"We Saiyans realized that we were at the mercy of the moonlight on whatever planet we were on, unable to control the length of day or night. It was completely unpredictable and held our power at a disadvantage... until we discovered a way to artificially create our own moonlight!"
By combining ki with the planet's atmosphere, a sphere of condensed Blutz Waves is created. Using this, a Saiyan can achieve the Great Ape transformation even when a full moon (or similar planetary body) is not present. However, using the technique is apparently very tiring, so it is primarily used as a last resort, and even Saiyans that can use it prefer to transform using a planetary body (Vegeta mentioned to Goku that he planned his trip to Earth to coincide with the full moon in an attempt to avoid using the technique). The Power Ball disappears after 90 minutes.
A Power Ball was first used by Vegeta during his battle against Goku in the Dragon Ball Z episode "Saiyan Sized Secret". This same Power Ball would later be used against Vegeta when Goku tells Gohan to look at it to transform.
The technique is seen again during flashback in the anime series. It takes place while Dodoria's explanation of Freeza's use of the Saiyans. An unnamed Saiyan warrior is seen performing the technique so that he and his comrades can transform into Great Apes.
Turles performs this technique in the movie Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might to make Gohan transform into a Great Ape and attack Goku, and destroys it afterwards to prevent himself from transforming. Thanks to Icarus, Gohan apparently gets control over his Great Ape form and attacks Turles. Turles then tried to attack Gohan, but Goku managed to cut off Gohan's tail in time and save him from Turles' Kill Driver.
Appearances in games
In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Vegeta launches the Power Ball in one of the cutscenes, and it is colored yellow.
In the Budokai Tenkaichi video game series, Vegeta, Turles, and King Vegeta can use the Power Ball to transform into a Great Ape at any time, while other Saiyans with tails must be on a stage with a full moon in order to transform (Raditz, Nappa, Bardock, Fasha, and Kid Goku). Bardock is amongst those that require a full moon, which further goes against the Ocean Dub stating he invented the technique.
Vegeta also uses Power Ball in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z cutscenes.
Vegeta uses the Power Ball in Dragon Ball: Xenoverse for the same purpose he does in the original series; to transform into a Great Ape. This only appears in a cutscene, and the playable Vegeta is incapable of using it in the game-play proper. The Power Ball is mentioned one final time in the Legendary Super Saiyan Saga when Bardock asks Vegeta to make the Ball for him to use to become a Great Ape for the purpose of combatting Broly. Bardock destroys the Power Ball immediately after he uses it, to prevent Broly from potentially transforming into a Great Ape as well.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, in an altered history Vegeta uses the Power Ball to transform himself and Nappa into Great Apes, allowing the two Saiyan Great Apes to overpower Goku. The Future Warrior (Xenoverse 2) is sent back to fix the change. After his Galick Gun is overpowered by Goku's 4x Kaio-Ken Kamehameha and Nappa is blasted by the Future Warrior with a Final Shine-like energy wave, Vegeta uses the Power Ball to transform himself and Nappa into Great Apes forcing the Future Warrior to defeat Great Ape Nappa while Goku keeps Vegeta occupied. Eventually the Warrior manages to kill Great Ape Nappa and with the help of Krillin and Gohan cuts off Vegeta's tail. In a parallel timeline in Parallel Quest 12: "Simian Battlefront", Turles uses the Power Ball to force Vegeta to transform into a Great Ape, which oddly causes Vegeta to lose control of himself which according to Turles is due to a Saiyan's innate bloodlust.
- Exclusively in the Ocean Group dub of the anime, Vegeta states that Goku's father (never referred to by name) invented the Power Ball technique, referring to him as an "average fighter but a brilliant scientist". This was obviously an error as in the TV Special, Bardock is shown to be a soldier, not a scientist, although Vegeta may simply have meant that Bardock had an excellent scientific mind as well as being a fighter.
- Ironically, in this special Bardock was a brilliant fighter but an average thinker, the reverse of what Vegeta said in the Ocean Dub.
- Even after Turles destroys his Power Ball in The Tree of Might, Gohan is still a Great Ape, which hints that the effects are long-lasting. A similar occurrence happened in Xenoverse, when Bardock destroys the Power Ball Vegeta created after using it himself, to prevent Broly from becoming a Great Ape.