Lundi The Sky Rider Theory
The Sky Rider hands over his mission to the next rider before he dies but we never find out who he is and how he met the dragon. Here is a theory that explores the possibility that he might have been Lundi.
A battle between two dragons rages on in the background...
...until the Sky Rider is bit by a laser beam that cuts through him like a hot knife through butter.
Panzer Dragoon Zwei was a prequel to Panzer Dragoon and shed some much needed light on our friendly dragon’s origins and motivations. To avoid any ambiguity, Lagi was the first name given to the dragon of all three Panzer Dragoon games by his very first human rider, Lundi. We’ve yet to discover the truth, but I believe that the unidentified dragon rider that we caught a glimpse of in Panzer Dragoon’s introduction sequence was in fact Lundi, only older. The unknown rider has inherited the name Sky Rider due to his current anonymity, but is best remembered as the armoured rider who passed his reins to Kyle after being shot through the chest by the Dark Dragon’s rider and before dying from that wound.
When the Sky Rider falls to the ground dead, Lagi raises his head skyward and unleashes a piercing cry for all to hear to mourn his rider’s death. This conveys the close bond they shared. Personally, I loved how the Sky Rider selflessly sacrificed his life for the sake of the world’s continued existence. Even in death, he clung to his one and only true purpose in life. If the following points aren’t enough to convince you, then think about why a prequel to Panzer Dragoon was made if not to provide more insight into the original and mysterious rider seen in Panzer Dragoon’s introduction sequence.
The Seekers in Panzer Dragoon Saga loved to wear ancient armour or armour composed out of ancient relics. The Sky Rider’s general appearance, helmed-visage and armour can be explained when a comparison is made between him and the style of armour the self-same Seekers wore to distinguish themselves from everyone else when they weren’t trying to blend in with the rest of humanity. The rider’s armour is fashioned as if improvised; the way his left shoulder pad is fitted into place in a manner out of proportion lacks any kind of symmetry. Very human if you ask me. The armour lends the rider an air of experience, or look that defines him as a person. His exposed facial skin (around his eyes) is the colour of human flesh, which doesn’t conform to the pale unnatural skin that you’d come to expect from a drone like we see in the case of Azel. He does not have glowing eyes like his Dark Dragon counterpart does if he were a drone, which either makes him a very advanced drone, or just human. Also, the Sky Rider was far too emotional to be a drone; he practically begs Kyle to stop the Dark Dragon from reaching the Tower. Indeed, he struggles to speak due to his wound, yet manages to do so with the utmost fervour.
The mind link visualisation as seen in Panzer Dragoon.
One argument that emerges time and time again from the boiling depths of the heated debate living on in the wake of the Sky Rider’s death is how no human could communicate via vivid telepathy as he did. Kyle reaches out to the Sky Rider’s outstretched arm during the final moments leading up to the rider’s death, and Kyle’s visual senses then enter a tunnel of gaseous blue colours representing Kyle’s mind journeying into another. Once on the other side of the tunnel, Kyle finds himself floating in mid-air inside a vision – an imaginary world that his senses perceive as if it were real. The voice of the Sky Rider gently asks Kyle to stop the Dark Dragon from reaching a Tower that he sees the dragon approaching before his very eyes in the vision. By now Lundi and Lagi had become one, both sharing each other’s thoughts and senses. The idea of Lundi speaking through Lagi with more comprehensible words as opposed to ambiguous images that the dragon typically uses is not an impossibility. The true significance of the blue tunnel will become apparent further into the theory.
Kyle finds himself in another world.
Another point of argument is the green light particles spiraling out of the Sky Rider’s chest wound at the point of his death. Some believe that the green light was the Divine Visitor itself escaping from a dying corpse to find another host, but that would necessarily be admitting that the Divine Visitor wasn’t the player. Instead of coiling into nothingness the Divine Visitor would have naturally wrapped itself around Kyle… if it was the player. One can argue that it didn’t enter Kyle because Kyle couldn’t enter Sestren like the Sky Rider perhaps could; it left until another opportunity presented itself. The green energy in fact being the lifeforce of a bio-engineered creature better stands up to criticism. The colour scheme of that green energy and the colour of the green light glowing on the neck of baby Lagi are an exact match. Somehow the light they share connects them. It also seems akin to the sprinkling green energy particles that Lagi emits when healing himself in Panzer Dragoon Saga. The truth is we don’t know how the bonding process effected Lundi. If a drone happens to emit green particles upon death in a future Panzer Dragoon title, then we’ll know the truth of the matter then and there.
