Going Forward

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Published by Solo Wing in News

After a four and a half month break from work, gaming, and a static lifestyle, I’m back. To an extent, anyway, another part of me is still off exploring Veliko Tarnovo’s ancient fortress. It was great to meet some of you in person during my travels, and I hope to see some of you again in the months to come. The journey isn’t over yet.

The break has given me time to think over a number of things; what’s important to me and what I really want to achieve with my time. Given this, I have no plans to make any radical changes to The Will of the Ancients. There is a lot that could be done to improve the site, to modernise it, to expand it. The general understanding I have is that people are (more or less) happy with the way things are. Change is good, but improvement for the sake of improvement can sometimes be more trouble than its worth. This doesn’t mean that I’ll be abandoning the site (far from it), but I’ll be focusing my attention on other projects. The site is staying online, the forums aren’t going anywhere, and if the content keeps coming in you can expect the same slow but steady stream of updates.

Although I cannot promise frequent updates this year, it’s good to be writing something here again. For this update, Kevin Berryman has submitted five new pieces of artwork, which have been placed in the Fan Art section. For your convenience, I’ve linked to them individually below. Many thanks for submitting these, Kevin.

Azel of the Ancients Edge of the World Azel Tragic Hero Azel Sunset Azel Sketch, Digitally Enhanced

You may have also noticed a change in the URL of both the main site and the forums. The primary domain for The Will of the Ancients is now thewilloftheancients.com and the forums can be found at forums.thewilloftheancients.com. panzerdragoon.net and forums.panzerdragoon.net will continue to work, the only difference is the site’s primary and secondary domains have been swapped over. I feel that a website’s domain and name should go together. Hosted sites will still use a subdomain in the x.panzerdragoon.net format since they are not directly associated with The Will of the Ancients.

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.

Panzer Dragoon Prototypes... Released!

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Hidden Palace has been updated with a torrent of the Panzer Dragoon prototypes. The prototypes included in the torrent are listed as follows:

  • Panzer Dragoon Saga - Sep 16, 1997 prototype - Disc 1 (of only 1?)
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga - Nov 30, 1997 prototype - Discs 1, 2 and 3
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga - Dec 22, 1997 prototype - Disc 1
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga - Dec 30, 1997 prototype - Discs 3 and 4
  • Panzer Dragoon Zwei - 45% prototype (preview) - Feb 02, 1996

I have added a copy of the torrent to the Accessories section.

Panzer Dragoon Prototypes

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Have you ever wondered what Panzer Dragoon Saga was like before it was completed? What changes were made prior to its release, what bugs were fixed? Well now this question has partially been answered. I recently had the opportunity to play through disc 1 of a prototype version of Panzer Dragoon Saga dated September the 16th, 1997. The prototype was bought off an unnamed contact of DRX, the owner of video game prototype website Hidden Palace, along with a number of other prototypes (of Saga and Zwei). These prototypes will all be released later in the week on DRX’s website, so stay tuned for another update here when that happens.

This release would not have been possible without the generous donations of the online Panzer Dragoon community here at The Will of the Ancients, so thank you everyone who donated. As small as we are, it just goes to show how passionate people can be when it comes to this series. Sega, are you listening? :)

I’ve posted my impressions of the 16/9/1997 Azel prototype in the following forum topic (skip to the fourth page). Images of some of the differences are available in the Screenshots section.

For this update, Snowgirl Orta has also submitted a new piece of art, a sketch of the drone Azel which I’d added to the Fan Art section. Also, Sega have confirmed that The Zoah, mentioned in the previous update, is going to be the official name of the alien race in Sonic Chronicles.

Vote For "The Zoah" to Appear in New Sonic RPG!

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Sega Europe are hosting a poll on what the name of the new enemy race should be called in the upcoming Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. If you’re going to come up a name for an alien race in a Sonic the Hedgehog RPG, why not name it after a place from one of the greatest Sega RPGs ever made? That’s exactly what the people over at Sega Nerds have done, by suggesting that the new alien race should be named The Zoah.

Looking at the list of considered names, The Zoah would definitely be my choice, Panzer or no Panzer. If you agree, it will only take a few seconds to vote for The Zoah. The closing date for voting is the 15th of March, so get in quick.

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.

