Welcome to another Dream Roster article. If you missed out on our previous entries, be sure to check out the articles looking at Nintendo Kart, as well as MvC4, Kellogg’s vs. Capcom, Fire Emblem Warriors, Disney X Mario Kart, Nintendo vs. Capcom, Microsoft Smash-Up, Kirby Fighters, Pokken Port, 100 character Smash, Konami-Smash And Sonic & Sega All Star Racing 3.
Bandai Namco and Arc System Works got us Kame-Hame-Hyped at E3 with Dragon Ball Fighter Z, a 2D fighting game with cel-shaded 3D models akin to Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2. In fact, Fighter Z’s models are so high-quality that it looks like if the characters are teleporting directly from the anime to the battlefield, generating a level of detail that prior Dragon Ball Z fighting games were unable to emulate. The intense 3vs3 fights mean players must be prepared for an endless combination of characters, and that brings us to today’s topic: Which characters we think will make the cut for this game’s roster.
But first, let’s explore the first question in any hypothetical roster: How many characters?
Until now we know 9 characters: Goku (SSJ1), Vegeta (SSJ1), Teen Gohan (SSJ2), Frieza (Final Form), Cell (Perfect form), Majin Buu (Fat?), Future Trunks (SSJ1), Piccolo and Krillin. But when the game was revealed the developers told us that the game was only about 20% done. So if we jump to conclusions and do some quick math, we get this:
If 6 revealed characters represent at most 20% of the final game, how much characters will represent the 100% finished game?
“If 20% done = 6 characters”, then “100% = X characters”
hard calculations noises
100% = 30 characters
We know the method to get this number is a bit unorthodox, but 30 characters is a decent number considering the aforementioned Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 has 25 characters, and the upcoming Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch will have over 70 characters. So, putting it in perspective, 30 characters is a conservative roster size for a Dragon Ball fighting game, as there could easily be over 9,000.
With that point (and that overused joke) out of the way, we asked our staff for their choices and we got these results for their Dream Rosters:
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I made my roster based on the idea of “rival pairs”:
- Goku – Frieza: The protagonist and the villain that pushed him to the limit.
- Vegeta – Cell: The arrogant Prince of the Saiyans and the arrogant Perfect Bio Android
- Gohan – Majin Buu: Both kind-hearted and the strongest among their pairs.
- Krillin – Nappa: The balding foils to the Super Saiyan duo.
- Android 18 – Android 17: The battling siblings.
- Future Trunks – Kid Buu: Total contrast between Noble and Savage.
- Master Roshi – Cap. Ginyu: The leaders of their own fighting squads.
- Piccolo – Android 16: Both wanted to kill Goku, but changed when befriended Gohan.
- Videl (as Great Saiyawoman) – Dabura: Videl & Devil, Palindromic puns are fun.
- Kaioshin – Zamasu: Supreme Kai of their respective universes.
- Tien Shinhan – Hit: Both first appeared as villains in tournament arcs.
- Gotenks – Pilaf (on his mecha): Fun sized but packing tons of raw strength.
- Tapion – Cooler: Movie Characters Part 1: Cool and Cooler.
- Beerus – Broly: Movie Characters Part 2: Destruction bringers.
- Pikkon – Janemba: Heaven and HFIL.
Also, on the left we have the “Good Characters”:
- The first row of good characters are the ones that have always been good.
- The second row is for “reformed villains”
- The third row is for the new generation of Z Warriors (and Pikkon)
And on the right we have the “Villains”:
- The first row has 3 characters from Frieza’s Saga
- The second row has 3 characters from Cell’s Saga
- The third row has 3 characters from Majin Buu’s Saga
You may miss some characters. Like Adult Gohan, but I wanted to keep the roster with only one variation of every character, Kid Buu being the only exception, explained as at the end of the series they become 2 different characters (yeah, that’s a cop out). Also, I would like to see Adult Gohan (or Great Saiyaman) appear as part of a Videl “Strong Super Move”. At the same time Chiaotzu would appear as part of Tien’s “Supers”, attacking with Dodon Rays.
