A vision of Panzer Dragoon 'Five'

(I should warn you that this is a very lengthy post, and I apologise if anyone finds it troublesome to read, but I wished to explain my concept with authoritative detail, rather than it being some basic sentence-long resum?. As I have never owned an X-Box, I have regrettably never been given an opportunity to play Orta, and so I am largely unaware of expansions to the storyline present in the game… if anyone could point out plot inconsistencies, I would be genuinely grateful.)

Being a supporter of the Panzer Dragoon canon, I am loathe to permit the series halt with Orta. Although thankfully, Sega has never announced its intention to discontinue development of the franchise, I never was content to rest on my laurels and wait for SmileBit to produce the next Panzer Dragoon game, but commenced employing my imagination to envisage precisely how the series could evolve further. Over the past few days, such previously vapid ambitions abruptly coelsced into a welt of inspiration, and spurred by this I have opted to commit finger to keyboard here and show my ‘hypothesis’ for a new Panzer Dragoon game for fellow fans to evaluate. It is fan-fiction, then (and I intend to formalise it more by writing a story which describes its imaginary ‘introduction F.M.V.’), but I hope it still proves an intriguing read.

Without further ado, then, I give you:


Late in the third century of the Imperial Foundation, the Empire, belaboured by the deprecations of ancient alien monstrosities, internally savaged by rebellions, and battered in several disastrous campaigns and ecological catastrophies, is finally emerging from its arduously prolonged juvenility. With a hide thickened and a mind quickened by the appalling amounts of adversity it has suffered in its violent struggle to retain ascendancy over barbarous neighbours and implacable genocidal monsters, the royalty of the Empire has become renowned for the calculating intellect, a characteristic that has become so well-ingrained it appears infused in their blood, necessary for navigating a nation safely through such a perilous and disaster-fraught course.

In the lengthy and remarkably tranquil reigns of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Emperors, the Empire and the continent on which she has founded herself has enjoyed the closest situation to what may be (approximately) described as peace. Any of the localised major competitors to the Empire’s dominance have now collapsed into the greater human imperium, and with the two centuries that have elapsed since the deactivation of the Tower network with Edge’s daring incapacitation of Sestren, the pure type bio-weapons that harried humanity are all but extinct with no force left to manufacture them, leaving only the typical half-caste strains which, although dangerous and requiring frequent culls by the Imperial Army and Ether Navy, are vastly simpler to suppress.

With major sources of opposition thus expunged, the Empire has been granted an opportunity to indulge in incessant victory with effectively continuous exapnsion - conquering marginal nations upon the very fringes of the continent, bringing nomads under the heel of settled civilisation, and even traversing the seas in new marine fleets - ventuirng beyond the horizon is the epitome of the new confidence that this revitalised and enterprising Empire demonstrates - to establish trade with the most distant foreign cultures in other, alien territories. The Imperial Academy, utterly insatiable in its voracious appetite for knowledge, has finally fully deciphered the multiple mysteries of the Old Century and the Empire is no longer reliant upon painfully coaxing its diminshing supply of ancient relics into operation, instead poulating its forces with proud, stately, new ships of prosperity.

Altogether, it appears as if finally a true halcyon epoch is being awarded to the Empire by God as just compensation for its impossibly lengthy generations of suffering - but the devilish agents of misfortune are a spiteful breed, and are sadistically determined to despoil even this respite accorded to a state which, however much rebels and liberals may condemn and lambast it, is nonetheless the true defender of humanity.

The Towers have lain silent and undisturbed since the pivotal events of Saga - after the catastrophe of the Great Fall, no men, not even the Emperors, have been audacious enough to intrude upon them again, struck as they are by a paralysing terror of the dire consequences of tampering with such infernal devices - and have expended the decades buffeted by the keening wasteland winds, their spires jutting forth purposelessly, like some impotent, frustrated finger of approbation, towards a mottled sky.

