Ever since Crash returned, things were becoming tenser within the team. It was obvious that the young bandicoot and the male dragon were not in good terms, and that grudge was beginning to unease the others around them. It was a good thing that the two didn’t get paired up for the two-man team worlds in this chamber.
After the six young heroes silently departed, Polar and Rex-but mostly the first one-could only hope everything would be solve as peaceful as possible. Sure, the two wanted to tag along with their friends. However, Rayman suggested them to stay in case Aku Aku, or even Coco, would show up while they were gone. A difficult request, but understandable nonetheless.
A few minutes later, and they were already inside the round shaped entrance room of their area. Once they arrived, the first one of the two-that appeared before the other- made the first step out of the chamber, the second one quickly followed him; not wanting to disturb his friend more than he already was.
As he tailed his companion, the youth couldn’t help but to feel the resemblance between his teammate and the other one of his same group of friends. It was like the two were the same entity, yet so different both psychically and mentally. Nonetheless, each shared that fierce will to fulfill their goals and protect the defenseless and the needed no matter the costs.
“It’s better to have them working together than fighting” whispered Rayman thoughtfully while devising a plan to end Crash’s and Spyros’ quarrel for the sake of everyone.
“Huh? You said something Rayman?” asked the young bandicoot puzzled since he assumed his blond friend was talking to him.
“What? Oh, nothing! Just…looking around! Hey, did you notice that there’s less snow than before?” commented Rayman amazed, faking poorly his excitement for the environment just to avoid the whole Spyro issue.
“Oh yeah, you’re right…” replied Crash faintly happy as he gazed his surroundings. It was true though. The sky was becoming less cloudy than when they started their adventure, which meant that N. Brio really gave up with the entire weather messing fiasco to focus on the laser beam.
By this point, Rayman felt sorry for his bandicoot friend. Crash was probably a mixture of remorse, confusion and sadness combined, all because of Cortex’s lies; yet he was still pushing forward for the sake of his world, his sister and friends that live in it (something that the blond could relate to).
“Crash, listen…” began Rayman as he called the attention of the young bandicoot, without noticing that his rabbid pet-which was picking its ear numbly-suddenly stopped after it heard something within the snowy woods.
“No way! I’m not going to apologize to that jerk!” exclaimed Crash angry.
“Emm…those weren’t my exact words…” replied the blond, sweatdropping, as he scratched his cheek embarrassed.
“Truce, apology, whatever! You’re not going to make me speak to him!” he retorted childish while adverting his gaze from Rayman.
“I know tha-that is hard for you!” replied the blond with difficulty as he fought with his scared rabbid that was nervously pestering him.
“Bu-but if you do-don’t solve this so-soon! For the lums love, what’s gotten into you now!” he scolded angrily at his pet while grabbing it by its ears; that way he could keep it a few centimeters away from him.
At that moment, both Crash and Rayman heard and felt the ground shaking near them; as if something larger was coming towards them at a fast pace.
“Crash, duck!” ordered him the blond quickly after he caught the glimpse of a big mass charging at the two.
Almost immediately, the young bandicoot did what he was told. He swiftly bended his knees and covered his head with both hands; followed by Rayman, who also did the same-with the exception that he used his arms to embrace his rabbid on his body to protect it-.
Luckily for all three, the large mass jumped above them before making contact, and then landed perfectly in front of our heroes. However, despite the satisfaction of not being crushed, the terrifying sight of the creature was enough to shock Crash and Rayman to death.
It was something the two had never seen in their lives, a large sized bipedal monster with a huge mouth and large pointed fangs. And as if that wasn’t already worse, the rider of that creature was someone that wasn’t very fond to either the bandicoot or the blond.
“Hi there, guys! Ready for round two?” said Fake Crash wickedly sarcastic, as he now had a very perverse plan to get rid of the two people that made him angry so far.
Meanwhile, in a place far from theirs (specifically, upriver), Klonoa and Parappa were carefully exploring the area as they looked for the power crystal and any gem along the way.
“Yo’, K, did ya’ find something?” asked the young rapper as he looked intensively at the bottom of the river in case the crystal or the gem were deep inside the water.
