The Vegeta Saga, also known as the Saiyan Saga or Return of the Saiyans Saga, is the second saga from the Dragon Ball Z series. It follows the Raditz Saga and precedes the Namek Saga. This saga aired in Japan in 1989 and 1990. It comprises part of US season 1. It was later included in the FUNimation Season One Remastered Box Set, which also includes the Raditz Saga and the first 4 episodes of the Namek Saga and on the FUNimation Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Volume 1 Set.
Its main plot concerns the subsequent training and preparation for the arrival of the two Saiyans, Nappa and Vegeta, who are looking for the Dragon Balls to gain eternal life which culminates in a series of life and death battles involving the Z Fighters.
Preparing for the Saiyans
Kami makes a startling revelation; that the previous viciousness of Piccolo is beginning to recede. He had noticed that Raditz had been sent to Hell instead of spending eternity trapped in limbo as what happens when one gets killed by a demon, so he begins to believe that Piccolo's fear of the Saiyans is making him grow a conscience.
On Earth, Gohan wakes up, but to his dismay, he is with Piccolo and his father is nowhere to be found. Piccolo informs the child of his father's death and says that he intends to train Gohan for the impending battle with the Saiyans. Gohan objects, but Piccolo quickly shows him that he does have a great power inside him; but only for brief moments. Piccolo then abandons him, claiming that if Gohan manages to survive for six months alone in the wilderness, the real training would begin. Gohan struggles with being on his own, and after being chased by a dinosaur, manages to get trapped on a cliff by using his hidden strength. With no way of getting down, Gohan settles down for the night after eating apples secretly brought by Piccolo.
He awakens in the middle of the night to find a large full moon awaiting him. Gohan remarks about how he's never seen the moon so big. However, upon this revelation, he begins transforming into a Great Ape, the Saiyan equivalent of a giant ape (Kami had revived the moon again after permanently removing Goku's tail in Dragon Ball). Piccolo, who had been watching nearby, is shocked at this new form, and desperately tries to discover the source of the transformation. Needless to say, Great Ape Gohan destroys the mountain he was on and begins rampaging the countryside. Piccolo recalls something Raditz has said about the power of the moon on Saiyans with tails, and realizing that the moon would act as an advantage to the Saiyans, he destroys the moon, instantly causing Gohan to revert to his normal state. Seeing the tail as a weakness, Piccolo removes it from the passed-out Gohan, and gives him a new set of clothes and a sword, before disappearing.
Meanwhile, Kami calls together the strongest fighters on Earth in order to train them for the arrival of the Saiyans. The fighters selected to train on Kami's Lookout are Krillin, Tien Shinhan, Yamcha, Chiaotzu, and Yajirobe. Six months pass, Gohan is surviving in the desert and Goku is still running down Snake Way. Piccolo decides that Gohan's survival training is finished, and begins to personally train him. Also, the Saiyans destroy planet Arlia on their way to Earth.
Goku finally reaches the end of the Snake Way, and discovers a small planet "in orbit" above him. He leaps to the planet, but immediately discovers that despite its diminutive size, the planet has heavy gravity. After struggling to walk around the planet, Goku meets King Kai and his pet monkey, Bubbles. With only 88 days left before the Saiyans arrive, King Kai instructs Goku to chase and ultimately catch Bubbles, in order for Goku to become adjusted to the gravity. It takes Goku some time to accomplish this feat, but he does so in about two months. Also, in the Anime, Goku must hit a cricket named Gregory on the head with a hammer.
King Kai then begins to instruct Goku on his two signature techniques: the Kaio-ken and the Spirit Bomb. Goku masters these techniques within a day of the Saiyan's arrival on Earth. Unfortunately, King Kai realizes that even though Goku's friends can wish Goku back to life, Goku still has to run all the way down Snake Way to get back to Earth. Goku, in a panic, telepathically instructs Master Roshi back on Earth to resurrect him. Master Roshi complies, having gathered the Dragon Balls over the past year, and summons Shenron, the Eternal Dragon of the Dragon Balls, and asks the Dragon to bring Goku back to life. The Dragon complies, Goku returns to life in the Other World, and immediately flies at top speed down the Snake Way. Then, one day later, the Saiyans arrive.
