Malefor. Jesus Christ, Malefor. This guy's been interpreted in practically every way possible with the fandom, some of which include; him bullshitting through his teeth when he delivers his Breaking Speech to Spyro note mainly because he claims to have had control over stuff and manipulated Spyro and Cynder to such a degree that it would make LightYagami jealous, him not actually believing it's the Purple Dragon's fate to destroy the world, and has a different motive for wanting to go through with it, him just being batcrap crazy, him being batcrap crazy because his elders put so much pressure on him to explore his powers as the first Purple Dragon that he finally snapped note which makes his Not So Different speech to Spyro all the more chilling considering the amount of pressure the Guardians put on Spyro himself, and him wanting to destroy the world so he could recreate it in his own image... And that's not even going into some Draco in Leather Pants theories...
Some feel that Spyro and Cynder's relationship isn't based so much on love so much as they view each other as living emotional crutches thanks to the fact that up until the final battle they don't really show any signs of deeper feelings beyond a possible friendship, with Cynder being quite snappy with Spyro at points throughout DotD. Factor in all the trauma Cynder has and how Spyro claims that he has nothing left to fight for when Malefor turns Cynder against him despite having Sparx, Terrador, Cyril, Volteer, and several others counting on him...
Base-Breaking Character: Cynder, ironically because of how popular she was with the fandom initially. Even disregarding Classic series fans or Shipping Wars regarding her and Ember, her fans tend to grate on people who didn't like her, were originally neutral on her, or even liked her originally due to playing up her past to Wangsty levels, and for the fact that the number of Fan Works focusing on Cynder and/or her pastvastly out number the amount of Fan Works that focus on any other Spyro series character, including Spyro himself, to the point he often ends up being Demoted to Extra frequently. There's also a third camp that insists she has potential as a character as well, if people would just stop focusing on her Dark and Troubled Past and more on her growth as a character, pointing out how even Dawn of the Dragon had her as a bit short tempered and snappy with those around her.
Best Boss Ever: The Advisor in the GBA version of the Eternal Night. A freaking Ninja ape you fight three times over the game with each more amazing than the last, and always manage to be challenging without being unfair hard. It will require you to use all the skills you've built up over the game, and in the final battle, he has one of the coolest death animations of all the characters in the game. It's a shame the guy is only in the GBA game.
In Dawn of the Dragon, Spyro briefly turns into Dark Spyro due to his grief and anger over Ignitus' death. However, Cynder easily talks him out of it and Spyro never goes dark again.
Considering how little foreshadowing it got, Cynder being rescued from Malefor's control again in Dawn of the Dragon by The Power of Love can come off as this, since there was absolutely nothing that seemed to implied she and Spyro had deeper feelings for one another outside of a possible friendship.
Breather Boss: In comparison to his fight in the console version, Skabb in the GBA version of the Eternal Night is rather easy in comparison to the bosses before him, albeit a bit of Guide Dangit to figure out how to damage. All his attacks are easily avoidable, and he doesn't hit particularly hard. You even have two spirit gem clusters close by should things go south! The most dangerous thing about this battle are the Ledge Bats he summons.
Complete Monster: Malefor, the Big Bad of the trilogy, is a monstrosity of a villain. The first of the Purple Dragons (although he claims there's others) he was once considered a prodigy among his kind but his own ambition and yearning for power caused him to become exiled from his kind. Furious at this, he made an army of Apes, who were already xenophobic to dragons, and taught them how to harness the power of the gems to fuel their own desires. Despite his sheer malice causing him to be trapped in the Well of Souls his presence and name still struck fear even in the bravest of souls. Hearing of the prophecy of the next purple dragon, Malefor sent the Apes to Slaughter all of the baby dragon eggs but not before he got one of his commanders to kidnap Cynder who he then corrupted her to become a psychopathic monster who was the primary antagonist of the first game. Knowing about the Night of the Eternal eclipse happening soon, he sent the Apes to the temple to kill Spyro. After sending another attack onto the Scavengers to kidnap Cynder to lure Spyro to the Well of Souls he used Spyro to possess him and obliterate his devout right hand Gaul. Finally free Malefor condemned the Apes to a fate worse than death by making them decaying souls left to run around the realms because he thought the Apes used him to gain power despite the efforts the put for him to be released. Now at large , he created a new army of Grublins from the earth which then waged constant wars onto any enemies of him. Declaring his superiority over the realms he took back the temple and made the surrounding swamp a volcanic wasteland ,hinting he killed Spyro's adopted parents. Despite his Golem not being able to destroy Warfang he summoned the Destroyer to cause the oncoming apocalypse. When he meets Spyro and Cynder he's gives a chilling lecture which send Spyro to the Despair Event Horizon and causing Cynder to become evil again by tormenting her insecurities of her past actions in which he watched as she went to savagely beat him laughing insanely the whole time. A psychopathic monster who darkened the trilogy with any scene associated with him, Malefor is the ultimate darkness is the Spyro franchise who even put the first Complete monster of the franchise to shame in sheer depravity.
