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"I might just be a pothole in the road to you big guy, but it's going to be one heck of a deep pothole!"
Tien Shinhan (天津飯 Tenshinhan) (typically just called Tien in the English duband most serious person in DBZ) is a Human introduced near the end of the Fortuneteller Baba Saga in the anime. Because of his harsh upbringing, he is initially cold and heartless, thinking nothing of exploiting innocents and inflicting pain. However, Master Roshi and Goku eventually help him to see the folly of his master's teachings, and he then becomes a trusted ally. He later fights as a Z Fighter, but retires from fighting after he is no longer able to compete with the power of the Super Saiyans.
Tien Shinhan's Japanese name pun is Tenshindon a quasi-Chinese dish actually invented in Japan, consisting of a crabmeat omelet over rice. It gets its name from the fact that it was originally made using high-quality rice. The character’s name is written in kanji (天津飯) with a katakana furigana reading (テンシンハン, Tenshinhan) to indicate that it has a foreign (ie Chinese) reading, although unlike Chiaotzu, “Tenshinhan” is actually also the normal Japanese reading for the kanji.
Personality and Appearance
Tien Shinhan was originally a cold-hearted and ruthless warrior, never caring for anyone's life with the exception of his fellow students and mentors. This brutality can be plainly seen when he crushes Yamcha's and another fighter's leg during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. However, he finds a life-long best friend in Chiaotzu, for whom he cares deeply. He highly idolized his mentor Tao, and desired to be a famous assassin like him. Due to Master Roshi's and Goku's consolations, he changed his demeanor and became one of the most respected warriors on the planet. Before he transitioned to the good side, he planned to kill Goku during the World Martial Arts Tournament as he was seen as a threat to himself and his cohorts. However, this mentality soon changes with the realization that he disagrees with the brutal methods employed by his masters, Shen and Mercenary Tao. He goes off on his own to train, and soon becomes a powerful ally to Goku and the others. His personality transitions from one of a brutal killer to that of an honorable warrior, one who cares deeply for those he strives to protect. He occasionally tries to repent for his former brutality but eventually rises above his horrid memories and looks toward the future.
During Dragon Ball Z, he is seen striving to become a powerful warrior, and still hopes to surpass Goku one day. He valiantly fights and defeats a Saibaman when the Saiyans arrive, and does battle with Nappa, during which Chiaotzu sacrifices himself in vain, causing Tien to put all his effort into one final attack, which fails. Tien dies a hero's death, but is revived later by Porunga. When the conflict with the Androids comes into full swing, Tien puts his life on the line numerous times when assisting his friends against the mechanical demons, most notably when using his life-force to hold Cell at bay, sacrificing his own life to allow Androids 16 & 18 to escape, thus saving the Earth from certain destruction. After the defeat of Cell, Tien goes off to continue his training, and when Majin Buu threatens Earth's existence seven years later, he arrives just in time to save Gohan from certain death. However, he is knocked out when Buu's severed legs reanimate and kick him, and later perishes when the Earth is destroyed.
During the early years of his life at Master Shen's Crane School, Tien was taught defensive techniques by Master Shen's younger brother, Mercenary Tao, as seen during a flashback in "Tien Shinhan vs. Mercenary Tao".
Working for Master Shen
Main article: Fortuneteller Baba Saga
Tien and Chiaotzu were both the star pupils of Master Shen's Crane School. They first met Goku when they were pretending to kill InoShikaCho and scamming villages for their fake services. When Goku discovered that they were really con artists, Goku tried to expose them, but Tien turned the people against Goku saying that he was with InoShikaCho instead. He accomplished this through hanging InoShikaCho over a fire and telling Goku to cut the rope and burn the beast alive. When the merciful Goku refused, he was chased away from the village.
Appearance at the World Tournament
Main article: Tien Shinhan Saga
Tien's first major role in the series begins at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament during the Tien Shinhan Saga. He is a student of the Master Shen, who is entering Tien and Chiaotzu to defeat the students of his rival, the Turtle Hermit Master Roshi. Tien faces little in the way of challenge during the preliminaries and easily makes his way into the finals.
