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Spyro: Year of the Dragon

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Title Screen

Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publishers: SCEA (US), SCEE (EU)
Platform: PlayStation
Released in US: November 1, 2000
Released in EU: November 10, 2000


AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.


ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Spyro: Year of the Dragon is the last game of the original Spyro trilogy and it was also the last Spyro game developed by Insomniac Games. In this game it's Spyro's duty to (once again) save a foreign world by defeating an evil sorceress and reclaiming all the stolen dragon eggs... also something something Year of the Dragon.

Developer Messages

Located in the main directory of the disc is a file called 'SPYRO3.TRD'. It contains the following text:

Now is the winter of our discontent...
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
Call me Ishmael...
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan...
Call me Jonah.  My parents did...
Gaily bedight a gallant knight...
Beware the ides of March...
Tyger tyger burning bright...
...
I always get the Shemp...

This text is also present in the files for both predecessors. (in the "DRAGON.TRD" and "SPYRO2.TRD" files respectably)

'Shemp' is referenced multiple times in the Spyro series, starting with the boss in the first game called 'Dr Shemp' and later the name of a skateboard trick in the third game. It is thought to be an in-joke by the developers whenever an unexpected error occurred, or when one of the developers messed up, and in either case they would "get the Shemp". It was likely added to reduce any leftover space on the disc, which is further supported by its inclusion in the files of the playable Crash Bandicoot demos accessible in the series.

Brian Allgeier, we love you.

Grouped in with the epilogue text within the Atlas is this sneaky message by Insomniac Designer Head Brian Allgeier, who at the time of Spyro 3's development was a level designer at the company.

Unused Text

The very last egg, no really it is.
Where do you think you're going with that egg. You just put that back this minute.
You can't trust anyone these days.

A (rather long) string of text which appears to have been inserted purely for the sake of humour and doesn't occur at all in the game (because of its length, which is far too long to fit properly into an Atlas description.)

Stop, thief.

Possibly tied to the above string, again rendering it as part of the developers' quirky sense of humour.

fuckety fuck fuck

A slightly ruder text string. A similar string is used in an earlier prototype of the game as an error handler, so it's possible that this was either used for debugging or error handling, too.

Dialogue oddities

Hunter

If the player completes both of the skateboarding egg challenges in Sunny Villa and then talks to Hunter, he will say the following:

You can go for the course record now, if you want. Whenever you hop on a skateboard, a timer will start.
Score as many points as you can until the timer expires or you wipe out. Good luck!

While this is mostly true, wiping out doesn't end your run, as your run is only over when you run out of time. This line of dialogue is simply a leftover from an earlier version of the game, as in two different demos of the game, wiping out causes the timer to stop and your points to reset to zero, meaning that even if you had broken the course record during the run it wouldn't have been counted unless you didn't "survive" until the time was up. The difficulty of this may have been what motivated the change.

Most notably, while Hunter still says exactly the same dialogue, the audio file for the dialogue is missing. Given how late in development the demos were, it's possible that they changed the challenge after the dialogue had been added, but weren't able to re-record the line due to time constraints.

Sparx

Sparx also has dialogue left over from an earlier version of the game. In Honey Speedway, Sparx says the following:

Honeycomb Speedway is home to the fastest racing bees in the world. It's also one of the only speedways that operates at night!

"Honeycomb Speedway" is the early name for Honey Speedway, and it can be found in unused text strings in the earliest demo of the game.

Unused Dialogue

Spyro3-DialogueTest.png

The game has a hidden Dialogue test mode used to listen to voice lines from the current level. It can be accessed by pressing Square, Square, Circle, Circle, Square, Square, Circle, Circle in the pause menu and can be exited by inputting the cheat a second time.. Text indicating the chosen NPC and sound clip will appear below the pause menu. Up and Down can be used to select the voice clip you want to hear.

Due to the way audio streams are stored in this game, the voice clips override the music track. Once you play a voice clip and leave the menu, it will loop infinitely in place of the music track for that level until you leave the area. There are several instances where the dialogue test allows the player to listen to unused dialogue.

Most of the unused character dialogue is also present in text format in the code, but some of the dialogue is only present in the form of unused audio. It is worth noting that all the unused lines received translations in the PAL version.

