Today we will take a look at the Dragon Ball franchise and one of its most iconic abilities known as the Kaioken.
This post is going to be divided into 3 sections. First, will be the history of the technique. Next, I’ll be discussing its applications, and after that.
I’m going to be discussing exactly how far Goku’s ability can be taken.
Now, the Kaio Ken was created by Kaiosama was otherwise known as King Kai the northern Lord of Worlds.
Being a master martial artist, King Kai likely created this technique to amplify his own power.
However, as we know he was never able to master this ability over the thousands of years that he was in that position.
King Kai took on a student one of which was King Yemma. The Divine being who judges the dead.
However, it wasn’t until Goku arrives on his mission to defeat the Saiyans. King Kai was able to successfully pass this ability on to another fighter.
As an addition to becoming more powerful and learning to use the Spirit Bomb. Goku is able to learn and use the Kaioken technique.
After Goku is revived from the battle with is brother Radtiz. The Kaioken ability serve him well in his fight against the other Saiyans.
Allowing him to take out Napa and fight on par with the stronger Saiyan Vegeta.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to secure the victory for Goku. During the next Arc after Goku healed up from his fight against the Saiyans.
He made his way to Planet Namek. During the trip, he trained his body under intense gravity.
Which not only made it more powerful but able to use even higher degrees of the Kaio Ken with much less strain on his body.
Goku’s KaioKen in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Super
Goku then uses the Kaioken to take out the weaker members of The Ginyu Force, and then gain an advantage over Captain Ginyu.
As well as allowing him to fear significantly better against final form Frieza and his friends.
However, again the KaioKen would not allow Goku to secure the victory.
Then after Goku achieve the Super Saiyan form. The Kaioken technique was removed and forgotten and disappeared from the history of dragon ball.
That was the case until one Dragon Ball super fight. Goku once again uses this ability against the legendary assassin Hit during the tournament of Destroyers.
However, this was no ordinary Kaio Ken. Goku used the Ability on top of his Super Saiyan blue transformation.
Allowing him to far exceed his limit so that he could fight hit although the fight eventually ended in a sort of draw.
This was because Goku jumped out of the ring and eliminated himself. Now as we found out after this fight.
Goku contracted an illness known as delayed Energy Onset Disorder. Which made it difficult for him to control his ki.
This could only happen if he uses his ki recklessly. Goku could not use the KaioKen whenever he wanted to.
However, Goku would use this ability once more when the next Arc in the fight against Merged Zamasu.
Goku uses the Kaiken to temporarily knocking him down and breaking his halo. However, the most extensive use of the technique that we would see in Dragon Ball super.
Came during the final arc and more specifically in the tournament of power, as Goku used his Super Saiyan blue Kaioken against Jiren.
Goku even amping it up to 20 times but to no avail. He would also use it against Kefla but he was again outmatched.
How Goku’s KaioKen in Dragon Ball Work
After receiving multiple power-boost, he would use the move again against Jiren.
While teaming up with Vegeta. Vegeta was using his brand new Super Saiyan blue Evolution form.
However, once again the Kaio Ken fell short, as would not allow Goku to defeat the enemy.
Rather Goku would need to use the higher ability of ultra instinct to get the job done.
That this is been the history so far of the Kaioken technique in Dragon Ball Z.
The Kaioken technique has been used in movies such as Cooler’s Revenge, Lord Slug as well as another spin-off stories such as Dragon Ball Heroes.
None of these are part of the main continuity and as a result, I chose to not include them in this post.
Now they could come a time in the future where Dragon Ball pulls a crisis on infinite Earths and every storyline.
Which spin-off comes together and some massive event, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Let’s get into the Applications of the technique. The regular Kaioken multiplies the users base Power by two times.
Also Kaioken * 5 * 10 and * 20 * accordingly. Now there is some confusion over the normal Kaioken.
Goku said both KaioKen and KaioKen times when fighting and facing Vegeta. However, I think this was simply a narrative choice.
Which was made by Toriyama because he was planning to have Goku use the Kaio Ken times 3 and 4.
So he had to establish with the previous numbers that the audience knew.
However, as we saw in those instances the KaioKen has a severe drawback.
That being that it damages your body while using it. That’s why Goku didn’t simply use Kaioken times 10 to one shot Vegeta back then.
Doing it at that point no doubt would have killed Goku.
Goku’s KaioKen in Dragon Ball Super
I can just imagine him exploding while he yields it.
