Azel, meaning 'servant', is the enigmatic female lead of the critically acclaimed Sega Saturn RPG Panzer Dragoon Saga (known in Japan as Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG), one of the last games to be released on the platform. Created by an ancient civilisation, Azel remained inactive until she was discovered by the game's protagonist, Edge, and then captured and awoken by the apparent antagonist, Craymen. Fiercely loyal to her waker and an enemy to Edge by association, Azel's morality is ambiguous for most of the story. She and Edge clash in a number of boss battles throughout the game, Azel fighting from the back of her dragon, Atolm. Edge is something of a reluctant rival to Azel, and it is only later, when the two are forced by circumstance to work together, that players are given any insight into her mind and her purpose.
As the story progresses Azel's blind loyalties fade, and her apathy to the world around her is replaced by curiosity and emotion. She even experiences dreams and nightmares as a human would. Her role in relation to the world is also revealed. She is the key to the operation of the Tower, a structure created by the Ancients that controls and regulates the world's population and environment and is still functioning long after their deaths. As such, she is a highly contested figure among various factions — control of Azel means control of the world.
It is revealed in the Xbox game Panzer Dragoon: Orta that after the end of Saga, Azel went on to combine the genetic information of herself and Edge to create Orta, the female protagonist of the game. Though her ultimate fate is unknown, it's clear that something of her lives on in Orta. Because of her many complexities, her inner conflicts, and her personality that is unique for a female RPG character, Azel remains to this day a much-loved fan favourite.
"I am... the only one... that can destroy the Tower."
Selected game appearances
- Panzer Dragoon Saga (1998)
- Panzer Dragoon Orta (2002)
- The Will of the Ancients - "Characters > Azel"
- The Will of the Ancients - "Game Information > Panzer Dragoon Saga"
- Wikipedia - "Panzer Dragoon Saga"
- Panzer Dragoon Saga instruction manual