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New Panzer Dragoon Articles on SEGAbits

Published by Solo Wing .

There’s been a couple of new articles as part of SEGAbits’ Team Andromeda month. Gunstar discusses the often forgotten Panzer Dragoon spin-offs, and why they are forgotten, while just today Nuckles87 has posted an article about the future of Panzer Dragoon.

Check out these short articles if you’re interested.

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The Art of Panzer Dragoon Saga

Published by Solo Wing .

Panzer Dragoon Saga’s art from Lagi’s website has now been moved to this site. On The Art of Panzer Dragoon, the images were divided into five categories and I’ve retained this organisational structure:

Many of the images previously had generic filenames such as “townie1”. To the best I’ve my ability (and memory), I’ve renamed all of the images to the names of characters, creatures, locations, and vehicles found in Panzer Dragoon Saga as well as linking the images to entries in the encyclopaedia.

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Music From The Panzer Place

Published by Solo Wing .

In addition to moving The Art of Panzer Dragoon’s content to The Will of the Ancients, we also plan to move any worthwhile content from The Panzer Place as well. To start with, I’ve copied three music tracks that are missing from Panzer Dragoon Saga’s soundtrack. The first two are from Rhoda’s music box:

The third track is a version of The Seekers’ Stronghold which differs from the version found on the soundtrack. From memory, this version is the version that plays in the actual game:

Except more content from The Panzer Place in the future.

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More Content From The Art of Panzer Dragoon

Published by Solo Wing .

Another update to inform you that I’ve copied six images of Panzer Dragoon (Tiger Electronics) from The Art of Panzer Dragoon to The Will of the Ancients. For this update I’ve also copied across the concept art for the Panzer Dragoon Original Video Animation. All art and screenshots have been linked to the appropriate encyclopaedia entries.

Geoffrey Duke has also brought across Lagi’s art references article, making some minor changes to the text.

This just leaves the Panzer Dragoon Saga and Panzer Dragoon Orta art to be brought across.

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Panzer Dragoon Mini Screenshots

Published by Solo Wing .

I’ve copied across the small number of Panzer Dragoon Mini screenshots from The Art of Panzer Dragoon as part of our ongoing effort to move that image gallery to The Will of the Ancients. You can find the images in the new Panzer Dragoon Mini Screenshots category.

For more information about Panzer Dragoon Mini, refer to the encyclopaedia.

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Scans of Xbox Nation's “Chasing the Dragon” Article

Published by Solo Wing .

Barry the Nomad has posted scans of Xbox Nation’s “Chasing the Dragon” article over at SEGAbits. Barry explains the content of the article:

XBN’s preview, which we’re featuring in full below, was an impressive eight pages long, featuring a bevy of screenshots, a preview, a developer interview with Smilebit and former Team Andromeda staff, and a series retrospective featuring a short chronology of the series. So transport yourself back to the summer of 2002 and enjoy this classic SEGA article by XBN freelance writer Jason Brookes!

I’ve added the scans to our achieve:

Xbox Nation Issue #3 (1 of 5)Xbox Nation Issue #3 (2 of 5)Xbox Nation Issue #3 (3 of 5)Xbox Nation Issue #3 (4 of 5)Xbox Nation Issue #3 (5 of 5)
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Twenty Years of Panzer Dragoon

Published by Solo Wing .

On the 10th of March, 1995, the original Panzer Dragoon game was released in Japan. The Panzer Dragoon series turns 20 today.

Panzer Dragoon NTSC-J Version Case Front Insert

Twenty years on, Panzer Dragoon may no longer be a prominent series, but it has not been forgotten.

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Panzer Dragoon’s OST is a Beautiful Masterpiece

Published by Solo Wing .

The next article in SEGAbits’ Team Andromeda month covers the soundtrack of the original Panzer Dragoon. Go check out this written article (complete with music clips) over on SEGAbits:

SEGA Tunes: Panzer Dragoon’s OST is a beautiful masterpiece

Although the soundtracks differed stylistically later in the trilogy, Panzer Dragoon’s sweeping, orchestral score will always be remembered by Panzer Dragoon fans.

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Team Andromeda Month at SEGAbits

Published by Solo Wing .

