The State of Panzer Dragoon Emulation

I recently upgraded to a new computer and decided to try my hand at emulating my forlorn copy of PDS, having not been touched in about 5 years.

Here are my specs:

Dell Inspiron 9400 (e1705)
CPU: 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo
Graphics Card: nVidia Geforce 7900 GS go

I downloaded SSF, a somewhat frequently updated Saturn emulator, poped in Disc 1 and had a go at it.

Much to my surprise, most of the game runs smoothly. I’m at Uru right now, and I haven’t experienced any freezes or crashes. There are some dips in framerate, but those are few and far between. I’ve noticed a total of 3 texture glitches so far. One at the ingame cinema where the dragon ascends to the excavation camp (right before the cinema where you tend to the captain. It’s noticable, but hardly anything bad), another when you fight the Gigra (when you move to the front side to attack the weakspot, the cavern ceiling turns green), and another one at Georgius (the entire ‘floor’ texture with the vortex is actually rotating and there isn’t any covering to mask the effect). I guess these glitches are due to the fact that the emulator doesn’t emulate things 100% yet.

Overall, I’m very optimistic that saturn emulation will be a viable option for people down the line and more people will get to play this series.

My spec’s are nearly identical to yours, 2GB ram, but only 7600. I was wondering roughly what type of frame rates you were getting and at what resolution? Thanks.

Sadly, I can’t run SSF here, as I don’t have a CPU supporting SSE2 instructions. :anjou_sad: I’m looking forward to trying it out somewhere though!

Also check out Yabause, a promising emulator which will hopefully maintain the active development which it has already shown, and SaturnTV, a new one recently announced on SegaXtreme. Projects like these are always good to keep an eye on!

There are also other emulators like Satourne, Saturnin, etc., although I am not aware of their status at this time.

They seem to be consistent with the framerates I was getting on the saturn. There isn’t any evident way for me to measure them though since I couldn’t find an option to display it.

Is SSF better than Giri Giri? I was able to run PDS Giri Giri pretty well a couple of years back, although I needed somebody’s (Lance?) save files to progress beyond a couple of points.

You know what is fun about emuilating is … cheating. I had a trainer where I figured out how to max my levels in the beginning …

I haven’t tried out Giri Giri, since I’ve been satisfied with SSF’s performance so far (and I can’t find a place to download that or Cassini). I’m guessing that emulators like Giri Giri sacrifice fully emulating the Saturn in exchange for performance on lower end computers. SSF is pretty customizable in terms of emulating things, but a high end computer is necessary.

I tried running SSF on my old computer, a Dell 8200 (1.8ghz Single core, Geforce 440 go, 1 gig DDR RAM), and it ran pretty horribly no matter the setting, so I guess a computer with a dual core processor or a very good single core computer is necessary.

Perhaps as SSF develops, it will require less demanding settings but that’s doubtful since it aims at emulating all of the Saturn’s somewhat unconventional hardware.

Panzer Dragoon Zwei running on Xbox Series X

(@ 8:40)


Panzer Dragoon Saga may cost more than an Xbox Series S, but it’s great that there’s an option to play it on a relatively inexpensive console. I’d be interested to know if the Saturn Panzer games can be played all the way through on Xbox without crashing.

Now if only Microsoft would release a VR headset so that we could play the whole series on Xbox…

its cool that it isnt some weird 'take it into a shop for a mod" type thing, that it just works as a mode

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