'The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning is the first game in The Legend of Spyro trilogy, a reboot of the Spyro series. It was developed by Krome Studios for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance systems and Amaze Entertainment with a separate version for the Nintendo DS. Though still aimed at younger audiences, the game has a much darker setting than its predecessors. This is the first Spyro game to be given an E10+ rating, due to cartoon violence.
A New Beginning uses a more action-based focus than previous Spyro the Dragon games, with a limited use of Spyro's gliding ability and less based on collecting items and playing minigames. Instead of this, Spyro has a variety of combat moves as well as four different breath attacks: fire, electricity, ice and earth, which he can use as both long range and short range attacks. Spyro can also use furies, huge blasts of elemental energy. The game has fewer levels than previous Spyro games, with six levels that progress from a starting point towards a final destination and boss encounter in a linear fashion, and two rail shooter style flying levels adjoining them.
The DS version has additional attacks and challenges. As well as breath attacks and furies, Spyro can create an elemental shield around himself that protects him from enemies while hurting attacking enemies. Also, the DS version has extra side missions in the form of puzzles.
The game began inside the Dragon Temple, where a Fire Guardian Dragon named Ignitus was watching over a brood of eggs; it was the "Year of the Dragon", a time every twelve years when new Dragon eggs were brought to the realm. A dragons' prophecy told that every ten generations, a rare Purple Dragon will be born, who will direct the fate of that era; Ignitus was looking after such an egg.
The dragons were, however, at war with an enemy called "the Dark Master" who knew of the prophecy as well, and laid siege to the Temple, intended on destroying the brood of eggs to prevent the birth of the purple dragon. Ignitus escaped with the Purple Dragon's egg, left it to drift down the Silver River into a swamp, hoping for the best. The egg was discovered by a family of dragonflies, and upon hatching, they named him Spyro and was adopted into the family and raised as one of their own, alongside Sparx, a young Dragonfly who was born on the same day.
One day, after Spyro was under attack by a group of Apes and discovered that he can breathe fire, Spyro was told that he is not a dragonfly himself, but a stranger from a distant land. Afterwards, Spyro decided to leave the Swamp in search of his true home; Sparx, though reluctant at first, decided to tag along. Spyro was pursued by hostile forces, but eventually came into contact with a distraught Ignitus, who although pleased that Spyro is alive, feared that with the Temple under occupation by their enemy, a horde of Apes called the Dark Armies led by a large black dragon named Cynder, their war was already lost.
Spyro convinced Ignitus to lead him to the Temple, and was able to drive Cynder's forces out, after which Ignitus told Spyro more about their war against the Dark Armies, offered Spyro some training in the art of fire, and then sent Spyro off to rescue three other Dragon Guardians from Cynder's forces. First, he flew to Dante's Freezer to find Volteer, the Electric Guardian, and rescued him from a large troll called the Ice King.
When Spyro and Volteer returned to the Temple, Volteer trained Spyro the art of electricity and explained to Ignitus that he lost some of his electric powers inside a crystal Cynder stored. Ignitus expected that Cynder may be planning to do something with the Guardians' powers, but he doesn't know what for, so Ignitus sent Spyro to Tall Plains, home of the Atlawa tribe, to find Cyril, the Ice Guardian.
After Spyro saved Cyril and went back to the Temple, he taught Spyro the secrets of ice and discussed with the other Guardians more about Cynder's possible plans. Ignitus hypothesized that Cynder was trying to gain all the Guardians' elemental powers to open a portal that must never be opened. Spyro questioned Ignitus of what is he talking about, but Ignitus told him that doesn't concern him now, but sent Spyro to Munitions Forge, where Terrador, the Earth Guardian, was held.
When Spyro was ready to leave with Terrador, Cynder attacked and chased Spyro throughout Munitions Forge. When Cynder was about to catch Spyro, Ignitus intervened to fight Cynder, but was captured. Spyro tried to help Ignitus, but Terrador stopped him and told him that he is not ready to take on Cynder. Spyro felt guilty and ashamed that he let Ignitus down and was frightened to face Cynder. Terrador told him that there's no shame for all warriors to have fear, and trained Spyro how to master the element of earth and his own fear.
