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King Piccolo (ピッコロ大魔王 Pikkoro Daimaō, lit. Piccolo the Great Demon King) is a character from the anime and manga series Dragon Ball, and appears from time to time in a couple flashbacks of Dragon Ball Z. He is introduced as a Mazoku (Demon) in the story who once precipitated the Earth into utter chaos and pandemonium,[1] spawning an army of animal-like Namekian sons and converting a peaceful planet into a living hell.[1] Later, it is revealed that he is the evil half and evil twin brother of Kami; the two were once a single entity. King Piccolo's name is based on the instrument of the same name — hence, all of his sons share the names of various musical instruments. While he is named after a flute, the others are named after percussion instruments.


Pre-Dragon Ball

King Piccolo came into being some 300 years before the beginning of Dragon Ball sometime after a nameless Namek on Earth attempted to assume the position of guardian of Earth, he was neglected of the position due to the evil that occulted within. As a result, the Namekian concentrated and trained to relinquish the evil within; which conspired into producing two separate entities — if one should perish, the other would also. The concentrated evil being known as King Piccolo. At first, the name "Piccolo" was a reference to the wind instrument, but then a revelation by Mr. Popo to Bulma meant it translated to "different world" in Namekian.[2]


King Piccolo breaks away from his good counterpart, later known as Kami.

Piccolo created several offspring and watched as they terrorized and killed helpless citizens and destroyed the cities they lived in, but stepped in himself later on after his sons were killed by Mutaito's pupils, including a young Master Roshi and a young Master Shen who were the only two who survived. Master Roshi and Master Shen could not as much as lay a finger on Piccolo, and Mutaito soon steps in, but is himself outclassed and left to die by Piccolo.

Mutaito lives however, after being nursed back to health by his two remaining pupils, but before his wounds could even heal he tells them he is going somewhere to train by himself to find a way to beat Piccolo and that he would return. While Master Roshi never lost faith in his master, Master Shen did, and the two parted ways, with Master Roshi escaping to the mountains while Piccolo continued to kill human after human and destroy city after city.


King Piccolo sitting stationary on his throne resembling Guru's throne.

Several years later Mutaito, carrying an electric rice cooker in a bag, reunites with Master Roshi in the cave Master Roshi was staying in and the two track Piccolo down for the final confrontation, which by this time most of Earth's population had been slaughtered. They find Piccolo in the ruins of a city, which is hauntingly quiet, and Mutaito wastes no time launching his attack on him, this special technique is revealed to be the suicidal Evil Containment Wave technique. Piccolo is trapped in the electric rice cooker and Mutaito dies, and sometime afterward Master Roshi personally tosses the rice cooker into the deepest depths of the ocean.

Afterwards things slowly return to normal, with the cities being rebuilt and the Earth being repopulated, and over time people eventually forget King Piccolo ever existed, with the exception of Master Roshi, Master Shen and of course Kami.

Dragon Ball

King Piccolo Saga

Decades later, he is released from his confinement by Emperor Pilaf, and King Piccolo decides to have all the current and former finalists of the World Martial Arts Tournament murdered, thereby removing all those who might be able to learn the Evil Containment Wave. To aid him in this, he spits out two eggs containing his first two sons, Piano and Tambourine.

Tambourine quickly goes about the task, his first victim being Krillin, and he also dispatches Goku shortly after, though he survives. King Piccolo then spits out an egg containing a third son, Cymbal, who he assigns the task of gathering the Dragon Balls. King Piccolo seeks the Dragon Balls so that he can wish to have eternal youth.


The aged King Piccolo prepares to finish off Goku.

When King Piccolo senses that Cymbal has been killed, he orders Tambourine to hunt down the assassin. Guided by Emperor Pilaf's Dragon Radar, Tambourine arrives at Cymbal's last known location to discover Yajirobe and Goku, and in a vengeful rage, Goku kills Tambourine. Again sensing that one of his sons has died, King Piccolo decides to deal with the fighter responsible personally. Upon arriving, King Piccolo confronts Goku, and despite his age he easily defeats the boy (though King Piccolo was forced to admit that Goku was an exceptional fighter). Goku is left severely beaten and near death. Master Roshi then challenges King Piccolo, attempting to trap him using the Evil Containment Wave. Master Roshi is able to catch the demon king in the wave, but when he attempts to hurl him into a container, he misses. The attempt leaves Master Roshi completely drained, and he dies almost immediately.

King Piccolo is then able to gather the Dragon Balls to summon Shenron. Chiaotzu attempts to make a wish himself to prevent King Piccolo from doing so, but is killed before he can finish, allowing King Piccolo to wish for eternal youth, becoming more powerful than before since he was returned to his physical prime. King Piccolo then kills the Dragon to prevent anyone else from making a wish which could stop him.

