Fanfic: Saviorof Demons

Savior of Demons Story Cover. May be a spoiler.

Savior of Demons is a fanfic written for Dragon Ball Z by Ryu no Ohi (also known as Roketto). The story is a different take on Frieza and King Kold's attack on Earth. With no Trunks to appear and destroy them, it falls to Goku to stop the two villains, and Frieza's life takes a very different turn as Goku doesn't kill him, and the tyrant tries to understand just why Goku would spare him.

The fanfic is very well written, taking an inside look into how Frieza himself thinks and acts with heavy emphasis on psychology and xenobiological speculation.

Savior of Demons provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: After Chapter 3, it's obvious that Kold, at least, is one. And the Arcos special makes it clear just how horrible he had become.
  • Adult Fear: The Arcos Special essentially stems from King Kold's fearing for the future of his family, and trying his darnedest to prevent it. He ends up saving half of his family, more or less, but at a price that makes their original fate seem kind in comparison.
  • Affably Evil: Kooler seems much nicer than Frieza, treating his minions as something resembling equals, or at least as less disposable. Notably averted when he transforms.
  • Afraid of Needles: Goku is, which actually saves him when Kochin is about to inject him with something.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Very plot important. The wine that Frieza drinks is symbolic culturally.
  • Agony Beam: The electrocution fail-safe in Frieza's cyborg body.
  • Aggressive Categorism: From Chapter 3:
    Goku: "It's simple, Frieza. I don't like to see anyone, regardless of who they are, getting hurt. Not even someone like you. If you can't fight back, well, fighting's no fun." He shrugged.
    Frieza: "Th-that's impossible!" Frieza spluttered, "You're a Saiyan, and as such you are bloodthirsty by nature!"
  • A God Am I: Subverted, Frieza claims he was seen as a god, but losing to Goku made it clear he wasn't, at least to himself. Kooler starts thinking he is one in his transformed state, due to the sheer power he gained altering his judgement.
  • Alternate Universe Fic
  • Aliens Speaking English: A rather interesting example - Frieza and the other aliens seen all seem to speak English, possibly using some kind of Universal Translator, but Arcosians do have their own language and writing. In addition, most alien writing is in Universal, which none of the humans or Goku can read because they haven't seen it before.
  • Aloof Ally: Frieza is at least this in regards to Dr.Wheelo and Kooler, and probably will be for any other common enemies.
  • Always Someone Better: Goku and Frieza to Vegeta and Kooler, respectively.
  • An Arm and a Leg: And Frieza's entire lower body, tail, and half his head. This leads to phantom tail and arm sensations, which are excruciating.
  • A Naked Shoulder To Cry On: While not involving any actual crying, Frieza and Bulma were both in less-than stable mental states when they decided to sleep together.
  • Animal Metaphor: Frieza always seems to be described as growling, hissing, baring his teeth, and so forth to underline how inhuman his nature is.
  • An Ice Person: Ebifurya.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: The Title Drop.
  • Artificial Limbs: Frieza starts out the story, as in canon, with a mostly cybernetic body.
  • Asleep for Days: After being restored by Porunga, Frieza is out cold for about a week.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The storm is hinted at for two chapters, and takes up most of a third during Kooler's arrival on Earth.
  • Ax-Crazy: Frieza most definitely gives off this vibe, what with his Hallucinations and paranoia.
  • Bad Dreams: Goku has some very plot-important visions/dreams in Chapter 4. Turns out, they were imparted on him by the Yardrats.
    • Later, Frieza suffers some terrifying nightmares as well.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Notably, Arcosians don't breathe in space, they just go into a state of torpor, which allows them to survive what would kill any other being.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Sauza and his boss Kooler can cover their hands in ki to form a blade of sorts.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: One of Frieza's nightmares involves ripping out his 'weakness', that is, his heart.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Goku, naturally.
    • Kooler also pulls off the rescue-in-the-nick-of-time trope in the Arcos Special, considering that if he hadn't rammed the ship full of hostages, Frieza would be dead.
  • Big "NO!": Shouted by Frieza, upon witnessing Goku kill his father.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: It's quickly clear that Frieza's relationship with his father and brother are far from healthy, and it stems from the death of his mother.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Faithfully adhered to, even in the squickier scenes.
  • Blessed with Suck: Frieza's transformations did make him much stronger, but at the cost of his sanity.
  • Blinded by the Light: Naturally, the Taiyouken is utilized by the heroes.
