"Creating a machine that could travel across space and time is a mortal sin, a crime against the laws of nature. Because of what you did, this resulting cataclysm could bring an end to reality as we know it! So, if you ever wanna atone for this, Trunks, you're gonna work for me!"
The Time Machine (タイムマシン Taimu Mashin) is a machine built by Future Bulma in Future Trunks' alternate timeline, that could be used to go to the future or to the past. The word "Hope!!" is written on the side of the machine, emphasizing that it was hope for their world.
Creation and concept
The Time Machine was equipped with airplane functions too. At first, the series author Akira Toriyama was thinking of adding in vehicle elements to the Time Machine, like a plane. But in the end, it was only ever used as a Time Machine. The idea of an airplane-like Time Machine was ultimately used for the Epoch in the hit Squaresoft RPG Chrono Trigger.
When traveling back in time, the Time Machine creates a new timeline that branches off from its original one at the moment in time where the Time Machine arrived. Thus it is not possible to "change" the past, in the sense that one's present will change. Any change done in the past will be reflected in a new timeline. However, when traveling back to the future, the Time Machine will go back to its original timeline.
According to Future Trunks, the Time Machine uses up a lot of chronal energy, so it can carry barely enough power for two trips in time. Thus, it is generally used to travel in time, and then to go back to the present. Recharging the machine takes a lot of time, too. It seems that the only way to recharge it is in Future Trunks' own time. In Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, six Time Machine turbines have to be collected before Future Trunks can travel to the past. There is no ladder, so only people who can fly are able to ride it. In Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road, Future Trunks says they have continued developing the Time Machine since his last time travel and they have made one that can carry multiple people.
"Time is a precious and sacred force in the universe. When you travel back in time, you create a distortion in the fabric of reality, and it ends up causing a ripple in the timestream. Temporal aftereffects on the events that you were trying to undo. That is a serious offense to the laws of reality and nature. Time was only ever meant to travel in one direction: foreward."
Using a Time Machine is ultimately a violation of the laws of the universe, as revealed in Dragon Ball Online and Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. It is explained in Dragon Ball Online that a deity called the Lord of Time watches over the flow of time from the cosmos and gave Trunks a stern warning for his actions, and it is mentioned in Jaco the Galactic Patrolman that the Galactic Patrol can punish this kind of crime. It is mentioned by Whis that traveling through time into the past or future is a serious offense.
In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, it is revealed that Future Bulma was the first person in the history of Universe 7 to create a Time Machine (apparently ignoring the time machines that appear in Dr. Slump presumably due to its nature as a gag manga), and Future Trunks' use of it resulted in the first time distortion in the history of Universe 7 (though not the first in the history of the Multiverse as a time machine was created by a mortal in an advanced civilization in Universe 12 which later came into the possession of Ugg). As a result of disrupting the natural order of the universe caused by the creation and use of their Time Machine by Future Trunks and the Bio-Android Cell, Chronoa outlawed the use of Time Machines to prevent further alterations to history (indicating that the law enforced by the Galactic Patrol is unrelated as it predates the existence of Bulma's Time Machine as it was around when Bulma herself was still a child). However, she chose not to undo the changes to history caused by Future Trunks' and Cell's use of the Time Machine, due to understanding Trunks' noble reasons behind his actions and the fact that history didn't turn out for the worse, as well as Cell's destruction at the hands of Super Saiyan 2 Gohan's via the Father-Son Kamehameha during the climax of the Cell Games. Despite the fact that Future Trunks had not broken the law, as it was enacted due to his and his mother's actions, Chronoa tricked Future Trunks' into becoming her assistant by telling him "What you did is a mortal sin and making Time Machines is a crime! Work under me if you want to be forgiven!". Future Trunks seriously believed her statement to be true, causing him to agree to work for her as her faithful assistant as a means of atonement for his "mortal sin" of creating and using the Time Machine, unaware of the deception on Chronoa's part.
After creating Toki Toki City and the Time Patrol in Age 850, Future Trunks has the revived Capsule Corporation from his time to create newer Time Machines supervised by Chronoa to prevent more timelines from being created. These Time Machines are used by the Time Patrol to use in order to track down the time fragments created as a side effect of time distortions, as part of Parallel Quests. These Time Machines were constructed and redesigned using Chronoa's in-depth knowledge of the nature of space time, and as a result do not create alternate timelines as the first Time Machine built by Future Bulma did. The Time Patrol have their Time Machines docked at Toki Toki City's Time Machine Station. In Age 852, these Time Machines are still utilized for Parallel Quests and transporting Dragon Balls in other timelines such in as the Guru's House Time Rift anomaly.
