Dragon Ball. A franchise that's known across the globe. A setting full of characters that are capable of destroying entire galaxies, universes, even timelines. A series also known for characters named after vegetables, old men obsessed with belly buttons, and guys named Mr. Popo. So it flip-flops a bit. Dragon Ball is an incredibly deep and complex series, even if it doesn't appear to be. It has also had many incarnations. There's Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and now Dragon Ball Super. Since its inception in the '80s, Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball property has gotten entire films, animated adaptations, and games to compliment the original manga.
The games are what we plan to focus on today. More specifically, their mistakes.
Along with all the ups and downs that is the roller coaster we call "Dragon Ball," there are also lots of things to remember. Basically, with everything that happens from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Super, it's a bit difficult to get every little detail right. It's even harder when you're trying to make your game unique and different. So I don't necessarily blame these games for the mistakes they've made, that'd be a bit much. I mean, I'm hyper-analyzing a property designed for kids, so I don't have much ground to stand on myself. But, at the end of the day, these fun games did make some pretty blatant errors when it comes to the Dragon Ball canon. And, if you're a hyper-fan like me, you probably noticed a couple of these yourself. So, without further ado, here are 25 Ridiculous Mistakes In Dragon Ball Video Games Only True Fans Noticed
So right off the bat, lets talk about Cell. Cell is a bio-organism created by Dr. Gero, the scientist who created all the "androids." Throughout the "Cell" arc, this monster goes from imperfect, semi-perfect, and perfect versions of himself.
And, with each new form, Cell gets a new, more "perfect" voice. These three voices couldn't be more different from each other. Which makes it all the more confusing that somehow they got mixed up multiple times throughout all the games. With Budokai 1, there are multiple instances of Imperfect Cell having Perfect Cells voice. Interestingly, this is because Cell's Japanese voice actor, Norio Wakamoto, only used one static voice for Cell, which influenced the voice direction in Budokai.
And, speaking of tyrannical villains with multiple forms, why don't we hop on over to Frieza. This Saiyan-exterminating tyrant is the original big bad of the Dragon Ball Z universe. He's known for his absurdly long fight with Goku on Planet Namek, which is in part due to his multiple unnecessary forms.
Remember his third form that was just a reference to the classic film Alien? But, the big error here comes from Raging Blast 2. After turning into his "final form," Freiza states that "it's been a while since anyone has seen this form." Which is absolutely incorrect, as Freiza in the anime says that this form has never been seen before (by anyone but his parents.)
The Namek arc is still my personal favorite. I just think it has the most originality. One example of the more unique side of this arc is the Ginyu Force. They're a ragtag Sentai send up and Ginyu is the leader. His fight with Goku is renowned among the community as Ginyu has a body-switching power that almost ends Goku.
Seriously, this ability would still be useful even in current Dragon Ball Super events. But, in Raging Blast 2, when Goku fights Ginyu, one of his lines is "Great! Now we can get my body back!." Good news Goku, your body never got switched? Obviously, this was meant to play after they do switch but wasn't programmed correctly.
I loved the first Xenoverse. A game where I can literally create my own Dragon Ball Z character? Sign me up. But in any case, Xenoverse is known for its extensive character creator. You could make a human, Saiyan, Namekian, Buu, or whatever Freiza's race is. But weirdly, no androids, despite Androids 17 and 18 being playable.
But the mistake here is that Androids 17, 18, and even Super Buu can use the energy absorption techniques that Androids 15 and 16 used. Those were specifically built into those models and it makes no sense as to how 17/18 could use this move. Other than the fact that they wanted to include all the android moves, which I do understand. But it's wrong nonetheless.
And while we're talking about it, I hate that there is no android race in the first Xenoverse. I mean Gero made like 21 of them (including the new one made for Dragon Ball FighterZ), so why can't we make one too? To add insult to injury, in Xenoverse, even though Androids aren't playable, you can pick up their skills.
This would be cool usually, but it ends up being a bit of a slap in the face. Why make android specific moves learnable by your player character, without letting them create an android? Never mind that it's just lame, it's an actual continuity error as well.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the most faithful games in existence. Both in terms of aesthetic and content. Honestly, ArcSys seem like magicians in the way they make 3D models look 2D with Dragon Ball FighterZ and Guilty Gear Xrd. In order to do that, however, they've got to bend the models in some pretty outlandish ways. That I could easily forgive.
But, one mistake they made is forgetting Vegetto's second earring. Specifically, when he blasts the Final Kamehameha, the Goku side earring is nowhere to be seen. The entire gimmick of the character is dependent on those two earrings. It's like leaving out Trunks' sword in his character model. Small error, but big consequences.
