The Cell Games Saga is the tenth saga in the Dragon Ball Z series. The manga volumes that comprise it are "The Cell Game", "Gohan vs. Cell", and "Death Of A Warrior". In FUNimation Entertainment's naming conventions for the English language release of the anime, the Androids/Cell arc is broken up into five sagas: the Trunks Saga, the Androids Saga, the Imperfect Cell Saga, the Perfect Cell Saga, and the Cell Games Saga.
This saga aired in Japan in late 1992 and early 1993 and in the United States in late 2000. It is featured in the FUNimation Remastered Season Six Box Set, and the fourth and fifth FUNimation Dragon Box Sets.
The Cell Games
The saga begins with Perfect Cell's announcement of the Cell Games, which will be held 10 days after his television broadcast. Goku and Gohan emerge from the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, mastering Full-Power Super Saiyan. Gohan's appearance comes as a surprise to the others, especially Piccolo and Chi-Chi, as he now has greater muscle mass and is taller than before (prior to entering the Chamber, Gohan reached Krillin's shoulders and/or just below Goku's chest in height. He now reaches Goku's shoulders). Using Instant Transmission, Goku visits Cell at the tournament platform in order to gain an understanding of his power. He then transmits himself back to Kami's Lookout where the others are waiting. They ask Goku if he thinks he will be able to defeat Cell, and Goku calmly laughs it off, claiming that he does not really know and thinks Cell will probably beat him into the ground. This comes as a surprise to the others, as they do not understand why Goku is acting so aloof. Piccolo then reminds Goku that he and Gohan can go back into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for one more day, but Goku refuses the offer. Once again, this comes as a surprise to the others. Goku tells them that he and Gohan will be training outside of the Chamber rather than subject their bodies to any more strain. This agitates Vegeta, who expresses his anger that Goku is always one step ahead of him, and he wonders exactly what secret Goku is hiding. Goku and Gohan then pay a visit to Korin and ask if he can determine how Goku's power measures up against Cell. Korin deduces that Cell is stronger, and Goku once again laughs it off, claiming that he discovered a great secret while in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, which comes as a surprise to Gohan. For the next 9 days, most of the eight Z Fighters use their time to train, though Goku and Gohan train for only three days and spend the remaining six resting. Goku also pays a visit to New Namek and asks Dende to become the new Guardian of the Earth. Eager to see Gohan again, Dende accepts the offer and creates a new Shenron, capable of granting three wishes, though this could be reduced to two if one wish took too much effort.
When the tournament commences, Goku decides he would be the first one to fight Perfect Cell. However, the World Champion Mr. Satan, along with his students in combat, Caroni and Pirozhki, attempt to fight Perfect Cell first, though each of them are easily flicked away and disqualified. First, Caroni attempts to attack Cell from high up, and Cell sent him even higher with his enormous energy. After falling, Caroni was convinced that Cell was tremendously powerful. Pirozhki attempts to rush at Cell head-first, only to be flicked backward by Cell's simple energy, which seemed too much for Pirozhki to handle. Mr. Satan then attempts to attack Cell with a slew of punches and kicks only to be knocked into the mountains. After this, throughout the entire tournament, Mr. Satan decides to claim he is suffering from intense stomach pains in order to avoid fighting Cell. He also calls the techniques in the ring "tricks" or "illusions". Goku and Perfect Cell begin to battle and in a heated display of power, technique and ability. To no one's surprise, Goku seems to be able to keep up against the mechanically engineered monster.
Perfect Cell pulled out all kinds of tricks, performing various moves such as the Death Beam and the Kamehameha. Goku and Perfect Cell battled for a while until Perfect Cell grew tired of being confined to the small ring. So Perfect Cell destroyed the ring and made the battle an all-out fight, just to make things more interesting for him, with no rules applied. Goku threw everything he could at Perfect Cell and even tricked Perfect Cell into believing he would destroy the Earth with a Kamehameha wave. This is where the Warp Kamehameha wave was introduced. Perfect Cell was noticeably afraid as Goku powered up the energy blast, but Goku tricked him by performing Instant Transmission to teleport directly in front of Perfect Cell, and unleashed the blast on him.
