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That's the problem with the human race. No respect... for the superior species.
~ King Piccolo

Demon King Piccolo is the main antagonist of the original Dragon Ball anime and manga series (although he is not the final enemy, as his son Piccolo Jr. was fought after him). He is the unseen overarching antagonist of the Tenshinhan Saga, the titular main antagonist of the King Piccolo Saga and the posthumous overarching antagonist of the Piccolo Jr. Saga. He was also Goku's first archenemy.


Young King Piccolo

When King Piccolo first appears, he is designed to appear as a strange-looking divine creature, like a goblin. Kami, King Piccolo's good counterpart, shares an almost identical resemblance, and later in Dragon Ball Z, it is revealed that this is the normal Namekians' typical appearance. King Piccolo is one of the tallest and largest of the villains in the original Dragon Ball series, towering over all his opponents. When he first appears in person, he is very aged, and wears a black robe outfit with his own kanji symbol in the center, a red cape, and with brown footwear. His main outfit, without the robe and cape, is a dark blue martial arts uniform, with a light purple belt. Later when he removes the robe for better performance, he was shown able to demonstrate more skills, which might imply that, like his son's cape, his robe is weighted.


King Piccolo about to spit out one last egg.

Being the concentrated evil that use to live within Kami before the separation, Piccolo Daimao is a very cold, ruthless, manipulative, oppressive and power-hungry tyrant. Whenever he is inflicting pain on an opponent, or watching one of his subordinates attack someone else, he always smiles and/or laughs. Because of how he revels in other's suffering and his desire to spread chaos as much as possible, he shows that he has complete agency over his actions despite being born evil.

He was born when Kami separated himself from his evil side in order to become God of Earth. King Piccolo is notable to be the most evil and threatening villain at this point in the series, whose story arc toned down its comedic aspect, and the first villain responsible for the death of many major protagonists. It was because of him that Kami created the Dragon Balls for Earth and is the arch-nemesis of Goku, alongside Frieza and Dr. Gero.

Despite being evil and cruel, he seems to care about his children. Showing vengeance against Goku about Tambourine and Cymbal's deaths, and saving Drum after Tien accidentally seals him while using the Evil Containment Wave though he might merely see them as his extension rather than having any actual care for them. King Piccolo was also a careful planner. Despite thinking that Goku wasn't that much of a threat to him, he checked his pulse to make sure he was dead. His only mistake was not ensuring that Goku was actually dead.



Young King Piccolo in one of Master Roshi's flashback.

Kami and Piccolo Daimaouh were once the same being, the Nameless Namek, but when he wanted to become Guardian of Earth, he had too much evil in his heart, so he expelled that evil, dividing him into two, the good half, Kami, and the bad half, Piccolo Daimao.

With Kami taking his place as Guardian of Earth, Piccolo sets loose and spreads chaos around the world, starting his reign of terror. With no one capable of matching his powers, humanity was left helpless against the demon lord, until one day, Master Mutaito, Roshi and Tsurusen'in's master, decided to challenge Piccolo. Unable to fight against him, Mutaito uses the forbidden technique called "Mafuba", which seals Piccolo inside of a rice cooker, at the cost of Mutaito's own life. The cooker is thrown away to the depths of the sea, never to be seen again. After seeing Mutaito's sacrifice, Kami creates the Dragon Balls to give hope to mankind.

The backstory of Dragon Ball GT states that, as the Nameless Namekian, Kami/Piccolo created the very first set of Dragon Balls, whose powers were vast, wild and unstable, and which vanished when the two separated, only to reappear when Piccolo Junior re-merged with Kami. However, besides the questioned canonicity of DB-GT itself, several problems and contradictions are built into the ideas stated about these 'Black Star Dragon Balls'. One of these is King Piccolo's apparent surprise at the existence of Dragon Balls when Pilaf speaks of them. The narrative of this article keeps to the idea that the separated Kami created the very first set of Dragon Balls on Earth.

Dragon Ball

Centuries later, the cooker is found and opened by Pilaf, who releases Piccolo Daimao, expecting to gain his own kingdom after Piccolo conquers the world. Piccolo (fearful of the forbidden Mafuba wave) sends his spawn Tambourine to search and kill all martial arts masters in the world, so that no one could ever imprison him again.

