The name "Godzilla" is a transliteration of Gojira (ゴジラ?), a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ?), meaning gorilla, and kujira (鯨 or クジラ), meaning whale. At one planning stage, the concept of "Gojira" was described as "a cross between a gorilla and a whale." The two words "whale" and "gorilla" describe Godzilla's traditional characteristics.
Since Godzilla is neither a gorilla nor a whale, the name had to be devised in a different way for the original film's story. Godzilla's name was originally spelled in kanji as 呉爾羅 by the Odo Island natives. However, Toho chose these characters for sound only, as the combined characters mean "give you net."
Before Toho sold the film to U.S. distributors, Toho's international division had originally marketed an English-subtitled print under the title of Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, which was shown briefly in Japanese-American theaters. Toho came up with "Godzilla" as an English transliteration of "Gojira"."
While Godzilla's appearance throughout the Showa era remains relatively consistent, it has seen a variety of alterations with each passing movie release.
Very similar to the first ShodaiGoji design, the GyakushuGoji (逆襲ゴジ?) was slimmer in build and had a smaller head. The lean look stemmed from the suit's need for greater flexibility in order to do battle with Anguirus in the film. The GyakushuGoji also featured movable eyes.
A separate set of legs, worn like boots, was used for close-ups of Godzilla's feet. Like with the ShodaiGoji, a hand-operated puppet was used for close-ups of Godzilla's face. This puppet noticeably features teeth that protrude outward from the mouth, a feature not shared by the suit.
One of the most popular Godzilla designs, the KingGoji (キンゴジ?) was noticeably different from any Godzilla suits before or since. The suit was more reptilian in appearance and the build was very stocky, especially in the lower half of the body. The head was small and streamlined, with eyes more closely resembling those of humans placed on the sides of the head in a reptilian manner. Other distinctive features for the KingGoji included large hands with spike-like claws and thumbs nearly as large as the three other fingers. Kingoji
The KingGoji also featured several traits that became standard fare for Godzilla suits until the 1984 release of The Return of Godzilla, which served as 84Goji's first appearance; these included a lack of ears or fangs, three toes, a smooth underside for the tail, and one main row of dorsal plates flanked by two small rows.
The MosuGoji (モスゴジ?) is as different from the KingGoji as the KingGoji was from its two predecessors, ShodaiGoji and GyakushuGoji. The body of the MosuGoji suit was sleek and bell-shaped with a pronounced breast bone and knees. The hands featured slender, sharp and menacing claws with the fingers held apart. The dorsal plates were nearly identical to those of the KingGoji suit. The facial features were more defined than those of its predecessors, with pronounced brows and large angry-looking eyes. The suit's eyes could move, a first for the series, although a scene in the film shows Godzilla with no pupils because the eyes rolled upwards.
In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, the MosuGoji suit was given a new head with updated facial features, including movable eyes, a smaller upper lip and teeth, and an elongated tongue (which now reached past the lower row of teeth). This change in design stemmed from the damage the suit's head had sustained during the filming of two particular scenes from the last film: the first saw Godzilla smashing headfirst into a pagoda, while the latter featured his head briefly being set on fire. This suit is also called the SanDaikaijuGoji (三大怪獣ゴジ?).
The DaisensoGoji featured a head slightly larger than that of the MosuGoji suit, with a round face and jaws. The body was also thinner than its predecessor. The fingers were not held apart like the MosuGoji suit, but were grouped together, with the claws becoming less sharp and pronounced; all following Godzilla suits - until 84Goji - would carry this feature. The dorsal plates and the tail of the DaisensoGoji are detailed, and the eyes were movable.
During the shooting of Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, this suit's second appearance, Tsuburaya Productions asked to borrow the head of the suit for usage in the Ultraman television series. This was because the head of the previous SanDaikaijuGoji suit could not be used, as it had already been modified to portray the monster Gomess in Ultra Q. Toho approved the request and the DaisensoGoji suit's head was removed, and grafted onto the body of the SanDaikaijuGoji suit. Both the DainsensoGoji head and SanDaikaijuGoji body were then repainted in green with yellow stripes, and a frill was added around the completed suit's neck to create the monster Jirass.