The entire top half of Perfect Cell was disintegrated. The Z Warriors seemed content until the remains of Perfect Cell jumped to its feet and regenerated. Goku knew that if he continued the Earth would be destroyed, or Perfect Cell and himself would die fighting each other. Goku suddenly forfeited the match to Perfect Cell and surrendered. He reasoned that only one person could defeat Perfect Cell. When Goku revealed his son Gohan as his pick to fight, the Z Fighters were furious (noticeably Vegeta and Piccolo) and Perfect Cell was amused. Before Gohan and Cell begin to fight, Goku asked Krillin for a Senzu Bean, which he threw to Cell, surprising everyone. Goku explained to the Z Fighters that Cell was worn out from their fight, so it would not be fair. Krillin argues and even thought that Goku got a "screw loose or something". Cell gladly eats the Senzu Bean and proceeds with the fight.
Gohan vs. Perfect Cell
It took awhile for the battle to commence between Gohan and Perfect Cell, and even longer for Gohan to get serious. As a Full Power Super Saiyan, he did no better than his father, and the Z Fighters were noticeably worried (except Goku). As the battle continued, Gohan told Perfect Cell to stop fighting, as the power he could harness when he becomes enraged would destroy everything. However, this only fueled Perfect Cell's desire to push Gohan to the limit, much to Gohan's horror. Finally, Android 16 decided to destroy Perfect Cell himself with the self destruction device in his body. He wrapped his arms around Perfect Cell's torso with the purpose of killing them both. To Android 16's surprise, Krillin informs that the bomb had been removed by Bulma when she re-programmed him earlier during repairs. Perfect Cell then gained the upper hand and destroyed all of Android 16 but his head, which rolled over the battlefield. Perfect Cell even claimed that even if the bomb did blow up, he would most likely not be affected too much, despite his fearful look when he found out what Android 16 was intending to do.
Perfect Cell then created 7 smaller blue versions of himself from his tail and christened them Cell Juniors. After they were born he ordered them to attack the Z Fighters, but not kill them. Each Cell Jr. was close to the power of Perfect Cell himself. Only Vegeta and Future Trunks in their 2nd Grade Super Saiyan forms, and Piccolo, managed to hold them off for a while, but eventually all of them were brutally beaten up (even Goku, who was weakened from his fight with Perfect Cell).
As Gohan watched these maniacal Cell Jr.'s heartlessly beat his friends and family, he became enraged, but it was still not enough. Perfect Cell, noticing Gohan's anger, ordered the Cell Juniors to kill everyone. At this point, Hercule discovered the head of Android 16 which, surprisingly, could still talk. Android 16 pleaded with Hercule to take him near Gohan (throw him if he had to), for the sake of the world. Hercule complied despite his fear and the Android's head landed between Gohan and Cell.
Android 16 gave some advice and words of encouragement to Gohan, saying it was okay to fight sometimes to defend loved ones, and to protect the world he loved. Perfect Cell, overhearing this, claimed that this was good advice and promptly crushed Android 16's head beneath his foot. This was the boiling point when Gohan snapped. This enraged Gohan to his very limits and pushed him to a new level, Super Saiyan 2, the Super Saiyan level ascended beyond a Super Saiyan (although it was not named at this point in the series). Perfect Cell was pleased when Gohan reached this form but Gohan's first action was mercilessly killing off the smaller Cell Juniors, which he defeated in a single hit each. The already astounded Z Warriors, with the exception of Goku, were amazed as Gohan and Perfect Cell began to battle, with Gohan dominating the powerful Android.
Even after Cell powered up to maximum (which surprised everyone, who all thought Cell was at full power when he fought Goku) and punched Gohan hard in the face, Gohan was barely fazed at all. With just 2 punches, Gohan almost incapacitated Cell completely. Perfect Cell truly learned fear when Gohan began dodging all of his attacks, taunting him, and overpowering even his strongest Kamehameha at point blank range. This almost destroyed Cell, but Gohan decided to let Cell suffer for a while, which made Goku order Gohan to kill Cell. But it was too late. Cell regenerated using Piccolo's Cells. Making the same mistake Future Trunks made earlier, he began a transformation that reduced his speed drastically, making him unable to hit Gohan. After Gohan had had enough of dodging Cell's punches, he kicked Cell in the face and then in the stomach. The kick to the stomach was hard enough to make Cell regurgitate Android 18, which made him revert to his Semi-Perfect form.