Yet this serenity is disingenuous - the Towers are not slain, but merely slumbering. It may be blatantly obvious, but the Ancients that constructed this global defence system were not stupid. They bore sufficient foresight to realise the folly of relying exclusively upon Sestren to direct the planetary restoration programme - it would be an act of placing all of their eggs in one basket on a phenomenal and baffling scale. As such, they engineered reserve systems that could activate to manage the Towers should Sestren ever be catastrophically compromised - each tremendous, imposing monolith is not simply a glorified weapons factory, but is a sentient entity. With Sestren destroyed, the co-ordination between them would obviously be lost, but with an independent intelligence manning each Tower, the overall harm dealt to the system would be limited.
The Divine Vistior, as an Ancient himself, was intimately associated with the project’s evolution, and so was aware of such a contingency characteristic and so ensured that the virus he programmed Lagi, the Heresy Dragon, to be the vector of contagion for, would attack the Towers’ minds as well. Being physical rather than immaterial like Sestren, the myriad of Tower consciousnesses could not be destroyed by the Divine Visitor’s weapon, but he was able to suppress their metaphysical ‘projections’ (a crude analogy would be ‘hearing yourself think’), so effectively ‘muzzling’ them - the Towers were able to fume, brood and rage at their plight, but unable to actually effect anything about them. Thankfully, the Imperial fear of the Towers ensured that none of its subjects ever trespassed them to break the Divine Visitor’s seals.

Yet, of course, the Imperial dominion is only restricted to one continent - not everyone across the planet had been brought under Imperial control, and so not everyone was so intimidated by the demonstrated might of the Towers - and not everyone demonstrated such restraint in dealing with them. In one of the far-flung climes that the Empire was only just establishing contact with, a bitter, harsh land incarcerated in ice and rough tundra, its hardy and doughty populace was of an especially brash and gregarious ethnic temperament. As such, one particular irregular arrangement of tragically bold adventurers in this region deigned in their shameless moral vandalism to trespass their society’s few taboos and invade the tremendous, massive, gargantuan, and titanicallly-proportioned hulk of Marhosloff - the Tower of the Seas. The regulator of “ecological harmony” of the planet’s oceans, Marhosloff was marooned, by the irrepressible ice of the arctic ocean it drifted into upon its ‘deactivation’ after the events of Saga. However, the imbecilic and deranged invasion of its frigid interior by the desperately arrogant fools of the tundra eventually resulted in the shackles the Divine Visitor sacrificed himself to impose upon its fell, scheming mind being severed

…The calm before the storm was initiated in a remarkable fount of fortune for the fishing communities that inhabit the grand and graceful arc of the Sapphire Bight, the Empire’s lengthy border with the West Sea - abruptly, its flotillas are struggling to haul in spectacularly large catches of fish that seem absolutely inexhaustible. The biologists of the Empire’s myriad of academic institutions are completely dumbfounded as to how such an explosion of the marine population could ever have transpired, and react to the events with disconcertion and apprehension - the fishermen, however, are less philosophic, and are determined to derive as much of the rich ambrosia welling up in these silvery shoals as they may.

Then, equally abruptly, the true significance of such events are realised with a despicable prelude of devastation. The seas are suddenly wracked with intense abnormal weather, killing hundreds and rendering thousands more destitute as potent tempests contort and ravage the West Sea, dashing entire fishing squadrons to flotsam and drowning villages completely - and, amidst this furious, pulverising meteorolgical bombardment, heaving forth from the foaming, broiling spray, shrieking up the beaches and howling through the sky, are a new swarm of purebred monstrosities, the murderous heralds for the pitch silhouette of Marhosloff, which, fuelled by almost two centuries of suppressed fury and malice, is striking an irrepressible path through the seas it has stirred into a mad frenzy in a fashion akin to some terrible Kraken from the most ancient myths. Deep within the bowels of the immeasurable hull of the Tower of the Seas, a new objective is being realised - Marhosloff is in the process of constructing a second core for Sestren, intent upon restoring the Towers’ overmind and realising the Ancients’ ambitions with their full reactivation.

Yet the Empire is not only obliged to contend with this dire and atrocious force stampeding across their borderlands - throughout the entirety of its domain, deep within the arid and barren wilderness regions of the continent’s interior and even within the most opulent, splendid and palatial residences of the Empire’s urban centres, a bloody revolt is being formented by the malign and despicable agencies of Marhosloff. Hundreds of the Ancients’ inscrutable and enigmatic Drones, having expended milennia secreted away amongst human communities as they observed the Towers’ progress, are roused from their inactive stupefaction by the disharmonious, brain-rending, psychic keening-call of Marhosloff, a rallying cry demanding the mustering of all of the forces the descendants of the Ancients are capable of mustering in order to accumulate sufficient strength to fulfil its new ambition - and so the Drones abandon their lengthy masquerade of unspectacular civilianship, and brutally butcher the communities they are members of without compunction. They commence streaming from all of the Empire’s duchies, baronys, earldoms and territories to a focus of the West Sea, prepared to assume the mantle of the ‘dark apostles’ of this new Black Crusade, the indefatigable lieutenants and executors of Marhosloff’s cruelly absolutist and uncompromising drive.

