Dr. Gero’s Androids have one thing his grandsons don’t — Infinite Energy reactors. But what could have kept Dr. Hedo from using them?
Dragon Ball has always been about escalation, especially in matters concerning power. Nearly every time a new enemy appears, one can expect them to be stronger than everyone who came before them. A similar line of thinking can be applied to science. New inventions and innovations often build off of what came before. The more a scientist understands the universe, the more it helps to create new things. With those concepts in mind, it would make sense for new inventions in the Dragon Ball universe, like the Androids, to become continually more powerful and efficient.
Dr. Hedo’s Androids, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2, are supposedly superior to anything Dr. Gero ever created. Sure enough, they outclass even Perfect Cell in all the traditional terms like power, speed, and durability. However, Dr. Hedo seemingly left one thing out of his Androids that Dr. Gero could incorporate into his — an Infinite Energy reactor. The Gammas can function at peak performance for extended periods, but their energy reserves will ultimately be depleted. Dr. Hedo is supposedly smarter than his grandfather, which makes it a wonder why he wouldn’t use one of the old man’s best inventions in two of his most prized creations.
Could Dr. Hedo Have Found a Flaw In the Infinite Energy Androids?
One possibility is that the Infinite Energy Models were too advanced even for Dr. Hedo. This particular aspect of Dr. Gero’s Androids could have been a stroke of brilliance that only he ever came across and hasn’t been recreated since. Even those at the Capsule Corporation who saw these Androids’ blueprints haven’t attempted to replicate this energy source, which could mean it’s beyond their comprehension. If Infinite Energy is this hard to figure out, it likely won’t be seen again in the foreseeable future, save for Androids 17 and 18.
However, this is the least likely of the possibilities. If the technology was created and the method for recreating it was recorded, then intelligent people like the Brief family or Dr. Hedo should be able to reproduce it. If so, there has to be another reason to avoid using Infinite Energy.
The models could have an inherent flaw in their design. Something about these models could make them liable to break down or worse if they’re not built well. Dr. Gero could have avoided this in his Androids because he had years to work on them and refine their systems. As for Dr. Hedo, the Red Ribbon Army gave him a limited amount of time to craft his Androids; he may have gone with a less efficient but more reliable power source.
The Infinite Energy models are also infamous for their tendency to go rogue. Android 18 surmised this was why Dr. Gero switched to the Energy Absorption Models despite their inferior power; Dr. Gero never confirmed this, but his dodging the question suggests that 18 was correct. Dr. Gero also mentioned that he disabled the Infinite Energy Models’ behavioral inhibitors so their reactors could function. If Dr. Hedo recognized the threat of the Infinite Energy Models, he, too, would have opted for safety over efficiency.
Did Dr. Gero’s Androids Ever Truly Have Infinite Energy?
Of course, there’s also the chance that Dr. Hedo is using an Infinite Energy reactor, but the meaning has been retconned. Gamma 1 explained that he can fight at peak performance as long as his power source isn’t depleted; it’s like how a car can move at top speed whether the tank is full or close to empty. This would significantly change how the Infinite Energy Models work, but it could make sense.
Giving Androids like 17 and 18 limited energy supplies like the Gammas fits with the advantage they’ve always had. Neither their output nor performance ever deteriorated, no matter how much energy they used. This held for them in battles against the likes of Piccolo and Vegeta. However close they might have gotten to draining their power sources can never be known because they were never pushed hard enough to find out.
The Infinite Energy reactors being limited would also explain Perfect Cell’s fight with Goku. He was exhausted to the point of heavy breathing despite having both 17 and 18’s reactors incorporated into himself at the time; this should never have happened if he was getting the most out of the reactors in the way fans assumed they worked. Either Cell wasn’t using his wholly absorbed prey to its fullest potential, or the reactors aren’t as infinite as suggested.
The only thing the Androids being finite might not explain would be how they rampaged for 20 years on Future Trunks’ timeline. They could have stopped to recharge by sleeping or eating offscreen, but there are no guarantees of that. The only other way they could go on for as long as they did would be if their energy lasted forever.
In any case, if Dr. Hedo did use this form of “perpetual energy,” it would ensure his Androids were the superior models. They’d prove this by running on the same kind of energy and still performing better than their predecessors. It would also fit the trend of Dragon Ball antagonists growing continually stronger.
Should the Gammas Have Infinite Energy?
Whatever is powering the Gammas, the lingering thought of giving them Infinite Energy reactors will always be there. No official reason has been provided for them not to have one. For all anyone knows, it could have been used for them, and it would have made them significantly more efficient than they are now.
Of course, it’s important to remember the purpose of the Gammas versus the Infinite Energy Androids. 17 and 18 were improvised as endgame villains for the story, so it made sense to try and make them as strong as possible. To this end, they were given an unlimited supply of energy that the Z-Fighters would need to grow strong enough to work around.
The Gammas serve a slightly different purpose for the arc in which they were introduced. From the start, they were meant to be antagonists who would eventually side with the present Z-Fighters to defeat Cell Max, an enemy more powerful than all of them; they needed to be tough enough to give the Z-Fighters a hard time but not to make Cell Max an easy win. Thus, the lack of an Infinite Energy reactor is a good handicap.
The absence of the reactor could also provide an excuse for a future power-up. If the Gammas return in a future arc and want to help fight a new enemy but don’t have the power, Dr. Hedo could offer to install the reactor. This could also be where he explains why he didn’t install it in the first place.