“Mmmm…” mused the black haired boy thoughtfully while gazing forward up the river. There were still few meters for they to explore before reaching the exit, yet Klonoa couldn’t see the power crystal on the way.
“Nope, nothing” answered the male cat disappointed.
well this is great. Don’t know about ya’ K, but I’m not planning to return with my hands empty” pointed out Parappa a little worried and quickly resumed his search in the water.
“Tell me about it. I’ve never seen Spyro that angry before” commented Klonoa a bit nervous while checking the surroundings a second time.
“Did ya’ see Crash too? I was pretty sure he was going to smack him if not for R!” he added agitated after he turned at his friend.
“Heh, yeah…” he murmured concerned about the issue. “Anyway Parappa, we should focus in finding the crystal at least. We can look for the gems later”.
“Roger that!” replied the rapper with a hand salute and continued gazing diligently the depths of the river through his reflection. Out of nowhere, his mirror image in the water stuck its tongue at him.
“What the?!” exclaimed Parappa perplexed by the unusual situation.
“What? You found something?” asked Klonoa curious as he approached him.
“You’re not going to believe me K! But my reflection just made fun of me!” said the male dog scared while pointing his panicky-but normal-mirror image with his finger.
Obviously, Klonoa frowned at Parappa’s terrible excuse for a joke since both his reflection and his friend’s were perfectly regular and not that perplexing.
“Har-har, very funny Parappa…” replied the black haired boy unamused as he walked away.
“Bu-but it’s true! See, it’s doing it again!” continued the young rapper with his nervous rambling speech while pointing his lively-but mocking-reflection.
“Just so you know, you’re winning points for weirdness not scariness” pointed out Klonoa as serious as possible in order to show the little importance he was giving to the subject at hand.
“I swear if ya’ just turn around, ya’ll see I’m not teasing ya’!” retorted Parappa comically exasperated, hoping that that would be enough to call his friend’s attention. Nonetheless, that wouldn’t be necessary in the end.
All of sudden, the young rapper’s reflection emerged from the water swiftly; surprising the two youths in the process. Still, what shocked them more was what was posing as Parappa’s image in the water.
Its colorful appearance didn’t seem threatening at all, nor how graciously it floated or bowed politely in front of the two youths. However, that was from Parappa’s perspective. Only Klonoa knew how dangerous and devious could be the man behind the smiley white mask.
“Greetings, my dear friend! And hello Klonoa! It has been long, right? Wehehe!” laughed wickedly the mysterious clown.
“Joka?! But how?!” stuttered the black haired boy shocked by his enemy’s appearance in Crash’s world.
“It’s not just him ya’ should worry about!” stated another evil person from behind the two young heroes.
“You!” said Parappa angry once he saw who it was.
The person was no other than his infamous dark doppelganger again, the one that caused so much trouble to him and his friends, Rayman and Croc, the day before. It also didn’t help that Dark Parappa was taunting his original self to fight against him; something the dark impersonator easily achieved after taking advantage of Parappa’s anger.
With two teams already engaged in battle, it was only matter of time for the remaining one to face the same fate. Because of that, it was necessary for them to make sure that, at least, Spyro were still in one piece for their plan.
“Come on Cuddles! Look for that troublesome mage!” said a girl disguised as a giant pumpkin-headed scarecrow.
Following her orders, a big hideous gray dog soon came into the scene and began to sniff the wet floors from the sewers in order to track down Spyro’s essence.
“While he’s at it, let me double check the ropes and gears. We surely don’t want anything goes wrong if we’re forced to fight him” stated a boy’s voice (from the same pumpkin-headed scarecrow outfit) as the giant being knelt with one leg.
Right afterwards, the long brown coat that covered the scarecrow’s body fell to the floor by magic; revealing what could be described as a truly admirable and brilliant piece of woodcraft.
From head to toes, the solid wooden frame worked perfectly as the scarecrow’s skeleton within the outfit parameters. But of course, a large construction like that needed a perfect set of metal gears to maintain all wooden limbs firmly together.
Movement also didn’t seemed to be a problem. Thick ropes stretched from the upper and lower limbs to the center of the body, where an empty space could be seen. However, said gap at the scarecrow’s chest level wasn’t a design error; but rather the seat the twin puppeteers shared to manipulate the ropes and make their creation move like a real living being.