Yet the Empire is not bereft of allies as it wearily accumulates its own forces to conduct the depressingly catastrophic fight for racial survival against the Towers once more - Lagi, the infamous Heresy Dragon, has also been drawn from its lengthy contented slumber after the events of Orta. Distraught and riven with guilt at how its slovenliness permitted his mission to stifle the Towers to unravel so tragically, Lagi wearily morphs his form into material physicality, expands his impressive wingspan, and laboriously drags his form into the sky once more, repeating once again the doom of an eternity of battle burdened upon him. Now, for the vital human rider to guide him in his quest, Lagi descends upon a scarred and battered Imperial warship struggling to evade a vicious and relentless swarm of purebred creatures harrying it, and sweeps down upon its captain, one H.E. Sir Echudan Carlow - an officer in the Imperial Ether Navy knighted by the Emperor for a youthful act of incredible courage and gallantry - who is desperately endeavouring to command his crew’s valiant and spirited but futile defence against the abominations clipping at their heels.

And as Lagi hurtles into and smashes through the observation windows of the ship’s bridge in a dramatic entrance, the signature theme erupts into a fanfare chorus, and the Saga continues again…

Episode I: The Call to Arms

Lagi, now mounted by Sir Echudan, bursts from the wrecked and disintegrating Imperial airship and commences hurtling away from the storm of purebreds devouring it. Sir Echudan, however, is determined to attempt to save his remaining men and commences cursing the beast, beating its neck with the butt of his gun (an Imperial carbine which launches Blast Chips - a powerful shot with a slow reload rate) and demanding it turn back. Complaining audibly, Lagi reluctantly complies and commences beating away the purebreds - the player can acquire bonus points by actively defending the surviving Imperial sailors (for instance, if a rating hurls himself off the ship and parachutes to the ground, you acquire a handsome score multiplier if you prevent the monsters from tearing it and causing him to plummet). Eventually, salvation arrives in the format of an Imperial battlecruiser that was responding to the distress signal Sir Echudan launched shortly before Lagi intervened in the battle. Overjoyed at the sighting of his comrades, Sir Echudan dives towards the battlecruiser, only to back away, startled, when a fusilade of rockets streak towards him! With his riding of a dragon, the crew of the ship have mistaken him and Lagi for a Marhosloff purebred and a Drone - and Sir Echudan possesses no manner of communicating with the ship to clarify their error. The ensuing boss battle is a departure from the usual theme of bludgeoning attrition, for it is an endurance and agility test - you must evade the phenomenal firepower the battlecruiser directs towards you until it exhausts its magazines or overheats its engines and is obliged to retire. It is possible to retaliate and destroy gun batteries to reduce the amount of ordnance you are required to dodge, but doing so reduces your score - Sir Echudan doesn’t want to harm upon his fellow subjects! Accidentally destroying the airship causes an automatic Game Over, as Sir Echudan becomes so overwhelmed with grief he turns his gun on himself.

Episode II: Eschatology

Successfully evading the attentions of the mistaken battlecruiser and leaving it to salvage the wreck of his former airship, Sir Echudan departs with Lagi towards the coast, where he witnesses, appalled and nauseated, the full scale of the new crisis threatening the Empire as he and the Heresy Dragon struggle to defend a coastal town from the torrential deluge of monsters bursting forth from the seas as some form of vile and perverse, writhing tsunami. When a squadron of Rapid Response vessels and a brigade of land-based soldier from the Imperial Ether Navy and Army arrive to engage the monsters, Sir Echudan and Lagi beat a retreat rather than risk another unwanted accidental battle, and regale from afar how the Imperial forces fight against Marhosloff’s creations. The human military carries the day, but unfortunately the collateral damage from the firepower they saturate the area with also has the unforseen consequence of devastating the town! Screeching in rage, Lagi lapses into a raving tantrum against the Empire, unceremoniously casts Sir Echudan from his perch and attempts to attack him! Sir Echudan is obliged to frantically croak some of the aforementioned philosophy to calm and soothe Lagi’s inflamed distemper.

