|Crates:||14 (3 on Orange Gem Routes)|
|Collectibles:||1 Clear Gem|
Upstream is the fifth level of Crash Bandicoot. Having escaped the Tribesanistanis' nightmarish film studio, Crashie escapes to a stream, which he has no choice but to go up, according to the stage name! However, as he is hilariously incapable of swimming, he must rely on a series of rocks, logs, lilypads, leaves, and Non-Copyright-Infringing Venus Fly Traps to keep his extravagantly expensive designer jeans safe and dry. The only foes in sight: Non-Copyright-Infringing Venus Fly Trap Fish!
Beyond Be-Leaf: The Beginning and the End of the Video Game Foli-AgeEdit
In the late nineteen-hundred and eighties, a major coup was struck for leafkind worldwide. These plant organs used for the process of photosynthesis managed to weasel their way into rival Nintendo's hit Italian-style platforming/plumbing video entertainment game, Super Mario Bros. 3. Series maven Shigeru "The Rock" Miyamoto utilized them as an in-game powerup, transforming Mario into a flying raccoon, a reference to the real-world abilities of leaves to help raccoons fly. What's that? You say you've never actually seen raccoons flying? Well, thank your parents for deforesting the whole damn country! They'll be the first to go when the Raccoon Revolution comes!
The point is, leaves were riding high after this major starring role. But a second one never came. Miyamoto cruelly replaced them with a new, younger, better-looking flying powerup in that game's sequel, Super Mario Bros. 4: The World Warrior. (That game's sequel, Super Mario Bros. 5: The World Warrior 2: Yoshi's Island, once again chose a new actress for the role. To reflect the game's status as a prequel taking place in the distant, primitive past, the role of flying powerup has been taken by a high-tech jumbo jet.) Leaves were completely ruined as of 1996. It is due to this ruinous state that Naughty Dog felt an intense upwelling of charity towards those chloro-filled losers, ultimately signing them on, out of pity, for the role of generic moving platforms in the stream-based levels, the one low point of an otherwise fantastic game.
You were way past your prime, leaves. Should've quit while you were ahead. Should've abandoned the gaming realm after Mario the Third and gone back to your real-world job of making real-world raccoons fly. But, no. You kept going. You became pathetic has-beens, leaves. Pathetic has-beens, I say! You took a fucking moving platform role, for fuck's sake! That's the lowest of the low! Now you're the laughing stock of the entire gaming community! For, you see, not every gaming entity has the ability to keep going on strong forever like Crashie Bandicoot! (Be sure to catch him soon in Crash Bandicoot iPhone Nitro Kart Part Three: Now for iPads As Well Edition! Oh, everlasting glory days.....)
- This level's name might be a reference to the 1927 John Ford film of the same name. Until 2009, the film was considered to have been lost, similar to how this area was unknown to the outside world, thanks to its position squarely in Tribesanistani territory, until Crash Bandicoot's quest brought him here.
- Some fans incorrectly argue that it might, alternately, be a reference to the Oslo-based newspaper of the same name, covering the global oil industry. This is unlikely, as the paper was founded in 1996, though it is interesting to note that the water does have a strangely dark, oily appearance, since oil also has a strangely dark, oily appearance.
- Curiously, this level features leaves that somehow manage to float upstream, of their own power, defying the very laws of physics themselves. An in-game explanation is never provided for this phenomenon. For that matter, it is never explained how a leaf could possibly support the weight of a full-grown bandicoot. The generally accepted fan explanation is that Dr. Neo Cortex has strapped leaves to the backs of innocent fish, in one of his earliest, least impressive professional science experiments.