The Empire is an Empire led by the Seventh and Eighth Emperors. It severs as the Enemies and Bosses in the Panzer Dragoon Series.
Panzer Dragoon I and II and SagaEdit
It is shown that the Empire eventually declared war or annexed all of its neighbours. During the events of Panzer Dragoon Zwei, the Empire was in the middle of widening its grasp by invading another one of its neighbouring nations. Here players saw the Empire at war with another nation named Meccania that had also dug up ancient weapons. Unlike other nations, Meccania actually seemed to be holding its ground against the invaders by using beam lasers. While this war continued to rage in the background, the Imperials also did not fail to notice the same huge Ancient skyship, Shelcoof that Lagi and Lundi were chasing. The Empire’s relentless pursuit for even more Ancient weaponry led it to pursue the ship until the Imperial forces could no longer afford to lose more ships. Chasing Shelcoof was put on hold until the Empire finished invading Meccania. As anyone could see, the Empire’s obsession with controlling the uncontrollable borders was suicidal.
The reasons for the invasion of Meccania can be found in the official timeline which states that the Empire accused Meccania of attempting to hijack its “Space Battleship”, but that this was a front used as an excuse to invade. It appears the Empire used the hijacking to justify to its own people an invasion of Meccania. It is unclear whether the term “Space Battleship” refers to a flagship or was meant to denote something plural that was lost in translation. The ship was used to clear out ruins of monsters, so it could possibly be either, but it was said to be the “symbol of the Empire”.
In A.F. 89, after the Sixth Emperor passed away and his heir inherited the throne, the Empire finally found the weapon of myth and legend it had been looking for for so long. The monolith made of seemingly black metal existed not far from the capital on the north western shore. It was kept under guard by warships flown out from the nearby capital and thoroughly explored. The Empire stopped all other excavations just to concentrate its research on this one.
While Kyle Fluge and his two companions travelled the great plains something massive cast a shadow over them. A ship came to a halt overhead as if it was searching for something. The group stopped to stare up at the ship and one of them identifies it as a “battleship”. A brief conversation ensues; a member of the group asks if the ship is one of theirs to which we hear no reply. This suggests that the battleship may have belonged to a nation other than the Empire; a rival nation is one possibility. Alternatively, Kyle and his friends may have come from somewhere that was a part of the Empire.
The battleship sighted by Kyle and his comrades was in fact an Imperial battlecruiser. In Panzer Dragoon Saga, this type of ship was called a battlecruiser, and was a bit bigger than a gunship. Battleship and battlecruiser are probably synonymous designations or a mistranslation in the text, because the ships are identical. A question that remains unanswered is what the ship was doing so far from home.
At the end of episode 1 after Kyle took the reins of the Sky Rider’s dragon, Kyle encountered a battlecruiser that opened fire without warning. It was possible that it was the same ship that Kyle saw in the intro, and that it was searching for the dragon. The Empire sighted the dragon in the first place according to the Empire’s history of these events recorded in the first Tower Report found in Panzer Dragoon Saga.
From behind, the ship’s anti-gravity engine appeared darker than other engines of its kind as if the ship was coloured to be under a shade. However, from the front, the engine/sail matched the colour of the engine of the ship seen in the introduction sequence. Whether it was the same ship or merely the same type of ship is unknown. The ship’s hull did not last long against Kyle’s newly-acquired hand-held laser cannon and his dragon’s lasers. It quickly buckled under the pressure of the assault of the two Ancient weapons.
The Empire threw everything it had at the dragons, but under-estimated their strength. In Panzer Dragoon, Kyle faced a ship so huge that it filled the player’s screen. Needless to say, trying to capture a dragon proved to be a fatal mistake. After the experiencing the destruction caused by these events, the Empire planned to build a new flagship to meet this new challenge so that next time the Empire would be better prepared. The Blue Dragon, one of the dragons involved, had no intention of fighting the Empire, but had every intention of fighting through anything that stood between him and the Tower which the Empire recently started excavating. The Empire had been the Blue Dragon’s real target, but nothing the Empire could have mustered at the time would have stood the slightest chance of standing against him.
