What is the Town of Zoah, anyone else thought much about it?

This is a theory subject that’s been in my mind for a long time actually, and another mystery rarely examined. As with many of my beliefs it’s informed by a perspective perhaps very alien to the majority in some key concerns, but since I have the details of those differences collected and defined now… this is a part of the PD story I think deserves much more attention than many other subjects which have been debated to a pulp already.

Having given some deliberate thought to it, it still seems clear that Zoah was not ever a random circumstance, but an intended haven for a segment of humanity to wait out the Towers’ rebuilding of their world. Solo’s Zoah Bible Theory tills the soil of the subject very well, but it doesn’t seem to make any direct suggestion about this premise as such, nor can I recall ever seeing anyone else make the idea clear. So I’m very curious to know if this is something that is regarded as apparent to most people (or even anyone) or if it hasn’t even been considered at all?

At some time a similarity to a couple (I think at least three actually) of original Star Trek episodes popped in my mind, most amusing is the parallel between “The Will of the Ancients” and “The Will of Landrew”. I wont try to explain about it but if anyone has seen the episode you should immediately understand what I’m getting at. Doing a search for that phrase I found a Treker fansite named The Will of Landrew even…

So the basic scenario of a fabricated society with a religious authority structure, as a way of hiding the more gloomy truth of a larger situation from a contained population, is almost a sci-fi staple. While I wouldn’t make any assumption Zoah is unique in the world, it seems very apparent this was the intended model for humanity’s survival after their fall from glory. As long as they stay on their ‘reservations’ they’ll be safe, as well as powerless.

There’s a few factors that seem like more than mere coincidence:

Zoah is very very close to Uru, they may be the direct descendants of the remaining Tower loyalists.

The Guardian Fire seems made for precisely what it is used for, keeping the monsters away. Consider that the Empire and Seekers have never managed to find something like that and use it the same way, how likely would it be anyone else just stumbled across this power and knew what to do with it?

Their Bible has many parallels to what we know of the truth, but it’s all turned into allegory and strictures, between the lines it seems clear whoever authored it did know more truth than any of the other survivors can be expected to.

Anyway I want to know other people’s take on this, as well as try to refine the debate if anyone’s interested?

I think it’s indeed apparent given the text in the Bibles and the presence of the Guardian Fire that Zoah was in fact an example of how humanity was supposed to survive. The real question is why all this was needed. To really understand all this we’d have to know what the difference was between the Ancients and the humans who were left behind. Everything suggest that the Ancients were human but if that’s the case then why was “humanity” left behind?

If the Ancients were in fact human, I can only assume that they were a highly advanced civilization that ruled the world. My theory is that the other civilizations may have been allowed to use their technology (ruins, bio-engineered creatures,…), until they started to use that technology to destroy each other and the entire world at the same time. At that point the Ancients would be forced to defend themselves and their Tower network, so they created the most advanced bio-engineered weapons for that purpose: the Dragons. Ultimately the Ancients decided to give up on the world: they completely destroyed the other civilizations, proceeded to shut down all the ruins and then went into hibernation, leaving what’s left of humanity under control of Sestren and the Tower network. Unfortunately for the Ancients the Towers malfunctioned, which means humanity was able to rebuild more advanced civilizations than they were supposed to (the Empire). The activation of the Tower of Uru in PD Saga showed what would have happened if the Towers were fully operational.

Another theory I have is that the PD world is in fact a colony (the two moons seem to suggest it’s not Earth) and the Ancients were basically the human faction that brought colonists to this new world. The Towers were perhaps intended to make this new world habitable for humans. The colonists would basically have to start anew, relying on the technology provided by the Ancients to build a new world, eventually leading to the situation I mentioned above.

I don’t think the Bibles were intentionally fabricated by someone if that’s what you mean. I always imagined it was simply a matter of people passing on the truth about what happened at the Ancient Age from generation to generation, with people eventually referring to “the Ancients” as if they were Gods.

Yeah I think that’s been the common assumption, that their view of the “gods” is mere superstition, and I had that impression for a long time without particularly thinking about it. Once I did think, particularly, about it after reading some threads on here I became convinced the very superstition was indeed an intentional fabrication. It would seem the view of dragons as a herald of the return of the age of the gods is something instilled in the larger population even outside Zoah. That the current shape of Zoah’s ‘religion’ may have evolved out of a psychological necessity is a likely alternative though, given we have no direct evidence either way.

