“Strong enemies came at you real quick and you beat them up”: Dragon Ball Creator Came Up With a Brilliant Storyline While Casually Enjoying a Game

Dragon Ball Creator Came Up With a Brilliant Storyline While Casually Enjoying a Game
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Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball was the first manga in the beloved franchise. Published in 1984, it laid the foundation of Kid Goku’s journey to being the best Saiyan in the world. One of the best storylines was inspired by a NES game that was released during that same year.


The series begins with Kid Goku embarking on the mission to find the fourth Grandpa Gohan’s four-star Dragon Ball. Fans are then introduced to the Red Ribbon Army soldiers, a secret military corp that is also after the Ball. Over the course of a few pages, Goku is able to thwart multiple soldiers and even locate their hideout, the famous Muscle Tower.

Akira Toriyama
Akira Toriyama

Also Read: 10 Awful Things About Goku That May Change Dragon Ball Fans’ Mind About Their Favorite Heroic Saiyan


Akira Toriyama Revealed An Interesting Fact About The Muscle Tower Arc

Initially, Goku heavily had to rely on the assistance of others to defeat the enemies. The Muscle Tower arc was a rare occasion in which the child protagonist ventured and completed his mission of rescuing the Jungle Village Chief from General White’s captivity. He had a bit of assistance from Android 8 but the arc showed the true capabilities of Goku and what was to follow.

Kid Goku in Muscle Tower
Kid Goku in Muscle Tower

As it turns out, Kid Goku’s six-floor rescue mission in the Muscle Tower was inspired by a game called ‘Spartan X’, aka Kung-Fu Master. The side-scrolling fighting game by Nintendo led to the creation of a beautiful storyline in Dragon Ball when Akira Toriyama understood the format of a different type of tournament. As revealed during an interview:

“At that time, there was a game for the Famicom called “Spartan X”1 which I often played. Strong enemies came at you real quick and you beat them up. It was even based on a kung-fu movie. Playing that showed me the visuals for a different scheme than the tournament. That’s where Muscle Tower came from.”

Instead of using an elimination-based tournament, Toriyama created a tower that increased in difficulty as the protagonist defeated waves of enemies. The Muscle Tower not only included villains like Ninja Murasaki, Buyon, and White but also a few mazes and puzzles for Goku to solve.


In the end, Goku is shot by General White. Android 8 defeated White in a fit of rage and then checked on the bleeding Goku, who only realized that he was hungry.

Also Read: Even Super Sayian Goku is No Match For Them- 3 Dragon Ball Z Characters Who Are Unfathomably Powerful

The Inspiration Behind Tenka’ichi Budōkai According To Dragon Ball Creator Akira Toriyama

Dragon Ball Goku
Kid Goku from the anime

Tenka’ichi Budōkai, a reoccurring event in the Dragon Ball franchise that became the inspiration for many games to come, was the first proper tournament created by Akira Toriyama. It took Goku three tries to earn the honor of ‘the strongest fighter in the world’ after he won the tournament.


Toriyama introducing the martial arts tournament in the Dragon Ball universe was believed to be the turning point of the series. During the same interview, he revealed that it was a carefully thought-out decision on his part. He copied the idea from his previous manga, Dr. Slump, and after noting the fan reception to Penguin Village and Mini-Event arcs.

“Even during “Dr. Slump”, the tournament-like events such as the Penguin Village Gran Prix or the Mini-Event had been amazingly popular. So I’d simply make the story into a tournament format. From there the Tenka’ichi Budōkai was born.”

Thanks to his brilliance, Dr. Slump, which Akira Toriyama believed wouldn’t last long, continued for over five years, while Dragon Ball continues to be popular three decades after its release.


Also Read: Akira Toriyama’s Explanations for All Those Ridiculous Dragon Ball Z Transformations May Not be What Fans Had Been Hoping for

Source: Kazenshuu



Written by Spandan Chatterjee

Articles Published: 166

Spandan Chatterjee is a Freelance Anime Writer at FandomWire.

Spandan, who has been in the content industry for over two years, uses his passion for anime in his writing. He delivers the latest news, theories, and facts about various manga's including Jujutsu Kaisen, One Piece, and Bleach.

After completing his B.A. degree in English, Spandan is now pursuing a Masters degree in the same field.