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Video Game / The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning

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The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning is the first installment of The Legend of Spyro, Activision/Sierra's Continuity Reboot of Spyro the Dragon. The game is primarily an Action-Adventure title with some light platforming and RPG Elements, and its gameplay centers around unlocking and strengthening Spyro's elemental breath abilities.

Once every ten generations, a purple dragon egg is laid. Purple dragons are rare and have immense power, so it's no wonder that, when such an egg is laid, every evil man and his Evil Matriarch wants to get their hands on it. An 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 his adoptive brother Sparx set out to discover Spyro's true nature and origin. Soon, they encounter Ignitus, who is now living in hiding after the Dark Master's armies, led by a monstrous dragon named Cynder, overwhelmed the dragons. After learning of his true nature and of the dire peril the world faces, Spyro sets out to free the imprisoned dragon guardians and defeat the wicked Cynder.

The game was released for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo DS in 2006. The DS version was developed by Amaze Entertainment and features a notably different gameplay style, including a top-down perspective, additional side missions, and a shield ability.

This game contains examples of:

  • Ambushing Enemy: Bulb spiders have bodies spotted like the mushrooms of the swamp area where they're found, and legs that resemble leaves. They usually hide head-first into the group to mimic regular fungi, but when Spyro enters the room where they're found they pop out and attack.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end, Spyro purifies Cynder and prevents her from freeing the Dark Master, but the war's not over yet.
  • Backhanded Compliment: After clearing the Dragon Temple, Ignitus remarks that Spyro's fighting style was effective and got the job done, despite its primitive crudeness and Spyro having no knowledge of what it means to be a dragon. This is a genuine compliment, but ends up being couched in so many casual pejoratives that Spyro isn't exactly sure whether to be thankful or not.
    Ignitus: The style you used earlier was is crude, archaic and obvious, but you got the job done. Not bad... considering you haven't been taught anything about what it means to be a dragon.
    Spyro: Thanks... I think.
  • Bad with the Bone: The larger apes in the Swamp use femur bones instead of the blades and clubs used by their counterparts in later levels.
  • Bag of Spilling: The end of the game sets up an explanation to justify its use in The Eternal Night. During the final cutscene, Spyro mentions that the battle with Dark Cynder and subsequent escape drained his strength, and he lost most of his powers as a result.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Spyro blasts Cynder so hard that it frees her from Malefor's power.
  • Boring, but Practical: 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.
  • Breath Weapon: In addition to Spyro's abilities, magma worms spit streams of molten rock, while the Ice King can exhale clouds of freezing mist.
  • Crystal Landscape: The sections connecting the palaces in Concurrent Skies consist of winding paths through a landscape of gigantic indigo crystals, in some places guarded by animated constructs of crystalline stone.
  • Crystalline Creature: In Concurrent Skies, the native enemies include crystal brutes, hulking humanoid masses of crystal blocks held together by arcs of electricity.
  • Die or Fly: Spyro's powers 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.
  • Double Jump: Spyro can flap his wings to achieve some extra height and air time during jumps.
  • 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.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In Dante's Freezer, the Apes and Ghouls are fighting one another as well as Spyro.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Convexity, an outer space-like Void Between the Worlds, is home to creatures resembling flying jellyfish, eels, and nautilus-whale hybrids.
  • Foreshadowing: During his excited ramblings at seeing the purple dragon Spyro, Volteer mentions about there having been rumors of a purple dragon countless generations ago but were considered gossip and legend. This hints at the Dark Master Malefor's existence as a purple dragon, which was later revealed in The Eternal Night.
  • Glad I Thought of It: Early in Dante's Freezer, Sparx suggests loading a catapult with snowballs to knock down an obstacle. When this works, Spyro notes that this was a pretty good idea and then congratulates himself for coming up with it, to Sparx's outrage.
    Spyro: That was a good idea. Glad I thought of it.
    Sparx: You— glad— youno.
  • The Goomba: The frogweeds, found in the first level of the game, take three hits to kill and you literally have to sit there and stare at them for them to have a chance to hurt you.
  • Immune to Fate: Purple Dragons are stated to be able to guide the fate of the era into which they are born. This is shown by Spyro's habit of screwing destiny every time he hears a prediction he doesn't like.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Kane insists on going through the enemy-infested temple by himself, and refuses to accept Spyro's aid even when he's clearly overmatched by the Apes, despite Spyro arguing that in some situations teamwork is more effective. At the end of the level, he comes around to seeing things Spyro's way.
    Kane: By the way, you were right.
    Spyro: About what?
    Kane: Maybe two heads are better than one. Even if one does belong to an annoying mosquito.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: At the end of Dante's Freezer, on entering a large, empty cave containing Volteer, the Guardian they had come to find, Spyro remarks that it's too quiet and that reaching Volteer like this is too easy. Sparx flippantly dismisses this, but a moment later the Ice King awakens and attacks.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Munitions Forge, built around and within a volcano, is filled with streams and pools of lava and home to swarms of fiery insects, lava-spitting worms, and scorpions who can shoot fiery beams from their stingers.
  • Mana Drain: The energy leeches of Concurrent Skies attack by draining away energy from the gauge that powers Spyro's elemental attacks, and only attack physically if this is completely empty.
  • Mayincatec: The Tall Plains are a jungle-covered Temple of Doom area home to armadillos, Apes in pseudo-Aztec feathered costumes, and a native population of anthropomorphic llamas.
  • Meteor-Summoning Attack: Spyro's fire fury attack calls down a rain of explosive fireballs, while the earth fury creates a rain of boulders.
