You can be so many different creatures in Stray now that playing as the ginger cat on the cover feels unambitious, somehow. Why play as someone else’s pet when you can put your own furball (opens in new tab) in the game and make them shout ‘Jason’ instead of meowing? (opens in new tab)
In fact, why play as a cat at all? What if instead you hopped around Stray’s cyberpunk city as something slightly bigger, much scaler, and of roughly comparable adorableness? Say, for example, literally Spyro the Dragon? (opens in new tab)
A modder called MrMarco1003 has answered this question by taking Spyro’s model from his traditional home (games with Spyro in the title) and dropping him right into Stray. The results are surprisingly impressive. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear Spyro’s cartoony aesthetic and four-legged frame had been designed for Stray from the beginning. The animations transfer from Stray’s feline frontman over to Spyro without missing a beat, and Spyro’s purple scales somehow blend into Stray’s universe almost as seamlessly as the standard protagonist’s orange fur.
Modding Spyro into games without Spyro in them seems to be a life calling of MrMarco1003. They’ve also created mods that export the character into Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and, well, Resident Evil 3, where he becomes a rocket launcher (opens in new tab). Of course, they’ve also developed a mod that replaces RE3’s Nemesis with Shrek (opens in new tab)so who am I to question the whims of a genius?
We were very fond of Stray at PCG, giving it 82% (opens in new tab) and remarking that, “playing a cat never stops being a joy” throughout the experience. Others seem to agree, and have since turned it into a hotbed for all kinds of funny and bizarre modding experiments. At the rate they’re going, it’s only a matter of time until people forget Stray ever had a cat in the first place.