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Prerelease:Crash Nitro Kart (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox)

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Crash Nitro Kart (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox).

This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

Removed Racer


Concept art from the game's development shows Nina Cortex, a character who was cut from the final game. The game was originally going to be developed by Traveller's Tales Oxford Studios and introduce Nina Cortex to the series. After development was passed to Vicarious Visions, Nina's introduction was pushed to Twinsanity (which, ironically, was beaten by Purple's earlier release).

Early Builds

IGN Early Preview

This seems to be the same build used in the Trailer 1 and early press images.

  • There is no music.
  • Two Crash are present in the first clip, as the player is in 7th place.
  • The turbo pads are static.
  • Meteor Gorge has a completely different design in this build.
  • Zem's icon is very different.
  • The item roulette sound effect is different.
  • The lap completion sound effect was later used for the unlock messages.
  • Cortex's model is smaller and his head is bigger.
  • The freezing mine icon is just a text written Freezing mine with a blue font.
  • The Wumpa pickup sound effect is different.
  • The player got 8 Wumpa fruits breaking only one crate. In the final game, the max Wumpa per crate is 4.
  • The multiplayer HUD resembles the Crash Team Racing design.
  • The graphics are corrupted in 2P Meteor Gorge, as noticed in the background, Tiny's icon inside the item slot for player 1, and a corrupted icon for player 2.

Trailer 1

Press Images

Screenshots of Android Alley and Tiny Temple. This is probably the earliest build to be featured in official screenshots. Several differences and oddities can be found.

CNK Early Proto.jpg CNK Early Proto-1.jpg

  • The overall lighting is much darker.
  • The strings TIME and LAP are missing from the HUD.
  • The character icons are smaller and are low-res.
  • Pura is never controlled by the CPU in the final game.
  • The speedometer has a very different design. It also seems to go below zero and above the top speed.
  • The exaust pipes are all golden and look different from any used in the final game. Smoke also doesn't come out of them.
  • The anti-gravity knobs don't emit electricity.
  • In the second screenshot, the corkscrew has a stone texture instead of the final game's metallic one.
  • The "? crates" are absent, and there is a Turbo Pad that was removed in the final game.

This build seems to be a bit of an improvement over the previous build, though it has a bunch of quirks of its own. It's also very similar (if not the same) build used in the early footage.

CNK Early Proto 2.jpg CNK Early Proto 2-1.jpg

  • The start banner is missing.
  • The skid marks look different.
  • It shows that the total amount of laps is 0.
  • The character lineup on the left doesn't match the current standings. Probably there are more than a player with the same character, or the position of the characters hasn't yet been properly implemented.
  • Dingodile, Polar, and Pura are all racing in the same track. In the final game, no more than 2 CPU characters from the same team are allowed in races.
  • Again, Pura is never controlled by the CPU in the final game.
  • Power Shield's icon is blue despite the player only having 8 Wumpa fruits, instead of 10.
    • The icon is also the exact same one used in Crash Team Racing, meaning that some icons from that game were possibly used here as placeholders during development.
    • When used, the Power Shield looks slightly different and apparently harmless (or the Shield's hitbox hasn't been properly implemented yet).
  • In the second screenshot, there is a CPU racer using the Power Shield, something that never happens in the final game.

CNK Early Thunder Struck.jpg

  • The anti-gravity knobs are emitting smoke instead of electricity.
  • The waterfall on the right isn't present in the final game.
  • There is no rainstorm motif on the track.

Mid-Speedometer Build

Only some screenshots of this build can be found, all of them present from the back of the 128-bit cover of the game. They show an exclusive design of the speedometer that can't be seen in any other pre-release media of the game.

CNK Early Clockwork Wumpa.jpg

  • There is an unused horizontal version of the speedometer here. The box art screenshots are the only ones to feature it.
  • For some reason, there are only 2 character icons on the left, with the other 2 slots empty. So possibly, there was only one CPU racer on the race.

CNK Early Multiplayer 4P.jpg

  • Each player's screen has a different color at the edges.
  • The HUD position in 4P multiplayer has a very similar layout to the Crash Team Racing one.
  • The character icons, lap counter, item icons, Wumpa counter and the positions are larger.
  • Cortex's model is smaller and his head is bigger.
  • Crash has a different jumping animation.
  • The karts are emitting smoke, which was disabled in the final game for multiplayer.

