Q/A with Jared Pullen, lead concept artist of TLoS
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By DragonOfIceAndFire   |   Watch
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Published: February 19, 2016

DISCLAIMER (READ THIS, DAMN IT):

90% OF THE STUFF HERE IS ONLY UNUSED IDEAS OR SPECULATION FROM JARED'S END, IT IS NOT CANON. Don't go pissing on people with theories/stories that differ from what you read here. If it wasn't in the game, it's not canon. For example yes, they may have planned to have Ignitus be Spyro's father BUT given the fact that it was never even brought up in the series means it's unofficial. You can choose to accept or deny it, just don't be a dick about it pls. Stop bothering people trying to make them accept it as canon, stop calling people stupid for accepting it when it's not canon (yes I've seen people do this), stop adding it as facts to wikis. Just... Stop. Only what made it into the game is officially canon and the rest should be treated as unofficially canon at best. Unused ideas at worst. Chill. Stop making me regret putting this up. Thanks. 

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Yep, that disclaimer was very needed. Just fricking behave, people. This stuff is the reason I left and a reason I wish I didn't come back. You pester people to accept this, they start hating and denying this. Let people do what they wanna do. Even I go against half of the things written here when it comes to my own fic. 

I had to reupload this because I derped and accidentally deleted the old one. ): Anyway, I added some new stuff. Will be marked with a :new:

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Q: Was Ignitus supposed to be Spyro's father? 

A: Ignitus was most definitely intended as a mentor and 'father-figure' for Spyro, but it was never fully established officially that he was indeed Spyro's actual father. The goal was to reveal Spyro's parentage in stages and throw up the notion that perhaps his father was one of two possible dragons; one being Ignitus, and the other... Malefor. This concept was to re-occur across the 3 games, but it didn't pan out like that, and more's the pity because it is a strong theme. I've always personally maintained, (and one of our publisher guys hinted at this) that Ignitus was indeed Spyro's biological father and set out with that in mind right from the design phase. The animators also loosely held true to this idea... so without it being 'official'... it was the original intention :) (Smile) Of course Malefor was intended to taunt Spyro, and cloud his mind with the lie that he was his father, but it didn't pan out in the story in full. That said, Ignitus gets my vote. :) (Smile)

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Q: Is corrupted Cynder an accurate representation of an adult female dragon in the TLoS universe? 

A:
 With Cynder, we adopted sinuous lines and delicate elongated forms with gothic design elements.... very much adhering to 'ferocity through speed and agility' rather than through strength of muscle. Up until TLoS the realm of dragons in the Spyro universe was very much paternal... so we decided to bring in that feminine touch. I wouldn't say Cynder is rigidly typical of all female dragon forms, but the elongated neck, lengthened whip-like tail and larger, more delicate wings are. For female dragons you could definitely push the forms, and make body regions like hips and hind quarters larger, but generally forms are more elongated in the female dragons, at least that's what I'd do. The males would have slightly shorter tails and thicker (but not so large) wings overall. Necks in females tend to be more lithe and less robust to give them that grace. Cynder was also corrupted and her growth affected rapidly by Malefor's evil, so she tended to be more hard edged with less things terminating in curves. The average female dragon per say though might be a lot more curvy overall. It's how I'd play it for sure. Also note that female dragons' hips tend to be a bit higher off the ground that males' hips are.

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Q: (...) But wow, you caught me completely off guard with saying Malefor may have been Spyro's father! Definitely an interesting idea, however... It never crossed my mind really, since there were supposedly ten generations between Spyro and Malefor, and I had assumed that Malefor was imprisoned in Convexity long enough for him not to age and thus be able to meet Spyro in the first place. (That said, DotD didn't include any info about how Malefor was first imprisoned and what he really did to be exiled, so everything about him is still pretty cloudy) And in the cutscene image from tEN where Malefor was depicted young, there was a character in the foreground with a strong resemblance to the chronicler, and the chronicler implied he'd been at the white isle for over a thousand years. So how Malefor lived so long is still a mystery - unless all the dragons in general could live so long.

A: Fun fact about dragon eggs in the Spyro universe - they can take decades to hatch ;) (Wink) Longer even... if the time isn't right, they'll incubate safely until a timely opportunity presents itself ;) (Wink) The rationale behind Malefor potentially being Spyro's father was plausible, but only if Spyro's egg lay dormant a good while. We reasoned that perhaps Spyro's egg was laid a very long time ago, while Malefor was still free and kicking around. Then it lay still through the time of turmoil and upheaval, and right through the dragon purges until Ignitus released it down river in ANB. It was 'waiting for destiny' to find the time of hatching. Of course this was never fleshed out, and most on the team preferred Ignitus as Spyro's father. Rumour has it that there are unhatched eggs still out there, just waiting for their time... but we never got to the design phase to flesh out subsequent plot and hatchling characters. I'd love to do that too one day. Also the dragons are long lived in Spyro's world, and originally I'd intended Ignitus to be about 250 years young at the time of ANB :) (Smile) The Chronicler however would be very ancient indeed, over 1000 years for certain, possibly over 2000. Oh and... yes, that is him with the young apprentice Malefor ;) (Wink) 

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Q: Is the statue in the training room of Malefor?

