Spyro the Dragon takes place in a mystical dragon world, where dragons young and old live in harmony. The game starts with multiple adult dragons talking very negatively of a hideous creature by the name of Gnasty Gnorc. Gnasty watches it on TV, and retaliates using a powerful magic spell to turn all dragons into crystal. All the while, a young child dragon named Spyro is playing with his pal, a dragonfly named Sparx, when all the dragons start getting turned into crystal statues. Spyro is spared due to his small size, and he then sets out with Sparx to find all of the dragons and free them from their prisons.
The main objectives of Spyro the Dragon are to collect all the treasure, free all the dragons, recover all the stolen dragon eggs, and defeat Gnasty Gnorc. In order to get to Gnasty, Spyro must defeat all the bosses of the previous worlds. They are:
- Toasty, a sheep on stilts
- Doctor Shemp, an armored voodoo doctor with a spear
- Blowhard, a wizard on a small tornado
- Metalhead, a large robot
- Jacques, a box-throwing "jack in the box"
Spyro the Dragon features several unique elements, such as using Sparx to gauge how much health Spyro has. Yellow meant Spyro was fully healthy, blue meant he is at 3/4 health, green being 2/4 health, and a missing Sparx altogether means Spyro is one hit away from death. Sparx can be healed (or revived) by eating butterflies, which mysteriously appear upon torching various animals like sheep or lizards. Another of Sparx's attributes is to collect nearby stolen treasure (gems, usually). Without Sparx, Spyro must manually go to each gem to obtain it.
Like all platformer titles, Spyro has only so many lives. Free Lives are scattered around the worlds within "clam shell" boxes, but they can also be gained by obtaining several orbs. Orbs are found in enemies that have been defeated earlier (enemies that no longer have gems).
Another collectible offered, besides saving the dragons and collecting the gems, is saving dragon eggs. Some levels will feature a thief holding an egg, and Spyro must chase him until the thief is finally damaged. The dragon eggs serve little purpose aside from granting access to a new home world.
Spyro also features a free roaming aspect similar to other 3-D platformers such as Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. While most platformers had you following a direct path, Spyro's worlds were wide and expansive, making it feel more like an action/adventure game than a platformer. The game was divided into several different hub-worlds, all having 6 individual levels which were accessed through portals, like Mario's paintings or Banjo's jigsaws, and all of these worlds and levels were wide open areas. The player navigated these levels to track down all of the crystallized dragons to free them which was accomplished by approaching them.
In order to ascend to the next hub-world, Spyro must find an NPC in the current world, who will take him to the next one via a hot air balloon. Spyro can only reach the next world once he has obtained a set amount of gems, dragons, or eggs.
- The Artisans - dragon world; lush green plains and stone monuments.
- Stone Hill
- Town Square
- Dark Hollow
- Sunny Flight
- Toasty (Boss)
- The Peace Keepers - desert world.
- Ice Cavern
- Dry Canyon
- Cliff Town
- Night Flight
- Doctor Shemp (Boss)
- The Magic Crafters - mountainous world; druids and magic.
- Wizard Peak
- Alpine Ridge
- High Caves
- Crystal Flight
- Blowhard (Boss)
- The Beast Makers - swampy world; full of oddities.
- Terrace Village
- Misty Bog
- Tree Tops
- Wild Flight
- Metalhead (Boss)
- The Dream Weavers - medieval world; mages and knights.
- Dark Passage
- Lofty Castle
- Haunted Towers
- Icy Flight
- Jacques (Boss)
- Gnasty's World - junkyard; Gnasty Gnorc's base.
- Gnorc Cove
- Twilight Harbor
- Gnasty Gnorc (FINAL BOSS)
- Gnasty's Loot (bonus)
Spyro also features several abilities, like breathing fire, charging enemies with his horns, and gliding (when Spyro reaches the end of a glide he flaps his wings to gain height before falling. This can be useful for making particularly difficult jumps). These abilities all have their purposes, from using the fire to kill the unprotected enemies, charging to kill the armoured enemies, and gliding to get to various hard-to-reach locations (including using speed and launch ramps to fly into very difficult areas). Some levels also offer fairies that will temporarily upgrade Spyro's fire breath to break through metal.
As well as the free roaming levels Spyro can also travel to specific flying challenges. In these worlds is able to fly properly as he receives enchantments from fairies. In these levels the player must guide Spyro to various items which are "collected" when he flies through them, usually there are several sets of items in each level with each set consisting of eight items.
In the end, Spyro must challenge Gnasty Gnorc, in something of a chase, where Gnasty flees in a circular path, and Spyro must give chase and hit him, while avoiding the lava below. Upon defeat, the dragons are safe and life goes back to normal. This is one of the games which has a percentage completion of over 100%. When the 100% mark is reached, you are able to enter a bonus area where there is an extra 2000 gems to collect making the final percentage to 120%.
|1.||"Opening (Theme from Spyro the Dragon)"|
|8.||"Peace Keeper's Home"|
|9.||"Peace Keeper's (Alternate Theme)"|
|15.||"Magic Crafter's Home"|
|16.||"Magic Crafter's (Alternate Theme)"|
|22.||"Beast Maker's Home"|
|28.||"Dream Weaver's Home"|
|29.||"Dream Weaver's (Alternate Theme)"|
Spyro is voiced by Carlos Alazraqui who also voiced the Taco Bell dog.
The soundtrack was composed by Stewart Copeland, the drummer and founder of the English rock band, The Police.
The ESRB rated the game Everyone for Comic Mischief.