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Homeworld Namek, later New Namek
Earth in Dragon Ball Online
Average Height Roughly similar to Humans
Diet Apparently only water, but there have been exceptions
Sapience Level Sapient

Nameks (ナメック星人, Namekku-seijin), also commonly known as Namekians, are a race from Planet Namek. They are humanoid with insect and reptilian-like characteristics, including green skin and antennae. Nameks are philosophical warriors, being broadly divided into two classes: fighters and healers. They are among the most important races in the series.[1] In the original Japanese versions of the King Piccolo-Piccolo Jr. Sagas of Dragon Ball, they were known as Mazokus, who had varying humanoid features and were of more earthly origin. Namekians are at full length at the age of 8 (not counting demonic and Super Nameks).

The name "Namek" is taken from the word namekuji, which means "slug" in Japanese.


Main article: Origins of character names in Dragon Ball


A plethora of Nameks during King Kai's explanation of the race

In the era of the Dragon Ball series, there were just over 100 Nameks alive on their home planet; they had been killed off a generation before, by a great tempest.[2] The only known survivors are Grand Elder Guru, and the nameless Namekian, who was sent to safety on Earth.[3] In Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, another survivor, Lord Slug is introduced.[4]

During the Namek Saga, their home-world Planet Namek, was terrorized by Vegeta, Frieza, his henchmen: Dodoria and Zarbon, as well as host of his other soldiers. The planet was ultimately destroyed by Frieza as a last-ditch effort to kill Goku, in their battle during the Frieza Saga.[5] All of the Nameks were temporarily transported to Earth, where they lived for nearly a year before being resettled on New Namek.[6]


Piccolo and Dende

What is known of pre-series Namek history is very limited. Approximately three-hundred years prior to the beginning of the series, the earliest Namekians encountered on Earth (King Piccolo and his sons, though not counting Kami) were evil and destructive and caused chaos throughout the Earth until their eventual narrow defeat at the hands of Master Mutaito and his pupils (including Master Roshi and Master Shen).[7]

It is also clear that they were a well-known space faring race at some point in the not-too-distant past, as most of the Saiyans who came to Earth immediately recognized Piccolo as a Namek.[8] It is also known that Nameks had a vast knowledge of technology, because the Nameless Namek was spirited away to Earth in a spaceship (with Namek-language voice recognition) prior to the massive climate shift disaster.[9] Also, Lord Slug (from the fourth movie) — who is apparently older than Kami — was an avid space-traveler, and was most likely exiled from Planet Namek prior to the climate shift (although the Japanese version explains that he was sent off the planet as a baby during the cataclysmic climate shift for the same reasons that Kami was sent off).


Nameks seen during the Kid Buu Saga

Up until the arrival of Nappa and Vegeta, Piccolo and his mutated brothers were considered demons (monsters in the FUNimation dub) due to the evil nature of King Piccolo and his sons. Kami's status as a Namek was not generally known, though he would not have been considered a demon. Some point after Kami came to Earth, he lost memory of his home-world, and thus, Kami forgot where he originated from, but remembered most of his native language.[10] During the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament Kami (in the human Hero's body) and Piccolo speak a strange alien language to each other, which is later revealed to be the Namek language.[11] Upon meeting Piccolo, Raditz strangely does not identify him as being from Namek, however Vegeta and Nappa do.[12]

King Piccolo spawned a number of reptilian-like sons who were considered Nameks due to retroactive continuity.[13] It is possible that King Piccolo's evil caused his own sons (including Cymbal, Drum, Piano, and Tambourine) to be mutated and malformed, so much so that they did not even resemble normal Nameks. A better explanation however would be Akira Toriyama's lack of forethought in terms of revealing origins.

Appearance, Physiology, and Abilities


King Piccolo is the first Namek in advanced age to appear in the manga and anime

Nameks are humanoids with slug-like characteristics, including antennae, light green skin, and pink patches appearing throughout their bodies. Elderly Nameks have darker green skin and less prominent pink patches (these appear to become dull-orange as the Namek advances in age), pointy ears, and red rings, in which they have three red conjoined rings on their ankles and wrists, making them look like they have ankle bands and wristbands. According to the Super Perfect Guide, they require only water for sustenance. During the Namek Saga, Krillin offers Dende food, to which the young Namekian declines, stating he and his people only drink water.[14] However, they have been shown eating food, such as when a Piccolo Jr. as a Kid was seen eating a fish.[15] They are also adapted to a world with three suns, so it is unknown what sort of sleep pattern they have (if any).

