darkSpyro - Spyro and Skylanders Forum > Spyro the Dragon > Unpopular opinion: the worlds don't feel empty and never did.
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Unpopular opinion: the worlds don't feel empty and never did.
Drawdler Emerald Sparx Gems: 3133
#1 Posted: 17:09:01 20/02/2019 | Topic Creator
The whole point of them not having NPCs is because... for one it just couldn't be developed at the time, and for another, it really gives me the vibe the lands are more untamed rather than empty. I don't think that's what the developers would have WANTED, going off both sequels, but I think it totally worked out- there are enough threads there that I inferred this as a kid too- and may well have been considered as a compromise.

The whole thing is set in... dragon realms. There are more enemies that are just "cartoon animal that would live here" than the other games. The dragons just let them live there because they aren't really a threat. The main other enemies you see, that aren't just animals, are wizards and gnorcs because those are kinda more intelligent than the bulls or frogs and could "take more territory". I mean... That's what Gnasty did- no problems for the dragons 'til he actually did something (and you could imagine the wizards doing something otherwise, aye?).

Speaking of the wizards, ever notice the snow and whirlwind ones in Magic Crafters could be fighting? I have a headcanon that the different kinds of wizards there are at war with eachother, and maybe that's the only reason they never really hurt the dragons. They all want to rule but they themselves are too divided. Also notice each has their own level- in the hub thunder wizards and Druids control different sections, Wizard Peak has the snow and some of the thunder guys, Alpine Ridge has the green druids, Blowhard has the thunder variant again and... Blowhard aka whirlwind wizard (although Druids exist in that level too so whoops). And High Caves is where you explicitly see two kinds of wizard fighting.
I think that's just to try making the levels more distinct but you can make a headcanon about them having their own territories from it easily.
IIRC in Reignited High Caves you can actually see the snow wizards actually launch attacks at others, instead of just taking the hits? Still haven't played it, but I think I saw this on one playthrough.
I think the Druids also look more like some green bushy plant in Reignited, and if you see it too /s- hey, the other two wizards have weather magic, now they have a nature theme too. Not to do with worldbuilding, just thought that was cool.

Oh also the fools and wizards and all in Dream Weavers seem to cause more trouble than the baddies in Magic Crafters? I don't know, maybe that's because they're more challenging in gameplay, my head is just inferring that- but they seem like they'd be more united in simply causing havoc. With the reality-bending themes of Dream Weavers, of course some of the enemies there could have that or have had it in their DNA and be tougher to deal with for it. Main example is they feel like they overrun the hub with the guy in the center shooting beams and you needing to deal with that to reach Icy Flight.
Although if you go by that logic I guess it doesn't make sense they'd only stay in Dream Weavers; maybe the dragons just kept them in check, but then some should have appeared elsewhere when the dragons were crystalised.

Anyway, the way I see it, it's like dragons are in charge, and they don't need to develop too much architecture or the like. And I imagine these realms are far from Avalar or other areas that became more "communal". Avalar's worlds have a lot of relation to eachother and seem to have more diplomacy than The Forgotten Realms, but the latter still seems to have residents of different worlds getting along and a helluvalot more buildings.

In Spyro 1, there are touches of architectural development- it was important from the start- but with the exception of Dream Weavers' worlds (and obviously Gnasty's), I find the architecture in this game more built into the environments than in its successors. More in tune with nature, so to speak. I also think there are more non-building landmarks. Generally I think the architecture in the sequels feels more separated from the environments and built on its own and plopped on top. Generally.

Incidentally, although I think this is just a coincidence, Gnasty's Worlds are clearly the most linear and most rigid/boxy in layout. Like... machinery just works a certain way, and often has a rigid theme, yeah?
I dunno it could be a cool part of the machinist theme if you choose to interpret it that way. Maybe that was intentionally pairing those, or something that came up and then the devs rolled with it, or maybe I'm reading into it too much.

I don't have a good spot to put this, but I'll also say Peace Keepers having more architecture placed around more areas in their worlds kinda ties in with developing weapons, like, they're more developed in a way I think. They just "make" more stuff. In contrast to the dull personality you'd assume, haha.