During the Warrior of Hope Saga, Chronoa notes that the Time Machine used by Future Trunks is different from the Time Patrol's methods of time travel as it creates alternate timelines due to its aforementioned design flaw, when it is destroyed in an altered future timeline by Goku Black before Future Trunks can escape to the past. However, despite the problems it causes, Chronoa states that since its usage is already an established part of the official history, they must protect it thus showing that the use of it is permitted within these circumstances due to it being already considered part of the history of the timelines it is used in and/or inadvertently creates. As a result the Time Patrol prevents it and Future Trunks from being destroyed in the future to restore the original history when Future Trunks seeks help in the main timeline. However if its destruction is a part of the original history, the Time Patrol will not interfere (and may even seek to cause its destruction to restore the original history if need be) as they allowed Black to destroy Future Trunks' Time Machine in the main timeline as it was part of the established history, though Chronoa herself points out that it doesn't matter as Bulma ended up fixing Cell's Time Machine as a replacement thus the correction was a success. Presumably this would be another reason why Chronoa chose not to erase Cell's alterations to history as his Time Machine played a critical role during crisis caused by the Zamases' misuses of the Time Rings as part of their Project Zero Mortals, a crisis which Elder Kai admits was a mistake of the gods' themselves (in reference to his fellow Supreme Kai Gowasu selection of Zamasu as an apprentice).
The Time Patrol continues to permit the repaired Time Machine's usage through the rest of the saga in order to restore the original history in both the main and future timeline (the future multiverse is still erased by Future Zeno which in turn erases Infinite Zamasu after essence invades the Time Nest). It is also implied that Chronoa permitted Future Mai, Future Trunks, and Future Zeno (though Future Zeno case it is likely permitted simply due to his position and power being superior to even Chronoa's) use of the machine as well as it was also an established part of history. This presumably would also apply to Future Trunks' original usage of the Time Machine that created the first time distortion in the history of Universe 7 resulting in the creation of the main and future timelines. Again it is also implied that the laws forbidding time travel enforced by the Time Patrol and Galactic Patrol are not the same, as one Majin Time Patroller fears the possibility of her and her fellow Patrollers getting arrested by Jaco if he finds out they are Time Patrollers while investigating a time rift anomaly at Satan House. Presumably the laws enforced by the Galactic Patrol are interstellar laws enacted by the galactic government ruled by the Galactic King, while the Time Patrol enforce the natural laws governing time travel under the direction of the Supreme Kai of Time. Despite when Jaco ends up in Conton City in Age 852 he is shown to be aware of the Time Patrols activities and even assists them by working as an Instructor at the Time Patroller Academy. Presumably he recognizes that Chronoa's authority of matters involving time is superior, though it is unclear if the rest of the Galactic Patrol is aware of their existence or if Jaco even reported its existence to his superiors.
The time machine is apparently very energy consuming as Future Bulma stated it took eight months to charge enough energy for a round trip 20 years into the past. Although it could do due to Bulma's lab being destroyed as she stated she could have made the machine better, implying she could have also charged it more efficiently as present Bulma was able to prepare Tapion for trip 1,000 years into the past in a short period of time.
Other Time Machines
Universe 12 Time Machine
In Dragon Ball Super, it is revealed that the first Time Machine was created by a mortal in Universe 12 which eventually fell into the possession of that Universe's Supreme Kai, Ugg. In the manga it is revealed that in Future Trunks' timeline, Future Zamasu and Goku Black took the machine for themselves after killing Ugg, providing them and eventually Infinite Zamasu a way to travel to other timelines which Infinite Zamasu reveals when Future Trunks and his allies try to flee in Trunks' Time Machine. However this time machine was erased along with Infinite Zamasu and the future multiverse by Future Zeno. In the main timeline and alternate future timeline created by Whis, the Time Machine is still in Ugg's possession.
Omori's Time Machine
The time machine that Tokunoshin Omori was working on during Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. It was originally funded by the East City government but because of an accident in the lab that killed Omori's Wife, funding ceased and Omori continued working on it by himself. When Jaco needed to save Tights and Manpuku Okawari from crashing the Twinkle 8 into East City, Omori used the time machine to briefly stop time.
