Rumor Guide

Our Rumor Guide here at Kanzenshuu is an extensive collection of articles with comprehensive, well-researched, well-documented deep-dives into some of the most prevalent rumors in Dragon Ball fandom. There is always more to every story, so be sure to follow along with any additional links provided throughout the articles!

All Dragon Ball Video Games Are
Rushed, Unfinished Products

Rumor Status
Yes and No

The feeling of “rushed” games was not felt widespread throughout fandom until the release of Dragon Ball Z 3 (Budokai 3), but it in fact dates back a full decade earlier.

Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden 2 for the Super Famicom was released in December 1993. It was a massive improvement over the first game with a branching single-player story mode, improved graphics, responsive controls, and more. The series was becoming so successful that a third game was brought out not even a full year later in September 1994. The development time spoke for itself, but so did the game’s options: while the graphics continued to be touched up, the number of background stages and playable characters decreased, and there was no story mode to speak of (just the standard tournament and two-player modes).

As French superfan “Cold Skindetailed on our forum, digging into the game’s debug menu — actually carried over directly from the second game, if the pointers and missing data are any indication — reveals quite a bit about the game’s development. Most notable is an unfinished(?) tenth stage that appears to be a variation on the normal plains stage, though is fully playable via an Action Replay code (7E0BAB07). The outside stage features a stone Piccolo (having been spat on by Dabra):

Some extra character animation data is also present. An unfinished sprite of the future Trunks in his non-Super Saiyan form exists with golden hair in addition to frame data for swatting ki blasts aside, a feature that would come in the following (and final) Super Famicom fighting game, Hyper Dimension. Artificial Human #18 even has a six-frame animation for a secret attack that goes unused in the game, one that seemingly references her attack (alongside #17) on the future version of Gohan in Trunks’ TV special:

The 1996 PlayStation and Saturn release Idainaru Dragon Ball Densetsu actually comes packed with not-so-hidden text files right on the game discs. Among the various anecdotes and funny stories from the game’s development staff, Graphic Artist “N” notes:


Apart from that, we had designs on putting in Gogeta, Majin Ozotto, or even an original character (designed by the great Toriyama-sensei, natch), but due to the constraints of the schedule, we ever so regretfully had no choice but to abandon them.

“Ozotto” was an original creation from the 1994 Sega arcade game Dragon Ball Z: V.R.V.S. The monstrous villain would have been relatively contemporary to this game’s development, but unfortunately the schedule kept him, miscellaneous other characters, and even a brand-new Toriyama creation away from the final release.

Dragon Ball games took a nice (and well-needed) break after 1997’s Final Bout, but the next generation of games soon brought that “rushed” feeling back along for the ride. At first, many fans were simply expecting more from the PlayStation 2 game Dragon Ball Z 3 / Budokai 3; a mere 11 characters in “Dragon Universe” seemed strange (especially when more obvious choices could have been made), the “What-If?” fusions from the previous game were now gone, etc. However, it was not until we started digging through the game’s audio files on the disc, itself, that we unearthed even more evidence.

As you can read above with the Bulma rumor, it seems as if Bulma was intended to be a playable character in the game, but was possibly just not finished in time. Bulma’s name is not the only “extra” announcement on the game disc, however! Fans may be shocked to know that there are also announcements recorded for Artificial Human #19 (“Android 19”), Dodoria, Zarbon, and “Shin” (in addition to Bulma). These sound files have been compared to those in previous games (the first three noted in this list were standard playable characters in the first Budokai game); they are entirely different recordings, which means their announcements were recorded brand-new for inclusion on the Budokai 3 disc.

Artificial Human (“Android”) #19 announcement in Budokai 3 (US)

Dodoria announcement in Budokai 3 (US)

Zarbon announcement in Budokai 3 (US)

“Shin”(?) announcement in Budokai 3 (US)

Fans theorize as to what this “Shin” may have been. The first character that comes to mind is Kaiōshin, but he has his own regular name announcement (“Supreme Kai” in the American release), though this “Shin” announcement is immediately after “Supreme Kai” in the file structure. Other ideas include “Shen,” the pseudonym God went under during the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai. However, since the game uses only FUNimation names, as FUNimation re-named the character “Hero” for the English dub, this makes little sense.

This all stems back to a comment made by the game’s producer, Daisuke Uchiyama, which inferred that any and all characters from previous games (such as #19, Zarbon, and Dodoria) would be returning for the third installment. Of course, we now know that the characters are not actually in the game.

Further exploring the game’s audio, we happened upon what appears to have been the beginnings of a “Dragon Universe” storyline for little (“Kid”) Goku! You can actually hear most of this audio in the game, itself, in the various “Memories of…” capsules.

Unused “Kid Goku” Dragon Universe English Dub Audio in Budokai 3 (US)

Interestingly, with this knowledge of “extra” files on the disc, we went back to the previous two Budokai games to see if we could turn anything else up. While Budokai 2 showed absolutely nothing of interest, the first Budokai game had some interesting items! Just like with Budokai 3, additional World Tournament character announcements can be heard (in the game’s data as “ADX_US_1441.adx” through “ADX_US_1446.adx”). Saibaiman (“Saibamen”), Cell Jr., and of all characters, Kewi (“Cui”) all have their names announced! It would seem that the developers had the idea of Saibaiman and Cell Jr. being playable since the very first game, but either a) never got around to including them, or b) used the announcements to test the characters and their techniques for game-development purposes, only.

Saibaiman announcement in Dragon Ball Z (JP) & Budokai (US)

Cell Jr. announcement in Dragon Ball Z (JP) & Budokai (US)

Kewi announcement in Dragon Ball Z (JP) & Budokai (US)

These names were recorded for a reason, and it is frustrating to not see what the final fruits of labor could have been. The first Budokai game has been out for ages now (on two game systems), and nothing additional has turned up with regards to the “extra” three character announcements (Saibaiman, Cell Jr., Kewi). Luckily, Budokai 2 seems relatively complete (ignoring the few extra items the Japanese release received, such as Kuriza, Goku/Piccolo’s extra outfits, and an additional “Dragon World” stage).

Even the Sparking! / Budokai Tenkaichi games got in on the fun. The Japanese version of the second game — Sparking! NEO — contains an extra sound file with the announcer naming “Ginga Senshi”… and the English release has its own translated version of “Galaxy Soldier” as well! This announcement is not actually used anywhere in the game. It may have once referred to a generic fighter, a test opponent, or perhaps a planned but otherwise unfinished character.

Ginga Senshi” (“Galaxy Soldier”) announcement in Sparking! NEO (JP) & Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (US)

With the Dragon Ball franchise’s games typically stuck to a yearly development cycle, it is not unthinkable to have content constantly being pushed aside in order to hit deadlines. With so many of the games receiving sequels, it seems like most of the planned content eventually made its way into some game along the way, but there are always a few head-scratchers that we may never truly understand!