New and Updated Articles

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Published by Geoffrey in Contributions

Who or what were the Ancients? When keeping in mind how lost their identity was with the passage of time, it’s perhaps better to ask not who they were, but what they were. I made an attempt to gather together the few clues in the form of what we actually know about them that were scattered around, and fit them together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to create a bigger picture in an attempt to answer that very question. This was something I had planned to do for a long time, but never had the chance until now. I hope you enjoy reading this summary of the Ancients’ possible identity as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I’ve been away for too long, so I’m glad to find The Will of the Ancients still alive and kicking, and we’re going to keep it that way. Expect some changes in the near future. I’ve been updating a few articles here and there in order to bring them up to a proper standard including my old Skies of Arcadia article, which really needed it. I felt the need to give what I feel is a spiritual sequel to Panzer Dragoon Saga the justice it deserves.

Unfortunately we cannot hope that Panzer Dragoon has a future in any meaningful way, but perhaps that is for the best; I personally don’t want the future of this series in the hands of someone who doesn’t respect the source material anyway.

Farewell for now fellow travellers.

I Shoot Lasers, Therefore I Am

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

This year is shaping up to be a great year for fans of 3D rail shooters. Other than Project Draco, the dragon combat game from Grounding Inc (which may or may not be a rail shooter), we also have Child of Eden (the follow up to Rez) and Yars Revenge to look forward to. Both are rail shooters that mirror the gameplay of Panzer Dragoon in many ways.

For this update, Geoffrey has written two new articles. The first discusses the music of the Panzer Dragoon series, and how it has evolved since the original’s orchestral score. He has also written a summary of the Panzer Dragoon OVA, discussing how it compares to the game series.

This update also includes something a little different. I have set up a new Philosophy section, which aims to explore the philosophical themes that have been incorporated into the Panzer storyline. So far there is just one article, a summary of the Mind Body Problem and how it relates to the concept of the Heresy Dragon. I have plans for at least two more articles for this section, and would be very interested in hearing your suggestions for further writing as well.

Panzer Dragoon Storyline

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Published by Draikin in Contributions

Some of you may remember my own Panzer Dragoon website, Panzer Dragoon Legacy, which focused on the latest game in the Panzer Dragoon series, namely Panzer Dragoon Orta. Earlier this year, Solo and I agreed to merge Panzer Dragoon Legacy into The Will of the Ancients. While often delayed, today I can finally announce the first result of that merger: the synopsis of the events of all 4 games in the trilogy that was previously available only on Panzer Dragoon Legacy can now be found here in the new Storyline section.

Atolm has also submitted a great new speed sketch of Lagi in an “Ancient Wing” form, which you can find over in the Fan Art section.

Ancient Wing Agility Class

Bonds

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Although fan fiction does not add to the established Panzer Dragoon canon, the possibilities introduced by fan fiction are a welcome addition to the Panzer legendarium. Daniel Petersen has submitted a new piece of fan fiction called Bonds. It is the first chapter in a story based on Lundi’s final moments with Lagi, as well as a continuation based on Lundi’s life after Panzer Dragoon Zwei.

You can find a collection of fan stories set in the Panzer Dragoon universe in the Fan Fiction section.

New Fan Art, Readded Fan Fiction

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Atolm has created a new painting of the Solo Wing. As always, the art is of a high standard. You can find the picture over in the Fan Art section.

Solo Wing Speed Paint

I’ve also readded an older fanfic that was previously on this website. Daniel Petersen has resubmitted his story Hardships which takes place directly after Panzer Dragoon Saga.

Want to see Panzer Dragoon Saga rereleased on a new generation console? It probably won’t happen, but nonetheless Ben Evans has set up a Facebook group petitioning for exactly that. If you’d like Panzer Dragoon Saga to be rereleased, it’s fairly easy to join the group and show your support.