Using Chiaotzu's mental powers to fix the ordering of the matches in the quarter-finals, Tien decides to first face off against Turtle student Yamcha, whom he had been exchanging hostile words with since the start of the tournament. Yamcha puts up a better fight than Tien expected, but was still not a significant threat to Tien, who not only defeated him, but went further and ended the match by needlessly breaking Yamcha's leg. Soon after this fight, Tien learns of the death of his role-model Mercenary Tao by the hands of Turtle student Goku and the tournament becomes more about revenge than victory.
Tien's next opponent was the winner of the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, Jackie Chun and he faces his first true challenge. Jackie Chun challenged Tien not only in physical combat, but also began to warn him about following an evil path. With the help of the Master Shen, Tien learns that Jackie Chun is actually Master Roshi in a disguise and proceeds to use Master Roshi's signature move, the Kamehameha (which he learned in the fight against Yamcha) against him. After this, despite having shown none of his true power, Master Roshi concedes the match and hops out the ring. He walks away he can now go back into "happy retirement". Tien proceeds to track down Master Roshi shortly afterwards to find out why he forfeited, to which Master Roshi responds by telling Tien that it's time for younger fighters, Tien included, to take his place.
Tien then proceeds to battle in the final round against Goku himself. Goku is a powerful opponent and the fight seems to be relatively even until Goku suddenly becomes unable to throw a punch or dodge an attack without becoming frozen in place. Tien quickly learns that Chiaotzu is rigging the fight under Master Shen's orders and he demands that Chiaotzu stop since he wants a fair match. Master Shen takes this as defiance and orders Tien to kill Goku, but Tien, thinking about his own desires for the first time, humbly refuses. (Thus, Master Roshi's words have proven true and Tien rejects the path of an assassin.) The now infuriated Master Shen orders Chiaotzu to kill both Tien and Goku and when Chiaotzu refuses, Crane then threatens to kill him instead. Master Roshi puts an end to this by blasting Master Shen out of the stadium with a Kamehameha, allowing Tien and Goku to concentrate on their match.
Tien and Goku continue to battle until Tien eventually decides to put an end to it and use his ultimate attack, the Tri-beam. He warns Goku to expect and dodge the blast (as there is no way to survive being hit by it) planning to force him out of bounds instead. Tien proceeds to use the attack and destroys the entire arena; because of his warning Goku dodged by leaping incredibly high in the air. Tien is convinced he'll win at this point, as he can fly and Goku can't, but Goku uses one final Kamehameha to propel himself into Tien like a rocket. Both fighters then fall to the ground, Goku slightly ahead. Goku attempts to use another, smaller Kamehameha to slow himself down, but is hit by a truck and lands first. Tien lands an instant later, thus winning the tournament.
After the match, Tien offers Goku half of the prize money as he recognizes that, while he could have killed Goku in the first place, it was mere luck that he landed second. He also apologizes to Yamcha for using such excessive force during their fight. Master Roshi offers to let Tien stay at the Kame House, but Tien declines, stating that he cannot follow the teachings of another, even if he has betrayed his master.
Battle against King Piccolo
Main article: King Piccolo Saga The good mood is short-lived however, as Turtle student Krillin is unexpectedly killed while separated momentarily from the group. Along with his body there was a note with the character "demon" on it. Master Roshi tells everyone that it represents an incredibly powerful Demon King, King Piccolo, who was sealed away centuries ago by Master Roshi's old master using the suicidal Evil Containment Wave technique, but is now apparently free again. On hearing this, Goku, still not fully recovered from his battle with Tien, rushes off to seek revenge.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, Tien volunteers to help in anyway he can. He is informed of the seven Dragon Balls, which when collected summon a Shenron that can grant any wish, and, along with Chiaotzu and Master Roshi, is soon on a quest to retrieve them in order to have the Dragon eradicate King Piccolo. After finding several of them though, their radar which tells them of the Dragon Balls locations shows them that the remaining ones are actually coming to them, meaning King Piccolo is also seeking the Dragon Balls and is coming for theirs.
Before King Piccolo can confront them, Master Roshi unexpectedly knocks Tien out and hides him in a cave. Master Roshi plans on using the Evil Containment Wave against King Piccolo and, since Goku is thought to have already been killed, Master Roshi considers Tien to be the last line of defense for the planet in case he fails. Semi-conscious, Tien can do nothing but witnesses Master Roshi's ultimately unsuccessful stand against the powerful Demon King. King Piccolo wastes no time joining the Dragon Balls together to summon the Dragon and Tien, in desperation, orders Chiaotzu to quickly make a wish to destroy King Piccolo before the Demon King can make one himself. Chiaotzu tries, but is quickly killed mid-sentence from a blast by King Piccolo, an act Tien can only watch. King Piccolo continues to make his wish and then destroys the Dragon, knowing it's the only thing that can stop him.