Panzer Dragoon Zwei’s Endings
Lagi and Lundi separate.
Team Andromeda promised that Panzer Dragoon Zwei would provide shocking revelations about the first game’s storyline. What could be more tragic than sharing the journey with someone who was going to die, and seeing the life of someone who we watched grow be brought to an unforeseen end in a brave attempt to save the world? The truth, as far as I can decipher, resides in the ending cinematics.
Panzer Dragoon Zwei has five different cinematic endings for each of the five possible dragon shapes the dragon can assume by the end of the game. Epilogue a, b, c, and e are considered the game’s primary endings because they essentially tell the same tale with the only difference being a different dragon in each. In other words, all the endings are the same in spite of differing appearances with the exception of the ending cinematic for the Type 01 dragon, which is the most difficult dragon morph to acquire in the game itself.
Lundi has no choice in the matter given the fact he's trapped in a floating bubble.
The mind link effect as seen in Panzer Dragoon Zwei.
At the beginning of all the primary endings not long before beams of pure energy burst out of Shelcoof, Lagi levitates Lundi away from him in a green man-sized bubble and roars with sadness the moment he departs. Lundi’s gun slips through his grasp during their separation and falls to the ground below. On closer inspection, his gun bears a shape resembling the gun the Sky Rider wields 18 years later that I consider to be more than a mere coincidence. The Sky Rider’s gun has an extra handle attached to the back, and the front is slightly more curved. The gun itself may have been upgraded. You need to keep reading before you can discount this as evidence. It’s still not enough to convince anyone… yet. Keep reading.
Lundi is overwhelmed.
Still trapped in the bubble, bright light washes over Lundi, whose senses are pulled into a tunnel of black and white colours moving at speeds so fast that the eyes have trouble processing them. Lundi struggles to absorb the meaning behind the fleeting images, as they blur into one another so fast that it’s hard to keep up with them.
The tunnel proves that Lagi was the one behind the telepathy in the Sky Rider/Kyle encounter. We know that drones can interface with ancient machines and link up their minds with bio-weapons, but we don’t know if they can communicate on the same telepathic level with a human being. Unless Smilebit state that the Sky Rider was in fact a drone, we only know what we know about drones from Azel and Abadd. Neither have communicated with a person the way the Sky Rider did with Kyle.
Lundi sees a hero of the future caught in a bubble too.
Lundi catches brief glimpses of the future including a second long flash of Kyle trapped in a bubble like he was, and an even quicker flash of the Sky Rider. What is Lundi really seeing? Can Lagi peer into the future? He could be seeing a future version of himself as well as future events. Is Lundi seeing this or are we?
In the first image below, we see a dragon in a shape that isn’t familiar to us until the events of Panzer Dragoon Saga. The dragon seen here looks like the Arm Wing which goes to show how far Team Andromeda planned ahead.
In the second image below, Lundi is seeing the future. Either that or Lagi is speaking in the language of images. We see a dragon fly towards the leaning black Tower of Uru, a ruin integral to the plot of the next game. However, we didn’t know what it was at the time, much less its name. The only way Lagi could know what shape he’d morph into that far into the future is if he could see it, or perhaps it was merely a preview of what was to come.
The Arm Wing.
A dragon flies towards an as yet unseen Tower.
In all of the endings, Lundi will witness a link between the ancient skyship he destroyed and the Tower outside of the Imperial capital that was destroyed in Panzer Dragoon by the blending of their images as they explode with blinding rays of white energy. Lundi sees the Tower of Uru still standing after the destruction of the first two ancient weapons suggesting that the mission to destroy them wasn’t finished yet. The Heresy Dragon imparts the truth of the Towers to Lundi, but here we only see parts of it. Giving Lundi all this knowledge would be a waste of time if the man didn’t put it to good use. Why bother at all if his role as a rider was coming to a permanent end?
The primary endings essentially reveal Lagi’s true identity. Images of Lagi crying as a baby, seen in Panzer Dragoon Zwei’s first story FMV sequence, are overlapped with images of the fully grown adult dragon crying out in bereavement over his rider’s death seen in Panzer Dragoon’s story introduction sequence in a slow explicit fashion to leave no doubt in our minds that they are indeed the same entity but at different points in their life.
