A Circle of Cynders - Cynder Community Day Interviews
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Cynder the Dragon. One of the most popular characters in the Spyro franchise who originated from The Legend of Spyro reboot (2006-2008) and later appeared in the Skylanders franchise (2011-2018). Since the announcement of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, a lot of Spyro fans became interested in the idea of Cynder being implemented in the Reignited Spyro universe.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy character artist, Nicholas Kole, notably did his own take on Cynder the Dragon days after the game's release in 2018 with her own insect companion named Sting. Recently, I reached out to him to ask a few questions about his Reignited Cynder.







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Question#1: What inspired you to do a Reignited take on Cynder?

Nicholas: in terms of inspiration, it was really all about my wife Erika. I grew up on Spyro 1 and 2, while she played the Legend series and loved it. Through her as I was working on Spyro, I learned all about it and realized that a big deal Cynder was to her when she was younger. I figured if she was an icon to Erika, she must have a broader connection to other young players as well- so even though I never played those games, I did my own take in the style of reignited!


Question #2: Were there any inspirations you used while designing her?

Nicholas: in terms of inspirations- I’m always a fan of Chris Sanders’ creature work (stitch and toothless) so I always feel a bit of that comes through in most creature concepts I do. I believe at the time that I did this, my wife and I had recently gone to see the 2D MLP movie, and the shapes and look of the villainous pony in that (I forget her name rn) was definitely an influence.


Question #3: What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her (and her possible insect companion)?

Nicholas: I watched a few Cynder videos with Erika when she was telling me about the Legend series- so I had some general ideas about her voice/personality. I wanted to blend her edgy appeal, with the shape language and colors we were using for Reignited. Fitting a character like her into the original trilogy is tricky, since it’s a lot more playful and low-stakes (there’s not much angst and death) so I felt she made sense as a more sassy, but still lightly anti-hero flavored foil for Spyro. Kind of a more goth Elora ? And her companion Sting is meant to drive that home- Spyro is a bit cocky and Sparx is all sweet, I felt it would be fun for Cynder and Sting to feel like they shared a secret, and generally go through their adventures with more quiet confidence than Spyro and Sparx.



The release of Nicholas's Rignited Cynder was met with positive reception, so much that a mod based on Nicholas' Cynder was made by DragonSkyRunner and released for the PC version of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.


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After the release of Nicholas Kole's fanmade Reignited Cynder, the Spyro fanbase was inspired to make their own takes on the character in the Spyro Reignited universe. These unique takes vary from designs, personalities, quirks, etc.

I also reached out to a couple of fan artists who did their versions on a Reignited Cynder and asked them a couple of questions. Their initial posts and post-thoughts about their designs are posted below.




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Question#1: What inspired you to do a Reignited take on Cynder?

vergolophus: Everyone was doing their own, and I wasn't completely satisfied with the takes so I wanted to do something that really took Cynder in the OG Spyro style.


Question #2: Were there any inspirations you used while designing her?

vergolophus: Nothing much other than her original child appearance and the shape/design language of Reignited.


Question #3: What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her?

vergolophusr: I didn't want her to go through the same corruption arc since it was mostly for a Grimdark series. Instead she's a "female playable character" version of Spyro, like when Pokemon lets you choose between a boy or a girl. Probably not as sassy or sarcastic as Spyro, maybe she's more curious and understanding. Also, if Spyro is an Artisan, I considered Cynder a Dreamweaver, so the last dragon realm instead of the first.


Question #4: Does she have her own unique insect companion?

vergolophus: She doesn't have an insect companion.




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Question#1: What inspired you to do a Reignited take on Cynder?

schl4fmuetzer: I think what inspired me the most is the idea of redesigning characters. And Cynder is a very cool one, who appears in so many different shapes & designs that emerged over the years.


Question#2: Were there any inspirations you used while designing her?

schl4fmuetze: The idea of this specific design is a mix of the old SpyrotheDragon "traditional" dragon designs and Cynder herself. Her occupation would be something like: Collecting gems for magical / energy facilities. (When the natures in Spyro use certain gems to open gates, portals, activate mashines and so on)


Question#3: What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her?

schl4fmuetze: So she is getting around collecting all the gems and it would be neat if she gives Spyro the task to collect certain gems and gives him something in return.


Question#4: Does she have her own unique insect companion?

schl4fmuetze: When it comes to a companion I think she wouldn't really have one. I know that every Dragon has a dragonfly, though Ember and Flame don't have one? So after all I think it would be rather a dragonfly or none.



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Question#1: What inspired you to do a Reignited take on Cynder?

FaithSDK: It was out of a whim just to see if I can redesign her to fit the Reignited style. And despite not having a lot of interest to Cynder myself, I knew the community did over Ember and Flame, the other two kid dragons.


