Here are in details all the levels that the Saiyans can reach!
From the "simple" Super Saiyan to the Super Saiyan IV... through several intermediate steps. Of course, there are also the descriptions of the "Saiyan Basic Model" and of the Ohzaru, that is just hinted since there is a special section dedicated to it!
Coming from Planet Vegeta, the Saiyans are a warrior race having different characteristics: black hair having always the same shape and length, tail, aggressive attitude and infinite appetite. Since they are not very clever, they exploit their victims technology (as that of Tsufurus)... they are always looking for new world to conquer ( and resell). They are very strong and, when they recover after deadly wounds, their power increases... this ability is called Zenkai Power and there is a special section about it!
The Saiyans born on Earth are of course half-breed, since in them there are also their Eartling mothers' blood. But it seems that the union of these two races results in some very powerful beings, maybe even more powerful than pure Saiyans. Goten and Trunks are able to turn Super Saiyan when they are still little kids, while Gohan can even control himself when he is turned Ohzaru, although he never did any special training.
Saiyans can turn Ozharu when they look to a full moon. Their strength and energy increase 10 times, but everything depends on the tail: in fact, if this one is missed, the transformation cannot take place. Not all the Saiyans can control themselves when they turn Ohzaru... Goku, for exempla, completely loses consciousness!
An ancient legend tells that every 1000 years a special Saiyan born, having a huge power, called Super Saiyan. The first one who reaches this level is Goku, during the battle against Freeza, but then also the other Saiyans will reach it. The transformation into Super Saiyan is due to the rage that, exploding, makes the changing: the hair stands on end and become blond like the eyebrows, while the eyes turn green.
Super Saiyan Dai Ni Dankai
Literally "the great Super Saiyan of second level"... This level is characterized by an increasing of the muscles that can take advantages as long as is not reached the following level. The first who reaches this level is Vegeta in the room of Spirit and Time.
Super Saiyan Dai San Dankai
Literally "the great Super Saiyan of third level". As is written above, this level can present some troubles... in fact, the muscles have increased so much that the entire body has been deformed, causing the speed to reduce. It's Trunks who learns it to his cost, during the fight against Cell... the boy is sure to win 'till Cell makes him notice that strength is nothing without speed! Goku and Vegeta notice of the lack of this level and so neither one of them will use it. Broly (but please note that in this case we talk about a movie character!) is actually the only one who will keep moving fast using this level!
Super Saiyan Full Power
This is the utmost power level that a Super Saiyan can reach. SSJ Full Power looks just like a Super Saiyan, but he's incredibly calm and can maintain this transformation as long as he wants. Goten and Trunks have this ability since their birth.
Super Saiyan II
This level is reached for the first time by Son Gohan, during the Cell Games. Gohan, pushed by Cell, lets himself completely go and the transformation takes place. His power increases drastically as his arrogance, the hair stands on end even more and his body is surrounded by lightnings.
Super Saiyan III
Goku reaches this level in the other world and we see it for the first time during the fight against Fat Majin Buu. His hair is still blond, but this time they are very long while his eyebrows disappear. Also Gotenks, the fusion between Goten and Trunks, is able to reach this level during the training in the room of Spirit and Time.
Saikyou No Senshi
This level is reached by Gohan after he has been strengthened by the Old Kaiohshin jumped out from the Z Sword. The Americans call him "Mystic Gohan", but the translation should be "Final Warrior". This level has not any physical mutation (hair, eye...) but Saikyou No Senshi is as powerful than a Super Saiyan III.
It's preatty much like the normal Ohzaru... but his hair is golden! This level is reached for the first time by Goku during the fight against Baby-Vegeta on Planet Plant. Also for this transformation the tail is required; that's for this reason that and Baby-Vegeta and Vegeta (who do not have the tail anymore) reach this level just thanks to the device made by Bulma.
Super Saiyan IV
After he has turned Ohzaru Gold, Goku recovers his self control and his aspect returns "human": long black, hair, red hairs on his body and bloodshot eye... it's the Super Saiyan IV.
One of the details that started to provoke a great fuss in Dragon Ball was the tail of the little Son Goku. At first it seemed just only a special detail that Toriyama used to give Goku a distinctive mark, but soon we discovered that this tail concealed a secret!
