Panzer Dragoon Saga is 25 years old today. It was released in Japan on the 29th of January, 1998.
I didn’t play Panzer Dragoon Saga until a number of months later when the PAL release was imminent, but I still remember the excitement of getting the issue of Sega Saturn Magazine containing the entire first disc as a playable demo. We played through it over at a friend’s house, in awe as we processed from the powerful opening FMV, through Edge’s quest, travelling with Gash through the desert, exploring the caravan on-foot, and finally confronting the mysterious Azel. Later, when the full game arrived, the experience was amplified, with the introduction of Zoah, the game’s fully 3D town where every NPC had a unique personality and story, Uru, one of the most stunning game environments of the time, the intrigue and build up around Azel and Craymen’s stories, and Saori Kobayashi’s unforgettable soundtrack. By the end I was left knowing that I had found the greatest game of all time. For me, when it comes to the overall fusion of story, gameplay, music, and visuals working together to produce a transportative whole, Panzer Dragoon Saga has yet to be surpassed.
Each day Wikipedia features one of it’s pages, and today the English language Wikipedia has shone the light on Panzer Dragoon Saga:
This should draw some attention towards what has always been an under-appreciated masterpiece. My hope is that sometime in the next 25 years, a re-release will appear on modern gaming systems. Panzer Dragoon Saga does not deserve to fade into obscurity.