Spyro the Dragon

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Spyro the Dragon
Spyro The Dragon.jpg
A feisty little flame-spouting dragon on a GIGANTIC adventure!
Protagonist: Spyro the Dragon
Genre: Platform
Platforms: PlayStation
Release Date: NA: September 9, 1998
EU: October 23rd, 1998
AU: November 15th, 1998
JP: April 1999
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Franchise: Spyro
Next Game: Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!


Spyro the Dragon is a platform game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation on September 9, 1998.

Plot

A young purple dragon named Spyro, and his dragonfly friend, Sparx, must journey across the Dragon Kingdom to defeat Gnasty Gnorc, who has overtaken the 5 dragon Homeworlds by trapping the other dragons in crystal and turning their hoard of gems into an army of minions

Why It Rocks

  1. Great graphics that's very colorful and uses the idea of LOD just like Crash Bandicoot.
  2. There are 5 homeworlds with their own style and each 5 levels that are small but expansive. Three normal levels, a flight level, and a boss level.
  3. This game uses gems but instead of it being like coins that give you an extra life, they instead are needed to advance to new homeworlds. Each gem color corresponds to a certain amount of treasure:
    • Red: 1
    • Green: 2
    • Blue: 5
    • Yellow: 10
    • Magenta: 25
  4. Unlike other platformers, you have a health bar in the way of Sparx the dragonfly. Every time Spyro is hit, Sparx changes color:
    • Yellow: Full health
    • Blue: Two hits left
    • Green: One hit left
    • Gone: No hits left
      • To replenish Sparx back to yellow, Spyro can defeat fodder, which will spawn a butterfly. Sparx will then eat it, causing him to regain one level of health. Small silver statues of a dragon can help back up extra lives that will revive Spyro.
  5. Good voice acting especially Carlos Alazraqui who plays not only Spyro, but the some of the dragons Spyro rescues.
  6. Spyro has three different abilities:
    • Fire: Spyro's fire breath can be used to defeat enemies and destroy containers, but it does not work on fireproof metal. This breath is also sometimes used to light objects on fire.
    • Glide: Gliding allows Spyro to soar across gaps that are considered unreachable by jumping using his wings. This is usually performed after pressing the jump button again in mid-jump.
    • Charge: Charging with Spyro's horns is used to defeat enemies or disarm foes who are wielding metal shields or armor that are invulnerable to fire. In addition, the metal vases and other similar metal containers containing gems can only be destroyed by having Spyro charge into them.
      • There is a Supercharge powerup which allows Spyro to charge at extreme speeds. This much stronger charge can destroy things the normal charge can't like very strong cases containing gems and doors. In Speedways, Spyro already has this supercharge to use against ground enemies.
  7. Throughout the game, you'll find crystal statues; these are meant to be the main collectibles of the game. In order to free the crystallized dragon, Spyro must step onto the statue's pedestal.
    • When rescuing a dragon, they will give Spyro a tip related to the homeworlds enemies, abilities, or the level you're currently in. (Also, every dragon you rescue has their own unique personality and name.)
    • The crystal pedestals are also used to replay dragon's tips and save the game.
  8. Great soundtrack that's colorful, charming, and magical, all thanks to ex-Police drummer and co-founder Stewart Copeland.
  9. There are flight levels where Spyro can actually Fly rather than just Glide. The object is to fly about and destroy all of the target objects in the level before time runs out. Destroying a target object will give you a few seconds more time added to the clock. Your run is over when you either run out of time or destroy all the targets in the level. Your reward is 60 Gems for each set of targets you complete, with 60 more being awarded for nailing them all in one run.
    • After you collect all of the Gems in a Flight level, the clock is changed from a countdown to a Time Attack mode, and target objects no longer add time to the clock.
  10. Instead of defeating enemies by jumping on their heads, you can either charge attack them or breathe fire on them, some will have only one way of killing an enemy.
  11. When you acquire all the gems from a world and return to that world, enemies will instead drop white orbs. Twenty orbs will award Spyro an extra life.
  12. When achieving 100%, you unlock Gnorc's loot, which is where you collect 2,000 treasure, which gives you 120% and a new cutscene, which hints at a new game.

Bad Qualities

  1. The game isn't challenging since enemies and bosses alike can be taken down with ease.
  2. Speaking of bosses, (with the exception of Metalhead) each boss fight is virtually the same. Hit the boss, they run to the next area, hit the boss, rinse and repeat.
    • The worst of these is Gnasty Gnorc, who's boss fight is just running around chasing thieves to acquire keys to unlock the platform he is standing on and then chase him in a circle.
  3. The ending is kind of anti-climatic seeing how after defeating Gnorc, it cuts to Spyro finishing the interview we see in the beginning.
  4. The controls are a bit strange. Spyro doesn't fluidly move, he instead moves similar to a vehicle since he has to turn completely in any direction.
  5. The game is only 6-8 hours long mainly because of how little there is in collectibles and how small most of the levels are.

Reception

The game received positive reviews from critics, holding a score of 85% at GameRankings, based on an aggregate of 18 reviews.

GameSpot gave the game an 8.3/10, describing it as having very good graphics for its time, and being one of the first well-received full-3D platformers for the original PlayStation.

IGN rated it 9/10, with similar comments, stating "the game utilizes the PlayStation's hardware to the max, and there's not an obvious polygon glitch to speak of".

Trivia

  • Spyro was originally going to be green, but he was changed to purple to prevent his skin from blending in with the grass.

Videos

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