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Video Game / The Legend of Spyro
aka: The Legend Of Spyro A New Beginning

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The second generation — a legend reborn.

The Legend of Spyro is Activision/Sierra's Continuity Reboot trilogy of video games based on the Spyro the Dragon franchise. In comparison to the lighthearted tone of classic Spyro, the Legend Trilogy had a much darker atmosphere, including the major changes to characters, story, and gameplay.

Whereas the original games usually opted for an Excuse Plot, these games had a complex story spanned over three games. Basically, Spyro is a legendary Purple Dragon, a rare breed that can master the Elemental Powers of every other breed of Dragon. This would be useful in fighting off the Dark Master, a powerful enemy trying to destroy the world, except that the temple Spyro was born in was attacked, forcing Ignitus, guardian of the eggs, to send Spyro's egg down a river. There it was found by a family of dragonflies, who raised Spyro to believe he was a dragonfly, too. A big, purple dragonfly.


Of course, eventually Spyro realizes that he's not really an insect and sets off with his foster brother, Sparx, to find out who he is. That's when he meets Ignitus, and the story kicks in:

  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (2006) (developed by Krome Studios)
    Purple dragons are rare and have immense power, so it's no wonder that, when a purple dragon egg is laid, every evil man and his Evil Matriarch wants to get their hands on it. A army belonging to an unseen villain called the Dark Master storm the dragon hatchery, breaking all the eggs — but wise Ignitus manages to save the little purple egg and set it downriver, where a family of dragonflies adopts it. Many years later, little Spyro begins to realize that he's not quite what he thought he was when he figures out he can breathe fire, and he and Sparx set out on a quest to stop the evil Cynder! Late in the game it's revealed Cynder was the only other dragon egg to survive, who was taken by the Dark Master's army as part of his plan to release him.
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  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (2007) (developed by Krome Studios)
    With Spyro's successful defeat of Cynder, the Dark Master's power over her wanes, and she changes back to her true form — a young dragon no older (or larger) than Spyro. Yet, touched as she is by the darkness, Cynder is compelled by a shadowy figure named Gaul to try and release the Dark Master from the Well of Souls — the aim to cloak the world in an endless night. Spyro, led by visions of a strange dragon master, pursues her in the hope he can prevent her from making a horrible mistake. In the process, however, Spyro may fall victim to the darkness himself...
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (2008) (developed by Etranges Libellules)
    Three years after the events of The Eternal Night, Spyro and Cynder awaken from their crystalline prison, only to be unceremoniously chained together at the neck by vile servants of the Dark Master. Luckily, Hunter the cheetah tracks them down and helps them escape. During their slumber, the Dark Master, Malefor, rose again, and the world is in turmoil. Now, Spyro and Cynder must work as a team to help stop Malefor. But what's this? Both Spyro and Malefor are purple dragons? Maybe they're not that different after all...

A movie was planned for this series but was cancelled.

This series has also caused a bit of a gap in the Spyro fanbase. Although the creator mentions he only "scratched the surface" with the trilogy, the Spyro franchise ultimately got rebooted again and spun-off into the far more successful Skylanders franchise. The Legend series wasn't entirely forgotten, though, as several elements from it carried over into the Skylanders lore. Spyro's backstory is based on his Legend counterpart, and Cynder returns as a playable character. Big Bad Malefor is also mentioned in the backstories of several Skylanders and appears in person in the tie-in comics. Furthermore, the Skylanders TV show, Skylanders Academy, has Spyro as the main character, and added Cynder and Malefor in season 2.

This trilogy contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Cannons can shoot metal bullets as well as rock spikes, icy jets, electrical surges and, during the first flight level, other apes.
  • Adaptational Badass: Hunter was something of a joke in the original trilogy, and only took part in the action a couple times. Here, he is entirely serious and more frequently assists Spyro.
  • Alien Sky: The sky in the Dragon Realms has two moons.
  • All-Loving Hero: Spyro believes in the good in a lot of people, especially Cynder, and will always help those in need (even if, like Kane, they don't ask for it).
  • All Trolls Are Different: According to the manual, the draugr-like ghouls in Dante's Freezer are actually Trolls (while their bigger armored counterparts who turn into wraiths at half-health are Ogres). The last game feature Trolls created by Malefor and resembling huge primate-like humanoids made of stone, wood and grass.
  • All Your Powers Combined: This is a trait common to purple dragons because they are not limited in their elements like other dragons. Spyro does this with his Elemental Powers at the end of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning.