Piccolo Daimao using his telepathy.

When introduced, he is very aged, which affects his powers. Because of this, he is searching for the Dragon Balls to get the dragon to grant him youth. However, the fact that Son Goku is collecting the Dragon Balls gets in his way. After Yajirobe kills Piccolo's latest creation Cymbal, the Namekian orders Tambourine to fight him. But as Tambourine is also killed, Piccolo decides to fight Goku personally, easily defeating him despite his old state and leaving him apparently dead, though Goku survives and is saved by Yajirobe. Piccolo then takes Goku's Dragon Ball and goes after the remaining ones, being confronted by Muten Roshi, who gathered the remaining Dragon Balls to lure him. Roshi attempts to use the Mafuba wave but fails, dying shortly after. As Piccolo summons Shenlong, Chaozu attempts to make a wish to stop Piccolo, but Piccolo quickly blasts and kills him before he can complete his wish. Piccolo finally makes his wish for eternal youth. But before Shenlong leaves, he blasts and kills the eternal dragon, preventing anybody else from making a wish on the Dragon Balls. Shortly after he dumps Pilaf away, setting off to spread chaos all over again. Tenshinhan, who watched the entire scene, decides to train to learn the Mafuba wave to stop Piccolo.

King Piccolo ready to fight Goku.

With no one left to stop him, Piccolo decides to take over the world instead of destroying everything like before. Using his newfound powers, he attacks King Koku and kills all of his guards, forcing the king of the Earth to relinquish his position to him. Koku reluctantly nominates Piccolo as the new king after the Namekian threatens to kill him and destroy the entire Central City. As the new King of Earth, Piccolo immediately orders the release of all criminals around the world and institutes a rule that all are free to commit crimes as they wish. He also proclaims that in every year on the anniversary of his crowning, he will pick a random sector of the world and personally destroy it. His first pick is West City, so he flies to the place to destroy it.

King Piccolo is ready to conquer Earth.

Once he arrives at the city, he is confronted by Tenshinhan, who has learned the Mafuba. Instead of confronting him, Piccolo spawns a new egg, giving birth to Drum, who proceeds to attack Tenshinhan. Tenshinhan is overpowered by Drum, but attempts to use the Mafuba anyway, which ultimately fails. As Drum is about to finish off Tenshinhan, Goku arrives and kills the mutated Namekian in a single blow. Piccolo then confronts Goku, but this time, the Saiyan overpowers him, having become stronger thanks to the Mystic Water. Unable to defeat Goku, Piccolo decides to take Tenshinhan as a hostage, forcing Goku to submit, despite Tenshinhan telling him not to. Piccolo then cripples Goku by injuring his knees and left arm, so he tosses Tenshinhan away and prepares to finish Goku off. But the Saiyan concentrates his power on his right hand, using a Kamehameha to propel himself and punch a hole through Piccolo's chest, mortally wounding him and avenging the deaths of Krillin, Master Roshi and Chaotzu.

The final blow to Piccolo Daimao.

Before he dies, Piccolo shoots out an egg, carrying his final spawn, Piccolo Jr. When Goku meets the guardian of Earth, Kami, he learns that Piccolo is the evil part of him that Kami had to expel in order to get the Guardian of Earth position.

Dragonball Evolution

Main article: King Piccolo (Dragonball Evolution)

Piccolo as he appears in the movie.

In the live-action movie, Piccolo Daimao, known as just Piccolo, is an evil alien who wants revenge on the Earth, and to prevent Goku and company from stopping the arrival of his faithful and powerful servant Oozaru by keeping them away from the Dragon Balls. In the movie, he kills "grandpa" Son Gohan by collapsing the building. In the end, he is defeated by Goku, but is revealed at the end of the film to survive.

Little similarities can be seen between the anime/manga and the movie. If anything, this version of Piccolo is even viler than his anime counterpart; mainly because he lacks any regard for his minions while the anime version at least cared about his children.

He is portrayed by James Marsters, who also played Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff series Angel, Brainiac in Smallville, Zamasu in the English dub of Dragon Ball Super, Faro Argyus in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Jonah in Marvel's Runaways.


King Piccolo spitting out an egg.

Piccolo creates several minions, all named after musical instruments.