After regaining his mobility, and King Piccolo has long gone, Tien practices the Evil Containment Wave, having learned it from watching Master Roshi perform it. Once he has fully mastered it, Tien heads off to King Piccolo's location in the world capital to confront the demon. After he arrives and challenges King Piccolo, he is horrified on discovering that the vessel to be King Piccolo's prison is cracked and useless from his practicing. Knowing that he won't be able to use the Evil Containment Wave, Tien decides to confront King Piccolo regardless.
King Piccolo, not seeing Tien as being worth fighting, spawns a new minion, Drum, to take care of him. Drum quickly beats Tien, and is about to finish him when Goku intervenes and saves Tien, killing Drum with a single kick. Tien can only watch as Goku and King Piccolo then battle it out, using the last of his strength part way through their match to quickly fly in and levitate Goku out of the path of a powerful attack by King Piccolo. When the battle seems to be turning against King Piccolo, the Demon King decides to take Tien hostage in order to force Goku to allow himself to be crippled. Tien is then discarded by King Piccolo, but Goku is more resilient than King Piccolo thought and uses one final attack to kill the Demon King.
King Piccolo's reincarnate
Main article: Piccolo Jr. Saga
Tien keeps up his training, redoubling his efforts after learning that Goku is being trained by Kami, Guardian of the Earth. With the dragon restored, a wish is made to bring all those killed by King Piccolo back to life. Tien then trains with Yamcha and the newly resurrected Krillin and Chiaotzu until they are informed by Master Roshi that, to be able to compete with Goku, they are going to need to find better ways to train than are available at the Kame House. They all head to Korin Tower and train with Korin before each going their own separate way.
Three years after King Piccolo's defeat, Tien, along with Yamcha, Chiaotzu and Krillin, return to compete in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. He is somewhat surprised to see the now teenaged Goku and hopeful that he's even more powerful than before. His real shock, however, is seeing Piccolo Jr., and realizing that something of the Demon King has survived. He remains silent about the matter for the time, not wishing to create a panic.
When the lots are drawn up to determine the order of the fights, Tien again has Chiaotzu manipulate the cards so that none of the group (Tien, Yamcha, Goku, Chiaotzu and Krillin) or Piccolo Jr. fight each other in the preliminaries.
The early matches seem to be going as usual, with the group quickly dispatching their foes. Tien then receives a horrible sense of something happening to Chiaotzu. He races to the scene and finds Chiaotzu heavily wounded and unconscious, his opponent turning out to be the now cybernetic Mercenary Tao. Tao explains that after his seeming death by Goku, he was rebuilt into the half-man half-machine before them, and that he seeks revenge on both Goku and the "traitor" Tien. Tien gladly accepts his challenge, wanting to avenge Chiaotzu.
They get their wish as Tien and Mercenary Tao are the first of the eight finalists to fight. Tao lunges at Tien, but Tien sidesteps and counters, knocking Tao to the ground. Tien then states that he forgives Mercenary Tao for what he did to Chiaotzu and tells him to forfeit. Tao refuses this and presses on his assault, though he is clearly outclassed by Tien. After Tien grabs one of Tao's wrists, the cyborg pulls a surprise maneuver and detaches his mechanical hand, revealing a knife that he quickly uses to slash Tien, scarring him forever. Though disqualified for use of a weapon, Tao does not care (Tao only participated in the tournament so he could kill Tien) and quickly drops his other hand to reveal a cannon and fires a Super Dodon Wave at Tien. Tien nullifies the large blast with his Kiai and then proceeds to defeat Tao with a single punch to the gut. He takes Tao's unconscious body out of bounds and presents it to the watching Master Shen, telling him to take his brother and leave, never bothering him again.
Tien's next fight is the one he has been waiting for, a rematch against Goku. The battle starts with numerous quick sparrings and shows to be fairly even, but with Tien having an edge in raw speed. This changes after Goku removes his weighted clothing though, making Goku fast enough to steal Tien's belt without Tien even noticing; resulting in Tien's boxers to be exposed to the audience. Realizing that he won't be able to defeat Goku physically, Tien uses a new technique he has created, the Multi-Form, and splits into four identical copies of himself. The Tiens disperse to the four corners of the ring, each one then firing a Ki Blast Cannon at the center, where Goku is, resulting in a large explosion which Goku has to leap to avoid.