Streaming HTML5 Video

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

I’ve overhauled the Videos section; it now contains streaming videos that can be viewed directly in your web browser. The videos are not displayed using Flash like most sites, but natively using HTML5 and either the H.264 or Theora codec depending on your browser. What this means, unfortunately, is that playback is not supported in Internet Explorer, however if you’re using a modern browser such as Firefox or Chrome you should have no problems. All videos are also downloadable as MP4 files.

New to the Videos section is the (fake) Panzer Dragoon Vier trailer by Jan3d, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t seen the video on YouTube already.

Video Details for "Panzer Dragoon Vier Trailer"

Also for this update, He Who Is The Sky has drawn a sketch of the Adult Dracolyth that he made a miniature of a few updates ago (see Update 155). Some new fan art has been submitted by Surthur and Gamefan84, inspired by the world of Panzer Dragoon:

Peregrine Sprout Cockatrice of the Sky Empire City In the Jungle The Last Dragoon Kari Escadia Elite Special Ops

All of these can images can be found in the Fan Art section.

If you didn’t catch the update on the Microblog, there has been some progress in emulating Panzer Dragoon Orta on the PC. Keep up the good work, Blueshogun!

What the Adult Dracolyth Really Looks Like

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

This update includes a bunch of artwork and photos that I’ve been meaning to add for a while, as well as a new drawing of Azel from Finnish Panzer Dragoon fan, Johannes Rajala.

He Who Is The Sky has created a some sketches and excellent miniatures of his dragon forms, based on those found in the Panzer Dragoon games. Below is a list of what he has contributed this time round:

Guardian D Miniature (1 of 4) Kreigzwilling Miniature (1 of 4) Adult Dracolyth Miniature (1 of 4) Glider, Fledgling, and Pup Pure Type Monster Sketch Skydart and Armorite Windrider and Bridge Wing

As always, a huge thank you to the artists who have contributed to the site. You can find more of He Who Is The Sky’s sketches (often before I have the chance to post them here) over on the forums.

The Old and the New

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

I’ll start this update with some older content, dug up from the dreaded vaults of my “To Sort” folder. Back in the days of Die Welt von Panzer Dragoon, Lord Craymen created some screensavers based on credits of Panzer Dragoon II Zwei. All three screensavers are now available in a zip archive. I’ve also added some pre-release music that was originally hosted on Die Welt von Panzer Dragoon. These tracks were recorded from the E3 2002 demo of Panzer Dragoon Orta and contain some significant differences from the final version. I’ve also added an older OverClocked ReMix to the Music section, the Panzer Groove by McVaffe.

While we’re on the subject of older content, I’ve added four pieces of fan art from Razia to the site. Two pictures of everyone’s favourite mechanic, Paet, as well as some pictures of Azel and Edge. I’ve also added a couple of older pictures drawn by Atolm, as well as an excellent new picture that she has made of the Solo Wing. I liked this picture so much that I used it for my avatar.

Paet Fixing an Ancient Ship Paet and Edge at Juba's Two Appearances of Azel Edge Hears The Dragon's Wings Overhead New Dragon Pizza Solo Wing Solo Wing Speed Sketch

Last but not least, I’m pleased to welcome a new member of The Will of the Ancients team. I’ve made D-Unit, the webmaster of Panzer Dragoon Legacy, an administrator of this site. It’s likely that you’ll see some updates from him in the future.

Lagi's Takeoff

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Tyrone Kamran has submitted three new sketches of Edge and his dragon. It’s always nice to see new Panzer art.

Edge Riding His Trusty Dragon Edge and the Dragon After a Battle Edge Riding His Dragon

I’m also pleased to add a new remix of the Panzer Dragoon Zwei track “The Great Ravine” to this site. It’s called “Lagi’s Takeoff”, created only last month by Mattinc. I highly recommend listing to this track if you’ve played Zwei; it will bring back some memories.

