- This article is about the original transformation. For the character portrayed in live-action by Justin Chatwin, see Oozaru (Dragon Ball Evolution).
Great Ape (大猿 Ōzaru, lit. "Great Monkey") is a giant, anthropomorphic, monkey-like creature that Saiyans can transform into at the full moon to increase their already formidable strength tremendously. Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files speculates that Saiyans were originally Great Apes who gained intelligence and took on a humanoid form.
Concept, name, and appearance
The transformation is similar to how werewolves transform at the full moon. Originally in the series, the Great Ape was a transformation for Goku, this character being a parody of a monkey-king, Sun Wukong, from the novel Journey to the West; despite this, many Chinese cultural adaptations of the novel did not involve the original Wukong having access to a giant transformation whatsoever, which supposedly makes this more of a Japanese/contemporary culture trait for him as seen in media such as the Hong Kong 1998 adaptation of Journey to the West and in one of Wukong's attacks in Warriors Orochi 2.
Later in the series, Great Ape is discovered to be a transformation that is accessible to the characters who possess Saiyan heritage.
Great Apes are similar to King Kong, a giant gorilla that first appeared in a 1933 U.S. , but with a tail, a more baboon-like head, razor-sharp teeth, and red eyes. Although its muscular build is similar to a gorilla, as the series progresses, the musculature design of the Great Ape form becomes more prominent and defined. Overall, the design of the form does not directly resemble any single species of existing primate.
Conditions for transformation
In order for the transformation to take place, the Saiyan needs to have a tail, as the glands responsible for initiating the transformation are located exclusively there. The Saiyan also needs to absorb at least 17 million zeno units of Blutz Waves through the eyes to initiate the transformation. Blutz Waves are found only in sunlight reflected by a moon. If there is no moon, a planetary body will reflect the same amount of rays. The easiest way to achieve this is to gaze at the full moon, making Saiyans similar to werewolves in this aspect. If any clouds covered the moon and/or a planetary body, it would block certain amounts of the radiation. Vegeta once made himself transform by firing Power Ball, which is a "fake moon" reflecting the requisite amount of Blutz Rays into the air, and then staring at it. A device on board Saiyans' Attack Pods also project a hologram of a moon that was realistic enough to allow Blutz Waves to be reflected in the event of their landing on a planet that lacks a moon, as evidenced by an incident where Gohan went Great Ape while training for fighting the Saiyans prior to their invasion due to Goku's attack pod reactivating.
In the movie, Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, Turles did the same thing to provoke a transformation in Gohan as a joke, for he knew he was powerful enough to handle him. According to Turles in the same film, the Power Ball's residual effect would keep Gohan (and any other transformed Saiyan) in their Great Ape form for a limited amount of time even if the Power Ball is destroyed (which Turles does). It can be assumed that, since it is so close to the planet, weather conditions do not affect the Power Ball's radiation output.
If a natural source of Blutz Waves (a full moon or planet) was destroyed or the tail is amputated, this would cause the Saiyan to instantly transform back to their humanoid form. In Dragon Ball Online, a Saiyan cannot be transformed to this form if the one is using a mask provided by the Time Breakers, since it blocks the Blutz Waves, no matter how much time one spends looking at the moon. However, in Dragon Ball Heroes it is shown that if the mask is broken then the Saiyan's ability to transform is also restored as shown when Time Breaker Bardock transforms after his mask is broken.
In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Paragus warns Beets against staring at Vampa's moon and points out to Beets who had never transformed that the form should only be used a last resort indicating that experienced Saiyan warriors generally avoid transfoming unless absolutely necessary especially if they lack complete control over it.
Characteristics of Saiyans in Great Ape form
A Great Ape's power level is equal to the Saiyan's power level prior to the transformation multiplied by ten (though in Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyan it instead multiplies it by four). It is unclear whether the speed rises in proportion, but according to Goku, at the very least the Saiyan remains as fast as they were before the transformation. A Saiyan's tail will not grow back if they have surpassed the power of their Great Ape form in their base form.
The color for the Great Ape's fur is usually brown and eyes are red as well. A Saiyan loses the ability to reason in this form, and will typically display berserk and destructive characteristics, even in the cases of protagonists. To quote Yamcha, "When Goku transforms like that, he loses all sense of himself. He's just a big hairy ape with a sweet tooth for ripping people's limbs off." However, they can still seem to regain some sense of friend and foe deep within their subconscious, as has been demonstrated when Goku was able to get Great Ape Gohan to attack Vegeta. Krillin theorized that half-earthling Saiyans that have transformed retain their human mind, enabling their loved ones to break through to them. This is also shown in the Bardock special as transformed Bardock's Planet Elite Force were able to focus on attacking their Kanassan enemies while avoiding attacking each other despite displaying the same berserker mindset as Goku and Gohan did in the form.
