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Panzer Dragoon Saga

aka: Azel Panzer Dragoon RPG
Moby ID: 7436
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Edge is one of the soldiers in the service of the mighty Empire. The Empire has recently ordered some excavations at ancient ruins, trying to discover the secret of an old technology that is much superior to that of present time. During the excavation works, Edge encounters a mysterious young girl. He then witnesses the murder of his captain and other soldiers by Crayden, one of the Empire's officers. Coming into contact with an ancient dragon, Edge begins to roam the world, determined to find Crayden and avenge the death of his comrades. Nobody helps him but his faithful dragon. But the Empire is also after Crayden, so there appear to be at least three sides in the conflict - or are there more?

Panzer Dragoon Saga is set in the same universe as the other Panzer Dragoon games, but differs from the rest of the series by being a role-playing game with elements of a shooter. There is no party in the game: the player only controls Edge on the back of his dragon, who is in fact the playable character in battles. Edge moves around through the game's fully 3D world by riding the dragon. In towns and some dungeons Edge can also move on foot. During battles, the player can either choose to shoot with Edge's gun, or use one of the many special attacks of the dragons.

The battles do not work exactly like in an action game, but occur in real time: the player has to quickly choose an ability to use, and also move around to attack enemies from the sides or from the back, at the same time trying to avoid their attacks. The dragon receives experience points for fighting and also gains levels. The player is able to customize the dragon by assigning to him one of the four available dragon classes, that will determine his attack power, speed, etc.


  • アゼル パンツァードラグーンRPG - Japanese spelling

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Credits (SEGA Saturn version)

193 People (162 developers, 31 thanks) · View all

Edge (エッジ)
Azel (アゼル)
Craymen (クレイメン)
The Emperor (皇帝)
Gash (ガッシュ)
Paet (パエット)
Arwen (アーウェン)
An'jou (アンユウ)
Viaman (バイマン)
Radgam (ラドガム)
Zadoc (ザドク)
Ladha (ラーダ)
Damon (ダモン)
Jael (ヤエル)
Perez (ベレツ)
Rhagg (ラグ)
Shella (シェラ)
Zastava (ツァスタバ)
Quitor (キトール)
Boaz (ボアズ)
Kou (コウ)
Fei (フェイ)
Raul (ラウル)
Baicah (バイカ)
Jared (ヤレド)
[ full credits ]



Average score: 93% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 50 ratings with 5 reviews)

Visuals triumph while gameplay suffers

The Good
Panzer Dragoon Saga occupies a somewhat unusual place in the long list of Japanese RPGs. It is a part of a series, but not role-playing series - its two predecessors were rail shooters. As such, it focuses largely on dramatic presentation and visual flair - and doubtlessly succeeds there.

This game was often called "Saturn's Swan Song". It was made for a console that was already sentenced to death, and only a few copies of it were released outside of Japan. This must have contributed greatly to its status of a cult classic.

The game has some of the best graphics of its era, and certainly the best I've seen on the Saturn. Every location is reasonably detailed, with some superbly crafted, imaginative areas that come to life with their breadth and vivid colors. It is enough to take a look at the sea ruins at night to fall in love with the game's graphics.

Many games claim to be "cinematic", but Panzer Dragoon Saga really deserves to be called that. Excellent camera work, orchestrated background music, and surprisingly good voice acting leave almost nothing to be desired. The game is not just a collection of pretty pictures: with its visuals it conveys drama and emotions. Even simple navigation is rendered more pleasant because of the lovely vistas spread beneath our dragon. All this graphical splendor is complemented by well-directed, theatrical full-motion videos that advance the story.

The game is set in a sort of post-apocalyptic environment, where a new, still primitive culture is trying to gain access to the Ancient Civilization with its strange devices and powerful weapons. It is an interesting setting - neither a medieval fantasy nor sci-fi, but something between. The plot seems incredibly sparse at first, but this laconically told story succeeds, in a way, more than its overblown, melodramatic brothers of the Final Fantasy order. There are sad moments and an overall feeling of pervasive melancholy, which gives the story a certain dignity that was all but shattered by the overwritten, overacted Japanese RPGs of its time and beyond.

