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The Dragon Program

The dragon program who created the legendary dragon who deactivated the Tower network. At least five riders rode the dragon. These riders were, in chronological order, Lundi, the Sky Rider, Kyle, Edge, and Orta. During the first three games the dragon’s mission was to destroy the Towers, specifically Sestren, the being who controlled them, with the Dragon Program leading this mission. In Panzer Dragoon Orta, the dragon was split from the program and his mission was more personal; he sought to rescue Orta from her prison among the Seekers.

The Seekers believed that the dragon was the Divine Visitor, a deity who would free the world from the will of the Ancients. In fact, the dragon existed to lead the Divine Visitor, the only one who could complete the dragon’s quest.

The dragon consisted of two halves, the physical dragon creature and the dragon program. In the Old Diary, Lundi refers to his dragon as “the heresy dragon”, implying that the dragon was a heretic against the Tower network.[1] Fans have adopted “the Heresy Dragon” as a referential name for both halves of the dragon who carried out the dragon program’s mission, since Lundi writes of the dragon reemerging with a new body in the section of his diary that uses the name heresy dragon.

It is controversial whether the dragon is the same physical creature in each of the four games[2] or whether he died but only the program lived on from game to game.[3] The dragon program confirmed in a recording (that Orta found in the circuits of Sestren) that his other half, the physical dragon, remained in existence after the end of Panzer Dragoon Saga; this dragon then went to rescue Orta. However this information only explained that the dragon's in Panzer Dragoon Saga and Panzer Dragoon Orta are the same creature (or, at least, a continuation of same dragon’s mind[4]); the dragons in Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon II Zwei may have been separate characters entirely.

The Dragon Program’s Role in Panzer Dragoon Zwei[]

Lagi, as his first rider Lundi named the dragon, began his life as a coolia, a simple beast of burden in Elpis. However, this particular coolia was a special case. A program that originated from the Sestren data system had downloaded itself into Lagi and changed his genetic structure, evolving the coolia into a creature that was only heard of in legends: a dragon. The Dragon Program had been thrown out of the Sestren system by the Sestren being, because it defied the will of the Ancients. The Dragon Program became one with the coolia, their goal the deactivation of the Tower network, which was still holding the world and humanity under its control.

Lagi was born from a female coolia called Loth who became feverish during pregnancy and died under Lundi’s care. Before Loth died, she gave birth to Lagi, the young coolia who would become the dragon. Lagi’s throat glowed with the blue-white light that the villagers feared as a bad omen and Lundi was supposed to kill the creature. However, Lagi was different from the other mutants as he had a pair of wings. Lundi could not bring himself to kill the baby coolia, so he lied to his father and told him that Lagi was a stillborn. Lundi was reminded of the dragon mentioned in one the legends of his village, and that is why he saved Lagi’s life. He hoped that Lagi would grow up to become that dragon of legend. He was right. Lagi began to grow rapidly and Lundi believed that within a year he would reach the size of an adult coolia. He began to float in the air when Lundi took him running.

Almost nine months after Lagi had been born, Lundi took Lagi outside of Elpis to practice flying. However, just as they neared the village, a huge Ancient ship known as Shelcoof destroyed the village of Elpis with a single blast. The ship had been sent by Sestren to kill Lagi and the villagers had paid with their lives. In response, Lagi’s throat began to glow and he sent forth a laser blast in defiance of the ship. The dragon’s journey had begun.

Lundi and Lagi set out to chase Shelcoof. At first, Lundi was doing so simply out of revenge, however he soon became bound up in the dragon’s purpose. Lundi wrote in one of his diaries that he felt like he become one with Lagi and his mission and pondered whether the quest was his will, or whether the dragon was controlling him.[5] The bond between the two was strong.

Lagi’s skin began to change and he shed forms and morphed into new types of dragons. Throughout the course of Panzer Dragoon Zwei he changed from a simple coolia with wings to an armoured blue Type 01 dragon.

Eventually, Lagi caught up with the Ancient ship. Together with Lundi he defeated Shelcoof’s Guardian Dragon and disabled the ship so that it crashed into Georgius. Before doing so, Lagi sent Lundi away in a bubble and gave Lundi a vision containing details of his mission. When Lundi awoke he saw the remains of Shelcoof and decided to explore the ship. In its centre Lundi discovered a dragon crest. Looking at the crest he uttered the word “Lagi”. In his diary, Lundi states that he found Lagi’s “stone cold” body in the ship. It is unclear whether he was referring to this crest or not.[6]

The Dragon Program’s Role in Panzer Dragoon[]

The dragon appeared in the original Panzer Dragoon in the middle of a heated battle with the Prototype Dragon. He was in the form of the Blue Dragon, the same form that Lagi appeared in at the end of Panzer Dragoon Zwei, although it is not confirmed whether they were the same physical creature. Riding on the dragon was an armoured humanoid known as the Sky Rider. In the Panzer Dragoon Original Video Animation the Sky Rider’s dragon was called Blau, however this name is not used in the canon video game series. The Sky Rider was shot by the Prototype Dragon’s laser and landed the dragon to hand over the Dragon Program's mission to Kyle Fluge, a young hunter who had been watching from below. Kyle was given a vision by the Sky Rider similar to that given to Lundi by Lagi; this may have come directly from the Sky Rider or through the rider from the dragon. The Sky Rider told Kyle not to let the Dark Dragon get back to the Tower, and that the dragon knew the way there. Kyle took up the fallen rider’s mission and he and the armored Blue Dragon set off towards the Tower.

