"Frieza's taken our loyalty and paid us back in our own blood."
Bardock (バーダック Bādakku) makes his debut in the 1990 special Bardock - The Father of Goku. He is a low-class Saiyan warrior and the father of Raditz and Goku (Kakarot). His life before his appearance in the special is unknown, but he is shown to lead his own squad into battle, and they are very successful in accomplishing assignments. He is an adept fighter and a devoted Saiyan Army soldier under Frieza's planet trade organization, until he realizes that Frieza plans the annihilation of the Saiyan race. Given to him by the last Kanassan warrior, was the ability to see into the future and it is through these visions that he sees the eventual Genocide of the Saiyans.
Bardock's appearance is very similar to Goku's. Bardock has unkempt hair which partially stands on end and a scar on his left cheek. He wears black and green Battle Armor, and a green scouter on his left eye. Later on, he wears Tora's blood soaked armband as a headband when he fights Dodoria's Elite on Planet Vegeta.
Bardock's name, like all other Saiyan characters, is a pun on edible plant material, in this case the burdock herb (this pun is more apparent in the Dragon Ball manga, where the character's name is literally spelled Burdock). The word 'burdock' transliterated into katakana is badokku (バードック bādokku), but the character's name is written as Badakku (バーダック Bādakku), changing the 'do' character to 'da'. This character change actually makes the kana sound more like "Bardock" to English speakers, making it difficult to accurately romanize the word to convey the pun. The word could be romanized as 'Burdock', 'Barduck', 'Badack' or any combination of these syllables. While Viz's English publications of the manga use the spelling 'Burdock', the FUNimation dub of Bardock - The Father of Goku spell his name 'Bardock', and as well this is how Frieza pronounces his name while speaking aloud during the Frieza Saga of FUNimation Entertainment's Dragon Ball Z dub.
Bardock displays personality traits fairly typical of Saiyans. He is somewhat cocky, loves fighting, and will kill in cold blood. He has a laid-back and fearless personality, as evidenced by him and his crew accepting missions that baffle even Frieza's elite soldiers, and his taking responsibility in confronting Frieza alone. He is a highly capable tactician in battle, able to perceive the situation at hand and act accordingly with it, as shown from his ability to out-maneuver Frieza's men. However, unlike a typical Saiyan, most have little care for comrades, Bardock deeply cares for the members of his team, and is enraged after finding them ransacked on planet Meat, particularly Tora during their last conversation.
Until the Kanassan's gift of foresight begins changing his life, Bardock thinks fairly little of him being a father, and so he generally does not acknowledge the newborn Kakarot except when the child is a topic of conversation among his platoon, and when he begins experiencing visions of an up-and-coming Kakarot. Bardock showed his bravery when he saw his impending doom. Instead of fleeing for his own life, he chose to stay behind and fight to the death.
Bardock's sons and team
The biological father of Kakarot (later known as Goku) and Raditz, Bardock is a low-class Saiyan mercenary who leads a small platoon comprised of four other Saiyan soldiers, Tora, Fasha, Shugesh and Borgos. Together, the five make a living by traveling to various planets where they decimate the defenses of these civilizations and prepare them for Frieza's planetary market.
Battle for Kanassa
Main article: Kanassan war
After clearing a society on the Planet Kanassa, a weakened survivor emerges, catching Bardock off-guard, and instills in the Saiyan the ability of precognitive foresight. This ability, the Kanassan believes, will over time serve Bardock with vengeance for the crimes Saiyans commit in the name of Frieza. While in recovery after the platoon's return to planet Vegeta, Bardock is met with what he passes off as a delusion. In his vision, he witnesses the destruction of his homeplanet by the hand of Frieza. During this time, presiding doctors attest that Bardock's power level is approaching 10,000, and that at this rate he may surpass the strength of the Saiyan ruler, King Vegeta.
