Attack Balls (丸型宇宙船) are a bathysphere-like spaceship used by the Saiyans and various henchmen of Frieza (such as Cui and the Ginyu Force) for interplanetary travel. When the Saiyans were under the employment of Frieza, these vehicles sent low-class Saiyans to distant worlds so that they would one day conquer and destroy planets throughout the galaxy.
The Saiyan Pods use incredible technology. These spaceships are purely for transportation purposes, carrying along unconscious people. Because of this, they are not outfitted with any particularly comfortable features but are made to not cause any strain on the body. Even though it is only 1.5 m in diameter, it houses an advanced environmental system and an incredibly fuel-efficient faster-than-light drive. Those traveling inside the ball are kept in a state of suspended animation that minimizes the resources needed to keep them alive.
These ships have strong armor, which allows them to not be crushed on impact. Attack Balls also have enough fuel to travel for 3 years without stopping, but the environmental systems were needed to be replenished every 6 months. To replenish the environmental system, the ball can simply enter the atmosphere of a planet that would be even partially habitable to the occupant for 10 minutes. The ball can travel at a maximum speed of 3 light-years per hour. This often has consequences for the destination point, as the extreme speed often causes massive explosions upon impact, wiping out everything within a certain radius and leaving nothing but a massive crater in its place. Specialized landing pads can reduce the damage to non-existent. The balls themselves are heavily armored from the outside to prevent any damage during landing, as well as standing up to Nappa's Volcano Explosion, but the interior is incredibly fragile, as a simple Ki Blast can destroy an Attack Ball from the inside. They also seemingly do not need any external force for takeoff, being self-sufficient enough to launch themselves into space on their own.
The balls have a remote control, as demonstrated by Vegeta, which allows the owners to recall their pods to their location or trigger a self-destruction, among other potential functions. The controllers look like a calculator, and can command more than one pod at a time, as the one held by Vegeta triggered Nappa's pod to explode. According to the anime, if they are on a planet that lacks a moon, the Attack Ball seems to compensate for this by making a holographic projection of a moon that is realistic enough to allow Blutz waves to be generated for the Saiyan to become a Great Ape upon being activated by the ship's built-in computer. This is especially evident while Gohan was training with Piccolo during the year of training before Nappa and Vegeta arrived on Earth. Also, in the anime, Vegeta uses his scouter to summon both his and Nappa's pods to them on Arlia, and the pods seem to continue providing them oxygen even with the door open in outer space, as both Saiyans continue to breathe normally despite destroying Arlia.
There was also a much larger variant of Attack Balls seen in Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, which is capable of transporting an entire army to another planet. It was destroyed by Broly when venting his power. It was never explained if this Attack Ball variant was a standard for the Saiyans/Frieza's Empire or if this was a creation made solely by Paragus to give the illusion of the Saiyan's rebirth to lure Vegeta into a trap. Dr. Brief also managed to take the remains of Goku's Attack Ball and rebuild it from scratch, allowing the same travel speed but with additional facilities.
Bardock and his crew
In the special Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku, Fasha, Tora, Shugesh, and Borgos use their Saiyan pods to get to Planet Meat to destroy the inhabitants. After doing just that, the low-class Saiyan team was ambushed by Dodoria's elite. Later, Bardock used his pod to arrive on Meat and later found his slain comrades. After defeating the elites only to be beaten by Dodoria himself, a bloody Bardock survived and went to his pod back to Planet Vegeta. On the way, Bardock's pod detected a pod carrying his second son, Kakarot (Goku), and going the opposite direction. On the Saiyan homeworld, Bardock left his pod bloody and exhausted. It was destroyed when Frieza used his Supernova on the Saiyan planet.
Goku's Space Pod
- In flashbacks seen in Dragon Ball Z, Grandpa Gohan finds Goku in the Saiyan pod.
- In the Bardock special, Goku is found by Grandpa Gohan and the pod is nearby.
Much later, Goku's old pod was discovered by Bulma's father and he rebuilt it from scratch. Mr Brief says that Goku's original pod was demolished and only few key parts available (though in an anime filler, the pod activated a projection of the full moon, forcing Gohan to transform into a Great Ape, forcing Piccolo to destroy it with his Special Beam Cannon). The redesigned space pod had a bedroom, a bathroom, a training room with artificial gravity machine, and could get Goku to planet Namek in a week. While the ship set a course for Namek, Goku trained in 10x, 20x, to 100x gravity. Goku rested the last day until it arrived on Namek. After becoming a Super Saiyan, Goku told Gohan to take Bulma and Piccolo to his ship, however, all of the people (excluding Goku and Frieza) on Namek were teleported off. The ship was most likely destroyed by Namek's explosion. However, it didn't stop the creation of at least two more Capsule Corporation Space Pods, as, at least in the anime, Vegeta stole a Capsule Corp Spaceship to try and locate Goku (this one was later destroyed during the three year training period when Vegeta overexerted himself) and another was used to replace the one Vegeta destroyed during training. The one Vegeta trained in possessed a 300x gravity system (450x in the anime), in which was Vegeta's response to being three times more intense than Goku.