  • Blood Knight: All Saiyans to an extent, but especially Goku, since he would rather fight an opponent at their best rather than just kill them while he has the chance. Subverted in that he does know where to draw the line, and kills Kold before he can finish transforming.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Author Roketto promises that this story will explore what would actually happen in the epic, super-powered struggles seen so often in DBZ, if martial artists could punch out small planetoids.
  • Bloody Handprint: When Goku returns from going to confront Frieza after Kooler's death, he's sporting one of these on the front of his gi. It gives Chi-chi a minor scare before he explains that it isn't his blood.
  • Body Horror: Frieza's downward spiral after being spared by Goku, eventually culminating in him nearly dying of septicemia. Word of God says that this idea came from the Fridge Horror of taking into account just how much of Frieza's body was lost after Namek, and what medical problems that would realistically present.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: What Goku's doing to Frieza reads a bit like this, especially because of his Greying Morality.
  • Breaking Bad News Gently: Bulma ends up being the one to inform Frieza that his father was killed.
  • Break the Haughty: Frieza has been put through the ringer so far, and his pride has been utterly shattered.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Frieza changed back to his First Form, which is his normal state. He is capable of changing back though.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Goku, much to Frieza's amusement.
  • Cast From HP: Tenshinhan's Kikohou.
  • Category Traitor: It's fair to assume that after he angrily stormed off, Vegeta now thinks of Goku as this.
  • Chase Fight: Goku tries to reach King Kold, who is transforming, but is blocked by Frieza...his solution is to call in his friends to hold Frieza off, resulting in a five-on-one chase fight between Piccolo, Vegeta, Gohan, Krillin, and Tenshinhan and Frieza.
  • Child Soldier: Frieza becomes one when his father sees his transformation, and decides to use him to end a war...and then go conquer a neighboring planet.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: As if getting his tail kicked (again) by a Super Saiyan wasn't enough, Frieza is also on the receiving end of this...from his own father.
  • Combat Breakdown: As the fight drags on, Frieza goes from perfectly fine, to having his arm broken, to being too tired to dodge ki blasts, to not being able to stand, and finally can't even muster the strength to attack Goku conventionally.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Piccolo shows shades of this while watching Frieza getting tortured, but Vegeta seems to be the poster-child for it.
  • Cornered Rattle Snake: Frieza, quite literally.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Frieza to Kooler, after he snaps his neck to deliver a coup de grace.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: Some very interesting ones, courtesy of Frieza. Notably, the Arcosian equivalent of a kiss.
  • Cunning Linguist: Murai, who is the default translator for the Arcosians when they go to meet the Tsufuru. He also has elements of The Smart Guy and Deadpan Snarker.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Surprisingly averted. Despite presuming they wouldn't be able to fight him, the Z Fighters manage to last much longer than expected due to Frieza's underestimating them and his own mechanical weaknesses.
    • The battle with Dr. Wheelo, on the other hand, plays it straight. Goku, Frieza, and the others beat him easily, literally picking him apart.
  • Cyborg: Frieza, At least at first. Dr. Kochin, Dr. Wheelo, and Dr. Gero would count too, though the latter two may be closer to Brain in a Jar.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Goku finds Frieza in a truly pitiable condition on his father's ship, and wonders how he's even alive at this point.
  • Deadly Disc: The Kienzan, of course. Notably, Kold assumes Krillin is 'too primitive' to actually use the technique. Frieza uses a variation on the technique where he controls two of them at once.
  • Deadly Dodging: In a truly epic show of skill, Tenshinhan fights Frieza one-on-one to stall him using Crane Style Kung Fu to gradually whittle down his endurance, while keeping him angry enough to forget that he's supposed to be stopping Goku.
  • Death Glare: Part of the terror Frieza experiences when facing Goku is his Super Saiyan eyes, which seriously freak the Arcosian out.
    • In addition, Frieza himself is fond of using this against everyone, including Goku (unsuccessfully) in Chapter 5.
  • Deadly Hug: After he kills Kooler, Frieza embraces the body in its death throes, giving Tenshinhan a hint of his true emotional state.
  • Death by Despair: After killing his older brother, Frieza seems ready to lie down and die, convinced that he's fallen as far as he possibly can.
  • Death Is Cheap: Bulma uses this as an excuse to save Frieza, saying that if he kills her, the Dragonballs will bring her back.
  • Death Seeker: In Chapter 14, Frieza changes back to his First Form, partly because he expects Tenshinhan to kill him.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Defied so far by Frieza.
