Spyro: Year of the Dragon is a platform game, developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation video game console. The game was released in North America on October 11, 2000, In the United Kingdom on October 25, 2000 and in the rest of Europe and Australia on November 10, 2000. Year of the Dragon is the third installment in the Spyro series and the last Spyro game to be released for the PlayStation. The game was the last Spyro game Insomniac developed; their next title would be Ratchet & Clank for the PlayStation 2.

Named after the animal of the Chinese zodiac, Year of the Dragon follows the titular purple character Spyro as he travels to the "Forgotten Worlds" after 150 magical dragon eggs are stolen from the land of the dragons by an evil sorceress. Players travel across thirty different worlds gathering gems and eggs. Year of the Dragon introduced new characters and minigames to the series, as well as offering improved graphics and music.

Upon release, the game sold more than two million units in the United States, and received positive critical response, with reviewers noting the game built on the successful formula of its predecessors by adding more games and expansive environments. At Game Rankings, Year of the Dragon is one of the top twenty highest-rated PlayStation games of all time. The game was followed by the multiplatform title Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, and was later released for download on the PlayStation Store on May 14, 2009.


Year of the Dragon is set primarily in the third-person; its gameplay makes few deviations from that of its predecessors. The main objective of the game is to collect special dragon eggs which are scattered across 37 worlds. These eggs are hidden, or are given as rewards for completing certain tasks and levels. The worlds of Spyro are linked together by "homeworlds" or "hubs", large worlds which contain gateways to many other levels. To proceed to the next hub, the character must complete five worlds, gather a certain number of eggs, and defeat a boss.[8] Players do not need to gather every egg to complete the main portion of the game or gain access to new levels; in fact, certain eggs can only be found by returning to the world at a later time.[9] Gems are scattered across the worlds, hidden in crates and jars. These gems are used to bribe a bear named Moneybags to release of captured "critters" and activate things which help Spyro progress through levels (Such as bridges). Gems, along with the number of eggs collected, count to the total completion percentage of the game.

For most of the game, the player controls the dragon Spyro. Spyro's health is measured by his companion, a dragonfly named Sparx; Sparx changes color and then disappears after taking progressively more damage. If the player has no Sparx, then the next hit would cause the player to lose a life and restart at the last saved checkpoint. To regenerate Sparx, small wildlife known as "fodder" can be consumed. Spyro has several abilities, including breathing fire, swimming and diving, gliding, and headbutting, which he can use to explore and combat a variety of enemies, most of which are reptilian creatures called Rhynocs. Some foes are only vulnerable to certain moves. Spyro can run into "Powerup Gates", which give him special abilities for a limited period.

Year of the Dragon introduced playable characters other than Spyro, known as "critters", which are gradually unlocked as the player proceeds through the game. Critters can be found blocking the level they are played in until released from Moneybags. Subsequently, the player plays as the character in specially marked sections of levels. Each homeworld features one world which is played through entirely by a non-Spyro character. There are a total of seven playable characters, which all have their own special moves and abilities. Sheila the Kangaroo, for example, can double jump, while Sergeant Byrd is armed with rocket launchers and can fly indefinitely.

Besides the primary quest to find dragon eggs, Year of the Dragon features an extensive set of minigames, which are split off from the levels into smaller zones. Some of the minigames were featured in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and were subsequently expanded for Year of the Dragon, while others are entirely new to the series. These minigames are played by Spyro or the other playable characters, and include challenges in sports such as skateboarding, boxing, and racing, as well as puzzles and rail shooters. All minigames reward the player with an egg upon successful completion.


The game opens with a celebration in the Dragon Realms, where they are celebrating the Year of the Dragon, an event every twelve years where new Dragon eggs are brought to the realm. During the celebration, however, a cloaked anthropomorphic rabbit girl, Bianca, invades the Dragon Realms with an army of Rhynocs and steals all of the Dragon eggs. Spyro, along with Sparx and Hunter, are sent down a hole to find the thieves and recover the Dragon eggs.

Pursuing the thief, Spyro discovers a realm once inhabited by the Dragons, but long abandoned and forgotten, now known only as the "Forgotten Realms", ruled by a queen called "the Sorceress", and under firm control of the Rhynocs' army. Of the few that question the Sorceress' rule, the first is is a kangaroo named Sheila. She's held prisoner by Moneybags within a cage, but is released after you pay a "small fee" to him. Sheila kicks him in the stomach and knocks Moneybags out.

As Spyro travels through each realm, acquiring aid from local inhabitants, and bartering with Moneybags for passage to new areas, Bianca abducts and imprisons Hunter. It is later revealed that the Sorceress is seeking not the baby Dragons themselves, but merely their wings to concoct a spell that can grant her immortality. Once Bianca finds this out she feels sorry for the baby Dragons, and defects to side with Spyro, Hunter, and the others who question the Sorceress' rule.

Celebrations resume after the Sorceress' defeat, although Spyro is unable to locate Hunter. Searching throughout the realm, Spyro's friends are reluctant to say anything of Hunter's whereabouts; Spyro ultimately locates Hunter out on a date with Bianca, and laments about another hero "falling" for love.

However, it later turns out that the Sorceress survived her previous battle with Spyro, and is found in the Super Bonus Round, waiting for Spyro on her UFO. Spyro and the Sorceress battle again, on two UFOs above a pool of unknown, but deadly, liquid. Eventually, Spyro manages to shoot the Sorceress down, and she falls into the liquid below, presumably killing her. After she dies, it becomes apparent that she had the final Dragon egg, which hatches a Siamese pair of Dragons named Yin Yang.

The baby Dragons then return to the Dragon Realms.

  • Sunrise Spring

Level 1: Sunny Villa Level 2: Cloud Spires Level 3: Molten Crater Level 4: Seashell Shore Level 5: Mushroom Speedway Level 6: Sheila's Alp Level 7: Buzz's Dungeon

  • Level 8: Crawdad Farm
  • Midday Gardens
  • Level 1: Icy Peak
  • Level 2: Enchanted Towers
  • Level 3: Spooky Swamp
  • Level 4: Bamboo Terrace
  • Level 5: Country Speedway
  • Level 6: Sgt. Byrd's Base
  • Level 7: Spike's Arena
  • Level 8: Spider Town
  • Evening Lake
  • Level 1: Frozen Altars
  • Level 2: Lost Fleet
  • Level 3: Fireworks Factory
  • Level 4: Charmed Ridge
  • Level 5: Honey Speedway
  • Level 6: Bentley's Outpost
  • Level 7: Scorch's Pit
  • Level 8: Starfish Reef
  • Midnight Mountain
  • Level 1: Crystal Islands
  • Level 2: Desert Ruins
  • Level 3: Haunted Tomb
  • Level 4: Dino Mines
  • Level 5: Harbor Speedway
  • Level 6: Agent 9's Lab
  • Level 7: Sorceress's Lair
  • Level 8: Bugbot Factory
  • Level 9: Super Bonus Round

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