Spyro (character)

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Spyro the Dragon
Spyro the Dragon
Series Spyro (series)
First game Spyro the Dragon
Designed by Charles Zembillas
Voiced by (English) Carlos Alazraqui (1998)[1]
Tom Kenny (1999-2003)
Jess Harnell (2004-2005)
Elijah Wood (2006-present)
Voiced by (Japanese) Akiko Yajima (1999-2000)

Spyro the Dragon is the main character and protagonist of the Spyro the Dragon and the Legend of Spyro series. Created by Charles Zembillas, Spyro first appeared in the video game Spyro the Dragon. Spyro was voiced by Carlos Alazraqui in the first game, and by Tom Kenny and Jess Harnell in following games. He was voiced by Elijah Wood in the The Legend of Spyro series. In Japan, Spyro was voiced by an actress named Akiko Yajima.

Concept and creation[edit | edit source]

Spyro was created by Charles Zembillas for the game Spyro the Dragon.[1] During the development of the game, Spyro was originally going to be green, but the developers thought it was a bad idea because he would blend in with the Grass Areas, so they eventually changed him to purple.[2] In an interview, Ted Price stated that they gave up the series after releasing Spyro: Year of the Dragon because Spyro's actions were limited, due to not being able to hold anything in his hands.[3]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Spyro is a small, purple Dragon with small wings, large, curved horns, a spiral-shaped spike on the tip of his tail, and spines resembling a mohawk. He is smaller than most dragons, a characteristic that aids him in the first game. In the original series most dragons are depicted as bipedal but Spyro is depicted as quadrupedal.

Spyro is energetic and curious, with little regard for his own safety. He is also described as a courageous hero, despite his small size. Spyro is also known for his cocky attitude. The Legend of Spyro trilogy features an alternate incarnation of Spyro. In the trilogy, he is described as a compasionate young dragon, always willing to help his friends and strangers with whatever problems they may have.

Spyro's main attacks consist of ramming his opponents with his long horns or breathing fire at them. In later games, power-ups appear that let Spyro do much more powerful things like: fly, spit fire balls, and breathe ice. In every game past Spyro 2: Season of Flame, Spyro is able to breathe different types of breaths. In Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly and Spyro: A Hero's Tail, he is able to breathe fire, water, ice, and lightning. In the Legend of Spyro series the ability to breathe water is replaced with the ability to breathe earth.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Original series[edit | edit source]

In Spyro the Dragon, Gnasty Gnorc attacks the dragon realms by using a magic spell that traps all the dragons in crystal, except for Spyro, who dodges the spell because of his small size. He then goes across the dragon realms saving the trapped dragons, who give hints and tips, until Spyro battles with Gnasty.[4] In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage, Spyro seeks a vacation away from the dragon realms due to the prolonged rainy weather. When he attempts to go through a portal that is supposed to lead to a vacation, he ends up in Avalar, where Ripto, an evil wizard, has proclaimed himself ruler over the land, and Spyro must defeat him. After liberating each of the three kingdoms of Avalar, he defeats Ripto, and takes finally his vacation.[5] In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, an anthropomorpic bunny named Bianca, and her army of Rhynocs, steal dragon eggs. Because Spyro is the only dragon small enough to enter the hole Bianca created, he is tasked with saving the eggs (with help from Hunter, who was also able to get through with the help of an elder dragon). After going through all four of the Forgotten Realms, he finds the Sorceress, and fights her, saving all of the eggs.[6]

In Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, Spyro rescues all the dragonflies, which were scattered by Ripto, and then defeats him. Spyro: A Hero's Tail shows Spyro saving the Dragon realm from being plunged into darkness by an ancient dragon elder named Red, who has joined forces with Gnasty Gnorc.

Other adventures[edit | edit source]

A number of spin-off titles were also made. In Spyro: Season of Ice and Spyro 2: Season of Flame, Spyro works to save the Fairy Realm and Dragon Realm, respectively, after they are covered in ice by Ripto and the Rynocs. Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs shows Ripto trying to invade the Dragon Realm; Spyro sets out to repel the invasion. Spyro: Shadow Legacy describes an invasion by a sorcerer who creates a dark version of the Dragon Realm, hoping to use this realm to conquer the Dragon Realm. Spyro sets out to free the sorcerer's captives and defeat the sorcerer.

Three games were made for mobile phones, pitting Spyro against previously established villains like Ripto. There is also a crossover game called Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy, in which Spyro teams up with Crash Bandicoot to defeat Ripto and Crash's nemesis, Doctor Neo Cortex.

The Legend of Spyro series[edit | edit source]

The Legend of Spyro trilogy serves as a reboot for the series.[7] The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning states that Spyro was raised by a family of dragonflies in a swamp. After he discovers that he is a dragon, he travels to the dragon temple to find it under attack by Cynder, an evil dragon in the service of the Dark Master. After Spyro defeats Cynder in battle, the spell on her breaks, and she reverts to her normal self.

In The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night, the dragons are attacked by Gaul, the Ape King, who is now trying to release the Dark Master. Spyro travels to the Mountain of Malefor to try to stop Gaul from releasing the Dark Master, as well as to rescue Cynder, whom the Apes had kidnapped. After Gaul is defeated, Spyro traps himself, Sparx, and Cynder in a giant crystal to protect them as the mountain crumbles.

In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Spyro and Cynder are released from the crystal to find that Malefor, the Dark Master, has escaped and released the Destroyer, a beast capable of destroying the world. He and several other dragons slow down the beast, then he and Cynder confront Malefor. During the battle, the three of them fall into the center of the earth, where Malefor is defeated. From there, Spyro repairs the damage the Destroyer caused to the planet, and he and Cynder are later seen flying together though the air.

Cultural impact[edit | edit source]

Merchandising[edit | edit source]

Five toys based on Spyro—including a checkerboard and key chain—were packaged with kids' meals in a Wendy's promotion for The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night.[8]

There were also toys released at McDonald's along with Crash Bandicoot toys in 2006.

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

Game Revolution criticized Spyro's voice in the first game, comparing it to the Taco Bell chihuahua (who was also played by Carlos Alazraqui).[9] IGN praised Spyro's design, saying he is "cute but not sickeningly cute"[10], and later said that he "is just a little bland, and not the kind of mascot that I would ever fall in love with", stating that "He's kind of like a blend between a big puppy and a donkey, painted purple."[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Spyro the Dragon for PlayStation - Technical Information, Game Information, Technical Support - Gamespot. GameSpot.
  2. John Fiorito, Craig Stitt (May 2, 2000). Gamasutra - Features - Lessons in Color Theory for Spyro the Dragon. Gamasutra.
  3. Chris Buffa (September 30, 2008). Resistance 2 on PlayStation 3 Features - GameDaily. GameDaily.
  4. Harris, Craig (1999-01-01). Spyro the Dragon 1. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-06-08
  5. 5.0 5.1 Doug Perry (November 18, 1999). Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage - PlayStation Review at IGN. IGN.
  6. IGN Staff (June 23, 2000). Spyro: Year of the Dragon - PlayStation Preview at IGN. IGN.
  7. Sliced Gaming article - Retrieved June 12
  8. Dobson, Jason (October 12, 2007). Random Spyro toys invade Wendy's kids meals. Joystiq. Retrieved on April 5, 2010
  9. Dick, Kevin (1999-03-04). Spyro the Dragon - PS 1. gamerevolution.com. Retrieved on 2008-06-08
  10. IGN Staff (July 15, 1999). The Greatest PlayStation Games Ever: 3D Platformers - PSX Feature at IGN. IGN.