Bardock is still out of commission when Frieza executes his selfish plan to resolve the paranoia he is experiencing. Following Frieza's orders, the capable soldiers Tora, Fasha, Shugesh and Borgos are instructed to clear the civilization of planet Meat. During their visit to the planet, the group encounters one of Frieza's most dangerous minions, Dodoria, and his elite who, by Frieza's orders, betray and make short work of the Saiyans.
Battle on Meat
Main article: Invasion of Planet Meat
When Bardock is informed that his team has accepted an offer on planet Meat, a still injured Bardock hurriedly makes preparations to pursue his friends, unaware of the dangers that await at his destination. Eventually once upon Meat, Bardock discovers his ravaged comrades, and to some fortune finds that Tora is alive but in critical condition. Vowing to avenge the four, Bardock removes Tora's armband, now soaked in blood, and dons it over his head (providing an emotional backstory for one of Bardock's most recognizable physical features). Bardock is suddenly assaulted by Dodoria's Elite, although for a low-class Saiyan, he is able to dominate over the elite-class fighters until Dodoria launches a Super Mouth Blast, overpowering Bardock and leaving him for dead.
Bardock barely survives this attack, and coming to terms with the fact that his visions are actual premonitions and not a case of delirium, he desperately struggles against time to return to Planet Vegeta and change the grim fate of his people. Upon his return to the planet, he immediately begins spreading the word of danger, but his panic (as well as the state of his condition) only leads bystanders to believe Bardock is overreacting after having finally met his match during a typical mission.
Main article: Genocide of the Saiyans
Terrified at the reaction he has received and the helplessness of his situation, Bardock in a frenzy takes to the skies where Frieza's spaceship is orbiting, in a last resort effort to throttle Frieza's plan to eradicate the Saiyans. As Bardock displays an abnormal ability to fend off hundreds of Frieza's soldiers, Frieza decides that the situation is growing out of hand. Frieza's decision is solidified by his perceived insolence of another Saiyan, King Vegeta, who has invaded Frieza's spaceship with his servants' in an attempt to rescue their prince, Vegeta (who at this time is nowhere near the ship, as he is carrying out orders on another planet). After killing King Vegeta and his royal guard, Frieza steps out into the orbit of planet Vegeta where he encounters Bardock, who insists that the Saiyans refuse to continue being oppressed and commanded by the tyrant.
Intending to wipe out the Saiyans anyway, Frieza doesn't see a problem with Bardock's allegation, and somewhat patiently listens to Bardock's speech, staking out the perfect opportunity to commence his genocide. This opening comes when Bardock attempts to kill Frieza using a Final Spirit Cannon, which Frieza retaliates with by laughing manically as he expands a charging Supernova.
Within moments, the Supernova is set free from Frieza's fingertip and careens through numerous bystanding soldiers en route toward planet Vegeta; Bardock is among the first to be consumed by the ball of energy. As he is incinerated within the Supernova, Bardock has one final vision, that of his son Goku (born Kakarot) challenging and defeating Frieza, which brings a smile to his face. His dying regret, however, is that he never had a chance to hold his infant son in his arms before he was commissioned to Earth only days after being born.
Because Bardock was primarily the creation of Toei Animation, it was only after the airing of The Father of Goku that Bardock would make an appearance in the manga, albeit a two-panel cameo appearance. This was followed by Bardock making cameo appearances in the mainstream Dragon Ball Z series, in the episodes "Fighting Power: One Million?", "The End of Vegeta" and "The Ultimate Battle", mostly during Frieza's flashbacks to the 'final confrontation' scene featured at the climax of The Father of Goku. He also appears in Cooler's flashback to the Destruction of Planet Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge, during the planet's last seconds. The flashback was shown once again in Dragon Ball Kai's first episode.
Techniques and special abilities
- Divination – A psychic ability granted to Bardock by a Kanassan as a form of retribution for the misdeeds of he and the Saiyan race in general. This ability gives Bardock the gift of foresight, but he has limited control over what visions he receives and when they occur.
- Flight – The ability to fly with the use of ki.
