Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden (loosely translated to "Dragon Ball Z: Super Fighting Story") is a 2D sci-fi fighting game developed by TOSE and published by Bandai for the Super Famicom in Japan on March 20, 1993. It was later released in both France and Spain in November 30, 1993 under the name Dragon Ball Z.
Based on the Dragon Ball manga and anime series, Super Butoden brings a unique approach to traditional fighting games by allowing players to move their fighters beyond the sides of the screen (automatically opening up a roaming split-screen view of each fighter) and allowing them to send Ki blasts across the playfield. Similar to the Fatal Fury series, players can move between two movement planes: on-the-ground and in-the-air.
While the game focuses directly on the "Android Saga" of the Dragon Ball Z storyline (where the Z Warriors must stop an attack from the androids of mad scientist Dr. Gero), it also touches on some of the series' earlier battles (including the match between main protagonist Goku and rival Piccolo in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, the invasion of the Saiyan Vegeta, and the battle against universal emperor Frieza on planet Namek). Along with the standard Story and Versus modes, the game also features an eight-player single-elimination tournament mode.
The game received numerous sequels in the '90s, and later received some spiritual sequels (including the 2011 game Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butoden and the 2015 game Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden).
The game includes 12 playable characters and transformations, five of which must be unlocked using a cheat code. Mirror matches in the game also require use of a cheat code.
In addition, the game includes a hidden easter egg in Story Mode that allows players to start a match as Hercule, only to be immediately defeated.