The Saiyan Invasion
Upon their arrival, the Saiyans Nappa and Vegeta immediately destroy the city they landed in. Vegeta, wanting to find the Dragon Balls, uses his scouter to determine the location of the strongest warrior on the planet, whom he presumes to be the one who killed Raditz. They head off towards Piccolo and Gohan. Piccolo and Gohan sense the incoming powers, as well as several smaller ones, who turn out to be Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu. The Saiyans arrive. When Krillin arrives, Nappa and Vegeta also reveal that they came to Earth to use the Dragon Balls for immortality.
The Saiyans recognize Piccolo as being a Namekian. This revelation about his true origin shocks Piccolo for a while, with Kami also realizing that his creating the Dragon Balls was some kind of racial memory from his Namekian heritage. Nappa decides to let Saibamen beat up the fighters first, and plants seeds in the ground, which sprout and become six small green aliens. Tien fights one first, and easily bests it. Upon seeing this, Vegeta deduces that the fighters are concealing their power and easily destroys the defenseless Saibaman for its incompetence. Yamcha goes after another Saibaman, and seemingly defeats it with a Kamehameha. However, it instantly stands up again and latches on to him and self-destructs, killing both of them. An enraged Krillin snaps and launches a devastating Expanding Energy Wave blast that splits off into six separate blasts, one for each remaining Saibaman and one for each of the two Saiyans.
The blast manages to kill three Saibamen immediately, Piccolo destroys one that hid from the blast and tried to attack Gohan. Vegeta and Nappa also survive the blast unscathed. Nappa then decides to step up and battle the Z Fighters himself. Vegeta tells Nappa not to kill Piccolo, as that would probably cease the Namek from revealing the location of the Dragon Balls as well (they are under the belief that he is the only one who knows of the Dragon Balls). Nappa goes on the offensive, powering up a great deal and choosing Tien at random to attack. He actually knocks off Tien's arm, causing him extreme pain. Krillin tries to rescue his friend, but Nappa stops him by firing at powerful attack straight in front of him. Nappa, distracted, fails to notice Chiaotzu coming up behind him. Chiaotzu attaches onto Nappa and self-destructs, much to Tien's dismay. When the smoke clears, Nappa remains, with no harm to him. Chiaotzu sacrificed himself for nothing.
Tien, enraged, goes into an all-out attack against Nappa, who blocks all his attacks like nothing. Piccolo tells the others that once Nappa goes to the offensive, he will be unguarded, and they will sneak up and attack. The plan goes well until Gohan chickens out at the last second and runs away. Piccolo and Krillin, pretty much the only ones left, continue to fight Nappa, but are no match, even together. Tien, who is only alive through pure willpower, however, puts all of his energy into a final attack, a one-handed Tri-Beam. Unfortunately, this fails, and Nappa survives with only his armor damaged. Tien, who literally put his life into the attack, dies.
Nappa prepares to make the kill on all three, however Vegeta, who had remained on the sidelines, halts him. Vegeta has deduced that "Goku" is Kakarot, and wants Nappa to wait three hours for Goku to arrive to provide punishment for the "traitor", planning to continue the fight afterwards regardless of whether or not Goku is there. Nappa reluctantly agrees, much to the puzzlement of the remaining fighters, as Nappa is much larger in stature than the diminutive Vegeta. Goku, who had been flying down Snake Way for two straight days, finally reaches the end of the road. Kami appears to transport Goku back to Earth, and on his way to the battlefield, he receives two Senzu Beans from Korin, eats one of them himself to regain his strength, and rides the Flying Nimbus towards the action to conserve energy. Unfortunately, the three hours are up.
The remaining fighters formulate a plan to weaken Nappa by grabbing his tail, as Goku had done with Raditz. This ultimately fails, when Nappa reveals that elite Saiyans have learned to overcome the weakness of the tail. He then hits Piccolo on the head when Piccolo learns that it is hopeless. Piccolo is rendered unconscious, and Nappa attacks Gohan and Krillin for a while. Piccolo regains consciousness, and exclaims that Goku is coming. Vegeta's scouter picks up Goku's power level to be 5000, which shock the two Saiyans. Vegeta knows that since the Fighters have the ability to change their power as they see fit, 5000 is most likely the lowest power that Goku is exerting.
