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Spyro the Dragon (game)

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This article is about the first game of the Spyro franchise. For the main protagonist who has the same full name, see Spyro.

Spyro the Dragon (game)


Developer(s) Insomniac Games
Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Universal Interactive Studios
Release date(s) PlayStation:
USA September 10, 1998
Europe October 23, 1998[1]
Australia October 23, 1998[1]
Japan April 1, 1999[citation needed]
PlayStation Network:
USA October 25, 2007[2]
Genre(s) Platformer
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
Console(s) PlayStation
Mode(s) Single player
Input Controller (original release)

Spyro the Dragon is the first and titular game of the Spyro franchise. It was first released for the PlayStation in 1998 and was ported to the PlayStation Network in 2007. Since its release, Spyro the Dragon received two sequels, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. A remake of Spyro the Dragon and both of its sequels were done for Spyro Reignited Trilogy.


In the Dragon Worlds, the elder dragons, Astor and Lindar, are being interviewed for a video documentary about their world. Meanwhile, the main antagonist, Gnasty Gnorc is watching the show. Long ago, Gnasty Gnorc detested the dragon families and their shiny jewelry and caused problems among them, so they banished him the dragon junkyard.[3] During the show, a dragon calls Gnasty Gnorc simple-minded, a non-threat, and ugly. This angers Gnasty Gnorc, who casts a large magic spell to encase every dragon into a crystal, making them Dragon Statues. He also makes a potion to turn the radiant gems into Gnorc soldiers to help him invade the Dragon Worlds and steal their treasure.

A young dragon named Spyro was not hit by Gnasty Gnorc's spell (he was shown chasing sheep in the documentary). Aided by his dragonfly companion, Sparx, Spyro eagerly starts his adventure to free the dragons and battle Gnasty Gnorc. Throughout his adventure, Spyro receives advice from the dragons that he frees.

After traveling through the first five Dragon Worlds, Spyro reaches the Dragon junkyard, which Gnasty Gnorc had renamed to Gnorc Gnexus earlier on. Spyro manages to reach Gnasty Gnorc and defeat him in a final battle, therefore putting an end to Gnasty Gnorc's plot.


Spyro in the first level, Stone Hill

Spyro starts out in a Home World, which is a hub location that has portals leading to specific realms. When Spyro reaches the end of a realm, he can jump into the "Return Home" portal to return to the Home World. When Spyro has freed enough dragons or collected enough treasure, he can access the next world by talking to the nearby Balloonist in the hub world.

Every level has a few Dragon Statues, each containing an imprisoned dragon. Spyro can free the dragon simply by touching the statue. Once the dragon is freed, it briefly talks to Spyro before disappearing. The statue's pedestal then becomes a save point and a checkpoint with the Red Fairy. There are a total of 80 Dragon Statues.

Spyro's two main abilities is breathing fire and gliding long distances in the air. Spyro can also perform a charge attack, where he headbutts into enemies using his horns. He can also break objects such as treasure chests this way. Each level is designed to incorporate Spyro's gliding ability, especially large gaps can only be crossed if Spyro jumps off higher terrain and starts to glide across. Some levels have small whirlwinds that launch Spyro a certain distance into the air, allowing him to reach higher areas or glide farther. Spyro cannot swim, so if he falls in the water, he quickly starts to sink and gradually loses hit points. If he is quick enough, Spyro can jump back on land. If Spyro loses all of his ha he loses all of his health.

Later levels feature supercharge ramps, which are stripes of hill marked with glowing arrows. When Spyro charges down a supercharge ramp, his speed increases significantly, allowing him to defeat powerful enemies or smash through certain walls. The speed ends once Spyro stops charging or crashes into an unbreakable wall. In some cases, the supercharge ramp can be combined to an upwards slope, allowing Spyro to perform a high-speed jump and cross very wide gaps.

