Nightmare Fuel / Spyro the Dragon
"Hm, so reptiles are tasty. That guy was right after all..."

In true nineties’ fashion, Spyro the Dragon proves to have most of the Mascot with Attitude traits; among them, there’s the obligatory amount of spooky stuff thrown in for good measure.

Spyro The Dragon

  • Misty Bog in the first game is populated by the above-pictured killer plants that sit idly by in groups before Spyro approaches them. Should he come within several feet of them, their already visible eyes fixate on Spyro and their leaves rustle. When Spyro edges any closer, the plants charge at him —very fast, might we add— with gaping maws and yellow fangs. And they eat Spyro alive if they catch him after Sparx is already gone.
    • In Misty Bog, there are these enemies called Attack Frogs. To put it more clearly, they're light blue frogs that will lash at you with their extremely long tongues if you get within ten feet of 'em! They hop around carefree, but there is always malice in their eyes.
  • Whenever you can hear something, but can't see it, like, for example, when chuckling thieves are hidden out of view and when the trembling of the petrified dragon on a floor above in Haunted Towers can be heard (and the dragon is really tough to find).
  • Dark Passage, the place where nightmares are literally made, as it's the scariest world in the Dream Weavers' set, and it is called "Nightmare Road" in the Japanese version of the game. It is populated by critters that, though tiny, adorable, and mostly harmless in the light, transform into hideous beasts in the dark. The armored turtles become invincible and get some fangs, and the puppies transform into giant red hellhounds with evil red eyes and a gigantic Lamprey Mouth lined with razor sharp teeth. If Spyro walks near one of the devil dogs in the dark, he better be ready to breathe some fire, because if he doesn't the demon will pounce on him with incredible speed (making the player jump), devour him, chew him up, and spit him back out. As for the turtles, their heads grow as they spit fireballs. Not as bad as the dogs, thankfully.
  • In the High Caves in Spyro the Dragon lurk giant metal beetles ready to chase Spyro down should he be daft enough to set foot on their ground. They are fast, invincible to standard attacks, and they have a tendency to hide just out of view. At one point, Spyro must dash past a couple to reach a powerup that allows him to kill them, and it is one of the most tense parts in the game.
  • The Doctor Shemp boss level of the first game comes with strange little tribal beings in huge faceless masks, who run at you screaming on sight, sent by their Brawn Hilda-esque "wives" (whether you'd noticed them first or not) via bitch-slap.
    • You can flame them, but if you dodge them, then they delibrately run off the bottomless edge. Their falling screams don't help matters in the slightest.
  • Any enemy could just about give you a heart attack if you managed to get close to them without having them come into the frame - enemies only attacked if they were seen by the camera, so if you landed right in front of them and waited for the camera to catch up, you'd end up being ambushed seemingly out of nowhere. There's one spot in Misty Bog where this is very easy to do with the above-mentioned killer trees. Jump down a log facing a certain direction, and their leaves will rustle in anticipation until the view swings around...
  • The level "Jacques" gives us the aptly named "Nightmare Beasts", which are also given the alternate moniker "Armored Horrors"
    • The Jacques boss himself is also scary it's a green-faced jack-in-the-box like Jester with a red shirt, and a spring on bottom of his body! He looks like the demon from your worst nightmares! Even more scary for players with the fear of clowns! The landscape for level looks like something out of anyone's worse nightmare with the red, purple, and grayish colors, lava pits, demonic monsters like Armored Horrors and Giant Pansies trying to kill Spyro in that level.
  • The Beasts in Alpine Ridge look downright menacing with their red eyes, sharp teeth, and sharp tusks. The roars they make will make you want to run from the screen and hide under the covers. Those beasts are probably vicious enough to eat Spyro! Thank God they don't!

Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!/Ripto's Rampage!/Gateway To Glimmer

  • The plants from Misty Bog in the first game get their expy in the ravenous bushes in Fracture Hills, in Spyro 2. They act mostly the same, but without the fangs. On the other hand, they look just like all the other bushes, which aren't alive, until Spyro approaches them. This way, their attacks are more startling, but not quite as scary. The trees do the same.
  • The Hurricos world can be unsettling. It's a dark, stormy level with a mechanical atmosphere, gloomy ambient music and a side-mission involving thieves that may creep people out.
  • The poor caveman shown during the intro in Skelos Badlands. He gets his ass set on fire by a Fire Wizard, then gets picked up by one of those catbats, and gets dropped down a bottomless pit. Worse yet, the Catbat LAUGHS.
  • The outro for Magma Cone. Four little fauns are dancing and partying near a pit of lava, when suddenly, one of the fauns shoots a rather mischievous look at the camera. Afterwards, he pushes one of his friends into the lava (seemingly to his death), then continues to dance and celebrate as if it never happened. The other two fauns don't even notice.