When Goku and company are taken prisoner by Pilaf, our hero tells his friends that his grandpa was killed by a creature appearing during full-moon nights. Bulma and Yamcha think that's an old legend, but when Goku says that his granpa had forbidden him to look at full moon, they both start to suspect about him and... his tail.
Then Goku looks at the full moon and soon becomes unconscious and turns a giant ape, without his reason and control on himself and with an unbelievable destructive power. Goku stops to look like a giant ape and returns normal when they cut his tail off and, when he wakes up, he doesn't remember anything.
This same transformation happens another time during the final match of 20th Tenkaichi Budokai, when Muten Roshi, disguised himself as Jackie Chun, decides to destroy the Moon to avoid this situation to happen again in the future.
A few years after Gohan's birth, here is Raditz coming on Earth and they discover that the tail is a Saiya-jin distinctive mark and the source of Saiyans power. So Goku is a Saiya-jin too, just like his brother! When Goku and Raditz die, Piccolo, aware about the next arrival of other Saiyans, decides to personally train Gohan and it's revealed that also the child "suffers" from the same problem of his father: when he looks at full moon, Gohan turns a giant ape having no self-control or awareness.
Finally all the truth about this transformation is revealed when Vegeta and Nappa come on Earth and fight against Goku. Vegeta, realizing Goku's unexpected strengthening, decides to use his last resource: the transformation into Ohzaru.
But Piccolo had already destroyed the Moon to stop Gohan's fury, so also Vegeta should not be able to turn... Well, he doesn't waste any time, no matter where they've put the moon for this planet, he can make due without it... Vegeta tells Goku that the absence of the Moon will not prevent him from turning and then proceeds to explain that : "The Moonlight indeed is the reflex of ray of Sunlight (in fact we know that the Moon shines with reflected light!)... but only when Sunlight is reflexed in the Moon, the Brute (Burutsu) wave forms... And if the rays of Sunlight are reflected in the full Moon, the power of the Brute wave reaches 17 million zenos... When eyes absorb this wave it's possible to transform... Every planet has his own moons, but only if they're full moons, no matter their size, they are able to emit a Brute wave more powerful than 17 million zenos".
Then he starts creating a powerball within his hand, and more tells "... some Saiyans are able to make a little artificial moon more powerful than 17 million zenos! This is possible by mixing the oxygen existent on the planet with this powerball!" No sooner said than done, he throws the sphere of energy in his hand and, when it reaches a suitable height, he makes it to explode.
Then Vegeta looks at the artificial moon he made and his transformation begins.
And here are some important details about this transformation.
Saiya-jin children aren't yet able to have self-control (when they turn Ohzaru), so they act following their own destructive instinct and, when they return normal, don't remember anything. For this reason, they're subjected to a special training in order to control their own transformation and, in this way, they manage to have self-control and full awareness and are also able to talk. The Saiyans, by turning Ohzaru, become 10 times as powerful as before.
Long ago there was a planet called planet Plant, which was occupied by two races: the Saiyans and the Tuffles. The Tuffles were an advanced race with big cities and highly-developed technology. The Saiyans were strong savages who lived in wastelands attacking the Tuffles at times. Because of the Tuffles great technology, they were able to fight against the naturally strong Saiyans when needed.
Then one day, the Saiyans banded together and attempted to overtake the planet. The war raged on for many years without anyone clearly having the advantage. Advanced weaponry took on brute strength resulting in a stalemate; that is until a full moon appeared. If a Saiyan looks at the full moon, they transform into a giant ape-like state called Oozaru. In this form their already great power grows tenfold. Luckily for the Tuffles, this event happens only once every seven or eight years. After this transformation had occurred, the Saiyans easily crushed the Tuffles out of existence. From then on the planet was called Planet Vegeta, named after the Saiyans ruler King Vegeta.
But there was a problem. With their arch-nemeses gone, they had no one to fight but each other. Soon they met a race called the Arconians. These are people responsible for supplying the Saiyans with the technology they are so famous for using. In return for this technology the Saiyans would conquer planets for the Arconians, who worked for a being named Frieza.
Lord Frieza was known as the strongest and most powerful being in the universe. He enslaved entire races, and forced them to do his bidding or be destroyed. When Frieza found out about the Saiyans, he saw their enormous power and used them as mercenaries to take over other planets for him. All Saiyans belong to special classes, which is passed down by blood types. When a lower class Saiyan is born, they are sent away to other planets, programmed to take it over when they get strong enough. Because of the ability to transform into an Oozaru, this usually didn't take very long. Saiyans with the higher classes are kept on Planet Vegeta for more direct use.
