Spyro

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Spyro
Spyrologo2018.png
The current series logo as used for Reignited Trilogy
Genre(s)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)
Toys for Bob (2018–)
Publisher(s)Sony Computer Entertainment (1998-2000)
Vivendi Universal Games (2001-2005)
Activision (2018–)
Creator(s)
Platform(s)
Platform(s) of originPlayStation
First releaseSpyro the Dragon
September 10, 1998
Latest releaseSpyro Reignited Trilogy
November 13, 2018
Spin-offsThe Legend of Spyro
Skylanders

Spyro is a series of platform video games which feature the protagonist Spyro, a dragon. 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) 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. The series spawned a toys-to-life spin-off, Skylanders, the first of which was released in 2011.

In 2018, Toys for Bob, known for creating the Skylanders series, announced that they were developing a collection of remasters of the original Spyro PlayStation trilogy called Spyro Reignited Trilogy.[1] It was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 13, 2018.

Games[edit]

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

Original PlayStation trilogy (1998–2000)[edit]

Spyro the Dragon was released in North America on September 10, 1998 and Europe on October 1998 for the PlayStation. 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 November 2, 1999 in North America and November 5, 1999 in Europe for the PlayStation. 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 North America on October 24, 2000 and Europe on November 10, 2000 for the PlayStation, 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.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (2018)[edit]

Discussion around the relaunch of Spyro began as early as 2014. In a July 2014 interview with The Daily Telegraph, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Andrew House stated that his team was considering bringing Spyro. House stated that he believed video gamers would be interested in revisiting a character from their youth.[6] Later that same year, Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price also stated that making a new Spyro game was a possibility.[7] In 2017, developer Vicarious Visions stated that they were aware of how high the popular demand was for a relaunch of the classic Spyro. In a statement they said, "just keep asking".[8] The Spyro Reignited Trilogy was officially announced on 5 April 2018 and was to be released on 21 September 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, before being delayed to November 13, 2018. The game was 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. The game's production was cancelled for undisclosed reasons.[11]

After the cancellation of Agent 9, Digital Eclipse 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]

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 retrieving 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.[13] 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 Metacritic
Spyro the Dragon (PS1) 85%[14][a]
Ripto's Rage! (PS1) 87%[15][b]
Year of the Dragon (PS1) 91[16]
Season of Ice (GBA) 74[17]
Season of Flame (GBA) 76[18]
Enter the Dragonfly (PS2) 56[19]
(GC) 48[20]
Attack of the Rhynocs (GBA) 72[21]
Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy (GBA) 60[22]
A Hero's Tail (Xbox) 64[23]
(GC) 62[24]
(PS2) 60[25]
Shadow Legacy (NDS) 50[26]

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.[27] According to the Los Angeles Times, the first Spyro game has sold 4.8 million units as of November 2007,[28] making it the seventeenth best-selling PlayStation game of all time. Ripto's Rage! sold 3.45 million units in the U.S.,[28] 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.

Notes and 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. ^ https://www.gamestm.co.uk/interviews/talking-spyro-with-the-polices-stewart-copeland/
  14. ^ "Spyro the Dragon Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Spyro: Year of the Dragon Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Spyro: Season of Ice Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Spyro 2: Season of Flame Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  19. ^ "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  20. ^ "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  22. ^ "Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  24. ^ "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  25. ^ "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  26. ^ "Spyro: Shadow Legacy Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  27. ^ "Spyro the Dragon to Scorch Wendy's Restaurants This Fall" (Press release). Sierra Entertainment. 12 October 2007. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  28. ^ a b Pham, Alex (26 November 2007). "The independent imagination". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved 2 May 2017.

External links[edit]