Timeline Discussion

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Timeline Discussion

Post by VegettoEX » Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:11 pm

Got an "Ask VegettoEX" this week asking to explain the various timelines in DBZ. Technically, we know of at least three... and a possible fourth. I did some Google searching to an old alt.fan.dragonball thread that I thought would be helpful... but it wasn't as much as I thought it would be.

SK (who some may recognize from AFD) gave this break-down:
SK wrote: Image

A1 - Goku kills Furiza
Goku dies from heart virus
Everyone but Trunks is killed by the jinzouningen
Trunks travels to timeline B
Trunks kills the jinzouningen and Cell

A2 - Goku kills Furiza
Goku dies from heart virus
Everyone but Trunks is killed by the jinzouningen
Trunks travels to timeline C
Trunks kills the jinzouningen
Cell kills Trunks
Cell travels to timeline B

B - The timeline we watch
Trunks(A1) kills Furiza
Cell absorbs the jinzouningen
Gohan kills Cell

C - Trunks(A2) kills Furiza
The jinzouningen are defeated
The only Cell in this timeline is in Dr. Gero's lab
Help me sort this all out. There's at least three timelines, possibly a fourth. I'm too outta it to thoroughly think things out right now and start off the conversation, so hopefully just putting this much up with spur some thoughts in those dormant memories of the fans.

Let's converse!
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Post by TripleRach » Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:05 pm

Hmm, that is a bit confusing. I wonder if I can explain it a bit better...

In theory, there was a timeline (C) where Trunks went to the past, and Cell did not. After this Trunks returned to his future (A2), he was killed by Cell, and Cell took the time machine and came to the past, in our main timeline (B). The Trunks in that future who was killed by Cell couldn't have been the same one we see in the main timeline (A1/B), since he obviously survived, aside from dying at the Cell Game.

The theoretical timeline (C) is never actually shown or mentioned, but it's necessary for the others to exist.

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Post by Zackarotto » Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:31 pm

The diagram makes no sense to me, but the information itself is dead on...

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Post by Dayspring » Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:46 pm

That diagram is a bad rip from Daizenshuu 7.

Timeline 1: Manga/Anime we all know and love.

Timeline 2: Trunks' timeline where he goes back to T1, blabla, returns to T2 00ber strong and kills androids+Cell there.

Timeline 3: Trunks goes to unknown timeline #4. He finds device that disables androids and returns to his timeline to destroy #17 and #18 with it. Three years later Cell is "born" and finds no Androids. He kills Trunks and goes back in time into Timeline #1.

Timeline 4: Trunks arrives from timeline 3, kills Freeza, saves Goku, finds device that disables androids and returns to timeline #3. Cell achieves Perfect Form (daizenshuu 7 never mentions where this Cell came from). Results of Cell Games unknown.

That's the explanation of the timelines from the official source. Hope I was useful.
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Post by PsyLiam » Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:19 pm

So we have the "anime timeline", a "history of Trunks" timeline, and two alternative ones?

The original two are easy. It's the other two. The main difference is that, in the alt-anime timeline, Cell isn't around during the "present day", apart from in the lab. Things presumably happen the same as in the anime, up until the point where Trunks and co find the abandoned time machine. Instead, they defeat the Artificial Humans (either by strength, or some other way). Trunks gets strong enough to beat them in present day/finds some other way of destroying them (do they all have bombs in their chest)? Alt-Trunks then goes back to the alt-HOT timeline. Except that, because he didn't know about Cell in the past, he doesn't hunt down Gero's lab and destroy him. Therefore Cell awakens and kills him, and steals his time machine. And somehow, he ends up travelling from the alt-HOT timeline to the regular anime one.

It might be easier going by characters. We see three Trunks:

HOT Trunks: "Future Trunks"
Regular Anime Trunks: Becomes Chibi Trunks.
Alt-HOT Trunks: Seen only briefly during Cells naration to Piccolo.