Namekians appear to have very long lifespans. For example, Grand Elder Guru, the only Namekian known to die of natural causes, was over 500 years old when he died.[16] Kami also lived to be around 300 years old before fusing with Piccolo.[17]

Namekians can withstand more cold than humans without being cold, as proven when it was revealed that the nameless Namekian spent several years in the cold Yunzabit Heights as a child and when Piccolo stated humans are so delicate after Krillin said he was freezing during the Androids Saga.

File:Sai Sei.jpg

Piccolo uses the regeneration ability to regrow an arm

Namekians do not have genders and reproduce asexually by spitting out an egg, but they possess physiques similar to those of Human males. The sons are not usually genetic copies of the father like with Piccolo; rather he appears as if the father has some control over what type of child will be formed. This is carried to the extent that they may be mutated and not closely resemble others of the species. King Piccolo was able to spawn demonic Nameks that did not resemble a Namek at all to help him in his quest for eternal youth and complete domination. It appears Nameks are usually close to their children, and though King Piccolo treated his sons as minions he appeared to care for the sons he gave life in his old age (in contrast, he was seemingly unfazed by the deaths of his sons at the hands of Mutaito and his students, as well as Drum after his youth was restored). Nameks are also telepathically linked to their sons and can reach them from seemingly anywhere, as well as sense their deaths (as seen by Guru).

Their blood color is purple, though earlier on King Piccolo and Piccolo's blood was portrayed as red. Drum is the first Namekian ever to be portrayed with purple blood, however.

Most Namekians appear to be roughly the size of normal Humans, but King Piccolo, Kami, and Guru are all shown to have a height and size beyond normal humans, this is never explained.

Namekians also appear to be quite capable as warriors, as evidenced by Vegeta and Nappa concluding that it was not surprising that it would be a Namekian that would be capable of killing Raditz, as well as Vegeta specifically stating that one trait among Namekians are their unusually high power levels.[18]


In the series, Namekians demonstrate a wide variety of abilities, many of them magical in nature. These abilities are seen mostly by important characters, such as Piccolo, so it is unknown how many are common to the species versus the individual.

