The Prototype Dragon

The Prototype Dragon, also known as the Dark Dragon and Type 02, was a black and orange dragon charged by Sestren to defend the Tower near the Imperial Capital and kill the Heresy Dragon. Although “Dark Dragon” may have been intended to be more of a descriptive title, this is the only name that fans are given for the enemy dragon in the English translation of the original Panzer Dragoon game. The official website of Panzer Dragoon: Remake uses the name Prototype Dragon.1

The game’s introduction says of the Tower, “This power created strife amongst surrounding nations, all struggling against each other and the evil forces of the Dark Dragon” with ‘Dark Dragon’ emphasised in capital letters. The name Type 02 is used to describe the bonus dragon form that looks like the Dark Dragon in Panzer Dragoon Zwei’s Pandra’s Box, and the name Prototype Dragon is mentioned in the Azel Panzer Dragoon RPG guide book.2

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The Prototype Dragon in Panzer Dragoon

The Prototype Dragon assumed the role of the antagonist of the original Panzer Dragoon game. After the Prototype Dragon is briefly mentioned in the game’s text based introduced, players are first introduced the Prototype Dragon itself when Kyle encounters it chasing the Sky Rider and his dragon through an underground ruin. Like the Heresy Dragon, the Prototype Dragon was ridden by an armoured rider. Although the Sky Rider’s identity is not made clear, the Azel Panzer Dragoon RPG guide book confirms that the Prototype Dragon’s rider was a drone.3

The Prototype Dragon after using the Tower to enhance itself.

The Prototype Dragon after using the Tower to enhance itself.

The Prototype Dragon was defeated by Kyle Fluge and his dragon in an encounter in the desert at the end of the second episode. Players briefly encounter the Prototype Dragon in episodes 4 and 6, before the last confrontation with the Prototype Dragon in the game’s seventh episode. Using the power of the Tower, the Prototype Dragon transformed into a larger, snake-like version of itself, before being defeated by the Kyle permanently. If players are playing on Hard Mode, the Prototype Dragon will revert into its regular form after being defeated for a final confrontation.

Cameo in Panzer Dragoon Zwei

Although the Prototype Dragon did not feature in Panzer Dragoon Zwei’s story, the form of the Prototype Dragon is playable as an unlockable bonus dragon in Pandra’s Box. This form is known in the game as Type 02. It is unclear whether the name Type 02 referred to the Prototype Dragon itself or whether it simply referred to the black and orange form of the dragon. Pandra’s Box refers to the Blue Dragon form that Lagi turns into in the game as Type 01, suggesting that Type 02 referred to the form, however Panzer Dragoon Zwei does not confirm this.

Cameo in Panzer Dragoon Saga

The Solo Wing spiritual class.

The Solo Wing spiritual class.

The Dark Dragon’s form also appeared in Panzer Dragoon Saga. When Edge’s dragon turns into the Solo Wing, he acquires the appearance of the Blue Dragon from the original Panzer Dragoon game. However the Blue Dragon was only the Solo Wing’s normal class; for the agility, attack, and defense classes, the Solo Wing took on the appearance of dragon forms from Panzer Dragoon Zwei. Only the Solo Wing’s spiritual class appeared as a form that the Heresy Dragon had not transformed into previously (as far as players are made aware), a form that looked like the Prototype Dragon. It is unclear whether the Heresy Dragon somehow assimilated the Prototype Dragon’s genetic information to allow for this transformation (for example when the Dark Dragon was defeated at the end of Panzer Dragoon) or whether the Solo Wing spiritual class had the Prototype Dragon’s form simply for nostalgic reasons, with no intentional story relevance beyond this.

The Prototype Dragon in Panzer Dragoon Mini

The Dark Dragon in Panzer Dragoon Mini.

The Dark Dragon in Panzer Dragoon Mini.

The Prototype Dragon was a boss enemy in Panzer Dragoon Mini which the player dragon fights at the end of Stage 3. In Panzer Dragoon Mini there is also a playable black dragon, however it is unclear if this was supposed to represent the Prototype Dragon or the Type 02 / Solo Wing Spiritual Class forms that the dragon can morph into in Panzer Dragoon Zwei and Panzer Dragoon Saga respectively.

The Prototype Dragon in the Panzer Dragoon Original Video Animation

The Prototype Dragon was also featured in the non-canonical Panzer Dragoon Original Video Animation. Unlike in the Panzer Dragoon video game, the Prototype Dragon did not feature a rider. Instead, Kyle’s love interest, Alita, is possessed by the dragon and assumes the role of rider. The Prototype Dragon is known as “that black dragon” by Kyle and although it is not known by the name “Prototype Dragon” or “Dark Dragon” in the story, it clearly based on the Prototype Dragon from the video game.

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