It does seem likely that the original inhabitants of Zoah (those that were there during the end of the Ancient Age) knew the details about the Ancients’ plan to return to the world one day. The Bible of Zoah suggests that the people living in Zoah were in fact not “left behind” like the others. They were supposed to live in Zoah with a limited population, protected by the Guardian Fire. That’s probably what Gash meant by saying how humanity wasn’t really living, but rather being “forced to live”. I think it’s equally possible that the original inhabitants intentionally fabricated a religion or that the original rules imposed on the inhabitants eventually turned into a religion over time. The end result would have been the same either way.

Interesting idea, Heretic Agnostic. Reading this topic got me thinking, perhaps the Ancients picked a group of chosen individuals, or cloned humans, and placed them in villages and small settlements across the continent near the end of the Ancient Age. The people in these villages would purposefully have little or no real understanding about what happened in the Ancient Age, and would be part of the ‘new world’ that the Ancients were set on creating.

For all we know, the Ancients may have wanted some humans left alive, but in reduced numbers. The Towers and Ancient ruins, having been built to control the ecosystem, would in a sense be protecting humanity, through Guardian Fires or similar devices, but only in small numbers. This would be to prevent humans from becoming too much of a force and destroying the environment. As Craymen put it: “This world was constructed by the ancient ones as a delicate balance”.

dammit, read Nausica?, it is all explained there. it’s so simple really =)

I can’t know why you even said that, since I’ve only seen the anime lordcraymen… in this context I can only take it as essentially a rebuttal, at least that’s the response it first triggered so…

While there’s plainly a huge influence from Nausicaa in PD, just looking at the things which are plainly not at all parallel convinces me that, as the back story evolved it became something a lot more unique all around. And probably deliberately so. So while the more vague theme in the first game - of relics from an earlier technological apex being scavenged by scattered societies of a very ‘wild’ world - could be seen as an almost direct rip-off of Nausicaa’s story, I firmly believe the affinity we may draw between the two should stay in the realm of the sentiment involved and avoid the finer technicalities.

Unless there actually is some revelation that the world was “designed” to be the way it is in the manga, and never included in the Anime, that is a totally fundamental difference. And as such this scenario I’ve brought up relates directly to that divergence, and is simply based on the evidence in the story itself.

And in this case Zoah would constitute maybe the single greatest piece of evidence we have for the actual mindset behind the Ancients’ plans. As I already suggested I’ve avoided bringing it up before partly because it first occurred to me with the thought of the Guardian Fire, which notion is then tied to other assumptions that would bring up an entirely separate argument. That entire argument is on record in the best shape I can give it, so I can simply refer to the general scenario as asserted and ask consideration for how this all seems to fit together?

Nausica? and PD are very similar but I’d hope there’s at least some difference between them (I didn’t read the manga so I don’t know the details). As much as it may explain what happened during the Ancient Age, does Nausica? actually have an equivalent of the Heresy Dragon? It’s never explained why the Heresy Dragon decided to turn against its masters, and the answer to that would probably explain everything there is to know about the Ancients as well. Back on topic, the Bibles basically seem to explain everything regarding the return of the Ancients, but the only problem is trying to make some sense from it. The Forest of Blessings seems to be a likely reference to the Forest of Zoah. The Book of End mentions that:

[quote]Once everyone has regained hope, and entered the Forest of
Blessings, the human world shall end. The world shall return to nothingness, and the people, put in the Forest of Blessings, shall create the new world.[/quote]

So it seems likely that humans (only those that lived in Zoah who didn’t “taint their blood”) were still needed to create the new world. In the Forest of Zoah, the area surrounding the Red Ruins seem like a possible location where the people could have gathered when the world was supposed to end. If I recall correctly, there were no bio-engineered monsters whatsoever in that area, only a rectangular ruin with a door on on each side and a stone paved road leading to them. In PD Saga the entire area was sealed of by a door that could only be opened by a Light Wing or Solo Wing class dragon. The odd thing is that in the game you didn’t actually need to open the door, you could just access it from above the forest. For people that didn’t have access to airships however, a dragon would have to open it for them. The Light Wing was a renegade project, so the only remaining Dragon that could have been intended to open that door is the Solo Wing and conveniently there happens to be a dragon crest with the Solo Wing symbol inside that area. The Solo Wing also happens to be the Dragon that could “return to world to nothingness” by destroying all the Towers.

