The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon

The Legend of Spyro:
Dawn of the Dragon
Developer(s) Étranges Libellules
Additional work by Tantalus Media (NDS)
Distributor(s) Activision Blizzard
Producer(s) Aaron Drayer
Michael Graham
Kevin Sodini
Chris A. Wilson
Designer(s) Travis Stephenson
Writer(s) Michael Graham
Thomas Boissier
Composer(s) Spiralmouth
Series The Legend of Spyro
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Nintendo DS
Release date(s)
  • NA: 21 October 2008
  • AUS: 5 November 2008
  • EU: 21 November 2008
  • AUS: 21 November 2008 (NDS)
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, co-op

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 developed by Étranges Libellules and published by Activision in North America and Sierra Entertainment in International for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360. Tantalus Media developed the Nintendo DS version. It is the end of the second Spyro continuity, with Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure serving as the second reboot of the franchise after Vivendi Games merged with video game publisher Activision to form the Activision Blizzard holding company on July 9, 2008.


The gameplay is more advanced than previous titles in the series. This is the first Spyro game that allows a player to fly at any time they want (free-fly mode). The game also features a co-op mode with Cynder. The co-op feature allows players to have the option of completing the game as either Spyro or Cynder, along with giving them the power to switch between Spyro and Cynder, giving them more freedom to explore the world in completely new ways.

The environments are much larger than in previous games, and a majority of them have a bit more exploration to them. In previous titles of the Legend of Spyro series, Spyro must travel through the level and defeat enemies in a linear fashion. This time, however, the game has more freedom by exploring larger areas and collecting items in order to progress through the game.

Spyro retains his command of fire, electricity, ice, and earth (all of which he now has access to from the start), while Cynder controls poison, fear, wind, and shadow, powers that were given to her when she was controlled by the Dark Master. Cynder is faster but weaker than Spyro. Along with the standard power ups that gems will bring, Spyro and Cynder can both equip pieces of Dragon Armor that they find. They also have another feature called melee combos. The more times the player hits the enemy the more Blue Gems the players will earn. Blue Gems power up Spyro and Cynder, allowing them to upgrade moves. Along with Blue Gems, there are also Red gems, which restore lost health. The green gems give the dragons magic, allowing element attacks. The Fury Gems from previous titles have been removed (replaced by dark crystals that can drain magic if they're not destroyed), and the Fury Meter now goes up depending on the number of times Spyro or Cynder scores attacks on enemies. In addition to normal enemies, there are elite enemies, which are enemies that are stronger than normal enemies. Their masks make them invincible to normal attacks. The player must use an element of a designated color that matches that of the mask in order to knock the mask off. Once off, normal attacks and other elemental powers will be allowed.


A screenshot from the game.

The game begins three years later, after The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night with Spyro and Cynder, who are now teenagers, being broken free of their crystalline prison by mysterious enemies known as Grublins. Spyro and Cynder are tethered together with mysterious green energy chains created by the Dark Master before being carried away while Sparx is found by Hunter of Avalar, who was watching them from the shadows. Meanwhile, Spyro and Cynder find themselves in a dark, volcano like area. When they try to leave, they find out that they cannot as they are chained to the platform they awoke on. After defeating several waves of Grublins and avoiding an earth Golem that attacks them soon after, Spyro and Cynder manage to escape the Catacombs with the help of Hunter, who is with Sparx. After reaching safety in Twilight Falls, Hunter reveals to Spyro, Cynder and Sparx that the Dark Master, Malefor, had returned to the realm shortly after the events of The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night and has covered the land in darkness ever since.

