Rainy Day's Books, Video Games and Other Writings


reliving memories

Reliving Memories: Spyro the Dragon

Spyro the Dragon PS1

Spyro the Dragon is one of many favorite video games from my childhood. A platform, item collecting video game, Spyro the Dragon was released in 1998 by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. While this game was initially released to be played on PlayStation, I didn’t get this game until PlayStation 2, which allows video gamers to play games released on the original PlayStation. Along with this video game, I acquired Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro Year of the Dragon with it in a Spyro Collectors’ Edition case.

Spyro the Dragon is the first game in the series, which introduces you to the character Spyro, a small purple dragon. He must save his dragon elders from Gnasty Gnorc, who turned all of the dragon elders in the land into stone along with collect all the gems and eggs in the various worlds you travel to defeat this nasty villain. As Spyro, you fly from platform to platform, charge and flame your enemies as you travel across all of these worlds.

As a child, this video game made me fall in love with the Spyro series. It was one of many video games from my childhood that introduced me to platforming in video games. I remember many moments as a child traversing through the different worlds, flaming and charging enemies while releasing the elder dragons from their statue prisons.

Spyro the Dragon PS1 Peace Keepers World

I enjoy Spyro the Dragon because of its unique charm. As a child, most aspects in the game didn’t catch my eye as being cheesy. However, now that I’m older, they catch my attention and cause me to giggle in childish glee. One good example has to do with the enemies in the image above. Whenever these enemies go to hide from Spyro in these tents, they either cower in fear or moon you when you flame their hiding spot. As a child, I didn’t see the humor in this, but now that I’m older, I find it funny.

I also enjoy playing this game from my childhood because I love playing as Spyro and the challenges each world brings. I love getting to play as a small dragon who can flame as well as charge at his enemies. He is also able to fly, which allows you as the player to get to platforms you couldn’t otherwise reach. I also enjoy the worlds you get to go through because each one of them is unique and presents their own different challenges to the game. Some levels in the game have really high platforms that if you aren’t able to fly across will cause Spyro to fall into the abyss while others have water or some other obstacle that if you land in will cause Spyro’s health to deplete. And other worlds have super charge boosts, which are usually useful when getting to difficult platforms that flying won’t help you reach.

Spyro the Dragon PS1 Tree Tops

Images from one of the most difficult levels in the game Tree Tops.

Spyro the Dragon is also enjoyable because of the challenge it presents to the player. Some of the platforms you have to get onto are really high up or very difficult to reach to where you have to use other platforms to get onto them. This presents a challenge for the player especially if you are trying to clear the game by getting all of the gems, dragons, and eggs. Part of this challenge can be seen in the timed flying levels where you have to go through obstacles before the timer runs out. While you don’t gain anything unique from completing these levels, by doing so you collect all the gems in those levels and get closer to completing the game.

Spyro the Dragon PS1 Flying Level

Now that I’m older and playing Spyro the Dragon, I remember a lot of my recent experiences playing this game. I remember playing it last summer the amount of fun I had and now try the best I can to completely clear the game and having fun doing so, which is why I’m playing it again. I look forward to continue playing this series and continue reliving memories from my childhood.

Reliving Memories: Dark Cloud 2

Dark Cloud 2 Cover

Known as Dark Chronicle in Japan and Europe, Dark Cloud 2 is an adventure RPG dungeon crawling game made by Level 5. Published in 2003, Dark Cloud 2 centers around two characters: Maximillian and Monica Raybrandt.

An inventor and son of the wealthiest man in Palm Brinks, Maximillian works at Cedric’s shop, helping him repair parts. His adventure begins after a chance encounter with Flotsam’s Circus Troupe where he not only finds out about the outside world, but discovers that he has the Red Atlamillia, which allows him to go into the past. Monica Raybrandt is the daughter of King Raybrandt. She is the owner of the Blue Atlamillia and is sent into the past to help Maximillian stop Emperor Griffin from destroying the future after she witnesses him kill her father. Together, Maximillian and Monica work to repair the past in order to bring a brighter future to their world.

