Spyro (series)

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Spyro (series)
Spyro logo.png
Logo used for The Legend of Spyro trilogy.
Genres Platform (Original series & Skylanders)
Action (The Legend of Spyro)
Developers Insomniac Games (1998–2000)
Digital Eclipse (2001–3)
Check Six Games (2002)
Equinoxe (2002)
Vicarious Visions (2004, 2011–3)
Eurocom (2004)
Traveller's Tales (2004)
Amaze Entertainment (2005–7)
Krome Studios (2006–7)
Étranges Libellules (2008)
Toys For Bob (2011–2, 2014–present)
n-Space (2012–3)
Beenox (2013)
Publishers Sony Computer Entertainment (1998–2000)
Universal Interactive Studios (1998–2003)
Konami (2002–4) (Japan)
Vivendi Universal Games (2004–8)
Sierra Entertainment (2005–8)
Activision (2008–present)
Square Enix (2013) (Japan)
Creators Mark Cerny
Alex Hastings
Brian Hastings
Michael John
Ted Price
Craig Stitt
Charles Zembillas
Platform of origin PlayStation
Spin-offs Skylanders
Official website http://lair.spyrothedragon.com/splash/

Spyro is a series of platform/action games which primarily features the protagonist Spyro the Dragon and his friend, Sparx the dragonfly. Since its introduction in 1998, there have been two complete reboots to the series: The Legend of Spyro and Skylanders. There are thirteen Spyro games and four Skylanders games in total. The Spyro series has sold more than 20 million units worldwide.[1]

Releases[edit]

Original series[edit]

Title Details

1998 – PlayStation, PlayStation Network
Notes:
  • Developed by Insomniac Games and published by Universal Interactive Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment.



1999 – PlayStation, PlayStation Network
Notes:
  • Developed by Insomniac Games and published by Universal Interactive Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment.
  • Known as Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Known as Spyro X Sparx Tondemo Tours in Japan.
  • The most recent original Spyro game on PlayStation released in Japan.



2000 – PlayStation, PlayStation Network
Notes:
  • Developed by Insomniac Games and published by Universal Interactive Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment.
  • The most recent Spyro game developed by Insomniac Games, the only Spyro game developed by Insomniac Games never released in Japan, and the most recent PlayStation-exclusive Spyro game.


Continuation[edit]

Title Details

2001 – Game Boy Advance
Notes:
  • Developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Universal Interactive Studios.
  • Known as Spyro Advance in Japan, and was published and distributed by Konami, for its Japanese release.



2002 – Game Boy Advance
Notes:
  • Developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Universal Interactive Studios.



2002 – PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube
Notes:
  • Developed by Check Six Games and published by Universal Interactive Studios.



2003 – Game Boy Advance
Notes:
  • Developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Universal Interactive Studios.
  • Known as Spyro Adventure in Europe and Australia.



2004 – Game Boy Advance
Notes:
  • Developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Vivendi Universal Games.
  • Known as Spyro Fusion in Europe and Australia.
  • Known as Spyro Advance Wakuwaku Tomodachi Daisakusen! in Japan.
  • The most recent original Spyro game released in Japan.



2004 – PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox
Notes:
  • Developed by Eurocom and published by Vivendi Universal Games.
  • The most recent original Spyro game for home console and the only original Spyro game on Xbox.



2005 – Nintendo DS
Notes:
  • Developed by Amaze Entertainment and published by Sierra Entertainment.
  • The most recent original Spyro game.



The Legend of Spyro[edit]

Title Details

2006 – PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
Notes:
  • Developed by Krome Studios and published by Sierra Entertainment and Vivendi Universal Games.



2007 – PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, Wii
Notes:
  • Developed by Krome Studios and published by Sierra Entertainment and Vivendi Universal Games.



2008 – PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Wii
Notes:
  • Developed by Étranges Libellules, published by Sierra Entertainment and Vivendi Universal Games and distributed by Activision Blizzard.
  • The most recent Legend of Spyro game.


Skylanders[edit]

Title Details

2011 – Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, OS X, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Wii U
Notes:
  • Developed by Toys For Bob and published by Activision.
  • The only Spyro game on personal computer.



2012 – Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360
Notes:
  • Developed by Toys For Bob and published by Activision.



2013 – Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Notes:
  • Developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision.
  • The only Skylanders game not developed by Toys For Bob.



2014 – Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Notes:
  • Developed by Toys For Bob and published by Activision.


