Was Kyle Fluge a young Craymen?

This topic came up on Discord yesterday. Wildman, the creator of the upcoming Panzer Dragoon Voyage Record, had some interesting things to say on topic, based on information from Sega Ages manual and the PDS guidebook.

This is quite an interesting theory. @Admiral_Craymen has also made a Google translation of the PDS guidebook pages which discuss the possibly of Craymen being an older Kyle Fluge:

Some further observations of mine:

  • In Panzer Dragoon, Craymen’s initials are “K F Craymen”. His full name could be “Kyle Fluge Craymen”.

  • Kyle is the right age to be Craymen. If you look at the official timeline, PD1 takes place in 89 A.F., PDS in 119 A.F. Craymen was 47 in PDS (according to Team Andromeda’s website), so he would have been about 17 in the time of PD1.

  • In the 1998 Developer Interview, Kusunoki states “One of the features of the Panzer Dragoon series is that in the games, we only reveal 1/5 of the total world we’ve actually created. That is to leave space for players’ imaginations, and to allow players to enjoy talking with each other and comparing the different experiences they’ve had. Player’s opinions are bound to diverge, and that’s a good thing. We think it’s an important part of making the world of Panzer Dragoon feel more real.”

  • Also, in the same interview, Futatsugi says: “Craymen is a very memorable character for me, for a number of reasons. He’s my favorite character, but I also feel he’s the character we left most unfinished. It’s more like we originally had a great deal more scenes planned for him. We wanted to show more about his past, and the reason why he rebelled against the Empire. However, we calculated that adding all that would have filled nearly the entire first disc, so we had no choice but to cut it all. That’s why Craymen has no scenes between his early appearance and the second half of the game. He has the most thematic presence of all the characters, so it’s all the more a shame.”

  • In the intro to PD1, Kyle and his companions discuss the airship and ask “Is it one of ours?” It’s possible that they were actually from the Empire and Kyle was forced to fight his own people who wanted to capture a dragon at all costs.

  • Another Azel guidebook translation that we did states: “But why are riders necessary? This is because there must be a human to make the decision put forth in the original goal of the program: “Humans ought to decide their own path.” That is to say, the rider is a mediator that chooses the path mankind will follow. Thus, the dragons moved to destroy Sestren and the Towers based on the will of the mediators. As for surmising the conditions for the choice of a mediator, it is said that the selected person must be a youth who recognizes neither the will of the Preservation Faction nor the Destruction Faction, which date from the reign of the former civilization.” It fits, then, that one of the riders would have chosen to will of the Preservation Faction. If Kyle was Craymen, then he would be a dragon rider who chose the will of the Preservation Faction. Based on Lundi’s journal, he chose the will of the Destruction Faction. Finally, Edge had to choose between the two philosophies.

What do you think? Was Craymen an older version of Kyle Fluge who wanted to control the destructive power of the Tower he witnessed on his journey 30 years earlier?

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I shared a link to this thread on Tumblr, and a friend of mine (arandomshotinthedark) has replied to this on her Tumblr. Keep in mind she has only played the remake and watched playthroughs on YouTube of the other games in the series.

Alright, read it. I’ve some thoughts on my own. It would be a hell of a thing for Craymen to actually be Kyle for one (And it seems likely given what we know.). Feels like a twist you know and turns on its head what people may think of when they think of Kyle (if at all since he’s kind of there generally).

Also, as I’m very much on the outside, having only played the remake and watched let’s plays of the other games, my knowledge is limited and I may have misremembered wrong. Also please excuse my mind’s barf because this is long and wordy.

To my understanding, Lagi showed Lundi visions of the ancient world right before they parted and then Lundi went off to join the Seekers and learn more about the world. However, Kyle didn’t get such visions-that I’m aware of.

Is it possible that the dragon, through the connection with each rider, was able to get a sense as to where the rider’s heart would possibly lie in regards to whether they would side with the ancients or not? Would giving Kyle the same visions as Lundi changed him more towards Lundi’s side or push him further to the ancient’s side? Did the dragon figure that the journey together would be enough to propel Kyle into doing something that would ultimately help the dragon, even if he didn’t realize it?

