Cortex spent his youth as the youngest son in a family of circus clowns (later said in the strategy guide for The Wrath of Cortex). Unlike his family, which loved the spotlight and making people laugh, Cortex spent most of his time reading science books. He was always teased, and at the age of three, had an "N" tattooed on his head for nerd by a particularly evil group of circus performers. But soon, the torment stopped, after a "freak" explosion wiped out his entire family, leaving Cortex to fend for himself - though a brother may have possibly survived, as Cortex's niece, Nina, is well known to him; however, Cortex may have married and been Nina's father himself, as in Twinsanity, he says "My daught... err... NIECE!" - this was when Cortex decided that he would not rest until he ruled the world.
At the age of four, Cortex enrolled into Madame Amberly's Academy of Evil, a school for evil children. It was here that Cortex met up with his life-long associates, Nitrus Brio and N. Gin. But soon, the torture of bullying caught up with Cortex again, and he and Nitrus Brio decided to sneak out and go to high school, where they thought they would be revered for being the youngest people to ever graduate.
At the age of eight, both Cortex and Brio enrolled in high school. But even here they were mocked by the cruel teenagers, a tradition that became the story of his life. It was also at this age in which Cortex made his very first prototype of the Evolvo Ray on his own, although credit is given to both N. Brio and Cortex. He then made his pet parrots Victor and Moritz be his first test subjects. The experiment went wrong, sending the two twins into the 10th Dimension where they learned skills from the dimension and later returned for revenge on Cortex in Crash Twinsanity.
They suffered through high school together until another "freak" explosion blew up the entire building, as well as most of the surrounding town. By some amazing coincidence, they were far away from the detonation, two miles underground in an abandoned plutonium mine.
They decided to split and went on a world-smashing rampage. The terrible twosome, calling themselves the Cortex Commandos, left in their wake a trail of charred earth so monumental that they became international criminals. Seeking sanctuary from the various forces against them, they found three deserted islands off of the coast of Australia and set up shop. Soon, realizing that his puny body couldn't crush a fly, Cortex figured the only way to take over the world was to create an army that would do his bidding for him. In memory of his "glory days", Cortex named them the Cortex Commandos. In a moment of diabolical genius, Brio came up with the ideas for the Evolvo Ray, an energy force capable of mutating common animals into intelligent super-beasts; and the Cortex Vortex, a device that trains the mutated animals to obey their master. Cortex, however, did not see one small problem with the machine.
Together, the doctors began experimenting with the animals and plants from the surrounding islands. Some of them were not so successful, like Ripper Roo, an insane creation that went wrong. But none of them compare to possibly Cortex's greatest mistake ever - Crash Bandicoot. One quiet evening at Cortex Castle, Cortex had just captured two eastern barred bandicoots; one male and one female. Cortex planned to have the male be the general of his army. The male is the first to get zapped by the Evolvo-Ray. It is then raised into the Cortex Vortex, though Brio insists that the Vortex is not ready. It turns out he was right as the male, Crash, is rejected by the machine. Cortex is furious, as he gives chase trying to capture the freed bandicoot. Crash escapes by jumping out the window, but leaves his bandicoot girlfriend (Tawna) in the clutches of Cortex's henchmen. She is used as a lure by Cortex in order to get Crash back. After a time, Crash arrives at the castle, where Cortex confronts him on his hoverboard atop his airship. However, he is defeated when Crash destroys the hoverboard by lobbing Cortex's projectiles back at him, and apparently falls to his death. In the non-canon ending, it is stated that after Crash foiled his plans, Cortex simply "disappeared". The game however hints at his return, stating "But evil geniuses are harder... to squash than cockroaches."
Cortex embodies many of the classic traits of psychopathy, being short-tempered, reckless, having no apparent conscience (as cited by Doctor Nefarious Tropy in Crash Twinsanity), and frequently manipulating others to get what he wants.
Like many stereotypical villainous mad scientists, Cortex holds a grudge against other scientists for ridiculing his outlandish (yet workable) ideas, and was originally driven towards world domination by the desire to prove his colleagues wrong. This no longer seems to be the case, as it is revealed in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped that Cortex is working under the orders of Uka Uka, one of the only two individuals that Cortex fears (beside Madame Amberly). Although Cortex talks big and acts confident in most of his appearances, he can be shown to become nervous (sometimes downright spineless) when put in the face of extreme and immediate danger (i.e. confronting Uka Uka, running out of ammo while fighting enemies, etc.).
