Why is Crash Bandicoot’s new Spyro skin so upsetting?

The latest season of content for Crash Bandicoot’s mobile game, Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!, is all about his platformer mascot in arms, Spyro the Dragon. And while that’s a perfectly pleasant crossover that brings two former PlayStation icons together again, I’m really unsettled by this Spyro skin for Crash that’s part of the game’s Battle of the Dragons season 3 rewards.

Rather than an intriguing “hey, this thing now looks kind of like this other thing!” feeling evoked by other video game skins, Crash Bandicoot’s Spyro skin conjures thoughts of David Cronenberg’s Brundlefly or Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs. I can’t escape the thought that Crash is wearing a Spyro skin suit. (It doesn’t help that Spyro Crash isn’t wearing his signature jorts.)

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Seeing Crash wear a Spyro kigurumi or some other cosplay-style costume would probably be OK. But Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is also the game that brought Domino’s Pizza’s similarly upsetting mascot, The Noid, back to video games, so mobile company King is clearly leaning into the making-me-personally-uncomfortable nostalgia thing here.

If you’re totally fine with Spyro the Dragon’s body remolded into Crash’s shape, Season 3: Battle of the Dragons for Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is happening right now. In addition to this Spyro skin, which appears to be season-exclusive, it also includes battles against Dark Spyro and Gnasty Gnorc.

“Thanks” to MinnMax’s Ben Hanson for bringing this to my attention.

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