Dragon Ball Heroes (ドラゴンボール ヒーローズ) is a Japanese arcade game developed by Dimps, as the sixth Dragon Ball Z: Data Carddass game. Announced on October 21, 2010, and released on November 11, 2010, the game allows the usage of many characters from the Dragon Ball series, as well as characters new to the series.
There are general themes for each set of cards. The game offers missions to complete based on the themes from each set.
Typically each set introduces a new theme and includes cards from the previous theme; the first set of cards features the Red Ribbon Androids, while the second set features the Red Ribbon Androids and the Galaxy Soldiers, the third set features the Galaxy Soldiers and Majin Buu, the fourth set features Majin Buu and the Planet Trade Organization, the fifth set features the Planet Trade Organization and Lord Slug's clan, the sixth set features Lord Slug's clan and Super Buu, the seventh set features Super Buu and Broly, and the eighth set features Broly and Tapion. With the launch of the Galaxy Missions on March 22, 2012, the ninth set features characters from all previous sets and introduces Dragon Ball GT characters, the tenth and eleventh sets (GM2 and GM3) feature characters from the Baby Saga of GT and from the movie Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, the twelfth set (GM4) features characters from the Baby Saga and from the movie Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, the thirteenth set (GM5) features characters from The Tree of Might, from the TV special Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks, and from the end of the Baby Saga, the fourteenth set (GM6) features the Planet Trade Organization (with characters from the TV special Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku included), the fifteenth set (GM7) features the Planet Trade Organization and characters from the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
Each set of cards, except the first, includes one or two secret ULTIMATE-RARE cards. Those ULTIMATE-RARE cards are Hatchiyack in the second set, Super Saiyan 3 Future Trunks in the third set, Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta in the fourth set, Super Saiyan Bardock in the fifth set, Chilled in the sixth set, Bio-Broly and a transformation card for Broly in the seventh set, Super Saiyan 3 Broly in the eighth set, Super Saiyan 3 GT Trunks in the ninth set, Baby in the tenth set, a transformation card for Baby in the eleventh set, Baby Janemba in the twelfth set (the first chapter of the Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission manga was published in V-Jump to introduce this character), Super Saiyan 4 Goku and a Dimensional Transfer card for Dr. Myuu to summon Golden Great Ape Baby Vegeta in the thirteenth set, a Great Ape-transformation card for Super Saiyan Bardock in the fourteenth set, Super Saiyan 3 GT Vegeta in the fifteenth set.
The player can use an avatar as playable character. Different races are playable, each devided in three classes: Hero Type, Elite Type (unlocked at Level 8 or higher), and Berserker Type (unlocked at Level 12 or higher).
A series of short trailers featuring new animation have been released to promote the game. Each one offers a very short, standalone plot with the main promotional character featured as a protagonist in these commercials.
The first trailer for Dragon Ball Heroes shows a human boy running to the nearest arcade game and inserting a Capsule Corporation card into it, soon he gets sucked into the game. Upon arriving, to the protagonist's surprise, he has become a Dragon Ball character, having grown a Saiyan tail and getting a fighting outfit. Here, he meets Future Trunks, Super Saiyan Goku, and two other mysterious characters also with Saiyan tails (the Saiyan "Elite" and the Saiyan "Berserker"), who are all busy fighting Perfect Cell and his Cell Junior. Goku does battle with Cell, but gets blasted away, so the boy cautiously attacks Cell, but is thrown aside. Then, Goku and the boy join forces and launch a Kamehameha at the over-confident Cell.
In the second trailer, the boy and a Majin "Hero" help Future Trunks during his battle against Majin Buu. It begins in a city where Majin Buu finds the Four-Star Dragon Ball and turns the city's population into candy. He tries to eat them, but is stopped by the boy and Future Trunks. When Buu gets angry, a part of him comes to life on its own and forms the Majin "Hero", who tries to stop Buu. Buu attacks the group and Future Trunks tries to blast him with a Buster Cannon, only to just get knocked back and have Buu land on his companions from the sky. Buu begins to eat the candies from earlier, which angers Future Trunks who powers up to a new level and transforms into a Super Saiyan 3. Ready to end the battle, Future Trunks steps between Buu and the Majin "Hero", and uses his sword to send the Majin skyward. Up above, the boy powers up an attack in one hand while holding the Four-Star Dragon Ball in the other and from below, Future Trunks powers up a Heat Dome Attack before launching their attacks at Buu at the same time.
