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

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."

Happy saddest birthday to Panzer Dragoon Saga. On this day in 1998, the Sega Saturn's most ambitious game came to North America and promptly became impossible to find. That's because an extremely limited print of 20,000 copies were shooed out onto the marketplace, followed by another run of somewhere between 2,000 to 5,000 copies. After that: Nothing.

The Saturn was regarded as a lost cause for North America and Europe by April 30, 1998, but the system wasn't lacking for game-starved owners at that point in time. Ben Lindbergh's excellent retrospective about Panzer Dragon Saga's development, reception, and launch across Asia, Europe, and North America goes into detail about how Western execs and merchants turned their backs on Saga despite the RPG's stellar reception.

The higher-ups' dismissal of Panzer Dragoon Saga was a hard knock for Western Sega fans who'd invested their time and money into Saturn up until that point. To add dragonfire to the wound, Sega of America's extremely limited advertising budget for the game went to printing cut-out masks for Saturn owners who couldn't find a copy of Panzer Dragoon Saga. The idea was to attach a rubber band to the mask and run around pretending to be the game's protagonist, Edge, in real-life, since playing Edge in-game was nigh impossible by that point.

Never has an ad so unequivocally stated, "Man, we just don't give an eff anymore."

"Run around your neighborhood flapping your arms imagining you're riding a morphing dragon…and your journey has begun!" the ad joshed. "Hey look! That's not a fire-hydrant, it's a power-up! That's not a rock, it's Azel! Watch the magic unfold as you become a master of make-believe!"

Ha ha! It's funny because Western Saturn fans got royally hosed for sticking by Sega during the company's roughest years! What, you freaks wanted to play the system's magnum opus? Psht. Save that money for the Dreamcast, nerds.

Additional hilarity: Outside of paying up to a grand on the secondary market, there's no legal way to play Panzer Dragoon Saga—and one isn't forthcoming. In February, we talked about the tragedy of Panzer Dragoon Saga on the Axe of the Blood God RPG podcast with Ben Lindbergh himself. Give it a listen, then pour one out for Sega's tragically underutilized stable of bioengineered dragon-weapons.

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.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Related articles

Rowlett is the Best Pokemon Starter, as Decided by a Real Owl

Whooo's the best starter Pokemon ever?

Halo Co-Creator Doesn't Want to Repeat Series' "Extended" Crunch At His New Studio

Lehto wants V1 Interactive to avoid the "human toll" of lengthy crunch.

Ninja Theory Teases New Game About "Mental Terror," Project: Mara

Ninja Theory is diving deeper into mental health issues and games.

California State Agencies Say Riot Games Could Owe Up to 40 Times More in Settlement

The state is trying to intervene to get more for the women of Riot.

You may also like

Mortal Kombat Kollection Seemingly Resurrected According to Official PEGI Site

The European ratings board may have spilled the beans on an MK remaster.

The Apex Legends Community Debate What the UFO Could Contain

Images that precede legendary events.

Doom Eternal Will Launch "A Bit Later" on Nintendo Switch

Panic Button is still beavering away on the port.