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Video Game / Spyro the Dragon (1998)

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The adventure begins...

"Looks like I got some things to do!"
Spyro the Dragon

The first Spyro the Dragon game, released on the PlayStation in 1998.

Gnasty Gnorc is a greedy fellow, and he has his eyes set on the massive gem hoard they keep in the Dragon Realms. So he swoops in, steals their treasure, and turns all the dragons to crystal! Well... all but one, that is. A young dragon named Spyro managed to survive the crystalization. Now it's up to him and his dragonfly Sparx to recover the gems, rescue the dragons, and defeat Gnasty Gnorc!

This game, along with Ripto's Rage! and Year of the Dragon, were remastered on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch with updated graphics as a part of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, with the latter two ports coinciding with the franchise's 20th anniversary.

Spyro the Dragon contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Which will unlock Gnasty's Loot, a free-flying platform level full of gems. Collecting them all grants you an extra 20 percent, and a bonus ending.
  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: The reporter who appears in the opening and ending cutscenes consistently pronounces Gnasty Gnorc's name as "Guhnasty Guhnorc". Other characters read his name with the Gs silent.
  • Aerith and Bob: Dragons like Lucas, Zeke and Damon exist alongside dragons like Spyro, Sadiki and Copano.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: The Peace Keepers homeworld, Dry Canyon, and Cliff Town, which are desert levels based on the American Southwest, have cacti decorating them.
  • And I Must Scream: In the first game the dragons are frozen in stone but are still conscious and aware. Since some of the dragons' locations are pretty well-hidden, if Spyro is put in the hands of a player with less perseverance... well, try not to think about it too much. It's even Played for Laughs sometimes.
    Rescued dragon: Thanks, Spyro. I had the worst itch on the tip of my wing.
  • Animated Armor: In Haunted Towers, the Weather Wizards there can animate an uninhabited suit of armor called Tin Soldiers. They can only be destroyed by supercharge or superflame.
  • Angry Guard Dog: The sheepdogs in the Toasty level, which leap up with speed to land and flatten Spyro and take two hits to defeat.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Gems only need to be collected once per playthrough; their collection is saved the second it's done so deaths and checkpoints don't have to be worried about in terms of gem progress.
    • Rescued dragons create checkpoints that not only save Spyro's position, but also his enemy defeats, meaning the player won't have to re-defeat enemies before a checkpoint and that they can consciously exploit checkpoints to save enemies out of the level.
    • High Caves has a Bottomless Pit Rescue Service to ensure that the Supercharge jumps don't cost the player lives. Tree Tops on the other hand...
  • Armored Dragons: Dragons found in Peace Keepers are frequently wearing helmets and breastplates.
  • Armor Is Useless: Zigzagged. Spyro's fire breath has no effect on metal, which includes armored enemies, but his charge does. Some large sized armored enemies and the Animated Armor in Haunted Towers are completely immune to Spyro's standard attacks.
  • Artificial Stupidity: While designed with diverse personalities, most of the Gnorcs are boiled down to "idle, approach Spyro, pause, attack, gloat, repeat".
  • Belly Flop Crushing: The sheepdogs will try this, and will immediately repeat their attack after taking one of their two hit points of damage.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The dragons you meet in Gnorc Gnexus and Gnasty's worlds are repeats of earlier dragons, implied to have tried to attack Gnasty after you freed them and got captured again. This includes not one but two Artisans dragons, noted in the manual as being peace-loving and more interested in creative pursuits.
  • Backtracking: With open exploration comes the need to collect everything. Luckily, the inter-world balloonists allow Spyro to reach previous worlds at any time. Though it's possible to avert this if you know where everything is, unlike the next two games, as Spyro doesn't learn any skills or make any allies; everything in a world is available as soon as you enter it. Levels themselves are almost all designed to work like a loop to make backtracking within them faster.
  • BFG: The enemies in Twilight Harbor mostly carry big machine guns.
