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I noticed there's no general thread for the Spyro the Dragon franchise, and so to avoid having too much Spyro-centric discussion dominate the Skylanders threads, I figured I'd better start one.
Now, just to be clear, this is a thread for classic Spyro, The Legend of Spyro, AND anything Spyro-related in Skylanders (though his presence seems to dwindle with each game). I know there's a Broken Base over all the reboots, but I don't want this to turn into nothing but bashing one series or another.
Anywho, you might be thinking this franchise is long dead and there's nothing to talk about, but I've actually been on a Spyro craze lately and I've found a couple cool things:
There's a hack of the first game that lets Spyro fly freely in every level.
This 3D fangame based on the PS1 classics is coming along nicely.
This Youtuber is messing with the textures to make day stages night stages, etc. It's pretty awesome.
Someone remade the Artisans homeworld in Unreal engine as a school project, and it looks gorgeous.
Well, that's all I can find off the top of my head. Sorry that's all a bit, err, classic-centric. I know the other two continuities have their fans, but I guess classic Spyro inspires more fan projects because it's got more of a nostalgia factor going for it.
So actually, I'm not the Spyro fan, it's my girlfriend. I started with Legend and she hated it (but we had fun comparing it to Lord of the Rings and bashing it endlessly).
Well, I am still sad there's no Skylanders thread, this is close enough. But I hardly play that game due to being super simplistic for an Action RPG. Me and GF just buy figures and characters we like. Her favorite is Camo and mine is Zoo Lou (among others).
Speaking of Skylanders, I don't think Spyro's presence is lessening. There are just no quadrupeds in the Superchargers team. I guessed that it's hard for them to justify quads driving... uh, quads. So they created Spitfire as an expy of Spyro. The weird thing is he doesn't even have any legs, though his flame "tail" can probably operate an Automatic Transmission vehicle.
That said, let me get back to you, the next time my GF and I get together, I'll make sure to show her the links.
Look, if you want to talk about Skylanders in general, just make a separate thread for it. At this point, I don't really think the Skylanders games are "Spyro" games any more than they're Donkey Kong games or Mario games just because Superchargers has Donkey Kong and Bowser in it.
And I do think Spyro's appearing less and less in each new Skylanders game. In the first game, he was the title character, his toy came with the game, and he was involved in the big battle in the first cutscene and showed up again for the ending cutscene, and Hugo even says Spyro's name if he's the first toy you put on the Portal in the tutorial level.
In the second game, he got one quick line in the opening cutscene. In the third game, he got a voiceless cameo in the opening cutscene. And by the fifth game, Spyro doesn't even have a new toy variant or anything.
Anyways, I've also recently replayed the Legend of Spyro console games. I actually think they're way more of a Star Wars ripoff than a LotR ripoff. There are a couple differences, but think about it like this:
And even the titles are vaguely similar:
It doesn't line up perfectly, but it's pretty darn similar. It's really only similar to Lord of the Rings aesthetically (and with, y'know, Spyro's voice actor).
Legend of Spyrp even has the creepy retconned brother-sister incest since the GBA games say Cynder is Spyro's sister.
edited 3rd Feb '16 6:23:25 PM by spashthebandragon
I like that "Legend Of" actually had justification for air juggling.
If it was me, I would have at most made a Spyro spin off game starring a different dragon from a different clan who resided in different realms not yet reached by the portal network. After all, it hasn't yet connected the Dragon Realms to the forgotten Worlds and only recently connected the former to Avalar. Yet dragons were able to travel(involuntarily) from the worlds to the realms without portals so where else could they have ended up?
I'm not sure if "Eternal Night" was better about the points of no return or if I had just gotten used to them again but by that point I had accepted the decidedly not original trilogy level design and progression. The battle system was massively improved in my opinion too, was a bit disappointed "Drawn Of The Dragon" decided to instead base itself more off the first game's.
As for Star Wars, I kind of see it but I definitely can see where one would get Lord Of The Rings vibes. The city siege was very "Two Towers" or "Return Of The King" esque.
The last Spyro game I played was Enter the Dragonfly... what a disaster of a game. I miss old Spyro, 90s Spyro, the one I grew up with. The fact that they killed the series just to make Skylanders infuriates me to no end. Look at Crash! He died for real and hasn't been resurrected since. Modern franchises don't even compare man. Kids today think Call of Duty and Gears of War are the bomb but that's because they never played the oldies. I miss you Spyro!
edited 4th Feb '16 2:54:04 AM by Pwener
Let's not bash Skylanders please. Do you actually prefer a character stay dead like Crash, over being part of a reboot but demoted to extra? I'd take the latter anyday.
edited 4th Feb '16 2:38:20 AM by Malco
I'm not bashing anything, I've never even played it. I just feel sore for the way they used Spyro for brand recognition as a way to get the series going.
edited 4th Feb '16 2:40:05 AM by Pwener
Pretty sure calling something "stupid garbage" constitutes bashing.
