Spyro the Dragon (video game)
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|Spyro the Dragon|
European cover art
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment America|
|Distributor(s)||Universal Interactive Studios|
|Release date(s)||NA September 10, 1998
EU October 23, 1998
JP April 1999
NA October 25, 2007 (PSN)
JP March 12, 2008 (PSN)
PAL December 12, 2012 (PSN)
Spyro the Dragon is a platform game developed by Insomniac Games for the PlayStation. It stars the title character, a young purple dragon named Spyro, and his dragonfly friend, Sparx, and is the first game in the Spyro the Dragon series.
The game received highly positive reviews, praising its graphics and reliability. It is now available for download at the PlayStation Store.
The game is made up of different levels (realms), all connected together by hub worlds (homeworlds). The goal in each homeworld is to collect a certain amount of items, be it gems, rescued dragons, or dragon eggs, in each realm in order to travel to the next homeworld.
Each homeworld and its realms are progressively more difficult than the last. Many later levels focus on Spyro's ability to glide from platform to platform. Additionally, Spyro's fire breath and charge are used to vanquish enemies. Each homeworld contains an optional boss to defeat, except for the final homeworld where the boss is mandatory. Every homeworld (except Gnasty's World) contains a flying challenge level where Spyro's normal gliding ability is replaced with the ability to fly freely. The goal is to complete a certain number of obstacles (such as planes to blow up and rings to fly through) which each add a small amount of time to a countdown. Throughout the game Spyro's health is indicated by his small dragonfly friend named Sparx. When Sparx is gold Spyro is at full health. After taking a hit Sparx turns blue, and with another hit, green. Another hit and Sparx disappears leaving Spyro with only one hit left before the player loses one life. After all lives are lost the player must restart from the last save point. Save points are placed throughout each homeworld and are the locations of the frozen dragons. Once a dragon has been released it leaves behind a save point which is accessible for the remainder of the game. In order to beat the game, the player must travel to the final homeworld, enter Gnasty Gnorc's lair, and defeat him. Upon Gnasty's defeat the player is presented with a closing cinematic and credits, then the player may now go to all worlds and realms in order to obtain each gem, egg, and release each dragon. Upon achieving 100% completion the player can access Gnasty's Loot.
During the intro, a news team sets up an interview with a couple of dragons within the Artisan World, one of five realms in the Dragon Kingdom (the others of which include Peace Keepers' world, Magic Crafters, Beast Makers, and Dream Weavers) which have lives in harmony for years. When the reporter asks about Gnasty Gnorc, a gnorc who lives within his own, sixth realm, one of the dragons describes him as an ugly, simple minded creature who poses no threat to the Dragon Kingdom. However, Gnasty is watching the live feed from his home world and, enraged, uses a magic spell to encase all dragons in crystal and sends out his hordes of gnorc soldiers. One dragon, Spyro, is able to dodge the attack due to his small size. Along with his dragonfly companion, Sparx, Spyro vows to rescue his dragon brethren and defeat Gnasty Gnorc once and for all.
He visits each of the dragon realms in sequence, freeing trapped dragons, collecting treasure, and rescuing dragon eggs from pesky thieves within each realms' portal worlds before facing realm bosses. He then makes his way to Gnasty's Junkyard World where he fights his way through two precursor portals before confronting the Gnorc himself. After he defeats Gnasty, an ending clip shows him back in Artisan World discussing his victory with the news reporters.
After the credits, Spyro appears back in Gnasty's Junkyard World where he frees one last dragon who points him to Gnasty's treasure portal which will only open once the player has completed 100% of the game; collecting every bit of treasure and rescuing all dragons and dragon eggs. Once Spyro has reached 100% and collected everything within the treasure portal, an alternate ending plays where Spyro is, again, interviewed by the news reporters just as another magic spell comes in and crystalizes the dragons. Spyro's last statement is, "Here we go again."
Spyro the Dragon is the main character, alongside Sparx the Dragonfly, his best friend who acts like the player's health meter and assists in gathering gems. The various dragons Spyro unfreezes along the way are also key characters in Spyro's progression through the game. Gnasty Gnorc is the main antagonist, who froze all the dragons of the land in crystal.
The development of Spyro the Dragon began in 1997, one year after both Disruptor and Crash Bandicoot were released. The idea of a dragon was introduced by Insomniac artist Craig Stitt, while Alex Hastings developed a 3D panoramic engine containing some of the first level of detail renderers used on the PlayStation. 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 grass, so they eventually changed him to purple. There were many released demos of Spyro, which did not have many differences from each other besides music and some areas being blocked off. In an interview, Ted Price stated that they gave up the series after releasing Spyro: Year of the Dragon because his actions were limited, due to not being able to hold anything in his hands.
- Carlos Alazraqui as Spyro the Dragon / Useni / Marco / Hexus / Eldrid
- Clancy Brown as Obasi / Revillo / Unika / Enzo / Maximos / Nestor / Titan / Boris
- Michael Gough as Gnasty Gnorc / Sadiki / Claude / Cleetus / Bruno / Cyprin / Nevin / Astor
- Jamie Alcroft as Lateef / Cosmos / Kosoko / Zane / Interviewer / Trondo / Oswin / Tomas
- Michael Connor as Tomas / Gildas / Darius / Boldar / Dragons
- André Sogliuzzo as Sparx the Dragonfly
- Tony Salerno as Laser Gnorc, Jacques
- Harvey Fierstein as Gnorc Cove Gnorc
- Mark DeCarlo as Haunted Towers wizard
- Isaac Marshall as Thieves / Electric Wizards / Doctor Shemp / Gnasty's Roar
The music featured in Spyro the Dragon was composed and performed by Stewart Copeland (former drummer of The Police). Many of the pieces from the game, or music motifs from them, have made their way into other Copeland Pieces, such as the theme to The Amanda Show, Look Up, and Louis Hansa. The music for the level Jacques appears on Copeland's compilation album The Stewart Copeland Anthology, referred to as Rain.
The game is now available for download on PlayStation Store for the PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 in North America and in Japan for $5.99 or 545 yen. It was released to the PlayStation Store in Europe on the December 12, 2012, together with Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.
The game received an average score of 85.44% at GameRankings, based on an aggregate of 18 reviews, GameSpot gave the game an 8.3/10, describing it as having very good graphics for its time, and being one of the first well-received full 3D platformers for the original PlayStation. IGN rated it 9/10, with similar comments, stating "the game utilizes the PlayStation's hardware to the max, and there's not an obvious polygon glitch to speak of", and saying that the only problem was the camera not following the character correctly.
- "Spyro the Dragon for PlayStation - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - Gamespot". GameSpot.
- Harris, Craig (September 9, 1998). "Spyro the Dragon". IGN. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- The Making of Spyro the Dragon (From PlayStation Underground) on YouTube
- John Fiorito, Craig Stitt (May 2, 2000). "Gamasutra - Features - Lessons in Color Theory for Spyro the Dragon". Gamasutra.
- Chris Buffa (September 30, 2008). "Resistance 2 on PlayStation 3 Features - GameDaily". GameDaily.
- Fielder, Joe (2012-12-07). "Spyro the Dragon returns to PSN next week! - PlaystationBlog.Europe". Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Spyro the Dragon for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Fielder, Joe (September 9, 1998). "Spyro the Dragon Review". GameSpot. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- PlayStation Power #33 (December 1998), p. 94–97