Captain Ginyu's History
Like the other members of the Ginyu Force, Ginyu's special powers originated during his childhood.
According to Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu's strategy guide, when Ginyu first learned of his Body Change ability, he swapped bodies with the richest kid in his class, which made him popular with girls but also stupid, and he soon realized that men should compete in terms of strength rather than money. According to this, Ginyu's purple horned body is his original.
According to a drawing by Toyotarou, Ginyu encountered a powerful being of a horned purple species, with whom he switched bodies with, gaining his most well known body.
Only a few people have seen Ginyu's true form, and Salza is among them. Cooler integrated Ginyu into his Armored Squadron and Salza had to fight him for the leadership of the squadron. Frieza got Ginyu to join his army not long after.
Captain Ginyu and his comrades are commissioned after Frieza learns that Vegeta is searching for the seven Dragon Balls on Namek and that the Saiyan's Power Level is growing rapidly, quickly surpassing Frieza's personal henchmen, Dodoria and Zarbon. The force spends five days traveling en route to Namek, and upon reaching the planet, Frieza dispatches the team to capture Vegeta, kill his two companions (Krillin and Gohan), and recover the Dragon Balls which have since been stolen by Vegeta. Efficient as they are, the Ginyu Force does not take long to track down their targets and locate all seven Dragon Balls, with the rest of his team showing off their special talents, such as Burter's tremendous speed and Guldo's time freezing. Initially, Captain Ginyu intends to slay Vegeta by himself, but when his subordinates complain that they have not had the opportunity to fight, Ginyu concedes, allowing them to deal with Vegeta and the others while he returns the Dragon Balls to Frieza's Spaceship.
Captain Ginyu transfers the Dragon Balls back to Frieza, using his telekinetic powers to levitate the Dragon Balls, but the two almost instantly discover that they can not activate the artifacts to summon the Eternal Dragon. Remembering one of his previous Namekian victims whose last words told of how Frieza could never make a wish even with the seven Dragon Balls gathered, Frieza deduces that there must be a secret Namekian language custom used to activate them. The tyrant uses his scouter to investigate the vicinity for Namekians, finding three of them in an area that his forces left untouched (Nail, Guru, and Dende). Captain Ginyu volunteers to force the secret out of them, but Frieza declines in favor of handling the task himself. In the meantime, Captain Ginyu is assigned to watch over the seven Dragon Balls.
While guarding the Dragon Balls, Captain Ginyu is joined by one of his subordinates, a panicked, frantic Jeice, who confirms that a powerful warrior has arrived on Namek, and their comrades, Recoome, Burter, and Guldo, have been defeated (and in Guldo's case, killed). Captain Ginyu scolds Jeice for running away from the battle and advises against Jeice's proposal to warn Frieza, as he does not want this to compromise his reputation. Ginyu decides to confront this new fighter called Goku himself, leaving his subordinates in the care of the Dragon Balls.
Upon convening with Goku, Captain Ginyu determines that the Saiyan is capable of masking his true power level (as Ginyu is the only member of the Ginyu Force able to do so), speculating his true strength to be somewhere around 60,000 (in contrast to what has appeared on the Ginyu Force's scouters as a mere 5,000). The commander's first advance on Goku is only amplified when Vegeta escapes the scene in flight, in spite of the alliance he and Goku had formed specially for the encounter. This distraction leaves Goku open for an elbow bash to the face. Goku and Ginyu continue to do battle, with Ginyu eventually realizing his shortcomings against the Saiyan from Earth. Ginyu started to believe that Goku might even be a Super Saiyan. However, he disproved this as no Saiyan he had ever encountered or heard about was as sympathetic as Goku. As Ginyu and Goku continue their battle, both Ginyu and Goku manage to trick each other, using certain tricks and stealth attacks to land hits, as they seem evenly matched. Despite managing to capture Goku in a full nelson, Ginyu releases him upon deducing that he was only able to take hold of Goku as a result of Jeice's interference, blasting Goku with a beam, which distracted him. For this, he admonishes Jeice, even threatening to kill him if he intrudes on the conflict once more. This act makes him seem to be an honorable fighter.
Captain Ginyu realizes Goku is not using his full power in their fight and requests Goku to reveal his full power, which he does, shocking Ginyu and Jeice, as Goku's power was 180,000, while Ginyu's was 120,000. Accepting that he is at odds with Goku, Ginyu's next action is a startling one. He spontaneously stabs his chest, before revealing his true plot: resorting to his ability to exchange bodies in an attempt to level with Goku, showing the reason why he stabbed his old body; so that Goku cannot fight back and will eventually die of blood loss. The body change is a success, but Captain Ginyu fails to make the most of Goku's shell's power level of 180,000, stopping short at just 23,000.
With this, he is promptly forced into a losing battle against Gohan and Krillin, while Vegeta battles Jeice. However, midway through the battle, he begins to learn how to draw out Goku's full power and begins to fight back and win against Gohan and Krillin, even when Goku (having also learned how to utilize Ginyu's body's power) tries to come to their assistance; Ginyu easily defeats all three of them. It is not until Vegeta, having finished off Jeice, appears and pummels Ginyu with his new maximum power that they survive. Beaten into the ground, Ginyu attempts switching bodies with Vegeta twice. The first time, Goku, still rendered within Ginyu's body, interferes with the attack. The second time, the further injured Goku successfully tosses a Namekian Frog within the trajectory of the Body Change's Energy Wave, thus rendering Captain Ginyu's soul trapped within the shell of the frog. Unable to pronounce the technique, he is unable to transfer himself to a new body. Likewise, Ginyu's original body is inhabited by the frog's soul, and in a similar manner, can only speak in croaks. Though Vegeta has the opportunity to finish the captain off after Ginyu switches bodies with the frog, Vegeta opts not to kill him so as not to get "toad guts" all over his "nice clean boots."
