"Vegeta, you come from a strong bloodline and you possess the potential power to join the super elite of all Saiyans. Never forget where you're from and train very hard, my son, because if you've proven yourself worthy, perhaps someday you will become a Super Saiyan."
King Vegeta (ベジータ王, Bejīta Ō) was the King of all Saiyans and the father of Vegeta and Tarble. He was also the commanding hero of the Saiyan Army, and led his people to victory in the Saiyan-Tuffle war, in which the planet was re-named in his honor. After his people are annexed by Frieza's planet trade organization, he had no choice but to pledge allegiance, but kept power over his people.
King Vegeta looks very much like Vegeta himself, only with a beard and brown hair and is much taller. He wears the Vegeta Royal Family Crest on the left side of his armor, as did Prince Vegeta as a child. He also has a large crest on the seat of his throne. His name, like his son's, is a pun on "vegetable".
King Vegeta's power level is unknown, as it was never actually stated. As a Saiyan warrior, it was remarked that he was far less powerful than his son Vegeta was even as a child. However, this opinion came from Vegeta himself — who did not have a high opinion of his father. During Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku, the doctors working on Bardock after his injury sustained on Planet Kanassa, stated that his power level was nearing 10,000, and was expected to pass up King Vegeta in a short time.
King Vegeta appears to be a level-headed, stoic, and honorable man and a symbol of Saiyan pride. He was also a ruthless and merciless military commander who openly took enjoyment in the end of his opponents, traits he was more than happy to pass along to his son personally bringing him along in at least one such battle. Although he is "King", he has come to terms with the fact that his people have no real freedom under "Lord Frieza", but he does not let this feeling on to his people. One important aspect of King Vegeta is that he was the only person Vegeta truly loved for most of his life. When Frieza fatally wounded Vegeta, he explained to Goku that, apparently, the reason why he served Frieza was because Frieza threatened his father.
Main article: Saiyan-Tuffle war
King Vegeta became an important figure at the time when the Tuffles and the Saiyans lived together on Planet Plant. In Age 720, he alone was smart enough to rally and lead his people against the Tuffles in a conflict that raged for ten long years; this event was the Saiyan-Tuffle war. After the war's end in Age 730, the planet was renamed Planet Vegeta in his honor.
Some time after, the Saiyan became space-farers, and eventually came under the dominance of Frieza. Though reluctantly, King Vegeta pledged his allegiance to Frieza, knowing the Saiyans weren't powerful enough to defeat him. The Saiyans worked under Frieza for several years. After marrying an unnamed queen, King Vegeta bared his first child in Age 732, Prince Vegeta. The young prince would later be given to Frieza under unknown circumstances. As revealed in Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, King Vegeta had a second son named Tarble, whom was deemed inferior and weak, thus sent away from Planet Vegeta as an infant.
Destruction of the Saiyans
Main article: Genocide of the Saiyans
In Age 737, prior to Frieza's attack on Planet Vegeta, King Vegeta realized that Frieza had no further use for the Saiyans and no longer needed them around. According to an anime-only flashback, he decides to rebel against Frieza's oppression and mounts an assault on Frieza's capital ship.
When he arrives in Frieza's chamber room, Zarbon and Dodoria bear witness as Frieza kills him with a single punch to the jaw, after Frieza dodged his punch without effort. The Saiyan elites that followed were also killed by Frieza. Shortly thereafter, Frieza launches his final assault and destroys Planet Vegeta and the entire remaining population of the Saiyan race.
Main article: Battle on Planet Namek Several years later, while fellow Saiyan Goku is battling Frieza on Namek and losing, King Vegeta appears before him in a vision along with Vegeta and Bardock, urging Goku not to give up and put an end to Frieza for the Saiyan race.
In Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, King Vegeta was seen in a flashback by Paragus, the father of Broly. In this flashback it is seen that King Vegeta ordered newborn Broly to be executed due to his extremely extraordinary power level of 10,000. This amount of power was seen as a possible threat to the royal Saiyan family, so Broly was ordered for execution immediately. Paragus attempted to change King Vegeta's mind, but was blasted with a powerful energy attack and thrown into a dump, along with his son. Ironically enough, Frieza would kill King Vegeta and destroy Planet Vegeta later that day.
Although he does not make a proper appearence in the OVA Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, King Vegeta is momentarily seen in a flashback and is also mentioned at certain points throughout the movie. In the 2010 remake which is titled Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans, King Vegeta is also seen during a second flashback.