  • Big Good: Of all the dragons, Lateef may be the closest. He's considered the main dragon of the Dream Weavers' realm, but is also the only repeat dragon in Gnorc Gnexus that has any confidence in Spyro, and appears in both the intro cutscene and the first ending after defeating Gnasty (where he shows up with Revilo).
  • Blood Knight: Spyro, both by necessity and choice. By necessity since all the Gnorcs he's fighting are actually dragon-owned gemstones turned into monsters, so he'll have to go around defeating every enemy he sees to get it all back. By choice since he's actively wanting revenge on Gnasty even back in the Artisan's home.
    Spyro: Where's Gnasty Gnorc? I'll torch him!
  • Book Ends: Both Toasty's world (the boss level of the first hub) and Gnorc Gnexus (the sixth and final hub) share the exact same theme.
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: High Caves features several pathways that must be reached with a jump off a Supercharge ramp. Thus, in order to prevent failures from costing lives and to make backtracking to the ramp faster, falling off the level will see a group of fairies appear to carry Spyro with mist to the top of the ramp.
  • Bottomless Pits: Levels either use liquid of any type (they all do damage) or pits to punish imprecise platforming.
  • Bowdlerise: In the North American and Japanese versions of the game, the tips of the horns on the bulls in Town Square are red, indicating blood. The blood is absent in the PAL version.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Beast Makers, including Terrace Village and Misty Bog.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Amusingly done by a dragon. The whole plot is triggered when one of them pompously insults Gnasty Gnorc on a live television interview. Gnorc overhears and demonstrates he is hardly "no threat". In the final ending, Spyro makes the mistake of insulting him again, seemingly restarting the plot.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Despite Spyro freeing the other dragons, none of them actually do anything to help, and have Spyro do all the work. The most they'll do is give him advice, but some don't even do that, only giving him a "Thanks Spyro, but I have to go."
    • Though all the dragons in the Gnasty levels are previous dragons (which Spyro notices when you free Delbin again), implying they went off to fight the Gnorcs on home turf but got caught again.
  • Cash Gate: The balloonists ask for Spyro to collect a certain number of gems or eggs, or rescue a certain number of dragons. These goals are balanced to give the player a robust goal without needing 100% Completion right away.
  • Cheat Code:
    • At the Start Screen, press L1 + Triangle to play a demo of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.
    • View the game's end credits early, pause and then press the following buttons: Left, Right, Up, Down, Circle, Circle, Square, R1, R2, L1, and R2.
    • 99 Lives: Go to the inventory screen and press the following buttons in sequence; Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Circle, Up, Circle, Left, Circle, Right, Circle, Start.
    • Level Select: Go to the inventory screen and press the following buttons in sequence; Square, Square, Circle, Square, Left, Right, Left, Right, Circle, Up, Right, Down. After entering it in, talk to the balloonist and he will take you to any of the 6 worlds without having to unlock them.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Most areas have anywhere between 3 and 5 dragons to rescue, with their pedestals acting as save points. Most boss levels only have 1 dragon right before the first boss encounter, and Gnasty's areas, the closest things to a Marathon Level, have only 2 apiece.
  • Chromosome Casting: The game's vocal characters include 81 dragons, one dragonfly, and several hundreds of enemies — many of them use recycled lines, but none are female. In fact, the only unambiguously female characters in the Dragon Kingdom are the mute fairies.
  • Clown Species: The Fools are an Invincible Minor Minion native within the Dream Weavers Worlds. While considerably harmless, they have the ability to affect the world around them. The Fools in Dream Weavers and Jacque's boss level become a timer when attacked that creates new platforms that last only a short amount of time. The Fools in Dark Passage carry around lamps that, when lit, keep the Demon Dogs and Armored Turtles in their smaller, more docile state, becoming giant and much more of a threat when the lamp is extinguished.