However, Ginyu continues making subsequent filler appearances as a frog. While Gohan is watching over the Dragon Balls, Ginyu attempts to roll them away. Gohan soon notices the frog with one of the Dragon Balls. Ginyu attempts to play it off, but Gohan quickly realizes that he is Ginyu. His cover blown, Ginyu hops away from Gohan, who laughs at him. Eventually, Ginyu loses Gohan, but comes face-to-face with a pink female Namek Frog, who seductively calls out to him. Realizing the female frog's intentions, a repulsed Ginyu hops away, with the pink frog in pursuit. Ginyu manages to escape the female frog, but not before she managed to give him a big kiss on the cheek, which left a giant red lipstick mark on his cheek. A shell-shocked Ginyu later witnesses Porunga being summoned from the Dragon Balls.
Later on, he is discovered by Bulma and kept as her companion. After realizing that the frog understands human dialect, Bulma creates a device to translate his croaking into speech, which Ginyu, in turn, uses to betray Bulma with his regained ability to pronounce the Body Change technique. Seizing Bulma's body, Ginyu uses Bulma's air-ski to visit the site of Frieza and Goku's showdown, also attended by Piccolo, Krillin, and Gohan; Bulma takes hold of the air-ski, and despite Ginyu's attempt to lose the frog, Bulma is able to reach her oblivious friends. Captain Ginyu attempted to pose as Bulma and watch the fight between Goku and Frieza, although he lets slip about his true identity when he blurted out cheers directed towards Frieza.
Sensing that he ended up exposing himself, Ginyu wages an attack on the trio, before deciding to switch bodies with the most powerful of the three, Piccolo. Gohan comes to realize that the frog is in actuality Bulma, which leads him to throw Bulma in the path of the wave, reverting Ginyu to the shell of a frog once again, and restoring Bulma to her human body. Bulma and Ginyu are then blown away by the force of one of the blasts from Goku and Frieza's fight. They are eventually blown into a cliff by Goku's Spirit Bomb. Ginyu is eventually used to scout out to see where they are by Bulma, who is still sore about Ginyu's earlier betrayal. By the time Ginyu reports back to Bulma, she notices the immense aura overtaking an island in the vicinity.
After a wish made to Porunga, the Eternal Dragon of Namek, Ginyu is later transported to Earth with all living beings on Namek except Goku and Frieza. Afterward, Ginyu goes on to live among the frogs surrounding Capsule Corporation, apparently becoming the ruler of the pond. He also ends up living in the greenhouse of Bulma's home. It is never revealed what becomes of the frog whose soul is within Ginyu's shell, save for one scene where he hops around the Earth forest where Porunga evacuates the people of Namek to Earth.
Ginyu makes infrequent appearances in later episodes as a frog, such as outside Goku's house during Gohan's 11th birthday.
Majin Buu Saga
Ginyu appears later when he is picked up by the Great Saiyaman, after an attempt by Sharpner to unmask him. Ginyu is ultimately killed when Kid Buu destroys the Earth. However, he is revived alongside the Earth and its citizens later but is still trapped in his Namekian frog body. It is unknown why he was revived when Dende asked Porunga to only revive good victims. One reason might be because he was an animal at that point and wasn't judged like humans in the afterlife because of that.
Golden Frieza Saga
Ginyu, still in the body of a frog, sees Sorbet and Tagoma put Frieza's body parts into their containment. Several months later, at the start of Frieza's revenge, Ginyu sneaks into Jaco's ship so he can fly to the battlefield. After many of Frieza's soldiers are defeated and Tagoma is about to engage the Z-Fighters in battle, Ginyu climbs out of Jaco's ship. When Tagoma lies on the ground in pain after having been hit by Gotenks, Ginyu appears and approaches him.
Ginyu changes bodies with Tagoma by tricking him into reading the word "Change" that he wrote in the dirt in a foreign language (the symbol that Ginyu draws comes from the same, seemingly only written language, that everyone who is with the Frieza Force appears to know). Ginyu—now with the body of Tagoma—has a brief discussion with Frieza explaining how he's still alive and has always been faithful to the belief that one day he would fight for Frieza once more despite his hardships as a frog. After doing his new pose to commemorate his revival he attacks the Z-Fighters on Frieza's orders, decimating them in combat.
In response to Ginyu overwhelming them, Ginyu is challenged by Gohan in a one on one fight, the latter transforming because he proved no match for him due to not training. As a Super Saiyan, Gohan manages to knock down Ginyu in two blows, but spares him, saying there is no point in continuing the fight. Frieza steps in and exclaims that he will finish Gohan off in Ginyu's place, blasting him with a barrage of Death Beams. While Frieza is attacking Gohan, Ginyu holds off the other Z-Fighters who tried to help him against the tyrant.
After Goku and Vegeta arrive, Ginyu joins in the discussion, stating his contempt for Goku and Vegeta having trapped him in a frog's body. Almost immediately after, Vegeta kills Ginyu with a ki blast, noting that he did not want him interfering with their upcoming fight with Frieza; this puts an end to the Ginyu Force once and for all.
"Future" Trunks Saga
When Goku and Krillin were sent into a forest to retrieve a special herb for Master Roshi, an illusion of Captain Ginyu and many other villains from the Z-Fighters' past showed up to challenge the duo.