Spyro Elemental Analysis Draft

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By AMCAlmaron
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Literature Text

In the Legend Of Spyro series, we are told that there are only four types of Dragons, plus the occasional rare Purple Dragon. Each of these types is attuned to a specific "Element" which is reflected throughout their body structure. In addition to this, these Elements are represented through a series of symbols; some abstract, some simple.
Over time, it becomes clear that many more "Elements" exist than the ones commanded by the four dragon types and the Purple Dragons; some people have attempted to design different Dragon types based off various unusual Elements encountered in the series, and some even from outside the series.
While the lack of information towards it in-game suggests that there are no more types of Dragon than those actively identified in the game series, it cannot hurt to imagine potential other Elements and types, and hypothetical designs for these can be easily imagined by examining the information that already is available to us, such as how the Elements express themselves in the body of the Dragon, and how they are represented in symbol form.

Each Dragon type can be distinguished from one another through several defining features, the most obvious of which is the scale colour; Red for Fire, Yellow for Electricity, Green for Earth, Blue for Ice. In addition to this, there are also the markings the Dragon has upon their scales, the "growths" upon the forward shoulders, as well as the back ridges and leg spikes, and the shape of the tip of the dragon's tail.
While some could say that it is fairly convenient that the symbols in the Legend Of Spyro Universe have the same meaning in their world as it does in ours - for example, a jagged line being an accepted symbol for Lightning in one culture doesn't mean that another culture will share it - it should be noted that if the meaning for the symbols in Spyro's world likely evolved from their appearance on the Dragons' bodies.

1.11: Scale Markings
Since only one of each Dragon Type is depicted throughout the entire series, the information regarding the appearance of a Dragon type may not be entirely accurate - they may in fact vary greater than the examples given here. As such, we have only the Guardians to use as models for the Four Elemental Types.
With the exception of Electricity Dragons, whose scale markings seem to consist of abstract jagged lines stretching across various areas of the body - arguably representing Electricity with the zig-zag shape commonly associated with Lightning - all Dragons appear to have significant markings on their shoulders and flanks, along their necks and backs, and at spaced intervals along their tails. These markings are a darker colour on Fire Dragons, but a lighter colour on all other types.
Most importantly, what do these markings mean? As mentioned before, the Electricity Dragon markings are reminiscent of lightning, which makes perfect sense, but what of the others? The markings on an Ice Dragon could be said to resemble small fragments of Ice or even Snow, and an Earth Dragons' markings bear the harsh angles that arguably represent rocks. The Fire Dragon is the confusing one, as their markings don't appear to be consistent. In some places they vaguely resemble flames, but in others no more than odd shapes similar to those of an Earth Dragon.
This could suggest that not all the markings on a dragon's body need be completely linked to their Element; perhaps being odd little marks not unlike freckles or moles. However, the Fire Dragon's unusual marks could also perhaps represent something like smoke or charred remnants of wood or coal.

1.12: Ridges, Spikes & Growths - UNFINISHED
Another thing that differs between each different Dragon Type is the various

In addition to the colour that defines their Element, each Dragon Type appears to have various body growths made from a substance that represents their Element. This includes the ridges that run along their back, the scales along their belly, the horns on their heads, the spikes on their tails, the growths on their shoulders, and the "fingers" of their wings.
*For Fire, the Dragon appears to have
*For Earth, the Dragon appears to have body growths that give the impression of rock and dirt; not only is every growth coloured a shade of brown, but
*For Electricity,
*For Ice,

The shape of the horns does not appear to be restricted to any

(need to note wing finger patterns)

Should have probably mentioned the colour underside…

1.13: Purple Dragons & Cynder

It is not clear whether these markings exist on all Female Dragons, or whether they are a result of Cynder being affected by Malefor - - or if they were tattoos

1.21: Game Symbols
The four colours and symbols for the Traditional Elements in "Dawn Of The Dragon" are as follows:
Fire - Red/Orange; A flame.
Earth - Dark Green; A large rock with two tiny rocks alongside.
Electricity - Yellow; A traditional lightning bolt symbol.
Ice - Light Blue; A three pronged Stalactite.

