Team Andromeda, Land Ho
Sega Saturn, Windows, Xbox
March 10, 1995 (JP),
May 11, 1995 (US)August 30, 1995 (PAL)
Panzer Dragoon is a video game released in 1995 for the Sega Saturn, PC, and Playstation 2. The game was also released as an extra on Panzer Dragoon Orta.
The player is set along a rail of gameplay with the game moving forward at a predetermined pace. The only time the game pauses, thus giving the player control over how long the game lasts, is during boss battles. The player has a small degree of control, being allowed to move about the x and y-axis, but the overall direction of travel is uncontrollable.
The player has a full, 360-degree field of view, and can quickly look left, right, forward, and behind the dragon. Enemies will come from all directions and vary in size and health.
The player has two weapons, the hand gun held by the rider which can fired with a single button press, and the homing laser fired by the dragon which is controlled by holding down the fire button and highlighting enemies with the aiming reticle.
The game is set out over six levels and a final boss battle. Bosses are encountered at the end of each level, with the exception of the sixth. Cut scenes illustrating plot details are placed before the beginnings of some levels.
"Thousands of years have passed since a once thriving human civilization perished in the dust.
Time goes by...... Passing their existence in fear of the ever-present shadow of cyber-generic [sic] warfare, the few remaining human beings struggle to regain the power that they have lost.
With a desolate future, the people look to their past for a glint of hope. Excavations at an ancient tower have provided the people with a deadly arsenal, now turned upon their foes. This power has created strife amongst surrounding nations, all struggling against each other and the forces of the dark dragon.
The fate of the world rests on the wings of an armored blue dragon..."
The game opens at night, with a large, flying battleship approaching a tower surrounded by water. An announcement about the starting of an operation is heard over loud speakers.
The scene cuts to a group of three humans, riding bipedal horse-like creatures called Coolia and hunting in a canyon during the day. The protagonist, Keil Fluge (un-named in the American version), is among them. A similar ship as seen earlier flies overhead. They are given little time to question the ship's origin or allegiance before they are attacked by two crab-like creatures called Burrowers from under the dirt. His companions injured, Keil gives chase, killing one.
The second creature escapes into what appears to be a large, ancient complex built directly into the rock. Keil pauses, but ultimately continues inside. The complex is covered with dust and age, but relics of old technology still hang from the ceilings. The Burrower he had been chasing suddenly drops from the ceiling, ripped in two, followed by energy blasts.
Keil looks up and sees a gigantic creature falling from the ceiling towards him. He leaps from his mount just in time to evade the beast. He flees, only to come to a dead end. His weapon is useless against the armored creature, but a rumbling triggers a cave in, crushing the monster and saving Keil.
From the newly-created hole, an armored, blue dragon flies down the cavern with a rider across its shoulders, being chased by an even bigger black dragon. Keil is unable to gather his senses before the blue dragon is seen rushing back up the cavern, followed by the shock wave of a large explosion.
Regaining consciousness outside, Keil sees the two dragons locked in combat in the air before him. Dodging a blast from the black dragon, the blue dragon's rider does not see a single shot coming at him, which pierces his chest. The black dragon and rider fly away into the distance.
The blue dragon flies towards Keil. Upon landing, the rider, visibly wounded, extends a quivering hand towards Keil. Keil reaches out and a psychic connection is made. The rider tells Keil that the Black Dragon must not be allowed to reach the tower shown earlier in the game. With this, the rider's life force leaves his body and blows into the wind. Keil looks the dragon in the eye, picks up the rider's fallen gun, climbs atop the dragon and flies away, determined to finish the rider's quest.
The two fly through a drowned city, encountering mutated creatures who mistake them as a threat. After escaping the creatures in the initial area, Keil and the dragon encounter a small, Imperial patrol ship who was endangering the monsters in the area. The ship is quickly dispatched, but not before it was able to send a report to a large fleet of ships flying above the clouds. It is revealed that the imperial forces are specifically searching for the blue dragon.
Keil and the dragon travel great distances, they traverse through a desert, where they encounter mutant creatures and gigantic worm-like creatures called Baltors. At the stormy edge of the desert, they are soon confronted by the Black Dragon, which challenges them to a duel. The duo scare off the black dragon, and he speeds away.
The two soon fly through a mountainous landscape at nighttime where they get reacquainted with the Imperial forces. It seems that The Empire has set up an excavation site, exploring ancient ruins. While here, they also encounter a variety of Imperial battleships, Imperial turret mechanisms, and even Imperial ground infantry units. They fight a two-parted Imperial aircraft before finishing the level.
Through these encounters, the ongoing conflict between the Imperial forces and the ancient machines and creatures is illustrated. Keil and the dragon traverse an ancient facility while being pursued by Imperial airships. The Imperials were not the only threat that the duo had to deal with; they soon encounter "Pure-type creatures", cybernetic sentinels left behind by the ancients. Soon after they defeat a large armada of the most powerful Imperial ships over a forested area, the game cuts to the tower once more. It is announced that instructions from Unit 01 have been received, and the entire fleet is to mobilize.
A group of water-skimming pure-type creatures erupts from the surrounding ocean and fires on the flying ships circling the tower, destroying them. A fleet of dragon-esque pure-type creatures are then shown to be attacking the Imperial forces. The chase reaches its zenith, here, as the black dragon and Keil race through the battle-scarred Imperial capital. During this, they are both waylaid by the creatures and machines seen attacking the Imperial fleet around the tower while also being fired on by Imperial defenses.
Completing the chase at the tower, the black dragon succeeds in entering the now-opened facility. An announcement over a loud speaker reveals that the black dragon was unit 01 and is under the control of the Imperial forces. The black dragon mutates into a gigantic super-dragon and begins a climactic battle with Keil and the blue dragon. Defeating the black dragon, its mutant form shatters and falls into the ocean, followed shortly by the dying black dragon and its rider.
With the battles behind them, Keil and the dragon enter the tower. While traveling down a long corridor, the dragon looks up at Keil and surrounds him in a force field, lifting him from the saddle and suspending him in the hallway. Keil watches as the dragon continues on to the core of the tower. A blinding light is seen, illuminating the silhouette of the blue dragon, and the tower explodes. Keil wakes up some time later in a desert area abutting the ocean. Looking down, he sees the foot prints of the blue dragon around him, indicating that after the explosion, the dragon carried him to safety and flew away.
- Pure-type creatures
Panzer Dragoon Games