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Video Game / Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku

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Would you believe us if we said this game only had you play as Goku?

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku is a trilogy of Action RPGs for the Game Boy Advance, based on Dragon Ball Z. The first game was released in the U.S. on May 14, 2002, and in the U.K. on October 2 during the same year. Two sequels, titled Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II and Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury, were released in June 2003 and September 2004 respectively. The entire series was developed by American developer Webfoot Technologies.

The series adapts the entire story of Dragon Ball Z, with The Legacy of Goku following the arrival of Raditz to the defeat of Frieza, The Legacy of Goku II covering the Cell Saga, and Buu's Fury covering the Buu Saga. Filler and several Non-Serial Movie elements from the animé is also included, as are original sidequests to extend gameplay.


This series contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion:
  • Absurdly High Level Cap:
    • The first game's cap of 25 is an odd example, in that reaching it is both absurdly difficult (requiring long periods of grinding in several areas to reach it), but at the same time required to really stand a chance against the Final Boss.
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    • The level cap in Buu's Fury is 200, and reaching it is complete and utter overkill for any challenge the game has to offer.
  • Action Bomb: Dr. Gero's egg-shaped robots in Legacy of Goku II explode upon defeat.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In the first game, much of the Namek Saga gets trimmed down due to only focusing on Goku. The main story mostly skips to the Ginyu Force after some missions of Goku exploring Namek, there is no body swap between Ginyu and Goku, Piccolo is never wished to Namek to join the other fighters, and Goku fights all of Frieza's forms by himself.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In series canon, the regular humans and animals living on Earth should be no match for the Z-Fighters. In these games though, they are perfectly capable of holding their own against the superhuman heroes and some of them are even a very real threat. Makes you wonder why the common thugs who can beat a Super Saiyan to death with their bare hands aren't trying to do anything about the various world-shattering threats that the Earth frequently faces.
    • In the Non-Serial Movie, Cooler is a powerful villain but is overshadowed by the Androids. In the second game, he is even more powerful than Perfect Cell.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Aside from calling Gohan a nerd when they first meet, Sharpner, who is a Jerk Jock in series canon, is oddly nice in Buu's Fury, suggesting that Gohan join the track team after their first class together, and later managing a running minigame where he will happily hand out praise and prizes if you finish under a certain time.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Goku at the start of the first game has trouble killing wolves, and even as he levels up early-game enemies can still kill him in a small handful of hits thanks to poor balancing. In the anime, even the 12-year-old Goku could kill wolves easily.
    • Vegeta subtly gets this in the first Legacy of Goku. In the manga and anime, he was able to hold his ground with Frieza quite a bit while Frieza was still in his first form, and it wasn't until he began to transform that Vegeta was outclassed. Here, talking to Krillin and Gohan before fighting Frieza reveals he killed Vegeta without even transforming.
    • Sure, Hercule is a weakling compared to the Z-Fighters and the foes they face, but he's still probably the strongest normal human in series canon. But in Buu's Fury, if you use the scouter on him to see his stats, he only has 20 HP and 5 in every other stat, making him the weakest entity in the game. Even the ordinary human children that Trunks fights in the junior division of the World Martial Arts Tournament have much higher stats than Hercule does. Even in II as a playable character, he starts with laughable stats across the board - even if he starts at level 40 - that would struggle to measure up to the game's first Mooks.
  • Adaptation Name Change: For some reason, Gohan's Super Saiyan 2 transformation is named "Super Saiyan Rage" in II.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Since Goku is the only playable character of the first game, most of the story's events focus around him, especially the instances where he never technically fought for a certain part or another. At the same time, certain moments Goku technically fought in (such as Great Ape Vegeta) happen only as automatic sequences.
    • In II, we get appearances from Cooler that combine the Broad Strokes of both his movies into one. He only appears in his powered-up 5th Form and goes to New Namek to wait for his confrontation with Goku, adapting out his 4th and Meta Forms, his Quirky Miniboss Squad, and the Big Gete Star storyline.
  • Artifact Title: Despite being called The Legacy of Goku II, that game has Goku out of commission for quite a long time, making him the last character to be unlocked in the story.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Ki attacks in Buu's Fury. Even if you dump all of your attribute points into a character's POW stat, ki attacks will never be able to match the power and efficiency of your standard melee attack. The exception is Vegeta's Big Bang Attack. While it doesn't do much damage, it's big and moves slowly when fully charged, which can stunlock enemies and give you an opportunity to get some good melee hits in.
