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TLoS Elemental Class Fire

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Fire; bringer of light, heat, comfort... and destruction. A primal force of nature. Throughout Spyro's rich history, the Fire element has remained a staple ability; the 'old reliable' in his varied arsenal and usually the first to be attained and mastered. In 'A New Beginning' this elemental ability class was latently triggered after Spyro was subjected to trauma caused by Sparx's suffering at the hands of one of Cynder's minions in the Swamp. Since this elemental attack was to be visualised using additive effects in a high dynamic range, the need for legibility against the various environmental backdrops of TLoS was critical... prompting the team to ensure that the lighting of all worlds was relatively low level, with regions of deep shadow and localised light sources to add variation. For in the darker places of TLoS the fire element burned its brightest, and this was true for all the elemental effects. Red was to be the over-arching colour key for all the flame based attacks.

By way of TLoS lore, the Fire element is governed by focused control over breathing and expressed by exhalation, yet 'A New Beginning' was to bring something fresh to the offering table by way of a more sophisticated melee combat system. It was decided then that while an elemental breath weapon was 'equipped', Spyro's physical attacks should represent that element active at the time. To support this notion, 3-dimensional trail effects were added that marked the motion and passage of Spyro's body through space as he attacked. While the Fire element was active, Spyro's horns, tail and wings would trail tendrils of gleaming red energy as they moved through an attack, prompting the idea that perhaps the Fire ability could be expressed in ways other than token exhalation. The Fire Fury was to be a testiment to this notion, and this further engineered discussions amongst the concept team that elemental fire could be controlled, shaped and possibly projected in other ways...

And why not? The ability to engulf horns, claws and tails in sheaths of flame for more devastating attacks would certainly add an impressive new dimension to dragon combat. Imagine if you will a fully trained and focused Fire dragon, wings ablaze with writhing flame... and lo those burning wings snap forth at speed to cast a wave of fire... I'd have liked to have gone to that place. The concept piece seen here was altered a few times as we tried to get this iconic ability of Spyro's just right. Despite the effects being 'elements in motion', a strong shape for the components of Spyro's fire was important, to help establish a stylised sensibility in line with the overall design. A realistic flame would have been beautiful, but would not have alligned itself well with the TLoS style. Alive with colour and energy, the fire effects were certainly among the more breath-taking of things born out on a PS2 back in the day, and it was the esteemed Bruno Rime who lead the way in this regard, crafting many incredible effects that made Spyro's attacking abilities so rich and vibrant. 
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anonymous's avatar
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vipermoon878's avatar

Makes me wonder if the water element was ever considered

Miss-dreamerkat's avatar
The darkness was a nice touch! More than a few times in all my playthroughs of the game i found myself breathing fire so i can see what's around me! (This was done in excess in The Eternal Night) It was a really nice touch that added a hint of realism for me to the game. 
Tank-Dragon's avatar
Good old reliable Fire! :'D when you wanna leave and afterburn effect on your enemies. Using fire in the dark areas of certain levels was visually impressive for a PS2 game, you could really get a feel of the heat :D

The blinding light of the fireball explosions when they hit enemies is such a blast! ;D
Phaedrolous's avatar
Putting the "pyro" in "Spyro".
I gotta be honest; during the first Spyro game series, I never once caught on to the fire reference in his name.
ChaosPhantom444's avatar
LegendaryGriffin's avatar
The fire effects were truely amazing. It's probably the reason why I'm shocked looking at graphics in other ps2 games because I'm so used to playing the spyro games ^^
Jelepeno123's avatar
The thought of a full-grown Dragon engulfing their wings in flames sounds awesome.

I also like the idea of the Elements being shaped in different ways, too.
BlackShadow6202's avatar
While electricity has always been my favorite to use int he games, Ive found fire to be the most beautiful of the four.
thejadephoenix1's avatar
this is rlly awesome,  so you based the level design around making spyro's elemental attacks look cool? that's a really neat idea, and it definitely looked great in the games
LillaDraakon's avatar
this makes me want to play spyro again 
SnickerToodles's avatar
Ah, I always loved to imagine that dragons could use magic in other ways than simply breathing it. :D My ideas were more tame and less combatant, such as a fire dragon conjuring up a little light in darkness and wind dragons being able to turn the skies to their favour or use their element to give them a boost in opposing winds. But, it's still cool. xD

On another note, I wish I could animate. Seeing how accurately these were rendered in-game, I'd love to take someone's concept art and bring it to life. Problem being I'm dirt at digital art, much less animation of that style, and I don't have the faintest beginning of an idea of how to make models and video games. So that's a bit of a distant dream. xD
LunaSheWolf's avatar
Oooh, I like how the firebomb has a bit of lava in the middle.

Also the ninjastar design is a sweet touch.
UniverseDragon's avatar
I love reading lore and stuff like this ^^ it's always so interesting! Fire was always one of my favourite of Spyro's elements throughout the games (though I hold the Electricity abilities in aNB rather close to my heart).
RenTheEarthDragon's avatar
The Fire Wings attack would've been epic in the flight stages in the game.
StarstruckDoodle's avatar
Fire, other than the all-powerful Earth, was my go-to weapon when facing tough enemies. When you have to fight those two dudes who turned into phantoms in Dante's Freezer, the Fire Fury always saved my little purple tail!
SuperSkyFandomsLum's avatar
Wow! I've always been so impressed with Spyro's fire ability and your pic gives off the same amount of impression the fire ability gives out. Seriously, your pic of Spyro's flame breath is really awesome. ^^
That-Spyro-Guy's avatar
Thanks so much SuperSmashCynderLum, there was a fair bit of to and fro between Bruno Rime and I in regards to getting this right. Colour temperature was perhaps the most vital thing to achieve properly where the elemental breath weapons were concerned :)
SuperSkyFandomsLum's avatar
You're very welcome. :) Yeah, I can really see great results from this thanks to you and Bruno working together. :) Hey, I heard from a Legend of Spyro interview where Corrupted Cynder was originally going to breathe Green fire, but isn't green fire the coldest of all fire colors or does it not matter in the LOS universe the temperature of each fire color if her green fire ability was ever kept and not scrapped?
ShadowOfDarkAndLite's avatar
Seriously wish I could draw fire like this. z.z I've sucked at making fire but i'm beginning to learn how to make it.
That-Spyro-Guy's avatar
Hi ShadowOfDarkAndLite, the 'colour dodge layer' in Photoshop was my very good friend while working on TLoS! That and the 'Hard Light layer' type to add an ambient bloom of colour, underneath the colour dodge layer. The trick was blowing the flames out to near white at the center where the heat was strongest... colour becomes deeper and closer to the red hues the further from the heat source you get. Glazing gently over top of the overall result with a colour dodge layer will soften the effect and remove harsh brush strokes. Hope that helps!
ShadowOfDarkAndLite's avatar
Thanks. :) that does indeed help.
Draconet's avatar
Such an amazing concept art :D

It would be so amazing to see a new TLoS game, with all the unused lore and some of the story that didn't got used... I would like to know more about Malefor
Insane-Randomness's avatar
I highly doubt that's going to happen.  Cause Activision

This stuff though that's getting posted, this is excellent.  Even if it's not a new game, it's still very very good for the Spyro community.  It's breathing new life into the group, and it's proving that there are still those out there who still love that tiny purple dragon...
That-Spyro-Guy's avatar
Thanks Insane-Randomness, great to hear from you again :) For sure this is one great community and there is for certain a deep and abiding love for a certain Purple dragon! Glad you're enjoying the tid-bits of behind the scenes lore :)
anonymous's avatar
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