The only way a Saiyan can attain Super Saiyan 4 is if they become a Golden Great Ape and regain conscious control over the form.
The Super Saiyan 4 form was designed by Toei Animation's character designer Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru. The form is a combination of the Super Saiyan and Great Ape forms attained through the Golden Great Ape form, it gifts the Saiyan with primal power, though they retain a humanoid appearance.
This form gives the user the super strength and speed of a Great Ape, but with a calm, clever mind. But for others, it can make them very cold and aggressive.
Appearance and power
In this form, the Saiyan's hair color differs, the same goes for the tail and the body is covered in red fur. A Saiyan in this form also possesses a shadow trim around their eyes and over the eyelids that varies in color, such as crimson. The hair is lengthened, but not as long as its "predecessor", Super Saiyan 3's. The aura in this form loses the arcs of electricity and replaces it with sparkles (Gogeta only) and also once again shaped like a regular Super Saiyan's smooth aura, (this was not the case in several video games, like the Budokai and Xenoverse series, in which the form was depicted with a reddish (with a small yellowish glow) aura with sparks of bio-electricity, thus, due to the red aura, this makes Goku, Vegeta, and Gogeta playable as Ultra-full power Saiyan 4s from the start). In the case of the Fusion Dance warrior Gogeta, the coloration of the aforementioned features seemingly switch, as Gogeta's hair became a bright shade of red whereas his fur became a dark shade of brown and the trim around his eyes were black instead of red. The Super Saiyan 4 form draws the power of its users up to their absolute limit. The massive power and speed enhancements brought on by this form easily make it the strongest Saiyan form in the GT series. For example, while Goku's Super Saiyan 3 form was almost unable to even faze Baby Vegeta, as soon as Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan 4, their roles in power became polar opposites, with Baby Vegeta being almost unable to hurt Goku at all.
When Goku is given energy from Super Saiyan Gohan, Super Saiyan Goten, Super Saiyan Trunks, and Pan, his power further increases, gaining a red aura which occasionally flashes over his whole body, and becoming superior to a Blutz Wave amplified Golden Great Ape Baby. Trunks describes him as a "fully-powered Super Saiyan 4", and Gohan states that he has become stronger than Gohan thought was even possible, saying his power was indescribable.
The users of this transformation have powerful signature techniques. For example, Goku develops an attack he calls the 10x Kamehameha, as it is ten times (10x) stronger than the Super Kamehameha, while Vegeta, in his Super Saiyan 4 state, uses an attack he calls the Final Shine Attack, which is a more powerful version of his Final Flash attack (although, Vegeta is first seen using this attack against Super 17 with one hand while in his first Super Saiyan form; he first uses the more powerful two handed version in Super Saiyan 4), Gogeta uses a powerful combined attack named 100x Big Bang Kamehameha in video games, and Broly has an attack named Gigantic Destruction. Like the Super Saiyan God form, this form also seems to allow the user to absorb energy attacks. However, unlike Super Saiyan God, the Super Saiyan 4 form does not use up the user's power when absorbing energy attacks. This is shown when Goku absorbs the Revenge Death Ball Final attack by Great Ape Baby and turns it into a 10x Kamehameha.
Unlike the Super Saiyan 3's strain due to the utilization in ki, this form does not require as much energy to maintain as Super Saiyan 3, allowing the user to stay in the state at a much longer duration. Although the form doesn't require much energy to use or maintain, the user can still fall out of the form if they run low, similar to Super Saiyan 3. And while its ki consumption does not strain the user himself, it does become straining when used in conjunction with Fusion Dance, significantly shortening the fusion time limit; as evidenced by Gogeta defusing within ten minutes instead of the regular half-hour limit. It also appears that the form makes the individual larger in height and muscularity, as shown by Vegeta when his time limit in this form ended, making him shrink back to his considerably smaller size.
This form is a transformation from Golden Great Ape, achieved when a Golden Great Ape has achieved a "human heart" - causing the birth of this form, which has both the tremendous power of the Golden Great Ape, and the reasoning of a "human heart". Unlike the main Super Saiyan forms, a user of this form will always appear as an adult., this is because this form raises the power of the user to their prime physical condition, the user will not only appear as an adult, but also look considerably younger in during their prime years, (e.g. Goku's skin turning back into its original peach color, Vegeta's hair becoming the iconic flame-like appearance he always sported through his prime years)
The Super Saiyan 4 form is first achieved by Goku after transforming into a Golden Great Ape and witnessing his granddaughter Pan crying to calm him down. In this new form, Goku has enough strength to dominate Super Baby Vegeta 2, whose attacks (including the Revenge Death Ball) have no effect on Goku in this form. However, after Baby Vegeta transformed into a Golden Great Ape, things are far more even but despite Baby Vegeta's new power (even gripping Goku between his hands Goku still broke out of it with minor difficulties). Eventually, the two have a double Knock-out. Baby Vegeta is rejuvenated by Bulma's Blutz Waves Generator however, and Goku borrows energy from his friends and family and gains enough power to defeat Great Ape Baby. He finally defeats the Tuffle parasite with a powerful 10x Kamehameha, forcing Baby to flee Vegeta's body and attempt to escape inside a spaceship. Just before Baby can escape, Goku launches one final Kamehameha towards the spaceship, which hurls Baby into the Sun, finally destroying him.