Vegeta then orders Nappa to kill everyone before Goku arrives, as a team attack might prove to be a disadvantage. When Nappa argues about the Dragon Balls, Vegeta tells Nappa about the existence of Dragon Balls on Piccolo's home planet, Namek. Gohan urges Piccolo to escape as his death would mean the end of the Dragon Balls on Earth and subsequently kicks Nappa in the head, sending him crashing into a cliff wall. However, he only succeeds in making Nappa angrier. The enraged Nappa launches his powerful Bomber DX blast at Gohan, but before it hits, Piccolo jumps in the way and takes the blast full force, killing him. Before his death Piccolo admits with tears in his eyes how he had enjoyed training with Gohan and how his innocence made him soft, leading up to the events of him eventually sacrificing his life for the boy. Up above Earth, Kami vanishes as well, as his being is linked with Piccolo's due to their history. Gohan's rage explodes and he fires his Masenko attack at Nappa, who blocks it. This surprises Vegeta, considering that Gohan's power level upped from a low 981 to 2,800. However, finishing the attack leaves Gohan helpless. Fortunately, Goku arrives just in time.
Goku splits up the remaining Senzu Bean and gives a piece each to Krillin and Gohan. Nappa asks Vegeta what his scouter says about Goku's power level. Vegeta responds that "IT'S OVER 9,000!!!", destroying his scouter in a fit of rage. After quickly realizing that everyone else is dead, Goku gets very angry and begins fighting Nappa. Nappa is no match for Goku, and Vegeta orders him to back down. Nappa complies, but decides to take out Krillin and Gohan instead. Goku cannot catch up to Nappa, so he uses the Kaiō-ken technique to ram into Nappa, breaking his back, and rendering him useless. Goku throws Nappa at Vegeta's feet.
When Krillin asks him what he did, Goku replies that Kaio-ken utilizes all the potential energy within him and multiplies his reflexes, speed, senses, and power. However, Goku then comments that Kaio-ken's weakness is that it damages his body if multiplied to an extent he can not handle and this might even kill him by causing him to explode with the pressure. Nappa begs for mercy, but Vegeta throws him up into the air, and destroys him with a single concentrated blast. Goku tells Gohan and Krillin to return to return to Kame House and they say their farewells as Vegeta then sets his sights on Goku.
Goku vs. Vegeta
Goku tells Vegeta that he wants to fight elsewhere so as to not destroy the bodies of his friends. They head off to a desert, while Gohan and Krillin fly back towards the Kame House. Vegeta implies that not many low-class warriors like Goku get to spar with the elite like Vegeta, but Goku replies that even a lower-class reject can surpass the elite if he tries hard enough. Goku and Vegeta begin to fight, and appear to be evenly matched. Vegeta tells Goku to release his hidden power, to which Goku complies. He engages the Kaio-ken, however Vegeta manages to defend against it. Vegeta powers up a great deal himself, and Goku uses the Kaio-ken x2, however, he still is not a match for Vegeta. Finally, Goku concentrates all of his energy into a Kaio-ken x3, raising his power level to 24,000, which worries King Kai.
In this form, Goku gains the upperhand, and forces Vegeta to use one of his signature attacks. Flying straight up into the air, Vegeta powers up and unleashes his Galick Gun at Goku and the earth. Unable to move for fear of letting the blast hit the earth, Goku charges up to Kaio-ken x3 again and launches his own Kamehameha at Vegeta. The two blasts collide intensely, and Goku finally gains the upper hand by stepping up his Kaio-ken to x4. The Kamehameha overpowers Vegeta, who goes flying into the air. However, this leaves Goku's body devastated.
