Attack Balls (丸型宇宙船; also called Saiyan Pods) are a bathysphere-like spaceship used by the Saiyans and various henchmen of Frieza (such as Cui or the Ginyu Force) for interplanetary travel. When the Saiyans were under the employment of Frieza, these vehicles sent low-class Saiyans to distant worlds so that they would one day conquer and destroy planets throughout the galaxy.
The Saiyan Pods use incredible technology. Even though it is only 1.5 m in diameter, it houses an advanced environmental system and an incredibly fuel-efficient faster-than-light drive. Those traveling inside the ball are kept in a state of suspended animation that minimizes the resources needed to keep them alive.
These ships have a really tough armor, which allows them to not be crushed on impact. Attack Balls also have enough fuel to travel for 3 years without stopping, but the environmental systems were needed to be replenished every 6 months. To replenish the environmental system, the ball can simply enter the atmosphere of a planet that would be even partially habitable to the occupant for 10 minutes. The ball can travel at a maximum speed of 3 light-years per hour. This often has consequences for the destination point, as the extreme speed often causes massive explosions upon impact, wiping out everything within a certain radius and leaving nothing but a massive crater in its place. Specialized landing pads can reduce the damage to non-existent. The balls themselves are heavily armored from the outside to prevent any damage during landing, as well as standing up to Nappa's Volcano Explosion, but the interior is incredibly fragile, as a simple Ki Blast can destroy an Attack Ball from the inside. They also seemingly do not need any external force for takeoff, being self sufficient enough to launch themselves into space on their own.
The balls have a remote control, as demonstrated by Vegeta, which allows the owners to recall their pods to their location or trigger a self-destruction, among other potential functions. The controllers look like a calculator, and can command more than one pod at a time, as the one held by Vegeta triggered Nappa's pod to explode. According to the anime, if they are on a planet that lacks a moon, the Attack Ball seems to compensate for this by making a holographic projection of a moon that is realistic enough to allow Blutz waves to be generated for the Saiyan to become a Great Ape upon being activated by the ship's built-in computer. This is especially evident while Gohan was training with Piccolo during the year of training before Nappa and Vegeta arrived on Earth.
There was also a much larger variant of Attack Balls seen in Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, which is capable of transporting an entire army to another planet. It was destroyed by Broly when venting his power. It was never explained if this Attack Ball variant was a standard for the Saiyans/Frieza's Empire or if this was a creation made solely by Paragus to give the illusion of the Saiyan's rebirth to lure Vegeta into a trap.
Bardock and his crew
In the movie Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku, Fasha, Tora, Shugesh, and Borgos use their Saiyan pods to get to Planet Meat to destroy the inhabitants. After doing just that, the low-class saiyan team was ambushed by Dodoria's elite. Later, Bardock used his pod to arrive on Meat and later found his slain comrades. After defeating the elites only to be beaten by Dodoria himself, a bloody Bardock survived and went to his pod back to Planet Vegeta. On the way, Bardock's pod detected a pod carrying his second son, Kakarot (Goku), and going the opposite direction. On the Saiyan homeworld, Bardock left his pod bloody and exhausted. It was destroyed when Frieza used his Supernova on the Saiyan planet.
Goku's Space Pod
- In flashbacks seen in Dragon Ball Z, Grandpa Gohan finds Goku in the Saiyan pod.
- In the Bardock special, Goku is found by Grandpa Gohan and the pod is nearby.
Much later, Goku's old pod was discovered by Bulma's father and he rebuilt it from scratch (though in an anime filler, the pod activated a projection of the full moon, forcing Gohan to transform into a Great Ape, forcing Piccolo to destroy it with his Special Beam Cannon). The redesigned space pod had a bedroom, a bathroom, a training room, and could get Goku to Planet Namek in a week. While the ship set a course for Namek, Goku trained in 10x, 20x, to 100x gravity. Goku rested the last day until it arrived on Namek. After becoming a Super Saiyan, Goku told Gohan to take Bulma and Piccolo to his ship, however, all of the people (excluding Goku and Frieza) on Namek were teleported off. The ship was most likely destroyed by the Planet Namek's explosion. However, it didn't stop the creation of at least two more Capsule Corporation Space Pods, as, at least in the anime, Vegeta stole a Capsule Corp Spaceship to try and locate Goku (this one was later destroyed during the three year training period when Vegeta overexerted himself) and another was used to replace the one Vegeta destroyed during training.
