(A/N: Drabbles/short stories beta-read by Riverstyxx. Further comments on how this fic works at the end.)
Legends Loop 1.1:
Spyro wasn't sure how it had happened. Maybe with his last breath before he had been dragged off to Ancestors-knew-where, Malefor had cursed him as a last act of vengeance. All Spyro knew was that, from the moment he'd left the swamp to shortly after he had repaired the world, he was reliving over and over again the multitude of trials he had endured during the struggle against the Dark Master.
How many times now had it been? Three. Of that, he was certain.
Though at first he had almost lost his will at the thought of having to relive these hardships over and over again, he had managed to press on in the hope that, sooner or later, this curse would wear off. Thanks to keeping his memories, things were a bit easier due to already being well-trained in the four primary elements, and he managed to get things done moderately quicker than he had on his first 'adventure'.
However, despite the new free time he had, he had yet to find a way out.
"Geez, no matter how many times we end up here, it gets no less freaky."
Spyro didn't respond to his adopted brother as he hopped onto another floating platform, his determined expression unchanging. Sparx seemed to be somewhat affected by this curse he was under, in that occasionally he would keep his memories of what was happening in the 'loops'. Out of the three 'loops' he had gone through so far, Sparx had been 'awake' for two of them.
Part of Spyro was somewhat grateful for the fact that Sparx didn't always remember. Even though having someone with him who knew what was happening helped him keep his sanity, at least Sparx wouldn't have to endure as much as he would.
Sparx flew in front of him. Despite his usual snarky and cowardice nature, there was an expression of concern on his face. "You alright, bro?"
Spyro still didn't say anything. He knew exactly why Sparx had asked him that, and quickly pushed it to the back of his mind. This whole experience had been maddening, yet somehow he had managed to keep a hold on himself. Fighting Gaul, the Destroyer, Malefor, and even restoring the world several times now, he had yet to break down.
However, jumping down onto the final platform, Spyro shivered. This was always the hardest part of each loop for him.
"Persistent little fellow, aren't you? No mercy this time."
Spyro narrowed his eyes as an adult black dragoness flew down in front of him. Despite how many times he had gone through this loop, seeing Cynder back in her adult form, when she was under the control of Malefor, had always felt like a massive punch in the gut. The first time he had looped, he'd had to fight back tears as he forced himself to fight her.
His only solace was the fact that, unlike Sparx, Cynder had yet to be 'awake' during one of these loops. At least he didn't have to worry about her being consciously aware while going through these nightmares again. As the dark dragoness went on about the return of the Dark Master, only one thought crossed Spyro's mind.
'Don't worry, Cynder... I promise you, I'll figure a way out of this. We'll have the peace we so rightfully deserve. Until then... Please, just don't wake up...'
Classic Loop 1.1:
Spyro wasn't exactly sure how it had happened. Somehow, it was like someone kept hitting the rewind button on his life. One day, not so long ago, he had just beaten the Sorcerer and was relaxing on Dragon Shores. The next, he was reliving his adventures throughout his life over and over again. At first it didn't seem so bad, getting to redo his most awesome moments over again.
But now, as he walked along the path to that dreaded task for one of the orbs, he was starting to get increasingly annoyed.
"Leeeeeets doooo the tiiiiiiime warp agaaaaaaaaaain!" Sparx sang, flying by Spyro's side as he hummed to himself.
"You're not helping, Sparx."
"C'mon, Spyro! I'm just trying to lighten the mood a little."
Spyro shook his head. Thanks to Sparx's special connection with him, while everyone else had lost their memories throughout each 'loop', as Spyro called them, Sparx was one of the few who had managed to keep them. As Spyro watched his best friend sing to himself, he was still wondering if that was a good or a bad thing.
With a sigh, he walked over to the super spring power-up. Walking through it and landing on the platform above, Spyro came face to face with the Breeze Builder he dreaded seeing each loop.
"Spyro! Thank goodness you're here! The Land Blubbers—"
Spyro tuned Fisher out. He had heard this speech more times than he would have liked. 'The Land Blubbers are jerks, hid my gears, I'm too lazy to get them, please help!'