Yajirobe, who had been hiding nearby the entire time, comes out to congratulate Goku, however when Goku says Vegeta is not defeated, he quickly hides again. Up in the air, Vegeta is enraged that Goku was able to surpass him and decides to transform into a Great Ape, however he discovers that the moon is gone. He flies back down to the ground and creates a Power Ball, that simulates a small moon at the cost of a significant amount of Ki. Vegeta then transforms into a Great Ape, however, unlike Goku or Gohan, he is able to remain in control of his body. Vegeta states that when a Saiyan transforms into a Great Ape, it multiplies their power ten-fold, and thus attacks Goku mercilessly.
During this time, a shocked Goku has an extended flashback of his adoptive grandfather warning him of a monster outside during a full moon, Kami contemplating cutting his tail off, and finally remembers himself as a Great Ape destroying both Emperor Pilaf's castle and the stadium at the World Martial Arts Tournament, realizing that he was the one who destroyed both and crushed his grandpa to death. Goku manages to blind Vegeta with a Solar Flare and then attempts to create a Spirit Bomb, however Vegeta discovers it and shoots a Mouth Blast at him, causing him to lose most of the Spirit Bomb energy. Then he crushes Goku's legs, leaving him paralyzed and unable to fight, and proceeds to crush him in his gigantic hands. Gohan and Krillin notice the strange power ball and rush back to aid Goku.
Upon arriving, Gohan distracts Vegeta while Krillin uses his Destructo Disc attack to try and cut off Vegeta's tail. Vegeta senses the attack, and dodges it. Yajirobe, however, proves himself to be useful by cutting off Vegeta's tail himself. Vegeta reverts to normal, and is obviously upset. Vegeta decides to attack Gohan, but Krillin intervenes, and is quickly disposed of. Goku calls Krillin over to him, and tells Gohan to fight Vegeta. Gohan holds his own, but is clearly outclassed. Goku hands off the remaining energy he gathered in forming the Spirit Bomb to Krillin, and King Kai tells him telepathically to throw the Spirit Bomb at Vegeta when the moment is right. Vegeta backs Gohan into a corner, and Krillin is about to throw it, however Yajirobe yells at Krillin for waiting so long. Vegeta hears this and manages to avoid the Spirit Bomb, and it heads right towards Gohan. Goku telepathically yells for Gohan to bounce it off, since the ball can not hurt those who are pure of heart. Gohan succeeds, and sends the ball hurling back at Vegeta, who, having just evaded it once, has no time to react a second time. The ball hits him squarely and he is sent back into the air again.
Gohan and Krillin gather around the paralyzed Goku. Suddenly, Vegeta's body falls from the sky. Krillin comments that he's dead, although Vegeta is indeed still alive, albeit with power greatly diminished. Vegeta attempts to defeat everyone with a giant energy explosion, but it does little and only leaves him drained. He goes after Gohan when he realizes to his horror that Gohan's tail has grown back. Fearing what would happen if Gohan were to look at the Power Ball he created, Vegeta attempts to chop off Gohan's tail.
Yajirobe attacks the Saiyan with his sword, but this only distracts Vegeta for a moment, and Vegeta lashes out at the cowardly Yajirobe, knocking him into some mountains. Goku, telepathically, tells Gohan to look at the sky, which Gohan does, much to Vegeta's dismay. Gohan transforms into a Great Ape, and, while initially attacking everything, begins to concentrate only on Vegeta with his father's voice. After a beating from Great Ape Gohan, Vegeta manages to cut off Gohan's tail with a Destructo Disc, however he has no energy left to move out of the way of the de-transforming ape, and is crushed by Gohan. When the dust clears, Krillin is the only one left capable of moving. He grabs Yajirobe's katana that he dropped earlier, and staggers over to Vegeta, determined to stop him and put him down.
Barely alive, Vegeta calls for his ship using a its control remote, however, Krillin gets to him before it arrives. Krillin is just about to kill Vegeta when Goku telepathically tells Krillin to spare him. In an emotional scene, Goku convinces Krillin to let Vegeta live because he had never fought someone so strong and this made him more excited than scared. Because of this, Goku desires to have a rematch with him someday; he also expresses a belief that Vegeta may learn mercy and reform as Piccolo did. Though understandably skeptical, Krillin ultimately decides to trust Goku's judgment and lets Vegeta go. Vegeta vows to make Goku regret sparing him before he departs.
