Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors is a video game developed for the Game Boy Color, by Banpresto (published by Infogrames in EU/US) based on the popular Dragon Ball Z anime. It is a Turn-Based Card game that relies on 125 cards comprising of energy attacks, melee attacks, support cards, and defensive cards. Not all the cards can be used by all characters however; androids can't use the stop device card (since it would make the user self-destruct). Character specific cards, for example, Final Flash can only be used by Vegeta. The primary currency of playing cards in game is called CC (or Card Cost). Cheap moves like Energy Bomb only cost 10cc, but other stronger moves such as Super Kamehameha cost 23cc. You can only change your Deck prior to going into a battle.
The game spans from partway through the Saiyan Saga all the way to the end of the Buu Saga. There are 27 character slots with most of the characters being able to transform into different forms. In this game you can't transform mid battle, you select the form before you start the fight; some forms are only unlocked at certain points in the story. Later on, you can unlock additional characters and forms by using certain characters for particular fights. If you beat Nappa with Piccolo in the second playthrough of story mode, you unlock Nappa.
There are 30 story mode missions with one battle per mission. There are two additional missions that take place between the end of the Cell Saga and the start of the Buu Saga. These feature Future Trunks going back to his own time period to take down Androids 17 and 18 in a tough 1v2 tag battle. You then face off against Imperfect Cell before he can use Trunks' time machine to go back in time and wreak havoc.
There is a Battle Mode which acts as a skirmish mode of sorts and is unrelated to the story. There are three tiers which are determined by the character/form you use. For example, Guldo will only ever face enemies of a similar power level.
- Tier 1 covers Ginyu Force members, Androids, Base Form Saiyans, Base Form Piccolo, Krillin, and Cell Jr.
- Tier 2 covers most Super Saiyans in their basic levels, Adult Super Saiyan 2 Gohan, Ginyu Goku, Kami/God Piccolo, Freeza, Fat Buu, Evil Buu, and Semi-Perfect Cell.
- Tier 3 covers Super Saiyan 2/3 characters, Mystic/Strongest Warrior Gohan, Perfect Cell, King Piccolo, Evil Buu's forms and Vegito.
There is local multiplayer and trading. In multiplayer you are free to play 1v1 and 2v2 battles as you like. The game becomes particularly interesting at this stage since players always act differently to the AI. The AI always follows a specific series of possible moves based on how much CC the enemy has and what cards are in it's disposal.
This work contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The whole Mecha Freeza plotline is dropped and never even mentioned in-game and most of the Anime filler is out.
- Achilles' Heel: Goten, Guldo, Vegeta, Gotenks, and Jeice all lack signature melee moves. On the flipside, Burter doesn't have a signature beam move (he can use Purple Comet together with Jeice in tag team mode). P. Comet Z is another tag move for Jeice and Burter which is a special defeat and Gotenks has Buu Ball Slam which is also tag team special defeat).
- Action Commands: The stage attack cards will reward the player with cc if they manage to match the button indicators at the bottom of the screen. The higher the number of stage attack card, the more button presses will be required. If you fail to match the correct button or run out of time, you will have to press B at the right time to continue the attack or press A to cut your losses and gain any cc for the successful inputs you do made. If you don't press A or B at the right time, the enemy stops the attack and you don't gain any cc.
- Anachronism Stew: Beat up Nappa with Kid Trunks? No problem. Smack down Saiyan Saga Vegeta with Vegito? Why not. Beating up Guldo with Perfect Cell? Now you're just plain cruel!
- Cosmetic Award: The Special Card
- Anti-Frustration Features: You start the game with a deck that contains all the cards you need to realistically win a battle. Of course you're missing certain key cards that make battles much easier later on, but it does at least give the player a small chance of victory if they persevere enough.
- Artificial Stupidity: The AI will ALWAYS use a strong move if they have enough cc for it, they have the card in their hand, and it has a power of 30 or more. You can exploit this by equipping strong defensive cards such as Kibito/Champ.Belt and get them to waste their expensive attacks on you while you ensure you take no damage. The player can goad the AI by raising the enemy's cc using their own special moves and can get defences up much more expertly than an AI ever could. Not only that but the AI will never use certain cards (ie. Quick-stop Device and Dabura).
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Some character moves were translated independent of the anime which leads to some strange naming differences and glaring errors. The EU and US translation teams worked separately as well, so there are completely different move names. Censors also decided to do a find & replace all on most instances of the word die with lost or lose, regardless of context or grammar.
- Boring, but Practical: You'd think Spirit Bomb and Final Flash would be some of the best cards in the game. While they are strong, think about all the time it will take you to generate enough cc to pull those off. What if they get blocked by the enemy, or worst-case scenario, they miss entirely? Why not just simply spam Galactic Donuts, Finger Beam and other low cost moves? The AI will never be able to block them all and you'll wear them down eventually.
- Bonus Boss: If you beat Perfect Cell in mission 20 using Vegeta, you gain access two new missions taking place during Trunks' future which the player would miss otherwise.
- Boss Battle: Every 10th Chapter in Story mode is a major boss battle. This is indicated by the change of battle music and the toughest match of that set of 10 missions.
- Cast from Hit Points: Majin Vegeta's Suicide/Desperate Attack does a ton of damage, but it also cripples the user severely. Unless they cast a ton of healing cards, they aren't going to last long, so you'd better hope the enemy doesn't dodge it.
- Character Select Forcing: On the first round of the story, you are restricted to who would actually be in the right place/fighting condition to fight. For example against Recoome in mission 6 you can choose between Gohan and Krillin (Goku is still travelling to Namek at this point in the story).
