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YMMV / Spyro the Dragon

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Individual YMMV pages for the games.

The Spyro franchise as a whole:

  • Abandon Shipping: Zig-zagged in the case of Spyro/Elora; the pairing greatly declined after Insomniac’s departure due to Elora’s unexplained absence from the series and the introduction of Ember and Cynder. Thanks to the reveal of Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the pairing (and Elora herself) has seen a resurgence in popularity, especially since Toys for Bob has added extra emphasis to the Ship Tease in the game’s cutscenes.
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  • Adaptation Displacement: Younger fans of Skylanders might be surprised to learn Spyro was the star of his own game and following series for quite some time prior to Skylanders.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The franchise is considered a classic in America, but largely disliked and forgotten in Japan, and didn't have any other entries past the first two games released there until Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure due to how poorly they sold. The conversions for both of the games, which altered the camera to be spaced far above Spyro (but was nearly uncontrollable), significantly slowing down Spyro's movements, and signs (which allow you to read them when you attack them, but are sometimes placed near enemies) are largely blamed for the tepid reception, with the differences ironically meant to offset complaints about motion sickness during the demo period.
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  • Bad Export for You: The Japanese conversion of the first game in the series is hated even from Western fans of the series, which is why the series isn't popular in Japan for the reasons stated above in the "Americans Hate Tingle" trope.
  • Base-Breaking Character: We'd be tempted to say 'everyone' and call it a day if it weren't for it being against Trope entry policies. As Broken Base below points out, people who are fans of the Classic series aren't a fan of Legends characters while people who are fans of the Legend series aren't fans of the Classic series characters. To put it frankly; the only characters you're likely to not find people complaining about, characterization-wise or otherwise, in this fandom are Flame and Bianca.
  • Broken Base:
    • Considering there are no less than threenote  different continuities with varying themes and gameplay styles, fans have many different views on the franchise as a whole.
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    • Sierra fans versus Insomniac fans; so bad that it would lead anyone who didn't understand the fans to believe everyone was either a LoS-tard or a "Classics"-tard.
    • Skylanders' Spyro broke it again. Some say it completely ruined Spyro because they don't like Spyro's design, while others say they like the look of the game itself and Spyro's look isn't that bad.
    • The Game Boy Advance games are polarizing as well. While some like them (including Ted Price) and consider them faithful to Insomniac's work on the series, others either dislike the isometric perspective or just consider them to be inferior to the original trilogy in general.
    • With the Reignited Trilogy reviving the Classic franchise again, there's been some debate over which characters from the other continuities/post-Insomniac games should be 'adapted' into the Classic continuity if a new game is made. This extends to several characters, such as...
      • Cynder (and especially holds true for her): as per her standard Base-Breaking Character status, she's sparked a lot of furious debates regarding if she should be brought into the Classic continuity: people either want her in for the sake of possibly reworking her to be a better written and more fitting character than she was in the Legends series, shipping her with Spyro (which in on itself is divisive, especially regarding Spyro/Elora shippers) or simply liking her character, or they don't because of fears of other elements of the LoS series "bleeding in" to the Classic series, find her to be a poorly written character who doesn't fit into the light-hearted classic continuity at all, or would simply prefer to ship Spyro with Elora instead due to LoS' Spyro's already divisive relationship with Cynder.
      • The Guardians, Ignitus being the most notable example for being Spyro's possible biological father in the LoS continuity. Some want him in as it would serve to provide an explanation of who Classic Spyro's parents are and because of their bond in the LoS games. Detractors point to the fact that Spyro having a parent would make his attempts at adventure limited without portraying Ignitus as incompetent at raising his son and destroying the fanon that Spyro was raised by the Artisans as a whole.
      • Malefor: Those want him to be adapted for being one of the most dangerous villains in the franchise and would give Classic Spyro a proper challenging villain to face for a change instead of mostly ineffectual ones. Others argue that Malefor would clash way too much with the Lighter and Softer classic continuity and thus wouldn't fit, at least not without butchering what makes him so dangerous in the first place or causing the same problems that caused people to leave when The Legend of Spyro started.
      • Red and/or the Sorcerer. On one hand, people liked the idea of having dragon villains opposing Spyro and would like the Sequel Hook hinted at in Shadow Legacy to be followed upon. Others claim they're too flat and generic in motives to be given another chance.
