Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dragonball Z: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans (1993)

The fourth and final NES RPG, Dragonball Z Gaiden, is based on a TV special from 1993. Or more accurately, the TV special is based on the game. Today I'm looking at the TV special before I start the game. It seems to function as a little bit of a video guide to the game itself, which is... actually pretty cool. Dragonball Z Gaiden already looks higher-budget and more thought-out than that Android Saga game. This one takes place during the ten days before the battle with Perfect Cell. There's no Cell here, and the heroes haven't gone through their final Room of Spirit and Time training just yet. As a result, this movie features regular Super Saiyans rather than any of the weird Ascended/Ultra/1.5 forms.

We begin with a creepy, CREEPY hovering guy in a room full of spheres. This is Dr. Raichi, one of the last of the Tsufuru race. In the U.S. version, they're called Tuffles; this name would continue into Dragonball GT which features Tuffles in an extremely prominent role.

 The only problem is, Tuffles are super-creepy and a bit lame. They have this weird bio-mechanical look about them, but they're inconsistent in their appearance and have basically no backstory. All we know is that they lived on Planet Vegeta before the Saiyans took over and exterminated them. Now Dr. Raichi here is floating around on some planetoid with the last of his race, who have all been converted into spheres for some reason. I guess their spirits are stored inside of said spheres. An interesting concept, actually.

Gokou is chilling at home, squatting and grunting a lot. This special falls into the same category as the movies; it transpires concurrently to the show, time-wise, in some kind of pocket universe where the show's events aren't happening. So while this is right before the training for Cell, there's no acknowledgement of Cell and the characters are all light-heartedly going about their lives.

Gohan is just reaching his teen years. Seeing this guy grow up over the course of the show is one of the things I like about DBZ. As frustrating as the show is sometimes, I'll always like it because I care about these characters.

Mr. Popo appears. ...and soon, plague and pestilence rain upon the Earth. Well, no, but it'd be awesome if Popo turned evil.

Popo points at Gokou, who backs up and falls over while looking horrified. How powerful IS Mr. Popo, anyway?

They employ Bulma's dad to help them figure out what the heck is going on with this gas that Mr. Popo says is blanketing parts of the Earth and causing people to die. It's probably just smog. If a little smog is the price we pay for letting the job creators save money to make new jobs, I say no to regulations! what Fox News would probably say.

........the hell is with that cat, anyway? He/she/it is a bit eerie.

Hold that thought. HNNNNG, Bulma. HNNNNNGH. I'll be in my bunk.

Hands above the desk, please.

Mr. Popo is watching you.
Our heroes figure out that the gas is being outputted by several machines in different parts of the world. One is in the desert, another is on a volcanic island, and so forth. Some nice scenery variety in this movie, compared to the usual DBZ wastelands.

Piccolo shows up, to the delight of these two. Now the party has three members, time to swing into action.

But wait! Random battle alert!

Gokou goes to Kamehameha, only to discover that it doesn't work. It seems that the gas causes energy attacks to not function. Luckily, all their other powers like flight and super strength still work fine, so this isn't much of a drawback.

The three heroes proceed to administer a old-fashioned beatdown on the random NPC enemies.

The movie then cuts to an NES overworld. It's the one from the game! This is awesome!

At this point, the heroes split up to go find different machines and disable them. There are four altogether.

First up, Gokou travels to the wasteland. I bet this area is its own overworld in the game. So basically, this game looks like it'll be the same as the other non-Freeza games. Lots of overworlds, the party splitting up constantly and needing to train separately from each other, and so forth.

Gokou deals with more random enemy encounters. I like how he wastes NO TIME going Super Saiyan every time an enemy pops up. Given how much DBZ wastes time - and the way characters sometimes have a weird aversion to going Super Saiyan, like in Movie 7 - it's awesome to see Gokou fighting smartly and quickly like this.

Gohan heads to the desert, where he fights random jobber NPCs of his own. Not sure if these things are Tuffles in new bodies or what, because it's never explained. Just that they originated from the planetoid that Dr. Raichi is lurking on with all the Tuffle spheres.

Meanwhile, Piccolo must contend with this psychotic beast. It stands around laughing hysterically about how it has surrounded the area with land mines. The area around itself.

Picollo literally just hovers out of reach while the monster jumps at him, then falls back down and sets off ALL OF THE LAND MINES. Piccolo is horrified. The explosions take out the monster AND the gas generator. That covers three out of four...

The last one is on this frozen continent (Antarctica?) but unfortunately our heroes must first contend with literally DOZENS of random battle jobber NPCs.

But wait! They've got backup, as Vegeta and Trunks have arrived. It seems that there's a fifth gas machine back in the main city, so our heroes need to whoop up here and make their way back.

Trunks proceeds to pick up a shard of ice and wield it like a sword, slicing through enemies like Odin's Zantetsu in Final Fantasy. SO MUCH AWESOME GOING ON HERE

The awesomest part is about to start, though. Back in the main city FREEZA appears, to the shock of our heroes.

He's got some allies, too. Turliss, Kooler, and Lord Slug are all present, even though they're all supposed to be dead.

What follows is a HUGE BATTLE as everyone pairs off with a different opponent.