The Tiens quickly fire again, this time from their third eyes, at Goku, sending him crashing back to the ring. The Tiens warn Goku to give up before he gets hurt, but he appears unfazed by their attacks, and states they won't be able to pull off that trick again, which they then promptly attempt. Goku dodges the beams this time though, and uses the Solar Flare against them, blinding the Tien's. He then quickly dispatches each of them, causing them to revert back to the single being. Goku states that the new technique Tien has a critical weakness, as Tien's power is divided amongst the duplicates. With the fight over, Tien looks forward to their next rematch, suspecting that Goku was still holding quite a bit back.
Tien plays little role in following battles, he can only watch as Goku fights the seemingly all-powerful Piccolo Jr. He offers his assistance at several points, but is denied by Goku who wants to fight the demon alone, though he does open the Sealed Flask, which Piccolo Jr. used to trap Kami, after Goku tosses it to him. Tien also helps to evacuate their friends, creating a pit in the earth for them to take shelter from the Hyper Explosive Demon Wave, one of Piccolo Jr.'s more devastating attacks.
When it looks like Goku has been beaten, with Piccolo Jr. close to finishing him off, Tien reluctantly accepts the order from Kami to kill the elderly guardian, thus also killing Piccolo Jr. He is stopped by Goku though, who evades the demon's onslaught and ends up defeating him with a surprise attack.
Dragon Ball Z
Main article: Saiyan Saga
Five years after the tournament, Tien learns that Goku has died in battle against an amazingly powerful warrior called Raditz, a Saiyan and Goku's brother. Even more disturbing is that two more Saiyans, both more powerful than Raditz, are on their way to Earth and will be there in about a year.
In the early days, the wild Launch developed a bit of an infatuation with Tien, and she continues to chase him wherever he goes. This could be one reason he chooses to move from place to place so frequently. Tien wastes no time, and is invited, along with Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Yajirobe and Krillin, to train at Kami's Lookout so they can aid Goku when he is wished back to life in a year, after he completes his training with King Kai.
When the Saiyans finally do arrive, the Z Fighters hold them off until Goku can arrive. Vegeta, deciding to toy with his opponents, has Nappa grow several Saibamen in the soil so that he can hold a small challenge. Knowing that they have to buy time, the Z Fighters agree to this, and Tien volunteers to go first. He manages to quickly defeat the vicious creature, causing Vegeta to destroy it for incompetence.
After all the Saibamen are killed, Nappa decides to enter the fray himself, taking on Tien as his first opponent. Tien is no match for the giant warrior, and has his left arm ripped off in a single hit. Immediately, Tien tries to use levitation to escape, but is quickly smashed to the floor in the second hit. Seeing this, Chiaotzu sacrifices himself with a a self destruction attack against Nappa, who remains unharmed and starts to fight with the now ally Piccolo and Goku's son, Gohan.
Tien, enraged by the death of Chiaotzu, puts all his remaining strength into one final Tri-beam through his remaining right hand, killing himself from exhaustion in the process. The attack manages to do serious damage to Nappa's armor, but does not seriously damage the Saiyan warrior. In the anime however, Nappa goes as far as to praise Tien's efforts, claiming that had his aim been better, it would have seriously injured him.
Training with King Kai
Because of the influence of Kami, after he perished, Tien was allowed to train on King Kai's planet in the Other World as Goku did earlier. Joining him were the other warriors who also perished in the battle against the Saiyans, Chiaotzu, Piccolo and Yamcha. On King Kai's planet, King Kai tells Goku that they all crossed Snake Way in a far shorter time than he did, and that they all requested for tougher training than what Goku had received.
Tien, along with Chiaotzu and Yamcha, remains on King Kai's planet and learns of everyone's (Goku, Vegeta, Krillin, Gohan, Dende and Piccolo fused with Nail) mighty struggle with the evil tyrant Frieza on the Planet Namek. He is eventually wished back to life along with Chaiotzu by a wish made to Porunga. After returning to Earth, Tien and Chiaotzu go into solitude, training in the mountains.
