Valley (Panzer Dragoon Saga)
- Panzer Dragoon Saga
The valley area of Panzer Dragoon Saga is the second playable flight section experienced by players. On the Panzer Dragoon Saga world map it is defined simply by the word “Valley”; no specific name is given for the area apart from this. It is distinct from the similar Above the Excavation valley area introduced earlier in the game. The two locations are part of the same mountain range, but are shown as geographically apart from one another on the game’s map. There is significant distance between the two locales, although it is unclear if the map is to scale as it contains no units of measurement.
The valley area is divided into two sections, known to players as “Excavation Site #4” and “Canyon Deep Gulch”. The former name is possibly a translation error or typo, as the Azel Panzer Dragoon RPG Guide Book states that the excavation site where Azel was discovered was the “#74 Excavation Site”.1 For the purposes of this encyclopaedia, the name “Excavation Site #74” is used to refer to both this flight section and the on-foot area near to where Azel was discovered.
Excavation Site #74
Upon entering the start of the valley area, players of Panzer Dragoon Saga are given the option to complete the game’s battle system tutorial which takes place in Excavation Site #74. The Excavation Site #74 flight section is similar in appearance to its on-foot counterpart, allowing players controlling Edge and his dragon to experience flying through the valley with similar mines on either side. The mines were created by the Empire who were searching for Azel in the area. Players have the option of entering some of these tunnels which link to other parts of the excavation site. An advantage of going through these tunnels is that they are not infested by enemy monsters, unlike the open valley area.
Between these tunnels, numerous bridges crossed the depths of the valley. On these bridges were placed mine carts that carried rubble from the mines. When Edge accessed these mine carts he received various items, some of which assisted him and his dragon in battle, and others which were not useful, including some which he referred to as “an Imperial piece of crap”.
Near the end of the excavation site, the linear valley split into two forks. The right hand fork was blocked by fans that were used to keep monsters out of the excavation site, although it appears that some had either bypassed these fans or already existed in the valley, since Edge fought a number of pattergo and baldors while flying through Excavation Site #74. The left hand fork led to a tunnel which contained a switch to deactivate the fans, allowing Edge to exit the excavation site. The fans did not stop until Edge and his dragon reentered the right hand fork and flew near the fans, suggesting that the actual deactivation may have been triggered by a combination of the dragon’s movement and the switch being triggered. Alternatively, Team Andromeda may have intended the fans to have stopped the moment when Edge flew towards them to emphasise the event, with no relevance to the nature of fans beyond this, however fans of Panzer Dragoon Saga can only speculate on this point.
Edge exited Excavation Site #74 through another tunnel beyond where the fans were located. He noted that now the monsters could enter too and hoped that deactivating the fans wasn’t a mistake. Later, players have the option of returning to Excavation Site #74, and if the dragon’s laser rank has reached rank #6 the fans can be destroyed. This is requirement for obtaining 100% target destruction in Panzer Dragoon Saga.
Canyon Deep Gulch
After exiting Excavation Site #74, Edge and his dragon entered an area of the valley known as Canyon Deep Gulch. The area differed from Excavation #74 in that the valley walls contained numerous waterfalls. Given its close proximity to Canyon Deep Gulch, it is possible that the Excavation #74 area also contained waterfalls which were diverted by the Empire during the excavation process, however fans can only speculate on this point. As when flying through Excavation Site #74, Edge and his dragon encountered enemy baldors, as well as magnata and gelata urchins, however no pattergo were fought in the area.
Upon entering Canyon Deep Gulch, Edge discovered a downed Imperial airship from which he retrieved a recording of the ship’s distress call. Edge travelled further up the valley and encountered a baldor queen stretched across the valley, which he fought and destroyed. After the baldor queen was defeated, Edge noticed a passageway inside the nearby waterfall which fell from the river above into the dark depths of the valley below. Players controlling Edge have the option of entering the passage under the waterfall or flying above the waterfall and along the surface of the river. The waterfall passage led to a separate route that was a fork of the same river. Both routes eventually converged into a single route which led Edge and his dragon in the path of another baldor queen. Upon defeating this second baldor queen they exited Deep Canyon Gulch through another tunnel.
Edge thought the valley was lengthy, asking himself if the valley was endless. Before exiting the valley he encountered Gash being chased by an arachnoth. The arachnoth smashed the path that Gash’s coolia was running along, and Gash hid inside a cave in the valley wall while Edge and his dragon fought the arachnoth. Players controlling Edge were required to defeat the arachnoth in order to complete the valley area.
Players controlling Edge have the option of visiting a campsite that is associated with the valley area. Since players are not required to view the Panzer Dragoon Saga world map until the valley area is complete, it is possible to miss the valley campsite entirely, with the village of Cainus campsite being the first compulsory campsite that players must visit in order to progress through the game. The valley campsite is only accessible if players manually go into the game’s menu and choose to go to the world map after entering the valley but before defeating the arachnoth. Visually, the campsite looks similar to the Deep Canyon Gulch area, with waterfalls and valley walls in the background.