  • Continuing is Painful: Lose all lives, and on restart you're thrown out of the level with all enemies respawned. If you aim for 100% Completion, you will need to defeat them all over again if you can't recall which ones you've already defeated.
  • Cool Gate: Archways are how Spyro gets from a homeworld to one of its levels. Spyro exits through them after reaching an exit platform.
  • Cool Shades: Spyro wears some in the true ending after clearing Gnasty's Loot.
  • Cowardly Boss: Metalhead stands its ground more than any other boss... which still only qualifies it for this fight. It has to run away after you smash its power source though, as it will soon shut down unless it gets close to another.
  • Crapsack World: The Beast Makers world.
    Bruno: Gnasty Gnorc is turnin' our swamp into an electrified junk heap! And it used to be so beautiful...
    Spyro: I'm sure it was...
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: "Flight" levels bear that Fan Nickname because every level of the type is named "[word] Flight", from Sunny Flight to Crystal Flight to Wild Flight.invoked
  • Crystal Landscape: Crystal Flight is almost entirely composed of giant, jutting crystal.
  • Crystal Prison: All the adult dragons have one thanks to Gnasty Gnorc.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Both Ripto's Rage and Year of the Dragon allow Spyro to perform a flutter at the end of his glide to gain some extra height, but in the first game, the same button just makes Spyro drop like a stone. Players who are more familiar with the later games will probably lose more than a few lives by trying to make Spyro flutter when gliding over a pit.
  • Death Mountain: The Magic Crafters world is one, although the main thematic is, well, wizardry. Alpine Ridge, the High Caves and Wizard Peak all follow this theme as well.
  • Developer's Foresight: The locked chest in Gnorc Cove can be either unlocked with a key or blown up with a knocked barrel. Both are valid, and both will render the key gone.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Gnasty Gnorc crystallizes all the dragons because one called him ugly. To be fair, he was probably just looking for an excuse to use that spell anyway...
    • All There in the Manual: The manual gives a more fleshed-out version of the story; Gnasty Gnorc just kind of resented the dragons in general, because they were happy, good-looking, productive members of society, and he didn't care much for their gems either. The intro cinematic kind of gives you an idea of the plot if you haven't read the manual.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Sort of. Fully completing the Artisans' world and the Peacekeepers' home lets you access the Magic Crafters' world directly, completing the first two worlds as a whole lets you skip the third, and so on.
  • Dream Land: The Dream Weavers world, though most of its levels cater more to the negative aspect with nightmare imagery.
    Lateef: Welcome to the Dream Weavers, young one. While chasing Gnasty's minions in this world, you must expect the unexpected and prepare for what is not there.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Aside from Spyro's voice, several elements from the later Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon were missing.
      • Spyro's moveset does not include a hover at the end of a glide, climbing, or the Headbash.
      • Extra lives are dragon-shaped and found in shelled creatures, whereas they took the form of blue bottled butterflies in later games.
      • There are no persistent NPCs beyond the balloonists and fairies. Dragons appear briefly and leave the map when rescued, leaving the maps feeling a bit empty. Series staple characters, Hunter, the Professor and Moneybags didn't appear because they weren't created until the next game.
      • Bosses had no onscreen health meters when fighting them, none of them were fought in proper arenas (and generally ran away instead of putting up a fight), and were entirely optional sans Gnasty. Their levels are also short, but structured like the rest of the platform levels, with the boss being stumbled upon within them, whereas the next two games' boss levels consist solely of arenas and the battle comprises their entire gameplay.
      • Levels and boss levels can be taken on in any order, as the goal of each world is simply to fulfill its balloonist's requirement; only the last world's levels were required, which was the exact opposite of the next two gamesnote .
      • Enemies were present in the home stages for each world while the later games' homeworlds are peaceful.
      • There are no minigames outside of the usual Speedway levels, and said Speedway levels were referred to as "Flight" levels instead.
      • All water damages Spyro in this game, while later games had Spyro able to swim in most of it.
