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Proto:Spyro: Year of the Dragon/April 25th, 2000 build

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Spyro: Year of the Dragon.

Hiddenpalace.org logo.png  This prototype is documented on Hidden Palace.

The April 25th, 2000 Prototype of Spyro: Year of the Dragon is an early preview version dated over four months prior to the final NTSC-U Revision 0 release version. It was released on April 17th, 2021.

Sub-pages

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Sunrise Spring Worlds
Sunrise Spring levels, including two which are unused under normal means.
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Midday Gardens Worlds
Midday Gardens levels, including an unused boss level.
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Evening Lake and Midnight Mountain
Evening Lake and Midnight Mountain levels.
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Soundtrack Differences
A comparison of the level themes.
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Unseen Differences
Level names and leftovers.

Build Dates

The following is a table displaying the various modification dates of each of the files within the iso. Since the timestamps in the final (NTSC-U Revision 0) build seem to have been corrupted, they have not been listed here.

File Description April 25th Prototype
WAD.WAD Contains most of the game's contents 2000-04-05 08:23
SPYRO3.EXE* Executable file 2000-04-05 08:22
SPEECH.STR Soundtrack and dialogue file 2000-04-05 08:28
SYSTEM.CNF Config file 2000-04-05 08:45

Note that the executable SPYRO3.EXE is called "SCUS_944.67" in the final.

The disc's primary volume creation date lists the prototype as being built on 5th April 2000 as opposed to the final's 14th September 2000, but no modification date is included. Its original disc was labelled with 4.25, which likely represents a burn date of April 25th.

Oftentimes, the modification dates on the files do not match their true modification dates. This, in combination with the fact that no disc modification date is listed, suggests the build date may be anywhere from April 5th to April 25th.

General Differences

Title Screen

  • The Universal and Insomniac logo screens are slightly different, looking similar to the ones used in Spyro 2. The title screen also matches Spyro 2's, albeit with Spyro 3's menu font and without a logo (meaning the lizard appears to bump into something invisible). The Spooky Swamp theme plays on this screen, rather than the Sparx theme.
    • The "Sony Computer Entertainment America" screen preceeding these screens is identical across Spyro 2, Spyro 3 and this build.
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage April 25th Prototype September 14th Final
Spyro2-UniversalLogo-RR.png Spyro3-UniversalLogo-Apr25.png Spyro3-UniversalLogo-Final.png
Spyro2-InsomniacLogo-RR.png Spyro3-InsomniacLogo-Apr25.png Spyro3-InsomniacLogo-Final.png
Spyro2-TitleScreen-RR.png Spyro3-TitleScreen-Apr25.png Spyro3-TitleScreen-Final.png
  • After leaving the title screen a loading screen is seen, seemingly identical to the one used in the earliest demo:
    • This screen uses an earlier variant of the Spyro 3 logo, with a differently styles dragon present on the emblem and a different font used for the game's title.
    • None of the loading screen images from the final game are present.
Spyro3-LoadingScreen-Apr25.png
  • Starting the game from the title screen immediately puts the player into Bamboo Terrace. There are no save files.

