Yeah, okay, I insulted Ripto, and didn’t really back it up, so here’s a bonus article. I like Ripto but he’s honestly one of the most ineffectual antagonists I’ve ever faced. Let’s look at what he does during Spyro 2:
- On arriving in Avalar, Ripto’s instantly thwarted by fairies taking the orbs away and closing the portal before Crush can get Ripto’s stuff. He also looks quite silly hanging off an orb a fairy’s carrying while shouting at it.
- When Spyro first appears, Ripto gets clonked by his sidekick Crush, and promptly loses his scepter, before retreating with an idle threat.
- After Crush’s defeat, the ceiling begins to collapse, and Ripto retreats. Spyro calls him a wuss.
- Ripto attempts to feed Gulp a fairy, only to get ambushed and burnt by Spyro.
- Ripto’s throne randomly collapses after Gulp’s defeat and he’s presumed dead. This entire cutscene is a mess, to be honest. Elora immediately appears to announce that there’s no sign of Ripto (after all of two seconds), she brings him a deckchair so he can relax in a boss chamber, refuses to hang out with him for even a minute because she wants to check on the Professor, and Spyro takes a nap that lasts barely an instant. You could say that more time was supposed to pass in the camera cut between Elora leaving and Spyro waking up, but Reignited keeps it all in one shot. Yeah, yeah, Spyro doesn’t take itself too seriously, I’ll stop complaining now.
- Ripto actually manages to steal the power crystal and doesn’t leave a cutscene in disgrace. Minus points for naming his upcoming kingdom Riptonia, though.
- Ripto fails to kill a bunch of sheep with his mighty scepter.
- His boss fight is pretty fun so I’ll give him that.
- He dies in lava but reappears in the secret epilogue, and also in Enter the Dragonfly. This is common for platformers but I still don’t like it!
Outside of his cutscene actions, his impact on the game is a little mysterious. Most of the bad stuff happening in the game is never directly linked to him. The idols come to life and attack the locals in Idol Springs, but I don’t know if that was done by Ripto, or just a quirk of magical Avalar. The Breezebuilders and Land Blubbers are at war in Zephyr and Breeze Harbour, but I have no idea if Ripto had any hand in their conflict, and given that you help out both sides, you don’t exactly help fix matters.
Although you do, apparently, because Elora enthusiastically shares that the people of Avalar are getting on better since Spyro arrived after you defeat Gulp.
Gnasty Gnorc and the Sorceress have their own armies (gnorcs and rhynocs respectively), while Ripto just appears to have his two henchmen. Since the fairies stopped him nipping back through the portal to grab his stuff, I suppose that would explain it, but still.
On a similar note, the stages don’t really have any sort of escalation to them. In Spyro the Dragon’s latter section, you faced off against the gnorcs in Gnasty’s World, a strange industrial location that differed from all the previous magical realms. The gnorcs got serious and even started using guns (or paint guns, in Reignited).
For Winter Tundra, though, you have the following worlds:
- Mystic Marsh, where the wildlife is getting rowdy because the fountain’s not working. The cause is not Ripto, but a lazy monk dozing off.
- Cloud Temples, where warlocks of unknown affiliation are causing issues for the monks.
- Robotica Farms, where the farmers are dealing with a robot bug infestation.
- Metropolis, where farm animals are staging an insurrection.
This is fine; not all games have to follow the same structure. It’s just amusing to me because of how little Ripto seems to impact most things. In addition, if you’ve been collecting orbs like a sensible player, you can ignore all the levels in Winter Tundra and just go straight to Ripto.
As I’m sure you can see, Ripto’s a bit useless. This is part of why I prefer Gateway to Glimmer as the game’s subtitle instead of Ripto’s Rage. When it comes down to it, it’s really more like Ripto’s Tantrum.