Update: Orta Fully Playable on NTSC 360s

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Published by Solo Wing in News

It has come to my attention that the issue mentioned in the previous update (of Panzer Dragoon Orta crashing after the third episode when playing it on the Xbox 360) does not exist in the NTSC version of the game. According to a number of American Xbox 360 owners from The Seekers’ Stronghold, the update runs Panzer Dragoon Orta near flawlessly on NTSC consoles (with the exception of some choppiness in the FMV sequences).

The April update wasn’t the last emulation update that Microsoft plans to release for the Xbox 360 so lets hope that a future update will fix the PAL problems.

Play Through Panzer Dragoon Orta on the Xbox 360

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Microsoft has recently updated their list of original Xbox games that run on the Xbox 360 and Panzer Dragoon Orta is among them! Some of us thought it would never come, but Microsoft’s latest update includes a number of the more highly acclaimed Japanese titles released on the Xbox, including Jet Set Radio Future (Smilebit) and Phantom Dust (from the creator of Panzer Dragoon himself!).

Unfortunately, the update isn’t without issues; when I tried playing Orta on my Xbox 360 it crashed after the third episode. I’ve made Microsoft aware of the problem, but it is bit disappointing to see these kinds of errors pop up when a bit more testing might have prevented the problem. I can sympathise with the developers who are working hard to emulate this titles though; it’s amazing what they’ve managed to achieve so far. Hopefully they’ll roll an update out soon, and all will be well.

The first three episodes of the game run fine, however. Slowdown was very minimal, and it felt just like playing on the original Xbox. Small black borders accompany the left and right of the screen, but for the most part you’ll forget that they’re there. Once Microsoft have ironed out the problems with this update, it will be an excellent opportunity for new players to experience the game, and for old to re-experience it in a higher resolution.

Panzer Dragoon on the Wii? Not Quite

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Published by Solo Wing in News

There isn’t a new Panzer Dragoon game coming out on the Wii (unfortunately), but the GlovePIE scripting community has come up with what just might be the next best thing. By connecting the Wii Remote to your PC, via bluetooth, and applying a script, it is now possible to play the PC version of Panzer Dragoon with the Wii Remote. Not owning a Wii Remote, I haven’t had the opportunity to try this out for myself, but several videos are available on the Internet demonstrating this unique way of playing Panzer Dragoon. The developers are planning on releasing future revisions of the script to make the game easier to control.

The script, as well as videos demonstrating Panzer Dragoon being played with the Wii Remote, can be found on the Global Domination website.

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.

We're Back

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Published by Solo Wing in News

The Will of the Ancients was down for a few days, due to some problems with the domain, and my webhost changing owners. Everything seems to be up and running smoothly again now, but if you encounter any problems with the site please do let me know. My webhost has made a number of changes to their servers, so there is a chance that certain parts of The Will of the Ancients may not work correctly.

I recently obtained a copy of the Sega Ages 2500, the PS2 remake of the original Panzer Dragoon game. To be blunt, there isn’t a great deal of point picking this title up if you’ve already played the game before (which I suspect most readers of this site probably have), but I’ll post a full review in the future going over my opinion of the game in greater detail.

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.

Pandora's Box in Panzer Dragoon for PS2

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Although this will probably be old news to you by now, I thought that I should mention this news here for those who don’t frequent the site’s forums. The PS2 release of the original game, Sega Ages 2500: Panzer Dragoon, will now feature a Pandora’s Box. Thus far the only thing that has been revealed about the Pandora’s Box is a single screenshot, so it’s difficult to say if this will be simply be a level/weapon select with a few additional options (Zwei) or an expansive database of Panzer Dragoon history (Orta). Judging by the screenshot, I’m guessing that it will simply be a menu containing the features found in the various cheats of the original game, with a few minor extras, but your guess is as good as mine.

A few other things have changed since the last time that I updated. A registration error on the forums that wasn’t allowing any new members to sign up has been fixed. Also due to bandwidth limitations, I have had to take down the Panzer albums from the Music section. It’s a shame really, but if you hunt around for a bit, you should be able to find other sites containing the soundtracks.

By the way, it may seem like I’ve been abandoning this place recently, and to a certain extent that is true. However, I can assure you all I have absolutely no plans to cease updating The Will of the Ancients. It’ll just be longer between updates than it once was, but I’m sure most of you have probably noticed this trend already. Fresh content is currently being prepared however, so stay tuned.