  • Heightened sense of hearing: Namekian sense of hearing is far greater than that of Humans. Emperor Pilaf discourages his servants Mai and Shu from whispering things to him, exclaiming King Piccolo could hear everything (implying he had displayed the ability already). Piccolo told Goku that the large ears were not just to frame his face and that he heard all that Future Trunks told him, indicating that their large outer ear structure gives them heightened hearing. In the movie Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, it is stated that very high-pitched sounds like whistling can be irritating to Namekians, to the point of causing them pain, particularly when they are in giant form (as their eardrums are massive in size).
  • Thick skin: Namekians evidently have thick skin capable of shielding them from extreme drops in temperature. After his spaceship lands on Earth in the frigid Yunzabit Heights, the nameless Namekian spends his life alone in the region from youth through adolescence. Polar regions are also a common venue for Piccolo's training, as seen throughout Dragon Ball Z as well as the film The World's Strongest. In the episode "Nightmare Comes True", Piccolo speaks aloud his satisfaction in not being an Earthling, in response to Krillin's complaints that the vicinity of North City is too cold.
  • Regeneration: Nameks are an extremely resilient race and capable of healing themselves and regenerating body parts instantly, as long as their brains are intact. This does not make them completely invulnerable, though, as it takes a large amount of reserve energy to perform and it is possible for a Namek to die with his body more or less intact after a battle.
  • Stretching arms (Body flexibility): A Namekians body and limbs are also extremely flexible. They can elongate their arms and legs at will. With considerable effort, they are even able to grow many times their size (although Goku claims in the Piccolo Jr. Saga that growing like that does not increase the Namek's power level, and essentially does nothing but make them a bigger target).
  • Awakening potential: A somewhat mystical ability used by Guru, he was able to raise the power level of individuals by awakening their potential. It is not just a normal power boost; it makes the person as powerful as they possibly could be at that point in time, assuming they already aren't. If the individual is already at their max, and they already meet their potential, the technique will do them no good.
  • Magic Materialization (Object creation): Namekians can create items like clothing out of thin air. It is likely this ability is what is used for their most potent skill, the creation of Dragon Balls. It was noted in the series that only members of the "Dragon Clan" of Namekians were able to create the Dragon Balls, but it is unclear whether their creation is a learned skill or innate to the species, as Kami created them based on a racial memory of sorts.
  • Fusion: Nameks have an assimilatory technique where they are able to permanently join themselves with other members of their race. When this is done one of the Namekians serve as the base and gains the skills, memories and many of the personality traits of the other. It is unknown what happens to the soul of the fused Namek, but it is hinted that the other soul simply remain with the body until it perishes, or that, at least, the personality and memories are, to some extent, present within the host being. This is evident when Nail talked to Dende through Piccolo, proving that Nail's knowledge and personality were still present (although this was only in the anime), to an extent, or when, after the fusion of Kami and Piccolo, Piccolo's personality changed somewhat. The Namek fusion will not obtain any caste specific abilities from the other. This is shown when Piccolo, a fighter-type, is unable to restore the Dragon Balls, even though he had fused with Kami, who was a member of the Dragon Clan.
  • Fission: The reverse of fusing, a single Namek can also split into different copies of himself. One instance of this ability being used was when Kami purged all the evil within himself by casting it off into a separate being, resulting in his evil twin brother King Piccolo. Both Nameks were able to read each others thoughts, and if one died the other would as well. Because of the drawbacks this ability should not be considered a perfect fission as they, in all considerations, are still one being. However, if one half were to die and give life to another Namek, the other half would remain intact. Just before King Piccolo died he spawned his final son Piccolo, and Kami didn't perish, though it should also be noted Piccolo is his own father reborn in the form of a son and very well may have been the only reason Kami lived.
  • Soul control: Kami has demonstrated this ability, as he was able to incarnate his soul into another being, essentially possessing them. It is also likely that in Namek fission, the soul is shared between the two new Nameks.
  • Healing: Dende is shown with the ability to heal other beings of virtually any injury.
  • Increased lifespan: Guru was several hundreds of years old before he passed on. The Nameless Namek's good and evil counterparts Kami and King Piccolo are the first Nameks to be portrayed in advanced age.
  • Aging: Namekians possibly age differently than Humans; three years after his birth, Piccolo is physically Goku's age. However, Dende appeared the same age as Gohan when he first appeared, stayed the same age in the five years between the Namek Saga and the Cell Games Saga, only to become a teenager by the time of the Majin Buu Saga.
  • Telekinesis and Telepathy: Piccolo was able to mentally lift a pyramid in the anime. King Piccolo and Guru communicated with their offspring, despite their locations on Earth and Namek respectively.
  • Ki manipulation: Namekians are shown to be capable of controlling their ki, as they surprised Frieza and his troops when they raised their power levels after arriving at a village being attacked and the scouters showed that they initially had low power levels.

Super Nameks

Main article: Super Namek


Lord Slug, one of the Super Nameks.

After Piccolo fuses with Kami, he powers up to levels well beyond of the existing Namekians. Thus, he is called by Krillin a "Super Namek" because of his new and extraordinary powers, able to far eclipse the strength of an untrained Super Saiyan.[19]

The FUNimation Dub of Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug explains that some extremely powerful Namekians found the ancient secret to unlocking a higher consciousness within, becoming "Super Nameks". These Super Nameks were extremely aggressive and very different from their agrarian counterparts. These Super Nameks also seem to be able to show off their true power. They were banished from the planet using the Dragon Balls. However the original Japanese version states that Lord Slug was considered to be a "Super Namek", but escapes the dying Planet Namek during the climate shift by being sent off in a spaceship (much like Kami), and landing on Planet Slug.

By the end of the manga, Piccolo is by far the most powerful Namekian, which would make him much more powerful than the "Super Namek" Lord Slug, or any of the others that are known of in the series. Piccolo could hold his own and even take the advantage at points in battle against an opponent as powerful as Android 17, during the Android Saga.[20] As the Cell Games approach, Piccolo decides to enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for training. Doing so also greatly increases his power level, as noted by Goku and Trunks.[21] The argument is that Piccolo fused with two powerful Namekians (Kami and Nail), making him by default the most powerful Namekian alive. Even without fusing with Nail and only fusing with Kami, Piccolo would still be much more powerful, as noted when Nail states that if he had been reunited with Kami prior to coming to Namek, he would be more than ready to defeat the same Frieza that mauled Nail in battle.[22]