Anime and Manga Differences
- In the anime, Bulma uses the scouter to measure Turtles power level and makes no mention of Yamcha, Tien or Piccolo's power level. In the manga however, their power levels are mentioned and it is Turtle's power level that is not.
- In the anime there are a lot of events that take place during the training period that do not happen in the manga these events include.
- Gohan befriending a band of orphans, a dinosaur and a robot.
- Piccolo creating a clone which he uses for sparring.
- Goku falling into Hell where he meets Goz and Mez and later meeting Princess Snake.
- Tien, Krillin, Yamcha and Chiaotzu being transported into the past where they fight Shorty and Scarface.
- Vegeta and Nappa stopping at Planet Arlia on their journey to Earth.
- Gohan transforming into a Great Ape for the second time due to Goku's Spacepod giving off an illusion of the moon.
- Launch, Bora and Upa all make appearances whereas they do not in the manga.
- In the manga, Goku only has to catch Bubbles before learning techniques from King Kai. In the anime, after catching Bubbles he also has to hit Gregory with a mallet. Gregory was invented only for the anime.
- The story of the Saiyans history involving the war with the Tuffle race and the pirating deal with the Arcosian race was only mentioned in the anime. In the manga the Tuffle and Arcosian races are never mentioned.
- In the anime the battle with the Saiyans is broadcast on TV. Master Roshi, Bulma, Oolong, Puar, Turtle, Ox-King and Chi-Chi watching the battle unfold is all anime only.
- After the broadcast ends Fortune Teller Baba appears and they use her Crystal Ball to continue watching the battle, this is also only in the anime.
- Nappa having some "fun" where he terrorises the humans and wreaks destruction against a fleet of Battleships is exclusive to the anime.
- In the anime, Yajirobe leaves the battlefield using his Hovercar after realising that Vegeta is unbeatable, after plucking up some courage he returns to slice off Vegeta's tail. In the manga he never leaves at all.
- Gohan vs. Paozusaurus (anime only)
- Vegeta and Nappa vs. Yetti (anime only)
- Goku vs Goz (anime only)
- Goku vs. Mez (race; anime only)
- Launch (blonde) vs. Bora (anime only)
- Goku vs. Princess Snake (anime only)
- Tien Shinhan vs. Krillin (anime only)
- Yamcha vs. Yajirobe and Chiaotzu (anime only)
- Yamcha vs. Chiaotzu (manga only)
- Krillin vs. Mr. Popo (manga only)
- Piccolo vs. Clone Piccolo (anime only)
- Pigero vs. Social workers (anime only)
- Gohan and the orphans vs. Social Workers and Police (anime only)
- Piccolo vs. Gohan (anime only)
- Tien Shinhan, Yamcha, Krillin, and Chiaotzu vs. Shorty and Scarface (anime only)
- Gohan (Base/Great Ape) vs. Piccolo (anime only)
- Gohan vs. Piccolo (anime only)
- Gohan vs. Piccolo
- Tien vs. Yamcha (anime only)
- Krillin vs. Yajirobe (anime only)
- Gohan vs. Piccolo
- Gohan, Krillin and Piccolo vs. Saibamen (anime only)
- Tien Shinhan vs. A Saibaman
- Yamcha vs. A Saibaman
- Krillin vs. Vegeta, Nappa and the Saibamen
- Piccolo vs. A Saibaman
- Piccolo vs. Nappa (anime only)
- Chiaotzu, Tien, Piccolo, Krillin and Gohan vs. Nappa
- Tien vs. Nappa
- Piccolo and Krillin vs. Nappa
- Nappa vs. Earth's Military (anime only)
- Piccolo, Gohan and Krillin vs. Nappa
- Goku vs. Nappa
- Goku vs. Vegeta (Base/Great Ape)
- Krillin and Yajirobe vs. Vegeta (Great Ape)