  • Alternate Continuity: It has some references and even shares some characters with the Insomniac trilogy but doesn't even try to pretend to be in continuity with it.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The ending of A New Beginning: Spyro purifies Cynder and prevents her from freeing the Dark Master but the war's not over yet.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Just as Spyro is about to unleash his Light Aether to stop the destruction of the world, which may end up as a Heroic Sacrifice, Cynder, who refuses to leave Spyro's side whispers to him "I love you". Although it seemed they have survived the ordeal at the end of the post-credits scene, Word of God states that their ultimate fate is left ambiguous.
  • Apocalypse How: The Destroyer causes either a Class 4 or Class 5. It's kind of hard to tell if almost all life gets wiped out and the remaining life survives or if it's complete extinction and life returns somehow. However, it could also be a Class X, as the world breaks apart in the process but somehow gets restored afterwards.
  • Art Evolution: The art style noticeably changes in Dawn of the Dragon, particularly with the Plot-Relevant Age-Up that Spyro and Cynder go through.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: According to Ignitus, dragons don't truly die but merge their spirit with nature. He does it himself when he becomes the new Chronicler.
  • Bag of Spilling: Due to unleashing his Light Aether fury from his battle with Cynder at the end of A New Beginning, Spyro loses access to his elemental powers and has to re-learn them via dreams, coached along by the Chronicler. However, he keeps them in Dawn of the Dragon after recovering his strength via green Spirit Gem.
  • Beam-O-War: The final battle features one as the deciding move, Malefor tries to kill Spyro and Cynder with his Dark Aether Breath, only for them to counter with their respective Fury Breaths. After a beam struggle, the heroes finally overpower him.
  • Beam Spam: Fury-mode breath in Dawn of the Dragon. Watch enemies explode into pretty showers of crystals on contact!
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Spyro blasts Dark Cynder so hard that it frees her from Malefor's power.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: In Dawn of the Dragon, Cynder has a blade on the end of her tail that she sometimes uses as a weapon, particularly in heavy melee attacks and her Scorpion Strike (where it is imbued with her Poison element). She also primarily uses this to attack Spyro when she is temporarily re-corrupted by Malefor. She also does a tail whip when she is fought in A New Beginning, though this seems like more of a Tail Slap.
  • Big Bad: The Dark Master, Malefor, is responsible for all the trouble of this continuity. The villains of the first two games, Cynder in the first and Gaul in the second, are The Dragon for him.
  • Big "NO!": Spyro gets two, the first when it looks like Sparx is about to be squashed by apes in A New Beginning, and the second when Ignitus dies in his Heroic Sacrifice in Dawn of the Dragon.
  • Boring, but Practical: In the first game, all four elements can be upgraded to do more damage and have additional effects, but the most worth it to pour EXP into is Electricity, as the higher levels of the basic breath allow you to stun and toss all enemies sans bosses in the game; letting you yeet what would otherwise be brutal encounters into nearby Bottomless Pits with little effort, or at the very least crowd control enemies to be more manageable.
  • Breather Episode: The Sky Pirates arc of The Eternal Night is rather lighthearted and comical compared to the rest of the game.
  • The Cameo: Under the ice in the Celestial Caves of The Eternal Night, you can see fellow Activision platformer Crash Bandicoot frozen in the ground.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While Darker and Edgier, the first is still pretty lighthearted with humor coming from Sparx and the quirky Dragon Elders. The second game, apart from the Breather Episode with the Sky Pirates, is much darker and bleaker, with the threat of Malefor the Dark Master's escape, his frightening origin story, and the inevitability of the Night of Eternal Darkness. The final game, with Malefor free and proving to be every bit of the monster the previous two games spent building him up as and his Near-Villain Victory, is decidedly the bleakest of the trilogy.
  • Chained Heat: Dawn of the Dragon has this as a mechanic — due to the snake chains that tethers them together, Spyro and Cynder can't go too far from one another. They can use the chain to their advantage for maneuvering but they can also be pinned down by special anchors.
  • Chess Master: Malefor explains for Spyro's benefit in that Spyro aided his rise to power just as much as Cynder did, and he didn't even know it, because he was moving the pieces.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Including all the games in the trilogy, the series has Orange-red for Fire, Blue for Ice, Green (Brown in the third title) for Earth, Yellow for Electricity, Purple for Aether/Fury, Deep Red for Fear, Light Blue for Wind, Sickly Green for Poison and Black and Dark Blue for Shadow.
  • Colossus Climb:
    • The Golem boss battle involves wounding its arm enough to jump on and climb up to it's head and smash it's brain. Answering the question of why they don't just fly up to do it, the Guardians tried that and failed horribly.
    • The Destroyer is also fought in this manner and plays it much straighter, as the dang thing is bigger than a mountain.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Spyro's adopted parents knew his draconic nature would become apparent as he got older. This prompts him to leave the house to find out more about himself and stakeout a role in the world.