Because of this, Toho created an imperfect replica of the DaisensoGoji's head and grafted it onto the rest of the suit for the remainder of filming of Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. This new head featured calmer, less menacing eyes than the original head. This suit is also called the NankaiGoji (南海ゴジ?).
After filming Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, the NankaiGoji suit would be Toho's 'stunt suit', mainly used for scenes of Godzilla in water. The suit was used in water scenes in Son of Godzilla in 1967 and Destroy All Monsters in 1968, and was used for Godzilla's swimming scenes and the scenes where he was smothered in sludge in Godzilla vs. Hedorah in 1971. Although the suit was cleaned up afterwards, it had suffered visible rips underneath its arms, and was officially retired, with the MusukoGoji replacing it as the new stunt suit in Godzilla vs. Gigan.
The MusukoGoji has a human-like head with big eyes, heavy lids and a stubby nose, which was done to make the suit more closely resemble Minilla. Godzilla's overall look was changed to still look intimidating, but at the same time look like a father figure. A much longer neck was given to this Godzilla to try and make him look much taller than his son.
This suit would be used again in the film Godzilla vs. Gigan, for the film's swimming scenes. When this suit was used in scenes where Godzilla was sitting, parts of the suit's legs appeared to concertina inwards, making the suit's legs look stumpy.
One of the more popular Godzilla designs, the SoshingekiGoji (総進撃ゴジ?) suit featured a bell-shape body with a pronounced breast bone, a long neck and a head somewhat similar to the DaisensoGoji, with defined brows and more menacing eyes than the previous DaisensoGoji and MusukoGoji suits.
The eyes on this suit did not move, though the eyelids flutter briefly in the scene when King Ghidorah flies overhead at Mt. Fuji in Destroy All Monsters. This was the most used suit in the Showa Godzilla series, and this was very evident in the suit's final appearance, Godzilla vs. Gigan, for in one scene where Godzilla is on top of Gigan and punching him, one can actually see pieces of the suit flying off, as well as visible rips in the arms.
The MegaroGoji (メガロゴジ?) had a plain, streamlined body, a short neck and silver, puffy, pillow-like designed dorsal spines. The face looks more friendly than usual, with a rounded muzzle, oversized brows and huge eyes. The eyes of the MegaroGoji were movable and had movable eyelids. Compared to other Godzilla designs, this suit also has a more upright stance than previous suits, a characteristic that would be kept for the Godzilla suits made in the Heisei era.
In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, the MegaroGoji suit was mostly the same but with some changes to the face; more detail in the muzzle and the brows were reduced, making this Godzilla suit look less playful than in the previous movie, Godzilla vs. Megalon. The eyes did not move, nor have movable eyelids. This suit is also called the MekaGoji (メカゴジ?). A second suit was made for Mechagodzilla's Fake Godzilla disguise.
In Terror of Mechagodzilla, the MegaroGoji received a further face lift; the muzzle was reduced and given more detail, the height of the brows are lowered and the eyes were reduced, thus giving the face a semi-comical and semi-mean look. The eyes did not move nor have movable lids, and the rest of the body is unchanged. This suit is also called the MekaGyakushuGoji (メカ逆襲ゴジ?).
Following the 1954 film, Haruo Nakajima would return to fill the shoes of Godzilla all the way up to the 1972 film, Godzilla vs. Gigan. Haruo would be succeeded by a few additional suit actors throughout the rest of the Showa series, following his retirement. Shinji Takagi portrayed Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Megalon, Isao Zushi would portray him in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and Toru Kawai would do so for the final film in the Showa series, Terror of Mechagodzilla.
Godzilla's portrayal would remain relatively consistent throughout the series, being done primarily through suitmation. While suitmation would remain the primary aspect of portrayal in the series, the films would briefly dabble with stop motion in the 1954 classic, and 1962 film, King Kong vs. Godzilla. This was seen with Godzilla's tail striking a building in the former, and Godzilla performing a jump-kick on King Kong in the latter.
The style of portrayal for the monster would shift as the films progressed, with the visualization of weight becoming less prioritized, especially for rushed productions. This made the use of actors in suits much more prominent, leading to the series' general stigma around the practice of suitmation.
Godzilla's roar following the release of the 1954 classic would remain relatively the same starting with the first sequel. However, as time would go on, the roar of Godzilla would become higher in pitch, which would remain the series standard until The Return of Godzilla.