Over at our partner site, SEGAbits, Team Andromeda month has arrived. To celebrate, Nuckles87 has written a new article summarising the Panzer Dragoon series. Check it out:

Year of the Developers: We take flight with SEGA’s Team Andromeda

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Orta's Dragon to Appear in Worlds Unite

Published by Solo Wing .

We have some actual Panzer Dragoon news, people! The Dragon from our beloved Panzer Dragoon series will be appearing in the upcoming Sega/Capcom crossover comic series Worlds Unite.

Worlds Unite Promo Picture 01

More details can be found at SegaNerds:

The full list of characters from the SEGA and Capcom crossover comic book series World’s Unite have been revealed.

Vyse, from (Skies of Arcadia) and Orta’s Dragon (Panzer Dragoon) are the new characters from SEGA’s side, while Ryu (Street Fighter) and Chaotic Gore Magala (Monster Hunter) are the last Capcom characters joining the frey.

It’s nice to see that the Panzer Dragoon series has not been forgotten. You can read more about Worlds Unite in this Polygon article.

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The Art of Panzer Dragoon Zwei

Published by Solo Wing .

I’ve moved all of the Panzer Dragoon Zwei art from The Art of Panzer Dragoon to The Will of the Ancients and linked the images to our encyclopaedia. Some image names have been updated to better reflect the English translation (this image for example, is no longer called “Ragi”), but most have been named similar to what was printed in the guidebook. Since Panzer Dragoon Zwei never named the enemy creatures in-game, the Japanese guidebook remains the best source for creature and ship names.

Next will be the large task of moving The Art of Panzer Dragoon’s extensive Panzer Dragoon Saga image collection to The Will of the Ancients.

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Moving the Art of Panzer Dragoon

Published by Solo Wing .

A while back, we added Lagi: The Art of Panzer Dragoon as a subsite on The Will of the Ancients. Since Lagi no longer wished to continue running this archive of Panzer Dragoon artwork, it was natural to move the art here.

Since Lagi’s site was originally designed as a separate site, it is not practical to integrate it with the encyclopaedia here. For this reason, and to simplify the setup here, I’ve decided to move the art to The Will of the Ancients itself. This will be a gradual process. For now, you can find just the Official Art - Panzer Dragoon category in the Pictures section. This art has been linked to the “related pictures” section of relevant encyclopaedia entries, for example in the Panzer Dragoon entry.

You can expect more images to be moved across and integrated into the encyclopaedia over the next few weeks. In the long term, I aim to merge the content from other discontinued subsites such as The Panzer Place into The Will of the Ancients as well.

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Join Us in Some Panzer Dragoon Discourse

Published by Solo Wing .

I’m pleased to announce that our new Discourse forum is live.

Your old phpBB forum accounts have been brought over, however you must set a new password before you can log in. See this troubleshooting topic for more information.

I suspect the biggest concern will be that the new forums don’t look very Panzerish. The long term goal is to create a darker theme to match the colours of the main site. The priority was first preserving the vast amount of Panzer Dragoon discussions, which I have done; all topics (going back to the first post in 2003) have been moved over the new forums.

Discourse is a progressive discussion platform designed to last for the next ten years of evolution on the web. Although there isn’t as much activity here as there once was, I aim to give the Panzer Dragoon community a home for at least the next ten years. Who knows what the web will look like then?

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The Humble SEGA Bundle Includes Dragon Canyon

Published by Solo Wing .

The latest Humble Bundle has arrived: the Humble SEGA Bundle. The bundle includes Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed which as you may know contains a Panzer Dragoon themed track, Dragon Canyon. You can purchase the bundle for a minimum of one dollar. This is a bargain, especially considering the inclusion of the sublime Saturn classic, NiGHTS into Dreams.

The names of the Top Contributors are amusing, with requests for PC releases of Jet Set Radio Future and Skies of Arcadia making it into the top ten. And of course, Shenmue III.

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The Sega Saturn Turns 20 Years Old

Published by Solo Wing .

On November 22nd, 1994, the Sega Saturn was released in Japan, making the classic Sega console twenty years old today. Our friends over at Segabits have covered the anniversary in an article called SEGA Saturn’s 20th Anniversary: Celebrating Decades of Arcade Perfection.