“Can’t argue with that, dear brother” stated a dark skinned girl with blue eyes and long curly gray hair after jumping from her twin brother’s shoulders.
“Just look at this place, so revolting I can’t even stand it!” complained the female sibling annoyed while looking with disgust the dripping pipes and water ponds around.
“Completely agree with you, dear sister” replied the blue eyed, dark skinned boy with shorter curly gray hair as he checked the rope’s state within his gloved fingers. Once done, he turned around to face her.
“Which is why the faster we find him, the better” he added cleverly while taking off his dark gloves.
“You don’t think the creepy old couple got rid of him already, do you?” asked his twin sister in disbelief as she took off her dark gloves as well.
“They better haven’t. You heard that old clock man, he wants those idiots alive, and that includes Spyro; who is who we’re after, right?” commented the boy maliciously while stretching politely his right arm to his twin sister.
She giggled flattered by his twin brother’s offer, but still took his hand and let him twirled her three times before catching her graciously in mid-air with one hand.
“And when we have him, not only we’ll get our castle back. But we will also have Artisans
for ourselves” stated the girl perversely, and quickly took the lead in their little children dance game.
“Run and hide little mages for the Toasty brothers: Mia, and Lia!
will take the things you love. Hahaha!” chanted the evil twins as they twirled playfully while holding hands.
Unaware of the threats stepping on Spyro’s shadow silently, both he and Croc were still exploring the sewers area from the third warp room. They had already found the power crystal, yet the young dragon wanted to make sure no gem would be left behind. The less he wanted was that that Dr. Brio would get his hands on it first
. Nonetheless, that was the least the crocodile boy was worried about.
In his mind, Croc just wanted to return to the main chamber where he thought the others were. Step after step, he couldn’t help but to feel that Spyro became more stubborn per minute. Sure, before this whole crystal search started, the male dragon was still focused in finding the gems from his homeworld. But still, at that time, even he knew the limits and when to call it a day. However, now it seemed a completely different story.
“Hey Croc, everything ok back there?” asked Spyro slightly worried while looking Croc over his right shoulder.
“O-oh! Yeah, I’m alright!” answered the crocodile boy quickly, hoping to ease the little worry his friend had.
When he received a small nod from his friend, Croc sighed relieved. What could he do? Trying to get on Spyro’s bad side? He wasn’t even the type of person that would argue with others. Instead, he always preferred to go with the flow and act when needed.
“Sniff…sniff, sniff, sniff” sniffed Croc curiously. Not because he wanted to, but because his nose caught a peculiar smelly essence in the air that suddenly triggered the boy’s mind.
“Spyro, wait!” cried Croc shocked as he grabbed his friend’s arm and then pulled him backwards in a nick of time.
Out of nowhere, the ceiling above them suddenly crumbled and fell to the floor loudly; luckily, neither of the two got injured thanks to Croc’s quick reflexes. Still, that was the least they should be worried about since the ceiling didn’t give away by itself. Instead, it was purposely caused by someone very large, who turned the ceiling into mere rubble with his fists.
“Tch…” muttered displeased the green bearded viking after noticing he failed to crush his enemies.
“Baron Dante!” exclaimed Croc angry the moment he saw him. Now he could properly say he wasn’t imagining things. That singular stench he smelled could only belong to that terrible and despicable man.
“Well, there goes our silent approach” stated the stern old queen as she approached the viking.
“Sorceress!” shouted Spyro fiercely while lighting his hands on fire. He already knew her very well and he knew how terrifying she could get when someone dared to interfere with her gruesome plans.
“We meet again, you meddling boy” said the queen discontented at Spyro’s presence.
“Can’t say I’m happy to see you either, what are you doing here anyway?” he asked boldly.
“Hmph! I can go wherever I please! You’re in no position to boss me around!” reaffirmed her authority the Sorceress.
“Baron Dante! Where are the king and the others? What did you do to them!” cried Croc angry as he questioned his enemy.
“Hehehe, I thought I told you back on the islands. I sent them to a place where you’ll never find them again!” replied the viking maliciously.
