SEGA Asks Fans Which SEGA Work They Want to See Revived

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Published by Draikin in News

SEGA of Japan has launched a new survey where, among other things, they ask fans what they feel is SEGA’s most memorable work and most memorable character. Interestingly, Panzer Dragoon is on the list of items that you can select for the most memorable work. Where things get even more interesting is that one of the questions asks fans which SEGA work they want to see revived. Of course, this means it’s a good opportunity for us to ask for a new Panzer Dragoon game!

While the survey is in Japanese, this guide by Phantom River Stone offers an English translation of the poll. You can find the survey here.

Panzer Dragoon Saga Widescreen Hack

Panzer Dragoon Saga Widescreen Hack
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Published by Solo Wing in News

Over on the Assembler Games forum, member Esppiral has figured out how to change the horizontal and vertical field of view in Panzer Dragoon Saga. The result is that the game can now be played in widescreen, as demonstrated in the following screenshots (click the thumbnail to view the full screenshot in widescreen):

Panzer Dragoon Saga Widescreen Hack 01 Panzer Dragoon Saga Widescreen Hack 02 Panzer Dragoon Saga Widescreen Hack 03

You can check out the full topic where Esppiral provides codes to get the widescreen hack working on various Saturn emulators. Seeing these screenshots make me wonder just how good a remastered Panzer Dragoon Saga could look.

Saori Kobayashi and Jordi Asensio Live in Paris

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Back in July, Saori Kobayashi performed live to a group in Paris, together with Jordi Asensio. In this performance she plays three classics: Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu (Panzer Dragoon Saga), Anu Orta Veniya (Panzer Dragoon Orta), and Dragon’s Waltz (Crimson Dragon). I’ve uploaded the video to our archive so that it can easily be found by Panzer Dragoon fans in the years to come.

A special thanks to Nicolas Girault for the recording. You can follow Nicolas on Twitter and YouTube.

Saori Kobayashi and Eri Ito at Japan Expo 2016

Saori Kobayashi and Eri Ito at Japan Expo 2016
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Published by Solo Wing in News

Back in July, Saori Kobayashi and Eri Ito attended Japan Expo 2016. I’ve uploaded a video clip and some photos of this event to our archive (captured by Brave Wave).

First up is a recording of Saori Kobayashi and Eri Ito performing the epic theme song to Panzer Dragoon Saga, Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu to a live audience. Just awesome.

I’ve also uploaded six photos taken at the event:

Japan Expo 2016 Photo 01 Japan Expo 2016 Photo 02 Japan Expo 2016 Photo 03 Japan Expo 2016 Photo 04 Japan Expo 2016 Photo 05 Japan Expo 2016 Photo 06

I particularly like the dragon sketch from Panzer Dragoon fan, @kpeclet.

Thanks to Brave Wave for sharing this content on their Twitter feed.

Panzer Dragoon Legacy Annual Hosting Fundraiser 2016

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Panzer Dragoon Legacy will be holding an annual hosting fundraiser each year so that the community can help fund the website’s server costs. This is similar to the method used by other fan sites such as Shining Force Central. To keep the website running for another year, we require:

  • US$10 per year for the domain
  • US$6 per month for the main site’s hosting fee + backups (US$72 per year)
  • US$12 per month for the forum hosting fee + backups (US$144 per year)
  • Total: US$226 for one year

To contribute to the fundraiser, you can make a donation directly to my PayPal account. I’ll post another update once the full US$226 has been met. If you’re unsure how much to contribute, I suggest around $10, but $5 or $20 would be great also. We need just over twenty people contributing $10 each to reach the fundraiser goal.

Why are we suddenly starting this fundraiser? Over the last year I’ve been adding features to Panzer Dragoon Legacy to make it more of community driven site. We now have a contributions system so that fans can directly submit news, articles, pictures, and more directly to the site for approval. This is great for ensuring that the site can continue to be sustained without a significant time investment from the busy administrators here. Long term, I’d like to see this site become mostly community sustained, both in terms of server costs and fresh content, with the administrators here acting mainly as curators of the Panzer Dragoon fan archive. This will ensure that, as a community project, Panzer Dragoon Legacy can continue to thrive for many years to come.