I remember as a child playing this game a lot. I had first heard about Dark Cloud 2 from a friend of mine at daycare in elementary school. Back then, I was the tomboy in my group of friends. I was the only girl at the daycare I went to who hung out with all the guys because most of the girls at my daycare I couldn’t relate to. I found out about Dark Cloud 2 from one of my friends there, started playing it, and haven’t stopped since.

I have so many fond memories of this game because it became one of my favorite games to play as a child. Now that I’m older, I’ve been playing Dark Cloud 2 with my boyfriend Zach so that I can relive all those moments of playing this game when I was little. Even though when I was younger I never got further than the second dungeon, there are a lot of things about this game that I liked even then.

For one, there are a lot of unique features this game has that I haven’t seen yet in other video games. For example, in order to recover the future, the player has to build Georamas. Georamas are a way of rebuilding the past in order to restore the future. In order to put a Georama together, the player needs the Carpenterion and Geostones. The Carpenterion is a machine that allows you to create the items you need to make the Georama. However, in order to make the Georama parts, the player needs Geostones, which holds the data the Carpenterion needs to create these parts. What I like about this feature in Dark Cloud 2 is that it is a very unique way of building items and that each Georama has its own sets of challenges that the player has to overcome if they want to progress further in the game.

Dark Cloud 2 Georama

I also enjoy playing Dark Cloud 2 because of the dungeons. Each floor in all of the dungeons in this game have unique monsters to fight and unique gate keys that the player has to obtain. In order to get to the next dungeon floor, the player has to fight monsters to obtain the gate key and I like that each dungeon has its own corresponding gate key that is different from all the others. I also like that each of the dungeon floors are randomly generated, which allows the player to have a unique gaming experience on each dungeon level. Another component to the dungeons I enjoy is the music. I enjoy that each dungeon has its own music that is unique to the area the player is exploring. I just find that the music in Dark Cloud 2 is beautiful and that it makes me enjoy fighting monsters all the more as I continue to play this game.

Dark Cloud 2 Rainbow Butterfly Wood Dungeon
Monica in Rainbow Butterfly Wood, the second dungeon in Dark Cloud 2.

Another aspect of Dark Cloud 2 I love is building up Max and Monica’s weapons. Both Max and Monica have unique weapons the player needs to build up to make stronger weapons the player can use to fight monsters. The building up process involves synthesizing items, such as crystals to strengthen Max and Monica’s stats. Once you have certain numbers for your stats, you are able to build your weapon up to a stronger wrench, gun, sword or armband. What I love about their weapons is that they are unique. For example, Max’s main weapon is a wrench, which is something I’ve never seen in any other game I’ve played. I also like that when you build your weapon up that the player has more than one option. This allows the player the ability to have two or three of the same weapon and increase different stats for each one to make the weapon something else. I like that you have multiple options when making your weapon because it gives the player the chance to create different weapons to handle different types of monsters.

Dark Cloud 2 Synthesizing Weapons

However, there are also components to Dark Cloud 2 that I don’t enjoy. These features are going fishing and playing Spheda. As a person who doesn’t enjoy fishing as a hobby, I find playing fishing in this game to be boring because it doesn’t excite me in any way. While at times it can be peaceful after finishing a tough dungeon or battle with a monster, it’s more of a hassle to do. Especially when you first start playing Dark Cloud 2 before you have Fabio join your party. Spheda is a video game version of golf. The goal of Spheda is to hit your ball, which will either be blue or red, into the red or blue hole of the opposite color. If the ball and the hole are the same color, the ball will just bounce off the hole. However, the player only has a certain amount of hits they can do before the time distortion disappears. While Spheda can sometimes be fun to play, I find that I don’t enjoy it as much because it’s more of a pain to do. One of the reasons Spheda is a pain to play is because the player has to clear the dungeon floor of monsters before they can even play. Another reason I don’t like Spheda is because there are so many rooms for error that sometimes trying to clear the time distortion isn’t even worth it.

Dark Cloud 2 Spheda

While playing Dark Cloud 2 with Zach, I’ve been able to discover my love of this game over again. I remember why I played this game a lot as a child, even though I never progressed as far as I have now that I’m playing with another person. Playing Dark Cloud 2 again is such a wonderful experience. I am glad that I am creating such wonderful memories with this game again that I’ll be able to look back on with fondness and a happy heart.



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