The empire’s a major factor throughout the series and they’re always looking for ancient weaponry. It’s entirely possible that someone could have stumbled across a way to give Sestren more power/allow it into the world itself, which would be catastrophic. It seems Kyle was under the empire and if theory is true, eventually rose through the ranks to be able to have his own fleet. I would presume that climb through the ranks would have been due to him wanting to figure out what exactly the dragon was/what it was doing/what the other dragon was doing/what the towers were exactly/etc. And him having been a hunter, he would have had experience with going against the grain since he would have had to make decisions by himself, especially in dangerous circumstances. It could be that through the bond, the dragon was able to see that Kyle was still able to be enough of a wildcard that he wouldn’t A. pose a threat to the dragon and it’s mission B. end up joining with Sestren and C. Would help keep the current major threat away from the ancient hidden threat that the dragon was trying to destroy.

It would also mean that both prior riders have a hell of an influence on the world when Edge comes into the picture and that Kyle wasn’t some one note/one off character. And both end up being a thorn in the empire’s side and helping Edge and the dragon at various points, which ultimately led the dragon to successfully finish its mission. Grant it, Lundi’s influence isn’t as direct as Kyle’s since he’s not around anymore, but the Seekers he led definitely are and have his works on the ancient world. Both are seekers of knowledge, but their conclusions drawn from the knowledge they know are different-I think Lundi had far more info due to the visions given to him that Kyle didn’t.

I mean, the theory allows the prior riders to ultimately contrast each other after their journey with the dragon and Edge becomes the one to ultimately make the final say, since he ends up with the most knowledge out of all of them.

Not only do I like the contrast and comparing between the two prior riders, I also like that it sets up their continued presence/influence upon the world itself instead of just being contained to one game (Kyle) and shows how much a change a person will go through while with the dragon. Even if the rider disappears, they will still impact the world in some way that will carry on and impact the story itself instead of just being in the background as a footnote.

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Wow, some wonderful info and reading there. It makes sense and sort of reminds me of Star Wars for a plot twist. Such a shame Saga didn’t sell better and we may have got answers in a game

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It would have been a nice twist for Craymen to have told Edge. “We are the same you and me, I was once like you.”

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That would have been good and like ‘I’m Your Father’ moment from Empire Strikes Back

Here’s a picture of a younger Craymen from the Azel Official Guide (page 25). If he was Kyle Fluge, this would be some time after the dragon left him.

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Hmm… Not sure if it’s my imagination, but I think I see some resemblance there?

From arandomshotinthedark on Tumblr:

I do see some resemblance with Young Craymen and Kyle. The big mystery would be seeing what Kyle’s hair color actually is under his hat thing.

Here’s a partial scan of Page 24 of the official Panzer Dragoon Guidebook, which confirms Kyle’s age as 16 years old:

OCR app translation thanks to JC Wesker#4429 on Discord:

Edit: Better translation thanks to Wildman:

So, Kyle is 16, Craymen is 47. PDS takes place 30 years after PD. It is definitely conceivable that they are the same person based on age.

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Wow, thanks for that

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Also, you’ll see that the text more or less confirms that the Sky Rider was a drone - a “person of the old century” - another big theory. Of course, Team Andromeda may not have finalised the concept of drones at that point, but it fits with why Kyle Craymen would be researching drones - after meeting two of them in his adventure with the armoured Blue Dragon.

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Amazing intro and it all means sense. I’m going to play the Original Saturn game right now LOL

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It all starts to add up when you look at it

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Is it just me, or does the music from Panzer Dragoon’s Intro when we see the “hero shot” of Kyle riding his coolia remind you of “Noble Rebel Army” from Saga’s OST?

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I found some more information about Kyle Fluge, on one of the Panzer Dragoon Saga pages from Team Andromeda’s old website.

http://web.archive.org/web/20001205115000/http://www.sega.co.jp/sega/saturn/andro_hp/yougo/yougo_k.htm#攻性生物

DeepL translation:

It’s interesting that Team Andromeda would deliberately mention that there have been no sightings of Kyle since the war on a Panzer Dragoon Saga page. Kyle isn’t actually mentioned in the game (at least, not in the English translation), but here he’s mentioned together with other topics, all prominent in Saga.

