNT boxes actually last quite a bit of time before they actually disappear off-screen. Same can be said for Koala Kong. While he’s throwing boulders at Crash, boulders actually hang in a position after they’re off screen. And as for Pinstripe, again, there’s not much to find behind the table or anything else that can’t be seen by the player, but there is something that has been in plain site that we can now get a better look at which is this weird, crude drawing that clearly says “PIN,” representing Pinstripe on Pinstripe’s rug. And now we’re going to do a zoom-out of the final area of the game where Tawna rides off with Crash Bandicoot after 100 percenting the game. I’ll take a moment to just mention right now that Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3 are very likely, but I do have my eyes set on something a little bit bigger. Hopefully, in the very near future, we can come up with a Crash Bandicoot episode that’s a little more insane. You might notice that there’s some really weird lighting right now. It’s because we were testing it out with a shoot we were doing earlier, and we know it’s ridiculous looking, uh… Pat, you seem to think it’s professional looking. Pat: You know, white light makes a difference when it comes to exuding detail in filmography. [laughing] Okay! Anyways, thank you guys so much for watching. Uh, NekoRun! He made the camera for this game. Please, if you can do anything for me, outside of checking out Game Club, check out his channel also in the video description down below. But, uh, as far as anything else goes, Pat! What do you think? Are we done? Pat: I think we could rooooll on out of here. [laughing] Guys, I really hope you liked it! I betcha you hated that intro, though. I expect no views this week. We’ll see. Anyways, guys, take care! Pat: I hope you catch the Easter egg! (whispering) There’s an Easter Egg? Oh! Alright, guys, bye! Pat: Toodles!

100 thoughts on “Off Camera Secrets | Crash Bandicoot – Boundary Break

  1. Did these nerds release their tools or techniques or would that be too much to ask because then people would make vids doing exactly what they do sans the 'youtuber' voice and merch shit?

  2. Great!
    But you missed 2 boxes…

    1. Where do Crash go when he falls in a hole, and only his shoes appears flying & then falling?
    2. Where do the boulder go when it fall at the end of a chasing level?
    [Insert breaking boxes sound effect]

  3. Shesez have you looked into crash bandicoot warped yet? There's a secret in the game not yet discovered I've been trying to find like since warped first came out.not sure if breaking the camera would help to find it but I'm thinking maybe so.its a boss fight in the secret warp room with uka and cortex yet again.i remember you actually have to hit uka with the bazooka in this one.i just don't know how to unlock it.can you message me personally?I'd like to explain more on this dilemma.please

  4. I wonder if you redid this and put Crash at every possible position in the levels, you could see more.

  5. Fuck your video. Get off my recommended list. How many fuckin times do I gotta tell youtube im uninterested in this fucking video/channel. Now im disliking tge video with the hopes that it never shows up again. youtube recommendations are fucking garbage. Blame utube for this needless dislike.

  6. Wow, this makes the crash game seem way more simple than it feels. all that engine work on the rendering and removing objects sure must have been worth it to allow them to create such detailed environments, and far fewer objects.

  7. ah! I can explain the "organic fruit animation." That's a human animator talking, potentially early on in development before time pressure really kicked in. These animators DO get seg-wayed believe it or not. So it was probably passion, ego or a mix of both that had them complete the animation despite it never being seen.

  8. I liked your work I realy do but you missed one tiny thing witch is when Crash end the stage. He fly but what's happen then ?!

  9. that's a picture of pinstripe killing crash with his Tommy Gun because you could see it in the remake

  10. 3:57 Have you tried to see what happens when you move Crash away after he flings the Wumpa fruit up in the air? Does it come crashing on the ground, no pun intended, or it just disappears? I thought that that may have been the reason why the developers didn't make it disappear as it went away from the camera

  11. From that one blogpost by an ND developer, IIRC they pre-calculated how much of the level is loaded for every position that the player or the camera can be in which is why they were worried about the PS1 drive not being able to handle it.

  12. I know he gets a name-drop when contributing his help, but NekoRun seriously does not get enough credit for his work on these games! I WISH I could do the things he does with the programming and cameras behind the scenes. Thanks dude!

