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Video Game / Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly

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The sixth Spyro the Dragon game, released on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube in 2002. This is the first console Spyro game to not be developed by Insomniac Games, instead being made by Check Six Studios and Equinoxe Digital Entertainment.

Spyro and pals are celebrating during the time of year when all the baby dragons in the land get their guardian dragonflies, who will guide and protect them throughout life (just like Sparx does for Spyro). Ripto makes a surprise return and decides to interrupt the festivities, scattering the easily frightened baby dragonflies all around the world. Spyro heads out to catch the baby dragonflies and defeat Ripto once again.

Gameplay is similar to the style set by Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon; Spyro ventures through worlds in the Dragon Realms in search of the missing dragonflies, helping residents and gathering treasure in the process. Unlike earlier games, there's only one home world, and a much smaller level count, though the areas you do get to play in are significantly bigger. This game marks the first time Spyro has access to extra breath types that can be used throughout the game, including bubble breath (used to catch stray dragonflies), lightning breath (to activate electrical node switches), and ice breath (to freeze enemies).

Much like the later-released Sonic '06, the game is more well known in the gaming world for being pushed out incomplete, rather than for its gameplay. Throughout its two-and-a-half year dev cycle, Universal ordered constant, total revisions; the final product went gold after only a matter of months. Thus, the game went down as an Obvious Beta, and the black sheep of the original Spyro series.

This game contains examples of:

