Spyro

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Spyro
Spyrologo2018.png
The current series logo as used for Reignited Trilogy
Genres Platform
Developer(s) Insomniac Games (1998–2000)
Digital Eclipse (2001–03)
Equinoxe Digital Entertainment (2002)
Check Six Studios (2002)
Vicarious Visions (2004)
Eurocom (2004)
Amaze Entertainment (2005–07)
Krome Studios (2006, 2007)
Étranges Libellules (2008)
Toys for Bob (2018–present)
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment (1998–2000)
Vivendi Universal Games (2001–08)
Activision (2008–present)
Creator(s)
Platforms
Platform of origin PlayStation
First release Spyro the Dragon
10 September 1998
Latest release The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
21 October 2008
Spin-offs Skylanders

Spyro is a series of platform video games which feature the protagonist and title character Spyro. Since the series' introduction in 1998 with the PlayStation game Spyro the Dragon, there have been numerous sequels and spin-offs. Originally owned by Universal Pictures (via the defunct Universal Interactive Studios) and created by Insomniac Games, the franchise has changed hands and developers numerous times before the rights to the IP were finally acquired by Activision in 2008.

In 2018, Toys for Bob, known for creating the Skylanders video game series, announced that they are developing a collection of remasters of the original Spyro PlayStation trilogy called Spyro Reignited Trilogy.[1] The trailer was unveiled on 5 April 2018 and is scheduled to be released on 21 September 2018, for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Games[edit]

Timeline of release years
1998 Spyro the Dragon
1999 Ripto's Rage!
2000 Year of the Dragon
2001 Season of Ice
2002 Season of Flame
Enter the Dragonfly
2003 Attack of the Rhynocs
2004 Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy
A Hero's Tail
2005 Shadow Legacy
2006 The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
2007 The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night
2008 The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018 Reignited Trilogy

Original PlayStation trilogy (1998–2000)[edit]

Spyro the Dragon was released in North America on 10 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, with a total of 5 million copies being sold world wide.[2] The game also received favorable reviews from IGN giving Spyro a 9 out of 10.[3] It also received acclaim for its musical score by Stewart Copeland.[by whom?]

Ripto's Rage! (also known 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 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. The game introduces some abilities for Spyro, including hovering after a glide, swimming underwater, climbing ladders, head-bashing, and the ability to use power-ups. Like its predecessor, it was critically acclaimed.[4]

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.[5] In the game, the dragons are celebrating the Year of the Dragon, an event every twelve years in which new dragon eggs arrive in the dragon worlds. Bianca, an anthropomorphic rabbit, steals the eggs, and Spyro follows her down a rabbit hole. The rabbit hole leads to the Forgotten Realms, which are under the rule of the game's primary antagonist, 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 game also features levels in which the player controls Sparx in a bird's eye view shooting game as well as four new playable characters: Sheila the Kangaroo, Sgt. Byrd, Bentley the Yeti, and Agent 9.

Multiplatform and handhelds (2001–2005)[edit]

Season of Ice was the first Spyro game not to be developed by Insomniac Games or be on a Sony console, released exclusively on the Game Boy Advance and developed by Digital Eclipse. It is known as Spyro Advance in Japan. Spyro must use his fire breath to rescue the fairies in the various Fairy Realms after they are frozen by an evil monster named Grendor.

Season of Flame, was the second Digital Eclipse title and was released for the Game Boy Advance. It is the sequel to Season of Ice, and introduces new features, such as the ability to breathe other elements besides fire. In the game, Spyro must recover the stolen fireflies scattered across the Dragon Realms and unfoil an evil plot by Ripto and his minions.

Enter the Dragonfly is available for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube and was developed by Equinox Digital Entertainment and Check Six Studios. It had mixed to negative responses from reviewers, referring to the numerous glitches, lack of storyline, originality, and long load times.[citation needed] The story begins with the baby dragons preparing to receive their dragonflies and celebrating. Ripto captures the dragonflies, making the dragons helpless, and accidentally scatters the dragonflies across the world with a spell. Spyro must recover the dragonflies.

Attack of the Rhynocs, also known as Spyro Adventure in Europe and Australia, is the third and final game to be developed by Digital Eclipse and the final portable Spyro title to be an isometric platformer. This time, Spyro is tasked with collecting the "Heart" of each land in order to stop Ripto's latest evil scheme after a machine malfunctions opening a portal bringing Ripto back into the dragon realms following the events of Enter The Dragonfly.

Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy (known as Spyro Fusion in Europe and Australia, and Spyro Advance Wakuwaku Tomodachi Daisakusen! in Japan) was the first to introduce multiple game screening. It was a crossover game between Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot. In the game, Spyro travels through Crash's universe in a side-scroller, rather than the traditional isometric, top-down view.

A Hero's Tail is available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube, and was created by Eurocom. The game revolves around an evil plot by villain Red, a former Dragon Elder, who 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.

Shadow Legacy acts as a sequel to Spyro: A Hero's Tail and was released only on the Nintendo DS. This is the first and only Spyro game that plays as a role-playing game as opposed to a platformer and the game allows Spyro to 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" which features returning levels from the Dragon Kingdom, Avalar, and the Forgotten Realms.

The Legend of Spyro reboot trilogy (2006–2008)[edit]

The Legend of Spyro is a game trilogy that is part of the Spyro the Dragon series. It acts as a reboot to the original series. The games use a combination of close-combat and platforming gameplay, though more oriented on combat than previous games in the Spyro series. The story revolves around Spyro, the protagonist, and his efforts to stop Malefor, The Dark Master, from destroying the world.

The games received mixed reviews; the games' controls and story received much praise, while the gameplay was often criticized as being repetitive.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (2018)[edit]

In July 2014 in The Daily Telegraph interview with Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Andrew House, he and his team are considering bringing back Spyro, stating, "This is a shift from us, we have started to say that maybe there isn't anything wrong with going back and looking at characters that people still talk about, that would be their big part of their childhood or their youth, I definitely wouldn't close the door on that."[6]

In September 2014, speaking to IGN at this year's EGX video game convention, Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price stated that making a new original Spyro game is a possibility; he said, "Activision has done a great job with Spyro. They resurrected him and, in my opinion, Skylanders is still about Spyro. It's got the same aesthetic, the same broad appeal and they've done a great job of bringing that character and his world to a brand new set of fans. That's very hard to do in an age where a lot of games are darker and grittier. We'll always love Spyro. I've learnt to say 'never say never' so... who knows?".[7]

In 2017, shortly after the release of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, developer Vicarious Visions stated that they were aware of how high the popular demand is for the classic Spyro trilogy to receive the same treatment, and they said "just keep asking".[8].

Spyro Reignited Trilogy was officially announced on 5 April 2018 and will be released on 21 September 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is being developed by Skylanders developer Toys for Bob.[9]

Cancelled games[edit]

Spyro Ever After was going to be the first Spyro educational game where Spyro meets famous fairy tale characters like The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Golden Goose. However, the game never passed the storyboard, and was cancelled.[10]

Agent 9 was a James Bond-like parody spin-off game starring Agent 9 as the main character as he does spy missions. It was set to be developed by Blue Tongue Entertainment and Backbone Entertainment and be published by Universal Interactive Studios. The game's production was cancelled for undisclosed reasons.[11]

After the cancellation of Agent 9, Backbone Entertainment reworked the game into a proper Spyro the Dragon title featuring Spyro that took place in a large desert environment. The title was scrapped for unknown reasons.[12]

A prototype game, under the test title Spyro's Kingdom, was originally set to bring Spyro a darker tone that would have included blood. The developers at Toys for Bob lost their enthusiasm and felt that this direction did not feel like Spyro. They reworked the game into Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.[13]

Common elements[edit]

Characters[edit]

The main character of the series is Spyro the Dragon, a young purple dragon. In the original series, he is accompanied by Sparx, a dragonfly that performs many functions such as helping protect Spyro from damage and collecting gems. Most of the games before the Legend of Spyro series include Hunter the cheetah, a loyal friend of Spyro's who sometimes helps him on quests; Moneybags, a money-obsessed bear who in some games is needed to make pathways for Spyro for a small fee; and Zoe, a fairy who serves as checkpoints in each land that Spyro visits.

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.

Collectibles[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 (but their color designs are different from those of the third installment). They also appear in Spyro: A Hero's Tail, and collecting them will unlock concept art. Collecting Talismans and Orbs 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 Spyro: Season of Ice freeing fairies is the main goal, and in Spyro 2: Season of Flame collecting fireflies is the goal.

