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Tiny Tiger

Tiny Tiger

Tiny Tiger is a Tasmanian tiger initially created by Doctor Nitrus Brio. He is often seen working for Dr. Neo Cortex, the main antagonist of the Crash Bandicoot series. Before Crash of the Titans, Tiny was essentially a carbon copy of his spiritual predecessor Koala Kong: incredibly powerful and muscular, but overall unintelligent.

Tiny's intelligence has since increased, giving the character a new depth and personality. Out of all of Cortex's animal minions, Tiny makes the most appearances in the series, physically appearing in eleven games and vocally in one game over the course of eleven years, undergoing incredibly drastic changes in appearance in the later games.

History

Pre-Series History

It was implied in at least two instruction manuals that Tiny was Doctor Cortex's first foray into genetic alteration. However, this conflicts with what was established by Naughty Dog, who confirmed that Ripper Roo was Cortex's first serious creation, with Tiny originally conceived by and serving N. Brio. It should be noted however that Tiny was conceived for the original game, where he almost certainly would have been established as a creation and servant of both Cortex and Brio. His character was omitted however and, like the Komodo Brothers, reimagined for the second game.

It is assumed that before his creation, he was a normal Tasmanian Thylacine.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Tiny made his debut in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back as the third boss of the game. Under the orders of Doctor Nitrus Brio, Tiny attempts to stop Crash from gathering Crystals by crushing him under his feet inside a space station. There is no floor in the room they fight in, but rather an endless chasm, with nine mechanical platforms set up in a three-by-three fashion to save both of them from falling to their doom. However, all of these platforms are faulty, eventually malfunctioning and deactivating. Crash uses this to his advantage, and tricks the gullible Tiny into jumping into the resulting gap that is created by these faulty platforms. Crash must repeat this strategy two more times to defeat Tiny. Every time Tiny falls with a platform, it returns up with him. As an often unseen detail, while Crash is already celebrating his victory with his own trademark dance, Tiny is actually returning up even after running out of hit points but appearing exhausted, lying on the platform which, in turn, after having brought up Tiny finally ends up falling beneath the tiger's weight. His theme song for this game can be found here.

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped

In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, it is revealed that Tiny survived his previous fall. His, Cortex, and N. Gin's battle all took place in Cortex's space station, leaving ambiguity to his servitude in the previous game. Either way here, he serves under Uka Uka and Doctor Neo Cortex, attempting to take whatever crystals Crash and Coco have gathered and bringing them to Cortex in the Colosseum of Rome under his orders. Crash encounters Tiny in the Colosseum chained to two columns (a la Samson), which he snaps free from with ease. Tiny then proceeds to try and crush Crash under his feet, just as he did in their last encounter. When Tiny tries to impale Crash with his trident, the trident becomes stuck in the ground, leaving Tiny open for attack. Tiny then summons numerous lions to try and eat Crash. After this cycle is repeated two more times, Tiny is knocked out, Cortex giving a speech to Crash and Cortex afterwards said "Tiny was a good fellow. He hated everyone and everything, but a good heart nonetheless." and warning Crash to be more "reasonable" with his minions. His battle music can be found here.

Characteristics

Personality

In his earlier appearances, Tiny was depicted to be a fierce but unintelligent creature. He is extremely loyal to Doctor Cortex, following his every whim without question and guarding him fiercely. To his master's annoyance however, he contributes little in terms of intellect, usually dismissed and treated like a child. He is also somewhat clumsy, as demonstrated in Crash Nitro Kart, in which he flattens Dingodile while rushing to assist Doctor N. Gin. If something breaks, Tiny is first to blame. Unlike Crash, who is somewhat smarter than him, Tiny is capable of speech, but often speaks in the third person, reflecting his low intelligence (Crash! Coco! Stole the pretty crystals! Tiny take them back in gladiator arena!). He can manage several vehicles and technical utilities competently however, having scuffled with the bandicoots not just toe to toe, but in tanks, dog fights and kart races.

Generally any enemy of Cortex is an enemy of Tiny. He shares his sadistic animosity towards Crash, when ever the time came to fight him he displays pleasure in trying to squash him. A statement made by Doctor Neo Cortex in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped reveals that Tiny is not truly evil, but is only doing what he is told by Doctor Cortex because of being unintelligent and lack of ability to think for himself. Indeed amongst the villain conventions, Tiny is often portrayed as docile and oblivious. Nevertheless, he is depicted as a megalomaniac, and believes that Crunch is a "soft-hearted copycat". In Crash Nitro Kart, the people in Terra see Tiny as a god. This is shown in Tiny Temple and in the final Team Cortex cutscene.

However, in Crash of the Titans, Tiny underwent drastic changes in both personality and intellect: his intelligence has increased to an average level above that of Crash. He is no longer a beastly monster who constantly bellows his desire to smash certain objects; rather, he is a considerate individual who continues to battle Crash due to his unhappiness with being just a bit character in the series. He has grown something of a liking to Crash Bandicoot, describing him as one point as "stupendous and fantabulous". While this incarnation of Tiny is considerably less evil than in the past, he is still willing to aid Neo Cortex in his time of need, specifically when the latter faces replacement in Crash of the Titans.

Physical Appearance

Before Crash Twinsanity and Crash of the Titans, Tiny appeared to be an orange, muscular creature with sharp fangs and pointed claws. He was often seen wearing spiked shoulder pads, metal bracelets, a green leopard-spotted loincloth, and red sneakers. Due to the circumstances of the boss fight against him in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, his attire is updated to include a gladiator helmet, an armored left arm, two belts criss-crossing his torso, and a trident at hand. For an unexplained reason, Tiny also dons this attire in Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure. For another unexplained reason, he does not have spiky shoulder pads in Crash Nitro Kart.

Tiny's species has varied over the years. The aforementioned erroneous name "Taz Tiger" suggests that he is a Thylacine (also known as a Tasmanian Tiger), although his behavior is very much that of a common tiger. In Crash Twinsanity, Tiny is deliberately redesigned to look like a Thylacine, where he had lighter fur, a smaller head and stripes on his back (due to oversight, his tail isn't part of his model). This was taken to the other extreme in Crash of the Titans when Tiny was redesigned again to resemble a modern tiger of unknown subspecies. Tiny is fully clothed in this redesign, donning an attire that resembles that of a U.S. Marine. According to the Nintendo DS version of Crash of the Titans, Tiny is 2 meters tall (6 feet, 7 inches) and weighs 90 kilograms (198.45 pounds), putting his body mass index at 22.5 (normal range).

Abilities

Tiny's most notable ability is his superhuman strength; this strength allows Tiny to rip through metal surfaces, break free from bondage without assistance and lift heavy objects. Despite his ridiculously skinny legs, Tiny is known for his incredible jumping prowess, as demonstrated in the boss battles against him. Tiny uses this power along with his heavy muscle mass to crush any of those unfortunate enough to be under him at the time. While Tiny doesn't fight Crash directly in Crash of the Titans, he is shown to still be capable of impressive strength, performing such feats as easily lifting Crash off the ground by the arm and sufficiently harming him with but a flick of a finger. In the Game Boy Advance version of the same game, Tiny is shown to be skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and can even shoot purple fireballs from his hands.

Role in the series

Pending...

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