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Platforming video game franchise started in 1998 when Universal Studios commissioned Insomniac Games, starring the eponymous purple dragon, Spyro. Activision is the current developer/producer/distributor of the franchise.


The three (or four, depending on who you ask) series are different continuities, similar to the difference between the classic Mega Man and Mega Man Battle Network.

The series has crossed-over or made cameos in a couple of Crash Bandicoot games.

This game series has a Character Sheet.

All games

  • As Long as There Is Evil
  • Big Bad - Each original game really had stand alone Big Bad, but Ripto was a recurring villain. The Legend of Spyro Trilogy had Malefor as the main antagonist, though each game had a villain he was the Man Behind the Man of, Cynder in the first and Gaul in the second, Skabb was also an arc Big Bad in the second. Skylanders has the Portal Master Kaos as the primary enemy, though the 3DS versions each have their own standalone villain.
  • Bottomless Pit - In the Spyro levels that aren't floating continents.
    • Averted though, in Dawn Of The Dragon, due to Spyro and Cynder both being able to fly. If they fall into a Bottomless Pit they'll eventually open their wings, and just hover there until you make them fly out.
  • Butt Monkey - Hunter and Moneybags
  • Continuity Nod - Books describing the original three games can be found in Shadow Legacy.
    • Pretty much the bulk of first two Legend games.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower - The final battle in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! against Ripto himself, and Dark Spyro in The Eternal Night.
  • Evil Minions - The orcs
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Agent 9. Also an affectionate parody of... certain spy genre icons.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Flying, ex-RAF penguins, would you believe.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You - Inverted. A lot of the on-screen creatures won't try to attack you. On the other hand, killing both the enemies and the peaceful animals has its own rewards, so in a way, this trope is reversed.
  • Funny Animal - Many of the level inhabitants from the second game onward.
  • Furry Fandom: You got dragons, cheetahs, rabbits, reptilian things, and "dragonflies"... obviously a no duh as to why they are here.
  • I Have Come Too Far
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: In meta concept in regards to the originals on the PlayStation, considering all the other games that were released on it at the time.
    • Also in some circles with the first three games, considering that there were several other characters you could play as, it was almost if as Spyro was just there to get you to buy the game.
  • Jerkass - Moneybags. He's well aware that Spyro is the only person that can stop the Big Bad and yet he'll still lower bridges and barricade doors and prevent you from continuing until you pay a small fee...
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: Sheila
  • Kill It with Fire - Pretty much all of Spyro's enemies can be killed with his fire breath, with a few exceptions.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Compared to Ripto and Gnasty Gnorc, the Sorceress is portrayed completely seriously. And her plan is by far the most despicable out of the three.
  • Lampshade Hanging - Frequent, often involving Breaking the Fourth Wall.
  • Magic Wand - the fairies' checkpoints; Ripto's scepter.
  • The Napoleon - Ripto, obviously. Kaos also qualifies.
    • The UK instruction manual actually mentions Napoleon in Ripto's character bio. He fits the trope that well.
  • Nitro Express: Spyro The Dragon titles have several missions which involve Spyro clearing a path for a character who has lit a bomb and must run it to a destination. Expect much restarting while you learn the path the characters in question take to their destination.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Surprisingly averted, despite the number of furry female characters... except for Bianca, a Lara Croft spoof and possibly the Ice Princess.
  • One-Gender Race - female dragons don't even show up until the hatchlings in Year of the Dragon.
  • One Hundred Percent Completion - several Spyro games go beyond 100%.
  • One-Scene Wonder - The Ice Princess, who has a very charming design and attracted a small fandom, appears only to give the player a single mission.
  • One Up
  • Our Dragons Are Different - To the point where the dragons in the original series (Artisan, Peace Keeper, Magic Crafter, Beast Maker, Dream Weaver) are a lot different to the dragons in the Legend of Spyro trilogy, where more emphasis is placed on color and element rather than realm and occupation.
  • Our Fairies Are Different - Act as checkpoints, for one thing.
  • Parental Bonus - Both done by Insomniac and Sierra:
  • Plot Coupon - Dragon Statues, Talismans, Dragon Eggs, Dragonflies, and Light Gems, just to name a few.
  • Redshirt Army - not only does Spyro have to help out the hummingbird army in Year of the Dragon, but also in Season of Ice. Admittedly these are two different divisions of the Redshirt (or Rubythroat) Army, but that still doesn't say good things about their effectiveness.
  • Shout-Out: Many missions of Year of the Dragon have names which refer to other games, including Doom, Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot.
    • One cutscene in in the first game has Spyro saying "You gotta believe!".
    • In A Hero's Tail, the character Mergatroid (in Red's Laboratory) is the most blatant Shout-Out ever. He's a fat robot, wearing a red cap, red shirt and blue overalls... And the cap and overalls have a giant letter M on them. Make it more obvious, why don't you?
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World
  • Suddenly Voiced - Crush and Gulp in Enter the Dragonfly, Sparx in Year of the Dragon.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Female dragons have long eyelashes and wear collars, and the two villainesses of Year of the Dragon possess eye shadow.
  • Theme Naming - Spyro, Ember, and Flame the dragons; all the fireflies, many of the level inhabitants
  • Training Dummy
  • Unnecessary Roughness - The hockey minigames generally involve using Spyro's breath weapon on the opposition.
  • Vague Age: Spyro is implied to be twelve at the time of the third game. The games are implied to not follow Comic Book Time, and Spyro does mature in appearance and voice over the original series. Other dragons that are implied to be his age sound noticeably younger then him in Hero's Tail so he's probably in his young teens, sixteen at most. Still, eggs are apparent in that game despite the fact that they only arrive once every twelve years.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential - If there are cute, cuddly animals roaming a level, chances are, Spyro can kill them for health.
  • Video Game Flight - Spyro has always been able to fly. However, because he's so young and his wings haven't fully grown, he could only ever glide without the assistance of magic until Dawn of the Dragon, which let him and Cynder fly freely.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The real word that Spyro comes from is actually spelled with an i (Spiro).

