Part 7: Last Episode, Epilogue & Credits
So here we are with the Last Episode. The home stretch.
This level is simply one giant boss fight, the final showdown with the Dark Dragon, now powered up into a beast of civilization destroying power thanks to Sestren and the Tower.
After chasing the Dark Dragon across the entire continent and even through the Imperial Capital, Kyle and Lagi finally reach the Tower. Unfortunately, the Dark Dragon reaches it first, allowing Sestren to accelerate its evolution, increasing its power a thousand fold and encasing it in a colossal suit of Pure Type armour.
Now, the only thing standing between it and the annihilation of mankind are an obscure young hunter from the wastelands and a small armoured dragon. If they fail, the world is toast.
The Will of the Ancients posted:[url=www.thewilloftheancients.com/chapters/part-3-panzer-dragoon-7-last-episode]Last Episode[/url]
Kyle and his dragon did reach the Tower eventually, but they were just a little too late. The Dark Dragon was able to enter the structure, and the ancient monolith increased its power dramatically; the monster emerged with masses of armour and weaponry grafted onto its body, clearly ready to face Kyle and his dragon once and for all.
The dragons battle raged beneath the brooding sky and above the boundless, darkened ocean. The Dark Dragons lasers cut through the air around its foe but Kyles shots and the dragons lasers repeatedly hit home; the Dark Dragons great armoured body eventually took so much damage that the armour crystallised, crumbling off into the dark waters to reveal the creature itself.
The Dark Dragon fought on, but Kyle and his dragon were ultimately able to defeat their nemesis. For a moment, the Dark Dragon hung in the air before them; swinging its great head close to Kyles body it let out a screech of anger, then fell lifeless into the ocean.
The Mega Dark Dragon, for lack of a better term, is pretty much everything youd want in a rail shooter final boss. It has an expansive attack pattern, it packs perhaps the strongest punch of all the bosses in the game (outside of Episode 5s bullshit boss), and its pretty tough to whittle down.
Its first attack is a retread of the orange energy wave attack it threw at us in Episode 2. However, this time its both wilder and more rapid than it was last time, meaning your chances of dodging every hit are greatly diminished unless youre really on the ball.
It also has a charged plasma blast that it will throw at you. This one does bullshit stupid damage to you if it hits and it has like three waves to it, but there are some mitigating factors to it that swing things to your advantage. It takes some time to charge up, and while its charging the MDD basically becomes inert, giving you a nice opportunity to pound it with hits. Its also fairly easy to dodge all of its hits if youre quick enough to do so.
The MDD will also fire off its homing missiles at you again. Just like in Episode 6, it fires off volleys of four at you. This time around, however, the speed at which they close in on you is amped up, so you need to be quick at shooting them all down.
It also launches a stream of little kamikaze Pure Type enemies at you. These little bastards can be picked off no problem with Kyles blaster before they get anywhere close to you, but the damage they do if they crash into Lagi can really add up quickly.
It also uses its newly snake-like body as a weapon itself. If you hit its tail, you will take damage. It will also whip its whole body around and try to swat you with its tail for pretty heavy damage.
And lastly, this one is more of a passive feature, but its something to keep in the back of your mind. The MDD has eight little drones that fly around its head in an X-shape. Theyre there as cover to eat up your lock on attacks, because the more shots they absorb, the less damage you do to the Dark Dragon itself. So you need to thread the needle when youre locking onto the Dragon, focusing on its head exclusively.
Thats because if you hit the drones they start to glow as a warning, and if you hit them too many times they explode in a shotgun pattern and their attacks are very hard to dodge. The best way to not take any damage from these little bastards is actually to fly into the center of their attack because the bolts fan out in a cone shape, so the centre of the attack is actually empty.
Its a bit of a strategic trade-off with these guys, because the more of them you take out, the clearer shot you have at the double D itself. However, the more of them you take out, the more at risk you put yourself for taking damage from them. And, even if you do take all of them out, the Dark Dragon will regenerate all eight of them eventually, leaving you back at square one.
Eventually though, if you manage to survive all its nasty tricks, the Dark Dragon will let out this really painful to listen to death screech all of its new armour will suddenly crystalize and fall off it before it finally tumbles into the sea itself.
...If you're playing on Normal Mode, that is. Hard Mode has one last little surprise in store for you.
This episode is where the only major difference between difficulties comes into play. If youve played the game on Hard Mode and managed to get to this level, theres actually a second stage to this fight. After beating the Mega Dark Dragon, instead of it dying like it does on Normal Mode, you then have to fight the regular Dark Dragon one final time.