According to Mothra's Shobijin's translation of Mothra, Rodan and the second Godzilla's conversation in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla only "hates humans because they hate him," suggesting that this new Godzilla never had any true malicious intent but was only reacting to constantly being attacked by humans. Rodan later agrees with Godzilla's statement. This fits with the second Godzilla's less aggressive initial attitude where it only attacked Japan when driven to shore by Anguirus's attack.
As time passes on the second Godzilla's attitude towards humans shifts and he becomes much more actively friendly and protective of them, fighting alongside humans against numerous monsters.
After the original Godzilla is killed, Yamane proposes that other Godzillas may have survived to the present day and could be awakened by future nuclear tests. This explains how in the various continuities that encompass the series, multiple individual Godzillas have appeared. In the continuity of the Showa era, a second Godzilla appeared only a year later alongside Anguirus, and proceeded to be featured in the remaining films of the era until Terror of Mechagodzilla.
Less than a year after the first Godzilla's demise, a second one was spotted by pilots Shoichi Tsukioka and Kojikawa Kobayashi on the remote Iwato Island battling the giant ankylosaur monster Anguirus. After a brief clash, Godzilla and Anguirus tumbled into the ocean and disappeared. Tsukioka and Kobayashi told their story to the Japanese authorities, who consulted Dr. Yamane to find a way to stop the monsters. Yamane regretfully stated that with the death of Dr. Serizawa, there was no conceivable way to defeat Godzilla. Yamane suggested that a blackout be enforced on major cities when Godzilla was near, as bright lights reminded him of the nuclear bomb that awakened him and would draw him to the city. When Godzilla appeared in Osaka Bay, the city of Osaka initiated a blackout, while the J.S.D.F. used flares to lure Godzilla back out to sea. Meanwhile, a group of convicts escaped from a prison transport in the city and stole a car, engaging in a high-speed chase with police that ended when their car struck a refinery. The resulting explosion produced a raging fire that lured both Godzilla and Anguirus into the city. The monsters resumed their struggle, reducing the city of Osaka to rubble. When the battle neared Osaka Castle, Godzilla tackled Anguirus into the pagoda. Godzilla then bit down on Anguirus' neck before throwing him into the moat below and setting him ablaze with his atomic breath. His enemy defeated, Godzilla calmly swam back out to sea. Weeks later, Godzilla was believed to be active in the waters off Hokkaido, sinking a fishing boat. Tsukioka saw Godzilla come ashore on an icy island while scouting the waters for fish in his plane, and reported it to the J.S.D.F. Several fighter jets engaged Godzilla on the island, but their weapons had no effect and Godzilla approached the water. Kobayashi arrived in his plane to try and distract Godzilla, only to be shot down and killed by Godzilla's atomic breath. The avalanche of ice caused by the crash inspired the J.S.D.F. to shoot the slopes on the island and try to bury Godzilla in ice. The plan worked, as Godzilla was completely entombed in the ice and finally defeated, at least for the time being.
Seven years after Godzilla was encased in ice, his icy prison broke off the island and floated out to sea, gradually thawing. The American submarine Seahawk accidentally crashed into the iceberg while in the waters north of Japan, causing it to split open and finally free Godzilla. Godzilla swam to a nearby military base, annihilating the J.S.D.F.'s forces with his atomic breath. Godzilla then approached Hokkaido, attacking a train in the countryside.
Godzilla continued on his way, only to eventually encounter the giant ape King Kong. Kong threw boulders at Godzilla, who responded by blasting Kong with his atomic breath, setting the surrounding forests ablaze. Kong, unable to fight back, walked away in defeat. Godzilla continued his rampage, gradually approaching Tokyo. The J.S.D.F. dug a huge pit in the ground, filled it with explosives and then covered it with a net covered in dirt and foliage, hoping to trap Godzilla when he reached it. When Godzilla reached the trap, he fell into the pit, prompting the J.S.D.F. to detonate the charges. Godzilla merely climbed out of the pit unfazed and continued to approach Tokyo.
