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Tri-Beam (こうほう Kikōhō, lit. "Energy Cultivation Cannon") is a technique used by Tien Shinhan.


Kikō (気功) is the Japanese translation of Qigong or Chi Kung, literally meaning "breath control" or "spirit cultivation", a traditional set of techniques for controlling breathing or circulating and cultivating chi (ki, energy) within the body, which is tied to a number of Chinese martial arts and medicinal beliefs.


This technique is performed by gathering energy, forming a vaguely diamond-shaped "tunnel" with the hands by keeping the fingers on each hand together, overlapping the index finger on the one hand with the pinky of the other hand, and overlapping the thumbs. The object being focused on gets zoomed in on and visualized inside that diamond, then the user (namely Tien) shouts "Tri-Beam, ha!" (or in the Japanese version, "Kikōhō!") while releasing the large yellow beam from the hands. Tien also has the ability to fire it with one hand as seen when he fires the Spirit Tri-Beam at Nappa after he loses his arm.

In addition to being able to kill the target, the Tri-Beam can also easily kill the user as it drains their life energy. The attack has a tendency to cast the entire environment around it in a deep orange glow. The attack formation itself places the hands in a seemingly awkward position; and it appears that later in the series, the fingertips are touching, and the thumbs are the only things that overlap. Master Roshi claimed that even if the user survives the use of the Tri-Beam the user's life would be shortened with each use.



Mutaito's disciples firing Tri-Beams at the Demon Clan

Prior to the events of Dragon Ball, during the King Piccolo wars, the disciples of Master Mutaito use Tri-Beams against King Piccolo's Demon Clan. This is in vain, as they are all killed except for Master Shen and Master Roshi.[3]

Tien uses the attack during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament against Goku.

During the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, Tien uses the technique to make a hole for everyone to hide in to avoid Piccolo Jr.'s Hyper Explosive Demon Wave.

Tien uses it against Yamcha on the Lookout and the illusion Saiyans in the Pendulum Room.

After training with Korin, Kami, and later King Kai, Tien perfects the attack as the "Neo Tri-Beam," which is essentially an "upgraded" form of the attack that allows him to control and enhance how much energy he puts behind it, inflicting even greater damage. This upgraded attack is powerful enough to hold even Semi-Perfect Cell at bay. The attack is extremely powerful, and despite the massive gap between Cell and Tien's powers, Cell was unable to break through the repeated blasts, though they did not inflict any real damage to him. Tien eventually collapsed from using the technique too much but was saved from Cell by Goku.

Cell Jr Tri-Beam

A Cell Jr. using the Tri-Beam

During the Cell Games, the Cell Juniors attack Super Saiyan 2 Gohan with it (while Cell himself has not been seen using it although he possesses data about Tien's techniques), but to no avail.

Tien also uses his Tri-Beam to destroy Super Buu's Finger Beam, thus protecting Mr. Satan and Dende when the Majin attacked them.[11]

During his battle against the New Frieza Army in Dragon Ball Super, Tien uses his Tri-Beam to finish his confrontation with the Combatants. Later in the Universe Survival Saga, Tien attempted to use it on Gohan, before Goku tells him to focus on Piccolo, though the Saiyan-hybrid catches on to this and successfully foiled it.

Film Appearances[]


Tien using the Tri-Beam to protect Emperor Chiaotzu in Mystical Adventure

Tien uses the Tri-Beam in Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, to protect Emperor Chiaotzu from Master Shen.

Tien uses the Tri-Beam against Future Trunks during X.S. Cash's Intergalactic World Tournament in Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound.


Tien prepares a Tri-Beam in Resurrection ‘F’

During his battle against Frieza's army in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Tien uses his Tri-Beam to destroy a part of a cave.


Character meaning[]

  • 気 (Ki/Qi/Chi) = "Spirit" / "soul" / "aura" / "air" / "energy" / "force"
  • 功 (/Gong/Kung) = "Cultivation" / "control" / "art" / "craft" / "ability" / "technique" / "power"
  • 砲 (/Pào) = "Gun" / "cannon"

Video Games Appearances[]


Tien using the Tri-Beam in Advanced Adventure

In some of the games, namely Budokai, Budokai 2, Advanced Adventure, and the Budokai Tenkaichi series, this attack does not also cost Tien's health like in later games (though the Neo Tri-Beam will instead).

In Budokai 2, Super Buu can use the Tri-Beam after absorbing Tien and Yamcha.


Tri-Beam Cannon in Dragon Ball Online

In Online, it is a spiritual attack of the Crane Hermit skill tree. Rather than ki, this skill requires the player to sacrifice their health instead.

In Dokkan Battle, it is Tien's Super Attack. It also appears as the enemy Clone Tien's Super Attack which he inherited from his source material's DNA.

In Xenoverse, the Tri-Beam appears as one of Tien's Super Skills and is chargeable though care must be taken, as overcharging it will stun the user. When preformed on the ground it is performed one-handed. It is also one of Cell Jr.'s Super Skills in its 3rd skill set. This skill and its variation the Neo Tri-Beam can be obtained by the Future Warrior through Tien's Training by taking him on as the Warrior's Master, which is available in the GT Pack 1 DLC.

In Xenoverse 2, the Tri-Beam returns as one of Tien's Super Skills in all his skillsets and can be used by Cell Jr. in its 3rd skillset. The Future Warrior can learn it by completing School Quest: "Lesson 2" of Tien's training. Like in Xenoverse, the Tri-Beam will tire out the user if overcharged and the user will fire it one-handed if performed on the ground. After the 1.09.00 Update, Tri-Beam can be added to Perfect Cell's custom skillset after purchasing it. Additionally, it can also be added to Yamcha's custom skillset via Partner Customization. It is automatically available for Tien's custom skillset.

In FighterZ, The Tri-Beam is used as Tien's Super Attack. Tien teleports a few feet above the opponent before launching the attack from above at a diagonal angle. Compared to a majority of other super attacks, both versions of this move possess one of the highest minimum damage values in the game (compared to many other Supers in other Arc System Works fighting games with minimum damage during damage scaling), which allow them to act as solid combo finishers during long combos that have been heavily affected by large amounts of damage proration. However, it also consumes some of his own HP upon firing it (akin to many other game appearances) that can't be gradually healed.