Spyro (series)

Spyro (series)
Spyro (series)
Spyro logo.png
Logo used for The Legend of Spyro trilogy series.
Genres Platform (Original series & Spin-offs)
Action (The Legend of Spyro)
Developers Insomniac Games (1998-2000)
Digital Eclipse (2001-2003)
Check Six Games (2002)
Equinoxe (2002)
Vicarious Visions (2004, 2011-present)
Eurocom (2004)
Amaze Entertainment (2005-2007)
Krome Studios (2006-2007)
The Mighty Troglodytes (2006-2008)
Étranges Libellules (2008)
Toys For Bob (2011-present)
Publishers Sony Computer Entertainment (1998-2000)
Universal Interactive Studios (2001-2003)
Vivendi Universal Games (2004-2008)
Sierra Entertainment (2005-2008)
Activision (2011-present)
Creators Mark Cerny
Charles Zembillas
Ted Price
Alex Hastings
Brian Hastings
Craig Stitt
Official website http://lair.spyrothedragon.com/splash/

Spyro the Dragon is a platform and action game series starring the video game character Spyro, which was originally published by Sony Computer Entertainment and developed by Insomniac Games for the PlayStation.

The first game was a huge success and after three games on the original PlayStation, Insomniac Games went on to create the Ratchet & Clank series while Spyro was left in the hands of Universal Interactive Studios (now as Vivendi Universal Games).

The rights of this franchise are now owned by Activision who published their first game Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.

The series now has thirteen games in total with many sequels and spin-off games following on later consoles.

The Spyro series has sold more than 20 million units worldwide.[1]

Contents

Games

Original series

Title Release date Released for Information
Spyro the Dragon 1998 PlayStation, PlayStation Network Spyro The Dragon was first released in North America on September 10, 1998, for the PlayStation. It was released in Europe on October 23, 1998, In Australia on November 15, 1998 and in Japan on April 1, 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, most critics giving it favorable reviews.[2] It also received acclaim for its musical score by Stewart Copeland.
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! 1999 PlayStation, PlayStation Network Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage (also known Spyro 2: 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. It was released three days later in Europe and Australia and in Japan on March 16, 2000. The game introduced many 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, a dinosaur and his henchmen, Crush and Gulp. The game introduces some new abilities for Spyro, including hovering after a glide, swimming underwater, climbing ladders, head-bashing, and the ability to use power-ups. Unlike the original game, boss fights were now mandatory to advance to the next home world. Like its predecessor, it was critically acclaimed.[3]
Spyro: Year of the Dragon 2000 PlayStation, PlayStation Network Spyro: 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.[4]

In this game, the dragons are celebrating the coming of dragon eggs, an event that takes place every twelve years called The Year of the Dragon. A mysterious anthropomorphic rabbit girl, Bianca, along with an army of rhynocs, comes to the dragon worlds by rabbit holes and steals all the eggs. Spyro, the only dragon small enough, follows her down a rabbit hole to the other side of the world—to the Forgotten Realms, controlled under the rule of 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 third installment of the Spyro series also features levels in which the player controls Sparx in a bird's eye view shooting game. It also includes four other playable characters that must be freed in each home world, Sheila the Kangaroo, Sgt. Byrd, Bentley the Yeti, and Agent 9.

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly 2002 PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is available for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube and was developed by Equinox Digital Entertainment and Check Six Studios. This is also the ONLY game that both developers have ever developed, because their fate after Enter the Dragonfly was left unknown. Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly had mixed responses from reviewers,[5] referring to the numerous glitches, lack of storyline, originality, and long load times.

The story kicks off right after the Sorceress was defeated in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. The baby dragons are now preparing to receive their dragonflies, a rite of passage in any dragon's life (although in the earlier games, none of the dragons besides Spyro have a dragonfly, though it is stated in the first game that Sparx's function to protect Spyro, so one might assume older dragons do not require protection). It is a huge celebration filled with joy and happiness until Ripto comes to capture the dragonflies, making the dragons helpless. He attempts to cast a spell, but he makes a mistake which causes them to be scattered across the world.