Development Gallery

Images from a pre-release version of the game can be found at Andrey Trusov's portfolio, the level artist of the game. It's hard to say when these shots were taken, but the build looks fairly closer to the demo builds era. The most notable differences are the lack of shading, lap counter set to 0/0 and the early team frenzy feature.

CNK Prerelease DevelopmentBarinRuins-1.jpg

  • The crates are placed at the beginning of the level, rather than before the tunnel section.
  • The lap counter says 0/0, which is impossible.

CNK Prerelease DevelopmentBarinRuins-2.jpg

  • The Voodoo Doll item is present.
  • That Wumpa crate was removed from that location in the final game.

CNK Prerelease DevelopmentElectronAvenue.jpg

  • Electron Avenue's look is completely different.
  • The minimap doesn't match the players' positions.
(Source: https://henk.artstation.com/projects/OQ8dg)

Xbox Preview

Several publications received copies of the game built slightly after the second demo build. This is the earliest public build featuring debug coordinates in the top-left of the screen. While the build is mostly complete at this point, it features a multitude of small differences. It's believed this build is dated somewhere in early August.

German Previews

Inferno Island

  • There is no warp pad teleport sound effect.
  • The start banner uses the full name instead of the initials.
  • The Frenzy Meter is a different color and fills up straight away, working in a very different way.
  • The Team text over the Frenzy Meter is a placeholder text.
  • Inferno Island uses Tiny Temple's theme as placeholder.
  • Aku Aku's invincibility music is different.
Inferno Island / Out of Time

  • There is no final lap jingle.
  • The Wumpa box in Out of Time has no Wumpa fruit when hit.

Gamekult Previews


  • Cortex and Krunk spawn much further ahead of the finish line.
  • The powerslide bar has the colors reversed.
  • The HUD doesn't display the player's position number.
  • The lap counter doesn't have the LAP string.
  • The lap times for each lap are disabled in the boss race.
  • The minimap is larger and positioned higher on the HUD.
  • Krunk doesn't seem to have any animations.
  • The Spiky Fruit has a very different model.
  • Krunk doesn't have voice clips.
  • The boss kart uses a black color and a different engine sound, which is the same one used during anti-gravity sections.
  • Krunk's icon on the minimap is also black.
  • There are no X crates in the boss race.
  • The item roulette gives an item too early.
  • There is a height meter that would pop up every time the kart was lifted from the ground.
  • The boost counter appears on the right and over the minimap.
  • The start banner has a totally different texture.
  • Jungle Boogie uses Tiny Temple's theme as placeholder.
Tiny Temple

  • The players spawn further ahead of the finish line.
  • There are some graphical glitches with the grass shading in the background.
  • The ! crate is floating.
  • When the player is hit by the shock hazards, the shock color is yellow, the kart doesn't spin, and the screen doesn't flash.
  • 0:43 There is some type of blue mist behind the racers during the anti-gravity section.
Barin Ruins

  • The ! crate is floating.
  • The falling animation is different: the players falls way quickly, Aku Aku takes a while to appear, then Aku Aku's sound effect plays and the invincibility theme starts playing. After Crash respawns, Aku Aku quickly disappears before the player touches the ground.
  • 0:35 There is a removed Wumpa crate.
  • 0:40 There is a TNT crate on the road thrown by a CPU racer, which is impossible in the final game.
  • At the end of the video, the player uses the removed Voodoo Doll item. Here it acts just like the Team Frenzy in the final game.

IGN Previews

A late build of the game, which can be easily identified by the debug coordinates below the time. It seems to be the same Xbox build used in other media.

  • Single Race is called Arcade here.
  • The Team Mode icons are present in 2P mode and are covering the vision of the players.
  • The teammate icon is also flipped horizontally.
  • Out of Time is called Lost Earth, which is the original name for Terra.
  • The team is linked to the CPU. In the final game, both players will be the team instead.
  • There is a removed X crate at 0:19.
  • The unused height meter is present here.
  • The karts are emitting smoke, which was disabled in the final game for multiplayer.

  • Most of the level previews have different start points.
  • Interestingly, Out of Time retains the final name in the level select screen, so the "Lost Earth" name shown above might be related to something else, or just a bug.
  • The Wumpa crate is in a different position at 0:09.
  • Thunder Struck uses Out of Time theme here.
  • Another Wumpa crate is in a different position at 0:20.
  • The early Static Shock Orb icon is used.

