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"Riding with the Ghost"
August 20, 2013 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Panzer Dragoon was a series of video games released between 1995 and 2003. Created by Yukio Futatsugi, the series quickly became a hit among gamers for its arial combat and great soundtrack. And if that weren't enough, apparently the ending of the third installment helps explain the Holy Trinity.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (20 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I coveted this game so much back in the day. Never did get to play it because I didn't have a Saturn. *sadface*
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:07 AM on August 20, 2013


RolandOfEld, you can use an emulator to play Panzer Dragoon Saga:
• it's great.
• the whole ding darn thing is about 12 hours long, no kidding.
• it's like absolutely nothing else out there, or probably ever will.
posted by Poppa Bear at 9:12 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Arial Combat.
posted by mkb at 9:35 AM on August 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


...my English, its-a not-a so good.
posted by Poppa Bear at 9:36 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


And if that weren't enough, apparently the ending of the third installment helps explain the Holy Trinity.

Have you played Xenosaga? That should satisfy your urges for wacky religious speculation.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:39 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


A friend and I rented a Sega Saturn when it first came out, along with two games - Myst and Panzer Dragoon. Those games looked and played like nothing else available at the time. I don't know how SEGA blew such a lead.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:43 AM on August 20, 2013


Wasn't there an arcade version of Panzer Dragoon? Or at least something that had similar gameplay, where you would run around with this big gun targeting enemies like the Panzer Dragoon system and then take to the air occasionally?
posted by vibrotronica at 10:01 AM on August 20, 2013


Looking up Saturn emulation led me to a YouTube video. The Caspar section about 2' 40" in is the most terrifying thing I have ever seen
posted by fallingbadgers at 10:20 AM on August 20, 2013


Ecce Valde Generous Ale is still one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever produced for a videogame, and these games as a whole still have probably the most beautiful art direction of any game. A Panzer post is not complete without:
The Art of Panzer Dragoon

Panzer Dragoon Saga remains one of the best games in its genre, and one of the most artistically ambitious, creatively alien and lovingly human games anyone has made to date. It's one of those games everyone should play, but very people ever have due to rarity, hardware issues and ownership tangles (allegedly, Sega lost the master copy). It's easy to emulate with SSF, though, so NO MORE EXCUSES!
posted by byanyothername at 10:36 AM on August 20, 2013


Panzer Dragoon Saga is friggin' fabulous. I will treasure my print copy forever, even if I'll only ever play it via emulation anymore. I never thought of the ending in this way because I'm just not at all religious, but it's really interesting.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:41 AM on August 20, 2013


Wasn't there an arcade version of Panzer Dragoon? Or at least something that had similar gameplay, where you would run around with this big gun targeting enemies like the Panzer Dragoon system and then take to the air occasionally?

Sounds a bit like Space Harrier, or its more recent sequel Planet Harriers, although you mostly flew in those.
posted by JHarris at 11:04 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do you run PDS on emulation without the whole thing running terribly slowly?
posted by ersatz at 11:26 AM on August 20, 2013


Thank you, JHarris. Space Harrier was the one I was thinking of.
posted by vibrotronica at 12:21 PM on August 20, 2013


Just to add a footnote to the Space Harrier derail:

A weird little footnote in the history of gaming is Square's pre-Final Fantasy Space Harrier NES knockoff The 3D Battles of Worldrunner, aka Tobidase Daisakusen, which plays sort of like Space Harrier, except you're stuck on the ground except for gigantic, floaty leaps across the landscape, and boss battles, where you can suddenly fly for some reason.

One thing about the game is that there are pillars on the landscape that you can smack into and bounce off. These are not deadly generally (unless they're on fire). Except you can jump off the *top* of them, an act that requires ridiculous precision, and is unfortunately required in later levels or else fall into long Pits Of Doom. Makes it a lot easier to appreciate Space Harrier, I have to say.
posted by JHarris at 12:55 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd forgotten how awesome and unique the visual design of Panzer Dragoon was. I can't remember the last time I saw a game which just looked like nothing else. Different graphical styles sure, but look at those shapes!
posted by lucidium at 1:19 PM on August 20, 2013


BTW, the "spiritual successor" to Panzer Dragoon just got announced as a launch title on XBox One. A bit of troubled history but hopefully they turned it around.
posted by kmz at 1:59 PM on August 20, 2013


Panzer Dragoon Saga remains one of the best games in its genre

I don't know if you'd consider Sin and Punishment to be the quite the same genre. But those games are pretty fantastic and crazy as well.
posted by straight at 3:48 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Panzer Dragoon Saga was somewhat of a departure in gameplay from the previous two. Instead of the Space Harrier style run/gun, it was an RPG with an incredibly addictive battle system. Panzer Dragoon Orta, the Xbox game, was a return to the mechanics of Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei- more like Sin and Punishment and Rez.
posted by Dr-Baa at 5:22 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Saturn was the last console I ever bought - and I bought it for this game and Virtua Fighter.

Man, this game was great. I haven't thought about it in years. Wow.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:45 PM on August 20, 2013


Anybody else see the headline and finish it by singing "I've been doing whatever he told me..."?
posted by SafetyPirate at 5:57 PM on August 21, 2013


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