Execs think that "collectathon" platformers like Banjo-Kazooie are dead, (thanks in part to Year of the Dragonfly, perhaps,) with Rayman being a zombie that continues to somehow live.
And thus, Spyro went through a genre shift to spectacle fighting (Legend series) and then to action RPG (Skylanders).
At least Spys is still around, many still know who he is, and he is about to be the lead in an upcoming CGI western animation series.
edited 4th Feb '16 2:48:01 AM by Malco
Forgive me I was young, angry and stupid! But seriously I have nothing against Skylanders. Spyro was my boy back in the day though and to see him reduced to a marketing ploy feels me with misguided rage.
In my opinion it'd be preferable if the Spyro series was dead, yes. Or rather, I'd rather have left Spyro dormant. If Insomniac created one financially successful series and decided they were tired of making installments for it, I don't think my response would be to let them go and get someone else to do it, but to keep them and gambit that whatever other money making series they made would be for me and not someone else. I'd put Spyro on the back burner until they had more ideas for it or kept some of them around as overseers in the case someone else had ideas.
Maybe that's hindsight talking, since we best know Spyro as a Franchise Zombie. Maybe I wouldn't have known any better in 99 either, but I do know one thing. EarthBound and Dark Stalkers remain cult classics despite having less installments than Spyro because of the name recognition of Nintendo and Capcom. Would their fans probably like more installments? Yes. Would putting out games that are decidedly not what attracted fans in the first place be worth it? Probably not when you can just make those games without dragging them in.
Pokémon really didn't need to co opt Earthbound to be successful. Monster Hunter didn't need to co opt anything either. Ratchet And Clank didn't need to co opt Spyro, so I'm not convinced Skylanders needed to either. I hear he's being fazed out of them now, which is fine with me, but because Skylanders is successful that probably makes another Spyro platform game less likely to happen than if it had just been left dormant until someone had a good idea, because now it hasn't just been displaced by a newer popular series, but diluted by it.
I'd rather see Spyro in Skylanders than retired permanently. Even if Skylanders isn't super faithful to the original Spyro games, at least it's popular with kids, so at least now a lot of little kids know who Spyro is. So if they ever do make a new Spyro game, it'll have a better chance of being successful than if Spyro had just lain dormant for a decade.
Of course, I really don't understand why Activision can't just make a new Skylanders game and a new classic Spyro game. They could even do a small tie-in. I'd buy the crap out of a "Classic Spyro variant" Skylanders toy.
But I guess Skylanders is just so successful that Activision sees no reason to risk investing in classic Spyro again. Ah, well, maybe the toys to life fad will die eventually now that a bunch of competitors are flooding the market, and if stuff like Yooka-Laylee and the 3D Mario platformer for Nintendo's next console are super successful, Activision will want to do a "retro" Spyro game, too.
Really, the only thing that bothers me about Spyro being in Skylanders is that it makes it harder for anyone else to get the rights to the franchise. Activision might have relinquished their rights to Spyro, but they're sure as heck never gonna give up their rights to Skylanders. They'd probably just refuse to hand over the Spyro rights because they don't want kids to buy a new Skylanders game and put their Spyro/Sparx/Cynder toy on the Portal only to be told "Sorry, this toy isn't valid anymore!"
edited 4th Feb '16 6:06:09 AM by spashthebandragon
I enjoyed the GBA games of this series.
I wonder if they're canon to the original flavor Spyro...
Which GBA games?
I really liked the GBA games based on classic Spyro (Okay, except Spyro Orange / Fusion, but at least that crossed over with another awesome series), and apparently the GBA version of Legend of Spyro The Eternal Night is surprisingly high quality compared to the other versions.
I'm not sure Spyro has a canon, I think it just has 3-4 alternate continuities. If it does though, "Spyro Orange" definitely is not part of that canon.
Insomniac has been inconsistent about what they accept too. They used to say the GBA games "Season Of Ice", "Season Of Flame" and "Attack Of The Rhynocs" had their approval but after Skylanders came out they said all the Spyro games made by anyone other than themselves were rubbish but they liked the fact Skylanders had introduced Spyro to a new generation.
I don't think there's any official Word of God on Spyro canon, but I'd think of it like this:
The original Insomniac games are indisputably canon to classic Spyro. They don't contradict each other at all as far as I know. Season of Ice is very continuity-heavy, explaining what happened to the Rhynoc after the Sorceress was killed and why Moneybags is no longer a Haiku poet, and seeing as the GBA games allegedly have Approval of God from Insomniac, I'd count it as canon, too.