We only see two Cells:

Alt-HOT Cell: Travels from this timeline to the regular anime timeline, essentially replacing...
Regular Anime Cell: Only seen as an embryo, and destroyed by Kuririn and, er, the person who was with him who I forget.

For all other characters, the same things happen to them (presumably) in both the HOT and alt-HOT timeline (ie, they all die).

A question is what happens to the Cell Embryo in the alt-anime timeline. Since our heroes don't know about him, they are unlikely to disturb him until he has finished incubating. However, when he awakens, there will be no androids for him to destroy to become Perfect. There will also be no timemachine, since Bulma would have had no need to make one (as she has no need to, and doesn't, make one in the regular anime timeline). If our heroes are still alive, they are likely to be strong enough to kill him (this is more tricky. Without Cell, would Gohan still have become SSJ 2? Would Vegeta and Goku have ended up fighting after defeating the Androids? Would anyone be strong enough to beat Buu? And so forth...)

But all that is supposition. We never see that timeline, and only really know what happens in it up until after the Artificial Humans are defeated.

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Post by PsyLiam » Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:24 pm

And no comments about how "every Trunks is a HOT one", or I'll kill you.

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Post by Dayspring » Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:40 pm

Daizenshuu 7 hints that Timeline 3 Trunks leaves Timeline 4 to its own doing. Once he knew how to save his own timeline, T3 Trunks returns to his own to destroy his androids. Whatever Cell appeared in T4 was probably from yet ANOTHER timeline, since he was able to achieve Perfect Form and hold a Cell games. Who would he fight if T4 turned out like Mirai Trunks (T2)' timeline and he just assimilated T4's androids? Answer: Nobody or T4's Trunks.

Total # of Trunks: 4
Total # of Cells: 4 or 5
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Post by PsyLiam » Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:23 pm

Did it say in the show that alt-anime timeline (T4) has a Cell Games? Because, as you point out, that would have to be a Cell from ANOTHER timeline, unless the Cell Games took place after he was "born" normally. And even then, he'd have to find another way of becoming Perfect.

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Post by VegettoEX » Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:26 pm

Totally confused.

Someone take everything that's been said so far and combine it into another giant post.

<-- also slightly lazy
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Post by PsyLiam » Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:34 pm

Personally, I do think it makes things a bit clearer if the timelines are given names. Calling them just "Timeline A", or whatever, muddies things further.

Right, the first two timelines are fairly easy. The tricky things are the two alternative timelines (excluding the History of Trunks one here, because it's quite heavily seen), because we only briefly see one, and only hear about the other.

Let's clarify exactly what goes on in them. I haven't got the episode to hand, so what EXACTLY does Cell say about the timeline he originates from? Is the stuff in the daizenshuu based on aired (or written) information, or is it supposition?

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Post by VegettoEX » Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:44 pm

Actually, if you're going to give the timeline names, I'd prefer it if they had both a corresponding letter AND name. w0rd.
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Post by PsyLiam » Tue Feb 03, 2004 11:00 pm

Okay, here's a (VERY) rough diagram I've thrown together:

Image

I'm colour blind, so if I have any of these wrong, let me know.

Dark purple line: Trunks moving between his timeline and "ours", which is the regular timeline. It's a bit confusing due to the fact that he turned up, left, then came back, then left again. But that's that.

Light Green line: Cell in our timeline. Killed while Embryo

Dark Green line: Cell from timeline C (Alt-HOT timeline). Moves to our timeline.

Light Purple line: Alt-Future Trunks' movements. I'm assuming that they roughly correspond to our Future Trunks' movements, but you can argue otherwise.

Point A: Trunks returning to future and killing Andoids.

Point B: Embryo Cell killed by Kuririn and someone else who I forget.

Point C: Perfect Cell killed by Gohan.

Point D: Imperfect Cell kills Alt Future Trunks and steals his time machine.

