The Pirate Robot bears a strong resemblance to a Xenomorph from the Alien franchise, a creature often referenced in Akira Toriyama's manga, such as Dr. Slump chapter 14, "Arale on the Loose: Part 1". Its appearance and general concept was also based on a robot soldier that appear in Akira Toriyama's early depiction of Dragon Ball, titled Dragon Boy.
General Blue Saga
Main article: General Blue Saga
The Pirate Robot attacks Goku, Krillin, and Bulma when they arrive in an harbor inside the Pirate Cave, looking for a Dragon Ball, as well as the pirates' treasure. It was equipped with a sword (which Krillin destroys during their battle), an arm-mounted cannon with a machine gun and flamethrower functions, a powerful tail that could electrify people trapped in its coils, and jets in its feet that allowed it to hover in the air and move quickly across ground and water.
Goku urges Krillin and Bulma to go on ahead whilst Goku vows to take the robot down and kicks it into the water which gives the two a chance to run off deeper into the base. The robot uses one it's coils to grab a hold of Goku's leg and pulls him into the water where he electrocutes him. Goku frees himself and escapes from the water, spotting a nearby large building he uses the Power Pole to ascend to the top. When the robot emerges from the water he is unable to find Goku who then jumps from the top of the building to gain increased momentum and punches through its head with a focused strike using the Rock-Paper-Scissors technique which destroys the robots power core.
- Manga & Anime
The Pirate Robot was a powerful adversary up to this point in the series, taking punches from Goku and Krillin with barely any damage. Even cannon fire and being caught in a large explosion only inflicts superficial damage. A punch from the robot was enough to hurt Krillin causing Goku to comment on the robots ability to fight.
- Destroyers - In The Legacy of Goku series, there are Red Ribbon Army made variants of the Pirate Robot referred to as Destroyers. These variants are armed with a short-ranged flamethrower instead of a machine gun.
- Skull Robot - In Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, there is a regular enemy called Skull Robot: which is a blue Pirate Robot.
- Captain Robot - A red Pirate Robot variant appears in the World Martial Arts Tournament sewer in Attack of the Saiyans.
- TPP - EX - A powerful variant of the Pirate Robot based on Cyborg Tao named TPP - EX also appears as a boss in Attack of the Saiyans.
- Laser Robots - These robots have a more arrow shaped head, a wheel for a leg, different coloration, and different number in place of 2.
- Skull Robo Type 1 - One of the several different variants of the Pirate Robot that appear in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. It resembles the pirate robot though it has another machine gun mounted on its right arm giving it two machine guns and thrusters instead of legs allowing it to fly via Hikou. Its Z Encyclopedia entry summary reads: "An attack robot named for it's skull-like head. It is programmed to automatically attack any entity it perceives as a threat. It excels at both close-range and long-range attacks."
- Portable Attack Robot - A portable variant of the Skull Robo Type 1 that can be stored in a Capsule. Used by Bad Launch while attempt to retrieve he map to Tien's residence from a couple near West City during the Intermission Story mission "Look for Launch!". However she is interrupted by Gohan who mistakes the Blue-Haired Woman that took the map as being Launch based on Master Roshi's description of Good Launch as he failed to mention Launch's personality and hair color shifts between her Good and Bad personas to Gohan.
- Tao Pai Pai Machine - A special variant of the Pirate Robot utilized by the Crane School that appears in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. It has the Crane School mark on its chest and the same pink and blue color scheme as Cyborg Tao. During the Sub Story: "Crane School Scouting", Master Shen and his brother are desperate for new students and Master Shen decides to try and recruit Gohan due to his strength, though Tao had come up with a contingency plan of using his Tao Pai Pai Machines to simply for people to become their students. When Master Shen's plan to bribe Gohan with a Dirty magazine fails and Gohan's attempts to explain he is not a student of the Turtle School as Shen believes, Master Shen resorts to Tao's backup and they send out three Tao Pai Pai Machines to force him to join. However Gohan has since achieved Super Saiyan Full Power and makes quick work of the Tao Pai Pai Machines, one of which lands near Tao and explodes with him being reminded of the time Goku reflected the hand grenade which lead to him becoming a Cyborg before getting hit by the explosion.
