|Collectibles:||1 Clear Gem, Key to Whole Hog|
Sunset Vista is the fourteenth level of Crash Bandicoot. At long last, Crashie is almost done traversing the shitty second island! All that stands between him and his ultimate goal - reaching, at long last, the entrance to Emperor Wuu's glorious underground hashish mines - is the hellishly sprawling metropolis of West McMacintosh. If Nativopolis is the Washington, D.C. of Wuu's New Nativitan Empire, then West McMacintosh is its New York City, a bigger, more confusing sprawling metropolis, with a thriving theatre scene. And, exactly like real-world New York City, it is now populated by Uncle Cortie's Patented Single-File Bat-tle Units, Dr. Leap-N. Lizards, and Senator Newt Green-griches! Can Crashie survive? No. This shit is tough as shit, yo.
Softening Up Sunset Vista: Making an Evil Level Into a Cuddly Level, and By "Cuddly" I Mean "Very Slightly Less Evil"!Edit
Crash fans like whining about lots of different things. "Waaaahhhhh, my beloved Dr. Nitrus Brio didn't appear in It's About Goddamn Time For Another Crash Bandicoot Game!!!" "Waaaaaahhhhhhhh, the evil evil villains over at Activision cancelled that upcoming Radical "Entertainment" Crash game for 2010, let's start a fucking petition!!!" "WaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHhHhH, anthropologists study PEOPLE, not EELS, get off my wiki!!!!!" Fucking babies. But one of the most seminally sentimentally favoured things to whine and bitch about in the fandom is how "unreasonably" hard Sunset Vista is, with its impressive length and girth, awkward moving walls, general platform assholery, etc. And the fact that this game requires you to make a clean run without dying once in order to procure a level's Gem? It's brutal. It's a level that could literally not get any harder.
So it might come as a shock to some fans that this level was originally planned to be even harder! The preliminary pre-release prematurely born beta version of Crash Bandicoot contained a considerably more difficult version of Sunset Vista. It was one of the very first levels completed, so obviously it pre-dated a time when Naughty Dog actually knew how to properly design un-awful levels. However, perceptive canines that they are, they paid close attention to things of importance all throughout their development of this video electronic game thing of importance. And after the third Sunset Vista-related suicide during preliminary play, they came to the conclusion that this monstrosity had to be scaled back, a stance that was only reinforced when that version of the level also caused a rape-homicide double feature of "This Level Is So Morbidly Bad, Terrible Things Happen Because of It" Theatre. Later in development, it was gently but firmly tweaked for increased micro-simplicity, into the version we see today.
Considering how hard the version we got is, there's no doubt that any pre-existing version of more difficulty was a hideous beastly monster that deserved to be castrated. Nonetheless, many fans continue to wonder what the old version of the level was like, because they are sad and pathetic twelve-year-olds with literally nothing better to do than ponder the Crash Bandicoot canon. As such, it is only logical that I now step up to the plate, and walk you through the many differences between that version of the level and the final version, with assistance from President Barack Hussein Obulletpoints:
- The beta version contained generally more difficult platform placement and a crippling over-reliance on torches. Naughty Dog was forced to cut down on the number of torches in the game before release, due to the Geneva Conventions' namby-pamby liberal rules against - I sincerely apologise for this one, I really do - torch-ure.
- In the beta version, Newt Green-grich was President. In the finished product, he has been sadly demoted to a Senator. As such, he obviously has far less clout. Like most Senators, he has been reduced to helplessly staggering back and forth.
- An additional enemy was slated to be present - a half-gorilla half-kangaroo mutant named, appropriately enough, Kangarape. Sadly, he was cut at quite literally the last second when Naughty Dog realised the horrible mistake with the enemy's name - gorillas aren't apes, they're monkeys, according to most professional immunologists. Kangarape was later revived during the development of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes a Blow Against the Radical Homosexual Agenda, as "Rilla Roo".
- The various platforms were originally slated to be made of pure diamond - the hardest mineral on Earth - but this was abandoned due to budgetary reasons, and also, South African blood diamond miner laziness.
- Finally, it's a little-known fact that, in the original beta version of this game, Crash Bandicoot was a paraplegic, so named because of the motorcar accident that left him incapacitated as such for the rest of his life. As such, he couldn't jump quite as high, which made the various sadistic platforming challenges in this stage slightly more difficult.
Well, obviously, the final version of the level, despite being cut back considerably, was still puh-lenty hard! Hard enough, in fact, that the goddamn Japanese switched its position in the level with the Third Island's Slippery Climb in the JapaNTSC version, in order to smooth things out a bit. Despite the fact that Slippery Climb is the one level in the game that actually rivals Sunset Vista in difficulty. Also, despite the fact that it makes no sense to have a castle-themed level right in the middle of the fucking New Nativitan Empire. What the fuck? Oh, sweet naive Japan. Your attempts to save the series always always fuck everything up. How adorable. President Harry Smoochykins Truman should've nuked them a bit harder.
- This level's name is a pun on the famous real-world unincorporated community of Sunrise Vista, California. Because the Crashie in-universe location of Wumpa Island is on the opposite side of the world that the real-world in-universe location of the California city is, it is plausible that while the sun was rising in California, it was setting on Wumpa Island, making the level's title a sly reference to Earth's notorious penchant for rotation.
- It is perhaps interesting to note that many of the people posting complaints about this level on the internet could be doing so on Windows Vista, a once-popular operating system on which the sun is metaphorically setting with the release of the superior Windows 7. Whether or not Naughty Dog themselves foresaw this brilliant pun when they created this level is unknown.
- According to some fans, the sun in this level never actually finishes setting, thus meaning that said sunset will never be followed by a beautiful and romantic moonlit night, very much unlike real-world sunsets, which are always followed by them, unfailingly. No explanation is given in-game for this. The generally accepted fan explanation is that fan-favourite time meister Dr. Nefarious Tropy, M.D. is using his timely powers of time manipulation to freeze time in West McMacintosh for some nefarious reason - meaning, of course, that he made his début earlier in the series earlier than anyone thought! Nifty.