Another notable personality trait is his stubbornness and inability to plan ahead or learn from his mistakes; he often relies on his minion Tiny Tiger to eliminate Crash by himself, despite the fact that Tiny is too incompetent to do so alone. This impulsive behavior is first witnessed in the opening cinematic of Crash Bandicoot, in which Cortex refuses to heed the warnings of his then-henchman Doctor Nitrus Brio and tries to make Crash the general of his army, despite numerous past failures. Cortex can become quite irritated or agitated when things don't go his way, especially in Crash Tag Team Racing; while most other characters express mild annoyance when Crash fails to perform an errand for them, Cortex scolds and lashes out at him the minute he comes back empty-handed, calling him a "blithering imbecile", "Cantankerous twerp" and saying "You're the worst mutation I've ever created!". Mutually supportive relationships with other characters is also evident in the crossover game Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage, in which Doctor Cortex temporarily teams up with Spyro the Dragon villain Ripto to destroy both Crash and Spyro, only to start bickering with Ripto at one point.
Cortex is not above lying and deceiving others to fulfill his evil desires, most of which include gathering Crystals to power up his doomsday weapons. He frequently uses the gullible Crash Bandicoot to complete these deeds, most evident in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Tag Team Racing, claiming in both games to use the weapons for "mass helping people" as he puts it. His egotistical tendencies also cause him to alter facts about his life, claiming himself to be the most popular student in his school, even though in reality he was an object of hatred among many students, one going as far as to toss a dagger in his direction. Cortex's vain side becomes most obvious in Crash Tag Team Racing, in which he often calls himself such things as beautiful and pretty.
For most of the time, Cortex doesn't care for the lives and feelings of others, caring only for himself and what he wants. While this seems to be the case in most games, the one moment in which Cortex actually shows concern for someone else is in Crash Twinsanity, in which at one point his niece, Nina Cortex, is kidnapped by an evil version of Crash. It is at this point clear that Nina is the only living thing that Cortex cares about, with the latter going as far as thoughtlessly putting himself in danger of being mauled by the ferocious Evil Crash during the level "Bandicoot Pursuit". Besides this instance, Cortex is largely unempathetic, seeing others only as tools for his quest in world domination (although presumably he likes N. Gin, Tiny and Dingodile really, as he puts up with them despite their past failings). It is unknown whether Cortex feels any regret for replacing Nina's hands with metallic death-traps, though this is unlikely, given Cortex's psychopathic tendencies.
Role in the series
(Okay. So, until you find a good place for him, INCLUDING if you consider the Guild of Thunder idea is that you might also need pages of his henchmen and enemies. So, until we give him a role, here they are:
- Crash Bandicoot- Yeah, you know him, so no explanation.
- Coco Bandicoot- Crash's younger sister and good fighter and genius.
- Aku Aku- Crash and Coco's tiki-head mentor. (Plus, because of vastly-different appearances, we'll name his alternate appearance as a mega-form.)
- Uka Uka- Cortex' tiki-head master and Aku Aku's evil brother. (Plus, like his brother, his appearance has changed, and thus will be labeled a mega-form.)
- Crunch Bandicoot- Former cyborg bandicoot henchman to Cortex and later reformed ally to Crash.
- Doctor N. Gin- Cyborg genius and one of Cortex' henchmen.
- Tiny Tiger- A Tasmanian Tiger and henchman to Cortex.
- Ripper Roo- A crazy kangaroo and henchman to Cortex.
- Dingodile- Dingo/Crocodile flamethrower-wielding hybrid and henchman to Cortex.
- Doctor Nefarious Tropy- A time-master (Possibly to be established as a former time lord)and henchman to Cortex. (Not to be confused with Dr. Nefarious)
- Doctor Nitrus Brio- Former worker for Cortex and currently a rival.
- N. Trance- Egg-shaped 5th-Dimensional Being and possible rival to Cortex.
- The Elementals- 4 Elemental-Manipulating Masks from The Wrath of Cortex (A game which I own on my GameCube)
- Nina Cortex- Cortex' niece or daughter.
- Willie Wumpa Cheeks- Mutant Wumpa Fruit and rival to Cortex.
- Victor and Moritz- Two 10th Dimensional parrots and rivals to Cortex.
And I'll also add them to the Main Page on the Needed Pages section.)