Spyro the Dragon (character)

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Spyro the Dragon
Spyro the Dragon (character).JPG
Spyro the Dragon, as he appeared in the 2002 video game Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly
First game Spyro the Dragon (1998)
Created by Insomniac Games
Designed by Charles Zembillas
Voiced by (English) Carlos Alazraqui (1998)[1]
Tom Kenny (1999–2002)
Jess Harnell (2004–2005)
Elijah Wood (2006–2008)
Josh Keaton (2011–present)
Voiced by (Japanese) Akiko Yajima (1999–2000)
Manabu Ino (2013–present)

Spyro the Dragon is a title character and the protagonist of the Spyro the Dragon, The Legend of Spyro, and later became a part of the Skylanders series.

First introduced in the 1998 video game Spyro the Dragon, Spyro is a young, energetic, purple Dragon with orange medium-sized wings, large, curved horns (most of the time), a spiral-shaped spike on the tip of his tail, and spikes resembling a mohawk. He is noticeably smaller than most other dragons portrayed in the series; a characteristic that aids him in the first game. In the original series, most dragons are depicted as bipedal; however, Spyro is depicted as quadrupedal. In the newer series, his back-story was that two thieves were running through the dragon realms and the dragons stopped them. They had two eggs, and the dragons adopted them as their own. They later hatched into Spyro the Dragon and Sparx the Dragonfly.


Spyro was created by Charles Zembillas for the game Spyro the Dragon.[1] During the development of the game, Spyro was originally going to be green, but the developers thought it was a bad idea because he would blend in with the grass areas, so they eventually changed him to purple.[2]

After the first creative pass into the project, the producers came to their first important decision: They decided that the dragon would be a character that appealed to 8–10 years old[clarification needed]. The character had to be cute, but at the same time, mischievous, bratty, unpredictable and something of an upstart. By the end of this pass, the character design that would become the basis for Spyro was defined.[3]

In an interview, Ted Price stated that they gave up the series after releasing Spyro: Year of the Dragon because Spyro's actions were limited, due to not being able to hold anything in his hands.[4] With the failed sales of Disruptor, Spyro was Insomniac Games' last resort before going bankrupt. Stewart Copeland was commissioned by Insomniac Games and Universal Interactive Studios (now Vivendi) in 1998 to make the musical scores for Spyro the Dragon.


Throughout the original series, Spyro is portrayed as energetic and curious (and somewhat bratty), with little regard for his own safety. He is also described as a courageous hero, despite his small size. Spyro is also known for his somewhat cocky attitude and stubbornness.

The reboot of the Spyro series, the Legend of Spyro trilogy, features an alternate incarnation of Spyro. In this series, he is described as a compassionate young dragon, always willing to help his friends and strangers with whatever problems they may have. He doesn't ask for rewards and is just happy to be a big help to those in danger. Spyro is adventurous, curious about his past and eager to shape his future. He shows the recklessness of an adolescent at times, but is slowly growing into the role of a leader of a proud species.

In the Skylanders adaptation, Spyro is described as a strong-willed dragon who is young at heart, but possesses a headstrong and arrogant attitude like his original incarnation. He is fearless and brave, and a true hero dedicated to defending his world from all things evil. Much like his Legend of Spyro incarnation, in Skylanders, Spyro came from a rare line of magical purple dragons that have the ability to harness the power of the other elements.


In the original series, Spyro's main attacks consist of ramming his opponents with his long horns or breathing fire at them. In later games, power-ups appear that let Spyro do much more powerful things like flying, spitting fire balls, and breathing ice. In every game past Spyro 2: Season of Flame, Spyro is able to breathe fire and ice, with power-up gates letting him breathe super fire, ice and lightning. In Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly he is able to breathe fire, bubbles, lightning and ice. In Spyro: A Hero's Tail, he is able to breathe fire, water, ice, and lightning.

In the Legend of Spyro series, Spyro controls the elements of Fire, Electricity, Ice, and Earth.

In the Skylanders series, Spyro has the ability to control all of the elements of the world of Skylands, but he prefers to master his original favorite - fire. On some occasions, he can also harness the powers of darkness to become his dark alter ego, Dark Spyro, but this process always leaves him at risk of being consumed by the darkness.

Most of the games, Sparx, Spyro's dragonfly companion, is an important element throughout the game. He represents as Spyro's health. When Spyro gets hit, Sparx will start to change color. Yellow is high health, blue is in the middle, green is when Sparx is about to die. If Sparx disappears, Spyro will be vulnerable, and will die if he takes one last hit without Sparx. Sparx can reappear, or his health restored, by eating butterflies which can usually be found when Spyro attacks animals.