  • Continuity Reboot: We now have a solid planet instead of a Portal Network of realms and worlds of unclear geography. The dragons are now far fewer in number and purple is rare and legendary, rather than rare but otherwise dismissed. Dragon flies and young dragons being in a relationship is now considered odd. We could go on.
  • Conservation of Competence: In all three games, the Big Bad is much smarter and more cunning than their minions. Dark Cynder and Gaul are both far more competent than the Apes and Malefor is a skillful Chessmaster leading an army of magically created monsters with no real competence.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: It is very obvious in The Eternal Night, where in a cutscene Spyro gets captured by the pirate Skabb, right after defeating a magic being three times Skabb's size, without even the player being given the opportunity to fight for his freedom. Later in the game one does have to physically fight and defeat Skabb.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Spyro games that have come before. The first game of this trilogy begins with the Dragon Realms already in the middle of a long war, where Spyro and Cynder's entire generation were slaughtered as eggs. Ignitus burns to death — yes, he died off screen, but still. Malefor alone is much darker than most of the Classic villains and is an Omnicidal Maniac trying to destroy the world.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Gaul in The Eternal Night. Besides the fact that you don't have access to Spyro's elements for it, Spyro's normal attacks against him do pitiful damage, despite the fact that his attacks aren't too hard to dodge. As a result, the battle with him can take anywhere from twenty minutes to a solid half hour. Thankfully, his second form goes down far quicker since Spyro is in his Superpowered Evil Side form during it.
  • Darkest Hour: The end of Dawn of the Dragon is the bleakest part of the trilogy. Ignitus is killed in a Heroic Sacrifice, the Destroyer is getting close to starting the world's destruction and nothing can stop it, and Cynder is once again put under Malefor's control. A Hope Spot comes when the Power of Love frees Cynder, giving them a fighting chance, but it's crushed when the Destroyer finishes its journey and begins the end of the world. It eventually gets better and Spyro manages to perform a World-Healing Wave and fixes the world, but it was certainly a dark moment. Notably, the trope name was the original title for the game, The Darkest Hour.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Cynder, once she gets over the evil. In Dawn of the Dragon, she has an array of special powers due to her having been "touched by darkness."
  • Dark Magical Girl: Cynder. Brainwashed and Crazy to become The Dragon to the Big Bad against her will? Check. Dark and Troubled Past ? Check. Actually isn't evil to begin with? Check. Asks if there is forgiveness for all her wrongdoings when she was evil? Check. After her defeat, her Heel–Face Turn, there is no change to her dark appearance and power? Check. Have powers in opposite of the protagonist's ? Check.
  • Die or Fly: Spyro's powers in "A New Beginning" like to manifest themselves when he has to save someone he cares about. He's able to save Sparx from being squashed by apes with fire breath, and then Kane from falling off a waterfall with ice breath. He learns the earth element after being trapped under a bell, though that's less lethal.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sparx's lines are reliably jokes and sarcasm. Cynder even manages to pick up some snarky lines at some points.
  • Death by Irony: In Dawn of the Dragon, Ignitus, guardian of fire, dies in the wall of fire left behind by the Destroyer.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Spyro confronts Malefor in Dawn of the Dragon, and Malefor turns Cynder against him.
    Cynder: Fight back! ...Why won't you fight back?!
    Spyro: ...Because you've left me nothing to fight for....
  • The Dragon: Cynder and Gaul work for Malefor to bring about his release; they carry out his will, order the lesser evil creatures around and provide tough physical challenges for Spyro.
  • Human Popsicle: Dragon Popsicle considering the series; to survive the mountain caving in around them, Spyro shields himself, Cynder, and Sparx in a crystal. They wake up 3 years later.
  • Demoted to Extra: Volteer and Cyril in Dawn of the Dragon. Both were chatterboxes in the first two games, but in the third game, they each get a single line. A Deleted Scene originally was intended for them to have their normal chatterbox status, but it was cut.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Spyro and Cynder managed to kill the Destroyer, an ancient mythological monster that exists to destroy the world, by destroying every dark crystal in its body, including its heart. Sure, Malefor brought it back to life, but if he hadn't been involved, then it would've been dead. It's not like it worsened the situation in any way. It's not even the Final Boss.
  • Disney Death: Well, it's kind of a Disney Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. At the end of Dawn of the Dragon, Spyro and Cynder seem to have a Heroic Sacrifice to save the world but, after the credits, the Chronicler informs Ignitus that he can't find any information on Spyro dying... and then we see him and Cynder, joyfully flying around Avalar, but whether they are alive or dead is intentionally left open to interpretation.
