One of the most popular characters to come soaring into the video game scene in the late 1990s was Spyro, a plucky purple dragon. Spyro first starred in 1998’s Spyro the Dragon, an action-adventure platformer that quickly put both the titular character and the developer, Insomniac Games, on the map.
Players control Spyro, who can breathe fire and charge with his horns in order to defeat enemies. Spyro is aided by a dragonfly, Sparx, who helps Spyro pick up treasure and also indicates Spyro’s health via his color. Spyro lives in the Dragon Kingdom, a realm that has been at peace for many years. However, the tranquility is interrupted when Gnasty Gnorc, a half-gnome half-orc creature, decides to invade the Kingdom and freezes all of the dragons in crystal. Spyro is only able to escape by being too small to have been caught in the spell.
Spyro sets out to rescue his fellow dragons and travels across the various areas of the world, rescuing dragons from their crystal prisons and defeating Gnasty’s army. Eventually, Spyro manages to knock out Gnasty and restore the Dragon Kingdom.
Spyro the Dragon entered development shortly after the release of Crash Bandicoot, another PlayStation exclusive at the time. The development team at Insomniac was tasked with creating a game that would appeal to a mass market, as there was concern at the time that the demographic appeal of the PlayStation’s library was limited.
The game released to positive reviews and sold quite well, kicking off a franchise that has since included a dozen games. The Skylanders franchise is also considered a spinoff of Spyro (Skylanders features Spyro as a playable character, and the first game featured the subtitle of Spyro’s Adventure). However, the main franchise went quiet 10 years ago, with the last new game in the series, The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, releasing in 2008.
However, it appears that the fire hasn’t gone out quiet yet for this dragon – Activision recently announced a remastered trilogy of the first three games (Spyro the Dragon, Ripto’s Rage!, and Year of the Dragon), which will be arriving on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 21, 2018, just in time for the 20th anniversary celebration. Response to the announcement trailer has been hugely positive, which may mean more new Spyro content is to come in the future.