Pause Menu

Spyro3-PauseMenu-Apr25.png
  • The in-game pause menu is completely different, customised specifically for increased playability. The main pause menu lists the following:
    • Continue - As in the final game.
    • Minigames - Contains a level select of minigames.
    • Levels - Contains a level select of main levels.
    • Guidebook - A leftover from Spyro 2, this option does not work. It would later be replaced by the Atlas.
      • There is a very primitive version of the Atlas which goes unused, however. See the Atlas section for more details.
    • Restart Level - Does what it says on the tin. No option like this is ever seen in the final game.
Spyro3-Minigames-Apr25.png
  • The minigames menu is titled "Warp to ..." and contains the following:
    • Boxing - Frozen Altars boxing minigame
    • Skateboarding - Sunny Villa skateboarding minigame
    • Submarines - Lost Fleet submarine chase minigame
    • Tiki Heads - Molten Crater tiki heads minigame
    • Mini Boss - Spooky Swamp sleepyhead minigame
    • Thief Chase - Icy Peak thief chase minigame
    • Figure Skating - Icy Peak skating minigame
    • Roo Stomp - Spooky Swamp bomb minigame
    • Rhynoc Blast - Bamboo Terrace superflame minigame
Spyro3-Levels-Apr25.png
  • The level select menu is also titled "Warp to ..." and allows transport to most of the levels present in this version.
  • Internally, all levels have placeholder names of "Level X" where the X is the level's ID. The levels that are intended to be playable have names within the level select menu, though, with many of these names being changed from their final names.
  • The following levels are accessible via the level select:
    • Sheila's Home - Sheila's Alp
    • Sgt. Byrd's Home - Sgt. Byrd's Base
    • Bentley's Home - Bentley's Outpost
    • Agent 9's Home - Agent 9's Lab
    • Swamp Party - Spooky Swamp
    • Country Speedway
    • Rice Paddies - Bamboo Terrace
    • Aztarctica - Frozen Altars
    • Lost Fleet
    • Cloud City - Cloud Spires
    • Iceberg - Icy Peak
  • In particular, Sunny Villa and Molten Crater can only be selected through the minigames menu, and sublevel portals are disabled in those levels, meaning large parts of those levels go unused without the use of cheat codes in this version.
  • Most of the rest of the levels are not present in any form. However, several levels are fully playable but are restricted in some way or another:
    • Level 10 - Sunrise Spring Home
      • The level can only be accessed using a small amount of memory editing, and as such is unused. Using cheat codes to attempt to enter it will result in a game crash.
    • Level 18 - Crawdad Farm
      • The level can be entered using cheat codes.
    • Level 27 - Spike's Arena
      • The level can be entered using cheat codes.
    • Furthermore, Level 14's (Seashell Shore's) data is present, but the level appears to be in an unplayable state that crashes the game upon loading. This crash occurs on load stage 6, which seems to correspond with the loading of the mobys. As a result, the level goes unused.
  • As it turns out, the level select codes used in the final game are present in this version. As a result of the level select cheat codes, the following levels actually can be accessed without the use of external tools, even though they're not normally available to the player through the level select menu. Certainly, regardless of whether or not they're truly unused, they certainly wouldn't be seen by most players.
    • Sunny Villa, main area
    • Sunny Villa, Sheila sublevel
    • Molten Crater, main area
    • Molten Crater, thief chase sublevel
    • Crawdad Farm
    • Spike's Arena
  • Switching levels via the level selects resets all collected gems and eggs and resets Spyro's lives. It does not reset which instances of Moneybags have been paid, though.
  • When warping directly to a sublevel, the "Entering Sublevel" animation is shown with a different camera angle to how it would normally appear.
  • Warping directly to a sublevel and then exiting the sublevel brings up the loading screen and the player is transported to the beginning of the level as opposed to outside of the portal. This is also the case should the player restart a level when inside a sublevel, and then exit the sublevel.