  • Disney Villain Death: In The Eternal Night, Skabb, after losing to Spyro, staggers backwards off the side of his ship, falling to his death.
  • Disk-One Final Boss: Skabb in the second game is this trope because his death ends the arc but not the game.
  • Downer Ending: The ending of The Eternal Night: The Dark Master is freed, and Spyro, Sparx and Cynder are frozen in crystal under the remains of the Well of Souls, where they'll stay for the next three years.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Malefor's demise is a bit vague, but it certainly has this feel to it since the spirits of dragons grab him and pull him into the earth's crystal core.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Dawn of the Dragon has the Destroyer walking in a massive circle to destroy the planet. It succeeds. Sort of. Interestingly, Malefor boasted all it would do is cover the planet in flames.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Spyro and Cynder spend the entire story fighting just to stay alive come close to dying at the end of each game, both turned evil on at least one occasion, risked their lives many times, and literally stop the end of the world from happening. Just try telling them they didn't earn peace and happiness after that.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Destroyer is an ancient monster that has existed since the beginning of time and exists for only one reason; to destroy the world in a cascade of fire and ash. It's also the size of a mountain and nearly unstoppable.
  • Eldritch Location: Convexity is an Afterlife Antechamber described by Ignitus as a Void Between the Worlds, populated by flying jellyfish monsters with crab-like legs and other nightmarish creatures.
  • Elemental Powers: Being a purple dragon, Spyro is able to learn and master all the elemental powers of Dragons, while in Dawn of the Dragon Cynder, thanks to her exposition to Darkness, can use four elements of her own. Spyro has Fire (allows him to burn enemies, spit lavic bombs and perform a fiery charge), Electricity (stuns enemies and leaves them vulnerable while they're being shocked), Ice (freezes mooks solid and attacks with sharp fragments of ice) and Earth (blasts enemies away with powerful blasts of wind, green energy flails and shockwaves, as well as encasing himself in rocks). Cynder instead has Wind (implied to be her natural element, blasts foes with whirlwinds and gales), Shadow (attacks with dark flames and from the shadows), Fear (attacks with high-pitched fear-inducing screeches) and Poison (shoots balls of venom or venomous attacks).
  • Elemental Punch: In The Eternal Night, Spyro's elemental powers now come with either a Breath Weapon or a physical attack performed with horns, tail or bodyslam.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Spyro gains access to Dark Spyro at the end of The Eternal Night, using it to easily dispose of Gaul.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Occurs with Sparx in The Eternal Night when the Chronicler shows a picture of Spyro and Sparx shortly after they were born.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Cynder's second poison move is a screw attack.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The one thing that Malefor couldn't plan for was the Power of Love. It breaks Cynder out of his control in an instant.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Dark Cynder's lair in the first game. Malefor's tower in Dawn of the Dragon combines it with Ominous Floating Castle.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In Dante's Freezer, the Apes and Ghouls are fighting one another as well as Spyro. The apes attack the Skavengers too.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Malefor does this to the Apes after they outlive their usefulness. He turns them into undead creatures, forever doomed to remain in the shadows with a hunger for the energy of others that can never be filled. Even Spyro and Cynder, who the Apes had been trying to kill for two games, are horrified at this.
    • Depending on how you view his final scene, Malefor's defeat may also count since it resembles Dragged Off to Hell.
  • Floating Continent: Dawn of the Dragon has a level of this sort as well. However, the danger of falling to one's death is non-existent, as Spyro and Cynder can actually fly this time around.
  • Flunky Boss: The electric elemental in the GBA version of The Eternal Night. On it's own, it would be fairly easy. It's invulnerable and causes collision damage as its main attack, but it's not too hard to dodge. When it does become vulnerable, however, it summons an entire freaking swarm of Ledge Bats to protect itself!
  • Free-Fall Fight: The Final Boss battle with Malefor is fighting him as Spyro, Cynder, and him plummet down a volcano to the core of the world.
  • Genre Shift: While the original trilogy and the games between that and this trilogy were more of Gotta Collect Them All Platform Games, this trilogy is more of and Action-Adventure Beat 'em Up. Only "Eternal Night" has a serious amount of serious platforming and the combination of Sparx guiding the player and dragon time mean it's still not too hard.
    • Even within the trilogy, the third game is more of a co-op game where each partner had to stick together, rather than the more relatively free-roaming style of the first two games. The change in developers probably played a part in this.
    • The Nintendo DS versions of the trilogy themselves had a completely different gameplay style from each other; the first one was basically a Spiritual Successor to Spyro: Shadow Legacy with its top-down perspective, the second one was a 3D platformer with puzzle elements, and the third one was a side-scroller.
