"You ever hear the saying beauty is only skin deep? Well, right now, you're only seeing the beauty."
Zarbon is an elite warrior who values beauty and his physical appearance above all else. He is considered to be very handsome and he wears a heavily cultural garb. He has long green braided hair and his head apparel tiara and earrings reminiscent of a high-class prince. He is very vain and he considers himself to be of the highest standard due to his background and his good looks. It is unknown how old he actually is, but he looks to be in his late thirties to early forties. His light blue skin and golden eyes indicate his reptilian alien ancestry. He also wears a very long light blue cape, as well as a very cultural leg and arm-wear. Along with his choice of clothing, he wears the common armor that most of Frieza's military men have, including the shoulder pads and a blue scouter.
Like Dodoria, he is intelligent as he advises Frieza to think in advance and eliminate the Saiyan race in order to avoid future repercussions. His resourcefulness and cunning is witnessed on numerous occasions as he directly advises Frieza on matters dealing with the conquering, pillaging, or overall domination of the inter-planetary world trade system. Aside from his role as Frieza's adviser, Zarbon dislikes his own transformation due to its ugly appearance, showing himself to be vain and only transforms as a self-defense mechanism. When he does transform, his battle power increases immensely. After transforming, he referred to his original form as "the beauty side" and introduced the new form as "the beast", a reference to the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. He, like Frieza's other henchmen, sometimes underestimates his opponents. It is shown many times that Zarbon is very terrified of Frieza, much like many of Frieza’s henchmen.
Dragon Ball Z
Main article: Namek Saga
"Alright, now you've done it! No one insults me like that, Vegeta! For someone who looks like you, you have no right to call me hideous! I'd kill you where you stand but Frieza wants me to take you alive. Consider yourself lucky."
Zarbon accompanies Frieza and Dodoria to Namek in search of the Namekian Dragon Balls. Frieza's one desired wish is to gain immortality in order to maintain his dominance in the universe. Zarbon assists him by collecting most of the Dragon Balls alongside Dodoria by mercilessly slaughtering Namekians in order to squeeze information out of them. Unfortunately for Frieza, Vegeta shows up on Planet Namek with his own desire to gain control of the Dragon Balls. Vegeta had openly betrayed Frieza and went to Earth alongside Nappa although Frieza never gave him that order. Later, after traveling to Namek, Vegeta decides to proceed with his deliberate betrayal and gain control of the Dragon Balls for himself. Vegeta takes the first opportunity he gets to eliminate both Cui, and then Dodoria, who was temporarily separated from his crew after pursuing Gohan and Krillin.
At this point, Zarbon becomes the only remaining elite henchman of Frieza. After he and Appule are sent to search for remaining Namekian Villages, Zarbon soon comes face to face with Vegeta instead. Vegeta is overconfident due to his new-found strength and challenges Zarbon, who believes this to be a bluff. However, Vegeta has the upper hand, deflecting Zarbon's Elegant Blaster, and dodging all his attacks. Vegeta eventually slams Zarbon down into the Namek soil. After Zarbon has been shaken, he informs Vegeta that he can transform, but avoids it when possible because the form he assumes is ugly in appearance, which Zarbon despises. He then surprises Vegeta and undergoes his quick demonic reptilian transformation.
The tables turn as Zarbon easily dominates Vegeta with a series of brutal poundings, multiple headbutts and roundhouses. After toying with Vegeta for a while, seriously pounding the Saiyan, Zarbon finishes the fight with an aerial piledriver, sending Vegeta head first into the ground and washed into the murky waters of Namek. Assuming Vegeta had been killed in the crash, Zarbon reports back to Frieza in order to relay the message of his victory. Frieza, however, is not pleased. Vegeta was able to find one of the Dragon Balls and hide it before being pummeled. The location of the Dragon Ball is a necessity, so Frieza orders Zarbon to heal Vegeta in order to squeeze the information out of him.
Relieved, Zarbon returns to the area of the battle, locates Vegeta's battered body, and takes him to the rejuvenation chamber in Frieza's ship in order for Appule to heal him in the rejuvenation chamber for further questioning. Upon healing, Vegeta manages to kill Appule, escape and steal Frieza's five Dragon Balls by distracting them. Frieza orders Zarbon to locate Vegeta once more since they did not interrogate the renegade Saiyan, also executing Orlen (who had failed to get information on Vegeta's whereabouts before killing the lone survivor of a Namekian village Vegeta massacred) in front of Zarbon as a demonstration as to what fate Zarbon will experience should he fail to retrieve him. Zarbon hurries out in fear, and searches for Vegeta, in order to avoid facing the serious consequences.
