There is at least one more issue I neglected to address though, what the ‘eye of Sestren’ represents in Orta, if it is not the actual golden dragon entity / Sestren seeing and speaking again. As obnoxious as it apparently was even for the Japanese players, the original intent of the “lippy dragon” at least avoids the ambiguity of the portrayal we are left with in the English version. But I had actually never thought about it until finding out about that difference anyway, I almost took it for granted as an abstract narrator in line with the text of previous games I think. It can still work as such, or almost like the second voice of the dragon which still bears witness even as a mere ghost of the past.
However the present and mortal dragon itself is at least more interesting in light of the unposed questions reflected by that other logical chain of answers. If Orta was presumably given into the charge of the Seekers, perhaps most rationally Gash originally - he may have felt some obligation to Azel or Edge at least - then they also logically would have been made aware of her connection to the dragon. Over time that duty could well take on the aspect of a Sword of Damocles, and for a generation which had no personal connection to the debt a resentful burden. The implied climate of fear makes clearer sense, if they don’t really have the option of simply eliminating Orta even if they wished to. With the dragon watching over her.
Perhaps Azel even understood the other facility was less secure against certain possible enemies, perhaps she simply believed the company of humans would be essential to Orta’s development. For the dragon what matters is life, Orta was safe, until she was not. I perceive a kind of symmetry to the whole arc now, the dragon endures to see Azel’s legacy of rebirth find herself again, and find her own legacy of power; then never one to miss a new trick, the dragon mimics this Phoenix act, and Orta in turn becomes ward and protector.
So about this ever acquisitive dragon…
There is one thing I’m not sure if I ever quite followed through on before, though I have noted. After the Gigra battle and Edge’s dragon first evolves, I do think the implication that it learned a trick from its prey is intentional - so gaining the real time morph advantage. But then how Gash remarks on it is even more peculiar than it appears on the surface: “this must be the one.” Only later does it become clear what that means, but what is easily missed is what it shouldn’t necessarily mean. Lundi (Skaid Ops Endow) either seems to have been less certain of the revelations he received from the Lagi than are apparent to us from also witnessing the dragon’s visions; or he is much more clear on some details than are apparent from anything else we know.
To us it is clear that the Eins Blue Dragon’s attack on the Imperial Tower is depicted, while the move on the Tower of Uru is less precise - technically it is inaccurate. Yet Gash only seems to be looking out for a shapeshifting dragon as a proof of ‘Lagi’s’ return? This suggestion is further corroborated by the other Seeker accounts and records, which conspicuously lack any correlating of the first Tower events with Lundi’s dragon. By all appearances it would seem that Lundi himself regards that dragon as distinct from his own, or perhaps just a given event beyond his personal concern? It is very peculiar, but taken alongside the other depiction of Sestren detecting the “activation” of the Type 01 and responding with the activation of the Type 2 in pursuit, it is a compelling corroboration of the idea that Lundi somehow knew this other dragon would not be ‘evolving’, which in return can corroborate the idea that it is the one dragon appearance which was not an evolved or ad hoc incarnation. As I believe.
I have previously speculated that the reason the classic Armored Blue Dragon lacks a berserk could be the stress and reduced effectiveness of the emergency rider condition. Not a good theory at all really, and there is a much better one I think, which even seems to reveal a decently consistent pattern. We actually see a hint of berserker potential in Eins, but it is from the Dark Dragon when its exploding blast fatally distracts the Sky Rider. Fast forward to Atolm who also has a laser barrage like Lagi? Both of those dragons are a little more… Physically Imposing than the Blue Dragon seems, and with a vague irony (given the Empire’s official military pablum) they don’t have the horn length either. Now recall the only conspicuous function of that horn we have truly seen?
When the Blue Dragon powers up to utterly demolish the Imperial Tower. That is the real power, purpose and specialty of the Blue Dragon, the D-type 01, number one with a BULLET baby, slayer of Towers! I said yeah baby , YEAH! Okay, it’s cool, really now. And serious time too, let’s just say that this dragon was designed to be the ultimate surgical strike weapon, rather than an assault / interceptor role like the Type 2 or heavy combat weapons platform like Atolm. Even without the will of a Heresy dragon bolstering its capability it is probably a supreme dragon form, and it simply doesn’t require all that flash. But for more general effectiveness the Heresy dragon will take the best advantages it can from what it has to work with. From the main examples we know it even seems like bulkier and more primitive appearing forms carry more raw ‘spiritual’ potential, and in Lagi’s explicit case building from a mutated-type monster base; while the closer to an orthodox pure-type appearance the more specialized its abilities become. At least a vague trend and singular examples like Orta’s Glide Wing vs Heavy Wing, and the Skydart certainly trades raw power for more agility and target locks, compared to the Brigadewing’s punch and stamina both.
Maybe that’s getting too geeky even, so be it, but the aspect of this larger theory I most like is the Glide/Boost angle. On the premise that the form and abilities of Edge’s dragon are primarily built on the Light Wing gene base, aside from all those class berserks and associated morphing, the most fundamental characteristic it experientially adds is that boosting mechanic. The Light Wing form itself most fundamentally resembles the Glide Wing, which in Orta is also the “Glide” boost specialist; with the same uncanny pure-type-ish stabilized movement (no Osprey like hover pose, but you can’t exactly ‘stop’ in Orta either) and loud neon coloring. So I like the idea that the dragon never really loses any of the genetic prospects and expression of function which it has collected, just keeps adding and and even refining. And in the case of Orta it may have actually turned its separation from other archetypal templates into a different advantage, appropriating new power even more directly than ever, and as per my theory that it literally shifts between essentially pure-type and mutated-type modes of specialization. While this is truly just a theory and not all directly related to the story, just the fact another universal theme may be shown to resolve the aspects which are related is appealing to me.
Then there is also the original dragon form of Sestren, which is close enough to the classic Blue Dragon - and the Dragon Crests - but with an even more prominent horn, something about which is suggestive of an antenna to me, or a veritable stag’s crown fitting its role of dominion if you’ll pardon the courser metaphor. So my conviction that the form has preeminence in the Ancient Masters ordained plan, and was always the intended emblem and avatar of their own designs, and likely a form created for the express dominion over all other systems, dragons and Towers included. Dat horn.