Goku's next opponent upon achieving the form is Super 17, who has easily defeated the other Z Fighters and proved to be Super Saiyan 4 Goku's first real challenge. Because of his energy absorbing abilities, Super 17 is able to turn all of Goku's energy attacks into his own power, making him stronger with each attack. Eventually, Goku reverts to his base form and kills the android (with the assistance of Android 18) using his Dragon Fist attack followed by a Kamehameha.
Super Saiyan 4 proves to be incredibly helpful when Goku uses it to take down most of the evil Shadow Dragons. However, he meets his match in Syn Shenron, the strongest of the seven Shadow Dragons, who absorbs all of the Dragon Balls and becomes Omega Shenron. Omega Shenron's power proves to be far greater than that of a Super Saiyan 4, and Goku is thrashed around for most of the fight. Seeing how bad this situation has become, Vegeta uses Bulma's Blutz Wave Generator to grow a tail and become a Golden Great Ape like Goku. When he finally gains control, Vegeta is successful in becoming a Super Saiyan 4.
However, even as a team, Goku and Vegeta still stand no chance against Omega Shenron. It is not until they fuse into Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta that their power vastly exceeds that of the Shadow Dragon. However, Gogeta spends too much time playing around with Omega Shenron and the fusion wears off in ten minutes rather than the usual 30 minutes, due to his own tremendous power, ultimately failing to finish Omega Shenron off in time (but manages to land a Big Bang Kamehameha on Omega which made him regurgitate the Dragon Balls, reverting him back into Syn Shenron). Goku eventually kills Omega Shenron with the Universal Spirit Bomb.
During the Assault on the Hell Gate Saga, Gohan heads out into the wilderness in order to achieve this form, he is successful - however he is so powerful in the state that he has trouble controlling himself. He later uses the form, alongside Goku and Vegeta, in order to combat the revived Super 17 - who has had Android 18 forcefully merged into him by Towa.
Video game appearances
- Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout (Goku)
- Dragon Ball GT: Transformation (Goku)
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road (Goku)
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi (Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Heroes (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta, Broly, Gohan)
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Discross (Goku, Vegeta)
- Dragon Ball Fusions (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
- Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle (Goku, Vegeta, Gogeta)
In Dragon Ball Heroes, new characters were given this transformation. Beginning in November 2014, Super Saiyan 4 Broly appeared, and one year later, in November 2015, GT Gohan achieved it.
"A suit modeled after Goku when he powered up beyond Super Saiyan 3 to Super Saiyan 4."
— Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Super Saiyan 4 Suit (Goku) description
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 as part of the Super Pack 4 DLC, there is an outfit and accessory based on SSJ4 Goku.
"A wig and tail modeled after Goku when he powered up beyond Super Saiyan 3 to Super Saiyan 4."
— Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Super Saiyan 4 Suit (Goku) description
The outfit is called Super Saiyan 4 Suit (Goku) (Upper Body, Lower Body, Hands, and Feet) while the accessory is called SS4 Wig & Tail (Goku) which represents Goku's hair and tail as a Super Saiyan 4. When the upper body portion of the outfit is worn by female characters they also wear bra-like top to cover their chest which they wear over the Super Saiyan 4 Suit. The suit and accessory can be worn by all races and genders.
- Gold was considered to be the head hair color of the Super Saiyan 4 form (like the core Super Saiyan forms) however it was decided that black head hair went better with the red body hair.
- Goku rapidly ages back to an adult whenever he becomes a Super Saiyan 4, also, his skin changes back to its light peach coloration. Upon transforming for the first time, Goku says "This body and its amazing power is needed right now to defeat Baby."
- When Vegeta transforms, as well as turning it wild, his hair turns back into its flame like appearance he sported throughout Dragon Ball Z.
- When transforming into Super Saiyan 4, both Goku and Vegeta lose their shirts, but when they revert to their base forms, their shirts can be seen again (however, Gogeta still has his vest on when he is a Super Saiyan 4). The clothes are even repaired; in the Super 17 Saga, when Goku attempted to sacrifice himself with Super 17, he reverted to his child state, and his gi was fully intact despite the fact that it had been previously blasted off.