Lord Slug and Piccolo have a particularly epic struggle. It seems that these characters are united by their hatred of the Saiyans, as they offer Piccolo a spot in their evil gang.

But wait, Turliss is a Saiyan! What gives? Well, these guys aren't their real original selves. They're Tuffle body-snatchers... or shadow monsters. Hard to say.

All four of these Doc Robot esque shadow-bosses are stronger than they were originally, and able to keep pace with our heroes. This fight is the big memorable brawl of this movie, and it ends a bit too soon. I wish this had gone on longer, or even been the final battle of the movie. Instead it's just the halfway point.

King Kai gets an antenna boner as he notices what's going on and telepathically gives Gokou the protips. Seems that these bad guys are Ghost Warriors, and if you believe they're ghosts you can kill them. Or something. So Gokou believes really hard that they're ghosts, and suddenly the attacks of our heroes start causing them to dissipate into smoke.

With the threat over temporarily, we get some backstory from Vegeta about the Tuffles. Seems they welcomed the Saiyans into their home and were hospitable. The Saiyans then made nice with them until the day that King Vegeta decided he was tired of sharing the planet. From there, a massacre followed. Basically, the Saiyan race are assholes by nature. At least they're not creepy metallic people like the Tuffles in DBGT and Dr. Raichi. Weird thing is that the Tuffles in these flashbacks just look like regular humans.

I wonder if King Kai sits up there and watches people have sex.


Doki Doki Panic! Coming Soon.

 And we're back with the second and final episode of this special. Another map pops up here, with our heroes going from Earth to the mysterious Dark Planet, lair of Dr. Raichi.

Midway to the nefarious planetoid, some kind of solar storm cuts up the spaceship. Now this is pretty scary. Your spaceship is getting blasted by energy, it starts coming apart, and you're basically in the middle of space. Oh yeah, and you can't breathe in space. Super Saiyan or not, you're screwed. I guess Gokou could teleport everyone to safety if it came down to it, but then they'd lose their only spaceship.

After a tactical retreat, the battered ship is back out in space. Looks like there are two other planetoids that are generating atmospheric interference around the Dark Planet. In the game, you have to go to these planetoids and destroy something... at least, that's what I'm getting from this.

The movie, on the other hand, glosses over whatever you have to do, and jumps ahead.

Back at the Dark Planet, the storm is gone. That isn't Castlevania, it's Dr. Raichi's nefarious castle of doom.

Dr. Raichi himself is in here cackling a lot. I don't like this guy; he reminds me way too much of Every DBGT Villain.

We get some weird flashback shots as Raichi explains how the Saiyan army massacred the Tuffles. Vegeta counters that the Tuffles treated the Saiyans like a slave class. I notice the Saiyans here are all in Freeza armor... so they allied with Freeza before they rebelled against the Tuffles?

Saiyan history tends to be a big enigma.

The battle begins! Though it isn't much of a battle. Raichi has a forcefield that repels our heroes and negates their attacks.

Breaking the field is a matter of everyone administering a beatdown, then Gokou using a Kamehameha when the field is weakest. Somehow, I doubt the fight in the actual game will be in any way complicated.

In any case, it turns out that Raichi is another ghost, and Vegeta's Final Flash shatters him into protoplasm.

The screen freezes as everyone poses in celebration. Vegeta is PISSED.

Roll credits...for a minute or so. Wonder how many people turned it off at this point. Nice NES portrait there, more synergy.

And we're back, as bits of Raichi go all T-1000 and start yelling as they attempt to re-form and can't.

Raichi's ultimate creation is then unleashed. This is Hatchiyack, and he proceeds to go all bowling ball on our pin-like heroes.

This guy is what Cell would have been had he been a DBGT character. He's uninteresting and lacks personality, doesn't really look like a Toriyama creation, and wears giant condoms as pants.

He's said to be "stronger than Broly" which might put him at around Perfect Cell level. I'm not sure. In any case, he's a lab creation formed by all of the collective hatred of the Tuffles. Bizarre.

The finale comes when everyone teams up to fire beams at Hatchiyack when he's vulnerable...

...which is right after he energizes for his big attack, apparently. Is this going to be on the test? We'll see.

Simultaneous beams (sans Piccolo, who is knocked-out) from the four Saiyans is enough to overpower Hatchiyack's beam and completely disintegrate him. We don't see too many non one-on-one battles, so this was cool.

The planetoid starts exploding, so Gokou teleports everyone back to Earth.

...barely. Now to give the game a shot.

I talked about this movie a bit more in Dragonball Z Movie Thoughts, as well as discuss all of the other movies in the series, so check that out if you haven't.


  1. The vague sources of power like "creation formed by the collective hatred of everyone" is always just strong enough to be a challenge to whatever strength level our heroes are at, at the moment.

  2. This does indeed look like a cool movie. Nice and simple with rough fights and at a good time in the series where multiple characters all have decent power levels. Fascinating to see an NES crossover too. Video games: the wave of the future!

    It does seem like the Saiyans were a race of assholes. That's a good plot twist.

    1. you sould see the playdia viosn of this movie it way better take look


  3. this is one my secne form playdia viosn