It’s been years since I played PDS, but I’ve been thinking about it again lately and watching Let’s Plays on YouTube, and something bothers me.
I really love Azel. I think she’s one of the coolest, most interesting characters in any game. I love her combination of ferocity and vulnerability. I especially love how she begins as an antagonist, and seems like a mirror of the player: Edge has his dragon, and then there’s this girl in a big coat, with her own huge dragon, Atolm. I think Atolm’s really important; you sense Azel and Atolm have a bond like Edge and the dragon do, and the contrast in size is really important for that mirroring effect.
So it bothers me how Atolm gets wiped out after the third Azel encounter. Azel and Atolm could have had some dramatic final scene where they battle alongside Edge and the dragon. Instead he’s gone forever. Does Azel even have any dialogue where she talks about that? It feels like she should miss him, be sad about his (presumed?) death, be angry with Edge.
I remember Azel saying something along the lines of: “He’s always been by my side from the beginning”…I believe Edge also comments to himself how hard it must have been for Azel to lose Atolm because of the bond both rider and dragon share; but I can’t remember anything specific…
I think Edge and the dragon literally almost killed Azel in that last battle. I do agree, Atolm could have had a more exiting exit I guess. Maybe they could have clashed in the sky multiple times with their force fields before Atolm ultimately fell…
Edge discusses Atolm with Azel directly:
Edge: Azel… promise me. From here on, if anything happens to me, take the dragon and find Gash, at the Seekers’ base.
Azel: …I cannot do that…
Edge: Why not?
Azel: It doesn’t work that way. You are not just the dragon’s master, you both share a higher purpose. He chose you… This dragon exists only for you… The two of you are linked. If you die, the dragon loses his purpose, and will deactivate.
Edge: Were you and Atolm linked?
Azel: Yes, and I will miss him… Right now, Edge, I believe in you.
Edge also thinks “It must have been tough for Azel to lose Atolm.” in another part of the game where they discuss the bond.
I think it’s safe to assume that the bond between Atolm and Azel was strong. But it seems she forgave Edge or perhaps did not understand the concept of anger/hatred at that point - he was more of an obstacle to overcome while they were rivals.
Reading things like this I can’t help but think how excellently written the storyline is
Would there happen to be a video somewhere of that dialogue in the Japanese version?
Not that I know of. If you can find a playthrough the Japanese version, I believe you should be able to find that dialogue at the start of the Tower section (disc 4).
Actually, I found it:
English version: https://youtu.be/hhRY6k5r-uo?list=PLAAB191A682BA4420&t=848
Japanese version: https://youtu.be/f0cZFwbJuV0?t=1420
I’m curious to know what Azel says in the original version.
Thanks for the link! I thought something sounded weird about the “Yes, and I will miss him…”, it just doesn’t sound like something Azel would say. Much like how she never said “I love you” to Edge. For what it’s worth, my knowledge of Japanese is still very limited. But judging from the Japanese version, I’m pretty sure she says “Yes, but I’ll be fine” (or “I’ll be okay”). The “I believe in you” line seems accurate, it’s pretty much a literal translation. But I’m not entirely sure about Edge’s line before that. But it’s definitely not “Were you and Atolm linked?”. Atolm isn’t mentioned there. This is the line in question:
kimi wa, zenbu shouchi de…
I’m hesitant to guess at what this is meant to say. My guess would be “you were aware of everything…” but I don’t think that’s accurate. Perhaps the literal translation may have also confused the person who rewrote the script, who ended up adding the Atolm line instead in the rewrite. The lines before that about the dragon losing its purpose sound accurate though from what I can gather. It’s only those two lines from Azel that aren’t clear. Bing actually translates shouchi as “risk” in that line, but that’s not a translation that I can find elsewhere.
It does appear that the English translation made Azel’s words more emotional (saying things that a human might), rather than the arrival of any feelings being subtle. Perhaps she did feel the loss of Atolm deeper but processed it first before giving a more information-based response.
Also interesting about this scene is the claim that a dragon loses it’s purpose if it’s rider dies, but not the other way around. I think Azel was talking about all dragons here, but it further reenforces that dragon’s purpose was all about getting Edge/DV to Sestren. “I exist to lead the Divine Visitor”. It seems that both Atolm and Edge’s dragon were created with very important roles, but ultimately existed for the sake of their riders who were given a choice as to what they would decide to do. It gives the series title “Panzer Dragoon” (Dragon Rider) more weight.