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Dragon Ball Z: Masters of Battle
Masters of Battle
Developer(s) Studio 41
Publisher(s) Atari
Distributor(s) Atari
Designer(s) Studio 41
Series Masters of Battle series
Genre(s) Versus fighting
Mode(s) Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Rating(s) ESERB: T


Platform(s) Xbox
Media DVD
Input Xbox Controller
Video games Listing - Category

Dragon Ball Z: Masters of Battle (ボールZドラゴン:戦いのマスターズ) is a fighting game developed by Studio 41 and released in the U.S. and Japan. It was the first DBZ game to feature a behind-the-back perspective. It was released for the Xbox exclusively, to begin "a brand new era in DBZ". A sequel, Dragon Ball Z: Masters of Battle 2, was announced to be released the next year.


MoB1 1

Goku kicking 13

Masters of Battle featured a different gameplay then most DBZ games at the time (Budokai 3 had only just been released). Battles take place in a full 3D plane, with a behind-the-back perspective, similar to the Budokai Tenkaichi series. However, the controls in the game are mapped to something more akin to a 3rd Person Shooter. Punch/Kick is mapped to the Right Trigger, with the basic Ki blast mapped to the Left Trigger. The character's three Super Attacks and their Finishing Attack are mapped to the face buttons. Movement is mapped to the left joystick. The camera rotates somewhat similarly to the Tenkaichi series, but players can control their characters aim via a semi-transparent target reticule, controlled by the right joystick. Clicking and holding the right joystick charges Ki. These moves can be strung together to create powerful combos. The game also makes use of Pursuit Attacks, which are slightly different from many DBZ games. If a player lands 6 consecutive hits on their opponent, they are able to start a Pursuit attack. They knock their opponent away, then teleport. The player choose where around their opponent will they teleport, in a slowmo sequence. Once appearing in that location, the player must press a button to initiate a Super Kick or a Super Punch, which continues the Pursuit. Pursuits can be continued twice before it ends with the attacked being knocked to the ground.

Game Modes[]

Dragon Zones[]

MoB1 2

Goku fighting Vegeta w/Scouter in the Saiyan Saga Zone.

The game's story mode is called Dragon Zones. Players can select from Earth or Namek Zones at the start. Winning battles in either Zone unlocks more battles. Each Zone features all the battles fought in that area. Beating all of the battles on the Earth Zone on Invincible Difficulty unlocks the New Planet Plant Zone, where players can unlock Super Saiyan 4 Goku and Baby Vegeta. Beating the Namek Zone on Invincible unlocks the Fake Planet Vegeta and Underworld Zones, where Janemba and Broly can be unlocked.


MoB1 3

Teen Gohan fighting Majin Buu.

The "main" mode of Masters of Battle, in this mode players can select two or more fighters and duke it out in a arena of their choice. The game does not allow you to choose a transformation in the character selection menu (this feature was added in the sequel), characters CAN transform to any of their available transformations at the beginning of battle. Each character has a max of 4 transformations, and pressing a direction on the D-Pad lets them transform (Up is Transform 1, Right is Transform 2, Left is Transform 3, and Down is Transform 4). However, transforming does take a small bit of Ki.

There are also several other modes in the Sparring Mode. They are:

  • Team Battle- Up to 6 characters can fight on teams, while battling either another fighter or team.
  • Raging Battle- Up to 5 characters can fight all at once, not on teams.
  • Team Raging Battle- Up to 6 characters can fight at once, on teams.
  • Fusion Battle- Only Fusion characters can be used.
  • Handicap battle- Each character is deprived of 1 Super Attack or their Finishing Attack.

World Tournament[]

Aside from Dragon Zones and the Z Kiosk, The World Tournament is the only place were you can unlock new techniques for your characters. Players choose their fighter and the computer selects 11 more, and the player can fight in a Tenkaichi Budokai. There are several variations:

  • Tenkaichi Budokai- The basic World Tournament, only Human and Saiyan characters can compete.
  • Cell Games- A basic world tournament, but at the Cell Games, hosted by Cell (who is always one of the fighters, though were he is and who he fights is chosen randomly). All characters are allowed to play.
  • Galactic Tournament- A basic tournament, but in spaaaaacccceee! Only Saiyan and non-human characters can compete.
  • Yamcha Games- A world tournament on ANY chosen map, were you can unlock new costumes. All characters can be used, though only by the player (the other opponents are all human).
  • Fusion Tournament- A world tournament on ANY chosen map, though only Fusion characters can be used.


