The Sestren Data Circuit is one of the biggest mysteries of the series. Very little is revealed about the true nature of Sestren, and there does not seem to be an easy definition of what it exactly is. Although one could think of Sestren as a computer network that holds all the recorded information and memories of the world, the true nature of this strange place remains shrouded in mystery.
Sestren Data Circuit in Panzer Dragoon Saga
In Panzer Dragoon Saga, Sestren was enemy territory, as it housed the central Sestren being that was serving the will of the Ancients. Sestren (the being) cast the Dragon Program out of Sestren (the place) as witnessed by players in Sestren’s memory orbs at the end of Panzer Dragoon Saga. The Heresy Program then entered the surface world (the physical world outside of the Sestren network) and became one with a young coolia named Lagi.
Sestren was first revealed to players controlling Edge by a member of the Seekers, a compiler named Zadoc. He told Edge that Azel could open a gate to Sestren, which he read about in some Ancient records. The Ancient records defined Sestren as “a group of astral passages beyond our world that connects all of the Towers.” Zadoc believed that Azel must know the way to Sestren, however she appeared to know little about the purpose of Sestren itself.
When Zadoc told Edge about Sestren, he spoke as if destroying the system would free the world from the will of the Ancients. Specifically he said of Sestren, “It’s the place that controls all of the Towers. If your dragon can destroy Sestren, the world will be free from the evils of the Ancient Age.” However, Zadoc may have been referring to Sestren the being, as the terms are often used as if they are interchangeable throughout the series.
Edge and Azel descended to the bottom floor of the Tower near Uru where Azel prepared to open the gate to Sestren. Upon opening the gate, the entirety of the Tower began to melt, as Azel simultaneously destroyed it in the process. It is unclear exactly how Edge and his dragon were transported as this was shown off screen.
At the end of Panzer Dragoon Saga, the Sestren system had been presumed to have been destroyed by many players, but as we can be witnessed in Panzer Dragoon Orta the system itself still remained, and was still recording data from the surface world. It is likely then that Edge and his dragon only destroyed the Sestren being rather than the entirety of the Sestren system. When the Divine Visitor deactivated the Heresy Program within the Sestren system, the Sestren system disappeared like a camera turning off, so it may have been Team Andromeda’s original intention that the system was destroyed as well as the being and the story was later reworked by Smilebit so that only the being was destroyed.
Sestren Data Circuit in Panzer Dragoon Orta
In Panzer Dragoon Saga, Sestren appeared visually to consist of primarily orange wavy lines and an orange mist-like substance, whereas in Panzer Dragoon Orta the system appeared visually like a mix between an organic and a technological structure.
Orta and her dragon were transported into Sestren from a kind of teleporter that they discovered at the bottom of an Ancient ruin. In Tower Report 3, Zadoc wrote that “Sestren can be reached from any Tower”; Panzer Dragoon fans have speculated that this ruin was also a Tower that was buried during the Great Fall, however this is not confirmed in Panzer Dragoon Orta. When entering the teleporter, a voice said, “Gene base code 12 confirmed. Welcome home, master.” It is possible that the voice was referring to the dragon, as the dragon’s roar is later referred to as the “Master’s voice.”
Upon entering Sestren, Orta and her dragon travelled through some sort of organic veins while anti-bodies tried to attack/analyse the pair. They eventually reached a memory block that transported them to different memory cells. It was in these memory cells that the Sestren system stored information from the surface world. Different voices could be found in the memory cells from characters of the Saturn Panzer Dragoon games.
An area from episode 3 of Panzer Dragoon Orta reappeared inside Sestren during the fight with the Central Data Unit Ofnir. The system may have been capable of collecting geographical information about entire areas, storing this information in its database. Similarly, after visiting the two memory blocks, the system forwarded Orta and her dragon to a place containing Shelcoof, the flying Tower of the sky that appeared in Panzer Dragoon Zwei and later Panzer Dragoon Saga. Sealance ‘images’ appeared in the same area and attacked Orta and her dragon; these creatures were seen when Shelcoof appeared in Panzer Dragoon Zwei.
Although entering Sestren required a gate to opened, exiting the network appeared to merely transport the individual from anywhere within Sestren back to the surface world. When Abadd left Sestren and was transported to the Cradle, Orta told her dragon that they had to stop him. The dragon roared and the voice of Sestren responded that the “Master’s voice” was confirmed and that the system would forward the two to block 2-8-9, which was the location of the surface world where the Cradle was located.
According to Panzer Dragoon Orta’s encyclopedia, the surface world may have been nothing more than a testing ground for the Sestren itself. A testing ground for what remains unknown, as is the author of who made the speculative remark. Three of Panzer Dragoon Orta’s minigames shed light to the true nature of the Sestren. It was capable of running a World Analysis System, using information from within its memory cells. In this system, it could simulate battles with a Continuous Battle Simulation Program. That may have meant that that the Sestren system was capable of simulating a battle between any of the creatures or weaponry it had stored in its memory cells.