Azel Online

I found a web archive of Azel Online (precursor to The Will of the Ancients), which was online between 2000 and 2002. Most of the site was archived correctly too, just a few images and pages missing here and there. From memory, this was a second version of the site; in the first version, all of the text was in the Hoffmann font. I thought I’d lost this.

Memories. :anjou_happy:

@UrbanReflex, @Geoffrey_Duke, @Scott, @Atolm, and others who were members of the Panzer Dragoon community back then, check it out. Geoffrey, your old fanfic is on there.

I actually had someone ask me if I would ever finish that story.

I still actually wonder if the Towers did wipe out many of the Ancients who created them. We know some went into hibernation, but we also know that all humans were considered a threat. It’s intriguing to note that we never actually see an Ancient or any of the leaders of the Ancient civilization. They were psychopathic super geniuses I imagine.

This is awesome! You’re right this is definitely not the original original version, but I assume you’ve looked and they don’t have it?

Is there any content that is missing from the main site?

Yeah, I couldn’t find the original version, but then I couldn’t find the second version for a while either. The front page seems to be missing too (this page shows up when you go to the index).

There are a few pieces of content missing from the current site, but nothing we didn’t deliberately leave in the past.

By the way, Azel Online’s links section will take you to older versions of other sites:

Sky Rider: The Panzer Dragoon World has been online for two years and is well into its third year of operation. Sky Rider was created by a then young video gamer who felt a need for the message of Panzer Dragoon and Sega to be spread. The young boy toiled through the night and over a period of two days from November 26-27, 1998 this webpage was created. From start to finish it took about just a little under 8 hours to write all the html and create all the images. All of the HTML was written in notepad and the headers from this site (Characters, Artwork, Story, etc.) were all created using Microsoft Paint.

1998 - that’s pretty old!

That brings back memories of a different time.

1998 - Back when David Beckham ruined England’s chances of winning the World Cup, and the entire country wanted to kill him. And they actually would have if they had gotten their hands on him. Sega Saturn Magazine even commented on that. I still remember.

How and why is the internet being archived anyway? I imagine old data doesn’t require as much memory as the past due to better memory storage, but it seems like old websites are echoing down the passages of time.

We’ve come a long way since then! Sometimes I wish I could go back and relive the past. So much nostalgia it clouds the senses!

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Have a read up on the project; they can explain it better than me. Personally, I see the web as similar to any other document or artform. Some of it might be of historical importance, but often we don’t realise what is important until after it’s gone. Hence the importance of a point-in-time record of the web.

Can you imagine people 100 years from how reading our posts? I hope they are more enlightened than we are.

I can see how this can be a good thing. Information can be archived that might otherwise be lost.

I am curious though: web formatting will probably change a lot in the future. It might be a struggle to make an archive compatible with future formats. Take old games like Baldur’s Gate for example (not the enhanced version): it has to be emulated on PC now because it was originally made for Windows 98. I actually found that surprising.


Code will change, and the structure and layouts and resolution and styles will change. It might be like looking back at 70s haircuts.

Typically the specs for the main web languages (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) are updated and features are deprecated but they’re not removed from web browsers. So even though we’re up to HTML5, an HTML1 document will still render fine. There are exceptions, such as the blink tag (which made text blink) which is now turned off in browsers by default (but it was never supported in Internet Explorer anyway), but for the most part the web remains surprisingly backwards compatible. This is one reason why the evolution of the web moves so slow and is more clunky to develop for in comparison to other platforms like iOS; once a feature is added it’s there forever. I except browser based games that are based on native technologies (not Flash) will continue to work in 20 years time.


This is certainly a blast from the past! GOOD TIMES!


I found this old scan that someone sent me from 2002! It might have been @Lagi_Webmaster who sent this to me, I don’t remember. It’s from the official Xbox Magazine (US version I believe) and mentions Azel Online at the bottom of the page; even though The Will of the Ancients had started by that time, I believe the Azel Online URL would have been redirected to it.


I remember this, and I can’t believe the archive of Azel is still around! That really feeds my nostalgia, I wish everything was archived.

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I’m not sure if I remember that or not. I remember going to either Azel Online or TWOTA when I was in high school, before Orta was released. At that time I thought I would never be able to play Saga.

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Azel Online had some of the content from TWOTA, but from what I remember it didn’t have a proper news section. You can see some the origins of the sections from PDL in the left - the fan art gallery was a list of links under “Gallery” for example, and most of that art is still on PDL. Nostalgia indeed.

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