Enraged, Semi-Perfect Cell threatened to destroy the whole planet and began to self destruct. Goku decided to step in because if he did not, Semi-Perfect Cell would have killed himself, destroying the planet with him. Goku used the Instant Transmission to reach Semi-Perfect Cell and then transmitted them both to King Kai's Planet, which was subsequently destroyed along with Goku, Semi-Perfect Cell, King Kai, Bubbles, and Gregory. The Z Warriors were in anguish over what had transpired and knew Goku took his life for the rest of the planet. But to their surprise, a strong wind began to blow and a tremendously powerful force came upon them. Cell was back! A single Death Beam by Cell impaled Future Trunks and killed him. He came back in his "Perfect" Form due to the fact that his cells stored the memory of his perfect form, and he was exponentially stronger than before because his core remained unharmed, and from it he had regenerated. He had become a lot stronger thanks to the Saiyan cells inside him, which after a near-death experience, increased his power dramatically. This power increase brought Cell up to a form he calls "Ultimate Perfection" (known by many as Super Perfect Cell).
The previously distraught Gohan was in fact pleased to see Super Perfect Cell had returned, and hoped to avenge his father. Vegeta, seeing his own son get killed by Super Perfect Cell, became stunned, but this soon turned into anger as he went into a berserk rage against Super Perfect Cell. Despite everyone telling him that Future Trunks could be revived by the Dragon Balls, Vegeta, who went Super Saiyan, attacked Super Perfect Cell mercilessly and attacked him with an array of energy blasts. It was absolutely hopeless, however, as Super Perfect Cell gave one hit to Vegeta that knocked him out and almost killed him. He was about to kill Vegeta off with a Ki blast, but Gohan intercepted the blast with his own arm. It became badly damaged, and hung limply at his side. Vegeta, in a rare moment, actually apologized to Gohan. Super Perfect Cell jumped back and prepared for an attack.
Super Perfect Cell fired his Solar Kamehameha at Gohan which is stated by himself to have enough energy to destroy the entire solar system that they reside in. After losing use of one of his arms and seeing how much stronger Cell was now, Gohan seemingly lost all hope of destroying Super Perfect Cell and gave up, until he heard Goku communicating to him from the Other World via King Kai. Goku encouraged Gohan to believe in his power, and with new-found hope, Gohan prepared a one-handed Kamehameha. Since Gohan had used up a lot of energy and only used one arm, which had been injured by Super Perfect Cell's blast, for a Kamehameha, he was at a disadvantage. This coupled with the fact that Super Perfect Cell was equal to or greater than Gohan (when he first turned into a Super Saiyan 2) in power seemed to bring Gohan down all the more.
The battle between the Kamehameha waves proved intense. As Tien, Piccolo, Vegeta, Krillin, and Yamcha watched, they begun to doubt Gohan's power. In a heated battle between Gohan and Super Perfect Cell, the Kamehameha wave grew and grew. Even though Cell nearly overtook Gohan several times, Gohan was aided by his father during the battle, who encouraged him and supported him against Super Perfect Cell. With this encouragement, Gohan was finally in the right state of mind to put forth his full power, which seemingly brought the Kamehameha duel to a standstill. Everyone but Vegeta also assisted him, in a four-sided attack. The distraction helped Gohan push his power even further. But it still was not enough. Vegeta, caught in his pride, ponders over whether to go help Gohan or stay on the sidelines. Finally, Vegeta's better side brought him to power up to maximum and go help Gohan.
Peace at last
Even though Gohan was giving it all of his power, Super Perfect Cell begins to take a huge upper hand in the struggle once again, which leaves everyone, even Goku and Gohan, very worried. Cell was about to fully overtake Gohan and the Earth and everything on it was about to be destroyed, when suddenly a surprise Big Bang Attack from Vegeta leaves Super Perfect Cell a bit stunned and very distracted. Gohan seizes the opportunity, encouraged by Goku, and unleashes all the rest of his strength into the Kamehameha wave, which overwhelms Super Perfect Cell's Kamehameha and envelops him in the enormous energy. As Super Perfect Cell's body disintegrates it is obvious Super Perfect Cell cannot understand that he has been defeated. His core is the last thing to burn up in the Kamehameha, and its destruction marks the moment of Super Perfect Cell's death. Everyone was exhausted, especially Gohan, who had used up nearly all his energy to defeat Super Perfect Cell. Of course, despite his extreme fatigue and injuries, Gohan could only smile as the Z Fighters looked upon him with pride and as Goku told him how proud he was of him.
