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DescriptionReleasing: March 10, 1995
Panzer Dragoon (パンツァードラグーン Pantsā Doragūn?) is a rail shooter video game developed by Team Andromeda and released on the Sega Saturn console in 1995; and later released on PC, PlayStation 2, and as a bonus in its sequel Panzer Dragoon Orta for Xbox. The game follows the journey of Keil Fluge (unnamed in localized versions), a member of a hunting party who becomes the rider of a powerful blue dragon and joins it on its mission to stop a rival dragon from wreaking havoc on the world. The player moves an aiming reticle (representing the dragon's laser and the rider's gun) over the screen and shoots enemies while the dragon automatically flies through 3D environments on a predetermined track.
As one of the few games available at the Sega Saturn's surprise launch, Panzer Dragoon was the first game created by Team Andromeda. The game also marked the directorial debut of game designer Yukio Futatsugi, who was 25 years old at that time. It is the first game in the Panzer Dragoon series, and introduced the series' gameplay elements and art style.
Panzer Dragoon received positive reviews, both in 1995 and in recent retrospective coverage. It was Electronic Gaming Monthly's Editors' Choice in July 1995, was named "Best Saturn Game of 1995" in EGM's 1996 Buyers' Guide, and ranked 140th in EGM's "The Greatest 200 Videogames of their time" in 2006. In particular, its original art direction and post-apocalyptic science fantasy universe gained critical acclaim. The game has spawned a prequel, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei in 1996, and two sequels: Panzer Dragoon Saga in 1998, and Panzer Dragoon Orta in 2002.