    • Ironically, the mobile versions avert this; all three games are side-scrollers on mobile. Some argue this actually makes them the most consistent version of the trilogy.
  • Giant Spider: Bulb Spiders are humongous arachnids disguised as mushroom which live in the swamps around the Temple. In the second game they have an edgier appearence and in several cutscenes they're shown pouncing on the apes and devouring them.
  • Gladiator Games: Spyro is forced to fight in prize combat in the second game because of pirates.
  • Golem: Giant lava monsters sleeping under the earth. Only one is actually seen, serving as The Brute to Malefor in the third game. The Destroyer appears to be a supersized one as well. The first game has stone monsters in the Far Plains and crystal ones in Cynder's domain.
  • Grand Finale: Dawn of the Dragon is the conclusion of the three game saga. Malefor is defeated, the world is saved, Ignitus becomes the new Chronicler and Spyro and Cynder's whereabouts are left open to interpretation by Word of God.
  • Happily Adopted: Spyro doesn't mind being adopted by dragonflies, though his parents fade from the picture rather after the intro of A New Beginning. Then again, there really wasn't much time to visit mom and dad between searching for Cynder, getting kidnapped by pirates, and fighting a war.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In Dawn of the Dragon, Ignitus focuses a fire-dampening spell around Spyro and Cynder, excluding himself to make it work better. He burns to death.
    • There's also a subverted case. It seems like Spyro and Cynder make one in the end, even they seem aware this may be their end. Despite seeing them in the post-credits scene, Word of God confirms that their ultimate fate whether they made it out alive or not is left up to speculation.
  • Immune to Fate: Purple Dragons are this, as it's stated that they're able to guide the fate of the era into which they were born. This is shown by Spyro's habit of screwing destiny every time he hears a prediction he doesn't like.
  • In Name Only: Despite the fact that it stars a purple dragon named Spyro, this series couldn't be further than the classic series that inspired it. Even Spyro himself doesn't really act like his Classic self; while Classic Spyro is snarky, mischievous if well-meaning deep down, this Spyro starts out as a well mannered, respectful and near Paragon level hero.
  • Informed Attribute: Sparx and Spyro are supposedly inseparable brothers that love each other very much, but Sparx spends most of his time calling Spyro crazy and, particularly in the first game, mocking him about everything from his smell to his weight.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: At the start of the third game, Hunter manages to hit a Golem in the eye from quite a distance away.
  • Infinity +1 Element: Going into Fury mode in Dawn of the Dragon lets you use a special, "Fury-type" elemental breath. It's very effective on Elite Enemies.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Related to the above—equipping all the pieces of "Fury armor" to either Spyro or Cynder in Dawn of the Dragon lets them use the Fury-element breath at any time. Most things die quickly. Unfortunately, so does your Mana Meter.
  • Kid Hero: Spyro, Sparx and Cynder, who are all 12 when the series starts. Due to the art change in Dawn of the Dragon, they evolve into Kid Hero All Grown Up where they're now 15.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: Done quite a lot, often with an Elite Mook summoning an Elemental Barrier in order to make a sort of cage match where you have to beat every enemy to proceed.
  • Kill It with Fire: During the first phase of the bossfight against Arborick in The Eternal Night, Spyro has to use the fire bombs to set all of Arborick's body parts ablaze (upper body, left arm, right arm, pelvis, right foot and left foot).
  • King Mook: In the first two games, both Apes and Skavengers can be summarized into three types of enemies: small, fast-moving mooks, bigger and stronger mooks with weapons and better stamina and finally even bigger and stronger enemies which are harder to beat and can endure much more punishment, sometimes being even harder to stun.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Dark Cynder in the first game, as the Apes were at least comical to some degree, but she's completely serious. In the second game, it's Gaul, who comes after the somewhat comical Sky Pirates Story Arc and like Dark Cynder has no real comedy to him, and the Apes are a lot less comedic as well. While Dawn of the Dragon was consistently dark throughout, it was largely due to Malefor being unleashed. As the overall Big Bad, Malefor could be considered this for the Spyro the Dragon series, as he's by far more serious and deadly than previous villains.
  • Ledge Bats: Annoying prevalent in the GBA version of the Eternal Night, with each area having it's own equivalent. Be it flying bugs, spirit whisps, birds, actual bats... thankfully, they go down in one hit. Mostly because of how annoying to hit they are.
  • The Legend of X: The trilogy is billed as The Legend of Spyro, which is used to differentiate it from the previous continuity.