The four colours and symbols for the unusual Elements are as follows:
Fear - Red; Cynder's head.
Poison - Light Green; Three drops of liquid; clearly poison.
Wind - Blue/Grey; a swirl representing air.
Shadow - Dark Blue/Dark Purple; reminiscent of a Taijitu (Yin-Yang) symbol on its side with the Dark Blue above the Dark Purple.

A different albeit similar set of symbols appears in the Nintendo Dual Screen adaptation of the same game; they are as follows:
Fire - A flame on a white background.
Earth - A brown rock on a green background.
Electricity - A yellow spark of electricity on a black background.
Ice - Blue crystals on a white background.

The four symbols for the unusual Elements are as follows:
Fear - A red human skull on a dark background.
Poison - Green bubbling liquid on a white background.
Wind - A blue-white tornado on a black background.
Shadow - A purple hand on a white background.

So what can we discern from this? We've seen so far that the colour of the power matches the colour of the symbol, and by extension, the colour of the Dragon. A problem arises in that the Dark Purple colouring listed for Shadow could potentially come into conflict with the rarity of Purple Dragons. However, the yin-yang symbol could represent the Dragon in different stages; the Dark Blue represents the Dragon in their normal form, and the Dark Purple represents them in Shadow form. Alternatively, the dark colouring could represent Cynder's unusual colouring
The multiple colours listed with each Element could also be linked to the colouring of the scale markings or the body growths; like how Earth seems to be linked to both Green and Brown, which are seemingly combined for the Dark Green Elemental colour. Alternatively, the colouring of a dragon Element could be a mixture of the two different symbol colours.
What of the symbolism? It is quite clear that a specific image is used to represent each Element, although no standard definition of this image exists.

*The symbol for Fire in any form is a reddish burning flame.
*The symbol for Earth in any form is a green/brown rock.
*The symbol for Electricity in any form is an arc of yellow electricity.
*The symbol for Ice in any form is several blue frozen shards of ice.
*The symbol for Fear in any form is a red skull, which of course would vary depending on whatever creature wielded it.
*The symbol for Poison in any form is a green liquid - drawing upon the image of poison being bottled and used against another person - and as such a Temple Sigil would need to reflect this in some way; perhaps similar to the way Ice is depicted by three frozen shards.
*The symbol for Wind in any form is a blue/grey swirl, or some form of shape that suggests the movement of wind.

The odd symbol out is Shadow, where both symbols are drastically different from one another. The DOTD symbol, as mentioned above, presumably represents the changes between the two states - from a physical being to a shadow creature. The DS symbol, alternatively, represents the aggressive nature of the Element - how it can be used to attack from the shadow.
It has been observed that multiple Sigils exist for each Element, to showcase specific abilities (this will be discussed further in the following section). It is therefore likely that the two differing symbols thus represent two different parts of the Shadow Element; the DOTD symbol representing the transformation, and the DS symbol representing the attack.
It is likely then that the first of the two symbols is used to represent the Element, as it has been observed that each Dragon Type displays the symbol of their Element via their scale markings. It would be quite a stretch to assume that a Shadow Dragon, should one exist, would have markings resembling hands all over their body; more likely that the markings, which, as was discussed earlier are fairly simple in design, would resemble the Taijitu (Yin-Yang) symbol.
This can also be extended to the other Elements. A hypothetical Fear Dragon would have markings resembling skulls, a Poison Dragon would have markings resembling droplets of poison and a Wind Dragon markings that give the impression of the movement of wind, i.e. swirls.

1.22: Temple Sigils - UNFINISHED
Four symbols are shown in the first Legend Of Spyro game - A New Beginning - which represent the four traditional Elements.
These "sigils" appear to also show up in the Pause Menu to represent the various attacks that Spyro can use. Abstract shapes very similar to the Temple Sigils are used to represent the Primary Breaths for Fire - albeit reversed and a solid flame instead of the abstract line - and Electricity, but not for Ice and Earth, which instead use their Temple Sigils to represent the Secondary Breath.

