- “Did you not recognize the creatures that moved in the shadows? The Apes too had served the Dark Master, but more for their own greed and thirst for power than any true loyalty to him. This is how Malefor repaid them... doomed to remain in the dark... feeding off the power of others, never being fulfilled.”
- —The Hermit
The Shadow Apes are what remains of the Apes who served Malefor. In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, it is revealed that Gaul and his Ape minions were not truly loyal to Malefor and had only sought to use his power in their fight for vengeance. After his return, Malefor repaid the Apes for their 'services' by cursing them into shadows.
The Shadow Apes were first encountered at the Hermit's camp near the Valley of Avalar, where they ambushed Spyro and Cynder. After they were defeated, the Hermit explained to the young dragons that the creatures they defeated were, in fact, the Apes they faced three years prior, having been turned into ghostly skeletons by Malefor for their disloyalty.
The Shadow Apes were later encountered in the Ruins of Warfang, where they dwelled and lurked within the shadows and holes of the ruins. Despite their cursed state, the Shadow Apes still proved themselves to be a nuisance, as one pulled a switch that extended a wall to block Spyro and Cynder from making their way across a chasm in the Ruins, trying to prevent them from retrieving the red crystals used to open the gates to the Dragon City of Warfang. Another Shadow Ape later swiped a red crystal at an altar before Spyro and Cynder could reach it, before a horde of Shadow Apes appeared. If they killed that Ape and the red crystal hasn't been picked up, another Shadow Ape from the horde would swipe it and keep in its grasp until it is killed.
In the Nintendo DS Version, Shadow Apes appear as one of the most powerful enemies in the game. They have the ability to camouflage but will appear when Spyro and Cynder draw close to them. In this version, Spyro's fire breath and Cynder's wind breath, are extremely effective against them.
The Shadow Apes first appeared at The Dam, where they are common enemies, and they are often accompanied by Grublins and Orcs in the level. They are common enemies in later levels, such as The Burned Lands.
The Dam - The Destroyer - The Burned Lands - Floating Islands - Malefor's Lair
Trolls - Bowman Orcs - Wyverns - Shadow Apes