A: The image of the great Guardian statue above was an homage to Dragon culture in general, but more specifically a stately and regal representation of an actual ancient Dragon hero... the last Purple Dragon before Spyro's time. Indeed it was my intention to have this statue foreshadow Spyro's future, and set down a clue as to what he may even look like in the coming decades. From the very outset I wanted to portray what a fully grown adult Purple Dragon would look like, how it might stand and carry itself, and I pitched the idea that the statue itself was actually a representation of The Dark Master.... before he renounced the path of good. So you could say that right from the beginning, from 'the new beginning' we had already caught a glimpse of the Dark Master... I thought it a very fitting and 'full circle' type thing to do.

(I didn't actually ask this, but took the 'answer' off his blog. It's good information.)

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Q: In a cutscene from aNB, when Ignitus first met Spyro and talked about the war, in one of the pictures there was a young dragon by Ignitus's side in the battlefield. Is there a story behind that? 

A: Ah, you spotted the young dragon in the sepia tone cutscene from ANB, when Ignitus explains the inter-isle wars?... yes he has a story all his own, at least at the time when I drew him :) (Smile) Seems like only yesterday. He is Ignitus' Battle Squire, the banner-bearer for Ignitus' battalion of war dragons, which I'd named 'Inferno Battalion'. The young dragon's name is Pyra (said 'Pie-Rah', taken from the Greek word for fire.) I'd originally set out a basic back story that saw Pyra as one of the only dragons left on the battle field after Cynder came and captured the other guardians. Pyra becomes separated from Ignitus after a huge and confusing melee and the intervention of an enemy siege weapon known to the dragons as a 'Dragonator', which kills dragons. (Funnily enough the Monster Hunter game series by Capcom went on to make siege engines called 'Dragonators' in their games.. nice co-incidence!) Anyway Pyra is only very young and under powered, so it's more an exercise in survival rather than triumphant butt kicking across the field of battle. He arrives upon a tragic scene in which the severed remnants of Ignitus' war lance lies splintered on the ground, and he fears the worse for his Master. Determined to survive, and avenge Ignitus for the tragic end Pyra fears must surely have befallen him, he takes up the shards of the great lance and stoically defends a high hilltop against a tidal wave of foes. He holds the hill for several hours before fatigue overcomes him and his enemies overrun the hill top. But fortune favors Pyra, and he lives long enough to be rescued by one of the 'Dragon Knights' (a 'Templar/defender' class dragon I never got to draw up.) During the rescue the Dragon Knight takes flight with Pyra on his back, but he is shot down by the Dragonator and Pyra falls into the ocean. Ignitus arrives as the Dragon Knight takes his last breath, uttering the word "Pyra..." and offering up the broken lance before passing away. Ignitus mourns his squire, fleeing the isle before Cynder can claim him, his only comfort the lance shards that he takes with him into the heart of the swamp. But unbeknownst to Ignitus, his battle Squire endures.... washed up somewhere on a distant and isolated isle... 

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Q(more of fun facts really): The TLoS series have a lot of original names, especially with the Guardians and their element-related names... Well... Cyril really sticks out - it's even a name used in real life. I keep wondering about the thinking behind that.

A: Originally I called him 'Glacious' (said 'Glay-shuss) Volteer I'd named 'Thundus' because I felt it had more mythological connotations and sounded less like something from a cartoon.... my original reaction to 'Volteer' was "Why don't we just call him 'The Amazing El-Zappo' or the Spectacular Volty-volt Dude??" But it grew on me :) (Smile)

(I'm definitely referring to Volteer as ''the amazing el-zappo' from now on)

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:new:
Q: Do you know something about the elements? We know for sure there are Fire, Electric, Ice and Earth dragons, but are there dragons of Cynder's elements? Or other elements not at all mentioned? (Like a water element) Where did the elements of Shadow, Poison and Fear come from(since they seem far from natural)?


I'd always maintained that Dragons, being ancient and learned beings, were gifted a wisdom beyond the ken of most other mortal races...
and had, across all species of dragon, a deep connection with nature. And with the elements. For TLoS series we kept things simple, and distilled down to their purest most primal forms, of which the Guardians were masters.... but there are others...

