By Crash Bandicoot
I thought we were friends.
I know we used to be, back when we were kids. I had just been born in 1996 alongside the release of the first Crash Bandicoot title on the Sony Playstationand you were anywhere between 5 and 49-years-old. We had some good times back then on that Playstation, you and I. I helped you get over the boredom of a school system that constantly shoved things into your brain that you’ll never need or understand instead of nurturing your specific talents and you helped me stop a mad scientist that was heck-bent on doing as much damage to my world as he could for no apparent reason. Those were great times, some of the best in my life even, but had I known then what I know now perhaps I would have cherished them a bit more. Or at the very least prepared myself for your inevitable abandonment.
When I originally came onto the scene in ’96, I had my sights on theSonic crowd. If they likedSonic just because he had a little attitude, they were going to love me. I had it all. I gave sassy looks to the camera, tapped my foot impatiently, ate Wumpa fruit by the fistful and busted up any random boxes that crossed my path without one thought as to whose they were. Not sure why there were so many boxes, come to think of it. Like the TNT ones or those green ones labelled Nitro. To this day I’m still not quite sure what “Nitro” is but every time I ran into it when I didn’t have an Oobligaa I’d pass out and wake up like five minutes ago. It was unnerving to say the least. After about two thousand times, though, you just start to get used to it. Now that it doesn’t happen anymore I kind of miss it. Now life just keeps on moving forward. I wake up every day less than the day before and the world just expects more and more of me.
I already gave you my best in the ’90s, isn’t that enough? It was enough for Hasselhoff, it was enough for Schwartzenegger. Why isn’t it enough for me? Why can’t I just coast on my celebrity status into a nice, cozy retirement like the rest of these clowns? What did I ever do to deserve this kind of shabby treatment? I was the best darn bandicoot there was, whatever those are! I’m not even sure if what I am is some made up magic thing like dragons or something in the natural world that lives in some weird creepy desert country like Australia. I’ve thought about looking into it a few times, but what’s the point? None of you even give a dang. I’ve gotta watch the news and see Sonic and Mario still parading around up there like they still own the place.
What about me? What about what I accomplished? In a decade-long mascot race between a blue hedgehog and a portly Italian plumber, for just a brief few years, a weird Bandicoot thing came up ahead. At least for awhile, until my developers abandoned me for bigger and better platformers.
Once Jak and Daxter was announced I knew my career was over before it’d ever really started. I came out the gate on top. I was lucky, I had some great developers on my side. It’s honestly just a blessing to ever have penetrated the culture as deeply as I had, even for a moment. At least those are all things I would be saying had I been compensated in any way for all of the hard work, dedication and just general life-force I put into my performances in the four Crash Bandicoot games I’d participated in.
After that they got another actor, as I wasn’t happy with any scripts they sent me. Apparently that was how replaceable I was. I didn’t even ask for much, just that they take a look at some of the typos I noticed, like the fact that it was called “Clash Bratcooter” on the call sheet. They not only refused but also never called me back and the next time I heard about Crash Bandicoot the game was shipping with a new bandicoot on the cover and not a single person noticed that it wasn’t me. So I went off the grid.
I turned off Facebook, “rented” a cabin I found deep in the woods, cleaned the bodies of a family of five out of it and set up my retirement home. If the world didn’t need me, I didn’t need it. I burned wood to keep myself warm, ate what I killed by stomping to death and pooped in what used to be a small boy’s room when the toilet stopped working. For nearly 16 years I didn’t have a single visitor except the one time Ooblagaa tracked me down to see if I wanted to go to a Springsteen concert with him. I told him that under normal circumstances I would love to, but the world had to learn their lesson about loving a bandicoot when he’s famous and ignoring him when he’s down and out. Ooblagaa took my sister and I heard it was one heck of a show. Even might have made me a little jealous, which probably has something to do with my return to modern society.
I figured you’d all learned your lesson about ignoring me and decided to return to see how sad you all were. To my surprise, nobody was even talking about me! My first thought was that perhaps you had all taken the loss of the world’s most famous bandicoot so badly that it had become law that no one was allowed to speak of it. After some serious investigating I found that not only was this not true, but almost nobody had even noticed I was gone! There were no amber alerts, no news bulletins, to hashtags announcing my disappearance. You could have at least combed a river or two for my body! Where are your hearts!? I was there for you when you were young and weak and now it’s almost as if I’d never existed. Maybe I never even did. Whose to say? When we die, we’re survived by our friends and by our family. I don’t have a family, never did.
And my friends don’t even remember me.