Gameplay

  • The font and text colour match the ones used in Spyro 2 - several letters are styled slightly differently (most notably the letter I) and the text colour is a slightly more saturated yellow with a lower contrast against its shadow.
    • The majority of the text dialogue differs from the final game.
    • Every time a button on the controller is mentioned by an NPC, the button is written as a normal word. In the final, the action buttons are written using a small graphical representation of the corresponding button's symbol (i.e. "◻" instead of "Square") and the shoulder buttons are written in green text.
  • Much of the music is not yet implemented and no characters use audio dialogue yet, nor do they have speaking animations.
    • Almost all the music in this version differs from their final variants - see the soundtrack page for more details.
    • The game's STR file also contains several unused tracks unrelated to Spyro, likely used as placeholders.
  • The egg icon and counter are missing from the HUD.
    • Despite this, there is a variable tracking how many eggs have been collected by the player, but it only seems to update when eggs are given to the player via an NPC. Using cheat codes to exit and re-enter the level without resetting the level's progress also reveals that only the data corresponding to the NPC eggs are saved. As such, one can collect the eggs placed throughout the level a second time as though they'd never been collected in the first place, and without having the game inform the player that they had already been collected, as they would with NPC-given eggs.
  • The gem counter in the HUD displays how many gems have been collected in the current level, not the total number of gems collected.
    • This also means this counter does not go down after paying Moneybags. The counter shown when speaking to Moneybags, however, is the total gem count variable.
    • The HUD counter caps at 10000 gems, whereas it caps at 20000 in the final game. This could suggest that this was originally planned as the total gem count for the game, and this is supported by the fact that one of the cheats also sets the total gem count to 10000. However, there does not seem to be a limit on the total gem counter in this version, and so the value shown when speaking to Moneybags can theoretically be an awful lot higher than 10000. This is somewhat odd, especially considering that the aforementioned cheat also sets all level totals (and thus the HUD total too) to 400 gems, which is nowhere near the cap of 10000.
  • Only four instances of Moneybags are present - Sunrise Spring, Cloud Spires, Icy Peak and Spooky Swamp - and there are two levels in this version which would contain Moneybags later on in development, but instead are entirely devoid of him here (and so those sublevels are open by default). The differences in the values that Moneybags requires - as well as the values in the rest of the Moneybags array - can be seen here.
    • Two instances of Moneybags - Cloud Spires and Spooky Swamp - are actually entirely surrounded by exactly as many gems is needed to pay him, presumably to make life a little bit easier for the people playing this preview build.
  • There are no on-screen notifications informing the player that they have collected all of the levels eggs, gems, or that the level is complete.
  • The camera is focused with Spyro's body in the middle of the screen, like in Spyro 2, instead of being slightly elevated.
Apr 25 Prototype Sep 14 Final
Spyro3-CameraAngle-Apr25.png Spyro3-CameraAngle-Final.png
  • Eggs take on a totally different appearance, varying from egg-to-egg. See the eggs section below for more details.
    • The egg icon seen in portals is also different from final, matching the green eggs seen in this build.
  • The egg warping effect is white instead of rainbow coloured.
  • Eggs make no sound effects when hatching and have no animations - rather, they simply appear (they do not "grow" from a point, as they often would in the final) for a moment, releasing sparkles at its base, before disappearing (with no "hatching" animation or released shell fragments) to reveal a dragon.
    • Despite this, they seem to have some unused egg shell fragment models. See the unseen differences page for more details.
    • The music still stops as it would in the final game when an egg hatches despite there being no hatching sounds as of yet.
  • Eggs can be skipped with the triangle button too, instead of just the start button. They can be skipped at any point of their hatching rather than only once they've hatched.
  • Dragon names do not have a dark window behind them as they would in the final.
Spyro3-NameGlitch-Apr25.png
  • Occasionally, when skipping eggs, a minor glitch can cause the dragon name can remain on-screen even after the egg has hatched and the dragon has warped away.
    • Similarly, the music may stop after an egg is skipped.
  • Gem placements and quantities per level vary dramatically from the final.
  • Like Spyro 2, the screen still darkens slightly when Spyro is underwater.
  • The game over screen matches the one seen in Spyro 2.
  • A few eggs in this version are presented to the player hovering slightly above the ground, which also results in the baby dragon hovering above the ground too. This looks a bit weird and does not seem to be intentional.
  • Generally speaking, eggs can be collected by approaching them from just about any angle in this version. In the final, they're almost always more restrictive in the angle you're allowed to collect the eggs from.
  • Strangely, there's no HUD graphics or sounds for the powerups, despite the fact they were carried over from Spyro 2.
    • This also means the player is not warned when they're about to run out of powerup time.
  • There is no extra life sound, for some reason.
  • There are no skill points present at this stage of development.
  • There are no life jars across any of the levels in this version of the game.
  • Oddly, spawn points do not seem to update correctly if a sublevel is entered directly via the pause menu. Instead, after death, the portal entrance animation is shown again and the player spawns outside of the portal. Level updates (like collected eggs) and progress are still saved however, just not position.
  • For whatever reason, sublevel entrance animations are often shown from the wrong angle when the sublevel is accessed via the pause menu. In the final game, the camera used in the sublevel entrance animation is always directly behind Spyro, whereas it can be from a range of angles in this version, when the minigame select menu is used.
    • Furthermore, Spyro is capable of flaming during sublevel transitions in this version.
Spyro3-UpsideDown-Apr25.png
  • The "Restart Level" option on the pause screen can also be used to restart a level from any sublevel. Doing so will show the sublevel entrance animation again before placing Spyro at the sublevel's entrance with the contents of that sublevel reset. This will also reset everything in the main level too, and exiting via the sublevel portal will send the player to the "Loading..." screen before placing them at the start of the level, rather than outside the sublevel portal, identically to how the game acts should the player warp directly to a minigame via the minigame select menu and then exit the sublevel. However, though similar to warping directly to a minigame, it's not identical - for example, spawn points continue to be set correctly and you aren't shown the sublevel entrance animation every time you respawn.
    • Amusingly, should the player restart the level from within a sublevel whilst standing on a reflective surface like ice (which can be done in both Icy Peak and Frozen Altars), Spyro's model will appear to flip upside down for the duration of the sublevel entrance animation.
  • What appears to be a majority of levels and sublevels do not have their final death boundaries. As such, falling off the level model in most levels will result in Spyro falling for quite a bit longer than he would in the final, to such an extent that you can see how the level model looks from below. In particular, many of these levels have no boundary where Spyro instantly falls out of a glide - instead, Spyro will keep gliding until he reaches the (much lower) death boundary.
  • There are notably more polygons with incorrectly assigned or incorrectly oriented textures, in this version.
    • There's also a number of correctly assigned or oriented textures that were incorrect in later builds.
  • Many textures across the game have received extremely subtle tweaks.
  • There's dongle protection on this copy which can make the game unplayable on hardware and in some emulators. See the dongle protection section below for more details.
  • There's no cutscenes present yet, though it appears as though some data corresponding to the first two cutscenes from Spyro 2 are still present. See this subpage for more details.
Spyro3-LoadingSkybox-Apr25.png
  • While it cannot be seen during normal gameplay, should the player travel to a level via a portal (of which the only working one in this demo is the Sunny Villa portal, which cannot be accessed under normal means), they'll find that all levels use the same purple loading skybox. This skybox is, in fact, the loading skybox used for Glimmer in Spyro 2. The rest of the Spyro 2 skyboxes are also present, making them even more unused than the Glimmer skybox. See the loading skyboxes section for more details.
  • No levels have end-of-level portals. As such, none of the NPCs have a method by which to leave the levels, and they sometimes have additional dialogue not seen in the final game as a result.
    • Re-entering the level using cheat codes reveals that, while most of the end-of-level NPCs will still be present in the level upon re-entry (and will even give their eggs to the player a second time - both of these are not features present in the final game for most levels), for several levels - Bamboo Terrace, Lost Fleet and Bentley's Outpost, namely - this is not the case; rather, the NPCs will not respawn. In the former two levels, dying or entering a sublevel after completing the level will also make these NPCs respawn, so it's assumed that these are levels for which the end-of-level mechanics are slightly further developed.