  • Defiant to the End: Frieza puts up a truly commendable fight against Goku, even going so far as to bite him as a last act of defiance.
  • Delaying Action: What the Z Fighters were doing to buy time for Goku to arrive, and later to keep Frieza away from Goku. Special mention to Tenshinhan, who does this to Frieza all on his own by redirecting his attacks as though he were an angry bull.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Evil Albino Ratsura plays this trope straight as an arrow, though he himself is not straight in the least.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Frieza crosses his after witnessing a Saiyan brutally kill a pregnant Arcosian woman...and then smash her egg. He goes from Thousand-Yard Stare to Laughing Mad very quickly.
  • Destination Defenestration: Frieza opts to go through a window during his first night as a "captive", prompting Goku to go out to retrieve him.
  • Determinator: Frieza. Where to start? From his journeying to Earth in the first place for revenge, to his dogged resolve to defeat Goku even if it destroys him, he shows abnormal amounts of determination. Even Goku comments on it.
  • Disconnected By Death: Murai intercepts a transmission through one of the Tsufuru scouters as they're being attacked by Oozaru. It cuts off with screaming and static, and then Murai has to go tell the king about the fate of their new allies.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Tenshinhan's Multi-Form technique.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Even after being beaten, losing most of his cyborg limbs' functions, and being electrocuted, does Frieza finally give up? Not a chance.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Bulma has no problem taking Frieza down a notch, but even she reflects that it's not such a great idea when Goku isn't standing right there monitoring him.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Goku tries to convince Frieza to just admit defeat and leave Earth throughout their entire fight.
  • Driven to Madness: Frieza...and surprisingly, Goku's the one doing it, though his Trickster Mentor Ramein is behind it all.
  • Driven to Villainy: Frieza, and by extension Kooler.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Frieza, after laying King Kold to rest. It makes his situation worse later that night, when Bulma has the same plan and seeks out some company to commiserate.
    • This is also an Arcosian tradition, and finding out his father only had one bottle of sorrow-wine set aside for his death was a big shock to Frieza.
  • Due to the Dead: Arcosians' death rituals are...something else.
  • Electric Torture: King Kold's backup plan in case Frieza manages to kill him or someone else does, to push Frieza to fight said enemy and stop the pain.
    • Also, there are the shock-poles the Saiyans commandeer and use against the Arcosian prisoners in the Arcos Special.
  • Emotional Torque: Chapter 3 hit readers very hard, even if before they'd felt no sympathy for Frieza.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Frieza's relationship with his family comes to light in this story, and even though most of his relationships are horribly twisted and downright abusive...he still has very real loyalties towards them.
    • Then, there's Rin, a now-dead apparent love interest from his past.
  • Evil Albino: Ratsura, a pale, blue-eyed, thoroughly deviant Arcosian scientist. His subordinates and colleagues are all unsettled by him, and for good reason.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Frieza assumes Goku spared him so he could be his slave, rather than because he's merciful, something Frieza has little understanding of. Justified, however, in that would be the only reason 'most' Saiyans would spare him.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Gohan takes note of Frieza's tiredness through this trope, and wonders what is terrifying enough to give him nightmares.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Lampshaded by Bulma.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: After his father is killed, Frieza goes into an Unstoppable Rage, wanting to do nothing less than "to tear apart the body with his bare hands into smaller and smaller pieces until it ceased to resemble what he loathed so much".
    • In the the third chapter of the Arcos Special, this is his primary method of attack when he transforms into his Second Form.
  • Eye Scream: The description of Frieza while he's recovering post-Namek includes this, along with other Squick-y details. Isa also does this to an unfortunate Saiyan with her horns.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Frieza seems to see his mother's death as this. If he had transformed a bit sooner...
  • Fantastic Arousal: Bulma, after trying to get a rise out of Frieza, accidentally manages this.
  • Fantastic Racism: Frieza and Kold have this toward pretty much any other species they see, considering them all to be inferior. A good example of this is how both of them seem reluctant to consider if other beings have souls at all, with Frieza going as far as to say that, thanks to humans and their 'wrong' burial rituals, "Even if you did possess souls, they would be trapped forever in the dirt". Kooler is similar, if less so, and seems to see his men as equals, though it's still apparently there, as Kooler's thoughts about Sauza show: "He would never admit to a soul, but he had some small affection for the Brench (Sauza). Had he been born an Arcosian- what a blasphemous thought! - he might have been one of Kooler's most trusted friends."
  • Forgiveness: A big theme of SoD.
