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Fanfic / What if Nappa Turned Good?

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What if Nappa Turned Good? is a Dragon Ball What If? fanfic by Lawrence Simpson aka MasakoX of Team Four Star fame as part of his Dragon Ball Discussion series of Youtube videos. This particular topic started on November 30th, 2017, seven months after the first video of his What If Raditz Turned Good? series, and three days after the release of the eighth part. This series actually started as a result of Masako's friends in Team Four Star playfully teasing him about the Raditz story and asking if he'd do the same for Nappa.

As the title suggests, he explores his interpretation of an alternate version of the story where Nappa avoids his death in the Saiyan arc from Vegeta's betrayal, ultimately joining forces with Goku and the other Z Warriors, and seeing how the events would continue to play out through the incoming threats of the series. As of Part 9, the story has gone from Nappa's introduction in the Saiyan Saga all the way up to the beginning of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and its analogous story arc in Dragon Ball Super.


You can find the playlist for it here.

See also Masako X Dragon Ball What If which explores other possibilities in the Dragon Ball verse.

What If Nappa Turned Good? has the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Nappa, given that it and the Adaptational Heroism below are the entire point of the fic. While he was a strong enough villain at the time of his introduction, whose power, skill and brutality was enough to kill four of the Z Fighters (and Kami who was essential toward keeping the Dragon Balls active), it was already hinted that Vegeta was clearly the better one among the two before Goku would finally take him down and Vegeta mercilessly killing him thereafter. Here, Goku saves him before Vegeta has the chance, allowing the Saiyan to play a major role in the story by becoming a Z Fighter, as well as deciding to become Goku's own bodyguard of sorts.
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    • Due to Piccolo being assimilated by Nail, Kami also begins training on his own to protect earth. Through nothing but training, Kami is able to fight toe to toe with Imperfect Cell.
    • Due to their training with Nappa, both Gohan and Goten are way stronger than their canon counterparts. Goten is even able to use Super Saiyan Grade 3 against Beerus, and Gohan is the one who trains with Whis alongside Goku, gaining access to Super Saiyan God and Blue. During the fight with Golden King Cold, Goten gets Future Trunk's Super Saiyan Rage form.
    • King Cold is also able to gain a Golden form like Frieza.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Nappa isn't always going to be the smartest tool in the shed, once having assumed that his future counterpart was actually an imposter that was to help Frieza destroy everyone.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Much like Raditz, this is pretty much the point of the fic, as it focuses on Nappa undergoing a Heel–Face Turn. The series is literally titled "What if Nappa Turned Good," so this was somewhat of a given.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: In contrast to his dumber moments, he also proves to be smarter at times. He even manages to get his driver's license before Goku (maybe, possibly) succeeded.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Tien and Chiaotzu, who take Spopovich and Yamu's place as Babidi's brainwashed minions during the World Martial Arts Tournament.
    • Gohan also takes the place of Majin Vegeta, becoming Majin Gohan out of a sudden fit of rage toward his family.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Poor Vegeta can't seem to catch a break against the heroes.
    • He lost to Nail in the Namek arc. Twice. Even if he does get a Zenkai boost or two as he normally would (with one of them allowing him to kill Dodoria), it just doesn't work out against the Namekian.
    • He even loses to Nappa once the latter and Goku have defeated the Ginyu Force, with Nappa easily gaining the upper hand after having learned to suppress his power thanks to Goku.
    • This is later Played for Laughs, when Vegeta is brought back to life in order to accomplish the Super Saiyan God ritual. This is Namek Saga Vegeta we're talking about and at this point, even the likes of Goten and Yamcha are way above his league.
  • Adapted Out: Future Trunks, unfortunate as it may be, does not appear in this continuity due to his father, Vegeta having been killed instead of Nappa. However, unlike Raditz, this does allow a Future Nappa to exist in his stead.
  • Beam-O-War: The Resurrection F events end with all the Saiyans Combination Attack vs Frieza's Death Ball. The Saiyans manage to win and vaporize him again.