  13. Hi man! I have come here to help you after you asked it at the end of Batman: Arkham Knight video (https://youtu.be/dYONvWPQq1c). Your work is awesome and I appreciate the time you spend on making these videos. Thank you 🙂

  14. "The chills run down my spine as we hit episode 59" – So corny and lame. This is one of the reasons I use adblock.

  15. It's so interesting how in the Ripper Roo boss fight the walls behind the flames are built to wiggle to give the impression of seeing hot air!

  16. as a kid right up until now, I was hoping that it was a creature or native dude pushing the boulder or pushing done on a stick under neath it or something… Illusion shattered!

  17. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii llllllllooooooovvvvvveeeeee yyyyyyoooooouuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr ccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnlllllllllleeeeee <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<3333333333333

  18. Great video though I was hoping to see what the area off camera looked like when you jump over the back of the side scrolling levels for certain sections

  19. Are you going to do Crash Team Racing as well? (How about releasing a video about it when Nitro Fueled comes out at June 21st?)

  20. I really hope you'll do Crash 2 someday (soon?). I just started re-playing it again yesterday, and it reminded me, I've always been curious about, in the very start of the game when Crash heads off from Coco, before being teleported to the warp room, what's behind the spot where he teleports from.

  21. It's a great video didn't know those secrets also will you make a video for all the secrets of crash twinsanity I always wanted to know what that game is hiding

  22. This optimization is very cool I don't know way the don't used that method enymore if that method companies with the distance method the optimization I will be perfect

  23. Please, do an episode on CTR ! Especially on the Egypt track because it happens both in night and day.

  24. If you see developers documentary on Crash Bandicoot, where was the PS1 limits of 1MB per level load (which means graphics,textures, animations, code etc) So till then all the games like tomb raider 1 load the entire level in 1MB total, so the first 3d games were very low quality both in textures and geometry. So what the Naughty dog devs did, split the 1MB memory into 64kb chucks and load only the blocks with 64kb that the player passes through, and the other do a swap from disk(Disk did around a 1-2 secs to load the blocks) So they were the first devs that slit the memory and using only the blocks they wanted on fly by loading the nearby blocks. So they were able to push more data on each level cause they buffer it. Then other devs carry the same technique. Also, the animation was vertex animation not joint animation like today and they used an algorithm like jpg to optimize the animation of Crash. (Crash was 500Tris pretty high polygon back then) imagine we are talking that Windows 3.1 was at that time and they could only load 100Tris on the software, they hadn't GPU that can calculate triangles, it was VGA. So the devs use Silicon Graphics machine to build it.

  25. These aren't "episodes" — they're videos. How do you youtubers fit through doors with heads that huge? Geezus.

  26. How Crash Bandicoot Hacked The Original Playstation | War Stories | Ars Technica
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izxXGuVL21o

  27. Ars.com recently did a "war stories" with Naughty Dog Co-founder Andy Gavin, where among many things, he explains the "list order rendering". It's a great video i'm sure many here will enjoy 🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izxXGuVL21o&

  28. Just saw the interview of one of the developers explaining it all. This makes so much more sense now with a visual representation.

  29. Needed to add what's behind the great Gate level would've loved to see what he lands on and the textures around the back

  30. Well the game draws certain level areas as you traverse trough it,to reduce the limited amount of memory the PS1 has.
    Interesting fact is that half the polygons that the gpu draws,are dedicated to Crash himself,the other half is for the level itself.So they basically render only what is needed due to the limitations of the hardware

  31. Not sure why this trash is showing up in my recommended videos. Just thought I'd click on it long enough to say I'm using adblocker and this is shit.

  32. We can see that moving wave on boss, are not real like Saturn, this is literaly the texture who are moving !

  33. This has been and always will be a Naughty Dog problem: very bad optimization.
    The fact that the letters have to travel that far before it dissapears wastes valuable ram

  34. The reason why some objects stay of screen for quite some time, is that it is easier to keep some object loaded, and wait for a moment when it is needed, instead of unloading the object, and loading new one all the time. So basically you are reusing the same objets… for example when Koala Kong is throwing the stones, the stone are kept off screen until he grabs another one and throws it again.

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