The Sky Rider[note 1] was the unidentified rider of the armored Blue Dragon. The Sky Rider is a supporting character in the 1995 video game Panzer Dragoon and its 2020 remake, and is chronologically the second dragon rider in the official Panzer Dragoon timeline.
Described as a person of the Ancient Age — implying that he, she, or it was either a drone or other person of the Ancient civilization — the Sky Rider was killed by the Prototype Dragon. Before dying, the Sky Rider telepathically entrusted the Blue Dragon to Kyle Fluge, a hunter, urging him not to let the Prototype Dragon reach a certain tower.
The Sky Rider's identity remains unknown, and has thus been subject to theories and speculation based on the rider's appearance and actions.
- Main article: Panzer Dragoon (1995 video game)
The Sky Rider first appeared riding the Blue Dragon, with the Prototype Dragon in pursuit. The Sky Rider was fatally shot in the chest by a laser beam from the Prototype Dragon. The Blue Dragon landed near Kyle Fluge, a hunter who watched this occur. The Sky Rider grabbed Kyle's hand, telepathically showing Kyle images of a black Tower while begging him to stop the Prototype Dragon from reaching it. The Sky Rider told Kyle that "[his] dragon", the Blue Dragon, "knows the way".
Upon death, green energy particles spired out of the Sky Rider's chest wound; the Blue Dragon cried out in sorrow. Kyle ultimately mounted the Blue Dragon and, armed with the Sky Rider's gun, successfully stopped the Prototype Dragon.
The Sky Rider wore bulky armor with a bony color similar to the Blue Dragon's armor plating, as well black Beneath this armor was black clothing and the rider wears black gloves. The Sky Rider is helmed similarly and with a mouth cloth.
Speculation over identity
Several theories over the Sky Rider's identity have surfaced due to the character's ambiguous backstory. At least one theory has been debunked by a member of Panzer Dragoon developer Team Andromeda, while the others remain unconfirmed.
One popular theory is the Sky Rider being an older Lundi, the original dragon rider, reunited with his dragon Lagi eighteen years after Panzer Dragoon Zwei; Panzer Dragoon would thus be a direct continuation of Zwei, explaining Lagi's metamorphosis.
Once Lundi and Lagi battled the Guardian Dragon of Shelcoof, Lagi morphed into the armored blue Type 01 dragon. It is theorized that the Sky Rider rode the same Blue Dragon as Lundi's. Furthermore, at the end of Zwei, players hear the voice of Lundi say "After all this, he is still with me...", referring to Lagi. It is speculated that he meant this literally, which could explain why Lundi mysteriously disappeared some time after he became the leader of the Seekers but before the events of Panzer Dragoon Saga.
This theory has been debunked by Team Andromeda developer and Panzer Dragoon Orta director Akihiko Mukaiyama. Furthermore, a translation of a section of the Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG Guide Book named "The Dragon & the Mediator", written from the perspective of the Seekers, confirms that following his initial encounter with the dragon, Lundi lived his entire life without being reunited with the dragon. Lundi was also born in the present day of the Panzer Dragoon world, making him not a person of the Old Century, and thus not consistent the description of the Sky Rider in the Panzer Dragoon Official Guidebook.
Another popular theory is that the Sky Rider was a drone. This is consistent with the Panzer Dragoon Official Guide Book's claim that the Sky Rider was an Old Century person, with drones being humanoid pure-type creatures created in that time period. In-world theorists, mentioned in Panzer Dragoon Orta's encyclopedia, believed that drones were created to perform tasks too dangerous for the Ancients themselves, such as combat.
Fans have noted that the Sky Rider resembles the Prototype Dragon’s drone rider. Outside of their different color schemes, their suits of armor are identical. This has led to the belief that the Sky Rider and the Dark Dragon’s rider are drones who share the same design. Their guns are also similar, though the Sky Rider's gun might possibly just be of standard Ancient design.
The Sky Rider has also been compared to that of the drone Azel, in that both have black clothing and can release green energy. It is speculated that the green energy spiraling out of the Sky Rider's body is the drone's life-force, since humans do not discharge such energy upon death. In addition, the Blue Dragon's bioluminary oscillator glows the same light green color when converting energy into bio-lasers; some believe that a drone's body contains the same type of energy.
