PANZER DRAGOON | SEGA SATURN | 1995

Panzer Dragoon

Panzer Dragoon marks the beginning of one of the most underrated yet impressive chapters in gaming history.

It hails from Team Andromeda who were one of the first teams assembled to develop Saturn titles.

It was released in 1995 and at the time the game set new standards in games bringing cinematics within games, some superb 3D graphics (for the time) and a unique style whilst at the same time maintaining and old-skool retro vibe with its gameplay.

From here the series went on to have 3 more games and whilst never enjoying mass popularity it has one of the most loyal fanbases ever.

For more detailed information about the history of the game (and others in the series) checkout the History of Panzer Dragooon Page.

Panzer Dragoon Case Scan Panzer Dragoon Case Scan

Case Quote

"Enter an intense 360-degree world one thousand years into the future. Your people live in fear of the Dark Dragon. But armed with a deadly weapon from the ancient past, and the guidance of your armoured dragon, you must confront your enemies in claustrophobic caves, deadly deserts and fantastic sunken cities. View the action from any side and zoom in and out as giant sandworms, man wised wasps and lethal flying battleships attack you."

Movie

Demo Episode 1

Movie

Demo Episode 2

Movie

Demo Episode 5

STORY

Thousands have years have passed since a thriving human civilisation perished in the dust. Mankind has nearly been destroyed by its own bio-weapons. These genetically altered creatures turned against their masters, and as a result, the human race was pushed to the brink of extinction.

A tribe of humans known as the "Imperials" recently discovered an ancient tower, a tower that houses an arsenal of devastatingly powerful ancient weapons. The weapons discovered in the tower were used by the Imperials to hunt and destroy the dangerous creatures roaming across the Earth. Many believed that the human race would rise again, rebuild their lives and live in peace....safe from the bio-weapons of the Ancient Time.

But there is an ancient saying: "Power is the father of desire, and desire is the father of aggression." This is the creed of the Imperials, sworn on being the new masters of the Earth.

You are a member of a hunting party out in the vast and arid Great Plains. You are puzzled at the sight of an Imperial Battlecruiser passing overhead. As you watch the ship float by, a Burrower leaps from beneath the ground and attacks one of your fellow hunters. Your hunting instinct takes over as you chase after it, only to find yourself in an untravelled canyon.

Panzer Dragoon Opening Panzer Dragoon Opening

At the end of it is an entrance to a strange, abandoned storehouse. In it, you find more than your quarry. You are suprised by the sight of two dragons, engaged in a spectacular air-battle...right above you.

The rider of the armoured blue dragon is fatally wounded by a powerful laser blast through his chest. The blue dragon and its rider land before you. The Sky Rider stretches out his hand to you, a desperate gesture for help. As your hand touches his, the Sky Rider's mind and yours become one. In his final thoughts you see the tower that is under control of the Imperials. They have discovered the true use of the tower-the most powerful weapon ever created. With this and the Dark Dragon (a bio-weapon created by the tower), The Imperials will be unstoppable!

Panzer Dragoon Opening Panzer Dragoon Opening

The Sky Rider speaks his final words, "Don't let the Dark Dragon return to the tower...if that happens the horror of the Ancient Time....."

The Sky Rider falls at your feet, his life force spiralling off into the great unknown. The dragon lets out a piercing cry for its fallen master. You look at the dragon, and it looks back at you....waiting.

A few moments later, armed with the Sky Riders weapon, you choose to fulfil your destiny-to fight and triumph! And now, the fate of the world rests on the wings of an armoured blue dragon....

Panzer Dragoon Opening Panzer Dragoon Opening

Taken from the European game manual

GAMEPLAY

The gameplay to Panzer Dragoon is that of old skool on rails shoot em up. You must shoot down enemies onscreen, be them man or beast and avoid the occasional hazard along the way such as falling pillars.

You control both the targeting of the dragon rider and the flight of the Dragon itself.

Using an ancient relic as your weapon target enemies that are in the air or on the ground using the on screen target or the lock on laser. As you play you will realise which enemies are better defeated with each weapon.

An episode (or level) scrolls a predetermined course. This could be across the ocean or through caves and at various speeds. You can move around the screens to an extent necessary for targeting. When the course of enemies and hazards has been passed you will encounter a boss.

