Have You Not Heard Of Me?

I’ve made it to the third Spyro game, which opens with Bianca, a sorceresses’ apprentice, stealing dragon eggs and Spyro chasing after her (Bianca is cute but the sorceress is ugly, so I assume the apprentice is getting a redemption arc). The opening cutscene dumps Spyro in the hub world, and I ran him around gathering gems for a minute before the apprentice showed up to warn me to just turn around and go home or her sorcerous armies would surely destroy me.

But, like, have you not heard of me? Spyro? The Dragon? Defeated the gnorc hordes across six worlds, killed Ripto in an aerial battle over an exploding volcano? Not ringing any bells? The third game’s Forgotten Realms (not those ones) are apparently pretty remote from the Dragon Realms where the first game takes place, and the second game takes place in Avalar, which is accessible only by portal and presumably is either extremely far away (making direct travel an impractical option) or a different world altogether, so my issue here isn’t that Bianca doesn’t recognize Spyro. It’s that Spyro doesn’t respond to her threats at all, leaving the impression that they should be taken at face value. But what makes Bianca and the Sorceress different from the last two supervillains?

Spyro 1 gets a free pass on this because Spyro is still totally unproven at the start of that one, so it makes sense that Gnasty Gnorc isn’t necessarily too bothered that, having successfully imprisoned all 80-ish other dragons in the world, he missed the spunky twelve-year old. Spyro 2 handled this better, though. The main villain Ripto is thrilled to arrive in a world without dragons, apparently the only creatures strong enough to defeat him, so the locals summon a dragon to fight back against him. Ripto doesn’t confront Spyro early on the way Bianca does (neither did Gnasty Gnorc, actually), but implicitly he takes Spyro seriously as a threat because he’s been set up to consider dragons worthy adversaries in general.

Now, Spyro 3 was not originally released as the third installment in a single remastered set. It was the third installment of an episodic platformer series, so this wasn’t necessarily the third Spyro game someone had played. Making too many references to previous adventures might’ve turned people off from playing the game as a standalone. But if Bianca’s going to show up to talk smack, and if she isn’t supposed to come across as in way over her head, she should be able to make some kind of show of force that establishes her as a threat to Spyro. Maybe she could do some kind of magic that gets the better of Spyro in the opening cutscene when she steals the dragon eggs (as it is, she and her minions steal them while everyone is asleep). This establishes for returning players that her powers are either stronger than Gnorc’s or Ripto’s, or just different from theirs, and either way that Spyro isn’t an easy favorite in the fight despite his track record, and for new players it’s just setting up the villain and the premise (i.e. dragon eggs got stolen) without making any direct reference to previous games.

Or alternatively, just don’t have Bianca show up to talk smack at all, but I assume this is phase 1 of a tsundere routine, so the game needs to have Bianca showing up and being very antagonistic to facilitate that.

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