The Spyro Reignited Trilogy recently consumed my spare hours; the original was very close to my heart, and I still have my original PS1 discs of the games on my shelf.
Spyro the Dragon, the very first game, has you rescuing your fellow dragons from crystal prisons. Original PlayStation limitations meant that all of these other dragons had nearly-identical character models repainted with a variety of muted colors.
I cannot express my joy that every single one of these dragons is now a unique, vibrant character with themed clothing, a variety of wing, horn, tail, and mane styles, and expressive faces. They are a sheer delight to experience, and I really think that the trapped dragons make Spyro the Dragon the uncontested best of the Reignited trilogy.
The Artisans dragons are generally handsome and built, but are fairly plain in the same respect. Their outfits and accessories all suggest their individual crafts – from painters to bakers to poets.
This is the guy who literally caused all of the problems that Spyro is now solving (if we’re to believe the opening cutscene in which he insults the main villain), so he’d better turn his sass around and start being appreciative. I love his color scheme; sky blue paired with pale yellow-white and steampunk brown leather accessories. His fluffy mane, which connects to his jaw, gives the effect of being windswept or even fluffed from static electricity. In my example of the original dragon models above, we can see his previous incarnation, which gives you an idea of just what they had to work with, and how much freedom they took with these re-designs.
The Peace Keepers are the aggressive, military dragons of the Realms. They wear the most clothing out of all the dragons, and are equipped for fighting. They are probably what most people would expect a dragon to be like, but I think it’s fascinating that peace keeping and combat is a relatively small subset of dragons.
I want to know Gunnar’s story. Check out those crazy, overgrown piranha teeth! He reminds me of a Final Fantasy character with the eyepatch and edgy criss-crossed belts, and I love that they were willing to make an ally into such a threatening design that would normally be reserved for a villain.
Todor is a dragon that I would prefer to see feral, because he has such a wild, intense, animalistic face. He could be some kind of wintry forest guardian if he weren’t playing dress-up and practicing for his Skyrim sneaky archer roleplay.
My absolute favorite Reignited dragon is also a Peace Keeper, but I’m gonna keep him for the end and move on to the…
Now, the Magic Crafters are an arrogant, showy bunch. Many of them are haughty nobles with rich clothes and a serious case of perma-sneer. Despite that, they also have some of the most interesting magical body modifications.
A short wacky alchemist (or maybe mad scientist) with awesome horns. Are they artificial prosthetics? Are they deliberately, or accidentally, infused with magical solutions? I love the chalkboard wings, and it makes me wonder if they’re removable. He seems like a dragon who probably suffered a lot of injuries or deformities before discovering magic-science solutions.
First off, I love Zander’s body proportions. Those big pear-shaped hips, the hunched neck, the square feline face with the large lower jaw. More importantly, I love his wing prosthetics made of floating crystals. It’s unclear if he even really needs them to be wing-shaped, if they provide magical flight, or if they’re purely aesthetic.
As far as arrogant, over-dressed Magic Crafter jerks go, Lucas really owns his look. He dresses very cohesively with his natural color scheme. I love how massive his wings are, they provide a great sense of dramatic presence. Also, look at that cool magical, or maybe magnetic, orb floating between his horns! If you look carefully, you can see that his wings have a treasure map drawn on them, so perhaps the orb is a globe and he’s a cartographer. I really like that a dragon’s job becomes part of their appearance in this world.
I absolutely love the Beast Makers, so it’s very hard to choose a few favorites. Many of them wear a matching eyeball pendant, or have gris-gris bags. When I was a kid with the original Spyro the Dragon game case, I remember reading that the Beast Makers live in the swamp because they actually construct new animals from “raw materials” like roots and clay, and I wanted that to be MY job in the Dragon Realms.
Look at that BELLY! That angular swirl is amazing, and so is that fat, spiky leopard gecko tail. The color ombre from deep purple to orange to yellow is incredible satisfying and stands out vibrantly against the green swamp background. Cyprin also has huge wings, which I tend to love, and he’s just so damn chill.
While his face leaves some expressiveness to be desired, Zeke has one of the coolest themes – SNAILS. His little upturned nose is very unique, but it’s the shells that might be separate snail companions, or if he naturally grows swirly shells on his body.
The Dream Weavers are definitely some of the weirdest dragons. They all tend to talk in a calm, flat tone as if they’re constantly spacing out, and they are often themed with celestial imagery. Their direct impact on the rest of the Dragon Realms is kind of vague, and their entire world is very surreal.
This chill MF’er is so damn suave and cool. Blind with star-speckled spectacles, he has some of the most attitude of any of the dragons. He’s got awesome bioluminescent whiskers and star-patterned, possibly prosthetic wings. His double horns, tail, and staff all have a motif of double crescent moons. I also love that feathery-looking topheavy neck.
So Kosoko’s overall body and facial proportions aren’t my preference, but I love his blue-flame candle theme so much I couldn’t resist including him. Those candles on the tips of his horns really make it for me, and I wish he had more to his design, like some functional clothing, to suggest more about his duties.
My #1 Favorite
Look at that FACE!
I love his sassy posture, weird flat-footed stance, and especially all of those scaly armor patches that lead into his horns. The ones on his face even look like freckles!
He has the air of a punk teenager, or at least an adult who refuses to grow up. His wings are interesting, because they appear shredded but with scale patches growing on the webbing; natural healing, or a dragon-made repair?
His forward-facing, piercing blue eyes convey so much emotion despite their small size. I want Spyro to become best friends with him and look up to him like a cool fellow-purple big brother.
Who’s your favorite? Top 3? Least favorite? Check out this awesome video showing all of the dragon designs and let me know in the comments.