Dragon Ball Z: The Legend, known as Dragon Ball Z: Idainaru Dragon Ball Densetsu (ドラゴンボールZ 偉大なるドラゴンボール伝説, Doragon Bōru Zetto Idainaru Doragon Bōru Densetsu; lit. "Dragon Ball Z: The Greatest Dragon Ball Legend") in Japan, is a fighting video game produced and released by Bandai on March 31, 1996 in Japan for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation and on December 1996 in Europe for the Sega Saturn only. Greatest Hits versions were released on June 20, 1997, for the Saturn and June 27, 1997, for the PlayStation.
Dragon Ball Z: The Legend utilizes a unique system of play that is different from most other fighters. The graphics feature 2D sprites in a three dimensional world. Although each battle begins on the ground, the majority of the action is featured skyward. The characters fly around each and utilize rapid punches and kicks, and Ki Blasts, either singularly or rapidly by holding the assigned button for a short period of time. The characters have a limited amount of ki that can be charged over time. If the player uses all of their available ki, their character will stop fighting out of exhaustion, leaving them wide open for an attack. The life meter is a scale made up of energy from both sides that shifts depending on damage taken, and after one side is depleted, the character performs a special "Meteor Attack", which takes place in a cut scene and finishes off the opponent. Each match is made up of two teams that can include one fighter or multiple fighters that can be switched out at various times.
This is the first game to have all the main Dragon Ball Z sagas. There are eight "episodes" in the story mode: the Saiyan Saga, the Captain Ginyu Saga, the Frieza Saga, the Androids Saga, the Cell Games Saga, the Majin Buu Saga, the Fusion Saga, and the Kid Buu Saga.
Dragon Ball Z: The Legend features 35 playable characters/forms:
- Goku (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3)
- Vegeta (Base, Super Saiyan, Majin)
- Kid Gohan
- Teen Gohan (Super Saiyan 2)
- Adolescent Gohan (Super Saiyan, Ultimate)
- Future Trunks (Super Saiyan)
- Trunks (Super Saiyan)
- Goten (Super Saiyan)
- Gotenks (Super Saiyan 3)
- Vegito (Super Saiyan)
- Captain Ginyu
- Dr. Gero
- Android 19
- Android 18
- Android 17
- Android 16
- Cell Jr.
- Majin Buu
- Super Buu
- Kid Buu
- King Kai
- Tien Shinhan
- Mr. Satan
- Jimmy Firecracker
- Old Kai
- Supreme Kai
- Kibito Kai
- The color of Goku's base aura is different from all the other character's auras, as it is red, a possible nod to Kaio-ken.
- Aside from his regular costume, Future Trunks also wears his Battle Armor in Stage 5 of the Story mode and some fights in the SP Battle mode, but cannot be selected by the player in Versus mode. Vegeta in his Buu Saga outfit is also exclusive to Stage 6 of the Story mode, but apart from having Cell Saga Vegeta's portrait, he is identical to Majin Vegeta.
- The game seems to more closely follow the manga rather than the anime, particularly the pictures in the story mode (as well as the special ending sequence), are similar to the manga, and the game scores the player depending on how closely was the story retold.
- The outcome of several fights will change depending of the player's choices, for example, if the player lets Frieza kill Krillin, Goku will turn into a Super Saiyan; if Goku is not chosen against the Androids, 16 will not fight either; Majin Buu will help Goku and Vegeta against Kid Buu if both of them get hit with a special attack twice, and Goku will return to his base form in order to finish Kid Buu with the Spirit Bomb.
- Gogeta and Ozotto were inteded to appear in the game, but could not be added due to schedule constraints. An original character designed by Akira Toriyama was also planned.