In order for players to unlock Epilogue D, Lagi must’ve morphed into his ultimate form, the Type 01 dragon, before the confrontation with the final boss. Fans will recognise the armoured Blue Dragon as the same dragon from the first game the moment they lay eyes on it. Again, Lagi bringing the events of Panzer Dragoon Zwei to an end in the form of the Blue Dragon, and the dragon remaining in this form during the events of Panzer Dragoon, which take place not long after, is more than merely a coincidence. Lundi ends Panzer Dragoon Zwei on the back of the armoured Blue Dragon, and the Sky Rider rides it into the next game, creating a sense of continuity. What a remarkable coincidence indeed. The game is showing us that it’s the same dragon that steers the course of history in the events that are destined to follow. Basically it’s the Blue Dragon’s ending cinematic, and the game is showing us the continuation of its story. We’re not seeing the future of a different dragon that happens to look the same.
Lagi the armoured Blue Dragon.
Lundi the Sky Rider.
You can only gain access to the cinematic sequence by maintaining perfect scores in and throughout the game, and therefore makes it toughest ending to unlock. Unlike the primary endings, much of which were told from a third person perspective, the whole of epilogue D is seen from a first person perspective. Firstly, we see Lagi in his Type 01 form flying overhead, obscuring whomever may be riding him. Secondly, clips of Lundi’s vision involving the skyship and the Towers are blended and blurred to convey a commonality. Thirdly, we see Lundi in his current boyish state, slowly overlapped with an image of the hardened Sky Rider who died at the very beginning of Panzer Dragoon. Then we see the Sky Rider being shot through the stomach by a laser beam, and thus killed. The rest we know: Kyle continues his mission. The FMV moments after the vision seem to occur in the correct post-Panzer Zwei timeframe. We never actually see Lagi leave Lundi like we do in the primary endings, only the death of the Sky Rider. Why is he such a prominent figure in what is supposed to be an ending cinematic dedicated to the outcome of Panzer Dragoon Zwei? Because we are seeing what happens next to Lundi in the future, that’s why.
I suppose the direct overlapping of Lundi’s image with the frontal image of the Sky Rider could mean they simply share the same destiny, as riders. But the fact that images of Lagi as a child and adult are overlapped to disclose the dragon’s identity, suggests the similar overlapping of Lundi and the Sky Rider is a method of identification. Who am I to deny logic? What is interesting to note is how baby Lagi and adult Lagi cry out in the company of Lundi and the Sky Rider, respectively, at the same time. The combined moving images could denote both of them crying out over the same person.
Sestren’s Memory Orbs
Lundi and Lagi fight the Guardian Dragon without any of those nagging feelings of being watched.
Before Edge fights Sestren incarnate, Sestren displays the events of the previous Panzer Dragoon games in the correct chronological order through a sequence of memory orbs orbiting its pulsating body. Sestren has also been keeping an eye on important events, literally, as we watch these memories through a huge oval eye. The events they replay hold more significance than anyone is prepared to understand at first glance. They are intriguing records of how Sestren perceived the outside world. If the Sky Rider was someone other than Lundi, then his story was untold because he never had a story to tell. Any activities undertaken by the Sky Rider after Panzer Dragoon Zwei and before his eventual demise – any possible untold story of a different rider – would’ve been of minimal relevance to Sestren and the Tower network, otherwise Sestren would have been well aware of it.
A close up of the pair and Lundi's gun.
The Sky Rider reaches out his hand.
In Sestren’s fourth memory orb when we see Lundi riding the Type 01 dragon whilst battling the guardian dragon of Shelcoof, his gun seems nearly identical to the Sky Rider’s gun seen shortly after. I believe Lundi upgraded his gun a little along his flightpath towards the inevitable final conflict.
Compare its current shape to the gun that we saw earlier: the front was square-shaped and the handle was placed at the centre of the horizontal shaft, whereas now the front of the vertical lower half is diagonally structured and the handle is at the back. That’s quite a dramatic change in appearance. How many more upgrades would it take to make the gun look more like the one that belonged to the Sky Rider?
After Sestren displays the images of Lundi and Lagi killing the Guardian Dragon of Shelcoof, we see the mysterious Sky Rider again, whom happens to be riding the same Type 01 dragon and carrying a similar gun, killed in action. Each event depicted by Sestren occurs shortly after one another sewing the impression that Lundi and the Sky Rider are the same person. It’s like we are watching a story unfold in the order that it was meant to be told.
Sestren’s memory orbs prove that none of Panzer Dragoon Zwei’s primary endings (4/5) occurred. At least, not in the way that Panzer Dragoon Zwei portrays them. Lagi morphed into the Type 01 Solo Wing dragon by the end of Panzer Dragoon Zwei, as shown to us by Sestren himself, meaning Lundi never lost his gun (because we never saw it actually happen in this ending). If the Sky Rider was someone else, wouldn’t Sestren have shown us who, or better yet, what he was?
