Spyro the Dragon (スパイロ・ザ・ドラゴン) is a platform video game developed by Insomniac Games, and released at September 9th, 1998 in North America for the PlayStation. It stars the titular protagonist, Spyro the Dragon, a young purple dragon saving the elder dragons, collecting gems, and defeating enemies. It is the first game in the Spyro the Dragon series.

On October 29, 2007, the game was made available for PlayStation 3, PSP and PS Vita in the PlayStation Store. Originally only in America and Japan, it has since been made available in Europe.

This game is remastered as part of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy along with Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.


The game takes place in the Dragon Realms, a sprawling world of much topographical and biological diversity, ornate structures and abundant treasure. It contains six homeworlds, the first five of which are named for the dragon clan that resides there:

Spyro can navigate from one homeworld to another by completing a specific task given to him by one of the balloonists of that world. For example, collecting a certain number of gems or freeing a certain number of dragons will grant him access to the next world.

Each homeworld has its own set of realms which can be accessed via portals in archways scattered throughout the homeworld. Once in a realm, Spyro may return to the homeworld by finding and entering that realm's unique "Return Home" whirlwind platform or by pausing the game and selecting "Exit Level."




The adventure begins in the Artisans homeworld in the Dragon Realms (presumably Spyro's home) in Stone Hill on the day where the elder dragons, Astor and Lindar, are being interviewed for a video documentary about their world. Little do they know, Gnasty Gnorc (pronounced Nasty Norc), whom they previously banished from the Dragon Realms long ago to the Dragon Junkyard, somehow overhears their derogatory comments about him and becomes quite upset. While in exile, Gnasty Gnorc has experimented with magic and on this fateful day, he decides to unleash two of his most powerful spells vengefully: one which freezes all the unsuspecting dragons inside crystalline statues and another which transforms a portion of the dragons' treasure into an army of gnorcs.

However, Gnasty Gnorc misses imprisoning the youngest dragon in the realm, Spyro (who was seen chasing sheep in the background during the dragons' documentary shoot), because of his small size. Seeking to set things right, Spyro sets out to free all of the dragons. Traveling across the Dragon Realms, Spyro faces various adversaries and eventually manages to release all the dragons, who give him advice in return.

Spyro finally reaches the Dragon Junkyard, where Gnasty is waiting. After a battle, Spyro defeats Gnasty, putting an end to his evil plot once and for all.

Gameplay Controls

  • × - Jump
  • × + × - Glide
  • - Stop in midair
  • Hold - Look around environment
  • - Breath fire
  • - Charge
  • and × - Skip/Quick Charge
  • L2 or R2 - Move the camera
  • L1 or R1 - Side roll
  • Start - Pause
  • Select - View inventory


Like most platformer games, there are nearly certain unfortunate events that can lead to Spyro's death. Sparx the Dragonfly follows Spyro around and indicates Spyro's health. Every time Spyro is hit, Sparx changes color:

  • Yellow: Full health
  • Blue: Two hits left
  • Green: One hit left
  • Gone: No hits left

To replenish Sparx back to yellow, Spyro can defeat fodder, which will spawn a butterfly. Sparx will then eat it, causing him to regain one level of health. Small silver statues of a dragon can help back up extra lives that will revive Spyro. If Spyro doesn't have any, Spyro will have to start the level over from the beginning.

Death Types

  • Regular: If Spyro gets hit by a normal, heavy, or explosive attack, he will spin to face the player on two legs, lose his balance, and fall over backward.
  • Flattened: If Spyro gets squashed flat by a slam attack of some sort, he will flip over and float down like a piece of paper. He will land gently on his back, still in his flattened state.
  • Drowned: When Spyro falls into water, he splashes about and spits out water, desperately trying to prevent himself from drowning. When Spyro is completely submerged, he dies, but he can save himself by jumping out if he still has Sparx. However, it is instant death if the dragonfly is not present.
  • Falling: Spyro will do his regular falling animation except for the fact he won't land. The screen will fade to black like all other death scenes.



Peace Keepers

Magic Crafters

Beast Makers

Dream Weavers

Gnasty's World/Gnorc Gnexus


According to Insomniac Games on the television series Icons, sales on Spyro the Dragon were initially slow at the game's launch but quickly picked up following the holiday season. In the week of November 29, 1998, it was the 3rd best-selling game in the UK, behind Tomb Raider and FIFA 99.[2] By December 1999, the game had sold a million copies in North America.[3]

The game was also praised for its tight control and highly memorable soundtrack. Although the game may be too easy for some, it is considered to be a great place to start in either the Spyro series or video games in general. GameSpot rated the game as 8.3, describing it as having very good graphics for its time, and being one of the first well-received full-3D platformers for the first PlayStation. IGN's Craig Harris hailed it as the most fun 3D platformer he had played since Crash Bandicoot, writing "Two claws up. Way up."[4]