      • This game has the fewest story cutscenes of the original trilogy, likely as a consequence of its dearth of developed NPCs to work with. Ripto's Rage added overarching plot cutscenes and scenes framing each level's story, while Year of the Dragon kept the grander plot scenes but dropped the framing scenes for levels.
      • This is the only game of the original trilogy that has a unique theme for its title screen. It is used as a leitmotif throughout the soundtrack. The two sequels reuse different level themes as their title screen music pieces.
      • The visual designs for gem containers are mostly unique to this game, while timer chests (whose gems pop out the top and must be grabbed in the air) and propeller chests requiring three flames to open did not reappear in the next two games.
      • The gems with a value of 5 are blue instead of purple like in later games.
      • Every gem has the same shape. In later games, gems have different shapes depending on their color.
    • Later games past the original trilogy treat purple dragons as special. At least one level in each world of this game has a purple dragon to be released in it. One dragon in the Beast Makers - Sadiki - looks almost like a bigger Spyro.
    • In the French translation, Sparx is called "Étincelle" (French for Spark). In every other Spyro game, he keeps his original name.
  • Easter Egg: If one waits long enough in any level, a new song, often a slow remix of another level's theme, plays in the background. This is to prevent musical monotony.
  • Elemental Powers: The wizard and druid enemies from Magic Crafters. Some move the earth, others cast wind tornadoes, the big blue ones use ice magic and the small floating ones with raining clouds over their heads attack with lightning.
  • Endgame+: Defeating Gnasty Gnorc lets Spyro unlock Gnasty's Loot once all the treasure, eggs, and dragons are accounted for.
  • Enemy Civil War: The mooks in the Magic Crafter worlds will fight amongst themselves if Spyro leaves them alone. It's quite fun to watch.
  • Excuse Plot: Gnasty Gnorc turns a bunch of dragons to crystal, steals all their treasure, and invades their realm because one of them called him ugly... And if the true ending's any indication, he apparently does it again.
  • Exploding Barrels: Both kinds of barrels in Gnorc Cove are this. Metal ones can be charged into to knock them into things, such as metal chests or enemy Gnorcs. TNT barrels are just as explosive, but can only be safely detonated with Spyro's fire breath.
  • The Faceless: We never actually see the interviewer. In the original version, we only see his arm holding a clipboard, while in the Reignited Trilogy version, we don't see him at all.
  • Fairy Companion: Sparx, while (mostly) mute, is a more helpful companion, providing three hit points for Spyro's one and picking up gems at close range.
  • Fallen Cupid: Cupids are a demonic cherub-like enemy in Dark Passage and Lofty Castle that shoot arrows at Spyro whenever he comes near them.
  • Follow the Money: The gems. Except Moneybags hasn't been created yet, so some of the balloonists are the best equivalent.
    • Tree Tops has two gem thieves which will guide you along the hardest supercharge routes if you follow them. The problem is that they only do so once and don't reset when you die, so if you make a single mistake you won't see the whole route. It's also easy to unintentionally set them off and not notice, and they don't pause for you if you don't chase them.
  • Foreshadowing: Astor's confusion on there being five or six worlds, as well as his miscount of there being 12,000 or 14,000 gems references one of those worlds being Gnorc Gnexus, with the 2,000 gems he's lost count of being found in Gnasty Gnorc's personal treasure hoard.
  • Frog Men: The Gnorcs appear to be related to frogs to a certain extent, with many of them making croaking noises, having large feet that the smaller ones hop around with, and any frogs within their vicinity having fangs similar to them.
  • Gem Heart: Every enemy drops gems upon death, leaving their corpse to poof out. If you've already killed them, then die or leave the area and come back to kill them again, they'll contain pearls instead. Justified by the intro when the dragons are evaluating their treasuries and it is revealed Gnorc has the ability to turn their gems into enemies with his magic.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Every boss, to some degree at least. The most prominent examples are…
    • Jacques, who spends most of his time hopping away from Spyro.