Spyro sighed. Despite the many times he had done this, he still hadn't gotten the hang of it. He growled. 'If I have to hear 'Trouble with the trolley, eh?' one more freaking time...'
"So, Spyro! Will you please help me?"
Spyro snapped back to reality as Fisher finished. Spyro shot the Breeze Builder a glare, an orb held in his hands...wings...whatever. That was the ransom for this mission.
After the second loop of having to go through this infuriating task, Spyro had rage-quit and hoped that missing one of the orbs wouldn't matter too much. Unfortunately, as Spyro soon learned, they were the only way to Dragon Shores and back to the Artisan Realm, which meant he didn't have much choice in the matter.
Spyro glanced at Fisher's eyes, wide and pleading. In the back of his mind, he somehow knew that Fisher knew just how horrific this task was, and that was why he didn't want to do it. Spyro sighed. What exactly was he supposed to do, though? He couldn't just forcefully take the orb from him.
A blast of fire bellowed out as Fisher went sailing out of a nearby window and into a pool of water. Spyro held onto the orb firmly as he turned to head back down to the platform below. Sparx flew in front of him, giving him a stern glare.
"Geez. Harsh, much?"
"Sparx, do you have any idea how hard this thing is? I've had to do this trolley thing three times now because of this time warp stuff. Not counting the times I've messed up. Once we figure out what's going on and fix it, then I'll do this again for the final time. Until then, I refuse to do this nightmare anymore!"
Classic Loop 1.2:
Sparx had awakened with a yawn. Bright day in the Artisan world? Check. News crew interviewing some elders about the Dragon Realms? Check. Giant green bolts from the sky about to turn them into stone in three, two, one...
Yep. They had looped again.
Sparx stretched as he watched the dragons fly around in terror. After the fifth time, it had kind of lost the impact it had originally had. As the last dragon in sight turned to stone, Sparx rolled his eyes.
"Well, I'm pretty sure we know what to do at this point."
"Got that right! Gnasty Gnorc is going down!"
Sparx paused at the voice before raising an eyebrow. Turning around, his eyes went wide at the sight in front of him. Where Spyro normally was supposed to be now stood a red dragon, almost identical to Spyro in body structure outside of the more curved snout. Sparx reeled back a bit in surprise.
"W-wha!? Who are you!?"
The red dragon seemed hurt by Sparx' question as he gave him an annoyed glance. "What's wrong, Sparx? Don't you remember your best bud Flame?"
Sparx was silent for a few seconds. Flame... Wasn't he that dragon Spyro had rescued from Gnasty when Red attacked? The heck was he doing there? Where was Spyro?
Before Sparx could ask any questions, though, Flame had already darted off towards the first dragon statue. As the dragon was freed from his stone prison, Flame smirked.
"Where's Gnasty Gnorc? His butt is begging to be flame broiled!"
As Flame and 'that first dragon', as Spyro and he had taken to calling him, started to talk, Sparx scratched his head.
"Well... This...is new," he muttered. Despite the odd circumstances, Sparx was sure of one thing: this was going to be one interesting loop.
Spyro sighed as he laid in his bed... Or rather, his bed in this loop, anyway. At first it had seemed odd, and part of him had been hopeful these loops had finally broken, but it quickly became apparent that was not the case. Rather, it seemed like these loops weren't always going to be the same thing over and over, a fact that he had realized early on in the morning when he'd woken up in the home of a certain other dragon.
A door creaked and the sound of falling water was heard, followed by a loud clank.
Several footsteps were heard as the door to 'his room' swung open. In the door frame, a wet pink dragoness stood. Spyro stared bemusedly at his 'sister' as the dragoness picked the bucket up off her head and glared at him.
When Spyro had realized he was going to have to live with Ember in this loop, at first he had panicked. But once he had realized that he was supposedly her brother, and wasn't going to be performing the actions that had caused her to fall head-over-heels for him, he had calmed down considerably.