- Skull Robo Type 2 - One of the several different variants of the Pirate Robot that appear in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. It has a Blue Armor somewhat similar to a Saiyan Armor, with a Crossbones Skull on the back, two spikes in the end of its tail and three bone-like claws around its machine guns. It also has green eyes instead of the usual Red Eyes.
- Pilaf Machine Mk. II - A variant of the Skull Robo Type 2 and the Mark II Pilaf Machine developed by the Pilaf Gang as the ultimate weapon to destroy Goku. Unfortunately, they lose the Pilaf Machine Capsule containing three Pilaf Machine Mk. IIs in the Sacred Land of Korin. Fortunately, Super Saiyan Goku notices their plight and unaware of what the Capsule contains, helps them find it as the Pilaf Gang deceive the friendly, gullible, and trusting Goku. However once Goku returns the Capsule, Pilaf reveals his trickery, though upon hearing the robots are strong, becomes excited instead of being mad about being tricked. The three Mk. IIs are all at Level 46. unfortunately for Pilaf, his three machines are no match for either Super Saiyan Goku (or a Kaioken empowered Goku if the power up is used instead) and Super Saiyan Gohan (if he is in Goku's party).
- Skull Robo Type 3 - One of the several different variants of the Pirate Robot that appear in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. The most advanced type of Skull Robo with reddish brown armor and gold sections. In addition to the three bone-like claws around its Machine guns, it has a tail mace and spikes on its arms and shoulders. Like Type 2, it has green. This type can also be stored in capsules like the portable attack robot. During Sub Story: "One Cool Dude", Yamcha's girlfriends Pearl and Sapphire deploy their Skull Robo Type 3s against Yamcha after discovering his cheating ways and these particular models had been powered-up at the Capsule Corporation by Yamcha previously as the girls carried them for self defense. However these are destroyed by Gohan and Yamcha, though one manages to grab Yamcha and self destruct like the Saibaman that had killed him previously, though Yamcha survives the explosion due to being stronger thanks to his training on King Kai's Planet. During the -Trunks- The Warrior of Hope DLC Sub Story: "Overcoming Sadness", Future Trunks finds Future Chi-Chi being menaced by four of them on Mount Paozu. Future Trunks jumps in to protect Future Chi-Chi but she insists on fighting one of them while Future Trunks deals with the other three. Future Trunks manages to defeat them and is surprised to see that Future Chi-Chi managed to defeat the one she was fighting which lies broken on the ground. Future Chi-Chi then reveals she had been blowing off steam by destroying the robots pointing to another Skull Robo Type 3 she had defeated previously before he arrived. She also reveals she was so focused on fighting them that she didn't realize how late it was getting, explaining why she was taking so long to return home.
Equipment and techniques
- Pirate Robot (2)
- Hikou – A flotation device in the Pirate Robot's feet enables it to hover in the air and glide across the ground and the surface of water at high speed.
- Sword – The Pirate Robot wields a large sword.
- Killer Machine Gun – The Pirate Robot is equipped with a machine gun in its left arm. Named in Dragon Ball Heroes. It is also its Super Attack in Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle.
- Electric Tail (Denryū) – The Pirate Robot can attack and shock his opponent with his electrified tail. He uses this against Goku.
- Flamethrower – The Pirate Robot's gun arm has a flamethrower setting. Used only in the anime and in video games like the Legacy of Goku series and Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure.
- Skull Robo
- Hikou - The three Skull Robo Types and their variants are also capable of flight using jets equipped on their lower body.
- Killer Machine Gun - The three Skull Robo Types and their variants each wield a machine gun on each arm which are capable of firing burst of laser blasts and/or missiles.
- Missile - One of the attacks used by all three Skull Robo Types and their variants.
- Tail Whip
- Accel Bite - The Skull Robo can uses its mechanical jaws to perform a lunging bite.
