Hope you’re really ready to put on those nostalgia goggles, because we’re traveling all the way back to the Sega Saturn days with today’s Watching Wednesday: Video Game edition!

Today’s view is about a semi-forgotten gem of a title, one that really pushed the limits of the console to it’s fullest, both visually, gameplay wise, and musically.

Panzer Dragoon was first released onto the doomed Sega Saturn 1995, by Sega’s genius studio, Smilebit.

With gorgeous visuals, and music beautifully done by Yoshitaka Azuma, it was truly a new take on rail shooters.

In the distant future, thousands of years after a great war between humans and their biologically engineered weapons, humans live in everything from small tribes to large nations. One nation, the Empire, has discovered a black tower in the middle of a lake near their capital, which gave them access to large amounts of ancient weapons which they used to beat back and control the ever present monsters in the world. The Imperials were corrupted by this power and became conquerors of others as opposed to liberators from a violent world

The introduction movie opens with the protagonist, Keil Fluge (unnamed in the North American version), hunting in a canyon. After seeing an Imperial flying battleship in the sky, he is attacked by two creatures and chases one of them to a large, ancient complex built directly into the rock. He explores the ruin, and sees relics of old technology still hanging from the ceilings. Another gigantic creature suddenly attacks him, and though his weapon is useless against the armored creature, a rumbling triggers a cave in, which crushes the monster and saves Keil. From the newly created hole, an armored, blue dragon flies down the cavern with a rider across its shoulders, being chased by an even bigger black dragon as the cavern is destroyed in an explosion. Regaining consciousness outside, Keil sees the two dragons locked in combat in the air before him. Dodging a blast from the black dragon, the blue dragon’s rider is then hit by single shot to the chest, and the black dragon flies away. The blue dragon flies towards Keil. A psychic connection is made between the rider and Keil, who is told not to let the black dragon reach the black tower. The rider then dies and Keil picks up his fallen gun, climbs atop the dragon and flies away, determined to finish the rider’s quest.

Sequels were made due to it’s massive popularity, including my personal favorite, Panzer Dragoon Otra on the Xbox 360.

While this title is somewhat difficult to obtain, there are luckily Let’s Players who have this available to watch. If you have an opportunity to play it, please do, it’s worth the effort and time.