Season of Flame happens immediately after Season of Ice, and it doesn't really have anything that violates continuity. The thing about dragons needing fireflies to breathe fire is weird, but the Spyro world is pretty cartoony, so I'll let it slide. Also, the epilogue to Spyro 3 already revealed Ripto is alive, so that doesn't contradict anything either. Crush and Gulp are Suddenly Voiced, but that could be Hand Waved away as either they just didn't have anything to say in Spyro 2, or A Wizard Did It or something.
Attack of the Rhynoc does some really weird things with the characters (like having Sgt. Byrd be in charge of other penguins instead of hummingbirds), but I think you could squeeze it into continuity if you just assume all the Forgotten Worlds characters are just visiting the worlds they inhabit in this game.
Enter the Dragonfly fits perfectly fine into continuity so long as we assume it happens between Year of the Dragon and Season of Ice, since the dragons seem to still be celebrating the Year of the Dragon and all. The fact that Spyro never starts the games after this one with his alternate breaths unlocked could be Hand Waved as "the magic wore off over time."
A lot of people like to decry A Hero's Tail as non-canon even though it explicitly references the time Spyro beat Gnasty Gnorc in the first game. I think the only major continuity issue here is that some characters have totally different personalities. But that could be Hand Waved away, too. ("That's, uh, that's Moneybags's brother who was raised in a different realm and thus has a totally different accent.")
People also think Spyro Orange is non-canon because it crosses over with Crash, but I think that's stupid. In Crash Purple, we explictly see Crash enter a warp portal, and then Aku Aku says "I wonder where that last portal took us, Crash?" So it's not like they're pretending Crash and Spyro exist in the same universe. And the Crash games establish Cortex has a means of interdimensional travel, so it's not that hard to assume he discovered Spyro's world and met up with Ripto. And we can assume the game takes place after Twinsanity. And yeah, Nina is Suddenly Voiced, but that's normal for Crash characters, and her personality totally changes in the Radical Entertainment games, but so did everyone else's.
Shadow Legacy explicitly references the Insomniac Games and A Hero's Tail as canon, and some unused text in the games's files mention the Dragonfly Dojo from Enter the Dragonfly (making me think the game's "Dragon Dojo" is probably meant to be the same place). The main continuity error with this game is that it shoots the geography straight to hell (Like, apparently Cliff Town and Wizard Peak are in walking distance of each other. So then why the frig did I have to take a balloon in the first game?), but you could just assume the game's map isn't canon (It's really just there for teleporting anyways, so why would it include locations not in the game?) and assume every time Spyro goes from one area to another, he flies through a portal offscreen.
And then of course Legend of Spyro and Skylanders are totally different continuities unless you subscribe to wild theories like I do about them being in the same timeline but thousands of years apart.
The point is, the non-Insomniac games could all the considered canon so long as you're willing to Hand Wave away a few nitpicky inconsistencies. I, uh, I probably put way too much thought into this.
edited 5th Feb '16 6:27:08 AM by spashthebandragon
Wait, they did that? When?
Or are you just speaking hypothetically?
Yes, I meant hypothetically. Sorry I worded that in a way that gave you false hope.
What I'm saying is, I doubt they'll give up their Spyro rights since he's now part of the Skylanders franchise, which they will never give up in a million years. If they DID give Spyro away, they'd have to exclude him from future Skylanders games, and I'm sure they don't want that since they make such a big fuss about the toys always being forwards compatible.
edited 5th Feb '16 7:07:06 AM by spashthebandragon
I will avoid talking about the Legend reboot for now, since I haven't finished Dawn of Teh Dragon... yet. I am very lazy with that game.
But I will talk about the original trilogy (there were no other games in that "canon", shut up). I own all three in Greatest Hits versions, with all the improvements (everything fully supports analog) and bug patches (no double jump, no Year of the Dragon mess). I played each game twice, BUT did not complete 3 (final boss remains to be beat). Looking forward to playing the games on the PS1 emulator once I manage to install Linux.
I like the original trilogy, though the majority of my experience with it is from Year of the Dragon. It was one of my favorite childhood games, and I actually got 117% (or however high it was).
Phht. That's nothing. I got 117% and all the Skill Points!
Please, please, hold the applause.
Anyone know who started that trend? Because even though Sony aired commercials about Spyro "defeating" Mario, that more than 100% completion thing seemed very Donkey Kong to me.
Besides Donkey Kong Country having the more than 100%, I heard Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's 103% (I think) map completion. The extra is glitches though.
edited 8th Feb '16 11:45:46 PM by Malco
A new texture hack to turn Mystic Marsh into a nighttime level.
Another new nighttime texture hack, this time for Cliff Town in the Spyro World Viewer.
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