Official text extracted from Panzer Dragoon Orta.
A type of “Engineered Monster” - A creation of ancient technology, designed as a living weapon. Its large wings and robust armor supplement the bioluminary oscillator in its throat, the source of the deadly Arrows of Light. Also, it has the ability to rapidly evolve of its own volition, to adapt to its environment and experiences.
It is said that dragons appear in times of great war and upheaval, preceded by storms and violent weather. To some, they are terrible and loathsome harbingers of destruction. To others, they are divine objects of faith and adulation. But now, in the decades following the Great Fall, no living human has told of seeing a dragon.
For years, the Imperial Academy has poured its considerable resources into dragon-related research, for the dragon is the epitome of combat power sought by the Empire. While the research resulted in a crippling deathblow to the Empire, as the wounded state began to rebuild, it was also able to gather valuable information about dragons and ancient technology from amidst the rubble of its crumbled glory.