Namek castes

  • Combat castes: the Daizenshuu states that the first batch of three Nameks who fought Frieza's men were warrior-types. The anime states that all combat-capable Nameks (including Nail) were of the same caste and that Nail was far more powerful because he was the best of them. In both the anime and manga, Guru states that Nail was the only Namek born a fighter-type.
    • Warrior-type Namekian: Described in the Daizenshuu, these are Nameks who are proficient in combat, and their power levels are usually around the 3,000 range. As stated previously, Nail is by far the most powerful warrior-type Namek, with a power level of 42,000.[23] Warrior-type Nameks are unable to use some of the magician-like abilities of members of the Dragon Clan, as shown by how when Piccolo merges with Kami and uses his body as the base, the Dragon Balls lose their power and another Dragon Clan member (Dende) is needed to restore it.
    • Demon Clan: A clan composed of evil Namekian, most often mutated Nameks. This is the case of King Piccolo's Demon Clan, and possibly of Lord Slug's clan. In Dragon Ball Online, Evil Namekians begin to spawn eggs on Earth in Age 940 and in the area which they live, there is an empty throne and King Piccolo's "demon" kanji can be seen. The Earth's conflict with the evil Namekians begins in Age 972 as their numbers grow.
  • Support castes
    • Healer-type Namekian: These Nameks can heal the wounds of others. Dende is the only Namek shown to have this ability and it is proved later that he is a member of the Dragon Clan. This might therefore not be a caste, but a unique ability to Dende. A bit of confusion arises from this as it is also stated that Piccolo Jr. can not heal others because he is a fighter-type, insinuating that the ability is restricted to or from various castes.
    • Dragon Clan: These Nameks are the only ones capable of creating / manipulating Dragon Balls. Nameks in this class include Guru and Kami.

The Daizenshuu explains that there are six Elders, each to a village. Elder Moori has 5 Dragon Clan Namekians and 3 Warrior-type Namekian, as well as Dende and Cargo within his village. Elder Tsuno has 16 Dragon Clan members and 3 Warrior-types in his village. The four unnamed Elders have a total of 65 Dragon Clan members amongst them, and a total of 8 Warrior-type Namekians amongst them as well. Guru has only one Namekian with him, his bodyguard, the Warrior-type Nail.[24]

Piccolo could be considered a half Warrior-Type and half Dragon Clan Namek hybrid because of his vast abilities. With a mix of Warrior-Type and Dragon Clan. He is an excellent combatant and has many Dragon Clan type mystical abilities. He also is the most powerful Namekian by the end of the series, which should place him in an entirely different caste of Namekians.

List of Nameks

The list of Nameks on the Dragon Ball Series are:

Full Nameks

  • Cargo (child within Moori's village)
  • Cymbal (son of King Piccolo)
  • Dende (child within Moori's village, later new Guardian of Earth)
  • Drum (son of King Piccolo)
  • Guru (Grand Elder of Namek)
  • Kami (originally the Nameless Namekian, Guardian of Earth until fused with Piccolo to fight Cell)
  • Katas (father of the Nameless Namekian)
  • King Piccolo (evil exhumed from within the Nameless Namekian)
  • Lord Slug (Super Namek who appeared in movie #4)
  • Moori (elder of a village, later appointed Grand Elder after Guru's death)
  • Nail (son and bodyguard of Guru until fused with Piccolo to fight Frieza)
  • Nameless namekian (son of Katas, split his soul, evil exhumed as King Piccolo)
  • Piano (son of King Piccolo)
  • Piccolo (son and reincarnation of King Piccolo, later fused with Nail and Kami)
  • Tambourine (son of King Piccolo)
  • Tsuno (elder of the village destroyed by Vegeta)
  • 104 unnamed children of Guru


  • Piccolo + Nail
  • Piccolo + Kami (named "Kamiccolo" by Goku)
  • Hypothetical Fusion of Goku and Dende
  • Prilin (Piccolo + Krillin, hypothetical joke fusion)

Artificially created partial Nameks

  • Cell – Genetically created using cells from Piccolo
  • Super Buu – After absorbing Piccolo.
  • Fullums – Character from Dragonball Evolution. Genetically created using blood from Piccolo.


