Moneybags (Spyro the Dragon)

Spyro the Dragon (series)

Spyro the Dragon is a popular platform game series starring the video game character Spyro, which was originally released for the Sony PlayStation. The first game was a huge success, and many sequels and spin-off games followed. Spyro is a small purple dragon.

Console games

Original series

Spyro the Dragon

Spyro the Dragon was first released in the United States on September 10, 1998, for the Sony PlayStation. It was released in Europe on October 23, 1998, Australia in November 15, 1998 and in Japan in 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. Although there were other boss levels guarding each home world, many of these were optional and did not have to be beaten to progress in the game. Spyro's primary abilities were gliding, charging and fire-breathing. The game sold well, most critics giving it favorable reviews. It also received acclaim for its musical score by Stewart Copeland. This game is now available for download to PS3 or PSP through the PlayStation Store.

Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage

Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage (also known Spyro x Sparx: Tondemo Tours in Japan, "Spyro: Gateway to Glimmer" in Europe) followed on from the success of the first title, making its release in Autumn 1999 in the USA, Europe and Australia and in March 16, 2000 in Japan. In the game, Spyro and Sparx, while looking for a holiday at Dragon Shores, accidentally stumble through a portal into the realm of Avalar, where the malicious wizard and main antagonist Ripto is taking over the once-peaceful lands. Spyro meets a number of new allies, including the Professor, Hunter the cheetah, Elora the faun, and Zoe the fairy, and must face a new foe: Ripto, a tiny tyrannical ruler, equipped with a magic scepter. Ripto is also protected by Crush and Gulp, two dim-witted dinosaurs. The structure of the game is similar to the first, with levels being accessed from the three main home worlds, named Summer Forest, Autumn Plains, and Winter Tundra. The game introduces some new abilities for Spyro, including hovering after a glide, swimming underwater, climbing ladders, and head-bashing. Unlike the original game, boss fights were now mandatory to advance to the next home world, with Spyro fighting Crush, Gulp and then finally Ripto.

Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon

Spyro: Year of the Dragon was released in Autumn 2000 for the USA Europe and Australia, and February 13, 2001 in Japan. and it was the last Spyro game to be created by Insomniac. In this game, the dragons are celebrating the coming of dragon eggs, an event that takes place every twelve years. A mysterious anthropomorphic rabbit girl, Bianca, along with an army of rhynocs, come by and steal all the eggs, and Spyro, the only dragon small enough, must follow her down a rabbit hole to the other side of the world - to the Forgotten Realms. There they meet many new allies, some of which are also playable characters in their own miniature levels - Sheila the kangaroo, Sgt. Byrd the flying, missile-shooting penguin, Bentley the kindly yeti, and Agent 9 the hyperactive, laser-wielding monkey, as well as a brand-new foe: the Sorceress. 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 feature levels in which the player controls Sparx in a bird's eye view shooting game. Spyro and his new friends must find out why the Sorceress stole the eggs, what she plans to do with them, and how to stop her. Insomniac Games President Ted Price stated in an interview about Resistance: Fall of Man that they stopped creating Spyro games because the player character, Spyro, was too limited for them to add new features and actions (Ted states, as an example, that "he didn't even have hands, he couldn't even hold a gun.")

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly

Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly (Autumn 2002) was the first game in the Spyro series for PlayStation 2 and GameCube and was developed by Equinox Digital Entertainment and Check Six Studios. Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly had mixed responses from reviewers , 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 has a dragonfly). It's a huge celebration filled with joy and happiness until Ripto comes to capture the dragonflies, making the dragons helpless. He casts his spell but messes up, instead scattering the dragonflies all over the Dragon Realms, and it is then up to Spyro to rescue them.

Spyro: A Hero's Tail

Spyro: A Hero's Tail (Released Autumn 2004), the fifth installment in the Spyro series, is available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube, and was created by Eurocom Entertainment Software. The story is that Red, a former Dragon Elder, came to the Dragon Realms to plant Dark Gems - structures that intend to flood the world with evil energy. It's up to Spyro to travel across the Dragon Realms, destroy all the Dark Gems and defeat Red and his army.