With no one left who can properly challenge him, King Piccolo decides to savor his victory, rather than all out destroy civilization like he did the first time, and instead overthrows King Furry to become the ruler of the Earth. As part of entertaining himself, he institutes several evil policies such as releasing all criminals and a more planned system of destruction.


Goku using Penetrate! to kill King Piccolo.

He is then confronted by Tien, who has now learned the Evil Containment Wave Technique but cannot perform it as the electric rice-cooker which would have been used to seal King Piccolo is broken. King Piccolo decides not to get his hands dirty, and instead spits out an egg containing Drum, his most powerful son yet. The battle between Tien and this new son, Drum, is of course in the Namekian's favor, and King Piccolo orders Drum to finish Tien off, but a much stronger Goku arrives just in time and quickly kills Drum with a kick so hard it knocks his eyeball out.

King Piccolo and Goku face off again with Goku blocking every attack King Piccolo tried, and Goku manages to punch King Piccolo into Piano with his crushing weight and Goku's strength, killing his son.

A fierce battle ensues, with Piccolo briefly gaining the upper-hand a couple times, only for Goku to survive. After being unable to destroy him, King Piccolo costs Goku losing the use of both legs and his left arm because King Piccolo used the injured Tien as a hostage and threatened to crush his skull if Goku had even moved.

Realizing that he still had his right arm usable, Goku eventually blasts a Kamehameha from his right hand propelling himself toward his enemy, punching a hole clean through King Piccolo's chest. The blow proved lethal, but King Piccolo managed to spit out an egg into the distant mountains without Goku noticing. King Piccolo died only seconds later and exploded soon afterwards. This resulted in the birth of his reincarnation Piccolo Jr., and inadvertently saved the life of Kami (had King Piccolo not done this, Kami would have died with him, because they are one being, and it would be impossible to revive Shenron, thus Krillin, Master Roshi, Chiaotzu, and all of those killed by King Piccolo and his sons would have remained dead).

Post-King Piccolo Saga


King Piccolo's psyche briefly returns from within Piccolo Jr. while he is under the control of Dr. Wheelo.

Over the next three years, Piccolo Jr. would go on to challenge Goku at the next tournament for a rematch. After this, King Piccolo is seen again a few times in the Piccolo Junior Saga in Goku's flashbacks before fighting Piccolo Jr. and later appears in the Namek Saga in a flashback when Guru probes Krillin's mind and in Piccolo Jr.'s flashback towards the end of the Freeza Saga.

Also, for a short time Piccolo Jr. reverts back to a more mindless version of King Piccolo's personality when brought under Dr. Wheelo's control in The World's Strongest.

It remained unknown if King Piccolo knew he was a Namekian, as he was shown to know the language and some of his powers and techniques are of Namekian origin, even replicating Guru's throne. If King Piccolo knew, this could mean that the evil within Kami originated from being a Namekian warrior.

In the English dub of the anime, when questioning how Goku could withstand his power, he remarks that he had fought all over the universe and never met anyone who could match his strength. This may have been a vague way of implying King Piccolo had used the ship in which Kami had originally come to Earth to seek stronger opponents in space sometime before being sealed away, though the original Japanese versions makes no mention of this, as the ship and Kami's origins had not been revealed during this time.

While King Piccolo didn't apppear later (other than as his reincarnate), Piccolo did recieve one mention in the Movie Bojack Unbound, where Goku compared the evil alien known as Bojack to King Piccolo in terms of motivations.



King Piccolo's appearance during a flashback in Dragon Ball Z, incited while Guru probes Krillin's mind.

When King Piccolo was introduced in chapter #135 The Conspiracy of Kuririn's Death Comes Fearfully first published in Shonen Jump on August 10, 1987, he was designed to appear as a strange-looking divine creature, like a goblin, who had pointy ears and fangs. Later in the series, when other normal Nameks were introduced, it was revealed that this was their typical appearance. He was by far one of the tallest and largest of the villains in the original Dragon Ball series, towering over all his opponents, including Mutaito, Master Roshi, Tien, and Kid Goku. King Piccolo's size and height are never explored upon, as no other Namekian was shown in their normal state to be King Piccolo's size and height, as most are shown to be the size of normal humans. One explanation to this could be ancient Namekians were much larger and less sleek, as shown from the Great Elder of Namek and his humongous size. He was also the tallest player in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, the others are Broly, Burter and Super 17.

When he first fully appeared he was very old, and did not fight much (though he was still capable of defeating Goku and even taking a Kamehameha unharmed), wearing a robe outfit similar to Kami's except black with a red cape and his own kanji (symbol) on the chest, along with brown light-weight footwear. His main outfit without the robe and cape was a dark pale blue Asian martial arts uniform , with a light purplish blue obi. King Piccolo's outfit is later retconned in the Namek Saga as being of Namekian origin, rather than actually having much to do with martial arts, though his kanji is something he added when he came into being which was meant to be the opposite to Kami's kanji.