Thirty years later in Panzer Dragoon Saga during the reign of the Seventh Emperor, players gain a much deeper glimpse into the Empire’s ambitions. The Empire finally discovered how to not only awaken, but also take control of one of the Ancient sleeping monoliths known as the Towers. The secret to unlocking its power was a living key in the form of a drone named Azel. Through her the Empire could gain access to the previously locked technology. However, before the Imperials could set their plans in motion, the Empire suffered an attack against which there was no defence at the hands of one of their own. The traitor, Lord Craymen of the Black Fleet, managed to make the entire Imperial capital vanish without a trace. A blinding flash of light washed over the capital like a tidal wave of pure energy, evaporating every last trace of the once thriving city.
The Imperials tied an Ancient armour plated bio-mechanical dragon to their gunship and tried to tow it back to the Empire. In Gash’s words, they tried to resurrect a horror from the past to end the war with Craymen. Gash also said it was supposed to be indestructible; he did not elaborate on how he knew that, but some fans have assumed that Gash inherited this knowledge from Lundi. Lagi and Lundi blew the Ancient Guardian Dragon to pieces forty eight years earlier, yet somehow it managed to regenerate almost completely over time.
After Edge and Gash made their escape from the gunship, the huge Guardian Dragon of Shelcoof awakened in transport, cutting the gunship to shreds with laser beams to thwart the Empire’s plans. Even this failed attempt to bring this horror from the past home showed the Empire’s desire to control as much biological weaponry as possible, especially dragons. It also showed the reckless suicidal lengths to which the Imperials were willing to go to do so, which was a consistent theme prevailing throughout the series.
In the end, the Imperial fleet besieged the Tower of Uru and quickly took it by force, but not before Craymen beat them to it. However, the Empire’s dream-come-true quickly turned into a nightmare soon after when the Tower came to life and released a swarm of bio-monsters that tore the fleet apart like the Empire’s ships were made of paper. The Tower eradicated the Imperial fleet in seconds, ending the Empire’s dream.
The Seventh Emperor was remembered by his people in Panzer Dragoon Orta as a hero who tried to purge the ruins of monsters when he was the one invading their home and not vice versa. His memory set an example for others to follow, even though it was a lie.
The Empire believed in restoring the power that humanity once held while forgetting why humanity lost it in the first place. The Empire had to learn this lesson the hard way. In a way, Panzer Dragoon Saga was a retelling of the original Panzer Dragoon, only with more depth to it. The Empire built on the sand of its own insatiable ambition of never having enough power, and was always destined to create more problems than it could solve as a result, as seen here.
A batch of dragonmare embryos were fully formed by the time Orta and her dragon reached the bio-reactor, and for a moment, the Imperials thought they were somehow responsible for their growth, and that they no longer needed drones to create more. Unfortunately, the Empire was going to be taught a lesson, and it was going to learn it the hard way. The Empire’s burning desire for power threatened to consume it like fire with nowhere else to spread when the Imperials lost control of the new dragonmares which attacked the fleet guarding the Cradle. The warships fell from the sky like rain drops and exploded as if their armour was made of paper. It didn’t take Orta long to figure out that Abadd was responsible.
Once again, the Empire had unleashed a great evil on the world with no way to reign it in back under its control, and paid the ultimate price for it. This paralleled past events involving the previous Empire. Despite these losses, the Empire was still a force to be reckoned with as shown by its resilience and ability to reinvent itself after suffering (at the hands of) huge set backs. The Empire had shown that war forced both the best and worst out of people because it gave them no other choice, but at the same time was trying to control forces that were simply beyond its control. The Empire was not back in the godly sense that it wanted to be, but it was back with a vengeance nonetheless.