- This article is about the in-universe location. For the third original Dragon Ball Z anime volume of the same name, see Snake Way (Volume).
Snake Way (蛇の道, Hebi no Michi), or Serpent Road, is a one million kilometers long (about 625,000 miles), narrow, winding path, located in Other World, above Hell, which leads from King Yemma's palace to King Kai's planet, and is the only method of getting to the latter (other than teleporting).
Because of its length, it took Goku 177 days to reach the end (due to King Kai saying that the Saiyans would arrive in 158 days, and it took them eleven months total). If one were to fall off Snake Way, they would pass through a thin layer of clouds (it is revealed early on that the clouds are actually edible and are quite tasty) and then fall into Hell. In the anime, it is also the home of Princess Snake, a filler character who falls in love with Goku and tries to stop him from leaving her palace.
Goku is permitted to travel along Snake Way to seek out King Kai and receive his training in order to prepare for the arrival of Raditz's comrades, Nappa and Vegeta. The journey is not an easy one, however. At one point, Goku tries to jump across Snake Way's many curves, and almost falls into the clouds below, where shadowy hands reach out to him to pull him into Hell. Later, when Goku's fatigue catches up again, he hitches a ride on the cleaner's truck when the cleaner tells him that he is only a quarter of the way to King Kai's planet after running for several months. During the ride, Goku falls asleep, and the cleaner accidentally jerks his truck, causing Goku to fall off Snake Way and into Hell. He is only able to make his way back up after competing with two bored and overworked ogres, though he is forced to start from the beginning of Snake Way again. A piece of stamina-enhancing fruit Goku sneaks away from Hell helps him reach the point he fell off quickly, however. Later on, Goku comes across Princess Snake's palace, mistaking it to be King Kai's home. Though Goku realizes his mistake, he is persuaded to stay. Things turn sour when Goku insists on leaving. Princess Snake turns into her true, giant serpent form and tries to devour Goku, but Goku outsmarts her and continues on his way. Goku is eventually forced to crawl his way across Snake Way until he finally reaches the end. Approximately eighty-eight days later, after his training, Goku travels back down Snake Way again, this time flying across in one day.
During the duel with the Saiyans, Tien, Chiaotzu, Yamcha and Piccolo are slain. They too are allowed to travel down Snake Way to seek out King Kai's training, and King Kai notes that they reached him faster than Goku did, since they had become much stronger than Goku was while fighting Raditz. Yamcha quips that Chiaotzu was the fastest of the four. Later on, Recoome, Burter, Jeice and Guldo are sent to King Kai's planet to provide a challenge for King Kai's pupils, and due to their high power levels, they reach King Kai not long after their deaths on Namek.
Snake Way is seen several times later in the anime, but does not play any major role, since it has likely been reduced to child's play for the main characters after their battles with the Saiyans, Frieza, the Androids and Cell.
Travelers of Snake Way
- King Kai (presumably)
- King Yemma
- Tien Shinhan
- The Ginyu Force (excluding Captain Ginyu)
- Raditz (Harukanaru Densetsu only; supposedly had a relationship with Princess Snake)
The Snake Way appears in Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyan, Dragon Ball Z: Goku Hishōden, the Legacy of Goku series, Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu, and Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans where Goku has to cross Snake Way just like in the original storyline in order to reach King Kai's planet. It also appears in Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai as the map screen. Snake Way also appears in Super Dragon Ball Z, seen in the background of the Check-In Station battle stage.
In Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku, Goku has to cross the Snake Way twice, like he did in the anime. The edges of the road will sap energy (even if the code for invincibility is entered). In Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury, the game will start at Snake Way after the recaps are done. Unlike Legacy of Goku, it would not take long to get to end, and the edges are not dangerous.
The Snake Way is also a battle stage in Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu.
In Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, at the Story Mode's Saiyan Saga, there is a challenge for Goku in which he has an established time limit to reach King Kai's through Snake Way. If he falls, he will lose some time but will be replaced on the floor. At a certain point, there is a hidden Dragon Ball beneath the Snake Way. In this game, Snake Way is incredibly short compared to the anime and the manga. Also Princess Snake's castle is missing and there are platforms for the player to jump on, although though it is risky to jump across them. The Snake Way is shown in cutscenes in the story mode of Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission.
- Princess Snake's appearance in her Giant Snake form is nearly identical to Snake Way.
- Contrary to what is stated in the original manga and Dragon Ball Z Kai where the Snake Way is stated to be 1,000,000 kilometers (about 625,000 miles) long, the Ocean and FUNimation dubbed version of the anime states that the Snake Way is 10,000 miles long. 10,000 miles long is inconsistent because Goku was able to swim half-way around the world, which is over 20,000 miles, in only one day to go to the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament when he was 15.
- To travel a million kilometers in 177 days, would mean Goku was traveling at an average speed of about 235 kilometers per hour, or 145 miles per hour, on his way to King Kai's planet (though this does not account for the time Goku spent in Hell nor Princess Snake's Palace).
- In the manga, there is no official time it took Goku to get back to Earth after being wished back during the battle with the Saiyans, but King Kai estimated it would take two days. Going by the two days that was estimated by King Kai, that is about 20,830 kilometers (13,018 miles) per hour for a million kilometers trip in 48 hours. It should be noted that the Snake Way is long and winding and Goku is seen traveling straight along its direction in the air, so it is not likely his actual speed but an approximation.
- Despite being said that only King Yemma and then Goku have crossed Snake Way, it is shown that King Kai actually has many people train with him in the Other World Tournament. At that time, however, they may have not actually traveled to his planet and he could have trained with him elsewhere as those disciples are shown on Grand Kai's planet only (and in anime filler only).
- Snake Way is a possible reference to the Great Wall of China with both traveling great distances.
|Planets||Grand Kai's planet • King Kai's planet • Planet Kaishin • Sacred World of the Kais|
|Locations||Cave of the Ancients • Check-In Station • Demon Realm • Freezing Tundra of Hell • Furnace of Eight Divisions • Grand Kai's mansion • Heaven • Hell • Limbo • Princess Snake's palace • Other World Stadium • Sugoroku Space • Yemma Forest|
|Roads||Battlefield Royale • Snake Way|