Episode III: Dance of the Damned

Realising from the exhausting encounter on the coast that a direct strike against Marhosloff, its sprawling hulk lurking and skulking on the horizon, would be an abortive expedition, Lagi turns inland to attempt another stratagem - intercepting and interrogating one of the Drones sprinting towards the West Sea to obtain intelligence of the full scale of Marhosloff’s prescene. What follows is a frenetic chase across the bleak and unappealing wilderness that characterises so much of the blighted globe as Sir Echudan and the Heresy Dragon pursue the fleeing Drone, batting away the half-caste monsters swarming in its wake that the Drone seems able to control as if a packmaster.

Episode IV: The Crimson Lance

With Lagi employing his unfathomable powers to ransack the memory of the cowed Drone of everything of worth concerning Marhosloff (and also revealing some tantalising information about the general background of the Panzer Dragoon realm within the data), the Heresy Dragon could well experience, for the very first time in its existence, fear - to duel with the lumbering behemoth of the evolved Dark Dragon was an eagerly-accepted challenge of ‘sibling rivalry’ (although admittedly such a description is rather awkward), and confronting the beasts of Uru was necessitated as a component of its duty - yet now Lagi is alone, bereft of the encouragement and guidance of the Divine Visitor, and he is being confronted by an accelerating series of events that threaten to overwhelm his bedraggled form. Can he ever hope to triumph so spectacularlry as he did in the past? An injection of the philosophy of proud endeavour, courtesy of the ever-dependable Sir Echudan, helps to raise Lagi’s flagging stamina and he gradually coaxes the dragon to launch towards the most likely source of allies for the forthcoming conflict with the Tower of the Seas - the Imperial Capital, where Sir Echudan intends to reassert his fealty to the Emperor and proferr Lagi’s services to His Majesty in the defence against Marhosloff. Yet how is this to ever be capably achieved? Hailing the capital’s populace would result in him being vapourised by defence batteries, and with the city now subject to martial law to prevent panic in the wake of Marhosloff, there would be no possibility of even seeing the Emperor’s palace - let alone the Emperor himself - should he enter on foot. Sir Echudan is obliged to consider an arduous, onerous, aggrieving and harrowing decision that he abhorrs, loathes and reviles being required to adopt… he must attack the capital with Lagi. Cursing himself for the black tarnish incurred upon his reputation, honour and soul for the inevitable killing of the people he swore as a knight of the realm and blue-blooded nobleman of the Empire to defend, Sir Echudan must engage in a frenetically-paced and explosive level, swooping above the densely-urbanised streets, with fighters screaming about his ears and flak cannons spitting hurricanes of shrapnel from the rooftops, seeking to land in the gardens of the Palace so that he may approach and petition the Emperor directly.

To be continued…

Despite my preference for R.P.G.s, I have always consdiered Impenias as a shoot-'em-up in the tradition of Eins, Zwei, and Orta, although I suppose it could be modified with some convolutions into a Saga-style title. Personally, I would envisage that this hypothetical game would be an ingenious and varied development for the Panzer Dragoon arc - it would be quite varied to have the Empire as your ally when it is usually an adversary, and I believe such a situation could introduce some interesting consequences for plot development - previously, Lagi has devloped an intimate and profound bond with his riders, but he understandably reserves little love for the Empire that has attacked him inumerable times and so to have a devoted and loyal Imperialist as his companion could introduce some quite intriguing notions of a strained coalition that teeters upon the ominous brink of shattering, and would also greatly help in our realisation of Lagi as an actual character rather than a servant or tool, as he risks being degraded to in some titles. Furthermore, I envisage that Impenias could assist in imparting some philosophy into gaming - at this late stage in its incessant quest, Lagi is becoming fatigued with defending humanity and is commencing to wonder whether flawed humanity is actually worth saving - in the inter-episode cutscenes, therefore, Sir Echudan must expound a variety of arguments ranging from the academic virtue of natural evolution, the benefits of imperialism, the unfairness and illogicality of tarring an entire institution with the failures or amorlaity of individual members and the notion of the environment as being a servant rather than the master, to revive Lagi’s flagging morale.

Incidentally, if anyone is wondering as to where I extracted the subtitle “Impenias” from, you shall note that in Edge’s inventory at the commencement of Saga there is an “Impenia Coin”, a unit of currency utilisied in the Empire - and as this game is oriented about defending the Empire’s era of prosperity, it seemed a natural allusion.

How would you react to such a background if Impenias’s publication was announced by Sega tomorrow? Is it a faithful and suitable expansion of the epic scale of Panzer Dragoon? Do the descriptions of the first four episodes I included above make it sound like an interesting game? Your comments would be greatly appreciated!