Books[edit]

Title Details
Skylanders Universe: The Machine of Doom

2012 – Paperback, Hardcover, Digital
Notes:
  • Originally fulled titled as: Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure: The Machine of Doom.
  • Written by Onk Beakman, published by Activision.
  • Serves as a prequel to the Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure video game.


Skylanders Universe: Spyro versus the Mega Monsters

2013 – Paperback, Hardcover, Digital
Notes:
  • Written by Onk Beakman, published by Activision.
  • A direct-sequel to Skylanders Universe: The Machine of Doom and set to be the first in the Mask of Power series, to the Skylanders novel series.


Skylanders Universe: Gill Grunt and the Curse of the Fish Master

2013 – Paperback, Hardcover, Digital
Notes:
  • Written by Onk Beakman, published by Activision.
  • Second book in the Mask of Power series, to the Skylanders novel series, and third Skylanders novel overall.


Skylanders Universe: Lightning Rod Faces the Cyclops Queen

2013 – Paperback, Hardcover, Digital
Notes:
  • Written by Onk Beakman, published by Activision.
  • Third book in the Mask of Power series, to the Skylanders novel series, and fourth Skylanders novel overall.


Details[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of October 1, 2013.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Spyro the Dragon (PS1) 85.44%[2]
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! (PS1) 86.57%[3]
Spyro: Year of the Dragon (PS1) 90.59%[4] (PS1) 91[5]
Spyro: Season of Ice (GBA) 71.75%[6] (GBA) 74[7]
Spyro 2: Season of Flame (GBA) 77.40%[8] (GBA) 76[9]
Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly (PS2) 55.58%[10]
(GC) 47.76%[11]
(PS2) 56[12]
(GC) 48[13]
Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs (GBA) 74.50%[14] (GBA) 72[15]
Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy (GBA) 58.56%[16] (GBA) 60[17]
Spyro: A Hero's Tail (PS2) 64.59%[18]
(Xbox) 63.95%[19]
(GC) 63.29%[20]
(Xbox) 64[21]
(GC) 62[22]
(PS2) 60[23]
Spyro: Shadow Legacy (NDS) 53.04%[24] (NDS) 50[25]

Original Series[edit]

  • Spyro The Dragon was first released in North America on 11 September 1998, for the PlayStation. It was released in Europe on 23 October 1998, In Australia on 15 November 1998 and in Japan on 1 April 1999. It is a platform game that placed the player as Spyro, a small, purple dragon set with the task of freeing his fellow dragons from crystal prisons, which are scattered around their world. Each level is accessed through 'portals' from a main world. The game concludes with a fight between Spyro and the primary antagonist, Gnasty Gnorc. The game sold well, most critics giving it favorable reviews.[26] It also received acclaim for its musical score by Stewart Copeland.
  • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! (also known Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer in Europe and Australia) followed on from the success of the first title, making its release on 2 November 1999 in North America. It was released three days later in Europe and Australia and in Japan on 16 March 2000. The game introduced many new characters including Hunter, a cheetah; Elora, a faun; The Professor, a mole and Zoe, a fairy. The structure of the game is similar to the first, with levels being accessed from the three main home worlds, Summer Forest, Autumn Plains, and Winter Tundra. The game concludes with a fight between Spyro and the primary antagonist, Ripto, a sorcerer riding a dinosaur and his henchmen, Crush and Gulp. The game introduces some new abilities for Spyro, including hovering after a glide, swimming underwater, climbing ladders, head-bashing, and the ability to use power-ups. Unlike the original game, boss fights were now mandatory to advance to the next home world. Like its predecessor, it was critically acclaimed.[27]
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon was released in Autumn 2000 for North America, Europe and Australia, and it was the last Spyro game to be created by Insomniac Games.[28] In this game, the dragons are celebrating the coming of dragon eggs, an event that takes place every twelve years called The Year of the Dragon. A mysterious anthropomorphic rabbit girl, Bianca, along with an army of rhynocs, comes to the dragon worlds by rabbit holes and steals all the eggs. Spyro, the only dragon small enough, follows her down a rabbit hole to the other side of the world—to the Forgotten Realms, controlled under the rule of the Sorceress, to whom Bianca is apprenticed. As in the previous games, levels are accessed from a central home world, of which there are four: Sunrise Spring, Midday Gardens, Evening Lake, and Midnight Mountain. The third installment of the Spyro series also features levels in which the player controls Sparx in a bird's eye view shooting game. It also includes four other playable characters that must be freed in each home world, Sheila the Kangaroo, Sgt. Byrd, Bentley the Yeti, and Agent 9.

