Since all seven Dragon Balls must be brought together (though it is unknown exactly what the maximum distance between the balls for them to be considered together is), it is often a sound strategy employed by the villains of the series to find one Dragon Ball and hold on to it, while the Z Fighters go through the trouble of finding the other six, after which the villain will step in and steal them. Since this strategy technically works, but is considered cheap, the Z Fighters do not usually employ it, as they prefer to fight fair.
The Earth Dragon Balls are about 7.5 cm (approximately 3 in) in diameter, and they summon a dragon named Shenron. They were created by Kami, and later re-created by Dende. Shenron can grant a wish within its powers as long as it does not kill, create love, repeat a wish he previously granted, and a few more restrictions. Legitimate wishes include eternal youth, immortality, bringing back a scorched forest or even an annihilated planet. Also, it is possible to return a person to life, although only if they meet certain criteria, like dying of unnatural causes or within a year before, and each individual can only be brought back once. The Eternal Dragon will grant the first wish uttered after it was called, by whomever is present.
The Dragon Balls were rendered inert three times: the first time was after King Piccolo murdered Shenron shortly after the latter granted him his wish, and was subsequently revived by Kami after Goku proved to him that there were still some good people in the world (originally, Kami had no intention of reviving them due to the purpose for creating them being corrupted by man's greed). The second time was after Kami ended up indirectly killed by Nappa when the latter ended up killing Piccolo who took Nappa's attack meant for Gohan, although they were restored upon Kami's revival. They were then rendered inert for a final time when Piccolo and Kami decided to reunite due to Cell's grave threat to the world. Goku and the other Z Fighters initially did not consider restoring the Dragon Balls, but after Cell wiped out the entirety of the Royal Armed Forces when they attempted to attack Cell during the ten day wait before the Cell Games, Goku decided to find a mean to restore the Dragon Balls, even if Kami could not defuse with Piccolo.When Dende became the Earth's guardian, he modified the burnt out Dragon Balls created by Kami, giving Shenron the power to grant three wishes (two wishes if one wish is used to revive a large amount of people). He chose simply modifying Kami's Dragon Balls over creating a new set because the time it would take to create a new set from scratch was far too long, especially given the imminent threat of Cell. In addition to this, Dende's dragon can grant one wish and then have the other wishes saved for a later time. This was shown in the Buu Saga, when one wish was made to revive all those killed by Majin Vegeta, and then Goku asked Shenron to save the following wishes. Therefore, only four or so months after Kid Buu's defeat, another wish was made to erase the Earthling's memories of Buu. One obstacle that Dende could not overcome for the new set of balls is that, a person cannot be revieved more than once. Like the Namekian Dragon Balls, the summoner must utter a set of words. In Dragon Ball Z these words are "Eternal Dragon, by your name, I summon you forth: Shenron!" In Dragon Ball GT, right before the Shadow Dragon Saga, the words have changed to "Arise, Shenron!"
Namekian Dragon BallsEdit
- Main article: Namekian Dragon Balls
The Namekian Dragon Balls are a unique exception to the link between their creator and their existence, since Guru, at the end of the Frieza Saga was able to name Moori as the new Elder right before he died, after which the Dragon Balls' existence rested on the new Elder's fate. It is unknown if the Earth's Dragon Balls can be passed on in such a manner. Sometime after settling on New Namek, the Namekians decided to modify their existing Dragon Balls, giving Porunga the ability to grant the wish of resurrecting an entire populace not just individually (this was done as a reaction to their experiences dealing with Frieza). Also in the Kid Buu Saga, it was appearantly revealed that now Porunga can also grant a wish that is not spoken in Namekian language, as Dende asked for the wish of all those killed by Buu in normal language.
Black Star Dragon BallsEdit
- Main article: Black Star Dragon Balls
In Dragon Ball GT, Doctor Eggman used them and revived Andross. Pan, Goku and Trunks were eventually able to recover them. The Z Fighters decided that the Black Star Dragon Balls were far too dangerous to allow to exist, and Piccolo taken Omega Shenron with him as Goku unleashes the Universal Spirit Bomb, killing himself and Omega, to ensure that the Shadow Dragons would never hurt anyone again.Old Kai in Dragon Ball Z. According to the series, when ever a wish is made on the Black Star Dragon Balls, an equal amount of negative energy is created along side the beneficial, wish granting energy. To use this energy to causing problems on Mars, the Black Star Dragon Balls absorb this dark energy. The dark energy stored in the Black Star Dragon Balls disperse only after 100 years, and the Dragon Balls can only store a limited amount of it, the Black Star Dragon Balls scatter across the galaxy, giving them time to dispel the dark energy. Unfortunately, this counter measure was proved near useless when Bulma invented the Dragon Radar, allowing the Z Fighters to easily find the Black Star Dragon Balls and summon Ultimate Shenron many times.
