The Cell Saga is a major part of Dragon Ball lore, and it won’t be left out of the franchise’s latest video game adaptation. A new trailer from Gamescom has confirmed that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot will feature the heart-pounding clash between Gohan and Cell.
With early details about Kakarot focused on Goku, there were some questions over whether it would go into the Cell Saga, an arc that stands out for ultimately turning the spotlight onto the culmination of Gohan’s coming-of-age story as he grapples with the eponymous bio-android. There was also uncertainty over whether the game would pay attention to any other key players in Dragon Ball, like Vegeta, Piccolo, or even Krillin.
But with the recent news that Gohan, Piccolo, and Vegeta would be playable, it looked like there could be a chance for the Cell Saga to be featured in Kakarot. Now it’s been confirmed with the recent trailer showcasing a mixture of gameplay and cutscenes.
The new trailer does a good job of recontextualizing Kakarot as also a story about a father and son, reconciling the game’s earlier focus on Goku with the Cell Saga’s emphasis on Gohan. This makes it even more true to the original era of the franchise that this game will adapt, where the relationship between Goku and Gohan was a key element.
Besides the official trailer, IGN has a recording of a playable Kakarot demo at Gamescom. It highlights the boss fight against Cell and its concluding cinematic. The extended gameplay footage seems to only showcase Japanese audio.
The official trailer has been released in both Japanese and English, though Cell hasn’t spoken in either of them yet. It sounds like Norio Wakamoto is reprising his role as Cell in the IGN video, which makes perfect sense as he’s been Cell’s only Japanese voice since the character made his on-screen debut in 1992.
There’s been no confirmation on whether Dameon Clarke will also reprise his role as Cell in Kakarot, though he likely will given that he had already returned to play him in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Even more recently than that, Clarke reprised his other role as Paragus in the box office hit Dragon Ball Super: Broly earlier this year.
While Cell has been voiced by multiple actors in English, Clarke is largely his main voice, and the only one in the Funimation dub of the anime (except for a later cameo in Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters played by Jim Foronda).
Cell's made multiple appearances in several Dragon Ball games by this point, but his saga isn't always comprehensively explored. He's a character whose body physically transforms into different stages, reminiscent of not only those that make up his hybrid DNA like Frieza's multiple forms or even the Saiyans' Great Ape transformation but also of the insects that partly inspire his visual design. But some of the games skip the other forms Cell has, and go straight to when he transforms into his perfect form (which is admittedly his most iconic look).
However, a scanned image from the Cell Saga announcement in a recent V-Jump issue shows a small picture of what looks like Cell in his imperfect form as he lunges for Android 17. This suggests that Kakarot is dedicated to covering the entirety of the Cell Saga, or at least most of it. Given that Bandai Namco has announced that the anime-only driving gag episode in Dragon Ball will be adapted in Kakarot too, it seems like the game would have to explore the major parts of the story if it's going for the smaller areas too.
Besides the epic action with Gohan and Cell, the trailer also seemed to hint that the game would try to capture the quieter moments of the Cell Saga focused on Gohan bonding with his father. According to a Bandai Namco announcement, Trunks will be featured in the game, and his backstory will be further explored.
A new character is also confirmed to make her debut in Kakarot. Designed by Akira Toriyama himself, a new warrior named Bonyu will make her first appearance in the game during a side quest. She previously belonged to the Ginyu Force, but eventually left their ranks while still continuing to serve Frieza. If you think her coloring looks like fellow Ginyu member Jeice, you've got a point. According to Siliconera, Bonyu and Jeice come from the same planet. And if you think the first official image of Bonyu makes her look like a no-nonsense soldier with zero interest in pre-battle choreography, you'd be right. Siliconera adds that Bonyu "supposedly left the Ginyu Force because she didn’t like their poses."
With Team Four Star having brilliantly completed their parody-fueled and deconstructive vision of the Cell Saga last year, it’s awesome to see the arc in the spotlight of an upcoming action RPG.
"So I think I'm not the only one who thinks that this is one of the best scenes of Dragon Ball Z, and so this was a very big task to describe this scene meticulously," said the game's producer Ryosuke Hara in an interview with IGN while the demo's concluding cinematic showed Gohan's final triumph over Cell.
Players will get to enter the Cell Games once more when Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is released in 2020.
Are you excited to play through the Cell Saga in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot? What do you think of Bonyu? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.