  • Carlos Alazraqui, the voice actor for Spyro in the game, is also the voice of the chihuahua in the old Taco Bell commercials as well as Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life.
  • Ex-Police drummer and co-founder Stewart Copeland composed the soundtrack of the game.
  • Clancy Brown, who voiced some of the dragons in the game, voices Mr. Eugene Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants and played Captain Hadley on The Shawshank Redemption. Also, he was the voice of Dr. Neo Cortex in the Crash Bandicoot franchise at the time of the game's release.
  • Within the game, there are six dragons from the five regular homeworlds that get rescued twice. This is because they went to confront Gnasty Gnorc, but failed. Despite rescuing a total of 80 dragons in-game, the fact that six of the dragons are rescued twice technically counts as 74 dragons (not including Spyro or the six free dragons being rescued a second time).
  • Artisans and Gnorc Gnexus are the only Homeworlds that block off the boss until a certain requirement is met.
  • The only Boss Battle that is mandatory in this game is Gnasty Gnorc's. While the other bosses are optional, they are still required for 100% completion.
  • Each of the flight realms features chests, excluding bonus level Gnasty's Loot.
    • However, Gnasty's Loot does have normal chests.
  • A few of the dragons share their names with the Dragon Elders of Spyro: A Hero's Tail, but they don't share the colors despite the implication that they might be the same characters.
    • A dragon villager in Spyro: Shadow Legacy also shares a name with an Elder from this game, named Conan.
  • Unlike the other games, pressing triangle causes Spyro to stop in midair while gliding. In future games, it gives him an extra boost in height.
  • This is the only game in the series that features Spyro's stop, duck, and roll move.
  • Production of the game began shortly after the first Crash Bandicoot game was released.
  • The title screen in this game is the only one in the original trilogy that takes place at a point that can't be accessed in the actual game.
    • The world, however, seems to be Magic Crafters, and Spyro knocks out a Common Gnorc, a non-violent enemy found in Artisan's home.
  • During the development of the game, Spyro was originally going to be green. However, developers thought he would blend in with the grass, so they made him purple instead. Additionally, they did this to make him look different from traditional dragon designs.
  • In 2002, the game was re-released, along with Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, as a collector's edition trilogy.
  • The early demo has major differences from the full game: The Artisans home is the only world Spyro can be in, Delbin has a different voice actor, while he, Nestor and Tomas, whose name was originally Silvus, has different dialogue while the rest just have plain text once rescued while Argus doesn't exist, Toasty, Sunny Flight and Town Square can't be accessed, the background music is different, the balloonist says that he can't take Spyro to the other worlds until the full game is out in stores (his exact message differs, however, depending on version) and some enemies sound different when hit.
    • Another demo, however, while the majority of it is not changed, replaces the Stone Hill level with Town Square, while still keeping the Stone Hill music. This demo has corrected the dialogue of Tomas, Nestor, and Delbin, the latter has also gained his final voice actor, and the portal-sound can be heard in the closed-off portal atop of the tower.
      • In both demos the player will find that if Spyro is glitched inside the dragon-mouth the Toasty portal is complete and if entered will find the name is also in place, Spyro will, however, keep flying and never reach the level.
    • In a late demo all homeworlds are accessible and the game can be completed, however much of the music is placeholder music and lots of levels have a different gem-count, lots of sound effects are missing or different to the final, and most dragons are just plain text while others don't even have text and some of them have slowed-down dialogue, Argus exists, all Flights are named "Flying", all boss battles are named "Boss", the boss level Gnasty Gnorc, named "Gnasty Place", also has shortcuts and he will drop enemies along the way.
  • This is the only Spyro game to have Spyro's tail spike on the "Y" in the logo rather than the "S."
  • In the Japanese version, you can access one of the Pocket Station Mini Games if you plug in the Pocket Station accessory. In the minigame, you train your very own dragonfly.
  • Spyro's Japanese voice was done by a female actress named Akiko Yajima, who did the original voice for Shinnosuke Nohara from Crayon Shin-chan.
  • At the beginning of the Japanese game, there are signs scattered across the level, which are typically instructions on how to control Spyro.
  • At the end of the credits, it says "No sheep were harmed during the creation of this game. A few gnorcs, but no sheep." This is a most likely nod to the commercials for the game, where a disgruntled sheep was protesting the game for Spyro's supposed violence towards sheep.
  • The home-worlds may be based off the Hindu caste system. Early, lower levels are based on artisans, while spiritual people (dream weavers) are higher. Warriors (beast makers) can be found in the middle.
  • The Japanese version of the game was released on April 1, 1999, seven months after the North American release. The Japanese release was delayed because of massive localization for the Japanese market.
  • In the European PlayStation Store, the game has been released to the NTSC version.
  • When the game was showcased to the Japanese public in 1998, there were numerous reports of "3D sickness" because the game was too fast, so it had to be slowed down in the Japanese version. The camera also had to be changed in the Japanese version because of headaches and "3D sickness."
  • At the title screen, if you press L1 and Triangle on your PlayStation controller, you can access a secret demo to Crash Bandicoot: Warped.


  1. Spyro the Dragon Insomniac Games page
  2. [ UK Top Ten Here are the top selling games for all you European readers out there.]
  3. Cool Consumer Promotions Support Launch of Highly Anticipated Spyro -2- : Ripto's Rage!
  4. [ Spyro the Dragon - This dragon may be small, but he sure is big on action.]
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