Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot returned strong in 2023 with a new DLC focusing on Bardock released on January 13th and a next-gen update for the game on PlayStation 5. Unfortunately, the update for the Xbox Series X has been delayed, but players can still purchase and play the Bardock DLC on the Xbox One version of the game.
The Bardock DLC is a full story adapting the TV Special Bardock, the Father of Goku. It also comes with several new sub-stories that help add some extra character work and story to the game. Sub-stories are side quests in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot and they often contain some of the most enjoyable content in the game.
“Familiar Face” brings back two old characters from the original Dragon Ball series–the brothers Mercenary Tao and Master Shen. The two of them try to rob Chi Chi promising that they’ll take care of some nearby Saibamen.
The quest is similar to some of the filler in the Dragon Ball Z anime where Gohan occasionally comes into contact with characters from Goku’s childhood. Even though Goku and Gohan have some differences, the characters can quickly see the two are similar. After Gohan demonstrates his strength, Tao and Shen quickly realize who Gohan reminds them of. After learning who his father is, they run for it and never return.
Good Ol’ Goku
“Good ol’ Goku” is another side quest that returns some old Dragon Ball characters. This time, Bora and Upa, childhood friends of Goku’s. The forest is sick and Goku goes on a long mission to help find a cure.
This sub-story is fantastic because it touches upon something that Dragon Ball Z never did. That is, Goku returns and meets some of his old allies. Bora and Upa aren’t the only old characters that Goku meets in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot either and it makes the story feel more realistic. The quest is a trip down memory lane as Goku recalls his past with the two of them, and he even meets Fortuneteller Baba again who aids him in finding the moss that will cure the forest.
“Yamcha’s Alive” takes place after the Saiyan Saga so when Gohan suddenly sees Yamcha walking around after dying, it’s quite a shock. He gets sent on this quest from Oolong and eventually discovers that Yamcha was in fact Puar.
This quest fills in nicely and adds to the story that has been built up regarding Yamcha’s character with other women. While it’s been somewhat inconsistent much of the non-canon material has painted him as a bit of a playboy. After he’s dead, Puar tries to patch things up and makes sure she makes it to all of Yamcha’s dates in his stead so that his reputation doesn’t plummet. It’s exactly the sort of thing fans would expect Puar to do and at the end of the quest she receives a message via Krillin saying that Yamcha didn’t want Puar to do this.
Special Members Of The Frieza Force
Players will remember Melone from the main story of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. He’s a chef for the Frieza Force who always sends the players out looking for ingredients for him. He makes his return in the two different quests in the DLC centered around one of Dragon Ball‘s most tragic characters, Bardock.
What’s so great about Melone this time around is the humor he adds to the story. The game does an excellent job of giving Bardock realistic responses to how he would react to these sorts of situations. Melone’s position in the Frieza Force allows him to force Bardock to do as he wishes, or he’ll report him. He also constantly stresses that he has a card that shows he is a VIP member of the Frieza Force which he tries to show to Saibamen in his next quest.
Time For A Tournament
“Time for a Tournament” is a fantastic quest where Bulma aids Goku in beginning a tournament. Goku even recruits the World Tournament Announcer for the quest. The tournament consisted of tag-team duos with some surprising team-ups.
While Dragon Ball Z, one of the best martial arts anime, has plenty of tournaments spread throughout the series, the actual characters never organize their own tournament. The closest this comes to is when Goku pitches the idea of a tournament between other universes inDragon Ball Super to the Omni-King. “Time for a Tournament” is one of the highest-level quests in the game which makes it a perfect quest to wrap up the game as all the fighters engage in a battle against each other.
“Fasha’s Stalker” is an interesting sub-story that has a Saiyan named Spini train with Bardock briefly to try and become stronger so that Fasha would be interested in him. Unfortunately, Spini never appears again after this quest, but it is a fun bonus story in the DLC.
Spini shows real determination as he allows Bardock to beat him up and drive him to near death. Saiyans grow stronger once they’re healed and the closer they were to death, the stronger they will be when they’re healed. This touches on an idea that has always been considered when thinking about the Saiyans as there is no clear answer to know how often the Saiyans exploited this rare ability they had.
Road To The Ginyu Force
The “Road to the Ginyu Force” is one of the best sub-stories in the Bardock DLC where the Ginyu Force is testing Saiyan warriors to join their team. Players have to undergo a series of challenges as they fight various members of the Ginyu Force to see if they can enter.
The quest is hilarious and plays on the gag of the Ginyu Force and how they’re always making their group seem like an honorable place to be. Due to Bardock and his team being some of the strongest Saiyan warriors, they manage to make it to the end but refuse to perform the final challenge and strike a pose. However, this takes a turn where Ginyu sees that they’re actually a team already and that they would make perfect rivals for the Ginyu Force.
The Parent Trap
The Parent Trap is an excellent quest added in a later update that allowed players to finally unlock Gotenks. The other quest, “Elder Kai, Vegeta, and Bulma” unlocked Vegito. While this is an essential quest to complete for players who want Gotenks, it also has one of the best stories in the game.
Players don’t get too many glimpses into actually seeing Goten and Trunks train with their fathers. Trunks and Goten both brilliantly convince their fathers that there is a warrior even stronger than them. The quest is really heartfelt and Goku and Vegeta, two of Dragon Ball Z‘s best characters, both give in and agree to fight Gotenks who never has the opportunity to fight anyone strong.
Elder Kai, Vegeta, And Bulma
“Elder Kai, Vegeta, and Bulma” is a quest that covers something the Dragon Ball Z series never touches upon again. That’s Goku’s promise that he would get Bulma to kiss Old Kai. While Goku did try using Oolong for this earlier, Old Kai brings it up again.
This is of course far from what makes the quest good, but it is a nice hook. This quest quickly transitioned into being more about Vegito and allowed players to finally fuse as the ultimate warrior again, but not permanently as Kakarot continues the big Dragon Ball retcon that the fusion is no longer permanent. Not only did this lead to Goku and Vegeta being able to fight Vegito themselves in the virtual training, but it also unlocked the ability for players themselves to play as Vegito at other points in the game.
Android 17 only appears once in Dragon Ball Z after the Cell Saga, and he doesn’t make another return until Dragon Ball Super where fans learn he is now a park ranger.
“Lone Guardian” shows what Android 17 is up to in the Dragon Ball Z era which has him in the North Mountains area, which lines up with his last appearance in Dragon Ball Z. His work is similar to Dragon Ball Super, and it also gives Trunks an opportunity to see for himself what the present timeline android is up to. This leads to a brief battle where 17 gauges just how strong Trunks has become.
NEXT: 10 Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Bardock From Dragon Ball Z
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