Spyro (series)

Genres Platform
Developers Insomniac Games (1998–2000)
Digital Eclipse (2001–03)
Equinoxe Digital Entertainment (2002)
Check Six (2002)
Vicarious Visions (2004)
Eurocom (2004)
Amaze Entertainment (2005)(2005–07)
Krome Studios (2006–07)
Étranges Libellules (2008)
Publishers Sony Computer Entertainment (1998–2000)
Universal Interactive Studios (1998–2003)
Konami (2002–04) (Japan)
Vivendi Universal Games
Vivendi Games (2004–07)
Sierra Entertainment (2005–08)
Activision (2008–present)
Platform of origin PlayStation
Spin-offs Skylanders

Spyro is a series of platform games which primarily features the protagonist Spyro the Dragon and his friend, Sparx the Dragonfly. Since its introduction in 1998, there has been a complete reboot to the series called The Legend of Spyro trilogy, making it a total of ten Spyro games and three Legend of Spyro games. The Spyro series has sold more than 20 million units worldwide.[1]


Timeline of release years
1998Spyro the Dragon
1999Ripto's Rage!
2000Year of the Dragon
2001Season of Ice
2002Season of Flame
Enter the Dragonfly
2003Attack of the Rhynocs
2004Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy
A Hero's Tail
2005Shadow Legacy
2006The Legend of Spyro trilogy
Aggregate review scores
As of 1 October 2013.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Spyro the Dragon (PS1) 85%[2]
Ripto's Rage! (PS1) 87%[3]
Year of the Dragon (PS1) 91%[4] (PS1) 91[5]
Season of Ice (GBA) 72%[6] (GBA) 74[7]
Season of Flame (GBA) 77%[8] (GBA) 76[9]
Enter the Dragonfly (PS2) 56%[10]
(GC) 48%[11]
(PS2) 56[12]
(GC) 48[13]
Attack of the Rhynocs (GBA) 75%[14] (GBA) 72[15]
Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy (GBA) 59%[16] (GBA) 60[17]
A Hero's Tail (PS2) 65%[18]
(Xbox) 64%[19]
(GC) 63%[20]
(Xbox) 64[21]
(GC) 62[22]
(PS2) 60[23]
Shadow Legacy (NDS) 53%[24] (NDS) 50[25]

Spyro the Dragon

Spyro the Dragon was first released in North America on 11 September 1998 for the PlayStation. It was released in Europe on 23 October 1998, in Australia on 15 November 1998 and in Japan on 1 April 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.[26] It also received acclaim for its musical score by Stewart Copeland.

Ripto's Rage!

Ripto's Rage! (also known Gateway to Glimmer in Europe and Australia) followed on from the success of the first title, making its release on 2 November 1999 in North America. It was released three days later in Europe and Australia and in Japan on 16 March 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. 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. Like its predecessor, it was critically acclaimed.[27]

Year of the Dragon

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.[28] In this game, the dragons are celebrating the Year of the Dragon, an event every twelve years in which new dragon eggs arrive in the dragon worlds. Bianca, an anthropomorphic rabbit, steals the eggs, and Spyro follows her down a rabbit hole. The rabbit hole leads to the Forgotten Realms, which are under the rule of the game's primary antagonist, 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 game also features levels in which the player controls Sparx in a bird's eye view shooting game as well as four new playable characters: Sheila the Kangaroo, Sgt. Byrd, Bentley the Yeti, and Agent 9.

Season of Ice

Main article: Spyro: Season of Ice

Season of Ice was the first Spyro game not to be developed by Insomniac Games or be on a Sony console, released instead on the Game Boy Advance and developed by Digital Eclipse. It is known as Spyro Advance in Japan. Spyro must use his fire breath to rescue the fairies in the various Fairy Realms after they are frozen by a monster named Grendor,.

Season of Flame

Season of Flame: This Game Boy Advance Spyro game is the sequel to "Season of Ice" and introduced new features, such as the ability to breathe other elements besides fire. In this game, Spyro must recover the stolen fireflies scattered across the Dragon Realms.

Enter the Dragonfly

Enter the Dragonfly is available for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube and was developed by Equinox Digital Entertainment and Check Six Studios. It had mixed responses from reviewers, referring to the numerous glitches, lack of storyline, originality, and long load times . The story begins with the baby dragons preparing to receive their dragonflies and celebrating. Ripto captures the dragonflies, making the dragons helpless, and accidentally scatters the dragonflies across the world with a spell. Spyro must then recover the dragonflies.

Attack of the Rhynocs

Attack of the Rhynocs, also known as Spyro Adventure in Europe and Australia, is the first game not to feature a lives system. Spyro is tasked with collecting the "Heart" of each land in order to stop Ripto's latest evil scheme.

Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy

Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy (known as Spyro Fusion in Europe and Australia, and Spyro Advance Wakuwaku Tomodachi Daisakusen! in Japan): 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, Spyro travels through Crash's universe in a side-scroller, rather than the traditional isometric, top-down view.

A Hero's Tail

Main article: Spyro: A Hero's Tail

A Hero's Tail is available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube, and was created by Eurocom, the first game being developed with the departure of Insomniac. 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.