Soon, he finds Vegeta and challenges him once again, this time with Krillin and Bulma as witnesses. Bulma is instantly attracted to Zarbon's appearance, although Krillin recognizes that the warrior is allied with Frieza. With Krillin and Bulma's lives at stake, Zarbon and Vegeta face off once more. Zarbon begins to warm up against Vegeta while not transforming, although he remembers Frieza's impending threat, and soon transforms to make sure he does not pass the limited time given to him to bring Vegeta back to Frieza's ship. Vegeta informs Zarbon that Saiyan strength increases after every battle and after near death experiences, so Vegeta's Power Level has increased substantially because of the beating he had taken. This enables Vegeta to overcome Zarbon by slamming his arm through his stomach. While Vegeta's arm is rammed into Zarbon's bleeding stomach, Zarbon, in a state of extreme fear, begs for his life and offers Vegeta an alliance against his master (this was however just a lie to get a chance at mercy, as he still respected Frieza, made clear in the Japanese version, where he used the honorific "-sama" at Frieza's name). He implies that if they formed an alliance together they could defeat Frieza, but Vegeta finishes him off with a blast clean through his stomach, cracking his backbone, and sending Zarbon to a watery grave in the Namekian sea, to Bulma's shock.
Dragon Ball GT
Super 17 Saga
Main article: Super 17 Saga
Zarbon and Dodoria return from Hell in Dragon Ball GT. Similar to his brief escape in Fusion Reborn, Zarbon escapes from hell alongside Dodoria and they wreak havoc with all the other villains in the Super 17 Saga. He is presumably defeated again and sent back when the Z Warriors come to face all the previously defeated foes.
Bardock - The Father of Goku
In Age 737, within Frieza's spaceship, Frieza is being briefed by his top two henchmen, Zarbon and Dodoria, in regards to the occurrences in their routine interplanetary galactic trade and conquering. Recent news reveals that the Saiyans' strength constantly grows after each battle. Zarbon informs Frieza that a group of low-class Saiyans had taken over Kanassa in just a few days. Dodoria states that the job to take Kanassa had not been done for several months, and that not even Frieza's elite squadrons could take Kanassa so easily.
This is the first time Frieza is literally amazed at the growing power of the Saiyans. Frieza, Zarbon, and Dodoria contemplate the fate of the Saiyans due to the growing power of the species, and decide to take action in order to avoid further repercussions, as the Saiyans might pose a great threat to them in the future. Zarbon advises Frieza to eliminate the growing threat before it poses a greater problem. Dodoria and his elite fighters are ordered to eradicate Bardock, the second strongest Saiyan alive at the time, and his teammates (Tora, Borgos, Shugesh, and Fasha). Dodoria is successful in killing the team, but carelessly left Bardock alive after delivering one heavily powerful mouth blast at him. When it became apparent that Bardock was going to decimate his entire army single-handedly, Zarbon was then ordered by Frieza to prepare his chair for liftoff. Zarbon expresses confusion as to why Frieza would want to leave the ship, before Frieza intimidates him into doing so when asking irritably if he is questioning his orders. Later, Frieza mercilessly destroys the Saiyan planet, along with Bardock in the midst. Zarbon and Dodoria are the only characters to bear witness when Frieza destroys Planet Vegeta. They stare at the destruction of the planet without any sympathy.
Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn
Along with countless other Dragon Ball antagonists, Zarbon makes a cameo appearance in the 1995 film Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn when the residents of Hell make their escape to Earth. Similar to his brief appearance in the Super 17 Saga, Zarbon escapes from Hell alongside dozens of villains from the past when Frieza gives the order to attack. However, he was presumably defeated again and sent back to Hell when the Great Saiyaman comes to stop Frieza's onslaught.
Other Dragon Ball Stories
Dragon Ball SD
Zarbon also appears during the fifth Time Machine Quest in the computer game Dragon Ball Online. He is brainwashed by Towa through a special beam and turned into a giant just before his fight with Vegeta. After being defeated by the Time Patrol, Zarbon transforms into his monster form, but the change tampers with Towa's magic and he shrinks in size. Towa then leaves Zarbon, considering him a failure, and Zarbon is defeated by the Time Patrol.