The classic trilogy

  • Absent-Minded Professor - The Professor
  • Badbutt - Spyro is a prime example, as are Hunter, Sheila and Agent 9.
  • Bad Export for You - The Japanese release of the first two games was plagued by numerous issues, including numerous glitches, a nearly uncontrollable camera, and most inexplicably, signs scattered literally everywhere that caused "helpful" tips to pop up whenever they were hit with Spyro's flame, accidentally or otherwise. Understandably, the first two games did not do well in Japan, and as a result Year of the Dragon never made it there.
  • Bag of Spilling: Mostly averted in Spyro's case in Year of the Dragon. He's still able to swim, climb ladders and headbash, but he doesn't keep the Superflame ability awarded for Hundred-Percent Completion (though it's for the best that he doesn't).
    • Played straight for Sparx in the same game. He forgets how to point to uncollected gems by holding down the shoulder buttons, but can relearn the ability in the second Sparx bonus level.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't call Gnasty Gnorc ugly.
    • Calling Ripto short isn't wise either.
    • Also, don't harm Spyro's friends in front of him unless you want to be on the wrong end of his flame breath.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Spyro's name is a combination of the Latin spīrō (I breathe) and the Greek πῦρ (transliterated "pyr"; fire).
    • Some of the dragon hatchlings' names in Year of the Dragon have special meanings of their own. For example, the dragon in the egg held by the first thief in Molten Crater is named Moira, which means "fate" in Greek.
  • Boss Arena Recovery -
    • Most of the bosses will have sheep drop down occasionally to replenish health.
    • It should be noted that one boss in the second game (Gulp) can, and if you're not fast, will eat small creatures and regain health.
  • Breath Weapon: Spyro is a dragon, after all.
  • Butt Monkey: Hunter. He has has his feet locked in solid rock, thrown into a wall, stuck in a hole, battered with attacks aimed at Spyro, being kidnapped, etc...
  • Camera Centering
  • The Chew Toy: Moneybags. He deserves it though.
  • Cute Bruiser:
    • Handel and Greta.
    • Especially Greta in the Firework Factory level; she whopped those ninjas' asses!
  • Deadpan Snarker - Spyro can be this at times.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen - Bianca. She wears less and less clothing throughout Year of the Dragon as this happens; she starts off in a cloak and ends up in a halter top.
  • Degraded Boss: Buzz, the first boss in the third game, reappears as one of the Mooks the third boss, Scorch (a phoenix, spits out from eggs.
  • Egg McGuffin - The Egg Thieves take this trope and run with it.
  • Escort Mission: The alchemist in the second game and the firefly twins in the third.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears - Moneybags, the resident greedy bastard of the series.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Ripto and the Sorceress.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: You're killing things all the time, even children (think of the Breeze Builder Chicks) and random animals to get butterflies from. At times it seems like cartoon violence, but you're obviously roasting and breaking beings. Their spirits appear at times. Death is also a common joke in cutscenes.
  • Fat Bastard: Moneybags
  • Floating Continent - A lot of the levels seem to be floating in the sky, so falling off the edge of the world will send Spyro plummeting into a blue abyss.
  • Follow the Money - the gems in the first three Spyro games would often indicate hidden treasures and passageways.
  • Freelook Button
  • Free Rotating Camera
  • Furry Confusion:
    • Bianca is an anthropomorphic rabbit in a game where Spyro kills rabbits for health, and sometimes she'll appear in the very same level as the rabbit fodder. Try not to think about it too much.
    • The Sorceress used a rabbit fodder to create the first Boss in Year of the Dragon...
    • There are the Funny Animals, then there are non-anthropomorphic animals that appear to have at least some anthro behaviors.
  • Gotta Collect Them All: Frozen dragons and dragon eggs in the first game, talismans and orbs in the second game, dragon eggs again in the third game, and of course the gems through the entire trilogy.
  • Gotterdammerung: The Sorceress forced the dragons out of what is now known as the Forgotten Worlds a thousand years prior, causing them to take residence on the other side of the world and restore their society there. Little did she know, though, that the dragons were the key to the magic of the Forgotten Worlds...
  • Green Hill Zone: All of the games feature one of these as the first Home World.
  • Grimy Water - ALL the water in Spyro 1, just the weirdly colored water in Ripto's Rage! and Year of the Dragon.