Ember growled before heading off to get a towel. Spyro laughed as he laid back in 'his' bed. After going through his adventures five times, counting when he had originally done them, a break from them sounded pretty good about now...
Though, he pitied whoever Ember's actual brother was when he got to that trolley.
Legends Loop 1.2:
Spyro sighed as he steadied his nerves. Despite being the fifth time he had done this, standing atop the Well of Souls still intimidated him greatly. The Night of Eternal Darkness was upon them...again. And Gaul was waiting for him down below.
"Freaky. No matter how many times we visit this place, it still gives me the creeps," Sparx said, shivering a bit as he floated close to his brother.
"At least you've only had to redo it three times so far," Spyro said with a sigh.
Spyro shook his head, hunching down as he prepared to jump. Before he did, however, Sparx quickly flew in front of his face. "Woah, hold on a second, bro! I just thought of something!"
Spyro was surprised by Sparx's sudden actions, and he caught himself before he jumped. Narrowing his eyes in slight annoyance, knowing that they didn't have much time before Malefor escaped, Spyro glanced at Sparx.
"What is it, Sparx?" he asked, a little irritably.
Sparx crossed his arms, apparently annoyed by Spyro's annoyance. "Well, you know how we usually fly down there, Gaul zaps you with that staff and causes you to lose your powers, then we all get trapped in a giant time popsicle?"
"Why do you let him do that?"
That question caught Spyro off guard, and he raised an eyebrow at his brother. "Huh?"
"You heard me," Sparx said, floating closer towards Spyro. "Why do you let him do that? I mean, you know it's coming, so why do you let him take away your powers? Wouldn't it be easier to smash the staff before he does it, so you don't have to spend five hours smacking away at him with your attacks?"
Spyro paused as he thought about Sparx's logic. It made sense. Fighting Gaul without his powers had always been a pain, no matter how many times he had done it. In honesty...Spyro had never thought about it before. Throughout the five loops he'd done so far, he had always followed them from memory so he didn't cause any major alterations in case the loops broke.
However, if he did make sure Gaul didn't steal his powers, how much would actually change? Even if he wasn't thrown into the Convexity beam and became Dark Spyro, Malefor was still supposed to escape on this night, and he would still have to use his Dragon Time to save Sparx, Cynder, and himself...
A determined look appeared on Spyro's face. It was time for some science.
"Yeah, yeah. Night of Eternal Darkness, everything's hopeless, blah blah, get to the zapping!"
Gaul paused, but quickly growled at Sparx interrupting him. Despite the seriousness of the situation, having done this five times already (and seeing the confused look on Cynder's face), Spyro couldn't suppress a chuckle. This caused Gaul to become more irritated. As he reached for that damn staff that had caused Spyro so many problems before, Spyro quickly returned to the situation at hand.
Just as Gaul went to raise it above his head, a shard of ice struck the green crystal atop it, shattering it and causing the King of Apes to drop the staff. Gaul growled as he shook his throbbing hand. He glared at Spyro, who had a smug look upon his face.
"Clever, dragon. Very clever," Gaul said before he threw his arms back and three metal blades shot out atop each his hands.
Spyro jumped back as Gaul shot a green beam out of the emerald he had in place of his eye. Rolling out of the way as Gaul charged in a spinning tornado of blades, Spyro shot a ball of fire at him.
It seemed that, since he'd managed to keep his powers for this fight, Gaul had no reason to hold back against him. Regardless, at least this hopefully meant that the fight would go by much quicker. And who knows, maybe he wouldn't have to deal with that pesky super-powered evil side this time around.
Classic Loop 1.3:
Spyro was ecstatic as he sat outside the portal to Gnasty's Lair. This was the seventh loop, and he had learned something rather interesting in the previous one.
You see, each dragon had his own personal 'pocket space' they kept their mounds of gems in so they didn't have to lug giant bags around. At first, Spyro hadn't noticed anything too out of the ordinary the first couple of loops, but by the sixth loop he had noticed his gem horde had became so big that he couldn't possibly fit anymore into it if he tried. It seemed that Sparx and himself weren't the only things that carried over each loop.