Panzer Dragoon was originally planned as a launch title, however Team Andromedia missed the deadline. In a NowGamer article on the making of the Panzer Dragoon series, Kentaro Yoshida (who was an artist on the original Panzer), explains:

“The schedule we were working to was really tight,” Kentaro says. “We actually ended up missing our deadline, which was set as the Japanese launch day of the Saturn hardware. At first we were on the same schedule as the team producing Clockwork Knight, but no matter how hard we worked there was no way we were going to be able to meet that deadline, so Sega ended up putting Clockwork Knight out first and releasing Panzer Dragoon some months later. Sega had wanted a launch line-up of Clockwork Knight, Virtua Fighter and Panzer Dragoon…”

The delay was not surprising considering that Team Andromeda didn’t even have a Saturn to test the game on until late in development. Kentaro elaborates:

At the beginning of Panzer Dragoon’s development, the Saturn hardware wasn’t finalised and we didn’t have any prototype consoles to test with. The artists were using Silicon Graphics’ SoftImage, and the 3D graphics were programmed on workstations using OpenGL. After a while, we were finally able to send things across to the [debug] Saturn we’d received, but the transition was really difficult for the programmers. Of all of us, I’d say the programmers probably had the most difficult job, because of the volume of 3D work they had to get through. They used both of the Saturn’s GPUs in tandem, but I’m not sure how well that really worked out… [laughs]. Early on, the frame rate was terribly low, but eventually they got it up to 20fps.

The development of the Panzer Dragoon series was riddled with challenges and it’s quite amazing that we got the three high quality titles during the Saturn’s lifetime. If you had to ask me to pick one console that I have the fondest memories of, it would be the Sega Saturn: games such as NiGHTS, Shining Force III, and of course Panzer Dragoon Saga stand out as some of the greatest games ever made.

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Valkyria Chronicles Coming to PC, Orta Next?

Published by Solo Wing .

It seems Sega have been listening to their fans who started a petition requesting that more Sega titles are ported to PC. Or it could be a happy coincidence. In either case, the much requested Valkyria Chronicles has arrived on Steam. Valkyria Chronicles was released in 2008 and up until now it was a Playstation 3 exclusive.

With the actuality of Valkyria Chronicles being ported to PC, why not other Sega titles? Although there would be considerable difficulty porting Panzer Dragoon Saga to PC, Panzer Dragoon Orta is a good candidate for a re-release. Steam user Griever_GF has started a discussion outlining the reasons why Sega should port Panzer Dragoon Orta to PC. If you agree, please contribute to the discussion and show you support for a Panzer Dragoon Orta PC port.

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Was Alita Going to Be Playable in Panzer Dragoon Zwei?

Published by Solo Wing .

According to an old issue of GameFan magazine (volume 4, issue 9), Alita was originally planned to be a playable character in Panzer Dragoon Zwei. From the magazine:

Sega’s animation division is currently working on an animated version of Panzer Dragoon that’s due out in Japanese rental stores later this summer. The storyline will be based on Panzer 1, but in addition to hero Kyle, will also feature Alita, a female dragon-rider that was originally going to be a selectable character in Panzer 2.

Jeremy Prusak has kindly provided a scans of the magazine:

GameFan Volume 4 Issue 9 Page 111 (Relevant Content Only)GameFan Volume 4 Issue 9 Page 111

I can imagine Panzer Dragoon Zwei’s story being quite different had Alita been a playable character. Perhaps she would have fused with the Guardian Dragon instead of the Dark Dragon or provided a further motive for Lundi to pursue Shelcoof. Or perhaps Alita was going to be the protagonist instead of Lundi.

I’ve also updated the Alita encyclopaedia entry, linking to one of the scans for reference.

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A Sketch of the Panzer Wing

Published by Solo Wing .

The Artist Formally Known as Lundi has contributed a new sketch, this time of the Panzer Wing Agility Class.

Panzer Wing Agility Class Sketch

He has also sent me an updated version of his Panzer Dragoon inspired track What Life which I’ve replaced in the Music section.

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He Was Created For Me

Published by Solo Wing .

