- This article is about the Super Saiyan 3 transformation. For the similarly named Dragon Ball Z episode, see Super Saiyan 3?!.
Super Saiyan 3 (超サイヤ人 スリー) is the third form of Super Saiyan, the successor to the first and second transformations. Goku was the first to achieve the form, and was able to do so after several years of vigorous training in Other World. In video games, Vegeta achieves the form through a combination of extreme rage and rigorous training, Gotenks through the power of Trunks and Goten's fusion and Goku's example, and Broly achieves his version of the form through a large Zenkai.
This form is referred to as Ultra Super Saiyan (ウルトラ超サイヤ人; Urutora Sūpā Saiya-jin) by Trunks, and also Gotenks - Trunks' fusion with Goten.
The Super Saiyan 3 form
The form uses a Saiyan's full potential with power extracted from every drop of their blood. Where the third stage of Super Saiyan's purpose was 100% utilization of physical stamina, the purpose of the Super Saiyan 3 transformation is to increase the utilization of ki, and as a result, the transformation rapidly consumes the energy of the user. This notably leads to extended levels of fatigue, even long after powering down. If the user has died and is not encumbered by a living body, this strain is reduced somewhat, and additional energy depletion is minimized (such as in Goku's case during his first fight with Majin Buu). The difference between Super Saiyan 3 and Super Saiyan 2, its predecessor, is immediately noticeable as speed, strength and endurance are all pushed far beyond the normal limits.
The first time that Goku used this form on Earth, its power caused massive tidal waves and hurricanes and nearly shook the planet apart. During subsequent transformations, Goku seemingly controlled it enough to prevent such dangerous side-effects. In addition, this power could be sensed even as far as the distance between Earth and Supreme Kai's planet, something that not only shocked Supreme Kai, Kibito, and Gohan, but worried them as well.
However, with the enormous power, there are some very serious setbacks stemming from the rapid use of ki energy. When the then-deceased Goku showed Babidi and Majin Buu the form, he cut his remaining temporal revival energy in half, and in the anime when he shows his power to the excited Trunks and Goten, his energy was completely dissipated, forcing him to return to the Other World.
Likewise, when the now fully living Super Saiyan 3 Goku attempted to regain energy while Vegeta and Mr. Satan distracted Kid Buu, he was unable to do so, draining his power completely and leaving him in a weakened, normal state where he could not even control the Spirit Bomb. Goku acknowledged that he had little experience with the transformation, with his fight with Kid Buu being the first time he used it in a full fight with a living body. Performing it twice in a short time brought him to his knees and expended all of his remaining energy (in the manga, he does not revert to his original form until after Vegeta intervenes to buy him the minute that he needed, however). The fused Gotenks was not able to maintain the transformation for very long either, reverting to his base form after substantially less than thirty minutes transformed.
The energy drain issues are exacerbated even further when Goku is turned back into a child in Dragon Ball GT, where he can only hold the transformation for a couple of seconds and struggles to utilize the power against Baby Vegeta. This limit was lifted somewhat after Goku's tail was restored with the help of Elder Kai, allowing him to sustain the form for a longer duration, though he was still no match for Super Baby Vegeta in this state and eventually loses the transformation forever.
The transformation causes some stark changes in physical appearance. The trademark characteristic of the transformation is the user's hair: the rigid hair of the Super Saiyan 2 state becomes flowing and smooth again, and grows down to or sometimes passes the user's waist. The eyebrows vanish completely, making the forehead and eye ridges appear larger and revealing a more prominent brow ridge; these traits do not apply to female Super Saiyan 3 in Dragon Ball Heroes. A small increase in muscle mass is evident, and muscle tone is sharply defined. Energy radiation is so great that the aura pulses at an extremely high frequency, almost to the point where it seems static; the sound of the aura is also pitched even higher than that of Super Saiyan 2. Bio-electricity, like in the Super Saiyan 2 form, is again constant, and may reach further outward from the body than before. The Saiyan's voice may become slightly deeper, though this is obviously a feature only found in the anime. If the user of the Super Saiyan 3 form has a tail, it turns yellowish gold. There is no personality change, as no emotion is required to initiate the transformation (Goku acted stoic to intimidate Babidi and Majin Buu, and Gotenks acted as he normally would). Another notable change is that the user seems to "glow" while in this state, more so than before, where the skin and clothes color were lightened, but not as much as the color change of this form (this mostly applies to training gi; when Goku transforms into Super Saiyan 3, his training gi appears to be rather gold and blue instead of orange and blue).
Usage and power
The Super Saiyan 3 form gives the user four times the strength of a Super Saiyan 2, so it multiplies a Super Saiyan's power by 8x times and the Saiyan's base power by 400x times its normal amount. Goku uses the Super Saiyan 3 transformation in a brief battle against Majin Buu in order to stall him long enough for Trunks to find the Dragon Radar. He was able to overtake the monster, completely outmatching him blow for blow. He eventually retreated from the fight, as he wanted Goten and Trunks to defeat Buu with their fusion technique, as he "wouldn't be around forever." Goku later stated he believed he could have killed Buu if he had actually tried, but held complete faith in Gotenks' ability to destroy him if they were to try the Fusion Dance.