It's needless to say that controlling a flying dragon and being able to change its altitude is much more fun than just moving around a character on the ground. The battles are dynamic and fast-paced thanks to the limited ability to move around.

The Bad
Panzer Dragoon Saga may have all the eye candy in the world, but as an RPG, it is not satisfactory in any way. In fact, its role-playing elements are so weak that you hardly notice them. Much of what happens in the game are semi-automatized procedures with beautiful views and cutscenes.

There is no party management or character management in general in this game. You have only one character to control in the entire game, who uses only one weapon and doesn't wear any equipment. There is virtually nothing you would expect to see in a RPG here, except automatic leveling up, a couple of weapon enhancements to equip, and a choice of spells for your dragon.

When this simplicity is coupled with an utter lack of challenge, you begin to feel the game is playing itself. There are a few secret items and two non-mandatory dragon transformations, but they don't mean anything. Who needs the super-powerful Light Wing dragon model if your current dragon is overpowered anyway? The supposedly interesting dragon class feature is an almost useless gimmick, since it is perfectly possible (and even easier) to complete the game while staying a "normal" dragon.

Even easier than the battles is the navigation. The game is totally linear - you can only jump from location to location on the world map, and the areas themselves are small and straightforward. You should never care about being lost, unprepared, underpowered, trapped by too many enemies, or running low on supplies. In short, Panzer Dragoon Saga can take such a good care of itself that I'm surprised they didn't just make a movie out of it.

The game's world is small and almost empty. There is one (!) real town in the entire game, and there is barely anything to do there. There are hardly any characters to talk to. Also, the game is very short - completing it in ten hours or so is not uncommon. I understand all those reductions must have occurred due to hardware limitations. But if that was the case, why bother designing an RPG in the first place? This game clearly wanted to be a rail shooter just like its predecessors. Perhaps fans of that genre will be satisfied by its "streamlined" gameplay, but it's the death sentence of role-playing.

The Bottom Line
It's easy to see why Panzer Dragoon Saga has gotten glowing reviews everywhere - it looks great and you can ride and fight dragons in it. But if you are looking for anything resembling depth and flexibility in your RPGs, this game isn't going to cut it.

SEGA Saturn · by Unicorn Lynx (181775) · 2016

A Breathtaking experience

The Good
One of the last games I bought on Sega Saturn before the system quickly disapered in 1998 and probably the best game I ever played.

I never really taken much notice of the two previous 'Dragoon' games, although I played them they never really gripped me as much as the last game - Panzer Dragoon Saga.

Saga is an engrossing game, the cut scenes are absolutely fabuloues that drags you in further into the rich world that Team Andrommeda have created over the previous 2 games.

Everyone goes on about the graphics, although good, it is how the story is told that make this game stand out. The growing friendship between the teenage human Edge and the mysterious drone girl Azel grips you and some of the scenes are quite moving and strangely haunting...

Also comes to mind is the soundtrack...amazing!

The Bad
Being one of my favourite games of all time it is hard to find fault with this game.

I did find some parts of the game dragged. One part that comes to mind is the tunnel level where Edge and Azel are on a hover craft, the level seems to go on forever and with little in the way of scenery it does become a little boring - which games should NEVER be.

As mentioned, its hard to find fault in such a gem!

The Bottom Line
Video game story telling at its best!