Audio Details for "Panzer Dragoon Zwei - Lagi's Takeoff OC Remix"

More information about the remix can be found on the related OverClocked ReMix page.

New Art From He Who Is The Sky

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Happy New Year. I’ve added four new drawings from He Who Is The Sky to the Fan Art section. Be sure to have a look if you haven’t seen them already; he is a great artist.

Imperial Conflict Victory Wing Diagram Guardian Dragoon Diagram Prophecy Wing Diagram Chibified Azel

There’s also a Christmas themed picture of Azel, submitted by starsofnite. Thanks everyone who has contributed to this site recently.

Test Your Panzer Dragoon Knowledge For Real This Time

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

I couldn’t bring myself to post the 150th update without contributing something to The Will of the Ancients’ collective archive myself. In the Trivia section you’ll find the final test in the series of quizzes that I started back in 2003. Time flies when you’re having fun indeed. Following on from the Easy and Normal quizzes, I’ve gone out of my way to make the Hard Quiz especially difficult. Even the most hardcore of Panzer Dragoon fans is likely to struggle, or at least that’s my evil intention.

For this update, Tyrone Kamran has submitted a new picture of Azel for the Fan Art section.

Azel Smiling

Also, Chupacabra has sent me the fourth chapter of his fanfic, A Trial of Endurance. This chapter strays from the events and locations covered in Panzer Dragoon Orta. The new culture that Chupacabra has introduced will no doubt become more relevant as the story of Flomu Narikara continues.

Links Section Overhaul and New Hosted Site

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Many of you will be familiar with Stephan’s Dolby’s website The Panzer Place. It was one of the first English Panzer Dragoon websites on the Internet and served (and still serves) as a great resource for content on the Saturn Panzer trilogy. Due to upcoming death of Geocities on October 26, we’ve moved The Panzer Place to The Will of the Ancients’ web server. The site is now hosted at place.thewilloftheancients.com, and Stephan has added a brief update to the main page.

Remember how a couple of updates ago I said that I’d keep the site’s old domain for subdomains? Well, after discussing the matter with Stephan, I’m completely eating my own words. All hosted sites can now be found at subdomain.thewilloftheancients.com. The old domain, panzerdragoon.net, is now officially deprecated, and may be dropped altogether at a later date, so I recommend updating any links. It’s simpler for everyone if there’s just one domain.

If anyone else has a Panzer Dragoon site that they’d like hosted, I’d be more than happy to help out.

The Links section has long been due for an overhaul, so tonight I went through and made sure all the links still worked. There are a number of sites which have been taken down since the section was last touched. Some of the links have now been replaced with links to the Internet Archive, but only where this has been possible. Sadly some sites such as the Panzer Dragoon art website, Windmills, could not be recovered. If you know of any Panzer Dragoon sites that are missing from the Links section, please let me know.

Art Comes in Various Forms

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Unfortunately the official Panzer Dragoon Orta website has been taken offline, however forum member Hein has kindly uploaded an archive of the site to panzer-dragoon.net. The departure of the official site brings back memories of Sega of America’s official Panzer Dragoon Orta website (now also offline) and the flash game that was featured on that site. Al3xand3r has sent me the swf files that make up this game, which I have added to the Accessories section. You can run the game in any web browser that includes the Flash plugin by extracting the contents of the zip file and opening index.htm. For convenience, the game is also accessible without downloading the files manually.

In this update, Hein has submitted a picture of Orta and the dragon using WebPainter. His friend Huoshen has created a piece of artwork featuring Edge, Azel, and their dragons in children forms. I’ve also added a piece of Panzer Dragoon fan art (which could double as a wallpaper) created by Corporal Kitty.