Primary Breath: Fire Blast
Represented By: A burning flame - Reminiscent of the Temple Sigil.
Secondary Breath: Fire Bomb - A fireball.
Represented By: A circular shape with five points emerging from it.

Primary Breath: Earth Shot
Represented By: A pattern of diamond-like shapes - Reminiscent of the Ice Temple Sigil.
Secondary Breath: Earth Bomb - A tornado.
Represented By: A spiral - The Temple Sigil.

Primary Breath: Electric Stream
Represented By: An arc of electricity - The Temple Sigil.
Secondary Breath: Electric Arc
Represented By: An abstract shape reminiscent of one of Volteer's body ridges.

Primary Breath: Ice Stream
Represented By: A pattern of shapes resembling snowflakes around a tiny diamond.
Secondary Breath: Ice Shards
Represented By: Three shards of pointed ice - The Temple Sigil.

The abundance of the symbols suggests that there is a Sigil for each Breath ability, resulting in far more than four Sigils. One thing remains confusing, however; why are the Sigils for the Secondary Breaths of Earth and Ice used to represent the Element?
It could be that the Dragon Temple had Sigils for each Elemental Breath, but that some of these were damaged prior to the events of the first game and subsequently removed. However, it could just be that at some point in history the Guardians decided that the symbol for the Secondary Breath represented the Element better, or was simpler in design and thus easier to reproduce; alternatively, the Secondary Breath could have been "identified" before the Primary Breath was.
The secondary symbol for Earth may have been chosen because it showcases the full ability of the Earth Element. As briefly hinted at in my previous essay, it could be that each Dragon Breed does not contain the physical form of their Element within themselves - i.e. an Earth Dragon does not carry Earth within its body to expel at an opponent - but instead uses a form of magic to manipulate material around it to create the Elemental Breath. To quote my previous essay:
…what constitutes the Earth Element varies from game to game; in the first game, the element mostly summons Wind storms, in the second, it consists of a Green Energy attack, plus physical attacks that affect the ground surrounding the user, in the third, it involves manipulating rock with Green Energy.
This suggests that an Earth Dragon does not summon its Elemental "breath" from within itself to use as an attack, as the other Elemental Dragons do, but instead uses a Green Energy that can be used as an attack on its own, or to influence Earth - and possibly also plants - around it; either channelling it through the ground, or using it to bind bits of Earth together into a boulder.

In other words, the symbol for Earth was chosen because the rocky spiral represents many things; the Earth that is manipulated, the Energy that is used to do so, and the fact that it can also affect the Wind. Alternatively, since the Earth Element was largely used for Wind based attacks in the first game, it could just be that Spyro was being taught a specific area of the Earth Element.
It should be noted that these sigils do not represent the full range of the Elemental Breath powers, as each of the games has new abilities. It is likely then that there are many such sigils, and each represents the ability in an abstract yet still vaguely recognisable form.

What of the other Elements without a Sigil? It

Poison similar to Ice
Wind with swirls like Electricity
Fear is the oddball

Primary Breath: Siren Scream
Secondary Breath: Phantom Fright - Fear released in the form of floating orbs.

Primary Breath: Venom
Secondary Breath: Scorpion Strike - Covers the body in Poison.

Primary Breath: Cyclone - Essentially Wind Breath.
Secondary Breath: Tornado -

Primary Breath: Shadow Strike
Secondary Breath: Shadow Fire

So what can we assume from this? '

*A Fear Dragon would thus be red, with scale markings resembling skulls, and
*A Poison Dragon would thus be green, with scale markings resembling droplets of poison, and
*A Wind Dragon would thus be blue/grey, with scale markings resembling the movement of wind, and
, and growths resembling clouds.
*A Shadow Dragon would thus be dark blue, with scale markings resembling the Taijitu (Yin-Yang) symbol, and

Water, for instance, an Element not seen in the Legend Of Spyro but shown in the Original Series and the Skylanders spin-off. Following the logic established above, a Water Dragon would be a deep blue; perhaps matching the colour of the sea, and their scale markings and sigils would have to represent the flow of water in some way.