Continuation[edit]

  • Spyro: Season of Ice was the first Spyro game not to be developed by Insomniac Games or be on a Sony console, released instead on the Gameboy Advance and developed by Digital Eclipse. It is known as Spyro Advance in Japan. After they are frozen by a monster named Grendor, Spyro must use his fire breath to rescue the fairies in the various Fairy Realms.
  • Spyro 2: Season of Flame: This Gameboy Advance Spyro game is the sequel to "Season of Ice" and introduced new features, such as the ability to breathe other elements besides fire. In this game, Spyro must recover the stolen fireflies scattered across the Dragon Realms.
  • Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is available for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube and was developed by Equinox Digital Entertainment and Check Six Studios. This is also the only game that both developers have ever developed, because their fate after Enter the Dragonfly was left unknown. Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly had mixed responses from reviewers, referring to the numerous glitches, lack of storyline, originality, and long load times. The story kicks off right after the Sorceress was defeated in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. The baby dragons are now preparing to receive their dragonflies, a rite of passage in any dragon's life (although in the earlier games, none of the dragons besides Spyro have a dragonfly, though it is stated in the first game that Sparx's function to protect Spyro, so one might assume older dragons do not require protection). It is a huge celebration filled with joy and happiness until Ripto comes to capture the dragonflies, making the dragons helpless. He attempts to cast a spell, but he makes a mistake which causes them to be scattered across the world.
  • Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs, also known as Spyro Adventure in Europe and Australia, is the first game not to feature a lives system. Spyro is tasked with collecting the "Heart" of each land in order to stop Ripto's latest evil scheme.
  • Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy: This Spyro was the first to introduce multiple game screening. It was a crossover game between Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot. In this game, Spyro travels through Crash Bandicoot's universe in a side-scroller, rather than the traditional isometric, top-down view. This game is known as Spyro Fusion in Europe and Australia, and Spyro Advance Wakuwaku Tomodachi Daisakusen! in Japan.
  • Spyro: A Hero's Tail is available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube, and was created by Eurocom, the first game being developed with the departure of Insomniac. Red, a former Dragon Elder, begins to plant Dark Gems around the Dragon Realms, sucking the life out of these worlds. He also works alongside Gnasty Gnorc and Ineptune. Spyro then begins his journey to destroy all the Dark Gems, alongside Sparx, Hunter, Sgt. Byrd, and Blink.
  • Spyro: Shadow Legacy continues from Spyro: A Hero's Tail and was released only on the Nintendo DS. This is the only Spyro game that plays as an RPG, in which Spyro can gain experience, level up and learn new spells and combat moves. Spyro must use his new skills to save his allies when they are trapped in the "Shadow Realm" parallel to each of the individual realms of the Dragon Kingdom, Avalar, and the Forgotten Realms.

The Legend of Spyro[edit]

Main article: The Legend of Spyro
Aggregate review scores
As of October 1, 2013.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (Xbox) 71.27%[29]
(NDS) 68.22%[30]
(GC) 67.17%[31]
(PS2) 64.52%[32]
(GBA) 44.67%[33]
(Xbox) 69[34]
(NDS) 68[35]
(GC) 67[36]
(PS2) 64[37]
(GBA) 44[38]
The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (GBA) 81.75%[39]
(Wii) 62.06%[40]
(PS2) 58.64%[41]
(NDS) 56.33%[42]
(GBA) 80[43]
(Wii) 60[44]
(NDS) 56[45]
(PS2) 54[46]
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (Wii) 65.09%[47]
(X360) 63.78%[48]
(NDS) 60.60%[49]
(PS2) 59.00%[50]
(PS3) 58.10%[51]
(Wii) 64[52]
(X360) 62[53]
(PS3) 59[54]
(NDS) 57[55]
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning marked the third title to be released on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube and the second on the Xbox, released in Autumn 2006 and developed by Krome Studios. Portrayed as a reboot to the series, Spyro is sent on a quest to find the captured Guardian dragons so the Dark Master does not return from his prison. An evil dragoness named Cynder uses her dark minions to harness the power of the four Guardian dragons (fire, electricity, ice, and earth) in order to open the Dark Master's prison, bringing terror throughout the lands. The cast includes Elijah Wood as Spyro, David Spade as Sparx, Gary Oldman as Ignitus, and Cree Summer as Cynder. Although it was first advertised as a prequel to the first Spyro game, this game is in fact a reboot to the series, starting off from scratch and having nothing to do with the previous games. The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning has received average, but mostly decent reviews and ratings from critics, often in agreement as being a good start for the trilogy, but open for improvement on the future installments as well.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night was a sequel to A New Beginning, was released on October 2007 for the PlayStation 2 and Wii consoles and was once again developed by Krome Studios. In this game, the Ape King Gaul planned to free the Dark Master from the Well of Souls on the Night of Eternal Darkness, and Spyro—having faced several visions of the threat from the Chronicler, an ancient, wise dragon—embarked on a journey to stop him. Elijah Wood and Gary Oldman reprised their roles for the game, with Billy West taking over the role for Sparx, and Mae Whitman taking over the role for Cynder. The Eternal Night received less acclaim than its predecessor, usually in part to its difficulty, controls and usual linear setup. Regardless, its sales warranted for continuation, but also improvement of the trilogy.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon is the third and final installment in The Legend of Spyro trilogy, as well as the tenth anniversary game of the series. It was released on October 2008 for the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for North America, and was developed by Etranges Libellules. In the game, Spyro and Cynder awaken in the future, and set out to stop Malefor the Dark Master (the first purple dragon who turned evil), from spreading his evil across the world. Unlike previous Spyro games, this game features the ability to switch between Spyro and Cynder at any time. There is also a two player mode, with two players either playing as Spyro and Cynder simultaneously. Along with this new freedom comes "Free Flight," which allows Spyro and Cynder to fly at any time. Once again, Elijah Wood and Gary Oldman reprise their roles while Billy West is replaced as the voice of Sparx by Wayne Brady, Christina Ricci replaces Mae Whitman as the voice of Cynder, and Blair Underwood voices Hunter of Avalar. Mark Hamill does the voice for Malefor, the Dark Master.