Despite the lack of self-awareness, as Saiyans mature, they can potentially be taught how to reign in their instincts and retain normal cognitive functions as Great Apes. This was displayed by Vegeta, who unlike Goku and Gohan, did receive this training, and was even able to talk. However, in the video games, it is implied that only super elites like Vegeta and his father or elite Saiyans like Nappa are capable retaining their reason in this form, while low-class Saiyans like Turles and Raditz are not. Saiyans who maintain their reason in this form are capable of utilizing its power to the fullest and as shown by Vegeta can even transform into their Golden Great Ape form from their Great Ape form which allows them to easily transform into Super Saiyan 4 as their ability to retain their reason transfers over to the Golden Great Ape form. Saiyans can still manipulate their energy in this state for feats like flight and shooting beams, most commonly from their mouth in a manner akin to (and possibly an intentional homage to) 's Atomic Breath.
As the transformation causes the Saiyan to grow to several times their original size, the Saiyans wear special armor which can stretch to fit the Great Ape form and shrink back to fit their normal form, Goku and Gohan don't have this, since they live on Earth, so the transformation rips their clothes apart meaning they revert to their normal forms naked. The transformation process back to normal appears to be very exhausting as even Vegeta, a fully-trained and "Super Elite" Saiyan was left very winded from the experience, whereas Goku and Gohan were always rendered unconscious.
A Great Ape's size remains mostly inconsistent throughout the Dragon Ball franchise, ranging from at least 50 feet tall to titanic stature. When first shown in Dragon Ball, it was the size of a Toei Kaiju, easily dwarfing Pilaf's entire castle, though later depictions shrank its size. A generalization is that most average humanoid Saiyans can fit into the palm of a Great Ape's hand. As far as Goku's first (shown) transformation goes, he is much larger in the anime than he is in the manga. In the Budokai Tenkaichi series, the Great Ape's size was significantly cut down to likely 25–30 feet tall but they are still the largest characters in the game.
Goku first transforms when Emperor Pilaf seals him and his friends inside a chamber designed to amplify the sun's rays, effectively cooking them alive when the sun rose, but a full moon rose first so Goku proceeded to go on a rampage destroying Pilaf's Castle. While Yamcha and company decided it would be best to stay away from Goku until morning, Goku suddenly left the castle and attacked them. In the anime, Pilaf tries to fight Great Ape Goku before his plane crashes, but machine gun fire only annoyed him, while a missile only knocked him out for a short time. Yamcha then decided to try and cut his tail, thinking the pain would cause him to faint. Fortunately, removing his tail causes him to change back to normal. Earlier, Goku also mentions before transforming that his Grandpa Gohan told him never to look at the full moon and that Gohan was killed by a monster that comes out at the full moon, implying that Goku had transformed at least two times.
Goku transforms again during the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament when his tail grows back, and once again the transformation saves him from being defeated. Although Yamcha is ready to try and cut his tail off again, Jackie Chun comes up with a more permanent solution and uses a Kamehameha to destroy the moon. Interestingly, Goku recovers from this de-transformation and is conscious again before the (delayed) 10 count finishes.
Although Goku never transforms again due to the lack of a moon, a Great Ape appears as a representation of his hidden power possibly symbolizing that he has become as strong as if he really was in his Great Ape form, most evident when he kills King Piccolo using his Penetrate! technique. It should be noted that the Great Ape was used to represent Goku's hidden potential that was unlocked when he drank the Ultra Divine Water, implying that by drinking it granted Goku to access the power of his Great Ape form while in his base form. By the time Goku is introduced as a young adult during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, his tail is absent. When asked about this, Goku claimed Kami once offered to restore the moon in exchange for his tail to be removed.
Dragon Ball Z
As Raditz tells Goku about the Saiyans' power, Bulma, Krillin, and Master Roshi remember Goku's Great Ape transformations. Gohan transforms when he is out in the wild. Once again, the transformation proves to be useful in a way as it gets Gohan down from a high peak he was stuck on. Piccolo then destroys the moon, and just in case, removes Gohan's tail. The power Piccolo saw Gohan display in his transformed state caused him to become frightened by the idea of how strong Nappa and Vegeta would be in that state. In the anime only, Gohan's tail grew back again, coincidentally during a time when Goku's space pod started projecting an image of the full moon in the night sky. Piccolo tries his best to stop him but is unable to match the Great Ape Gohan. He eventually finds the source of the moonlight and destroys it, reverting Gohan back to normal. He then removes Gohan's tail once again. Several homages to Goku's second transformation occur here, including Gohan transforming while being hit with an electrical attack. As King Kai tells Goku about the history of the Saiyans, a flashback shows that the Saiyans were able to completely destroy the Tuffles: By transforming into Great Apes due to a Full Moon that happens only once every seven years (eight in the dub versions), the Saiyan race was able to exterminate the Tuffles overnight.