Original series[edit]

In Spyro the Dragon, Gnasty Gnorc attacks the Dragon Realms by using a magic spell that traps all the dragons in crystal, except for Spyro, who dodges the spell because of his size. He then goes across the Dragon Realms saving the trapped dragons, who give hints and tips, until Spyro battles with Gnasty.[5] In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, Spyro seeks a vacation away from the dragon realms due to the prolonged rainy weather. When he attempts to go through a portal that is supposed to lead to a vacation, he ends up in Avalar, where Ripto, an evil wizard, has proclaimed himself ruler over the land, and Spyro must defeat him. After liberating each of the three kingdoms of Avalar, he defeats Ripto, and finally has his vacation.[6] In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, an anthropomorphic bunny named Bianca, and her army of Rhynocs, steal dragon eggs. Because Spyro is the only dragon small enough to enter the hole Bianca created, he is tasked with saving the eggs (with help from Hunter, who was also able to get through with the help of an elder dragon). Later, after Bianca finds out what the Sorceress plans on doing with the dragon eggs, she becomes friends with Spyro. After going through all four of the Forgotten Realms, he finds the Sorceress, and fights her, with the help of Bianca, saving all of the eggs.[7]

In Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, Spyro rescues all the dragonflies, which were stolen by the evil Ripto (It is not explained how he survived after burning to death in lava in the second game). When Spyro saves the dragonflies on a particular level, he unlocks new abilities. And at the end, Spyro battles Ripto and then defeats him. Spyro: A Hero's Tail shows Spyro saving the Dragon Realms from being plunged into darkness by an ancient dragon elder named Red using dark crystals, who has joined forces with Gnasty Gnorc.

The Legend of Spyro series[edit]

The Legend of Spyro trilogy serves as a reboot for the series.[8] The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning states that Spyro was raised by a family of dragonflies in a swamp. After he discovers that he is a dragon, he travels to the dragon temple to find it under attack by Cynder, an evil dragon in the service of the Dark Master. After Spyro defeats Cynder in battle, the spell on her breaks, and she reverts to her normal self.

In The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night, the dragons are attacked by Gaul, the Ape King, who is now trying to release the Dark Master. Spyro travels to the Mountain of Malefor to try to stop Gaul from releasing the Dark Master, as well as to rescue Cynder, whom the Apes had kidnapped. After Gaul is defeated, Spyro traps himself, Sparx, and Cynder in a giant crystal to protect them as the mountain crumbles.

In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Spyro and Cynder are released from the crystal by Malefor's (The dark Master) minions. They are attached by magic snakes and are attacked by a giant golem and must escape with the help of Hunter. They find out that Malefor, the Dark Master, has escaped and later released the Destroyer, a beast capable of destroying the world. They must travel to the Dragon city through the enchanted forest and then through Avalar (where they rescue Meadow, a cheetah from Hunter the Cheetah's village). They then arrive at the Dragon city and must help protect the city and save the mole people. He and the four elder dragons slow down the beast, then Spyro and Cynder confront the Dark Master. During the battle, the three of them fall into the center of the earth, where Malefor is defeated. From there, Spyro repairs the damage the Destroyer caused to the planet, and he and Cynder are later seen flying together through the air toward the end of the game. This signifies the end of the game and is the last game in The Legend of Spyro series.

Skylanders series[edit]

Spyro the Dragon has appeared in the Skylanders franchise starting with Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.

Spyro is the great, stout-hearted hero of legend not to mention the number one defender of Skylands. Hailing from a rare race of magic purple dragons, Spyro was born in a land far away from Skylands' furthest frontiers. From a young age, Spyro became a battler for good, a warrior against evil, and protector of the peace. His fearless exploits and heroic adventures were even recorded in the Scrolls of the Ancients (and those Ancients didn't keep a record of just any old thing). One of the many Portal Masters who watched Spyro's success with acclaim and applause was Master Eon. It was Master Eon who transported Spyro through the Portal of Power to his citadel at the Core of Light in Skylands. Here, Spyro met the Skylanders squad and swiftly agreed to join them in battling all things nasty. During his time as one of the Skylanders, Spyro defeated the evil dragon Cynder when she was menacing the land for many years, freeing her from the sinister control of the Undead Dragon King Malefor. After Cynder vowed to fight for good, she and Spyro went on a dangerous quest in which Cynder came out smiling. Afterwards, Spyro convinced Master Eon to sign Cynder up as one of the Skylanders. Spyro was also the one who inspired Lightning Rod to become a Skylander after telling the Storm Giant his stories of faraway places and dangerous adventures.