Episode of Bardock
Main article: Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock
Zarbon makes a brief appearance in the first chapter of Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock, during Bardock's failed last stand against Frieza. It is interesting to note that unlike in Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku, Zarbon and Dodoria are actually alongside Frieza when he blows up Planet Vegeta (in the special, they stay inside the ship).
Supersonic Warriors 2
In Supersonic Warriors 2, Cooler's story mode includes a side-story where he comes to Earth as Metal Cooler (nucleus) with the Big Gete Star and, after defeating Super Saiyan Goku and Super Saiyan Vegeta in West City, uses the Dragon Balls to revive the Ginyu Force alongside Zarbon and Dodoria. In the scenario Zarbon is very sarcastic and insults the Ginyu Force by saying they have no subtlety after they try to persuade Cooler and Zarbon to join to their battle pose, or mocking Dodoria that all he knows to say is that "we have a problem" whenever an enemy appears. He alerts Cooler that even without scouters, they can tell that Perfect Cell is too strong for them. At the end of the story, the Ginyu Force persuades Cooler and Zarbon to join them in their Fighting Pose after Cooler promised them to do so if they help him to defeat Perfect Cell.
Budokai Tenkaichi 2
Within Zarbon's main story mode in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, entitled Beautiful Treachery, he tries to find the Dragon Balls for his own desire of obtaining eternal beauty. Zarbon creates a lucrative scenario where he calls upon the Ginyu Force, along with Cooler and his squadron, and instigates a clash between Frieza and Cooler. However, after using Krillin, Dende, and Gohan to aid him in acquiring his wish, Zarbon finds that eternal beauty was not the most logical wish when dealing with an angered Frieza. Just as Goku arrives to help Zarbon battle Frieza, the fight is interrupted and Frieza sets off to battle his enraged brother Cooler. Zarbon and Goku try to escape the planet as the clash between the two tyrants obliterates it. Krillin succeeds in using the Dragon Balls to teleport Goku off the planet safely, while Zarbon is tragically left to die along with Namek, which in turn, is destroyed when the titanic battle between Cooler and Frieza erupts.
- Manga and Anime
Zarbon's power level in his base form is said to be lower than 24,000 (Vegeta's power level at the start of the Namek Saga). When fighting Vegeta in his base form he is able to hold his own but is overall outclassed, however when Zarbon takes on his Monster form he quickly defeats Vegeta, showing that his power level in that state is a fair bit above 24,000. After Vegeta gains a Zenkai (increasing his power to 30,000), Zarbon was still superior to the Saiyan power-wise when in his Monster Form, however he was defeated due to coming at Vegeta with his guard down, allowing the prince to take advantage, blinding him with sand and then overwhelming him.
- Statements by author and guidebooks
The movie pamphlet for Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might states that he has a power level of 17,000 in base form.
- Video games
Zarbon's power level is stated as being 23,000 in the video games Dragon Ball Z II: Gekishin Freeza, Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan, and Dragon Ball Z: Scouter Battle Taikan Kamehameha and 27,599 when he escapes Hell during the Super 17 Saga. His Monster Form's power level is 55,000 in Dragon Ball Z II: Gekishin Freeza and 30,000 in Legend of the Super Saiyan. In Dragon Ball Z: Goku Gekitōden, Zarbon's power level is 20,400 in his base form and 34,000 in his transformed state.
- Elegant Blaster is a technique used by Zarbon during the Namek Saga. He uses it against Vegeta, only to have it deflected into a mountain. Its name is derived from the Budokai Tenkaichi Series.
- The Possibility Cannon is used many times by Zarbon in both of his battles with Vegeta. It is first used to blast Vegeta away in the middle of Zarbon's relentless beat down of the Saiyan Prince. He later uses it in retaliation to a one handed Galick Gun attack by Vegeta. In his second battle, he attempts the attack only to have it blocked by another blast from Vegeta.
- Flight – The ability to fly with the use of ki.
- Ki Blast – The most basic form of energy wave.
- Ruthless Blow – A strong kick to the neck attack used to kill one of the elder Namekians in Moori's village, and later in Dragon Ball GT. Named "Ruthless Blow" in the Dragon Ball Collectible Card Game, where it is also alternatively named Devastation.