Eventually all seven Black Star Dragon Balls were filled to full capacity, causing them to crack. When these damaged Black Star Dragon Balls were used to summon Black Star Shenron to restore the Earth after Goku's battle with Super Android #17, the Black Star Dragon Balls released years worth of dark energy instead, which manifested into an evil Black Smoke Shenron, who in turn swallowed the Black Star Dragon Balls and split into seven Shadow Dragons.
Despite the fact that the seven Shadow Dragons were all created by individual wishes, not every wish made, even in the Manga canon, spawned a Shadow Dragon. For example, none of the wishes made after the Cell Games to revive Cell's victims and remove the bombs from the Androids spawned a Shadow Dragon. It is unknown what became of the negative energy of those wishes.
Location of the New Earth Dragon BallsEdit
|#||Pokémon anime||Justice League||Dragon Ball GT||Code Lyoko||Teen Titans||Yu-Gi-Oh!||Sonic X|
|Viridian City||Station Square||Titans Tower||Old DOOP Headquarters||Oakhaven||Phaeton City||Duel Academy|
|Pewter City||Willie's Castle||Section 13||Alcatraz||England||New York||Omaha World's Fair|
|Mt. Moon||Gotham City||Uncle's Rare Finds||Nottingham||Ernie’s Disposal||Australian Outback||Bagge Farmhouse|
|Cerulean City||Pride Lands||The Factory||Kame Game||Mountain Cabin||Shamouti Island||Crystal Cove|
|Pallet Town||Metropolis||Central City||Virtual World Facility||Ancient Ruins||Westopolis||Prison Island|
|Celadon City||Never Land||Red Ribbon Army Headquarters||Moonscar Island||Hell Hall||Greenfield||Ishiyama residence|
|Gringey City||Notre Dame cathedral||Muscle Tower||Devil's Bayou||Gifted School||Bayou of New Orleans||Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated|
- Someone wished to become a king.
- Oolong wishes for a pair of panties.
- Goku wishes for Bora to be revived.
- Pansy's wish for the end of the rubies
- King Piccolo wishes for his youth to be restored.
- Reviving everyone killed by King Piccolo and his children.
- Dende, Gohan and Krillin wish for Piccolo's life to be restored. Then they wish for Piccolo to be transported to Planet Namek. (Granted by Porunga)
- Mr. Popo wishes for all those killed by Frieza and his henchmen in Namek brought back to life, but only most of the Namekians were brought back as another tribe was killed by Vegeta who did not count as one of Frieza's henchmen at that point. This has the distinction of being the only wish that Shenron was unsure he would be able to grant. (Granted by Shenron)
- Dende wishes everyone on Namek to be transported to Earth except for Goku and Frieza. (Granted by Porunga)
- Wish for Krillin's soul to be moved to Earth, and then to be brought back to life. (Porunga, two wishes)
- Wish for the Z Fighters Yamcha, Chiaotzu and Tien Shinhan's lives to be restored. (Granted by Porunga, three wishes)
- All Namekians on Earth, except Piccolo and Kami, to be transported to New Namek. (Granted by Porunga)
- Bulma, Gohan and Krillin wish to restore the forest. (Granted by Shenron)
- A wish to revive all people killed by Cell and the other androids and second wish for the self-destruct bombs in Android 17 and Android 18 to be removed. (Granted by Shenron)
- Bulma's wish that everyone who died since the morning of the World Martial Arts Tournament be brought back to life (Granted by Shenron)
Note: The following wishes have been saved up, giving them four months until they are able to make their second wish
- A wish to restore the recently destroyed planet Earth, another wish to revive all those killed since the morning of the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament back to life except for those that are evil, and the last wish to restore Goku's strength so he could completely fire the Spirit Bomb. (Granted by Porunga)
- For all memories of Majin Buu's havoc on Earth to be erased, except from the Z Fighters, and the other supporting characters. (Granted by Shenron, was made is the wish saved up from the last summoning).
- Hoi wishes to unlock a box he found. (Tapion was in it). (Granted by Shenron)
- As they say their goodbyes to Tapion, Goku and friends mention that they will summon the dragon again to wish all the people back to life who died during the battle against Hirudegarn. (This part of the conversation is only mentioned in the Japanese Version.)
- Alexis wishes for Earth's moon to be restored after being destroyed by Piccolo. (Granted by Shenron)
- A wish to restore Blizzard Planet and Iron Planet, another wish to revive Misha's deceased parents (Pierre and Olie Miramond), and the last wish to relocate Cybertron back to its rightful place. (Granted by Shenron)
- For Lori and Coby's parents to believe in Transformers. (Granted by Porunga)
Note: The following wishes have been saved up, giving them four weeks until they are able to make their two wishes.
- In Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins they are referred to as Dragon Pearlsand show an image of a different color shenron moving around in one instead of the glow they do in the original story. Jade uses them to wish for her land to be back to normal.
- In Dragonball Evolution, Goku wishes for Shenron to bring both Master Roshi and James T. Kirk back to life. The Stars in the Dragon Ball's move around the ball they are in.