King Vegeta is only seen in some original scenes created for the anime, though Vegeta is acknowledged to have a father, the King of Planet Vegeta. King Vegeta's appearance is never shown, named, or described in the manga, but he is directly mentioned briefly in a dialogue between Frieza and Vegeta. In that dialogue, he was said to have been surpassed by his son Vegeta when Vegeta was only a child. The dialogue itself is the following:
Frieza: "I attacked Planet Vegeta and killed its King in my first form. Your father didn't take long to dispatch, Vegeta."
Vegeta: "I had surpassed him when I was a child."
King Vegeta is a playable character in the game Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3. This is the first appearance of King Vegeta as a playable character in a video game. In this game, he can also turn into a Great Ape and retain his self control (just like his son, Vegeta, suggesting that this was a trait common of Saiyan nobility). His special attacks include his signature "Execution Beam" (a large purple beam wave), "Super Energy Wave Volley", and "Orga Blaster", a Rush Attack in which King Vegeta strikes his foe slowly and powerfully with aristocratic discontent, before blowing them away with a huge purple Ki wave. In his ape form, his special attacks include his single-handed version of the "Super Galick Gun", "Super Explosive Wave", and "Chou Makouhou Barrage".
- Execution Beam – A purple beam of energy King Vegeta used on a Saiyan messenger after the said soldier told him that they have to wait for three days to invade planet Tazba for Frieza's organization due to how long it is going to take until the planet experiences its Full Moon. He also uses it on Paragus in Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan.
- Super Energy Wave Volley – King Vegeta releases a rapid barrage of purple energy blasts at his opponent, causing a massive accumilation of damage. used only in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
- Orga Blaster – King Vegeta rushes toward the opponent and smacks them aside. King Vegeta then takes the opponent by their head knees them in the face and punches them in the face. The final part of this attack involves King Vegeta using a full power energy wave to blast his opponent away. He uses this attack in the anime against an army of Frieza's soldiers whilst invading his ship to rescue his son, Vegeta.
- Explosive Wave – King Vegeta used it while on an unnamed planet with his elite. It is also one of his Blast 1 in his base and Great Ape forms in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
- King of Saiyans – One of King Vegeta's Blast 1 in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
- Power Ball – The natural Saiyan ability to make an artificial moon to make use for transforming into a Great Ape.
- Great Ape – As seen during a flashback in Dragon Ball GT, as well as in Budokai Tenkaichi 3, King Vegeta has the ability to transform into a Great Ape. While transformed, he has mental control over the transformation.
- Chou Makouhou – Great Ape King Vegeta releases a massive wave of energy from his mouth. He seen using it during a flashback of the Saiyan-Tuffle war in Dragon Ball GT.
- Super Explosive Wave – King Vegeta releases a gigantic energy wave that deals far greater damage than the basic Explosive Wave. it is one of his Blast 2 in his Great Ape form in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
- Galick Gun – Though it is never seen in the TV series, King Vegeta does use this technique (or rather, Super Galick Gun) in his Great Ape form in the Budokai Tenkaichi series. He fires it with one hand in a similar fashion to the blast he uses to end Orga Blaster rush.
- Howl – One of Great Ape King Vegeta's Blast 1 in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
- Japanese dub: Banjo Ginga (TV series and Budokai Tenkaichi 3), Masaharu Sato (Movie 8)
- Ocean dub: Terry Klassen, Colin Murdock
- FUNimation dub: Christopher R. Sabat
- Latin American dub: Arturo Casanova
- King Vegeta is usually drawn with brown hair, but in a flashback that Vegeta has while recovering from a training exercise gone awry in the pre-Androids Saga, he is drawn with black hair. The animators did the same with Vegeta, first giving the character brown hair as opposed to black hair, but changing the color as episodes progressed.
- In the "Dragon History" game mode of Budokai Tenkaichi 3, King Vegeta states "You will join your father in the next world" to Frieza. This means that King Cold and King Vegeta must have some sort of interaction at some point prior to his demise. This could also just be a plot within the story (though it is a "what if" scenario battle).
- In the Budokai Tenkaichi 3 game, King Vegeta is listed as an evil character.
- Although numerous website summaries and the like state that he does, King Vegeta does not appear in Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku. This is most likely due to confusion with flashbacks in the anime.
- In Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, prince Vegeta's alternate outfit number two is almost identical to King Vegeta's outfits in color, only missing the family crest on the breast plate.