  • Mook Maker: Fire beetle nests steadily spawn new fire beetles, creating a constant stream of insects to harry Spyro until the nests are destroyed.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: In the prologue, when the Dark Armies attack the Dragon Temple, Ignitus flees with Spyro's egg and sends it down a river, riding on a mushroom cap, in an attempt to save him.
  • National Animal Stereotypes: The Atlawas, the native people of the Mayincatec Tall Plains, are anthropomorphic llamas.
  • 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 (1998), despite being a setting reboot instead.
  • New Game Plus: After completing the game you can start from the beginning with all breathes unlocked at the level they were upgraded to when you last finished. You can also collect more gems to fully upgrade the breathes if you didn't already.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: After crashing upon escaping from Convexity, Sparx says "Mommy, fluff my pillow".
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: The game is an extremely linear beat 'em up, and lacks any real form of exploration, side paths, or level select options.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • The Tall Plains are on top of a set of sheer pinnacles, with several areas surrounded and separated by steep Bottomless Pits, and their surfaces are covered in thick jungle and often include tiered levels for Spyro to climb. For being tall they're tall, but they're definitely not plains.
    • Concurrent Skies is a Crystal Landscape of winding paths hedged in by crystal growths and dark, cavernous palaces. Most of the time, the sky isn't even visible.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Ignitus reveals that Cynder is not so different from Spyro — her egg was among those the Dark Master sought to destroy when searching for Spyro's egg, as they both hatched from the same Year of the Dragon egg clutch.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Sparx says "Spyro, we're Not in Kansas Anymore" in response to the pair's first glimpse of the ruins around the Dragon Temple, despite this being an original fantasy setting with no such thing as Kansas in it.
  • Our 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).
  • Outside-Context Problem: 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.
  • Powder Trail: There are occasional powder trails leading to massive stashes of explosives set there by the Apes. Spyro can ignite the powder with his fire breath to cause a massive explosion.
  • Punny Name:
    • The Manweersmalls — "man, we're small". They're shorter than Spyro — except for their leaders, which are just below being eye level with him — and, due to being bipeds, much smaller in overall mass. Upon meeting one, Spyro even says, "Man, he is small." Their leader, Mole-Yarr, is named as a pun on "Moliere" and "Mole".
    • Mount Boyzitbig. At the very beginning of the level, Sparx says, "Boy, is it big!"
  • Quest for the Rest: The story is started by Spyro's attempt to find out why his egg was abandoned years ago and whether there are others like him — he doesn't even know the word dragon until meeting Ignitus. Later plotlines involve rescuing the dragons captured by Cynder and her ape army.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Several areas in the swamp area at the beginning are roofed and lined with the skeletons of immense snakes.
  • Recurring Riff: The main theme's melody 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).
  • Rock Monster: Rubble brutes, enemies found in the Tall Plains, are masses of stony blocks held together by vines and roots. They lie around passively, animating when Spyro approaches them. Crystal brutes, a variant found later in the game, are made of crystal instead.
  • Run or Die: Spyro's first encounter with Cynder 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.
  • Scary Scorpions: Buffalo beetles are, name notwithstanding, scorpions much larger than Spyro found in the Munitions Forge, who attack with their claws and with fiery beams shot from their stingers.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Dante's Freezer is a snow-covered arctic land home to undead soldiers and white-furred Ape recolors, includes an area where Spyro must outrace falling icicles, and culminates in a battle against an ice-wielding undead warrior.
  • Space Whale: Enormous floating creatures referred to as void whales are found within Convexity, the Void Between the Worlds. They don't resemble true whales much, being closer in appearance to blue-black nautili.
  • Spin Attack: The bulb spiders often attack by raising their legs into the air and spinning across the ground in an attempt to hit Spyro.
  • Swamp Monster: Growths, foes found in the Swamp area early in the game, are hulking humanoids made out of knotted vines and branches and with a coating of green plants over their torsos. They attack with physical blows and by throwing clumps of slime at Spyro.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Nintendo DS version is this to Spyro: Shadow Legacy, having been developed by the same game developing, having similar gameplay and a similar top-down style.
  • Temple of Doom: The Tall Plains are a labyrinthine set of jungle-covered temple ruins swarming with armadillos, animated stone constructs and apes in Mayincatec costumes, where Spyro must navigate ancient stone-based puzzles to progress and navigate around rows of sharpened bamboo stakes, traps that spit volleys of sharp darts through the air, and swinging pendulum-like logs.
  • Underground Monkey: In the Tall Plains, a Temple of Doom jungle area, Spyro encounters rubble brutes, masses of rock in roughly humanoid forms held together by vines. Later, in the electrified Crystal Landscape of Concurrent Skies, he comes across crystal brutes, which are made out of crystal blocks and held together by streams of electricity.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: You fight Cynder in a world between worlds — a dark place filled with distant planets, floating objects that look like ribbons and whisper Spyro's name, Space Whales, and glowing jellyfish. The battle takes place next to a purple, sucking wormhole that functions as a portal to and from the Big Bad's prison.
  • Videogame Flight: 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.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Convexity is a dimension that acts as an "airlock" between the world and the dark realms beyond it. It appears as a vast dark void, where clusters of hexagonal stone platforms and large planet-like orbs float against a dark blue backdrop and creatures resembling luminescent sea life float through the emptiness.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Defied. The Atlawas worship the Stone Sentinel and, after Spyro defeats it, decide that they're going to worship him instead. Spyro politely declines.


Video Example(s):



Cynder was an egg procured by Malefor, becoming his enforcer and the final boss in the first The Legend of Spyro game.

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