After Goku's Kamehameha manages to overcome Vegeta's Galick Gun, Vegeta becomes furious and decides that he needs to transform to beat him. He soon takes note of the lack of a moon as he had planned the arrival to coincide with the full moon in case transformation was needed. Unfortunately, he reveals that he is able to create a Power Ball to simulate the full moon's light, though this drains his power significantly. He then promptly transforms, overwhelming Goku completely and nearly killing him. His transformation is halted by Yajirobe cutting off his tail. Vegeta's transformation into a Great Ape also causes Goku to finally realize the truth of his own Great Ape transformations in the past were responsible for the death of his Grandpa Gohan and for the damage at the World Martial Arts Tournament. During the same battle, Gohan's tail grows back and he uses the Power Ball still in the sky to transform. While Vegeta was able to initially get away from Gohan due to his unfocused rage, Goku was able to help Gohan focus on fighting Vegeta. Vegeta does surprisingly well against the beast but is ultimately outmatched. He manages to cut Gohan's tail off with an energy disk, but then Gohan falls on him when transforming back, which (coupled with all of the other injuries) forced him to retreat.
When Dodoria tells Vegeta about how Frieza got concerned about the Saiyans and destroyed them, a flashback shows a group of Saiyans transforming into Great Apes after one of them creates a Power Ball and destroys an entire planet. When Goku confronts the Ginyu Force, Vegeta's explanation of the legend of the Super Saiyan is a lot more detailed in the anime as it shows the original Super Saiyan as a Great Ape with yellowish fur instead of the standard brown. When Vegeta's spirit tells Goku about the Saiyans' near extinction at Frieza's hands, Vegeta appears in his original form, child form and Great Ape form. While technically not an appearance of a Great Ape per se, Krillin once commented on Future Trunks's Super Saiyan Third Grade form being similar to the Great Ape. Ironically, an actual Great Ape appeared in a montage told by Krillin mentioning his awe at the Saiyans' evolving powers. After this point, there are no Saiyans with tails remaining and the Great Apes are mostly ignored for the rest of the series. It makes one final appearance during Goku's Super Saiyan 3 transformation once again representing his hidden powers.
Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!
The special features a Great Ape during the opening animation, as it is an updated version of the original intro sequence. Also, Tarble has a tail but he does not transform in the special.
Dragon Ball GT
Main article: Golden Great Ape
In Dragon Ball GT, the design for the Great Ape form is slightly different than in the original, as it is more muscular and appears to have a large round belly. When even Super Saiyan 3 Goku proves to be no match for Baby Vegeta, Old Kai decides that the only way he will stand a chance is to regrow Goku's tail. When Goku is defeated once again, he once again transforms into a Great Ape after looking at the Full Earth but becomes Golden Great Ape this time. In this form, he seems to be able to overpower Baby Vegeta but is too primitive to focus on fighting him. Eventually, Pan is able to make Goku regain his composure and self-awareness long enough to undergo the transformation into a Super Saiyan 4.
No match for Super Saiyan 4 Goku, Bulma (under Baby's control) creates a Blutz Wave Generator to transform Baby Vegeta into a Great Ape too. The beam is proven successful when Baby Vegeta transforms into a Golden Great Ape instead, increasing his power drastically. He reveals he is able to control his form, even able to use ki based attacks. As the battle progresses, it becomes obvious that Baby Vegeta is slowly becoming more and more out of control. Eventually, Goku stops Baby Vegeta by blasting his tail off.
Remembering what the Blutz Wave machine did for Baby Vegeta, Bulma deduces that it can be used to help Vegeta reach Super Saiyan 4. The machine transforms Vegeta into a regular Great Ape. In this form, Vegeta feints an attack against Goku. Then, he transforms into the Golden Great Ape, and then into Super Saiyan 4.
The special Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku starts off with Bardock and his team (Tora, Borgos, Shugesh and Fasha) destroying an entire civilization as Great Apes. The morning after, they have a conversation about how much they remember of the night prior and it is revealed that Bardock can apparently remember everything he does as a Great Ape, whether or not he has control of what he is doing is not said. Although technically they should be berserk, the entire team seem to be able to work together in Great Ape form, and refrain from attacking each other (which could be a reference to the fact that Saiyans are trained to control their Great Ape forms, like Vegeta in the Vegeta Saga).
Goku transforms into a Great Ape near the end of Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle. Interestingly, even though the movie is set after Goku's first transformation, the scene plays out almost exactly like Goku's first transformation. Goku's transformation frees Yamcha and co from a dire situation, though, instead of destroying everything around him, he immediately chases after his friends. Yamcha once again grabs onto Goku's tail and although Goku isn't completely immobilized like last time, Puar is still able to cut Goku's tail off by transforming into scissors. A complete transformation and reversion sequence is lacking from this movie.
In Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, Gohan's tail grows in the middle of a battle with Turles. Deciding to have a little fun, Turles creates a Power Ball and makes Gohan look at it. Interestingly, he destroys the Power Ball while Gohan is transforming without having an effect on the transformation. Goku fights Gohan with little luck against the beast, but Icarus appears and is able to calm Gohan down. Turles, annoyed at what is happening, blasts away Icarus, causing Gohan to attack Turles. Turles is ready to take down Gohan with one attack, but Goku uses an energy disk to cut Gohan's tail off saving him from Turles' attack.
In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, a flashback shows Great Ape Goku destroying Pilaf's Castle when Pilaf sees Goten's hair is similar to that of Goku. An evil Saiyan is shown in this state during the flashback of his battle with the original Super Saiyan God.
In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Paragus warns Beets against looking at the moon while searching for Broly on Vampa noting that a non-combatant like Beets would not be able to control himself. An experienced soldier and warrior, Paragus himself points out to Beets who had never transformed that Saiyans generally should only resort the Great Ape transformation when backed into a corner. Upon finding Broly, Paragus realizes his son had looked at the moon and transformed after noticing his son's battle armor was stretched and torn in places and Broly's standard Great Ape form appears in a brief flashback of his first Great Ape transformation. During the time Broly and Paragus were stranded on Vampa, Paragus removed Broly's tail as a precaution due to Broly's inability to control himself. However while fighting Super Saiyan God Vegeta, Broly transforms into his Wrath State which Paragus surmises is the result of Broly accessing the power of a Great Ape without transforming into one though he notes to Frieza it has a major drawback as Wrathful Broly loses control over himself.
Other Dragon Ball stories
In Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, the Saiyans transforming into Great Ape during the final stage of the Saiyan-Tuffle war is shown in Dr. Lychee's flashback. Dr. Raichi is also shown being originally killed by a kick from a Great Ape, though is later brought back by Hatchiyack as a Ghost Warrior.
Techniques and Special Abilities
In Dragon Ball, Great Apes were just large and powerful, without any special abilities; they just rampaged about destroying anything in their way. They did, however, share the same weakness as a regular Saiyan in that they can be rendered powerless if their tail was squeezed tightly enough.
In Dragon Ball Z, however, Great Apes became much more destructive with the ability to fire overwhelmingly powerful Ki blasts from their mouths. Additionally, Vegeta has shown that certain Saiyans of "Elite" status can control their Great Ape forms, even being able to speak while transformed. Vegeta's speed was not affected by the transformation and he could still fly, despite his massive size. It is also said that a Saiyan's power is multiplied tenfold when transformed into the Great Ape.
Appearances in other media
Dr. Slump remake
The remade Dr. Slump TV show features a crossover with Goku, during his time there, he transforms into a Great Ape and starts destroying Penguin Village, although Arale Norimaki does not find him threatening. Several attempts are made to bring him down, but it is only when Arale grabs onto his tail and throws him into an open area that Goku transforms back to his base form, presumably from exhaustion.
The Great Ape transformation appears in the film Dragonball Evolution, where it is revised so that it is not a Saiyan transformation, but instead a god called Oozaru who works together with Piccolo to destroy the world before the latter is imprisoned. What happened to Oozaru after Piccolo's incarceration is never revealed. However, he somehow bonds with Goku and after his eighteenth birthday during an eclipse, Goku transforms into Oozaru. After transforming he sides with Piccolo once again by attempting to destroy Goku's friends, but it is not until he begins to fight Roshi that Goku then manages to stop himself. Afterward, he transforms back to his regular form and accepts that Oozaru is within him and then proceeds to battle Piccolo. The transformation that causes Goku to morph into Oozaru is during a solar eclipse rather than staring into a full moon, and Goku does not need a Saiyan tail to transform. It should also be noted that he is smaller than the Great Ape being that Goku's clothes still fit on him.
Video Game Appearances
Goku transforms in cutscenes in Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden and in Dragon Ball RPG: Shōnen-hen. In Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyan, Vegeta's Great Ape form is the final boss. Earlier in the game, Onion is able to transform into a Great Ape, which is a palette swap of Vegeta's form. Also, using a combination of "Tail" and "Moon" cards will allow Son Gohan to transform into a Great Ape, which gives a massive boost of power. Great Ape Gohan and Great Ape Vegeta appear in cutscenes in Dragon Ball Z: Idainaru Son Goku Densetsu.
In Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22, Kid Goku temporarily transforms into a Great Ape and thrash the opponent during his meteor attack. Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout features Baby Vegeta's Golden Great Ape as the final boss. He was taller than the screen, usually only visible from his waist down. His mouth blast, death ball, and other Ki attacks only hit if his opponent was in the air. This character was only playable with the use of an external cheat device.
Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku features the Great Ape forms of Vegeta and Gohan in cutscenes. Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors features Great Apes in cutscenes and, after completing the game, it is possible to acquire a card called "Tail" that allows the character to transform into a Great Ape temporarily for a single attack. Players are given a very brief time to control Goku's Golden Great Ape form in Dragon Ball GT: Transformation and the final boss is Baby Vegeta's own Golden Great Ape form.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai features a Great Ape in the opening, as it is a 3-D revision of the anime's opening. Vegeta's Great Ape form also appears in a cutscene. Great Apes are featured in the ultimate attacks of Bardock and Kid Goku in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. Vegeta transforms into his Great Ape form for his Level 3 Super Attack in Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu (only his arm is seen).
While scaled down considerably, Great Apes are still the largest characters in the Budokai Tenkaichi series. Although Great Apes in the anime are depicted as being moderately fast despite their size, the Budokai Tenkaichi games depict them as very slow, presumably to balance out the incredible level of damage the Great Ape characters can give. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi is the first fighting game to feature Great Apes as playable characters: the generic Great Ape (which is used as a form for both Kid Goku and Gohan) and Great Ape Vegeta are playable. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 features the generic Great Ape (serving as Gohan's transformation in Dragon Adventure mode, although only Kid Goku can transform into it in other modes) and Great Ape Vegeta once more, while other Great Ape forms included are Great Ape Bardock and Golden Great Ape Baby Vegeta, as well as three Great Ape forms are never seen in the Dragon Ball manga or the animes: Great Ape Raditz, Great Ape Nappa, and Great Ape Turles. Raditz retains his long hair while in his Great Ape form, which helps distinguish him from the others. Like Vegeta, Nappa has the ability to speak normally while in his Great Ape form, being a Saiyan elite and thus having control of his power when in Great Ape. Being a low-class soldier, the other Saiyans in Budokai Tenkaichi 2 are unable to speak clearly as Great Apes. In addition to all the Great Apes from Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 features the Great Ape forms of King Vegeta and Fasha. King Vegeta retains his beard and has the ability to talk in Great Ape form, like the other Saiyan elites Vegeta and Nappa. Fasha's Great Ape form marks the first appearance of a female Great Ape in a video game.
The Great Apes in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi are Great Ape Vegeta, a random Great Ape shown in the Hero Mode of the game as a boss, and Baby Vegeta in Golden Great Ape form. Like other giant characters in the game, Great Apes are only included in boss fights and cinematics. It is also the case in Dragon Ball Z × One Piece: Battle Taikan Gomu Gomu no Kamehameha - Omee no Koe de Ora o Yobu, Dragon Ball Z For Kinect, and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z.
Great Ape Vegeta is a boss in Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu and Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans (as the final boss in the latter). Gohan also appears in this form in the game. Great Apes mind-controlled by Mira are enemies in Dragon Ball Online. Great Ape Goku, Great Ape Vegeta, Great Ape Gohan, Great Ape Bardock, Great Ape Evil Bardock, Great Ape King Vegeta, Golden Great Ape Goku and Golden Great Ape Baby Vegeta are bosses and playable characters in Dragon Ball Heroes.
Broly takes on the Great Ape form in the JM7 trailer for Dragon Ball Heroes, and Evil Bardock can also transform into a mind-controlled Great Ape in the arcade game as well, as he has the Time Breakers' crystal symbol in his head while in this form.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, the Great Ape makes a return as a boss character, with Great Ape Vegeta, Great Ape Nappa, and Great Ape Bardock being featured in the games as enemies, and, once in the case of the latter, an ally. In battle, Great Apes are unique in terms of how they are fought; attacks initially reduce their stamina bar, and when it is worn down to zero, attacks will deplete the health of the Great Ape while the stamina bar makes a quick recovery. Attacks to the tail when the Saiyan is in this state do particularly large amounts of damage, especially when a throw attack is performed.
Though Great Apes primarily serve as the game's Giant Bosses, in the Legendary Super Saiyan Saga, Great Ape Bardock briefly appears as a story support character to aid the Future Warrior against Dark Broly. After being accidentally transported off Dying Namek with the Future Warrior and Dark Broly by Dende's wish to transport everyone save for Goku and Frieza (as the events take place during the latter part of the Frieza Saga) an injured Bardock is found by Vegeta who after mistaking him for Goku, is asked by Bardock to create a Power Ball so he can transform into his Great Ape state in order to fight against Dark Broly. After transforming Great Ape Bardock destroys the Power Ball to prevent Broly from transforming into a Great Ape as well. Together Great Ape Bardock, the Future Warrior, and Vegeta are able to defeat Dark Broly and an exhausted Great Ape Bardock falls to the ground and reverts to his base Saiyan form.