Orta and Her Dragon (Web Painter) Azel and Edge as Children Orta and the Panzer Dragoon Logo

And now for something that I’ve been meaning to add to the site for a while, something a bit different. My friend who goes by the name Kayne Nemesis on the Internet, has given me a copy of a game of Snakes and Ladders that he created for a university project. The board consists of a traditional Snakes and Ladders grid, but with a Panzer Dragoon theme added to it. Kayne was the person who introduced me to the world of Panzer Dragoon back in 1997, so he deserves credit for far more than this submission. :)

Panzer Dragoon Snakes and Ladders

That’s all the new content for this update. On the forums, we’re looking for volunteers to translate various texts from the Japanese Panzer Dragoon guidebooks. If you know of anyone who can read Japanese and would be willing to help out, please get in touch.

Dedicated Fans Continue to Produce New Art

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

I’m very pleased to be adding three new pictures to the site’s fan art gallery. Snow Girl has sketched up a nice portrait of the character Azel. There are also two new pieces of art from B-R-E-T. The first is a cartoony sketch of Orta on the telephone, and the second features Orta with her scarf transforming into the dragon. Good effort both of you.

Azel Sketch Hello Lagi Orta's Scarf

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to watch the trailer of Team ICO’s The Last Guardian. The upcoming Playstation 3 title features the ‘boy and his dog’ theme found in the Panzer Dragoon series, but instead of a dragon, the game features a giant cat/dog-like creature. Both of the previous games in the ICO series have been amazing; I have no doubt that this third game will also be something special. The Last Guardian may be the closest thing you’ll find to a new Panzer game in this console generation.

Art of Art!

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Published by Geoffrey in Contributions

Just here for a quick pit stop to add a new submission in the form of more artwork inspired by Panzer Dragoon Saga brought to us by Nattherat. Thanks Nat! In the artist’s own words: “an acrylic painting of Lagi’s base wing form done as practice”. Give our budding artists more encouragement folks!

Acrylic Basic Wing

Unfortunately, I am back off to obsessing over World of Warcraft for a bit. But in the immortal words of Arnie… I’ll be back!

Small Update!

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Published by Geoffrey in Contributions

It’s been a while since I updated the site here with anything myself, but I’ve been meaning to return to the Sega gaming community as a whole for a long time now. So I’ll be back! Eventually sooner or later anyway.

In this update Chupacabra has written the third chapter of his ongoing fan fiction Trial of Endurance. Keep it up!

We’ve also added two of what were thought to be missing music tracks from Panzer Dragoon Mini courtesy of Robert Mueller, which can be found here in the edited section at the bottom of its respective page in the Secrets section.

While Panzer Dragoon lies seemingly forever in limbo, do your best not to forget that there’s more than enough science fiction out there to wet the appetite of almost any taste, so don’t despair my fellow sci fi lovers.

An Artistic Update

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

I had planned on adding more to the site for this update, but some of the content was so overdue I didn’t want to leave it any longer. So without further delay, the following has been added:

Another update will be appearing here (hopefully) some time during the next week.

A Theory, a Link, and a Rumour

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Forum member Heretic Agnostic has submitted his first article to The Will of the Ancients, a theory which serves to put all other theories in their place. Okay, I exaggerate, but his theory does do a great job of offering an alternative explanation to the purpose of the mutated monsters, and the overall grand plan of the Ancients. Definitely worth a read if you’re after a fresh view of some of Panzer Dragoon’s biggest mysteries.

In this update I’ve also added a new link to, surprise surprise, the Links section. It isn’t an entire new Panzer Dragoon site, but Lee Williams’ website does contain an extensive section of general Panzer information, scans, clips, and more.

And the rumour? No it’s not a new Panzer game I’m afraid, but we might be getting a new release of an old game. According to Xbox 360 Fanboy, there is a good chance that Panzer Dragoon Orta will be rereleased as part of Microsoft’s Xbox Originals lineup. Since Xbox Originals titles are basically emulated copies of Xbox games that can be purchased via Xbox Live this would, hopefully, mean that the PAL disc version of Panzer Dragoon Orta would be fixed at the same time (it currently still crashes after the third episode). Lets hope that this rumour turns out to be true.