- Clipped-Wing Angel: Mystic Gohan is one of the strongest characters in the game. Unfortunately, due to a graphical glitch, the developers disabled his Dunk Shot ability so he has no signature melee move.
- Combination Attack: Four cards require two people in order to function. Purple Comet and P Comet Z require Burter and Jeice (either one can be the caster), Final/Ultimate Kamehameha requires Goku to be the partner when Gohan is used. This is usable when Goku has been knocked out. Vball/Buu Ball Slam requires Gotenks to be the caster and anyone else to be the partner.
- Confronting Your Imposter: On Story 22, you can fight against Kid Trunks and he will call you out if you're not Goten. He will call you a cheater if you go in with Super Saiyan Goten and he will think you're an impostor if you come in as Kid Trunks yourself.
- Cool, But Inefficient: Moves like Final Flash or Super Kamehameha look cool and deal a lot of damage, but your opponent will more than likely dodge strong moves if used in succession, so spamming weaker moves is usually the better option (especially if you use them together to burn the enemy's guard cards up).
- Crippling Overspecialization: The Androids 19 and 20 have decks which are focused on recovering health by performing a melee attack or by absorbing energy. Unfortunately, their health stats are so pathetic that any decent beam/melee attack will defeat them very quickly.
- Cutscene Boss: Raditz is shown defeated in the Opening Intro.
- Deckbuilding Game: You can have up to 20 cards in your deck, shared between you and your tag partner if you have one. In a new game, would you go with the Beam deck or the Defeat deck? In addition to getting a different deck of cards, the prize card draws will be completely different in round 1 Story mode depending on which you pick.
- Deflector Shield: Kibito blocks beam damage, Championship Belt blocks melee damage. The next attack of that type used will deal no damage; this is a big deal for the expensive cards as you can get a huge advantage.
- Dub Name Change: All versions of this game feature different translation teams, so cards vary when not mentioning specific techniques from the anime such as Kamehameha. The story text is different in places too.
- Gathering Steam: Players/Enemies get 3cc every turn, plus an additional amount whenever a large enough amount of damage occurred. The amount received depends on the amount of damage dealt (2cc every 17-18hp).
- Guide Dang It!: There are some character forms where you never get an unlock confirmation, which can lead to confusion if you're after one of the more rare character forms. If you lose a battle and then save your game, you can NEVER get Special Card in that game ever again.
- Heroic Second Wind: As the battle goes on, expect comebacks when you get cc from taking a large amount of damage.
- Luck-Based Mission: Winning the Ex.1 mission of Future Trunks vs 17 & 18 in story mode will be a challenge. You will be relying mainly on the Stop Device cards to instakill one of the androids and then hope you are skillful enough to be able to beat the other one.
- Medium Awareness: Make no doubt about it, Piccolo knows he's in a game during the first tutorial of the game. When you beat the game, he even explains how the second playthrough works and how you can unlock Nappa! Other characters on the overworld even append to their original text as well as the Ex. 1 Stage adds additional memos on how to unlock everybody else.
- Not Completely Useless: Just like the anime, Roshi's Sunglasses really will stop Taiyoken/Solar Flare from working! It works the same as the other equip support cards such as Afterimage, Kibito, and Champ. Belt in that it will last until it takes/blocks a hit!
- Palette Swap: Besides the Dynamite Hit animations, Ginyu's Goku form is just Goku with a purple palette.
- Permanently Missable Content: If you fail the achieve the criteria required to get Special Card by the end of mission 30 then you can never get the card again.
- Post-End Game Content: A major selling point of the game. After the first round of story you can unlock all the villains and their unique cards.
- Purposely Overpowered: Vegito, Gotenks, and Buu are meant to be strong for a reason. They're almost always considered Tier 2 and 3 and possess some of the strongest moves in the game.
- Random Number God: You can have up to six cards in your hand at any one time. Which of the 20 deck cards you start with and acquire during battle are down to RNG, so you'd better pray your best cards come up first.
- Scratch Damage: While the stage attacks are primarily used for gaining cc and nothing else, they can still deal damage and can even defeat the enemy if their health is low enough.
- Single-Use Shield: Kibito, Champ.Belt, Sunglasses, and Afterimage all disappear after one use.
- Status-Buff Dispel: The Babidi card will remove any stat boosts the enemy has cast on themselves (and any debuffs they have as well).
- The Bad Guy Wins: To unlock Majin Vegeta you have to lose the fight against him using Super Saiyan 2 Goku and then try again. Unfortunately, this locks you out of the Special Card unlock path forever. The better strategy is to get the Special Card first and then get Majin Vegeta on your second playthrough instead. If you missed Kami/God Piccolo, you need to lose with Piccolo in Story 14 against Imperfect Cell and then win to unlock him.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Think the computer plays by the rules? Think again. The AI will always have higher stats than you (cards as well in story mode round 1). On the otherhand, The Ai characters have fixed decks; some of which have rare cards you may not get for some time. The worst of it is that the ai will usually choose the correct guard card against your move; especially if you chose the card from your deck!#
- Theme Music Power-Up: Happens during the story mode during certain scenes (when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan for the first time being one example).
- Warmup Boss: Piccolo can hold his own in the first mission but gives the player some time to get used to the game before the tougher enemies start appearing.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: For some new players, Nappa and Vegeta can be an example of this. Later on the same can be said of Freeza.
- You All Look Familiar: Due to memory limitations some of the character sprites look the same despite the forms being different. Piccolos' forms, SSJ/Majin Vegeta, SSJ1/2 Goku & Adult Gohan.