Now, going back into Budokai territory, remember Vegeta? Started out as a bad guy? Is now more liked than Goku by a large portion of the fan-base in the west? Yeah, so we're talking about the Saiyan arc, where Vegeta was trying to crush Goku in his Great Ape form.
During this scene, in the game, we're supposed to rush in as Gohan. But on the way, Vegeta talks about sensing our power level.
Oddly enough, the Prince of Saiyans didn't learn how to detect power levels until the Namek arc. Its how Gohan and Krillin managed to avoid him for so long on that alien planet. So how does he do it here? A mistake on the developers part, that's how.
We're still deep in Budokai territory, I had a lot of fun with these games but I had no idea how flawed they were until now. This time around it's the Cell arc. Particularly the moment when two green men meet. I'm of course talking about Piccolo and Cell.
In the anime, Piccolo has no idea who this monster is or what he's called. But, in the Budokai game, he calls Cell by name right off the bat. How do you know Cell's name, Piccolo? Did you happen to take a peek at the script? Or did the developers behind your game forget that Piccolo didn't know Cell yet?
And from one confusing Dragon Ball game title to another, we go from Budokai to Budokai Tenkaichi. Basically, these are just deeper, more fleshed out Budokai games. And who better to include that the character people seem to be obsessed with even though he's literally just one big muscle?
I'm talking about Broly, of course, the anatomy nightmare of a Saiyan known for his literal baby rage. Which is funny, because if Broly knew about the mistake made in his regard in this game, he might be a bit miffed. They forgot to localize his name! On the character select screen, instead of Broly, his name is Brolli. How embarrassing.
There are only a few ways that I know of to immediately date your game or film. But one of my own personal most hated methods is when any property feels to need to include internet memes as a way of appealing to the younger generation.
And I'll be honest, out of most other franchises, I didn't expect it from Dragon Ball.
But, in Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Zangya, a character not too many people remember, commits this grave sin. For one of her taunts in the game, Zangya decides to quote that famous song "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me." And oh boy, does it end up being hard to watch.
And, along that same vein, the people behind the Tenkaichi games managed to throw some dirt on my favorite character, Gotenks. Just as a reminder if the name wasn't obvious enough, Gotenks in the fusion form of kid Trunks and Gohan's little brother, Goten.
The fusion character is known for being absurdly strong, yet is also a total joker. If that's the case, then Gotenks needs to shout some memes as well right? And none is more surface level, or dated, than the "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" dancing banana meme. But of course, that's the one they picked as one of his taunts, and it couldn't have been a bigger mistake.
But, it's not all bad. Sure the Tenkaichi series added some traits to characters I'm not all too fond of, but that goes both ways. A fan favorite character that gets some extra lore in the games is Nappa, Vegeta's ex-cohort. The Saiyan bodyguard was recognizable thanks to his lack of hair, but the fact still remains that he was a Saiyan.
With that in mind, during the loading screen in Duel Mode, Nappa will ask Vegeta "Hey uh... Think if I went Super Saiyan, my goatee would grow?" And the fact that they didn't expand upon this by including a Super Saiyan Nappa? Biggest mistake out there.
Tenkaichi 3 has a pretty big chunk of Saiyans as playable characters. And, most of those Saiyans have the Great Ape forms they can transform into. Now, it's well known that Saiyan's need a full moon in order to transform, and that if one isn't readily available, they can create Powerball imitations.
So, the Tenkaichi team included these "Powerballs" as a way to keep faithful to the Dragon Ball Z canon. The only problem is, they didn't think about the stages that already have a full moon! So these Saiyans are creating imitations moons when the real thing is right behind them.
You would think with a franchise as popular as DBZ is, that they'd at least manage to get their credits right. But, you'd be wrong. To be fair, it's not like the studio who localizes the anime got these wrong, but rather the developers behind the games. In multiple, and I mean a good number of the games, there are at least 1-3 errors per game when it comes to crediting the voice actors.
Constantly, these people who put all they had into voicing these characters are overlooked when it comes to credit. And just think of all the yelling these fictional characters do, that's some rough voice work!
This next little error is about the strongest character in Dragon Ball Z. No, not Goku or Vegeta. Obviously, it's about Yamcha in the Legacy of Goku II, a game for the Gameboy Advance. One of the rare Dragon Ball Z RPG's, the Legacy of Goku II is a pretty hefty game. It adapts the entirely of the Cell arc.
But, oddly enough, when you do talk to the Wolf Fang Hero before the time-skip, he already has his later Cell arc look.
And while it technically isn't Dragon Ball "Z," the original Dragon Ball is still a part of the franchise (I mean, it's the series' namesake.) This is of course all about the adventures of Son Goku as a child, in a "Monkey King" like telling, before we found out he was a super-powered space alien.
