The Legend of Spyro

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The Legend of Spyro
Spyro logo.png
Genres Action-adventure
Developers Krome Studios (2006–7)
Étranges Libellules (2008)
Publishers Sierra Entertainment (2006–8)
Universal Interactive (2006)
Vivendi Games (2006–7)
Activision (2008)
Platforms Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
First release The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
October 10, 2006
Latest release The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
October 21, 2008

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.

Setting[edit]

The Legend of Spyro trilogy is set in a world populated by various creatures, with dragons being the most notable. Spyro is a young dragon who hails from a line of rare purple dragons who are born once every ten generations and prophesized to direct the fate of an era. While still an egg, he came under threat of The Dark Master Malefor, who sought to prevent the prophecies from coming true. Spyro's egg was saved by the Fire Guardian, Ignitus, who left it to drift down a river, hoping for the best. Adopted and raised by dragonflies, Spyro would soon discover who he is and his destiny to save his world and stop Malefor. Along the way, his adoptive dragonfly brother Sparx, follows Spyro loyally, helping Spyro find his way if he gets lost.[1] Spyro would also encounter Cynder, an evil dragon who was cursed by Malefor and was made to serve him.

Games[edit]

A New Beginning[edit]

A New Beginning marked the third title in the Spyro series to be released on the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo GameCube, and the second on the Xbox, released in Autumn 2006 and developed by Krome Studios. Portrayed as a reboot to the franchise, 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 Eternal Night[edit]

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.

This entry also introduces an ability called "Dragon Time." This feature allows Spyro to slow down time around him, making certain platforming segments and combat in general easier.[2]

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.

Dawn of the Dragon[edit]

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.

Gameplay[edit]

The trilogy features platforming gameplay similar to the rest of the Spyro series, though with a much heavier emphasis on combat. The levels in the games are linear in nature; the player guides Spyro along a set path, battling minor villains along the way, until he reaches a boss at the end of the level. The first game also features flying levels with rail-shooter gameplay.

Spyro is capable of both close-quarter and long-range combat. Long range attacks consist of a variety of elemental breaths, specifically fire, electricity, ice, and earth breath.[3] Spyro learns these breaths at various points throughout the games. He can also expel large blasts of these elements in an attack called a "Fury."[4][5] As Spyro uses his abilities, his magic meter is depleted. He can refill his meter and his health using specially colored gems found by defeating enemies and breaking parts of the environment.[1][6] These gems can also be used to increase the strength of Spyro's attacks.[7][8]

The Eternal Night introduces an ability called "Dragon Time." This feature allows Spyro to slow down time around him, making certain platforming segments and combat in general easier.[2]

Dawn of the Dragon features a number of other alterations. Spyro is given the ability to fly at will,[9] allowing for more exploration. The game also features a two-player co-op mode, with player two controlling Spyro’s friend, Cynder. If there is no player two, then the player may switch between Spyro and Cynder during gameplay.[9]

Development[edit]

The transition from traditional controllers in A New Beginning to the Wii remote in The Eternal Night proved challenging, as the cue system developed for the traditional controllers of the PlayStation 2 and GameCube didn’t work for the Wii.[10] The ultimate solution for this problem was found by Krome Studio's lead coder, who wrote a program to simulate how any action was performed, making it possible for developers to code that action for the Wii.[10] However, the Wii Classic Controller can be used to play The Eternal Night on the Wii, since it is compatible.[citation needed]

Universe[edit]

Locations[edit]

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.

Items[edit]

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.

Music[edit]

Rebecca Kneubuhl and Gabriel 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.

Proposed animated film[edit]

On October 25, 2007, it was announced that the film rights for Spyro the Dragon had been purchased by The Animation Picture Company.[11] 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 April 10, 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,[12] which was later revealed in the form of Skylanders.

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of 1 October 2013.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
A New Beginning (Xbox) 71.27%[13]
(NDS) 68.22%[14]
(GC) 67.17%[15]
(PS2) 64.52%[16]
(GBA) 44.67%[17]
(Xbox) 69[18]
(NDS) 68[19]
(GC) 67[20]
(PS2) 64[21]
(GBA) 44[22]
The Eternal Night (GBA) 81.75%[23]
(Wii) 62.06%[24]
(PS2) 58.64%[25]
(NDS) 56.33%[26]
(GBA) 80[27]
(Wii) 60[28]
(NDS) 56[29]
(PS2) 54[30]
Dawn of the Dragon (Wii) 65.09%[31]
(X360) 63.78%[32]
(NDS) 60.60%[33]
(PS2) 59.00%[34]
(PS3) 58.10%[35]
(Wii) 64[36]
(X360) 62[37]
(PS3) 59[38]
(NDS) 57[39]

Critical reception of the games was mixed. IGN was highly impressed by A New Beginning, citing its story, voice acting, and controls as major positives. At one point, they compared the game to God of War.[40] GameSpot, on the other hand, wasn't impressed, calling the story dull, the gameplay repetitive, and the levels uninspired.[41]

The Eternal Night was not as well received. IGN called the game "pointlessly difficult," citing an unresponsive jump button during platforming segments and "unfair" combat mechanics.[42] GameSpot also complained about the high difficulty, saying that the game's "Dragon Time" was required to simply stay alive.[43] Game Chronicles was kinder; while they did not like the game's lack of precision or its difficulty, and really did not like some of the acting, they also said that a patient player would find a lot about the game to like, particularly the production values.[44]

Dawn of the Dragon was better received then the previous two. IGN said that while the gameplay was still repetitive, the flight mechanic and other new features were welcome additions.[45] GameZone was unimpressed by the game's graphics and multiplayer, but referred to the production values, including score and voice acting, as "epic."[46] Impulse Gamer believed that the game was targeted at a young audience, who they say will enjoy the flight mechanic over all else.[47]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning instruction booklet, pp. 9.
  2. ^ a b The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night instruction booklet, pp. 7–8.
  3. ^ The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night instruction booklet, pp. 10.
  4. ^ The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning instruction booklet, pp. 8–9.
  5. ^ The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night instruction booklet, pp. 7–9.
  6. ^ The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night instruction booklet, pp. 9.
  7. ^ The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning instruction booklet, pp. 6–7.
  8. ^ The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night instruction booklet, pp. 7.
  9. ^ a b The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon instruction booklet, pp. 6.
  10. ^ a b Shea, Cam (2007-10-08). "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night AU Interview - IGN". Wii.ign.com. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  11. ^ Graser, Marc (25 September 2007). "Spyro to fire up theaters". Variety. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  12. ^ "Spyro Movie No More". darkSpyro. 11 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  13. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
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  17. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
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  21. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  28. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  29. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  30. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  31. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  32. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  33. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  34. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  35. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  36. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  37. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  38. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  39. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  40. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning - IGN". Ps2.ign.com. 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 17, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2007. 
  42. ^ Bishop, Sam (2007-10-26). "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Review - IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  43. ^ Kevin VanOrd (2008-01-28). "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Review". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  44. ^ "Review". Game Chronicles. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  45. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2008-12-05). "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Review - IGN". Xbox360.ign.com. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  46. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 26, 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  47. ^ [1][dead link]