So as Panzer hits that quarter-century milestone, I’d like to know what your memories of the series are?
I first remember playing Panzer Zwei on the Sega Flash vol 2 demo disc that came with my Saturn! That was enough, for a time. PD wasn’t one of the games that I wanted a Saturn for, but after I had played the ones that I did want I went on a little spree of farming the second-hand aisles of the game stores for any title that remotely interested me and Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei made this cut!
I was absolutely awful at both games. I’m probably better now that I’m older, but I just didn’t deal well with the fact that I could be shot from any direction, and so I’d constantly be getting hit from behind, or the side, whilst I was busy looking the other way. Still, after some practice (and help from Pandora’s box…) I made my way through both games. They key thing for me was the way the games presented the story and the world - they give you enough to go on but leave you with a lot of questions to figure out on your own. This left me wanting more, and at this point I already knew Panzer Dragoon Saga was coming so that had been promptly pre-ordered in the hope of learning more about this world!
Of course PDS ended up leaving more questions than answers really and it was in the vain hope of understanding this world that I searched for ‘Panzer Dragoon’ on the internet and came across some site called ‘Azel Online’ that seemed to have a pretty good set of information on the series, which I promptly lapped up. I can’t say I remember exactly how I found ‘Die Welt von Panzer Dragoon’ (which sadly now seems to exist only in references on this site) but this is where I really first started to interact with the community. I believe there was (is?) a Yahoo group, but I never really got involved there. Die Welt was really where the forums blossomed, and discussion exploded. Theories were made, evidence submitted, arguments had, it was glorious! After Die Welt shuttered it’s doors the caravan moved here, and was just as active for a time. All the while we also had an IRC channel!
Panzer Dragoon Orta came and went, and with it more excitement, speculation, and personally frustration as I didn’t feel it was the game we were looking for as a sequel to PDS. But then of course the games dried up, and so did the news, and eventually so did the discussion. But with new games on the horizon and our sparkly new Discord channel hope springs forth anew!
I’ve made friends for life along the way, been to foreign countries and because of this series learned new ways to appreciate media and probably a thing or two about myself too. What are your memories of Panzer Dragoon?