  • Finger Gun: Frieza's Death Beam, and Tenshinhan's Dodonpa.
  • Fish out of Water: The best way to describe Frieza's initial introduction/reaction to Capsule Corp. and all of Goku's friends. He misinterprets everything as a thinly veiled threat, or an attempt to manipulate him.
  • Five Stages of Grief: It's fun to watch Frieza go through the stages, and how they each manifest in his personality changes.
  • For Want of a Nail: Many things are subtly different from canon, aside from Goku showing up instead of Trunks, (which would have happened without time travel.) such as Kold being killed first, or Goku learning Shunkan Idou from someone else.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Ratsura, an Arcosian scientist with poor vision and no scruples about manipulating both sides in a near-genocidal war.
  • Fun with Acronyms: When Bulma's mind wanders during an Internal Monologue to capsules, she reflects on how "coffin capsules" are more properly called "Suspended Organic Material (A-Type)", or S.O.M.A. capsules.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Bulma, of course, who stops Frieza's shock mechanism.
    • Later on in Chapter 5, she proves she isn't quite infallible when she accidentally almost kills Frieza while trying to fix his arm. Frieza mentally Lampshades that a weak human might end up killing him out of incompetence.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Frieza can't even move after repeated shocks. Earlier, Yamcha suffers a quick defeat after Frieza breaks his arm.
    • In Chapter 13, Kooler is rendered immobile after his back is broken by a fall.
  • Gaslighting: Goku "haunting" Frieza in Chapter 4, including destroying evidence of his presence, making Frieza doubt himself even further.
  • Genocide Backfire: Kold Lampshades the irony that of all the Saiyans Frieza didn't kill, it had to be the two strongest and most troublesome.
  • Genre Savvy: Kold knows transforming isn't a free action, so he gets Frieza to distract Goku for him.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Frieza keeps the scars (one on his left temple, and one on his chest) from when he was turned into a cyborg.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Another theme of this story is that, from any one character's perspective, whatever they do can be justified.
  • Graying Morality: Goku has a bit of a moral crisis when it comes to killing Frieza, which in Chapter 4 is given some perspective.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Frieza uses Vegeta as a bludgeon to take Gohan out of the fight momentarily.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Frieza, post-Namek.
  • Hallucinations: Really terrifying, Super-Saiyan-taunting-him hallucinations, in Frieza's case. And it turns out in Chapter 4 that not ALL of the hallucinations were fake.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Strongly averted.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Goku, in trying to understand why Frieza is the way he is, asks him why he couldn't just change the rules - after all, he's so strong, nobody could tell him no, right? Frieza tells him that it would be suicidal, even for him, suggesting that he's not the biggest fish in the galactic pond, at least in terms of influence.
  • Heart in the Wrong Place: When Bulma does some emergency triage/"troubleshooting" on Frieza, it describes her opening a panel on the right side of his chest.
  • Heroic Seductress: Bulma. Although hints were dropped before the end scene of Chapter 9, it still came as a shock to quite a few readers.
  • Hologram: King Kold briefly appears as one, to "motivate" Frieza.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Can't kill your enemy, Frieza? King Kold will give you two options: beg for death from your hated enemy, or suffer a long, drawn-out death. Your choice.
  • Horn Attack: King Kold attempts this on Goku, but thanks to some quick thinking, he avoids getting Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Oh, how they have...
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: With Frieza, this naturally leads to observations of how primitive, backward, and strange they are.
  • I Am a Monster: This seems to be Frieza's view of himself. He outwardly embraces it, but his internal monologues and nightmares point to a lot of conflict and self-hatred.
  • I Can Still Fight: Let's see, Frieza has been tenderized by a Super Saiyan, had his cybernetic arm broken to the point of uselessness, is suffering a mental breakdown, and was fried nearly to death, will he give up the ghost and surrender? Not as long as he can crawl.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The chapter titles are somewhat uncommon words that relate to the content of the chapter. For example, Chapter 1: Revenants, refers to both Frieza and Goku returning from presumed death or a long absence.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: The reason Bulma stops Goku from finishing off Frieza.
  • Imaginary Enemy: Played with and averted, as seen from Frieza's ordeal on his father's ship, while trying to convince the doctors that he isn't crazy.
  • I'm Not Doing That Again: Uttered by Frieza after attempting to sense energy.
  • I'm Not Hungry: Frieza outright refuses to eat, but the twist is that he's not just doing it out of defiance, he also can't eat anything due to his mechanical body.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: It's becoming clear that Frieza has one of these, and his need for total submission from his underlings and enemies stems from a deep-seated fear of a lack of control.