The audience is later introduced to Kami, of whom is King Piccolo's good counterpart, and the two share an almost identical resemblance. Kami's outfit was more or less a palette swap of King Piccolo's robe outfit before he fought Kid Goku the first time, before removing the robe for better performance when Goku forces him to the ground prior to taking it off. He nearly kills Goku with simple blasts soon afterward and even temporarily stops his heart, which may imply that like his son Piccolo Junior's cape, it may be weighted; it was never expounded upon as to how a mere robe could hinder the demon king. Kami never removes his robe for combat, but in a flashback of Dragon Ball Z, he is shown wearing the same outfit with his own kanji on under it.

Special abilities

Explosive Demon Wave

A very powerful blast shot from one hand while the other hand is used to support the arm that is firing the blast. King Piccolo can turn an entire city into dust using this move. This technique is called the Destructive Wave in English translations of the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z video games (except for Super Dragon Ball Z, which uses Bakurikimaha, but misspells it as "Bukiri Maha".).


Literally meaning "lighter than air skill", the user forces their ki upon the ground in order to levitate and take to the skies.

Magic Materialism

A magical ability used to create objects from seemingly thin air. King Piccolo was never actually seen using this technique, but it is assumed he knew it since he was seen with the same skeletal-like throne of his twice (the first was in Emperor Pilaf's hover ship and apparently, the same throne appeared in the king's castle). Also, King Piccolo and Kami, his counterpart of purity and good twin brother, were apparently capable of this technique as well, all the more evidence to believe that he would be capable of doing the same. His skeletal throne was alike to that of Guru's from Namek.


This technique involves controlling and manipulating people or objects with the mind. King Piccolo performed this just by lifting a finger, as it was first seen when he magically lifted the five Dragon Balls that Master Roshi had hid under the ground.

Eye Lasers

A precise (red-colored) laser eye beam is shot from both eyes. This attack was first used by King Piccolo to kill a guard posted at the gates leading to King Furry's Castle. He later used it during his battle with Goku in order to incapacitate one of Goku's legs. He uses this ability in the video games Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 and its sequel Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, however it is called Soumasen (his humanoid gargoyle-like Namekian son, Tambourine also uses this move in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai video games and it too is called Soumasen).

Mouth Energy Wave

A beam shot from the mouth; considerably more powerful than normal ki bolts. King Piccolo used this attack to destroy Shenron after having his wish for eternal youth made. This move is usually spelled as Kochi kara kikou ha.


King Piccolo fires power ki beams from each hand, one after the other. He first uses it at the end of his first fight with Goku, causing the young boy's heart to stop momentarily. The first blast is intentionally meant to be a distraction; forcing the opponent to evade it, while the second more powerful blast actually hits the target dead on. Goku falls for this trick a second time but is unharmed by the second blast that hits him.


The ability to spit out an egg from his mouth. King Piccolo can give the son part or all of his powers and memories. It is related to Namekian asexual reproduction, where the Namekian spits out a new egg from the mouth (his is most likely a corrupt version of it, his son are likely Namekians). As shown when he gave birth to Cymbal, creating eggs in both ages it takes much of his energy. When King Piccolo had eternal youth, he no longer had to rechant this phrase, hence, he was able to quickly spit out an egg from his mouth which would immediately hatch into Drum. He also used this technique to give birth to Piccolo Jr.

Shock wave

An invisible ki blast of a sudden wind attack that can be launched theoretically from any part of the body. It's generally not as powerful as other attacks.


This is the ability to channel one's thoughts to another being. King Piccolo used this technique to immediately contact Tambourine to avenge Cymbal's death.

Kyodaika (possibly)

The Namekian ability to increase size. King Piccolo increases his size after becoming enraged when Goku knees him in the face with a boost from his Power Pole after losing the use of his right leg. During this, King Piccolo's strength and power increased, but he was unable to destroy Goku with his destructive wave. It's never stated if this was the same technique, or even a technique at all.

Video Games

King Piccolo has appeared as playable character in:

  • Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure
  • Super Dragon Ball Z (Manga Appearance)
  • The Japanese/PAL Wii versions of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
  • All versions of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3

He is also an alternate costume for Piccolo Jr. in

  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (America's "Greatest Hits" Edition, European Collector's Edition, and Japanese version)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors

Voice Actors

  • Japanese Dub: Takeshi Aono
  • Latin America Dub: Carlos Segundo
  • Ocean Dub: Scott McNeil
  • FUNimation Dub: Christopher R. Sabat

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dragon Ball manga, Volume 12, Chapter 135, Pages 42-43 — ISBN 1-59116-155-X
  2. Dragon Ball Z manga, Volume 5, Chapter 50, Page 61 — ISBN 1-56931-934-0
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