A Music Playing Music Box and More Music

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Published by Solo Wing in News

Sega recently revealed on their Sega Direct website that a DX Pack for Sega Ages 2500 Panzer Dragoon Volume 27 would be coming out. The deluxe version of the game includes a Panzer badge, as well as a music box that supposedly plays the main theme from the game. It’s an interesting bonus, in my opinion. VideogameImports.com has the game listed for the 3rd of May 2006, but as far as I know the official release date of the game is still up in the air.

Speaking of music, I’ve added lossless versions of Panzer Dragoon II Zwei Alternative Elements and the entire Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG Memorial Album (the complete soundtrack for Saga) to the Music section. I’m actually listening to the track “Interception” as I type this. It truly is an amazing soundtrack.

I was planning on having some more written content on the site for this update, but I wanted to get this news up quickly before it became too old. However, you can expect an update reasonably soon, containing some new articles.

Two New Sections, One New Hosted Site

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Lance has updated the page about Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 27 - Panzer Dragoon. The update contains links Sega of Japan’s website, and Famitsu.com, both of which now feature information about the PS2 port of the original game.

I’m also pleased to announce that panzerdragoon.net now hosts another site, The Panzer Dragoon Saga Oasis. Jeremy Prusak overhauled the site recently as well, so it’s worth having another look through all his new content if you haven’t already done so.

And the two new sections? Kimimi has taken a lot of time and effort to provide us with five translations from the original Japanese Panzer Dragoon games! This includes full re-translations of the Panzer Dragoon Saga ending and the Old Diary, which are some of the most debated pieces of dialogue in the series. I think the Panzer community really appreciates contributions of this sort, Kimimi, so well done!

The other new section isn’t really entirely new. I’ve removed the MP3s section is favour of a new Music section. The Will of the Ancients now hosts lossless versions of the Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei OSTs, with more to come in future updates (if I make them available all at once I’d hate to think what might happen to the site’s daily bandwidth limit). For those of you with iPods, don’t worry: although you won’t be able to load the .flac files directly into iTunes, there are free tools available on the internet to convert FLAC to MP3 such as foobar2000 using the LAME encoder.

The Will of the Ancients is Finally Back Online

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Published by Solo Wing in News

The Will of the Ancients and most of its content is now back online, having been down for almost a month from sometime in December last year. Due some problems with my last webhost, I decided that it was best to move the site once again, but unfortunately it wasn’t at a very good time for me as I’d been busy with a new job and also I’d only just arrived back from a relatively computer-free holiday yesterday. The opportunity has only just arisen to get the site properly up and running again. So my apologies for the down time; lets look forward to a future of (hopefully) stable Panzer Dragoon coverage at panzerdragoon.net.

Not that there’s been any news on the Panzer front; nothing new has been revealed about the Sega Ages remake or a new title in the series. As most of you will know, the Xbox 360 was recently launched in a number of countries including the US and Japan, with a domestic release here in New Zealand planned for March the 2nd. Sega are already supporting the console with western developed games Condemned and Full Auto, but will a high definition Panzer Dragoon game grace the new Xbox? We can only hope for the best, but expect the worst.

The Physical Appearance of the Ancients

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Jeremy Prusak has written a new theory which comes up with some ideas regarding the identity of the Ancients. It’s common knowledge in the Panzer community that the Japanese versions of the Saturn trilogy do not state that the Ancients were human. And, supposing that they weren’t human, what could they look like? Read the theory, and you’ll see that there is indeed a possible explanation hidden within Panzer Dragoon Saga itself!

Also, Lance has updated the Products section with a few things, and also the Game Info section. If you have a look at the page about the original Panzer Dragoon you’ll notice that there was a re-release of the PC version this year by Empire Interactive. It’s essentially the same game, but with different packaging; someone must have thought that there was money to be made in printing a few more copies of the ten year old classic.

Atolm has also submitted a picture of her imperial necklace. Check it out by following this link or looking in the Fan Art section.

Game Info Section Updated

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Published by Solo Wing in Contributions

Lance Way has submitted a new page for the Game Info section, which sums up all the relevant information that we know about the new Panzer Dragoon remake for the Playstation 2. The summary contains a bullet pointed list of facts, as well as all the information that was revealed during the Tokyo Game Show (including screenshots). The summary of Sega Ages: Panzer Dragoon can be viewed by following this link.

In off topic news, the site’s underground ruins now hosts a set of MP3s from the Sega Saturn classic NiGHTS Into Dreams. Daniel Von Boles recorded the music directly from the game, so the variety of tunes is much more complete than what can be found in the game’s soundtrack. If you enjoyed the music from this game then by all means start leeching.