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

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

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
Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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.

Site Map and Category Groups

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

The content on this site has grown like an infestation of monsters, one which must be constantly kept in balance to prevent chaos from overwhelming the humans who visit here.

One issue that stood out was the long lists of categories that were placed in no meaningful order. For example, screenshot and fan art and photo categories were all lumped together under “Pictures”. To resolve this, the categories section has been replaced by a new Site Map which is accessible from the horizontal navigation bar at the top of this site. The Site Map now places encyclopaedia entries, music tracks, pictures, resources and videos into what (I hope) are meaningful category groups. For example, all of the screenshot categories are now grouped under a “Screenshots” category group, all of the Panzer Dragoon Orta Encyclopedia categories are now grouped together, and so on.

Furthermore, each of the encyclopaedia, music, pictures, resources and videos index pages now list the categories in these groups. Going forward it will be easy for us to add more categories and groups in order to make The Will of the Ancients more enjoyable to navigate.

GameFan's Preview of Panzer Dragoon Saga

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

Jeremy Prusak has submitted a scan of GameFan’s two page preview of Panzer Dragoon Saga, from Volume 5, Issue 12:

GameFan Volume 5 Issue 12 Pages 128-129

Despite being an interesting look back at Panzer Dragoon Saga before it was released, this preview isn’t entirely accurate. 100 hours of gameplay? I don’t think so!

New Solo Album From Saori Kobayashi in the Works

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

Mohammed Taher of Brave Wave Productions has confirmed that Saori Kobayashi is working on a new solo album. Earlier he tweeted the following:

Had a pleasant lunch with Saori Kobayashi (Panzer Dragoon) & listened to three songs from her upcoming solo album. ✨

Last year Brave Wave published Saori Kobayashi’s most recent album, Journey, which definitely had a Panzer Dragoon feel. I greatly look forward to her next album.

New Panzer Dragoon Articles on SEGAbits

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

There’s been a couple of new articles as part of SEGAbits’ Team Andromeda month. Gunstar discusses the often forgotten Panzer Dragoon spin-offs, and why they are forgotten, while just today Nuckles87 has posted an article about the future of Panzer Dragoon.

Check out these short articles if you’re interested.

Twenty Years of Panzer Dragoon

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

On the 10th of March, 1995, the original Panzer Dragoon game was released in Japan. The Panzer Dragoon series turns 20 today.

Panzer Dragoon NTSC-J Version Case Front Insert

Twenty years on, Panzer Dragoon may no longer be a prominent series, but it has not been forgotten.

Panzer Dragoon’s OST is a Beautiful Masterpiece

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

The next article in SEGAbits’ Team Andromeda month covers the soundtrack of the original Panzer Dragoon. Go check out this written article (complete with music clips) over on SEGAbits:

SEGA Tunes: Panzer Dragoon’s OST is a beautiful masterpiece

Although the soundtracks differed stylistically later in the trilogy, Panzer Dragoon’s sweeping, orchestral score will always be remembered by Panzer Dragoon fans.

Team Andromeda Month at SEGAbits

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

Over at our partner site, SEGAbits, Team Andromeda month has arrived. To celebrate, Nuckles87 has written a new article summarising the Panzer Dragoon series. Check it out:

Year of the Developers: We take flight with SEGA’s Team Andromeda

Orta's Dragon to Appear in Worlds Unite

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

We have some actual Panzer Dragoon news, people! The Dragon from our beloved Panzer Dragoon series will be appearing in the upcoming Sega/Capcom crossover comic series Worlds Unite.

Worlds Unite Promo Picture 01

More details can be found at SegaNerds:

The full list of characters from the SEGA and Capcom crossover comic book series World’s Unite have been revealed.

Vyse, from (Skies of Arcadia) and Orta’s Dragon (Panzer Dragoon) are the new characters from SEGA’s side, while Ryu (Street Fighter) and Chaotic Gore Magala (Monster Hunter) are the last Capcom characters joining the frey.

It’s nice to see that the Panzer Dragoon series has not been forgotten. You can read more about Worlds Unite in this Polygon article.

Join Us in Some Panzer Dragoon Discourse

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

I’m pleased to announce that our new Discourse forum is live.

Your old phpBB forum accounts have been brought over, however you must set a new password before you can log in. See this troubleshooting topic for more information.

I suspect the biggest concern will be that the new forums don’t look very Panzerish. The long term goal is to create a darker theme to match the colours of the main site. The priority was first preserving the vast amount of Panzer Dragoon discussions, which I have done; all topics (going back to the first post in 2003) have been moved over the new forums.

Discourse is a progressive discussion platform designed to last for the next ten years of evolution on the web. Although there isn’t as much activity here as there once was, I aim to give the Panzer Dragoon community a home for at least the next ten years. Who knows what the web will look like then?

The Humble SEGA Bundle Includes Dragon Canyon

Avatar

Published by Solo Wing in News

The latest Humble Bundle has arrived: the Humble SEGA Bundle. The bundle includes Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed which as you may know contains a Panzer Dragoon themed track, Dragon Canyon. You can purchase the bundle for a minimum of one dollar. This is a bargain, especially considering the inclusion of the sublime Saturn classic, NiGHTS into Dreams.

The names of the Top Contributors are amusing, with requests for PC releases of Jet Set Radio Future and Skies of Arcadia making it into the top ten. And of course, Shenmue III.