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File:Legendspyro 702.jpg

Activision's Continuity Reboot trilogy of video games based on the Spyro the Dragon franchise. In comparison to the lighthearted tone of classic Spyro, the Legend Trilogy had a much darker atmosphere, including the major changes to characters, story, and gameplay.

Whereas the original games usually opted for an Excuse Plot, these games had a complex story spanned over three games. Basically, Spyro is a legendary Purple Dragon, a rare breed that can master the Elemental Powers of every other breed of Dragon. This would be useful in fighting off the Dark Master, a powerful enemy trying to destroy the world, except that the temple Spyro was born in was attacked, forcing Ignitus, guardian of the eggs, to send Spyro's egg down a river. There it was found by a family of dragonflies, who raised Spyro to believe he was a dragonfly, too. A big, purple, dragonfly.

Of course, eventually Spyro realizes that he's not really an insect and sets off with his foster brother, Sparx, to find out who he is. That's when he meets Ignitus, and the story kicks in:

  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (2006) (developed by Krome Studios)
    • Purple dragons are rare and have immense power, so it's no wonder that, when a purple dragon egg is laid, every evil man and his Evil Matriarch wants to get their hands on it. A hoard of baddies storm the dragon hatchery, breaking all the eggs—but wise Ignitus manages to save the little purple egg and set it downriver, where a family of dragonflies adopts it. Many years later, little Spyro begins to realize that he's not quite what he thought he was when he figures out he can breathe fire, and he and Sparx set out on a quest to stop the evil Cynder!
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (2007) (developed by Krome Studios)
    • After defeating Cynder, she turns back to her true form—a tiny child dragon no older than Spyro. But she has seen the darkness, and is compelled by a shadowy force named Gaul to try and release the Dark Master from the Well of Souls. He wants to cloak the world in an endless night. Spyro, lead by visions of a strange dragon master, tries to pursue her and stop her from making a horrible mistake. But in the process, Spyro may just be touched by the darkness himself...
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (2008) (developed by Etranges Libellules[1])
    • Three years after The Eternal Night, Spyro and Cynder wake up from being Dragon Popsicles only to be unceremonious chained together at the neck. Luckily, Hunter the cheetah tracks them down and helps them escape. While they were asleep, the evil master Malefor rose again, and the world is in turmoil. Now, Spyro and Cynder must work as a team to help stop Malefor. But what's this? Both Spyro and Malefor are purple dragons? Maybe they're Not So Different after all...

A movie was planned for this series but was cancelled.

This series has also caused a bit of a gap in the Spyro fanbase, and the next Spyro game coming out, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, seems to be following this trend of fan controversy.

This trilogy contains exaples of:

  • All-Star Cast: Is there ever! Even when the series Darrins a couple times, they still managed to pull people like Gary Oldman, Wayne Brady, and Christina Ricci, along with several prolific cartoon voice actors.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Spyro does this with his Elemental Powers at the end of TLoS: A New Beginning
  • Alternate Universe or Alternate Continuity
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Just as Spyro is about to unleash his Fury Wave to stop the destruction of the world, which may end up as a Heroic Sacrifice, Cynder, who refuses to leave Spyro's side whispers to him "I love you".
  • Apocalypse How: The Destroyer causes either a Class 4 or Class 5. It's kind of hard to tell if all life gets wiped out and the remaining life survives or if it's complete extinction and life returns somehow. However, it could also be a Class X, as the world breaks appart in the process but somehow gets restored afterwards.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: According to Ignitus, this is standard for dragons. He does it himself when he becomes the new Chronicler.
  • Award Bait Song: "Guide You Home," from Dawn of the Dragon, and "This Broken Soul", from The Eternal Night.
  • Beam-O-War: The final battle features one as the deciding move, Malefor tries to kill Spyro and Cynder with his Convexity Breath, only for them to counter with their respective Fury Breaths. After a beam struggle, the heroes finally overpower him.
  • Beam Spam: Fury-mode breath in Dawn of the Dragon. Watch enemies explode into pretty showers of crystals on contact!
  • Beat The Curse Out Of Her: Spyro blasts Dark Cynder so hard that it frees her from Malefor's power.
  • Big Bad: The Dark Master, Malefor. His Dragons also serve as the villains of the first two games, Cynder in the first and Gaul in the second. Skabb is also the main villain of the Sky Pirates arc of the second game.
  • Big No
  • Breather Episode: The Sky Pirates arc of The Eternal Night is rather lighthearted and comical compared to the rest of that game.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Spyro's voiced by Elijah Wood. (However, Wood is admittedly a big nerd...) Oh, and Sparx is David Spade in the first (He is replaced by Billy West. Then Wayne Brady.), Ignitus is Gary Oldman, and Mark Hamill is Malefor (though his voice is heavily distorted, and he's been voice acting for a very long time).
    • Lampshaded by Sparx near the beggining of the third game.