  • Heel Face Revolving Door: Spyro himself.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Moneybags.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • The original trilogy is full of this. Spyro the dragon falls in love with Elora the faun, Hunter the cheetah falls in love with Bianca the rabbit (which adds Carnivore Confusion to the mix), and Sgt. Byrd the flying penguin falls in love with a very humanoid fairy, and that's only naming a few.
    • Princess Ami of the fairies and Prince Azrael of the cat wizards. The fairies and wizards won't accept their relationship (in fact, the fairies mislead Spyro into thinking Ami has been abducted against her will, and must be saved). The two decide to elope, riding a magical flying motorcycle to the sunset.
    • There's also Romeo and Juliet, a Land Blubber (giant purple grub) and a bird, in Zephyr.
  • Lull Destruction: The Japanese version of the first two games had added voice acting for whenever Spyro jumped or dashed.
    • The cutscenes had a bit of this as well. Compare the Japanese version to the original version to see how much added dialogue there is. For starters, Sparx can talk.
    • The cutscenes that played at the beginning and the end of each level definitely had this.
  • Mascot with Attitude: During the original trilogy especially; there were even ads with Spyro "beating" Mario.
  • The Napoleon: Ripto
  • Palmtree Panic: Sunny Beach in Spyro 2, and Seashell Shore in Year of the Dragon.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse:
  • Pop Star Composer: Stewart Copeland did the music for the original trilogy, with some help from Ryan Beveridge in the 3rd.
  • The Professor: The Professor of course!
  • Star-Crossed Lovers:
    • Romeo the landblubber and Juliet the breezebuilder in Zephyr in Spyro 2.
    • In Year of the Dragon, Princess Ami of the fairies and Prince Azrael of the cat wizards in Charmed Ridge. The two eventually run off to elope.
  • Schizo-Tech: Medieval elements in the first three games are used quite a lot, but there's also domed robot cities (Metropolis) and metal cities on the ocean (Metro Speedway) as well as smaller-scale technology mixes like electric floors in an area where the dragons still live on stilts in the swamp. It's quite rampant in the series.
  • Sequence Breaking: The "double jump" bug in the second game allows for massive amounts of this.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Cliff Town and Dry Canyon (as well as the Peace Keepers homeworld) in Spyro the Dragon, Scorch in Spyro 2, and Desert Ruins in Year of the Dragon.
  • Shout-Out
    • An odd one in Year of the Dragon to Never Cry Wolf, a book by Farley Mowat. An NPC named Mowat has you look for his pet wolf, Farley. At one point he says "Don't cry, wolf. Never cry, wolf!"
    • Upon rescuing Tomas in Gnorc Cove
    • In the third game Spyro gives us this line: "The rumors of our extinction were greatly exaggerated".
    • The second game has one of the wizards in the Cloud Temples stage claiming that he knew the magic words to take Spyro straight to Dragon Shores: "Klaatu, barada, ni- nuh- na... Never mind."
    • In Year of the Dragon, there's a side mission as Agent 9, which is entirely a first-person shooter. The description in the atlas to get the egg for completing this is called "You're Doomed!"
  • Some Kind of Force Field: Some realms use these to keep Spyro in the level proper. They are marked with small structures placed every few yards, presumably acting as fenceposts to the barrier itself. If Spyro charges into an invisible barrier, he'll be knocked back as if he hit a wall, and the spot that he hit will flash for a second afterward.
  • Sugar Bowl: Pretty much played straight in the first three games, although with a dish of attitude. It's gone by the time Sierra stepped in though.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In the first game. Also applies to any non-clear water in later games.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Once Spyro learns how to swim in the second game, he can stay underwater indefinitely.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change
    • Played with in Ripto's Rage with some of the minigames, becomes incredibly prevalent in Year of the Dragon. Year of the Dragon included game mechanics like skate parks, speedways, first-person shooter levels, different vehicles, different playable characters with different game mechanics, and at least one minigame in each level. Compare this to the first Spyro the Dragon game, which only had the Speedways.
  • Video Game Lives

The games released between the classic and The Legend of Spyro trilogies

  • Fetch Quest - Pretty much all of the games, but Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs is especially bad at this, to the point where the entire gameplay is just fetching items to fetch other items to fetch the World Hearts.
  1. "Strange Dragonflies" in French.