    • Even within the Classic series, there's still this trope. It's mainly a split over Insomniac trilogy fans VS fans of the classic series as a whole. Most Insomniac trilogy fans refuse to accept anything past the original trilogy as "true" canon, and feel like everything past them isn't anywhere as good. Fans of the classic series as a whole point out how certain games, such as Spyro: A Hero's Tail, are also generally well regarded too, and that Insomniac's Spyro games are by no means flawless either, often pointing to the big Broken Base over whether or not Spyro: Year of the Dragon was good thanks to certain design choices. The constant Creator Worship also tends to grate on non-Insomniac fans, especially those who think Insomniac's other platforming series has been going steadily downhill since All 4 One.
  • Complete Monster: The Sorceress; The Sorcerer; Malefor and Gaul; The Darkness and Malefor. See those pages for details.
  • Crossover Ship: Sheila is often shipped with Crash Bandicoot characters Dingodile (due to both being Awesome Aussies) and Ripper Roo (due to both being kangaroos).
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The biggest of the offenders being Ripto, Red, and Malefor (and possibly Dark Cynder if you want to count her in). note  So bad with some fans that it's lead to a lot of artwork flooding DeviantArt galleries and some pretty odd Fan Fiction.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Fans of the classic trilogy and fans of the Legend series are noted for not getting along particularly well, owing to the vastly different tones, casts, and general themes of their respective series.
    • While fans of Spyro and fans of Crash Bandicoot normally get along quite nicely, a minor one-sided rivalry was sparked around 2021 due to Crash getting more attention from Activision than Spyro, all the while the latter is left with nothing more but cameos in a few of the former's games.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:
    • Good luck trying to find any fan work based on the classic series that aren't just fanart; a vast majority of the content made for the Spyro the Dragon franchise usually tend to take place in The Legend of Spyro sub-series. Even after Reignited Trilogy sparked interest in the classic series again, most fan works still tend to be primarily Legend of Spyro focused. (With their own specific plots to go with it; see it's YMMV page for more info.)
    • When it comes to content actually set in the Classicverse, there's a shocking number of fanfics that involve classic Spyro going through puberty and "taking notice" of whoever the author currently wants to ship him with. For the sake of the implications behind that and Spyro's actual age.
  • Fanon:
    • If you believe the explanation that Dragon Eggs are delivered to the realms by the Fairies are actually canon or just a form of dancing around the topic of 'where do babies come from' for younger players, it's common for the fanbase to have Spyro (and possibly any young dragons of the world) being collectively raised by their respective dragon race rather than having traditional parents.
    • Since her race was never specified in her game, people often tend to slot Ember in as either an Artisan or a Dream Weaver, or a mixed-race dragon of the two dragon races. Flame is usually placed as a pure Artisan like Spyro and when fans try to adapt Cynder into the Classicverse, she's often portrayed as either a Magic Crafter or Dream Weaver.
    • Malefor, when adapted into the Classicverse, is usually portrayed as a Peace Keeper who somehow 'fell' from his spot into a power-hungry dragon who wishes to take over the realms. In relation to Cynder, he's usually portrayed as either her father or is in some way related to her, with Cynder often going along with him (either reluctantly or not) due to their family ties.
    • Fanart of Flame will usually make changes to his appearance to differentiate him from Spyro, as he is a Palette Swap in his official appearances. This is often done by modifying his face, horns, or spines, or by making him younger and smaller. Similarly, Ember is sometimes drawn with thicker, pudgier proportions, forming a Fat and Skinny duo with Cynder.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Due to the varying quality of the games made after the original trilogy, many fans simply choose to forget about them. Among those who do enjoy the post-Insomniac games, Enter the Dragonfly is almost universally ignored.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Ember and Flame are paired together almost constantly, despite Ember apparently falling for Bandit the Armadillo.
    • Ever since Skylanders Spyro and Cynder are showing some signs of being this, since whilst they were eventually an Official Couple in the Legend series, their Skylanders counterparts do not appear to show any romantic attachments to each other. (But considering how Spyro and Cynder have been pushed off to the side in those games because of their Merchandise-Driven nature, it's possible they're in a relationship, just off-screen.)