Raditz's Space Pod
The first seen ball was Raditz's ball. After finding his younger brother, Goku was useless to him, Raditz stole his nephew Gohan and put the boy in his Attack Ball. Later, an angry Gohan burst out of the ball, destroying it completely. Later after the defeat of Vegeta, Goku remembers Raditz's space pod and suggests using it to travel to Namek, but then he recalls that Gohan destroyed it.
Nappa and Vegeta's Space Pods
After Raditz's death and the discovery of the Dragon Balls, Nappa and Vegeta used their Attack Balls to get to planet Earth. On the way, the two Saiyans stop and Vegeta destroys planet Arlia (this happens in the anime only, they go straight on without any stops in the manga). A year later, Nappa and Vegeta arrive and land in East City. Later, after Nappa's death and Vegeta's defeat, Vegeta uses a remote control to have his pod arrive at his position and Vegeta escapes in his pod to Planet Frieza 79. It is then found by Krillin, who gives it to Bulma who uses the remote on Nappa's pod, only to have it accidentally explode while it is being filmed for the television. Later, a revitalized Vegeta uses his space pod to get from the Planet Frieza 79 to Planet Namek. After the pod landed on Namek, it is not seen again and is most likely destroyed when the planet exploded.
Cui's Space Pod
Cui, one of Frieza's employees, uses an attack ball to attack Bun's planet, as well as to get to Namek. Cui's space pod is never seen again and is most likely destroyed when Namek exploded. Cui is not the only one of Frieza's soldiers to use a ball to get to the planets that he destroys for Frieza, as the soldiers who get to Bun's planet with Cui also used attack balls.
The Ginyu Force's Space Pods
The space pods used by Captain Ginyu, Recoome, Burter, Jeice, and Guldo are same as Saiyan space pods, the only difference is their pods have the Ginyu Force's logo on them. The Ginyu Force pods land next to Frieza's spaceship. After defeating Frieza, Goku uses one of the pods to escape Namek's explosion. While resting from his long, exhausting fight against Frieza, the pod lands on Planet Yardrat (It's implied that had the Ginyu Force, and by extension, Frieza, lived after fighting on Namek, they would've conquered Yardrat for Frieza's empire). After his pod was repaired, Goku (in Yardrat clothing) used it to travel back to Earth. The other pods are presumed to be destroyed in Namek's explosion. Vegeta may have used this particular space pod to arrive on New Namek and head back to Earth in Dragon Ball Z: Return of Cooler, due to it being the only Space Pod/Attack Ball accounted for by the time of the movie.
Paragus' Space Pod
As Comet Camori was close to destroying the New Planet Vegeta and with his son Broly being out of control, Paragus prepared a space pod in an attempt to escape from the doomed planet alone during the chaos. However, as Paragus boarded the pod, his son came along. After exposing Paragus' lie of planning to seek shelter together by the single seat capacity, he brutally crushed the pod with his bare hands, despite its armored hull, killing his father in the process. Broly then threw the deformed Attack Ball towards the comet, completely destroying it.
Broly's Space Pod
After being dealt a critical wound by Goku, Broly managed to board an Attack Pod to escape the destruction of New Planet Vegeta. The pod made its way to Earth and, upon landing in the mountains near Natade Village, Broly broke the door clean off and fell into a coma from exhaustion, with water filling in the crater created by the ship's impact and freezing over. Seven years later, after awakening and breaking free from his frozen grave, Broly once again met his defeat, after which Majola traveled to the crater and retrieved a frozen blood sample from the damaged pod to sell to Lord Jaguar.
Tarble and Gure's Space Pods
Tarble and Gure traveled to Earth in their space pods to get help from Vegeta, in order to defeat Abo and Kado. When they arrived on Earth, Tarble and Gure, while in their space pods, destroyed some buildings and roads in West City.
Abo and Kado
As once members of Frieza's army, the Abo and Kado brothers possess their own space pods for interplanetary travel. In pursuit of Tarble and Gure, the two used their space pods to chase their targets down to Earth. They landed on a greenfield, and pursued their goal. After being defeated and changing their ways, the two joined the Z Fighters' celebration party before presumably leaving on their pods.
Video game appearances
Vegeta and Nappa use the Attack Balls briefly in cutscenes in Dragon Ball Z: Goku Hishōden. They also appear in Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyan, Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu, Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Kakusei-Hen, Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, and Dragon Ball Online.
An Attack Ball is seen in the Eastern Capital battle stage in Super Dragon Ball Z, in the Rocky Area battle stage in the Budokai Tenkaichi series, and in the Spinach Wastes battle stage in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z.
The Ginyu Force Attack Ball used by Goku to escape Namek appears in Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II. Ginyu's ship reappears in Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury as the Z-Fighter Exhibit #7, with the in-game description being "Goku used this ship to escape from Namek. This ship used to belong to the Ginyu Force."
- The remote controls that go with the ships and allow their pilot to summon them are extremely strong and durable. Vegeta's controller functioned fully after he had been hit with a massive Kaio-ken x4 blast from Goku, after he had transformed into a Great Ape, after having been hit with the Spirit Bomb, and even after being crushed by Great Ape Gohan.