Critters

Some of the differences concern the way the alternate characters and their respective levels are played.

  • All levels containing Sheila replace headbash containers with safes in this version. Sheila never encounters a safe in the final, but as it turns out, she can break them open with a stomp in this version.
  • Sgt. Byrd is using an earlier design, sporting a silver studded hat. He has a small yellow patch on his chest, and the inside of his mouth is a solid purple colour. There's also what appears to be a single stray feather on the back of his head, though this could be simply a misplaced polygon. He's not wearing a belt in this design. In particular, this design would appear in the final game in a single cutscene and in his caged model in Midday Gardens in the NTSC-U versions of the final - but never as his playable model.
Apr 25 Prototype Sep 14 Final
Spyro3-SgtByrdModel-Apr25.png Spyro3-SgtByrdModel-Final.png
  • Bentley's model is also subtly different - the soles of his feet are not textured as they are in the final!
Apr 25 Prototype Sep 14 Final
Spyro3-BentleyFeet-Apr25.png Spyro3-BentleyFeet-Final.png
  • Sgt. Byrd is significantly slower overall.
  • While the L1 and R1 buttons can be used to strafe with Sgt. Byrd, they do not give him any extra momentum as they do in the final. Holding either button will still lock Sgt. Byrd's place when he's standing on the ground just as it does in the final.
  • Agent 9 is also missing his strafe functionality. Instead, pressing the L1 or R1 buttons will lock Agent 9 in place, something that's done by holding both of these buttons simultaneously in the final game.
  • Sgt. Byrd cannot break metal vases with his missiles, for some reason. This is easily doable in the final game.
  • Both Sgt. Byrd and Agent 9 are capable of shooting (and in Agent 9's case, throwing bombs, too) while speaking to an NPC, while an egg is hatching or while a cutscene is playing.
  • Bentley's footstep sounds are a lot quieter in both of the main locations he's featured in this version (though his feet are silent in both this build and the final game within the boxing challenge).
  • When the green help text appears when Speaking to an NPC as one of the alternate characters, the text box incorrectly identifies the character you're playing as as "Spyro".
    • Not only that, but there's a number of places where the dialogue itself even says "Spyro" or suggests that the player is playing as Spyro, as if the developers forgot where they were.
  • Agent 9's sniper mode is always fully zoomed-out initially by default, rather than having a mid-range field of view.
  • When playing as Sparx, there's no health bar as there normally would be - Sparx's colour seems to directly correspond to the number of hits taken as it would in regular levels, rather than allowing Sparx a few extra hits per colour.
  • None of the alternate attacks for Sparx are obtainable yet, and are likely not present at all.
  • The music does not change to the critter themes within their sublevels. For example, entering the Bentley sublevel of Bamboo Terrace will not change the music to Bentley's theme, as it would in the final.
  • Due to incomplete programming, the player cannot leave the level via the portal at the beginning of each of the critter levels. Instead, the player will return to the level regardless of whether they select "Yes" or "No" when asked if they want to leave the level.

Playable Levels

A full list of the playable levels are listed below. Those in bold are present in the game, and those in italics are either missing or unplayable without the use of external tools.