  • Interspecies Romance: A bit of a twist on canon.
  • It Was Here, I Swear: Said almost word-for-word by Frieza as he desperately tries to convince one unlucky doctor (and himself) that he isn't going insane, seeing the Super Saiyan appearing and disappearing on the ship.
  • Jerkass Genie: Porunga, full stop. There are probably many ways he could have restored Frieza's biological body, but he chose the most painful method on purpose, smirking as he granted the wish.
  • Jerkass Woobie: To the point that some reviews call Frieza a "lovable a**".
  • Karma Houdini: At least as of the Arcos Special, Magnificent Bastard Ratsura hasn't gotten the comeuppance he sorely deserves, and nobody suspects him as having a hand in the Saiyans' attack.
  • Keeping the Enemy Close: What Goku plans to do with Frieza.
  • Kick the Dog: Kold orchestrating Frieza's torture, after his own death.
  • Kirk Summation: Goku tries, without success, to tell Frieza why what he's doing is wrong and evil.
  • Knockout Gas: Used by Dr. Kochin to render the heroes (and Frieza) unconscious, after Krillin and Frieza decided not to eat the food and drink offered to them. Goku and Gohan, however, ignored the Obviously Evil offerings, presumably conking out almost immediately.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Several of the Arcosians are described as wearing these, notably Ratsura, Murai, and Rashikoga.
  • Lack of Empathy: Frieza can't quite understand the concept of other sentient beings' lives being important.
    • This may be why he can't bring himself to sense energy, since it invites the feelings of others into him.
  • Laughing Mad: Frieza is described as laughing madly while Strapped to an Operating Table at some points in Chapter 4, which is understandable, considering how he's going crazy and nobody believes him.
    • He also breaks down into some truly terrifying, hysterical laughter after finishing Kooler's Scattering.
      • Then there's the moment near the end of the Arcos special when he finally snaps, and laughs madly in the face of impending execution. Keep in mind, he's a child at this point in the story.
  • Last Stand: A non-fatal version, Frieza cowers in a hole and finally bites Goku, having no other options.
  • Lightning Bruiser: King Kold, as observed when Goku realizes that his getting hit by him earlier wasn't because he wasn't paying attention.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: Frieza is aware that he's going to die soon after going to Earth, and reveals that he'd planned to destroy himself along with the planet.
  • Made a Slave: Frieza is absolutely petrified at the thought of being defeated by a Saiyan for this reason.
  • Madness Mantra: One of the most heart-wrenching aspects of Chapter 3.
    Frieza: "I...won't...beg... Never... I'll...n-never beg..!"
  • Mama Bear: Isa, who fights to try to protect Frieza after the Saiyans discuss the idea of capturing them both. Needless to say, Beware the Nice Ones comes into play, and one of the Saiyans even notes Isa's change of demeanor.
  • Man Bites Man: Used simultaneously humorously as well as seriously, plus as a Continuity Nod callback to when Goku was in the position of biting Frieza's tail on Namek out of desperation.
  • Mask of Sanity: At times (especially when he's dealing with Hallucinations or insomnia), Frieza's mask slips a bit...
  • Meaningful Funeral: In Chapter 9: Obsequy, we get a glimpse of Arcosian culture through a ritual known as a Scattering. As Krillin found out, it is not for the faint of heart (or stomach).
  • Mercy Kill: Goku almost delivers the final blow to Frieza, but Bulma stops him so that he doesn't compromise his morals.
    • Frieza follows through with his Mercy Kill to put his brother out of his misery.
  • Might Makes Right: Frieza's thoughts in Chapter 1 sum his philosophy up nicely:
    'Strength is the only thing that determines whether you live or die.' The Arcosian thought to himself. 'It doesn't matter if you're smart, or respected, or undeserving of punishment. Having superior might is the only way to survive.'
  • Mighty Glacier: Misokatsun could deflect literally any attack thrown at him, except the Kienzan. Any cutting attack makes him leak until he completely collapses in on himself.
  • Misery Builds Character: So far, Frieza has seen a lot of character development through his many trials.
  • Moment of Weakness: There have been many so far for Frieza, but his most violent reaction so far was to the humans, and Goku, witnessing him having a nightmare.
    • Also, as of Chapter 9, his tryst with Bulma seems to be his lowest point.
      • As of Chapter 13, he's had a near-complete mental breakdown, even crying.
