The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon is the final chapter of The Legend of Spyro trilogy for PS3, PS2, Wii and Xbox 360, originally called The Legend of Spyro The Darkest Hour. It is released the same month as the other two The Legend of Spyro games. Although Krome Studios developed the last two The Legend of Spyro games, Etranges Libellules has developed the console editions of Dawn of the Dragon, while Tantalus Media did the Nintendo DS version.
In the final chapter of the trilogy, players find Spyro teaming up with an unlikely ally - Cynder, his former enemy, to face his most challenging mission to date. As the evil of the Dark Master, Malefor, envelopes the world like a plague, Spyro must fulfill his destiny and unlock the true power of the purple dragon within him to stop the Dark Master in his tracks.
The gameplay is more advanced than previous titles in the series. This is the first Spyro game that allows a player to fly at any time they want (free-fly mode). The game also features a co-op mode with Cynder. The co-op feature allows players to have the option of completing the game as either Spyro or Cynder, along with giving them the power to switch between Spyro and Cynder, giving them more freedom to explore the world in completely new ways.
The environments are much larger than in previous games and a majority of them have a bit more exploration to them. In previous titles of the Legend of Spyro series, Spyro must travel through the level and defeat enemies in a linear fashion. This time however, the game has more freedom by exploring larger areas and collecting items in order to progress through the game.
Spyro retains his command over fire, electricity, earth, and ice, while Cynder controls poison, fear, wind, and shadow, powers that were given to her when she was controlled by the Dark Master. While Spyro is stronger but slower, Cynder is faster but weaker than Spyro. Along with the standard power ups that gems will bring, Spyro and Cynder can both equip pieces of Dragon Armour that they find. They also have another feature called melee combos. The more times the player hits the enemy the more Blue Gems the players will earn.
Blue Gems power up Spyro and Cynder, allowing them to upgrade moves. Along with Blue Gems there are also Red gems, that restore lost health. The green gems give the dragons mana, allowing them to use their element attacks. The Fury Gems from previous titles have been removed (replaced by dark crystals that can drain magic if they're not destroyed), and the Fury Meter now goes up depending on the number of times Spyro or Cynder score attacks on enemies. In addition to normal enemies, there are elite enemies, which are enemies that are stronger than normal ones who are powered by the masks they wear that make them invincible to normal attacks. The player must use an element of a designated color that matches that of the mask in order to knock the mask off. Once off, normal attacks and other elemental powers will be allowed.
Due to the game being developed by a different game developer, Spyro and Cynder have also undergone a small makeover to make them seem larger and older.
The game starts with a mysterious set of enemies who enter the ruins of the Mountain of Malefor, where Spyro and Cynder remain frozen in crystal after their fight with Gaul. These enemies break open the crystal and put glowing green snakes, whose effects are to keep Spyro and Cynder together at all times, on the two dragons' necks. Afterwards, they takes them away, leaving Sparx, who awakens moments later in the palm of Hunter of Avalar, who had observed the whole scenario unfold from the shadows. Meanwhile, Spyro and Cynder awaken in a dark area, wondering what has happened to them. Spyro notices that Sparx is not there with them, but has no time to dwell on this as he and Cynder are sent straight into battle. Attached to a peg on the stone platform, they are unable to escape when a massive Golem attacks them. While they are able to lift the peg, they remain tethered together as they fight off the creature. When they are unable to defeat it completely, Hunter rescues them by distracting it with an arrow to its eye.
Spyro, Sparx, and Cynder are reunited, then proceed after Hunter, who introduces himself and reveals that Ignitus had sent him when Spyro did not return to the temple three years ago. They manage to escape the Catacombs, tangling with the Golem and removing its arm in the process. After getting though an area called "Twilight Falls", Hunter reveals to them that the Dark Master had been resurrected, having escaped from the Well of Souls shortly after Spyro's disappearance, and has covered the land in darkness ever since. But before he is able to explain more, Hunter and the others are mysteriously hit by sleep darts, knocking them out. When they awaken, they discover that they have been taken captive to the Valley of Avalar by Hunter's tribe, whose leader, Prowlus, blames the dragon race for the clan's misfortunes. He soon accuses Hunter for bringing the danger of the outside world with him to the village, but Hunter defends his actions and reminds Prowlus that the dangers were already around them.
The village soon comes under attack by the mysterious creatures from before, now known as Grublins. After defending the cheetah village, news arrived that one of the vllagers, Meadow, went upriver before the attack and hasn't returned. After an argument with Prowlus, Spyro and Cynder volunteer to find Meadow, rescuing him from a troop of Grublins. However, his leg has been broken, and since the dragons returning to the village without Meadow would spell disaster, they are forced to go to an old hermit across the Valley in order to get a key needed to retrieve a raft for a nearby supply cave. When they get there, the Hermit fully gets under Cynder's skin with his words that she hasn't changed since she was under Malefor's control, and that "her eyes give everything away".