Like I'm not gonna say everything in this game makes sense or is genius, the plot and writing (which is fun, but doesn't really have depth beyond that) are a weaker part of it and I'm writing headcanons here too, but I think the worldbuilding and world themes in 1 are pretty great and deserve much more credit. I think most of this is reasonable to infer or think about. I think people look at 1 the wrong way and underestimate what it has in common with the other games. Some major aspects of the environmental design are shared with Spyro 2 and 3 but people never seem to give 1 credit for what it did. Nevermind that it pioneered that stuff.

I hope more people can see Spyro 1 in the same way. When people just say it's "empty" I think that's a real disservice to it. I would encourage you to try playing it again while looking for this "untamed" theme.

As far as the remake goes, I think it kind of shares the theme from what I've seen. Although now that every dragon is anthropomorphic and simplified, I think it takes away from that just a tad. Makes it feel less considered. They feel like maybe they should have developed more. I can much more easily imagine the original dragons just dicking about or sleeping on piles of gems (I think comparing the opening cutscenes of Spyro 3 is proof of that, the new one looks stupid, these dragons look like they should have invented bedding). I don't imagine them making it a priority to build more stuff, 'cause again, they just rule it all.
Also I think Nevin's redesign is extremely poorly considered (and I hate it) for this reason. Imagining a cafe in these worlds is ridiculous. This is just me, but I can't even laugh at that.

sorry for all the edits. i should be asleep but i'm playing this game on my psp now and also my sleep has gone to **** anyway
Edited 3 times - Last edited at 17:40:08 20/02/2019 by Drawdler
ThunderEgg Yellow Sparx Gems: 1329
#2 Posted: 17:50:53 20/02/2019
Yeah I like Spyro 1, too. It's pretty relaxing for me to play.
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I AM ETERNAL!
Akame Yellow Sparx Gems: 1426
#3 Posted: 21:05:23 13/10/2020
I have a friend who played Spyro 1 first, and when playing Spyro 2 found it crowded, the amount of NPC's stopping to talk annoys her. On the flipside, I played Spyro 1 after 2, and I didn't find the difference in the amount of NPC's that wacky. I never felt like the worlds or levels were empty or hollow in any way, even though I was used to the gameplay from 2.

The enemies, fairies and especially the dragon statues make 1 feel just as bustling. The dragons dialog add a lot of character to the areas (like the one who says "this used to be such a nice swamp" and Spyro is just like "...haha, yeaaah")

@Drawdler: I like the bit with the different wizards! The warring worlds of Zephyr and Breeze Harbour were some of my favourites in Spyro 2 because they add a feeling of realness to the worlds, like these characters don't just exist to serve X purpose in X world, they have lives which intersect with other characters in other worlds. It really enriches the game.

@ThunderEgg: I find Spyro 1 very relaxing to play, too.
Queen_Cynder Yellow Sparx Gems: 1548
#4 Posted: 02:12:28 20/10/2020
Super agree. I played the Spyro games in order as a kid, and I’ve always preferred Spyro 1 to all the others. While I know some of that is just personal preference, one aspect of 1 that always made it the strongest for me is that I genuinely prefer the quieter, even lonelier nature of this game. I always interpreted it as very intentional — Spyro is truly the only one who can save the other dragons. When we do encounter dragons who implicitly attempted to stop Gnasty later in the game, they’ve clearly been defeated again rather quickly. It’s all up to Spyro, traversing a world that’s been turned against him right down to the gems themselves. The few non-dragon allies he does meet, such as the fairies, are clearly also easily subdued by the enemies. I loved that sense of isolation and solo exploration in the first game, the levels being less filled with NPC made it feel like a much larger task that I was forced to face alone, at my own pace but without the help of others.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the iconic Spyro characters we would meet in later games, like Bianca, Hunter, Elora, Sheila, etc, and I think Spyro 2 and 3’s level NPCs and such are really fun and do a good job of making them not feel too much like just clones of Spyro 1. I love the way Spyro 2 in particular makes each world feel so unique and feel like each one is dealing with a unique problem that has to be solved, including (like others mentioned) stuff like the civil war between Zephyr and Breeze Harbor. But I think overall, as a kid I felt a lot like how @Akame described:

Quote: Akame
I have a friend who played Spyro 1 first, and when playing Spyro 2 found it crowded, the amount of NPC's stopping to talk annoys her


For me, I always felt that Spyro 1’s worlds had just the right amount of stuff going on while still feeling very free and mysterious and encouraging very cool solo exploration!
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I know my username says Queen but I’m a guy I’m just gay : (
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