Other characters that were considered but didn’t make my final cut were:
Mercenary Tao, Whizz, Mr. Popo, Uub, and Nuova Shenron (the 4 Stars Dragon)
[su_spoiler title=”For Nirbion’s Explanation, Click here” icon=”plus-square-1″ anchor=”Click Here”]
My goal of my dream roster was to create a roster for Dragon Ball FighterZ as diverse and interesting as possible and intentionally “crazy” to many fans. This means I had to rely only on the character alone and not on his or her many transformations. So sorry Goku Super Sayajin Blue, you’re out. However, that doesn’t mean that one character can be in the roster twice. As long as they provide an unique moveset and body structure that makes them distinct, they should get a shot. After all, there’s a gigantic skill and moves difference between Son Goku as an adult and as a child.
I also payed attention to legacy of the character and what unique possibility they could bring to the roster. Captain Ginyu is a prime example for having the unique ability to switch bodies switch his opponent. Others are literally here to represent one of many Dragon Ball-Arcs or a non-canon property. Yes, Pan and Broly only made it into my roster because they represent for me GT or the Movies. I’m not really fan of both characters but throwing a bone to those non-canon properties doesn’t hurt to much. Also, Broly is insanely popular among fans, so it would be a missed opportunity to not include him. After all, Arc System wants to create a roster appealing to all kinds of Dragon Ball-Fans.
I won’t go into detail too much since many characters are either safe bets or are pretty obvious on how they could work in Dragon Ball FighterZ.
…But…yeah, I included many characters, where I need to explain why on earth I wanted certain characters.
I wanted to have someone representing the Saiyan Saga on the villain-side and first, I wanted to put Nappa there. But honestly, it didn’t felt right since Nappa was just there as a plot-device to make Vegeta look even more strong and menacing. So Nappa wasn’t really an appealing character to have in an all star-Dragonball Fighting game…but Radditz? Isn’t he the same plot-device character as Nappa? That is true, but he was the character who changed Dragon Ball forever. And I think the Radditz’ legacy as a character is far bigger than Nappa’s. He was a significant character, but his time was short, so what can he do? Well, Radditz’ moveset could reflect the historic barbaric skillset of all Saiyans. He can be the representation of what a Saiyan is historically supposed to be.
I said no transformations but I can’t imagine Arc System and Bandai Namco to NOT banking on the Super Saiyan God Blue Transformation. So I just found a loophole and took Vegito Blue as someone, who could go Super Saiyan God Blue. Because Marketing, amirite? And with this, I could also represent a fusion-character, so Vegito Blue was very convenient for me. I’m aware that Gotenks might be a better character to represent Fusions, but I’m honestly not really a fan of him and with many “brats” in my roster, I thought that I rather want to give Vegito Blue a chance. Sorry Gotenks!
The very VERY first villain of Dragon Ball, how can I possibly ignore his gang? At first, I actually wanted to give the original Yamcha a shot to represent the first search of the Dragon Balls. But he’s way too much associated with his role of being a “weakling”, that I think I better leave it by that. And this brings me to Pilaf, because I completely forgot his unique trait that could make the roster more unique: His Pilaf Machine! He could be the Tron Bonne we’re searching for Dragon Ball FighterZ and the Pilaf Machine would be the perfect fit for a robot-character. And as a special, he can call his other gang-members to unleash the combined Pilaf Machine on his opponents.
Hu? A quite “new” character and already in such a fighting game? Why?
Well, with the current Tournament of Power-Arc, I wanted someone represent that and
…well, the roster was lacking female fighters, so I wanted to her for those two reasons despite not seeing her full potential yet. Also, it would be fun to have her interact with Broly.
And now my most bizarre and random pick of my entire roster. So why the heck did I include such a minor character, who didn’t contribute much even in the original Dragon Ball and was completely forgotten by Akira Toriyama as soon as the Saiyan-Arc in the Manga started? What was I thinking?!
With Arale, I first thought that she is the perfect joke-character and wanted to leave it by that. But I also wanted a completely unexpected and maybe even unwanted character in the roster, that surprises the fandom. My first thought was instantly Launch. And it’s not that I choose a character for “lol random”-reasons, she actually has an unique trait that could make her really special in the whole roster: Launch has a good personality and a “bad´” personality and she switches her personality by…sneezing. She’s basically two characters in one and would be very similar on how Zelda and Sheik worked in Melee and Brawl, but with Roll and Baby Bonnie Hood.
It might be very strange to see her beating Goku or Freezer, but that comedic effect and her very unique trait was just too good to pass on.