Spyro: A Hero's Tail 2004 PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube Spyro: A Hero's Tail is available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube, and was created by Eurocom Entertainment Software. Red, a former Dragon Elder, 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.
Spyro: Shadow Legacy 2005 Nintendo DS Spyro: Shadow Legacy continues from Spyro: A Hero's Tail. It adds a parallel Shadow Realm on each of the individual realms of the Dragon Kingdom, Avalar, and the Forgotten Realms.

The Legend of Spyro series

Title Release date Released for Information
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning 2006 PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning marked the third title to be released on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube and the second on the Xbox, released in Autumn 2006 and developed by Krome Studios. Portrayed as a reboot to the series, 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 Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night 2007 PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii The Legend of Spyro: 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.

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.

The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon 2008 PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS The Legend of Spyro: 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 and the first purple dragon, 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.

Spin-offs

Title Release date Released for Information
Spyro: Season of Ice 2001 Game Boy Advance Spyro: Season of Ice was the first Spyro game not to be developed by Insomniac Games or be on a Sony Console.
Spyro 2: Season of Flame 2002 Game Boy Advance Spyro 2: Season of Flame This Spyro game introduced new features such as Spyro being able to breathe multiple breaths.
Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs 2003 Game Boy Advance Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs (also known Spyro Adventure in Europe and Australia). This game allowed Spyro to breathe fire, ice, wind and electricity. This is the first game not to feature a lives system.
Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy 2004 Game Boy Advance Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy This Spyro was the first to introduce multiple game screening. It was a crossover game between Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot. In this game, you travel through Crash's Universe in a side-scroller, rather than the traditional isometric, top-down view. This game is known as Spyro Fusion in Europe and Australia.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure 2011 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, Wii Playable characters become unlocked upon purchasing their corresponding action figures. Spyro is a titular character for Skylanders, but players are not required to utilize the Spyro character to complete the game.

Universe

Characters

  • Spyro the Dragon is an eager, purple dragon and the main protagonist of the series.
  • Sparx is a dragonfly and is Spyro's constant companion. He helps protect Spyro from damage, helps collect gems, and gives out helpful information throughout the game.
  • Gnasty Gnorc is the leader of the gnorcs and the main antagonist of the first game and a secondary antagonist in Spyro: A Hero's Tail.
  • Ripto is a stubborn reptilian character and the main antagonist of the second game. He has two monsters named Crush and Gulp. He is a boss in a few of the Spyro games who has been spreading and/or causing problems.
  • The Sorceress is the ruler of the Forgotten Realms and the main antagonist of Spyro: Year of the Dragon. She resembles a large anthropomorphic lizard, and is almost always seen with her magical scepter.
  • Hunter is a clumsy and cowardly cheetah and Spyro's best friend next to Sparx. He often helps Spyro to various challenges. He is a powerful athlete, a fast runner, trained archer, and skilled pilot of many different vehicles. In the Legend of Spyro series, his character is revamped to be much more heroic.
  • Lord Red is the main antagonist of Spyro: A Hero's Tail.
  • Moneybags is a bear that is obsessed with money. He is often seen helping Spyro pass through obstacles and selling various items to Spyro.
  • Elora is a faun who helps Spyro throughout Avalar. She is often found in the home worlds and sometimes directs you to the nearest portal where you haven't obtained the talisman. She often gives you tips to help you throughout the game. She is also implied to be Spyro's love interest, which is most evident in the Epilogue of "Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage" where she is shown on a romantic ride with Spyro, with the caption saying "Spyro missed his chance with Elora."
  • Bianca is a rabbit who shares a love interest with Hunter. She is often seen using magic to help Spyro.
  • Sgt. Byrd is a penguin who was trapped by the Sorceress and freed by Spyro. He has a jet-pack and rocket launchers which give him an advantage to fly easily through the levels.
  • Agent 9 is a monkey who was also trapped by the Sorceress. He has a laser and can eliminate rhynocs with ease.
  • Sheila is an Australian kangaroo who also was trapped by the Sorceress. She can double jump, kick her opponents and stomp them easily.
  • Bentley is a yeti that was trapped by the Sorceress. He holds an icy bat which he uses to hit his opponents and crush them with, he also uses it to clear ways and solve puzzles.
  • Blink is a mole that was rescued by Spyro in Spyro:A Hero's Tail. He is the nephew of The Professor.
  • Ember is a pink dragon, who has a tremendous crush on Spyro. In Spyro: A Hero's Tail, she gives advice to Spyro to see an Elder to learn how to smash a Dark Gem. She later "dumps" Spyro for an armadillo named Bandit in Spyro: Shadow Legacy
  • The Professor is a mole that has been helpful in many series of the Spyro games. He is the uncle of one of the characters named Blink.
  • Flame is a red dragon who looks very much alike with Spyro (save for having smaller horns, a larger crest, and a long rounded muzzle.)
  • Crush is one of Ripto's two monsters and is a boss in Spyro: Ripto's Rage. Is sometimes seen with a club.
  • Gulp is known for his ability to devour anything in his way. He is one of Ripto's two monsters and is a boss in Spyro: Ripto's Rage.
  • The Dragon Elders are a group consisting of the oldest and wisest of the dragon families. The Dragon Elders are Tomas, Magnus, Titan and Astor. Red was also a former Elder prior to his exile.

