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Goku’s Rise to Godhood

“Power comes in response to a need, not a desire. You have to create that need.” – Son Goku


In Dragon Ball Super, the Z Family gets a lot bigger

With the upcoming episodes of Dragon Ball Super revealed, we now learn that the God of Destruction Beerus’s attendant, Whis, takes Goku under his tutelage.

The recent continuation of the globally well received work by Akira Toriyama after a 20-year hiatus sees the 30-year-old manga series kick things up a notch for the earth dwelling Saiyans. Set in the aftermath of the Buu saga, Goku is now the strongest person in the universe.

Or is he?

This time, not only are the Z fighters dealing with stiff competition among themselves along with a powerful god, they are also seeing trouble brewing and spilling out from other universes.

Now, in gaming terms, let’s take a quick analysis on the “bosses” Goku had to face and the masters/guides he unlocked which nurtured him to be who he is now, a Super Saiyan God.



Boss 1: King Pilaf



It is always a tougher opponent initially stronger than Goku paving the path for our protagonist to get closer in achieving Godhood. In the beginning of the series, however, it was often the silliest of villains who got the job done. At the age of 10 (or 12 depending on the versions) the manga’s antagonists were mere power hungry mortals in the form of bandits, gangsters and a green monkey Napoleon wanna be proclaiming itself as Emperor Pilaf. Upon imprisonment, Goku discovers his hidden Saiyan powers and transforms into the Great Ape on a full moon night, wrecks havoc at Pilaf’s palace before Yamcha had to chop his tail off to prevent further damage.
Unlocked Master Roshi


One of Roshi’s totally unorthodox but extremely effective training method was delivering milk

Prior to meeting the perverted but well respected turtle master, Goku trained by himself in the deep jungles. Roshi, seeing the boy’s capabilities and upon discovering that he is his late student, Son Gohan’s adopted grandson, takes him under his wings and trains him up for the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament.



Boss 2: Mercenary Tao Baibai


Goku is defeated in the tournament by Roshi who is in disguise to remind Goku to keep his ego in check as there are far more superior and formidable mortals and immortal opponents scattered throughout planet earth. Through this tough motivation, by the consequent volumes, Goku slowly gains even stronger and easily defeats an entire Red Ribbon Army. But not before vanquishing the hired assassin by the evil armed organisation to kill Goku, Mercenary Tao Baibai.

Unlocked Korin


Korin was Roshi’s mentor way back in the good old days

After experiencing an initial defeat at the hands of the heartless mercenary, a battered Goku scales the Korin Tower for three days to obtain the Sacred Water. Above, he meets an 800-year-old deity who is actually a cat. As it turns out, scaling the tower doubled Goku’s strength, leading the tiny Saiyan to defeat Tao Bai Bai. It is here Goku surpasses Roshi’s prowess and his powers are on par with deities.


Boss 3: King Piccolo

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Released from his confinement in an electric rice cooker by Emperor Pilaf, the old but frail King Piccolo was one of Goku’s formidable opponent in the beginning of the series. Having killed majority of the martial artists in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, including Krillin, King Piccolo obtains the seven dragon balls through the help of the power crazy Pilaf. Summoning Shenron, he wishes to be young and stronger again and when the wish was granted, the heartless Namekian kills the mythical dragon.
Unlocked Kami Sama


If one observes the ‘kanji’ on Kami Sama’s uniform, it means ‘God’

As it turns out, King Piccolo is the counter part of the Namekian turned planet earth’s guardian who is also the creator of the planet’s dragon balls. Much like the biblical version of god and the devil who were a single entity, Kami had to purge Piccolo out before he could be bestowed as the guardian of earth. Upon defeating Piccolo, Kami Sama sees potential in Goku and decides to train him up at Kami’s Lookout, symbolically located directly above Korin’s Tower.


Boss 4: Raditz



What does one do if one is the strongest person on planet earth? Defend it, ofcourse! During the Saiyan saga is when Goku meets formidable opponents from different planets. Here is where Toriyama explains the origin of Goku (Kakarot) through Raditz who reveals that Goku is from Planet Vegeta and is a Saiyan. Goku is however dies in the fight not before vanquishing his interplanetary biological brother.
Unlocked King Kai


The ‘kanji’ on King Kai’s uniform spells ‘Kaio’, which literally translates to Lord of the Worlds

Just when you think this is the end and probably Goku’s son, Gohan takes over the series, you’re wrong and death is but a beginning of another adventure. Kami sends Goku’s soul to King Kai, the ruler of the Northern Galaxy and Lord of Worlds who trains Goku before he is sent back to earth to fight Vegeta. He also behaves as a mentor for the series’ protagonist who also then trains the other Z Fighters in the later volumes.