So… What of the little dragon baby we see by Orta’s side at the end of PDO…

Also, as a general “rule” we call “Lagi” the mutated coolia part of the dragon while we call the program the “Heresy Dragon”. It couldn’t really be any other way since we have to call the dragon in PDO something and it can’t be “Heresy” seeing as the program is NOT inside him in that game - and yet it’s still our good ol dragon friend.

And I doubt the Heresy Dragon would have any problem about cooperating with an imperial when they have the same goals, seeing as he only engaged the Empire if they got in his way really…

Anyway, I suppose that’s as good a plot as anything, I can’t say I’m fond of your way of writing though since it makes me skip through a lot of it rather than sit and read a paragraph of polysylabic words -that I will propably have to look up half of them in the dictionary since english isn’t my first language- just to learn of a simple action that could be described in less than a line and still be considered well written. Your writing tries too hard to impress thus appearing forced and pretendious which takes the focus off the actual story resulting in feeling like it’s a chore to read through it rather than being able to relax and enjoy the little trip, ultimately boring the reader, atleast in my case, pretty much like most of your posts so far. I’m certainly glad the original games aren’t worded like that…

I would like to play this game. Good story in the spirit of the previous games. A interesting twist having the empire as an ally. But I’d prefer to blow them up once more. :smiley: But that’s just me!

I thought that was genuinely interesting; good work. Although I’m not a huge fan of returning to the “Towers” plotline again, that seems a well-thought out way of bringing them (and Sestren) back into the equation; I doubt I’d complain if a new PD game went along those lines. I liked the concept of sentient Towers, and the prospect of armies of Drones coming out of hiding throughout the Empire would be a nice ironic twist. The new plot elements you were bringing in (like Marhosloff) seemed to fit in properly with the existing PD world, too.

Having friction between Lagi and his rider could definitely create some interesting situations as well, but you’d have to be fairly careful with that one - after all, it’d have to still make sense that Lagi did stay with Echudan, rather than abandoning him and finding someone else.

By the way, what would form the boss battles for the second, third and fourth Episodes - or had you not got around to working those out yet? For the third Episode where the Drone was bending mutated monsters to its will, I could imagine it jumping atop some enormous creature and riding it, like Azel or Abadd would their dragons…

As for plot inconsistencies with PDO… you’d have to make some superficial changes for it to sync up completely, but other than that it seems fine for a future PD plotline. I won’t start hurling PDO spoilers your way though; one or two of them would be pretty huge, but just say if you want them.

Thank you for your comments and suggestions, everyone, they are indeed much appreciated!

And Lance, I do concede that reviving the Towers yet again could be construed as a somewhat dull and repetitive plot device, yet I viewed it as a necessary one - the Towers, and the archaic alien technology associated with them, are a fundamental constant to the Panzer Dragoon world that the entire conflict that characterises the series revolves about - just like the dragon, they are a lynch-pin that grants the environment identity and direction. I’m glad that you think I’ve dealt with it appropriately. :slight_smile:

Thanks also for your offer of aid in plugging the plot holes, but at the present moment I’d rather just know that they exist, rather than have them specified - I’m hoping to ‘liberate’ a copy of Orta from a friend at some point in the near future so I’ll complete the game first and then make corrections.

Concerning boss enemies for the three episodes you noted, you’re right in saying I haven’t fully conceived of what they could be yet. I’m attempting to avoid the basic templates of “BIG SCARY MONSTER!” or the “1337 |-|4><0r GOSU 8477135hiP” (yes, I’ve been reading Megatokyo…) when developing them, and I want to reserve dragonriding Drones for the final Episode, wherein Sir Echudan and Super-Mega-Hyper Lagi rush into space, pursuing Captain Bucky O’Hare’s evil twin (cloned from a lock of hair, given to his first lover, that was stolen by the Illuminati-Freemason Alliance) who has thieved Doctor Who’s TARDIS and the Chaos Emeralds and seeks to use them to power the GoldenEye satellite so that it may destroy Skegness…

…no, actually, it just takes place in the belly of Marhosloff. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, for those scenarios nothing suitable has presented itself to me yet. I have a protoype boss for the fourh Episode, however - what does everyone think of it?