  • Background Music Override: After getting the "Eyes of the Lion" record for Hercule in II, selecting it from the inventory will cause it to blare over whatever was already playing. Later in the game, a man with huge speakers on his house plays the same song, which persists until you solve a puzzle that lets you turn it off.
  • Bag of Spilling: Zig-zagged between Legacy of Goku II and Buu's Fury. All of the characters' stats are back down to low levels, and they've forgotten their charged melee attacks, though their numerical levels start at or even above the old cap and they don't need to re-learn any of their ki attacks.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Happens a few times in Legacy of Goku II and quite often in Buu's Fury. It's not uncommon for you to be beating a boss into submission with no effort, only for said boss to then drop your character in a single punch as soon as a cutscene starts.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • The Legacy of Goku II features an optional boss battle against Cooler on Namek. His stats are higher than even Perfect Cell, making him the hardest boss in the game.
    • In Buu's Fury, after beating Majin Buu, the player may encounter optional bosses even stronger than the aforementioned villain.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: Super Saiyan Vegeta's theme music is used as the standard boss battle theme in II.
  • Boring, but Practical: The later games feature a variety of playable characters, many of which come packing unique and flashy ki attacks that pack a punch... but in the end, especially in Buu's Fury, you'll get a lot farther a lot easier by just buffing your basic melee attack and punching everything to death.
  • Broken Bridge:
    • A hilariously blatant example early in II places a stalled-out parade dedicated to Hercule right in front of City Hall, where Piccolo is waiting to meet you. You end up having to do several sidequests to placate him so he'll just move out of your way.
    • Buu's Fury takes an infuriatingly-literal example in the Northern Wilderness, with a bridge over a river that's barely wide enough to fit your character's sprite (even if you ignore that you're playing as Goten or Trunks for that part of the game). Even worse, the game never places any sort of flight pad to skip it for the return trip, even though other flight pads that appear for the player's convenience or out of necessity across the game all invariably let you fly far further than you'd need just to cross that bridge.
  • Canon Welding: Buu's Fury has the events of the Non-Serial Movies Broly: The Second Coming and Fusion Reborn take place concurrently with the middle parts of the Buu Saga, as part of the main story. Goten and Trunks visit the small mountain village from Second Coming and fight Broly while looking for the Dragon Balls, and Goku returns to Other World after his one day on Earth expires to find that Janemba has been wreaking havoc while he was away. Janemba also happens to be the source of all of the hordes of undead enemies you've been fighting on Earth up to this point.
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • In II:
      • The Golden Capsules. If you retrieve all 25, your reward is that you get to keep one — it turns out they're Escape Ropes back to the main map.
      • The 7 missing Namekians, which when collected allow you to travel to New Namek, where Cooler and Piccolo's level 50 door await.
      • The 5 statues that adorn the fountain in Capsule Corp. While one of them is awarded for completing the Cell Games, the other four are all locked behind level 50 gates for each of the first 4 playable characters. Collecting all 5 grants you a playable Hercule.
      • A more minor one: Yajirobe stops delivering you Senzu Beans about halfway through the game. If you go to Kami's Lookout and talk to Korin, he'll tell you that he'll give you a Senzu Bean for 3 fish, which drop randomly from enemies killed in rooms with water.
    • In Buu's Fury, the Hercule and Z-Fighter Exhibits. Collect them all and your reward is Gogeta.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The numbers on the level gates in II and Buu's Fury are colored to show which character you need to play as in order to open them. In II, the colors are light blue for Gohan, green for Piccolo, dark blue for Vegeta, purple for Trunks, orange for Goku, and red for Hercule. In Buu's Fury, the colors are orange for Goku, green for Gohan, purple for Trunks, dark blue for Vegeta, light blue for Goten, and gray for Gotenks.
  • Console Cameo: The West City Circuit Shack in II has an original-model purple Game Boy Advance sitting on the middle countertop right when you enter the store. Another one appears in Buu's Fury, atop a box in the northwest building of the Thieves' Den.
  • Covers Always Lie: Legacy of Goku II focuses exclusively on the Android Saga. The PAL box art for the game has sleeveless Vegeta, Adult Gohan in his Orange Star High School outfit, and Kid Trunks, who all don't appear until the Buu Saga.
  • Credits Medley: The credits of II incorporate a couple of the game's songs, including the miniboss theme, Southern Islands theme, and title theme.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Piccolo is a playable character in Legacy of Goku II, but in Buu's Fury he's just an NPC due to him canonically being outclassed by that point in the story.