Level Character Dialogue Audio Notes
Sunrise Spring Sheila Thanks for freeing me. Why don't you come visit me in my home world?
Since a cutscene plays immediately after freeing Sheila in which she thanks Spyro and enters the portal, this dialogue is never used in-game. It's possible that this dialogue was used when the cutscenes hadn't been implemented yet. There's also an unused dialogue trigger that can be reactivated by hacking, which causes Sheila to greet Spyro, use this dialogue and turn around and run into her portal.
Sunny Villa Hunter Now that you've mastered the basics, let's see you do some stunts! Try using the ✕ or △ button to jump off ramps and turn in the air...
Hunter says this in the earliest demo of the game instead of his "course record" dialogue.
Sunny Villa Hunter This is the most fun I've had since we chased King Flippy on the manta ray.
Hunter says this in the earliest demo of the game instead of his "course record" dialogue.
Buzz's Dungeon Sheila If you can charge toad boy into the lava, I think I can finish him off.
Probably cut dialogue intended to aid the player. Such unused dialogue can only be found in the first two boss arenas.
Midday Garden Sgt. Byrd Thanks for freeing me. Why don't you come visit me in my home world?
As before, there's never any need for this dialogue. The text string is identical to the others. Again there's also an unused dialogue trigger that can be reactivated by hacking, which makes Sgt. Byrd use this dialogue, turn around and waddle into his portal.
Enchanted Towers Jasper And now, for my latest experiment: 'Blast-Sculpting'! I shall attempt to carve an image of you with a single explosive detonation...
In the 2018 Insomniac Live Spyro: Year of the Dragon speedrun developer John Fiorito recalls that the NPCs in Enchanted Towers had to be "toned down" - this is probably a remnant from before they were changed.
Enchanted Towers Jasper Not too bad, eh? Very post-neolithic, wouldn't you say?
More dialogue from the earlier version of the Enchanted Towers NPCs. This dialogue may suggest that originally the Sorceress statue at the end of the level wouldn't have been completely destroyed - since total destruction is required to enter the skateboarding area, the portal may have been moved, too.
Bamboo Terrace Shui 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.
While the dialogue suggests the superflame gate would have needed to be activated à la Spyro 2, curiously early screenshots - most likely from before the audio dialogue was recorded - suggest there wasn't originally a power up gate at all, and Spyro would have powered up upon stepping onto the boat.
Spike's Arena Sgt. Byrd If you charge into the lava boulders after I drop them, they'll explode against anything they hit.
Probably cut dialogue intended to aid the player. Such unused dialogue can only be found in the first two boss arenas.
Spike's Arena Sgt. Byrd Whenever you get low on health, just toast a chicken or two, and you'll soon be ship shape.
More dialogue intended to help the player.
Evening Lake Bentley Thanks for freeing me. Why don't you come visit me in my home world?
As before, there's never any need for this dialogue. The text string is identical to the others. There is an unused dialogue trigger for this text, but for some reason the audio dialogue doesn't play when it's triggered.
Evening Lake The Professor Oh dear... Oh dear, I've been trying to build a rocket to take you to Midnight Mountain, but I appear to have misplaced my plans!

Now I can't even remember where I was working...

There are no text strings representing this dialogue.
Evening Lake The Professor Don't worry about me, I'm just gathering my thoughts- eh, let's see... I was working on the plans, some ninjas appeared...

eeh, geh, then everything gets fuzzy.

There are no text strings representing this dialogue.
Midnight Mountain Agent 9 Thanks for freeing me. Why don't you come visit me in my home world? N/A Unlike the rest of the "Thanks for freeing me" dialogue, there's no audio component - yet ironically, in the original release, this dialogue actually isn't unused, though it only occurs under strange circumstances detailed below. In later versions of the game this dialogue goes completely unused.

By using the dialogue test cheat in Evening Lake, two unused dialogue strings of The Professor can be heard. In Fireworks Factory, Greta mentions that the rhynocs stole the blueprints for the Professor's 'wocket' that would you from Evening Lake to Midnight Mountain, but the Professor himself is only seen in-game in Agent 9's Lab. Paradoxically, in Agent 9's sublevel (which can normally only be accessed after the Rocket has been built) Agent 9 mentions that he's helping Handel recover some rocket plans that the Sorceress stole from the Professor.