 Sparx: Hey, Spyro, man, you're alive.

Spyro: Sparx! It's good to see you too! You okay?

Sparx: Huh, you know, little stiff, voice keeps changing, but I'm good.

  • Chained Heat: Dawn of the Dragon has this as a mechanic--Spyro and Cynder can't go too far from one another. They can use the chain to their advantage, though.
  • Chessmaster: Malefor, big time. Until the end, pretty much everything goes according to his plan.
  • Colossus Climb: The Golem boss battle involves wounding it's arm enough to jump on and climb up to it's head and smash it's brain. Answering the question of why they don't just fly up to do it, the Guardians tried that and failed horribly.
    • The Destroyer is also fought in this manner and plays it much straighter, as the dang thing is bigger than a mountain.
  • Continuity Reboot
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Sort of in A New Beginning. Cynder is the only black dragon in the game, so naturally, she's the villain, right? Well, sort of. She was actually The Dragon (no pun intended), controlled by the REAL Big Bad and only happens to be a black colored dragon. At the end of the game, she becomes an ally and more of an example of Dark Is Not Evil for the rest of the series.
  • Conservation of Competence: In all three games, the Big Bad is much smarter and more cunning than their minions. Dark Cynder and Gaul are both far more competent than the Apes and Malefor is a skillful Chessmaster leading an army of magically created monsters with no real competence.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Spyro games that have come before. The first game of this trilogy begins with the Dragon Realms already in the middle of a long war, where Spyro and Cynder's entire generation were slaughtered as eggs. Ignitus burns to death! Yes, he died off screen, but still. Malefor alone is much darker than most of the Classic villains and is an Omnicidal Maniac trying to destroy the world.
  • Dark Action Girl: Cynder
    • In the first game. She becomes a normal Action Girl in the third.
  • Darkest Hour: The end of Dawn of the Dragon. Ignitus is killed in a Heroic Sacrifice, the Destroyer is marching around the globe and nothing can stop it, and Cynder is under Malefor's control. A Hope Spot comes when the Power of Love frees Cynder, giving them a fighting chance, but it's crushed when the Destroyer finishes it's journey and begins the end of the world. It eventually gets better and Spyro manages to perform a World-Healing Wave and fixes the world, but it was certainly a dark moment.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Cynder, once she gets over the evil. In Dawn of the Dragon, she has an array of special powers due to her having been "touched by darkness."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sparx. Cynder even manages to pick up some snarky lines at some points.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Spyro confronts Malefor in Dawn of the Dragon, and Malefor turns Cynder against him.

 Cynder: Fight back! ...Why won't you fight back?!

Spyro: ...Because you've left me nothing to fight for....

