Team Andromeda Interview (Gamefan Magazine May 1995, with Tomohiro Kondo)

Found an old Gamefan magazine interview. t’s an interview from Gamefan Magazine May 1995, with Tomohiro Kondo of Team Andromeda, concerning the development of the first Panzer Dragoon game. The exact interview date was 03/01/1995. Some interesting facts are discussed like: How much power the Saturn used for the game, if the Dragon is a robot or living organism and most interesting of all, where the Panzer Dragoon world takes place!

Here are some highlights:

GF: How about the story background?
TK: The story takes place on an ancient planet somewhere in the universe. It’s been 2 or 3,000 years since civilization was at it’s peak. Since the weapon is similar to a bowgun, it’s not really an advanced civilization.

GF: Do you think you used the full potential of the hardware?
TK: This is one of the games that was supposed to be released with the launch of the Saturn, but it took a little more time than we thought. Durning the process of development, we discovered much more about the possibilities of the hardware. The Saturn has 2 CPU’s, and we didn’t use the full capacity of either of them, so I’d say we used about 70% of the hardware’s potential. Since we now know more about the Saturn than we did a year ago, our next game will show 100% of the system’s power and we’ll be able to have more polygons and more frames.

GF: Is the Dragon supposed to be a robot?
TK: No, it’s a living thing with ceramic-type armor. We set it up as a living weapon.

GF: The movement of the wings is so realistic…did you watch videos of an actual bird?
TK: Yes, the designers studied a lot. There’s no actual dragon, though (Laughs).


I like the vagueness of his response, it makes the Panzer Dragoon world seem all the more mysterious. It should also be noted that Panzer Dragoon Orta retconned this timeline to make the Ancient Age occur 10,000 years before the games take place.

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That’s interesting. I love finding these old interviews! I like how he used the term "ceramic-type armor to describe the dragon’s outer appearance! I’ve been describing it as bone-armor for so long!

And going by what he said about how much of the Saturn’s power was used to make the game. It seems, that Zwei and Saga could potentially have used 100% of the Saturn’s power or close to it!

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I agree and that’s the best part of the games. They answer as many questions as they don’t.
You could also see that the team were learning much about the hardware till the last min, given the wizard mode, which was put in after the team has timed the music to the game

It’s really amazing how fast the game runs in Wizard mode

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That’s crazy how Wizard Mode was removed for the PAL version of the game. But out of all the dev teams Team Andromeda really understood the power of the Saturn!

I never even knew that, maybe the superhigh frame rate in Wizard mode was causing issues with the Pal optimisation

TA were really the 1st development team to really show off what the Saturn could do, but the In _House teams at AM#2/3 and the CS Rally team also really knew how to make the Saturn shine

There are some differences between the Japanese and U.S. versions too. In the Japanese version some of the enemies don’t attack you. So, for the U.S. version Sega of America told them to make those enemies more aggressive. This was so the player wouldn’t be seen shooting non hostile targets.

Also, another cool thing to note is, the Saturn hardware was very close to the arcades at the time!

I believe the worms didn’t attack in the Japanese version if I remember correctly.

Like with the Sega Mega-CD and most of SEGA’s X/Y boards. SEGA used a multi CPU setup to get power. SEGA Saturn was brilliant hardware, only really let down by the staff at SEGA Europe and America and no hardware for 3D alpha effects