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Spyro the Dragon: Everybody Hates Tree Tops

Tree Tops is probably the most aggravating level in any Spyro game.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Spyro the Dragon was my first video game. While playing as the (incredibly recognizable) titular, purple dragon, you free the other dragons who have been turned to statues by the evil Gnasty Gnorc. Using your fire-breathing and charging powers, Spyro travels to different “Home Worlds” and accesses subsets of other worlds in each by using portals. There’s action, story, and puzzles to solve in every world.

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Spyro is an incredibly nostalgic game for me, and I’ve played through it many times, both on the original PlayStation and through the digital version I downloaded to my PlayStation 3. Most levels have become almost second nature for me. I know where all the gems that I need to collect are, which attacks work best on which enemies, how to skip annoying cut scenes, and so on and so forth.

However, that does not mean it’s an easy game. There is one level in the first Spyro game that all fans of the series know and tend to hate. That level is Tree Tops. Of all the people I know who have played this game, every single one of them hates this level. In fact, it’s so difficult that I have never beaten it.

Spyro has the ability to “supercharge” on special ramps. This makes him charge incredibly fast and can give him an extra lift when needing to reach platforms and areas that are just out of reach. I, like many, am not very good at supercharging. It makes it very difficult to control movement and requires perfectly timed reactions. Tree Tops is designed almost exclusively with this ability in mind.

In Tree Tops, you supercharge down one ramp and propel yourself to another, then another, around bends, twisting and turning your way all over the level until you reach your final destination: a platform that I have only ever seen in walkthroughs and let’s plays.

Because of Tree Tops, I have never been able to fully complete the game. Sure, I saved enough dragons and beat Gnasty, but I have never gotten the “100% complete” that I desire.

After defeating Gnasty, there is another world called Gnasty’s Loot that you can access. As the name implies, it’s full of treasure. However, access is only granted if you have saved every dragon, liberated every egg, and collected every gem in the rest of the game. So, to me, it is a magical world of wonder that I may never get to see.

But I will not give up! Eventually, I will complete Tree Tops and get to see Gnasty’s Loot firsthand.

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J Nicole Miller
GameSkinny Intern-Survivor Phase Gamer, Geek, Harry Potter fangirl