Raditz's Space Pod
The first seen ball was Raditz's ball. After finding his younger brother, Goku was useless to him, Raditz stole his nephew Gohan and put the boy in his Attack Ball. Later, an angry Gohan burst out of the ball, destroying it completely. Later after the defeat of Vegeta, Goku remembers Raditz's space pod and suggests using it to travel to Namek, but then he recalls that Gohan destroyed it.
Nappa and Vegeta's Space Pods
After Raditz's death and the discovery of the Dragon Balls, Nappa and Vegeta used their Attack Balls to get to Planet Earth. On the way, the two Saiyans stopped and destroyed Planet Arlia (this happened in the anime only, they went straight on without any stops in the manga). A year later, Nappa and Vegeta arrived and landed in South City. Later, after Nappa's death and Vegeta's defeat, Vegeta used a remote control to have his pod arrive at his position and when it arrived, Vegeta escaped in his pod to Planet Frieza 79. The remote control was found by Krillin, who gave it to Bulma. Bulma used the remote on Nappa's pod, only to have it accidentally explode while it was on television. Later, a revitalized Vegeta used his space pod to get from the Planet Frieza 79 to Planet Namek. After the pod landed on Namek with Vegeta in it, it wasn't seen again and was most likely destroyed when the planet Namek exploded (although he is later seen using one in Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler).
Cui's Space Pod
Cui, one of Frieza's employees, used an attack ball to attack Bun's planet, as well as to get to Planet Namek. Cui's space pod is never seen again and was most likely destroyed when the planet Namek exploded. Cui is not the only one of Frieza's soldiers to use a ball to get to the planets that he destoys for Frieza, as the soldiers who get to Bun's planet with Cui also used attack balls.
The Ginyu Force's Space Pods
The space pods used by Captain Ginyu, Recoome, Burter, Jeice, and Guldo are same as Saiyan space pods, the only difference is their pods have the Ginyu Force's logo on them. The Ginyu Force pods land next to Frieza's spaceship. After defeating Frieza, Goku uses one of the pods to escape Namek's explosion. While resting from his long, exhausting fight against Frieza, the pod lands on Planet Yardrat (It's implied that had the Ginyu Force, and by extension, Frieza, lived after fighting on Namek, they would've conquered Yardrat for Frieza's empire). After his pod was repaired, Goku (in Yardrat clothing) used it to travel back to Earth. The other pods are presumed to be destroyed in Namek's explosion.
Tarble and Gure's Space Pods
Tarble and Gure traveled to Earth in their space pods to get help from Vegeta, in order to defeat Abo and Kado. When arrived on Earth, Tarble and Gure while in their space pods destroyed some buildings and roads in West City.
In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, Tarble's ultimate attack is performed with his space pod, likely inspired by the attack on West City.
Other Known users
- Paragus (the pod was crushed with Paragus inside by an infuriated Broly)
- Broly (the pod's door was broken open when Broly burst out after landing)
Video game appearances
Vegeta and Nappa use the Attack Balls briefly in cutscenes in Dragon Ball Z: Goku Hishōden. They also appear in Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyan, Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu, Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Kakusei-Hen, Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, and Dragon Ball Online.
An Attack Ball is seen in the Eastern Capital battle stage in Super Dragon Ball Z and in the Rocky Area battle stage in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
The Ginyu Force Attack Ball used by Goku to escape Namek appears in Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II. Ginyu's ship reappears in Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury as the Z-Fighter Exhibit #7, with the in-game description being "Goku used this ship to escape from Namek. This ship used to belong to the Ginyu Force."
In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, Tarble uses his Attack Ball as part of an attack called Round UFO Attack.
- The remote controls that go with the ships and allow their pilot to summon them are extremely strong and durable. Vegeta's controller functioned fully after he had been hit with a massive Kaio-ken x4 blast from Goku, after he had transformed into a Great Ape, after having been hit with the Spirit Bomb, and even after being crushed by Great Ape Gohan.