A strange time machine invented by Senbei Norimaki in Dr. Slump. It is a board that a talking clock named Mr. Time slips on a brings anyone riding on the board to a different time period. Unlike the Capsule time machine, any alterations in time using this machine are permanent and do not make a separate timeline. This time machine was used to travel to the prehistoric ages where they end up finding an egg which Gatchan was born from and was even used to prevent the Dinosaurs from going extinct.
Turbo's Time Machine
A time machine that was quickly built by Turbo Norimaki in Dr. Slump using his Telekinesis that is more advanced than his father's time slipper. This was used by Robotoriyama to travel to Age 759 and see what happen to the lives of the residents in Penguin Village.
Dragon Ball Z
Future Trunks uses the Time Machine to go to the past to warn the Z Fighters about the androids. Because of the way the machine works, Future Trunks' timeline did not change at all (see alternate timeline for more details). Future Trunks went back not to change his history, but to learn of any weaknesses the androids may have; that way, he could return to his time and manage to defeat the androids there. Future Trunks used the machine again to go back and help the Z Fighters when the androids made their appearance.
In one of the alternate timelines, after Future Trunks returns from his second trip to the past and his deactivation of Future Android 17 and Future Android 18, Cell killed him and stole the Time Machine. He did it in order to go back in time to absorb the androids in a moment in time where they still existed. This essentially creates four timelines; the fourth one, which is never seen, involves Future Trunks going back, but, instead of training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he finds the blueprints to the Androids. Bulma later crafts a remote control that deactivates them and leaves them helpless, and Future Trunks takes that controller back to his time to destroy the androids. Since he did not train in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Future Trunks was not strong enough to kill Cell, leading to Cell killing him and taking the Time Machine, thus creating the Cell Saga.
In order to fit inside the machine, Cell had to revert into his egg form, in which he barely had time to press the button to send him back to the preset time. After arriving to his destination, Cell burns a hole in the hatch and abandons the stolen Time Machine, which is later photographed by a Capsule Corporation satellite. Bulma shows the photograph to Future Trunks who decides they should check it out. They find the Time Machine and Cell's shed Cocoon. Future Trunks realizes it is same as his Time Machine (as it has the word "Hope!!" written on its side). Future Trunks presses a button capsulizing it and likely took it back with him to his timeline to prevent anyone from misusing it (or reverse-engineering its technology).
Dragon Ball Super
Future Trunks uses the Time Machine again to return to the past for help after Goku Black attacks the Earth of his timeline. However, he only had enough fuel for a one way trip and won't be able to return.
In the anime only, after Black follows Trunks back into the past he is confronted by and fought by Super Saiyan 2 Goku. Before he was about to be pulled back into the past, Black blows up Trunks's Time Machine. Bulma revealed that she kept Cell's Time Machine for use in future research now re-purpose for Future Trunks in coming back home to his original time period. In the manga Cell's time machine does not appear at all, and they simply use Future Trunks' time machine, as Black never comes back and destroys it. It is also possible for an individual to ride outside the time machine and they two will also be transported with those inside. Goku and Vegeta hang on the side outside of the time machine knowing that they will all not fit inside at the last moment before Future Zeno destroyed the universe.
Future Trunks and Future Mai finally return to a future that was free of Zamasu's terror with the Time Machine. Bulma later tried building her own Time Machine using notes from her Future counterpart. But ultimately it wouldn't function with a crystal that was placed in it from the future, so she had Goku search for one that is from their timeline which can only be found in the earth's core. Beerus and Whis catch on, and they confront her about building a time machine with Beerus holding the crystal. Whis reminds Bulma that it is forbidden to travel through time and Beerus crushes the crystal and destroys the Time Machine and notes with a snap of his fingers, with Bulma weeping at her loss.
In Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon, Bulma creates a Time Machine for Tapion to allow him to return to Planet Konats in the past. It is nearly identical to the one Future Trunks used (its design was likely based on Future Trunks' Time Machine). According to the Japanese dialogue, Bulma tells Trunks he can use another Time Machine to visit Tapion any time he wants.
Video Game Appearances
In Dragon Ball Z: Atsumare! Gokū Wārudo, during the 10 days prior to the Cell Games, Future Trunks, Goku, Gohan, Krillin and Bulma uses the Time Machine to travel back in time from Goku and Krillin's training under Master Roshi to the group's first encounter with Cell.
