Should Panzer Dragoon Orta be considered canon?

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#21

I know this is old but as I was digging to get some sources, I realized the 1UP link is down and I cannot find the original interview of Futatsugi this was referring to.

But anyway, in the recent article on Polygon by James Mielke, they (the former dev team) all seem to have found a way to look at things that satisfies them now. And to be fair, it seems they never really bothered trying to connect all the pieces, even when they made Orta. I think we the fans have been wondering about a lot of things that will simply never have any ‘official’ answer, simply because it was not written in stone. They now seem to be interpreting things, which is another confirmation of that IMO.
I think it’s cool even though each of their versions are not convincing me, I think this is a good step for them to maybe consider re-working together at some point, who knows?

By the way, I still don’t consider Orta’s events canon. And if they made a new game, I’d like it to be either focused on the Saturn trilogy or a completely new story.
I read some of the comments about Craymen being Orta’s father just because she has grey hairs… come on Craymen was probably grey because he was old enough. Doesn’t impact his genes lol. No offense here, you know I like being sarcastic sometimes.

I still think Orta is a great game, especially technically and it’s fantastic to have it in 4K (or very close) but I just think the story & art direction in Saga was more subtle.


#22

I realised I hadn’t responded to @Draikin’s point earlier about Orta being canon by definition. According to Wikipedia, “The term [canon] was first used by analogy in the context of fiction to refer to the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as contrasted with numerous Holmes adventures added later by other writers.” I’m not sure if this is true (there’s no citation), but it raises a question: does the fact that the original team didn’t work on Orta take priority over who owns the IP when it comes to deciding what is canon? Similarly, if the Tolkien Society decided to release a new Lord of the Rings story where it is revealed that Gandalf was actually a robot all along, would that be canon? Food for thought.


#23

I consider it canon just like I consider all those Star Wars books I grew up reading as canon over the new trilogy. Those books were way better than this new nonsense by the way!:grin:. I understand the love of PDS, but I also feel that Orta was fantastic, even if the old team wasn’t completely intact. It is all really silly when you consider PDS had a completely different team than Zwei, but those are both considered cannon.


#24

Yea But Futatsugi supervised the script on all three games prior to Orta.

I don’t care who makes the graphics & all the technical stuff. For me, the main reason I don’t consider Orta canon is because he wasn’t involved and consequently, one can see the story was made up and is not totally coherent between Saga & Orta. I might have preferred a totally different story, different characters, much later or much earlier.
I guess the relation at the time was not good enough for them to have Futatsugi as a consultant, it’s life (business life)…
I’m ok with Orta, the game on its own is really good. I came to appreciate it even more since it looks this good in 4K, I think it really pays justice to the vision Smilebit had for Orta.
But it doesn’t change my mind on the story disconnect.


#25

I prefer my personal headcanon over getting twisted up on what technically is and isn’t officially canon.

(Like how Halo 4 never happened)


#26

What stood out to me from the recent interview is that Akihiko Mukaiyama seemed to be hesitant to position Orta as a direct sequel. This wasn’t an issue before, but with Futatsugi more in the picture now, he didn’t seem very comfortable talking about the game’s position in the PD Saga universe. I was especially surprised when he proposed that maybe PD Orta was a prequel or alternative to PD Saga. That didn’t make the least bit of sense. One can argue there are potential plotholes, but PD Orta is obviously a sequel to the events in PD Saga. They even had official timelines, there was a ton of info on what happened to the world in the game’s encyclopedia, and flashbacks to previous events. They can always decide to call it an alternate timeline if they want, but their initial intention was obvious.

So the way I see it, PD Orta could very well be positioned as an alternate timeline if Futatsugi ever makes a new Panzer Dragoon. That’d be fine with me either way.


#27

Yeah, I think that was a mistake in the interview (either when the editor was typing it, or a bad choice of words by Mukaiyama), since there is too much information in the game that confirms that it takes place after Saga. In the official timeline Saga takes place in 119 AF, Orta in 156 AF (37 years later).


#28

Yea, they seem to have some clumsy explanations. Orta was obviously thought as a sequel to Saga.
But what I retain from that interview is they ‘try’ to find some explanation and we haven’t seen this sort of collective effort before ?
We may still be far from another Panzer Dragoon game but to talk about things this way is a good sign I think, knowing where we come from.


