The Time Machine (タイムマシン) is a machine built by Future Bulma, the Bulma of 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.
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, and not to the new timeline's future. If it is used to travel again back to the past to a point after a previous trip, the Time Machine will go to the newest timeline.
According to Future Trunks, the Time Machine uses up a lot of 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. 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 the PSP game 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.
Using a Time Machine is ultimately a violation of the laws of the universe, as revealed in the computer game Dragon Ball Online and the manga Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. It is explained in Dragon Ball Online that a deity called the Lord of Time (aka the Supreme Kai 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.
In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, it is revealed that Future Bulma was the first person in the history of the universe to create a Time Machine, and Future Trunks use of it resulted in the first time distortion in the history of the universe. 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, the Supreme Kai of Time outlawed the use of Time Machines to prevent further alterations to history. 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 the 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, the Supreme Kai of Time 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 the Supreme Kai of Time's part.
After creating Toki Toki City and the Time Patrol in Age 850, Future Trunks has the revived Capsule Corporation from his time create newer Time Machines sanctioned by the Supreme Kai of Time. 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 the Supreme Kai of Time'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.
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 back 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).
In the game Dragon Ball Z: Goku's World, 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.
In the movie 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
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 the Supreme Kai of Time so as to avoid such distortions and are thus sanction by her for use by the Time Patrol.
- ↑ 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 Q&A" section, Dragon Ball Full Color Androids Saga volume 6, 2014