Between the Saiyan race, the Namekians, and other numerous characters of Dragon Ball Z, Frieza has had many victims throughout Dragon Ball’s run. Few villains in Dragon Ball are as utterly despicable as Frieza. Tao Pai Pai was the first to kill another character on-screen and Demon King Piccolo raises the stakes to near hopeless levels, but Frieza is pretty much in a league of his own— a galactic tyrant was driven by his extreme prejudices and a liking for casual, unrestrained genocide.
Frieza may not have the highest body count in all of Dragon Ball, but he certainly comes close by virtue of his backstory.
- Krillin, Piccolo, Gohan, & Goku
The fight against Frieza is primarily an endurance match. There’s not much Gohan, Krillin, Vegeta, and Piccolo can do, but they do try. Goku’s entry is a turning point, an opportunity for the battle to truly fall into the main cast’s favor. But it’s all still a game for Frieza, and the revelation that he’d been fighting at half power is enough to shake Goku’s confidence.
Goku is forced to witness firsthand what Frieza is capable of– an extremely important distinction as Goku arrives on Namek relatively late. The difference between this moment and all of Frieza’s others is that he’s pushed his would-be victim. Enraged at the prospect of losing his best friend once & for all, Goku becomes the legendary Super Saiyan Frieza had feared and makes the tyrant his victim
Even with Dende dead, Vegeta enters his final fight with Frieza as a confident Saiyan Prince. After all, Vegeta had just forced Krillin to give him a near-death power boost, a trick which up to this point had allowed Vegeta to effortlessly spring back into action. Unfortunately, this is where Vegeta’s luck ran out.
Not enough to kill Vegeta like he did Dende, Frieza chooses to torture the Prince of all Saiyans. Vegeta is given the beating of a lifetime, unable to fight back against Frieza. His power boost was ultimately for nothing and Vegeta is left crippled & sobbing by the time Goku arrives. Although Vegeta is able to pass on the fate of the Saiyans onto Goku’s shoulders, Frieza kills him then & there.
Speaking of Dende, not even he gets to make it out of the Frieza arc in one piece. A child, Dende joins the main cast early into the arc and quickly becomes an asset for Gohan & Krillin. He knows the layout of Namek, he has a personal connection with Saichoro & Nail, and his healing abilities become a plus point during the fight against Frieza.
So massive, in fact, that Frieza can’t help but notice that all the men he’s beating to near death are simply not dying. The moment Frieza transforms into his final form, he wastes no time killing Dende. A Death Beam fires from the smoke, dropping Dende dead on the spot.
Also known as Grand Elder Guru in the Funimation dub, Saichoro is the patriarch of Namek. Unlike Kami, the God of Earth, Saichoro is more involved as God of Namek– although this might have something to do with the planet’s diminishing numbers. By the time Frieza arrives on Namek, there are a little over 100 Namekians, all Saichoro’s children.
Saichoro is forced to sit by as his children are killed by Frieza’s army. The stress ultimately becomes too much for him and having met Frieza face to face ends up taking time off his life (though this doesn’t actually end up being much.) Frieza may not personally kill Saichoro with his bare hands, but his actions lead to Saichoro’s death. Keep in mind that by the time he died, Dende was the only Namekian left.
Frieza doesn’t end up killing Nail during their fight, but he is very much a victim of Frieza’s onslaught. The single strongest Namekian on the planet (and arguably the strongest heroic character on Namek at this point,) Nail was supposed to lend a hand against the Ginyu Force when he instead chooses to confront Frieza instead.
While Nail’s courage is admirable, this fight exists to put into perspective how much of a threat Frieza is. Nail’s got a respectable Battle Power of 42,000, but that’s nothing in the face of Frieza’s terrifying 530,000. Frieza ends up leaving Nail instead of killing him, but only because Nail reveals that he was simply buying time for the mortals. Nail survives just long enough for Piccolo to assimilate him into his body.
6. Most Of Namek
Namek is described as a peaceful land where the people live off water and tend to their sacred land. There is a spirituality running through Namekian culture that contrasts them from every other race in Dragon Ball. By the time Gohan, Krillin, & Bulma arrive on Namek, though, this idyllic life has been all but shattered.
Frieza’s armies have already been on Namek for some time, and they’ve gathered a fair number of Dragon Balls. Krillin and Gohan find themselves on a battlefield they simply can’t survive without the use of espionage. Frieza’s force systematically wipes out village after village, showing no distinction between the deaths of children and the elderly– even reveling in it at times.
7. Saiyan Race
Saiyans have become the face of Dragon Ball since their formal introduction in the Saiyan arc, but their history has changed since then. Initially, Raditz reveals to Goku that Planet Vegeta was destroyed by a meteor. By the end of the Saiyan arc, however, Kaio acknowledges there is a greater evil out there in the universe.
It’s revealed by Dodoria during the Namek arc that Frieza wiped out the Saiyan race personally. Believing they would eventually rise up against him and live up to the legend of the Super Saiyan, Frieza enslaves the Saiyan races and kills as many of them as he can while only saving a few Saiyans for his army. For all intents and purposes, Vegeta, Nappa, & Raditz are Frieza’s slaves.