Piano, Drum, Cymbal, Tambourine, and his final creation, the reincarnation of himself, Ma Junior. However, Ma Junior is much more powerful than his father, possessing all of the powers of his father and more. Piccolo starts out as evil as his father, he then becomes a hero when he becomes best friends with Son Gohan, Goku's son. Soon, Piccolo, becomes a bit of father figure to Gohan and a true hero, sacrificing himself to save Gohan.

Powers and Abilities

King Piccolo looking at Goku.

At the time he appeared, Piccolo Daimao was the most powerful villain Goku had faced, easily defeating the boy. Piccolo displays abilities common to most Dragon Ball characters, including super strength, super speed (so fast that he appears invisible to normal humans), energy blasts, and super durability (being completely unaffected by Goku's Kamehameha, which was stronger than Roshi's, who at one point destroyed the moon while using his full power). However, he also has abilities unique to his Namekian physiology, such as regeneration and the ability to stretch his arms several yards.

Piccolo's energy blasts are at least strong enough to destroy moons, as the much weaker (at the time) Muten Roshi was able to destroy Earth's moon. Piccolo can also seemingly materialize objects from thin air.

Piccolo had a power level of 260 when in his youthful state.


Shock Wave

First, King Piccolo says "Don't get cocky, kid" as his eyes glow orange. Then, he says "Off you go!" and a clear force emits from his body.

Evil Explosive Wave

King Piccolo's Explosive Wave attack.


King Piccolo fires two energy waves one after another; the first to distract the opponent and the second to actually hit them head on.


A Namekian's reproductive mechanism. This is how King Piccolo birthed Cymbal, Tambourine, Drum, and eventually Piccolo Jr..

Special Beam Cannon

King Piccolo originally developed this technique that eventually passed down to his son.



Piccolo Daimao takes this form as a result of aging and appears like this until he wishes on the Dragon Balls for eternal youth. In this form, Piccolo is weaker than his older form but still stronger than everyone on the planet (other than Popo and Kami).

Great Namek

Piccolo has the ability to grow to a giant size in order to increase his physical strength, endurance, and durability. Piccolo uses this form towards the end of his fight with Goku.

Super Namek

Piccolo and Kami's original form: The Nameless Namek was a Super Namekian. Super Nameks have much greater power than ordinary ones, with Nail stating that the Nameless Namek was at least stronger than Freeza's first form.



  • Kami (formerly)
  • Namekians (formerly)
  • Piccolo Jr. (formerly)
  • Drum
  • Piano
  • Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Pilaf Gang (formerly)


  • Goku
  • Master Roshi
  • Master Mutaito
  • Kami
  • Master Shen
  • Korin
  • Android 8
  • Red Ribbon Army
  • Ox-King
  • Yamcha
  • Tien Shinhan
  • Yajirobe
  • Launch
  • Grandpa Gohan
  • Krillin
  • Giran
  • Nam
  • King Chappa
  • Chiaotzu
  • Man Wolf
  • Fortuneteller Baba
  • Pamput
  • Bacterian
  • King Yemma
  • Saiyans


