A recent Dragon Ball FighterZ event saw one competitor summon Shenron, the manga and anime series’ wish-granting dragon deity, during a tournament match.
Despite being right there in the game’s name, the Dragon Ball orbs aren’t a common sight in competition. The mechanic required to activate them is complicated—Dragon Ball FighterZ players can acquire these mystic items during matches by executing combos with specific amounts of hits. A combo with 10-19 hits, for instance, adds the one-star Dragon Ball to the shared meter at the bottom of the screen, anything landing in the 20-29 range appends the two-star Dragon Ball, and so on. They can also be earned by landing auto-combos (easy-to-use, one-button attack strings).
Once all seven Dragon Balls have been collected, the next player to pull off an auto-combo with a full super meter will summon Shenron. The dragon grants one of four wishes: a full heal for the active character, reviving a dead character, gradual health recovery for the whole team, or an extra Sparking Blast (a special attack that puts characters into a super-powered state for a few seconds). Due to these convoluted steps, high-level competitors mainly focus on beating the snot out of their opponent instead of limiting their combos and reserving large amounts of super meter. But not Chris “Hellpockets” Fields.
Hellpockets, a prominent competitor and commentator, apparently realized how many prerequisites had been met as he neared the end of an early-round Dragon Ball FighterZ match at a tournament in San Francisco last night. Instead of using super moves, he saved his meter, and also began fishing for auto-combos. Eventually, Shenron filled the screen, asking Hellpockets what he desired. He picked gradual life recovery despite his team’s health being practically full—a move Hellpockets himself admits was probably the “wackest” choice—but it provided a great tournament moment anyways. Hellpockets won the match by a score of 2-0 and ended his night tied for seventh place.
The arduous task of earning Dragon Balls is just another way in which Dragon Ball FighterZ pays homage to its source material. It’s a long road getting an enormous green dragon to appear; just make sure you pick a useful wish when you get it.
Ian Walker loves fighting games and writing about them. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.