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Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure Q&A

Sep 23, 2011

Kidzworld chats about Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure with Alex Ness who is the Chief of Staff at Toys for Bob. Check out the entire exclusive interview below!

Kidzworld: It's been three years since the last Spyro game. What made you want to revisit him?

  • Alex Ness: We thought Spyro was a cool character from a great franchise.  The series has been around for a long time and was generally skewing older and older and we wanted to reintroduce Spyro to a younger audience, kind of the way the original game did way back in 1998.

Kidzworld: There are over 30 different creatures, including Spyro. Where did the inspiration come for the other creatures?

  • Alex Ness: When looking at the Spyro universe, especially in the original games, we saw a lot of traditional fantasy influences but blended with a unique style of humor and charm.  We wanted the rest of our characters to match that theme as well as use certain elements from technology and the animal kingdom.  Both our Creative Director (Paul Reiche III) and our Lead Character Artist ( I-Wei Huang) have been creating characters literally their entire lives and worked very closely together to come up with an interesting mix of diverse creatures that we call Skylanders.  Besides just wanting to cover certain archetypes, we also focused on creating characters that all belonged to a certain element of nature, so all of our Skylanders are grouped by the elements they represent.

Kidzworld: Do all the creatures have unique personalities like Spyro? Could you give a few examples?

  • Alex Ness: Yes, absolutely all of them have unique personalities and we feel like no matter who you are, you will find at least one that you really connect to.  The one I find most relatable personally is Lightning Rod.  He’s a storm giant from the majestic cloud kingdom, where he prides himself on being the most macho of all the other storm giants.  His autobiography entitled “Rod the Bod” has sold over 1 million copies – mostly to himself. We’ve got plenty more though.  Like Gill Grunt, who is kind of a fish-like creature that spent years as a decorated soldier in the Gillman army.  One day, his girlfriend was kidnapped by pirates and after he rescued her, he decided he should help defend the Skylands from every kind of foe…especially pirates, who he thinks are generally misunderstood as being good, fun-loving, adventure-seeking guys when really they just steal stuff.  The craziest Skylander is easily Trigger Happy.  I’m not even sure what to call that guy but he is little, orange, has big ears, a bigger tongue, and two very large golden guns that shoot gold coins.  He fires those guns constantly, all the while laughing like a maniac.  No one really knows where he came from either.  He just showed up one day and started shooting.  We also have some good female characters, like Stealth Elf, who is indeed a stealthy elf as well as an expertly-trained ninja.  She is not only quick and agile but can literally disappear and at the exact same time, create a decoy version of herself.  Enemies will attack the decoy and not even realize she’s standing right behind them.  It’s pretty funny.  Though maybe not for those enemies.

Kidzworld: Can you customize your creature, either in appearance or stats, so that it is uniquely yours?

  • Alex Ness: Yes you can!  All of our characters can level up, which makes them stronger and gives them more hit points.  They can also purchase upgrades that give them new powers as well as enhance their existing ones.  Each character has 11 upgrades they can buy for themselves.  Then finally, we’ve got hats.  It might sound kind of silly, picking up and putting them on but it’s actually really cool.  We have these special, secret areas in our levels where only characters of a certain elemental class can go.  If you have a character in that class and solve a puzzle in that area, you get a new hat.  There are 45 hats in the game and each one increases your powers in different ways.  Plus they look cool and funny on your character.  One of my favorite things playing through the game is finding the perfect hat for my Skylanders.  It’s also kind of like a badge of honor, since our hats are all hidden and sometimes hard to find.  So if my character is wearing a hat my friend has never seen, that kind of gives me some bragging rights.  And if my friend has a hat I don’t have, it really motivates me to go out and find it.

Kidzworld: Will there be a movie, TV show, comic, or web series tie-in?

  • Alex Ness: There isn’t a web series, per se, but we do have what we’re calling a web world.  It’s a place where players can upload their collection to, personalize their own personal lair, and play mini-games with the Skylanders they’ve collected.  What I’ve seen so far has been really cool and I strongly encourage everyone to check it out.  Right now, I don’t think anything is in the works for movies/TV/comics but between you and me (and I guess everybody reading this now), I really, really hope we do something like this with Skylanders.  I think we have such a great universe and such a vast, distinct array of likeable characters that would make for a perfect television show.

Kidzworld: What is the difference between the 3DS version and the console version of the game?

  • Alex Ness: They’re totally different games and different adventures.  The cool thing is that all the toys work on every version and of course, our toys have brains so if you have a character that you’ve leveled up on the Wii version and you play with him on the 3DS, he is more powerful in that game world too.

Kidzworld: What is the story in Skylanders?

  • Alex Ness: In a nutshell, there was this great machine called The Core of Light that protected Skylands from Darkness but it got destroyed.  Now this evil guy named Kaos, another Portal Master just like you, wants to use the impending Darkness to take over the Skylands.  Your job is to repair the Core of Light and then defeat Kaos, meeting a lot of new friends along the way.

Kidzworld: So when you get the game, it comes with three toys already?

  • Alex Ness: That is correct, 3 toys and the Portal of Power.

Kidzworld: How do the toys interact with the game?

  • Alex Ness: You place each toy on the Portal of Power and it comes alive in the game.  As your character goes on adventures and collects thing and gets more powerful, all of those memories are saved to the toy.

Kidzworld: Can I bring my toys over to a friend's house and play there?

  • Alex Ness: Yes, and since our toys have brains and remember all of the new powers and things they collect, if you take your toy over to a friend’s house and place it on your friend’s Portal of Power in his game, your toy will be exactly as he is at your house.  Then if you play for a while with him and your character collects new things and gets stronger and you eventually return to your own house, all of those new adventures you had at your friend’s place are saved to your toy.

Kidzworld: Can you use more than one toy at a time with the Portal of Power?

  • Alex Ness: Yes, you can place 2 Skylander toys and 1 magic item on the Portal of Power at once, so you can play co-op with a friend or against him in our Battle Arena mode.

Kidzworld: Where will I be able to buy the toys?

  • Alex Ness: Everywhere games are sold!

Have Your Say

What do you think about Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure after reading this interview? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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