On a final note, somehow the tenth anniversary of Azel slipped right past me. The Japanese version of Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG was released on the 29th of January 1998, just under one month and ten years ago. Here’s hoping that a game which tops Azel will be released sometime during the next ten years.

Game Information Section Updated

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Lance has revamped the game information page for Sega Ages: Panzer Dragoon, the remake of the original Panzer Dragoon which was was released on the Playstation 2 last year. The page previously contained pre-release information about the game, but has now been updated with a summary of the features and collector’s material that the game offers.

Screenshots of the audio CD and music box that were included in the deluxe version are also shown.

The Second Chapter of A Trial of Endurance

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

As the title says, Chupacabra has submitted the second chapter of his fanfic, A Trial of Endurance, to the Fan Fiction section of this website. Chapter 2 continues off from where the first chapter concluded, with Flomu’s story colliding with actual in game events. It should be interesting to see how the main character develops given the way that this chapter ends.

There’s been nothing new on the Panzer front since the last update, with the closest thing to a new Panzer Dragoon game being Factor 5’s Lair for the Playstation 3. Unfortunately, Lair has received a number of poor reviews, so if you were hoping for a solid title to fill that dragon shaped hole in your next-generation gaming library, you may be waiting for a while yet.

A Brand New Story From an Imperial Perspective

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Chupacabra has written the first chapter of a new piece of fan fiction called A Trial of Endurance. The story is told from the perspective of an imperial technician aboard the Vermana (the first boss of Panzer Dragoon Orta), and sets the scene for chapters yet to be written. I’m always looking for new fan fiction to put on The Will of the Ancients, and it’s great that there are people out there still interested in writing stories set in the Panzer universe.

I still haven’t heard word on how the next Xbox 360 emulator patch is coming along, but hopefully we’ll hear some more news soon so people in PAL regions will be able to play the full game.

A New Year, a New Dawn?

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Published by Geoffrey in Contributions

As the new console war heats up to boiling point, we will see many new titles oozing with originality from every pore on both major next generation platforms to help seperate one another from the competition. Believe me when I say this is never a bad thing. The future may not look too bright for Panzer Dragoon, but why worry when it only offered a mere taste of the imagination that can be poured as if from the creators’ souls into these interactive works of fiction? There are many more sights and sounds to soak up before we can safely call it a day.

I refuse to allow PD Net to fade away into the background, so don’t expect us to go anywhere unless the world comes crashing down around us.

Over a year ago (time flies when you’re having fun, eh?), me and the webmaster joined forces to compile a long list of reasons as to why we came to (as opposed to jumped to) the conclusion that the dragon hero at the centre of each Panzer Dragoon game was in actual fact the same dragon in both body and soul. We thought there were enough implications tying them together and tying them into the world as its centrepiece for the games to not have to spell it out for everyone, but it has been the subject of much debate nonetheless. We don’t aim to disprove anyone’s theories; rather, we merely wanted to show fellow fans how and why we reached this popular conclusion. I hope you all enjoy our aptly and appropriately named Dragon Life Cycle theory.

Have fun in your future endeavours.

New Translation and Theory

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Recently there has been a bit of discussion on the forums regarding the identity of the dragon, that same tired old debate of it either being the same dragon or different dragons entirely. I have written a short theory that discusses a third option. What if the dragon’s body did indeed die, but his mind lived on as part of the Heresy Program? You can read the whole thing in my Attached Dragon Mind Theory.

Kimimi has once again provided us with another translation, this time from one of the Azel guidebooks. The piece of information is titled “After Sestren Function Stop” in our favourite language Engrish, and sums up some of the things that happen after Panzer Dragoon Saga. It’s quite an interesting read, and surprisingly consistent with the events of Panzer Dragoon Orta.

I’ve also updated the About section will a few minor details and corrections, nothing major though.

