|Crates:||15 (3 on Yellow Gem "Route")|
|Collectibles:||1 Purple Gem|
Lights Out is the twenty-first level in Crash Bandicoot. Having just ascended the lametastic exterior of some lametastic castle tower, Crashie nervously steps inside. Uh-oh! It's all dark in here! Someone forgot to pay the Cortex Power bill! Crashie isn't nocturnal, so this nefarious darkness is completely foreign to him. Fortunately, in this level, he will meet his most important ally in the entire series: Aku Aku del Blanc! This light version of Aku Aku has the same great taste, but with half the calories. Also, bioluminescence. Aku Aku del Blanc is such an important and powerful ally that he appears in exactly one more level in the entire series. But if the dynamic twosome wish to survive to see another day, they must be ever-cautious, for this is where Cortex stores his spare Extra Sharp Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slicers! Also, be sure to stay out of the way of the many linear packs of fearsome Uncle Cortie's Patented Single-File Rat-tle Units!
Crashie Walks Along Brightened Darkened Corridors: Shedding a New Light on the Enlightening Lighting of Lights Out!Edit
Aku Aku del Blanc shouldn't have been in this game. Don't take that the wrong way here; no one's denying that Aku Aku del Blanc is trouser-fondlingly awesome. But did you know that he wasn't Naughty Dog's original choice for the role of Main Glowy Thingity in the video game adaptation of The Introductory Adventures of Sir Crashie Beaumonticoot? Yes, it's right. It's true. I'm no liar. Honest tea is always the best beverage policy, I always say. The truth is, Naughty Dog actually went through a number of other candidates for the role. If you couldn't guess, I intend to discuss them, along with the reasons they were cruelly cast aside, like yesterday's whores. And I intend to do so, with the invaluable assistance of fan-favourite Welsh heavy metal band, Bulletpoints for My Valentine!
- Mrs. Firefly was the first to audition for the role. She was offered the part, but ultimately forced to decline as her husband was uncomfortable having his wife, a woman, as the breadwinner of the Firefly family. To spite her even further, next year, he auditioned for the role of Main Glowy Thingity in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Out, Costing the Yankees the World Series, Thus Prompting an Angry Gambler Who Lost $15,000 Because of This to Track Him Down and Beat Him to Death with a Lead Pipe in a Fit of Rage. To her annoyance, he was given the role. Appearing in that game as well as Mr. Bandicoot Goes to Warp-shington, Mr. Firefly won much bread for his family. A mere five years later, Mrs. Firefly would finally work up the radical feminist courage to defy her husband and take a role in the Crashie series, appearing in one level of John Steinbeckicoot's The Wrath of Grapes. She was awful. She did not deserve the bread she won. The bread was unleavened; Mrs. Firefly was unworthy. (Do fireflies actually eat bread? Perhaps an ichthyologist can clear this up a bit.)
- Connie Booth, one of the game's producers, briefly intended to give the role to her then-boyfriend, Landon the Lanternfish. She promised it to him, but then took it back, when she realised that lanternfish can't survive above water, and Lights Out takes place in a dry county. Landon was saddened. So am I, since "Landon" and "saddened" don't rhyme as well in reality as they did in my head. At any rate, I'm sure Landon would agree when I say: Connie Booth is a fucking cunt. :)
- At one point, the developers considered simply removing the darkness from the level entirely, and renaming it Lights On. Unfortunately, once they experimented with doing so, they realised the sad truth: when you remove this level's gimmick, it's boring as fuck. Seriously. Walking in a straight line while avoiding boring obstacles that move from side-to-side, shitty enemy units that can only feebly amble along in a straight line like soulless automatons, and jumping from one blandly generic square platform to the next generically bland square platform? Sparing the world this was one of the nicest things Naughty Dog ever did. It almost, but not quite, makes up for later subjecting the world to Jak II: Free-Roaming Grand Theft Auto-Style Vehicle-Jacking Gun-Stroking Combat-Over-Platforming Darky Dark Emopaloozafest 2003!. Almost, but not quite.
- According to an anonymous source, the development team spent some amount of time working on programming a flashlight for Crashie to use, as this was supposedly suggested in a memo from Executive Producer Mark Cerny. When Cerny saw what they were doing, however, he informed them that this was wrong. Marky Mark cursed his handwriting, what with his lowercase E's looking like lowercase A's! Needless to say, the development team refused to even try to implement his actual suggestion!
I think that we, as hardcore Crash fanatics, can all agree that their departure was for the best, however, because Aku Aku del Blanc is, quite obviously, a towering layer cake of coolness, slatered with awesomeness frosting, and topped off with a big fucking cherry of hardcore youthy sex appeal. Or something. Because having a light source that automatically goes away as soon as you get hit? BRILLIANT!
- This stage's name is based on an old saying mothers everywhere tell their children at bedtime. (This makes sense since, in a sense, Cortex is the mother of this stage.)
- Due to this level's famousness - it was the first terrible darkness-based level in the series, after all - notorious terrible darkness-based rapper Lil Wayne, a noted fan of the series, named his second studio album Lights Out, after this very level! The cover artwork depicts Lil Wayne glowing brightly, a la Aku Aku del Blanc. A sequel to the album, Fumbling in the Dark, was planned, but ultimately scratched after fans protested his move to embrace light, which is white and, therefore, unrapmanly.
- Uncle Cortie apparently likes cheese, as evidenced by the presence of giant cheese slicers here in his castle. Prezzy Papy seems to like cheese, too - specifically, of the mineral variety. Note to self: Use this sexy coincidence as the fodder for your next piece of Crashie series slash fiction.