After the battle ends, the heroes made their way to Kami's Lookout where Dende healed Gohan, and then Android 18 who Yamcha was scared of. After that, Gohan told everyone Krillin has a crush on Android 18. Super Perfect Cell was gone but so was Goku. The Z Warriors attempted to wish him back after wishing all of Cell's victims back (this included Future Trunks), but failed because Goku had already been wished back to life once before and Shenron cannot revive a person more than once, and also because of Goku's decision to stay in Other World.
Goku explained that he seems to attract evil people, so it would be better for the Earth to live in peace without him. He also said that Gohan surpassed him greatly now, so there would be no worries if another threat came. With the second wish, Krillin wanted the Androids to be wished into people due to his crush on Android 18. But Shenron could not grant the wish, as both Androids were stronger than him and he could not change anything about their persons. So Krillin instead wished that the bombs inside both of them were removed. This Shenron could do with ease. Android 18, who had been hiding, revealed herself and got angry at Krillin for thinking that would soften her feeling for any of them, and partially out of Krillin mistaking Android 17 for her boyfriend instead of her twin brother. She then flew off, but not before saying "See you later."
Piccolo planned to stay at Kami's Lookout to train Dende to become a good Guardian of Earth, and Gohan promised to visit him every once in a while. Future Trunks planned to stay for the night and leave for the future the next day after a good sleep. Tien told them he would probably never see them again, and after saying goodbye, left to see Chiaotzu. As everyone said their goodbyes and parted ways, Yamcha told Future Trunks what Vegeta did for him. After hearing this Future Trunks became, for the first time, proud of his father. Meanwhile, Hercule lies to the whole world by claiming credit for Super Perfect Cell's defeat. As Super Perfect Cell has been destroyed and Shenron has revived Cell's victims, the people of Earth believe that this is proof that Hercule defeated Super Perfect Cell and can magically revive the dead, despite seeing him lose foolishly to Perfect Cell on TV.
At the end of this saga, Future Trunks returns to his own time via his time machine after heartfelt goodbyes from the present (Gohan, Krillin, Yamcha, Bulma, her parents, and even Vegeta), and, thanks to his training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, destroys both Android 17 and Android 18 with ease. Three years later, when Future Trunks was planning a trip to the present to tell them about the destruction of the Androids, Cell in his Imperfect Form would plan to kill him and take his time machine. However, he was quickly killed, due to Future Trunks' greatly increased power. His future is then restored to peaceful times as long as Future Trunks, the last Z Fighter, is alive. He then thanks Vegeta, Gohan and Goku for everything. Meanwhile, in the present time, Goku is enjoying the life with King Kai, Bubbles and Gregory. Goku wants to go to Grand Kai's planet. King Kai agrees and they begin to start walking on Snake Way.
Anime and Manga differences
- In the manga, Mr Satan is the first one to challenge Cell in his Cell Games Tournament. In the anime, before Mr Satan fights Cell, his disciples Caroni and Pirozhki fight him first.
- Gohan's run in with Lime and Mercenary Tao were exclusive to the anime only.
