Son of Bardock, Goku is the main and most loved character in the Dragon Ball saga. He is in every saga and always plays an important role in the main villain's destruction. He first appears as Bulma is searching for the Dragon Balls, one of which is in Goku's possession. Bulma then convinces him to embark upon a quest with her to find the remaining Dragon Balls. This is the first part of Goku's life. Once grown up he marries Chi Chi, a girl whom he meets as a child in the events of Dragonball, and has two sons, Gohan and Goten. He will fight the invading Saiyans, Raditz (His Brother), Napa and Vegeta; and destroy Frieza on Planet Namek by becoming a Super Saiyan, a true warrior who hadn't been seen for over 1000 years. Then comes the Android saga in which he will fall in a dangerous state of a mysterious sickness. A young Saiyan from the future named Trunks will come and give him a medicine that isn't available in the present. Once recovered he will later fight Cell and sacrifice himself trying to destroy him. He will fail however but will help Gohan with his soul to finish off Cell. In the Buu Saga, he will teach the kids Trunks and Goten how to fuse and later on fuse himself with Vegeta to become the powerful Vegito but will destroy Buu later on with the help of all the planet's vital forces, using the Spirit Bomb. He will become a kid once again in Dragon Ball GT and go look for the Dragon Balls once again. He mastered all the forms of Super Saiyan through his adventures.
Goku's Dragon Ball Adventure
Goku is the main character in the Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT series. He is a Saiyan, son of Bardock, raised on earth. He was originally sent to earth as a baby to destroy it. He was considered a low class Saiyan, and as such he was sent to destroy a small weak planet (that would be us). Anyways, here on earth his ship was found by a human called Gohan (or Grandpa Gohan). Grandpa Gohan found Kakarrot (Goku) inside the ship and decided to raise the boy as his own, he called him Goku. Goku was a handful as a little kid, he never listened to Grandpa Gohan, he made all kinds of trouble and never gave Gohan any sign of appreciation or kindness. One day Goku fell down a cliff and hit his head and got knocked out. When he woke up, he was a different person. Suddenly he was the kindest little boy you knew and this is where the kind, silly and noble Goku that we know today was really born. Grandpa Gohan trained him in the martial arts, but he could only teach him so much. Goku discovered he had great power potential during his adventures in the Dragon Ball series, in which he first met a bunch of his friends, some of which were his enemies when he first met them. He met Bulma, Krillin, Master Roshi (Who teaches him the famous Kamehameha), Yamcha, Oolong, Tien, Chiaotzu, Chi Chi, Mr. Popo, Kami, Piccolo, etc.
Goku's Dragon Ball Z Adventure
The Saiyan Saga
In the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, his Saiyan brother Raditz arrives to earth in search for Kakarrot (Goku). When he finds him, he kidnaps his son Gohan (Goku's son was named after grandpa Gohan) so that Goku could have time to consider joining him as a Saiyan and go destroy weaker races. Goku ends up joining forces with his old enemy Piccolo in order to defeat Raditz.
While the three of them fight, Gohan sits scared inside Raditz's Saiyan Space Pod watching the fight, but he gets really mad when he sees his father Goku getting beaten up by Raditz, and he amazingly bursts out of the pod and headbutts Raditz with tremendous force. This gives Goku a chance to grab Raditz by the tail so that Piccolo delivers the final blow (Special Beam Cannon), which ends up killing Raditz and Goku along with him. Goku gets special privileges though, and although dead, he meets up with King Kai, one of the universe's greatest martial arts teachers. He trains with him until he finally learns the "Kaio-ken" power-up technique and how to gather energy from the earth in order to do the spirit bomb.
Goku then finally returns to earth (Goku returns from death quite a few times because he is too important for the world's safety to be left dead and also thanks to the influence Goku's powerful friends have in the afterlife) just in time to save it from other evil Saiyans called Vegeta and Nappa. Thanks to his mastery of Kaio-Ken, he easily defeats Nappa but Vegeta puts up a hell of a fight. The battle is intense and at the end, after many close calls, both Goku and Vegeta are barely alive. Just when Vegeta is about to board his Space Pod, Krillin lifts Yajirobe's sword to give the finishing blow, but Goku stops him, telling Krillin that he wants him to spare vegeta's life because he had never fought someone so powerful and this excited him more than it scared him, and he hoped that showing him mercy would change him as it did Piccolo . And so Vegeta lives, thanks to Goku's mercy. A bit of a recurring theme throughout Dragonball Z.