  • Moral Myopia: Compared to humans, Arcosians have Blue and Orange Morality, but Frieza is atypical, even by their standards.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Piccolo seems to think killing a currently defenseless Frieza is a better idea than waiting for him to regain his strength and kill Gohan and the others.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: All of Kooler's henchmen have this mentality, but Sauza is easily the most loyal, even having the courage to stand between his master and Frieza.
  • Nano Machines: Small nanobots were supposed to be keeping Frieza alive, but that less-than-harmless electrocution? It zapped them all, too. Oops.
  • Nausea Fuel: Most of Frieza's horrible torture falls under this for the readers. There are in-universe examples as well, such as the reaction Frieza has to seeing his father's corpse.
    • And now in Chapter 5, we have actual nausea!
    • Goku has to hold back feelings of nausea when observing Frieza's mangled body in the beginning of Chapter 4.
      • There's also a few vomit-inducing scenes in the Arcos Special.
  • Neck Snap: How Kooler dies. Made really jarring by both his and Frieza's reactions seconds prior.
    • Also, how Isa is accidentally killed.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: In light of Frieza's past, this is his most likely motivation for being so powerful.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Averted with Frieza, with mixed outcomes: while the first instance is more humorous and lighthearted, the next two are definitely not.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Goku has one particularly jarring initial dream in Chapter 4 that kicks off a string of related dreams, which aren't nearly as terror-inducing.
    • Frieza also seems to be suffering from nightmares, which he unsuccessfully tries to hide.
  • No Medication for Me: Frieza decides to go off his anti-psychotics, because they make him feel dull. They also weren't helping, because contrary to what the doctors thought, his "ghosts" aren't all in his head.
  • No Sell: Kold and Goku go back and forth doing this to each other.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: One of the many things about Goku that annoys Frieza, the other being his dogged determination to "feign" being nice to the tyrant.
  • Not Quite Dead: After all he's been through, Goku is astounded that Frieza's even still breathing at the end of Chapter 3.
  • Not So Different: Frieza is appalled when Goku suggests that Saiyans and Arcosians have similar motivations.
    • In Chapter 14, he's finally starting to internalize the idea that other species can have similar backgrounds and experiences, with Tenshinhan's backstory coming to light.
  • Numerological Motif: The number 49 on the capsule Bulma gives Frieza, containing King Kold's body - it stands for "painful death".
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Council of Arcos is ridiculously obstructive, until you realize that they are trying to help by reigning in King Kold's tendency to jump feet-first into whatever solution he thinks is best and most expedient. Queen Isa also accuses them of being Corrupt Bureaucrats.
  • Oedipus Complex: Frieza's idolization of Kold isn't the healthiest mindset, especially when his father is a Manipulative Bastard Chessmaster who only sees him as a pawn.
  • Ordered Apology: Not quite this trope, but Goku does force Frieza to say "thank you" to Bulma after she tries to repair his arm. He says the words, but nobody is fooled into thinking he means it - least of all because he had a valid reason to not be grateful (specifically, because Bulma almost exsanguinated him by mistake).
  • Our Demons Are Different: In the Title Drop, Arcosian demons are described as those who have transformed, becoming inhuman in the process.
  • Painful Transformation: By Frieza's own words, his transformations are definitely not pleasant.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Goku's ability to sense energy seems to be this for Frieza, thanks to his lack of knowledge. Goku mentions Frieza's nightmares, and Frieza ponders if Goku can see his dreams.
  • Parental Favoritism: Shown in a Flashback from Kooler's perspective.
  • Parrot Expo-what?: Goku, in Chapter 6, with the word "fumigate".
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: Beginning in Chapter 11, Goku and others comment on the continually darkening clouds. By Chapter 13, Kooler is dead.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Of a sort. Frieza tries to access his father's ship computer and can't figure out the password, so he just ripped open the machine and spliced some wires together. It doesn't work.
  • Poisonous Person: Chapter 5 reveals that all Arcosians have a very mild venom that only activates when they're terrified, which becomes a plot point because it paralyzes Goku's right hand...meaning that he can't use Shunkan Idou until it's treated.
  • Power at a Price: Frieza's nightmares suggest his transformations came at one, and the Arcos special seems to say it was his innocence and sanity.
  • Power Incontinence: Frieza notes that he can't exert himself too much in training, otherwise he'll be severely drained, just from existing in his Fourth Form.