“How could you!” he answered now mad.
“At least we should be thankful that you spared us your search. Now we can settle this” said Spyro, ready to fight; followed quickly by Croc.
“Huhuhu, I wonder if you be able to do that” whispered the Sorceress mischievously as her wand emitted a strange dark glitter.
“No matter what spell you cast, I will deflect it back at you” he answered.
“Aren’t you forgetting about someone
” stated that raspy voice Spyro knew very well.
Almost immediately, the young dragon’s eyes widened and quickly looked at the bottom of the room, where the short man under the name of Ripto was looking at him intently as if he was taunting to come.
“Ripto…” muttered Spyro resentful while walking towards him.
“S-Spyro?” stuttered Croc confused after looking his friend moving numbly to a pipeline far from everybody.
“Wh-where are you going?!” he added hastily as he tried to stop him like last time. Sadly, it didn’t go as he wanted to; and the boy went flying violently to a pipeline after receiving a fierce strike from Baron Dante.
“Don’t get distracted! I’m your opponent here!” exclaimed the vicious viking.
At that moment, an overwhelmed Spyro reached to where the man was; leaving just a few inches between he and him.
“Is it really you?” Spyro questioned the little man bitterly.
“In flesh and blood” replied Ripto proudly.
“Impossible! I saw you fell into that pool of lava!
” he quickly retorted him.
“Well, if that’s correct, how do you explain I’m here? Maybe you didn’t make sure I was all dead. Just like you and your friends failed to notice that the first time!
” stated the hideous man arrogantly.
“Then I’ll just vanish your existence forever!” cried Spyro with his ignited fists as he struck Ripto, only to fail and ending up destroying the pipeline behind his enemy.
“What?! How did he?!” exclaimed the young dragon shocked, despite being wet, after the man disappeared in a blink of an eye.
“What’s wrong Spyro? Tired already?” taunted him Ripto devilish.
“Tsk!” he gritted his teeth and resumed his rampage.
Unbeknownst to him however, from Croc’s perspective, it seemed that Spyro was fighting against himself more than with an invisible being; which was bad since the young dragon was unconsciously hurting himself each time he attacked a wall or, mistakenly, destroyed a steam pipeline with his fire.
“Spyro, stop!” cried an injured Croc from afar, worried of the constant damage his friend was causing himself in his rage.
” roared a strong wind current created by Baron Dante that left some scars on Croc’s arms.
“Grghghg…¡gahhh!” cried the crocodile boy after being blown away by his enemy hurricane.
“Hahaha! Face it! I’m stronger than you now!” stated Ripto victorious.
“Shut up! I’m not done yet!” cried Spyro furious as he used his hands to choke what he perceived as Ripto. Sadly, the young man ended up snatching an eel that shocked him the moment he pulled it out of the water.
“That’s it Spyro, let your anger and hate consume you” whispered the Sorceress malicious pleased from afar while casting her illusion on the male dragon.
“Grahahaha! How does it feel, Croc? To be at the palm of my hands” said Baron Dante as he squeezed the green haired boy within his hands.
“Ahhhh!” screamed Croc in pain as he struggled to escape from the viking’s strong grip.
“Aargghhh…S-Spyro?!” he muttered hardly while seeing his friend losing control of all his senses and reality in the middle of his destruction.
Clearly, Spyro fell under the influence of the queen’s spell and now he couldn’t snap out of it. Because of that, Croc couldn’t focus in his battle with Baron Dante. What if Spyro ended severely injured in his recklessness or worse? No, first he needed to save his friend and then defeat Dante.
“Gughhh...” he struggled with difficulty. But at the end, he managed to slip his right arm from Baron Dante’s gauntlet. Subsequently, Croc grabbed a colorful jelly from his backpack and quickly threw it at his enemy’s eyes.
“Grhrg! You brat!” cursed Baron Dante now blinded and defenseless, opportunity that the boy took to use his trusty green whip to tie his enemy’s legs and make him fall on the floor.
Once he was down, Croc rushed to where Spyro was. Of course, it was an impulsive reaction from his part. But the less he wanted was to mess things up. Magic wasn’t his strongest. Still, he knew it could backfire if one wasn’t careful enough; so no taking or destroying the queen’s wand.