- Caroni vs. Cell (Perfect Form) (anime only)
- Pirozhki vs. Cell (Perfect Form) (anime only)
- Mr. Satan vs. Cell (Perfect Form)
- Goku (Full-Power Super Saiyan) vs. Cell (Perfect Form)
- Gohan (Full-Power Super Saiyan) vs. Cell (Perfect Form)
- Android 16 vs. Cell (Perfect Form)
- Goku (Full-Power Super Saiyan), Vegeta (2nd Grade Super Saiyan), Future Trunks (3rd Grade Super Saiyan), Piccolo, Krillin, Tien Shinhan, and Yamcha vs. 7 Cell Jr.s
- Gohan (Super Saiyan 2) vs. 7 Cell Jr.s
- Gohan (Super Saiyan 2) vs. Cell (Perfect and Power-Weighted Forms)
- Gohan (Super Saiyan 2) vs. Cell (Semi-Perfect Form)
- Vegeta (2nd Grade Super Saiyan) vs. Cell (Super Perfect Form)
- Gohan (Super Saiyan 2), Piccolo, Krillin, Tien Shinhan, Yamcha, and Vegeta (2nd Grade Super Saiyan) vs. Cell (Super Perfect Form)
- Future Trunks (Super Saiyan) vs. Future Android 17 and 18
- Future Trunks (Super Saiyan) vs. Cell (Imperfect Form; alternate timeline)
FUNimation VHS/DVD Volumes
- Cell Games Saga - Ultimatum (151-153)
- Cell Games Saga - A Moment's Peace (154-156)
- Cell Games Saga - A New Guardian (157-159)
- Cell Games Saga - The Games Begin (160-162)
- Cell Games Saga - Surrender (163-165)
- Cell Games Saga - Earth's Last Hope (166-168)
- Cell Games Saga - Awakening (169-171)
- Cell Games Saga - Sacrifice (172-175)
- Cell Games Saga - Nightmare's End (176-179)
Note: FUNimation released both edited and uncut VHS volumes, while the DVDs are uncut only. However for unknown reasons, FUNimation only released the first five edited VHS volumes, while all nine uncut volumes were released.
FUNimation Remastered DVD Sets
- Dragon Ball Z Season Six (166-194)
FUNimation Dragon Box Sets
- Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Vol. 4 (127-168) (only episodes 166-168 are part of the Cell Games Saga)
- Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Vol. 5 (169-209) (only episodes 169-194 are part of the Cell Games Saga)
FUNimation Season Blu-ray Sets
- Dragon Ball Z Season Six (166-194)
|389||"Message of Terror"|
|391||"The Calm Before the Storm"|
|392||"Cell vs. the Army"|
|393||"The New Kami-sama"|
|394||"The Cell Game Begins!"|
|396||"Hercule, Champion of the World"|
|397||"Cell vs. Son Goku"|
|399||"The Highest Level"|
|401||"Kamehameha Full Power"|
|404||"Let's Go, Gohan!"|
|405||"The Rage of Son Gohan?"|
|406||"16's Secret Weapon"|
|407||"The Little Cells"|
|409||"Cell vs. Gohan"|
|410||"The Ultimate Kamehameha"|
|411||"Cell, Brought to Bay"|
|412||"The End of the Cell Game"|
|414||"The Tables Turn"|
|415||"Father and Son"|
|416||"Kamehameha vs. Kamehameha"|
|419||"The Other Outcome"|
|420||"Peace to the Future"|
Dragon Ball Z (29 episodes)
|166||"What is the Tournament?"|
|167||"The Doomsday Broadcast"|
|168||"Meet Me in the Ring"|
|169||"No Worries Here"|
|170||"A Girl Named Lime"|
|171||"Memories of Gohan"|
|172||"A New Guardian"|
|174||"The Puzzle of General Tao"|
|175||"The Games Begin"|
|176||"Losers Fight First"|
|177||"Goku vs. Cell"|
|178||"Cell's Bag of Tricks"|
|179||"No More Rules"|
|180||"The Fight is Over"|
|181||"Faith in a Boy"|
|184||"Cell Juniors Attack!"|
|186||"The Unstoppable Gohan"|
|187||"Cell's Break Down"|
|188||"A Hero’s Farewell"|
|190||"The Horror Won't End"|
|191||"Save the World"|
|193||"One More Wish"|
|194||"Free the Future"|
Dragon Ball Z Kai (15 episodes)
The Android saga has been covered in many Dragon Ball Z video games such as Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (series), Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast and Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II.
- Most of the original Cell Games individual DVDs were delayed for release until 2004 for unknown reasons. By this time FUNimation had begun internally redubbing the entire series, starting with the replacement of Dale Kelly with Kyle Hebert. As such, most of the later DVD volumes released in 2004 and 2005 have removed the original Kelly narration entirely. Interestingly, the Cell Games Edited VHS tapes continue to feature Kelly through the fifth volume, after which the tapes for that saga were discontinued.
- After Cell was defeated, the Z Fighters used the Dragon Balls to revive Cell's victims, as well as remove the bombs from Androids 17 and 18. These are the only wishes in the entire anime that do not spawn a Shadow Dragon.
- This saga includes the longest beam battle seen in the entire Dragon Ball franchise.