  • Berserk Button: Nappa, being the brute he is, may turn good in this scenario, but it doesn't change the fact that he can still become dangerous and powerful if his anger is pushed to the limit. This even goes far enough to give him Kale's Super Saiyan Berserk form later on.
    • If part 8 is any indication, Nappa does not appreciate being reminded of how he was before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Berserker: Nappa if he's pushed far enough.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Buu arc does not treat Gohan nicely this time around, causing the son of Goku to have a more intense fit of anger that takes its toll eventually.
  • Cool Uncle: Nappa eventually becomes this to Goten, giving the toddler a father figure as he grows up.
  • Character Development: It goes without saying that Nappa, having avoided being killed by his former partner and living another day in his place goes through plenty of change as the scenario plays out. The fact that Goku saved his life, and how Vegeta almost killed him is the most immediate instance of this.
  • Darker and Edgier: Because Gohan's relationship with his family and Nappa is becoming increasingly strained at the time, Great Saiyaman is more of a Batman-esque vigilante than the goofy sentai hero of the canon series.
  • Demoted to Extra: Although Piccolo is revived by Porunga on Namek, his role in the series is considerably shortened. This is due to his fusion with Nail, as Nail becomes the dominant personality this time around, who then becomes the guardian of Namek. However, Kami is still alive as Piccolo becoming one with Nail supposedly allows the life link to transfer to Nail.
    • Tien and Chiaotzu are greatly displeased as Nappa becomes an official part of the team following the fight with Frieza. This forces them to permanently leave the Z Fighters, probably never to be seen again according to Masako. That is, until the Buu arc.
  • Death by Adaptation: Some notable characters have a couple of brutal deaths in this history.
    • Vegeta's death by Frieza is a bit more unfortunate being as he just shows up and blasts away the already weakened Saiyan after his Curb-Stomp Battle against Nappa.
    • Babidi pits Majin Tien and Majin Chiaotzu get against Gohan, who is considerably furious over their betrayal, as well as a couple of other things. This leads him to finish the fight by, and I kid you not, using Chiaotzu as a grenade to kill him and Tien.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Nappa's potential through his anger allows him to access the Super Saiyan Berserk form at some point in the series, whereas this normally would have been introduced through Kale in the Tournament of Power first. He cannot use this power willingly, yet it gives him a transformation that none of the other Saiyans in his universe can currently use.
  • Evil Knockoff: Nappa, Goten and Android 17 pretend to be supervillains in order to battle the Great Saiyaman. Nappa and Goten become evil versions of Great Saiyaman, while 17 becomes the Saiyabot.
  • Fix Fic: Once again, Masako alters a few things that didn't quite sit well with the fanbase.
    MasakoX: There is no Fake Namek, moving on. note 
  • Forgiveness: During the Battle of Gods Saga, the heroes have to resurrect Vegeta (who had stayed dead after the Freeza Saga) to get enough pure-hearted Saiyans to perform the Super Saiyan God ritual. Unfortunately they can't convince him that a peaceful life on Earth is better than being a space vagabond, they can't threaten him into cooperating, none of their attempts to sway him succeed. Eventually Nappa just announces that he forgives Vegeta for all the terrible things he did, up to and including attempting to kill him, because he's moved past that part of his life and is in a better place now. This actually enrages Vegeta a good deal, but the power gap between them is so great that all he can do is ineffectually flail at his former minion like a child throwing a tantrum.
  • For Want of a Nail: Nappa's redemption changes a great deal of the plot, much like Raditz in his own series, if not to a greater scale. To be specific:
    • Saiyan Saga: This seems to have the least amount of alterations made to it. Even so, Nappa does not die from Vegeta's "Galaxy Breaker" attack following his defeat by Goku, as Goku uses the Kaioken to intervene before Vegeta can completely finish the weakened warrior off. Vegeta does not bother to try and kill him again, instead impressed by Goku's new power and chooses to fight him.