Anonymous human theory
Another theory is that the Sky Rider was an anonymous human rider from the Old Century. The section "The Dragon & the Mediator" in the Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG Guide Book, details the dragon program from the perspective of the Seekers. It explains "there must be a human to make the decision put forth in the original goal of the program". The passage further states that the chosen mediator must be a youth who was unfamiliar with the will of neither of the Technology Destruction Faction who created the dragon program or their rivals, the Technology Preservation Faction. This implies that the heresy dragon’s rider must always be a human youth who acts as a mediator who chooses the path that humans will follow. The passage further states that that the dragon’s second mediator was killed by the Prototype Dragon, confirming that the Seekers knew about the Sky Rider when they wrote that a human was required to be rider of the heresy dragon. However, it is possible that the Seekers were wrong that a human mediator was required, just like they were wrong about the Divine Visitor's identity.
In Dragon Book 2, Lundi wrote that while in combat, he felt as if he became one with Lagi. Furthermore, Panzer Dragoon Orta's encyclopedia entry called "Dragonrider" states that it appears that "dragons require the sharing of thought and senses with a rider to realize their full potential as a combat organism." It is possible that a human Sky Rider was able to communicate through the dragon in this way, explaining how the Sky Rider was able to send a telepathic message to Kyle warning him to stop the Prototype Dragon from reaching the Tower. Fans have speculated that the green energy bursting from the Sky Rider’s chest wound could also be a product of the bonding process, or an inconsistency in the story that Team Andromeda later wrote around.
A human Sky Rider could have found some Ancient Age (or drone) battle armor. The Seekers were researching drones at the Uru labs (according to the Drone Record cut from Panzer Dragoon Saga), otherwise the armor could have been constructed out of Ancient relics like the armor that some of the Seekers wear.
- The Sky Rider was a direct descendant of the Ancients, a civilization of people who perhaps were not entirely human. This theory is mentioned as a possibility in Panzer Dragoon Orta's encyclopedia.
- Team Andromeda had an identity in mind, but left it to the player's imagination.
- The creators have not yet decided on an identity, or the Sky Rider's original identity is subject to change at a later date. The rider’s identity could have been left unfinished, and the creators decided to reserve this space for later in case or until they decide to fill it.
- The creators themselves were unsure who the Sky Rider is; they never created an identity or wrote a proper background story for the Sky Rider at the time of Panzer Dragoon's creation.
- The name "Sky Rider" is derived from the heading “The Sky Rider Falls” in the English Sega Saturn manual for Panzer Dragoon. Due to every word being capitalized, it is unknown if this is an official name or title for the masked rider. However, because the person was a sky rider in a manner of speaking, and there is no other name given for the character, some Panzer Dragoon fans adopted the name "Sky Rider".
- Panzer Dragoon Official Guidebook - Page 24
- MeriStation - Akihiko Mukaiyama, Director de Panzer Dragoon Orta
- Azel Panzer Dragoon RPG Guide Book - Page 146-147
- Solo Wing, Sky Rider Drone Theory
- Panzer Dragoon Orta - Encyclopedia - World - Drones
- Lance Way, Sky Rider and Dark Dragon’s Rider Theory
- Azel Panzer Dragoon RPG Guide Book - Page 146-147
- Panzer Dragoon Saga - Dragon Book 2 (Diary of the Dragon Rider - 2)
- Panzer Dragoon Orta - Encyclopedia - World - Dragonrider
- Panzer Dragoon Saga - Drone Record
- Panzer Dragoon Orta - Encyclopedia - World - Blue Dragon
|Protagonists||Edge • Jean Jacque Lundi • Kyle Fluge • Orta|
|Drones||Abadd • Azel • Prototype Dragon's rider • Sky Rider|
|Mercenaries||Edge • Edge's Captain • Rhua|
|Black Fleet||Arwen • K. F. Craymen • Zastava|
|Empire||Evren • Iva Demilcol • Letral Naus Demilcol • Seventh Emperor • Sixth Emperor • Stratei Uramis|
|Caravan||An'jou • Baicah • Enkak • Fei • Kou • Raul|
|Zoah||Abner • Aldo • Bezer • Boaz • Edna • Jael • Juba • Paet • Quitor • Quitor's wife • Radgam • Rhoda • Siffle • Viaman|
|Seekers||Damad • Emid • Jared • Jean Jacque Lundi • Jephthah • Ladha • Noof • Paet • Perez • Reuben • Rhagg • Shella • Simeon • Skiad Ops Gash • Zadoc|
|Wormriders||Mobo • Ponta|