Other media[edit]

A number of spin-off titles were also made for hand-held consoles. In Spyro: Season of Ice and Spyro 2: Season of Flame, Spyro works to save the Fairy Realm and Dragon Realm, respectively, after they are covered in ice by Ripto and the Rhynocs. Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs shows Ripto trying to invade the Dragon Realm; Spyro sets out to repel the invasion. Spyro: Shadow Legacy describes an invasion by a sorcerer who creates a dark version of the Dragon Realm, hoping to use this realm to conquer the Dragon Realm. Spyro sets out to free the sorcerer's captives and defeat the sorcerer. Skylanders: Universe is an online version of the original Skylander video game.

Three games were made for mobile phones, pitting Spyro against previously established villains like Ripto. There is also a crossover game called Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy, in which Spyro teams up with Crash Bandicoot to defeat Ripto and Crash's nemesis, Doctor Neo Cortex.


Five toys based on Spyro—including a checkerboard and key chain—were packaged with kids' meals in a Wendy's promotion for The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night.[9] There were also toys released at McDonald's along with Crash Bandicoot toys in 2006.

Various stuffed toy versions of Spyro have also appeared in toy stores, although it is unknown whether or not they are official merchandise. Other merchandise of Spyro, including plush toys and MEGA Blok toys, are part of the latest Skylanders franchise.[10]

Appearances in other media[edit]

Spyro himself makes a brief appearance in Crash Twinsanity. Spyro also appeared in the advertisement for Ty the Tasmanian Tiger in a hospital bed along with Crash Bandicoot and Sonic the Hedgehog. Krome Studios developed the first two installments of The Legend of Spyro trilogy. Spyro also appeared in the Game Boy Advance release of Crash Fusion (known as Crash Purple: Ripto's Rampage in the U.S.) where he was playable when the game was linked to its Spyro counterpart, Spyro Fusion (Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy in the U.S.).


Game Revolution criticized Spyro's voice in the first game, comparing it to the Taco Bell chihuahua (who was also played by Carlos Alazraqui).[11] IGN praised Spyro's design, saying he is "cute but not sickeningly cute",[12] and later said that he "is just a little bland, and not the kind of mascot that I would ever fall in love with", stating that "He's kind of like a blend between a big puppy and a donkey, painted purple."[6] UGO.com listed Spyro on their list of The Cutest Video Game Characters stating "The purple little guy was cute, but not cute enough to win the Great Playstation Mascot War of 1998."[13] The 2011 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition lists Spyro as the 39th most popular video game character.[14] In 2012, GamesRadar ranked Spyro, "one of the most relatable mythological creatures of all time", as the 92nd "most memorable, influential, and badass" protagonist in games.[15] In the same year, he was ranked 9th in Complex '​s "The 25 Most Kickass Dragons in Video Games" list, with the writer Obi Anyawu stating Spyro "is truly an original just from his size and color alone."[16]


  1. ^ a b "Spyro the Dragon for PlayStation - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - Gamespot". GameSpot. 
  2. ^ John Fiorito, Craig Stitt (May 2, 2000). "Gamasutra - Features - Lessons in Color Theory for Spyro the Dragon". Gamasutra. 
  3. ^ "The Origin of Spyro - Preliminary Concept Designs". Theanimationacademy.com. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  4. ^ Chris Buffa (September 30, 2008). "Resistance 2 on PlayStation 3 Features - GameDaily". GameDaily. 
  5. ^ Harris, Craig (1999-01-01). "Spyro the Dragon". IGN. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  6. ^ a b Doug Perry (November 18, 1999). "Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage - PlayStation Review at IGN". IGN. 
  7. ^ IGN Staff (June 23, 2000). "Spyro: Year of the Dragon - PlayStation Preview at IGN". IGN. 
  8. ^ Sliced Gaming article - Retrieved June 12
  9. ^ Dobson, Jason (October 12, 2007). "Random Spyro toys invade Wendy's kids meals". Joystiq. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  10. ^ Tyler, Lewis (2012-05-31). "Mega Brands announces Skylanders Giants deal". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  11. ^ Dick, Kevin (1999-03-04). "Spyro the Dragon - PS". gamerevolution.com. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  12. ^ IGN Staff (July 15, 1999). "The Greatest PlayStation Games Ever: 3D Platformers - PSX Feature at IGN". IGN. 
  13. ^ Chris Littler (October 12, 2010). "The Cutest Video Game Characters - UGO.com". UGO.com. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 video game characters of all time announced in Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer's Edition". Gamasutra. Think Services. February 16, 2011. Archived from the original on December 7, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  15. ^ "100 best heroes in video games". GamesRadar. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  16. ^ Anyawu, Obi (February 3, 2012). "The 25 Most Kickass Dragons in Video Games". Complex. Retrieved January 30, 2014.