"Oh, that's no toothpick; that's my Power Pole! Cool, huh? My grandpa gave it to me before he died."
The Power Pole (如意棒, Nyoi-bō; lit. "Compliant Rod") is a magical, length-changing staff that is owned and wielded by Goku for most of the Dragon Ball series. Before Master Roshi gave the Power Pole to Grandpa Gohan (who later gave it to Goku prior to the start of Dragon Ball), it was owned by Korin. Although Goku uses it primarily as a weapon, its true purpose is to use its size-changing ability to travel from Korin Tower to Kami's Lookout.
Creation and concept
Like the Flying Nimbus, the Power Pole is based off one of the Sun Wukong's possessions in the Chinese novel Journey to the West, the Ruyi Jingu Bang (如意金箍棒, lit. Compliant Gold Rim Rod). And like it, part of the weapon's full name in Asian languages is the exact same as the version seen in Dragon Ball.
In both depictions, the weapon is a pole that can change size when the user wills it; however, the Monkey King's cudgel is coated with a black iron known as "crow iron", and thus is extremely heavy (over 8.5 metric tons). Starting with Dragon Ball however, many popular depictions of the pole give it a red base while keeping its gold rims. The composition and weight of the staff allowed Wukong to wield it with ease, since his strength was too great to handle other prior weapons without breaking them.
Much like how it's used to connect from one location to another, the stick was originally a measuring rod used by Da Yu of the Xin Dynasty in order to measure the depth of the flooding waters. Eventually within the Eastern Sea, it became its sea needle before Sun Wukong was presented with it and thus he removed it from its base, causing the whole sea to shake. The original Sun Wukong/Son Goku kept it inside of his ear in the form of a very small size for same keeping. Some adaptations of the original legend often show the staff to act as if it was alive, sometimes bending and moving on its own.
The Power Pole is first seen in Chapter 1 of the Dragon Ball manga and is used to inspect Bulma and her capsule vehicles. Goku stated that it was given to him by his deceased grandfather, Gohan. Korin mentioned in the episode "Lost and Found" that he had given the Pole to Master Roshi when he had climbed Korin Tower, on his request. Korin did not think anyone else would be qualified to use the weapon; though restrictions to wield the pole are unknown. Master Roshi likely gave it to Grandpa Gohan before it was handed down to his adopted grandson Goku.
The purpose of the Power Pole is to climb from Korin Tower to Kami's Lookout above the clouds. As seen in the chapter "Carrot Top" and the episode "Boss Rabbit's Magic Touch", the Power Pole is capable of extending to the moon if its user wills it. More precisely, if the distance between Earth and the Moon in Dragon Ball is meant to reflect the same distance in reality, this means the Power Pole is capable of extending outward for at least 363,300 km (225,744 miles), or roughly 28 times the diameter of the Earth. It is a powerful weapon, and can never break; it can easily break a sword (as shown when it broke Ninja Murasaki's sword, and Tao's sword in half). Goku also uses it during his final confrontation against King Piccolo, and later in order to get to Kami's Lookout. It can also be utilized by the user without him actually having to touch it, as evidenced by how Goku managed to catch the young thief who stole most of his gear during the Red Ribbon Army Saga and retrieve everything besides the Dragon Radar (due to the thief selling it to a pawn shop earlier).
When Goku shows up for the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, he is also carrying the Power Pole. After the 23rd tournament, Goku uses the pole to fight Annin in the final episode of Dragon Ball. Four years later, Goku uses the Power Pole against Garlic Jr. and his henchmen in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone. While Goku was training with King Kai in the Other World after his death fighting Raditz, the Power Pole was shown strung between Korin Tower and Kami's Lookout. Brought by Gohan in Wheelo's fortress, Goku uses the Power Pole again in the battle with Dr. Wheelo in Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest. Following this, Goku retires the Power Pole.
In the Garlic Jr. Saga, the pole is not between Korin Tower and Kami's Lookout but in Korin's possession, as seen when he bets it in a poker game with Maron and Yajirobe. The Power Pole is later seen extending from Korin Tower to the Lookout several times during the course of Dragon Ball Z, and Goku is seen with it one final time in the Japanese ending credits of "Until We Meet Again", the last episode of Dragon Ball GT.
Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins
In the first live action adaption named Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins, the Power Pole was named the Magic Pole. The pole is gold when it is small and can come to Monkey Boy whenever he whistles. It retracts when Monkey Boy spins it around.
Grandpa Gohan seems to have a pole similar to the Power Pole in his possession in the live action movie: Dragonball: Evolution. Grandpa Gohan is seen using his pole only in battle. It is unknown if the pole he possesses has the same abilities as the one seen in both manga and anime.
Video game appearances
This is a list of video games where the Power Pole has made an appearance.
- Dragon Ball: Dragon Daihikyou
- Dragon Ball: Shenron no Nazo
- Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu
- Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden (and its WonderSwan remake)
- Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Totsugeki-Hen
- Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans (mentioned)
- Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden
- Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury (Z-Fighter Exhibit #1)
- Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
- Dragon Ball Z: Sagas (Opening only)
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
- Super Dragon Ball Z
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai (referenced when Goten tells to Present and Future Trunks that his father Goku is good at staff fighting, and sometimes teaches him)
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu
- Dragon Ball: Origins
- Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo
- Dragon Ball Online
- Dragon Ball: Origins 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (equipable item)
- Dragon Ball: Xenoverse (accessory item, weapon)
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse
"A replica of the mysterious pole that can grow as long as it needs to."
In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, the Power Pole appears as an equipable accessory that can be obtained via a wish to Shenron (the game also features a Journey To West-style outfit that can also be obtained via this same method). However this Power Pole accessory is purely cosmetic. In the Xenoverse GT Pack 1 DLC, the Power Pole appears as part of 2 Super Skills, which can be used by the Future Warrior & GT Goku in his 3rd skill set. These Power Pole-based super skills are:
- Power Pole - This Super Skill allows the user to "Extend" the Power Pole to jab an enemy. Can be unlocked by the Future Warrior as a reward in "GT Pack 1" DLC Parallel Quest Event: "Ultimate Power, Ultimate Saiyan".
- Power Pole Combo - This Super Skill allows the user to perform a power pole-based combo attack. If the player times the combo's repeated command input correctly the user can use to Power Pole to attack up to 7x in a row. Can be unlocked by the Future Warrior as a reward in "GT Pack 1" DLC Parallel Quest Event: "Ultimate Power, Ultimate Saiyan".
The Power Pole accessory is not needed to be obtained nor equipped to perform these skills, as the Power Pole used during these techniques will simply appear and then disappears when either of the 2 Power Pole skills are used. The Power Pole can also be seen connected the bottom of Kami's Lookout stage.
- Korin – The original owner of the Power Pole.
- Master Roshi – Obtained it from Korin, later gave it to Grandpa Gohan.
- Grandpa Gohan – Was given it by Roshi, then gave it to Goku.
- Goku – The primary user of the pole, given to him by his grandfather.
- Chi-Chi – Uses it as a weapon, along with the Bansho Fan and the Flying Nimbus, in Super Dragon Ball Z.
- Gohan – Uses it in the movie Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest.
- Captain Ginyu – Wears on his back in his second costume in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3.
- Shadow Goku (GT) – Black Smoke Shenron's Shadow version of GT Goku can conjure a shadow version of the Power Pole, which he uses in the Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission "Ultimate Victory Book" bonus chapter.
- Future Warrior and other Time Patrollers – In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse a replica of the Power Pole can be obtained as an accessory via a wish to Shenron and can use Power Pole as a weapon via the GT Pack 1 DLC.
- In the AB Group dub of the movie Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle, Goku refers to this as his "magic wand."
- In the episode "Quicker Than Lightning", Mr. Popo uses a pole very similar in looks to the Power Pole during a training session on Kami's Lookout. While spinning it, he asks Goku to not move. He then reveals the pole to not be anything but an ordinary piece of wood and that the training session was a lesson about looks being deceiving (that Goku should not always trust his eyes).