  • Lip Lock: Dawn of the Dragon somewhat suffers from this. It was made by a French game studio (Etranges Libellules), so the English dub sometimes makes conversations seem kind of rushed.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Cynder's "Fear" element in Dawn of the Dragon lets her use superpowered screeches.
  • Maniac Monkeys: Most of the enemies are apes, and usually twice Spyro's size.
  • Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: There are only male characters except for Cynder, who first appears as a villain in "A New Beginning". You don't get to see any other female dragons (or female characters in general) besides her, as if she is the only female in the world. You do get to see a little of Sparx's mother Nina, but since she appears too little in the first game, she doesn't count. There are no female cheetahs in Hunter's village or female moles in Warfang in Dawn of The Dragon, making this trope even more true.
  • Metroidvania: The GBA version of The Eternal Night has some elements of this. While most of the really important abilities are on a linear path, there are a few such as health and mana upgrades that require exploration of the levels in order to gain, often being in out of the way locations you likely wouldn't find without exploring. Similarly, it's possible to revisit previous areas in the game unlike the console version in order to explore them using later gained abilities.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • The Death Hounds are a mix between dogs, lizards and armadillos.
    • Scratch and Sniff, the two pirate parrots, have bat wings and lizard tails.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Ignitus sending Spyro's egg down the river in an attempt to save him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Sparx munching on butterflies in The Eternal Night. There is a race of molelike creatures called Manweersmalls in A New Beginning and later the actual Mole species appeared in Dawn of the Dragon, possibly a Shout-Out to the Professor from the original trilogy.
    • This continuity's version of Hunter hails from the Valley of Avalar. Avalar was the setting of Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! comparable to the Dragon Realms where Spyro was summoned by Hunter, Elora and The Professor to save it from Ripto.
    • Spyro and Cynder's eggs are laid on the Year of the Dragon, just like the third game of the original series.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Dark Master. Though Malefor counts as well, since his name might be a combination of the Latin word for evil and the Greek for "I carry" meaning his name could be translated as "carrier of evil" or "source of evil."
  • Near-Villain Victory: Malefor comes very close to winning. At the climax of Dawn of the Dragon, he's unleashed the Destroyer and the only hope of stopping it is defeating Malefor before it completes the Ring Of Fire. Spyro and Cynder fail to stop him in time and it finishes. Malefor's boss battle with the heroes after that point amounts to stopping him once and for all. The only thing that prevents him from winning is Spyro performing a World-Healing Wave and undoing the Destroyer's power.
  • The Necrocracy: The Ghouls are Revenant Zombie barbarians similar to the draugr of Nordic mythology, ruled over by a frigid lich known as the Ice King.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A New Beginning was originally advertised as a prequel to the original Spyro the Dragon.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Justified in that Spyro, as a purple dragon, has the ability to master the elements of fire, ice, electricity, and earth, and in order to defeat Malefor he has to master all four of them.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: After crashing upon escaping from Convexity, Sparx says "Mommy, fluff my pillow".
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: The very first game was like this, being an extremely linear beat 'em up—to the point of not even having level select options! The second game eased up a little, and the third game finally featured free-roaming worlds with proper hidden secrets.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • In A New Beginning, Ignitus reveals that Cynder is not so different from Spyro either — her egg was among those the Dark Master sought to destroy when searching for Spyro's egg. To specify, they both hatched from the same Year of the Dragon egg clutch.
    • In the final confrontation in Dawn of the Dragon, Malefor claims that purple dragons were meant to constantly destroy and rebirth the world, and that Spyro has carried that torch that Malefor himself held in this regard. Ironically, Spyro ends up repairing the planet. Spyro also considers the possibility of this trope, but Ignitus assures him otherwise.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Spyro was raised by dragonflies, and more or less believed he was a dragonfly until the whole "breathing fire" thing set in.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Spyro is normally an All-Loving Hero who is polite and friendly to pretty much everyone he meets. This goes out the window with Dark Spyro, especially in Dawn of the Dragon. Wracked by grief at Ignitus's Heroic Sacrifice, he turns into Dark Spyro again and is so determined to go back in and "rescue" Ignitus that he threatens to hurt Cynder, something he'd never do otherwise.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Malefor takes over Warfang's temple and turns it into one of these in the three years between The Eternal Night and Dawn of the Dragon. For added ominousness, there's a massive volcano erupting underneath it that the Destroyer emerges from. The temple gets destroyed when the Destroyer completes its path around the world, triggering the volcano to erupt and the world to begin breaking apart.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Dark Cynder, Gaul, the Destroyer, and Malefor's themes all have it for the evil atmosphere.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: The Orcs in Dawn of the Dragon are Malefor's soldiers and made of roots and dirt, a stronger and bigger counterpart to the diminutive Grublins.