Music[edit]

Stewart Copeland 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, often playing each level so he could tailor the mood of the music to the level.[14] As with the voice cast in A Hero's Tail, Stewart Copeland was replaced and the soundtrack was composed by Steve Duckworth and Paul Lawler. Rebecca Kneubuhl and Gabriel Mann of the a capella band Spiralmouth composed the music for The Legend of Spyro trilogy. Finally, for Reignited Trilogy, Copeland's music will be remixed in house by the developer and will remain mostly faithful to the original scores composed by Copeland.

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of 1 October 2013.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Spyro the Dragon (PS1) 85%[15]
Ripto's Rage! (PS1) 87%[16]
Year of the Dragon (PS1) 91%[17] (PS1) 91[18]
Season of Ice (GBA) 72%[19] (GBA) 74[20]
Season of Flame (GBA) 77%[21] (GBA) 76[22]
Enter the Dragonfly (PS2) 56%[23]
(GC) 48%[24]
(PS2) 56[25]
(GC) 48[26]
Attack of the Rhynocs (GBA) 75%[27] (GBA) 72[28]
Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy (GBA) 59%[29] (GBA) 60[30]
A Hero's Tail (PS2) 65%[31]
(Xbox) 64%[32]
(GC) 63%[33]
(Xbox) 64[34]
(GC) 62[35]
(PS2) 60[36]
Shadow Legacy (NDS) 53%[37] (NDS) 50[38]
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (Xbox) 71.27%[39]
(DS) 68.22%[40]
(GC) 67.17%[41]
(PS2) 64.52%[42]
(GBA) 44.67%[43]
(Xbox) 69/100[44]
(DS) 68/100[45]
(GC) 67/100[46]
(PS2) 64/100[47]
(GBA) 44/100[48]
The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (GBA) 81.75%[49]
(Wii) 62.06%[50]
(PS2) 58.64%[51]
(NDS) 56.33%[52]
(GBA) 80/100[53]
(Wii) 60/100[54]
(NDS) 56/100[55]
(PS2) 54/100[56]
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (Wii) 65.09%[57]
(X360) 63.78%[58]
(DS) 60.60%[59]
(PS2) 59.00%[60]
(PS3) 58.10%[61]
(Wii) 64/100[62]
(X360) 62/100[63]
(PS3) 59/100[64]
(DS) 57/100[65]

The Spyro The Dragon series has earned modest success compared to its sister franchise, Crash Bandicoot over the years. As of 2007, the series altogether has sold over 20 million units worldwide.[66] According to the Los Angeles Times, the first Spyro game has sold 4.8 million units as of November 2007,[67] making it the seventeenth best-selling PlayStation game of all time. Ripto's Rage! sold 3.45 million units in the U.S.,[67] while Year of the Dragon sold 3.28 million.

Compared to the Crash Bandicoot series, Spyro The Dragon has received overwhelming negative reception in Japan, citing poorer gameplay in the Japanese versions of the first two games. This led to all major entries in the franchise not receiving Japanese releases until Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, which released in Japan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dornbush, Jonathon (5 April 2018). "Spyro Reignited Trilogy Announced, Release Date Revealed". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  2. ^ "Spyro the Dragon". IGN (Press release). Sony Computer Entertainment. 9 September 1998. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Spyro the Dragon (PlayStation)". IGN. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage" (Press release). Sony Computer Entertainment. 18 November 1999. Retrieved 5 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "Spyro 3" (Press release). Insomniac/Sierra entertainment. 12 January 2003. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "'Bring back Crash Bandicoot? I definitely wouldn't close the door on that'". telegraph.co.uk. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Insomniac Boss on the future of Spyro the Dragon". ign.com. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Crash Bandcoot N.Sane Trilogy did the business for Activision - and now everyone wants a Spyro remaster next". Eurogamer. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  9. ^ Dornbush, Jonathon (5 April 2018). "Spyro Reignited Trilogy Announced, Release Date Revealed". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  10. ^ Knowledge Adventure game artwork
  11. ^ https://www.unseen64.net/2009/06/16/agent-9-prime-8-ps2-cancelled/
  12. ^ "cancelledxboxspyro". ticgn. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  13. ^ Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure preview: Babes in toyland
  14. ^ https://www.gamestm.co.uk/interviews/talking-spyro-with-the-polices-stewart-copeland/
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  19. ^ "Spyro: Season of Ice Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
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  21. ^ "Spyro 2: Season of Flame Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
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  66. ^ "Spyro the Dragon to Scorch Wendy's Restaurants This Fall" (Press release). Sierra Entertainment. 12 October 2007. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  67. ^ a b Pham, Alex (26 November 2007). "The independent imagination". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 

External links[edit]