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Super Saiyan Transformation Stages
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Super Saiyan Transformation Stages

From rather humble beginings to limitless power, these are the stages of saiyan transformation as they occur from least powerful to most powerful.

Normal Saiyan - This is the typical appearance of a saiyan. A normal saiyan has black hair and a thick, strong, muscular body, along with a unique tail. Saiyans love to fight by nature and their excellent natural fighting ability is what causes them to consume a great amount of calories daily. In order to provide enough calories to their body, they eat a lot. Goku, a low-class saiyan, consumes about 10 times the amount of food a normal human would eat daily. Compared to humans, saiyans are extremely strong and tough. Goku was not hurt even when hit by a Bulma's car in the beginning of the Dragonball series when he was just a child. He immediately stood up after he was hit and didn't have as much as a scratch on him.

Normal Goku

Normal Vegeta powering up

Furious Nappa

Normal Future Trunks with sword

Normal Goten

Oozaru - This form isn't seen much after the early episodes in Z, but they're shown in GT as well. Oozaru form is when a saiyan with a tail catches a glimpse of a full moon, or an energy source that can mimic it. When they do, they grow fur all over their body, get red eyes during the transformation, and grow to immense proportions. When in this form, their power is 10 times that of their normal selves. Most normal saiyans have learned to control this transformation, but Goku and Gohan did not, Vegeta on the other hand has used it to destroy many planets.

Oozaru Vegeta

Super Saiyan - This is a powered up version of a normal saiyan. When they reach this stage, their hair turns blonde or golden, and their eyes turn green. The legend of the Super Saiyan states that there can be no stronger force than a Super Saiyan in battle, but this definitely does not hold true. Just about all of the important saiyans and half saiyans reached this stage, this includes: Goku, Vegeta, Broly, Gohan, Goten, and Trunks (in the future and normal timelines), also Goku Jr. and Vegeta Jr.(End of DBGT), Gotenks, Vegetto, and Gogeta all reached this level in their fused states. (see FUSION)  Goku was the first saiyan we see transform into this stage. He did it during his fight with Frieza on Planet Namek after Frieza killed Krillin, Goku's best friend since childhood. The requirements for getting this transformation are simple. The saiyan must obtain a power level of over 1,000,000, and for their first transformation they must get super pissed about something, or else the change will not occur. Afterwards, each transformation becomes more and more simple.

Super Saiyan Goku

The youngest Super Saiyan, Goten

Super Saiyan Gogeta

Ultimate Super Saiyan - This is the stage of transformation that is approximately halfway between Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 2, but it can be skipped in certain instances. There is a huge power increase at this stage but with the great power, and bulging muscles, comes a slow attack speed. That is why Perfect Cell defeated Ultimate Super Saiyan Trunks in their fight during the Perfect Cell saga. Ultimate Super Saiyan Trunks was stronger than Perfect Cell, but Perfect Cell wiped the floor with him because Super Trunks was too slow. The only saiyans to ever reach this stage were Broly, Vegeta, and Trunks from the future (The power Trunks attained much surpassed Vegeta's power in this stage of transformation, also the reduction of speed during this stage did not have much of an effect on Broly at all, he got stronger and faster and could kick ass quite easily at this level becuse he was the "Legendary Super Saiyan" a pure killing machine... damn Broly was a badass).

Ultimate Super Saiyan Vegeta

Ultimate Super Saiyan Trunks

Super Saiyan Broly next to Ultimate Super Saiyan Broly to show the difference

Super Saiyan 2 - This stage is easily more powerful than normal Super Saiyan form or any of the previous forms. In this form, their hair gets a little longer, and their muscles bulge more, they become surrounded by a golden energy aura with blue electricity flowing through it. To reach this stage the saiyan must first be able to turn into a Super Saiyan. Only three of the saiyans reached this stage, and those were: Gohan, Goku, and Vegeta. Gohan was the first to reach it in the fight with Perfect Cell during the Cell Games, and Goku and Vegeta both were in it when they were fighting each other in the early Majin Buu saga. Goku went Super Saiyan 2 in Otherworld before finding Super Saiyan 3. The wizard Babidi changed Vegeta into Majin Vegeta, thus adding a great deal to his power and transforming him into Super Sayian 2. Although it is not really ever seen, Goten and Trunks also reach this stage after they fused and became Gotenks. (See FUSION)

