The End of Vegeta (無念...!! 誇り高きサイヤ人·ベジータ死す, Munen...!! Hokori Takaki Saiya Jin Bejīta Shisu) is the 12th episode of the Frieza Saga and the eighty-sixth overall episode in the uncut Dragon Ball Z series. The episode first aired on April 17, 1991. Its original American air date was October 5, 1999.
Frieza continues to pummel Vegeta, while strangling him with his tail. Piccolo, Krillin and Gohan know that they can no longer save Vegeta and look on in horror. Finally, Frieza throws Vegeta into a nearby boulder and prepares to deliver the killing blow, promising the others that they will be next.
Goku pinpoints their location and appears at the battlefield just in time. After sharing a warm welcome with his friends, Goku bravely walks up to Frieza and the two are finally acquainted. Frieza appears to recognize Goku's face, and when he hears Vegeta address him as "Kakarot", he suddenly realizes that Goku is another Saiyan, the son of Bardock, a Saiyan who challenged him briefly after the death of King Vegeta. Frieza killed Bardock along with the rest of the Saiyan race that same day.
Goku claims not to care about his race or his father's demise, (in the FUNimation English dub, only) and challenges Frieza, to the shock of Frieza and Vegeta. Frieza attacks, but Goku easily dodges and kicks Frieza square in the jaw, effectively making him the first to harm Frieza in his final form. Frieza then fires a barrage of death beams which Goku manages to deflect with little effort, stunning Frieza, especially due to Goku managed avoid the attacks without putting his friends at risk. Though beaten and battered, Vegeta begins laughing at Frieza claiming that Goku is a Super Saiyan and will defeat him. Irate, Frieza fires a Death Beam directly through Vegeta's heart, mortally wounding him.
Dying, Vegeta begs Goku not to be so merciful with Frieza as he was with him, Nappa and the Ginyu Force, claiming that Frieza is not the type to be shown mercy. Goku tries to deny Vegeta's claims, stating that everyone deserves a chance to change their ways, even Frieza. However, despite Goku's pleas to stop talking and save his strength, Vegeta tearfully pours out his history to Goku: Frieza extorted King Vegeta and the Saiyan race into working for him, and even took him away from his father when he was a little boy, threatening to kill King Vegeta if he refused to obey him, but despite Vegeta's obedience, Frieza still killed King Vegeta along with Bardock and the rest of the Saiyan race when King Vegeta attempted to rebel against the tyrant. Goku, who was unaware until now, is touched by this, finally understanding the reason behind Vegeta's hateful nature and the truth about the demise of his species, while Gohan, Piccolo and Krillin look on horrified upon learning of this.
With his final breaths, Vegeta begs Goku to destroy Frieza no matter what and not let him turn anymore innocent people into killing machines. Vegeta finally dies. Though admitting that he hated Vegeta for his crimes, Goku buries him as a sign of respect after creating a burial grave with a brief flash of eyes, thanking him for saving Gohan, reviving Piccolo and buying time for him to heal.
Fueled with a desire for revenge for all the fallen, Goku vows to destroy Frieza.
- Goku arrives on the battlefield and meets Frieza for the first time.
- Vegeta is killed by Frieza.
- Vegeta vs. Frieza (Final Form)
- Goku vs. Frieza (Final Form)
- Bardock (Flashback)
- King Vegeta (Flashback)
- Nappa (Flashback)
- Zarbon (Flashback)
- Dodoria (Flashback)
Differences from the manga
- In the original manga chapter, Frieza does not actually deduce that Goku was Bardock's son, although he does note that he resembled Bardock.
- The flashback sequence showing a young Vegeta along with his father, Nappa and other Saiyans on an alien planet is exclusive to the anime.
- Goku and Frieza meet face to face for the first time. Prior to this, it was hinted that Frieza knew of rumors of Goku's existence, such as hearing of an Earth Saiyan that defeated Vegeta, and Vegeta quipping that Goku wouldn't get a chance to fight him in "Dende's Demise". This episode marks Goku and Frieza's first meeting in the series.
- This episode also marks the first time Vegeta dies onscreen in the series.
- There are many errors in the artwork in this episode, including, but without limitation, the following:
- At the beginning, Krillin is seen standing alongside Piccolo and Gohan, but his Battle Armor is completely intact, despite having been impaled by one of Frieza's horns in his second form earlier.
- When Vegeta is thrown into the hill, the back of his armor is significantly damaged. For the rest of the series, until he disposes of this armor, the back is completely intact except for the hole that Krillin blasted through him.
- Even in the front, right before he died, there were several cracks in his armor, allegedly from the beating he took from Frieza, that were gone when he was revived by Shenron.
- When Piccolo and Krillin are flying away before Goku and Frieza start fighting and when Krillin tells Gohan to come with them, he is seen wearing his Turtle School Gi.
- In the FUNimation dub, when attempting to finish off Vegeta immediately prior to Goku's arrival, Frieza says to Vegeta "Good night, sweet prince," a reference to the Shakespeare play Hamlet.
- Also Frieza says to Goku "You're a little smarter than the average Saiyan" after Frieza's attempt at tricking Goku by claiming the latter's shoes were untied (which, as Goku pointed out, he wasn't even wearing shoes) failed, a reference to Yogi Bear.
- Also in the dub, during the flashback to when Frieza killed King Vegeta, Frieza briefly says as the king's pendant falls toward his feet "Long live the king!", similar to Scar right before killing Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King.
- In the Remastered edition, Sonny Strait also redubbed his lines as Bardock in order to keep up continuity with Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku and Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge, and also to make him sound less like Krillin. Also, Bardock's line, "This is for all the people that we killed in your name!", has been removed.
- The original dub also made it sound as though the soldiers present with Bardock had in fact been allied with Bardock, when in actuality they had been Frieza's men.
- Guru is shown among those who have died at Frieza's hands in the images at the end of the episode, even though it was believed he died of natural causes. The true cause of his death, of which Frieza was responsible, is revealed in Approaching Destruction.