One day, Frieza summoned Prince Vegeta who was around five years old at the time, and sent him to a dangerous planet along with the Supreme General of the Saiyan Army, Nappa. King Vegeta knew Frieza had to be stopped and revolted with several of his most loyal men. However, they were no match for Frieza and were defeated effortlessly. Around this time Frieza realizes how much stronger the Saiyans are becoming, and their great potential. Out of fear Frieza blows up the entire Planet Vegeta with a single energy blast from his finger.
Moments before Planet Vegeta explodes, a ship with a low level Saiyan baby flies by to Earth. This baby's name is Kakarot. As Frieza destroys Planet Vegeta, he gets careless and doesn't notice this ship go by. However, an even stronger being lurks in the background watching, and this being is Frieza's brother. Although he notices the ship, decides to let Frieza clean up his own mess.
When the Saiyan baby, Kakarot, lands on Earth, he is found by an old man named Gohan. Even though Kakarot is a baby, he has strength that could easily kill an ordinary human. Gohan is a master of the Martial Arts and tries to raise the Saiyan baby, soon naming him Goku. Gohan drops Goku on his head from a great height. Fortunately, Goku lives, and even better, his Saiyan programming becomes scrambled. Goku trains hard and eventually has a son, who he names Gohan after his adoptive grandfather.
When several of Goku's friends are killed by two of the surviving Saiyans, he is forced to go to a planet called Namek for help. On this planet there are items called Dragon Balls. When all seven Dragon Balls are collected together, a Dragon god will appear and grant you three wishes. Unfortunately, Frieza is after the same items and already has five of them in his possession. To make things even worse, the prince of all Saiyans named Vegeta is also after the Dragon Balls.
After many battles, much destruction, and successfully gathering the Dragon Balls, Goku finally faces Frieza. When Goku is no match for the super villain he is forced to go to his last resort, and his most powerful attack. Goku nearly destroys the entire planet but Frieza survives with few wounds. Proving he cannot be beaten, Frieza kills Goku's best friend Krillin, and fatally wounds a close friend, named Piccolo. Seeing this happen enrages Goku so much that he undergoes a transformation legend of the Saiyans; a super Saiyan. While in this new level he grows far stronger than Frieza and easily defeats him. From then on Goku was a Super Saiyan.
|The Tail - A Saiyans tail may seem useless but is one of the biggest advantages in their race. Although when a weak Saiyan's tail is grabbed hard they lose all of their strength but the tail can be trained/strengthened so grabbing the tail does nothing at all. But the good thing about the tail is when a Saiyan sees a full moon they transform into a giant ape. This form is called Oozaru and makes the Saiyan 10x stronger than before. The only way to get back to their regular form is to cut off the Saiyans tail or just let the moon set OR if you wanted to you could blow up the moon. When the Saiyan is in Oozaru state they will cause constant havoc unless trained to control themselves. If a Saiyan's tail is removed then there is a chance it will grow back but usually when a Saiyan has stopped growing it will not. Each time a Saiyan has a baby with another race the chance of the baby having a tail goes down.|
|The Hair - Full blooded Saiyan hair will always retain its natural "pointy" look and a constant length, unless the Saiyan cuts his/her hair. However, a non-full blooded Saiyan will not pick up this gene. So for example if a Saiyan has a baby with a Human the baby will have hair like a Human. What I mean by that is the hair will grow and is not limited to the the Saiyan hair color (black). Besides that they still have that pointy look Saiyans do. If a Saiyan goes Super Saiyan their hair will go into a pointy state but when they power down, back to their normal state the hair will go back to how he/she had it. As you can see from the picture on the left Goku's hair changed only very slightly from the picture above it. This is because a different artist probably drew it. You may also think Goku's hair was bigger in the picture above but this is only because he "grew" into his hair so it appears slightly smaller when he is older.|