The Legend of Spyro Trilogy

The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning

The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning marked the third title to be released on the PlayStation 2 and 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, and Gary Oldman as Ignitus.

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 thus far 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

The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night, 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 - 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.

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

Celebrating 10 years The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon is the conclusion to the Legend of Spyro trilogy. In this final installment, Spyro and Cynder will awaken in the future, and set out of stop Malefor, the Dark Master, from spreading his evil across the world. Unlike previous Spyro games, this game features a co-op with Cynder, allowing players to switch between to two dragons at any point in time. There will also be a two player mode, with two players either playing as Spyro or Cynder. Along with this new freedom comes "Free Flight," which allows Spyro and Cynder to take to the air, anywhere, anytime. Once again, Elijah Wood and Gary Oldman reprise Spyro and Ignitus, 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 is Hunter of Avalar. Mark Hamill will voice Malefor, the Dark Master.

Handheld games and other systems

On Nintendo DS

All current Nintendo DS videogames have been developed by Amaze Entertainment.

On mobile phones

  • Spyro (June 2003) In this game, Spyro is the special guest of the Fairy Queen for the Royal Ball. But just before the beginning of the party, none of the fairies are ready: their dresses are still locked in the magic chests. The player must help Spyro give each fairy her clothes in the right order or the party will be cancelled! In 'classic mode' Spyro has eighteen levels, the first three of which are practice tutorials. In 'arcade mode' the game is unlimited. Spyro has to help the fairies to find the right costume for the Great Ball of the Millennium. Each fairy has its own look and it is Spyro's job to locate the right clothing and accessories. If the clock runs down, as traditionally happens, the fairy can change her mind and throw off her costume. In arcade mode, the fairies are more impatient, ultimately leaving their dressing room. After two failures, it's game over.
  • Spyro: Ripto Quest (November 2004), Ripto and his army have attacked the three worlds of Ice, Grass and Fire. They've managed to damage the machine that protects the worlds. Spyro and Sparx must recover the 4 damaged machine parts and return them to the Professor. Spyro breathes his traditional fire, casts spells, can teleport, jump and fly around 3 magical worlds and 7 levels of gameplay. Along the way, Spyro must talk to various characters to obtain new missions to defeat Ripto's rhynoc army. At the end, a new villain appears: a giant snake that Spyro has to defeat to beat the game.
  • Spyro the Dragon (Not the same game as the PS1 title. Despite the name, it is similar to Shadow Legacy.) (August 2005), A powerful, evil sorcerer has captured all of the dragons. It is quite a disaster to the Dragon Realms, everyone has disappeared! Spyro's friends are counting on him becoming a true kata, the magic/martial arts dragon power master to free the dragons before they are trapped in the alternate dimension known as the Shadow Realm forever! Each world has two versions of itself, a normal version and its shadow counterpart. Swapping between the two allows Spyro to advance past obstacles that appear on one version of the Realm but not the other. Spyro has three different types of moves, one for attacking in the normal Realm, one for attacking in the Shadow Realm and one for smashing breakable objects. To 'level-up' Spyro's moves (as in a Role Playing Game) gems need to be collected. There are 25 gems in all. There are three different colors, for each of the three different moves. The more gems of a specific color that are found, the higher Spyro's level is for that color.
  • Legend of Spyro (October 2006) This is the mobile phone version of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning.

Flash games

There have been many different games available online, notably the Crash and Spyro Adventure World, a promotion by Kraft foods. Inside Nabisco Fruit Snacks and Jell-O Pudding Bites consumers found cards with codes. These codes could be typed in online to unlock up to eight different games.

The first Spyro flash games were on Universal Interactive's (now VU Games) Spyro website. These games and the website can no longer be found.