Vinyl of Panzer Dragoon Saga's Soundtrack "Possible"

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Published by Solo Wing in News

In response to the announcement that the soundtrack of the original Panzer Dragoon would be released on vinyl some time this year, Twitter user NorikiyoGO asked if Panzer Dragoon Saga’s soundtrack would also be released at some point. While Data Discs didn’t confirm anything, a simple response was tweeted:

@NorikiyoGO I suppose anything’s possible ;)

If you like the idea of the Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG Complete Album - arguably the best in the series - being released on vinyl, it might be a good idea to let Data Discs know that there’s interest.

Panzer Dragoon's Soundtrack to be Released on Vinyl

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Great news, the soundtrack of the original Panzer Dragoon is being released on vinyl. Up until now the music of the Panzer Dragoon games hasn’t been released on vinyl, but this year Data Discs will be selling an officially licensed record of the original game’s score. From their newsletter:

We are excited to share with you some news today about another upcoming release. It gives us great pleasure to announce that we will be bring the late Yoshitaka Azuma’s 1995 score from Panzer Dragoon to vinyl for the very first time.

This is one of many titles we are currently working on and will join Out Run as part of our 2016 line-up. Further details on both of these titles (and others!) will be released in due course.

Unlike the chip generated music found in later titles in the series, Panzer Dragoon had an orchestral score making it a perfect fit along side other Data Discs releases such as Shenmue. This release will surely be a must have for vinyl collectors who are also fans of the Panzer Dragoon series.

Saori Kobayashi's Terra Magica Has Been Released

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Published by Solo Wing in News

It’s April the 13th. The digital version of Terra Magica, Saori Kobayashi’s new solo album, can now be heard in it’s entirety:

Listen to Terra Magica on Bandcamp

I haven’t listened to the entire album yet, but I definitely like what I’ve heard so far. Lots of Panzer vibes. Since the album can be streamed for free, there’s little reason for me to write a review on such a subjective topic; go listen to the album and form your own impression. Once again, if you like what you’ve heard here, please support the artists who made this possible by purchasing Terra Magica.

Brave Wave have also released a new episode of their Wavelength podcast. The podcast discusses Terra Magica among other topics.

A Remix of Eastern Sky By Saori Kobayashi

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Published by Solo Wing in News

While we wait for Terra Magica, the upcoming Solo album from Saori Kobayashi, there’s another recent track that you can listen to from the Panzer Dragoon Saga composer. In February, Keiji Yamagishi released the album Retro​-​Active Pt. 2 and the final track is a remix of a track called “Eastern Sky” by Saori Kobayashi.

 Retro​-​Active Pt. 2 Digital Cover

Saori Kobayashi’s distinct musical style can be heard here. You can buy the remix of “Eastern Sky” on it’s own for $1.30 USD or purchase the full album on Bandcamp. As with other Brave Wave albums, you can stream all of the music for free before deciding whether to purchase it or not.

What is Terra Magica? Saori Kobayashi's Own Words

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Published by Solo Wing in News

In the latest email from Brave Wave, we learn from Saori Kobayashi herself what the intentions were behind her latest Panzer-esque album, Terra Magica:

For my solo album, the music takes precedence over any story or imagery, allowing listeners to visualize a world that only I have created. I hope to create an album whose music will inspire listeners and give them complete control over what they see in realm of their own imaginations.

I personally enjoy fantasy games and RPGs; worlds where dragons soar across the sky, and a cosmos with a vast bed of planets scattered across it… these images are my fantasies. What are yours? I hope that when people listen to my solo album, they can conjure up their own worlds like I do when I compose music with Brave Wave.

You can pre-order Terra Magica now on Bandcamp. It will be released on the 13th of April.