Level Sublevel Status Notes
Sunrise Spring Home Main Level Accessible through memory editing only Inaccessible under normal means - the level can be accessed by fixing address 0x800661ec as "10" (dec) whilst on the main menu, and starting the game.
Sunny Villa Main Level Accessible through cheat codes only Only accessible through the use of cheat codes. Enter any level via the level select and then enter the following code on the pause menu:
Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, X, X
Sheila Accessible through cheat codes only Only accessible through the use of cheat codes. Enter any minigame with area ID 1 (e.g. "Submarines") via the minigame select and then enter the following code on the pause menu:
Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, X, X
Skateboarding Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Skateboarding" option.
Cloud Spires Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Cloud City" option.
Sun Seeds Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Cloud City" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Bell Towers Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Cloud City" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Molten Crater Main Level Accessible through cheat codes only Only accessible through the use of cheat codes. Enter any level via the level select and then enter the following code on the pause menu:
Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, X, Triangle
Tiki Heads Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Tiki Heads" option.
Thief Chase Accessible through cheat codes only Only accessible through the use of cheat codes. Enter any minigame with area ID 2 (e.g. "Skateboarding") via the minigame select and then enter the following code on the pause menu:
Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, X, Triangle
Seashell Shore Main Level Present but inaccessible Inaccessible under normal means - warping to the level consistently crashes the game.
Sheila Present but inaccessible Inaccessible under normal means - warping to the level consistently crashes the game.
Bluto Present but inaccessible Inaccessible under normal means - warping to the level consistently crashes the game.
Tunnel Not present Sublevel does not exist at this point.
Mushroom Speedway Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Sheila's Alp Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Sheila's Home" option.
Buzz's Dungeon Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Crawdad Farm Main Level Accessible through cheat codes only Only accessible through the use of cheat codes. Enter any level via the level select and then enter the following code on the pause menu:
Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, X, R1
Midday Garden Home Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Icy Peak Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Iceberg" option.
Thief Chase Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Thief Chase" option.
Alternatively accessible via the level select under the "Iceberg" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Ice Dancing Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Figure Skating" option.
Alternatively accessible via the level select under the "Iceberg" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Enchanted Towers All Areas Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Spooky Swamp Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Swamp Party" option.
Sleepyhead Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Mini Boss" option.
Alternatively accessible via the level select under the "Swamp Party" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Sheila Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Roo Stomp" option.
Alternatively accessible via the level select under the "Swamp Party" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Bamboo Terrace Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible directly from the title screen.
Alternatively accessible via the level select under the "Rice Paddies" option.
Rhynoc Blast Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Rhynoc Blast" option.
Alternatively accessible via the level select under the "Rice Paddies" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Bentley Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Rice Paddies" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Country Speedway Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Country Speedway" option.
Sgt. Byrd's Base Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Sgt. Byrd's Home" option.
Spike's Arena Main Level Accessible through cheat codes only Only accessible through the use of cheat codes. Enter any level via the level select and then enter the following code on the pause menu:
Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, Square, Up
Spider Town Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Evening Lake Home Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Frozen Altars Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Aztarctica" option.
Bentley Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Boxing" option.
Alternatively accessible via the level select under the "Aztarctica" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Cat Hockey Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Aztarctica" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Lost Fleet Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Lost Fleet" option.
Sub Chase Accessible through normal means Accessible via the minigame select under the "Submarines" option.
Alternatively accessible via the level select under the "Lost Fleet" option; the player must locate the sublevel in order to enter it.
Skateboarding Not present Sublevel does not exist at this point.
Fireworks Factory All Areas Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Charmed Ridge All Areas Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Honey Speedway Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Bentley's Outpost Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Bentley's Home" option.
Scorch's Pit Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Starfish Reef Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Midnight Mountain Home Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Crystal Islands All Areas Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Desert Ruins All Areas Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Haunted Tomb All Areas Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Dino Mines All Areas Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Harbor Speedway Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Agent 9's Lab Main Level Accessible through normal means Accessible via the level select under the "Agent 9's Home" option.
Sorceress' Lair Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Bugbot Factory Main Level Not present Level does not exist at this point.
Super Bonus Round All Areas Not present Level does not exist at this point.

Eggs

This build features multiple different egg variants, apparently (mostly) corresponding to which type of dragon is to hatch from the egg. The concept appears to be incomplete and was ultimately scrapped later in development.

There are 6 main types of egg - possibly intended to be one per dragon type - and two additional eggs used in certain special circumstances.

All egg variants - aside from the ones used in Sunrise Spring - also have unused shell fragment pieces. See the unseen differences page for more details.

Egg ID 501 - Green

Egg ID 501

Familiar to those who've played the earliest demo build due to the similarity to the HUD icon used in that version, this egg takes on a green scaly look with a lighter circular patch on one side. The texture used on the egg is remarkably similar to the one seen on the green baby dragons' backs.

In fact, almost all eggs of this variety hatch into green dragons, with the unusual exception of an egg in Sgt. Byrd's Base which instead hatches into a blue dragon.

8 of the 52 dragons in this build hatch from an egg of this variety.

Egg ID 502 - Spotted

Egg ID 502

The second variety of eggs is also the most common, and looks somewhat similar to the final egg design - it's off-white and spotted, though this design also features a light patch on its back. The texture used on the egg is extremely similar to the one seen on the grey baby dragons' backs.

11 of the 52 dragons in this build hatch from an egg of this variety, and of those dragons, 10 are grey. The sole exception is "Vladimir" in Molten Crater, a turquoise dragon.

Egg ID 503 - Purple / Orange

Egg ID 503

An egg with a purple-orange gradient. Since this design does not appear to match any of the dragons, it was presumably just a placeholder that was used prior to the intended introduction of an egg design for the blue dragons.

In fact, of the 6 eggs of this type, 4 of them hatch into blue dragons. The remaining two - "Benjamin" in Bamboo Terrace and "Anwar" in Bentley's Outpost - are both white dragons.

Egg ID 504 - Purple / Orange

Egg ID 504

Identical in appearance to the previous egg, but using a different ID. This egg type is a bit more frequent than the previous one - 10 of the 52 dragons hatch via this type of egg. Of those 10 dragons, 8 are turquoise, so presumably this egg type would have been used for turquoise dragons. A brown dragon in Frozen Altars and a blue dragon in Lost Fleet also use this egg type, however.

