In the original Crash Bandicoot game, Ripper Roo was one of the many animal test subjects of Dr. Neo Cortex. After being captured, he was zapped at least twice by Cortex's Evolvo-Ray which caused his fur to turn blue and for him to go insane. He was sent out to destroy Crash, but unfortunately for him, Crash used the Big TNT crates that were floating by to blow Ripper Roo up.
In the alternate ending to the original game, it's revealed that after Cortex disappears, Ripper Roo undergoes intense therapy and eight years of higher education, after which he writes a well-received book: Through the Eyes of the Vortex: A Study of Rapid Evolution and Its Consequences. This is the reason for "Doctor" Roo's change in character between the first and second game.
Although a genuine kangaroo, because of his floppy ears, sharp teeth, hanging tongue and the way his nose is rendered in this game, many people mistook him to be a dog. However, this is unintentional considering the art-style of the game is cartoony.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
After going through college, becoming his former genius self, and building a library, Ripper Roo reappeared in Cortex Strikes Back as the first boss in this game. This time, he's working for N. Brio, and is known as "Doctor Roo", mostly because of his uniform: a bow tie, glasses, a mustache, a cane, and a top hat. He apparently went to college to become a psychologist. He also turned his home into a library. However, it's revealed that one explosion is enough to return him to his former, dangerous self. Once again, however, he fails to stop Crash. Right before the battle starts, when he is seen reading books, the top book on the stack has the word "Crash" on the spine. When battling him, he hops around on his cane, turning regular squares into TNT squares. When the first square explodes, the rest lead straight to Ripper Roo, turning him insane again and revealing a blond wig. This time he creates Nitro squares. For some reason, when he's done he hops on top of the last Nitro square, detonating the entire field and leaving himself stunned and vulnerable (and turning him into "Doctor Roo" once more, and the whole method goes over again until he's defeated). Under his top hat is hair the same color of his mustache.
Riper Roo is famous for his insane, psychopathic, and somewhat dangerous, behavior. As a result of his insanity, he can be fearless, reckless, impulsive and unpredictable, often blowing himself or others up repeatedly with explosives. He has also proven to be highly tolerant and resilient to pain, as demonstrated in his boss battles when he gets caught in a TNT or Nitro blast, either getting knocked out cold, becoming dizzy or just laughing it off, displaying courage. It's not safe to say, however, that he'll always be this way. In fact, before Cortex Strikes Back, he spent a year to become a psychologist, proof that he was still civilized and sophisticated in some way. Another hint of his sane characteristic is that he wrote books, such as "Through the Eyes of the Vortex" which was well received. Being very intelligent, he has shown to be able to read as well. However, an explosion is enough to return him to his usual self. He is unique as the only speech he is capable of is insane laughter. In CTR, luckily for the player, subtitles are used while he is "speaking". In the Japanese version of the game, however, he spoke coherently.
Ripper Roo is a boomer (male kangaroo) with blue fur that covers most of his body with a lighter shade for his face and belly, black eyebrows and nose, red and yellow eyes with black pupils which swirl to the center that indicate his insanity, sharp teeth, claws and a pink tongue. He wears a white straitjacket that is completely buckled around his arms, limiting movement. The length of his tongue varies depending on the game, ranging from a very long one in the Naughty Dog games to a more realistic length in Twinsanity. In his Dr. Roo getup, he retains generally the same appearance, including the straitjacket, but also takes some elements of a gentleman in Victorian England, with a top hat, glasses, blonde wig and mustache, and a bow tie. He is also seen with a cane in this form.
Role in the series