That would have been a pretty awkward way to end the arc. However, as Goku trained to increase his base power.
He was also able to increase the multiplier that his body can handle and additionally have a Kaioken do minimal to no damage with lower multipliers.
This is how he uses the Kaioken X 10 and x 20 against Frieza. However, it was at that point Goku achieves the Super Saiyan transformation.
Which was a 50 times multiplier, Goku’s base form was also significantly less stressful on Goku’s body.
This is likely why Goku seems to have abandoned using the KaioKen and trying to increase its multiplier.
After this point, he instead chose to focus on increasing his face power in achieving further Super Saiyan forms.
Although for the longest time the question of why didn’t Goku uses Kaioken on top of his Super Saiyan forms was questioned by fans.
As a side from his filler fight against Pikkon in the other World Tournament.
This was never something that Goku did. However, Dragon Ball super actually gave audiences an answer.
That answer is that Goku Super Saiyan was too unstable and taxing on his body to use with this technique.
It would be like throwing his life away that’s why Super Saiyan blue which focused on a calm mind and he was capable of using it with.
Aside from Goku, we never see anyone else use the Kaioken in Dragon Ball. What would happen if others did have access to this ability.
Well, that leads into the final section of this post which is, Potential Applications.
Goku’s KaioKen in Dragon Ball Applications
Now, is there a cap or limit to how high the KaioKen can multiply that user’s power.
Or perhaps is it unlimited, while I do think it’s possible that Goku could use a much higher multiplier with the technique by now.
I don’t think that it would really be beneficial for him to do so.
As once again increasing the multiplier could bring even more significant damage to his own body.
Plus the multipliers for Goku’s further forms are so great that it basically becomes an unreasonable trade-off.
With that being said, what if someone other than Goku uses this ability in the case of the other Z Fighters.
They have demonstrated through their own massive leaps and power, throughout the franchise that they certainly have enough skill to utilize the move.
So who among them would benefit the most from this. Certainly, we could say that Vegeta would do well with this move.
After all, it seems like Goku always finds a way to surpass Vegeta. The Kaio Ken had allowed Goku to keep the edge over him ever since the tournament of Destroyers.
At least until he learned Ultra Instinct, so learning this ability would keep him on par with Goku.
Another Saiyan who could benefit greatly is Gohan. As he’s demonstrated that time and time again his hidden power and massive potential that can allow him to reach great heights.
Heights even on par with or even greater than its fathers. Despite not having super Saiyan blue.
Goku’s KaioKen in Dragon Ball And Other Z Fighters
Gohan does have his ultimate state, which allows him to tap into his full power without needing a Super Saiyan transformation.
So this would seem ideal for Gohan to use and bring himself back to relevancy.
However, the fighter that I think would be the best candidate to use this move, would have to be Piccolo.
Given that Piccolo Physiology and knowledge would likely be able to withstand grade levels of the Kaioken at advantage than other comrades.
His regeneration would no doubt be able to let his body spring back and indoor higher levels that would seriously injure or kill his friends.
Unlike other Saiyan, Piccolo doesn’t have any further forms which speed and energy greatly increases.
Piccolo’s strength speed and energy output have his giant form which he used against Goku during the 24 tournaments.
But it’s more of a liability than an asset, so like Gohan, this would help him to reach a relevant level once again.
The same could be said for Majin Buu who could potentially raise the multiplier even higher than Piccolo.
Although it’s questionable if Buu would grasp the concept as easily as the others.? After all, the guy misspelled his own name on a test. However, in the case of the humans, one of these Fighters could the Kaioken to do more than power up their body.
For example, Tien Shashin uses the KaioKen to power up his Tribeam.
Instead of using it to fight hand-to-hand, he could instead use it to increase the damage of his powerful move by many times.
Considering that he would be focusing it entirely on his attack rather than his own body.
He could potentially increase the multiplier far beyond 20 or 50 times. If he could have done this against Cell.
Goku’s KaioKen in Dragon Ball Examples
I’m not so sure that Cell would have come out of that crater at all.
He might have just been splattered like a bug on the windshield.
Now, just imagine if Piccolo uses this move to amplify his special beam cannon.
Imagine if it 10 times or hundreds of times its normal levels he might even be able to drill through Jiren.
Or the new Broly, it’s possible that he could even increase the rate by which he gathers ki into his fingers.
Letting him create a rapid-fire version of the move. Just imagine if Krillin uses it to power up his Destructo disk, That would be something to see.