News Entries

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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 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.

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Pirika, a Candidate Theme Song for Panzer Dragoon Saga

Published by Solo Wing .

Alex Aniel from Brave Wave tweeted the following trivia about Panzer Dragoon Saga’s theme song:

Trivia: “Pirika” from AKANE’s upcoming album “Journey” was a candidate main theme track for Panzer Dragoon Saga.

As we all know, A Premonition of War became the theme for Panzer Dragoon Saga. But from a historical perspective it’s great that Pirika is also now being released to be public.

Pirika is the sixth track on Saori Kobayashi’s latest album, Journey. You can listen to the track on Bandcamp and preorder the album if you wish.

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An Early Cover of Journey

Published by Solo Wing .

Natalie Hanke, who designed Journey’s album art, has tweeted a picture of an earlier cover. It looks nice, although I prefer the final design.

Journey is a new album from Panzer Dragoon Saga artist Saori Kobayashi. You can Pre-Order Journey on Bandcamp.

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Saori Kobayashi's "Journey" Now Available to Pre-Order

Published by Solo Wing .

Akane, the ensemble comprised of Saori Kobayashi (Panzer Dragoon, Crimson Dragon) and Yumiko Takahashi (Suikoden) have revealed the name of their new album: Journey. Saori Kobayashi writes:

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.

Pre-Order Journey

Featuring three Crimson Dragon tracks, and a number of others with similar sounds, Journey is a must purchase for fans of Saori Kobayashi’s work.

The full album will be available 29 September 2014 as a limited edition CD (US$16) and as a digital download (US$10).

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The Successor of the Azure

Published by Exu .

Some more time-sensitive challenges recently became available for Crimson Dragon, including one that would unlock a new dragon just for loading up the game. This new dragon is called the “Blackbone Lazward”, aka “Successor of the Azure”. It is light element, it cannot change attribute and it does not evolve. It starts out fairly weak but the level caps out at 20 like the Void dragons and it has quite respectable stats by that point.

Successor of the Azure Photo

It’s a recolour of the first stage Blackbone and, as you may have noticed, it bears a passing resemblance to the Solo Wing dragon from the Panzer Dragoon series. The horned crested head, blue skin with orange wings and the silver scales down the back. It’s no coincidence. For some reason it has no entry in the database, in fact in unlocks the entry for the Blackbone Eclipse which was available via a challenge a while back.

The video I’ve included above shows you the dragon, compares it to the Blackbone Radiance, and demonstrates the dragon via a play through of the Thinning the Herd level. You have until the 3rd of December to load the game up to get this dragon. Makes me wonder if any other dragons have third variants hidden away.

Note: There are also challenges rerunning for two Void dragons giving you another shot at the Darkshoulder Chaos and Silvertail Nightmare. You need to get five S ranks with the Darkshoulder and ten S ranks with the Silvertail.

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Xbox One to Launch in 28 New Countries in September

Published by Solo Wing .

Although Xbox One was released in the US, some European countries, Australia, and New Zealand during 2013, many countries still have not had the opportunity to play Crimson Dragon.

This is about to change. Gamespot have posted a list of Xbox One release dates for the month of September.

  • September 2 - Chile and Colombia
  • September 4 - Japan
  • September 5 - Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
  • September 15 - Israel
  • September 23 - Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, China
  • September 26 - Russia

Microsoft said it plans to launch Xbox One in Argentina soon afterwards.

I see no reason why Crimson Dragon will not be available in all of these countries. It would pay to check before purchasing an Xbox One though, just in case.

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How the Panzer Dragoon Saga Theme Song Was Made

Published by Solo Wing .

A story was posted earlier this year (in April) on Siliconera that we overlooked, but remains just as relevant, especially with Saori Kobayashi’s new album arriving soon.

The article discusses how Panzer Dragoon Saga’s theme song was made, presumably referring to A Premonition of War, a theme reused in several parts of the game including the end credits song Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu. Spencer at Siliconera explains the story:

Saori Kobayashi experimented with several songs as the main theme of Panzer Dragoon Saga. One day, she had spent so much time thinking about it when a coworker invited her to go out drinking. The coworker advised her to be ready to leave in 30 minutes, and the song had to be done that day, so she ended up rushing through and writing it within those 30 minutes. And in that short time an icon song was made.

Extremely impressive if true, although I suspect further refinement would have been made after that. There is also a quote from Saori Kobayashi herself which reveals how she goes about making the music of Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon worlds:

When making music for a game like Panzer Dragoon or Crimson Dragon, the first thing I must think about is the world of the game, which is developed, altered and elaborated on throughout development. I then come up with a few different ideas to match the game, but they are never 100% made to my own liking.