The third trailer has Super Saiyan Goku doing battle with Frieza, as Frieza's spaceship hovers in the sky behind them. The boy and a similar looking Female Heroine arrive using Time Machines (similar to the one used by Future Trunks), and ignore the battle to infiltrate Frieza's ship. They two make their way through the ship's corridors and defeat all of Frieza's soldiers remaining inside the ship. Once they arrive at the control room, they attempt to destroy it, but are interrupted by Frieza who just smashed in the ceiling. Frieza takes aim at the children, but is faced with Goku once again when he steps between them. The kids get back up and take out the two soldiers that were in the control room, before charging the angered Frieza himself along with their Super Saiyan savior.
The fourth trailer takes placed on an unnamed planet that is home to purple mushroom-headed aliens. One of the mushroom kids throws a rock at the Frieza's race Hero Froze, having confused him with the tyrant Frieza himself. The "Hero" ignores this and continues walking as the screen changes to Lord Slug and his minions. They begin to attack the planet and its people, with Slug going as far as transforming into his Great Namek form and trashing the city. Goku and the boy arrive, and begin to combat the threat, with Goku taking care of Angila on his way to fight the giant and the boy defeating Medamatcha. Wings defeats a mushroom father, and starts attacking the mushroom kid who threw the rock earlier when the Freeza's race "Hero" steps in and dispatches of Wings and the soldiers. Goku and the boy team up to blind Slug with Ki Blasts, and the member of Frieza's race brings Slug to his knees with a Death Wave.
As part of a promotional tie-in with V-Jump, Frieza's ancestor Chilled and his henchman Toobi can be fought in a special mission that mirrors the plot of the spin-off manga Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock. In this manga, Bardock survives Frieza's attack on Planet Vegeta and gets thrown into the past on Planet Plant, where he fights Chilled and becomes a Super Saiyan.
The fifth trailer features the characters facing off against Super Buu after he has absorbed Gohan. Goku and Vegeta are forced to resort to fusing with the Potara in order to stand a chance against the pink demon. The two Saiyan warriors are forcibly drawn towards each other, and after a brief flash of light, Vegito is born and immediately turns Super Saiyan, ready to go head to head with Super Buu.
In the sixth trailer, the boy and Goku confront the Legendary Super Saiyan Broly. Broly only focuses on Goku and, after a few minor clashes, he manages to grab Goku's head and slam him into the side of a building. The boy, seeing Goku trapped, tries to attack Broly but is swatted aside. Broly pummels Goku and manages to knock him out of his Super Saiyan transformation. As the boy attempts to return to the battle, Goku yells at him, telling him to stay back. Unable to stand watching the beating, the young hero becomes enraged and becomes a Super Saiyan. The newly transformed Super Saiyan charges Broly, but he is unable to land an effective blow. He is easily swatted aside again and sent hurling towards the ground by a Ki Blast. With Broly distracted, Goku teleports to the ground below and catches the child before the impact. Goku puts the child back down on his feet and they both power up as Super Saiyans, and they charge at Broly. The three Saiyans clash, and the landscape is blown away by a huge explosions.
The eighth trailer, which is the first Galaxy Mission trailer, shows the young boy in the real world, running up to the arcade game. A robot similar to Giru appears in front of the machine and goes on the boy's shoulder. After sticking his Hero license (data card) into the game's slot, the boy is teleported into the Grand Tour spaceship where GT Goku, Pan, and Trunks are and appears with new avatar clothes. The ship then takes off form Capsule Corporation and crash-lands on Planet Luud. There, Dr. Myuu and Hyper Meta-Rilldo wait with one of the Black Star Dragon Balls. Then, the gang confronts the giant Luud. The Hero transforms into a Super Saiyan and he, Goku, Trunks charge and fire Kamehamehas to finish the giant Machine Mutant.
In the tenth trailer, which is the third Galaxy Mission trailer, the boy, the robot, Pan, Trunks, and Goku come back to Earth and confront Baby infected Gohan and Goten, as well as Baby Vegeta. Pan goes up to greet her father and uncle, but soon Goten attacks Pan. The robot transforms into his defense mode and blocks incoming ki attacks from Gohan and Goten. Baby Vegeta appears soon after, and Goku and Trunks fight Goten and Gohan. The Saiyan Hero blasts Baby Vegeta, he is shocked that he missed. Baby Vegeta knees the Hero in the gut, punches Goku in the face, and kicks Trunks. The Saiyan Hero, Goku and Trunks then transform into Super Saiyans and continue their battle against Baby Vegeta and his men.