Hahahaha, fool, you don't have a single clue of who I am do you? I am the abomination that haunts your nightmares. Soon, you will call me master.
~ Piccolo Daimao to Goku.
Reports tell me that the present king is nothing more than a bleeding heart peace-lover! Ha ha ha ha! It's always the sentimental ones who are my favorite to destroy! Don't you agree?
~ Piccolo Daimao.
It feels good, doesn't it? We're no different, you and I. We both love inflicting pain. It's an intoxicating feeling, isn't it?
~ Piccolo Daimao to Goku.
There are two things that I, Demon King Piccolo hate most in this world: Peace and Justice.
~ Piccolo Daimao expressing his hatred.
Do you want the truth? That it was mere amusement. Or do you need a higher purpose, perhaps fate.
~ Piccolo Daimao to Mutaito.
His name is Cymbal. My child of darkness.
~ Piccolo Daimao talking about his latest spawn to Piano about Cymbal.
How could your feeble, inadequate brains possibly comprehend how I feel!? He was of my scales and blood! Grr! I gave him life! Watched him hatch and spit his first slime!
~ Piccolo Daimao angry over Cymbal's death.
Two of my finest warriors were destroyed as if they were mere amateurs! I don't know who is responsible for this outrage but I will personally see to their destruction for interfering with my plans!
~ Piccolo Daimao upon realizing Tambourine has died.
Aha ha ha ha! Well, despite your shortcomings, you are a defiant one. It's been a long time since I've seen that kind of spark in someone's eye. I'm fortunate. I'm stronger.
~ Piccolo Daimao before finishing off Goku.
The seven Dragon Balls are mine! At last, I will reclaim my youth and with it, all my glory of power!
~ Piccolo Daimao rising to power.
I wish to be made young again. Restore my youth and power! Return to me what time has stolen! Can you do this?
~ Piccolo Daimao making his wish.
You're nothing but an inept clown surrounded by amateurs!
~ Piccolo Daimao betraying Pilaf and his gang.
Surrender? Why should I surrender? You're the one who's losing all his men. Before you die, tell me... where's the king hiding?
~ Piccolo Daimao to a bodyguard.
In fact, you will find that I will encourage your freedom. Every freedom. Heh heh heh. By now, you all know how powerful I am. But what you may not know is what a loving king I could be. So, my first decree will go out to the ones I love the most... of course that's the criminal element. We will begin by eradicating the police. Those wicked people who would stomp on your freedom and put you in chains for merely seeking the life that you desire. Theft, violence, murder, nothing will be illegal in this grand new world. Come out from the shadows. Your new king understands your pain.
~ Piccolo Daimao's second rise to power as he makes his televised broadcast.
My first decree is to abolish the police and release all criminals! I want riots! Order is legally dead!
~ Piccolo Daimao's first decree as king.
No need to worry, however. I've taken care of all the arrangements. I know that all of you share my enthusiasm... Because it is a privilege and honor to be a part of this event. You're gonna love this. Your planet... heh... my planet... is divided into 43 sectors. Each is represented by a slip of paper which has been placed in this box. To commemorate the anniversary of my rule, I declare this day, May 13th, as Piccolo Day. As part of this annual celebration, I'll draw a slip from the box each year. And guess what, folks? There's more, heh, heh. The chosen sector will host that year's celebration, which will culminate in its destruction and I will do the honors.
~ Piccolo Daimao rising to power, the third power.
But seriously, I wish to maintain an open dialogue with my subjects. So, if, for any reason, you're displeased with my plan or any of my policies, please feel free to pay me a visit. My door is always open. Tell me what's on your tiny little minds, I'm here for you. And once you've unloaded all of your emotional baggage, I promise to remove your troubles... permanently!
~ Piccolo Daimao making another decree.
Look at you. You're crying like a baby. You'll have to learn to be tougher than that. If you were more like me, you could overcome anything, even pain.
~ Piccolo Daimao expressing his sadism.
Good luck, my son. Get revenge for my demise. Destroy all of my enemies.
~ Piccolo Daimao's last words as he spits the egg for Piccolo Jr.



