After destroying Frieza on Namek, Goku returns to a peaceful life on Earth. When informed his brother has been killed by a Saiyan, Cooler is hell bent on killing Goku, and making him pay for his brother's disgrace. Goku has to find the power within him to defeat a warrior even more powerful than the horrible Frieza.
- The film begins with a flashback to when Frieza destroyed Planet Vegeta. Frieza's brother, Cooler and his ship pick up a Saiyan space pod on the radar while onlooking the destruction. Cooler lets the ship go, accounting that it is Frieza's responsibility. Twenty-five years later, Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan and defeats Frieza on Planet Namek. Thinking that his brother has disgraced the family, Cooler and his Armoured Squadron set a course for Earth with the intention of killing Goku in order to reclaim his family's honor.
While Goku, Krillin, Oolong and Gohan are out on a camping trip, they are ambushed by Cooler's forces. Cooler critically wounds Goku with an energy blast which was intended to kill Gohan.
Krillin and Oolong set up a cave shelter for Goku to recover from his wound, while Gohan flies off with his dragon friend Icarus to obtain Senzu Beans from Korin. As they are about to make their way back to the cave, they are ambushed by Cooler's Armoured Squadron. Just as Gohan is about to be killed by Doore, Piccolo saves him, killing Doore and Neiz in the process. Piccolo then fights Salza, gaining the upper hand until he is critically hit by Cooler's Death Beam. Although all but one of the Senzu Beans is destroyed by Salza, Gohan manages to get the last one to his father. Now fully healed, Goku emerges from the cave and prepared to fight Cooler.
Cooler blasts Piccolo's unconscious body with an energy attack unexpectedly as Goku watches in horror. An enraged Goku blasts Salza away from the battle and charges Cooler. Proving to be a worthy opponent, Cooler transforms into his final form, then proceeds to pummel Goku effortlessly. Goku begins to think back on his friends and family, and how they will ultimately all be killed if he fails to defeat Cooler. Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan, who now completely outmatches even that of Cooler's final form. Now desperate, Cooler summons a massive ball of energy, the Supernova attack and launches it at Goku with the hope of destroying him along with the entire Earth. After a brief moment of struggle, Goku manages to send the energy attack back with a Kamehameha. Cooler is launched into space and towards the sun, seemingly disintegrated by the star and his own attack.
As Goku is recovering from his battle shortly after, Salza reappears and prepares to kill him, along with Krillin, Gohan, Oolong and Icarus. However, before he can attack, Salza is killed by Piccolo, who then disappears to recover alone.