The Frieza Saga
Goku then spends quite some time in the hospital while Krillin, Gohan and Bulma travel to Planet Namek (Home of Piccolo and Kami) in search for Namek's Dragon Balls in order to revive their fallen friends from the battle with the Saiyans. Once Goku is fully recovered, he wastes no time and boards another spaceship to Namek to help his son and friends. When he gets there he finds that the Ginyu Force (Frieza's Special Force) are beating up Krillin, Gohan and Vegeta (who was also looking for the Dragon Balls.) Goku gives them all Senzu Beans which restores their energy and health in seconds. Goku then easily defeats the remaining Ginyu members but one of them, Dodoria, escapes. This one alerts the Ginyu Force's Captain Ginyu who arrives to battle Goku. The fight goes on for a while, but Captain Ginyu soon realizes he is no match for Goku. He then uses his special technique, that allows him to switch bodies with his adversaries. Goku is now stuck with Captain Ginyu's body but he soon recovers his own body thanks to Krillin, Gohan & Vegeta.
Unfortunately, Goku's body is badly beaten up, and since he is out of Senzu Beans, he must regain his energy with a special machine (inside Frieza's spaceship) which Vegeta takes him to. Goku spends some time in this machine during which all hell breaks loose outside when Frieza returns from a scavenger hunt he was on in search of the Dragon Balls. Why is he mad? Because Krillin and Gohan had already found and used the Dragon Balls just as Frieza returned. When Goku wakes up he quickly rushes to his friends' aid. Vegeta is killed in front of Goku, but right before he dies he asks Goku to defeat Frieza in the name of all the Saiyans that have been killed by this nemesis.
It marks the beginning of an extemely long battle. Goku manages to amass energy and throw his biggest asset, the Spirit Bomb, at Frieza, but to no avail. Frieza manages to survive. He emerges form the giant crater lifting Krillin into the air and blowing him up in front of Goku. This is the where the real fight begins as Goku's intense anger transforms him for the very first time into the legendary Super Saiyan. He then proceeds to kick Frieza's ass. Frieza throws a big energy beam at the planet which only leaves the planet with 5 minutes till it explodes. Goku finally manages to destroy Frieza but he is unable to prevent the destruction of Namek. The others (who were safely transported back to earth thanks to the third wish made with the Dragon Balls) mourn the death of Goku.
The Androids Saga/The Cell Saga
Several years pass and a spaceship lands on earth. The Z fighters, (Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, Gohan, Vegeta, Chiaotzu, Piccolo) Bulma and Roshi go check it out only to find Frieza, who was now half robotics, with his father. Just as Frieza is about to attack, a young boy with a sword appears defeating Frieza's soldiers with ease. He then transforms into a Super Saiyan and proceeds to defeat Frieza and his father. As soon as this happens another spaceship, or rather a Saiyan Space Pod lands. From this Space Pod emerges none other than Goku himself, explaining how he found the Space Pod seconds before the planet blew up and escaped. He tells them how he landed on a different planet were he made friends and they taught him a new technique: Teletransportation. The young mysterious boy who just defeated Frieza asks Goku if he could talk to him in private. The youth tells Goku that his name is Trunks, and that he comes from the future to warn him of all his friends of 3 things:
- Goku will have a heart failure, so Trunks brought medicine from the future in order to prevent this.
- Androids will attack in the future (Trunks even specifies a date) causing the death of many people and the destruction of many cities. The only one who survived of all the Z fighters was Trunks himself.
- Trunks is the son of Vegeta and Bulma! This surprises Goku, because at the time, Vegeta and Bulma weren't getting along that well. However, Trunks requests of him not to speak of this to the others, because the knowledge of such a future might keep Vegeta and Bulma from fornicating and having Trunks. That would create a considerable time paradox. Goku agrees.
Years pass, and the day the Z-fighters fear and have been training for comes. Trunks also return that day in order to help the Z-fighters. Vegeta and Bulma have a son at this point, whom they named Trunks. The facts fall into place for Bulma and Trunks admits that he is in fact their son. After the reunion, Goku and the rest of the Z fighters start searching for the androids, but when they find them, Trunks does not identify them as the killers he had faced so many times in the future.
The company does what it has come to do and attacks. As Goku engages #19 in battle, he is exhausted, which shocks the others.. It turns out that he forgot to take Trunks' pills, which stopped his heart from failing. He is taken home to take his pills while Vegeta arrives to take his place, showing everyone that thanks to his training, he too has become a Super Saiyan and is now more powerful than Goku. Vegeta does not have too much trouble with the two enemies, but they flee, and it becomes clear that they are Dr. Gero, also known as #20, and a creation of his, #19.