Critical Dissonance: Dawn of the Dragon especially. It was the worst-reviewed of the trilogy and got very middling to bad scores from critics. However, it seems to be the fans' favorite game in the trilogy.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Really, a lot of the animosity towards this series tends to boil down to this. If you ask most Classic purist why they don't like this trilogy, the most common response you'll get is "because it's too dark, and it just doesn't fit Spyro!". Indeed, compared to the light-hearted Classic trilogy, it can be rather hard to keep an optimistic outlook while going through the trilogy. The first game isn't too bad, being only slightly darker than the Classic trilogy, but once you get to The Eternal Night... It can get pretty hard to press on, if only because watching Spyro suffer is only a part of it. However, it should be noted that it doeshave a relatively happy ending for everyone.
There are quite a few theories that Spyro and purple dragons in general are suppose to be Dragon Jesus.
Some view the ending for Dawn of the Dragon as Spyro and Cynder dying while restoring world. However, despite this, they're finally able to have a peaceful rest in the after life after everything they've been through. The fact that it's intentionally left vague if they truly survived or not doesn't help.
Evil Is Sexy: According to Sparx, and quite a few fanboys, Cynder's evil adult form is this.
Fridge Brilliance: Malefor's army giving up the siege on Warfang seems a bit sudden after the Earth Golem he sends out is defeated, but given that we later see how much he enjoys messing with others, he probably called the siege off before summoning the Destroyer was probably to make his enemies think they were winning before he showed them that the outcome of the siege made no difference.
In A New Beginning, Earth element, specifically its sub elemental shot, is insane. You don't get it until just before the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, but if you've been saving your EXP for it and put it all into the sub-shot of the element, it makes it a complete and utter joke. The sub element is a tornado shot that, on its highest level, can stun and toss even the largest enemies into the air while doing constant damage to them. This alone doesn't sound too broken, but add on the fact that it can do this to multiple enemies at once, and the fact that doing this causes them to drop spirit gems which recharge your mana while they're still alive, when normally they don't do this until you've killed them, and you have an attack that not only stuns all enemies in the general area and keeps them from attacking, does constant, high damage to them, but also recharges itself for basically no cost at all. Once you get it, pretty much the only strategy for the rest of the game is "use tornado, wait for the attack to wear off, use tornado again" until all enemies are dead. The basic breath also does high damage to, but isn't as broken due to the fact that is also does high damage to your mana...
Electricity is also broken in A New Beginning too if you know how to use it, on top of the fact that you get it pretty early on. On paper, it's an element that let's you stun and toss enemies, while not doing much damage. Doesn't sound too spectacular, until you realize that enemies in this game take Fall Damage, and often get One Hit Killed even when falling off short drops, and when you throw them into bottomless pits, you still get their spirit gems regardless. If you level the basic breath version of it up all the way, you can toss even the biggest of enemies off cliffs and ledges, killing them instantly, making it amazing crowd control when the game starts getting spam happy with enemies.
In Dawn of the Dragon, Cynder's Shadow element has a basic attack that uses almost no mana, is inordinately powerful, and can hit every enemy in a fairly wide radius around her. The second is the Roll ability - its intended purpose is to quickly dodge powerful attacks, but you are invincible whenever you use it, to the point where an Earth Golem can smash its building-sized hand down on you, and if you roll you take zero damage. Using these two abilities in conjunction with each other can potentially get you through the entire game without ever dying, or indeed without any kind of a challenge.