  • Ability Required to Proceed: Only two of the worlds (one of which is locked) are accessible to Spyro until he obtains lightning breath by finding a rune in Dragonfly Dojo, allowing him to break the lock on a gate in the Dragon Realms. A similar gate blocks off three of the game's later levels until Spyro gets the rune for ice breath in Cloud 9.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Hunter seems to be nicer in this game than in the second and third games. He doesn't give Spyro dragonflies until he does tasks, but the tasks involve rescuing animals.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: Crop Circle Country, the second level, is basically built around this trope; a group of alien-like Riptocs have been abducting cattle from a rural farming community, and the locals are trying to stop them.
  • Back from the Dead: Ripto and his minions have returned after being defeated (and, in the former's case, burned in lava) in Ripto's Rage, for unexplained reasons.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Several friendly Yetis can be found across Monkey Monastery. The Riptocs have subjected most of them to Harmless Freezing, and the player needs to thaw them out.
  • Boss-Only Level: The boss fight against Ripto (which is also the game's only boss fight) takes place in its own level reached by jumping down a portal in the Dragon Realms after reaching a certain completion percentage.
  • Breakout Villain: Ripto returns to be the game's main villain, this being the first instance a previous Big Bad resumes their role (though he did this earlier in the handheld installment Spyro 2: Season of Flame). Ripto would repeat this for several portable titles afterwards, with Gnasty Gnorc only returning in Spyro: A Hero's Tail and the Sorceress never appearing after her debut game.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Honey Marsh is swamp populated by bees and alligators (which are bee farmers, interestingly), meaning that flowing honey takes the place of swamp water.
  • Bubble Gun: The first additional breath Spyro gets is the bubble breath, which lets him spray bubbles from his mouth. It's completely ineffective against Riptocs and most breakable objects, but it's helpful for catching runaway baby dragonflies.
  • Chest Monster: Many of the green gems and baskets in Thieves Den are animate thanks to Riptoc magic, and they reveal legs and run off when Spyro gets close to them. Defeating them still gives you gems.
  • Chickification: Bianca takes a complete backseat to the plot after proving her power in Year of the Dragon, only assisting Spyro at the very beginning. Her voice has also become higher-pitched.
  • Crystal Landscape: Thieves Den has a lot of crystals built into its architecture, fitting for the homeland of the thieves.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Moneybags appears in just one level, doing his usual gem-coercing schtick. Despite this, he's listed in the manual along with Hunter and Bianca as if he's a prominent character. Unused dialogue exists in the game's data suggesting he was going to play a larger role and would eventually return gems to you.
    • Bianca, despite appearing in the opening cinematic, shows up only one other time at the beginning of the game and is never seen again outside the background of the ending cinematic.
    • Despite coming Back from the Dead, Crush and Gulp have very little plot relevance as they only appear in two cutscenes and Ripto knocks them out in the second, leaving them as The Unfought. The one notable thing either of them does is Crush informing Ripto that the latter scattered the baby dragonflies over the world.
    • Zoe only has three speaking lines and they all appear in the Dojo. Her role of providing instructions and hints on how to play the game are given to Sparx.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: You can fight Ripto after getting 75% of the collectibles in the game (which is reachable after roughly seven of nine worlds are fully cleared), but this only gives you an abridged ending. You need 85% completion to fight his second phase and 100% completion to unlock his third phase, and beating it gives you the full ending.
  • Far East: The first realm Spyro visits is the Eastern-themed realm Dragonfly Dojo which features Ninja Riptocs, Paddy fields, Lanterns, Cherry Blossoms trees, and the Dragon Masters.
    • There is also the Eastern-themed obstacle course Banzai Speedway.
  • Feelies: Early copies of the game included a seven-track music CD, which had a few tracks that weren't used in the final version of the game.
  • Final-Exam Boss: In its final incarnation, Ripto's boss fight has three phases, each one requiring one of the three damaging elemental breaths to defeat. He starts out by protecting himself with an ice wall that melts to fire breath, then creates a fireball barrier that breaks down when hit with ice breath, and finally turns into a monster who's vulnerable to lightning breath.
  • Flying Saucer: All over the place in Crop Circle Country; one of them is even Spyro’s ride to the level/the loading screen.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Halfway through the game, Ripto finally realizes his plan backfired and unleashes his Riptocs to catch the dragonflies around the world. The game itself contradicts this, since Riptocs appear as enemies as early as the first world. This gives the impression the mid-game cutscene was intended to play right after the opening cutscene before it got moved later on for unknown reasons.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The main collectibles this time are the 90 lost dragonflies, ten in each world. Gems are still around and exist mostly for collection due to there being only one Cash Gate.
  • Hub Level: The Dragon Realms serves as this, containing transports to all the other levels. It's the largest homeworld in any of the games, but it's also the only one in Enter the Dragonfly.
  • Immediate Sequel: This game doesn't acknowledge Season of Ice, Season of Fire or any of the other Game Boy games, as evidenced by a giant balloon of the Sorceress seen at the very beginning.
  • Jurassic Farce: Jurassic Jungle is clearly a parody of Jurassic Park, with mechanical Riptocs based on T. rex and raptors.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness:
    • This is one of two games in the original series with only one Hub Level, the other being Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs. Every other game has at least three homeworlds.
    • Speedway zones are considered minigames in Enter the Dragonfly, meaning they're found in portals within levels instead of having their own portals in the homeworld.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Ripto's Lair consists of a single platform surrounded by lava. Jurassic Jungle also mixes volcanic areas with its Jungle Japes.
  • Level in the Clouds: Cloud 9 is a world of castles spread across clouds high in the sky.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: One of the game's most notorious faults (at least on the PS2 version, the GameCube version had substantially shorter load times by comparison). You know it's bad when the loading screens have loading screens. Even worse when, at random, the game would freeze during loading screens.
  • Mirroring Factions: Neither Ripto's curse nor Bianca's counter spell quite do the effects they wanted, only bumbling them a smaller advantage. They both even curse that their spell didn't work out.