The eleventh trailer is divided in two parts. In the first part, roots of the Tree of Might have invaded a city on the coast. While flying above the city, Goku, Gohan, the robot in attack mode, and the Saiyan Heroine meet Turles in mid-air. Turles snaps his fingers, and the Turles Crusher Corps. appears behind him. Gohan battles Rasin and Lakasei, the girl fights with Daiz, the robot battles Cacao, and Goku fights with Amond. When Goku blasts Cacao away, Turles appears in front of him, holding Gohan by the head, making him look at his Power Ball and transform into a Great Ape. The second part shows GT Goku fighting with Baby Vegeta. Baby Vegeta blocks all his punches, headbutts him, and kicks him to the ground. While lying on the ground, Goku looks at the Earth and begins to transform into a Golden Great Ape. The end of the trailer shows the Saiyan Heroine and the Saiyan Hero both turning Super Saiyan to face, respectively, the Great Ape and the Golden Great Ape.
The twelfth trailer, which is the fifth Galaxy Mission trailer, shows the Hero trasported to New Planet Plant during the battle between Super Saiyan Goku and Super Baby Vegeta 2. The Baby infected Trunks confront the Hero with the Baby infected Goten, Gohan, and Videl. They fire energy blast at him, but the Hero emerges from the smoke as a Super Saiyan and defeats them. Injured during the battle, Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan 3 and attacks Super Baby Vegeta 2. Soon, the Super Saiyan Hero arrives to help Goku but Super Baby Vegeta 2 punches him to the ground. Goku fires Full Power Energy Blast Volley at Super Baby Vegeta 2, who then transfroms into a Golden Great Ape. Great Ape Baby tries to step on the Hero, but Super Saiyan 3 Goku stops his foot, transforms into a Super Saiyan 4, and beats him back. The trailer ends when Super Saiyan 4 Goku and the Super Saiyan Hero rush towards Great Ape Baby.
The thirteenth trailer, which is the sixth Galaxy Mission trailer, shows the Hero approaching Frieza's spaceship while Frieza's soldiers emerge from it. Bardock flies to the soldiers while they fire energy blasts at him and he defeats them one after another, which angers Frieza. Goku, the Heroine, and the robot in attack mode join the Hero, and the Heroine then flies and attacks the soldiers, soon followed by Goku. She defeats a few before one of the soldiers hits her with an energy wave. Goku catches her while she falls down, and then Dodoria appears on their way. The robot fires his missiles at Dodoria, which allows Goku and the Heroine to flee. When the smoke clears, the Hero appears in front of Dodoria and turns Super Saiyan. He dodges all of Dodoria's attacks, and then kicks Dodoria away. Zarbon then appears and kicks the Hero from behind. The Hero angrily attacks Zarbon, and then fires an energy blast at him. Meanwhile, Bardock faces Frieza who prepares a Supernova to destroy Planet Vegeta. Bardock charges a Riot Javelin, and Goku asks the Hero to help Bardock. The Hero charges a Kamehameha and fires it at Frieza's Supernova with Bardock's Riot Javelin.
Dragon Ball Heroes uses a turn based card battle system in five rounds or less, which offers 5 on 5 battles with only one health bar for a team of characters. The cards featuring characters from the Dragon Ball franchise are given specific powers and abilities that allow for unique and strategic combat experiences.
The player has to move the cards on the game board. Depending on the conditions of the match, up to five cards can be placed on the machine's game mat and are then moved on the playing field in an attempt to gain an advantage against the opponent. Characters further back on the field receive less damage than those in the front, but they also deal less damage as well. During both the attack and defense phases of battle, timing meters will appear on the screen and force the player into a mini-game to determine the amount of damage dealt. The goal is to press the button on the machine with precise timing to fill the timing meter gauge more than the opponent in order to gain the advantage in the exchange and perform either an effective attack or defense depending on the phase. Special attacks can only be performed if the advantage is gained during the attack phase.
During a battle, the player can use cards which allow him to transform, fuse, summon one of the bosses of the game (Dimensional Transfer cards, which include Super Saiyan 3 Broly, the giant characters Great Ape Vegeta, Great Namek Lord Slug, Hirudegarn, Luud, as well as Frieza's spaceship), or summon a supportive robot.