Malefor, the game's antagonist

Once they reach the Dragon City of Warfang, Spyro, Cynder, and Hunter are separated as the city is under siege by Malefor's forces. After a long and fierce battle that ends in the siege being defeated, Spyro, Cynder, and the Dragon Guardians are reunited. The victory is short lived as the Golem returns and uses parts of the city to create an arm to replace the one it lost in the Catacombs. Spyro and Cynder defeat the Golem by destroying the Dark Crystal in its head. Later that night, Malefor sends them a message: he has revived the Destroyer, an ancient creature whose purpose is to renew the world by bringing about its destruction. As they will be unable to catch up with the creature if they fly after it, the Fire Guardian Ignitus hatches the plan that waiting for it to circle back, underground is the only way to intercept it in time. Cynder and Spyro are able to open the gates to the underground Ruins of Warfang, which leads the attack forces to the canyon where the Destroyer will complete the Ring of Annihilation. By destroying a nearby dam, they stall the Destroyer long enough to destroy its Dark Crystal heart, but it was an effort spent in vain. The Destroyer manages to complete the Belt of Fire, and Ignitus orders everyone underground as he escorts Spyro and Cynder to the Belt of Fire. In order to get them to the Burned Lands, which will lead them to Malefor's Lair, Ignitus sacrifices himself in the crossing and Spyro, overcome with grief, turns into his dark form and tries to go back and save him (which also threatened to harm Cynder with levitating rocks), but is stopped and comforted by Cynder.

After getting through the Burned Lands and the Floating Islands, Spyro and Cynder arrive at Malefor's Lair and confront him. Malefor taunts Spyro by telling him that the destiny of all purple dragons is to bring about the world's destruction, to which Spyro denies. During the confrontation, the evil dragon releases the green chain that tethered Spyro and Cynder together throughout their trials, then corrupts Cynder back to his cause. Cynder attacks Spyro, only to break free from Malefor's control when Spyro refused to fight and stated that "You've left me nothing to fight for". Angered by this turn of events, Malefor binds Spyro and Cynder together once again to kill them both before beginning their battle airborne. As Spyro and Cynder fly after Malefor, the Destroyer completes its circle, marking the end of the world. The three dragons fall into the volcano the Destroyer had entered, and after fighting with Malefor, Spyro and Cynder plummet into the center of the earth as they continue their battle. Malefor proclaimed that he is eternal, unable to be defeated, but is then sealed away in the world's core by the spirits of the Ancestors. Despite Malefor's defeat, the world is still falling apart. As Spyro and Cynder wonder if this is indeed the end, Ignitus' spirit returns and gives Spyro hope. With the chain around them broken with Malefor's defeat, Spyro tells Cynder to flee while he stops the catastrophe, but she refuses to leave him, resolving that she loves him more than life and that she would rather die together than live alone. As Spyro prepares to unleash a powerful Fury wave, Cynder verbally reveals that she loves him. The world is rebuilt by Spyro's magic, and we last see the remaining Guardians, Hunter, Sparx, and the survivors emerging from underground into the setting sun as stars in the sky formed into the figure of a dragon.

After the credits, the Chronicler speaks to someone that a new age is beginning, and with each new age, a worthy dragon is chosen to record the triumphs and failures of that era. His time is over, but the time of the new Chronicler, Ignitus, has just begun. Before passing his mantle, the Chronicler informs Ignitus that though he has tried his best, he cannot find "any trace of Spyro" in the book that details dragons who have died. As Ignitus becomes the new Chronicler, he wonders where Spyro could be. Meanwhile, Spyro and Cynder are shown flying together in romantic embrace above the Valley of Avalar, alive and finally able to live happily ever after.


Aggregate scores
GameRankings(Wii) 65.09%[1]
(X360) 63.78%[2]
(DS) 60.60%[3]
(PS2) 59.00%[4]
(PS3) 58.10%[5]
Metacritic(Wii) 64/100[6]
(X360) 62/100[7]
(PS3) 59/100[8]
(DS) 57/100[9]

The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon received mixed to positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Wii version 65.09% and 64/100,[1][6] the Xbox 360 version 63.78% and 62/100,[2][7] the Nintendo DS version 60.60% and 57/100,[3][9] the PlayStation 2 version 59.00%[4] and the PlayStation 3 version 58.10% and 59/100.[5][8]


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