Once unlocked by a dragon, the ruin complex in the area gives us access to the Red Ruins which connect to the Garil Desert. Although the area is a desert it always seemed to me as if it was intended to be a lake. The entire area seems like a basin that could be filled with water, and the ruins found in the area are reminiscent of the “viaducts” that we see in Uru (and Episode 1 of Panzer Dragoon). Zodac told Edge that Uru was in fact the origin of their world, so if the Garil Desert was similar to it then it could have been intended as the origin of a new world. The massive cavern underneath the Red Ruins seemed almost completely deserted, perhaps it was meant to contain water or the area was simply meant to be used to construct an underground ruin similar to the Underground Ruins in Uru.

Or maybe I just need to stop reading into these things and read Nausica? instead :slight_smile:

The manga definitely reveals a lot more than the film. The anime has a completely different ending, for a start, and the manga goes on for much longer, giving the reader a more satisfying conclusion.

If you don’t mind being spoiled, read the last section of my Nausicaa article, “The Crypt of Shuwa” which explains about the ‘master plan’ of Nausicaa’s ‘ancients’:
panzerdragoon.net/parallels/naus … f_wind.php
Would you agree that what I’ve written there is basically the case, Lord Craymen, or is there more that I’ve missed from that summary (relating to Zoah, specifically)?

yep, that sums it up pretty well solo, very well done. I’ll ask futatsugi-san about the nausica? ending thing next time I’ll meet him (probably in two or three weeks) and tell you if he confirmed anything.

Cool :anjou_happy:

The tower system manages human populations, so under the control of towers it’s feasable for the system to produce areas of land for a certain number of humans to habitate. this is paralleled by the holy-common district conflict. The holy district kept strict control over population (like the tower network), while the common district lets humans maintain more or less freedom over consumption and reproduction.

Hmm… I’m trying to recall if I did see that or perhaps took your advice and stopped there the first time I read the article Solo. It doesn’t seem to ring a bell, so I think the later… you basically illuminate all the direct equivalences, which are in line with things in Panzer Dragoon that have been well established and accepted for a long time anyway.

So maybe I’m still missing something (to lordcraymen here), but I am again a little confused as to how we should take that plaint of yours? If it’s that aspect which is so simple in Nausicaa then, it has already been acknowledged as simply in PD. Do you then think we’re not supposed to look beyond the surface we already know simply because it’s not also implicit in that other story? EDIT: To be clear I am truly asking here lordcraymen, since I’m assuming you were prompted directly by something about the premise of this thread… in truth I’m quite happy to have been reminded of that part of Nausicaa, because if we’re assuming parallels it heavily supports my view of the mutated monsters.

Anyway, I like where this is heading now D-Unit… I actually had not ever thought about the possible significance of the Red Ruins, probably because they’re a part of the Solo Wing transformation and so my mind blocks all significance from that quarter. heh… But actually, it fits perfectly with my other (relatively idle) theory about the Dragon Crests representing the image of the Blue/Solo Wing Dragon because that is literally the image of the ‘god dragon’ who would herald the new world.

And since you brought up that passage from the Bible, there’s a few notions I’ve had about it. The one that seems the most likely to me is that when the time came the faithful were indeed supposed to congregate while the rest of the world was being, well, essentially razed again, albeit selectively, to destroy all the vicious monsters who no longer have a place in the new world. That could even be one of the the jobs of the dragon

A much more sinister and, for me at least enticing idea, is that all that reinforcement about “the passage that leads to death” is to prepare the population for ‘drinking the cool-aid’ as it were… so basically everyone heads into the “Forest of Blessings” expecting to be reborn onto the new world, but in reality only a certain percentage has already been selected to be ‘saved’ for re-population. Those would fall asleep and be recycled or reprogrammed or whatever, the rest would just fall asleep… forever.