  • Pregnant Hostage: In the third leg of the Arcos Special. The fact that she isn't named in the story should be a red flag to her fate. The whole scene plays out, for both the readers and Frieza as Nightmare Fuel and Nausea Fuel combined.
  • Pride Before a Fall: King Kold takes a very, very long fall after assuming his enemy was too far away to deal him any damage.
  • Psychoactive Powers: Frieza's transformations seem to work like this at first, but he later could do so at will.
  • Psycho Electro: Frieza shows the ability to control his electric aura, to an extent, when he uses it to torture Vegeta. Additionally, Vegeta is capable of doing the same, as can Kishime and Neizu.
  • Questionable Consent: Bulma's seduction of Frieza, and the latter's deciding to give in, can all be read as very, very questionable, especially given that both of them were not only drunk, but under the influence of their emotions.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: A few so far in the story. Hilariously, Vegeta manages to ignore a short one obviously directed at him by Krillin.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All Arcosians have varying shades of red eye coloration. Ratsura is a notable inversion- he has blue eyes instead, but he's certainly someone to be wary of.
  • Retractable Appendage: Neizu can retract his head, a fact he is very proud of.
  • Reverse Arm-Fold: Commonly adopted by Frieza and a few others, as in canon.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: As Frieza insists, he isn't spoiled, sheltered, or otherwise weak, suggesting that, far from living a pampered early life, the Arcosian prince actually had duties to fulfill and earned his privilege.
    • Kooler is shown going through military training in the Arcos Special, and in particular, he's quite the Ace Pilot.
  • Sadistic Choice: Goku has to choose whether to kill Frieza, or stand there and watch him continue to be shocked until he eventually dies. Bulma helps him avert his Moral Dilemma.
  • Save the Villain: Goku has the motivation, the will, and the power to actually do this, at least in Frieza's case.
  • Secretly Dying: Frieza, after the battle on Earth, due to a catastrophic failure of his cyborg implants/body.
  • Self-Destructive Charge: Frieza doesn't care that he's got five-minute intervals to attack, between which he becomes an impromptu lightning rod, he just wants to kill Goku.
  • Shout-Out: There are a few references to Honor Trip, Bringer of Death, and Piccolo's Choice in the first chapter.
  • Shower of Angst: Invoked when Frieza briefly resists Bulma's advances, turning the tap to cold water, which is uncomfortable to him. Bulma even asks if he's trying to punish himself.
  • Shown Their Work: Since the author is a real-life martial artist, all those stunning fight scenes are plausible and use real techniques, barring the more fantastic aspects of Ki Attacks.
    • Word of God states that she rarely scripts fight scenes fully - they just flow with a given character's most plausible reaction to an attack.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Between Frieza and Kooler, this escalates into violence almost immediately after they meet face to face.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Frieza and Vegeta are both shown on the roof of Capsule Corp. at different points, trying to be alone. Tenshinhan also finds Frieza on the roof of his house, trying to stay awake to avoid his nightmares.
  • Sole Survivor: It's heavily implied that Frieza is the only survivor from the hostage ship...and he's not in great shape.
  • Spare To The Throne: King Vegeta explicitly references Frieza as this. Ironically, he and Kooler swap roles after Frieza proves his usefulness to their father.
  • Start of Darkness: Frieza's entire origin story is a slow-burning buildup to something horrible that cements his canon persona and explains his hatred of Saiyans.
  • Stern Teacher: Mr. Taarun, who was shown in one scene to be a young Frieza's tutor/mentor.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Frieza, in Chapter 4, during his extensive recovery. Naturally, this means he can't get away when Goku torments him with his Super Saiyan transformation.
    • Even before Goku showed up, he was being restrained, probably for reacting very violently to whatever the doctors did to reconstruct his body.
  • Stray Shots Strike Nothing: Averted - King Kold doesn't initially join the fight because he's not only content to watch his son battle the humans, but he's also making sure that any stray ki blasts don't render their ship incapable of flight. Later on, this comes back to bite him (and Frieza by extent) when the attack that kills him also punches a hole in the ship.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Frieza in Chapter 1, as he tortures Gohan, goes from a creepily calm tone of voice to this.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: The narrative switches between the heroes and the villains, Frieza in particular, so the shades of morality get muddier and muddier as you see everyone's perspectives.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: In spades. Particularly, if, after reading the Arcos Special, you still don't feel a twinge of sympathy for Frieza, you may want to reassess your morals.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Used with horrifying results by King Kold.
  • That Didn't Happen: After their drunken night together, Frieza and Bulma decide to keep their indiscretion quiet.
