Developer Vicarious Visions and publisher Activision have released a free DLC for “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy” called Stormy Ascent. The new DLC is actually a previously unreleased level for the original “Crash Bandicoot” game.
The Stormy Ascent level will have players traversing a stormy castle as Crash is hindered by traps, vultures, prisoners and mad scientists. The DLC is free to download from the PlayStation Store until Aug. 19, and after that, players will have to buy it for $2.99.
Activision confirmed its panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 that the Stormy Ascent level was originally developed back in 1996 for the first PlayStation. The new level has now been given the same remaster treatment like the rest of the “N. Sane Trilogy.”
“This is the ‘sister level’ to Slippery Climb in the original Crash Bandicoot. It features the same assets but new challenges,” game director Dan Tanguay said on the PlayStation Blog. “It’s also roughly four times longer than any other level in the original game. Getting through it is a feat of both skill and endurance!”
Like the rest of the “N. Sane Trilogy,” the Stormy Ascent level was created nearly from scratch. However, developer Vicarious Visions had access to the level’s assets.
The Stormy Ascent level was actually playable for the original “Crash Bandicoot” game. However, Naughty Dog, the original developers of the game, simply decided not to include it simply because it was too difficult and that it would require more time to make it easier.
“It was one of the last levels I finished during production, and as we prepared to deliver our Gold Master to Sony for manufacturing, the decision was made to cut it,” Naughty Dog’s Taylor Kurosaki said. “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.”
Some players were actually able to access the hidden level by using GameShark, while others were able to play the level using an emulator.
There’s been some controversy on the difficulty of the “N. Sane Trilogy,” which led to Vicarious Visions to address it in one of its blog posts. The developer admitted that the remaster of “Crash Bandicoot” has different handling, physics and difficulty because of the game engine it is using.
When asked whether Vicarious Visions adjusted Stormy Ascent’s difficulty, the developer said that they wanted to keep the “original spirit” of the level, and that’s why it was part of a separate release.
“[With] this particular level, we decided to really just capture the original spirit. We are releasing it as a fairly difficult piece of content,” Tanguay said via GameSpot. “And that’s why we wanted to keep it somewhat separate from the original release, so it was very clear this was something that is going to be challenging.”
Additionally, Vicarious Visions also announced at SDCC “The Crash Bandicoot Files: How Willy the Wombat Sparked Marsupial Mania,” which will be available in March 2018. It’s a 150-page book that will be published by Dark Horse Comics, and it features the original design documents of the first “Crash Bandicoot” game.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy gets previously unreleased Stormy Ascent level as free DLC.