The last really far-fetched idea is that, as per my theory about the Ancients’ command of life on even what might be called a ‘spiritual’ level… is that the Bible can be taken very literally, and the Ancients are effectively influencing the reincarnation of human souls… but even I don’t want to believe that in any manner. :slight_smile:

The whole part about that “passage that leads to death” doesn’t really seem to make much sense compared to the rest, since it involves people being reborn in the human world if they’re not worthy to enter the “Forest of Blessings” (which apparently means their blood was “tainted”, probably referring to their genetic structure). Then again, we do in fact see one person coming back from the dead in PD Saga…

Well in practice religions always define some form of continuity beyond mortal existence, there’s nothing remarkable about that aspect of the Zoah Bible as such. I’m guessing most people will have the impulse to regard their beliefs as misguided, since indeed the narrative does not convey much sympathy for Zoah’s religion. Almost unfortunately though, it’s difficult to completely dismiss these more esoteric possibilities, given the odd suggestive occurrences, like the intro to Saga as you say. :confused:

So… I think these things may tie together quite well: the Red Ruins have almost bothered me because that’s the only clear reason they exist, for enabling a transformation to the Solo Wing. This represents at least some plausible context for incorporating them into the historical scenario. Zoah, both the town and forest together, has an air of importance to it in general… the Arangata protection of the forest always seemed peculiar anyway, and the Golia Hunters/Trackers and Glide Dragons found there further mark it’s significance to the Towers.

But the place is very different from the typical Ancient ruins: there’s a sense of ceremony to it, rather than the often seen pragmatic replication, and daunting scale to accommodate titanic pure-types. It seems much more like a place of meaning for humans, impressive still, but not entirely alien and unwelcoming either. And as much as I still take issue with the manner in which the game itself gives you the Solo Wing - specifically that you can effectively bypass the known ‘ultimate form’ you’ve been working towards almost instantly - the need to take the Dragon Pup / Dragon Crest to that point in order to make something happen… gives it an absolute connection to the theme of prophecy and the dragon’s destiny.

I’m starting to imagine it like this: the faithful are escorted into the “forbidden” part of the forest, and there they witness the return of the dragon! At which point it knows who to spare from it’s subsequent wrath?

The primitive stone structures in the area do make it seem a lot more “human-made” compared to the Ancient ruins themselves.



The books make it sound like they were only allowed to enter the forest if they were deemed worthy to begin with so I’d assume they wouldn’t kill anyone at that point. After all the Ancients must have been keeping humanity alive for a reason.

Nice pics D-unit!

All of a sudden like… I feel on the verge of reversing something I’ve been emphatic about for a long time. Various options that have been contentedly adrift in my mind for a while are almost, just perhaps, trying to piece together… and I’m very much thinking aloud here so bear with me…

Here are some things I believe, for reasons of my own and I can’t expect everyone to share them, but they again inform this premise:

The Light Wing is probably one of the less reasoned aspects of Azel’s story. I’m sure there is more to it’s rationale than is communicated, but at the same time it is likely that it’s inclusion was motivated primarily by the gameplay concern. And so anything we try to come up with may well be beyond the scope of the god book for PD’s scenario.

The Blue Dragon we meet and fight as Sestren Exsis is literally Sestren’s natural form. I don’t think it would be represented as such if there was any serious chance of ambiguity, in consideration of the fact no cinemas show the Solo Wing form (or even Light Wing). And so it isn’t likely to be “mimicking” your dragon, which isn’t necessarily a Blue Dragon form, and indeed would have mystifyingly skipped over taunting you in a couple of other forms in that case. (no offense Solo, the theory is very entertaining:anjou_love:)

Every Dragon Crest has the image of Old Blue on it for a reason, some reason at least. The simplest explanation is that it’s the logo for the series, and so they obviously wanted to reinforce that. So then I honestly don’t think it necessarily means anything more, and I don’t see it as evidence in the same respect as most other arguments I may make. But by the same token I see no reason it couldn’t have a greater significance as well.

OK, I guess the most important message from those statements is that… none of this necessarily makes sense at all, but it’s just a scenario that could make the whole mess make sense for my own personal standards. So here we go:

One of the biggest questions for me, in trying to take the Solo Wing transformation as a part of the story, has always been why the dragon would need to go through such a script to arrive at something it’s been able to achieve previously by will alone, and in far less time?