- Saiyan "Hero" (called Beat in Hero Road mode) (Base, Super Saiyan)
- Saiyan "Heroine" (called Note in Hero Road mode) (Base, Super Saiyan)
- Majin "Hero" (called Kabra (カブラ) in Hero Road mode)
- Majin "Elite" (a fancy looking Majin Buu with a monocle and a "crown")
- Majin "Berserker" (a Kid Buu-type creature)
- Frieza's race "Hero" (called Froze in Hero Road mode)
- Frieza's race "Elite"
- Frieza's race "Berserker"
- Namekian "Hero" (called Tsumuri (ツムリ) in Hero Road mode)
- Goku (Base, Kaio-ken, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan 3, Super Saiyan God)
- GT Goku (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan 3, Golden Great Ape, Super Saiyan 4)
- Kid Vegeta
- Vegeta (Base, Great Ape, Super Saiyan, Super Vegeta, Super Saiyan 2, Majin, Super Saiyan 3)
- GT Vegeta (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan 3)
- Vegito (Base, Super Saiyan)
- Gogeta (Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3)
- Kid Gohan (Base, Great Ape)
- Teen Gohan (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2)
- Adult Gohan (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Ultimate)
- Great Saiyaman
- Future Gohan (Base, Super Saiyan)
- GT Gohan (Base, Super Saiyan, Baby infected)
- Goten (Base, Super Saiyan)
- GT Goten (Base, Super Saiyan, Baby infected)
- Piccolo (Base, fused with Nail, combined with Kami)
- Tien Shinhan
- Future Trunks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Trunks, Super Saiyan 3)
- Kid Trunks (Base, Super Saiyan)
- GT Trunks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3, Baby infected)
- Gotenks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3)
- Fat Gotenks
- Mighty Mask (Base, Super Saiyan)
- Eastern Supreme Kai
- Kibito Kai
- Bardock (Base, Super Saiyan, Great Ape)
- Young Nappa
- King Vegeta (Base, Great Ape)
- Zarbon (Base, Monster Form)
- Captain Ginyu
- Frieza (1st Form, 2nd Form, 3rd Form, Final Form, 100% Power, Mecha)
- King Cold
- Cooler (Base, Final Form)
- Commander Zeeun
- Lord Slug
- Dr. Gero
- Android 19
- Android 18
- Android 17
- Android 16
- Android 15
- Android 14
- Android 13 (Base, Fusion)
- Cell (Imperfect, Semi-Perfect, Perfect Form, Power-Weight Form, Super Perfect Form)
- Cell Jr.
- Broly (Super Saiyan, Legendary Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3)
- Bojack (Full Power)
- Mr. Satan
- GT Mr. Satan
- Great Saiyaman 2
- Pui Pui
- Majin Buu/Mr. Buu
- Evil Buu
- Super Buu (Base, Gotenks absorbed, Piccolo absorbed, Gohan absorbed)
- Kid Buu
- Super Janemba
- Teen Uub (Base, Majuub)
- Super Mega Cannon Sigma
- General Rilldo (Base, Hyper Meta-Rilldo, Meta-Rilldo)
- Dr. Myuu
- Baby (Base, Baby Vegeta, Super Baby Vegeta, Super Baby Vegeta 2, Golden Great Ape, Baby Janemba)
- Amepai (a male "Saiyan" based on the Sakiyomi Jan Bang! character Yanagihara Tetsuya)
- Zaripai (a male "Saiyan" based on the Sakiyomi Jan Bang! character Hirai Yoshiyuki)
- Great Ape Vegeta*
- Great Ape Gohan*
- Great Namek Lord Slug
- Hirudegarn (Final Form)
- Luud (Full Power)
- Golden Great Ape Goku*
- Golden Great Ape Baby Vegeta*
- * These characters are also playable in the game
- Rocky Area (day, night)
- Planet Namek
- Urban Area
- New Planet Plant
- Tree of Might
- Bills' temple
- Dragon Ball Heroes is the first game to feature Chilled, Toobi, Tora, Borgos, Shugesh, Kid Vegeta, Young Nappa, Ginger, Amond, Cacao, Daiz, Rasin, Lakasei, Medamatcha, Wings, Angila, Zeeun, Bido, Bujin, Kogu, Paragus, Bio-Broly, Bills, Whis, Super Mega Cannon Sigma, General Rilldo, Dr. Myuu, GT Gohan, GT Goten and GT Mr. Satan as playable characters.
- Also, for the first time in a video game, Bardock can become a Super Saiyan, GT Goku and GT Vegeta can become a Super Saiyan 2, Gogeta, GT Vegeta, Future Trunks and GT Trunks can become Super Saiyan 3, and Baby can infect Super Janemba, GT Gohan, GT Goten, and GT Trunks.