Skylanders[edit]

Main article: Skylanders
Aggregate review scores
As of October 1, 2013.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (PC) 93.00%[56]
(3DS) 84.29%[57]
(X360) 80.95%[58]
(Wii) 80.18%[59]
(PS3) 79.23%[60]
(3DS) 82[61]
(Wii) 81[62]
(X360) 78[63]
(PS3) 77[64]
Skylanders: Giants (X360) 81.58%[65]
(PS3) 78.64%[66]
(WIIU) 78.17%[67]
(Wii) 77.57%[68]
(3DS) 63.10%[69]
(X360) 80[70]
(WIIU) 80[71]
(Wii) 78[72]
(PS3) 77[73]
(3DS) 59[74]
Skylanders: Swap Force (WIIU) 88.44%[75]
(Wii) 88.00%[76]
(X360) 84.68%[77]
(PS3) 83.93%[78]
(XONE) 80.00%[79]
(PS4) 79.67%[80]
(3DS) 72.79%[81]
(WIIU) 89[82]
(X360) 83[83]
(PS3) 83[84]
(PS4) 79[85]
(3DS) 68[86]
Skylanders: Trap Team (3DS) –[87]
(PS3) –[88]
(PS4) –[89]
(Wii) –[90]
(WIIU) –[91]
(X360) –[92]
(XONE) –[93]
(3DS) –[94]
(PS3) –[95]
(PS4) –[96]
(Wii) –[97]
(WIIU) –[98]
(X360) –[99]
(XONE) –[100]

Skylanders is a separate video game franchise, that features Spyro, Cynder, Sparx, and Moneybags (renamed Auric) and hundreds of new characters that make up the roster. Created by Toys for Bob originally entitled Spyro's Kingdom, Skylanders has the player place figurines on to the Portal of Power, where the characters come to life in the game. Skylanders Spyro's Adventure was the first Spyro game developed by Vicarious Visions since 2004's Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy. The games released on consoles so far are:

Universe[edit]

Characters[edit]

The main character of the series is Spyro the Dragon, an eager, purple dragon. He is accompanied by Sparx, a dragonfly that performs many functions such as helping protect Spyro from damage, and collecting gems.

Locations[edit]

The Dragon Realms are the main setting of the series where most of the dragons including Spyro live. Avalar is a separate world that was being threatened by Ripto in "Spyro: Ripto's Rage." The Forgotten Realms are the ancient home of the dragons before being driven out by the Sorceress and serve as the setting for Spyro: Year of the Dragon.The Fairy Realms are a separate series of realms that are inhabited by fairies and only appear in Spyro: Season of Ice. After collecting enough orbs in "Spyro 2: Riptos Rage", the Dragon Shores can be accessed, which has games and a special power up for Spyro.