In the opening of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the Time Patrol recruitment video briefly shows an altered version of Age 762 where Nappa and Vegeta are attacking a city on Earth in their Great Ape forms as an example of a historic change. In the main story during the Saiyan conflict in Age 762 which had been altered by the Time Breakers and Turles, after the 2nd Future Warrior and Goku manage to briefly overpower Vegeta and Nappa, Vegeta creates a Power Ball to transform as he had in the original history, however with the addition of Nappa who had survived as he been fighting the Future Warrior and had not been injured by Goku, which had lead to his death at the hands of Vegeta in the original history. As a result, Goku and the Future Warrior are confronted by the two Great Apes, both capable of retaining control of themselves while transformed. Though the situation seemed hopeless at first, Elder Kai and Chronoa tell the Warrior to focus on finishing off Great Ape Nappa first, which will allow the Warrior and Goku to focus on Great Ape Vegeta without Nappa's interference. Despite Nappa's power having increase 10-fold and his ability to control himself while transformed, the Future Warrior manages to defeat Great Ape, resulting in Great Ape Nappa dying from his injuries. After Nappa's death, Goku and the Warrior manage to hold off Vegeta long enough for Krillin and Gohan to arrive. Elder Kai orders the Future Warrior to distract Vegeta while the others deal with cutting off Vegeta's tail and the Future Warrior manages to distract Vegeta long enough for Yajirobe to cut it off with his sword (only Vegeta's tail being sliced off is shown and Yajirobe himself is not seen due to his lack of a character model).
During the Future Warrior's first Expert Mission tutorial, they are confronted by Dark Great Ape Nappa who appears as an enemy during the tutorial's explanation of how to deal with Brainwash Attacks. The Great Ape forms in Xenoverse 2 are depicted as being around the same size as the Great Namekian form and the Become Giant Awoken Skill allows Namekian characters to go toe-to-toe with Great Apes in the Great Namek form, demonstrating that Namekians can use the form as a way to combat Great Apes by matching them in size.
"A costume modeled after a Saiyan who has absorbed over 17 million zenos of Blutz Waves from a powerful light source."
— Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Great Ape Suit description
As part of the 1.07.00 Update, the Future Warrior can obtain an outfit called the Great Ape Suit, which can be purchased from the TP Medal Shop.
"A hat and Great Ape tail modeled after a Saiyan who has absorbed over 17 million zenos of Blutz Waves from a powerful light source."
— Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Great Ape Hat & Tail description
Additionally, there is also a companion accessory called Great Ape Hat & Tail which the Future Warrior can also purchase from the TP Medal Shop. Both accessories are simply parts of a Great Ape costume which can be worn by all races and genders. As a result, the color of the fur of the suit does not change to golden blonde when a Super Saiyan transformation is used. If the Super Saiyan 3 transformation is used the Hat and Tail accessory will disappear during the transformation.
In Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle, certain Saiyan characters can transform into Great Ape form during battle and it function as the Saiyan equivalent of Giant Form. However, like other Giant Forms in Dokkan Battle, the transformation is triggered at random based upon the character's Passive Skill and its duration depends on the character. In Great Ape Mode, Dokkan Mode and other characters beside the Great Ape become unavailable though the Great Ape can attack three times and becomes impervious to damage while transformed. Great Apes can perform a Super Attack and the Super Attack is based upon the character. Most Great Apes use Super Flame Cannon as there Super Attack though some like Raditz and Goku use Gigantic Rock Throw while Bardock uses Giga Meteor Storm. After Great Ape Mode ends, normal gameplay resumes. Generally, Great Ape Mode lasts from one to two turns. Great Apes and Golden Great Apes also occasionally appear as boss enemies though they can be damaged and their transformation isn't random. Like most Giant Form cards, Great Ape cards have two versions. One representing their base form and the second representing the Great Ape Mode. The Great Ape Mode version can only be viewed in battle though the base form card features the Great Ape Form's picture behind a picture of their base form. The Golden Great Ape forms for Goku (GT), Baby, and Cumber function in the same manner as the Great Ape form.
- Great Ape Transformation Dokkan Battle cards
In Dragon Ball Heroes, it is shown that the Metamoran fusion Gogeta can transform into a Golden Great Ape and in Dragon Ball Fusions Ultra Pinich can transform into a Golden Great Ape as well, indicating that fusions can at least transform into the Golden Great Ape form, however it is unclear if Saiyan EX-Fusions that possess tails (such as Rappa, Turtz, Barlot, Coohan, and Gorillin from Dragon Ball Fusions) can transform into normal Great Apes as none have ever been depicted transforming in-game. The image of a Great Ape appears as part Beast Roar a variation of Penetrate! that appears as a Special Move used by Natz and several minor playable Saiyan characters in Dragon Ball Fusions.
In Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission, the Great Ape form is a Giant Form and like Dokkan Battle, Great Apes are immune to DMG and additionally they have no STA which means they can't be stunned by STA DMG (caused by either abilities or regular Ki Blasts). However Great Ape cards are Special Type cards and only one Special type card is allowed in a deck, although this only applies to Great Ape cards as cards that allow a character to transform into a Great Ape retain their card type and can be used alongside a Great Ape Special Type card. This allows the player to have another Great Ape or Giant character in their deck though one must be giant by default while the other transforms into a Giant character or Great Ape. Giant characters can co-op attack together though they must wait until all the non-Giant attackers have had their turn. It is unwise to use only Giant/Great Ape characters be the only attackers as this leaves any non-Giant supporters open to attack as Giants/Great Apes cannot be attacked directly by the opponent. However Giants/Great Apes have the advantage of being able to use their Super Attacks as they have no Hero Energy requirements. However like non-Giants they have to win the Charge Impact (or CI) to deliver their Super Attack. As Giants/Great Apes can't be stunned they are useful as follow up artillery units that can be counted on to deliver a Super Attack as long as the player wins the CI. Additionally there are certain accessories that allow equipped characters to transform into or switch to a Great Ape character even non-Saiyan characters. However Giants/Great Apes are completely reliant on their non-Giant allies for defence as they cannot defend against attacks due to the enemy being unable to attack them directly or stun them as the enemy will always attack their non-Giant teammates. During Xeno Bardock's Rebellion Fang Super Attack the image of a Great Ape's head appears.
- World Mission Great Ape cards
Vegeta's Great Ape form is featured as a boss opponent during the Vegeta Saga storyline in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. Great Ape Gohan is also featured in the game as well. During the Sub Story "The Mystery of the Missing Tail", Gohan and Oolong have a conversation at Kame House and Oolong wonders why Gohan's tail hasn't regrown since Vegeta cut it off to end his Great Ape transformation. Oolong mentions his father's tail growing back after Yamcha and Puar cut it off during the Emperor Pilaf Saga though Gohan is confused as his father doesn't have a tail anymore causing Oolong to explain that Kami removed it. Gohan at first wonders why he would remove it causing Oolong to assume Gohan doesn't know about the Great Ape form but Gohan actually does know about it due to the fight with Vegeta and eventually he remembers the Great Ape form and even admonishes himself for forgetting it and failing to realize it was the reason Kami removed his father's tail. Oolong however is relieved he doesn't have to explain the Great Ape form to him. He explains about Goku's Great Ape transformation in the past. Both wonder if Kami permanently removed Gohan's tail (as in Kakarot Piccolo is said to have casted a powerful illusion that made it look like the moon was destroyed and somehow prevented the Great Ape transformation presumably by disrupting Blutz Waves produced by the moon) to prevent further Great Ape transformations. Gohan decides to go ask Kami himself and goes to the Lookout. Kami however reveals he is not responsible and Mr. Popo in his wisdom suggests asking the Saiyan Prince Vegeta as he would likely be the most knowledgeable person on Earth about the form being a experienced Saiyan warrior. Gohan finds Vegeta at Gizard Wasteland but he is too nervous to ask and Vegeta ends up challenging him to a fight. Gohan wins and asks Vegeta why both their tails haven't grown back. However Vegeta could care less and says he no longer requires the Great Ape form as he seeks to acquire Super Saiyanhood like Gohan's father did recently before flying off. However Vegeta's words cause Gohan to theorize that once a Saiyan surpasses the power of a Great Ape their tails stop growing back as the form is no longer necessary. Gohan returns to Kame House and tells Oolong what happened and his theory. Oolong is relieved that this means there will be no more Great Ape transformations and notes that it is better for the surviving Saiyans to have power that they can control so it's a win-win for them and the Earth. However due to nostalgia for the past, he says he's gonna miss the old days, causing Gohan to joke that he'll ask Kami to restore his father's tail so he can transform for Oolong. Oolong thinks he is serious but Gohan reveals it was just a joke as he knows first hand how dangerous Great Apes are (it is unknown if Gohan is aware of or figured out his father's Great Ape transformation lead to the death of his namesake Grandpa Gohan). Oolong doesn't find it funny and says he doesn't know who's worse, Gohan or his father. The Z-Encyclopedia explains that there is an 8% chance a tail will grow back but this percentage decreases to 0% if a Saiyan has surpassed the power of the form and it suggests that growing as strong as someone like Goku would cause the tail to stop regrowing indicating achieving Super Saiyanhood will certainly stop a Saiyan's tail from regrowing as the form's power surpasses the Great Ape form. Additionally due to censorship reasons, when Gohan reverts back to his base form after his two Great Ape transformations (during Piccolo's training and the fight with Vegeta) the pants of his clothing reappear. This is likely just a game mechanic to censor nudity (the game has a "T" for Teen/Adolescents ESRB rating). However this is not the first time in the series that clothing had seemingly regenerated after being torn apart by the transformation as shown by how Goku and Vegeta's clothing seems to be restored after their Great Ape/Golden Great Ape transformations (the clothes they wear in GT are normal Earthling clothes) that allowed them to achieve Super Saiyan 4 in GT.