It's no secret that Spyro had a 'water breath' in 'Spyro: A Hero's Tail'.... and I'd always acknowledged that at the design phase. In fact I'd hoped to have water as one of the 4 primary 'Master Elements', and indeed Cyril was intended to be The Water Guardian... To me water has always been a wonderful and fluid thing, something powerful and yet in my mind strikingly feminine..... and so at the initial outset, I'd intended Cyril to actually be a female ;) But it was deemed that we needed to give him a harder edge visually... 

The Guardians were this kind of paternal fraternity... almost like monks and scholars... warrior monks that had devoted their lives to nothing but elemental magics... while other dragons pursued more visceral outlets of attack and defense. For instance, the Dragon Knights. Anyways.... the Guardians became male, and the 4 Master Elements comprised, replacing water with Ice, in keeping with that harder edge design concept. (...)

[So dragons of water, wind, shadow, fear and poison, they exist?]


They do indeed :)


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Q: I got some quick yes/no questions that don't need an explanation from you - I'm sure you're still too busy for that. I already asked one of the questions, if a dragon's eye colors depend on their element (orange for fire, yellow for electricity, etc)...

(he explained anyway XD)

A: The eye color was, in truth, less about which element they were from and more about color balance with their overall scheme... I would dabble about for ages, actually finishing their eyes last til it felt right for the character, but usually in the end it just made good color theory sense to have their eyes match their overall skin tone - which matched their element ;) (Wink) So in a round about way, you could say yes. Spyro however needed to not be restricted so much by rules... he is very much the 'wild card' dragon who can be anything and be any element we requires.... simply put green tends to contrast nicely with purple, and I wanted to go that way to add an offsetting contrast, but by then we'd indirectly established that the dragons eyes matched their element hehehe ;) (Wink) I settled on an electric purple.

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Q:  (...)Cynder had teal eyes though, which leads to another few questions I asked. What was her original element and original scale color(assuming the blackness of her design came from the corruption)?

A: (...)I'll sneak you a response a bit later on, but suffice it to say.... Cynder did not start life as a 'Dark/Shadow' elemental dragon ;) (Wink) And her color and subsequent markings are indeed the result of Malefor's corruptive ritual magics.


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Q: You confirmed Cynder's dark scales and markings were a result of her corruption. So what was her original element?

A: Heheheee this has been one of the greatest wee mysteries to emerge from the whole TLoS series, as Cynder is one of the most beloved characters, and has gone on to have a life very much of her own. Everyone wants to see her do well - and everyone I know seems to believe she ends up with Spyro in some romantic manner.... OK, so the very first time Cynder was mentioned to me was back in 2005, and she was simply called 'The Anti-Spyro' as we did not have a name for her.... and truth to tell we didn't really know that she was going to be a 'she' at that point. 

The Lead Artist on ANB (Bruno Rime) for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for had one wee condition on TLoS... I could draw everything that was to be, but the 'Anti-Spyro' was to be his baby ;) (Wink) And that is totally fair, as Bruno is one heck of a great guy and Lead. He came back a week later and said 'So, she's going to be a BIG Scary Black Dragon... like the thing out of Sleeping Beauty... only worse!" That was the first time I'd heard mention of the character that was to be Cynder.... Bruno tried a few different variations on a sketch, showed me and we talked on line and angles and the way she was put together overall.... but Cynder was his from the very beginning. I never saw any color variations, but we had a conversation that Cynder was 'the product of her conditioning... and not inherently dark by breed or nature'.... we toyed with the idea that she 'was a flyer' and had connections to the air, to storms and specifically to the Wind ;) (Wink)...
So....

[So she was a wind dragon originally?]

There is that logic yes. While Bruno never said "Cynder is a Wind Dragon" - she was certainly put together as such and the connotations were there
There is ONE way to definitely answer this.. I'm in contact with Bruno and we do talk. He's a good mate of mine and while I believe this was the intention (to make Cynder a Wind Dragon originally) its always best to go to the source.

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:new:
Q:
(...)"everyone I know seems to believe she ends up with Spyro in some romantic manner...." Are you hinting that she doesn't really?
A: hehe, no its more that them getting together wasn't a thing we'd intended originally - it's pretty much something that emerged from fan conversations... like I've marveled at with appreciation now for years: Cynder and Spyro have a life all their own. They've grown up, flown the coop, and have nested comfortably :) Seeing the fans delight in wanting Spyro and Cynder to get together prompted me and the team to consider it.... it only seems natural to me. I think it's now common-place belief (if not unwritten lore) that they are an item. It's the way I would have eventually gone with it.

