The technique was first used in Dragon Ball by Mercenary Tao, brother of Master Shen, the founder of the Crane School, while Tao was fighting Goku. Master Shen is also shown being able to use the technique in the movie Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure. Unlike most other energy attacks, it seems to be something of a superheated beam shot from the finger, shown by one person in the Tien Shinhan Saga who was covered in bandages because of burns caused by the attack, as well as Goku, whose hands were burnt after his hands were hit by the ray. According to Master Roshi, the Kamehameha is inferior to the Dodon Ray. It is definitely more powerful than an average Kamehameha, but unlike the Kamehameha, it does not seem to require much charging, but will definitely be much more powerful when doing so. Also unlike the Kamehameha, which relies more on brute force to blast an enemy away, the Dodon Ray is more concentrated in piercing through a specific point on the body. However, in Mystical Adventure, it sends Goku flying to Korin Tower when Tao fires it at him. Also, in the video game Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, the Dodonpa is shown to also be capable of exploding upon impact, as shown when Tien uses it.
However, there are much more powerful adaptations of the attack that exist. One of them is the Super Dodon Blast used by Chiaotzu. This stronger version requires the user to charge up as much power as possible and then fire it at the opponent, rather than shoot multiple, weaker Dodon Rays. It also creates a much bigger explosion upon impact. Chiaotzu uses this in his match against Krillin when Master Shen orders him to kill Krillin, saying "Here I come, with a Super Dodon Blast!" after powering up the attack.
The strongest adaptation of the Dodon Ray is called the Super Dodon Wave, which is used by Cyborg Tao in Dragon Ball Z and in the Budokai Tenkaichi video game series. In his cyborg state, Tao removes one of his metal hands to fire one fueled by both his mechanical and organic components, which lands a heavy amount of damage. Tien Shinhan, however, dispersed it in mid-air with a simple kiai when Tao launched it after cutting Tien's chest with a concealed knife.
Appearances in games
The Dodon Ray is used by Tien and/or Chiaotzu in the Gokuden RPG series, the Butōden fighting game series, the Budokai fighting game series (including Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit), Dragon Ball Z: W Bakuretsu Impact, and as part of the Warriors of Earth team attack in Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2. Tao and Tien use it in Dragon Ball Z: Idainaru Son Goku Densetsu. Tao and Chiaotzu use it in Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure and Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo, the three of them use it in the Budokai Tenkaichi series, and the four members of the Crane School have it as a super attack in Dragon Ball Heroes. In the Budokai Tenkaichi series, Mercenary Tao's version of the Dodon Ray is called The Original Dodon-Pa.
Master Roshi uses the Dodon Ray in a cutscene in Dragon Ball Z: Atsumare! Goku Warudo.
In the Budokai series excluding Infinite World it has it's original name Dodompa. Although Tien still says Dodon Ray.
Tiencha, the fusion of Yamcha and Tien in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2, have their own version that combines the Dodon Ray and Kamehameha into a new technique called the Dodohameha. In Dragon Ball Online, in addition to the original technique, the Dodon Barrage variation can also be used.
"Fire rapid Ki Blasts from your fingers/ They'll be weak compared to other Ki Blasts."
In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, the Dodon Ray appears as one of Tien's Super Skills in his 1st skillset. Though it fires quickly it is weak in comparison to other Ki Blast Super Skills like the Kamehameha. It can also be learned by the Future Warrior during Tien's Training as the Warrior's Master, which is part of the GT Pack 2 DLC.
Mercenary Tao, Master Shen, and Chiaotzu can all use the Dodon Ray in Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle.
- Dodon Barrage – The Energy Beam Barrage version of the Dodon Ray, in which many Dodon Rays are fired in quick succession. Used by Chiaotzu, as well as the Crane School's fighters in Dragon Ball Online.
- Super Dodon Blast – A powerful version of the Dodon Ray used by Chiaotzu.
- Super Dodon Wave – A very powerful adaptation of the Dodon Ray used by Mercenary Tao after he is rebuilt as a cyborg.
- Neo Dodon Ray – A very powerful version of the Dodon Ray used by Tien Shinhan in Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit.
- Dodohameha – The fusion of the Dodon Ray with the Kamehameha. This technique is used by Tiencha in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2.
- どどん (Dodon) = Boom / bang / clash
- 波 (Pa) = Wave / ray / beam
- The Dodonpa is named after a rumba-like Japanese musical genre popular in the 1960s.
- The Dodon Ray is likely the Crane School's answer to the Turtle School's Kamehameha.
- The S&S Worldwide roller coaster Dodonpa in Japan was named after this technique.