The Legend of Spyro Series

  • Cynder is a dragon that was born on the same year as Spyro and was a dragoness that was turned evil by Malefor. After being defeated by Spyro, she loses the evil powers that corrupted her and eventually becomes allies with Spyro and Sparx. (but not exactly with Sparx) She later admits to Spyro that she loves him. She serves as the main antagonist of A New Beginning the main tritagonist of The Eternal Night and the main deuteragonist of Dawn of the Dragon. She is Spyro's love interest.
  • The Guardians Consists of the dragons based on the elements. Ignitus(fire-breathing), Terrador(earth-breathing), Cyril(ice-breathing), and Volteer(electricity-breathing).
  • The Chronicler An ancient dragon recording successes and failures of the passing age. A new Chronicler is chosen at the end of each age. In Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Ignitus becomes the Chronicler of the new age.
  • Malefor (AKA The Dark Master) is a wicked purple dragon and the main antagonist in The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon as well as the series main villain. As stated by the character Ignitus(supposedly), he was the only purple dragon besides Spyro to have ever lived. However, Malefor claimed that many had existed before his time.
  • Gaul is the Ape King and the main antagonist in The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night as well as Malefor's field commander prior to his death.

Locations

  • The Dragon Realms are the main setting of the series where most of the dragons including Spyro live. In the original Spyro game, only six realms were known to exist, but in sequels it was revealed that others also existed.
  • Avalar is a separate world that was being threatened by Ripto in Spyro: Ripto's Rage. It's home to various creatures including fauns like Elora and cheetahs like Hunter.
  • 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.

Items

  • Gems are the hoard of dragons and often used as currency. In many of the games, there were a set number of gems per level, and these were counted towards the player's overall percentage of game completion. In the older games they would be used to pay the character Moneybags who would make later parts of the level accessible. However, ever since A Hero's Tail, this was no longer the case: gems could be collected by defeating enemies, and used to purchase consumable power-up items from shops. In the Legend of Spyro series, the gems are used as powerups themselves, eliminating "Fodder" from the game. In A Hero's Tail there were two special gems: Light and Dark, the player had to destroy dark gems 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. In the reboot of the series they are found in larger Spirit Gems as well as when an enemy is defeated. There are four main types of gems; 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.
  • Dragons while not technically being items, are the main goal in Spyro the Dragon. Spyro is required to find them frozen in statue form, and free them simply by touching the pad they stand on.
  • Orbs are the devices in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage used to get Spyro back to Dragon Shores. With enough, the Professor could open a portal (that Ripto earlier destroyed) and send Spyro back.
  • Dragon Eggs are a minor pickup in the first game that collected by defeating blue thieves. They serve a much more significant role as the primary collectible used to progress through the game in the Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon– they are comparable to orbs in the second instalment. They also appear in Spyro: A Hero's Tail, collecting them will unclock concept art.
  • Dragonflies are the primary collectibles in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly where Spyro must catch them using his bubble breath.
  • Scriber's Quills are collectible items in The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night that are used to unlock concept art.