  • In the manga, Piccolo Daimao is the only villain to get his wish granted by Shenlong.
  • Early in the anime, Piccolo Daimao's blood is portrayed as red. Later, when Nameks are recognized as a true race within the series and not a simple demon clan as initially suspected, their blood is portrayed as purple, even though Drum's blood was seen as purple before the Vegeta Saga, the beginning of which still portrayed their blood as red.
  • In the English dub of the anime, when questioning how Goku could withstand his power, he remarks that he had fought all over the universe and never met anyone who could match his strength. This may have been a vague way of implying that Piccolo Daimao had used the ship in which Kami had originally come to Earth to seek stronger opponents in space sometime before being sealed away. Though the original Japanese versions makes no mention of this, as the ship and Kami's origins had not been revealed during this time. Later, when the ship was finally revealed, it did not appear to have been used since it had landed on Earth with the Nameless Namekian on board.
  • In the series, Kami and Piccolo do not know they are aliens until meeting Vegeta and Nappa, since the Nameless Namekian lost his memories during childhood. Piccolo Daimao and his reincarnation, Ma Junior, (as well as Ma Junior's brothers) were believed to be of demon origins. Though, Piccolo was shown to know the language, and some of his powers and techniques are of Namekian origin, even replicating the Great Elder's throne.
  • Strangely, Piccolo Daimao is shown to know he is a Namekian in Budokai Tenkaichi 3. If the player pairs him against Lord Slug or Nail, he will say "I won't let anybody stand in my way, even if they're a Namekian!".
  • Despite not being referred to as Piccolo Daimao in the English dub, an attack increase item in Budokai 3 is called "Daimao's Power" and can only be used by Piccolo.
  • In Budokai Tenkaichi 3, in a pre-battle conversation, King Piccolo desires to merge with his son Ma Junior. However, Ma Junior is disgusted at the mere thought of such a union.
  • Despite being a Namekian, who are stated to only need water for nourishment, in anime filler, Piccolo Daimao is shown to eat food when a feast is prepared for him.
  • King Piccolo was the first Arch-Enemy of Goku before Frieza due to killing Master Roshi and Krillin, and later giving birth to his son/reincarnation, Piccolo, who became good. Goku also hated him for killing several of his others friends either indirectly or directly including Nam, and for how vile he was in general.
  • In Chapter 383 of the manga Gin Tama, Piccolo Daimao makes an appearance, where he is seen being sucked by a black hole, much in the same way as when he was sucked in by the Evil Containment Wave. Gintoki comically bought some seals and a rice cooker, saying "the previous owner had sealed evil king something --ccolo". Shimura then says "You were just missing the "Pi"!!!!! It's friggin' Evil King Piccolo!!!!!".
  • It is unknown why King Piccolo did not wish for immortality, as his ageless ability is rendered in vain since Kami is still aging and thus he would eventually die with him. Though, it is implied that King Piccolo might have planned to absorb Kami later on, or that he simply does not care.
  • It is later revealed at the beginning of the Piccolo Jr. Saga that whoever King Piccolo kills would enter a state of limbo, forever wandering on Earth rather than moving on to the afterlife. However, this somehow does not apply towards those killed by Piccolo Jr.
  • Prior to the introduction of the millennia years old Majin Buu, King Piccolo is the eldest major villain of the entire Dragon Ball franchise, having lived for a couple of centuries prior to being released from the Denshi Jar.
  • He was voiced by Christopher R. Sabat in the Funimation dub.
  • It is possible that his design is partially based on the Green Goblin and Count Orlok.
  • Despite being the main antagonist, he does not appear until the King Piccolo Saga.
  • Technically, King Piccolo succeeded in having his son avenge his death, due to Piccolo killing Raditz along with Goku later on, though this is because Goku willingly sacrifices himself. Regardless, he still lost as his son ended up reforming and befriending Goku.
  • In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, a Time Patrol NPC (a member of Frieza's native race) named Percei mentions fixing a time distortion where Piccolo Daimao absorbs Kami and becomes a Super Namek, resulting in a war between his Demon Clan and the Red Ribbon Army's Androids, a war which almost destroyed the Earth. He is also mentioned during Future Warrior's training with Piccolo, after delivering him an All-Energy Capsule S created through Item Mixture, Piccolo will state his father overestimated his powers and lost to the Mafuba, using the story as an example of how power alone is not enough and one must use everything at their disposal including Skill and Items to win, like how Mutaito used the Mafuba and denshi jar to seal King Piccolo.


           Dragon Ball transparent logo.png Villains

Pilaf Gang
Emperor Pilaf | Shu | Mai

Red Ribbon Army
Commander Red | Assistant Black | Captain Dark | Captain Yellow | Colonel Silver | Colonel Violet | Major Metallitron | General White | General Blue | Murasaki | Buyon | Hasky | Tao Pai Pai

Crane School
Master Shen | Tao Pai Pai | Tien Shinhan | Chiaotzu | Yurin

King Piccolo's Demon Clan
King Piccolo | Tambourine | Piano | Cymbal | Drum | Piccolo Jr.

Bacterian | Bandages the Mummy | Bear Thief | Fortuneteller Baba | Giran | Launch | Man-Wolf (Dragon Ball) | Monster Carrot | Octopapa | Oolong | Orin Temple Bullies | Pirate Android | Puar | Shula | Spike the Devil Man | Vodka | Yamcha | Annin

Video Game Exclusive
Towa | Mira | Demigra | Android 21 | Sealas | Mechikabura

King Piccolo | Mai | Oozaru