"This is going to be freaking awesome!" Sparx exclaimed, looking at Spyro with wide, excited eyes.
Spyro smirked. Though he hadn't liked the idea of having to forcefully get rid of his gems to make room for this, he knew in the end it would be so worth it. With a deep breath to calm himself, Spyro jumped through the portal.
Landing into the all too familiar arena, Spyro looked up to see Gnasty's ugly mug. Not wasting a second, Spyro quickly went ahead with what he was planning.
"So, dragon! You've finally made it! I may have made the mistake of letting you escape under my radar, but no matter, I will finish you off here an—"
Gnasty was interrupted when he was smacked in the face by a miniature missile. "Ow! Wha—what the—?"
"Ugh! Hey, qu—!"
Sparx was laughing his butt off as Spyro kept pulling the Professor's miniature missiles out of his pocket space. He was going to have to remember to thank the Professor when he met him in this loop.
Putting another one in his mouth and lighting the fuse, Spyro shot it at Gnasty. The blast struck the Gnorc in the face again, and he twirled around for a few seconds as his eyes rolled in his head. Swearing he heard birds chirping, Gnasty slipped into unconsciousness and collapsed.
Spyro fell to the ground as he roared with laughter, rolling around for a few seconds before he looked up at Sparx. The dragonfly looked at him with a bemused expression. "Well, that made the battle certainly easier. Wonder how else we can cheap out these battles?"
Spyro picked himself up, looking at Sparx with a grin. "I have a few ideas, but let's not use the miniature missiles again. That made the battle go by way too quickly."
With one final laugh, Spyro used his atlas book to leave the realm. Things were quiet for a few seconds before a thief holding a key popped out from behind a door.
Legends Loop 1.3:
Spyro's body was tense as he stood outside the gates to the Dark Master's lair. Despite being the tenth time he was about to do this, it made it no less easy, nor did it make the battle with him any easier. He looked back to Cynder; she was just as tense. At least she still had yet to realize that they were trapped in this time warp, so she didn't have to experience the same events over and over.
The same could not be said for Sparx. He had been awake for six of these ten loops now, and was actually starting to become quite bold now that he knew what to expect. He'd actually wanted to come along to Malefor's lair to see the battle go on in person for a change, a chance Spyro was not yet willing to take.
Regardless, he got back to the task at hand. Quickly handling the last of Malefor's minions, he knew it was time. Time to fight this damned dragon once again, restore the world...and be forced to go through it all over again.
Taking a deep breath, he looked back at Cynder. She was always shaking badly at this part, and it made him frown to see her so scared. Without even thinking, he leant forward and nuzzled her cheek, the action surprising her greatly.
"U-uh, th-thanks Spyro. I-I don't think this is the appropriate time for that, though."
Spyro smiled as Cynder looked away, a blush on her cheeks. Spyro had attempted to see if he could get together with her in this loop before he had to repair the world, but so far all of his advances had only caused her to quickly change the subject as a luminous blush appeared on her cheeks. Though it was a bit sad that he wouldn't get to be with her again until these loops were over, it was rather cute to see the normally confident dragoness so flustered.
Still, he knew her words were true. Taking another deep breath, Spyro and Cynder opened the giant door. As they slowly opened, a puff of smoke escaped Spyro's nostrils.
'Okay... Let's get this over with.'
Had it not been for Cynder walking in cautiously every time so far, Spyro would have charged in and seen if he could shut Malefor up before he attempted to turn Cynder on him. Even though he knew she would be alright shortly after, it hurt him every time.
As they walked in, the lights in the room lit up...and Spyro's jaw promptly dropped as his eyes went wide.
"So, you've finally made it!" a surprisingly irritating voice said, much higher and scratchier than anything Malefor had ever sounded like. "Well, you are too late! The Destroyer is on his way here as we speak! The world is doomed! Mwahahahaha!"