This form was next seen used by Gotenks, the fusion between Goten and Trunks, during his fight with the new, more powerful version of Majin Buu. While in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Piccolo destroyed the only entrance in or out of the dimension, in hopes of trapping Super Buu inside, when he believed that Gotenks had lost and that the universe would be destroyed. Unfortunately, Super Buu was able to escape by ripping the dimensions open using intense sound waves from his own voice when he became angry at the thought of not having anymore food to eat. Learning from the things that Goku taught him about being Super Saiyan 3, Gotenks transforms into Super Saiyan 3 and rips up a hole in a similar fashion, shocking Piccolo. Once outside, Gotenks battled Super Buu in earnest. The two appeared to be an even match, with Gotenks appearing to gain the upper hand before the transformation wore off.
The Super Saiyan 3 state was truly pushed to the breaking point in the final battle against Kid Buu. Despite using his full power as a Super Saiyan 3, Goku had difficulty competing with the seemingly endless power supply of the Majin. Though he appeared to have the advantage for most of the fight before the ki drain became evident, his attacks seemed to be useless against Buu, and the transformation eventually caused his collapse from exhaustion. He later revealed that he might have been able to destroy Kid Buu when at full power, but let the fight drag on to give Vegeta a shot. Vegeta then powered up to a Super Saiyan 2 in order to buy him the time that Goku needed to get back up to full strength, but the immense stress of trying to gather his power forced him to revert to his normal state before reaching his maximum potential, leaving him heavily drained and unable to transform. It took a Super Spirit Bomb gathered from all the energies of Earth, the Ogres in Yemma's office, and the Namekian villagers that resided with Moori on New Namek, to finish off Kid Buu, and the Super Saiyan 3 form is never seen in the main manga storyline again.
Goku transforms into Super Saiyan 3 form after having battled Beerus as Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 2 but none of them were causing effect. Even though his power and speed were increased by a huge amount in this form, it was not enough to even match with Beerus' skills. Super Saiyan 3 was also soon defeated when Beerus gently touched Goku's shoulder, causing him to go unconscious for a brief moment.
In Dragon Ball GT, Goku's child form caused him to have trouble using Super Saiyan 3. His small body could not handle the energy output of the transformation, and he could only hold it for around one minute. When he attempted to fight Baby Vegeta, he was easily beaten down. After having his tail restored, he becomes able to freely use the transformation, but the gap between Baby Vegeta's Super form achieved after receiving all the energies of the half-Saiyans and the Earthlings that he possessed was far too big for him to even land any damage, and he reverted to his normal state, only to transform into a Golden Great Ape, and then into Super Saiyan 4, defeating Baby after a prolonged fight. It was after this fight that Goku discontinued the usage of Super Saiyan 3, as it was heavily outclassed by the raw power and minimal setbacks of Super Saiyan 4.
Also in Dragon Ball GT, while possessed by Baby, Vegeta transforms into a form where his hair lengthens, he has a single prominent bang that curved across his face and loses his eyebrows: all of those traits of the Super Saiyan 3 form. This has caused the authors of the Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files to theorize that the additional power that Baby drew from his followers may have caused Vegeta to reach a mutated version of the state.
In the spin-off manga Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission, the Saiyan Hero Beat manages to tap into Super Saiyan 3 power in-game during his battle with Black Smoke Shenron. He later achieves the form during his in-game battle with Oceanus Shenron.
"Now! Finally comes the one you've been waiting for! The legendary Super Saiyan 3."
In the movie Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, Goku uses the Super Saiyan 3 transformation to defeat Janemba, only to have his foe transform into an even more powerful state, "Super" Janemba. Despite holding his own for a good while, Goku is eventually defeated when Super Janemba creates a sword from a discarded Ogre club and begins firing energy blades from it, an attack that Goku has no defense against. It takes the combined efforts of Goku and Vegeta, fused into Gogeta, to take down the demon.
In the movie Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon, Goku battles the evil monster Hirudegarn in his Super Saiyan 3 form. He is able to kill the monster by using his Dragon Fist technique. Goten and Trunks also fused into Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks during the fight with Hirudegarn, and used his Continuous Die Die Missile attack on Hirudegarn's first stage, followed by a ki blast which seemed successful in destroying the monster. However, Hirudegarn was still alive and transformed into his second form and swatted Gotenks into the ground, hitting him so heavily that he defused and reverted to Goten and Trunks. Between the Buu Saga and the movie, it is worth noting that Goku's Super Saiyan 3 transformation appeared to have increased in power to the point that Gohan and Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks appeared to be weaker than him; Hirudegarn had no difficulty whatsoever in overpowering Gohan, but Super Saiyan 3 Goku was able to take multiple hits from the monster and continue fighting, albeit in bad condition.
