The Dragon Ball franchise has seen its protagonists take on a variety of increasingly powerful forms in their myriad of battles. Heroes like Goku, Vegeta and their progeny all have access to the various Super Saiyan transformations, which bequeaths them incredible strength, different hair colors and other fantastic abilities. The popularity of these forms has caused fans to conjure up their own potential transformations for the Saiyans, with some more ridiculous and esoteric than others. One of these forms is that of the Spectral Super Saiyan, which trades off physical might for pure energy.
Spectral Super Saiyan
This mysterious form was introduced in the fan work Dragon Ball Advanced. This series is created by Jamie Salmon, an aspiring author and huge Dragon Ball fan who created it as a text-based sequel to canon manga/anime Dragon Ball Super. Much as Z, GT and Super did, Advanced gives the Z Fighters several new forms. The form of the Spectral Saiyan is perhaps the series’ strangest. For one, it can only be achieved after a Saiyan has read from the legendary Saiyan’s Grimoire. Absorbing the knowledge contained within the grimoire, the Saiyan’s pineal gland becomes the focus of their magical energy. It also gives the user a teal hair coloring and aura.
The form is first seen in the “Dabura and Psidevilman Saga.” It is achieved by none other than Bardock, who faces an opponent named Dial. Bardock transforms into a Super Saiyan after activating his Grimoire transformation, becoming the lime aura and magical powered Spectral Super Saiyan. Bardock senses that the strange form is mostly based around ki and magic, which is proven when his opponent’s physical strength is actually much greater. To turn the tide, he is able to draw upon his now vast amounts of ki energy, eventually leveling up all the way to Spectral Saiyan 3 and unleashing an immense barrage of fully charged energy attacks. This more ki-based nature is also made potentially worse by the time limit placed upon relying on the form’s energy, which is exacerbated upon continually using energy attacks.
As mentioned, the form is so far purely within the realm of a fan-made series and has no actual representation in any other media. There are not even any illustrations in this fan-made series! Despite this apocryphal status, there is some basis for the transformation within actual Dragon Ball lore.
For one, there’s the legend of Yamoshi, the original Super Saiyan. The flashbacks that show his transformation into the form have him surrounded by energy and incredibly spectral in appearance. This bears a thematic resemblance to the Spectral Super Saiyan form of Dragon Ball Advanced than the looks of the other Super Saiyan forms. The ancient and arcane knowledge contained within the Saiyan’s Grimoire, which is necessary to ever transform into a Spectral Super Saiyan, likely draws upon the knowledge and experience of previous Super Saiyans, including Yamoshi himself.
There are also the Saiyans which the Z Fighters were sent into the past to face in the Dragon Ball Z anime. These warriors had a strange aura about them, and to this day are the only undefeated villains in the series. They are seemingly impervious to many of the Z Fighters’ ki attacks, easily defeating them in no time flat. Though their purple aura doesn’t quite match the Spectral Saiyans’ color scheme, they do otherwise showcase some similarities. Again, their existence in the past could make their power be drawn upon through the Saiyan’s Grimoire. Thus, while the energy-based Spectral Saiyan form is purely non-canon at the moment, there’s certainly an avenue to see it show up in a potential new official series.