    • Weirdly, 2016-2017 saw a huge surge of Ember X Cynder fan art and stories as a backlash against the Ron the Death Eater, Die For Our Ships tropes they frequently suffered, to the point it started to eclipse Spyro X Cynder in the fandom.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • One of the most criticised aspects of The Legend of Spyro games, specifically how they could get dark to the point of suffocatingly so, can actually be traced back to the original Insomniac trilogy. The Big Bad of Spyro 3, in particular, was attempting to commit genocide of an entire generation of dragon newborns, which is exactly what Malefor had his followers do at the start of The Legend of Spyro. The difference, however, was most of these darker moments were either self-contained or masked behind the games bright art style, on top of the fact that the games still had far more sillier moments to balance it out.
    • Spyro's status of being The Chosen One was hinted at in the very first game of the franchise, with many of the dragon elders saying as much on the subject. The main difference was, however, the fact that it was quickly dropped after said game, either becoming an Aborted Arc or not having any moments to expand upon this, with a few hints that said elders may have just been senile.
    • For as hotly debated of a character as she is, it can be easy to forget that Cynder's general arc as a character had already been done with a character from the Classic series: Bianca. While Cynder ended up becoming a Base-Breaking Character for it, Bianca ended up becoming very popular with the Classic fanbase for it. There is, however, a few key differences:
      • While they both have Dark And Troubled Pasts, Bianca's didn't define her as a character. While Cynder became so obsessed with her past to the point of (arguably) being Wangst and causing problems in the story because of it when Bianca finally pulled her Heel–Face Turn she did everything she could to help Spyro and co. stop the Sorceress, not even bringing up her prior villainous ways as a reason she shouldn't be accepted into the cast.
      • On top of this, Bianca had several other traits to her character even before her Heel–Face Turnnote  to help balance her out as a character once her role as The Dragon ended. Cynder, debuting as a Brainwashed and Crazy dragoness to the Big Bad and thus not reflecting what her true personality may be, didn't, leaving her as a pretty flat Damsel in Distress in The Eternal Night before being shifted to an irritable Tsundere character in Dawn of the Dragon with little reason to the sudden personality shift as the writers struggled to give her non-brainwashed self a personality.
      • Also, there's the fact that Bianca was Easily Forgiven once she helped stop the Sorceress, while Cynder constantly had her past repeatedly thrown into her face; which not only makes it fatiguing since this bit of angst never really goes anywhere or furthers feelings of it being Wangst, it also causes the by-product of wondering why the heroes are even trying to save a population of irritable, unforgiving Jerkassess, furthering feelings of the series getting dark to the point of suffocating.
      • And finally, there's the fact that both of them end up in a Relationship Upgrade with one of the protagonists. The difference here is while Bianca's eventual romance with Hunter is foreshadowed early on and ultimately plays a major factor in her Heel–Face Turn, Cynder spent most of her screentime in Dawn of the Dragon or Dawn of the Dragon either snarking at Spyro or angsting about her past, making the eventual hookup seem like it comes completely out of the blue and only happens because otherwise Malefor would have won.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Spyro first appeared as a demo in the third Crash Bandicoot game and the fandoms remained friendly ever since. The speedrunning community takes this one step further by being completely merged into a "Sprash" community.
    • The franchise also seems oddly friendly with most of the Friendship is Magic fandom, thanks to the classic series sharing a similar art style and aesthetics. The Legend side is fairly friendly too, though whether or not it's friendly with the classic or legend series, as always, varies from person to person.
    • Believe it or not, there are a few fans out there that like both the Classic and Legend series equally, and an even rare few who like the franchise as a whole, including Skylanders.
    • Spyro is often paired together with other similar titles like Croc, Ratchet & Clank, and Sonic the Hedgehog. The series' share many fans.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The first three games on the PlayStation, created by Insomniac Games, are usually considered the best in the series; the games released afterwards, while still having their fans, were made by different developers and are seen less positively.
  • Popular with Furries:
    • Unsurprisingly, the franchise's premise of playing as a dragon created a lot of childhood fans that joined the furry fandom, who will often cite one of the games (particularly those belonging to the original trilogy) as a major — if not the — reason for kicking off their interest in other works more appealing to furries. A Hero's Tail introduced Ember and Flame who helped draw in and inspire more furries while The Legend of Spyro trilogy helped out by introducing a female dragon love interest with a cool, evil form (and, by intent or not, a lot of the classic trilogy fans were teenage furries who found her attractive) and a cute, popular normal form. After the revival was announced, fanart of that series drastically exploded in popularity on furry art sites.
    • This doesn't even stop at dragon fans, as there's plenty of animal characters as well (Hunter the Cheetah and Bianca being the most well-known).