Terra Magica: A Love Letter To Saori Kobayashi's Fans

Terra Magica: A Love Letter To Saori Kobayashi's Fans
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Published by Solo Wing in News

This is not an April Fools joke; Saori Kobayashi, composer of the amazing soundtracks from Panzer Dragoon Saga, Panzer Dragoon Orta, and the Crimson Dragon games is releasing an epic new album also featuring work from Eri Ito and Manabu Kusunoki! Terra Magica is described as “a love letter from Saori Kobayashi to her fans” and judging by the quality of the two preview tracks this is definitely the case. Terra Magica is available for pre-order on Bandcamp now and will be released on the 13th of April in physical and digital editions.

Terra Magica Digital Cover

Among the contributors, Terra Magica features the vocals of none other than Eri Ito herself, who sung the theme songs Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu (Panzer Dragoon Saga) and Anu Orta Veniya (Panzer Dragoon Orta). Check out the first preview track “Mother” on the Bandcamp page to hear Eri Ito’s beautiful voice and Saori Kobayashi’s compositions together again at last!

Furthermore, the cover art was created by Manabu Kusunoki, illustrator of the Saturn Panzer Dragoon games. The distinct art style from those games is very evident here. The second preview track is titled “Dance of Seekers”. Although Terra Magica’s music and art isn’t explicitly based in the Panzer Dragoon world, listening to the album’s music while gazing at the wonderful cover art makes me imagine the journey of Gash’s Seekers as they travel in search of a new home.

As if all this wasn’t enough to satisfy the Panzer Dragoon fan hungry for more, the album will feature notes from series creator Yukio Futatsugi. I personally cannot wait to hear the full album. If you like what you’ve heard so far, please pre-order the album and support the artists to promote work of this calibre.

20 Years Since the Release of Panzer Dragoon II Zwei

20 Years Since the Release of Panzer Dragoon II Zwei
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Published by Solo Wing in News

On the 22nd of March, 1996, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei was released in Japan. Twenty years on, Zwei is still one of the greatest rail shooters of all time.

Panzer Dragoon II Zwei NTSC-J Version Case Front Insert

Telling the origin story of the dragon, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei acted as a prequel to the original Panzer Dragoon which came out a year earlier. And while Zwei was in development, Team Andromeda were already at work at the final chapter in the trilogy. It was with Zwei that the story and world of Panzer Dragoon really started to take shape, the seeds were planted for the epic conclusion two years later. Yet, as a stand alone game, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei remains distinctly rememberable twenty years on. Due to it’s art style, memorable music, and immersive world design, it’s still my favourite rail shooter in the series to this day.

New Saori Kobayashi Album "Terra" Arriving Next Month

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Yesterday, Mohammed Taher from Brave Wave tweeted the following:

Test-driving the new album of (Panzer Dragoon composer) Saori Kobayashi. Next month on @BraveWaveMusic 🙏🏼

Attached to the tweet is a screenshot with the album name “Terra” showing up. Given the quality of Saori Kobayashi’s last album, Journey, I’m certainly looking forward to this.

Gaming Masterpieces: Panzer Dragoon Saga

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Published by Solo Wing in News

YouTube channel ProDaKah has reviewed/discussed Panzer Dragoon Saga as part of the channel’s Gaming Masterpieces series. Check it out:

I found the comparison to Star Wars: The Force Awakens particularly interesting. Do you agree that an appreciation of Panzer Dragoon Saga is less dependent on previous titles in the series than the latest Star Wars film?

Join the Panzer Dragoon Legacy Steam Group

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Published by Solo Wing in News

I’ve set up a new group on Steam for the Panzer Dragoon Legacy community. If you’re on Steam and wish to play games with other Panzer Dragoon fans, please join us. At the time of writing, this is the only Panzer Dragoon group on Steam.

Panzer Dragoon Legacy Steam Group

Perhaps we should set up a multiplayer game sometime, although I’m not sure which game would appeal to members of the community here. None of the Panzer Dragoon games featured a multiplayer component after all.

