Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Dragonball Z: Kakarot Part 14 - Bardock: Alone Against Fate Pt 2


Today, I wrap up DLC #4 with a Freeza Space Battle~! which I'm pretty sure isn't canon...

Freeza arrives at Planet Vegeta, ready to blow it up and remove the Saiyans as a threat to his dominance.

A few issues with this:

1) The Saiyans make up a third to half of the total Freeza Force rank and file, so he's significantly decimating his own minions.

2) The Saiyans have shown zero inclination to rebel against him and only a couple of them are powerful enough to even give his lamest goon Dodoria a slightly difficult time if they did. And Freeza is a zillion times stronger than him, plus he has all these other minions who are also way stronger.

3) Since in Super they kind of retcon things to where Freeza, Androids, etc can gain power exponentially by training the same way Saiyans can, why are Saiyans actually special or a threat again? The only reason Freeza has to wipe them out is that they're exceptional and can raise their levels much faster than any other race.

The last one is more of a retcon issue than an issue with Freeza's initial motivations though.

Bardock now knows that Freeza is gonna stab them in the back and wipe out the Saiyans. Can he get there in time to warn them, though? A few problems with this.

1) Are we supposed to feel bad about these people? They're bloodthirsty maniacs, being slain by another bloodthirsty maniac.

2) See above.

Bardock flies past Gokou, who is of course in a pod en route to Earth. In this DLC, and the original History of Bardock I believe, Gokou was just dispatched as a routine thing. They fired kids off into space to wipe out planets. Father of the year Bardock never gave a shit and was fine with his kid being launched.

The DBS version of Broly retcons this. It gives Bardock a wife and makes him a much nicer guy. He and said wife make sure to get Gokou safely off the planet once they realize Freeza might wipe it out. I like that version more. So that's a retcon I can get behind.

In this one, Bardock asks a Freeza Goon where his son got shot off to. It's just as well, now he'll be safe from Freeza.

Bardock stumbles into the Saiyan Bar and tells everyone of Freeza's treachery and apparent plan to take out the Saiyans. Freeza is gonna blow up their planet, and his minions are running around Order 66-ing the on-assignment Saiyan teams.

In short, Bardock needs all of the Saiyans to rally behind him so they can take the fight to the Freeza Force!

They all belly-laugh at him for his Wacky Conspiracy Theories and point out that CNN is reporting that Freeza's visit is mostly peaceful.

Well, case closed, he can't compete with that kind of evidence.

Bardock's visions of the future are getting more and more clear...and there's absolutely nothing he'll be able to do about it, because he CAN do nothing. Maybe knowing the future isn't such a good thing after all.

Bardock takes matters into his own hands and flies off to confront Freeza as the awesome "Solid State Scouter" plays.

A swarm of Freeza Force goons flies to meet him. None of this really makes any sense because Saiyans can't breathe in the vacuum of space. Yet here's Bardock fighting a swarm of other guys in space.

That said, this is the one Horde Battle in this entire game that I really like. Bardock pushing beyond what he thought he was capable of to fight these guys or die trying is inspiring.

Bardock cleaves his way through scores of goons as Freeza's ship hovers menacingly in the background.

I think this was the only time we ever saw anyone fight in space in the show. This TV special actually pre-dated the Gokou vs Freeza fight, where it is explicitly stated a bunch of times that Saiyans can't breathe in space.

After mowing through the goon ranks, we finally get to fight Dodoria one-on-one. There should still be a big power discrepancy between them (especially considering Dodoria one-shotted him earlier) but for the purposes of this game and having a good DLC final boss, they're evenly matched for this fight. I think Dodoria is supposed to be around 20k which doubles Bardock (and in DBZ, half as powerful doesn't mean half as powerful, it means the lower level guy can't even scratch the higher level guy).

Big Dodoria Battle! It was a good fight, definitely felt like a worthy ending to the DLC.

But wait! Beat Dodoria, and Freeza himself swings into action.