#29

In response to point 3 - my frist thought is that altho less superstitious than the common folk
…Seekers still spoke relying on myth and stories passed down from sources that would have interpreted Sestren through less enlightened eyes.

That being said that made me think…did Saga ever refer to it as a computer network?? Where did we first get that idea from?


#30

Re-reading the original topic, I really think none of the points raised are actually a problem. Here are some answers to two of them:

If that’s the biggest problem, I can safely say there’s no continuity problem at all. This is from the official PD Saga guide translations we commissioned years ago, showing that the idea of parts of the network surviving wasn’t something Smilebit grabbed out of tin air. Team Andromeda already set up this sequel hook when PD Saga was first released:

Sestren was destroyed due to the actions of Edge, and all the Towers ought to have ceased functioning. However, a large-scale biologically critical transformation has yet to take place within our bodies.

However, perhaps the Sestren that was destroyed in the Azel Affair operated only a small fraction of the Towers, and there are several Sestrens that continue their activities to this day.

I have to disagree on this, I think it’s always made obvious that Sestren is a creation of the Ancients. This is also from the PD Saga guidebook, which refers to Sestren as “Technology With a Will of Its Own”. That’s what we call an AI.

Because Sestren was established according to the strong will of the Preservation Faction, who sought to ensure the continuation of life on the planet and purify the atmosphere, it was continued for many thousands of years. However, thanks to Edge and the dragon, these functions were brought to a complete halt.

I distinctly remember that in PD Orta, it was also referred to as a place “beyond space and time”. Nonetheless, we were supposed to understand that Sestren is a highly advanced AI even back in PD Zwei/Saga. Here’s the part talking about the Heresy Dragon, from the PD Saga guide book:

This idea was successfully programmed into the as-yet-incomplete Sestren as the determination that “the future of humanity ought to be decided by humankind”. However, Sestren itself discovered the existence of the program and removed it from its functions, regarding it as a bug. As a way of dealing with these circumstances, the program was also configured to turn itself into a dragon. The dragon is an organic life-form molded from the will left behind by the Destruction Faction during the latter days of the former civilization.

Programs. Functions. Bug. The parallels with our technology were always there. And let’s not forget that the English script rewrite made things more mysterious than in the original Japanese script. PD Orta only elaborated on the concepts already in place.

I can go on for the other points. But in my opinion those are even less of an issue. The original trilogy had plenty of inconsistencies of its own, perhaps too often excused because of the mysteries surrounding the storyline.


#31

I suppose Azel could have found a recording that contained Edge’s DNA in some other part of the network. Maybe his DNA sequence was replicated to a surviving part of the network before the part we see at the end of Saga was destroyed. I could live with that explanation. Perhaps Azel didn’t even know that Edge had died; the word “fruitless” could have referred to her giving up the search.

I meant that Sestren might not only be a creation of the Ancients. The Ancients referred to the Light Wing as something more, “a messenger of the Gods?”, even though they created it. There’s an overhanging theme in Panzer Dragoon Saga that there might be divine or spiritual forces involved. Much of this was likely due to how the people of the Panzer Dragoon world interpreted the mysterious (to them) ancient technology that they didn’t understand. There’s a sense of not being certain what Sestren really is.

Orta presented Sestren in a one-sided fashion, as only a data network. I agree that this doesn’t make Orta strictly inconsistent, and the Seekers could easily have been wrong about no mortal being able to reach Sestren.


#32

The Ancients might be simply a more technologically advanced version of the “present day” people of PanDra. They could create AIs and dragons but were still far from understanding their world and realities, hence the term “Messenger of the Gods” when applied to Light Wing project. They could still have the belief that there’s was a grander reality than they were privy to. They could believe in gods themselves…and be baffled by their own ability to be able to create something perhaps only gods or a God could create.

Or maybe (far fetched)…“messenger of the Gods” is a hint at how they wished to be viewed by the less enlightened people of their own era. A self-title for the ages.

I’d really like clarification from someone on where we first got the idea Sestren was a computer network. I haven’t played the game in years and don’t recall it ever being in Saga.


#33

I don’t think it’s ever explicitly called a network in the game. There’s the official guidebooks (of which we had select pages translated a while back) that go into more detail about the background story of Saga though.