Cynder hunched down, growling as she glared at the monster who had tormented her in her early years. Spyro still had his jaw dropped as he struggled to come up with any words for the bizarre sight in front of him.
Where there was normally supposed to be giant sadistic purple dragon, there now stood a short orange...thing with a single horn on its head. The figure scoffed as it threw its robe back and pointed its rod at the two dragons.
"Well, then, dragons! If you honestly think you can stop me, Ripto, the Dark Master, then go ahead and try! You're both doomed either way! Mwahahahahaaaa!"
Spyro had no words. In all these loops, this had to be the most bizarre one yet.
'Now I'm beginning to regret not letting Sparx come with me... He's never going to believe this...'
(A/N: And there we have it. The beginning of a mini side project I plan on doing between Scattered Embers and The Holiday Chronicles.
This series is based off a popular new trend going around the Fanfiction scene started by the FF.N user Innortal. Basically, a collection of drabbles/one-shots, as the popular (and lengthy) explanation goes...
Nobody knows how the loops happened.
They tend involve a complete 'reset' of the series, with only the 'loopers' keeping their memories in between loops. One, or in rare cases, several loopers are called "Anchors" (In this case, the Anchors in this fic/one-shot collection are 'Classic' Spyro and 'Classic' Sparx in the 'classic' world, and 'Legend' Spyro in the 'legend' world), which means they are the first ones to loop and will always retain their memories from every loop.
Occasionally, people close to the Anchors will also keep their memories between loops, as with the case with 'Legend' Sparx. Generally, this only happens rarely at first, but quickly becomes more common as the loops go on.
The resets aren't always exact replicas, though. Sometimes, the loop's history will differ greatly from what happened in canon, as with the case with Flame replacing Spyro as the protagonist for a loop. (And, depending on who you ask, Flame and Ember being siblings. Personally, I tend to view them as brother and sister. Sue me for being different. /shot)
On rare occasions, "Cross-Over" or "Fusion" loops can happen. These can involve the home loopers having a guest along for the ride, or another character replacing a canon character. (As is the case in Legends Loop 1.3)
I should note: I do have some cross-over loops with other series planned, but regardless I'm going to keep this in the main section because the focus will almost always be Spyro. I've seen other people do that with their loop fics, so unless I get a note from an FF.N admin telling me to change the category, I don't plan on changing that stance anytime soon.
Vacation Loops are where the Anchor (or other loopers) decide to say 'screw it' and let off steam by doing whatever crazy stuff comes to mind. Generally, there's little or no attempt to maintain the original timeline.
Loop duration is variable, and generally associated with the series in question. For the Spyro loops, for Classic Spyro it's shortly after he's beaten the Sorcerer from Shadow Legacy, and for Legends Spyro it's about an hour after he repairs the world after the events of 'Dawn of the Dragon'... Or, of course, until either of them die. Whichever comes first.
When it comes to the 'original five loopers', that honor goes to Ranma Saotome, Lina Inverse, Shinji Ikari, Harry Potter, and Naruto Uzumaki. I only really know two of those five, but I felt like I should bring this up because if any of themdoappear in a cross-over loop, they'll be vastly different from how they are in canon due to being 'veterans', so to speak.
Generally, more experienced loopers tend to be rather stir crazy at this point. Usually, hilarity ensues pretty quickly.
... And that's pretty much 'The Infinite Loops' in a nut-shell. When I saw this, I knew I had to do this with Spyro. Granted, TLoS will likely be much more serious in tone for several loops until the characters get used to it, but that also allows me to explore the more 'fridge horror' aspects of such a plot in a setting that can cause unintentional pain to some...
Also, generally 'The Infinite Loops' tend to be collab/community projects, so I'm going to see if I can get any of my friends to join in on this. I might also start up a new Forum in place of my current one for this for anyone else who wants to join in.
Anyways, for the names of these particular loops...
1.1: The Promise
1.2: The usual way isn't always the best way.
1.3: The Legend of Spyro: Ripto's Rage
1.1: Trouble with the dragon, eh?
1.2: Flame the Dragon
1.3: Feed it a missile.