While Goku rests and takes his pills, the real androids are awoken along a new one, codenamed #16, who is more powerful than both #17 and #18. They are programmed for one thing, killing Goku. The Z fighters try to stop them but even Vegeta is easily defeated. By the time Goku wakes up, another being called Cell had already appeared, saying that he will absorb both #17 and #18 to become the perfect being and bring chaos to the universe. Goku takes his son Gohan and brings along Vegeta and Trunks to train in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, in which one day of earth equals one year inside the chamber. Only two people can go inside at a time, so Vegeta and Trunks go inside first. When they come out, Vegeta and Trunks immediately fly towards Cell who has already managed to absorb one android, Android #17. When Goku and Gohan comes out a day later, he learns that Vegeta was cocky enough to let Cell absorb #18 because he was too weak. By doing this Cell became too powerful even for Vegeta and Trunks in Ascended Saiyan form.
Goku hears that Cell is hosting a tournament, in which he will face every fighter who takes on his challenge. The Z fighters have no choice but to participate, so they go to the tournament and Goku decides to go first. He battles Cell for a while and then, much to the other Z-fighers' dismay, gives up. He tells Cell that he cannot best him, but Gohan can. He then tells Gohan to battle, and tells him to believe in himself. The battle between Gohan and Cell begins. First, it appears that Gohan is no match for Cell (even though he was already in Super Saiyan form). However, when Cell spawns little versions of himself that harass the others, and Cell crushes #16's head, Gohan outs his rage and transforms into a Super Saiyan 2. Goku's son deals out some serious hurt, and even manages to get Cell to cough up the androids he absorbed. When Cell sees he cannot win this fight, he blows himself up. But not before Goku teletransports Cell and himself to King Kai's planet, in order to save planet earth. Just when everyone thinks Goku has saved the day again, Cell reappears (thanks to the regenerative cells he has in his body) in an even more powerful form. After a rough fight, Gohan and Cell both shoot a Kamehameha beam at each other, but Gohan manages to defeat him thanks to some encouraging words spoken by his father with King Kai's help.
Since Goku is once again dead, King Kai takes him along to a martial arts tournament, where the strongest fighters of all time fight every year. Goku battles and wins round after round. He manages to reach the final battle against a fighter called Pikon. The fight is intense, and both fighters possess great power. At the end, Goku manages to push Pikon off the ring with a Kamehameha. Just when Goku thinks he has won, the referee informs them that they are both disqualified, because they touched the ceiling of the arena at one point.
The Buu Saga
The story takes another jump of a couple of years and everyone grows up. By now, Gohan is attending college and has taken on the role of superhero as " The Great Saiyaman." Krillin is married to Android 18 and they even have a daughter. Trunks is now a little kid that can already turn into a Super Saiyan, and Chi Chi has given birth to another son, called Goten, who is a year younger than Trunks. He is Trunks' best friend and always trains with him or his brother Gohan. At some point, a new martial arts tournament is announced and Goku asks permission in the afterlife to attend this tournament, which he is permitted, but only for a limited amount of time.
Goku arrives at the tournament and greets all his friends and family. This reunion also marks the first time he meets his young son, Goten, who looks just like him. The tournament begins with the kids' tournament, and Trunks comes out as the victor after an exciting match against Goten. Afterwards, the adults get started. Everything is going well but it is suddenly interrupted when two strange individuals suck some energy out of Gohan and fly away. The Z-fighters don't like this, and follow them to a spaceship. This is where, after fighting several enemies they find Majin Buu, the new terror brought upon planet earth. However, Majin Buu is controlled by a small sorcerer called Babidi. Babidi also managed to gain control over Vegeta by reaching the most inner part of Vegeta that was still evil, and turning him against Goku.
As Goku and Vegeta battle, Majin Buu easily beats Gohan, throwing him far away and knocking him unconscious. As Goku and Vegeta battle it out, Goku finally tells Vegeta that as much as he would like to, they cannot continue fighting. He tells Vegeta that they must go defeat Majin Buu before he kills the people they love. Vegeta agrees, but as soon as Goku lets his guard down, Vegeta gives Goku a hard blow to the back of the head knocking him unconscious, in order to go defeat Majin Buu by himself. Uncharacteristically, Vegeta attempts to sacrifice himself and take Buu along with him, but he fails and only ends up killing himself. When Goku finally awakens, he teaches Trunks and Goten the fusion technique, which allows two dudes to merge by performing a synchronised dance. This would join their powers in a powerful way, so much so that they could defeat Majin Buu. Before Goku can finish teaching, his time is up, so he must return to the afterlife.
