If those higher levels in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy aren’t hard enough for you, try this on for size. The remastered trilogy is getting its first DLC, the level Stormy Ascent that was cut from the original game for being too difficult.
During a panel at Comic-Con in San Diego, Vicarious Visions revealed that the level would be available as a free download from the PlayStation Store.
Taylor Kurosaki, one of the original members of the Crash Bandicoot team at Naughty Dog, recently discussed the Stormy Ascent level, which is about four times longer than any other Crash level.
“I was new to games and game design back then; I didn’t have a great understanding of a difficulty curve,” said Kurosaki. “This level was so close to the end of the game and, you guessed it, it ended up being insanely difficult. As in, so difficult that it was hard for me, and I’m the guy who knew exactly how far Crash could jump, how late a player could take-off, and so on.”
“As we prepared to deliver our Gold Master to Sony for manufacturing, the decision was made to cut it,” Kurosaki continued. “It was playable, but just too damn difficult, and we ran out of time to make it easier. It remained on the disc as it was less risky just leaving it rather than trying to remove it. It was basically hidden, but it was there.”
Many levels in Crash games have “sister levels” with similar mechanics and features but with more challenge. Stormy Ascent happens to be the sister level of Slippery Climb, which is known to be incredibly daunting and life-consuming. In both levels, players must make their way up the side of a building in a storm while maneuvering through an array of moving and disappearing platforms.
If you’re a hardcore Crash Bandicoot player, you might have heard of or even played Stormy Ascent before. It was accessible in the original Crash with some GameShark codes, which can be found in the description box of the above YouTube video of the level.
Although the level was playable, it was filled with bugs and glitches. The remastered level in the N. Sane Trilogy is just as difficult as the original and has less bugs, but some players have already found glitches that make it impossible to attain the Platinum Relic. YouTuber Nazho Pereira posted a video showing one of the platforms in the level refusing to move, rendering the level incompletable.
So what pushed Vicarious Visions to bring back Stormy Ascent? None other than the insanely and notoriously grueling Dark Souls.
“In 2017, games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne are all the rage,” Kurosaki said. “People like games that are difficult! We were so ahead of the curve! Now Stormy Ascent is alive as part of the Vicarious Visions-developed Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Go forth and enjoy!”
The level Stormy Ascent can be downloaded and added to the game now, but it will only be free for a limited time. On August 19th, the DLC will be priced at $3.