"A Super Saiyan appears once every thousand years… a Saiyan who overcomes the wall which no warrior, no matter how gifted, can overcome…That’s supposed to just be a stupid tradition…And even if the legend were true…only I would have the potential to become a Super Saiyan."
The original Super Saiyan (最初の超サイヤ人 Saisho no Sūpā Saiya-jin, lit. "The First Super Saiyan") was an unnamed Saiyan who could transform into a Super Saiyan. He was originally thought to be nothing more than a myth, until Goku's first transformation during his fight with Frieza.
Vegeta states that the last Super Saiyan to appear was a thousand years prior (three thousand in the Ocean dub) to the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. The original legend of the Super Saiyan was more about his power than the Saiyan himself. When the Dragon Ball Z anime was released, a filler scene in the episode "Goku's New Power" was added showing the Super Saiyan as what looks like a Great Ape with yellowish colored fur instead of the standard brown.
In the filler visual, the Original Super Saiyan is shown attacking people around him. The filler visual also suggests that the power of the Original Super Saiyan destroyed the planet that he was on. The Super Saiyan form is believed to be a myth, until Vegeta begins to suspect that Goku is a Super Saiyan after seeing Goku easily defeating the Ginyu Force on Namek, thus witnessing his drastic increase in power in a short period of time. Vegeta's suspicions are not confirmed until later, when Goku transforms against Frieza and states himself that he is a Super Saiyan.
- Crushing in Hands – In Vegeta's telling about the Original Super Saiyan, he uses his hands to crush people.
- Self Destruction – At the end of the filler scene, the Original Super Saiyan is shown exploding with the planet he is on.
This Saiyan was able to turn Super Saiyan a thousand years prior to the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, and he was the last Super Saiyan to reach the form until Goku transforms on Namek. The anime filler scene shows the original Super Saiyan as a Great Ape in the Super Saiyan form.
Vegeta notes that the Original Super Saiyan could only maintain his Super Saiyan power in the Great Ape transformation, unlike Goku - who Vegeta at the time believed may have had the power of Super Saiyan in his untransformed state.
The GT Perfect Files note that the Golden Great Ape form appears to be the Super Saiyan forms from the legends, further implying that the original Super Saiyan utilized the Golden Great Ape form. In Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, Paragus and Vegeta believe that the form used by Broly is the form that the original Super Saiyan utlized, in Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai, Goku also belives that the original Super Saiyan was utilizing the Legendary Super Saiyan state commonly displayed by Broly. In Dragon Ball Super, Goku refers to Kale's Berserker state as being the form from the legends.
- In the Dragon Ball manga, Vegeta's monologue about the Super Saiyan informs the audience of the legend. However, unlike the anime, the monologue in the manga is not accompanied by visual account.
- In the FUNimation dub of the TV series, it is said that the original Super Saiyan was only able to maintain his power in the transformed state. However, this information is not present in the manga, in the Japanese anime, and Dragon Ball Z Kai.
- Bardock's story in Episode of Bardock explains Frieza's fear of the Saiyans, as the knowledge of Super Saiyans was passed to Chilled's descendants, while the story of the original Super Saiyan explains the Saiyans' knowledge of the Super Saiyan legend.
- In "Out of Control! The Savage Berserker Awakens!!", Vegeta notes that Kale's Berserker Super Saiyan form (which resembles Broly's Legendary Super Saiyan) may be the true form of a Saiyan, possibly referring to the original Super Saiyan.