Spyro [3]: Year Of The Dragon

  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon upped the ante with the Nightmare Fuel: for starters, the Sorceress turns minions into bosses to fight Spyro (akin to Kamek in Yoshi's Island). At least one was forced into it, despite struggling and pleading for mercy.
    • One has to think, was he resisting because he didn't want to become a monster, or was he resisting because he knew he was being forced into a fight he couldn't win?
  • The first Final Boss battle against the Sorceress ends with an excessively vague brief cutscene with her hand emerging from the lava.
  • The Dino Mines level in Year of the Dragon is teeming with gunslinging, dynamite-flinging dinosaurs with loud roars and attacks that are quite difficult to avoid. Even at a distance, the blue ones roar at you with dynamite in their mouths, prepared to spit it out. One of them is positioned behind a fence, which makes you think you are safe, but the dinosaur can actually spit the dynamite right over it, making you jump.
  • In Evening Lake Home, there is an egg hidden inside a small whale. The whale itself is not unsettling, but the way he gobbles Spyro up can be startling the first time.
    • Activating a glitch that lets Spyro swim through the air (and out of bounds) allows you to see the whale's stomach, separate from the whale, just floating underneath the land. Then you get stuck if you enter it.
  • The Midnight Mountain Home features creepy music, a somewhat gloomy atmosphere and a very tall tower in the distance which looms, and is impossible to get without cheating. The mysteriousness of the world is what makes it unsettling.
  • In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, the Evening Lake world Frozen Altars has a lot of giant snowmen that Spyro must defeat with lasers; getting too close to one results in them grabbing Spyro, shaking him and throwing him away. All while sporting a demonic Slasher Smile.
  • Lost Fleet: a world full of broken, abandoned ships. Its inhabitants are rhynocs wearing ghost sheets and huge crabs, and it's surrounded by pools of acid, which, at one point, Spyro must swim through while invincible. Navigating these acid pools is tricky and tension-building because the invincibility power-up will at some point wear off. The music is also slightly eerie, with a strange looped sound effect in it that sounds like a person sneezing.
  • The two "You're Doomed!" missions in Fireworks Factory are pretty difficult and can easily frighten the player. They involve playing as Agent 9 the monkey and navigating several rooms infested with hiding ninjas that are ready to pounce on the player unexpectedly. One wrong move and you will be sighted and promptly beaten to a pulp. It's tough and very tension-building, as you always have to be alert.
  • The sorceress is arguably the worst of the antagonists. She's not terribly humorous like the other villains and her goal was to kill 300 newborn dragons in order to get their wings and become immortal. She even said it wasn't necessary to kill them but it'd help keep them from their squirming; if she didn't kill them though that'd still be nightmare fuel in the form of Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Buzz, Spike and Scorch were all rhynoc soldiers who got transformed, in one case against their will. What they become is so far from their original forms that you have to feel bad for them.
    • Spike was a particularly creepy case, not only is he That One Boss, but his design and music theme is one of the most unsettling. His intro cutscene is absent in some versions the game, given the events occurring it almost comes off as an act of mercy to little kids (his Rhynoc not only willingly transforms into him under the promise of eating Spyro, but Bianca looks terrified of him and just as the cutscene ends he lets out a hellish roar at the screen).
  • Heck the Rhynocs in general. It is creepy how the rhynocs simply just wait in the worlds Spyro travels while adapting to the environment and trying to kill Spyro.

Other instances outside the first trilogy itself

  • The full-bodied sheep muppet with burns all over his body as well as a sinister looking scowl can give people, especially little children, nightmares, even though he was intended to be funny. The three commercials he appeared in: the first, the second and the third, all of which described in this documentary.
  • Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly has a rather spooky glitch in which everyone goes all slow motion-like.
  • The Tower of Terror in Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly is pretty scary not just because of its faces that spit rocks and darts but also because of the large orange realistic looking spiders crawling on it.
  • Ripto's One-Winged Angel form from that game's boss fight also looks pretty damn freaky.
  • One of the caves in Spyro: A Hero's Tail's Crocovile Swamp has a spider who can jump out of seemingly solid walls.