What about Time? It could be that the Chronicler is considered the Guardian of Time, and thus his colouring represents this; being the "Colour" of the Time Element. As such, he would be considered a "Time Dragon".

It could be that colours are not exclusive to any Element - with the obvious exception of Purple - and instead the (hue?) of the colour indicates the specific Element; for instance, Fear Dragons could be only coloured Bright Red, while Fire Dragons are coloured a simple Red, leaving Dark Red vacant for another hypothetical Element. This theory is of course let down by the fact that the primary colour of the Fire Element seems to spill over into Orange, but the colour setup must be something along those lines.

Cynder's Elements are listed by colour.

Should mention how Skylanders depicts an "Air" Dragon as being pale blue with feathery wings and two horns. Of course, they are separate worlds, but still worthy of mention.

Spiral on wind bracers for Sonic Boom char.

Does Spyro mean anything? Perhaps "Small PYRO"? Perhaps it's a meaningful word in the Dragon world? Might be worth noting how there appear to be lots of letter "s"s hidden in the concept art…
Darn...I still haven't been able to finish this. This is the draft of a follow-up to my old Spyro Analysis ([link]), focusing specifically on the Elements.

Like the last one, I'm using the logic established in the series to try and reveal more for the fan writers. In this case, I'm trying to figure out what dragons with unusual Elements (Fear, Poison, Wind, Shadow, Water, Time, Etc) must look like, and how they are represented in symbols.

I've got most of it written up, but I haven't quite managed to finish it yet, so here's what I've written so far for now. The unfinished sections are marked as such, and are still readable, but some bits are just quick notes.

Speaking of unfinished Spyro things, I'm also toying with more fan characters to go with the last two I did (read them here: [link] ). This includes:
*A broodmother who went insane as a result of her family all being killed in the war against Malefor. She lives in a cave near Warfang, and hasn't destroyed the crystals that were her family. Instead, she talks to them as if they are still there.
*A dragon playwright.
*Two friends for Amperon, my Librarian character. All three met in youth, got interested in prophecy and history and stuff and decided to try and change the world. Amperon became an Archivist, one friend used his riches to finance archaeological expeditions and store them in a cavern system he owned, and one became a philosophical writer and gained a following shouting in squares. When Malefor came to Warfang, they each manipulated him to aid them in their goals for change; inadvertantly paving the way to his corruption.
In the end, Malefor went evil and killed Amperon in a fight at the Library which he destroyed. The other two met their end when Malefor attacked Warfang for the last time; the rich one feared Malefor would come for his collection and rushed to protect it, at which point the cavern caved in due to the battle raging nearby, while the other one disappeared, and was never seen again. Some said he died in the chaos, some said he fled to another city, and some thought he even shared Malefor's beliefs and rushed to join his side.

Well, I should finish this all at some point!

All the various incarnations of Spyro copyright their respective owners.
© 2011 - 2021 AMCAlmaron
anonymous's avatar
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artman215's avatar
perhaps, spyro`s name is a play on words, Special PYRO, SPYRO, saying that "mostly" in the games, the first and main element you use is fire, AND, egnightus is the first of the four guardians spyro encounters on the first game, of the last trillogy: legend of spyro a new beginning,
megadracosaurus's avatar
This is very impressive and hasd some good theories!

