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.
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.
- Age 1000 Pirate Robots - Enemies based on the Pirate Robot also appear as enemies in the computer game Dragon Ball Online. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 are also capable of flight using jets equipped on their lower body.
- Missile - One of Skull Robo Type 1's attacks.
- Tail Whip
- Accel Bite - The Skull Robo can uses its mechanical jaws to perform a lunging bite.
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.
- 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.