Meh, the Crash games really have died out nowadays, haven't they? Meanwhile, Mario and Sonic just keep getting more fun…Ah, well. We can keep him alive with stories like these.

I haven't written squat about Dr. Cortex, so I figured I'd write a creative story about where he got his ambitious dream of mutating animal minions to work for him and take over the world. It's very Neo-centric, and he will meet rather interesting characters that connect to Crash and Coco. Enjoy!

Chapter 1: Embark

"Sound check. Is this thing functioning properly?" Neo Cortex asked as he straightened the camera. "Good."

The camera was positioned to show Cortex currently adjusting the camera's angle; the video quality seemed very blurry and defocused. The scientist's hands were positioned overtop of the camera feed, making many clicking noises. "And one more minor adjustment…"

Cortex brought a hand down on the lens cap and began twisting it. As he did so, the camera's video quality started sharpening and a clearer view of Cortex sitting at a white desk of some sort was visibly shown. There were grayish-white walls behind him; on that desk of his were a few written-on papers and a switched-off lamp. Neo Cortex stared straight into the camera with an almost irritated expression.

"Discovery log number one. Day one: today, I was booted out of my university for illegal experimentation with both of my banned devices, the Evolvo-Ray and the Cortex Vortex. My Evolvo-Ray has the capability of transforming any nonhuman organism that weighs more than twenty six grams into a walking, talking anthropomorphic creature. In other words, it can evolve animals into a more humanlike state. The correct term for these new breeds of animals is anthropoid. Anyway…my device was still in its experimental stage, and I used it on a young joey. The ending result was less than stellar, and overall quite disappointing. Some might even say catastrophic."

Cortex stood up from his desk and trotted over to the camera's fixed position. There, he grabbed the recording device and panned it to his left to show the rest of the room he was working in. Along the wall adjacent to his desk, a dark crate could be seen. It almost looked like a cage with its three bars fixated on a small window on the front of the box.

Cortex walked over to the cage of sorts, having his back to the camera. He turned his head and briefly explained, "This is Ripper Roo."

He delicately placed his hand on the top of the box. However, as soon as he did so, a deep growling noise from the box erupted, and the containment unit itself began violently rattling.

As Cortex continued, traces of any emotion whatsoever were absent. "My other invention, the Cortex Vortex, is supposed to brainwash those anthropoids and make them my loyal subjects. Unfortunately, it horribly warped this poor creature's sanity and made him a dangerous monster. He broke out and killed four professors of my university. And a custodian. I deemed him completely insane, judging by the way he left his victims. There was a lot of…ripping of the flesh. Thusly, I gave him the name, 'Ripper Roo'. He was capable of killing a single man within fifteen to twenty seconds."

The creature inside the box stopped growling when Cortex lifted his hand. For some odd reason, it started chortling like a deranged hyena. Cortex briefly explained this, "Roo occasionally has severe bouts with his insanity, so please ignore him when he starts laughing like a moron."

Neo turned around and walked back over to the camera once again, changing its angle and position. He panned it further to show a control panel of sorts, much like the type you would find on a spaceship.

"In case you couldn't already tell, I am aboard my spaceship, the Vanguard. Because the law has been looking for me, I've decided that today, I will start my journey of exile. For the next five years, I will perfect my Cortex Vortex and my idea of an army of anthropomorphic mutants. No one will disturb me in outer space, giving me more than enough freelance time to bring my belief of Neotopian society to life. End transmission."