Dragon Balls

The Dragon Balls

"The Dragon Balls were intended to be a thing of extraordinary magic and power, something to be revered, not for the ease of their method, but for the dream of never having to use them."

- Shenron, during the Transformers Cybertron

Dragon Balls are the namesake artifact of the Dragon Ball series. They are orange, crystalline spheres with the ability to call forth the Eternal Dragon Shenron which has the ability to grant wishes to anyone who gathers all seven of them.

The most well known Dragon Ball is the Four-Star Dragon Ball, being the one Grandpa Gohan had and which Goku kept after he passed away, also being the one which Goku put on his first son Gohan's hat and also being the one which Joey Wheeler put on as a necklace for his sister, Serenity Wheeler. The Namekian Dragon Ball Vegeta stole, and that was later stolen from him by Gohan, was also the Four-Star Dragon Ball. In Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Second Coming, the Four-Star Dragon Ball is the last Dragon Ball to be collected before Trunks, Goten and Videl summon Shenron and was also the last ball to be found by Bulma before summoning Shenron to wish back those who were killed by Majin Vegeta at the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament. In the Black Star Dragon Ball Saga of Dragon Ball GT, the first Black Star Dragon Ball collected is the Four-Star. Later, in the Shadow Dragon Saga, the only good Shadow Dragon, Nuova Shenron, is the Four-Star Dragon Ball Dragon.



The Four-Star Dragon Ball

Dragon Balls come in sets of seven with each ball containing the number of stars that signifies its respective number in the set. Dragon Balls are difficult to find because they are scattered all over their respective planet (Earth and a few other planets which have their own set, although the Black-Star Dragon Balls scatter all across the galaxy), and are deactivated for a year after every wish, disguising themselves as stones. To have the opportunity to summon a Dragon, one must travel all over the globe to retrieve them. As technology eventually progressed, this became somewhat easier, and became relatively simple with Bulma's invention of the Dragon Radar. In addition, the balls are also virtually indestructable short of their creator dying or a planet's explosion.

Dragon Radar designed by Bulma

Restrictions on the Dragon's powers are set by the relative capabilities of the Dragon Ball set's creator. A big problem throughout the series is that with any set of Dragon Balls is that their creator must be alive for them to function, otherwise they will be stones for eternity. This often results in the Z Fighters protecting their creator with their lives.

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.


Earth or New Earth Dragon BallsEdit


Bulma explaining the Dragon Balls to Goku

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.

Pilaf with all 7 dragonballs

Pilaf with all the 7 Dragon Balls

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!"

Bulma calls Shenron

Bulma prepares to call Shenron to revive the people Vegeta recently killed

It is debated whether Dragon Balls can revive artificial life or not. The revival of Android 17 during the Cell Games Saga doesn't apply to this because he started out as a human and was made into an android by Dr. Gero. Android 16, who was killed by Cell, was not seen anymore in the series even after the wish was made to revive all of Cell's victims. Furthermore, when Kid Buu annihilated the planet Earth, and everyone (except the evil ones) were wished back, Android 8, who is a purely mechanical Android like 16, was seen giving Goku energy for his Spirit Bomb. But its possible that he was brought back due to the fact, they wished for the planet Earth to be recreated like it was before Majin Buu's resurrection.

After Dende became the Earth's guardian and 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). The Dragon Balls are transported to New Earth. The new friends of New Earth were the Lyoko Warriors. 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 Lyoko Warriors and the Z Fighters go through the trouble of finding the other six, after which the villain will step in and steal them.

The Legend of the Dragon BallsEditEdit

In the Dragon Ball episode "The Legend of a Dragon", Master Roshi told a popular legend about the "origin" of the Dragon Balls. This legend is only present in the anime and is contradictory with the explanation given later in the series about Kami being their creator as Roshi's tale is only something he had heard and was probably a legend with no real basis.


The "Original Dragon Ball" as shown in Roshi's story

"The Legend, as I was told, goes something like this. In the beginning there was only one Dragon Ball. It was huge. I mean REALLY huge, it had to be. It held all of the mystical energies of the universe. An ancient tribe discovered it, and was inspired by it's magnificent power. They built a shrine around it, and protected the orb by placing it in the mouth of a giant Dragon statue, said to be it's eternal guardian. You should have seen the detail on this thing, it was INCREDIBLE, scales made of Ruby, teeth of pearl -speaking of pearl, they say there was this one native girl ("GET ON WITH IT!")- yes, well, the tribe enjoyed years of prosperity until one day, evil paid a visit to the village in the form of a band of thieves. These agents of Darkness stormed the temple in an attempt to steal the Dragon Ball for their own selfish gain. They were shocked to discover the true power of the Ball. To ensure such an attack never happened again, the Dragon Ball was divided into seven smaller orbs, and scattered across the globe. Separately, the Dragon Balls were useless, but when all seven were united, then a single voice could summon the Eternal Dragon for one wish, and one wish only. Some wishes were pure. but others were tainted by blind ambition. This led to pain and suffering as an unjust few wished for power and dominion over mankind. But as the story goes there will one day come a hero who will use the Dragon Balls for goodness, and bring peace and unity to the world once more."