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You’re on to something there.

To go off on one. It’s just me here, but I’m sure the Sega GT 2002 team used the dragon cry sample when the dragon rider is shot dead, for the break screeching in Sega GT 2002 LOL

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It now seems pretty obvious the team already had the storyline laid out very early in. I’m going to go back and play the Saturn games now LOL

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It’s not just you. I hear it as well. And now here I am, back to being incredibly excited about this whole thing again.

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Here is my attempt at a better translation by scanning with Google Translate and pasting the Japanese text into DeepL. I’ve cleaned it up a bit with character names and such:

The event that led to the Azel incident was the robbery of an object at the site of the ruins of an old civilization by Imperial soldier K. F. Craymen. The thing that Craymen robbed is a human-like artificial life form drone), and refers to a girl called Azel. In the 89th year of the Empire, during the “Dynamic Experiment”, the Imperial Capital was severely damaged by the battle with the dragon. Immediately after finally succeeding in the reconstruction of the imperial capital, the country began a detailed study of the old civilization with the aim of exploring the dragons. At that time, it was confirmed that the person who was leading the full-scale research on the III civilization was Craymen. As soon as Craymen’s “Report on the Dragon” was submitted to the government, special vessels were excavated on certain days. There is no doubt that the weapon being excavated was a drone. It is clear that the will of the Imperial Emperor was to use drones to manipulate towers to create an environment suitable for living and to enhance offensive power, but it seems that the will of Craymen was different.

K.F. Craymen was a member of the Imperial Academy, and even earned the right to have his own freely organized army, and was a high-ranking military bureaucrat in the center of the Empire. He was estimated to be in his late forties. There are many unclear points about Craymen before he entered the Empire, and there are rumors that he was a wandering hunter before that. He joined the Imperial Academy in the 93rd year of the Empire’s history, when he was in his 20s. In the Academy’s entrance examinations, he achieved excellent results that would remain in the history of the Empire, and was favored by the Emperor, who quickly appointed him to a position in the bureaucracy. It was very unusual for an ordinary person to be appointed to the bureaucracy, which was a hereditary system. After entering the academy, Craymen focused on the development and research of the old civilization, and did everything he could to understand the environment and life-generating mechanism of the tower. Why did he have such an extraordinary interest in towers and dragons? In the 89th year of the imperial month, dragons flew into the empire, and the imperial capital was temporarily into a state. The boy riding the dragon at this time was a hunter named Kyle Fluge. The initials make it K. F… … If it was the same person, then no one could be more knowledgeable about dragons and towers.

In addition to Craymen, there are 8 airborne battleships, 12 Kara, 21 Vazikou fire jets, and 36 fighter jinkos. In addition, if you count the special aircraft of the commander Zastava, who was in direct command of the Craymen fleet during the Azel, the number of subordinates was about 300. The fact that he had such a large fleet in his hands suggests that Craymen’s actions were not impulsive, but were most likely planned from the moment he issued his “Report on the Dragon” to the day. In the 102nd year of the Empire’s history, when the people began to protest against the heavy taxes imposed by the Empire on the people and the people under its control, he had already begun to gather the members of his own fleet. It was also during this time that the people were suddenly talking about how the dragons were going to defeat the empire, and it was probably Craymen, who had a wealth of knowledge about dragons, who spread this information.

Why in the world did Craymen betray the Empire and take Azel from where he came? The sound translates to technology, and Craymen feared that Azel would join the Empire and control the tower at the will of the emperor. This is because he believes that humans gaining the power (technology) of the tower will only lead to a replay of the civilization period. Craymen’s idea was that the towers should function as they should, and that humans should be controlled by technology. He had a contrary idea to ours, which was to destroy the tower, nullify the effects of the tower, and open up the world only with human power. That is why he destroyed the imperial city, showing Azel that he would be the one to get everyone’s power. However, this was against the will of Kyle Fluge, who had once fought alongside the dragons and was chosen as their leader. How he came to think that way is all in between now that Craymen is dead.

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Very interesting. Is this the report on the dragon Craymen wrote, I wonder?

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