  • Dende says that Nameks do not eat; they only drink water. The anime contradicts this a few times. Much earlier in "Eternal Dragon Resurrected" Kid Piccolo kills a fish with his ki energy then eats a chunk out of it. Later, during a filler episode, "Goku's Ordeal", Piccolo complains about having fish for two weeks straight when Gohan catches one and says that he wants it for dinner. In addition, there is a scene on King Kai's planet where Piccolo drinks water, and King Kai says "You're going to need more than just water". This indicates that King Kai is unaware of Namek dietary requirements, while Gregory (an anime-exclusive character) claimed that King Kai knew everything.
    • According to Toriyama in the Super Exciting Guide, Nameks only drink water because their bodies have enzymes that allow them to transform water into nutrients.
  • During a scene in the episode, "A New Goal... Namek", when everyone is talking about Planet Namek and the Namekian race, a picture of several Nameks is shown, and one of them has a mustache. However, no other Nameks in the entire series have been seen with a mustache or hair of any kind, except for Piano, a mutated Namek who had a few sprouts of hair on the back of his head.
  • When Dende told Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan about the grand elder, he said that he had given birth to all his brothers and sisters. Though in one of his next sentences, he states that they have no gender, which contradicts to what he had said before. This was only said in Dragon Ball Z Kai.
  • Though never officially stated if this only applies to Piccolo and King Piccolo, apparently if anyone is killed by an evil Namek, their souls cannot travel to the Check-In Station for judgement by King Yemma and thus, they will wander in agony and be unable to rest in peace. Though Commander Zeeun (one of Lord Slug's minions killed by Slug in movie #4) was seen with other deceased villains in movie #12, escaping Hell, implying Zeeun infact did go to the afterlife.
  • In Dragon Ball Online, the new generation Namekians have a yellow face and a vertical line in the middle of the head.
  • Many fans say the Namekian race makes use of the biological process photosynthesis. This is possible since on planet namek there are 3 suns (sunlight is needed for the process photosynthesis), the Namekians have green skins (when a life form has a green skin, it indicates it has cholorophyll in its cells, which is used to absorb the sunlight), and they need only water to make their nutrients.
  • Many Namekians are named after words meaning "slug" or "snail".


  1. http://www.kanzentai.com/trans-daiz04.php?m=02&id=race#link
  2. Dragon Ball Z episode 52, "The Past and Future"
  3. Dragon Ball Z episode 54, "Guru's Gift"
  4. As seen in Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug
  5. Dragon Ball Z episode 106, "Namek's Explosion... Goku's End?"
  6. Dragon Ball Z episode 107, "Goku's Alive!!"
  7. Dragon Ball episode 102, "Enter King Piccolo"
  8. Dragon Ball Z episode 22, "The Darkest Day"
  9. Dragon Ball Z episode 37, "Plans for Departure"
  10. Dragon Ball Z episode 37, "Plans for Departure"
  11. Dragon Ball episode 142, "Kami vs. Piccolo"
  12. Dragon Ball Z episode 22, "The Darkest Day"
  13. Dragon Ball episode 103, "Tambourine Attacks!"
  14. Dragon Ball Z episode 51, "Vegeta Has a Ball"
  15. Dragon Ball episode 126, "Eternal Dragon Resurrected"
  16. Dragon Ball Z episode 105, "Mighty Blast of Rage"
  17. Dragon Ball Z episode 141, "The Reunion"
  18. Dragon Ball Z episode 22, "The Darkest Day"
  19. Dragon Ball Z episode 146, "Our Hero Awakes"
  20. Dragon Ball Z episode 150, "Up to Piccolo"
  21. Dragon Ball Z episode 167, "The Doomsday Broadcast"
  22. Dragon Ball Z episode 77, "The Fusion"
  23. Dragon Ball Z episode 75, "Password is Porunga"
  24. http://www.kanzentai.com/trans-daiz04.php?m=02&id=race#link%7C "Namekian Organization"

External links

Nameks CargoCymbalDendeDrumFuture PiccoloGuruKamiKatasKing PiccoloLord SlugMooriNailNameless NamekianPianoPiccoloPorungaTambourineTsunoUnnamed Namekian warrior
Related articles Battle on Planet NamekBlack Star Dragon BallsBlack Star ShenronDragon ClanDragon BallsHealer-type NamekiansHypothetical Fusion of Goku and DendeKami's LookoutLord Piccolo (James Marsters)Mutated NameksNamekian Dragon BallsNew NamekPlanet NamekPrilinShadow DragonsShenronSuper NameksWarrior-type Namekian