Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the most anticipated fighting games of 2018, and much of this hype for fans is due to the inclusion of a brand new character designed by Akira Toriyama, the mysterious Android 21.
Not much was known about Android 21 before the game released, but now that we at Comicbook have gotten it in our hands, we know everything about the new Android and her contributions to not only the story in Dragon Ball FighterZ, but what she adds to the overall canon of the franchise as well.
Luckily her inclusion here not only clears up some of the history behind the Androids, but fans learn a little more about Dr. Gero.
Android 21's creator is, unfortunately, left as a mystery. Across Dragon Ball FighterZ story mode, which is broken up into three arcs with the final arc focused on Android 21, the characters slowly figure out her true origins. Unfortunately, whether or not she was created by Dr. Gero like the other androids is left up in the air.
She doesn't know who her creator is either, stating that she was created instead by a group of scientists sometime after Cell was made. Though she has no memory of her actual creator, she does mention one scientist who she respected back when she was a human, but others had a bad impression of him.
Unfortunately, the other characters never quite get close enough to figure out who created her specifically, so that will remain one mystery unsolved.
Luckily while her creator may be a mystery, the type of Android she is is completely fleshed out. Since she was created after Cell, her body is made up of the same kind of technology. Though her actual body composition is not the same as Cell, she is comprised of the cells of several powerful warriors.
Though this does not mean she has the abilities and strengths of Goku and company. She makes up for this, however, with the ability to steal the moves and powers of those she attacks. This factors into her moveset in the game, as well, as one of her special moves allows her to steal up one move from the opponent (and one move from each of the fighters on the opposing team).
This ability to steal powers also comes with a major price, as it gives her an insatiable hunger that she has trouble dealing with.
The first gameplay reveal for Android 21 presented an entirely different looking character than fans were first introduced to. Because of her looking similar to Majin Buu, fans had dubbed her "Majin" Android 21. But why does she look this way? This was also explained in Dragon Ball FighterZ's story mode.
Because she was made by a group of unnamed scientists (which led to a loss of memory in some parts), these scientists slipped in all sorts of cells into her body. A good deal of these are Majin Buu's cells.
The reason she looks like this in fights, along with her overwhelming desire to transform her foes into sweet treats and eat them (which is reflected in her level 3 super move also) is because of this beastly presence slowly taking shape in her body thanks to these Buu cells.
Being created after Cell, as well as having been formed by cells of strong warriors and Majin Buu, means that Android 21 is incredibly strong compared to the rest of the Dragon Ball cast.
If you've seen teases of the Dragon Ball FighterZ story mode, you might have noticed how there is an army of Goku clones. These clones provide her with a planet's worth of powerful warriors to ingest, so by the time Goku and company fight her at the end of the story she is all too powerful for Goku take on alone.
Across the three arcs of the story, Goku must team up with other fighters in order to defeat her. Thanks to a leftover invention of Dr. Gero's, there's a machine sending out waves to make them all weaker (which balances the fighters to make Tien fighting Beerus seem feasible) and this makes 21 even stronger in comparison. Goku must team with his friends, foes, and all new friends in order to actually make a scratch on her.
Dragon Ball FighterZ, unlike other games in the Dragon Ball franchise, has an original story rather than recreating famous arcs from the series. Taking place in-between the Universe 6 arc and the Universal Survival arc (right after Gohan came back to full power, but before officially fighting the other universes), this story is technically non-canon unfortunately given its three distinct arcs with three different endings.
But in FighterZ, she serves as the main villain of the story. After using the Namekian Dragon Balls to revive Cell, Freeza, Nappa, and the Ginyu Force, she activates one of Dr. Gero's inventions to weaken all of these powerful warriors in order to make them easier pickings to feed on.
Her Majin cells have driven her to the point of needing to devour even more powerful warriors, so reviving all of these past foes along with creating an army of Goku clones was the only way to quench her desires.
But even after setting all of these evil plans in place, Android 21 appears to be a good person at heart. How is this possible? She actually has two personalities, one is the standard 21 and the other is her beastly Majin form.
The story of FighterZ begins with her help too. Not only does her evil side resurrect fallen enemies and use Dr. Gero's inventions (which 21 has no memory of), her good side actually uses one of these inventions to activate a "Soul Link."
This "Soul Link" allows Goku to fight with the help of the player themselves. Depicted as a human soul entering the body of warriors, this "Soul Link" system is the only way the fighters are allowed to gain any strength. Otherwise Dr. Gero's wave emitter depletes their power completely.
When the soul enters Android 21, it's revealed that she has a huge dark presence within her. After this, the two split into an Evil and Good Android 21. Because of this, the Good Android 21 eventually helps Goku and company to fight her evil counterpart.
Given her mysterious origin by committee and body full of Majin cells, you might be wondering how she relates to Android 16. Trailers for the story teased Android 16's major role, and that's because her good side created a new Android 16 and implanted him with all of the memories of the one who died in the Cell saga.
He decides to help 21 despite her initial villainous impression on the others because he wants to help her to suppress her evil hunger. But why did she create Android 16 instead of one of the others?
It's actually revealed, during a Soul Link event with her, that back when she was a human she had a son that was eventually used as the model for Android 16. Because of this memory, she feels a strong bond with 16 and that's why he's one of the few that can get through to her.
You also might be wondering why Android 21 is wearing a wedding ring, and why she remembers Dr. Gero as a brilliant scientist rather than the villain others saw him as. Made clearer by the fact that Android 16 looks like her son, but never quite stating it outright, there is a strong hint at Android 21 being Dr. Gero's wife before she was turned into an Android.
For those who don't know, Dr. Gero created Android 16 based off of his fallen son. His son was a high-raking soldier in the Red Ribbon army, but was killed by an enemy. Grief stricken, Gero created 16 and later 19 based off of things special to him.
Seeing Android 21 struggle as she does, but still have the kind of brilliance you would expect from a scientist makes her a tragic character within the Dragon Ball franchise. The effects of her presence here will be felt by fans for quite some time.