  • The Dragon: Cynder and Gaul to Malefor originally. In the third game, the Golem takes over this role.
  • Dragon Popsicle: To avoid a huge cataclysm, Spyro shields himself, Cynder, and Sparx in a crystal. They wake up 3 years later.
  • Demoted to Extra: Volteer and Cyril in Dawn of the Dragon. Both were chatterboxes in the first two games, but in DOTD they each get a single line.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Spyro and Cynder managed to kill the Destroyer, an ancient mythological monster that exists to destroy the world, by destroying every dark crystal in its body, including its heart. Sure, Malefor brought it back to life, but if he hadn't been involved, then it would've been dead. And not like it worsened the situation in any way.
  • Disney Death: Well, it's kind of a Disney Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Spyro and Cynder seem to have a Heroic Sacrifice to save the world, but after the credits, the Chronicler informs Ignitus that he can't find any information on Spyro dying... and then we see him and Cynder, joyfully flying around Avalar.
  • Disney Villain Death: Skabb, after losing to Spyro, staggers backwards off the side of his ship, falling to his death.
  • Disk One Final Boss: Skabb in the second game.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Malefor's demise is a bit vague, but it certainly has this feel to it.
  • Earthshattering Kaboom: Dawn of the Dragon has the Destroyer walking in a massive circle to destroy the planet. It succeeds. Sort of.
  • Earn Their Happy Ending: Big time. Spyro and Cynder spend the entire story fighting just to stay alive come close to dying at the end of each game, both turned evil on at least one occasion, risked their lives many times, and finally literally stop the end of the world from happening. Just try telling them they didn't earn peace and happiness after that.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Destroyer qualifies. It's an ancient mythological monster that has existed since the beginning of time and exists for only one reason; to destroy the world in a cascade of fire and ash. It's also the size of a mountain and nearly unstoppable.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Occurs with Sparx in The Eternal Night when the Chronicler shows a picture of Spyro and Sparx shortly after they were born.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Cynder's second poison move is a screw attack.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The one thing that Malefor couldn't plan for was the Power of Love.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Dark Cynder's lair in the first game.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In Dante's Freezer, the Apes and Ghouls are fighting one another as well as Spyro.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Malefor does this to the Apes after they outlive their usefulness. He turns them into undead creatures, forever doomed to remain in the shadows with a hunger for the energy of others that can never be filled. Even Spyro and Cynder, who the Apes had been trying to kill for two games, are horrified at this.
    • Depending on how you view his final scene, Malefor's defeat may also count.
  • Foe Yay: Be honest. How many were Spyro/Cynder shipping even before she became a good guy?
  • Floating Continent: Dawn of the Dragon has a level of this sort as well. However, the danger of falling to one's death is non-existent, as Spyro and Cynder can actually fly this time around.
  • Genre Shift: While the original trilogy and the games between that and this trilogy were more of Gotta Collect Them All Platform Games, this trilogy is more of and Action Adventure Beat'Em Up.
  • Gladiator Games: Spyro is forced to fight in these in the second game.
  • Golem: Giant lava monsters sleeping under the earth. Only one is actually seen, serving as Malefor's Dragon in the third game. The Destroyer appears to be a supersized one as well.
  • Grand Finale: Dawn of the Dragon.
  • Happily Adopted: Spyro doesn't mind being adopted by dragonflies, though his parents fade from the picture rather after the intro of A New Beginning. Then again, there really wasn't much time to visit mom and dad between searching for Cynder, getting kidnapped by pirates, and fighting a war.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Ignitus.
    • Also subverted. It seems like Spyro and Cynder make one in the end, even they seem aware this may be their end, but they ultimately are revealed to be alive.
  • Immune to Fate: Purple Dragons are this, it's stated that they're able to guide the fate of the era into which they were born. This is shown by Spyro's habit of screwing destiny every time he hears a prediction he doesn't like.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: At the start of the third game, Hunter manages to hit a Golem in the eye from quite a distance away.
  • Infinity+1 Element: Going into Fury mode in Dawn of the Dragon lets you use a special, "Fury-type" elemental breath. Very effective on Elite Enemies.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Related to the above--equipping all the pieces of "Fury armor" to either Spyro or Cynder in Dawn of the Dragon lets them use the Fury-element breath at any time. Most things die quickly. Unfortunately, so does your Mana Meter.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Dark Cynder in the first game, as the Apes were at least comical to some degree, but she's completely serious. In the second game, it's Gaul, who comes after the somewhat comical Sky Pirates Story Arc and like Dark Cynder has no real comedy to him. While Dawn of the Dragon was consistantly dark throughout, it was largely due to Malefor being unleashed. As the overall Big Bad, Malefor could be considered this for the Spyro the Dragon series, as he's by far more serious and deadly than previous villains.
  • Lip Lock: Dawn of the Dragon somewhat suffers. It was made by a French studio (Etranges Libellules), so the English dub sometimes makes conversations seem kind of rushed.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Cynder's "Fear" element in Dawn of the Dragon lets her use superpowered screeches.
  • Maniac Monkeys: Most of the enemies are this, and usually twice your size.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Ignitus sending Spyro's egg down the river in an attempt to save him.
  • Mythology Gag: Sparx munching on butterflies in The Eternal Night. In A New Beginning there's also races of fawns and moles, possibly a Shout-Out to Elora and the Professor from the original trilogy.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Dark Master. Though Malefor counts as well...