Spyro and Cynder leave the Hermit's area after Sparx pickpockets the key they need. They then guide the raft over to Meadow, and escort him back to the village where Prowlus realizes his error. The cheetah leader releases Hunter and allows him to lead Spyro and Cynder to a place called the Forbidden Passage, and from there, to the Dragon City of Warfang, an ancient settlement that the Moles crafted before Malefor caused the Dragons to be feared. When they arrive, the City is under attack, and Hunter is separated from Spyro and Cynder, forcing them to go their separate ways. After putting out a building fire and rescuing a group of Moles, the city comes under a fierce attack. Spyro and Cynder help to defend the City, before the gates are breached by a massive Troll. Once the Troll is defeated, the army of Grublins retreats to allow the Golem from the Catacombs to attack the City, reforming his missing arm from parts of the city in the process. The Guardians, Ignitus, Terrador, Cyril, and Volteer, lead the attack on the Golem, with Cyril and Volteer falling behind to grant Spyro and Cynder time to defeat the creature. After it is finally killed, the Guardians and Spyro are finally reunited after three long years.
Later that night, the Dark Master, Malefor, sends them an omnious message. He has revived the Destroyer, an ancient creature that's only purpose is to renew the world, by bringing about its destruction. When it completes its circle around the world, known as the Belt of Fire, everything as they know it will end. Unable to catch the creature if they pursue it, Ignitus hatches the plan to go underground in order to intercept the Destroyer before Malefor realizes the City is left unguarded. Spyro and Cynder are sent to the Ruins of Warfang to open the exit doors to Warfang from the other side to allow the troops to enter.
After both Spyro and Cynder open the gates to the Ancient City, the attack force proceed through it. Ignitus calms Spyro's fears that he will turn out like Malefor, just as they arrive where the Destroyer will finish its circle. Cynder gets the idea to flood the canyon with water from the nearby dam. Climbing to the top, the Dragons destroy the Dam, flooding the canyon and halting the Destroyer's progress. Ignitus leads the attack on the Destroyer as Spyro and Cynder go into its heart, taking out its Dark Crystal. But it was a losing battle, as it is able to complete its circle anyway. With no options left to turn to, Ignitus orders the others underground as he escorts Spyro and Cynder through the Belt of Fire into the Burned Lands. But before they can complete the crossing, Ignitus sacrifices himself to get Spyro and Cynder across. In his grief, Spyro nearly loses himself to the darkness he fell into in The Eternal Night. Cynder's words bring him back to his senses, and they make their way to the Floating Islands, near where Malefor is waiting for them.
After a few final fights, Spyro and Cynder confront Malefor in his lair. He messes with their heads, first by telling Spyro that the destiny of the Purple Dragons is to destroy the world, then saying that Cynder has led him into a trap the entire time, by luring him to the Well of Souls to free Malefor. Cynder denies it, but her doubts allows Malefor to unlock the darkness within her, bringing her back under his control. She attacks Spyro, only to come to her senses when he refuses to fight back. Angry at the turn of events, Malefor attacks them, and during the battle, the Destroyer completes its journey, initiating the end of the world.
The battle between the two dragons and Malefor rages to the core of the world, where Spyro and Cynder blast him back with a Fury attack. As Malefor proclaims that they will never defeat him, five spirits surround him and take the evil dragon down into the world crystal. Even though Malefor is finished, the world is still being destroyed. Spyro tells Cynder to flee after Ignitus' spirit grants him hope, but she refuses to leave his side as he prepares to unleash a powerful fury wave, with the last words the player hears from her are "I love you" to Spyro. The world is rebuilt from Spyro's magic, and we last see the remaining Guardians, Hunter, Sparx, and the survivors coming back into the sunlight as stars in the sky form into the form of a dragon.
After the credits roll, the Chronicler is seen reading the end of Spyro's book. He then speaks to someone, saying that every age has a worthy dragon who is chosen to write down the many triumphs and failures of that age. His time is over, but the time of the new Chronicler, Ignitus (whose spirit was summoned by the Chronicler) has just begun. Before he takes the Chronicler's place, Ignitus asks what has become of Spyro. The Chronicler responds that he does not know, but shows Ignitus the book that records the deaths of dragons, and says that he has tried his best, but he was unable to find Spyro among the pages. Ignitus then becomes the new Chronicler, and we are finally shown that Spyro and Cynder escaped the falling core of the world. In the last scene, we see the two of them wheeling through the sky in the Valley of Avalar.<Spyro and Cynder Development in Skylanders