    • Gnasty Gnorc, whose fight is essentially four chase sequences, one after the other. First Spyro has to chase down a thief holding a key. That key unlocks the door to another thief with a key, and that key lowers Gnasty Gnorc's platform so that finally he can be chased. After he's hit once, he's chased again across retracting platforms.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The TNT Wranglers in Gnorc Cove are left in heart boxers and a tank top after you blow off their protective clothing.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Gems, frozen dragons and dragon eggs.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Artisans world, including Stone Hill, Town Square and Dark Hollow.
  • Grimy Water: There is purple stagnant water (possibly tar or oil) in most levels attached to the Peace Keepers home and there is a whole lotta green goop in Beast Makers home and its levels. In this game, it's purely aesthetic since all water will hurt Spyro when he touches it.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Cliff Town hides some of its gems behind the structure you're spawned in at. The only way to get there is to glide from the cross-river section to a narrow gap on the side of the structure, which is unintuitive and not given any hints.
    • An average run-through of Haunted Towers will leave the player short a dragon and a sizable chunk of treasure. What's worse, there's no indication that there's any area outside of the one most of the action takes place in, save a tiny hole in the ceiling with no visible way to get through. The solution is to use the Supercharge slope, jump over a gap that most wouldn't think to cross that way, and then ramp to a completely nondescript ledge. Further confounding matters is a circular ramp close to the aforementioned jump that looks like it should lead somewhere, but actually doesn't and can't be turned down at Supercharge speed.
    • Tree Tops utilizes this in the worst possible ways, with extremely convoluted and unintuitive Supercharge routes (including one section where a Supercharge slope must be jumped to and traversed backwards) being required to reach the final Dragon and gems. Without resorting to a guide, figuring this out requires boatloads of trial and error.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Levels can have hard-to-find gems, hard-to-reach dragons, and are littered with enemies. Boss levels are even harder than the standard ones. But most bosses themselves usually boil down to approach, avoid, attack, chase to the next arena.
  • Here We Go Again!: During the 120% ending cutscene, Spyro says it word for word once Gnasty starts freezing dragons again.
  • Hollywood Natives: Kamikaze Tribesmen, Doctor Shemp, Strongarms and Banana Boys. The latter two are changed to apes in the Reignited Trilogy, likely to avoid this trope.
  • Huge Girl, Tiny Guy: The appearance of the mooks seen in Cliff Town and Doctor Shemp.
  • I Shall Taunt You:
    • The Egg Thieves will stand around giggling and going "Nah-nana-NA-nah!" in a high-pitched voice until you get close enough for them to take off running. This makes it all the more satisfying when you do catch up to one and destroy it.
    • The Soldier Gnorcs in Peace Keepers world will react to Spyro burning their tent by pulling down their trousers and mooning the [horned and fire-breathing] dragon. It'd almost be a graver insult not to headbutt or roast their asses at that point.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Two enemies occupying the Peace Keepers realm play catch by shooting a cannon ball into each others cannons. Luckily for you they still don't lead the target and can simply be charged before they have a chance to shoot.
  • Improvised Weapon: Some of the metal crates are topped with turbines. The turbines can be sent flying into enemies.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: There are fools in the Dream Weavers levels that are unkillable and don't attack, but turn into clocks for a few seconds when hit, temporarily raising a platform, with each fool controlling a different one. Dark Passage's fools temporarily disappear into their own lanterns this way.
    Mazi: The fools you'll see in this world are invincible. But that does not mean they shouldn't be attacked.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: The Dream Weavers' dragons are prone to dispensing this as advice when released. The world being as topsy-turvy as it is, most things do make sense not too far off down the road.
    Revilo: A wise dragon once told me "Aim high in life, but watch out for flying boxes".
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: After mocking him as simple and unable to threaten them, it is being called "ugly" that finally drives Gnasty Gnorc to retaliate.