All these timelines were (presumably) identicle up until the Point Of Convergence. Which in this case, is Trunks travelling back to kill Freeza. And after this, the regular Timeline and the alt-regular timeline would have been identical up until the point Cell arrives back from the future. In the same way, I'm assuming that the HOT and alt-HOT timelines are the same up until the point where Trunks returns from the past, because in one he kills Cell, and in the other he doesn't.

(I should also mention that the Dragonball method of timetravel is quite complex/crazy. There are rules:

1/ When you travel back in time, you create an alternative timeline from the moment you arrive. Nothing you do affects your own timeline.

2/ When you return to the future, you go back to your timeline of origin. If you travel back to the past, you seem to return to the first alternative timeline created.

3/ You can also time travel to an alternative timeline already created, creating a whole new one in the process. This applies to Cell coming from timeline C to our timeline, and this is what gives me headaches.)

Er, anything I've left out?

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Post by Dayspring » Tue Feb 03, 2004 11:00 pm

...Are we inadvertantly creating a new section for EX WITHOUT anything in return??? :evil:
If so: COOL! :D

Timeline 1-Future Trunks' (History of Trunks) original timeline:
Goku returns to Earth;
Goku kills Freeza+co;
Goku dies of heart disease;
Androids kill all but Trunks;
Trunks goes back into Timeline 2's past;
Trunks returns to this timeline much stronger and defeats Androids;
Trunks defeats Cell

Timeline 2-The Manga/Anime timeline:
Trunks (from History of Trunks timeline) kills Freeza+co;
Trunks gives Goku medicine;
Trunks tries to help defeat androids, fails, finds remote control to destroy androids;
Trunks+Vegeta train in Room of Spirit and Time, remote isn't used by Krillin, Trunks fights Cell in perfect form, loses;
Cell Games-SSJ2 Gohan wins;
Majin Boo saga;

Timeline 3-Cell's Original Timeline:
Goku kills Freeza+co;
Goku dies of heart disease;
Androids kill all but Trunks;
Trunks goes back into timeline 4's past;
Trunks returns to this timeline with a remote control to destroy the androids;
Trunks uses remote and destroys androids;
Cell kills Trunks;
Cell goes back into Manga's (Timeline 2) past with hopes of achieving perfect body;

Timeline 4-Unknown Timeline:
Trunks (from Cell's Original Timeline/Timeline 3) kills Freeza+co;
Trunks gives Goku medicine;
Trunks tries to help defeat androids, fails, finds remote control to destroy androids;
Trunks returns to Timeline 3 (Cell's Original Timeline);
Cell achieves Perfect Form (details unknown, possibly Androids win and are assimilated years later, or this is a Cell from yet another unknown timeline);
Cell Games take place, outcome unknown

Does that help?
It's quite annoying to explain. With so many repetitions it's like you get it or don't.
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Post by VegettoEX » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:22 am

Dr. Briefs' time travel chart from the DB/DBZ FAQ

Anything in here any more useful, such as dates, and stuff?
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Post by TripleRach » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:24 am

Dayspring wrote:Timeline 3-Cell's Original Timeline:
Goku kills Freeza+co;
Goku dies of heart disease;
Androids kill all but Trunks;
Trunks goes back into timeline 4's past;
Trunks returns to this timeline with a remote control to destroy the androids;
Trunks uses remote and destroys androids;
Cell kills Trunks;
Cell goes back into Manga's (Timeline 2) past with hopes of achieving perfect body;

Timeline 4-Unknown Timeline:
Trunks (from Cell's Original Timeline/Timeline 3) kills Freeza+co;
Trunks gives Goku medicine;
Trunks tries to help defeat androids, fails, finds remote control to destroy androids;
Trunks returns to Timeline 3 (Cell's Original Timeline);
Cell achieves Perfect Form (details unknown, possibly Androids win and are assimilated years later, or this is a Cell from yet another unknown timeline);
Cell Games take place, outcome unknown
The remote control thing seems very unlikely... #17 destroyed the original remote, and the one Buruma made was based on the blueprints Trunks and Kuririn found in the basement of Gero's lab. The only reason they knew about the basement and went to it was because Cell told Piccolo. For Cell to have appeared in Timeline 4/Unknown creates an unnecessary fifth timeline.