  • Our Wyverns Are Different: Dawn of the Dragon has Wyverns as flying enemies. They're made from earth, vegetation and minerals like the rest of Malefor's army, and shaped in a mix of flying serpent and manta ray. One of them shows up as an elite enemy in the penultimate level of the game.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Dark Cynder served as this for the Dragons during the war. They were winning in their long battle with the Apes, then she showed up and single-handedly turned the tide of the war. Not only was she just that powerful, it's easy to infer they didn't anticipate another Dragon would show up to lead the Apes.
  • Panthera Awesome: Armored sabertooth cats appeared as enemies in the DS version of The Eternal Night.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Dawn of the Dragon picks up three years after the end of The Eternal Night, and Spyro and Cynder have grown into teenage dragons rather than their smaller selves from the first and second games, despite remaining the same height. This was because of the change in art direction and game developers, and was done in order to better show off the next-gen graphics of the PS3 and Xbox 360.
  • Powder Trail: The first two games had an occasional case of powder trails leading to massive stashes of explosives set there by either the Apes or the Skavengers, depending on the game. Spyro can ignite the powder with his fire breath to cause a massive explosion.
  • The Power of Love: It plays a rather large role at the end of Dawn Of The Dragon. Cynder manages to break Spyro out of his Dark Spyro form with it following Ignitus' death. He then returns the favor by freeing her from Malefor's control with his own love for her.
  • Power Nullifier: There are several artifacts specifically created to drain a dragons ability to use their elements in this continuity. Dark Gems are the most common, though Gaul has a staff that can do this too, which he quickly uses on Spyro just before he fights him.
  • Punny Name:
    • In the first game, the Manweersmalls — "man, we're small". (For the record, they're about the same size as Spyro, though given he's a twelve-years-old dragon, he's small anyway.) Upon meeting one, Spyro even says, "Man, he is small."
    • Mount Boyzitbig. At the very beginning of the level, Sparx says, "Boy, is it big!"
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: The Eternal Night. After being sealed in crystal, the Chronicler tells Spyro that when he awakes, the world will be different but he won't be alone. We then see Hunter watching over the three of them.
  • Real Is Brown: The PS3/Xbox360 versions of Dawn of the Dragon have heavily abused the 'bloom' effect, as noted in this article.
  • Recurring Riff: The main theme's melody from A New Beginning keeps on reappearing in multiple other tracks in the series, most notably The Valley of Avalar and "Guide You Home" (from the credits of Dawn of the Dragon).
  • Rescue Romance: Spyro "rescued" Cynder from being Brainwashed and Crazy as well as being sucked into the Dark Master's portal, which could factor into her developing feelings for him.
  • Run or Die: Spyro's first encounter with Cynder in A New Beginning is this. As Spyro isn't yet ready to fight her, all he can do is fly as fast as he can with her hot on his heels.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ignitus in Dawn of the Dragon. When he notices that Spyro and Cynder are tethered together he has a few words of encouragement, punctuated by a sly grin towards Sparx.
    Ignitus: "Do not view this chain as a hindrance, but allow it to be a reminder of the bond you two share. Your destinies are now intertwined. And that thought is a hopeful one."
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Just before the final battle with Malefor, Spyro tells Sparx he can't come with him and instead asks him to lead everyone to safety underground. Justified, as he would not survive the intense heat in the Belt of Fire.
  • Shout-Out: The siege of Warfang is basically one giant Shout-Out to the siege of Minas Tirith in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
  • Siege Engines: Used during the battle at Warfang: Malefor's forces use siege towers and a Battering Ram, while the moles defend the city with a catapult.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The ice dream temple in the GBA version of the Eternal Night. Spyro will have a hard time getting traction for most of the level, and automatically slide down slopes unless fought against. Though you can find an upgrade near the end that will keep Spyro from sliding on the ice anymore.
  • Spirit Advisor: In the ending of Dawn of the Dragon, Ignitus appears to Spyro in spirit form with advice.
  • Spiritual Successor: As noted in Genre Shift above, the DS version of the first game is basically this to Spyro: Shadow Legacy, having similar gameplay and a similar top-down style.
  • Squashed Flat: Knock an enemy up high enough in the first two games and this will be what happens when they finally hit the ground. This isn't always fatal to them though. In the second game you must do this to finish off certain monsters, especially the scorpion riders.
  • The Hero's Journey: Rather than a call to adventure, Spyro decides to set out on his own volition. Otherwise most of the associated tropes apply, such as venturing into the unknown world (of dragons), supernatural aid in learning from the dragons, the Abyss (the Darkest Hour in Malefor's lair) and then the return.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Cynder and Nina are the only females in the entire trilogy with speaking roles (many other unnamed dragons and moles are shown in the background, but you don't get a chance to chat with them).
