Dragons are greedy. We know this to be true from most interpretations of the mythical fire breathers. They hoard gold and treasure to themselves for the luxury of having a kip on these riches without spending a cent. Who can blame anyone for being upset by these entitled creatures and their ego inflating bounties? Just imagine having to live under the rule of a species that squanders its wealth in such a display of vanity! I, for one, salute you, Gnasty Gnorc.
This ‘villainous’ orc-like creature had enough of dragons one day and took it upon himself to redistribute the cache of glistening gems in their coffers that were kept out of his reach as a lower class citizen. The elder dragons of the Dragon Realms saw these gems as something of a trophy and Gnorc saw them as a wondrous creation of the world. The ignorance of these winged prima-donnas in their jibes about Gnorc’s appearance was the last straw that saw him bring a revolution to fruition. Using his trusty magical staff, Gnasty Gnorc encased every dragon in crystal and commanded his army of mini-gnorcs to capture every last gem in each of the realms.
The game Spyro The Dragon for the PS1 sees you taking the role of a young cocky dragon who managed to avoid Gnorc’s magical spell. It is a 3D platforming adventure where you seek to free each of your kind in order to re-establish the natural order of a hierarchy that puts dragons unfairly at the top. Being as young as Spryo is, you are still learning what it means to be a true dragon. Early on in the game, You find out quickly that collecting the gems takes precedence over freeing your peers. A tally of the amount of gems in the world is the predominant scale you use to gauge your progress. There is also a number that tells you how many dragons you have rescued, but it largely doesn’t move on the story as you often times must barter with a hot air balloon man with gems to progress. Mowing down scared gnorcs with your horns and setting them on fire for standing in your way is the quickest route to recovering your bounty. Along the way you face an occasional mini game, like the one where you fly around an island setting planes and trains on fire for precious, precious gems.
Standing before you as the last hurdle of the game is the highly misunderstood Gnasty Gnorc himself.
To defeat Gnasty Gnorc, you must simply chase him through his home world and continuously breathe fire onto him as he runs away from you. Each strike you hit adds another sliver of treasure to your unquenchable pile of growing gems that never seems to be enough. Gnorc will attempt to defend himself by hitting you with a hammer, but fortunately for you, there is a dragonfly that will allow you to take more hits from his feeble attacks. When the dragonfly is gold then you are at full health. There are three hits you can take before he disappears and then you are left to your own volition to survive. Should you need to replenish health, it is simply a matter of sacrificing innocent sheep in order to change the colour of the dragonfly back to gold. Soaring around, Gnorc is easy to hit as you are a lot more agile and he is literally weighed down by his armour that he wears in order to protect his home from invaders. There are no other enemies to deal with in this last level as Spyro has visibly decreased the number of gnorcs in the world through brute force. The last one standing is Gnasty, who is presumably terrified at the prospect of his species going extinct.
To make matters worse (or better depending on your perspective), when you conquer Gnorc on his home turf there is a moment where Spyro chooses to gloat over his victory with the quip, “You’re toast”. This occurs as you literally burn the underwhelming Gnorc to death. This final boss battle is a short one that reminds you of the fragility of life and that dragons are not to be messed with under any circumstances.
For your courageous efforts, Spyro is interviewed as you use the same quip from before to reiterate that you did actually murder Gnorc with fire. That’s alright, though. You got a few purple gems and your dragon mates are doing grand. So who cares?
I hope it was all worth it, Spyro! For shame!
What do you think of Spyro The Dragon? Have you ever played it? Let us know in the comments!