Kyle looks up.
The image is quickly replaced by Edge.
Near the end of the fifth memory orb we watch Kyle’s encounter with the dying Sky Rider again, only this time when Kyle extends his arm to reach out to the Sky Rider, his image is swapped with a very similar image of Edge doing the very same thing. The first dragon rider hands the mission he began to Kyle, and then Edge, in a more symbolic fashion. We see all three riders in one single moment and their relationship to one another. Kyle and Edge were both hunters who kept the aim of the first rider in their sights. The pursuit of the same goal never ended.
Lagi chose Edge to be his rider in Panzer Dragoon Saga, but that alone doesn’t automatically mean that he sought out separate riders every time he took to the skies. In Panzer Dragoon Zwei, Lundi was the one who chose to become Lagi’s guardian as soon as he saved Lagi’s life. Not the other way around. While Lagi probably chose to be born in Elpis because of the rare coolia farm residing there, he couldn’t have planned for the village’s code to kill all mutants. Lundi kept Lagi out of harm’s way out of compassion, and their fate was created by the accident of Lundi being in the right place at the right time when Lagi was at his most vulnerable. In essence, they were the products of serendipity.
Lundi and the dragon he saved from the jaws of death grew up together and forged a close bond that could not easily be broken. Lagi imparted unique knowledge to Lundi concerning the true purpose of the Towers, which gives us an idea of how much the dragon trusted him. Why would Lagi, then, choose a new rider before the beginning of Panzer Dragoon if he already had one? Kyle stumbled over the death of the Sky Rider by accident, so there’s no guarantee that the dragon could have easily found an unknown replacement. Lagi never intended for Kyle to be or to become his rider; Lagi chose Kyle because it was convenient for him to do so at the time, nothing more. Kyle made sure that the Sky Rider’s death was not in vain by finishing what he started, but they still joined forces by chance. The dragon was lucky that Kyle was such a skilled marksman. All I’m saying is, riders don’t grow on trees, so Lagi might have found it easier to re-unite with Lundi rather than find a completely new rider.
At the end of all of Panzer Dragoon Zwei’s endings regardless of what you do, Lundi says: “And after all this, he is still with me”. Could this statement be the missing piece of the puzzle? No, actually. According to Lundi’s journal in Panzer Dragoon Saga, there’s more meaning behind his words than meets the eye. Lundi felt that Lagi would always be with him in spirit as long as he never forgot what the dragon had taught him. Nevertheless, he still could have meant what he said literally, in the context of the true ending. None of Lundi’s journal entries preclude the possibility of him finding Lagi at a later date, nor do they suggest anything that could’ve prevented him from becoming Lagi’s rider once more. Panzer Dragoon took place 18 years after Panzer Dragoon Zwei, meaning there was plenty of time for Lundi to become a Seeker and rejoin Lagi again in the future.
Note that Gash, Lundi’s protege, didn’t tell Edge how exactly Lundi died. I mean, we never found out how exactly Lundi died if he wasn’t killed during the Panzer Dragoon introduction sequence. The developers could’ve ended the Sky Rider suspense instead of letting it grow out of control by telling us how Lundi was killed, but didn’t. Why? Perhaps because Lundi was the Sky Rider, and was killed during that introduction sequence? Gash was a very knowledgeable Seeker in Panzer Dragoon Saga, so what hasn’t he told us? Lundi could’ve possibly rejoined Lagi, but never returned from his mission. This might explain why Gash didn’t know Lundi’s fate, if that was the case.
Orta is the newest addition to the Panzer Drago[o]n rider posse.
Notice how that in this wallpaper devoted to all the Panzer Dragoon dragon riders (though I have no idea why Azel is included) the Sky Rider is missing. His absence is conspicuous and highly questionable. I believe that he’s absent because he’s already present. Lundi is depicted as a boy between the age of 15 to 20. Add another 18 years to that, put some armour on him that flaunts experience, and the question is answered.
To summarise: The original dragon rider was Lundi, since Panzer Dragoon Zwei was a prequel. Then Kyle (the hunter), and finally Edge. Whoever the Sky Rider was, the dragon was greatly saddened by his untimely death; this person was clearly important to him. I believe that the Sky Rider was always meant to be Lundi, and that Panzer Dragoon Zwei was the story of the unknown rider as much as it was about the dragon’s origins. If the series had ended with Panzer Dragoon Zwei, no one would even give this a second thought because all of the pieces of the puzzle would fall into place.