The final throwdown with the Dark Dragon in Hard Mode is a bit of a retread of first confrontation with it in Episode 2. It fires its energy wave off, it launches its homing missiles, and its pilot drone will take potshots at you with its own blaster. The only new element to this fight is this:
In a last desperate bid to be a complete asshole to the player, the Dark Dragon will spam a defensive bubble that not only renders it temporarily invincible even to Kyles blaster, but also prevents you from even locking on to it until it comes down.
Once you defeat its second form, you have well and truly beaten Panzer Dragoon, so enjoy the bastards ear-rending death scream and set the controller down to watch the ending movie and credits and think about whether or not begging your parents to buy you a Sega Saturn console really was worth it after all.
So lets do that then.
Lagi flies into the heart of the Tower, and just like we saw in the opening, it too has a very enamel-like aesthetic to it, like all Ancient Age technology we've encountered thus far.
Kyle is quite taken aback by it all, not quite sure what to do next. Although the Dark Dragon has been felled, stopping the tower is a whole other problem. Stopping Sestren? Shit, we're not touching that one till Panzer Dragoon Saga.
Lagi, however, seems to know exactly what to do in this situation. This was his mission after all, Kyle just kind of crashed it because the Sky Rider sucked at being a sky rider.
He projects an energy field around Kyle, lifting him off of his neck and holding him aloft as he files on without him.
With Kyle safe from what's about to happen, Lagi begins to charge up his attack. This is the same kind of lock-on attack that you use in-game.
Meanwhile, Kyle's all like "dude, ?"
And Lagi's all ""
And then EXPLOSION!
Lagi's attack causes the Tower to explode in a flash of hot plasma death.
The tower blowing up like this destroys a third of the Imperial Capital mere miles away.
I'm not making this up either. Lagi just fucked the Empire over something fierce and just murdered thousands of innocent civilians, many of whom were still running and hiding from the rampaging Pure Types from Episode 6.
Again, I'm 2-for-2 in LPing games involving dragons and massive unintentional loss of life.
Meanwhile, on a desolate shore somewhere.
Kyle survived the explosion and destruction of the Tower thanks to Lagi's shield. Though how did he get here from the Tower?
Aww. Look at that, Lagi saved him and brought him back to dry land after all. And then just abandoned him there.
Lagi's a dick.
From there the game's credits roll and we get to see pieces of the game's artwork interspersed with the credits, which much like the game itself tell a larger story through visuals rather than words or actions.
For example, we get to see a humanizing moment between Kyle and Lagi as they stop for a rest one night at some point along their journey.
Kyle keeps watch over Lagi while the dragon sleeps.
A rendering of one of the many confrontations between Kyle and Lagi and the Dark Dragon.
And here's what the Imperial Capital was supposed to look like on a system that could have properly handled Team Andromeda's ambition.
And here is the last "recorded" image of Kyle in the Panzer Dragoon canon. From here, the young hunter disappears into obscurity, supplanted in the consciousness of PD aficionados by the likes of Lundi, Edge, and Orta, who would headline the subsequent three games in the series.
WotA has an article written by Geoffrey Duke which postulates, however, that a character from Panzer Dragoon Saga named Radgam is actually Kyle Fluge living under an assumed name in Zoah Village. The evidence Duke cites is that Radgam identifies himself (and Edge) as a Hunter, and that has an Ancient Age blaster mounted on the wall in his house that looks identical to Kyle's blaster from this game. He's also an old man when you find him, which matches up roughly with the amount of time that passes between Eins and Saga.
Much like a lot of elements in the Panzer Dragoon universe, however, there's no official corroborating evidence to confirm or debunk this theory, so you're welcome to assume whatever the hell you want about Kyle's fate after this point in the series.
The Will of the Ancients posted:Ending
With all opposition eliminated, the dragon descended into the Tower itself. Kyle found himself sealed inside a protective sphere of energy, as Lundi has been all those years ago; leaving him behind, the dragon went alone into the depths of the ancient structure. The resulting explosion of light and sound tore Kyles consciousness away from him.
When Kyle awoke he found himself alone, laying on the edge of the ocean with the sound of the waves in his ears. The dragon was nowhere to be seen - but familiar footprints in the sand told him that it did bid farewell to its loyal rider.
Bullshit. He got dumped. Stop trying to dress it up.
Here's one final batch of artwork for the LP, including a few annotated maps of where we've been over the course of this adventure.
Radgam (An aged Hunter from the town of Zoah. Warned Edge not to trust the Seekers. May or may not be Kyle Fluge living under an alias)
And it's also at this point where we bid farwell to TravelLog in the commentary. Blind Sally will be back with me for the Cheats and Secrets video, however, which is coming as soon as I get off my lazy ass and do one last bit of footage capture.
Thank you, TravelLog. I promise that I'll eventually have you on to comment on an actual RPG eventually instead of railshooters and FPSes.