The Seventh Emperor

The Seventh Emperor was one of the main villain characters in Panzer Dragoon Saga. He was also the emperor of the Empire during the time of the original Panzer Dragoon, although not as far back as Panzer Dragoon Zwei. He was a character whose life began at some point before the Panzer Dragoon series began (chronologically) and before the dragon Lagi was born into the world. This elderly man was the emperor until the end of the third disc of Panzer Dragoon Saga and ascended the throne of the Empire in Imperial Year 82, not long after the Sixth Emperor (from Panzer Dragoon Zwei) passed away. His rule was strong over the people of the human empire, and although it suffered several losses throughout the course of the Seventh Emperor’s era of leadership, his rule lasted almost thirty years, a time period when the Empire went through several major advancements and discoveries. Panzer Dragoon Saga director Yukio Futatsugi has confirmed that the Emperor was inspired by Count Hakone from Dune.1

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The Seventh Emperor’s Background

Despite the Seventh Emperor’s importance to the movement of the Empire in the Panzer Dragoon trilogy, very little has been revealed about his background before the original Panzer Dragoon took place.

The Seventh Emperor's throne.

The Seventh Emperor's throne.

The Seventh Emperor’s appearance is portrays that of an emperor; he wore a red outfit of royal design, with a navy blue collar, and golden coloured rims around the outside of the fabric. In every scene that he inhabits, the Emperor can be seen sitting in his floating throne, a piece of furniture that enabled him to lift his body into the air. It is unknown how exactly the throne was able to hover above the ground. One possibility is that the chair used the same technology that is found in the float engines that the Empire used to keep their ships aloft. A similar throne (perhaps the same throne) in inhabited by the Sixth Emperor as seen in Panzer Dragoon Zwei.

The Seventh Emperor’s Role in Panzer Dragoon

One of the biggest discoveries that the Empire made took place three years after the Seventh Emperor inherited the throne. On the eighteenth day of the second month, the Empire discovered traces of energy in the West Sea that were later confirmed to be coming from the ultimate weapon: an Ancient Tower. According to Imperial legends, the Tower had enough destructive power to destroy the entire world. Determined to reawaken the Tower and claim its power as his own, the Seventh Emperor poured endless amounts of the Empire’s resources into an attempt to awaken the sleeping monolith. He believed that as the supposed ‘rightful heir to the Ancient civilisation’ his Empire alone should control the power of the Tower. As hard as the Empire tried to activate the Tower, it was only when two dragons entered the area that the Tower was awoken from its seemingly lifeless state.

Two dragons fly through the Imperial Capital.

Two dragons fly through the Imperial Capital.

It was under the rule of the Seventh Emperor that the Dark Dragon and the armoured Blue Dragon fought their way through the Imperial Capital and finally reached the Tower, located nearby. The Tower became active and a great number of pure-type monsters rose from the ocean surrounding the Tower and attacked the Seventh Emperor’s capital city. After a climatic battle between the two dragons, the Tower was destroyed, and amongst all the chaos a large part of the Imperial Capital was destroyed. However the Seventh Emperor’s palace and the Imperial Academy remained relatively unarmed and the Seventh Emperor soon moved on from the disaster. The Empire began work on an extremely powerful and well-armoured flagship which was named Grig Orig. In Imperial Year 100, when the flying fortress was finally completed, it became the Seventh Emperor’s new home, as it was one of the most well protected (possibly the most well armoured) strongholds in the entire Empire.

The Seventh Emperor’s Role in Panzer Dragoon Saga

The Seventh Emperor reacts to the Imperial Capital's destruction.

The Seventh Emperor reacts to the Imperial Capital's destruction.

The Emperor commands that the Grig Orig go after Craymen.

The Emperor commands that the Grig Orig go after Craymen.

The Seventh Emperor imposed a heavy tax on the residents of the Empire in order to help it recover from the losses that occurred after the Tower was discovered. However the Emperor did not relinquish his lust for the power contained within the Towers so easily. The Empire learnt that a drone was required to take control of a Tower and they began to desperately search for one. It was in Imperial Year 119 that mercenaries, hired by the Empire, unearthed the drone Azel, but she was taken from the ruins before they had the chance to use her. An Imperial traitor named K. F. Craymen, ‘stole’ Azel from an Imperial excavation site and as a diversion pulverised the Imperial Capital completely. The Seventh Emperor’s reaction to the deaths of so many of his own people’s lives wasn’t of pain or surprise. On the contrary he seemed to find the whole situation amusing (at least, his reaction was expressed outwardly with laughter) and the destruction of the capital did not appear to hinder his plans to control the Tower of Uru. Bent on controlling the Tower, which he believed would give him the power to control the world, the Seventh Emperor pursued Craymen personally by sending the Grig Orig, and a large proportion of the Empire battleships, after Craymen’s Black Fleet.

The flagship Grig Orig commanded by the Seventh Emperor.

The flagship Grig Orig commanded by the Seventh Emperor.

Before reaching the Tower and capturing Craymen, the Empire overran the village of Zoah and demanded that they surrender to the Imperial banner. When Edge and his dragon destroyed the Empire’s nearby air force base, the Empire blamed Zoah and used the Grig Orig’s Imperial Cannon to slice the town into rubble. It is likely that the Seventh Emperor personally ordered the destruction of Zoah, and if that was the case then it reconfirms that he did not hold much value for human life.

Craymen eventually reached the Tower located near the lake of Uru, but the Empire was rapidly enclosing in on the Black Fleet and there was nothing that Craymen was able to do to prevent them. The Seventh Emperor managed to successfully trap Craymen, Azel, and Edge in a room inside the Tower. Realising that he could now have a dragon rider in his possession he announced, delighted, that he had some nasty experiments in store for Edge. Craymen pulled out a hidden weapon and tried to shoot the Emperor, however he was restrained by an Imperial officer. In retaliation, the Emperor fired a machine gun back at him, leaving Craymen gasping in pain. Overwhelmed with satisfaction at the thought that he would almost certainly control mankind’s future, the Emperor began to laugh mechanically, but not without first ordering Azel to activate the Tower. Overcome by grief at the fallen Craymen, Azel let out a scream that awoke the Tower from its deep slumber. The Emperor looked up in bewilderment, and at that moment a biomonster leapt from the roof and extended a claw that ripped through the Seventh Emperor’s torso, abruptly ending his life.

The Emperor after capturing Craymen.

The Emperor after capturing Craymen.

About to be torn apart by a biomonster.

About to be torn apart by a biomonster.

How the Seventh Emperor Was Remembered

A statue of the Seventh Emperor.

A statue of the Seventh Emperor.

Even though the Seventh Emperor’s part to play in Imperial history could be regarded as cowardly or even loathsome, he was remembered as one the greatest human heroes in the entire history of the Empire. According to historians of the new Empire (that was formed a number of years later), the deaths of many Imperial soldiers at the time of the Great Fall affected the Seventh Emperor profoundly and he sacrificed his own life using the might of the Grig Orig to destroy the Tower and many of the neighbouring ruins. A Guardian Festival was held once a year to celebrate this ‘victory’ of the Seventh Emperor and everyone in the Empire was required to go without food for the length of four full days and nights.

Panzer Dragoon Orta’s Pandora’s Box describes the Seventh Emperor as becoming “a god-like figure in the eyes of the people”. In fact, the people of the new Empire went so far as to construct a statue to honour his ‘heroic’ deeds. The statue appears to be fully Empire-made rather than constructed from left over materials from the Ancient Age. Orta and her dragon carried out a swift end to the statue’s legacy in the fourth episode of Panzer Dragoon Orta.

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