Well, we now know the nature of the supposed big announcement Activision teased for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy: it was the arrival of an unreleased level, completely remastered from the original Crash Bandicoot. The level, called Stormy Ascent, was removed from the final game reportedly because it was too hard. A level too hard for Crash Bandicoot? That’s how you know it’s difficult.
In the N. Sane Trilogy, you’ll get hints at each loading screen before a level. These might tell you where a secret location, or give you a tip about an enemy you might face, etcetera. For Stormy Ascent, it just says “Hint: Good luck. (You’re going to need it).”
The level was left on the disc, though, so players were able to access it with a GameShark on their PlayStations. That said, Vicarious Visions seems to have found or added a part that makes it even harder: a bonus level. Since it is a bonus level, you could skip it. That said, this Bonus level can net you five extra lives. So, if you’re constantly getting Game Overs in Stormy Ascent, you’ll probably need those five extra lives, especially since you find the bonus level about halfway through, presenting a perfect opportunity to replenish those lives you lost. So you don’t have to, but you really have to. So, in order to learn how to beat Stormy Ascent, you’ll need to learn how to beat Stormy Ascent’s bonus level.
The bonus level starts you out in view of three extra lives. Only one of which you can access immediately. To access the other two, you’ll have to make a precise jump across a considerable distance right onto a TNT box. Yeah, a TNT box. After you land on the TNT box, wait for as long as you can and jump back to the left just before it explodes.
Once it explodes, it will activate a metal box that solidifies a platform that will catch you before you fall, giving you access to those two lives. After getting the two lives, be very sure you hit the other metal box with an exclamation point that just to the left of those extra lives. If you don’t this will all be for naught. See the screenshot below for reference:
Once you’ve gotten the extra lives and hit the exclamation point box. You’ll need to jump back to where the TNT box was. This will now be a bouncing box. In order to make it across to the other side, you’ll have to hold X upon jumping and it might be better to position yourself a bit to the right side of the box before jumping forward (you know how the N. Sane Trilogy can be with jumping across gaps).
Once across, you’ll come to what is probably the most crucial part of the level. In order to safely pull this off, you’ll see a column of boxes with two bouncing boxes on top of it all. Do an elongated jump (hold X) and spin to destroy the first upper box. After that, you will probably bounce of the lower box, but it’s critical that you leave at least one box above you before jumping across the platform, and you have to leave the lower bouncing box un-destroyed. That’s the crucial trick to pulling this off much more easily. Why? Well, I’ll show you why:
As you can see, making the jump and surviving the TNT explosions is much easier if you leave the bouncing box on the lower part of the level without destroying it completely. After this, you can jump on it right after the first big explosion, holding X to elongate your jump, and reaching solid ground with every box destroyed. After this, all you have to do is avoid getting crushed by the two bouncing metal boxes, and you will be in the clear.