- Ki Blast – The most basic form of energy wave.
- Full Power Energy Wave – Basically a fully-powered Energy Wave shot from the palm. Is similar to the Kamehameha and Galick Gun in basic function. Bardock first used it to finish off Toolo, and later to kill the last two remaining members of Dodoria's Elite. This is one of Bardock's basic Energy Wave Blast 2 attacks in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Final Revenger – An attack used to defeat Dodoria's elites on Planet Meat. It is one of Bardock's Blast 2 attacks in the Budokai Tenkaichi series. Bardock knocks the opponent up into the air with powerful attacks and finally knocks them down to the ground.
- Flash Spirit – This attack is used when Bardock fights the horde of soldiers on his way to attack Frieza. It is a punch, followed by a kick then an energy wave. It is named in Dragon Ball: Raging Blast where it is one of his Super Attacks.
- I'll Never Forgive You! – Bardock rams into the opponents and hits them. He used this technique against Frieza's soldiers when they tried to stop him from attacking Frieza. Named in Raging Blast.
- Final Spirit Cannon – A whitish-blue sphere of ki that Bardock uses in an attempt to assassinate Frieza.
- Heat Phalanx – A heated ki punch technique which appears in the Budokai video game series and the video game Burst Limit.
- Spirit of Saiyans – A combination technique of ki-powered punches used by Bardock in the video games Budokai 3, Infinite World, Shin Budokai - Another Road and Burst Limit. this is likely Bardock's most powerful technique in the Budokai series.
- Saiyan Soul – One of Bardock's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Wild Sense – One of Bardock's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Kamehameha – Bardock never uses this attack in any other game but in Shin Budokai: Another Road, Bardock participates in the True Family Kamehameha along with Goku, Gohan, Future Gohan and Goten, defeating Kid Buu and saving the Future.
- Power Ball – A ball of Blutz ray, which simulates the effects of a full moon to allow a Saiyan with a tail to become a Great Ape. (Vegeta claims that Bardock was the inventor of this technique, however as this line was Ocean Group dub only, the canonicity of it is disputable at best).
- Chou Makouhou – One of Great Ape Bardock's Blast 2 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Super Explosive Wave – One of Great Ape Bardock's Blast 2 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Giga Meteor Storm – A much more powerful version of the Chou Makouhou Barrage used by Bardock in his Great Ape form in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Explosive Wave – One of Great Ape Bardock's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Howl – One of Great Ape Bardock's Blast 1 in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Great Ape – As with all Saiyans with a tail, Bardock can transform into a Great Ape at the sight of a full moon (or another source of Blutz Waves). In this Transformation state his Power increases ten-folds. Bardock, like Elite Saiyan warriors, can remember everything in the transformation state and control it (stated by himself after the battle on Kanassa). Bardock transformed into it while on Planet Kanassa, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
Video game appearances
Bardock has been featured as a playable character in several Dragon Ball video games: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi and its sequels Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 and Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast and its sequel Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2.
Dragon Ball Online
In Dragon Ball Online, Miira went back in time and saved Bardock (in an alternate timeline). He then possessed Bardock to be his servant. In one of the time travel quests, the player has to battle this Evil Bardock. Bardock eventually returns to normal and betrays Miira and uses a kamikaze attack to seemingly kill Miira (although it is unknown whether he survived or not). Bardock later appears to have somehow survived the explosion as he is seen in a later time travel quest, taking place on Planet Namek.
- Japanese dub: Masako Nozawa
- FUNimation dub: Sonny Strait
- Latin American dub: Mario Castañeda, Octavio Rojas (Dragon Ball Kai)
- German Dub: Tommy Morgenstern
- Portuguese Dub: Henrique Feist
- Italian Dub: Marco Balzarotti (Bardock - The Father of Goku), Simone D'Andrea (Frieza Saga)
- French Dub: Patrick Borg
- Brazilian Dub: Wellington Lima
- In a chapter of the Dragon Ball manga, Raditz alludes to Bardock when commenting that Goku "[looks] just like [their] father".
