Aussie dev house Krome Studios has just completed work on its second Spyro adventure, The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night. GameSpot AU caught up with lead programmer Chris Lacy to chat about all things Spyro.
GameSpot AU: How long has The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night been in development?
Chris Lacy: We pretty much started this game as soon as we finished A New Beginning.
GS AU: This is the second game in the revamped Spyro series. What can you tell us about the storyline?
CL: The story basically picks up right where A New Beginning left off--in the final cut scene you were back in the swamp with Ignitus and the fellow dragon elders, and that's pretty much exactly where The Eternal Night picks up. Spyro's been having some nasty visions of impending doom, and you get to find out what that's all about.
GS AU: What new gameplay additions have you made?
CL: The main gameplay addition is that we've enhanced the combat out an awful lot more. Last year, Spyro had different breath attacks for all these elements, and this year he's got melee moves that match his elements as well as breath attacks. So with fire, for instance, Spyro has a comet-dash move where he essentially turns into a ball of flames and darts straight ahead to pound enemies. With the electric top, he spins around and knocks enemies into the air.
GS AU: How many new elemental melee moves will there be?
CL: There's a new move for each of the four elements. We've also fleshed out Spyro's air combat--in A New Beginning, you were able to hit enemies in the air three times, and now it's been increased to five hits. The attacks themselves are a lot more dynamic than last year, with cool camera angles such as following enemies as they get head-butted backwards, for example.
GS AU: But is it the same control scheme as A New Beginning?
CL: It is--it's fair to say that if you played last year's game, you'll be able to pick this one up pretty quickly.
GS AU: Tell us about Spyro's new time-based moves.
CL: Those will allow Spyro to slow time down in various instances. You can use it whenever you see fit--the obvious things that come into mind are, for example, when you have to push a ball into a room before it explodes, and you won't be able to get there unless you slow down time. If you're low on health, you can also initiate "dragon time," and run up and bash an enemy before they can hit back.
GS AU: How does the dragon-time mechanic work?
CL: There's a meter--it goes for seven seconds. The move itself is part of the storyline, and Spyro gets it very early in the game, within the first 10 minutes or so. From that point on, you can use it anytime and it will regenerate.
GS AU: What can you tell us about the Wii version's controls?
CL: That was a lot of fun to work on. The main thing we wanted to focus on with the Wii controls is to not have motions for the sake of it. The first time we conceived Spyro, we thought it would be fantastic for the Wii. The main area we use the motion is in combat--but we give players the option of just using a button instead because we don't want to force people to be waggling the remote the whole time and getting tired because of it. Personally, I use the button press for ground combat, while I use the Wiimote to initiate air combat.
GS AU: What differences will there be between the Wii and PS2 versions?
CL: There will definitely be subtle differences. The Wii is using higher-res textures in a lot of cases, and the audio quality is ramped up quite a bit. But apart from that, it's the same game.
GS AU: You had some big Hollywood names as voice talent for A New Beginning. Who of the big name actors are coming back for the sequel?
CL: Elijah Wood and Gary Oldman are both back, and Billy West, the voice of Fry in Futurama, takes the role of Sparks this time. The voice talent has been fantastic for both games.
GS AU: Chris Lacy, thanks for your time.