- In the manga Dragon Boy, Dragon Balls are small balls that appear very similar to the balls in the Dragon Ball series. However, instead of granting wishes, they can be opened using ki energy to release a small baby dragon that does not grant wishes.
- In the video game series Worms, there is an attack called "Dragon Ball", being very similar to the Kamehameha. However, said attack is likely based on the Hadouken/Fireball from the Street Fighter series, as there is another attack called 'Fire punch', which resembles the Shoryuken/Dragon Punch from the same series. Worms will occasionally shout 'Shoryuken' when performing the fire punch, as well as donning a red head band in the style of the main character Ryu when doing both attacks. One should also note: Fireball and Dragon Punch in the Street Fighter series, and Fire Punch and Dragon Ball in Worms.
- In the anime, Puni Puni Poemi, the main character makes an appearance with a collection of three Dragon Balls.
- The Dragon Balls are mentioned in the first chapter of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga.
- In a non-anime show Duck Dodgers (Looney Tunes franchise series), Space Cadet told The Masked Xorro (a parody of Zorro) that the villagers returned to see reruns of Dragon Ball.
- In the first volume of the Dragon Ball manga, several characters who are unaware of the Dragon Balls often mistake them for glands of the Eternal Dragon itself, when first enlightened of them. For example, when Bulma reveals the legend for the first time in the series, Goku follows her remark that "They're called Dragon Balls" with "Y'mean... Some poor dragon...?" Later, Goku tells Oolong about the tale, to which Oolong comically replies "I didn't even know dragons had" before being stopped when Goku shows him one of the artifacts. This is likely to be a joke.
- Sometime after the Cell Saga, the Dragon Balls gain the ability to bring people back to life more than once. This would explain why Krillin claimed, before he sacrificed himself to Super Buu, that he could be brought back with the Dragon Balls. While it is possible that he was referring to the Namekian Dragon Balls, this is unlikely since none of the characters consider it until Dende suggests it after the Earth and the Dragon Balls have been destroyed. This would explain why Krillin and Android 17 were brought back to life during the Shadow Dragon Saga.
- Though the Dragon Balls usually scatter across the Earth after having been used, Goku stops this from happening once by jumping into the air and catching the four-star ball before it can fly away.
- Without a model of the dragon and a set of Dragon Balls (in its plain rock form), it would take about 100 days to create the Dragon Balls (as mentioned by Dende before he modified them).
- The Dragon Balls are unbreakable by any physical means (it was said by a Red Ribbon Army Officer that they are unbreakable, when he dropped a fake in "Pilaf and the Mystery Force" of Dragon Ball). Vegeta probably did not know this when he ordered Krillin to destroy one before the Ginyu Force took them in both the manga and the anime, but in the Fusion Saga when Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks was fighting Super Buu, Piccolo said "If you break even one of the balls they can never be used again" which may mean that they are not completely indestructible.
- The Dragon Balls are inactive if the model of the dragon breaks. If the dragon is destroyed, the model breaks. They are also inactive if their creator dies, such as in Future Trunks' alternate timeline, due to Future Piccolo's death.
- If the creator allows it, the Dragon Balls can be used even if a year has not passed. This happens only once in the series, when Kami allowed Goku and his friends to revive all people killed by King Piccolo, even though it had only been a few days since King Piccolo wished to restore his youth.
- In the video game Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, Mr. Popo creates his own set of Dragon Balls after Goku's resurrection and Kami's death, but Shenron has now more limited powers.
- Old Kai once warned the Z Fighters not to overuse the Black Star Dragon Balls. This is elaborated upon in the Dragon Ball GT Shadow Dragon Saga, since the Black Star Dragon Balls are only supposed to be used once every 100 years.
- In the original, cut, censored English version of Dragon Ball Z, there are a few contradictions with Earth and Namek's Dragon Balls in "The Return of Goku". Piccolo asks Gohan to wish him back after his death, despite he could not be revived if the Dragon Balls were scattered (and he should not know about Namek's Dragon Balls yet). Later in the episode, Gohan states that "they have to wish Piccolo back with the Dragon Balls", another plot hole. Finally, when Bulma knows that the Dragon Balls are gone, she states that they are going to need the Dragon Balls "from somewhere else" to wish their friends back (in the uncut version, she realizes that they are not gonna be able to bring them back to life) which also contradicts the fact that they did not know anything about other Dragon Balls.
- Unlike other forms of fiction that involve wishes being granted, the Dragon Balls seem to grant a wish exactly as the wisher imagined it, rather than warping the wish so that it is technically granted, but ends up making the wisher's life even more difficult. For example, when King Piccolo wished for youth, he was not reduced to an infant, but rather, appeared in his prime. Also, when a victim is revived from the dead, they are not undead, but rather, are truly alive. This is likely so that there is a legitimate reason to pursue the Dragon Balls by the protagonists, as they would not have a justification to rely on them if they knew they would never grant a proper wish.
- It seems that none of the wishes made in any of the movies account for the negative energy collected to manifest the Shadow Dragons.