  • Ron the Death Eater: Both Cynder and Ember have gotten this treatment by the fandom. A bit more common with Ember, as her one sided crush on Spyro is often used to make her a Clingy Jealous Girl trying to break Spyro and Cynder up or kill Cynder and have Spyro to herself. The overuse of this in fan works seems to be dying down, thanks to an increased backlash against this trope.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Spyro/Cynder and Spyro/Ember used to be infamous for this before it died down, and let’s not forget Elora’s fans either...
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Ember X Cynder saw a huge surge in popularity starting around 2016-2017 as the result of a backlash against the frequent Ron the Death Eater use in regards to both of them in fan works. This is despite the fact that they both exist in separate continuities.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: As should be apparent, both Ember and Flame are very popular with the fandom despite the fact they only appear in two of the six "Classicverse" games, and in both times, they're extremely underutilized NPC characters. This is especially apparent for Ember, as despite having a crush on Spyro, she only appears twice in her debut game, and then gets both her character and crush on Spyro essentially written out in]] Shadow Legacy with a very flimsy excuse why. Neither character ended up appearing in the two reboot series afterwards, despite proving popular enough that most fan works would find ways to write them into those settings. After the Spyro Reignited Trilogy happened, not only did someone make character mods for both Flame and Ember a mere week after the release of the PC version, but many are anxiously hoping they get added into whatever possible future Spyro game may be.

The classic series as a whole:

  • Creator Worship: When people reference the classic series, they usually mean the classic trilogy. The sheer number of people clamoring for another Insomniac Games Spyro game is rather insane. Most people seem to believe Only the Creator Does It Right when it comes to this regard; despite the fact that several non-Insomniac classic games are generally regarded as okay to great quality as well. However, many classic fans warmed up to Toys for Bob after their well-received remake of the classic trilogy.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Egg Thieves. The second game had only a single thief challenge in Shady Oasis, but the third game had a bunch (usually involving supercharge ramps).
    • Bianca, due to her beloved redemption arc in Year of the Dragon, and simply for being adorkable in general.
    • Elora is an interesting example. She was a major character and mild Love Interest for the second game, but was completely absent from the third except for a cameo. She was meant to pop up in games afterwards but was always cut from the final product. Despite this, Elora is a very popular character in the franchise, and fans rejoiced when she was revealed for the Reignited Trilogy.
    • Ember and Flame, thanks to being the few dragons around Spyro's age in the entire franchise. Even a few Classic trilogy-only purists wouldn't mind them being adopted into "official" canon if another Classic game is made.
    • Hunter, who progressed from minor aide in Ripto's Rage to fully playable by A Hero's Tail and is the only character besides Sparx to make it through from the original trilogy to the Legend series, albeit in a rather different form.
    • The secret agent twins, Handel and Greta, are decent fan-favourites despite being minor NPCs who only appeared in two worlds across the original trilogy, due to being both creepy and badass. It goes double for Greta, as her role and subsequent badassery in Year of the Dragon's Fireworks Factory is heralded as one of the most iconic moments of that game.
    • Despite only being playable in a few levels in Year of the Dragon and having some minor NPC appearances in later games, Bentley is a huge fan-favourite due to being a Genius Bruiser who has some great lines due to his Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
    • Sgt. Byrd, simply due to being a flying penguin with missile launchers! He was so popular he made some return playable appearances in Spyro: A Hero's Tail and Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs.
    • Agent 9 was so popular for his Trigger Happy personality that he was intended to become a full-on Breakout Character, getting his own spin-off games. Alas, his games never saw the light of day.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Spyro and Elora have mild Ship Tease, particularly in Ripto's Rage!; note  unsurprisingly, fans of the game wasted no time in pairing them together. Several of their interactions in the Reignited Trilogy were overhauled to be more romantic, increasing the ship's popularity even more as a result.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Ripto/Elora is a semi-popular ship option, especially if Ripto's wearing leather pants.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The ringing of when you pick up a gem. Considering the overwhelming number of gems in the series, you’ll be hearing it in your sleep.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Ripto/Sorceress has a following, despite the two never interacting on-screen.
  • Vindicated by History: In the 1990s, many (predominantly teenage and adult) hardcore Playstation gamers thought of Spyro the Dragon as nothing but a kiddie Mario cash-grab that didn't fit the "mature-geared" console. As the core demographic of Spyro the Dragon displaced the older gamers, the series has become Sacred Cows amongst 3D platformers.


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