Platforming video game franchise started in 1998 when Universal Interactive Studios commissioned Insomniac Games, starring the eponymous purple dragon, Spyro. Activision is the current developer/producer/distributor of the franchise through its Sierra subsidiary.Games:
Big Bad: Each original game really had stand alone Big Bad, but Ripto was a recurring villain. The Legend of Spyro trilogy had Malefor as the main antagonist, though each game had a villain he was the Man Behind the Man of, Cynder in the first and Gaul in the second, Skabb was also an arc Big Bad in the second. Skylanders has the Portal Master Kaos as the primary enemy, though Hektore takes the lead in the DS version.
Averted though, in Dawn of the Dragon, due to Spyro and Cynder both being able to fly. If they fall into a Bottomless Pit they'll eventually open their wings, and just hover there until you make them fly out.
Everything Trying to Kill You: Inverted. A lot of the on-screen creatures won't try to attack you. On the other hand, killing both the enemies and the peaceful animals has its own rewards, so in a way, this trope is reversed.
Funny Animal: Many of the level inhabitants from the second game onward.
Furry Fandom: You got dragons, cheetahs, rabbits, reptilian things, and "dragonflies"... obviously a no duh as to why they are here.
Also in some circles with the first three games, considering that there were several other characters you could play as, it was almost if as Spyro was just there to get you to buy the game.
Jerkass: Moneybags. He's well aware that Spyro is the only person that can stop the Big Bad and yet he'll still lower bridges and barricade doors and prevent you from continuing until you pay a small fee...
In the third game, he set up the obstacles and captured the characters for the Big Bad, for money. And subsequently freed them/let Spyro pass; for money. Why would anyone trust this guy?
At least in the third game you get to beat the crap out of him and get your gems that you gave him back, but still...
Kill It with Fire: Pretty much all of Spyro's enemies can be killed with his fire breath, with a few exceptions.
The UK instruction manual actually mentions Napoleon in Ripto's character bio. He fits the trope that well.
Nitro Express: Spyro the Dragon titles have several missions which involve Spyro clearing a path for a character who has lit a bomb and must run it to a destination. Expect much restarting while you learn the path the characters in question take to their destination.
Our Dragons Are Different: To the point where the dragons in the original series (Artisan, Peace Keeper, Magic Crafter, Beast Maker, Dream Weaver) are a lot different to the dragons in The Legend of Spyro trilogy, where more emphasis is placed on color and element rather than realm and occupation.
Plot Coupon: Dragon Statues, Talismans, Dragon Eggs, Dragonflies, and Light Gems, just to name a few.
Redshirt Army: Not only does Spyro have to help out the hummingbird army in Year of the Dragon, but also in Season of Ice. Admittedly these are two different divisions of the Redshirt (or Rubythroat) Army, but that still doesn't say good things about their effectiveness.
Shout-Out: Many missions of Year of the Dragon have names which refer to other games, including Doom, Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot. In the Tomb Raider level, there's even a character named Tara, one letter off from Lara, and she's essentially a mouse wearing the same exact outfit as Lara Croft.
In A Hero's Tail, the character Mergatroid (in Red's Laboratory) is the most blatant Shout-Out ever. He's a fat robot, wearing a red cap, red shirt and blue overalls... And the cap and overalls have a giant letter M on them. Make it more obvious, why don't you?
Unnecessary Roughness: The hockey minigames generally involve using Spyro's breath weapon on the opposition.
Vague Age: Spyro is implied to be twelve at the time of the third game. The games are implied to not follow Comic Book Time, and Spyro does mature in appearance and voice over the original series. Other dragons that are implied to be his age sound noticeably younger then him in A Hero's Tail so he's probably in his young teens, sixteen at most. Still, eggs are apparent in that game despite the fact that they only arrive once every twelve years. Subverted in The Legend of Spyro trilogy, as Spyro is confirmed to be twelve at the start of the first game.
Video Game Flight: Spyro has always been able to fly. However, because he's so young and his wings haven't fully grown, he could only ever glide without the assistance of magic until Dawn of the Dragon, which let him and Cynder fly freely.