Garlic Jr.'s attack
Main article: Garlic Jr. Saga For reasons unexplained, both Tien and Chiaotzu do not make their appearances in this saga. It can be assumed however that they were both also possessed by the Black Water Mist, and also changed back to their normal states by the Sacred Water like almost everybody else on Earth.
The mysterious youth
Main article: Trunks Saga
A year later, while Tien and Chiaotzu are training in the mountains, they are interrupted when they sense two powerful evil energies heading towards Earth. They then fly to the location of where the power is coming from. Both Tien and Chiaotzu are surprised to find Vegeta (who was somewhat reformed during the crisis on Namek and now resides on Earth with Bulma) and the other Z Fighters who inform them that the power they are detecting is Frieza's, who somehow survived Namek's destruction. When Frieza does land, he is quickly dispatched by an unknown mysterious youth (Future Trunks). Piccolo, overhearing the young Super Saiyan's private conversation with Goku, tells everyone the warning that two incredibly powerful Androids will attack in three years time.
Main article: Android Saga
"Whatever it costs me, I will fight."
The three years soon pass and the Z Fighters head to the location where the androids soon appear. Tien tells the other Z Fighters that he left Chiaotzu behind as he felt that even though they trained, he wouldn't have been able to keep up in the battle.
The new threat, Cell
When the Androids leave to continue their pursuit of Goku, who is recovering from a heart disease, Tien goes off with Chiaotzu to train and become powerful enough to help against this new threat. He is soon interrupted from this to lend his aid in hunting for the new menace, Cell.
Eventually Tien catches up with Imperfect Cell, and witnesses his battle against the combined force of Piccolo and Android 17. Imperfect Cell defeats Piccolo though. When Imperfect Cell gets up, after being shot by Android 16, Tien tries to warn Android 17, but Android 17 ends up absorbed. This allows Imperfect Cell to become Semi-Perfect Cell. Semi-Perfect Cell then makes his move to absorb Android 18 as well, but is held off by Tien, who uses his new Neo Tri-Beam to hold Semi-Perfect Cell in place until Goku arrives and relieves the thoroughly drained Tien.
The Cell Games
Main article: Cell Games Saga
When Perfect Cell declares his Cell Games, Tien decides to remain on the sidelines out of the fight, he is given the opportunity to go to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, but he declines the invitation stating he has no chance against Cell. He does however get thrown into the mix when Perfect Cell spawns seven Cell Jrs to torment the Z Fighters, in an effort to make Gohan angry. After a severe beating by the small creatures, he is saved by Gohan, who then goes on to destroy Perfect Cell.
Fighting against Buu
Seven years later, in the following Majin Buu Saga, Tien makes an appearance with Chiaotzu as their training in the mountains is interrupted when they both sense Goku transforming into his Super Saiyan 3 form.
Tien later reappears alongside Chiaotzu whilst they're training in the mountains. Here, himself and Chiaotzu manage to evade being hit by Super Buu's Special Human Genocide Attack, which was used to exterminate the population of Earth. They then briefly examine the small craters left behind by Super Buu's attack. When Tien finally intervenes into the main battle, he saves Mr. Satan, Gohan, Dende and Bee from being killed by Super Buu (Gotenks Absorbed). Tien then fires a Tri-Beam at Buu, with power enough to shock even Gohan. However, even with his massive power increase, Tien is still no match for Super Buu. After being cut in half by Goku, Buu's legs land next to Tien, who is dispatched after a single kick by Super Buu from behind.
When the Earth got destroyed by Kid Buu, Tien and Chaioztu are also killed in the process. Once everyone is revived by the Namekian Dragon Balls, he and Chiaotzu later give their energy to Goku's Spirit Bomb so that he can kill Kid Buu. He is last seen at a party at Bulma's house.
Dragon Ball GT
For unexplained reasons, Tien has kept apart with the rest of the Z Fighters. It is often said that he leaves to go travel the world and train with Chiaotzu. In Dragon Ball GT, Tien only appears twice, once when the Earth is about to explode from the work of the Black Star Dragon Balls, and the other is when Goku passes by him in the final episode "Until We Meet Again".
He is seen in episode 40 "Piccolo's Decision" with Chiaotzu and among others.
Shadow Dragon Saga
He is finally seen in the last episode (#64, "Until We Meet Again...") when Goku passes by with Shenron, as he and Chiaotzu are training under a waterfall.
- Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure
- Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might
- Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound
- Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks (in the opening Prologue and credits)
- Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku (in Bardock's visions of the future)
- While searching for the Dragon Balls in the King Piccolo Saga, Tien, Chiaotzu and Master Roshi retrieve the first one from a greedy pirate bear leader of a Mercenary Clan. When getting the second ball, they arrive at a near-vacated town. When Tien enters the house where the Dragon Ball is indicated to be, he finds himself face-to-face with an ex-fighter whom he savagely beat at a tournament several years ago. At first the man's wife calls the police, believing Tien is responsible for the series of murders being committed by King Piccolo's son Tambourine. Master Roshi is able to prove Tien's innocence however and the police soon leave. Not trusting Tien, the man wearily predicts that the former Crane student will proceed to tear his humble house apart in his search for the object. Instead, Tien grovels at the man's feet, begging him for forgiveness for his previous cruel actions and for the Dragon Ball which can help stop the current crisis. Surprised by Tien's humbleness, the man grants his forgiveness and gives him the Dragon Ball. They then locate the third ball in the Arctic from an icecap and the fourth ball from a mountainside.
- While fighting against Drum, Tien puts up a better fight against the demon and manages to knock him down enough for him to attack King Piccolo. When King Piccolo starts to leave during their battle, Tien attempts to use the Evil Containment Wave on him, but ends up ensnaring Drum instead when he realizes what Tien is attempting to do. King Piccolo then uses a finger blast to destroy the jar Tien was going to use to seal Drum, allowing Drum to remain free.
- On his way to train with Korin, Tien, Chiaotzu, Yamcha and Krillin rescue a village from an active volcano.
- While training with Kami, Tien and the others enter the Pendulum Room, which allows them to virtually battle Saiyans from the past.
- In the Namek saga, on King Kai's planet, Tien along with Chiaotzu and Yamcha participate in a 3 versus 1 sparring match against Piccolo.
- In the Frieza Saga, while training with King Kai, the recently killed members of the Ginyu Force show up on the planet, battling against Tien, Yamcha, and Chiaotzu. They eventually beat them and send them flying back down to the depths of Hell. Tien himself takes on both Burter and Jeice, at first splitting in two to fight them individually.
- In the Cell Games, after Perfect Cell returns as Super Perfect Cell, Tien, along with the other Z Fighters, blast Super Perfect Cell in the back to try and help Gohan.
- At the end of the Kid Buu Saga, he goes to a party at Bulma's house.
Techniques and special abilities
- Flight – It is the capability to fly by using the Ki. At first this technique was used only by Tien and Chiaotzu, then it was learnt also by all the Z Warriors, except for Yajirobe and Master Roshi.
- Ki Blast – The most basic form of energy wave.
- Kiai – This is a technique used by Tien against Mercenary Tao at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament: it consists in a yell that he uses to reject the less powerful attacks.
- Dodon Ray – The signature technique of the Crane School. It is an energy beam shot from a finger, which is more powerful than a normal Kamehameha, yet doesn't need as much as charging time as the Kamehameha. Another version of the Dodon Ray technique is the Neo Dodon Ray. It is basically a larger, more powerful version of the Dodon Ray. The technique appears in Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit and Dragon Ball: Raging Blast.
- Machine Gun Punch – Tien swings his arms so fast they appear to be windmills on his shoulder and pummels his opponent too many times to count. Tien uses this in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament against Goku.
- Volleyball Attack – Tien uses his opponent as a ball and makes them fly with two hits before giving a final blow to stamp them into the ring.
- Four Witches Technique – Tien uses this ability to sprout two extra arms from the back and shoulders so he obtains four arms to fight his opponent. Tien performs this attack at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament and it allows him to immobilize Goku's arms and legs.
- Multi-Form – Tien splits himself into multiple identical copies. The only weakness of this technique is that the copies split his original energy.
- Eye Laser – Tien fires a straight white beam from his third eye. He uses it while splited into multiple identical copies in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament against Goku.
- Ki Blast Cannon – A square blast of energy used by Tien splited into multiple identical copies against Goku during the 23 World Martial Arts Tournament. In the Budokai series, the Ki Blast Cannon is fired in the same fashion as the Tri-Beam.