Super Saiyan 2 Gohan

Super Saiyan 2 Majin Vegeta

Super Saiyan 3 - By far, the strongest [normal] Super Saiyan stage. This form is one of the most obscure looking, because their hair is down past their ass, their eyebrow ridges push out, and their eyebrows disappear. However, all of this trades in for an immense power level, which definitely helps them out in a snap. To obtain this level, a saiyan must be a Super Saiyan 2 and reach inside to the depths of their hidden power and push with all of their might to transform again once more. There are only two saiyans who ever reached this transformation level. Goku first achieved this level in Otherworld years after dying in Perfect Cell's self-destruction, and later he used it during his fight with Majin Buu, and again fighting Janemba. Goten and Trunks went Super Saiyan 3 during the Majin Buu saga after they fused and became Gotenks in the Room of Spirit and Time (Hyperbolic Time Chamber). (See FUSION)

Super Saiyan 3 Goku

Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks

Golden Oozaru - This form is just like Oozaru with a few key differences. The saiyan must have their tail for this transformation of course.  The fur that was once dark brown becomes gold and sticks up on their head like they were a Super Sayian. Their power is increased even more than regular Oozaru and the sayian is surrounded by a golden energy aura with blue lightning during transformation.  When Goku first entered this form he was not in control of it, but as he learned control he ascended to a Super Saiyan 4. Vegeta had a much more simple time controling this phase. Goku and Vegeta are the only two saiyans to reach this form.

Golden Oozaru Goku next to Bebi Vegeta

Super Saiyan 4 - This form can only be seen in the Dragonball GT series. It is not a true Super Saiyan, along Dragonball Z lines, but something of a mix between Oozaru and the normal saiyan form. This form is the final form of a Super Saiyan and can only be reached by controlling the Golden Oozaru form. Super Saiyan 4 is also the height of Saiyan power. What I mean by that simply is that in this form their energy level along with their toughness, strength, and speed are elevated basically off the charts. In this form, saiyans keep a basic shade of their natural hair color, they grow red fur across some of their body except the hands, center chest, and face. They also wear some weird looking pants. Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta had brown fur and red hair, and wore a fusion vest like other fused warriors. (see FUSION) This form is the truest Super Saiyan form, because sayians must have their tail reach this form from Golden Oozaru form, and a Golden Oozaru was shown in the background when Vegeta was explaining the original Super Saiyan story. The way that a saiyan would arrive at this level of power is like this... The saiyan first has to be able to transform into a normal Super Saiyan.(note: this is required as a transformation prerequisite only, and not required during the transformation itself). To get to Super Saiyan 4 from here is not easy, the normal saiyan would first have to turn into a Golden Oozaru by staring at the full moon or a power sorce that can mimic the full moon's energy. Once they have gone this far, they must be able to keep a clear mind for a couple of seconds, and at this time they transform from the Golden Oozaru to a Super Saiyan level 4. Some believe that Super Saiyan 4 could have been obtained before ever having to go through any more levels of Super Saiyan other than Level 1, by turning Golden Oozaru and then, through that, Level 4. I would have to say I agree with this theory just because it would make more sense.

Super Saiyan 4 Goku

Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta

Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta, The strongest power in the universe

Saiyans by nature love to fight and should be regarded as amongst the most dangerous and elite fighters in the entire universe. They once worked for Frieza as mercenaries and they would exterminate all life on any planet that had a high "property value". These uninhabited planets were then sold by Frieza's men to whoever would pay the most for them, and the Saiyans were given their cut. However, it was Frieza who blew up the home planet of the saiyans called Planet Vegeta, named after King Vegeta, Prince Vegeta's father. A few saiyans escaped Planet Vegeta's destruction including an infant Kakarot(Goku), young Prince Vegeta, Nappa, Radditz(Kakarot's older brother), Turles, Paragus, and an infant Broly. Why would Frieza do this? It's actually simple, Frieza feared that the saiyans were getting too strong and that a Super Saiyan would emerge to challenge his authority, and win. That is the reason he blew up planet Vegeta, even though Frieza would never admit to being afraid of a saiyan, instead he told Goku during their fight on Planet Namek, "all you monkeys got on my nerves." It was during this fight however, where Goku would transform into a Super Saiyan right before Frieza's eyes making his greatest fear come to life. Dispite the bad reputation saiyans have as being killers and ruthless exterminators, the nicer saiyans, that is, the ones that never lived on Planet Vegeta, like Goku, Gohan, and Trunks for example, are usually kind-hearted and gentle to all living things with the exception of the most truely evil villians. I also think it is good to point out that some of the Super Saiyans that I listed above, like Trunks for example, are not actually 100% pure blood Sayians, but instead Half-Human Half-Saiyan mixed bloods, even though their power is not really effected by this because the biggest thing that determines the different power levels is the amount of training they do.