Egg ID 505 - White

Egg ID 505

A plain cream-coloured egg, matching the white baby dragons. 6 eggs are of this type, and all hatch into white dragons.

Egg ID 506 - Yellow

Egg ID 506

A yellow-brown egg with a pattern that matches the ones on the backs of the brown baby dragons. 5 eggs are of this design, and all of the dragons that hatch from them are brown.

Egg ID 132 - Many Levels

Egg ID 132

ID 132 is an odd one. In particular, Sunrise Spring seems to use an ultimately completely different moby using the same ID number as this moby.

For most levels, though, this moby is almost always present in a level's moby list, and almost every time it's unused.

The few times it is used, however, seem to be special circumstances where the player shouldn't be allowed to collect the egg simply by going near to it. Icy Peak's egg thieves and the eggs contained within cages in Spooky Swamp are two examples of where this moby is used, since they're only intended to be collected under specific circumstances. In the case of the Icy Peak thieves, the eggs disappear after defeating the thieves and the player collected one of the standard egg types instead, but should one force one of the ID 132 eggs to hatch it will behave identically to a standard egg and hatch the same dragon.

By contrast, the eggs held by thieves in Molten Crater are not ID 132 and as a result they can be collected when you get close enough to them, which can indirectly lead to the game crashing should the player then defeat the thief, as it will attempt to hatch a non-existent egg.

In the final game, the egg moby is fully capable of handling scenarios where a player is allowed to get close without collecting the egg, and so all eggs are stored under the same ID value.

Appearance-wise, these eggs are identical to ID 501. ID 132 is also notable in that it is the ID value used by eggs in the final game.

There's apparently no particular preference for which dragon type these eggs will hatch into - of the two dragons that hatch from this type of egg, one is brown and the other is grey.

Egg ID 132 - Sunrise Spring

Egg ID 132, model 1

Oddly, the egg moby used in Sunrise Spring also uses ID 132 despite behaving completely differently. Not only does this egg have no unused fragment models like every other egg type, but it has six different models - a green model similar to ID 501, and five identical models matching the purple-orange gradient eggs. The egg behaves like a "standard" egg in the sense that it is collected by moving close to, rather than requiring special circumstances be met first.

Egg ID 132, models 2-6

Given that this moby has six models, it's possible that this moby was from a point of development where the developers were experimenting with all six egg variants being handled by a single moby type.

The green model is very similar to moby class 501, but is a subtly different colour and is missing its lighter patch. Once again the model used seems to have no bearing on which dragon will hatch from the egg.

In total, only 3 of the 52 dragons in this build hatch from an egg of this variety.

Oddly, a single dragon in Sunrise Spring - one given by an NPC - does not hatch from an egg at all. Rather, the dragon animation takes place as if it had hatched from an egg, but no egg is seen. This seems to be a result of the fact that Sunrise Spring was apparently being used as a means to experiment with this unique egg variety.

On a related note, Sunrise Spring also contains portals using the portal egg model (moby class 265), which look like the regular (non-Sunrise Spring) ID 132 eggs in this version. This model can be seen here.

Egg Rotation

Just like magic!

Oddly, each of the egg types constantly rotates so as to always face the camera. It's not entirely clear why this is done, but it means that eggs will always look the same regardless of the angle they're viewed from. The exceptions to this rule are eggs that are disabled from being obtained until an event occurs (specifically, the eggs within the cages in the Sheila sublevel of Spooky Swamp, and the eggs held by the thieves in Icy Peak's sublevel), and eggs given to the player by an NPC, which do not rotate by themselves.

As an example of how this affects the eggs' appearances, the purple and orange eggs will always look purple when they're placed somewhere within a level, but may look orange if they're given by an NPC. The image to the right shows what happens if the egg's angle is forceably set opposite to the camera - it simply rotates until it's facing the camera again.

Gems

Gem placement is vastly different in all levels in this version. The number of gems per level is also different.

Below is a table of all gem quantities per level in this version, alongside the Atlas counts of the gems in the earliest demo (which are significant for being quite a bit lower than the final game) and the gem totals in the final game.