Gamekult's Screenshots

A French website also hosted dozens of screenshots showing off this build, revealing more differences.

CNK Prerelease Team Bandicoot.jpg

  • Crash is standing further away from the camera.
  • Coco's laptop is pink.
  • There is a blue outline in the menu layout.

CNK Beta Team Evil.jpg

  • Team Cortex was originally called Team Evil.

CNK Beta Adventure Hud.jpg

  • The prizes order are different in the HUD. The trophy has a different design and gems are untextured.
  • Krunk's text is misplaced. Also in the final game, the boss race is called Terra's Championship.
  • The speedometer is present in the Adventure areas. It was disabled in the final game.

CNK Beta Teknee Icon.jpg

  • Teknee uses a futuristic building design for its icon. It was later changed to an Atom.

CNK Beta Aku Uka Hints.jpg

  • Adventure mode's startpoint would be originally in Velo's Citadel, as opposed to Terra in the final game.
  • The camera position here is very similar to the mask's cutscene hints in Crash Team Racing.

CNK Prerelease Velos Vault.jpg

  • Velo's Vault unlock requirement is 3 keys instead of 4.
  • The number of keys needed is shown in the locked portal.

CNK Prerelease Thunder Struck.jpg

  • There is an extra ramp at the left side of the level, which was removed in the final game.

CNK Prerelease Race Standings.jpg

  • The game uses the font letter instead of a proper button icon as placeholder.
  • The red position numbers are in the right corner of the icons. In the final game, they are in the middle.
  • Notice how the player has 42 points, which is an impossible score to achieve in the final game, as each race gives 9 points for the first place.
(Source: https://www.gamekult.com/jeux/crash-nitro-kart-3010001014/images.html)

Late Debug Build

Another build after the first debug preview version can be seen in some press images as well. This time, the Team Frenzy feature seems to feature the final behavior, although the ally's icon is still mirrored, and the "Team Up!" text isn't present when the gauge is full. Also, for some reason the "x" sign is now missing from the Wumpa counter.

CNK Prerelease MeteorGorgeCrates.jpg

  • Meteor Gorge once had a row of four Wumpa crates in the downhill.

CNK Prerelease MaskCPU-2.jpg

  • Coco can be seen using an Aku Aku mask, which is impossible in the final game.
  • Super Engine's icon is now the same as final.

CNK Prerelease MaskCPU.jpg

  • Again, another CPU is now using Uka Uka mask.

CNK Prerelease DeepSeaDrivingXCrate.jpg

  • A X crate is present at the beginning of the track.
  • The gauge uses Team Bandicoot's color instead of red.

CNK Prerelease BoostOverlap.jpg

  • The boost counter appears in the right corner, also overlapping the Team gauge.
  • The "Frenzy!" text isn't present during the frenzy mode.

CNK Prerelease DeepSeaDrivingTubeCrates.jpg

  • A row of two crates is present at the end of the anti-gravity tube section.

CNK Prerelease 4PlayerTinyTemple.jpg

  • The old HUD is still used for races.
  • It seems the exhaust pipe fumes only work properly for player 1.
  • The final banner design was reverted back.

CNK Prerelease 4PlayerFrozenFrenzy.jpg

  • A newer version of the HUD is used, but still differs from the final layout.
  • The color stripes around the player screens is not set up properly.

Visual Development for CNK

A document containing sketches and early designs was released at the end of 2003. Some early screenshots of the game were used to showcase how the artworks looked in-game.

CNK Early Velo Challenge.png

  • Hyper Spaceway's minimap is present here. It was disabled in-race in the final game due to not working properly.
  • Debug coordinates are present.
  • The character icons are placed very close to the timer.
  • The lap times for each lap are disabled in the boss race.
  • The HUD doesn't display the player's position number.
  • There are a lot of TNTs in the track, so it's likely that was one of the Velo's traps in this build. The bosses never throw TNTs in the final game.
  • There are two crates instead of three in the final game.
  • The fire hazards are missing.

Trailer 2

A near-final version of the game was used on this trailer. This is the third and last known build featuring debug coordinates. The Freezing Mine and Static Shork Orb already use their final design and icons, however there is a white square around the mine model when the player throws it at 0:15. The boost counter is now placed higher, but still appears in the right corner, similar to how it was in Crash Team Racing.

Interestingly, the player instantly loses Wumpas while falling off the track at 0:38. This seems to be added later into the development and quickly removed it, since older builds didn't have this feature.