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:new:
Q:
 Are dragon hatchlings in the TLoS universe raised by their old folks or?
A: Your standard dragon rears its young, but with the Guardians we see something a bit different.... we see them with a clutch of eggs. Like I've said, those Guardians are like monks - and I imagined that they would choose eggs to bring to the temple to raise as students, scholars and warriors. The rest live a more 'civilian' life I imagine :)

[Makes sense yes... I imagined all eggs were put in the temple so they could be protected. When Ignitus said their 'very survival depended on those eggs' makes it sound like the dragon species was close to extinction and those were all the eggs they had.]

At that point in time, yes. Cynder was on the hunt. Dragon eggs were becoming rarer.

[She was part of that very same egg collection though, one of two survivors. Did the temple guard more clutches after the raid?]

I had thought there were numerous raids on dragon-kind, hence the diminishing egg numbers, but there was only one big raid to end all raids on the temple and that was conducted by Gaul and his forces yes. Ha yes, Cynder was in that clutch that he took - it's been a long time and I sadly had overlooked that. You're right, my mistake there. The old memory is fading!

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:new:
Q:
There's one I'm really curious about, I found some effect files from TEN named CynderFlames or the sort, picturing green fires... Was there plans to have Cynder breathe green fire? Like, as her actual element, or... An option to play the game as her in place of Spyro instead of Dark Spyro?
A: Ahh yes, she was indeed intended to breathe a green fire at the very first, and those are exceptionally early assets, or temp assets as we call them....  this scheme was designed in counter-measure to Spyro's red and yellow flames, (to offer visual contrast) before we had the Guardians take on their colors. As soon as it became apparent that the Earth element (and its corresponding Guardian Terrador) were to take on the green color key, we dropped this idea of green fire for Cynder. It then became very obvious that each Guardian and their corresponding element color needed to be reflected in their breath attacks...

[Ahh, it was for corrupted Cynder? instead of her pinkish dark fire]

Yes we went with 'green' meaning 'decayed or corrupted' at first
You'll notice though we went with a more insipid and sickly green/yellow to convey the notion of sickness and impurity later on with the corrupted minions of Gaul.

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Comments70
anonymous's avatar
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ZilonKing's avatar
ZilonKingHobbyist Digital Artist
Dang, and this was official, shoot this is alot of stuff to know.
StevenSerisawa's avatar
StevenSerisawaHobbyist Writer
90% OF THE STUFF HERE IS ONLY UNUSED IDEAS OR SPECULATION FROM JARED'S END, IT IS NOT CANON.

That's literally said in the Q/A. 
Cyril-The-Guardian's avatar
Breaks into tears. 


EVERYTHING I KNOW IS A LIE!
ManerlonGamer's avatar
ManerlonGamerStudent Digital Artist
My god, i see what you mean about those kinds of people. It literally like everyone that takes theories as fact, and act very toxic like against others, like what is it with these people and logic? IT'S A THEORY FOR A REASON. Honestly these people give me a headache towards their level of ignorance and (no offense) incopitence.

Also, great work on that interview, very fascinating beta and scraped ideas. It would be sweet to see a remaster of these games, not so much for how much the story could/would be changed, but mostly the gameplay has a lot of potential.
takerfan5000's avatar
takerfan5000Student Artist
This is all really interesting. I'm glad we got get a little more insight in the LOS universe. :)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
how it should have happened www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3so9K… (sorry if this came off rude)
DragonOfIceAndFire's avatar
DragonOfIceAndFireHobbyist Digital Artist
Good god, stop commenting. 
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
the Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon reminds me of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
how Mufasa is Simba's idol, reminds me of how Ignitus is Spyro's idol (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
"Sparx, cut it out. Now's not the time", lol i love how Spyro's the opposite XD (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
the Sorcerer is like a Ghast (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
i never knew Spyro: A Hero's Tail had a Disney movie style (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
I wish Malefor and the other Spyro characters were with the Super Smash Bros. franchise. That would be so kick-@$$ (sorry if this came off rude)

ANIMEGURL02's avatar
i love how Hunter is portrayed here www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZEbbK… (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! THEY GOT CYNDER TOO!?!? (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
Spyro, you may be a purple dragon, but Maleficent isn't one you should confront..(sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
Rio reminds me of dotd (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
Gosh I love these two!: D (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
if Pyra was taken to the White Isle, i wonder why the dragon wasn't (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
i think the name "Pyra" is cute =w=  (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
i wonder what Ignitus's reaction would be to find Pyra (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
Pyra is my new favorite battle squire now..The forgotten, yet best battlesquire. I always imagine him on his own, having survived somehow. The games hardly dabbed on him and his lore but the flashback besides Ignitus. D: The loooore. curse you no official ref! (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
"so she tended to be more hard edged with less things terminating in curves" this clearly means that natural adult Cynder would be less hard edged with more things terminating in curves..i wonder what that would look like (sorry if this came off rude)
ANIMEGURL02's avatar
what were the effect files? (sorry if this came off rude)
anonymous's avatar
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