Panzer Dragoon Panzer Dragoon

Enemies will attack from all angles. You have a 360o view around your dragon yet you can only view 90o arcs at any one time. You will have to switch between these to shoot down all. You have a radar to assist you.

The D-Pad moves your crosshair around the screen. Your dragon will manoeuvre to align with it. By pressing a double left or right will make your dragon perform a sharp swing to that direction.

Buttons A, B and C are your weapons. You have 2 at your disposal; single shots and homing lasers.

A single tap of the button will fire a single shot.

By holding down one of the fire buttons the crosshair will begin to spin. Moving over enemies or other targets a blue crosshair appears. Releasing the button will fire a homing laser. You can target up to 8 of these in a single burst.

Buttons X,Y and Z select different camera angels.

X Angel is standard view (default)

Y Angle is dynamic view.

Z is long view.

The L and R triggers rotate the viewing area in 90-degree increments.

The game can also be played with the Saturn Virtua Stick

Barrel Roll

To get out of tight spots you can perform a barrel roll by double tapping diagonal DOWN/LEFT or UP/RIGHT. You can only perform these when your energy bar is flashing blue (full power). This not only evades enemies but also makes you totally disorientated. The downside to this is that they also require energy to perform.

Your Dragon has a certain amount of energy represented by the blue bar at the bottom of the screen. When you take a hit some is lost and your dragon will cry out. Bigger enemies do more damage. Collisions with objects do the most damage. When there is no more you die.

You recoup a small amount of energy at the end of each episode.

When your Dragon dies you can choose to begin using your credits to continue or end the game. There is no ability to save progress.

Radar

To the top right of the screen you have a radar. This displays the locations of enemies in relation to your dragon.

Enemies are represented as yellow. Incoming fire is represented by smaller red dots. Bosses are orange and usually larger. Bosses appear at the end of each episode.

Panzer Dragoon Panzer Dragoon

Bosses have large amounts of energy represented by bar at the top right (green). They have specific weak spots and as you damage them they change method of attack. Parts of them may also break off and some hurled towards you.

There are a set number of enemies in each episode. At the end of each episode you are given a percentage of how many enemies that you have killed. You can earn more continues depending on how well you did in that episode. For example, a shoot down ratio of 90%+ can earn yourself up to 3 credits.

85% - 95% = 1 credit
95%+ = 2 credits
100% = 3 credits

At the end of the game all of the percentages are added up together to give you an average ranking.

Options

From the title screen you can select the difficulty. The choices are Normal, Easy or Hard. Press D-Pad LEFT or RIGHT to choose.

In the easy game you have unlimited credits, in normal you begin with 3 credits and in hard you begin none and the enemies do more damage.

Only a few basic options exist and can be accessed from the title screen. Plenty of interesting modes are available via cheats. See below.

Up/Down - Toggle Normal or Reverse

Controller Setting - Allows the remapping of buttons.

Sound Mode - Toggle Stereo / Mono output

Sound Balance - set the balance of the sounds. BGM /Normal / SE

Music Main Title - Listen to the audio tracks in the game.

The game consist of six episodes and a final boss encounter.

SCREENSHOTS

EPISODE 1: OCEAN RUINS

Episode 1 Episode 1
Episode 1 Episode 1 Boss

EPISODE 2: DESERT STORM

Episode 2 Episode 2
Episode 2 Episode 2 Boss

EPISODE 3: THE BURROWS

Episode 3 Episode 3
Episode 3 Episode 3 Boss

EPISODE 4: ANCIENT EXCAVATIONS

Episode 4 Episode 4
Episode 4 Episode 4 Boss

EPISODE 5: FOREST OFFENSIVE

Episode 5 Episode 5
Episode 5 Episode 5 Boss

EPISODE 6: IMPERIAL STRONGHOLD

Episode 6 Episode 6
Episode 6 Episode 6 Boss

LAST EPISODE: DARK DRAGON ARCHETYPE

Last Episode Last Episode
Last Episode Last Episode

CHEATS AND TIPS

Panzer Dragoon has a plentyful selection of cheats such as flying without the dragon. Check out the Cheats and Tips page.

Panzer Dragoon Cheat

OTHER VERSIONS AND UPDATES

PANZER DRAGOON: SEGA AGES VOL 27

Sega Ages Vol 27: Panzer Dragoon

The original (this game) was re-released in 2006 as part of the Sega Ages 2500 brand on the Playstation 2.