Unused Dialogue Animations

If the player chooses to defeat the Sorceress before freeing Agent 9 - something many players would not do - Agent 9 will appear outside his portal. When talking to him, the "Thanks for freeing me" dialogue is shown, but remains silent due to the lack of an audio component for this line. After speaking to him, Agent 9 runs into his portal. It's possible that the devs didn't see a reason to record his dialogue as, by that point in development, the dialogue was intended to be replaced with the cutscene with Moneybags instead. Agent 9's positioning was changed slightly between versions though, so there is no explanation for why they didn't choose to add the dialogue in later despite fixing his positioning.

Curiously, if the player uses glitches or hacks to defeat the Sorceress without freeing one of the other critters, then their cutscene will play upon approaching their portals. Before the cutscene plays, the animal cage can be seen waiting outside each of their portals but neither Moneybags nor the alternate character is seen.

Despite the fact that animations for greeting Spyro and walking into the portal can only be witnessed under normal circumstances with Agent 9, the one character who wasn't given audio dialogue for this situation, the other three critters have their own speaking animations associated with this dialogue and they even walk into the portal behind them after the animation has played out. These animations can only be seen through hacking.

Unused Sounds

Leftovers sound effects from Spyro 2 can be found in the WAD of the third game, namely the Guidebook page turning sound and the "Level Complete!" fanfare.

The page turning sound effect from the Guidebook.

The fanfare heard after a level is 100% completed.

Unused Music

Hmmm...
To do:
Gather information on other builds of the game, particularly the original US Version 1.0. Do they contain the Greatest Hits Tracks?

Multiple areas across the game reuse prior level themes in early builds of the game (and in some cases the final build), such as Enchanted Towers playing the same theme used for Sgt. Byrd's Base. Whilst this is a common practice frequently employed in platformers and adventure games, Year of the Dragon is notable for level themes differing depending not merely on the build of the game, but on its region, multiple pieces of music remaining exclusive to NTSC builds of the game and not occurring at all in PAL versions. Even more strangely, some of the corresponding themes are present on the PAL disc, and it is unknown as to why they don't play in-game.

The themes for Evening Lake and the Sorceress' Lair, both used in their intended areas in the Greatest Hits release, are rendered unused in every other variant of the game, including the original US version as well as (unusually) the PAL Platinum release, the latter of which applies the majority of the Greatest Hits edits otherwise. Even more bizarrely, these two themes are the only Greatest Hits-exclusive themes that can be found on the PAL disc; the others (including the Enchanted Towers Skate Park, Crystal Islands, Haunted Tomb, Lost Fleet and more) not being present at all.

Unused Graphics

Hmmm...
To do:
Perhaps get direct texture rips of the sprites, or at least screenshots

Unused Shell Fragments

Spyro3-UnusedShellTexture1.png Spyro3-UnusedShellTexture2.png
In earlier versions of the game, the egg released gold, intricate fragments upon hatching. These shell fragment textures still exist in the final game, and although they usually go unused, for some reason every egg in the game releases one shell fragment upon hatching that uses the older texture. Usually, the angle and speed that the fragment is released with means it almost immediately clips through the floor, making it hard to see, but for some eggs the fragments are released in such a way that the incorrectly textured piece shoots to the right of Spyro instead of down, and at a speed slow enough to give the player a nice long look at its texture.

The shell can be seen to the left of Spyro.

Power-Up Icons

Through a little bit of hacking, the power-up sprites can be viewed in the pause menu. Only three power-up gates are featured in the final game - superflame, superfly and invincibility. The ice breath power-up from Spyro 2 was removed in Spyro 3, and as a result the ice cube sprite which would normally go atop the power-up meter goes unused. The weird blue ball sprite is also a leftover from Spyro 2, where it represented the underwater variant of the superflame power-up in Aquaria Towers (though the icon would display even if Spyro was not underwater, meaning that this cannot be replicated in Spyro 3 by simply going underwater with the power-up active).

Spyro3-UnusedIcons.png

Icy Peak Rhynoc Head

Spyro3-IcyPeakRhynoc.png
Amongst the graphics used in Icy Peak is a single unused frame of a rhynoc's head. The rhynoc matches the ones seen in the ice dancing minigame, except without a helmet, just like in this early screenshot. A full set of animation frames can be found in the game's second demo, but only one frame remains in the final game.

Bamboo Terrace Counter Icons

A prerelease screenshot of the game indicated that in earlier versions of the game, there was a counter in one of the Bamboo Terrace minigames. A zero is used in place of where the animated icon would go. In the final, no such counter is present, but animation sprites for the an icon matching the minigame do exist.