When Kyle and the Blue Dragon eventually arrived at the Tower it was too late; the Prototype Dragon used the Tower to transform into a huge serpent-shaped dragon form. Kyle and the Blue Dragon were able to defeat the Prototype Dragon, however. The Blue Dragon entered the Tower and, as with Lundi, sent his rider safely away in an orb before destroying the Tower. When Kyle awoke he found nothing but the dragon’s claw prints in the sand. The claw prints may have been present to symbolise the dragon’s survival of the Tower’s destruction, however it is not confirmed whether the Blue Dragon lived or died.

The dragon retained a single form in Panzer Dragoon: the Blue Dragon or Solo Wing normal class. This may be because the Blue Dragon could be considered the final or ultimate form in the dragon’s evolution, or simply due to the smaller scope the original game.

The Dragon Program’s Role in Panzer Dragoon Saga[]

The dragon next appeared in Panzer Dragoon Saga, the third game in the series. Edge first witnessed what might have been the dragon flying over Excavation Site #4 when he was guarding the site and saw a shadow flying overhead, however this was not confirmed in the game.

Edge meets his dragon.

When Edge was shot by Zastava and tried to escape from the Ancient ruin he encountered a hoard of pure-types who trooped towards him. Edge, about to be killed, tried to fire a shot from a gun that he had picked up in the ruin. However, the gun did not work and Edge prepared for the worst. Suddenly lasers shot down from above and destroyed the creatures; a dragon had arrived to save Edge. The dragon sent Edge a vision of the future. Dazed, Edge asked the dragon, “You’ve chosen me?”, and then climbed on the dragon’s back and was lifted out of the ruin.

When Edge met Gash, the Seeker leader was surprised to see the dragon. He later asked Edge for a ride across the desert on his dragon and they set out. When the dragon fought the gigra, a shape shifting mutated creature, he transformed from the Basic Wing form he was in when he met Edge to the more advanced Valiant Wing. Fans have speculated that the dragon copied or was influenced by the gigra’s ability to change shape, however this is not confirmed. Gash thought the transformation was incredible and said that the dragon “must be the one.” It was possible that he was referring to what Lundi had told him about Lagi changing form.

When Azel asked Edge about his bond with the dragon, he responded by saying that he was just a passenger on the dragon’s back.

When Edge told Gash that he was planning to return to the Tower and fight Sestren he added, “I know the dragon wants to go too.”

Edge and his dragon’s quest came near to its conclusion when they encountered Sestren, the being who controlled the Towers. Sestren told the dragon that he had disobeyed the will of the Ancients and that he must now die. However, the dragon defeated Sestren. Then the Heresy Program spoke to Edge, telling him that now the will of the Ancients would end. It would require one from the outside world to break the spell of the Ancient Age and give humans control of their own destiny: the Divine Visitor (the player), who had been controlling Edge and had been guided by the dragon all along. The Divine Visitor pushed a button on their Sega Saturn control pad and the new beginning began. The dragon then thanked the Divine Visitor and said that he must now go. Both Edge and the dragon (both halves, for the heads of the physical dragon’s various forms peaked out from within the visual representation of the dragon program) disappeared out of sight.

Panzer Dragoon Saga’s epilogue shows Gash waiting for Edge and the dragon to arrive at their designated meeting place. When the Edge failed to show up, Gash became frustrated. He heard the sound of wings overheard, much like Edge’s encounter with what might have been the dragon at the start of the game, but when he looked up the dragon was not there. It is not revealed whether the dragon actually flew overhead or whether Gash was imagining the sound.

The Dragon Program’s Role in Panzer Dragoon Orta[]

The dragon fulfilled his duty throughout the first three games, with different riders helping him in achieving his goal. Ultimately, he accomplished this goal when he and Edge defeated the entity that was controlling the Tower network, Sestren. The Dragon Program that had entered Lagi’s body in Panzer Dragoon Zwei had finished its duty and needed to be deactivated to fully end the Ancients’ influence over the world. However, Edge’s dragon, his other half, wanted to stay. The Dragon Program split from the physical dragon, and the physical dragon remained in the world. The Dragon Program told the physical dragon to watch over their friends.

Years later, in Panzer Dragoon Orta, the physical dragon returned to save Orta from the Empire’s attack on Yelico Valley. It is not revealed why he helped her, but it may have been because Orta was the child of Azel and Edge, the two main characters of Panzer Dragoon Saga, who previously aided the dragon in his quest.

Although the dragon was determined to help Orta find the answers about her past, he was much weaker than before. He was still an immensely powerful creature, but the Dragon Program was no longer with him to change him into the different dragon types that were created in the Ancient Age. Some fans have speculated that this is why the Blue Dragon/Solo Wing normal class form is not present in the main game of Panzer Dragoon Orta.

When the dragon and Orta entered Sestren, the voice of Sestren said, “Gene base code 12 confirmed. Welcome home, master.” It appears the physical dragon still had some authority over the Sestren system.

The dragon exhausted all of his power in the final battle against Abadd and his dragonmare, and died shortly after the battle was over. This was a great loss for Orta, as the dragon had protected her ever since she escaped from Yelico Valley. A part of her died with the passing of the dragon, but the dragon’s legacy did not end there. The dragon had left an heir, a pup that can seen walking with Orta in the final post-credits scene of the game.

References[]

External links[]

veDragons
Dragon types DragonDragonmare
Playable dragons Blue DragonLagiEdge's dragonOrta's dragon
Enemy dragons Prototype DragonDracolythGuardian DragonAtolmAnti dragonsSestrenAbadd's Mare
Dragon forms Lagi (PupHatchlingGrindingArmoniteBrigadewingWindriderSkydartType 01)
Edge's dragon (Basic WingValiant WingStripe WingPanzer WingEye WingArm WingLight WingSolo Wing)
Orta's dragon (Base WingHeavy WingGlide Wing)
Other dragons Dragon programDragon pup (Saga)Dragon's Heir
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