The gameplay remains the same and features graphical enhancements. The models and textures are more detailed and smooth whilst still being very faithful to their original Saturn counterparts. The soundtrack and effects are said to be unchanged.

As with all the Sega Ages there is no plans for release outside of Japan so importing is the way to go.

Panzer Dragoon Sega Ages Panzer Dragoon Sega Ages
Panzer Dragoon Sega Ages Panzer Dragoon Sega Ages

PANZER DRAGOON MINI (GAME GEAR JAP)

You fly along taking out basic enemy sprites in the pseudo-style of the polygons enemies from the Saturn version. You are able to choose between a blue dragon and a red dragon. The game is best described as a gentle nod at Space Harrier.

The was a good challenge. For more information check out The Will of The Ancients.

Panzer Dragoon Mini Panzer Dragoon Mini Panzer Dragoon Mini

PANZER DRAGOON II: ZWEI

Panzer Dragoon II Zwei

Panzer Dragoon received a sequel for the Saturn a year or so later; Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei was actually one of two sequels in a dual development effort of the series; Panzer Dragoon Zwei and Panzer Dragoon Saga.

Zwei was the first title to be released in 1997 offering improvements in all areas over the original. The gameplay is refined over the original and most episodes (levels) have different routes through them and the graphics improved.

The game was a prequel with the events occurring in e games story actually taking place before this Panzer adventure.

Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei
Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei

For more information checkout the Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei Feature. Coming soon...

PANZER DRAGOON SAGA

Panzer Dragoon Saga

Saga was the second sequel released in 1998 and was a drastic change in style from on-rails shooter to an RPG in the Panzer world.

Set 30 years after Panzer Dragoon, 'Saga' kicks off at an excavation site and the discovery of a mysterious young girl kept in a state of suspended animation for 1000ís of years. The site is promptly attacked by Commander Craymen - an Imperial renegade. You are the only survivor; a young mercenary called Edge. Craymen is intent on capturing the girl.

Edge (your character) is left for dead, but rescued by the Dragon of Legend. In a fit of rage Edge sets out for revenge against Creyman.

Gameplay is a combination of exploration and battle. The battle system was a revolution at the time using a real-time engine. Most of the battles take place on your dragon which has different attacks depending on itís growth. When exploring, you discover towns, interact with the people there but what is striking is that no 2 places look the same.

Coupling the gameplay are some of the best graphics to ever come out of the Saturn as well as a fitting soundtrack. It spans 4 CDs in total.

Hailed almost all over as the best RPG of all time fans are clamouring for an updated version of this game. So much could be possible.

This game is one of the most collectable there is. In it's PAL format the game is worth anywhere between £100 and £200. The first CD was given away with Sega Saturn Magazine #31. The Japanese version goes by the name of Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG.

Panzer Dragoon Saga Panzer Dragoon Saga
Panzer Dragoon Saga Panzer Dragoon Saga

PANZER DRAGOON ORTA

Panzer Dragoon Orta

The latest (or possibly final game) in the series was Panzer Dragoon Orta on the X Box released in 2003. It was developed by Smilebit (responsible for Jet Set Radio) which has several members of the original Team Andromeda.

It was a return to classic PD gameplay with several new features, the most significant of which is the ability for the dragon to morph into three forms for specialised types of attack.

Panzer Dragoon Orta

For more information and screenshots check out the Orta Screenshots Page.

PC VERSION

A PC conversion of the game was originally released in 1997 (with multiple re-releases which sported only different packaging) and is a straight port of the Saturn original. It runs under Windows with DirectX (pre Direct3D).

Panzer Dragoon PC Case Scan Panzer Dragoon PC Case Scan

Any modern machine will run it with no problems but the requirements on the box are a Pentium 75 with 8MB RAM though a faster machine is needed. You can probably find it for about £1 at software houses.

Pressing F2 allows the recording of replays. F3 is a simple pausing of the game.

pressing F5 allows for the changing of controllers, (Keyboard, PC Pad or Sega Pad), Pressing F6 allows the reconfiguring of buttons. A Microsoft Sidewinder Gamepad is a good choice to use.