MoB1 4

Majuub fighting Vegeta w/Scouter

The player chooses a player character, and battles through 12 battles, each with a random opponent and on a random map. Transformations can be selected form the Get-Go in this mode, though only during the Loading sequence. However, if a player transforms, they are stuck in that state for the rest of the session. The final opponent is always Omega Shenron.

Z Kiosk[]

A new feature not featured in any other DBZ game series, the Z Kiosk is the palce were you can buy new costumes, maps, and characters, using Zeni (which is earned by winning a world tournament, or successfuly winning a battle.). Players can also buy taped fights FROM the anime, though only five can be bought. Each is incredibly expensive.

  • Goku vs Vegeta- 12000 Zeni
  • SSJ Goku vs Frieza- 13000 Zeni
  • SSJ2 Gohan vs Perfect Cell- 14000 Zeni
  • Goku vs Majin Vegeta- 15000 Zeni
  • SSJ3 Goku vs Kid Buu- 16000 Zeni.

Item Edit[]

Each character in the game can be customized via a 7-slot item palette. Players can choose up to 7 items and give them to a fighter. There are 3 types of items, Specials which include items such as Super Attack UP or Ki UP, Transformations which include items such as Ki Charge UP and Super Saiyan UP, and Support, which includes Items like Health UP and Defense UP.

Playable Characters[]

  • Kid Goku (Base, Great Ape)
  • Goku (Base, Super Saiyan)
  • Goku (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan 3)
  • Kid Gohan (Base, Unlock Potential)
  • Teen Gohan (Base, SSJ, Super Saiyan 2)
  • Vegeta (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Vegeta, Super Saiyan 2)
  • Vegeta w/ Scouter (Base, Great Ape)
  • Gohan (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2)
  • Ultimate Gohan
  • Goten (Base, Super Saiyan)
  • Kid Trunks (Base, Super Saiyan)
  • Gotenks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3)
  • Piccolo (Base, Fuse with Kami)
  • Krillin (Base, Unlock Potential)
  • Tien
  • Chiatzou
  • Yajirobe
  • Future Trunks w/Sword (Base, Super Saiyan)
  • Future Trunks w/Armor (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Trunks)
  • Vegito (Base, Super Vegito)
  • Super Gogeta (Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 4)
  • Hercule
  • Videl
  • Raditz
  • Saibaman
  • Nappa
  • Dodoria
  • Zarbon (Base, Post-Transformation)
  • Recoome
  • Burter*
  • Jeice
  • Captain Ginyu
  • Frieza (1st Form, 2nd Form, 3rd Form, 4th Form, Full Power)
  • Mecha Frieza
  • Android 16
  • Android 17
  • Android 18
  • Android 19
  • Dr. Gero
  • Cell (Imperfect, Semi-Perfect, Perfect, Super Perfect)
  • Cell Jr.
  • Dabura
  • Majin Buu
  • Evil Buu
  • Super Buu (Base, Gotenks Absorbed, Gohan Absorbed)
  • Kid Buu
  • Bardock
  • Cooler (Base, Post-Transformation)
  • Meta-Cooler
  • Broly (Base, Super Saiyan, Legendary Super Saiyan)
  • Bojack (Base, Post-Transformation)
  • Super Janemba
  • Super 17
  • Baby Vegeta (Base, Super Baby 2)
  • Master Roshi
  • Future Gohan (Base, Super Saiyan)
  • Lord Slug
  • Tapion
  • Pikkon
  • Omega Shenron
  • Appule
  • King Piccolo
  • Kibito Kai


  • Super Saiyan 4 Goku
  • Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta
  • Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta (Japanese version only)
  • Super Saiyan 3 Broly (Japanese version only)
  • Super Saiyan 3 Gohan (Japanese version only)
  • Super Saiyan Bardock
  • Unnamed Human (Japanese version only)
  • Unnamed Saiyan (Japanese version only)
  • Unnamed Female (Japenese version only)


  • Plains
  • Break Wasteland
  • Ruined Earth
  • Planet Namek
  • Planet Namek (Dragon summoned)
  • Dying Namek
  • Plains (night)
  • Forest
  • World Tournament
  • World Tournament (Night)
  • Cell Games Arena
  • Cell Games Arena (Destroyed)
  • Cell Games Arena (Night)
  • Cave


Masters of Battle recieved mixed to positive reviews. IGN gave it a 8.9 and said "While not perfect, Masters of Battle should satisfy DBZ fans down to the minute details". Gamespot gave it a 9.0 and claimed "The battle system is refreshing, there's a wide variety of maps, and face it, it's just plain fun". However, Joystiq gave it a low score and claimed that "the shooter-based mechanics make it lose it's focus as a fighter sometimes".