One of the most popular pastimes among Dragon Ball Z fans is creating “What If” scenarios concerning the story. This is easy to do, as Dragon Ball Z has story elements that involve time travel, alternate dimensions, and literal genie-style wishes. There were many websites dedicated to such speculation during the height of the show’s popularity (when the English language version was being broadcast for the first time).
With so many Dragon Ball Z video games being released over the years, it is only natural for the developers of those titles to create their own unique storylines. We are here today to look at the different ways in which the story of Dragon Ball Z could have played out, some of which are truly bizarre. From Goku coming back to Earth at a reasonable time to the future of Future Trunks.
Here are 15 Crazy Ways The Dragon Ball Z Video Games Changed The Story!
15. Hercule Wins The Cell Games
Hercule is one of the most popular characters in all of Dragon Ball Z. Originally named Mr. Satan in the Japanese version of the show, Hercule is basically the Hulk Hogan of the Dragon Ball world. He cuts promos on his enemies like a professional wrestler and is considered to be the greatest fighter in the world to the general public. Hercule even takes the credit for defeating Cell and becomes even more famous. He manages to use this fame to good effect during the Buu saga, where his aid was essential in powering up the Spirit Bomb that defeated Kid Buu for good.
In Dragon Ball Z 2: Super Battle, it is possible to play as Hercule. He is treated as being on the same level as the other characters, despite the fact that they are all Super Saiyans/Androids/Namekians. It is possible for him to defeat Cell in a legitimate fashion and become the true hero of Earth. Despite this, his daughter still bosses him around in the ending.
14. Saving The Z Fighters
Due to Goku being allowed to keep his body in the afterlife, he wasn’t allowed to return to Earth straight away after being wished back to life (like Krillin or Chiaotzu did). This meant that he was forced to run back over the Snake Way before he could go back to Earth. With Goku’s return delayed, it was up to the other Z Fighters to hold off the Saiyans, who had just arrived on Earth in search of the Dragon Balls. They fared… poorly. By the time Goku got there, Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Tien and Piccolo had all died.
In Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu for the Super Nintendo, it was possible to complete King Kai’s training early. This involved catching Bubbles during a minigame and defeating King Kai in battle. Goku would return to Earth in time and prevent the deaths of everyone except Piccolo (who dies in a cutscene, in order to create a reason for the cast to go to Namek).
You could take Tien, Yamcha, and Chiaotzu with you to Namek and even help them become more powerful, by meeting Guru and having their potential released. If you beat Frieza with Vegeta still alive on Namek, then he will transform into a Super Saiyan and act as the true end boss of the game.
13. The Return Of King Piccolo
In order for Kami to become the Protector/God of Earth, he needed to expel all of the evil from his being. Kami managed to succeed, but the evil took a form of its own, known as King Piccolo. After being mortally wounded by Goku, King Piccolo spat out an egg that contained his offspring. This new version of Piccolo would eventually become a hero. Despite this, he repeatedly refused to rejoin with Kami. It took the threat of Cell for Piccolo to finally relent and become a single being again.
Piccolo’s story in Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors turns him into the main character of the series. Piccolo realises that he lacks the strength to defeat Majin Buu. In order to achieve his final form, Piccolo uses the Namekian Dragon Balls to wish King Piccolo back to life. After defeating him in battle, Piccolo fuses with King Piccolo and finally regains all of his lost strength. With all of his original powers restored, Piccolo can finally save the Earth from Buu.
12. The Dark Side Of Krillin
During the Fortuneteller Baba saga of the original Dragon Ball, a tournament is held between fighters put forward by Master Roshi and his sister Baba. In the end, Goku is all that is left of Roshi’s team. He must face against several supernatural foes, who use the power of magic as a weapon. One of these fighters was called Spike the Devil Man. He was an actual devil from Hell, who won battles with the aid of his “Devilmite Beam” attack. This was a beam of energy that amplifies the negative emotions within the person it strikes until it utterly consumes them. As Goku has such a pure spirit, the Devilmite Beam does not work against him.
In Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, it is possible to play the entire game as Krillin. This presents a problem when you face Spike. Krillin has a dark side to his personality that makes him vulnerable to the Devilmite Beam. If you fight Spike as Krillin, then he can kill you in one hit. You have to play the battle as safely as possible. Krillin has to be ready to move out of the way in case Spike starts to use the beam.
11. The Redemption Of Cell
During the Cell saga, Goku battles against Perfect Cell in order to show Gohan how he fights. It is then up to Gohan to defeat Cell, by finally unleashing his latent abilities. It takes the death of Android 16 to finally push Gohan over the edge and transform him into a Super Saiyan 2. When Cell threatens to blow up the world, Goku sacrifices himself to transport him away from Earth.
In Dragon Ball Z 2: Super Battle, it is possible to defeat Cell while using Goku. In this scenario, Goku gives Cell a senzu bean and lets him go free. Cell swears vengeance and leaves. We then see a photo of the future, where Cell and the Androids are standing with Goku and his family. Goku’s compassion allowed for Dr. Gero and his creations to abandon their evil ways. Why Dr. Gero is there after he was killed by Androids 17 & 18 is a mystery. The most likely possibility is that someone wished him to back to life so that he could continue his scientific work and use his genius for good.