    • Similarly, Hercule is a fully playable unlockable Secret Character in Legacy of Goku II, but in Buu's Fury you only get to play as him for one very short segment where all you do is walk in a straight line for five seconds.
  • Developers' Foresight: Almost every individual entity you can see in the second and third games can be scanned with the Scouter to see their statistics and a short blurb describing them. Mecha Frieza and King Cold from II can't be scanned this way, as they're seen only in a cutscene before being killed (before you even obtain the Scouter), but their profiles are added to Capsule Corp's Scouter database automatically for the curious.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In Buu's Fury, Super Buu never uses the Human Extinction Attack, meaning the vast majority of the Earth's population is still alive up until Kid Buu destroys the entire planet. This was likely done in order to allow the player to still have the freedom to do side stuff, rather than being railroaded to the story for the last third of the game.
  • Dungeon Town: In Buu's Fury, Hercule City briefly becomes one during the Great Saiyaman arc of the story, becoming filled with various assorted criminals who will attack Gohan on sight. Even after the arc ends and the enemies clear out of the main part of the city, the circus area will remain filled with enemies (including a tank guarding the entrance) for the remainder of the game.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first Legacy of Goku comes off feeling like almost a completely different game than its two sequels. Goku is the only playable character and it only follows his parts of the story, which leads to significant chunks of the story getting adapted out since he wasn't involved (notably, no Saibamen, no Zarbon and Dodoria, no Dende, and no Guldo). And while it does include a few portions of anime filler such as HFIL and Princess Snake, it doesn't include any DBZ movies as bonus quests. The game is also fairly straightforward, moving from point A to B with no world map. While the characters sprites are the same, graphical backgrounds look much different, as are the character portraits. The game's soundtrack doesn't use remixed music from the American soundtrack of the anime. The player cannot use a scouter to scan enemies and other NPCs. The player can fly for a limited amount of spaces and must recharge their flight ability, as opposed to the sequels where they would step on pads to fly between spaces, while they can also not run by double tapping the D-pad. Lastly, there is no transformation ability; while Goku does transform into a Super Saiyan for the final boss fight it's just a new palette skin for him with no real difference.
  • Easter Egg: In II and Buu's Fury, pressing L or R while a text box is onscreen will let you move it up or down.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: In II, Piccolo comes across several sets of clothing without people wearing them when he enters Gingertown, providing Five-Second Foreshadowing towards Cell's presence.
  • Enemy Scan: The Legacy of Goku II and Buu's Fury have a Scouter that lets the player scan characters to gain short bios and stats from them.
  • Enhanced Punch: One of Vegeta's Ki moves is the Energy Punch, where he does a punch with his fist enveloped in blue energy for a small amount of Ki and some extra damage.
  • Ensemble Cast: Unlike the first game, The Legacy of Goku II and Buu's Fury have several playable characters, most of which get at least one moment in the game to themselves.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The wildlife is a touch more aggressive than it ought to be. II justifies its evil-looking fauna as the lingering result of Garlic Jr.'s Black Water Mist.
  • Evil Counterpart: Oddly enough, Capsule Corp is given one of these in the form of Pod Corp, a business rival of Capsule Corp that did not exist in the anime or manga. In Legacy of Goku II, Pod Corp sent a spy to infiltrate Capsule Corp and steal corporate secrets, but was foiled by the player in an early-game sidequest. In Buu's Fury, Pod Corp apparently manufactured the two giant airships used by the inexplicable army of cyborgs that want to Take Over the World and which, judging by the interior, are also the source of the endlessly respawning airplanes full of armed thugs that are flying around the world map.
  • Fell Off the Back of a Truck: One of the thief NPCs in the Thieves' Den Z-Mart in Buu's Fury says that "All the merchandise here fell off a truck... if you know what I mean!"
  • Fetch Quest: II has a point early in the game where you need to get Hercule an open-faced club sandwich so he'll have the energy to pose for photos, and move his parade float afterwards so you can talk to Piccolo. However, the local (and only) sandwich shop won't make any sandwiches until he's read today's newspaper. However, the newspaper stand owner is at the highway, panicked because a school bus on a field trip flipped and four kids, including his son, are lost in the woods. Only after saving the kids can you get a newspaper to trade for a sandwich to give to Hercule... who stops a few seconds in after hearing the song playing, which is not what he requested. Going to the record store sends you to the antique store, which has what you're looking for.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: II and Buu's Fury have quite literal level gates — a selected character has to be at least level X to open them. And yes, the main quest is gated by them. It's not too bad, though, since they're designed more to keep you out of an area until the story needs you to go there and you have a character strong enough to survive - you don't even need to open any characters' level-50 gates unless you're going for 100%.