  • Near Villain Victory: Malefor comes very close to winning. At the climax of Dawn of the Dragon, he's unleashed the Destroyer and the only hope of stopping it is defeating Malefor before it completes the Ring Of Fire. Spyro and Cynder fail to stop him in time and it finishes. Malefor's boss battle with the heroes after that point pretty much amounts to stopping him once and for all. The only thing that stops him from winning is Spyro performing a World-Healing Wave and undoing the Destroyer's power.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A New Beginning was originally advertised as a Prequel to the original Spyro the Dragon.
  • Not So Different: Sort of. In the final confrontation in Dawn of the Dragon Malefor claims that purple dragons were meant to constantly destroy and rebirth the world, and that Spyro has carried that torch that Malefor himself held in this regard. Ironically, Spyro ends up repairing the planet.
    • In ANB, Ignitus reveals that Cynder is not so different from Spyro either, being her egg came from the same place as Spyro's.
      • To specify, they were born on the same Year of the Dragon and where part of that year's group.
  • The Obi-Wan: Ignitus, very much so. Although his personality is more like that of Peppy Hare.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Spyro was raised by dragonflies, and more or less believed he was a dragonfly until the whole "breathing fire" thing set in.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Malefor takes over the Dragon Temple and turns it into one of these in the three years between Eternal Night and Dawn of the Dragon. For added omniousness, there's a massive volcano erupting underneath it that the Destroyer emerges from. It gets destroyed when the Destroyer completes it's path around the world, triggering the volcano to erupt.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Dark Cynder, Gaul, the Destroyer, and Malefor's themes all have it.
  • Outside Context Villain: Dark Cynder served as this for the Dragons during the war. They were winning in their long battle with the Apes, then she showed up and singlehandedly turned the tide of the war. Not only was she just that powerful, it's easy to guess they had no one of guessing a Dragon would show up leading the Apes.
  • Pirate Parrot: Two parrots from The Eternal Night.
  • Prepare to Die: Said by Malefor in Dawn of the Dragon.
  • Press X to Not Die: Dawn of the Dragon picked up quite a few quicktime events.
  • The Power of Love: Plays a rather large role at the end of Dawn Of The Dragon. Cynder manages to break Spyro out of his Dark Spyro form with it following Ignitus' death. He then returns the favor by freeing her from Malefor's control with his own love for her.
  • Punny Name: In the first game, the Manweersmals. Say it out loud--slowly--if you don't get it. (For the record, they're about the same size as Spyro, though given he's a 12 year old dragon, he's small anyway.)
    • Upon meeting one, Spyro even says, "Man, they are small."
      • And, Mount Boyzitbig. At the very beginning of the level, Spyro says, "Boy, it's big."
  • Real Is Brown: The PlayStation 3/Xbox360 versions of Dawn of the Dragon have heavily abused the 'bloom' effect, as noted in this article.
  • Recurring Riff: Parts of the melody of "Guide You Home" (from the credits of Dawn of the Dragon) can be heard in the background music throughout the game.
  • Ship Level: The Sky Pirates part of The Eternal Night.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Just before the final battle with Malefor, Spyro tells Sparx he can't come with him and instead asks him to lead everyone to safety underground.
    • Justified, as he'd not have been able to survive the intense heat in the Belt of Fire.
  • Siege Engines: Used during the battle at Warfang: Malefor's forces use siege towers and a Battering Ram, while the moles defend the city with a catapult.
  • Smashing Survival: Done a couple times in Dawn of the Dragon.
  • Spirit Advisor: Ignitus in the ending of Dawn of the Dragon. How ironic.
    • Before that, the Chronicler served that role.
  • The Stinger: After the credits upon beating the game, we get to see Ignitus become the new Chronicler... and that Spyro and Cynder have survived putting the fractured world back together, and are joyfully flying around in celebration.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Spyro gets one and obliterates Gaul with it. It turns up again when Spyro gets upset over Ignitus' death.
  • Taken for Granite: Dark Spyro's fury attack does this to Gaul and immediately shatters the boss afterwards.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Cynder was touched by darkness, leaving her with a bevy of Dark Is Not Evil powers.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Notice "Guide You Home" sounds a bit familar? Anything like, say... the music in the Enchanted Forest? And the Valley of Avalar?
  • Two-Part Trilogy: The Eternal Night left many issues unanswered to be dealt with in Dawn of The Dragon.
  • Ultimate Evil: Malefor. In the first two, he's not seen but treated with fear and dread by the Dragons and described as an evil so terrible, his sheer malice created a mountain. He's finally seen at the very end of Dawn of the Dragon, and actually manages to be everything he was built up as.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Malefor has one in Dawn Of The Dragon when Cynder breaks free of his control thanks to the Power of Love. He reacts by getting enraged for the first and only time in the entire series and instantly cutting straight to the Final Battle.
  • What Could Have Been: Just look at the art galleries in Dawn of the Dragon. The scenery gallery shows far bigger and detailed levels, and several dozen scrapped ones.
    • There also could've been a movie series based off the trilogy, but it was canceled due to Activision's decision to go with Skylander. Oh, well. Perhaps it was for the best, considering most Video Game Movies Suck.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sparx's parents, Flash and Nina, get a few lines at the start of A New Beginning and are never mentioned again. Seems odd with Sparx's habits of missing his mommy. Though given the pacing of the games, this might be for the best...
  • World-Healing Wave: Spyro unleashed one at the end of Dawn of the Dragon to stop the world from breaking apart and thankfully, he and Cynder survived it.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: If the Destroyer completes it's march around the planet, one of these is unleashed.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Dawn of the Dragon, Malefor does this to the apes by rewarding them with a Fate Worse Than Death for freeing him from his prison. Since he quickly replaced him with the Grublins, it's rather clear his intention was to do this from the get go.

Notes

  1. "Strange Dragonflies" in French.
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