Level Sublevel Apr 25 May 25 Earliest Demo Sep 14 Final
Total Sublevel Total Sublevel Total Sublevel
Sunrise Spring Main Level 0 200 400
Sunny Villa Main Level 147 75 200 80 400 219
Sheila 0 48 89
Skateboarding 72 72 92
Cloud Spires Main Level 700 516 200 Unknown 400 300
Sun Seeds 101* Unknown 63
Bell Towers 83 Unknown 37
Molten Crater Main Level 502* 288* 200 87 400 185
Tiki Heads 130* 43 109
Thief Chase 84 70 106
Sheila's Alp Main Level 300 200 400
Crawdad Farm Main Level 44 100 200
Icy Peak Main Level 281 233 300 Unknown 500 433
Thief Chase 48 Unknown 67
Ice Dancing 0 Unknown 0
Spooky Swamp Main Level 500 286 300 Unknown 500 326
Sleepyhead 0 Unknown 0
Sheila 214* Unknown 174
Bamboo Terrace Main Level 511 363 300 Unknown 500 311
Rhynoc Blast 14 Unknown 0
Bentley 134 Unknown 189
Country Speedway Main Level 32 300 400
Sgt. Byrd's Base Main Level 108 300 500
Spike's Arena Main Level 0 0 0
Frozen Altars Main Level 300 300 400 Unknown 600 600
Bentley 0 Unknown 0
Cat Hockey 0 Unknown 0
Lost Fleet Main Level 493 400 400 Unknown 600 389
Sub Chase 93* Unknown 111
Skateboarding Not present Unknown 100
Bentley's Outpost Main Level 300 400 600
Agent 9's Lab Main Level 0 500 700

Despite the fact that the Atlas is in such a primitive state at this point in development, there still exists an array representing the number of gems in each level (which is also used by one of the cheat codes in this version). This array lists 400 gems for every level, even the three "empty" levels.

Notably, Molten Crater contains a few unbreakable gem containers in this build. Hacking the game can be used to open these containers (or to use Spyro, who can break some of the ones Sgt. Byrd can't).

  • The main area of the level contains 211 obtainable gems and 77 within chests, meaning there's 288 gems in total.
  • The Sgt. Byrd sublevel contains 58 obtainable gems, 42 within chests, and 30 within vases, meaning there's 130 gems overall in this sublevel.
  • Overall there are 149 unobtainable gems and 353 obtainable gems in Molten Crater.

There are also some occasional glitches which lower the gem count of an area. It seems like these glitches are triggered by collecting all - or a large amount of - the gems in the main area of a level:

  • 2 gems in Cloud Spires' sun seeds sublevel will occasionally disappear, resulting in a total of 99 for the area.
  • A red gem may disappear from Sheila's sublevel in Spooky Swamp, resulting in a total gem count of 213 for the area.
  • 2 gems in Lost Fleet's submarine sublevel will also disappear on occasion, for unknown reasons. This results in a total of 91 for the area.

Cheat Codes

Decompilation of the code reveals that there is a function which handles the effects of all different cheat code types. The function references 9 different cases in this version, all representing different cheat codes. The cheats are also in a slightly different order within this code when compared to the final game, though this is not something that the player would ever notice regardless.

Type 0 - Permanent Invincibility

The first cheat type is for permanent invincibility, presumably in the game for debugging reasons. This cheat code type is not present in the final game, and was not present in Spyro 2 either.

Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle, X

Type 1 - Max Gem and Egg Totals

The next type of cheat will set the total gem and egg counts, as well as the number of gems per level, to their intended maximum at this point in development - likely for the sake of QAing and debugging the game. The cheat can be activated by typing the following code at the pause menu:

Square, Square, Square, Square, Circle

This code has the following effects:

  • Sets all gem totals per level to their maximum.
    • In this build, this value is 400 per level (even for inaccessible levels and the three empty level slots).
  • Sets the total number of gems collected to 10000.
    • This is itself quite a bit lower than the 20000 total from the final game, and matches the 10000 gems in Spyro 2.
  • Sets all egg totals per level to their maximum.
    • In this build, this is 0 per level, according to the array of eggs per level - obviously, this is just the result of the final egg totals not yet being determined.
  • Sets the total number of eggs collected to 64.
    • This is again quite a bit lower than the full egg count of 150 in the final game, and matches the 64 total orbs present in Spyro 2.
    • Note that this variable only otherwise increments when collecting NPC-given eggs in this build, rather than all eggs. This may be the result of NPCs themselves having the code to increment the egg totals, but not the egg mobys themselves.

This cheat code variant is not present in the final game, nor was it present in Spyro 2. It is also present in later builds of the game, albeit written slightly differently - in later versions, the gem and egg totals are not set directly, but instead increment alongside the changes to the gems and eggs arrays.

As such, if the gem and egg totals were to increment alongside the per-level arrays in this build, we would instead see a final total of 0 eggs and 16000 gems, which would be displayed as 10000 due to the gem cap being lower in this version. Amusingly, this means that it's completely inconsequential to the player either way that it calculates the totals.

Later versions of the game also set all levels to "visited".

Type 2 - Credits

The player can warp to the credits using the following cheat code. However, due to the lack of credits in this build, typing in this cheat will result in the game crashing.

Version Code
Apr 25 Square, Circle, Square, Circle, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right
Final Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, Circle, Square, Circle, Square, Circle

This code is identical to how it appears in Spyro 2. In Spyro 3, the code seems to only get used in the PAL versions of the game (though the code is still present in each of the NTSC-U versions), and does not match the code used in this build.