The Time Machine appears in cutscenes of several video games. One is seen in the background of the Alternative Future battle stage in Dragon Ball Z 2: Super Battle. In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, in Dragon Universe, a Time Machine can be found and visited when playing as Goku after returning to Earth from Namek; Goku finds a Meta-Cooler at the site, and a battle ensues between the two. In Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, six Time Machine turbines have to be collected in the city before Future Trunks can travel to the past.
In Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road, Future Trunks saves a Time Machine that can carry multiple people from Future Dabura's attack on West City, and he uses it to travel back in time and bring the Z Fighters of the past in order to help him against Future Babidi and later Future Majin Buu. In the third promotional movie for Dragon Ball Heroes, the Saiyan Hero and the Saiyan Heroine use Time Machines to go back in time and attack Frieza's remaining soldiers while Super Saiyan Goku is fighting Frieza on Namek. Redesigned Time Machines appear in the computer game Dragon Ball Online, making them look similar to Frieza's spaceship. The game features Time Machine Missions where players travel back in time and take part in notable aspects of the Dragon Ball history. The game's main antagonist, Miira, also plans to use a Time Machine to go into the past and steal Goku's DNA.
In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, Time Machines are created in newer models from the revived Capsule Corporation in Future Trunks' timeline and docked in the Time Machine Station of Toki Toki City. The Time Patrol makes use of these Time Machines, as well as the Scroll of Eternity, as their primary form of Time Travel. The Time Machines seem to be big enough for only a single person, but have power for multiple trips, and can even send items through time, such as Dragon Balls. The Time Machines used by the Time Patrol do not create alternate timelines, due to being altered by Chronoa so as to avoid such distortions and are thus sanction by her for use by the Time Patrol.
In Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden, Future Trunks' Time Machine appears as a Z-Assist character (obtained as DLC via an update). When used the Time Machine will appear and reset cool down time for all Z-Assist characters, except for Shenron and itself.
"If you're wondering why we use a time machine to enter Parallel Quests, but scrolls for other quests, then let me tell you. It's because the history of Parallel Quests is different from the history that's stored in the Time Vault. It might be easier to understand if you think of it like a bunch of digressions and sidebars that have spun off from the main story. The long and short of it is that we can't access that history using the scrolls, on with a time machine."
— Skid's explaination of why the Time Patrol uses Time Machines for Parallel Quests in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Time Patrol sanctioned Time Machine are still used by the Time Patrol to travel to timelines featured in Parallel Quests. Following the destruction of Toki Toki City, the Time Machine Station was rebuilt in Conton City. Unlike the Time Machine Station in Xenoverse, instead of docks for multiple time machines, a single time machine appears in the center of the station in Conton City surrounded by a protective cylindrical dome. Despite the reduction in the number of Time Machines used by the Time Patrol, this apparently does not reduce the either number of parallel quests or the number of Time Patrollers taking part in them. Like in Xenoverse, the Time Machine can transport objects such as Dragon Balls. However, in Xenoverse 2, the Time Machine appears outside Parallel Quests, as it is used to transport the Namekian Dragon Balls to safety in Guru's House Quests that take place in the Guru's House time rift anomaly. Namekian Time Patroller Skid explains the reason that Time Machines are used in Parallel Quests instead of the scrolls is cause the history in parallel quests is different than what is recorded in the scroll. He also explains that even when Time Patrollers like the Toki Toki City Hero fix a history change, there are slight imperfections in history, because the interventions where made by someone who never existed in the original unaltered timeline. As a result, these imperfections create tiny fluctuations in history and that is why the Time Patrol has Parallel Quests, so the Time Patrol can keep trying over and over again to fix history completely, but they only ever get a fraction closer to the correct version. Though these parallel timelines are mostly harmless, the Time Patrol has to keep an eye on them as they may attract the attention of time traveling criminals such as the Time Breakers and their allies.