- Shooting Star Arrow – The technique used to kill an old Namekian in Moori's village. Named in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Super Beautiful Arrow – A combination of many energy waves fired at a rapid rate. Named in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 1, and also used in the RPG game Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan.
- Bloody Dance – Zarbon pummels his opponent without giving them an opening to counter. This rush attack is used in the Budokai Tenkaichi series, the Raging Blast games, and Dragon Ball: Zenkai Battle Royale. It is named Elegant Combination in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.
- Hyper Elegant Magnum – Zarbon kicks the opponent up in the air, and then punches them and kicks them down again. Used in Budokai 1.
- Extra Graceful Cannon – A High Speed Rush used in Budokai 1. It is a combination of spinwheel roundhouse kicks.
- Purple Circle – An aerial backflip kick Zarbon performed at Vegeta's face. Named in the Butōden series.
- Super Footslide – A dashing slide kick used in the Butōden series.
- Cosmic Energy Flash – Three consecutive ki blast fired with the Elegant Blaster pose. Used in the Butōden series.
- Pinkeye Breaker – Zarbon's version of the Eye Lasers. Only used in the Butōden series.
- Star Hail – A Full Power Energy Ball fired from one hand. It is one of Zarbon's super techniques in the Butōden series.
- Destructive Sphere – The English name given to the Crusher Ball technique used by Zarbon in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22.
- Vanity Spread Shot – Zarbon launches an energy sphere to the ground, and it divides into three smaller energy spheres which scatter in three different directions. It is one of Zarbon's super techniques in the Butōden series.
- Meteo Change Charge – Zarbon's meteor attack in Ultimate Battle 22, during which he changes into his Monster Form to attack the opponent.
- Exploding Wave – One of Zarbon's techniques in Dragon Ball Z II: Gekishin Freeza and Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden.
- Full Power – One of Zarbon's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Wild Sense – One of Zarbon's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Blind Meteor – A combo move exclusive to the Nintendo DS game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2. Frieza summons Zarbon and Dodoria, then Dodoria fires a beam and Zarbon fires the Elegant Blaster with Frieza finishing the opponent off.
- Hunting Claw – A grapple throw used by Zarbon in his monster form. Named in Zenkai Battle Royale.
- Monster Break – A rush attack used against Vegeta. Named Monster Break in the Raging Blast series and Monster's Impact in Ultimate Tenkaichi.
- Monster Crush – A piledriver-move that is Zarbon's ultimate technique in his transformed state.
- Monster's Impact – The headbutt combo he used against Vegeta. Also called Wild Pressure.
- False Courage – One of Zarbon's Blast 1 in his Monster Form in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Hi-Tension – One of Zarbon's Blast 1 in his Monster Form in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Elegant Crash - Zarbon's signature attack in the Raging Blast Series.
Main article: Transforming Ability
Zarbon has the distinct ability to transform into a reptilian beast. Incorporating brute strength and ferocity, his second form is the opposite in appearance to his first form, becoming grotesque and brutal. Upon transforming, his size increases as well as his muscular build and his skin becomes covered with noticeable scales, similar to that of a reptile. Thus, he only does this when extremely necessary since he dislikes disfiguring his image in such a grotesque manner. When paired with Dodoria in Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team, Zarbon states that this is his true form, though Daizenshuu 7 states that his elegant form is his normal state.
Zarbon is a boss in Dragon Ball Z II: Gekishin Freeza, Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan, Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Kakusei-Hen, Dragon Ball Z: Goku Gekitōden, Dragon Ball Z: Scouter Battle Taikan Kamehameha, and Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu. After his defeat, his base form character model re-appears as a recurring foe named Yūzu (ユーズ) in Gekishin Freeza and he gets two color edits in his monster form that appear as recurring foes in Legend of the Super Saiyan: the blond Aboga (アボガ; called "Red" or "Fepha" in English versions) and the blue haired Mandarin (マンダリン; called "G.BLY" in the English version).
Zarbon is a playable character in numerous video games, including Dragon Ball Z: Gekitō Tenkaichi Budōkai, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (in this video game, Zarbon's character image and various cutscenes depict him as having his cape and scouter, however, while playing as or against him, neither the cape nor scouter can be seen), the Budokai Tenkaichi series, Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team, the Raging Blast series, Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butōden, Dragon Ball Heroes, and Dragon Ball: Zenkai Battle Royale. He is a support-type character in Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 and Dragon Ball Z: Bakuretsu Impact. He reappears in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection.