10. Majin Piccolo
One of the powers available to Babidi the wizard is the ability to put people under his control, in exchange for a massive increase in power. When you accept Babidi’s control, the letter M will appear on your head (which stands for “Majin”, meaning devil). The servants of Babidi gain the ability to survive mortal wounds, as well as raising their power level drastically. Vegeta accepts Babidi’s offer of power in order to defeat Goku, but his will is strong enough to break free from Babidi’s control.
In Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2, Gohan’s story involves Babidi trying to forcefully turn him evil. Piccolo jumps in the way instead and is turned into “Majin Piccolo” against his will. This evil version of Piccolo wastes no time in killing Babidi and bringing back Majin Buu. Piccolo absorbs Buu’s power into himself and resurrects Frieza and Perfect Cell under his command. It takes an alliance of Vegeta & Gohan to defeat the servants of the evil Piccolo and to try and restore him to his former self.
9. The Beautiful Traitor
When Frieza arrives on the Planet Namek, he brings Zarbon, one of his most powerful fighters, with him. Zarbon initially appears to be a handsome man, but he has the ability to transforms into a monstrous form that grants him more power. Zarbon manages to defeat Vegeta in combat. He places Vegeta in a healing tube, unaware of the Saiyan ability to become stronger after surviving a mortal wound. Once Vegeta was healed, he was now stronger than Zarbon. With Vegeta now having the upper hand, Zarbon begs for his life and suggests that they both team up against Frieza. Vegeta doesn’t listen, however, and he kills Zarbon with a blast.
In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Zarbon has his own unlockable storyline, called “Beautiful Treachery“. After learning of the power of the Namekian Dragon Balls, Zarbon desires a wish for eternal youth. He contacts Cooler and arranges for him to come to Namek as a means of distracting Frieza, while Zarbon helps Gohan and Krillin gather the Dragon Balls. After receiving his wish, Zarbon teams up with Goku and the two of them take on Frieza together. Frieza escapes the battle, as he intends to deal with Cooler first. The battle between Frieza and Cooler starts the chain reaction of Namek’s destruction. Goku is returned to Earth by a wish from Shenron, while Zarbon is left on Namek, dying when Namek blows up.
8. Buu Must Scream
Once Majin Buu is released from his imprisonment, he comes very close to achieving victory and destroying all life in the universe. It takes the Z Fighters pulling out all the stops in order to beat him. After all was said and done, the powers of a Super Saiyan 3, Gotenks, Vegito and Ultimate Gohan were not enough to get the job done. Buu managed to wipe out almost all life on Earth with a single attack. It took the Spirit Bomb, combined with millions of people from around the universe giving their energy in order to kill Kid Buu.
Majin Buu came close to victory on many occasions. We see the outcome of Majin Buu’s success in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi. After defeating Vegito and Janemba, Buu proceeds to wipe out all life on Earth. Once there was nothing left, Buu realises what a terrible mistake he has made. Now that he is all alone, all Buu can do is scream…
7. The Vegeta Force
Despite only having a brief appearance in the Dragon Ball Z anime, the Ginyu Force have remained some of the most popular characters in the franchise. A lot of this has to do with their posing and theme song.
The Ginyu Force are a group of Frieza’s most elite soldiers. They are called to Namek to assist in the gathering of the Dragon Balls and stamping out the remaining resistance. The Ginyu Force are defeated in turn by Goku and Vegeta, with only their leader (Captain Ginyu) surviving the encounter. The members who perished would later show up in an anime filler arc, where they would fight the deceased members of the Z Fighters on King Kai’s planet.
In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, there are a series of side missions called “Ginyu Force Shakeup”. Captain Ginyu holds auditions for a sixth member of the Ginyu Force. He has come to the conclusion that all of the other members are weak. There is in-fighting amongst the Ginyu Force members, which does not cease until Vegeta defeats Captain Ginyu. He is declared the new leader of the Ginyu Force. Vegeta renames it the Vegeta Force but insists that they no longer pose.
6. Krillin The Hero
Krillin tends to create two distinct reactions among the Dragon Ball Z fanbase. Some fans see him as the ultimate sidekick. He is utterly loyal to Goku (and later, Gohan). Despite not being as strong as most of the other Z Fighters, Krillin still shows up to aid them in any way he can, even if he is hopelessly outmatched. The other fans see Krillin as a joke, who’s only job is to keep getting his ass kicked by pretty much every villain he comes across.
In Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, Krillin gets his own story mode where he becomes the main character of the series. In this timeline, Goku dies of heart disease whilst battling the Androids. He is allowed to return for one day, where he uses the time to teach Krillin how to perform the Spirit Bomb. While the other Z Fighters attack Cell at once, Krillin manages to destroy him with the Spirit Bomb. Years later, Majin Buu is unleashed upon the Earth. He is defeated by Krillin, who annihilates him with a Kamehameha (with a little help from Goku, who appears from the afterlife to aid his old friend).