It makes a lot of sense that she would draw on the fictional worlds of these games to come up with final scores that fit very well into those worlds.

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Altercation at Uru

Published by Solo Wing .

A new picture from Michael Gadsby. Panzer Dragoon Saga fans will recognise the scene as based on the second encounter with Atolm from Disc 2.

Altercation at Uru

Except more art from this fantastic artist soon.

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Another Sneak Peek of Saori Kobayashi's New Album

Published by Solo Wing .

From Brave Wave’s Twitter account:

SNEAK PEEK! Saori Kobayashi & @Tainosugatayaki are releasing a new album soon — here’s a sample of AVALON (りんごの島): https://soundcloud.com/bravewavemusic/sneak-peek-akane-avalon

According to the SoundCloud page they’ve just finished mastering the album. The release is still expected next month. I will be receiving an early review copy so expect an opinion of the new album here on The Will of the Ancients soon.

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New Album From Saori Kobayashi Coming Next Month

Published by Solo Wing .

Some of you may have listened to Saori Kobayashi’s “Shattered Moon” on the recently released In Flux album from Brave Wave. Shattered Moon won’t be last project from Kobaysahi and Brave Wave. Brave Wave sent out an email today which included a short update about Saori Kobayashi’s next album:

One more thing. Next month we’re gonna have a special solo release from Saori Kobayashi (of Panzer Dragoon), with music from the new Crimson Dragon game and featuring legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu (of Final Fantasy) on one track. You can listen to a teaser on Soundcloud. You’re getting this news before anyone else out there!

I’m looking forward to it. Panzer Dragoon Saga and Final Fantasy VII’s composers on the same album, who would have thought? ;)

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Reawaken to New Panzer Dragoon Themed Music

Published by Solo Wing .

Artist Formally Known as Lundi has submitted a new music track inspired by the Panzer Dragoon games. It’s called ‘Reawaken’. Check it out:

It does a great job of capturing the Panzer feeling if you ask me. Please do provide him with some feedback, either on our social networks or over on the forums.

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How to Make Edge Super Tiny

Published by Solo Wing .

A new glitch was recently found in Panzer Dragoon Saga which shrinks Edge when inside of Juba’s bar. As far as we know this glitch hasn’t been found before. Panzer Dragoon Saga fans Exodus and Jeremy Prusak have documented the glitch; I’ve added the details to our Panzer Dragoon Saga: The Weird Stuff article. It’s under the subheading “Into the Pit”.

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Shelcoof Constructed in Minecraft

Published by Solo Wing .

Nathaniel Daught has made a construction of Shelcoof - created entirely within Minecraft. Screenshots and a video are available on his Tumblr blog. I’ve uploaded these to our archive:

Shelcoof Minecraft Building (1 of 7)Shelcoof Minecraft Building (2 of 7)Shelcoof Minecraft Building (3 of 7)Shelcoof Minecraft Building (4 of 7)Shelcoof Minecraft Building (5 of 7)Shelcoof Minecraft Building (6 of 7)Shelcoof Minecraft Building (7 of 7)

Really awesome work, Nathaniel. I thought it would only be a matter of time before someone attempted to recreate part of the Panzer Dragoon world in Minecraft. The architecture of the Panzer world is too definitive and unique not to be used.

If any Minecraft players out there can advise us of how to abstract this construction of Shelcoof from Minecraft, we can host it as a downloadable file on The Will of the Ancients. Contact @networkshadow on Twitter if you can help.

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Crimson Dragon Free During August With Xbox Live Gold

Published by Solo Wing .

Major Nelson reports that Crimson Dragon will be free to play during August if you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Starting on August the 1st, players who have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription will be able to download the game at no additional cost. It appears that this will be the case for the entire month.

GameSpot points out a significant limitation though:

On Xbox 360, once you download a free game, it is yours to keep even if your Xbox Live Gold subscription lapses. But on Xbox One, you’ll need to keep your Xbox Live Gold subscription active to hang on to the free games.

Still, Xbox One owners who have a Live subscription but do not own Crimson Dragon should take advantage of this offer to play Crimson Dragon.

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Six Achievements Added to Crimson Dragon

Published by Solo Wing .