SEGA Saturn · by Richard Daives (8) · 2005

A wonderfully crafted and beautiful tapestry

The Good
Panzer Dragoon Saga is my favorite video game of all time and will likely remain so. This ultra rare game from the Sega Saturn was released in limited numbers so only a few people got a chance to experience its majesty, but it may very well be the single greatest game of all time. Panzer Dragoon Saga was released only a short time after the ever popular Final Fantasy VII, but in my opinion, Panzer Dragoon Saga utterly demolishes that game. Where Final Fantasy VII was mechanical, Panzer Dragoon Saga was vibrant, featuring beautiful imagery and otherworldly themes. Where Final Fantasy VII's animation and movies looked like puppetry, Panzer Dragoon Saga featured fluid characters with brilliant voice acting. Both games are dramatic. However the drama in Panzer Dragoon Saga really shines forth. The story is deep yet easy to comprehend. Edge is a vastly more interesting main character than Cloud of Final Fantasy VII. Edge is undoubtedly the hero of the game and a good guy, yet he's also not perfect. At first he is motivated by revenge but then finds a quest far bigger than his personal needs. He also suffers torture, emotional anguish, and many internal conflicts. In essence, he is a flawed, fleshed out character. He has become real to me where many other RPG heroes struggle to achieve the same effect and wind up looking like a mass of bad dialogue and terrible cliches. Many of the other characters in this game are also just as fleshed out, even the main villain, who blurs the line between noble and evil. Even the background characters you meet seem like real people and not just random, recycled polygon models.

The battle system is another element that makes this game so great. Personally I find it to be far more refreshing than most RPGs' "press button and wait" battle systems. Panzer Dragoon Saga blends the classic dragon flying and blasting of the first two shooters with RPG elements and an improved version of Final Fantasy VII's time bar system. Like Final Fantasy VII, you have to wait for a charge bar to fill up before you can take action. This time around, though, you have three bars and can achieve a variety of effects depending on how many bars you fill up. However the real meat of Panzer Dragoon Saga is in its revolutionary positional system. You can choose to maneuver your dragon to one of four points around the enemy at any time you wish, giving this game a strategic element most RPGs don't possess. The field is always changing, so maneuvering is a must. The trade-off for changing positions is that your charge bar stops filling until your dragon is back in place. Another side of the battle system I like is the ability to customize your dragon. You can morph your dragon to change its stats to suit your need and watch as it changes shape in real time to one of hundreds of different shapes.

Even though the first two games were shooters, they've always been about awesome, otherworldly vistas and artistry and themes about war, biotechnological terrors, and mysterious, sometime ominous histories. It was only natural that the series progressed into an RPG format, as it is in this genre where the universe really shines. The innovative battle system and brilliant writing are only merely pieces of a much larger tapestry. Describing the whole experience is nearly impossible. No game is perfect, however, and if there are flaws, it's that the game is literally the shortest and easiest RPG I've ever played. The battles are breathtaking and challenging, to be sure, but are hardly ever deadly enough to kill you. And most players will probably finish this game within the space of twenty four hours, even when finding all the secrets. There are also precious few random battles, the curse and the core of most RPGs. However, these are small nitpicks when the overall game is this sweeping, epic, and beautiful. Personally I found the brisk pace of the game made it easier to concentrate on a story that was just the right length. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Panzer Dragoon Saga may very well be the Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings of video games.

The Bad
Panzer Dragoon is literally too short and too easy for this generation's RPG players. I found this aspect made it easier to be sucked into the story, but others might prefer a game with drawn out battles and oodles of mini-games, weapons, and items.

The Bottom Line
A loving swan song to fans of the series and the perfect way to flesh out what was already a vibrant and engaging universe. In my opinion, it's the greatest videogame creation of all time.

SEGA Saturn · by Mario Rodgers (4) · 2007

[ View all 5 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Panzer Dragoon Saga appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


The US and PAL releases of Panzer Dragoon Saga were almost canceled by Sega, since in 1998 Saturn was already near extinction outside of Japan. At the last moment, the game was translated and released in US and for PAL countries, but only a few thousands copies were produced. As a result, Panzer Dragoon Saga became one of the rarest and most expensive console RPGs in history: it is hard to find a used non-Japanese copy of this game for less than $100..

Saved game file

It is possible to start the game from a saved game file from Panzer Dragoon Zwei. You will then be able to find some rare items and have access to extra conversations in the game.

Voice overs

The game has full voice-overs for dialogues. The spoken language is Japanese in all versions of the game, but the intro and the ending sequences are spoken in a Panzer Dragoon fictional language.


  • EGM
    • February.2006(Issue #200) - named #80 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time"
  • Game Informer Magazine
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - voted #78 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll

Information also contributed by Big John WV and PCGamer77


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  • MobyGames ID: 7436
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Dwin1118.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Kohler 86, FatherJack.

Game added October 11, 2002. Last modified February 14, 2024.