Throughout the game, Spyro is accompanied by a small dragonfly named Sparx. Aside from helping Spyro collect nearby treasure, Sparx allows Spyro to take a few more hits. If Spyro is not accompanied by Sparx, he is instantly defeated after one hit. If Spyro accompanied by Sparx and takes damage from an enemy or obstacle, Sparx changes color to reflect Spyro's weakened condition. Sparx can take up to three hits before being defeated, and his color indicates how many health points Spyro has left: yellow represents full health, blue represents two hits remaining, and green represents one hit remaining. Sparx can regain a hit point if Spyro defeats a fodder, causing a butterfly to come out for Sparx to eat.


  • Spyro: The main and titular character of the game, Spyro goes on an adventure to rescue his friends and defeat Gnasty Gnorc.
  • Sparx: Sparx is the best friend and protector of Spyro, and he allows Spyro to withstand a few more hits.
  • Dragons: The main species and residents of Dragon World. Several dragons provide helpful advice to Spyro after he frees them from their crystal.
  • Red Fairy: She appears at every pedestal where Spyro freed a dragon from its statue. Spyro has the option to either save his game progress or replay the dragon's message.
  • Balloonists: They allow Spyro to travel between two Dragon Worlds.


Most of the enemies are various types of Gnorcs. Spyro can defeat the weaker enemies by attacking them directly. Most of the enemies are invulnerable to a certain attack—enemies who carry a metal shield or wear plate armor are protected by Spyro's flames. They can usually be defeated from Spyro's charge attack. Contrarily, larger enemies can be defeated by Spyro's flame but not a charge attack. A few enemies are both large and metal-armored, which protects them from both of Spyro's attacks.


  • Fairies: In some levels, purple fairies kiss Spyro to improve his flame breath. In High Caves, there are fairies that prevent Spyro from falling into a pit, by lifting him back up on the ground.
  • Fodder: While not enemies, fodder are various animals that Spyro can defeat to release a butterfly, which restores Sparx's health by a hit point. If Spyro is alone, he can defeat a fodder to release Sparx. Fodder consist of various animals, including sheep, frogs, chickens, rabbits, rats, bats, and lizards. There are also mushrooms, which are the only fodder that are not an animal, and Goat Sheep, which are the only fodder that are hybrid animals.


Each world is overseen by an boss, who was put in charge of the Gnorcs in the area. While the portal to the boss's level is located near the Balloonist in each world, the player is not, in fact, required to confront and defeat the boss first. Rather, it is the Balloonist who sets the condition for traveling to the next world, and if Spyro has released enough dragons, collected enough treasure, the player may proceed to the next world without having to defeat the world's boss first.

Name Description
Toasty He is the first boss and fought in Artisans. Toasty appears to be a scythe-wielding scarecrow but is ultimately revealed to be a sheep in disguise.
Doctor Shemp Doctor Shemp is a witch doctor-like boss who wears sunglasses. He is the boss of Peace Keepers and the second boss overall. Doctor Shemp carries a skull-topped staff, which he tries to strike at Spyro. Doctor Shemp wears a metal shield to protect the front of his body, but is vulnerable from behind.
Blowhard He is the third boss and is fought in Magic Crafters. Blowhard is a wind sorcerer with a whirlwind body and some facial features. Like the Green Wizards found throughout the level, Blowhard is also capable of generating thunderclouds and lightning bolts.
Metalhead A large metal robot who is the boss of Beast Makers and the fourth boss overall. It attacks Spyro with electric rays and by throwing Armored Banana Boys and Strongarms. Metalhead is unaffected by Spyro's flame and charge attack, but Spyro can defeat it by destroying two sets of pylons.
Jacques The boss of Dream Weavers and the fourth boss overall, Jacques is a lizard-faced jack-in-the-box, which its name was derived from. Jacques is located in a nightmare landscape filled with creatures born from bad dreams. Spyro fights him on a series of platforms levitating above a volcanic crater. His main attack is to throw boxes at Spyro.
Gnasty Gnorc He is the main antagonist of the game and the final boss. Gnasty Gnorc's main attack is firing a green light from his scepter. The battle starts with Gnasty Gnorc standing on a platform that is out of Spyro's range of attack, so Spyro must obtain keys from thieves to lower the platform. Spyro must then chase Gnasty Gnorc through the junkyard until reaching a dead-end at the back of a magma-filled hallway, where he defeats Gnasty Gnorc.