Seriously? Bardock vs Freeza? This must be an optional uberboss type fight.

Freeza is waaaaaaay more powerful than Dodoria. So much so that I was 99% convinced that this was an unwinnable fight, or at least one that you're intended to lose.

Freeza makes an interesting point. His fighting style here is completely different from the various fights with him elsewhere in the game, and he largely hangs back and hovers smugly.

I've always wondered what the deal was with Freeza's flying throne. Is it just something that carries him around because he's too lazy to fly?

One thing you really don't want to get hit by is Freeza's avalanche of purple beams. Good thing I brought heals. Never get caught without extra heals in this game, in general, unless you want to get soft-locked.

Win the fight (yes, you actually have to win) and Freeza decides it's time to nuke the planet.

That was a very hard fight and I think the DLC might have been better if it just ended with Dodoria. Which was already pushing the canon a bit far.

Freeza unleashes the DEATH BALL on the Saiyans.

I think we're supposed to feel bad for Bardock.

This is literally what they went around doing to other people, so like...whatev.

Note how Freeza is nuking a ton of his own troops as well. He's basically cutting the Freeza Force in half just to get rid of a non-threat.

Elsewhere, Gokou lands on Earth and that story begins.

Good DLC, not as good as Trunks but it was still a worthwhile quick playthrough.

But wait! There's more!

 That's right, this DLC isn't over yet. Much like the previous one, it has a surprise back-half that adds more to the story. Well, not really a back-half, more like a quick 45 minute bonus chapter.

In this one you play as Kid Vegeta for a bit as he deals with Freeza. I hope we get some glimpses of his feelings on basically being a soldier / errand boy for the Freeza Force despite his royal blood.

Also, this is pre-destruction of the planet.

Vegeta fights Saibamen for training. This is what I'd expect him to spend his time doing, for sure.

I unleash his rapid fireball attack. Also, this DLC sure got a lot of mileage out of Saibamen...

Turns out Vegeta and Cui have been rivals for a loooong time. Cui is a similar level to Vegeta and manages to keep up with him somehow. Vegeta's battle on Earth would be the thing that finally rocketed him ahead. Was probably the first time in a while that he had a real opponent.

Funny story that I've already told: The first time I ever saw Cui in the show, I thought he was Freeza (who I was waiting to see at the time).

We get a Vegeta vs Cui fight, pretty cool. Vegeta wins with a slight edge.

I'll admit it, I'm a Cui fan, even though he only had a small role in the show. He was kinda the first big Freeza Force minion we saw.

"Shut up, Nappa."

"Oh uh, yes sir"

Vegeta is mad respectful to Freeza, which must be why Freeza kept him around after blowing up his planet. For Vegeta this is a "keep your enemies closer" situation, though.

...wait a minute though, if Freeza was afraid of the Saiyans being a threat, why was he okay with literally the strongest one hanging around continuing to get stronger? Ah, whatever.

Vegeta and Nappa do the Saiyan thing and wipe out planets. So basically it's more of what Bardock was doing.

Again, it's crazy how every planet has fighters who can fly and have power levels.

More horde battles! I stack everyone up in a neat pile, then...

...unleash GALLICK GUN.

While on a mission, our "heroes" are notified that the planet has vanished. Vegeta seems unbothered by this. At least on the outside. Inwardly he thinks Freeza might have done it, but he has no proof. He'll continue flying under the radar for a while, get stronger, and maybe eventually be able to topple Freeza.

Kind of an abrupt ending here, but I don't think the show really gave us anything fleshing-out the interim between the planet's destruction and Grown Vegeta getting the message to head to Earth. So really it's just a peek at what Vegeta was doing while Bardock's story was going on.


Here's Bardock vs Dodoria. Should be a mismatch, somehow isn't.

Here's Bardock vs Freeza, which is interesting for how futile it is.

Here's Solid State Scouter, Kakarot remix.

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