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Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden (ドラゴンボールZ スーパーとうでん Doragon Bōru Zetto Sūpā Butōden, lit. Dragon Ball Z: Super Fighting Story) is a fighting game and the first installment in the Butōden video game series. It was released for the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) in Japan on March 20, 1993, and in France and Spain on November 30, 1993. It was released alongside the Nintendo Switch port of Dragon Ball FighterZ as a pre-order bonus.



Super Butōden starts with 8 playable characters, and 5 other characters are unlockable characters, for a total of 13 playable characters in the game. Its story mode spans from the Piccolo Jr. Saga to the conclusion of the Cell Games Saga.

The game features massive stages divided by a color-coded split-screen border which tells the players how close they are to their opponent. Combat can take place on the ground or in the air. A radar located below the health and power bars tells where the characters are in the stage. There are also unique special moves and "super moves" for each character (Goku's Kamehameha, Vegeta's Final Flash, Android 16's Hell's Flash, etc.). Players can counter super moves by dodging, blocking, or engaging in a beam struggle.

Knock-down recovery takes a fairly long time and leaves the characters open to further attack. Unlike the following games of the series, Ki is charged manually by holding down while flying. In later Super Butōden games, ki is charged by holding B+Y, and this can be done on the ground as well as in the air.

Game Modes

Story Mode

Imperfect Cell vs. Vegeta

  1. Goku vs. Piccolo
  2. Goku or Piccolo vs. Vegeta
  3. Goku or Piccolo vs. Frieza
  4. Goku or Piccolo or Vegeta vs. Android 20
  5. Goku or Piccolo or Vegeta vs. Android 18
  6. Goku or Piccolo or Vegeta vs. Imperfect Cell
  7. Goku or Piccolo or Vegeta vs. Android 16
  8. Goku or Piccolo or Vegeta vs. Future Trunks
  9. Goku or Piccolo or Vegeta vs. Gohan
  10. Goku or Piccolo or Vegeta or Future Trunks or Gohan or Android 16 vs. Perfect Cell
  11. Goku or Piccolo or Vegeta or Future Trunks or Gohan or Android 16 or Mr. Satan vs. Perfect Cell (Secret Battle)

Tournament Mode

The Tournament Mode is a mode where 8 players can select a character and compete against each other two at a time. Every match is set in the World Martial Arts Tournament Arena. The winner gets a blinking trophy.

Combat Mode

The Combat Mode is mode where the player can fight against the computer or against another player using a character of the 13 playable characters. It is possible to set up the rules.


Playable characters

Super Saiyan Goku and Vegeta fighting in the World Martial Arts Tournament stage

Secret characters

Other characters

  • Mr. Satan: to see him in the game, the difficulty must be set at 3 or 4, and each battle of the story mode must be done with a certain character. Those characters are, in order: Goku, Goku, SS Goku, Piccolo, SS Vegeta, Piccolo, SS Goku, SS Vegeta, SS Goku, and Teen Gohan. During the first time he is selected to fight Cell, he will taunt him, throw away his cape and attempt to fight him, only to be knocked away. The second time he is chosen, he will complain about a stomach ache and fall down before the fight can even begin. After these two times, Mr. Satan will be gone and the player must choose either Goku or Gohan and then defeat Cell to view the real ending of the game.
  • Master Roshi
  • Yamcha
  • Krillin
  • King Piccolo
  • Tien Shinhan
  • Chiaotzu
  • Android 17
  • Dende

Battle Stages


The game sold 1.45 million copies in Japan[1] and remains the best selling Dragon Ball related Video Game in Japan to date.


  • This is the first ever fighting game of the Dragon Ball franchise.
  • This is the only Super Butōden game to feature the ability to dash into the opponent to knock them down.
  • It is often mistaken that there is no way to build Ki in the game like it can be done in the following games of the series. However, holding Down on the Control Pad while flying causes the character's Ki meter to recharge faster.