Question#2: Were there any inspirations you used while designing her? What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her?

FaithSDK: My inspiration was to try to play off her original child form look from the Legend series. If there's any positive take I'd have on TLoS, is her original child form. It was just easier on the eyes in my opinion. Friendlier, softer and such. Fits the general aesthetic of classic Spyro.


Question#3: What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her?

FaithSDK: her role would just be another close friend of Spyro's like Elora or Hunter. As a playable character, she would just be skin swap. Like, how Crash 4 does it with Crash and Coco but maybe with alternate scenes to fit her personality.

Speaking of personality, I can see her being level headed when compared to Spyro. She would try to make friends first. When it comes to conflicts, she will try to solve them democratically but her suggestions would usually be ignored. When there isn't trouble to deal with, she's curious and loves learning. I wouldn't say she's a complete nerd, but will have tidbits of knowledge she would blurt out, out of excitement when ever the gang (Spyro & Co.) would stumble upon something the average denizen wouldn't know. Her knowledge usually helps them out even though she tends to second guess herself, especially when it comes to magic or ancient history.

I basically gave her very modest Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider/Uncharted vibes.

I want to say she's almost like Bianca but less sassy.

They would be friends for sure though. Learning magic together.


Question#4: Does she have her own unique insect companion?

FaithSDK: Her companion is Frizz the Hornet. I'd like to think Frizz is stubborn and hot headed. Like she'll want to try to attack anyone who would be mean or making snide comments to them but Cynder would have to calm her down or de-escalate the situation to avoid the conflict, also probably not worth the "fight". That's just me thinking of silly cutscenes though.



FaithSDK later made a downloadable mod of her Reignited Cynder for the PC version of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy available since 2019, complete with custom logos, UI and Frizz the Hornet as her health meter in place of Sparx.



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Question#1: What inspired you to do a Reignited take on Cynder?

BlazeTFD: Honestly I just think it's a lot of fun to try to come up with "Reignited" interpretations of characters not from that era, especially since I really love TLOS and its characters - it's just fun to mash up the art styles and reinterpret designs to serve a different purpose (TLOS's high epic fantasy and Reignited's more light fairytale fantasy)?


Question#2: Were there any inspirations you used while designing her? What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her?

BlazeTFD: As for my own drawing of a Reignited Cynder, I based that design on what I personally would love the most should her character get reintroduced to the series. I think it would be lots of fun if she was a villain again - but not the "main" antagonist - more of a troublemaking rogue off doing her own thing who will temporarily ally with either Spyro or the villain depending on what better suits her needs (for example, the villain will make her richer? Ally with them. But the villain's going to destroy her lair? Ally with Spyro to stop them - that kind of stuff) but overall she's got no real evil agenda, she's just off doing her own thing having a good time. One of my least favourite things about Cynder's character in TLOS onwards is that she always seems to lack agency, so I'd love for her to finally get to make her own choices and be her own person in a potential Spyro 4, not under the thumb of any main villain or begging for approval from Spyro. In terms of game mechanics I think it'd be fun if she was a "rival" character throughout a game, where you complete challenges set up by her, or against her - where over the course of the story Spyro and Cynder go from rivals to frenemies.

As for the design itself, I based it mostly on the TEN design since that's my favourite Cynder design, with the body shape based on Reignited Spyro's. I'm just a huge fan of the dark grey/rose colour scheme, I just think it makes her stand out so much more and idk I just have a personal vendetta against purple/pink Cynder ? And I know it's an easy joke to make about a character with a mostly black/red colour scheme but I thought the punk rock/goth accessories really added to her rebellious/rogue-ish personality and helped tie the whole look together!


Question#3: Does she have her own unique insect companion?

BlazeTFD: I've never really thought much about the insect companion, but I do really like the wasp or hornet ideas I've seen other artists draw! I like the idea that she doesn't have a dragonfly and therefore lacks that symbiotic bond that Spyro and Sparx have - it would reinforce her rogue/loner status, and especially if she had a hornet or wasp companion, it could instead be used to attack (as opposed to Sparx's defense), making her stand out from Spyro even more.




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Question#1: What inspired you to do a Reignited take on Cynder?

LittleDevil: I wanted to make a small art project for myself. I love doing redesigns and with this project I was thinking of what it would be like to have a Donkey Kong 64 type game where you would bounce between Spyro, Cynder, Ember, and Flame. I go into more depth with that particular idea in this post: ttps://www.deviantart.com/littledevil-88...-902608993


Question#2: Were there any inspirations you used while designing her?

LittleDevil: Many of the other reignited or redesigned versions of Cynder out there. I think of redesigns as a “what if I was asked to make this character” so I tweak things to my tastes.