The Shadow Strike ability deserves a little elaboration. Not only does it hit everyone in the vicinity, but it will knock the smaller enemies into the air for several seconds, and then they will spend several seconds after that getting back up. And if that wasn't enough, the shadow "blinds" them and makes them start attacking each other. If one uses this ability right, you can get a whole room full of enemies all attacking each other without you ever entering the fray.
Good Bad Bugs: The Eternal Night has a bug where, if you use an element while time magic is up, it slows down the mana consumption while using the element, but the element's attack still does the full amount of damage to the enemy. This is a really useful bug, considering The Eternal Night can get brutally difficult at points.
Hype Backlash/Critical Backlash: Both are equally possible. If you listen to only the fans who adore the trilogy to pieces, you'll probably be disappointed. On the other hand, if you listen to only the haters, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.
Pyra is now canon / Pyra > DerpyExplanation After the lead artist of Lo S went into how the young dragon next to Ignitus in one of the cutscenes was intended to be a side character in the series, his back story and being one of the few dragons relatively close to Spyro and Cynder's age immidately made him explode in popularity with the fandom, despite never appearing in the trilogy proper.
Spyro. Shapt. Explanation Cynder's halfhearted attempt to break Spyro out of his dark form. The line is now commonly used in the fandom as a way to sarcastically tell people to stop.
Calling/renaming Volteer "the Amazing el-Zappo", based on an off-handed comment about Jared Pullen's opinions of Volteer's canon name.
Misblamed: Most of Cynder's detractors often point towards her Wangstiness about her past as a major reason for disliking her. In actuality, though, Cynder doesn't do too much angsting about her past in the games proper. The only times she does angst about it are when she leaves the temple in The Eternal Night and a few times when characters bring it up against her in Dawn of the Dragon. Her Wangsty image actually comes from a lot of Sturgeon's LawFan Works, which tend to play up her past to the point where it's almost heronly character trait. note Despite the fact that Dawn of the Dragon shows she has quite the temper around other, even Spyro.
Polished Port: Surprisingly, the Gameboy Advance version of The Eternal Night. The console version of the game was infamous for being Christmas Rushed which resulted in it being one of the single hardest Spyro games in the franchise. The GBA version, however, is a far better balanced 2D platforming Beat 'em Up with Metroidvania elements. Spyro's health, mana, and strength increase over the game instead of staying static like the console version, and there's even an option to adjust the game's difficulty for those who find normal mode still rather hard. The environments are also more varied such as the Chronicler's dream / soul sequences being more based on the respective element he's teaching instead of being a generic purple void and it has some of the best graphics on the system, with one swearing some of the cutscenes were in actual 3D instead of Digitized Sprites.
Scrappy Mechanic: Let's just say that thanks to the block/evade system, some people with the Wii version of DotD demand to know why support for the classic controller wasn't implemented.
To elaborate: in order to block you have to hold the Wii nunchuk vertical, and dodging requires you to point the analog stick in any direction and flicking the nunchuk in the direction you want to dodge. As you may expect with orientation-based controls, it has a habit of activating at the worst times, or failing to do so when it's needed. And the fighting system relies heavily on effective use of this mechanic...the classic controller has the same amount of buttons in the same orientation as the PS3 controller.
Vindicated by History: Granted, there's still quite a bit of a Broken Base when it comes to this and the Classic series, but in general, a lot of the debate and arguments over this series have died down since Skylanders became a thing, with even quite a few Classic only fans willing to admit this trilogy is at least better than it, if only because it actually stars Spyro instead of him being a side character in his own series.
The Woobie: Both Spyro and Cynder, though Cynder arguably has it worse than Spyro. Spyro no doubt suffers greatly throughout everything and ultimately is pushed across the Despair Event Horizon by Malefor, but Cynder's life in general has been one long living nightmare. She was Brainwashed and Crazy for most of her life into doing unspeakable things to her own kind and when she's finally free, she remembers every horrible thing she did during that time and feels guilty about it all (and she's a 12 year old kid at this point!) to the point she runs away from her friends and home because she can't stand it anymore. Not to mention Sparx being a pretty big Jerkass to her. And in the third game people repeatedly continue to blame her for what she did under Malefor's control, including the Hermit scene which seems to exist only to show the fate of the Apes and make Cynder suffer. Finally, she ends up getting sent over the Despair Event Horizon by Malefor as well and gets Brainwashed and Crazy all over again, forcing her to attack her own love interest! At least Spyro had a loving adopted family to help him through it all!