"Surprised to see me, Crash? Like the fleas in your fur, I keep coming back! THREE YEARS I spent alone in the frozen antarctic wastes... and I missed you! And so I organized a little gathering, like a birthday party except... THE EXACT OPPOSITE. And look, all of your friends are here! You are so very popular.. Let's start handing out the presents."
-Dr. Neo Cortex, Crash Twinsanity
Dr. Neo Cortex is the main antagonist of the Crash Bandicoot series. He is a mad scientist and terrorist who seeks to achieve world domination as an act of vengeance for the ridicule he has suffered in the past. He is aided by Uka Uka, who gives him advice on how to achieve this goal. Under his guidance, Dr. Cortex mutated the local animals into his soldiers, eventually creating Crash Bandicoot, his nemesis, but soon rejects him as unworthy of being in his army and removes him from his castle. As Cortex's actions endanger the sanctity of the islands the games are set in, Cortex's plans for world domination are often hampered by Crash along with other characters. Crash's constant interference has made eliminating Crash one of Cortex's top priorities along with world domination. Cortex is usually the final boss of the games, with a few exceptions.
Why He's Great
- Despite being a villain, he's one of those villains that are often seen as likeable in a entertaining way which can prove you that some games are not complete without a villain. In fact, Cortex fits the bill
- Ironically enough for a bad guy, he does care for Nina Cortex who happens to be his daught-errrr-niece.
- Delivers some really memorable and hilarious lines like "Darn you, Crash Bandicoot!".
- Cortex could be cunning and smart in his own level like in Cortex Strikes Back, he manipulated Crash into collecting the crystals which makes him a great villain.
- Most Crash Bandicoot games often portray him as a villain, but there are some exceptions as noted after Crash beats him in Crash Twinsanity thus he becomes an ally by force. Same goes for Skylanders: Imaginators.
- Both Clancey Brown and Lex Lang deliver an excellent performance as the mad doctor.
- Like many stereotypical villainous mad scientists, Cortex holds a grudge against other scientists for ridiculing his outlandish (yet workable) ideas, and was originally driven towards world domination by the desire to prove his colleagues wrong. For an antagonist, at least he's still determined to take down Crash despite being defeated by the bandicoot many times.
- While he doesn't have a concrete backstory, one of the officially estabilished ones is unintentionally sympathetic: A "freak" explosion wiped out his entire family leading to Cortex to defend himself. Not only that, but he was also bullied before like in Madame Amberly's Academy of Evil.
- Even Cortex has his own standards when he still behaves like a villain. In Crash Team Racing, Nitros Oxide is threatening to enslave all of the earthlings if he wins a race, prompting Cortex to set out and beat him.
- Shown to become nervous (sometimes downright spineless) when put in the face of extreme and immediate danger (i.e. confronting Uka Uka, running out of ammo while fighting enemies, etc.).
- His inability to plan ahead or learn from his mistakes.
- He alter facts about his life, claiming himself to be the most popular student in his school, even though in reality he was an object of hatred among many students.
- He can't tell if Nina is his daughter or niece, meaning he's a bit of a negligent father/uncle.
- His name is a pun on the neocortex, a part of the brain
- In Crash Tag Team Racing, it is implied that Cortex had served in the Vietnam War, though it's unknown what year he joined the war or how old he was at the time.
- According to Clancy Brown during an interview, the reason why he stopped doing the voice of Dr. Cortex was that Universal paid actors minimum wage, and that he was never told about the Crash games (Wrath of Cortex and Crash Nitro Kart) during the time. In another interview, Lex Lang added that parents felt Brown's portrayal of the character was too mean for younger audiences, and wrote letters to Universal about the problem.
- Cortex is stated to have grown up in the USA, though Cortex's nationality is debated among fans as to what his heritage is.
- In one version of the Crash Bandicoot production bible he is stated to have grown up in a "g*psy" wagon. "G*psy" is a slur towards Romani people, implying that Cortex has Romani heritage.
- Cortex is sometimes thought to have Hispanic heritage - evidence for this is "Cortex" being very similar to the common Spanish surname "Cortez". Cortex's niece is named "Nina", which is also a Latin name.