The following morning is filled with confusion for Son Gohan. Not only is he mysteriously off the high mountain he'd gotten himself stuck on for two days, his tail is completely gone and his clothes have been changed as well. The last thing he recalls is looking up at the full moon - unaware of his monstrous transformation into an Oozaru!!
Gohan must quickly relearn to walk, without a tail, when he's attacked by a man eating alligator!
...And a saber-tooth tiger!!
The tiger chases him into the nest of a giant hawk, which scoops him up high, high into the air!!
The hawk is then attacked by a pterodactyl!
And young Gohan is sent falling toward the desert...!!
He falls into a desert sinkhole, arriving in the ruins of a lost city. He knows the civilization, the Nemurians, from his studies. (Pretty impressive, if you ask me. The only thing I knew about when I was 4 was that everybody wants to be a cat.) Fascinated, Gohan begins to explore the cave, looking at the strange hieroglyphs. Not paying attention to where he's walking, Gohan trips over something metal...
The buried remains of an old Capsule Robot.
A 3-S Series prototype robot, to be exact, which Gohan knows by sight because of a picture book. (Again, the only thing I knew from a picture book at his age was how the Grinch stole Christmas.) Gohan instantly figures out how to turn 3-S on, and the robot grumbles awake. 3-S demands to know who is there, and why they turned him on during his slumber. Gohan nervously introduces himself. 3-S tells him not to speak so loudly, or else the cave will collapse around them. 3-S proceeds to instruct Gohan to turn him back off and leave, the exit positioned by him. Gohan does as told.
Right up until he realizes the exit opens onto a sheer cliff side.
Gohan runs back into the cave, bawling as he turns 3-S back on. The robot once more tells Gohan to be quiet, as his cries will collapse the cave. Gohan explains how he can't leave through the exit, and 3-S tells him not to be such a baby. Once more, 3-S tells Gohan to turn him off and leave. Realizing that 3-S's visual sensors are damaged, Gohan opens him up and fixes him. (I think I was still wetting the bed as Gohan is fixing robots.)
3-S isn't pleased with Gohan's meddling, and once more instructs Gohan to turn him off. Gohan does so, until he's scared by a scorpion. Panicked, he turns 3-S back on and complains about how frightened he is, to which 3-S tells him to buck up. He's also hungry. 3-S suggests he eats the scorpion. This makes Gohan cry. In the end, with some well-placed ass kissing, Gohan manages to convince 3-S to help him get food and cook it. 3-S tells Gohan where to get mushrooms, then agrees to fry them for him.
"What kind of flavor do you want? Chinese-style or Western-style?" Asks 3-S.
"Hmm... My mother's style!"
"How should I know what that is?!"
It turns out that 3-S has been stuck in this cave for eight-hundred years. He came here investigating the ruins of the Nemurians, but due to heavy earthquakes in the region, he was caught and trapped. So Gohan decides to use his sword to dig him out!! 3-S insists urgently that Gohan does not, but Gohan has made up his mind! They'll escape together!
However, upsetting 3-S's balance causes the cave to begin collapsing.
In the end, the only way to save Gohan is for 3-S to sacrifice himself. He powers himself up at full, crawling out of the hole he is caught in. Clasping Gohan with his arm, he throws him with a mighty swing to safety. But the cave falls around him... shattering the proud robot into pieces.
"Mister..." Gohan's eyes brim with tears.
"This is all my fault!"
"Son... Gohan..." 3-S says, his voice static.
"Thank goodness! You're still alive!"
"More or less. But it appears that my energy is all used up."
Gohan desperately tries to dig 3-S out of the dirt.
"Never mind that. Hurry up and go on."
"Don't cry, even when you're all alone. You can't rely on anyone else around here if you're going to survive."
"No!" Gohan wails.
"Hush, would you? I can't take any more. Be... quiet..."
"Mister! Wake up!! Wake up!!!"
And the light leaves his eyes. Gohan presses his on switch urgently, but it is no good. 3-S never switches on again.
As he walks away, Gohan leaves his fear of loneliness behind.
(I think were this same story told by a modern anime studio, a young boy and his tsundere robot companion, it'd look more like this...)
"I'm Sorry, Robot-chan!"