If you’re a Crash Bandicoot fan or an owner of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, you’re no doubt already aware of the addition of Stormy Ascent, a level removed from the original Crash Bandicoot because it was too hard, and for a game that’s already making people punch walls and pull their hair out, that’s saying something. This level was added to the N. Sane Trilogy as a free download from the PS Store (although it will be $2.99 after August 18th, so act now), and it’s actually not very hard …
… to see why they removed it from the game for being so unbelievably difficult, that is. It has already taken many players several hours straight to learn how to beat the level, and even that requires a bit of luck. We’ve already gone over how to beat Stormy Ascent’s all-new Bonus level, and that really required its own section, but here are some general tips to help you beat the whole level.
Do the Bonus Level
While we’re on the topic, though, do the bonus level. I know, it’s easier said than done (believe me, I know), but it’s absolutely essential. To hardcore Crash fans who insist on getting all the boxes every time, this will go without saying, but even for those who just want to make it to the finish line, this will help you. Follow the steps in the link in the previous paragraph, and you’ll do it just fine.
A fun factoid you might not have known about Stormy Ascent is that it is four times as long as any other Crash Bandicoot level. And, since you’ll likely have gotten one game over, you’ll only have four extra lives to work with.
Luckily for you, the bonus level takes place right at about the halfway mark, giving you the perfect opportunity to replenish your lost lives. You can get four extra lives in the bonus level, and a fifth if you have been diligent about collecting your Wumpa Fruit thus far. Even if you’ve been good about not dying, trust me, you’re going to need as many lives as you can get because it only gets more difficult from there.
Be Patient (with Examples)
I know this may seem like one of those all-too-general tips like “just relax,” and there will certainly be cause for rapid-fire, precise jumping in the later part of the level, but the first half is a lot slower than people give it credit for, and rushing through can mean your doom. To avoid the accusations of over-generalization, here are a couple examples:
On one of the elevator’s upward, it will take you to a retracting platform. If you try to rush this and jump to it as soon as your elevating platform reaches the top, the timing might not be right, and you will fall and die. Wait for the right opportunity. A bit later in this level, there will be two sets of collapsing stairs that actually give you several seconds to stand on them before they retract, and you’ll need to do just that in order to ensure you can make the next jump onto either a retracting or rotating platform. Watch the timing of the stair collapses, and stand on them for as long as possible or until a solid opportunity arises for you to exit them.
This sort of thing happens at least a half-dozen more times in the first half of the level. Bottom line: don’t rush. Observe the patters, and take all the time you have, even if you’re on a platform that is about to retract.
Birds Will Always Bounce You The Right Distance
We all know by now the horrors that are the turtles in High Road and Road to Nowhere. You’re supposed to be able to bounce on them and use that momentum to take you across a large gap, but, thanks to Vicarious Visions using the faster-falling Crash from Crash Bandicoot Warped as a model, you’ll often fall just short of the other side and get to the more metaphorical “other side” instead.
Breathe easy, though, wary platformers: this is not the case with the birds in Stormy Ascent. When they’re standing still or moving up and down, you can bounce on them, holding X to elongate your jump, and have no fear of falling short. I’m not sure if this is something Vicarious Visions fixed or if it just didn’t come up, but thank you.
Now, in the second half of the level, you’ll encounter birds that move side-to-side and here you have to worry about when you jump on them and precisely aim your landing. Until then, though, just jump. The birds in the first half of the level should be the easiest parts you run into.
Scientists Can’t Hit You in the Air
I’ve seen this happen a dozen times at least to people trying to play through Stormy Ascent: you’ll come across a scientist who is throwing deadly concoctions at you. The only problem is: he’s across a gap. You’re worried that one of his potions will hit you if you jump too high, since he throws them at an arc, so you try a small jump, only to clip off the ledge and lose a life.
It’s a tragic chain of events that, even more tragically, can be completely avoided. We’ve tested this out numerous times: the scientist cannot hit you in the air no matter how high you jump. Try it out for yourself. Go right up to a scientist and jump in front of him, holding X each time, the arc of the concoction will go right over your head each time.
What this means is that you never have to worry after you’ve avoided the hit of the concoction. You’re home free and can run up to him and spin no problem.
Take Shortcuts (Situationally)
During the first half of Stormy Ascent you’ll notice that you do very little actual “ascending,” and a lot of your time will be spent going down or going sideways. You may also notice that there are random pieces of spikey wall decoration that you don’t think you’d ever encounter. So why is it there?
Well during the descending portion of Stormy Ascent, there are a few areas where you would otherwise be able to drop down and skip hazards if not for those spikey bits. Shortcut cut off, right?
Not necessarily, as one Redditor figured out. If you’re having trouble with a few hazards in a row, I’d say take the drop, so long as you have an Aku Aku mask to absorb the hit from the spikes. Sure, you may get hit either way, but taking a shortcut guarantees only one hit and lets you bypass 2-4 obstacles. If you’re having a lot of trouble with them, I say that’s a good exchange. This will also be beneficial if you’re attempting this level as a time trial (you unbelievable masochist).