In the Game Boy game that treads the same story called Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure, a couple of canonically important things are changed for the sake of time. One such thing is that Goku ends up winning his fights against Jackie Chun and Tien at the 21st and 22nd Tenkaichi Budokais, respectively. Which stinks because those losses were so unique in shonen stories for the time.
And also, while on the topic of Dragon Ball Advance Adventure, this incarnation of Goku rarely has to deal with losing at all! As we should all know, the tails of Saiyans are very important, as they allow them to transform into Great Apes during full moons.
Well, in the series proper, Goku gets his cut off after causing trouble, but not in the game. That whole area of the story is skipped over and Goku gets to keep his cute little tail for the whole adventure. Kind of a shame, as him losing it plays an important thematic role in parts of Dragon Ball Z later on.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Goku from Dragon Ball Z is one of the most easily recognizable characters of all time. The Saiyan in orange is a worldwide phenomenon. But, what about when he was a kid in Dragon Ball? Is that still considered a popular incarnation? Well sadly, not really no.
On the cover of the Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure game, they still had to include adult Goku in the background even though he made no appearance in the game. I consider false advertising a mistake for sure, as well as not having faith in their own fans to recognize Goku.
Here’s one thing you don’t do when it comes to Dragon Ball Z or any shonen series really, rank power levels. It’s just too difficult and isn’t really necessary. Dragon Ball Z became one of the worst offenders, in my opinion, as the “power scale” of that entire franchise is so high it's almost non-existent.
In Extreme Butoden, they decided to say that Super Saiyan Blue is the strongest, Super Saiyan God is the second, and Super Saiyan 4 is the third. This is of course up for debate and no other game has made such a claim.
Alright, so I get it, sometimes you’ve got to fudge a bit of how a fantasy world runs in order for it to work as a video game. You can’t just have a battle decided by a single Kamehameha in a fighting game, that's no fun. But in Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, they take it a bit too far. In this game, Baba the fortuneteller (a character from Dragon Ball) essentially revives deceased characters.
This is so characters can participate in every part of the story even if they canonically didn't previously. But, at the same time, it completely dissolves any importance the Dragon Balls had, making it a big mistake.
This might be my favorite mix-up among the bunch actually. There’s a long-running joke between fans of Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super that Piccolo is Gohan's real father. Considering how memorable Gohan's training with Piccolo is, it's only fair their relationship would leave such an impact.
Hilariously enough, Gohan was mistakenly programmed in Tenkaichi Tag Team for the PSP to refer to Goku as "Piccolo" instead of "dad." As a result, the games inadvertently lean into the Gohan and Piccolo dynamic is one of the slyest ways possible: by basically negging Goku.
Dragon Ball GT isn’t the most “beloved” of the Dragon Ball properties. It was written by different people, does some debatably awful things to the canon, and is all around not that great. But, what it does do, is turn Goku back into a kid. He’s back to his tiny, wacky incarnation! But, where the game Dragon Ball GT Transformation makes a mistake, is when they try and talk about Goku's background.
As soon as he’s a kid again, the Saiyan says out loud “Does this mean I have to go back to school?” And while that’s a cute line, do you really think Goku ever went to school? Of course not!
Alright, so I’m sure you know of the Androids. The mysterious beings that ruined Trunks’ timeline and one later married Krillin? Well other than the mistake of weirdly being called Androids even though they’re Cyborgs, their creator was mistakenly represented as well. In The Legacy of Goku 2, Future Trunks mentions Dr. Gero, their father.
And, in response, Goku says “Yeah! I defeated him.” But that makes you a liar, Goku. He never met Gero, which means he never “defeated” him. I guess Goku meant he defeated the Red Ribbon Army? But that line altogether is just poorly written then.
Another little mistake like this, in the same game, is with Chi-Chi. She’s the mother of all the orange-clad Saiyan kids and a real powerhouse mom. I was always kind of upset that Chi-Chi never played a part in any of the arcs in Dragon Ball Z, considering she's a renowned martial artist. But, she’s apparently too busy obsessing over Gohan’s education.
All in the hopes of making him the “President of Earth” according to the game. But that’s just not true. Because Earth in the Dragon Ball universe doesn’t have a President, it has a King. King Fluffy the dog to be exact.
And finally, let's talk about Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo. This game takes place again, during the Dragon Ball part of the canon, where Piccolo was still a “bad guy” like Vegeta. In this game, there were some limitations considering it was on the Wii, and the graphics don’t look all that amazing.
But the worst cut and a mistake, in my opinion, is on the Tenkaichi Budokai arena. Despite parts of this game’s story taking place during tournaments, there’s no one in the stands. The announcer is talking like it’s a packed stadium, yet no one is there. Creepy? Or maybe just an oversight from the developers. Yeah, probably that one.