What Might Have Been: A rush to finish Enter the Dragonfly for Christmas led to the permanent tarnishing of the series in the eyes of many fans and critics. It was originally planned to feature both Gnasty Gnorc and Ripto as villains, with about 25 levels. However, the Christmas rush meant that Gnasty Gnorc had to be cut out, and the number of levels was reduced to just nine - and unlike the preceding games, there was only one hub-world, rather than several separate homeworlds. In addition the rush left the game glitch-heavy and slow. On the whole, this spelt for a pretty unpopular game. But that wasn't the end of it. The format which had made the game so successful, and attempted again in Enter the Dragonfly, was heavily modified for the next game, A Hero's Tail, and even moreso for the subsequent reboot, Legend of Spyro. While these games were certainly regarded as an improvement on the travesty of Enter the Dragonfly, the series would never again reach the heights of the classic trilogy.
Skylanders was originally going to be called Spyro's Kingdom and would have had an adult Spyro as an NPC, replacing Eon. This was changed when the developers decided they would rather have Spyro be a playable character.
Xtreme Kool Letterz: The real word that Spyro comes from is actually spelled with an i (Spiro). Though it might be from a combination of the Greek word "pyro" (meaning "fire") and the Latin "spiro" (meaning "to breathe"), making it a Meaningful Name.
Spyro's name is a combination of the Latin spīrō (I breathe) and the Greek πῦρ (transliterated "pyr"; fire).
Some of the dragon hatchlings' names in Year of the Dragon have special meanings of their own. For example, the dragon in the egg held by the first thief in Molten Crater is named Moira, which means "fate" in Greek.
Family-Unfriendly Violence: You're killing things all the time, even children (think of the Breeze Builder Chicks) and random animals to get butterflies from. At times it seems like cartoon violence, but you're obviously roasting and breaking beings. Their spirits appear at times. Death is also a common joke in cutscenes.
Gotta Collect Them All: Frozen dragons and dragon eggs in the first game, talismans and orbs in the second game, dragon eggs again in the third game, and of course the gems through the entire trilogy.
Götterdämmerung: The Sorceress forced the dragons out of what is now known as the Forgotten Worlds a thousand years prior, causing them to take residence on the other side of the world and restore their society there. Little did she know, though, that the dragons were the key to the magic of the Forgotten Worlds...
Green Hill Zone: All of the games feature one of these as the first Home World.
Grimy Water: ALL the water in Spyro 1, just the weirdly colored water in Ripto's Rage! and Year of the Dragon.
The original trilogy is full of this. Spyro the dragon is implied to have a thing for Elora the faun, Hunter the cheetah falls in love with Bianca the rabbit (which adds Carnivore Confusion to the mix), and Sgt. Byrd the flying penguin falls in love with a very humanoid fairy, and that's only naming a few.
Romeo the landblubber and Juliet the breezebuilder in Zephyr in Spyro 2.
In Year of the Dragon, Princess Ami of the fairies and Prince Azrael of the cat wizards in Charmed Ridge. The two eventually run off to elope.
Schizo Tech: Medieval elements in the first three games are used quite a lot, but there's also domed robot cities (Metropolis) and metal cities on the ocean (Metro Speedway) as well as smaller-scale technology mixes like electric floors in an area where the dragons still live on stilts in the swamp. It's quite rampant in the series.
Sequence Breaking: The "double jump" bug in the second game allows for massive amounts of this.
Shifting Sand Land: Cliff Town and Dry Canyon (as well as the Peace Keepers homeworld) in Spyro the Dragon, Scorch in Spyro 2, and Desert Ruins in Year of the Dragon.
Later on, he also tells you "Don't make a wizard angry, I might just have to turn you into a blue hedgehog
At one point in the third game you meet Lara Croft
Some Kind Of Forcefield: Some realms use these to keep Spyro in the level proper. They are marked with small structures placed every few yards, presumably acting as fenceposts to the barrier itself. If Spyro charges into an invisible barrier, he'll be knocked back as if he hit a wall, and the spot that he hit will flash for a second afterward.
Funnily enough, cheating, glitching, or otherwise managing to get Spyro higher than he can manage during normal gameplay shows that these barriers aren't very tall, and the land behind them remains solid for a pretty good stretch of space before it ends.
Sugar Bowl: Pretty much played straight in the first three games, although with a dish of attitude. It's gone by the time Sierra stepped in though.
Played with in Ripto's Rage with some of the minigames, becomes incredibly prevalent in Year of the Dragon. Year of the Dragon included game mechanics like skate parks, speedways, first-person shooter levels, different vehicles, different playable characters with different game mechanics, and at least one minigame in each level. Compare this to the first Spyro the Dragon game, which only had the Speedways.
The games released between the classic and The Legend of Spyro trilogies
Fetch Quest: Pretty much all of the games, but Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs is especially bad at this, to the point where the entire gameplay is just fetching items to fetch other items to fetch the World Hearts.