“Spyro, wake up! You’re being controlled!” cried Croc as he tugged his friend’s purple shirt desperately. A terrible approach
When Spyro turned his angry gaze to the person tugging him, his blurry vision distorted even more. To the point in which, instead of seeing Croc, he was looking at Ripto face to face.
“Boo” whispered the evil little man, mocking Spyro even more.
“Now I got you!” stated the male dragon as he punched Croc in the face, thinking it was Ripto. Then, he swiftly grabbed the boy by the collar of his lime green shirt and kept him suspended in the air.
“You took something precious of Elora
. Because of you she won’t be the same any longer!” Spyro scolded his already terrified friend as he prepared to roast him with his fire breath.
“Hey! Wait there you!” tried to intervene Baron Dante after seeing where this was going.
“Hold it darling, I want to see how far he can get” said the Sorceress diabolically, stopping his viking friend in his tracks.
“Well, you can stop now. Croc is mine to finish” he replied upset as he looked his prey pointlessly fighting against the dragon’s grip.
, ple-please Spyro, stop…” sobbed Croc distressed, begging from the bottom of his heart the end of this rampage.
Surprisingly, something about that statement-and the way it was being said-made Spyro falter a little, and instead of scorching his friend to death, he began to listen to him closely while dispelling the fog in his mind.
“Please, don’t let your anger controls you, you’re better than this” Croc continued while Spyro just listened patiently, and both the Sorceress and Baron Dante just waited for the outcome.
, I know that you might be mad and worried about what’s happening; even afraid someone could get hurt if it hangs too much with you. That’s why you try to stay away from us and behave the way you do. But you don’t have to be alone anymore. You don’t have to keep everything to yourself. You can trust us and forgive yourself for your mistakes” said Croc with a warm smile, expressing everything his heart was telling him.Forgive
, that was a word Spyro didn’t listened since too longFlashbackIt’s ok Spyro, really…
No, it’s not! How can you say that!
What happened to your dreams and goals?! All the things you wanted to do after I defeated Ripto?!
I can still achieve them. Just not how I imagined to
And there’s the problem! Damn it…if only Ember, Flame or I would have been more cautious; we would have stopped him before he could have reach Winter Tundra
Hehe, you’re such a generous boy Spyro, in all honesty. Which is why, (holding his hands) you have to promise me to never forget that altruistic spirit of yours; no matter the obstacles or enemies you might encounter
Forgive yourself Spyro, do it for meEnd of the flashback
Suddenly, Spyro’s legs faltered and soon fell to the floor; leaving the expressionless young dragon in a kneeling position. Then, right afterwards, he slowly cuddled above the floor and let his sadness do the rest.
“Sob, sob, sob
, I...I...I! I’m sorry Elora!
Everything is my fault! Because of me you won’t be able to use your legs again!” cried Spyro like a defenseless child, cuddling more and more while Croc tenderly petted him in the head to ease him.
“Tch, nonsense” whispered Baron Dante annoyed as he lifted his index finger. “Lyn Fingeren
” (lit. Lightning finger
), he stated before creating a wicked bolt that struck the two youths.
“Yahhhh!” screamed Spyro and Croc in pain for a few seconds. Then, the two passed out (one above the other).
“Sorry, I grew tired of waiting” admitted the viking nonchalant.
“Don’t worry. The spell was broken afterall” explained the Sorceress seriously.
“That boy’s pure heart and innocent feelings were enough to lift the curse I casted on Spyro; now that he’s free from his inner hate, I can no longer deceive him with my illusions” she added while looking-displeased-Croc’s body on top of Spyro’s.
“That’s a shame” replied Baron Dante, pretending to be bothered by that fact.
“Not at all, darling. In fact, I’m starting to get a little curious about what Tropy is hiding under that temple” stated the Sorceress maliciously as she gaze that dark glitter inside her wand. Whatever dark power was hidden there, it really helped her to enhance her magic abilities.
Struck by the same terrible fate, our young heroes are in danger! What's going to happen to them? Will Croc and Spyro survive? And what about the Toasty twins? Will they achieve their dastardly purposes? Find it out in the next episode