Cancelled 3D animated film

On October 25, 2007, it was announced that the film rights for Spyro the Dragon had been purchased by The Animation Picture Company.[6] 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 supposed to be coming out from Los Angeles, California, and its animation would be done in Korea by a South Korean Animation studio, Wonderworld Studios. It was also going to produce the movie along with Universal Animation Studios. The film was also supposed to be produced by John Davis, Dan Chuba, Mark A.Z. Dippé, Brian Manis and Ash Shah. The film was to be distributed and advertised by Velvet Octopus along with Universal Studios. Mark Dippe was going to direct the film. This film was originally supposed to be released in theaters on Christmas 2009 for the United States and Canada, but it was delayed and it was also supposed to be released on April 10, 2010, but was never confirmed, proven to be false. The next day, it was confirmed by Daniel Altiere himself that the movie had been officially cancelled due to decisions made by Activision, starting with The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon.[7] That direction in which Activision decided to take was later on revealed on February 2011, to be in the form of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, which will be the second reboot of the Spyro series.

Music

Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the band The Police, composed the soundtracks for the first four Spyro games. The score for Spyro the Dragon was given high praise for its originality, portraying oriental/fantasy-like themes for the Dragon Worlds.

Copeland made music for each world in the games as well as music devoted to each level, giving them each their own feel according to the natural surroundings, architecture and inhabitants of the place. For example, in Spyro the Dragon the Artisan's world of shepherds, sheep, medieval towers and endless green knolls has an oriental-sounding mixture of bells and drums (Listen) where as the Beast Makers' midnight swamp has a solid rhythm. It is the stage for all kinds of sounds, including strange vocals and exotic instruments in styles from all over the world.

In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, a song by a British New Age composer Medwyn Goodall called "Free Spirit" from his 2001 album Meditations and Visualisations was featured in the game. It was used as a background music for the Summer Forest level.

Rebecca Kneubuhl and Gabriel Mann

Kneubuhl and 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.

Hans Zimmer

Famed Hollywood film soundtrack artist Hans Zimmer is slated to compose musical pieces for Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.

Reception

Aggregate review scores
As of May 2, 2011.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Spyro the Dragon (PS1) 86.59%[8] -
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! (PS1) 86.57%[9] -
Spyro: Year of the Dragon (PS1) 90.61%[10] (PS1) 91[11]
Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly (PS2) 55.43%[12]
(GC) 47.16%[13]
(PS2) 56[14]
(GC) 48[15]
Spyro: A Hero's Tail (PS2) 65.76%[16]
(GC) 65.08%[17]
(Xbox) 63.95%[18]
(Xbox) 64[19]
(GC) 62[20]
(PS2) 60[21]
Spyro: Shadow Legacy (NDS) 53.64%[22] (NDS) 50[23]
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (Xbox) 71.27%[24]
(NDS) 68.22%[25]
(GC) 67.17%[26]
(PS2) 64.52%[27]
(GBA) 44.67%[28]
(Xbox) 69[29]
(NDS) 68[30]
(GC) 67[31]
(PS2) 64[32]
(GBA) 44[33]
The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (GBA) 81.75%[34]
(Wii) 62.06%[35]
(PS2) 58.64%[36]
(NDS) 56.33%[37]
(GBA) 80[38]
(Wii) 60[39]
(NDS) 56[40]
(PS2) 54[41]
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (Wii) 65.09%[42]
(X360) 63.75%[43]
(NDS) 60.60%[44]
(PS2) 59.00%[45]
(PS3) 58.10%[46]
(Wii) 64[47]
(X360) 62[48]
(PS3) 59[49]
(NDS) 57[50]


References

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