    • Namek Saga: With Nappa still alive, Bulma's attempt to use the pod does not happen, preventing it from being blown up and allowing them to use its engines and apply it to another ship, leaving Kami's spaceship is where it previous was, unrepaired. Nappa's knowledge on Frieza forewarns everybody about his presence earlier; Vegeta realizes how Nappa could be of some use to the Z Fighters and turn against him, forcing him to hold back on his otherwise openly rebellious actions against Frieza, deciding to warn him about the fighters instead; Frieza allows Vegeta to help him find the Dragon Balls with the two splitting up after reaching Namek, but Zarbon sticks with Vegeta under Frieza's orders; they encounter Nail, who kills Zarbon before he can transform, forcing Vegeta to escape. The heroes attempt to summon Porunga, only to be interrupted by the Ginyu Force. Goku and Nappa arrive on Namek; Nappa's knowledge on Ginyu prevents the latter from swapping bodies with Goku. Nappa and Goku find Vegeta, with the former having his revenge match against him; Nappa successfully defeats Vegeta, thinking now is the time to take him down for good; Goku disagrees, suggesting they focus on Frieza, yet Frieza arrives and proceeds to kill Vegeta for them. Piccolo and Nail fuse, but this time Nail becomes the dominant being; Nappa brings everyone back to the spaceship while Nail helps Goku escape Namek following the battle with Frieza, thus he does not learn Instant Transmission from the Yardrats. Nappa officially becomes a Z Fighter for his service on Namek.
    • Android Saga: As a result of Vegeta being killed, Trunks cannot be born in the present, nor exist in the future. Instead, Nappa's counterpart manages to withstand the chaos of Future Androids 17 and 18 and proceeds to use the time machine in order to warn the Z Fighters of the past.
    • Buu Saga: Babidi turns Tien and Chiaotzu into his Majin servants instead of the Earthlings, Yamu and Spopovich. Eventually, Gohan also becomes one of his Majin, with Majin Gohan proceeding to fight Goku.
    • Battle of Gods: Without the existence of Trunks, and with this scenario's version of Bra being 100% Earthling (as opposed to her half-Saiyan genetics in normal canon), bringing forth Super Saiyan God becomes much harder, resulting in the struggle against Beerus to drag out a bit longer than it would. However, as Nappa impresses Beerus after a display of his rage-induced power, he allows the heroes to see if they can find the Super Saiyan God. After summoning Shenron, and immediately learning that they lack an extra Saiyan, Goku and Nappa have Fortuneteller Baba bring them to Hell to seek Vegeta. Reluctant at first, Nappa's reminder to him of the God of Destruction's humiliation he brought on himself and his father convinces him to agree to help them out. The two would then have to see if Vegeta's heart can be pure enough to proceed with the ritual before Beerus runs out of patience.
    • Resurrection F: Vegeta finds the Pilaf Gang before Sorbet and while arguing with them, allows the Frieza Forces to get the Dragon Balls under their noses and resurrect both Frieza and King Cold instead of having their second wish for King Cold being stolen from them. This not only means that King Cold is back with his Golden form, but Frieza gets True Golden Frieza much sooner than in canon because he has an equal to train with in his father.
  • Future Badass: Much like Future Trunks in canon, Future Nappa looks like he came straight out of a Terminator movie and is way stronger and wiser than his present self (who, at this point, is still little more than The Brute and has just officially passed on the Z-fighters' side).
  • Genius Bruiser: Naphan, the fusion between Gohan and Nappa, is said to not only be extremely powerfull, but also join Gohan's tactical approach at fighting and Nappa's sheer brutality.
  • Humiliation Conga: This story is not kind to Vegeta. After his defeat in the Saiyan Saga, he resurfaces on Namek and is defeated first by Nail, then by the Ginyu Force, then by Nappa, before eventually being killed by Frieza before the battle against him begins. He then stays dead until the Battle of Gods arc, when he is brought back for one day to perform the Super Saiyan God Ritual. At this point, he is by far the weakest character, with all the other fighters having long surpassed him. The former Prince of All Saiyans is reduced to being a waiter at Bulma's birthday party, being bossed around by children who could beat him without even breaking a sweat if he refused to serve them. When Frieza returning, he gets his butt kicked into the ground.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Although the survival of Nappa does change the outcomes of several of the sagas, several things play out the same as they do in the series proper:
    • Saiyan Saga: Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Tien, Piccolo and Kami still die as a result of the original story's events playing out as they did until Goku fought Nappa. The gang still has to go to Namek to use the Namekian Dragon Balls to bring them back. In addition, Masako doesn't seem to mention anything major changing with the battle between Goku and Vegeta, as well as Vegeta's attempt to leave the planet.