Shadow Legacy

Main article: Spyro: Shadow Legacy

Shadow Legacy continues from Spyro: A Hero's Tail and was released only on the Nintendo DS. This is the only Spyro game that plays as an RPG, in which Spyro can gain experience, level up and learn new spells and combat moves. Spyro must use his new skills to save his allies when they are trapped in the "Shadow Realm" parallel to each of the individual realms of the Dragon Kingdom, Avalar, and the Forgotten Realms.

The Legend of Spyro trilogy

Main article: The Legend of Spyro


Main article: Skylanders


Spyro Ever After

Spyro Ever After was going to be the first and only Spyro educational game where Spyro meets famous fairy tale characters like The Three Little Pigs, Puss in Boots, Goldilocks and The Three Bears, The Golden Goose and Little Red Riding Hood. However, the game never passed the storyboard.[29]

Agent 9

Agent 9 was a James Bond like parody spin-off game starring Agent 9 as the main character as he does spy missions. It was set to be developed by Blue Tongue Entertainment and Backbone Entertainment and be published by Universal Interactive Studios. The game's production was cancelled for unknown reasons.[30]

Spyro's Kingdom

A prototype game, under the test title Spyro's Kingdom, was originally set to bring Spyro in a more darker tone that included blood. The developers of Toys for Bob lost their enthusiasm and felt that this direction did not feel like "Spyro" and reworked into the game into Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.[31]



The main character of the series is Spyro the Dragon, an eager, purple dragon. In the original series, he is accompanied by Sparx, a dragonfly that performs many functions such as helping protect Spyro from damage and collecting gems. Most of the games before the Legend of Spyro series include Hunter the cheetah, a loyal friend of Spyro's who sometimes helps him on quests; Moneybags, a money-obsessed bear who in some games is needed to make pathways for Spyro for a "small fee"; and Zoe, a fairy who serves as checkpoints in each land that Spyro visits.

In The Legend of Spyro, The Guardians are the dragons that watch over the eggs and train the young dragons in the ancient ways. One exists for each of the four elements: Fire, Electricity, Ice and Earth.


The Dragon Realms are the main setting of the series where most of the dragons including Spyro live. Avalar is a separate world that was being threatened by Ripto in "Spyro: Ripto's Rage." 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. After collecting enough orbs in "Spyro 2: Riptos Rage", the Dragon Shores can be accessed, which has games and a special power up for Spyro.


A large part of the original series revolves around item collection. When the player collects a certain amount of items, they can move on to the next area. The most common of these are gems, which is often used not only for collecting, but also for buying skills, passageways, items, and more. In A Hero's Tail there were special dark gems, which the player had to destroy 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.

Freeing dragons is the main goal in Spyro the Dragon, while freeing dragon eggs is the main goal in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. In Spyro the Dragon, dragon eggs are also collected by chasing down thieves. They also appear in Spyro: A Hero's Tail, and collecting them will unlock concept art. Collecting Talismans and Orbs are the primary goal in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, as the devices are used in a portal to get Spyro back to his home. Dragonflies are the primary collectibles in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly where Spyro catches them using his bubble breath.


Drummer Stewart Copeland (former drummer of the band "The Police") composed the soundtracks for the first four Spyro games. Copeland made music for each world in the games as well as music devoted to each level, often playing each level so he could tailor the mood of the music to the level. [32]


In July 2014 in The Daily Telegraph interview with Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Andrew House, he and his team are considering bringing back Spyro, stating, "This is a shift from us, we have started to say that maybe there isn't anything wrong with going back and looking at characters that people still talk about, that would be their big part of their childhood or their youth, I definitely wouldn't close the door on that."[33]

In September 2014, speaking to IGN at this year's EGX video game convention, Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price stated that making a new original Spyro game is a possibility; he said, "Activision has done a great job with Spyro. They resurrected him and, in my opinion, Skylanders is still about Spyro. It's got the same aesthetic, the same broad appeal and they've done a great job of bringing that character and his world to a brand new set of fans. That's very hard to do in an age where a lot of games are darker and grittier. We'll always love Spyro. I've learnt to say 'never say never' so... who knows?".[34]


  1. "Spyro Invades Wendy's Kid's Meals – The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night". Kotaku. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  2. "Spyro the Dragon Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  3. "Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  4. "Spyro: Year of the Dragon Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  5. "Spyro: Year of the Dragon Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  6. "Spyro: Season of Ice Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  7. "Spyro: Season of Ice Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  8. "Spyro 2: Season of Flame Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  9. "Spyro 2: Season of Flame Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  10. "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  11. "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  12. "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  13. "Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  14. "Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  15. "Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  16. "Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  17. "Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  18. "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  19. "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  20. "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  21. "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  22. "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  23. "Spyro: A Hero's Tail Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  24. "Spyro: Shadow Legacy Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  25. "Spyro: Shadow Legacy Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  26. "Spyro the Dragon". IGN (Press release). Sony Computer Entertainment. 9 September 1998. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  27. "Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage" (Press release). Sony Computer Entertainment. 18 November 1999. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  28. "Spyro 3" (Press release). Insomniac/Sierra entertainment. 12 January 2003. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  29. Knowledge Adventure game artwork
  30. https://www.unseen64.net/2009/06/16/agent-9-prime-8-ps2-cancelled/
  31. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure preview: Babes in toyland
  32. https://www.gamestm.co.uk/interviews/talking-spyro-with-the-polices-stewart-copeland/
  33. "'Bring back Crash Bandicoot? I definitely wouldn't close the door on that'". telegraph.co.uk. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  34. "Insomniac Boss on the future of Spyro the Dragon". ign.com. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
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