The Spyro Reignited Trilogy from Skylanders developer Toys for Bob is bringing Spyro’s first three original PlayStation adventures into glorious HD with remastered sound, visuals, and modernized gameplay.
And Spyro’s return is clearly a big deal for long-time fans of the purple dragon, two decades after his debut. If you’re unfamiliar with why Spyro’s return has fans so excited, or if you’re just looking for a nostalgia trip to Gnasty’s World or the Summer Forest, read on for our deep dive into the love behind Spyro — and why his return has fans so excited.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a redone collection of Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. All three games were originally developed by Insomniac Games and released for the PS1 between 1998 and 2000.
Toys for Bob, who has taken the reigns with Spyro since 2011’s Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, are developing the remaster, recreating the three beloved games with beautiful new graphics, a reimagined soundtrack based on Stewart Copeland’s original score, and new VO from as many returning voice actors as possible.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is coming to the PS4 and Xbox One on September 21. No plans for a Nintendo Switch or PC version have been announced.
Quite simply, at a time when platformers, and platform mascots, reigned, Spyro was one of the more recognizable faces. Crash Bandicoot and Spyro went hand-in-claw as two major platform mascots for the original PlayStation. And while Spyro would go on to star in a number of games, that original, Insomniac-developed trilogy remains some of if not the most beloved entries in the franchises.
More akin to open-world 3D platformers like Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie than the corridor level platforming of Crash, Spyro’s gliding, rolling, and fire breathing put Insomniac on the map and helped develop the commercial identity of the original PlayStation. Insomniac populated Spyro’s world with colorful characters, charming personality, and a wonderful amount of collectibles for those with the itch to find every secret a platformer can hide.
Timing may be one of the key reasons this collection matters — Spyro’s 20th anniversary is September 9, just a few days before the Reignited Trilogy is released. There’s not much of a better time to reintroduce Spyro to the masses, especially considering that, while he was foundational to the DNA of Skylanders, that franchise grew to focus on its much larger ensemble and not simply Spyro.
And so while Spyro has stuck around, he, like Crash, once had a much brighter spotlight, both critically and commercially. The Reignited Trilogy pushes the dragon back to the forefront much in the same fashion as Crash last year, with the return of some of his most acclaimed adventures.
Part of why fans have been so eagerly awaiting an announcement for Spyro can be traced back to last year’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
That continued hum of the rumor mill, right or wrong, kept fans eager for news of a remaster. And the N. Sane Trilogy, given good sales, seemed like an obvious first step in reviving Spyro as well, given Activision holds the license to both key characters.
Now that the announcement is out, Spyro’s lineage may also have fans excited now. Toys for Bob has handled the modern iteration of Spyro, yes, but they clearly started from a place as fans of the character even with their new take, as you can hear in the exclusive interview above. The chance to work on remasters of his origins is a bit of a full-circle moment for the studio.
The hype really started to build this week when IGN was the first to receive a purple egg teasing Spyro’s return. From “Falcon McBob,” which has become the official Spyro the Dragon Twitter account, the egg was followed by a string of new teases and other outlets receiving their own eggs. They all preceded today’s official announcement.
Following months of rumors, and a swell of fan hopes, Spyro’s return is hardly a surprise. But the delight from its announcement is no less impactful because of that expectation. The purple dragon’s return is a big deal for a generation of players, myself included, and if Crash’s re-release is any indication, it may be the chance for a new chapter in Spyro’s book.
Jonathon Dornbush loves Spyro and can’t wait to replay Ripto’s Rage. Talk to him about the franchise on Twitter @jmdornbush.