Spike's Arena Zero

An extra "0" is found in the graphics files for Spike's Arena, after the animation files for the sprite of Spike's head. Like in the screenshot previously mentioned, this was probably used as a placeholder when the animated sprite wasn't complete.

Frozen Altars Cat

In the cat hockey minigame in Frozen Altars, a single sprite of a cat is placed between the animation sprites for Spyro and the rival rhynoc. Once again, this was probably the first animation frame for some sort of counter - given that the game already has counters tracking both the player's and the AI's score in the final game, it's not exactly clear what this would have been used for, or why it became unused.

Sgt. Byrd Texture Oddity

In early pre-release versions of the game, Sgt. Byrd used a texture which more closely matched his official artwork, wearing only a silver studded hat instead of a green hat and a belt. Moreover, The colors of the inside of his mouth and his chest also are different, with the old texture using a solid purple color inside his mouth and an orange-yellow-white gradient on his chest as opposed to the darker red mouth and the plain white chest seen in his final design. This texture is actually seen in-game, namely in the "Bianca Strikes Back" cutscene, where Sgt. Byrd is briefly seen using his early texture (and what appears to be a much larger model than his playable one) alongside some rhynocs which were originally intended to be used in Sunny Villa as seen in early screenshots. In both NTSC-U versions of the game, Sgt. Byrd is also seen using his earlier model in Midday Garden when he is locked in Moneybag's cage. Later releases used his final texture here instead. Through hacking, it is possible to perform a glitch which causes all the models in a level to appear, and using this glitch reveals that Sgt. Byrd actually has two separate models, placed side-by-side, with one using the earlier texture and the other using the final texture. In later versions of the game, the two models are still present, but both use the final texture, indicating that the older model wasn't removed in later versions, but rather had its texture changed to match that of the later model. Interestingly, in all versions of the game, the signs next to his portals depict him wearing his earlier silver hat.

While Sgt. Byrd's design in Spyro: A Hero's Tail more closely match his earlier appearance, every subsequent Spyro game (as well as Spyro: Reignited Trilogy) uses the "white belly" design.

Unused Areas

Spyro: Year of the Dragon contains several unused areas. It is likely that these areas were meant to be accessible, but never made it into the final game for reasons that are often unknown.

Fireworks Factory Cave

In the level 'Fireworks Factory', there is a hidden cave with a life inside of it that cannot be reached through normal means. The cave is located near the start of the level, and acts as though it was supposed to have a wall that could be busted when rammed into, much like the one in the level Bamboo Terrace. It is possible that the fact that this area isn't accessible was simply an oversight on the developers' part.

In the Reignited Trilogy, the cave is removed, but the 1-up butterfly jar is still in the void.

(Source: Kyle Haeberle on Twitter)

Midnight Mountain Island

In the Midnight Mountain Homeworld is a tall island that is far out of the player's reach in normal game play and has three lives on it. This island was originally intended to house the Super Bonus Round portal before it was moved. In the words of senior artist Craig Stitt:

A long time ago the portal to the Super Bonus Round was on that island.
The only way to get to that island was beat the Sorceress in the final
battle. Once you had done that a VERY VERY tall whirl wind would appear
in the room just outside the entrance to the final boss round. This
whirlwind would take you up high enough that you could glide ALL the way
out to that island. If I remember right it was like a 20 or 30 second
glide. It was very cool. I was actually the artist who modeled the level.

Unfortunately, the way vacations that year worked out, I needed to take
mine right before we shipped the game. When I came back I discovered
that the Super Bonus Portal had been moved MUCH closer and that the
super-whirl-wind had been removed (for unknown reasons). Unfortunately,
the artist who made all the changes (as per the programmer's and
designer's request) failed to remove the old island way off in the
distance. Same with the programmer who overlook removing the goodies
that had been placed there.

By the time I was back from vacation the game was done and out the door.

The very tall whirlwind object still exists in the game and can be restored. (Ignore the egg on the island at the end, it was added by the hacker.)

This whirlwind was reimplemented in Spyro Reignited Trilogy, but the Super Bonus Round Portal is still in the same location.

(Source: Neoseeker)

Dino Mines Arena

An image of the level in a level viewer.

There's a strange arena-like area in 'Dino Mines' that can be accessed using a swim-in-the-air glitch. Once executed, the player must swim to a wall past a red building and go behind it, and there will be a portal that is hidden and regularly inaccessible. Once through the portal, the player will be in an empty arena with a platform in the middle. It was likely going to be used for a mini-boss battle to obtain an egg, much like the one in Spooky Swamp.