PlayXBLA reports that six new achievements have been added to Crimson Dragon, worth a total of 350 G. The achievements are as follows:

Seeker Legend
Achieve player level 50
Breaking the Bank
Collect over 2,000,000 in credits in your account
Crimsonscale Erradicator
Kill 10000 enemy creatures
Open Season
Defeat bosses 10 times with an “S” rank.
The Finer Things
Loot 50 rare Items
Enhanced Abilities
Use 100 ampoules
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Introducing Fan Art Friday

Published by Solo Wing .

Due to the lack of new Panzer Dragoon content, I’ve decided to start re-posting existing fan art on our Facebook and Twitter pages. There’s so much great Panzer Dragoon fan art on this site, it is shame to keep it hidden away until someone decides to browse the gallery. I’ll tag this content with #fanartfriday so that you can tell it apart from new fan art. You may see some other types of content as well if I feel there’s other older content that should be shared (#musicalmonday anyone?).

These posts won’t appear the The Will of the Ancients website, but if you’re not on Facebook or Twitter you can always browse the Pictures section whenever you want. You can also subscribe to our Atom feed if you use a news reader and just want to receive these news entries and nothing else.

I’ve also decided to stop posting updates to Google+. While the Saturn owner in me has a soft spot for minority platforms, Google hasn’t made it easy to automate posting to their social network. With only seventeen followers it just isn’t worth keeping Google+ updated as it slows the process of adding new content. So please consider the Google+ page discontinued and follow us on Twitter or Facebook instead.

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Phantom Dust for Xbox One Revealed at E3

Published by Solo Wing .

The E3 game Yukio Futatsugi is involved with turned out to be a Phantom Dust title. View the announcement and trailer on GameSpot.

It’s not clear if this is a new Phantom Dust game, or a remake/remaster of the original for Xbox One. Either would be welcome, especially considering that there was never a PAL version of Phantom Dust, so many of us didn’t have the opportunity to play it. What’s exciting for Panzer Dragoon fans is that there’s still an interest among game publishers in bringing back Futatsugi’s older works. It leaves hope that we could one day see a continuation of the Panzer Dragoon franchise.

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Yukio Futatsugi "Involved With" E3 Game

Published by Solo Wing .

Yukio Futatsugi, creator of Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon, revealed on Twitter that a game will be announced at E3 that he is involved with. Gematsu provides the following translation:

“Lots of people in my timeline are getting ready to head to Los Angeles for E3,” Futatsugi said. “I can’t go this year for various reasons including an upcoming launch of a smartphone title, as well as one I’ve been running that has been getting great reviews.”

He added, “But a title I’m involved with will be announced. Looking forward to it.”

I doubt this will be a new Panzer Dragoon or Crimson Dragoon game. The Gemastu article suggests a Phantom Dust title as a possibility.

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Browse The Will of the Ancients Faster With Turbolinks

Published by Solo Wing .

I’ve updated The Will of the Ancients to use Turbolinks, a library that makes browsing web pages faster. Now when you click a link to another page within The Will of the Ancients, only the page title and body will be refreshed (rather than the whole page) making your browsing experience feel snappier.

Older browsers are no longer supported. If you’re having trouble browsing the site you should upgrade to Safari 6+, Internet Explorer 10+, the latest version of Chrome or Firefox, or an equivalent browser. Be sure to have JavaScript enabled too.

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Panzer Dragoon Art Created With Perler Beads

Published by Solo Wing .

And now something a bit different. Synbios16 has created two pieces of art using Perler beads:

Blue Dragon (Perler Beads)Base Wing (Perler Beads)

Synbios16 tells me, “If you’re not familiar with Perler beads, basically they’re little plastic beads, 5 millimeters wide, that you place one at a time on a board, then melt together using a regular clothing iron.”

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Pattergo in the Mountains Sketch

Published by Solo Wing .

Artist Formally Known as Lundi, aka Tyrone, has submitted a sketch of two pattergo from Panzer Dragoon Saga:

Pattergo in the Mountains

You can read more about pattergo in the related encyclopaedia entry.

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Mobile Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Now Free

Published by Solo Wing .

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, the Sega racing game which features a Panzer Dragoon themed track (Dragon Canyon), is now free for Android and iOS devices. Previously the game cost US$4.99.

Here’s a YouTube video of Dragon Canyon being played on the iPhone 5S.

You can download Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed from the App Store or Google Play. Note that while the game is now “free to play”, some content must still be paid for via in-app purchases. It also looks like you’ll need a relatively new device to play the game; the iOS version requires iOS7 and for Android you’ll need version 4.0 or above.

My thanks goes to SEGAbits for the heads up about this price change.