New Forum URL and Colour Scheme

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Published by Solo Wing in News

The forum is back online and accessible via a brand new URL:

discuss.panzerdragoonlegacy.com

We’ve also added a new colour scheme to the forum to match the colours on the main site. It does, I hope, feel a lot more Panzerish to members. A special thanks to Shadow for doing most of the work preparing the new colour scheme.

Introducing Panzer Dragoon Legacy

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Published by Solo Wing in News

After much discussion, we’ve decided to rename this website from The Will of the Ancients to Panzer Dragoon Legacy. Please update your bookmarks to the new domain: panzerdragoonlegacy.com.

This site has become the central hub for fans of the Panzer Dragoon series. We felt that the site needed a more recognisable name to properly represent the Panzer Dragoon series on the web, for hardcore fans as well as for people who are just curious about the games. While it certainly summarised the themes of the Panzer Dragoon series, the phrase “The Will of the Ancients” only appears in Panzer Dragoon Saga, the rarest game in the series, and not until the final disc. We felt that the name needed to be instantly recognisable for people who have never had the pleasure of playing a Panzer Dragoon title.

Long time readers may recognise the name Panzer Dragoon Legacy. That’s because it was also the name of Draikin’s former Panzer Dragoon Orta fansite which was eventually merged into this site. We discussed many alternative new names containing the words “Panzer Dragoon”, but something about the name Panzer Dragoon Legacy resonated with us more than the other options.

On a side note, the forum is currently down for maintenance; if all goes as planned it will be returning in the next day or two with the new branding.

Sega "In a Difficult Place" For a New Panzer to Sell

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Published by Solo Wing in News

As reported by SEGAbits, the Dengeki Playstation magazine asked some Sega developers (including Satoshi Sakai, producer Phantasy Star Online 2), some direct questions about the future of various Sega franchises, including the Panzer Dragoon series.

Satoshi Sakai was asked if Sega would ever make a new game similar to Panzer Dragoon:

Q: We want to see another game with a dragon lead character like Panzer Dragoon.

A: I would like to make it, but I’m sorry to say we’re in a difficult place for something like that to sell.

This answer is unfortunate. I can only imagine what a Panzer Dragoon-style game might look and play like on modern hardware (with gameplay and story telling refinements from the last 10+ years of gaming evolution). Perhaps we’ll still see a new entry in the series if alternative funding methods are considered, as with the revival of Shenmue III after 13 years. Otherwise, we’ll always have our memories.

You can read the full interview on Gematsu.

Video Game Music Online Interviews Saori Kobayashi

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Published by Draikin in News

Video Games Music Online have posted a new interview with Saori Kobayashi, which we of course know for her work on the soundtrack for the Panzer Dragoon and Crimson Dragon games. The interview discusses the various projects Saori worked on, starting all the way back on the Game Gear. She mentions how the Saturn’s limitations actually led her to create the unique Panzer world instruments, and how more powerful hardware doesn’t necessarily make it easier to compose a soundtrack for a game. The interview then moves on to discuss Saori’s freelance work after leaving Sega, and how she ended up forming the band AKANE.

What I personally found particularly interesting is that the interviewer asked Saori how she feels about the fact that her Crimson Dragon soundtrack was altered for the Xbox One release of the game (the interviewer uses the word “Hollywoodization”, which I think is rather accurate). While Saori doesn’t think it was necessarily a bad thing, she did find it unfortunate that her original version wasn’t used. She says she’d love to be able to release the original version of the soundtrack if there is demand for it from the fans.

Personally, I’d certainly be interested in seeing the original version of the soundtrack released, as I really think it’s far superior to the “remix” we got in the Xbox One version of Crimson Dragon.

Heart Beat Circuit, Featuring Music By Saori Kobayashi

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Published by Solo Wing in News

A new album has been released by BraveWave. Titled Heart Beat Circuit, the album was primarily produced by George “Smoke Thief” Baker, however the eighth track “Nights II” features additional writing and production by Saori Kobayashi. If you enjoyed the music in the Panzer Dragoon games, be sure to check out this latest work by Saori Kobayashi.