|Recovery - Most people know about the Saiyan's ability to gain great strength after being beaten up, but it is not ability unique to Saiyan's. Humans even possess this ability. When you lift weights for example, you are actually breaking the muscle fibers, which are then rebuilt bigger and stronger. The Saiyan's ability however seems to be much more potent, as they gain great strength from any beating, this accounts for why the Saiyan's power levels rise so much compared to the Namekians and Humans. Again this is also a genetic trait, it occurs in almost all life forms, and even the hybrid Saiyans acquire this skill, so it must be a dominant Saiyan gene. Overall the Saiyans are very genetically similar to humans, but after generations of fighting, and working for Frieza especially, has bred a very strong, proud race. Accentuating the already present unique Saiyan genetic characteristics.|
|Fighting - is a big part of the Saiyan race. They LOVE it. They will spend their entire lives trying to become stronger and trying to be the strongest in the universe. The Saiyans planet is 10x that of Earth's which gives them a nice home planet to train on. Fighting is in the Saiyan's blood, it's part of who they are; their race. Frieza knew this and enslaved the Saiyan race making them takeover planets and selling them off to the highest bidder. Eventually the Saiyans become too strong and Frieza was scared at how much stronger they may become. Frieza then destroyed the entire planet with a single attack. Only Goku, Vegeta, Nappa, Broly, Paragas, Turles and Raditz survived. Goku, who happened to be a "low class" Saiyan so he was sent to a planet that he could conquer, but when Goku was a baby he was dropped on his head thus Goku lost all that info in his brain to destroy all life.|
A genetic characteristic, which is buried deep within every Saiyan. Saiyan's transformations are triggered by extreme emotion. Like when we cry, tear ducts are activated by hormones sent by the brain. Same for the Saiyans, when they experience extreme emotion their brain sends a chemical message to "turn on" the Super Saiyan gene. The transformation only occurs however when the power level is high enough. Once the first transformation has happened the Saiyan can learn to make the transformation without extreme emotion. Just like actors can make themselves cry, without being upset. The Super Saiyan gene appears to be a very dominant gene, as even the 1/16 Saiyan, Goku Jr could go SSJ. But if the child is conceived before the parent goes SSJ, they will have to turn on their gene in the normal way. If the Saiyan has already gone SSJ it causes a change in the DNA that allows the Saiyan to go SSJ much easier.
|Royal Saiyan Armor: |
We see this outfit only worn by King Vegeta and his son Prince Vegeta because they are royal Saiyans. However, Vegeta only wears this when he is a child. It is traditional Saiyan armor but the royal emblem (located on the chest) and red cape added.
Saiyan Armor Colored:
We see Vegeta wear this when he is traveling to Earth in the Saiyan Saga. When he actually arrives on Earth the armor is much more like the armor Nappa is wearing in the next image. The only thing that sets it apart from regular Saiyan armor is it's coloring.
|Saiyan Armor Model 1: |
This is the typical Saiyan armor, which most Saiyans wore. It's only later in the series that new variations and improved models are created. Which by this point most of the Saiyans has been killed.
|Saiyan Armor v2: |
On Namek Krillin receives armor similar to Nappa's. Unlike Krillin's, Nappa's armor has a crotch guard in the front along with more detail around the chest. Krillin also has a slightly larger jumpsuit underneath and his gloves/boots are just plain white.
|Saiyan Armor v3: |
On Namek Gohan receives this Saiyan armor from Vegeta, he wears a jumpsuit under that covers him from the neck down. This version of the armor has completely lost the crotch guards, and much detail. This model was also worn by Vegeta for his early time on Namek.
|Saiyan Armor m2: |
We see Vegeta in is this older style Saiyan armor that he took from Frieza's ship, during Goku's recovery. It is the same as his previous outfit, except this time there are no shoulder guards, and the jumpsuit is now navy blue.
Saiyan Armor Model 3: Bulma's Model:
|Mind Controlled Super Saiyan: |
This is the weakest of all Broly's forms and is a slave to his father Paragus, thus he cannot fully maximize his Super Saiyan potential. This form is first awakened by Goku when Broly first sees him in DBZ Movie #8. However, this form does not last when Broly breaks free of Paragus' control. When Broly is free he is able to release his full power.
|Super Saiyan: |
Once Broly is free from Paragus, he can turn into a true Super Saiyan. This form is identical to Super Saiyan 1. Granting Broly the usual power and speed increase just like any other super Saiyan would receive.
|Legendary Super Saiyan:|
This form is very similar to Super Saiyan 3rd Grade (Ultra Super Saiyan), but is not the same. In this form Broly's muscle mass increases greatly, but he does not suffer any loss of speed. This form is actually closer to Super Saiyan 2, but is not that either due to the muscle increase.