Boss 5: Frieza

In a bid to restore the lives of everyone who died during the Vegeta Saga, Krillin, Bulma and Gohan travel to Piccolo’s home planet, Namek, to source out the planet’s dragon balls. It is here Goku meets his nemesis, Emperor of the Universe, Frieza, who also had destroyed Goku and Vegeta’s home planet, Planet Vegeta.

Unlocked Super Saiyan Level 1


Definitely Gatsby

Through an epic battle, Goku discovers his hidden powers and transforms into the now famous Super Saiyan. He defeats Frieza as planet Namek slowly descends into apocalyptic oblivion.


Boss 6: Cell

It is during the Cell Saga when the series explores time travel concepts through Future Trunks who travels into the past to warn the gang of impending doom. Cell, who fuses with Android 17 and 18 became Goku’s formidable opponent leading Toriyama to tease us again with the possibility of Gohan taking over his father’s reign. Goku sacrifices his life to defeat the perfectionist villain, only to realise that it is able to rejuvenate its cells despite being destroyed into smithereens. Goku cannot be resurrected for the second time and spends majority of his time training at King Kai’s planet.
Unlocked Super Saiyan Level 2


More Gatsby

Through training at the Hyperbolic Time Chamber at Kami’s Lookout to fight Cell, the strength of Goku, Gohan, Vegeta and Future Trunks doubled up as all four can now access Super Saiyan Level 2.



Boss 7: Majin Buu



And just when we thought Gohan takes over the series, we’re proven wrong for the second time. With Majin Buu having being resurrected and purges himself to create Evil Buu, Goku and Vegeta are recalled back from the underworld to defend earth once again. Goku could only defeat Buu through the help of earthlings who assisted him in creating the gigantic Spirit Bomb.
Unlocked Supreme Kai


Toriyama’s flair in poking fun at people’s status through sizes was evident when he drew Supreme Kai shorter than Kibito

Here is where things get a little confusing as there is not much information on the hierarchy of the the Shin Jin race. See, this race are known as the ‘God People’ from the planet Kaishin entrusted to protect not only planet earth, but the universe surrounding it. Prior to Buu’s resurrection, sensing the universe is in danger, the Supreme Kai and his trusted bodyguard, Kibito sought ways to stop the tragedy from occurring. Gifting both Goku and Vegeta the Potara earrings, the two Saiyans fused together to form Vegito to defeat Buu, who could withstand the powers of Goku in his Super Saiyan Level 3 form.



Boss 8: Beerus



Now that Goku is the strongest on planet earth, formidable in the underworld, superior than any deity, guardians and protectors of the universe, who else should he face but the God of Destruction of the Seventh Universe himself. Enter Beerus who reveals to Goku that there are 12 universes altogether with beings far, far more stronger than him.
Unlocked Whis


This time though, the taller one IS the strongest between the two

It is after meeting Beerus, that Goku seeks to unlock his Super Saiyan God form through fusing his powers with four other Saiyans. Ofcourse, despite his Godlike powers, Goku’s ego is shattered by Beerus. And this is where it gets crazy as according to the manga, Beerus’s attendant, Whis, is way stronger. Goku’s rise to Godhood is also symbolically depicted if one pays attention to the ‘kanji’ on his uniform. In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Goku and Vegeta sport Whis’ kanji on their respective uniforms, confirming that they are indeed being trained by the latter.


Who’s next?


If you’ve been following the ongoing Dragon Ball Super manga, you would have noticed that there is another being which looks a little like Beerus named Champa who is the God of Destruction from the Sixth Universe leading many to speculate him to be the series’ antagonist.
And speaking of universes, here is a crazy theory that somewhere in the very distant future of the series, we might see the possibility of Goku fighting a mind blowing tougher opponent. A foe probably stronger than Beerus and Whis should Goku exceed them too in terms of strength and powers.



Perhaps Goku’s alternate self from the Sixth Universe?
It is possible as Goku had always been striving to better himself by going against himself in terms of mind, body and spirit is concerned. Who else is a more worthy opponent than himself!
However, all that is yet to be seen. If Dragon Ball Super is done well, the series is set to be the 60-year-old mangaka’s magnum opus of mythical and cosmic proportion.



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