  • Third Eye: Tenshinhan has one, of course, which aided meditation and let him see the souls of others, but every person he killed made his third eye dim until finally he couldn't use it at all.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Frieza will suddenly get these when he thinking he's seeing the Super Saiyan (before Goku actually shows up).
    • He's also got Dull Eyes of Unhappiness and a generally blank expression when he's been drugged in response to Kold's doctors thinking he was psychotic.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Goku, when he susses out the underlying meaning in the Arcosian fable, to Frieza's chagrin.
  • Too Powerful to Live: King Kold, if he had transformed into his Third Form, would have killed Goku.
  • Tragic Villain: Frieza's already shaping up to be framed as one.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted, Goku tries to stop Kold every time he attempts to transform.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Poor Frieza. defeated by a Super Saiyan, watched his father die, was posthumously betrayed by said father, got zapped nearly to death, fled from his enemies, ended up in a hole, hiding, and resorted to biting Goku just to fight back. He reflects on how humiliating it all is.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Frieza can't remember what happened after Goku and co. saved him from being electrocuted.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: This is how Arcosian transformations work. Where Super Saiyans require righteous rage, Arcosians need to be scared out of their minds, as well as enraged.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: This is how Goku finds Frieza in his guest room, after being woken up by the Arcosian's screaming during his nightmare.
    • And again after Porunga restores his body.
  • Tykebomb: Frieza as a child, after his own father essentially shoves him out of a ship and into direct confrontation with a group of Saiyans.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Gohan, after seeing Piccolo hurt grievously. Frieza also gets a mention for his assault on Goku after he watched him kill his father.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Unsurprisingly, Frieza's backstory shows that he was, as a child, not the psychotic killer he is at present. However, there are a few hints that he was manipulative and self-interested, as when he lied to his father about going with Kooler to see the Saiyans. He was not an Enfante Terrible from the very start, though.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Between the chapter names and the vocabulary used outside of actual character dialogue, casual viewers might either be intimidated, or at least have to reach for a dictionary. The word hamartia pops up in the first few chapters.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Frieza, in part due to his enormous hatred for Goku, and due to hallucinations he's suffering from.
  • Villainous Valor: Frieza keeps fighting, even when it's clear he has absolutely no chance of winning.
    • Later, When fighting Kishime, he had been terrified of the Bio-warrior, but after seeing Gohan and Krillin fighting Misokatsun and clearly losing, he got over his fear.
    Frieza: They're fighting...while I'm floundering against an inferior opponent.
  • Violence Is Disturbing: Bulma seems the most disturbed, besides Goku, at the torture Frieza's subjected to. Vegeta nonchalantly responds that although this is a bit more creative than what he's used to seeing, it's pretty common in a general sense.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Frieza, after he blacks out, wakes up on Bulma's plane, considerably disoriented. He also doesn't remember what happened after he saw his father's body.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Without his cybernetic body, Frieza would not have survived Namek blowing up with him still on it.
  • Weakened by the Light: Ratsura stays in his lab because his skin can't stand sunlight.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Frieza really wants his father to be proud of him.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Frieza and King Kold consider non-Arcosians to be inferior beings, to the point that they doubt they have souls. Master Roshi also does this in regards to Dr. Kochin, saying that since he is a machine he doesn't have to feel guilty about killing him.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: Apparently, even Frieza does, as without it, not even his Villainous Willpower can keep him going.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Since most of his fight is spent in utter panic and/or mental turmoil, Frieza has these by default. It's especially apparent when he is being electrocuted.
  • Wine Is Classy: Frieza, of course, has this opinion.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Frieza is a classic example, as are King Kold when he transforms, and Kooler's Fifth Form.
  • WorldBuilding: Part of the fun of SoD is that the author likes to flesh out not just her characters, but their origins, including their home planets and cultures.
  • Worthy Opponent: Frieza seems to see Goku as this to some degree even before he became a Super Saiyan, seeing as he actually remembered his name.
  • You Can Barely Stand: Said almost word-for-word by Goku, to Frieza.
  • You Killed My Father: This is likely to be a sticking point for Frieza when it comes to Goku extending the proverbial olive branch.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: A big part of Chapter 9 comes from first seeing Krillin's perspective, then having Frieza explain that what he saw was not, in fact, sacrilege or disrespectful. Then Frieza launches into a tirade on how he sees human customs as being the absolute worst form of disrespect. It further highlights the Grey and Gray Morality that the story is becoming known for.