There was no #fanartfriday last week. I hope this stunning new piece of art makes up for that:

He Was Created For Me

My thanks go to Michael Gadsby for the contribution.

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Witness the Ancients and What Life

Published by Solo Wing .

The Artist Formally Known as Lundi has submitted two new music tracks.

The first is called Witness the Ancients:

The second is called What Life:

Both tracks are inspired by the Panzer Dragoon series, with full details and download options on their respective pages.

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Nago Tower

Published by Solo Wing .

A backlog of new content has been mounting up. If you’ve sent me content that I haven’t added yet, it’s because I’ve been busy.

My thanks go to Uruc Art for this picture, based not on Panzer Dragoon, but a similar world:

Nago Tower

If you like the picture, check out Uruc Art’s dragoon profile for links to more.

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Senshudo TV Interviews Brave Wave Productions

Published by Solo Wing .

Senshudo TV have recorded a video interview at EGX London with Brave Wave, the company behind Saori Kobayashi’s new album, Journey.

Great to hear about their relaxed policy towards video streams and podcasts which feature Brave Wave music.

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Journey is Now Available on iTunes

Published by Solo Wing .

Journey can now be purchased on iTunes. It is two dollars more expensive than the Bandcamp version if you’re purchasing from the US iTunes Store (US$13.99 versus US$12). It’s significantly more expensive on the New Zealand iTunes Store; NZ$27.99, which currently converts to US$21.69. Do yourself a favour and avoid the Apple tax.

Worth noting is that AKANE’s first album, Kochae is also available on iTunes.

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Journey: A Design Exploration With Natalie Hanke

Published by Solo Wing .

Mohammed Taher from Brave Wave has written an article about Journey’s cover art. The article discusses how Natalie Hanke was chosen to produce Journey’s cover art and how the design evolved based on feedback from Saori Kobayashi and Yumiko Takahashi.

It is also mentioned in the article that Journey will be available soon on iTunes, Amazon, Google, and other services. There’s no need to wait however; Bandcamp is a great service, providing the album in a number of formats and arguably better for artists.

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Journey is Now Available, Plus Some Thoughts

Published by Solo Wing .

Journey, the new album by Saori Kobayashi is now available:

http://store.bravewave.net/album/journey

You can buy the album or stream the entire album for free on Bandcamp. I recommend that Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon fans purchase the album to encourage future music from Saori Kobayashi.

Unfortunately, I have not had time to write a full review, but I’ll sum up my thoughts causally here.

Journey is a must purchase for fans of Saori’s work. The album features three Crimson Dragon tracks, but these are different from the tracks included in the games. We have a piano remix of Crimson Dragon’s main theme and a song based on Crimson Dragon: Side Story’s menu music (now with vocals). I like what has been done with the music here better than the music in the games. Furthermore, the album features Pirika which was originally going to be Panzer Dragoon Saga’s theme music.

Besides Crimson Dragon and Panzer Dragoon music, there are a number of other great tracks. Maboroshi is my personal favourite. Most tracks are composed by Saori Kobayashi, and many have a similar feel to her earlier work. Not exactly the same style, but the resemblance is there. I think Saori Kobayashi sums it up best herself on the album page:

After composing the music for Microsoft’s Crimson Dragon (Xbox One) and meeting Brave Wave’s president Mohammed Taher, Kobayashi decided to revive AKANE in the form of a second album titled Journey. “Before encountering the series, I didn’t focus on a specific type of music, but composing for Panzer Dragoon Saga and Panzer Dragoon Orta and experiencing these games made me interested in working with similar musical elements. A big part of AKANE is inspired by the Panzer Dragoon series.”

The inspiration is evident and that’s certainly a good thing. In the album’s description, Saori Kobayashi and Yumiko Takahashi also leave a personal thank you message to fans of the Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon games:

“We’re also very grateful to the people who learned of our music through games like Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon. AKANE takes a different approach from the music of those games, mixing Japanese folklore with new, more modern sounds. As the title of the album suggests, AKANE is a band on a constant journey. We hope you will enjoy this new, mysterious journey with us!”

I’ve certainly enjoyed going on another Saori Kobayashi journey. If you liked the music of the Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon games I think you will too.