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Goku Strikes Back is the twenty-second episode of the Saiyan Saga and the twenty second overall episode of the Saban dub for the Dragon Ball Z series.



Goku and Vegeta head off to Gizard Wasteland

Nappa comes out of the rubble, stark raving mad. He tells Goku that he hates losing to "losers" like Goku. Vegeta tells Nappa that he needs to keep his cool, or he will lose the battle. Nappa then uses his Volcano Explosion technique, the same one he destroyed the first city with, which forces Goku to take to the air. Nappa follows him, and attacks him, doing increasingly better, but still not good enough. Nappa launches an energy wave from his mouth at Goku, but Goku manages a defensive Kamehameha at point-blank range, deflecting it. Vegeta orders Nappa to disengage from the battle, since he is only disgracing the Saiyan name.


Vegeta punches Goku's face (censored)

Nappa starts to land, but notices Krillin and Gohan. He flies at them with aspirations to kill them. Goku flies after him, but sees he will not stop Nappa in time, and consequently is forced to use the Kaio-ken. He punches Nappa in the back, and lands in time to catch him. He tosses Nappa's beaten and battered body over to Vegeta, and tells them to leave the planet. Meanwhile, he tells Krillin about the strengths and weaknesses of the Kaio-ken technique. Nappa asks Vegeta to help him up, but Vegeta grabs him and throws him into the air. Vegeta kills Nappa with a Galaxy Breaker, shocking the remaining Z Fighters with his power. Krillin tells Goku to change locations so that the bodies of Tien, Yamcha, and Piccolo do not get harmed. Goku does not understand Krillin, since the Dragon Balls have vanished, but Krillin promises to explain after Goku wins the battle. Goku tells Krillin that he is not going to die, and that he will take Gohan on another camping trip when the battle is over. He tells them to go to the Kame House. He descends to tell Vegeta that they will change locations, and the two of them fly off. As the two arrive at the Gizard Wasteland, Vegeta offers Goku to join him, but he immediately refuses.

The final fight for Earth has finally begun, but it appears the Evil Saiyan Prince has the upper hand over Goku.

Major events

  • Nappa is killed by Vegeta.
  • Goku fights Vegeta for the first time.


  • Two major events are foreshadowed in this episode. First, Goku claims that, if Vegeta were not so evil, he would make a good sparring partner. This later comes to fruition, albeit it is not until Dragon Ball GT that they are actually seen sparring. The second is when Vegeta offered Goku the chance to replace Nappa as his partner, claiming that they would make a good team. This also comes to fruition in the Fusion and Kid Buu Sagas, where they team up to face Majin Buu.
  • There is an episode by the same name in the first Dragon Ball anime series.
    • Interestingly, that episode was the beginning of his fight with King Piccolo and both episodes involve Goku's battle with the main villain of that particular saga.
  • During their fight, Vegeta says "That Kaio-ken Attack is a nice trick, but I've encountered something just like it before!" to Goku. Though in a previous episode, King Kai states that no one was ever able to master the technique. Although this could mean Vegeta met/fought someone who used a similar technique.