- Tri-beam – Tien's special technique. He unites his hands at the tips of the fingers and aims at his target between his fingers and his thumbs. Then he shoots a powerful energy blast to hit it. This is a very dangerous attack, because it uses up most of user's health so this one has to control how much energy he's putting into the blast in order to not over use it. Later Tien makes this attack more powerful and calls it the "Neo Tri-beam". It is also called the "Ki Blast Cannon" in Budokai Tenkaichi video games.
- Spirit Burst – Tien experiences a sharp increase in power and speed.
- Solar Flare – This technique is used the first time by Tien during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament against Jackie Chun. He called it "Solar Flare of Crane School" because at that time he was Master Shen's pupil. The user of this technique puts his hands over the face and generates a powerful flash of light that temporarily blinds anyone whose eyes come in contact with it. Solar Flare is performed by other Z warriors and Cell as well.
- Afterimage Technique – This is a technique that consists of disappearing from a place, leaving a shadow of oneself, for a short period of time in the original position and causing the shadow image effect. The enemy is deceived into thinking that his opponent is still there and this one can quickly move to another spot close by and attack him unexpectedly. Tien uses a variation of the afterimage, Wild Sense, in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
- Mimicry – Both Chiaotzu and Tien Shinhan have shown the ability to copy moves after seeing them only once. Tien states this after using his Kamehameha after copying it from Yamcha. He also uses it to copy Master Roshi's Evil Containment Wave to use on King Piccolo.
- Kamehameha – Attack invented by Master Roshi. At first the user cups both of his hands to concentrate the energy; then, yelling Kamehameha in intervals as Ka - me - ha - me - ha!, he charges up, puts them on the side of his body and finally he unleashes a powerful ki blast.
- Evil Containment Wave – Secret technique invented by Lord Mutaito (Master Roshi and Master Shen's teacher) to defeat King Piccolo. He manages to use a magic wind to propel the demon into an Electric Rice Cooker, trapping him at the cost of the user's life.
- Telepathy – Tien is able to speak with his targets mentally.
- Fusion Dance – Tien is able to use the fusion dance with Yamcha to form Tiencha, only in Budokai 2.
- Tien Shinhan vs. Mercenary Tao (Seen in flashback)
- Tien Shinhan vs. Fighter mercilessly injured (Seen in flashback)
- Tien Shinhan vs. Yamcha
- Tien Shinhan vs. Jackie Chun (Master Roshi)
- Tien Shinhan vs. Goku (Kid)
- Tien Shinhan vs. Drum
- Tien Shinhan vs. King Piccolo
- Tien Shinhan vs. Cyborg Mercenary Tao
- Tien Shinhan vs. Goku (Teen)
- Tien Shinhan, Chiaotzu, Krillin & Yamcha vs. Scarface & Shorty
- Tien Shinhan vs. Saibaman
- Tien Shinhan, Piccolo, Krillin, Chiaotzu and Gohan vs. Nappa
- Tien Shinhan, Chiaotzu & Yamcha vs. Piccolo
- Tien Shinhan vs. Burter & Jeice
- Tien Shinhan, Piccolo, Future Trunks and Vegeta vs. Android 17 and 18
- Tien Shinhan vs. Semi-Perfect Cell
- Tien Shinhan, Krillin, Goku, Vegeta, Future Trunks, Piccolo and Yamcha vs. Cell Juniors
- Tien Shinhan, Piccolo, Yamcha, Krillin, Vegeta and Gohan vs. Super Perfect Cell
- Tien Shinhan vs. Super Buu (Gotenks absorbed)
- Tien Shinhan & Chiaotzu vs. Rasin & Lakasei (Movie 3)
- Tien Shinhan, Chiaotzu, Krillin, Yamcha & Piccolo vs. Turles (Movie 3)
- Tien Shinhan vs. Future Trunks (Base, Super Saiyan) (Movie 9)
- Tien Shinhan, Yamcha and Gohan vs. Bido, Bujin and Zangya (Movie 9)
Video game appearances
Tien Shinhan has appeared in the following video games:
- Dragon Ball Z III: Ressen Jinzōningen
- Dragon Ball Z: Legend of the Super Saiyan
- Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden
- Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure (Boss and playable character)
- Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku (Non-Playable Character)
- Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (Non-Playable Character)
- Dragon Ball Z: Sagas
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai (Non-Playable Character)
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road (Non-Playable Character)
- Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit
- Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World
- Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo
- Dragon Ball: Raging Blast
- Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team
- Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans
- Japanese Dub: Hirotaka Suzuoki (Dragon Ball; Dragon Ball Z; Games 1995, 2002 - 2007), Mitsuaki Madona (Games 2008 - 2009), Hikaru Midorikawa (Dragon Ball Kai; Games 2009 - )
- Ocean Group Dub: Matt Smith (Dragon Ball Z)
- Blue Water Dub: Jonathan Love (Dragon Ball)
- FUNimation Dub: Chris Cason (Original dub of Dragon Ball Z Season 3); John Burgmeier (All Other Media)
- Harmony Gold Dub: Eddie Frierson (Movie 3)
- Latin American Dub: Ismael Larumbe Jr.