  • Fusion Dance: Buu's Fury covers the trope naming arc, so naturally you get a few of these. As part of the story you'll permanently unlock Gotenks and briefly play as Vegito, and Gogeta is your reward for 100% Completion.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Vegito in Buu's Fury. You only get to use him for a single battle, and chances are the battle will be over in mere seconds, before you've even had a chance to try out all of his attacks.
  • Healing Factor: Piccolo's "Super Namek" transformation in II. It doesn't give as drastic of a power boost as the other characters' Super Saiyan, but lets him regenerate health over time.
  • Hold the Line: The final battle in Buu's Fury is split between you playing as Goku and Vegeta against Kid Buu, and while there are two stages where you have a traditional HP-based boss fight, there comes one segment where Goku convinces Vegeta to try and hold Buu off for several minutes so he can charge a Spirit Bomb. Naturally, one of the best strategies is to simply hang out behind a Ki shield and restore ki whenever necessary, since it reduces all damage to 1, and just let the clock wind down.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism:
    • Healing item drops in II include drumsticks, sandwiches, and entire roast chickens (in order of effectiveness). Cookies from Mrs. Briefs also restore a small amount of health, but you can carry 99 of them. Senzu Beans also heal your character and restore all their Ki, but those regenerative powers are more reasonable based on what the rest of the franchise has shown.
    • Buu's Fury allows you to carry around lots of food to snack on for heals; rice balls, milk, and miso soup are just the beginning.
  • Impossible Item Drop: In II and Buu's Fury, you can get healing items from rocks. Yes, a rock can drop a pre-cooked roast chicken for you to eat.
  • Interface Spoiler: In II, scanning NPCs shows predefined stats for them. Scanning PCs while you're not playing as them shows all their stats as "???". Secret Character Hercule turns out to fall into the latter category.
  • Jet Pack: In II, since Hercule can't naturally fly, he uses one of these when using flight pads or the world map.
  • Joke Character: In Legacy of Goku II, you can unlock Hercule as a playable character. As one might expect, his stats are absolutely terrible and he has no ki attacks. He does inexplicably have the ability to freeze every enemy onscreen in place for a short amount of time as his one saving grace, though it consumes ki, so he can't use it forever. He's mainly just a character you'd use just for the lulz, though with enough time and patience (and maybe a few stat-boosting capsules to help his atrocious starting stats) you can eventually Level Grind him enough to be a viable character to use. Though by the time you've even unlocked him, you've already beaten Cell and Cooler, so there's nothing really left to do with him besides wander around the world and beat up random mooks, unfortunately. Still, how many people can resist the urge to turn Hercule into a Badass Normal that's almost as strong as the Z-Fighters?
  • Kamehame Hadouken: It's Dragon Ball Z, so these are part and parcel. Signature Ki moves such as the Kamehameha and Big Bang Attack are usable in combat as long as you have enough energy.
  • Ki Manipulation: The player can fire these, and learn moves from basic ki blasts to more powerful moves like the Kamehameha or the Final Flash as they progress through the story.
  • Leaked Experience: Of a sort. In II, if you unlock Hercule, he'll start at level 40 rather than level 1 if Goku was at level 50 when he died.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Strangely, unlike in the series, Android 18 retains the Red Ribbon jacket, skirt and boots combo she has in her first appearance all throughout The Legacy of Goku II and Buu's Fury, even when other characters' outfits change to reflect their appearance at that point in the series.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Disabling "party guy"'s force field generator in II. You're supposed to realize that the lyrics to the obnoxious song the he's ruining the villagers' day with correspond to the colors of switches to turn off. Since there's only six switches, you might give up and brute-force it before this occurs to you.
  • Moveset Clone: While the gameplay's mechanics are simple and fitting to the series in question, it's also safe to say that humanoid characters likely are going to have similar attacks to the player.