- Gohan and Krillin vs. Vegeta
- Gohan vs. Vegeta
- Gohan and Krillin vs. Vegeta
- Yajirobe vs. Vegeta
- Gohan (Great Ape) vs. Vegeta
Pioneer VHS/DVD Volumes
- The Saiyan Conflict - Vol. 2: The Saiyans (5-7)
- The Saiyan Conflict - Vol. 3: Snake Way (8-10)
- The Saiyan Conflict - Vol. 4: Pendulum Room (11-13)
- The Saiyan Conflict - Vol. 5: Doom (14-16)
- The Saiyan Conflict - Vol. 6: Immortals (17-19)
- The Saiyan Conflict - Vol. 7: Destruction (20-22)
- The Saiyan Conflict - Vol. 8: Showdown (23-25)
- The Namek Saga - Vol. 9: Departure (26-28) (only episode 26 is part of the Vegeta Saga)
FUNimation Ultimate Uncut Special Edition
- Vegeta Saga I - Into the Wild (7-9)
- Vegeta Saga I - Gohan's Trials (10-12)
- Vegeta Saga I - Goku Held Hostage (13-15)
- Vegeta Saga I - Doomed Heroes (16-18)
- Vegeta Saga I - Back From the Dead (19-21)
- Vegeta Saga II - Saiyan Invasion (22-24)
- Vegeta Saga II - Ultimate Sacrifice (25-27)
- Vegeta Saga II - The Saiyan Prince (28-30) [Canceled in favor of Orange Bricks]
FUNimation Remastered DVD Sets
- Dragon Ball Z Season One (1-39) (only episodes 7-35 are part of the Vegeta Saga)
FUNimation Dragon Box Sets
- Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Vol. 1 (1-42) (only episodes 7-35 are part of the Vegeta Saga)
FUNimation Level Set Blu-rays
- Dragon Ball Z: Level 1.1 (1-17) (only episodes 7-17 are part of the Vegeta Saga)
- Dragon Ball Z: Level 1.2 (18-34)
FUNimation Season Blu-ray Sets
- Dragon Ball Z Season One (1-39) (only episodes 7-35 are part of the Vegeta Saga)
Uncut version (29 episodes)
|8||"Gohan Goes Bananas!"|
|9||"The Strangest Robot"|
|10||"A New Friend"|
|11||"Terror on Arlia"|
|13||"Goz and Mez"|
|16||"Plight of the Children"|
|17||"Pendulum Room Peril"|
|18||"The End of Snake Way"|
|22||"The Darkest Day"|
|24||"The Power of Nappa"|
|29||"Lesson Number One"|
|30||"Goku vs. Vegeta"|
|31||"Saiyan Sized Secret"|
|32||"Spirit Bomb Away!"|
|33||"Hero in the Shadows"|
Edited version (22 episodes)
|6||"Gohan Makes a Friend"|
|7||"Trouble on Arlia"|
|8||"Home for Infinite Losers"|
|9||"Princess Snake's Hospitality"|
|10||"Escape from Piccolo"|
|11||"Showdown in the Past"|
|12||"The End of Snake Way"|
|13||"A Fight Against Gravity... Catch Bubbles!"|
|14||"The Legend of the Saiyans"|
|15||"A Black Day for Planet Earth"|
|16||"The Battle Begins...Goku Where Are You?"|
|17||"The Saibamen Strike"|
|19||"Tien Goes All Out!!"|
|21||"The Return of Goku"|
|22||"Goku Strikes Back"|
|23||"Goku vs. Vegeta...A Saiyan Duel"|
|25||"Stop Vegeta Now!"|
|26||"The Battle Ends"|
Dragon Ball Z Kai (13 episodes)
The events of the Saiyan saga have been covered in most of the Dragon Ball fighting games such as in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast series, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi and more. It was also covered in the DS game Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans.
- The first English dub produced by FUNimation and Saban Entertainment in 1996 cut the 35 episodes down to 26, which is the typical number of episodes in an American television season.
- In the original 1996 English dub, it is titled the "Saiyan Saga", and in numerous other international versions the "Saiya-jin Saga". In 2005, FUNimation renamed its English title to the "Vegeta Saga", although it is still commonly referred to by English fans as the "Saiyan Saga".