Earlier versions of the game are missing the "Take it to the bank" egg, with "The Bailey gang's last stand" in its place, supporting the idea that it was originally some kind of battle with the Bailey Gang.

To return to the normal level, there is an invisible portal in the middle of the platform. However, simply exiting the level may prove better, seeing as Spyro has nothing to stand upon exiting, and will fall continuously until game over (yet occasionally the player may end up on the opposite side of the wall standing on the ground however, indicating where the portal once was located.)

Midday Gardens Tunnel

The lower-poly version of the level's geometry, showing the room.

Inside the room where the Balloon/Whirligig/Rocket is found, there is a texture of a locked door paved over what used to be a doorway to another room. Using the swim in air glitch, you can swim away from the door and the level begins to lower its polygon count, that way you can see from a distance a tunnel/corridor appear behind the door. The previous purpose for this unused room is currently unknown. If you get too close to the structure, it will un-draw itself from the level geometry, as if you are far away from it. There is no collision data for it.

Given that the incomplete Whirligig sits right in front of this door until you play every level of Midday Gardens and are able to move to the next level, one could assume that each mode of transportation had its own area and that the transportation modes may have varied on a world-by-world basis, the balloon to midday gardens and back, the whirligig to evening lake and back, and the rocket to midnight mountain and back.

Enchanted Towers Room

The lower-poly version of the level, showing the room and it's entrance.

Inside one of the structures near a minigame portal is an unused room that can't be seen or accessed at all in normal gameplay. It only shows up when the level is in it's lowest polygon count. The purpose of this room is unknown as there is another room in the level for Sgt. Byrd and it still exists in this low-poly geometry and is on a different side of the level.

Country Speedway Doorway

The lower-poly version of the level showing the door in the level.

Though not an unused room or area, there is what is supposedly a door under the entrance to Hunter's area in Country Speedway. The door is perfectly under the entrance and fits the entrance's shape. It may have been for Spyro to charge and as a result, break to allow you to enter Hunter's area. It only is shown in the low-poly model of the level and because of this, doesn't show its texture if there is one.

Scorch's Pit Unused Content

Hmmm...
To do:
Get a graphic rip or screenshot of the ammunition and enemy.

Unused power-up

2 unused variations of the bullets Bentley provides you with in the Scorch's Pit boss level can be triggered if one hacks the game. The first, symbolized by a spiked snowball rather similar to the Crystal Glacier Talisman from the previous game, acts as a 'smart bomb', killing all other entities on the battlefield (both enemies and chickens, but there is no effect on the boss). The second is a temporary invincibility function, which acts like the power-up usable in Evening Lake and is represented by the same small shield icon which has represented invincibility since Spyro 2. The latter may have been scrapped for a number of reasons, whether due to Scorch's lack of challenge or due to how the invincibility isn't an offensive power-up and as a result may slow the player down, while the former was probably scrapped because it was too damaging and thus is overpowered.

Unused Enemy

There's an unused re-coloration of the fire trolls that doesn't give off a 'steam' effect and is green instead of orange. It doesn't seem to have any sort of attack and it just runs at the player.


Revisional Differences and Glitches

Hmmm...
To do:
Quite a lot
  • Clean up this section and maybe put everything into a table. Come to a conclusion about the order of the builds of each version (NTSC 1.0, PAL 1.0, PAL 1.1, NTSC 1.1). This link might be helpful.
  • More research into the different PAL builds. There is an updated build as a Black Label made before the Platinum re-release, which is probably the same as the Platinum one, but this should be investigated to be certain. (If you see on the "art" disc: SCED-02835 - means 1.0, SCED-02835# - means its updated)
  • I've heard there's also an updated Black Label NTSC/U release

Miscellaneous differences

The game had a few noticeable changes between the original version NTSC release, the Greatest Hits release, the original PAL release and the Platinum release. The PlayStation Network version is based on the original NTSC version.

