How Panzer Dragoon Made Clever Use of the Saturn's Limited Processing Power

Digital Foundry takes a deep dive into the classic Sega Saturn series.

Panzer Dragoon is one of those beautiful, mysterious game series that seems doomed to remain frozen in half-obscurity because nobody has the resources to re-release its games. That makes breakdowns like Digital Foundry's latest Panzer Dragoon analysis that much more fascinating.

Over the weekend, Digital Foundry's retro-centric program "DF Retro" published a video that deconstructs the Sega Saturn shooters Panzer Dragoon and its sequel, Panzer Dragon Zwei. John Linneman talks about Sega's esteemed history as a manufacturer of arcade shooters, and explores how that history influenced Panzer Dragoon.

It's also fascinating to learn Team Andromeda made clever use of the Saturn's limited processing power. The Saturn was notoriously hard to program for, and most of its games' visuals couldn't quite match what its direct competitor, the PlayStation, offered. Team Andromeda used some interesting tricks to get around the Saturn's shortcomings, plus Panzer Dragoon's sandy, Moebius-inspired world treated players to a visually fascinating adventure that still carries a unique scent.

Linneman also discusses the series' ports and sequels, including the 1996 PC port (which also wound up—with some alterations—as a bonus addition to Panzer Dragoon Orta for the Xbox). There are also glimpses of Panzer Dragoon for the Game Gear, and Panzer Dragoon for (get this) the Tiger R-Zone.

Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei were followed up by Panzer Dragoon Saga, an RPG with a sad history that we explored earlier this year on the Axe of the Blood God podcast. It's unlikely we'll get remakes or re-releases of any Panzer Dragoon games in the foreseeable future, but hey, we can dream.

Tagged with News, Sega, sega saturn, Team Andromeda.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

The Big Panzer Dragoon Interview: "It Really Makes Me Think Again About How Incredible Sega Was at the Time"

We dove into the whole Panzer Dragoon series with creator Yukio Futatsugi and art director Kentaro Yoshida.

A New Panzer Dragoon is Coming To Switch This Winter

The age-old series is getting a new look.

Panzer Dragoon Creator Reveals the Original Idea for the Series, and It's Even Weirder Than You'd Expect

The lost original storyline for Panzer Dragoon was pretty out there.

Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon 2: Zwei Remakes Announced

The first part is set to come out in 2019.

Sega Wants to Bring Classic Dreamcast Games Like Jet Set Radio to Switch

Sega and Nintendo, like peanut butter and chocolate.

On Panzer Dragoon Saga's 20th Anniversary, We Remember Sega's Worst Ad Ever

"We have this great game, and you can't play it. Sucker."

The Original Star Wars Battlefront 2 Heads Up a Ton of New Xbox Backwards Compatible Games

Jade Empire, Panzer Dragoon Orta, and a whole bunch of Star Wars games.

More News

You'll Have To Play Cyberpunk 2077 At Least Three Times To See How Life Paths Pan Out

Where you come from will affect where you go, and how.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Breaks Series Record For Evo 2019

A huge turnout for Ultimate's debut year.

Devotion Dev Gives Re-Release Update and the News Isn't Great

A re-release isn't off the table, but probably not happening soon.