The Let's Play Archive

Panzer Dragoon

by nine-gear crow, Blind Sally, TravelLog

Part 3

For better or worse, there’s not that much to this stage to explain, really. Kyle and Lagi fly through an area that just happens to be an Imperial excavation site and the Empire panics and tries to kill both them of them, but fails spectacularly.

Then they send out the stupidest boss ever to act as their Hail Mary. …Jesus.

The Will of the Ancients posted:

Episode 3

Kyle’s pursuit took him through an Imperial excavation site in the depths of night; these excavations were the source of the Empire’s technology, and they had sites like this one throughout the Continent. Floodlights picked out a multitude of Ancient Age ruins and relics embedded in the rock faces all around.

Upon sighting the dragon, the Empire again tried to take it down by force. This time Kyle was facing much more than just a single battleship though, as a small fleet was stationed at the site, and mounted artillery rained gunfire on the dragon as it passed. A massive Imperial combat vessel was also waiting for them there, a monstrosity that hovered through the air on helicopter-like engines and bounded along on massive hydraulic legs. After a considerable battle the dragon succeeded in downing the vessel, and with Imperial fighter ships still in close pursuit, the creature dived into the open mouth of the Ancient Age ruin itself.

…Sigh. Ceiling fan. Lamp. Pogo stick. I unapologetically love the designs of most of the Empire’s vehicles. …And I’m not even going to defend this thing.

Anyway, in terms of gameplay, this boss certainly is interesting compared to the Imperial Battleship and the Dark Dragon. It’s the most kinetic of the bosses we’ve faced, at least in its second stage, and it also has the largest variety of attacks to it so far.

In its first stage you have to thread the needle going either above or below its massive fan blades. If you don’t clear the blade properly, you take damage. And the really frustrating part that you can see in the video is that there’s no real (obvious) indication of which blades you need to go over and which ones you need to go under. The game just seems to make it up as it goes along and by the time the blade comes close enough for you to gauge what direction you need to fly in, it’s too late to dodge it anyway. And it also reverses itself every few rotations.

One thing that I will cop to liking about the design of it is that it’s clearly a) a partially excavated piece of hardware and b) has seen better days. The ends of the blades are all frayed and you can see almost like rebar or something similar jutting out of the splintered patches. It does a nifty job of visual inferred storytelling, as in this thing was excavated by the Empire, slapped on a chassis of their own making, and then used as-is because they don’t have the means or the knowledge to repair it properly. And that makes me kind of

As for its second form, well, then it turns into the titular Jolly Jumper. It bounds around you and launches a certain pattern of attacks. Step one is it lands right in front of you and tries to stab you with one of its blades—easily avoidable. Step is it shoots off a bunch of blasts similar to what the turrets on the Imperial Battleship from Episode 1 did—again you can nullify each of these with your regular blaster. And step three is it shoots off those sort of drill-head missiles with the bright orange flame trails seen midway through this episode here—there’s three ways to deal with these: shoot down the sabots with a lock on shot before they fly ahead of you and launch the missiles back at you, shoot down the missiles after they’ve armed with your regular laser, or just dodge them completely because they don’t actually home in in you.

The third stage of the boss fight is predicated on what area of the boss you targeted the most during the second stage. If you damaged the top section mostly (the fan), then it will be destroyed and you will face the bottom section (the pogo stick), which just jumps around impotently at you and maybe fires off a few potshots of its own. If you destroy the bottom section, then the top fan part will fly around and starts spinning and try to buzzsaw you to death in midair, but by that point even on Hard either section should go down before they come anywhere near scoring a hit on you.

I gotta say, that’s more words than I expected to write on this thing. So here’s some artwork to make up for that: