Comparing the Maps
An analysis of the regions depicted by the different maps, and a look at how all of these maps fit together.
The first task when faced with all these different maps of the Panzer Dragoon world is, of course, working out how they all fit together. While initially these maps might appear to depict completely different places, they all in fact show different parts of the same greater region: although their correct alignment is far from obvious.
This article will be looking at these maps in detail, examining how they can be pieced together in order to give a greater understanding of the Panzer Dragoon world. First though, a brief summary of the maps themselves follows:
- The Panzer Dragoon Map
- The Panzer Dragoon Zwei Map
- The Panzer Dragoon Saga Map
- The Routes Map
- The Tower Distribution Map
- Locating the Events of Panzer Dragoon Saga
- Locating the Events of Panzer Dragoon
- Locating the Events of Panzer Dragoon Zwei
- Putting the Maps Together
- Aligning the Panzer Dragoon Zwei Map
- Identifying the Compass
- Accounting for Inconsistencies
The Panzer Dragoon Map
The Panzer Dragoon Map.
This first official map was printed in a player’s guide for the original Panzer Dragoon game. It shows the route taken by the Blue Dragon during its famous pursuit of the Dark Dragon, which led them both to the Tower off the coast of the Empire’s capital city.
The Panzer Dragoon Zwei Map
The Panzer Dragoon Zwei Map.
This second official map was printed in a player’s guide for Panzer Dragoon Zwei, but unfortunately it does not show any routes or location names whatsoever.
(You might also notice that this map has been rotated ninety degrees clockwise from the original scan; the reasoning behind this will become clear later on).
The Panzer Dragoon Saga Map
The Panzer Dragoon Saga Map.
The official map to the left was printed in a player’s guide for Panzer Dragoon Saga. This map is easily recognisable as the in-game map for that game, with the Garil Desert in the west, Georgius in the north and the Forest of Zoah in the east.
The Routes Map
The Routes Map.
The official map to the right was printed in a different Panzer Dragoon Saga guide. It shows the journey travelled by the dragon in each of the three Sega Saturn games, and it is by far the most helpful image when trying to piece these maps together.
The Tower Distribution Map
The Tower Distribution Map.
It’s worth mentioning that the fifth official map - this “Tower distribution map” - is from the same original map as the “routes map” above, but it shows the locations of Towers instead of routes and place names.
It is worth keeping in mind that these maps do not line up with absolute perfection. They are all on different scales, they are drawn in different styles, and the landscape is evidently shown in different proportions on each map. The evidence binding them together is undeniable though, and it fortunately outweighs any doubt that might arise from such small inconsistencies.
Locating the Events of Panzer Dragoon Saga
Panzer Dragoon Saga is probably the easiest game to place, as its regions clearly appear on two of these maps. Below is a comparison between the Panzer Dragoon Saga map and the bottom-right corner of the “routes map”:
Panzer Dragoon Saga's map.
The Panzer Dragoon Saga route is clearly shown on the “routes map”, and the other map definitely shows the in-game map for Panzer Dragoon Saga, so there can be no doubt as to the region that they depict. Note that Panzer Dragoon Saga takes place in only a very small part of the “routes map”, which is evidently on a massive scale.
The other two maps apparently do not depict this region, so further comparisons are necessary to determine where their lands lie in relation to this place.
Locating the Events of Panzer Dragoon
The map from the original Panzer Dragoon player’s guide (see below left) evidently shows an extremely zoomed-in view of a small area, as becomes apparent when it is compared to the other maps.
This area - containing the Imperial Capital, a characteristic “forked” forest, and a small inland sea - clearly appears on the main “routes map” as well (see below right). Despite the clearly different styles in which these two maps are drawn, the route arrows confirm that this is definitely the same area.
Panzer Dragoon's map.
Note that there are quite a few small inconsistencies between the Panzer Dragoon map and the “routes map”; the placing of the Imperial Capital and the exact shape of the coastline seem to be the most prominent. However, the route drawn on each map confirms that they both depict the setting of the first Panzer Dragoon game.
Locating the Events of Panzer Dragoon Zwei
This distinctive region that contains the Imperial Capital can also be identified on the map from the Panzer Dragoon Zwei player’s guide. Panning out from that area, there can be no doubt that this region on the “routes map” (below left) is also illustrated on the Panzer Dragoon Zwei map (below right). The same coastline, mountain ranges and forests appear plainly on both, as can be seen below:
Panzer Dragoon Zwei's map.
This knowledge makes it possible to identify routes and locations on the otherwise completely blank Panzer Dragoon Zwei map. In fact, discovering that the same region appears on both the Panzer Dragoon Zwei map and the “routes map” is the final link that binds all these maps together.
Putting the Maps Together
Accounting for all of the information above, it becomes apparent that the four maps fit together as follows:
Panzer Dragoon Map Compilation.
The “routes map” is clearly the largest of the maps, as it can almost contain the other three maps within itself. The Panzer Dragoon Zwei player’s guide map shows the northern regions of the same general area (and even the sweeping northern coastline, which is off the top of the above compilation). The original Panzer Dragoon map then appears on both the “routes map” and the Panzer Dragoon Zwei map, and the small Panzer Dragoon Saga map fits into the bottom-right corner of the “routes map”.
Aligning the Panzer Dragoon Zwei Map
As was mentioned earlier, the map from the Panzer Dragoon Zwei player’s guide shown here has been rotated ninety degrees clockwise from its original alignment within the book. However, it is clear that the map matches up perfectly with the other maps only after this simple modification.
The most likely explanation is that the map was simply rotated in the player’s guide so that it would fit horizontally onto a single page. Despite the fact that all of these maps are “landscape” proportioned, the other maps seen here were all two-page spreads, while this single map was not.
Identifying the Compass
Out of the five original maps, four of them are aligned to the same idea of “north”, and one of them fits in perfectly after a simple rotation. The last step is to confirm whether or not this is actually considered to be north in the Panzer Dragoon world, which is best done by looking at some actual in-game quotes (necessarily from Panzer Dragoon Saga):
When Edge finds his dying Captain at the excavation site, his Captain says “Go! Hurry! They are heading north, along the valley”. The valley area is indeed to the north of the excavation site on the in-game map, and this is aligned to the same “north” as the maps above.
At the beginning of disc 2 Edge returns to the Caravan, and he finds out the location of the Village of Zoah from his hunter friends. Specifically, Edge is told “You should be able to get there, if you head east.” From the current alignment of these maps, Zoah is indeed east of where the Caravan was located.
In disc 3, Edge enters the locked room in Zoah’s church, and he receives a psychic vision of Mel-Kava when he touches the Guardian Fire relic. As Edge sees the massive ship, he reflects “So this is Mel-Kava… It’s located to the north of Zoah.” This is indeed the case with the current alignment of these maps.
As a final example, the Tower Report 2 book states that the Panzer Dragoon Saga Tower is “located north of Uru.” Of course, that Tower is directly north of Uru on both the in-game world map and on the maps above.
In conclusion then, all of these maps - except the one from the Panzer Dragoon Zwei player’s guide, which has been accounted for - are already aligned to the Panzer Dragoon world’s north. (Note that the compass directions given in Panzer Dragoon Orta’s encyclopaedia also correlate perfectly with this compass, as the “Exploring the Maps” analysis shows).
Accounting for Inconsistencies
It’s worth remembering that, despite the alignment of these maps now being apparent, there are still some inconsistencies between them. The placement of the Imperial Capital is one such discrepancy, as it appears on a different side of the enormous bay on the two maps that show it. Another oddity is the shape of the mountain ranges in the southeast of the Panzer Dragoon Zwei map, which are quite different to their counterparts on the large “routes map”. The coastline is never identical either, and some maps show rivers where others have only dry earth.
There are various possible explanations for these apparent inconsistencies. For example, the Imperial Capital is likely an oversight - but if it was indeed a sprawling metropolis, then it might have extended all the way around those sweeping bay areas. Thus both of the given locations might be correct, as they both might fall within the city’s limits.
The landscape discrepancies are often easier to explain, as it is implied that the Panzer Dragoon world is a geologically unstable wasteland at the best of times. Remember also that these maps are from different time periods; crumbling coastlines, buckling mountain ranges and rivers drying up can account for many of the inconsistencies. The Towers are always credited with manipulating the environment as well, so perhaps some of these changes could be attributed to them.
One last point is that it’s important to identify the creators of the maps, both in a literal and a fictional sense. It is likely that they were drawn by different artists, of course, but it is also possible that some maps are meant to be real maps from within the Panzer Dragoon world itself. A decent analogy for Tolkien fans would be the map shown at the beginning of The Hobbit: this was not an abstract map, but rather an actual map that existed within Tolkien’s fictional world.
Edge's Captain's map.
Looking at Panzer Dragoon Saga, the map given to Edge by his fallen Captain at the excavation site looks quite similar to one of the maps above. The proportions and placement of the landscape features that it depicts are somewhat inconsistent, however.
A map is only as accurate as its maker, so if any of the above maps are meant to be real maps used in the Panzer Dragoon world, their inaccuracies could be explained by this. Like most of the real world’s early explorers, the Panzer Dragoon world’s fictional Empire cannot be expected to chart the greater world flawlessly.
Despite the small anomalies, the clear correlations between these images suggest that Team Andromeda had their world mapped out excellently, possibly right from the start. It is perhaps curious that they went to the trouble of creating all these maps, and yet they only used one of them - the Panzer Dragoon Saga map - in a game. Nevertheless, these maps are all available for fans to examine now, and this extra work that Team Andromeda put into the Panzer Dragoon world is no longer going unnoticed.