As for the Elements, the Elements are not just Fire, Ice, Elecktricity and Earth. There are indeed Wind, Shadow, Poison and Fear Dragons to, and there are rumors about Water Dragons. All of these, except for Poison and Fear, are natural. Poison and Fear were created by Malefor's experiments. Shadow, Wind and maybe Water used to have Guardians to, but are assumed to have died during the war. Its rumored that most of the Shadow, Wind, Poison and Fear Dragons had taken Malefor's side during the War. The Water Dragons allegiance is unknown, but most assume the side of Warfang.
AMCAlmaron's avatar
Are you sure about that? I don't recall anything like that coming up in the games or in official sources (except for the bit about other Guardians dying during the war), but that sounds like the theories used in fan comics like Feuriah's Dawn or the Guardians.
megadracosaurus's avatar
Then again, Ignitus said there were only four Guardians left, hinting there used to be more.
AMCAlmaron's avatar
Yes, and one of the designers for the first game said something along those lines when releasing the concept art he did for the game. He also talked about a cut sub-plot (and showed some pictures) where Spyro would have searched the forest around the Dragon Temple to find Ignitus' old armour and weaponry from when he led the Dragon Armies...finding all this stuff was going to snap Ignitus out of his depression. 
megadracosaurus's avatar
That could have been a great level!
AMCAlmaron's avatar
It's still vaguely in the game...or at least the weapons are; you can see them in the background of some of the Temple levels in ANB (and TEN, if I recall correctly). The website where all this was revealed can be found here;…
megadracosaurus's avatar
I never heard of those comics. I do know Cynder is a Shadow Dragon. The information about Poison and Fear I read on a website and Water...Yeah, that was a theory.

So you have a point.
AMCAlmaron's avatar
Hmm...could I have a link to those pages to check their sources? I checked the Wiki to see if there was anything about Cynder being a Shadow Dragon, but they never said whether she was or not...she may have a special Shadow Fire attack in the first game, but how do we know that's not just Malefor's power over her?

I don't think it's ever actually said what Element Cynder was...I've seen people suggest it could be Wind, since that's the only element she has that doesn't specifically have a dark overtone to it...but admittedly, she'd certainly be the right colour for a Shadow dragon.
megadracosaurus's avatar
That's the nain reason I think She is Shadow. She was black before Malefor's influence.
AMCAlmaron's avatar
Was she, though? How do we know her colour and Elements weren't permanently changed by Malefor's magic? I should note I think she probably was black beforehand (and her purple tinge in DOTD a result of Malefor's magic), but it's worth noting nonetheless.

You have to be careful when writing up theories like's crucial that you keep track of what's a fan theory and what's canon, otherwise your entire argument can end up falling apart with one mistake. Worse, all it takes is one person/website to get it wrong and post something false as canon, and everyone ends up thinking that's accurate. It's happened time and time again with the series I've edited the Wikis for...the Pern and Temeraire series; in both cases people have made stuff up to expand the universe but not made it clear that it's their own creation, so this makes it a lot harder to undo the damage done (although I think I did a pretty good job stamping out the Purple/White "Chequered Nettle" design on the Temeraire Wiki). 

Sorry, I sound rather harsh there, but I really hate it when false information gets posted just causes trouble in the long run.
seionara's avatar
she was black, or at least a very dark shade of grey…
(skip to about 8:15 or 8:16)
AMCAlmaron's avatar
Oh, certainly, but we can't be sure if she was black or grey to begin with...
megadracosaurus's avatar
Hmmm...Good point.

I understand and shall be more carefull.
AMCAlmaron's avatar
Cool. Sorry if I came off a bit harsh in the last paragraph...I'm just fussy about this sort of thing!

Speculation is always good's how we get epic new theories that can end up creating great fan universes!
OmicronWanderer's avatar

if you are curious the name Spyro is a combination of multiple roots the most obvious being the word Pyro for fire.

less apparent is the latin word 'spiro' which is a latin verb for breathing.

I suggest that the fear dragon may be a combination of coloration an markings ranging from red to grey, with the compliment for that element found on the chest and horns.

I would actually suggest that a wind dragon would be a grey white with blue complements on the chest markings and horns.

also the wind dragon that you mention(whirlwind) has one horn and two ears and is a unicorn-dragon hybrid.
AesirChronicler's avatar
Very interesting bit of information again. :thumbsup::)
I always liked to play around with an idea that the Crystal could also be one element. :D
0PIA's avatar
Oh yeah :D Thats my dragon's element XD the frostfire
SolarFlare-Kage's avatar
you've made some interesting points, my friend.
anonymous's avatar
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