Items and objects[edit]

Name Description
1-Up Chest These are objects that contain a silver dragon statue, which grants an extra life to Crash if he collects it.
Dragon Egg They are pink eggs that are stolen by thieves, and each one carries a Dragon Egg. There is a thief in most worlds and levels. Spyro is required to collect enough eggs to access Beast Makers world.
Jewel Also known as treasure, jewels make up the hoard of the Dragon Treasure. Jewels are scattered all over the Dragon Worlds due to Gnasty Gnorc's sloppy personality. Several jewels are found in plain sight, some are found in treasure chests or pots, and some are found by defeating an enemy. Every level and world has a set number of jewels, and collecting them adds to the game's completion percentage. Spyro must collect enough jewels to access the last two worlds, Magic Crafters and Gnorc Gnexus.

Jewels come in five colors⁠—red, green, blue, gold, and purple⁠—each representing 1, 2, 5, 10, and 25 respectively. Jewels with higher denominations are less common than the jewels with a lower one. There are a total of 14,000 jewels, several of which are found in Gnasty's Loot.

Life Sphere If Spyro defeats an enemy more than once, it may drop an Life Sphere. When Spyro collects twenty of them, he receives an extra life.


The game has six worlds, which are known as Dragon Worlds. Each world is home to a different type of dragon. They are where Spyro can access other levels by entering a portal. Every world has five portals except the last one, Gnorc Gnexus. Every world hub has some jewels, a few dragons to rescue, and a flight level that Spyro can unlock by performing a certain task within the hub.

The levels are similar to the worlds in that they have a certain number of gems and usually a few dragons to rescue. Every world except Gnorc Gnexus has three regular levels, a boss level, and a flight level. Every boss level has the same name its boss. Every level, including boss ones, can be completed in any order, although Spyro must unlock the flight levels from the world hub first.

The first five Dragon Worlds each have a flight level. As their name implies, flight levels involve Spyro gliding around the area, fulfilling certain tasks. They are the only levels with no dragons to rescue.

World Levels
Artisans Stone Hill
Dark Hollow
Town Square
Sunny Flight
Peace Keepers Dry Canyon
Cliff Town
Ice Cavern
Night Flight
Doctor Shemp
Magic Crafters Alpine Ridge
High Caves
Wizard Peak
Crystal Flight
Beast Makers Terrace Village
Misty Bog
Tree Tops
Wild Flight
Dream Weavers Dark Passage
Lofty Castle
Haunted Towers
Icy Flight
Gnorc Gnexus Gnorc Cove
Twilight Harbor
Gnasty Gnorc
Gnasty's Loot


The music for Spyro the Dragon was composed by Stewart Copeland, the drummer for The Police. The score for Spyro the Dragon was well received for its originality and portrayal of fantasy-like themes for the Dragon Worlds. All music was composed and performed on a keyboard inputted to a computer with software managing the recordings and compositions.[citation needed] The drum tracks were recordings of Copeland performing the actual drums. Every level in the game has a unique theme, except for Toasty and the Gnorc Gnexus world hub, which use the same theme. Like several video games, Spyro the Dragon's themes do not have any vocals, although the Wild Flight theme has obscured vocal-sounding voices layered on top of the guitar, organ and drums.

Regional differences[edit]


In the North American release, the track for High Caves is a remix of Tree Tops's track. In the European release, High Caves was given a more upbeat track.


Spyro the Dragon received mostly favorable reviews and became a best-seller. IGN ranked it of 9.0 out of 10, and GameSpot ranked it 8.3 out of 10. When the sequel, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, was released, several fans considered the first game to be inferior.[citation needed] Reviews have criticized the easy bosses.


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Spyro the Dragon (game).

External links[edit]


  1. a b Spyro the Dragon UK website - (archived)
  2. PlayStation Store
  3. Spyro the Dragon manual, page 6.