Then the original Insomniac Spyro game websites included minigames to play, with the exception of the website for the first game which did not contain any proper flash games. One of these games still survives, Spark's Pond, which can be played below and also be downloaded from Spyro-yearofthedragon.com

Spark's Pond

Animated Feature

The Legend of Spyro 3D is an upcoming 3-D animated feature film based on the popular Spyro video game series. On October 25 2007, it was announced that the film rights for Spyro the Dragon had been purchased by The Animation Picture Company. Daniel Altiere and Steven Altiere will write the script which is going to be based on the recently released _A_New_Beginning trilogy of games in the Spyro the Dragon series. The film will be produced by John Davis (who has worked on films such as Norbit and Eragon), Dan Chuba, Mark Dippe, Brian Manis and Ash Shah. No director has yet been hired and a release date has not yet been announced.

The movie will follow Spyro, a rare purple dragon of prophecy, on a voyage of self-discovery. As he struggles to come to terms with his amazing potential, Spyro will find himself embroiled in an epic struggle against an ancient evil.

Characters

Items

  • Gems, the hoard of dragons and often used as currency (especially to pay the character Moneybags, who takes a substantial amount of gems from the player over the course of the play; however all gems are invariably taken back at the completion of the game.) In many of the Spyro games, there were a set number of gems per level, and these were counted towards the player's overall percentage of game completion. However, ever since A Hero's Tail, this has no longer the case: gems can 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; red gave you health, green breath energy, purple "Fury" power and blue gems are used as experience to level up.

  • Special collectibles Most of he games involve finding special items by completing quests and searching levels. They are used to reach new levels but become harder to come by as the games progress. These special items are unique to each game and include; the orbs from "Ripto's revenge", the FireFlys in "Season of flame", and the light gems in "Hero's tail".
  • Dragon Eggs have appeared in several of the Spyro games. Depending on the game, collecting enough Dragon Eggs can unlock secrets or allow passage to consecutive worlds. Some Dragon Eggs may be found lying on the ground or hovering in the air; some could be obtained by completing specific challenges; some could be recovered from locked treasure chests; other Dragon Eggs are in the possession of thieves, who must be chased down and attacked to recover the egg. Collecting these eggs was the main objective in Year of the Dragon.
  • Fodder and Butterflies were used as health power-ups in the original canon. Fodder were wild, yet harmless, animals that could be killed by breathing flame on them or charging into them. When it is killed, it releases a butterfly that Sparx will eat and one piece of health is restored. In later games, some special butterflies could give you a life. These special butterflys (Usualy blue) could also be found in jars, however these jars never respawn, and once used will never be seen again.
  • Lives are special units of health; if you run out of health and lose sparx you will lose a life and go back to the last save point you were at. In the first Spyro game, lives were earned by collecting dragon statues and orbs, while in later games you could get lives from rare Butterflies. Since the release of Attack of the Rhynocs, the lives concept was discarded entirely.

Music by Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the band The Police, is credited with composing the soundtracks for the first three Spyro games as well as Enter the Dragonfly. The score for Spyro the Dragon was given high praise for its originality, portraying oriental/fantasy-like themes for the Dragon Worlds. All music was performed on a computer which he says were rather shallow compositions but one of the most fun gigs that he ever had. The original titles of the music tracks were named after the first noun that came into his head before he hit the "save" button.

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 Artisans' world of shepherds, sheep, medieval towers and endless green hills has an oriental-sounding mixture of bells and drums where as the Beast Makers' midnight swamp has a solid rhythm overlayed with the melancholy calls of an owl. Ambient music features in Spyro 2 such as Autumn Plains. Mainly, the music is very "busy", i.e. full of different percussion instruments underlying the melody. Ted Price, the head of Insomniac Games believed Copeland's work for Spyro: Year of the Dragon, which he co-wrote with Ryan Beveridge, was some of his best to date. It is the stage for all kinds of sounds, including strange vocals and exotic instruments in styles from all over the world. The music has never been released on CD.

The music has been compared to that of Mutato Muzika's score of the original Naughty Dog Crash Bandicoot games.

See also

References

External links

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