Approaching the conclusion of their mad dash through the Capital, Lagi and Sir Echudan are circling the grounds of the Palace, seeking to find a patch of ground in which to land that isn’t swarming with panicked courtiers or Life Guards shooting everything that moves (and a lot of what doesn’t). In the meantime, the military command in the region is suffering apoplectic fits of horror and desperation at how the ‘beast’ has successfully breached their defences, and so in a final bid abandon all sense of restraint and hurl the largest airship in the vicinity at our unfortunate protagonists. Obviously, Sir Echudan is obliged to incapacitate it, but the unique mechanism here is that it must be accomplished as quickly as possible - with thousands of rounds of stray ordnance and shards of wreckage raining about the vicinity in a torrent of undiscriminating destruction, the amount of collateral damage being inflicted on the capital is appalling. Thus, you commence the battle with a ‘perfect score’ bonus, but as the boss fight is plonged this begins to plummet as more incidental demolition is caused - you have to cripple the ship before an entire district is levelled - failure to do so will hardly endear you to the Emperor!

I also hope to be posting the remaining three to four Episodes soon. I hope you enjoy them!

Why can’t I have my own development team? :’(

Yeah, I agree that the Towers need to be brought back; I do not understand why everyone here thinks bringing them back into the storyline is such a bad thing, considering the Towers have been the focal point of the series since PD: Ein.

Granted, the Panzer Dragoon world has a lot of technologies that have yet to be uncovered - but to simply ignore ‘the legacy of the gods’ is unforgivable.

I quite like the twists in these boss concepts; having a secondary objective to them (which ties in with the personality of the dragon rider as well as the plot) seems like a good way to keep things interesting.

This is a bit picky, but I thought I’d best point it out: the item is really called an Inpenia coin, but on-screen the “m” looks very like an “n” because of the font Panzer Dragoon Saga uses. (I just randomly noticed that when I was sorting out the PDS script for the site.)

Oh, curse it - thanks for noting that, Lance, I’ll make sure to correct it.

Anyway, I believe that now I have conceived of some practicable boss confrontations for the second and third episodes - as always, comments and criticism from anyone will always be gratefully received and assimiliated.

Episode II

Now, for this instalment I must admit that my scenario has caused me to paint myself into a corner - I am going to have to settle for the “BIG SCARY MONSTER”, in the format of a gargantuan, mammoth pure-type megapede that scuttles up from the coast - now smothered with a foul, turgid, repulsive tarry scum of purebred bodily fluids and shattered cadavers, courtesy of Lagi’s light-lances. As the megapede writhes and gyrates about with a disturbing and nauseating dexterity, it will attempt to retch up incandescent, flesh-flaying streams of bio-plasma to incinerate you unless you brutalise its jaw region as it prepares to vomit its appalling combustible spew. However, there is a tactical element to what is otherwise a straightforward attritional battle - on occasion, the megapede’s extendable legs will shoot out towards the town you are defending, skewer a hapless bystander on its crumbling ramparts and devour it to replenish a small portion of its life bar. You are thus confronted with this dilemma - do you attack the mouth and prevent sustaining damage now at the risk of incurring more later with a longer battle, or are you confident enough in your health meter’s ability to weather the immolating cloud and prevent the townsfolk from enhancing the beast’s power? When the megapede’s voluminous hit-point quotient is exhausted, you have not successfully slain it - an Imperial howitzer shell accomplishes the task for you, striking the monstosity squarely in its midriff and rending the abomination in two, an act which also prompts the protagonists to duck down low and make their getaway.

Episode III

This scenario stretches the definition of ‘boss battle’, as it could be stylised as a targeting challenge instead. When you believe that the errant Drone has been successfully trapped and Lagi is whirling about it like a buzzard, preparing to snatch it in his fearsome talons, you are frustrated to discover that the intrepdi and redoubtable figure has yet one more trick tucked away in its proverbial sleeve - with astonishingly brazen disregard for safety, it throws itself down a perilously unstable mound of scree - to land astride one of a dense, thrashing herd of hundreds of Stryders (an enemy from the desert section in Saga, and suspected of destroying Cainus Village)! In order to successfully apprehend the Drone, you are beholden to shoot out his mount from underneath him. Those skilled players with a keen eye and a responsive thumb on the D-pad can end this battle in a single, precise, shot, but for the common gamer the section will become an arduous slog if you are inattentive, for the Drone regularly leaps across the backs of the Stryders to change the one he rides, and as you are flying at a low height in order to obtain a better sighting of the figure amongst the stampeding mass of mutants, the Stryders are able to leap upwards and gore Lagi’s belly open with their horns…