In The Legend of Spyro Series, the Dragon Temple was an ancient temple located not far from the swamp where Spyro was raised. It is used by the Guardians to train young dragons. In Dawn of the Dragon the temple was torn from the ground and suspended above the land by Malefor as a symbol of his dominance and was later destroyed by the Belt of Fire.

In the Skylanders series, Skylands is the main setting of the series, a world lying at the very center of the universe where Spyro now calls home after joining a group of heroes known as the Skylanders.

Items[edit]

A large part of the original series revolves around item collection. When the player collects a certain amount of items, they can move on to the next area. The most common of these are gems, which is often used not only for collecting, but also for buying skills, passageways, items, and more. In A Hero's Tail there were special dark gems, which the player had to destroy to proceed to new areas within the game, while collecting light gems allowed use of some of the professor's inventions and opened certain doors.

Freeing dragons is the main goal in Spyro the Dragon, while freeing dragon eggs is the main goal in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. In Spyro the Dragon, dragon eggs are also collected by chasing down thieves. They also appear in Spyro: A Hero's Tail, and collecting them will unlock concept art. Talismans are the primary goal in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, as the devices are used in a portal to get Spyro back to his home. Dragonflies are the primary collectibles in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly where Spyro catches them using his bubble breath.

In the Legend of Spyro series, gems are used as powerups themselves; Red are collected to fill up Spyro's health bar, green are used to power his breath attacks, purple to power his fury attacks, and blue to upgrade his abilities in the main menu. In The Eternal Night, Dragon Relics are collectibles used to upgrade Spyro's health and magic bars, while Scriber's Quills are collectible items used to unlock concept art. Dragon Armor are collectibles in Dawn of the Dragon used to give Spyro and Cynder additional abilities in combat.

Cancelled animated film[edit]

On 25 October 2007, it was announced that the film rights for Spyro the Dragon had been purchased by The Animation Picture Company.[101] Daniel and Steven Altiere wrote the script, which was going to be based on the recently released The Legend of Spyro trilogy. The film was going to be titled The Legend of Spyro 3D and was planned to be made from Los Angeles, California, with animation by a South Korean Animation studio, Wonderworld Studios, alongside Universal Animation Studios. The film was planned to be produced by John Davis, Dan Chuba, Mark A.Z. Dippé, Brian Manis and Ash Shah, and distributed and advertised by Velvet Octopus along with Universal Studios. Mark Dippe was going to direct the film. This film was originally planned for released in theaters on Christmas 2009 for the United States and Canada, but it was delayed to 10 April 2010 for its North American release. It was later confirmed by Daniel Altiere himself that the movie had been officially cancelled due to decisions made by Activision to go in a different direction.[102]

Activison has commented on the possibility of a movie and TV series based on the Skylanders reboot as something that they could look into in the future.[103] On 6 May 2014, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg announced that the Activision team had an interest in "jumping on the film adaptation bandwagon" and adapting Skylanders into a film.[104] Universal expressed interest in doing a Skylanders movie with Legendary Pictures and Illumination Entertainment.[citation needed]

Music[edit]

Stewart Copeland[edit]

Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the band The Police, composed the soundtracks for the first four Spyro games. Copeland made music for each world in the games as well as music devoted to each level, giving them each their own feel according to the natural surroundings, architecture and inhabitants of the place. For example, in Spyro the Dragon the Artisan's world of shepherds, sheep, medieval towers and endless green knolls has an oriental-sounding mixture of bells and drums whereas the Beast Makers' midnight swamp has a solid rhythm. It is the stage for all kinds of sounds, including strange vocals and exotic instruments in styles from all over the world.

A song by a British New Age composer Medwyn Goodall called "Free Spirit" from his 2001 album Meditations and Visualisations used a sample of an overworld theme from Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!. It was used as a background music for the Summer Forest level.

Rebecca Kneubuhl and Gabriel Mann[edit]

Kneubuhl and Mann, previously members of the a cappella band Spiralmouth who also composed musical pieces for Crash Twinsanity and Crash Tag Team Racing from Spyro's companion franchise Crash Bandicoot, composed many of the musical pieces for each game of The Legend of Spyro trilogy. Kneubuhl and Mann have also performed songs with lyrics which are based on the protagonist's bonds with his closest allies, such as "This Broken Soul" in The Eternal Night, and "Guide You Home (I Would Die for You)" in Dawn of the Dragon.

Hans Zimmer[edit]

Famed Hollywood film soundtrack artist Hans Zimmer composed only the main theme of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, while Lorne Balfe composed the remaining soundtrack. They would later repeat their role in composing the music of the sequel, Skylanders: Giants.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]