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

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.

Shigeru Miyamoto Expresses Confidence in the Younger Generation of Nintendo

The legendary creator says the spirit will stay alive.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.