On his way back, he asks heaven's overlord whether he can join Gohan. The Supreme Kai is instructing him, and Goku'd like to help out. Once there, he assists Gohan in any way that he can. When the training is over, they send Gohan back to Earth to defeat the new, more powerful and more evil Buu (Majin Buu was divided into two separate forms in a moment of anger, where Majin Buu was the good side of him, and the new evil side was called Buu). When Gohan arrives, Buu has already absorbed Piccolo and Gotenks (the result of the little ones' fusion dance.) Despite Gohan having grown quite a bit stronger, he still has a very tough time against Buu. Meanwhile, the Supreme Kai is telling Goku of an alternate fusion method, involving Potaro earrings. When each warrior wears an earring, they will fuse and become one. The downside? The effects are irreversible. Goku takes these earrings and is transported to Gohan. But just when he is about to give Gohan the other earring, Gohan gets absorbed by Buu also, making him even more powerful.
All seems lost when Goku is left by himself, but suddenly, Vegeta appears. He was sent from the afterlife in order to help Goku. Goku immediately tells Vegeta to fuse with him in order to defeat Buu. It takes a little convincing but eventually Vegeta gives in, fusing with Goku and transforming into Vegito. The fusion-form messes around with Buu, and greatly outmatches him, but Vegito decides to allow himself to be absorbed, thinking that he might be able to save Buu's victims. Inside Buu, Vegito separates into Goku and Vegeta again, and since they are inside they begin looking for the others. They manage to rescue their friends and leave Buu, but once they leave his body, instead of becoming weaker, Buu transforms into the much stronger and faster Kid Buu. Goku and Vegeta try and defeat Kid Buu but to no avail. Goku and Vegeta are then returned to the supreme Kai's planet. Buu doesn't like this, and starts systematically taking out planets as he is looking for them. When he finds them, they battle once more, but they are no match for Kid Buu. In a last attempt, Goku builds another Spirit Bomb while Vegeta distracts Kid Buu, and when finally charged, he transforms into a Super Saiyan 3 and throws it at him, finally defeating Kid Buu. Just before he dies, Goku wishes that he is reborn in a good way, so that they may fight together another day. Planet Earth along with everyone Buu ever killed are brought back thanks to the Dragon Balls and so is Goku. Now that there is peace, the Z-fighters may rest again.
Years later, a new tournament is made on earth, where the group meets Uub, the reincarnated Majin Buu, who is now a little village boy who has tremendous power he doesn't even know about. Goku takes the boy and promises to train him so that he can become a great fighter. This is where Dragon Ball Z ends, and Dragon Ball GT begins.
Saiyans all have black hair, that never, ever, changes in look (barring when they transform, of course.) In his base form, Goku is powerful, muscly and quick. Transforming takes a lot of energy, and maintaining the form is also very tiring, which is why Saiyans are always in base form when not in combat--if they can transform, that is.
The Kaio-Ken technique isn't a true transformation, but rather a method of increasing one's power by concentrating. King Kai teaches Goku how to do it when he first dies at the hands of Raditz, in the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. The pseudo-transformation is marked by a red aura and hair that flows upwards.
False Super Saiyan
The False Super Saiyan is a stage between base-form and Super Saiyan. The hair of the Saiyan remains black, but a golden aura shows up and the hair stands up, along with a boost in power. This form is only seen in a movie and is not considered canon.
Goku takes on this form when he watches Krillin die at the hands of Frieza. Visually, the biggest change is obviously the change of hair colour, from black to gold-yellow. The hair also spikes upwards, and the eyebrows also change colour. Goku's power level greatly increases thanks to this transformation.
Ascended Super Saiyan
Goku reaches this while training in the time chamber with Gohan before the Cell Games. He says that although it is very powerful it is too slow for him to beat cell. In this state his muscles are so huge that his power increases but his speed falls greatly.
Super Saiyan 2
After dying during the climax of the Cell Games, Goku trains in heaven. Training there is considerably easier than it is on Earth, and he attains Super Saiyan 2, an evolution of the original Super Saiyan form. The form makes the hair stand upright even more and appear spikier and causes electrical flashes surround the body.
Super Saiyan 3
Goku rarely takes on this form, because it drains enormous amounts of energy, and because it's actually pretty dangerous for his environment. When Goku has to hold of Majin Buu to enable Goten and Trunks to fuse, he takes on this form and equals Buu in strength. It wrecks the city lying beneath them though.
The visual differences are, once again, obvious. The Saiyan grows huge amounts of hair, the eyebrows disappear and the aura becomes even brighter. It looks odd, but is extremely powerful.
Super Saiyan 4
Only appearing in Dragon Ball GT, Super Saiyan 4 looks very different from it's brethren. Instead of golden hair, the base form's black hair remains, and red fur grows all over the body. Because Super Saiyan 4 can only be reached through becoming a golden Oozaru, a tail is also present. This transformation is kind of in a league of its own, both in nature and in regards to power increase. Goku never gets any more powerful than he is here, and he is truly a force to be reckoned with.