    • Namek Saga: Vegeta still gets to kill Dodoria, and he also gets killed by Frieza at this point in the series. Piccolo still gets revived by Porunga; Krillin still dies due to Frieza, presumably leading to Goku turning Super Saiyan like he does in the original canon.
    • Buu Saga: Pui Pui still gets easily killed, and Goku essentially fights Yakon the same way he does in the original series.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Since Nappa was little more than a servant for Vegeta, his redemption comes off as this.
  • My Greatest Failure: Despite his best efforts, Future Nappa was not able to protect Future Gohan from the androids and died in battle against them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Well 'hero' in the loosest sense, but Vegeta trying to get the Dragon Balls to power himself up results in not only Frieza being resurrected, but King Cold as well, and both training to the point Frieza reaches True Golden Frieza by the time he arrives on Earth.
  • Odd Friendship: Nappa and Goku essentially form this. Masako describes the two not having a formal friendship, but something close enough. If anything, Nappa takes the role he pretty much had under Vegeta- a combination of friend and Manservant, helping Chichi around the house and to raise her boys as well as training and offering a sparring partner to Goku.
    • Nappa and Android 17. An old brutish saiyan and a young cyborg rebel who somehow ended up as best friends between the Cell and Buu sagas.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Nappa ends up taking up gardening as a hobby. He even works on Beerus' gardens, which Whis suggested as a way to calm his mind and help him gain better control of the Super Saiyan Berserker form; Beerus is okay with the arrangement because it means his gardens get tended.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Bra still exists in this story, but her father is Yamcha rather than Vegeta. On the other hand, Trunks doesn't exist at all.
  • Retired Badass: In Part 9 (set between Battle of Gods and Resurrection "F"), Nappa is in his 70s and realizes that he's not going to be in his prime for much longer. He politely declines Gohan's offer to train with them to try and achieve the godly forms, viewing Super Saiyan Berserker as his last hurrah; that said, Whis does offer him advice that helps him master the form like Kale did in the Tournament of Power.
  • Shipper on Deck: Nappa and Android 17 become this to Goten when they learn about his crush on Bra.
  • Tag Team: Goku and Nappa after having trained together on the way to Namek. Tag team wrestling to be more specific, as they come up with some moves based around that sort of thing, interestingly enough. This allows them to dominate the Ginyu Force once they make it to Namek.
  • “The Reason You Suck” Speech: In Part 8, when Vegeta laughs at Nappa's attempts to turn him on Earth's side, the elder saiyan goes full Sincerity Mode and basically invalidates everything the saiyans (and Nappa himself) once stood for.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In this AU, since Vegeta is dead, Yamcha marries Bulma and they have Bra; Trunks, however, doesn't exist in this timeline.
  • Undying Loyalty: Nappa to Goku, much like he did to Vegeta before. This applies to Future Nappa as well, who protected Future Gohan out of loyalty for his former master.
  • Villainous BSoD: In the Battle of Gods arc, they have to revive Vegeta to complete the Super Saiyan God ritual, but they need to try and reform him in one day. Nappa takes up the job in trying to reform Vegeta, but Vegeta all but laughs in his face for trying. However, when Nappa forgives Vegeta for everything he's done, he, at first, flies into a rage and launches everything he has on Nappa, only for him to No-Sell it. But when the rage dies down, all he's filled with is sorrow.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Bra plays this role with the Saiya-Squad, as well as being their resident Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Nappa is on par with the resurrected King Cold at first...but his age gets the better of him, being the Saiyan equal of old man and needs Goten's help to kill Cold.

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