5. Everyone Is Super Saiyan 3
When Goku first transformed into a Super Saiyan, it was described as being the pinnacle of a Saiyan’s power. As the series went on, several new forms of Super Saiyan were introduced. Vegeta and Future Trunks discovered the Ultra Super Saiyan form, where their muscles became much bulkier. Gohan was the first person to achieve the even more powerful Super Saiyan 2 form. During the Majin Buu saga, Goku reveals a new, more ridiculous looking form. The Super Saiyan 3 form gives the its user incredibly long hair as well as a jutting forehead. In Dragon Ball Z, only Goku and Gotenks achieved this form.
In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, Vegeta finally achieves the Super Saiyan 3 form. He sets out to prove that he is the most powerful Saiyan (again). After defeating Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks, Vegeta is about to set out to find Goku. He is interrupted by Broly, who has also become a Super Saiyan 3. After defeating Broly, Vegeta battles Super Saiyan 3 Goku. With all of the other Super Saiyan 3 users defeated, Vegeta has finally become the most powerful Saiyan of all time.
4. The Redemption Of Raditz
One of the most underutilised characters in all of Dragon Ball Z was Raditz. He was Goku’s brother, who came to Earth in order to seek him out. Goku sacrifices his own life to kill Raditz and ensure the safety of Earth. After this storyline, Raditz is rarely mentioned. He is only shown briefly in Dragon Ball GT when all of the villains escape from Hell.
In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Raditz has his own story of redemption. When he first encounters Piccolo, Raditz uses a Saibaman to test his strength. The Saibaman self-destructs and hits Raditz with the blast, causing him to lose his memories. He wanders the Earth and ends up at the Kame house. Raditz befriends Goku and Gohan, whilst being unaware of his familial ties to them. Piccolo makes repeated attempts to kill Raditz but is repelled each time. Raditz eventually regains his memories, but he has now learned compassion and the desire to protect the innocent. With Nappa and Vegeta due to arrive on Earth, Raditz climbs into his space pod and crashes it into the ships of his old comrades. He sacrifices his life to save everyone on Earth, including the family he had only just begun to understand.
3. Tien & Chiaotzu Vs. The World
Tien and Chiaotzu are two of the most unusual beings on Earth. Tien has three eyes, which is never given an in-universe explanation. It is mentioned in some of the supplementary material that Tien is partly descended from a race of three-eyed aliens, though this is never confirmed in the Dragon Ball anime or manga. Chiaotzu is a tiny man with bone-white skin and permanent red circles on his cheeks. Unlike the rest of the Z Fighters, Chiaotzu possesses telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Chiaotzu’s look is based off the Chinese vampire (the Jiang Shi), but he is never stated to be undead in the series. Both characters are based on villains from Journey to the West, which was the ancient Chinese novel that the earliest issues of Dragon Ball were based on.
In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, Tien and Chiaotzu set out to prove that they are the greatest tag team in the world (even better than the New Age Outlaws). They do this by defeating Jeice and Burter of the Ginyu Force. This is followed by Goten and Trunks, who perform the Fusion Dance and become Gotenks. In their final confrontation, Tien and Chiaotzu must get back into the saddle and face Goku and Vegeta in battle.
2. The Giant Vegeta
In 1994, Sega made a Dragon Ball Z game for their Sega System 32 piece of arcade hardware. It was called Dragon Ball Z: V.R. V.S. and it was a fighting game that used a perspective that was similar to Punch-Out!! on the NES. While most versions of the game used a regular joystick and buttons, there was a deluxe model of the game that had a sensor bar that could detect your movements. The game featured a unique villain named Majin Ozotto, who was designed by Akira Toriyama himself.
If you complete Dragon Ball Z: V.R. V.S. with Vegeta, then you will see an ending where he receives a wish from Shenron. Vegeta asks for “the world to be beneath my feet”. Shenron doesn’t quite understand what Vegeta means, so he gives him the literal definition of his wish. Vegeta is transformed into a colossal giant, with the Earth literally under his feet. Luckily, the ending scene finishes before we see Vegeta choke to death in the vacuum of space and the Earth crumble under his weight.
1. The Future Of Future Trunks
All of the examples on this list show brief moment and storylines from games that were otherwise faithful to the story of Dragon Ball Z. In 2007, a game called Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai – Another Road was released for the PlayStation Portable. This was an entire game based on a “What If” scenario. In this case, it depicted what would happen if Majin Buu was released in Future Trunks’ timeline.
In this alternate timeline, Trunks has his energy stolen by Dabura during the World Martial Arts Tournament. Realising that he is hopelessly outmatched, Trunks goes back to the past and gathers the Z Fighters together. They return to Trunks’ timeline, where Babidi has decided to travel to New Namek to use their Dragon Balls to wish for Buu to be under his control. The Z Fighters follow Babidi to New Namek and face off against Cooler. The story then branches off into multiple paths, some of which lead to Buu’s victory and some resulting in Future Trunk’s world being saved once more.
…That is until Dragon Ball Super screwed up Future Trunk’s life again, but at least he had a few more years of peace.