After Spyro's training, Terrador explained to Spyro, Volteer, and Cyril about Cynder's lair, possibly where she took Ignitus. Spyro flew to Cynder's lair and found Ignitus, confined and his powers were draining inside a crystal. Cynder stopped Spyro from destroying the crystal and escaped with it. Spyro noticed that there was something familiar with Cynder, and Ignitus told him the truth. Cynder was actually born from the same brood of eggs as Spyro (they are not siblings), taken by the Dark Master's forces and was corrupted by his poisonous powers, becoming his tool of destruction. The Dark Master was using Cynder to gain the Guardians' powers so she can unlock the portal, which serves as his prison. As the vortex to the world of Convexity opened, Ignitus feared that they are too late, but Spyro refused to give up and followed Cynder through the portal.
When Spyro caught up with Cynder, she had already put the final crystal inside the portal, creating an opening for the Dark Master to escape. She was ready to face Spyro in a final showdown. Eventually, Spyro used all of his power in a final attack and defeated Cynder, which freed her from the Dark Master's influence and she returned to her true form; a young dragon the same size and age as Spyro. As the realm began to collapse in on itself and the portal started to suck the three inside; Sparx insisted on making a quick exit, but Spyro declared he will not leave Cynder behind with the Dark Master; though barely, Spyro was able to grab Cynder and escaped safely.
Though victorious, the battle cost Spyro much of his own strength and powers, and both Spyro and Cynder suspected that the Dark Master is still alive somewhere; the war was still not over. The story continues in The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night...
- Dragon Temple
- First Flight
- Dante's Freezer
- Tall Plains
- Munitions Forge
- Concurrent Skies
- Elijah Wood as Spyro
- David Spade as Sparx
- Gary Oldman as Ignitus
- Cree Summer as Cynder
- Corey Burton as Volteer/Exhumor
- Jeff Bennett as Cyril/Mole-Yair/Flash (Sparx's Dad)
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Terrador/the Conductor
- Phil LaMarr as Kane
- Vanessa Marshall as Nina (Sparx's Mom)
Producer John Welsh stated that Krome Studios worked really hard to make A New Beginning a really fantastic looking game. Many of the previous Spyro games had softer tones and palettes and they wanted to move on from there. Having Spyro as a New Beginning meant that they could explore ways of developing the style and look into something that represented a maturing of the game and its environment, as well as taking full advantage of what the technology is capable of. Now palettes are stronger and darker, to generate the appropriate mood. For instance, Spyro is on a voyage into the unknown and the unknown can appear dark or isolated, certainly strange and perhaps even harsh.
They have created lavish, gorgeously lit and intricate environments, establishing a consistent style unique to the new Spyro world. That style extends to everything in that world to the enemies that Spyro encounters, to everything with which Spyro can interact, and to the depth of the storyline where what is, is clearly linked to what was.Interview: The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning received mixed but generally positive reviews. Critics praised the presentation and graphics but criticized the repetitive gameplay and poor voice-acting. Fans were disappointed by the emphasis on combat compared to previous installments.
- Game Informer: 7 out of 10
- GameSpot: 5.8 out of 10
- GameSpy: 2 1/2 out of 5
- IGN: 7.7 out of 10
- IGN: Best GameCube Platformer of 2006 The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
- Reader's Choice: Best GameCube Platformer of 2006 The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
- GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2006: "Worst Use of Celebrity Voices"Worse Use of Celebrity Voices
- The Dutch translation for the European release has a different subtitle. In Dutch, it is titled: "De Legende van Spyro: een Draak is Geboren", when you translate it back to English, It literally translates through its pronunciation as: "The Legend of Spyro: a Dragon is Born". The other two Legend of Spyro games translate the same subtitle as its English release, for the Dutch translation in the European release.