  • Just Eat Him:
    • Misty Bog has evil trees that do just this.
    • Not to mention the hellhounds in Dark Passage.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: In two varieties. Giant Mooks can't be charged, and armored ones are immune to fire. So, of course, a couple areas have giant, armored enemies, though there are still ways to deal with them. The armored giant spiders in the High Caves, for example, can be taken down with a supercharge or superflame. Armored giant gnorcs of two different variety and "haunted" knight armor also require more than Spyro's standard abilities to beat.
  • Leitmotif: The theme of Spyro the Dragon pops up in a number of levels. Fitting for his first adventure.
  • Life Meter: Sparx the Dragonfly takes 3 hits before leaving Spyro to his own defenses. Health denoted by bright yellow, color-sparkle blue, and plain green. Sparx also lets Spyro pick up gems adjacent to Spyro, so his absence makes Spyro's job harder as well as making him more vulnerable.
  • Maker of Monsters: It's mentioned in the intro cutscene that the Gnorcs that Spyro faces on his journey (and possibly other enemies as well) were created by Gnasty Gnorc from the treasure hoard he stole from the dragons prior to the start of the game to build his own army. This explains why they drop gems upon defeat.
  • Marathon Level: Any level with 500 gems/5 dragons is likely to be rather long.
    • The most notable Marathon Level is likely Dark Passage. The main path (from start to the Return Home gate) contains half the gems and 2 of the dragons, and a whole side area accessed from the Return Home gate and looping around the outside of the major cavern has 3 dragons and the other half the gems.
    • A notable exception is Twilight Harbor, which has 400 gems/2 dragons but is one of the longest and most difficult in the game. Fitting, as it's the final level before Gnasty himself.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Spyro gains even more of an attitude in the next two games, but it's already noticeable here.
  • Minimalist Cast: Spyro and Gnasty are the only major characters in the game. While there are many other dragons around that you rescue, they only get one or two lines before vanishing.
  • Money Spider: All the enemies release gems shortly before poofing away. This is because Gnasty turns gems into his own warriors.
  • Mooning: The Soldier Gnorcs in Peace Keepers Home will turn around and drop their pants if cornered in a tent (or just cower in fear; it's a 50/50).
  • Muggles Do It Better: The last enemies Spyro encounters are gnorcs with automatic weapons and grenades. They are the most dangerous enemies as their attacks are often tough to dodge, especially in the level's narrow passages. There are enemies that are harder to kill, but many of them can easily be run past. This is not the case with these gun-toting adversaries.
  • Nitro Boost: Supercharge ramps (introduced in Magic Crafters) are placed on downward slopes. Charging allows Spyro to move faster and jump farther, reinforcing the idea of exploration.
  • Notice This: Gems can sparkle, even at far distances, making the aforementioned backtracking easier.
  • Not Quite Flight: For most of the game, Spyro can glide in place of a typical Double Jump. Attempted to be justified in-story by virtue of Spyro being a young dragon not yet able to fly unassisted, although this falls apart when taking the Flight stages into consideration. The real reason is likely that the designers didn't want people to be able to fly wherever and whenever they want. For platform game design, Spyro had to be restricted to gliding, which is why the Flight levels are an entirely different style of gameplay.
  • One-Hit Kill: Classic, baby. Both charging and flaming. Some enemies don't go down as easily, though, including every boss.
    • ... every boss, that is, except for Jacques, the boss of the fifth world, the Dream Weavers'. He makes up for his squishiness by being extremely mobile, forcing you on an extended chase sequence before you finally corner him.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There are two Marcos in the game (as in, two characters named Marco): the balloonist from Artisans Home and a dragon in Cliff Town.