  • In the PAL versions, the "PRESS START" was replaced by an option that allows the player to change the game's language to either English, French, German, Spanish or Italian.
  • In the original NTSC-U version, the cutscene "Spike is Born" goes unused. It can still be accessed via the cutscene cheat once the game is completed. This was fixed in all later versions of the game, where it plays directly before the Spike's Arena boss fight.
  • In earlier versions of the game, skill points obtained via the skating minigames aren't awarded until after the timer is up, whereas in later versions of the game it is awarded the moment the player obtains a score beating the course record. This may be due to the fact that in unfinished versions of the game, you have to both beat the record and not fall off your board to obtain the skill point, so it makes sense that they would require the player to last the full 2 minutes before awarding the point.
  • The name of the final boss level was changed slightly between versions, stylised as "Sorceress' Lair" in the original release and "Sorceress's Lair" in later releases.
  • If the player chooses to defeat the Sorceress before freeing Agent 9 - something many players would not do - Agent 9 will appear outside his portal. In the initial release, Agent 9 is seen looking towards the sign next to his portal, and upon talking to him, Spyro seems to have some trouble finding where to stand as he continuously walks into the sign while the dialogue box is up. In later releases he faces away from the portal and there's no glitching with Spyro's movement.

Music differences

Each release came with its own changes to the soundtrack. Spyro Reignited Trilogy uses the soundtrack from the Greatest Hits release.

  • In all versions but the Greatest Hits release, the themes that were intended to be used in Evening Lake and Sorceress' Lair go unused.
    • In all versions but the Greatest Hits release, Evening lake erroneously uses the theme for Sunrise Spring. Its intended theme is restored in the Greatest Hits release.
    • In the original NTSC release, Sorceress' Lair erroneously uses Sunrise Spring's theme. In the PAL releases, it uses the theme used in Spike's Arena, and its intended theme was restored in the Greatest Hits version.
  • Many levels that reused themes were given their own unique themes in the Greatest Hits version:
  • The theme used in Enchanted Towers' sublevels was changed from Desert Ruins' theme to a unique one. The track used in the Greatest Hits version is actually an uncut version of the main theme used in the demo versions. The main area of Enchanted Towers still uses Sgt. Byrd's theme though, probably because Sgt. Byrd can be used in that section of the level.
    • Lost Fleet's theme was changed from the music used in Super Bonus Round to a remix of Sheila's theme.
    • Crystal Islands' theme was changed from Seashell Shore's track to a unique one.
    • Haunted Tomb's theme was changed from Cloud Spires' theme to a unique one.
    • The theme used in Dino Mines was changed from Molten Crater's theme to a unique track.
    • All of the speedways except Harbor Speedway were given unique themes.

Speedway glitch

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Confirm that the NTSC-U version is also fixed using this method
  • More info on a method to reproduce the glitch - it seems that only attempting and failing the race, then as long as the race is not won, saving anywhere and quitting triggers it in PAL 1.0

A rather notorious glitch in early releases of the game would prevent the player from progressing should they leave a speedway before finishing - If one were to attempt and fail one of the challenges in a speedway and then quit the level before obtaining the egg in question then that egg would be rendered completely unobtainable. This glitch was fixed in the Greatest Hits and Platinum versions.[1]

If the glitch is present on a given save file in the PAL 1.0 release, it can be remedied by loading said save file in the Platinum version of the game:

  • If the race had never been won in the 1.0 version, winning the race in the Platinum version will still award the player.
  • If the race had been won in the 1.0 version but no egg was given to the player due to the glitch and the game saved after that, simply loading the file in the Platinum release and saving is enough.

The save file is still compatible with the original release after the issue has been resolved.

Anti-Piracy

Elementary, my dear Cactus.
This needs some investigation.
Discuss ideas and findings on the talk page.
Specifically: Verify consistency. All of these increase in severity as time goes on as progress is made. This is not a full list, but this should cover most effects.
Hmmm...
To do:
Clean this section up; get rid of the redundancy, improve the inconsistent sentence structure, grammar and punctuation to make it more easily readable.

This game is known for having quite a lot of anti-crack "booby traps", checking for alterations to the game alongside the existing copy-protection. One wrong bit and the trap is triggered, making any deliberate attempt at cracking the game a real pain.

Here's an article by one of the developers, explaining the whole process.

Thanks, narc.


General Effects

  • Early on in the game Zoe will inform you that this copy of the game is hacked.
  • The game often soft-locks and the Pause functionality is completely gone.
  • The language chosen in the PAL copies will randomly change.
  • Some enemies don't drop gems.
  • The game will occasionally return you to the wrong home or stage upon exit of level, and can also unexpectedly be booted out of a stage without warning.
  • All the stages in Midnight Mountain are replaced with the ones from Sunrise Spring.
  • The final boss fight against the Sorceress will start off as normal, but soon the game will boot you out, bring you back to Sunrise Springs, and will wipe out your save data.