- When Goku goes Super Saiyan 4, his clothes change compared with his child clothes, including his size and his shirt part is removed by the transformation leaving him only with clothes up to the waist. When Vegeta goes Super Saiyan 4, his clothes also change from his normal attire. In addition to losing his shirt his gloves also become full gloves when they are normally fingerless gloves. A similar change happens to Goku, whereas his socks, belt, and wristbands are blue whereas the wristbands were originally light red/pink, and the belt and socks were white. In addition, Goku's knot-tied belt is replaced with the blue sash he previously wore in DBZ.
- When Goku reverts to his base form from Super Saiyan 4, Goku still has his tail. Yet, when Vegeta reverts to his base form from Super Saiyan 4, his tail vanishes; this is most likely due to the fact that he achieved this form via non-natural means (the Blutz Wave Generator) and not via the usual method of absorbing Blutz Waves through his tail due to his lack of a tail.
- When Goku first transforms into a Super Saiyan 3 on-screen (in Dragon Ball Z), there is a vision in his mind of him transforming from a Great Ape, to a more monkey-like Saiyan, to his adult form, and finally into a baby. The monkey-like form bears a large resemblance to Super Saiyan 4.
- In Dragon Ball Heroes, it is shown that half-Saiyans like Gohan are capable of achieving it. However this may be due to the fact that Gohan possessed a Saiyan tail in his childhood and thus capable of achieving the Golden Great Ape form and Super Saiyan 4 as a result.
- The five Saiyans to have reached this transformation in the series have shown differences in appearance among one another:
- Goku's variation is the first to be seen. When he transforms into a Super Saiyan 4, he has scarlet red fur on the top half of his body, his hair remains black, and his eyes change to golden-yellow.
- Vegeta's variation is the second seen. When he transforms into a Super Saiyan 4, his hair turns dark brown, the fur on the top half of his body is crimson red, and his eyes are green.
- Gogeta's variation is a completely different coloration from Goku's and Vegeta's. In this form, Gogeta's hair is red, the fur on the top half of his body is brown, and the eyes change to a blue color. The reasons for these alterations in Gogeta's Super Saiyan 4 form from Goku and Vegeta's forms are unknown.
- Broly's variation is also different. In this form Broly has black hair like Goku, but his fur is a blood red color. Broly's variation takes on numerous traits of the Legendary Super Saiyan forms, including a much larger and more muscular body, and he loses the irises and pupils in his eyes.
- Gohan's variation is the fifth seen. When he transforms into a Super Saiyan 4, he has scarlet red fur on the top half of his body, his hair remains black, and his eyes change to golden-yellow, similar to Goku.
- In the Super Saiyan 4 form, Goku's voice is noticeably deeper and rougher like his Super Saiyan 3 form as an adult than his regular adult voice. Vegeta's voice is also slightly deeper.
- In the Blue Water dub, Goku's voice in his Super Saiyan 4 form matches his regular adult voice. Vegeta's voice also matches his regular voice.
- Gohan is the first hybrid Saiyan to transform into a Super Saiyan 4 in the franchise.
- When the part Saiyan-Demon Mira takes on his Final Form, his appearance resembles a tail-less Super Saiyan 4.
- According to the video game Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Būtoden, Super Saiyan Blue is considered to be the most powerful form in the game, making Super Saiyan 4 either the third or the second strongest Saiyan form, if one compares it with Super Saiyan God in terms of power.
- In Xenoverse 2, it is implied by the depiction of the Super Saiyan 4 suit, that a female Super Saiyan 4's chest would not be covered by the fur of the Super Saiyan 4 form thus they would likely have to wear clothing to cover their exposed chest in the form though it should be noted that the suit itself is based on the Goku's Super Saiyan 4 form so its more likely that the bra-like top was added to the suit for females as the suit's fur sections match Goku's Super Saiyan 4 form.
- Most Dragon Ball video games associate this form with Goku in Dragon Ball GT, with three exceptions, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 has DBZ Goku utilizing this form instead of his GT self, who is entirely omitted from the game and its story, with DBZ Goku taking his place in the Shadow Dragon Saga of GT, but Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World had GT Goku return in the roster, along with his ability to become Super Saiyan 4, however, DBZ Goku can still transform into a Super Saiyan 4, making it the only video game in the entire Dragon Ball series for the form to be shared by regular Goku and his GT self, Dragon Ball Fusions also had GT Goku, but cannot transform into Super Saiyan 4, his Dragon Ball Super self does instead.
- ↑ Dragon Ball GT episode 58, "Shadow Dragons Unite"
- ↑ Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout, 1997
- ↑ "Ultimate Super Gogeta"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Dragon Ball Heroes
- ↑ Broly's Legendary Super Saiyan form is a "different evolution" from the main Super Saiyan line, and thus results in a different hybrid form from Super Saiyan 4
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files
- ↑ Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files, 1997
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Dragon Ball Anime Illustration Collection: The Golden Warrior
- ↑ Dragon Ball Fusions
- ↑ Dragon Ball GT Episode 62: "Rescue Goku"