Xbox One May One Day Play Panzer Dragoon Orta

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Phil Spencer, the current head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, was asked on Twitter how much work would be required to run original Xbox games on the Xbox One. Phil’s response is certainly hopeful for players wishing to play Panzer Dragoon Orta on the Xbox One:

@HadleeSimons I don’t think it’s silly. I ask the BC team this question a lot. Need to finish 360 BC for now.

This is far from a confirmation, but it leaves open the possibility that we will one day be able to play original Xbox games such as Panzer Dragoon Orta on the Xbox One. Microsoft may decide not to devote the resources into making this happen of course, but at least it hasn’t been ruled out.

Given the emulation issues with running Panzer Dragoon Orta on the Xbox 360, I for one would like to see a better attempt at bringing the game to a modern system.

New Search Feature Powered by DuckDuckGo

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Published by Solo Wing in News

I’ve added a search box to the left of the site’s horizontal navigation. You can use this to search for any content on The Will of the Ancients. Searches are powered by the excellent DuckDuckGo search engine, a top quality alternative to Google with a focus on user privacy. With this new search feature you’ll be able to find Panzer Dragoon content faster than you can say “Swift Gigra”.

Meeting Saori Kobayashi at Japan Expo 2015

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Published by Matt in News

After completing a remix for Brave Wave’s remix competition, I got talking with some of the associated people through social media, including Kobayashi-san. As Japan Expo 2015 approached, Kobayashi-san got in contact with me over Facebook asking if I’d be there and I couldn’t turn down the offer to meet my musical hero.

I had not made plans to go, but now I was going!

Saori Kobayashi and Matt Slade at Japan Expo 2015 (1 of 2) Saori Kobayashi and Matt Slade at Japan Expo 2015 (2 of 2) Albums Signed by Saori Kobayashi at Japan Expo 2015

As I approached the booth. Saori noticed me and jumped out of her seat to greet me. She gave me a big hug. She could not have been more warm and friendly. It’s said that meeting your heroes can be a risk as they may not be the person you expected but Kobayashi-san exceeded my expectations. We took pictures together. She signed my Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG Memorial Album. I bought the first AKANE album ‘こちゃへ’ and she signed that too. It was such a rewarding experience as a fan and as an artist. One of the best trips of my life.

More photos of Saori Kobayashi at Japan Expo are available on AKANE’s blog.

Saori Kobayashi Will Be Attending Japan Expo in July

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Saori Kobayashi, the composer of multiple games in the Panzer Dragoon (and Crimson Dragon) series will be attending Japan Expo in July. Brave Wave tweeted the following:

If you’re Panzer Dragoon fan in Europe, drop by our booth at @japanexpo 7/2-7/5 in Paris because composer Saori Kobayashi will be there!

Japan Expo is being held in Paris from July the 2nd until the 5th.

Farewell to the Panzer Dragoon Subsites

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Over the last few months we’ve been working to consolidate the subsites hosted here on The Will of the Ancients into a single website. Today that process is complete. All of the content that we’ve deemed worth keeping from Lagi: The Art of Panzer Dragoon, The Panzer Place, and Sky Rider: The Imperial Archives can now be found on The Will of the Ancients itself.

It’s now time to say farewell to these websites as they’re taken offline. Online since the Geocites days, all three have been of great service to the Panzer Dragoon community.

I’ve captured screenshots of each site along with the “Panzer Dragoon Academy Awards” website from back in 2004. Each screenshot page also contains a link to an archive of the site on the Internet Archive.

Lagi: The Art of Panzer Dragoon The Panzer Place Sky Rider: The Imperial Archives The Panzer Dragoon Academy Awards

While in the process of capturing these screenshots, I’ve also added some screenshots of the old forums (replaced last year):

The Will of the Ancients Forums Version 1 (Forum Index) The Will of the Ancients Forums Version 1 (Topic Index) The Will of the Ancients Forums Version 1 (Topic)

The Will of the Ancients also used to host a subsite called The Panzer Dragoon Saga Oasis; this site has not been taken offline and was previously moved to GitHub Pages.