- Villainous - During Saiyan Saga Main Story Stop the Saiyan Invasion Episode 4: "Freedom", two Skull Robo Type are empowered with a sinister crimson aura turning them into Villainous Enemies that end up menacing Puar around the same time Gohan is trying to return home after giving up on Piccolo's training. Fortunately, Gohan comes to Puar's defense and defeats them, with Puar noting his strength reminds them of Goku's, causing Gohan to realize he was improving under Piccolo's training, convincing him to return to continue his training in order to protect Earth from the Saiyans. It is eventually revealed that they were being empowered by Towa as part of her plan to gather energy for Mira's Core to restore his body after his it was destroyed in Age 774 while fighting the Time Patrol in Xenoverse.
- Self Destruct - In Sub Story: "One Cool Dude", one of Skull Robo Type 3s that had been previously powered up by Yamcha for Pearl and Sapphire (who unleash the them upon him when they discover he's been cheating on them) resorts to grabbing Yamcha from behind and self destructs causing Yamcha to take on his Fake Death pose. However unlike the Saibaman Bomb that killed him previously, Yamcha survives this attack due to having grown stronger vfrom King Kai's training.
- TPP - EX
- Energy Absorption - Tai Pai Pai EX is designed to counter ki-based attacks by a absorbing then.
Video Game Appearances
The Pirate Robot is a boss in Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu, Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden (called Bonkon Robo), Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Totsugeki-Hen, Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo, and Dragon Ball: Origins 2. It appears as a boss and a playable character in Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, and it is also playable in Dragon Ball Heroes and Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle. In the bonus level 3-7 of Dragon Ball: Origins 2, the Pirate Robot attacks Krillin in the treasure room when the latter returns to the Pirate Cave in order to retrieve the pirates' treasure. After defeating the Pirate Robot, Krillin unintentionally destroys the treasure by opening an explosive chest.
In Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission, it appears as a playable character.
In Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, there are slightly smaller variants of the Pirate Robot called Skull Robo. There are three types of Skull Robo and a portable variant of the first type which can be carried in a capsule. Type 1 is standard version which resembles the Pirate Robot but with thrusters instead of legs and another machine gun on its right arm. Portable Attack Robot is a Capsule contained variant of Type 1 used by Launch. Type 2 is blue and has three bone-like claws around its Machine Gun. Type 3 is reddish brown with gold accents and is adorn with spikes and a tail mace.
- Skull Robo Z-Encyclopedia Entries
- Skull Robo Type 1 - An attack robot named for its skull-like head. It is programmed to automatically attack any entity it perceives as a threat. It excels at both close-range and long-range attacks.
- Skull Robo Type 2 - An advanced version of the Skull Robo Mk. 1. Its AI is similar to that of the Mk. 1, but it has improved close-range and long-range attacks.
- Skull Robo Type 3 - The most advanced version of the Skull Robo. It has state-of-the-art attack and defensive capabilities. If there's one underling killer to fear, this robot is it.
- Dragon Ball
- Despite having the number 2 on each of its legs, the Pirate Robot is unlikely to be Android 2 since he was created before the Red Ribbon Androids.
- In one scene of Dragon Ball Z, during a flashback, a Prototype Android similar to the Pirate Robot can be seen hanging in Dr. Gero's Lab.
- The Cyclopian Guards from The Return of Cooler and God Guardon from Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans share a resemblance with the Pirate Robot. In addition, the Cyclopian Guards could be defeated by an opponent focusing their power into one point of attack, much like the Pirate Robot, and Goku defeats God Guardon with an attack similar to the one he used on the Pirate Robot.
- The Pirate Robot was possibly used as the basis for the Hunter Mech, a recurring enemy in the Dragon Quest game series, which, interestingly, Akira Toriyama designed most of the characters and monsters for.
- The guardians of Hell from the fourth Bleach movie Hell World, look very similar in appearance to the Pirate Robot.
- In the English dub, it is able to speak four stereotypical pirate quotes: "argh mateys", "yo ho ho", "shiver me timbers" and "walk the plank"; in the original Japanese dub, it is completely silent.
- The robot's voice had a filter on it in the original English DVD release. For the remastered sets, the filter was taken out and the voice played at its original pitch.
- Its torso armor looks eerily similar to Saiyan lower class battle armor. Given the concept of Saiyans did not exist at the time of its appearance, it may have inspired its design in the first place.
- The robot's skull head is quite similar to a Xenomorph's head, with similar jaws as well.