- Portuguese Dub: Ricardo Spínola
- Italian Dub: Claudio Ridolfo
- Brazilian Dub: Alexandre Marconatto
- Tien enjoys eating jiaozi/gyouza (Chiaotzu gets his name from this food) and shumai (Shu and Mai are named after this). His hobbies are volleyball and training in martial arts.
- The third eye is from becoming enlightened. When Toriyama began creating the Dragon Ball series, he used Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West as a prototype for his own work. Tien's three eyed physical characteristic resembles the story character Erlang Shen, and both are warriors who were originally adversaries of the main character.
- The Daizenshuu mentions that Tien Shinhan belongs to the race of Three-Eyes (Triclops). This was referenced in one of the Dragon Ball: Raging Blast what-if stories, where after defeating Tien for the title of "strongest human", Krillin asks if he is even from Earth. Technically he is a triclops, which simply means a three-eyed creature, though this has never been depicted as being indicative of another alien race and is more likely just a rare trait in humans. Further, Piccolo refers to Tien as an Earthling in Dragon Ball Kai, the Japanese dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai. The game The Legacy of Goku 2 states that Tien's third eye was achieved through deep meditation when the player scans the friendly Tien NPC with the scouter.
- At the end of the episode "Full-Moon Vengeance", Tien is briefly seen without his third eye when Chiotzu leaves to enter the ring.
- Tien supposedly has hair, as Master Shen states that he shaves his head.
- The scar on Tien's chest is from his fight with Mercenary Tao in the 23rd World Tournament. Oddly, it never healed, even with the aid of any Senzu Bean he ate after the tournament.
- Prior to beginning his training with King Kai, Tien has difficulty making King Kai laugh during the prerequisite joke-telling test. In order to finally deliver a successful joke, Tien must literally power up and use the Multi Form technique as he aggressively declares, "You can tune a piano, but you can't tune a (tuna) fish."
- In Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT, Tien is usually seen training near a waterfall with his lifelong best friend, Chiaotzu.
- Tien is one of the most notable characters who does not appear in Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!. This was done because his original voice actor, Hirotaka Suzuoki, had died 2 years earlier, although this can easily be explained story-wise by Tien and Chiaotzu's reclusive nature. He is briefly mentioned when Gotenks utilizes his Volleyball Attack technique in battle against Aka. However, they were included in the manga adaptation.
- During his last appearance in Dragon Ball GT, despite being a man at the age of 57, Tien does not have any physical differences from his younger years. This may be because of his super-human traits, however Yamcha and Krillin do have age-related differences, so this occurrence is never explained, but out of the three of them he is the only one to keep up with his training.
- After his revival, from being killed during his battle against Nappa, Tien is more rarely seen with Chiaotzu (e.g. his battles with the Cell Jr.s and Super Buu (Gotenks Absorbed)).
- Tien is arguably the strongest full blooded human on Earth in Dragon Ball Z. While it has been shown that he is stronger than Yamcha, it has never been further explained who is the strongest out of Tien and Krillin after Tien receives King Kai's training and Krillin receives the Namek Elder's unlock potential boost.
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z manga Vol. 06, p. 119, King Kai states to Goku that Tien, Chiaotzu, Piccolo and Yamcha all want tougher training than he had. ISBN 1569319359
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z manga Vol. 24, p. 25 ISBN 1421502739
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 ["Jump Heroes collection, Tenshinhan Character Collection 11, Chapter 1" DRAGON BALL Character Ekisaitingugaido Shueisha, March 4, 2009]
- ↑ [Weekly Shonen Jump special edition "DRAGONBALL, resume all fought thorough history of man" [Shueisha] DRAGON BALL SPECIAL adventure, December 1, 1987, 29939-12/1 Magazine, p. 49.]
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