  • Missing Secret: The scene where Moneybags returns the gems Spyro paid him with was never implemented, leaving you with 6,800 gems by the end of the game instead of the full total of 7,000 and no way of recollecting the 200 he took.
  • Money for Nothing: Since Moneybags only shows up once in this game, collecting gems is pointless after the first level outside of getting 100% Completion to get the full final boss and ending.
  • No Ending: Beating the game with less than 100% Completion has the credits roll once Ripto is beaten without so much as an ending cutscene. Collecting all the dragonflies/gems and beating him gives you a proper ending, though it's still fairly short.
  • Obvious Beta: The game was infamously rushed out the door and it shows in several places. The game is significantly shorter than earlier Spyro games, there are only three cutscenes, the Final Boss is the only boss, it's impossible to have a complete gem total since Moneybags never reappears to return your gems, many of the voice lines don't match up with the script, characters' facial animations tend to be very wonky, and the game is very glitchy (mainly the PS2 version) and suffers frequent framerate drops.
  • One-Winged Angel: Ripto is the first final boss in the series to utilize this, turning into a hulking monster form in the final phase of his boss fight (if the conditions to trigger it have been met).
  • Palmtree Panic: Luau Island is a tropical island featuring the Idol Springs tiki enemies from Ripto's Rage.
  • Point of No Return: If you're planning on fully completing the game, don't go to Ripto's boss arena until you've collected everything the game has to offer. Once you've entered, you will always restart there when you enter the game on that safe file, even after you've beaten Ripto.
  • Prehistoria: Jurassic Jungle is a prehistoric jungle/volcano area (albeit with no time travel involved), with roboticizied Riptocs taking the place of dinosaurs.
  • Raptor Attack: The R-1000s of Jurassic Jungle are roboticized Riptocs that resemble raptors made of liquid metal.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • This game introduces the Spirit Dragon, a talking dragon statue that gives Spyro new types of elemental breath. Despite never being seen in earlier games, he isn't treated as being a new character.
    • Since Ripto didn't have an army of themed mooks like Gnasty Gnorc and the Sorceress did, he now has an unexplained army of Riptocs, replacements for the Rhynocs that are themed after dinosaurs instead of rhinoceroses. Riptocs didn't appear in any games after this, as Ripto switched to using the Rhynocs as his minions.
  • Scenery Porn: The few times the game isn't Off-Model, it looks absolutely gorgeous, mostly seen in the level architecture and backgrounds.
  • Sequence Breaking: invokedThe portal to Ripto's Lair is in the Hub Level, Dragon Realms. Thanks to poor geometry meshing, you can clip through the portal and hit the loading trigger on the bottom, completing the game in less than three minutes (albeit with No Ending). As of July 2023, the best time is barely 1 minute and 6 seconds!
  • Series Continuity Error: This game established that all baby dragons get a dragonfly, but in the first game Spyro seems to have never met Sparx before he set out to save the crystallized dragons. Other games would re-establish that the two knew each other since being born.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The game's title, Enter the Dragonfly, appears to be a reference to the Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon.
    • In Dragonfly Dojo, three of the dragonflies are named Rashomon, Yojimbo, and Cub. The dragon hosting the tank challenge is named Patton.
    • One dragonfly is called Tashistation, a (misspelled) reference to the Tosche Station from Star Wars.
    • In the intro cutscene, Ripto tells Gulp:
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Monkey Monastery takes place on a frozen mountain where monkey monks train.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Crush and Gulp gain voices after only grunting and roaring in Ripto's Rage. Gulp has a Dumb Muscle voice while Crush's is closer to Genius Bruiser.
  • The Goomba: Ninja Riptocs, the first and weakest Riptoc type encountered in the game. They can be killed with any attack aside from the bubble breath.
  • T. Rexpy: Most of the Riptocs resemble tyrannosaurs.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Ripto, Crush and Gulp are all still alive. The epilogue to Ripto's Rage did reveal that all three survived their fights with Spyro, although it didn't quite explain how.
  • The Unfought: Surprisingly, Crush and Gulp. They appear in two cutscenes with Ripto but never make any appearances during actual gameplay and are nowhere to be seen during the battles against Ripto.
  • The Unintelligible: In the cutscenes, Sparx comes off as this without his dialogue box, with Spyro somewhat serving as translator.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The Wing Shield is a defensive technque in a game where Spyro has enough agility to dodge most attacks, meaning most players will only use it to defeat the Wizard Riptocs in Thieves Den that are immune to everything but shots reflected back at them.
  • Villain Decay: Ripto is nowhere near as competent or threatening in this game as he was in Ripto's Rage!. It takes half the game for him to figure out that his spell didn't even go as planned!
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Ripto doesn't get properly disposed of in this game; after he loses his last fight with Spyro, he swears revenge before fleeing through a portal, and Spyro leaves to return the baby dragonflies. However, Ripto's next appearance would feature him (initially) being Sealed Evil in a Can.
  • Vocal Evolution: Pamela Hayden's voice for Bianca is a lot more high-pitched and cheery than before, in contrast to her original Little Miss Snarker voice. Apparently this was partially because her voicework was pitched up.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Crush and Gulp appear in two cutscenes (one at the beginning of the game and one midway through) but never appear after the second cutscene and are never fought. Bianca vanishes after giving you your first elemental breath and only comes back in the ending scene. Moneybags shows up for one payment and never returns, not even to give your gems back.
  • Wing Shield: The Trope Namer and also the first game in the series where Spyro gains the ability to shield himself with his wings. However, here the ability is a Useless Useful Spell since it's only required to defeat one enemy-the Wizard Riptocs, who can only be defeated by using Spyro's wings to deflect their own attacks back at them. You can use it to deflect projectiles from other enemies like the cupid arrow shooting Riptocs in Cloud 9 and the snowball-throwing Riptocs in Monkey Monastery, but aiming the projectiles back at those enemies is kind of a pain and it's much faster and more efficient to just charge or flame them.
  • Wutai: Dragonfly Dojo is a Japan-themed level where elder dragons train dragonflies so they can help young dragons.


Video Example(s):


Swimming in Air Glitch

In a game already littered with bugs, the classic Swimming in Air Glitch is also available.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / GoodBadBugs

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