The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Ball Z (NES)

by mkwong98

Part 1: Episode 1 - Meeting your family

We are flying across the ocean...

when an orange ball with Z appears...

and shoots off into the space.

Then we see a space pod flying towards Earth...

and an face appears in the background. This is the title screen of this game.

This is the main menu. For now we only has two options. I'll explain the second option in another update. Let's start the game by choosing the first option.

Then what are you doing here?! Are you looking to die?!

HAH! You've got spirit! Let's see... Oh, 322? Not bad, but you're nothing to me!

What?! Do you know who it is you're speaking to?!

..Should I?

Piccolo becomes overwhelmed by fear and disbelief as the stranger exhibits his awesome power!

Such power, I c-can't.. believe it.. He's a m-monster!


You're not working as a babysitter, are you?

This is my son!

WHAT!!!! ..So you finally got jiggy with it, eh? ..How was it?

Heheh! Jealous?


His name's Gohan.

Gohan? Oh! You named him after your Grandpa?


Nice.. nice to meet you.

Hey! Isn't that a Dragonball on his hat?

Yep, the 4 star ball!

WHAT?! Someone's coming this way, and their power... is enormous!! Over there!

Kakarotto, your orders were to eradicate the humans! Why are they still alive?!

A tail! He's got a...

So, you finally understand who I am, then?

Who you are..?

Amnesic imbecile...

Listen up! First, you aren't of this world. You were born on planet Vegeta, home of the strongest warrior race in the cosmos - the Saiyans!

As for me? Well, my name is Raditz.. your brother!

Goku's brother?! At last, the mystery that surronds Goku's origin is unvealed.

And you, Kakarotto, were sent to this planet to eliminate these inferior apes! When that is finished we'll sell this rock to alien buyers. That's our job!

We Saiyans have really dwindled in number since our homeworld was struck by a meterorite. Which leaves a bit of a problem.

This time it's we Saiyans who need a new domicile! And we have a perfect place - here! It won't be long before the other Saiyans reach this planet!

Kakarotto! There's still time! Join us in cleansing this planet!

Do you really think I could..?

Fine! Then there's no other way! That's your kid back there, isn't it?

No! He.. he's not mine.

So, what's that tail, then? That's proof of his Saiyan heritage!

Raditz could sense the immense potential that resided with Gohan.

How can this be?! No, That's impossible! Never mind!

Sorry, but I'm borrowing the child!




Wait! Think about it, Goku! What can you do alone? If only the others were here..

Don't get the wrong idea! He's just an obstacle between me and world domination! After him, you're next!

We'll see... Teaming up is a good idea, though!

First, we need to borrow Bulma's Dragon Radar.

You'll find Bulma to the west of Kame House.

Thanks, Kame!

We start the game with the map screen controlling Goku. But first, let's check out the menu screen.

We have four options. The first one let us see how our characters are doing.

This is a list of characters in our team.

The Chinese character below the portrait is the fighting style of the character. I'll explain it when we get to a battle. BP is EXP in other RPG and also tells you how powerful the character is. BE is the same as MP which we spend to use special attacks.

This is the list of special attacks Goku can use. As this is the first game of the series, some parts of the game are very primitive. All attacks in this game are single target so sometimes it takes a while to finish a battle. Taiyoken is special in that it does not deal damage to the enemy but stops the enemy for two turns.

This is a password which we can use in Tournament mode to get this character. More to this later.

And this is Piccolo.

And this is his special attacks. Currently his doesn't have enough BE to use Makanko Sappo.

He has a password too. Several of the characters on the right are the same because the items are shared between the two.

Next we look at our item cards. We only have a 3 Star card and a 6 Star card. Top left indicates whether the card can be used in battle screen or map screen. In this case it is neither.

We can choose View command to read a small description. It is rare for a NES game to show a picture and a discription of an item.

Next, we can save the game. This game only has one save slot. This game series uses a special hardware to save and it takes a long time to do so. Not many emulator support this feature and is not helped by the fact that the header of some ROM images of this game has the wrong save memory size. So please check before you play this game.

And the final option let us read the story so far. Again, it is rare for a NES game to have this feature.

But who is this unexpected guest!? Goku's sworn enemy, Piccolo! Raditz's plans for Earth would get in the way of Piccolo's! So is born the strongest duo the Earth has ever seen! Search for Gohan with the dragon radar!!!

Now, we are back to the map screen. To move a character, we choose a battle card. Then we have to move the same number of steps as the number of the stars on the top left of the card. We can move in any of the four directions and back track. It is also possible to move two characters to the same square.

So in this case, if we choose the 6 star card as shown in the screen shot, we can never get to the house because no matter how you move the cursor, you can't move it to a square which is odd number of steps away by moving it even number of steps. And this can become very annoying. The two characters take turns to move around the screen. And if one of them get into a battle, the other one will join in if the two are next to each other. Diagonal is good too.

We can go back to Kame's house.

We meet our first enemy. The enemy appears randomly when we move on the map screen.

Each turn, we have three options.

We can choose to run once per turn, but it is not always successful.

The top left is the attack strength of the card with 1 star as lowest and Z symbol as the highest. The bottom right is the defense of the card with 1 as lowest and Z symbol as the highest. The center of the card is the fighting style of the card. The attack will have a boost if it matches the fighting style of the character.

On first on the left is "Kai" as in King Kai style. The next one is Kami style, which is Goku's style. The third is Kame style, which is used by all other human characters. The fourth is Demon style, which is Piccolo's style. The one on the right is not a style, it lets the character use a special attack. The last style not shown in this screen shot is the "Uncertain" as planet in Japanese means a celestial body with an uncertain path.

Here we choose a card for Piccolo.

And we have this screen if we choose the special attack card.

Once we are done, the battle scene is shown. Since Goku uses a card with matching style, he flashes before attacking.

He proceeds to throw a few punches and kicks at the enemy.

And the enemy gets knocked back. There are 4 animations possible for no damage, small damage, moderate damage and serious damage. In this case it is moderate damage and the enemy can't get by up as shown on the screen.

Next we have Piccolo. He also flashes because he is using a card with matching style as well. The order of who takes turn attacking is random. So don't expect your characters will go before the enemy.

Finally the enemy attacks.

Small damage, Piccolo stands back up.

Next round, the enemy uses a special attack. All special attacks begin with a front view.

Four eneryg orbs fly out and hit Piccolo.

This time it is moderate damage. The special attacks are pretty threatening at the beginning of the game.

When the HP is below 25%, the portrait changes. And once the character loses all HP, he drops out of the sky. It is really fun to watch!


And we get more powerful after the battle! We can take on the world with no problem!

No problem!

No problem!

No problem!

No problem!

No pro-

No problem?

Here is an animated gif demonstrating one round of battle(warning: large gif file)

See you in the next episode of DBZ LP!