  • 1-Up: Their chest make a distinctive sound and the lives take the form of Spyro figurines. You can also run through levels a second time and defeat the enemies again to gain pearls; collecting a whole ring will also increase your lives by 1.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Never before had there been a game with a dragon kingdom and a cute dragon protagonist. And, while vaguely similar in structure, each world has their own dragons.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Every save point is guarded by a fairy. Stationary fairies occasionally show up to give Spyro a superpowering kiss. They're all helpful to Spyro, though.
  • Pass Through the Rings: 5 of the 6 worlds have a timed full-flight level (the 100% bonus Gnasty's Loot only employs the same full-flight ability with no time limit).
  • Player Nudge: To give the player a general idea of what they'll be doing for the rest of the game, the game places the first dragon you have to rescue, Nestor, directly next to where you start in the game, making him impossible to miss unless you deliberately ignore him. An inquisitive player will likely touch or breath fire on the statue, which will instantly release him and have Nestor give Spyro his goal of what to do for the rest of the game to stop Gnasty.
  • Portmanteau : Gnome+Orc=Gnorc.
  • Precious Puppies: Subverted in the Dark Passage level, some of the enemies look like sweet, adorable puppies at first but once the lights go out they turn into massive, frightening hell hounds.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: There are a few vibrantly pink dragons in the Peace Keepers area.
  • Recurring Riff: The melody of the title theme appears in several tracks throughout the game.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The melody for the Lofty Castle level was reused from the 1996 comedy/drama film The Pallbearer (specifically, the track ("Bill is Dead"). Stewart Copeland composed for both properties.
    • The Wizard Peak track was used for the theme melody of The Amanda Show merely a year later.
    • The Town Square track is using the bassline from the bridge of Copeland's 1978 song "Office Girls".
  • Regional Bonus: In the NTSC version, the background music of the High Caves level is a slow remix of Tree Tops's tune, but the PAL version gets a completely different song. In addition to this, the PAL version also receives a new song, one of the songs that does not play in one particular level, but occasionally plays in levels when the level's default song finishes.
  • Respawn Point: The dragons' platforms act as save points, watched over by fairies when the dragon is rescued.
  • Rule of Three: Most bosses have three separate arenas and take three hits to take down. Even Jacques and Gnasty follow this with three main phases to each of their battles (Jacques stops to attack you in three places before you can land the hit, Gnasty has three different areas to pass through before you defeat him). The only one that doesn't follow this is Metalhead, who has 2 arenas and 17 lightning rod/power generators you need to smash to defeat him.
  • Running Gag: Dragons with decidedly badass names like Thor, Conan, and Asher failing to live up to the implied image.
    • The dragons tend to not say the word "strong", without ending it with "like me". Lampshaded by Spyro at one point.
    • Elderly dragons attempting to give a Rambling Old Man Monologue, only for Spyro to brush them off.
  • Schizo Tech: In the second realm you encounter enemies with cannons and blunderbusses. In the penultimate realm you encounter enemies with bows and arrows. In the final realm you encounter enemies with assault rifles.
    • The main setting is highly medieval, with four of the five dragon realms having castles (the second world is more based on the Old West). Most glaringly, a microphone can be seen in the intro/ending cinematics and it's implied that someone is filming the "interview" that sets up the game's plot and finale.
    • Gnasty's invoked this in cases. The blunderbusses above are only seen on Gnasty's minions with no other tech involved, the first dragon you rescue in the Beast Makers implies that the electrified patches are Gnasty's work, and Gnasty's industrial harbor areas are a high contrast to the mostly magic-based dragon realms.
  • Shall I Repeat That?: The dragons' platforms also give Spyro the option to replay whatever the conversation was after being rescued.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The desert world of Peace Keepers, including the sublevels Cliff Town, Dry Canyon, and Doctor Shemp.
  • Shout-Out: "Ya gotta believe! Heheheh..."
  • Shrug Take: Considered subtly whenever story hints are dropped.
    Gunnar: Well done, Spyro! Keep up the good work, and I know you'll fulfill your destiny.