It is possible to run in a high-res mode (depending on your video card) by pressing F7 during the game and changing the resolution to 640x480 16Bit colour. It makes for crisp visuals better than the Saturn version. You can also alter the games speed (possibly in absence of the Wizard Mode cheat).

F8 activates the mixer where you can adjust volume control and listen to music and sound FX.

The game plays fine under Windows XP (and possibly 2000). There is no need for any application compatibly settings unlike Sonic CD.

Insert the CD. Close down the installer that autoplay may start (no one every reads the documentation it installs anyway). Explore the CD and go into the INSTALL folder. Launch Install.exe, set the target folder and perform a full install.

When complete launch the game and at the title screen press F7. Set the graphics to 640x480 16Bit colour. You may need to restart the game so the graphics become free of anomalies. Then setup your keys or pads as necessary by pressing F5/F6.

Available here is the No CD crack for the game. You can play the game without the CD audio which does actually spoil it.

Panzer Dragoon Crack

Panzer Dradoon No CD Crack

Panzer Dragoon Desktop

Desktop Image 1024x768 JPEG (Click for larger or save target as)

XBOX VERSION

Panzer Dragoon Orta

Panzer Dragoon Orta for the X Box contains the original Panzer Dragoon game as an unlockable secret! It can be found under Orb 5: Appendix in Pandoras Box. To unlock this you must complete the game on any mode with 5 hours of total gameplay.

Panzer Dragoon Xbox Version Panzer Dragoon Xbox Version

The port includes all of the original cheat codes for the Saturn. Substitute the Z BUTTON on the Saturn pad with WHITE BUTTON on the X box Pad.

This version is essentially a port of the PC version with some smoother looking textures, a PC version patched for Direct3D which Sega did with some of their titles. The opening movies are also of higher quality.

It is very well played on the X Box controller (Type S) with the added advantage of virtually no loading time. It is an awesome addition to the Orta package.

Interestingly it is possible to activate wizard mode and the infinite continues cheat which is not possible on the Saturn PAL version or the PC version.

SOUNDTRACKS

ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK (FULL)

Panzer Dragoon Soundtrack

01 Main Theme [Orchestral Complete Version].mp3
02 Opening Theme.mp3
03 Flight.mp3
04 Sudden Change.mp3
05 Worms.mp3
06 Confrontation.mp3
07 Empire.mp3
08 Departed Spirit.mp3
09 Creature Revived.mp3
10 Raid.mp3
11 Flagship.mp3
12 The Imperial District Goes Up In Flames.mp3
13 Tower.mp3
14 Final Decision.mp3
15 Game Over.mp3
16 Parting.mp3
17 Staff Roll.mp3
18 Main Title [Synthesizer Version].mp3
19 Flight [Synthesizer Version].mp3
20 Staff Roll [Synthesizer Version].mp3
21 Bonus Track.mp3

POWER REMIX D-RAM

Panzer Dragoon Soundtrack

01 Opening ~ Invasion Of The Empire Army.mp3
02 Main Title ~ Dragon Fly To Horizon ~ Hiding Worms.mp3
03 The Empire Burning ~ Sadness Of Ghost Weapons ~ Rock On ~ Theme of Last Battle ~ Opening Part II.mp3

LINKS

As the Panzer Dragoon series seemed to become even more dead by Sega plenty of fansites appeared on the net paying testament to the general greatness of the series. Here are some examples of where to go for some great Panzer Dragoon information.

Will of The Ancients is a truly outstanding website devoted to bringing the best Panzer Dragoon content around. It has a wealth of information and rare items.

The quite excellent The Will of The Ancients

http://www.panzerdragoon.net

History of Panzer Dragoon at Gamespot

http://www.gamespot.com/gamespot/features/all/panzerdragoon

Review of the PS2 version (Sega Ages Vol 27)

A review of the re-released version of Panzer Dragoon

http://uk.gamespot.com/ps2/action/segaagespanzerdragoon/index.html

EMULATOR COMPATIBILITY

Whilst great progress has been made with regard to Saturn emulation there is still no decent level of reliability.

Check out sites such as Sega Xtreme and VG-Network for the latest in Saturn emulators.

MISC INFO

RELATED

Panzer Dragoon Zwei Feature

Games of the Month Archive - Panzer Dragoon

Games of the Month Archive - Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei

Games of the Month Archive - Panzer Dragoon Saga

Games of the Month Archive - Panzer Dragoon Orta

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