  • The Stinger: After the credits upon beating the game, we get to see Ignitus become the new Chronicler... and that a glimpse of Spyro and Cynder are spotted somewhere after putting the fractured world back together. Doesn't help that Word of God states that Spyro and Cynder's ultimate fate are left ambiguous however.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Spyro turns into Dark Spyro and obliterates Gaul with it in battle, when he was previously losing. It turns up again when Spyro gets upset over Ignitus' death and Cynder snaps him out of it.
  • Taken for Granite: Dark Spyro's fury attack does this to Gaul and immediately shatters the boss afterwards.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Cynder was exposed to darkness, leaving her with a bevy of Dark Is Not Evil powers.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: The Destroyer in Dawn of the Dragon is supposed to go around the entire world in order to create the Belt of Fire that will destroy the planet, but manages to cross that entire distance in the space of a cutscene at a speed so high that even the dragons wouldn't be able to catch up with it.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Notice "Guide You Home" sounds a bit familar? Anything like, say... the music in the Enchanted Forest? And the Valley of Avalar?
  • Turns Red: Pretty much all the bosses, after losing one healthbar to Spyro, will change their pattern and skills and usually become more aggressive in combat.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: The Eternal Night leaves many issues unanswered to be dealt with in Dawn of the Dragon.
  • Underground Monkey: In the second game, most enemies and bosses are simply re-skinned enemies from A New Beginning, with the Skavengers standing in for the Apes, Arborick for the Stone Sentinel, the Ravage Rider for Steam and the Executioner for the Ice King.
  • Uncertain Doom: Was Malefor sealed within that crystal core, or was that spectacular flash of light from within the core as it broke apart Malefor being destroyed inside it? Or was he Dragged Off to Hell? It was neither confirmed nor denied whether he got a page in the book for whenever a dragon dies, as mention was only given to Spyro not appearing.
  • Unseen Evil: Malefor. In the first two, he's not seen apart from murals depicting his past (and isn't even referred to by name) but treated with fear and dread by the Dragons and described as an evil so terrible, his sheer malice created a mountain. He's finally seen at the very end of Dawn of the Dragon, and actually manages to be everything he was built up as.
  • Videogame Flight: In the first game Spyro learns to fly but isn't very good at it and cannot do so at will. His flight sections sort of function like Rail Shooters. He still hasn't gotten over it in the second game but the third game lets the player fly whenever they want. Strong winds, down drafts and other such obstacles are the only things that keep them from going wherever they want.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Malefor has one in Dawn of the Dragon when Cynder breaks free of his control thanks to the Power of Love. He reacts by getting enraged for the first and only time in the entire series and instantly cutting straight to the Final Battle.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: In the GBA version of The Eternal Night, the Naga serves as this. If you haven't been using Spyro's dodge effectively before, this battle will teach you to use it well if you want any hopes of beating him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sparx's parents, Flash and Nina, get a few lines at the start of A New Beginning and are never mentioned again. Seems odd with Sparx's habits of missing his mommy. Though given the pacing of the games, this might be for the best...
  • The Worf Barrage: All four Guardian Dragons fight a golem in Dawn of the Dragon, but despite doing damage to it they're each overwhelmed, leaving it to Spyro and Cynder.
  • World-Healing Wave: At the end of Dawn of the Dragon, Spyro unleashes one to stop the world from breaking apart. Word of God states that Spyro and Cynder's fate after the effort is left up to speculation.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: If the Destroyer completes its march around the planet, it will unleash a wave of fire that will burn the world to ash.
  • You Can Not Fight Fate: Played straight in The Eternal Night when Spyro is told by the Chronicler that there's nothing he can do to stop the Night Of Eternal Darkness, Malefor from being freed, and Cynder returning under the latter's control. Given that said event is a celestial alignment, Spyro can't stop it. This is subverted in Dawn of the Dragon, though the only opinion we have on the world's destruction being fated to happen is from the one trying to destroy it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Dawn of the Dragon, Malefor does this to the Apes by rewarding them with a Fate Worse than Death for freeing him from his prison. Since he quickly replaced them with the Grublins, it's rather clear his intention was to do this from the get go.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: In the GBA games, Spyro has to discover Dragon Artifacts in order to learn certain skills. This includes being able to climb walls and even charge.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Legend Of Spyro Trilogy, The Legend Of Spyro A New Beginning, The Legend Of Spyro The Eternal Night, The Legend Of Spyro Dawn Of The Dragon



The King of the Apes and Malefor's "right hand man", and the final boss of the second The Legend of Spyro game.

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