During the "A Desperate Future" Saga, when Xeno Trunks' mentions his mother's creation of the Time Machine, Elder Kai reveals he while he himself doesn't approve of the creation of Time Machine, he is fully aware there is nothing that can be done about its use by Future Trunks and Cell as it is already an established part of history and due to the fact that the Time Patrol itself uses the technology (albeit modified to prevent further time distortions). After Xeno Trunks defies Chronoa's orders to save Future Gohan and the Warrior from Mira, Future Gohan attributes the presence of an grown up Future Trunks to meaning that Future Bulma had successfully completed her Time Machine indicating he was aware of its development and assumes that Trunks had used it resulting in his appearance in Age 780 of his timeline's past unaware that he was using a different method provided by the Time Scrolls. However Future Gohan realizes that Xeno Trunks' presence indicates the future of their timeline is safe while realizing his own fate which he accepts due to the knowledge that his battle with the Androids has a purpose and will lead to a better future.
In Parallel Quest 35: "Miscalculations in Time", a parallel timeline of Age 767 is shown in which Cell's time machine ends up in Age 767 during the Cell Games, leading to an encounter between Imperfect Cell and Perfect Cell. Perfect Cell realizes that his past self, Imperfect Cell must have arrived in the wrong timeline and calls him an idiot before confirming he had already absorbed 17 and 18 (in the FUNimation Dub he jokingly adds that if Imperfect Cell eats his Androids he can grow up to be just like him). Imperfect Cell is thrilled to see that Dr. Gero's Super Computer was right about his Perfect form and believes he can become more perfect if he absorbs Perfect Cell. If the parallel quest is finished with Imperfect Cell's health over 50%, SSJ2 Gohan appears and seeing Imperfect Cell concludes that Perfect Cell must have lost his Perfect form, but decides he cannot let Cell live whatever the case. It is never revealed what happens to Imperfect Cell after the parallel quest as it occurs in a time fragment timeline.
As part of the Super Pack 4 DLC, Future Trunks' Time Machine appears during the Warrior of Hope Saga. In an altered timeline of Age 786, Future Trunks is preparing to travel to the past in his time machine to seek the aid of Goku and his father in the main timeline, but a distortion in time causes his Time Machine to stop working and Goku Black fires a Black Kamehameha at the Time Machine destroying it and killing Future Trunks. Chronoa explains that Trunks should have used the Time Machine to travel back into the past, but Goku Black arrived and destroyed the Time Machine before Trunks could use it, changing history. Old Kai is surprised that they are forced to deal with another timeline involving time travel and says he certainly can't approve of that. Chronoa points out that unlike the Time Scrolls, the Time Machine Trunks' uses actually creates more timelines, but states that its use by Trunks is part of the correct timeline so they have no choice but to protect it despite its use technically being against what the Time Patrol stands for. As Xeno Trunks is on another mission, the original Future Warrior is tasked with stopping Black from destroying the Time Machine in Age 786 which the 2nd Future Warrior waits for Goku Black to arrive in the past when his Time Ring transports him there due to the time distortion created by Trunks' Time Machine in the main timeline.
Soon Goku Black appears and the Future Warrior aids Goku in fighting him until Black is pulled back to Trunks' timeline when the time distortion fades. As Goku Black is being pulled back he fires a ki blast at the Time Machine destroying it like in the original timeline before being pulled back to Trunks' timeline. Like in the original timeline Trunks is devastated by the destruction of his time machine, but he is distracted by Goku asking if the Future Warrior was a friend of his from the future. After both Future Warriors return to the Time Nest, Old Kai explains that though the Time Machine ended up being totaled, that is what occurred in the proper timeline. However another history change occurs which Chronoa reveals was in the point in time after Cell's time machine was repaired when Trunks took Goku and the others into the future. Old Kai explains it is the timeline where Zamasu showed up and that he was once an apprentice Supreme Kai before he noticed how much power Goku had and used the Super Dragon Balls to switch bodies with Goku and became Goku Black and teamed up with the Zamasu of Trunks' timeline so they could work together to rid the universe of humanity as part of their Project Zero Mortals. Old Kai admits he doesn't like sending mortals to deal with the god's mistakes but notes the two Future Warriors are all they have and tells them to stop Zamasu on their behalf.
- The Blue No. 15 Electro-Fluid is the fuel that operates the time machine.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dragon Ball Z: Atsumare! Gokū Wārudo, 1992
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road, 2007
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2, 2005
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, 2004
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, 2007
- ↑ Dragon Ball Online, 2010
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, 2015
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Dragon Ball Super Manga Chapter 26
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 "Dragon Ball Q&A" section, Dragon Ball Full Color Androids Saga volume 6, 2014
- ↑ Trunks' discussion of Parallel Quests
- ↑ Dragon Ball Super Manga Chapter 15