The Solo Wing Dragon is not actually the same as the original Blue Dragon form. And in truth it isn’t, even PDO calls the original game’s form simply “Blue Dragon” when selected in the Box Game, and certain aesthetic details of the Solo Wing are seen nowhere else in the entire series.

Or, there was a completely unrelated factor causing the dragon to avoid it’s default profile: as I once speculated in terms of the Light Wing profile being fragile while incomplete, and unable to retain it’s integrity if fused with the - presumably equally dominant - proto-dragon gene code.

The other possibility is some variation on the “it’s not Lagi” scenario, which I don’t accept in general, yet still leaves many problems if severely examined. The only possible way that could make any sense at all, is if the genetic profile was assumed to be not intrinsic to the “Heresy Program”, but only stored with the ‘physical’ entity. Which would then solicit an entire volume of conjecture having little connection to any other evidence, and indeed forcing a sketchy reinterpretation of many things that are otherwise uncomplicated and plainly apparent.

So… there may be a sort of combination of all those: if the proto-dragon form is - in some general sense or another - a manifestation of Sestren, then maybe it carried certain limitations despite it’s relative independence from the system? It was the “destroyer of Towers dragon soul”, but that doesn’t clearly mean it would have been capable of confronting Sestren directly on it’s own, there’s even hints to that effect in the game, playing up the role of the Divine Visitor as one example. And for that matter, there’s no direct indication that the dragon and Azel were ever meant to work together, that may have been sheer serendipity…

Another belief I missed, but it’s a simpler thing: I choose to regard the continuity of the dragon forms in Azel as significant. Since every evolution brings you closer to what the Light Wing ends up looking like, it makes sense to me that the dragon’s evolution is driven (in part at least) by finding the D-Units. Never mind that it happens even if you don’t get any, we can ascribe some technicalities to the game rather than the story at least.

So this would give us a great reason for why the dragon chose to “start over” again, instead of just appearing as the Blue Dragon like it’s previous campaign.

Somehow knowing about the power of the Light Wing, and understanding that it could itself gain even greater power from that data, and perhaps also the key to it’s true independence from Sestren’s power… it found / reverted to a form that would be compatible with the Light Wing profile. But in order to do so it had to completely abandon it’s existing genetic profile, otherwise the proto-dragon would reject and ‘cleanse’ the Light Wing as the threat it clearly is.

But as a just in case - or even simply because it does indeed represent a part of itself - the dragon preserved the aspect of it’s profile that was separated, in the one appropriate system that was also relatively secure, the flying Tower it had defeated and commandeered previously. Now… here’s where it gets a little tricksy…

Why might it then need to take this profile to the Red Ruins in order to fuse with it again? What is it about that place that makes it so special?

Recall that there’s already one Dragon Crest in place there, and the Solo Wing Dragon transformation takes place after placing another crest (visually identical, as are they all) in the remaining pedestal / fixture thing. So maybe this reflects some procedure that would have happened normally in order to effect the return of the dragon at the originally intended time? And if our dragon is indeed the soul of that same dragon intended to herald the new world?

So this system was perhaps created as a conduit for the dragon’s marriage to it’s eventual body, and so now makes it possible for the dragon to merge a (now alien) part of itself with this new unplanned body… or something along those lines.

It’s funny, I never could have anticipated I’d end up trying to explain something I’ve called unexplainable so many other times, when I made this topic… but anyway, how’s it sound, any objections people? Fire away!

“One of the biggest questions for me, in trying to take the Solo Wing transformation as a part of the story, has always been why the dragon would need to go through such a script to arrive at something it’s been able to achieve previously by will alone, and in far less time?”

Considering the specific paths (and hit %) you had to take in Zwei weren’t much more scripted than the path you took in Saga to achieve the solo wing class dragon.

All paths in the Panzer trilogy (well, there wasn’t much of a path in PD1 though), lead to the blue dragon, solowing, or type_1 dragon if you prefer. It’s the ultimate form the dragon takes in all 3 games.

In narrative terms, did the dragon need other items and conspicuous devices / exact locations to get there in Zwei? Or is there truly an appropriate response to your… objection?