In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Goku battles Beerus the Destroyer in his Super Saiyan 3 form. During the subsequent fight, Goku is completely dominated by Beerus, who effortlessly blocks and dodges his attacks. Goku is even smashed hard into the ground by merely a flick of Beerus' finger. Goku continues to engage Beerus, and unleashes a mighty punch that blows right through King Kai's planet. However, it misses, and Beerus' incredible speed allows him to come up behind Goku and knock him unconscious with a chop to the neck. The Super Saiyan 3 form is later succeeded in power by the Super Saiyan God form during the events of the film.
Video game appearances
The Super Saiyan 3 form appears in the Butōden series, the Budokai series, Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury, the Budokai Tenkaichi series, and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z. Super Saiyan 3 Goku is a playable character, while Gotenks transforms briefly into a Super Saiyan 3 during his meteor attack in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22. Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks is a playable character, while Goku transforms briefly into a Super Saiyan 3 during his meteor attack/ultimate in Dragon Ball Z: Hyper Dimension and Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2. Gotenks transforms into a Super Saiyan 3 only for his super attacks in Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu, and he has the form under the name Ultra Super Saiyan in Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors and Super 3 in Supersonic Warriors 2.
In 2009, Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta became available in the arcade video game Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Battlers, an arcade video game released only in Japan. On August 19, 2009, a scan of V-Jump was released showcasing and revealing one of the two exclusive characters announced for Dragon Ball: Raging Blast. This character is a Super Saiyan 3 version of Broly, as part of a what-if scenario for the story mode. On October 8, 2009, a scan of V-Jump magazine was released showcasing a Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta to appear in Raging Blast as part of a what-if scenario. Both Super Saiyan 3 versions of Broly and Vegeta return in Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2. In Raging Blast 2, Broly's SS3 hair color is slightly made darker. Also in Raging Blast 2, there are two images of Super Saiyan 3 Broly and Vegeta that seem to be taken from either an anime or movie, despite the two never appearing in the anime series. Though this is officially a Super Saiyan 3 form, Broly's form is referred to as Legendary Super Saiyan 3 in one of the early trailers for Raging Blast (in which Goku exclaims "Densetsu Supa Saiya-jin Suri!").
The arcade game Dragon Ball Heroes introduces many characters with the capability to transform into Super Saiyan 3. Beginning in March 2011, Super Saiyan 3 adolescent version of Future Trunks debutted, while in May of the same year, Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta also appeared. In January 2012, Super Saiyan 3 Broly was added. Super Saiyan 3 GT Trunks was made for the game in March 2012, while Super Saiyan 3 Gogeta was revealed in July 2012. In March 2013, the Super Saiyan 3 was given to GT Vegeta and in July of the same year, Super Saiyan 3 Future Gohan along with another Super Saiyan 3 teenage clothing version of Future Trunks was added. In January 2014, adult Gotenks appears as Super Saiyan 3 and was followed by Vegito in March of the same year. In July 2015, Super Saiyan 3 Xeno Bardock debutted, while in September of the same year, Super Saiyan 3 Xeno Trunks and Super Saiyan 3 adolescent Gohan were also announced. The game also features female Super Saiyan 3, with the three Female Saiyan avatars.
- Akira Toriyama had originally designed the Super Saiyan 3 transformation to have a tail (this idea was possibly reused by Toei when making Super Saiyan 4).
- There appear to be three slightly different appearances for Super Saiyan 3:
- 1. When Goku, Vegeta (from the Raging Blast series) and Gogeta (from Dragon Ball Heroes) transform into Super Saiyans 3, their green eyes acquires dark green pupils.
- 2. When Gotenks, Goku (GT), Vegeta (from Dragon Battlers), and Trunks (from Dragon Ball Heroes) transform into Super Saiyans 3, they do not have dark green pupils. Broly has no pupils and irises.
- 3. Broly's Super Saiyan 3 transformation retains some Legendary Super Saiyan traits such as the greenish tint in his hair and his massive size. Though this is officially a Super Saiyan 3 form, Broly's form is referred to as Legendary Super Saiyan 3 in one of the early trailers for Raging Blast in which Goku exclaims "Densetsu Supa Saiya-jin Suri!" (which translates to "Legendary Super Saiyan 3!").
- In a panel of Dragon Ball SD dedicated to congratulating Saikyo Jump on its third anniversary, Kid Goku, Yamcha, Puar, Krillin, and Master Roshi all appear as Super Saiyan 3. Humorously, due to Krillin and Roshi being bald there are very little changes on them, though Roshi's beard becomes golden. However, Yamcha and Goku should have one string of hair falling, instead Goku looks like Gotenks while Yamcha, like Vegetto, without the hair falling.
- In the FUNimation dub, after Goku's energy is depleted from his battle as a Super Saiyan 3 against Kid Buu, he stated that his Super Saiyan 3 form was easy to maintain in his non-living state in Other World, but his living body uses twice as much energy in comparison.
- In the manga, Trunks calls this that "Ultra Super Saiyan" thingy.
- In the game Dragon Ball Heroes, Future Trunks and young Future Trunks have different Super Saiyan 3 hair style. One having one long hair bang on the right and the other having two short hair bangs on both sides.