- Bardock claims that he can remember his actions in his Great Ape form.
- In the Ocean Group dub of Dragon Ball Z, Bardock is described by Vegeta as having been "an average fighter, but a brilliant scientist," despite Bardock's ventures into sciences being absent from the manga and all subsequent dubs of the anime.
- It is interesting to note that Bardock has never mentioned his first son Raditz, although one of his earliest lines in response to what day his son was born ("I don't quite remember, it was long ago") may refer to Raditz, as he is significantly older than the then-day old Kakarot.
- In a flashback during the Frieza Saga, it is shown that during Bardock's confrontation with Frieza, all of the men behind him were part of his army to defeat Frieza. However, in Bardock - The Father of Goku, it is shown that those are all actually Frieza's men, and Bardock fought his way through them to get to Frieza.
- In the same flashback, Bardock is quoted as saying "I would rather be a free man in my grave than living as a puppet or a slave", word-for-word lyrics from Jimmy Cliff's 1972 hit 'The Harder They Come'.
- Bardock was the first originally-filler character to later be included in a panel of the manga.
- In Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru's original character design of Bardock, he had a longer scar. His hair was more spiked, similar to Goku and Vegeta's hair. His Saiyan armor was a brighter shade of green, and it had three or four flaps at the waist. He did not wear the long-legged jumpsuit he has in Akira Toriyama's final design.
- Bardock is one of three members of the team who's name was not completely changed from Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru's design. The other being Panbukin (Shugesh in the American dub,) and Toma (Tora in American dub).
- Bardock was mentioned by Paragus in Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan.
- The first episode of Dragon Ball Z Kai shows a scene from the TV special, Bardock - The Father of Goku, in which Bardock is fighting thousands of Frieza's men and then confronts Frieza. For some reason, the scene is mirrored.
- A commercial, advertising Dragon Ball Z Kai on Nicktoons, shows Bardock when he forms the blast about to attack Frieza. No blood is present, and most of Bardock's scar is missing from his face.
- Bardock is one of the few saiyans to have gone to outer space and breathe normally, while fighting Frieza and his men.
- Interestingly, in the Budokai Tenkachi series, Bardock is briefly reunited with his son, Goku, noting how strong he has become before they battle and even assuring him that he will know who he is after they fight. In Burst Limit, Bardock meets Goku and fights him, and is shocked to see that Goku has become a Super Saiyan.
- In Budokai 3, his alternate costume looks similar to Toma's outfit.
- In the Budokai Tenkaichi games, if Bardock fights Dodoria, Zarbon or Cooler, he states "I'll take you down and then Frieza!".
- In Budokai Tenkaichi 3 if he fights Kid Goku, Bardock will say, "K-Kakarot! Is that you?" to which Goku replies, "I'm not any Kaka- or whatever thing guy."
- In the 'What-If' story Fateful Brothers it is revealed that Raditz has great respect for his father.
- In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, Bardock has a "What-If" story where he fights his grandsons (Gohan and Goten) in a vision before his death, apparently a dream.
- In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, Bardock is mistaken as Goku by the Androids.
- It is likely that Bardock was the most powerful lower-class Saiyan soldier of his time. Near the time of his death, Bardock was rumored to have a power level of nearly 10,000, which is said to rival that of King Vegeta.
- This is backed by his ability to defeat Dodoria's Elite, despite being outnumbered 4-1, as well as surviving Dodoria's Mouth Energy Wave. Later on, the heavily-wounded Bardock fights through hundreds of Frieza's troops, on his own, in an effort to reach Frieza's ship. The power levels of the soldiers were not revealed.
- Bardock was alive during the Saiyan-Tuffle war, which took place from Age 720 to about Age 730, and likely fought in it.
- When Bardock has his last vision of Goku about to fight Frieza, Goku was standing by Frieza in his 1st form, which Goku has only seen Frieza in his final form.