A Couple of New Updates

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Kimimi has recently translated part of the Japanese Panzer Dragoon Zwei manual. This translation contains the information found in the part of the manual that discusses the game’s storyline. It’s mostly information that we already know, but it’s always nice to have a different version of the text, just in case we’ve missed some details that got lost in the original 1996 translation when the game was released outside of its native country. Kimimi was going to do some of the Azel manual as well, but has taken a break to work on the Shining Force III translation over at Shining Force Central. I dare say that the time spent on that translation will be well worth the trouble; both Shining Force and Panzer Dragoon are classic video game legacies.

Besides the Translations section receiving an update, Jeremy Prusak has contributed a new article for the Theories section called Gash’s Identity Theory. Was Gash simply a human, or is there more behind that mask than we are lead to believe?

I’ve been notified of some problems with the RAR files on this site not downloading correctly when their respective links are clicked. It seems that because of the recent change over at my webhost (see last update), the .rar file extension was behaving abnormally. These are links should now work correctly.

The Will of the Ancients is Still Alive and Well

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Published by Geoffrey in Contributions

We’ve added two new theories to the site provided by fans who never seem to lose their enthusiasm. Firstly, the founder of the site himself has carefully pieced together a theory speculating that the ruins found in Episode 6 of Panzer Dragoon Orta may have in fact been one of the mythical Towers, only sunken beneath the planet. We know from the Saturn games that not all the Towers were identical in design (or necessarily function for that matter), so this is open for debate much like the rest of the series’ storyline which is as debatable as ever.

Secondly, Jeremy Prusak has examined the differences between the various coolias found throughout the various games in the series, theorising that coolias may have actually adapted to different environments in different ways in order to survive the harsh weather conditions peculiar to them. Is what we see evolution at work, or inconsistent modelling? You decide.

A new contributor has sent us the first two and a half chapters of a new ongoing piece of fan fiction entitled The Ancient Chronicles. The author, Chupacabra, plans to write more chapters over time, and recommends listening to certain music at certain points in time to put you in the moment.

I’ve updated the links section with a link to the Panzer Dragoon Saga Video Project, which is a recently new noble endeavour to capture/record all the in-game cutscenes from Panzer Dragoon Saga itself for everyone’s viewing pleasure. This is a project that could certainly use our encouragement.

As some of you already know, the Sega Saturn was by far my favourite console of all time. It pained me to see such an untapped console be turned into a punching bag by a biased mass media eager to usher in a new era of corporate Sony dominance where true gamers took a back seat to the direction in which the industry was heading as if it would be some kind of welcome change. Assembly-driven dual processors frightened away all but the most veteran of programmers, leaving the Saturn with little in the way of mass market support (which wasn’t helped by Sony bribing everyone), but being branded as a console incapable of rendering good 3D graphics when games like Exhumed/Powerslave proved everyone wrong, and when Dead Or Alive walked all over the later Playstation incarnation, did the most damage and only exposes this biasness for all to see.

So, in memory of our beloved Saturn I’ve added another link to Game Pilgrimage, which covers the Saturn in quite some detail. Check out the comparison shots, between Dead or Alive for the Saturn and Playstation, and special effects found in some of the more graphically demanding games optimised specifically for the Saturn hardware including the real time light sourcing seen in Exhumed and reflective river effects seen in Sonic R. Any doubters can see some of the full screen light sourcing effects found in Panzer Dragoon Saga with their own two eyes here to put those doubts to rest, too. Not very impressive now, of course, but at the time, these were effects the Saturn was apparently incapable of producing. I only wish all of the Saturn’s greatest games reached our shores. I personally think that Grandia played to the Saturn’s greatest strength by merging isometric 2D sprites with colourful 3D environments. For a corporation that tried to ban 2D graphics, I wonder why Grandia was suddenly good enough for a Playstation localisation when the Saturn was taken out of the picture?

We’ll have more updates for our readers soon.