Type 3 - Permanent Superflame

The next cheat enables the permanent superflame the player would receive at the end of Spyro 2.

R1, R2, L1, L2, R1, R2, L1, L2, Circle

As superflame is only present in one sublevel of Bamboo Terrace in this version, using the superflame anywhere else will result in the game crashing.

This cheat code variant is not present in the final game, nor was it present in Spyro 2.

Type 4 - Level Warp

The level / cutscene warp code is present in this version in identical form to its final version. Unlike the final game, however, this cheat will work from the very beginning of the game, rather than requiring that you beat Bugbot Factory first.

Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, ?, ?

The last two button presses represent the ID of the level one wishes to travel to - simply concatenate the number corresponding with the first button to the second button to get the level ID:

Button Number
Circle 0
X 1
Square 2
Triangle 3
Right 4
Down 5
Left 6
Up 7
R1 8

Additionally, the sublevel that is entered is dependent on the last level entered via the level select. If the last level selected was one of the main levels from the level list, the main area of the level will be entered after the cheat is input. If the last level selected by the player was from the minigame select, the ID of that level will be used when entering the cheat code. For example, if the player had last entered the "Submarines" minigame (which uses area ID 1) and then enters the cheat code for Sunny Villa, they will end up in Sunny Villa's sublevel with area ID 1 (that is, the Sheila sublevel).

Due to the presence of the code, Sunny Villa and Molten Crater's otherwise unused areas, as well as Crawdad Farm and Spike's Arena, are actually accessible without the use of external tools. However, Sunrise Spring and Seashell Shore still cannot be accessed using this cheat due to it resulting in a game crash.

The level warp codes also do not reset all variables like using the level select menu does. As such, the cheat can be used to re-enter levels which have already been completed.

Type 5 - Big Head Mode

Big head mode still uses the code from Spyro 2.

Version Code
Apr 25 Up, Up, Up, Up, R1, R1, R1, R1, Circle
Final Up, R1, Up, R1, Up, R1, Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle

Type 6 - Flat Mode

Flat mode still uses the code from Spyro 2.

Version Code
Apr 25 Left, Right, Left, Right, L2, R2, L2, R2, Square
Final Left, Right, Left, Right, L1, R1, L1, R1, Square, Circle

Type 7 - Colour Change

The colour change cheats still use their codes from Spyro 2, which do not match the final codes:

Version Code
Apr 25 Up, Right, Down, Left, Up, Square, R1, R2, L1, L2, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up, ?
Final Up, Left, Down, Right, Up, Square, R1, R2, L1, L2, Up, Right, Down, Left, Up, ?

The final button press determines the colour:

Button Colour
X Blue
Circle Red
Triangle Green
Square Pink
Down Black
Up Yellow

All other button presses will instead revert Spyro to his usual colours.

Type 8 - Extra Hit Point

The last cheat type once again uses its Spyro 2 code:

Version Code
Apr 25 Square, Up, Square, Down, Square, Left, Square, Right, Circle
Final Circle, R1, Circle, L1, Circle, R2, Circle, L2, Circle

Missing Cheat Modes

The squidboard, dialogue test mode, difficulty setting, minigame difficulty setting, 99 lives and treasure finder cheats are not yet present in this version. In particular, no dialogue is present in this build, and the adaptive difficulty would not be implemented until much later in development.

The only cheat code from Spyro 2 that is not present in this version of Spyro 3 is the "all abilities" cheat - the abilities are all unlocked from the beginning of the game, as in the final game.

Powerup Oddity

A couple lines in this build, and a line not yet present in this version that is present in the final references a mechanic which is yet to be observed in any version of Spyro: Year of the Dragon.

In Spyro 2, powerups are not activated until enough spirit particles are collected - these are collected by defeating enemies.

By the time this build was produced, the spirit particles had been deleted. Despite this, the following lines in Sunrise Spring and Cloud Spires reference some sort of activation mechanic:

That thingy down there is a powerup. I'll just turn it on for you.
You could really help us out, if only this superfly powerup was working... I should have known better than to buy a used powerup from Moneybags.

Despite the first line suggesting that the powerup is not activated until the NPC is spoken to, it's actually always active.

While one might be tempted to assume these are leftover from a point in development where the spirit particle mechanic was still present, oddly one line referencing this mechanic isn't in this build but is present and unused in the final game:

Thank you for offering to help Spyro, but surely even you wouldn't be able to defeat all those rhynocs until the power up is active.

This would suggest that a powerup activation mechanic was being considered even beyond this build of the game, also suggesting that it would have been a new mechanic independent of the one in Spyro 2. The requirements that would have been in place to activate the powerups are not known at this point.

Dongle Protection

Dongle protection is present in this build, which can stop the game from running on real hardware and certain emulators. The game will reach the Universal logo screen before halting.

The dongle protection can be bypassed using a patch, or by setting the int32 at address 0x80071610 to zero.