    Spyro: Destiny? I just wanna kick some
  • Sleepy Enemy: Sleeping Dogs are a type of enemy found in the boss level Toasty. If you get too close to it or flame it, it wakes up and leaps to squish you. It takes two attacks to kill them.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Ice Cavern and Wizard Peak levels.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: No springboards here, but there are plenty of platforms everywhere (powered by fairy dust) that lift Spyro to a high platform or gliding target.
  • Stingy Jack: Toasty wears a dark-brown cloak and a pointy hat, has a Jack o'lantern for a head/mask and carries a god damn scythe.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Spyro can die from falling in a shallow aqueduct.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: The game gives you an unusually large number of 1-Ups in the Beast Makers area and levels, including four in Tree Tops (few levels have more than two). Clearly, the dev team expected players to die a lot in this area, which, given the obtuse Supercharge routes required to reach the remote areas of the level and 100% it, may well happen.
  • The Overworld: Artisans, Peace Keepers, Magic Crafters, Beast Makers, Dream Weavers and Gnorc Gnexus. Each is treated as its own level to complete.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Dr. Shemp provides an interesting example in that unlike most he actually learns from his mistakes. Getting him to expose his vulnerable back to the player is trivially easy on the first hit, but every subsequent exposure becomes shorter and harder to bait from him, exposing the player to more danger. His AI even acknowledges this, making a scoffing sound and throat-cut animation if the player tries an old trick twice, as if to tell the player "I'm not falling for that again!" If he'd had one or two extra hits, it's possible he might have subverted the trope entirely and become invincible. Of course, he doesn't.
    • In early builds of the game, Metalhead was one as well, as some of his power generators were always-active and could be only be destroyed by baiting him into attacking them.
  • Time Trial: The flight levels, though they're not so much races as challenges to complete all of the tasks within a given time limit (whereupon interacting with an object from one of the tasks adds seconds to the timer, making efficiency necessary to do everything in one run).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Most egg thieves take off once Spyro comes near him, but there is a single egg thief in the game (in the Wizard's Peak level) that will just stand still and taunt Spyro, even when Spyro is right up in the thief's face!
  • Treasure Room: Gnasty Gnorc was "sloppy" with hoarding the exposed gems, so some levels could be considered prone to such a layout. Most notably, the top-most room of Gnasty's Loot has a gratuitous arrangement of fireworks that fill the room with purple gems.
    • The entirety of Gnasty's Loot counts. All other levels have a mix of different colour and value gems, mostly at the low end of 1, 2, and 5, and have a level gem total of around 300-500 each. Gnasty's Loot deals exclusively in gold and purplenote , the purple ones are more common, and has a level total of 2000.
  • Video Game Flight: Self-explanatory flight levels. Outside those levels (and Gnasty's Loot), Spyro glides instead. Oddly enough, Gnasty's Loot imposes a flight ceiling incrementally raised by collecting keys and jumping off higher platforms.
  • Vile Vulture: They serve as enemies in the Peace Keepers homeworld.
  • Warp Whistle: The balloonists let Spyro travel between worlds he's visited before (and possibly the next world).
  • We ARE Struggling Together: All but a handful of the enemies are gems transformed into Gnasty Gnorc's soldiers, but that doesn't stop them from fighting with each other when there are no dragons around. Some of them will even kill each other for you.
  • When I Was Your Age...: Dropped by a couple older dragons. Most notably, the dragon that introduces the (first exposed) flight level portal. Spyro responds with "gotta go".
  • Witch Doctor: Doctor Shemp, who has tribal clothing and a shaman's staff.
  • Wizard Duel: Some of the enemies in the magic crafter stages will engage in these if left to their own devices.
  • World in the Sky: Virtually all the Dream Weavers levels (aside from Icy Flight). Some of the Peace Keepers and Magic Crafters levels may possibly also go here.


Doctor Shemp

The boss of Peace Keepers. An armor-clad shaman carrying a big staff.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / WitchDoctor

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