Sparx

Sparx is now green by default in the sense that he only has one hit point left, and eating butterflies will bring Sparx's health down by one hit point from current until he hits green (Green Sparx can disappear if a butterfly is eaten, but eating another will bring him back). This also affect Sparx's levels and the health bar within the levels , seeing how the health pickups in those levels do restore hp but don't change Sparx's color as he stays green regardless.

If you have no Sparx and destroy a 1-up butterfly jar you get a gold Sparx instead of green (this might be a bug in the effects of a triggered copy?).

Moneybags

  • The option to free Sheila comes up a second time, however payment is optional.
  • Freeing Bentley doesn't penalize your gem count.
  • Agent 9 is already unlocked, however payment is optional.
  • Moneybags "payback" in Midnight Mountains will not return the amount you are supposed to get.

Missing Gems

Gems can vary based off a number of unknown factors. Using file number 2 can produce different missing gems compared to file number 1.

Stage Name Gems Missing
Midday Garden 1 Gem
Enchanted Towers 3 Gems
Sgt Byrd's Base 6 Gems
Spooky Swamp 215 Gems
Bamboo Terrace 5 Gems
Evening Lake off by 7 Gems
Frozen Alters 10 Gems
Firework Factory Unknown
Charmed Ridge 6 Gems
Bently's Outpost 10 Gems
Crystal Islands 3 Gems
Desert Ruins 1 Gem

Agent 9's section in Fireworks Factory is locked; getting back to this is not possible at some point due to measures.

Eggs

  • The last egg in all friend stages gets reset periodically (early effect).
  • Collecting the above egg(s) adds to total each time. It will be reset at some point in the session or after a reset of the game (sometimes it stays).
  • Spooky Swamp is off by 2 eggs, Sheila's section being closed off and will not open. This also affects missing gem count.
  • Tracking all egg resets is not possible without resetting. Resetting makes more eggs reset. Might not be possible to track all resets.
  • Some eggs reset consistently (Last egg before stage exit appears).

Stages that can be completed

Note: This is only counting those that can get the "Level Complete" message even if eggs reset later in time. You might lose access to some stages but they CAN be completed.

  • Sunrise Spring Home
  • Sunny Villa
  • Cloud Spires
  • Molten Crater
  • Seashell Shore
  • Mushroom Speedway
  • Sheila's Alp
  • Buzz's Dungeon
  • Icy Peak
  • Country Speedway
  • Spike's Arena
  • Lost Fleet
  • Honey Speedway
  • Scorch's Pit
  • Haunted Tomb
  • Dino Mines
  • Harbor Speedway
  • Agent 9's Lab
  • Sparx's levels (Crawdad Farm, Spider Town, Starfish Reef, and Bugbot Factory)

Transportation

  • Transportation between worlds will not work unless the player collects the eggs from Sheila, Byrd, Bentley and Agent 9's respective stages.
  • The way the travel machine is also different, occasionally bringing the player back where they came from after trying to go to another homeworld.
  • The rocket can bring you to virtually anywhere, even already defeated bosses.
  • Once the rocket is available it change "Midnight Mountain" to "Sorceress' Lair" and instead send you to "Buzz's Dungeon". Exiting Buzz's Dungeon after the above happens you will be placed in the closed doors to the Sorceress' Lair, forcing you to go back to the dungeon.
  • After time in Midnight Mountain, returning to the rocket will only leave Sunrise Spring available.
    • If you took the above transport, it will have the rocket and hot air balloon colliding on land, and you'll hop out twice.
    • At this point you can only ride the hot air balloon.
    • If jumping into the hot air balloon at this point you can go back to Midnight Mountain in the hot air balloon (which is not supposed to happen).
  • If you want to go to the other stages, you must "complete" each stage again to get each option back sequentially (Cannot confirm but might be possible. Doublechecking Needed).

Sequence Breaking

Traveling to Sorceress' Lair as described in Transportation, the Atlas will show all stages in Midnight Mountain are fully cleared except Midnight Mountain itself. The Sorceress door opening cutscene will try to play if you get close to the doors. They will not open once the cutscene concludes.

Resetting the system at this point will take you to the proper location in Midnight Mountain, but Scorch's Pit will be skipped (Returning to Evening Lake and back will proceed as normal.)

(Source: PixelButts)