I knew I wanted her to keep an edge to her, so her eyes are more cat-like. I changed her base wing color for consistency with the others. I used pink and purple for a dusk-like gradient that complements the blackish-blue of her body and keeps a brightness to her, so she fits nicely with the other 3. I gave her lightning because her being a storm dragon fit closer to her being a natural wind dragon.

Her breath was probably one of the most difficult choices, but I think lightning fits her very well. I made her “curse marks” a more natural pattern because I like to think that's just her scale color in this setting. Those were inspired by Pokémon, actually. I was looking at Umbreon and Togetic. I was saving a more detailed glowing curse mark idea for maybe a legend of Spyro redesign in the future.


Question#3: What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her?

LittleDevil: I was thinking of a young magic crafter whelp that was cursed as an egg. Her nightmares manifest as shadow monsters, so she has led most of her life in solitary, studying runes ad dark magic to hopefully one day cure her curse.

She would be used to access areas blocked off by dark crystals and such. I made Ember a dream weaver with the idea a relationship would have formed between the two because Ember stays awake at night to stop Cynder’s nightmares from manifesting.


Question#4: Does she have her own unique insect companion?

LittleDevil: Powder the moth. I chose a moth because they have a more “deathly” aura about them. A wasp (specifically a tarantula hawk I was debating) would be cool, but I wanted a “softer” contrast with Cynder. I’d imagine Powder would be a sassy motherly influence that wants Cynder to be more open to others.




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Question#1: What inspired you to do a Reignited take on Cynder?

VitAqua: The inspiration for the design was something I had been sitting on for a while. I made a Spyro redesign a good few years back that was a mix between Classic and Tlos elements of the games, so since I made that piece I wanted to make a Cynder one to accompany it, and eventually I got the time to make it during a discord event I moderate for.


Question#2: Were there any inspirations you used while designing her?

VitAqua: I mainly had two thoughts when coming up with her design: I wanted to make her an opposite to the Spyro design I did previously, since they would be rivals in this setting, and I wanted to incorporate some design elements from Red from the Classic Spyro series. Since this setting is a mix between Classic and Tlos I imagined this Cynder as the daughter of a previous purple dragon who would have design elements of Malefor and Red smooshed together. The little choker that is part of her design actually acts as a callback to her TloS design, since the gemstone in it is the same color of Cynder's eyes in those games.


Question#3: What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her?

VitAqua: I imagined her personality while designing her to be a rather head strong and rough and ready kind of character. She's blunt and would rather it if people cut to the chase most of the time rather than drag things out by talking too much. This would be in contrast to the Spyro of this setting who would be more quiet and dignified.


Question#4: Does she have her own unique insect companion?

VitAqua: As for her insect companion, she has a little mosquito friend named Pierce. He mainly acts as a sort of caretaker/butler and tries to keep her out of trouble where he can, though that's always easier said than done.



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Question#1: What inspired you to do a Reignited take on Cynder?

elloellis: Like most fans, I love Cynder and thought she'd be a cool addition to the classic Spyro universe as maybe a rival or villain.


Question#2: Were there any inspirations you used while designing her?

elloellis: My biggest inspiration was her colour palette. I love black mixed with neon/pastel colours and I thought it suited her. I imagined she'd be a Dreamweaver so I think the bright, glowy, magical, colours mixed with her classic, gothic vibe looked cool.


Question#3: What were your thoughts on her possible character when you drew her?

elloellis: Like I said before, I think she'd be a great rival for Spyro. I loved her sassy moments in the TLOS series and wanted to bring more of that mischievousness into her reignited self.


Question#4: Does she have her own unique insect companion?

elloellis: I gave her a lil spider friend because spiders need more love. I didn't have a name for her originally but someone suggested "Silky" and I went with it haha. I think she'd be similar to Cynder personality wise but be more maternal. Helping Cynder cause mayhem but making sure she's safe too.





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It is clear that years after her debut in The Legend of Spyro reboot, Spyro fans still adore Cynder; the character having left a major lasting impression on the franchise despite appearing in three games at first. That adoration and popularity is what lead her into becoming a playable character in the Skylanders franchise, and later a side character in the Skylanders Academy Netflix series.

Speculations on whether or not Cynder would appear in the games after the Spyro Reignited Trilogy are still ongoing. Who knows when we'll see our loveable female dragon again in a new Spyro title. While we wait for that day, the creativity of Spyro fans are limitless and it still fills me with joy seeing fans share their interpretations on Cynder and what her role in the current universe would be.

A huge shoutout to the fans I've reached out for this interview! It was interesting and exciting to hear your passion behind the fan Cynders you designed. Thank you for your time in answering my questions! This was fun to put together. ^^
"Looks like I got some things to do!"

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#2
This is so cool. Thank you for reaching out to me! ^.^
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