I want to emphasize that I don’t think that my Dream Roster is likely at all. But it’s not called “Dream” for nothing and it’s my ideal picture of a perfect Dragon Ball roster.
IMPORTANT: I might have used unintentionally Fanart in my roster-picture. But even with research, it was impossible to find the real source. So dear artist, if you recognize any artworks from you in my roster, please notify me as soon as possible and I will gladly properly credit your work!
[su_spoiler title=”For NantenJex’s Explanation, Click here” icon=”plus-square-1″ anchor=”Click Here”]
So while my co-writers for this article have tried to cover every series of Dragon Ball including the original and GT, I believe that the big focus will be on Z. We already know from Golden Frieza that they aren’t opposed to using elements of Super but overall I think it will be minor. Z is still where a lot of people’s favourite fights and characters take place and there is even an emphasis on the ‘Z’ in the title. All nine characters confirmed so far are from Z and even take on their appearances in Z as opposed to their current forms. That leaves me with 21 other characters to speculate on so let me present my thoughts below.
Starting with the ones that need the least explaining, Android 18 & Android 17 feel like obvious picks. They are both relevant, popular and unique fighters who were important to the story. Next we have Tien & Roshi who I included after the developers said that some characters were added to be more in the support role than fighting role. Both of these fit that perfectly with Solar Flare and the Mafuba being great support attacks. Lastly we have Ginyu who admittedly is the weakest link here. I included him so Freeza would have an ally and he could easily be replaced with Nappa, Raditz or even Scouter Vegeta for the same effect.
I need to address the elephant in the room about my roster. There has been a lot of talk about comments made on the developer that different versions of the same character wouldn’t be appearing in the game. This actually isn’t true. What the developer actually says is that different transformations for characters wouldn’t get individual slots (like the do in the Budokai games). What this means is that Freeza and Golden Freeza won’t get individual slots but it doesn’t mean Goku and Kid Goku both can’t be in.
With this mindset it means we can have Adult Gohan, Cell, Kid Buu and Super Buu. For Gohan he has an entirely different build so may as well be a different character and Kid/Super Buu are different characters to Majin Buu. The key thing here is that none of them are actually transformations. The character has changed but it’s not like a Super Saiyan-type transformation. Cell can’t jump between forms like Freeza can. Majin Vegeta is slightly different and is also on the weaker end of things but I felt he was more popular than Dabura and the scene where he blows himself up is too iconic to avoid.
One thing you might have noticed is the lack of Gotenks on this roster, and for good reason. One thing that has always been hard to replicate in Dragon Ball fighting games is the fusion mechanic. But, in this game we have a 3vs3 system which means we could have situations where we get both Goten and Kid Trunks on a team and using a transformation they can then fuse into Gotenks. This is more loyal to how it’s portrayed in the series as it is a transformation and not permanent. The same goes for Potara Earings now which means we could get Vegitto as a transformation as well. This is also why Zamasu and Goku Black are separate instead of just having Perfect Zamasu.
I mentioned Dragon Ball Super being represented as well which makes sense as it is the current season and what is most relevant. We know it at least goes up to Golden Freeza which means Beerus is probably very likely. It also opens up the possibility for Super Goku and Super Vegeta; although these two are transformations I believe they are too important/popular to miss out. On the side of popularity, if we are going all the way to Zamasu then Hit is probably also quite likely. I think his fighting style is also a fit for Arc Systems. I don’t think we will be covering the Universal Tournament arc which means Caulifla and Kale will have to wait until next time, although speaking of Kale…
Kale exists as some weird way to canonize Broly because of how insanely popular the Legendary Saiyan is. He makes it into nearly all pieces of Dragon Ball media, especially the games, so I don’t see why we would make any exceptions for this one. Joining him are Cooler and Bardock who are both popular characters thanks to their movies/OVA. Bardock can also bring with him the Great Ape form, at least for an attack. These two are definitely less likely than Broly, but they’re not out of the question.
And with we have 30 characters (34 including the fusions). My picks might be pretty safe but this is the first game in a new series. They need to get all the staples in before they start throwing in the crazy characters, at least in my opinion. Dragon Ball FighterZ may not actually hit 30 but we can definitely hope.
What do you think about our choices? What are yours? Tell us in the comments!