  • Multiple Endings: II has a joke ending only accessible if you unlock Hercule and level him to 50, where he goes on a talk show and discusses the Cell Games with his typical grandstanding.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: In II, about halfway through the Northern Mountains (where you're chasing Dr. Gero as he tries to get to his lab) is a save point, and to the west of that save point is a late-game area blocked off by a very high level gate that only Goku (who doesn't become available until much later) can open. There are powerful dinosaur enemies on the other side, and although you can't get to them, it's possible to aggro them from the other side of the gate, and while they can't hit you, you CAN hit them. With enough time and patience, you can kill them and get a whole ton of EXP. If you choose to abuse it, you can grind your characters quite a bit and make the next leg of the adventure significantly easier.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: From Vegeta to Android 19 in II: "So, does a machine like yourself ever experience fear?"
  • Punched Across the Room:
    • When you first enter the Cell Games in II, Hercule decides that he should be the first to fight Cell. After Hercule hits him multiple times (with Cell not even flinching), Cell punches Hercule once - and he goes flying past all the Z-Fighters and off the screen.
    • Happens rather often in cutscenes in Buu's Fury. It's rather amusing to see someone get punched and go flying offscreen without even flinching.
    • Due to a glitch, it's also possible for the player to unintentionally do this to Super Buu when Goku fights him before fusing with Vegeta into Vegito. If Buu goes flying offscreen, he's not coming back, and you'll have to reset the game. Luckily, there's a save point right before this point, and the "fight" is really more like an interactive cutscene, so it's not that much of an inconvenience if the glitch happens.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Accompanies Hercule's ki move.
  • Satiating Sandwich: In II, in order to get Hercule in the mood to start his parade, Gohan needs to deliver an open-faced club sandwich to him.
  • Secret Character: In The Legacy of Goku II, it's possible to unlock Hercule as a playable character.
  • Serial Escalation: In terms of level caps, the series goes from the first game's meager 25 to the second game's respectable 50. Buu's Fury's level cap? 250.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In Buu's Fury, you spend a rather large chunk of the game playing as Goten and Trunks, and gathering the Dragon Balls at Goku's request in order to revive everyone who died once Majin Buu has been defeated, the quest culminating in a long dungeon crawl and a fight against Broly for the last Ball. On your way back to Dende's Lookout, you are intercepted by Bulma in an airship, who forces you to hand over the Dragon Balls so that she can make the wish prematurely, not being in on Goku's plan and not knowing there's still a threat that could immediately re-kill everyone who was just revived. Goku arrives in time to stop her from using both wishes, but she still made one wish, causing the Balls to be scattered again, rendering that whole long Fetch Quest utterly pointless.note 
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Rather humorously, in II Cooler spells his brother's name as "Frieza" and "Freiza" within his first appearance after the Triceratops King battle.
    • In Buu's Fury, the banner outside of the Hercule City circus calls it "Musaka Circus", but the character's name is spelled "Musuka". The HUD's location name goes with the latter, spelling it "Musuka Circus".
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Enemies will constantly fling themselves at you, even if they are clearly outmatched. Understandable for machines and underlings of the game's Big Bad, but even random thugs on the street will still insist on continuing a fight even if they just witnessed you incinerate one of their friends instantly with a giant energy beam.
  • Super Mode: While Goku can only go Super Saiyan during the final battle in The Legacy of Goku, the sequels are more relaxed about it, letting characters achieve Super Saiyan (or in Piccolo's case, Super Namek after fusing with Kami) at the player's command. However, this drains their ki once it's active.
  • Take Your Time: A big offender in all three games, especially the first, where several storylines meant to be urgent are padded out with mandatory meandering sidequests and nonsense. II and Buu's Fury are better about this, as the former's source material is less urgent and has several points of downtime already in the narrative, and the latter's side filler is mostly Adaptation Expansion.
  • Thanking the Viewer: The second game gives you a "Thanks for playing!" after The Stinger.
  • The Coats Are Off: Piccolo's Super Mode in II has him take off his cape and hat.
  • Time Stands Still: Hercule's only ki move in II has him flash a peace sign which also makes the screen flash alongside a Record Needle Scratch, which makes all enemies stop moving.
  • The Unfought: In The Legacy of Goku II, neither Mecha Frieza nor King Cold are fought, as Trunks dispatches them both in a cutscene.
  • Wraparound Background: Two cutscenes in Buu's Fury make use of one of these. The same rock formations in the same order scroll past in the background as the characters hold a conversation mid-flight. The second one is a bit silly, with Goten and Trunks fighting over the Dragon Radar in midair, with them flying backwards and sideways while not even in their "flying" sprites.


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