Namekian Dragon BallsEdit

Main article: Namekian Dragon Balls

The Namekian Dragon Balls

Unlike the Dragon Balls of Earth, the approximately basketball-sized Dragon Balls of planet Namek summon a different dragon, Porunga and can grant three wishes, due to their creation by Grand Elder Guru. Since the years on Namek are shorter (127 Earth days), they can also be used more frequently. However, Porunga is initially only capable of one individual's revival per wish, whereas the Eternal Dragon of Earth can wish many, even an entire planet's population (if you can state your will in one wish). Additionally, the Namek Dragon Balls require the summoner to say a password before the dragon can be summoned, and the wish must be spoken in the Namekian language (the Z Fighters used Dende to translate their wishes). One notable advantage that the Namekian Dragon Balls have over that of Earth is that they can revive a person as many times as wished to (something that even Dende's upgraded Shenron could not do).


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
Black star dragon ball

The Three-star Black Star Dragon Ball

In Dragon Ball GT, the concept of "Black Star Dragon Balls" was introduced. This set of Dragon Balls was created by the Nameless Namek, before he had split into Kami and King Piccolo. Presumably because this Namek was not pure good and was much more powerful (since he had not dispelled his evil half) the Black Star Dragon Balls can summon the much more powerful Black Star Shenron, a mighty dragon that is not restricted as much as the normal Shenron (ex. he can kill a person if wished to). To counter this powerful improvement, the Black Star Dragon Balls have two big downsides. First, when Black Star Shenron grants a wish, the Black Star Dragon Balls scatter across the galaxy, rather than on Mars. Secondly, the planet upon which Black Star Shenron grants a wish will be destroyed in one year unless the Black Star Dragon Balls are returned to the aforesaid planet. Apart from this, unlike the Earth or Namekian Dragon Balls, the Black Star Dragon Balls never transform into stones and can be used as soon as they are retrieved after being scattered.

Black Star Dragon

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.

Negative Energy and the Shadow DragonsEditEdit

Main article: Shadow Dragons


The cracked Black Star Dragon Balls

Another concept introduced was the existence of negative energy in Black Star Dragon Balls. This problem was first mentioned by 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.


Black Smoke Shenron

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 Earth Dragon BallsEditEdit

This is the locations of the Dragon Balls on Earth in the Emperor Pilaf Saga, Red Ribbon Army Saga, and King Piccolo Saga, as well as in the Vegeta Saga (according to Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans).

# Emperor Pilaf Saga Red Ribbon Army Saga King Piccolo Saga Vegeta Saga Cell Games Saga Majin Buu Saga
One-Star Ball
Pilaf's Castle City Street Yajirobe's Prairie Yunzabit Heights Desert Thieves Den
Two-Star Ball
Capsule Corporation Muscle Tower Ice Cave Devil's Toilet Savanna Diablo Desert Express
Three-Star Ball
Kame House Pirate Cave Prairie Muscle Tower (at Goku's house in DBZ) Beach Pilaf's Castle
Four-Star Ball
Grandpa Gohan's house Sacred Land of Korin Stolen by Tambourine after the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament On Gohan's hat Vodka's fortress Small Island (swallowed by adinosaur)
Five-Star Ball
North Valley Area covered by the Brown Squad Village of the Man injured by Tien Pirate Cave Mountain Mega-Fortress XJ-5
Six-Star Ball
Aru Village Colonel Silver's Camp Crow Cavern Desert (at Goku's house in DBZ) Rocky area Fukurou Forest
Seven-Star Ball
Fire Mountain Lake near the Peck Peck Tribe Jungle Mercenary Clan's ship Pilaf's Castle Vodka's fortress (found on the Tropical Islands) Kyodai Pyramid

Location of the New Earth Dragon BallsEdit

This is the locations of the Dragon Balls on New Earth in the Pokémon anime Justice League, Dragon Ball GT, Code Lyoko, Teen Titans, Yu-Gi-Oh!' and Sonic X.

# Pokémon anime Justice League Dragon Ball GT Code Lyoko Teen Titans Yu-Gi-Oh! Sonic X
One-Star Ball
Viridian City Station Square Titans Tower Old DOOP Headquarters Oakhaven Phaeton City Duel Academy
Two-Star Ball
Pewter City Willie's Castle Section 13 Alcatraz England New York Omaha World's Fair
Three-Star Ball
Mt. Moon Gotham City Uncle's Rare Finds Nottingham Ernie’s Disposal Australian Outback Bagge Farmhouse
Four-Star Ball
Cerulean City Pride Lands The Factory Kame Game Mountain Cabin Shamouti Island Crystal Cove
Five-Star Ball
Pallet Town Metropolis Central City Virtual World Facility Ancient Ruins Westopolis Prison Island
Six-Star Ball
Celadon City Never Land Red Ribbon Army Headquarters Moonscar Island Hell Hall Greenfield Ishiyama residence
Seven-Star Ball
Gringey City Notre Dame cathedral Muscle Tower Devil's Bayou Gifted School Bayou of New Orleans Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated

Wishes grantedEditEdit

Pre-Dragon BallEditEdit

  • Someone wished to become a king.[6]

Dragon BallEditEdit

  • 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.

Dragon Ball ZEditEdit

Vegeta SagaEditEdit

Frieza SagaEditEdit

  • 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)

Cell Games SagaEditEdit

  • 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)

Majin Buu SagaEditEdit

  • 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.)

Unicron TrilogyEdit

Transformers: Armada

  • Alexis wishes for Earth's moon to be restored after being destroyed by Piccolo. (Granted by Shenron)

Transformers: Energon

Transformers: Cybertron

  • 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.

Other mediaEditEdit


Dragon Pearl from Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins

  • 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.

A Dragon Ball in the live-action film adaptation Dragonball Evolution

  • 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.