- Japanese: Shō Hayami (Dragon Ball Z), Hiroaki Miura (Dragon Ball Kai & Episode of Bardock)
- Ocean Group dub: Paul Dobson
- FUNimation dub: Christopher Sabat (Dragon Ball Z), J. Michael Tatum (Dragon Ball Z Kai and video games from Raging Blast 2 onwards)
- AB Groupe dub: Doug Rand
- Latin American dub: Arturo Mercado
- German dub: Oliver Feld
- Italian dub: Claudio Moneta
- French dub: Patrick Borg (most media), Marc Lesser (Bardock - The Father of Goku)
- Brazilian Portuguese dub: Afonso Amajones
- Portuguese dub: Ricardo Spínola
- Polish dub: Jacek Lenartowicz (Normal), Miłogost Reczek (Monster)
- Catalan Dub: Aleix Estadella
- He is an elegant warrior who serves alongside Dodoria as one of Frieza's top two highest ranking Generals and right-hand men. His name comes from the Japanese word for the pomelo fruit (ザボン, or 朱欒).
- In an issue of Beckett Anime, a Beckett magazine publication, Zarbon was voted as one of the top five greatest henchmen of all anime, and was the only character from Dragon Ball Z on the list.
- Zarbon is confirmed to be a prince among Frieza's men due to two separate indications. The first comes from the Frieza saga, when it is mentioned that when Frieza wiped out an entire species or planet, he kept the strongest warrior from each planet alive. The other instance is noted in the battle mode in the video game Tenkaichi Tag Team, where Zarbon and Vegeta are both entitled as "Prince of Another Planet" on a stage select title.
- In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, Zarbon (Post-Transformation)'s biography states that his Monster form has been sealed inside for "eons", suggesting that Zarbon is very old, though it is likely an exaggeration.
- In the FUNimation dub, in Vegeta's flashback in which he, Nappa and Raditz conquer Planet Shikk, Zarbon has an Australian accent.
- His voice in the games greatly differs from his voice in the English dubs of the anime. The original FUNimation dub, first seen in Frieza's flashback to King Vegeta's rebellion against him, has Zarbon's voice sound similar to the Ocean dub. In later versions of the FUNimation dub, his voice was changed so it resembled King Cold's or Caroni's (similar to how later versions made Vegeta's voice deeper than it did in the original FUNimation).
- Zarbon is the first villain in the entire series who is shown to be able to transform at will. Vegeta needed to use a Power Ball to transform and was an antagonist, but never remained a villain.
- In the manga, Zarbon informs Vegeta about Frieza's ability to transform. This was removed from the anime, but Vegeta still tells to Frieza that it is Zarbon who told him about his ability to transform.
- Due to the fact that Vegeta still survived and escaped with his last breath from his battle against Goku, Krillin, and Gohan, Zarbon is the first character to actually defeat Vegeta in a battle. Krillin had proceeded to kill Vegeta, but Goku told Krillin not to, thus ending the battle in a draw. However, after Zarbon had transformed, he easily dominated Vegeta, toying with him and coming out completely victorious. As Vegeta's battered and unconscious body was later recovered by Zarbon, this proves that Zarbon was the first character to defeat Vegeta in a battle.
- When Zarbon arrived for his second confrontation with Vegeta, Bulma fell in love with him at first sight (though he did not seem to notice) and thought he was a handsome hero that was there to rescue her. Ironically, she later marries Vegeta, who killed Zarbon.
- A mistake regarding Zarbon's armor was made during the scene where Vegeta kills him. At the beginning of this scene, Zarbon's armor is already battle-damaged and his cape is gone. While they are fighting, however, his armor and cape are completely intact, as the animators used a clip from a previous Vegeta vs. Zarbon scene. This is fixed in Dragon Ball Z Kai.
- According to Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Chi-Chi has mixed feelings about Zarbon's appearance. If you listen to her commentary about Zarbon in his base form, she will say "It's a face that superficial Bulma would like" (which was true since Bulma did find Zarbon highly attractive), but if you listen to her commentary on Monster Zarbon, she will say "Eek! For that good-looking face to become so dreadful!"
- The Potara earrings greatly resemble Zarbon's earrings and the charm on his headpiece.