Trunks from Timeline 3/Cell's Time is only necessary as the source of Cell's time machine to get to Timeline 2/Manga-Anime Time. And Timeline 4/Unknown is only necessary as the place Trunks from Timeline 3/Cell's Time went to instead of Timeline 2/Manga-Anime Time.

Trunks of Timeline 3/Cell's Time could've defeated the jinzouningen without the remote control. Vegeta starts thinking about going beyond SSJ after his loss to #18, so it's likely all the Saiya-jin still went to the ROSAT and got stronger.

Have I made any sense? I'm starting to confuse myself... :?

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Post by PsyLiam » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:47 am

I do agree with what you say about timelines 3 and 4. There's a lot of theorising based on, well, nothing at all out there (such as how the alternative Trunks killed the alternative Androids). I'd leave such speculation out.

And Dr Briefs chart is good, but also contains some suposition:

"Cell arrives from the future; althernate timeline created. Although what he did to cause the change is unknown, somehow this changed the way Dr. Gero controlled the cyborgs, his numbering of them, and the time when Goku gets afflicted by his heart disease. "

I'm not sure what the "controlling" thing is referring to, but I'mg guessing the numbering thing is due to the fact that Trunks' originally says that the Androids from his time are 19 and 20, rather than 17 and 18. Now, you can either take this as an attempt to explain a Toriyama mistake (or, more accuratly, the fact that Toriyama originally was going to have only two androids), or you can take it as only a theory, and not something that should be written down as fact.

Likewise, there's no way of proving that Cell travelling back is what caused Goku to get the heart disease later. It's just as possible that Trunks travelling back did it. Possibly, due to the increased amount of training, Goku's body was stronger and able to fight it better. Or perhaps he was exposed to it at a later point.

"Trunks shows up and kills Freeza; alternate-timeline created. Because he gave medicine to Goku, Goku doesn't die. And because now Vegeta knows that there can be more than one Super Saiyajin at a time, in addition to what Super Saiyajin looks like, he has something to strive for, and does become a Super Saiyajin."

Again, have we got any way of knowing if Vegeta became a Super Saiyan in the History of Trunks timeline? (Or the other two timelines, for that matter)? I remember that the prologue to HOT shows Vegeta in his blue Saiyan armour. Isn't he seen with yellow hair during the "everyone is getting killed" montage? And even if not, that's not proof that he wasn't a SSJ. After all, both the show and the TV special make it clear that #17 and #18 are stronger than regular Super Saiyans.

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Post by Daimao » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:52 am

If I remember the math correctly, Cell came back through time in Trunks' time machine to a time before Trunks showed up to kill Freeza, and just sat there for several years before hatching. (Didn't Trunks check the chronometer on the rusty time machine and see that it had landed there four years previous? That would have been, what, around the time Piccolo was destroying Goku's space pod, creating its own paradox? He he he, more fuel for the conspiracy theorists!)

I think this is the event where the timelines should start diverging. Thus when Trunks arrives, there have already been two timelines started.

Now I'm confused. Does that account for a fifth timeline? Trunks could only have visited one or the other, right?

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Post by TripleRach » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:52 am

Dr. Briefs's timelines seem to be about the same as Dayspring's (aren't both based on the Daizenshuu?). Even if that's what the Daizenshuu says, I dunno... The series only mentions three timelines, and there would only have to be a fourth theoretical one to make it all work. Five timelines seems overly complicated. :?

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Post by Jerseymilk » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:58 am

I'm sorry if I'm too stupid to completely understand this, but I just don't get the extra timeline, where did it come from? :?

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Post by PsyLiam » Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:03 am

Also, when Cell killed this alternative-Trunks, wasn't that just before Alt-Trunks was going to return to the alt-past to tell everyone that he'd just killed the Androids, rather then when he was originally going back to kill Freeza?

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