It won’t be long before you’re queuing for an online race and spot a familiar someone. That blue bloke with the whiskers and the stupid hat, Doctor Nefarious Tropy. If you’re a fan of the original Crash Bandicoot games, you’ll recognise him as one of the antagonists of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. He uses his time bending abilities to create paradoxes while aiding Doctor Neo Cortex and Uka Uka.
In the original Crash Team Racing, Naughty Dog found a fitting role for him to fill. He doesn’t appear during the game’s Adventure mode and is considered as more of a bonus character, overseeing CTR’s time trials. In order to unlock him as a playable racer you had to beat his ghost on each and every track. The same applies here, almost twenty years later.
If you see someone pull into your matchmaking lobby as N. Tropy, then they’re probably the real deal. That, or they’ve spent an extortionate amount of time plugging away at Nitro-Fueled’s time trial races.
To access these, simply select the local play option at the game’s main menu, then choose time trials. This will present you with a full list of playable tracks, each marked with two small stars on the right hand side.
Dive into any of these (you don’t have to follow a set order). If you manage to record what the game considers a worthy time, you’ll see a notification after the race letting you know that can now challenge N. Tropy. Drop back to the time trials menu and select the same course again, making sure you tick N. Tropy’s ghost.
You’ll find that he’s no pushover. Even on early tracks like Crash Cove and Mystery Caves he can be a real pain to beat. In other words, you’ll need to complete three laps flawlessly without any resets or slamming into walls.
Practicing again and again is the only way to trump his personal best. Learn the shortcuts for each of the tracks, watching his ghost to see where and when he decides to powerslide. We also recommend choosing one of the beefier characters like Tiny or Dingodile for most tracks as they offer the most speed.
For the more finicky tracks (Dragon Mines and Cortex Castle) choose characters with maxed out turning power such as Ripper Roo or Polar.
As of yet there’s no other way of unlock N. Tropy and we hope it stays that way. There are plenty of interesting characters in Nitro-Fueled’s roster, though N. Tropy will quickly become a status symbol among the game’s elite speedsters.
Those who fancy themselves a CTR expert can go a step further. After beating N. Tropy you can test your skills against Nitro Oxide himself…