Variations and enhancement
- Wrath State - The result of a Saiyan using Great Ape power without transforming into one.
- Super Saiyan C-type - In Broly, the result of a Wrathful Saiyan going Super Saiyan.
- Legendary Super Saiyan - The fully-powered Super Saiyan C-type form.
- Golden Great Ape - The result of a Great Ape turning Super Saiyan.
- Japanese: Yasuhiko Kawazu (generic Great Ape), Ryō Horikawa (Vegeta), Shōzō Iizuka (Nappa), Masako Nozawa (Goku; GT)
- Funimation dub: Shane Ray (most Great Apes, Gohan, Goku; GT), Justin Cook (Raditz, Goku; DB), Phil Parsons (Nappa), Christopher Sabat (Vegeta and King Vegeta), Sonny Strait (Bardock), Linda Young (Fasha)
- One oddity about Great Apes is that they all seem to be about the same size, regardless of the person's age or size in base form. For example, Kid Gohan is much shorter than Vegeta, but when the two are in Great Ape form, they are roughly the same height. It is possible that regardless of age, even if the user is elderly, that Great Apes will always appear as young adults, and this might be the reason why Goku and Vegeta appear as muscular young adults in their Super Saiyan 4 forms.
- The roars and growls for the Great Ape in the Ocean dub were recycled from .
- In the Arabic dub of the series, Saiyans "summon" their Great Apes instead of transforming into them.
- When Goku transforms into a Great Ape in the 1997 Dr. Slump remake, Goku is briefly seen as a Super Saiyan / Great Ape hybrid during the transformation.
- While the form is referred to as "Great Ape", apes are distinctive from monkeys due to a lack of tail. Technically then, the form should be referred to as "Great Monkey", due to the tail. It is interesting to note that the one time an Oozaru is shown without a tail, it is in the live action movie, Dragon Ball: Evolution though ironically the form is only referred as Oozaru within the film.
- In the manga, Cabba revealed that the Universe 6 Saiyans have evolved to naturally no longer have tails, resulting in not being able to transform into Great Apes. However, in the anime, the saiyans apparently lost their tails a long time ago, as Cabba has no knowledge that the Saiyans have tails. While they have lost the ability to transform into Great Apes naturally due to the loss of their tails, it is unknown if the Universe 6 Saiyans would be capable of transforming into one artificially if exposed to Blutz Waves via a Blutz Wave Generator (which allowed Vegeta to transform despite the loss of his tail) or if they lost the ability to transform into Great Apes completely.
- Vegeta is the only Saiyan in the original manga to retain self-awarness and speak in Great Ape form.
- When certain parts of the Great Ape Suit in Xenoverse 2 are worn they cause the Future Warrior (if they are Earthling or Saiyan) to somewhat resemble the mental Great Ape humanoid hybrid form that Goku briefly appeared in while transforming into a Super Saiyan 3.
- Ironically, Vegeta's creation of the Power Ball to transform ultimately ended up allowing Gohan to transform which lead to Vegeta being crashed by the half-transformed Gohan as he was reverting to his base form after Vegeta cut off his tail (as Vegeta was unable to move out of the way in time). This shows that the partial Great Ape form seen when transforming or reverting to base, still has enough weight to cause damage.
- In addition to Battle Armor and Super Baby 2's Clothes, the clothing worn by Broly and Metamoran attire worn by Gogeta are shown to stretch and expand thus making them the few types of clothing that can be worn by Great Apes and Golden Great Apes.
- It should be noted that in the case of Broly's clothing this is likely intentional as Broly was raised by Paragus an experienced Saiyan soldier who likely had Broly's and his own clothing made so that it would not be destroyed were they to transform into their Great Ape forms or in Broly's case his Great Ape Broly form.
- In Broly, Broly wears Battle Armor as a child when he first transforms into a Great Ape. Though the armor remains intact, Paragus notes it is stretched and torn in places which he notes as evidence of Broly's previously transforming indicating the Great Ape transformation can still cause Battle Armor to show signs of stretching and minor tearing after reverting to their base form.
- It should be noted that in the case of Broly's clothing this is likely intentional as Broly was raised by Paragus an experienced Saiyan soldier who likely had Broly's and his own clothing made so that it would not be destroyed were they to transform into their Great Ape forms or in Broly's case his Great Ape Broly form.