The J.S.D.F. then initiated one last desperate plan to keep Godzilla out of the capital. Tokyo was surrounded by a barrier of high-tension wires, similar to the unsuccessful plan used to try and halt the first Godzilla back in 1954. This time though, the wires carried a charge of one million volts. When Godzilla tried to breach the barrier, he was electrocuted until he turned around and walked away. Godzilla then began to climb Mount Fuji. When King Kong was sedated after climbing the National Diet Building, the J.S.D.F. developed a plan to drop off Kong at Mt. Fuji and force him and Godzilla to fight to the death. Kong was carried to the mountain by balloons and dropped onto Godzilla.
The monsters resumed their battle, with Godzilla eventually gaining the upper hand, knocking Kong unconscious and setting him ablaze with his atomic breath. Fortunately for Kong, an electrical storm passed overhead, and Kong was struck by lightning, revitalizing him. Kong viciously fought back against Godzilla, pummeling him with electrified punches. Godzilla and Kong continued fighting until they reached Atami Castle and tackled each other off a cliff into the ocean below. After a brief earthquake, Kong surfaced from the water and began to swim back to his home on Farou Island. The humans who had witnessed the battle were unsure if Godzilla had survived, but speculated it was possible.
Godzilla was washed ashore and buried underground by a vicious typhoon that struck the coast of Japan. Eventually, Godzilla surfaced and began to rampage, attacking the nearby city of Nagoya. Godzilla destroyed both the Nagoya Tower and Nagoya Castle, then wandered off into the Japanese countryside. The J.S.D.F. engaged Godzilla several times, each time unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, a group of humans traveled to Infant Island to ask for Mothra's help in stopping Godzilla. While the natives and even Mothra's Shobijin refused, the elderly Mothra agreed and flew to Japan.
When Godzilla approached the incubator in Japan where Mothra's egg was being held by a corporation, Mothra flew down and attacked him. Mothra put up a desperate fight against Godzilla, but was struck by a blast of atomic breath, and subsequently collapsed onto her egg and died. Victorious, Godzilla continued his rampage. Building on their successful repulsion of Godzilla two years ago with electrical wires, the J.S.D.F. constructed several giant electrical towers capable of blasting Godzilla with extremely high voltages of electricity. To further increase the effectiveness of the attack, helicopters dropped a wire net onto Godzilla, which conducted the charge across his entire body.
However, the electrical towers overheated and exploded, allowing Godzilla to regain his footing and eradicate the J.S.D.F.'s forces. Godzilla then approached Iwa Island, where a group of schoolchildren and their teacher were stranded. Thankfully, Mothra's egg hatched and her twin larvae followed Godzilla to the island. There, they managed to trap Godzilla in silk and cause him to fall over a cliff into the water below. Godzilla then disappeared underwater.
After destroying a cruise ship with his atomic breath, Godzilla came ashore in Japan, where he encountered Rodan, who had escaped from the crater of Mount Aso. Godzilla and Rodan attacked each other, engaging in a protracted battle for several days that eventually reached Mount Fuji.
Meanwhile, the space monster known as King Ghidorah arrived in Japan in a meteor and began attacking the nation's major cities. The Shobijin contacted the surviving Mothra larva, who traveled to Mt. Fuji to try and recruit Godzilla and Rodan to help her stop King Ghidorah. When the monsters would not stop fighting, Mothra got their attention by spraying them with silk until they stopped. The monsters reluctantly decided to hear Mothra out, but refused to help, claiming they had no reason to help her. Mothra told them the Earth belonged to all creatures and that they faced a common threat, but Godzilla claimed he had no willingness to help humanity, as they constantly attacked him. Rodan even agreed with this sentiment. Dejected, Mothra tried to fight King Ghidorah on her own but was brutally outmatched.
Inspired by the larva's courage, Godzilla and Rodan entered the battle against King Ghidorah. Together, the three monsters were able to force King Ghidorah to retreat back to space. Godzilla and Rodan then watched Mothra swim back to Infant Island.
Upon arriving on the newly-discovered Planet X, astronauts Glenn and Fuji encountered a race of sapient aliens known as the Xiliens and their leader, the Controller of Planet X. The Controller revealed that Planet X was being terrorized by King Ghidorah, whom the Xiliens called "Monster Zero." The Controller told the astronauts if they would allow the Xiliens to "borrow" Godzilla and Rodan in order to fight King Ghidorah, the Xiliens would provide mankind with a cure for cancer.
While Earth's leaders discussed the offer, the Xiliens secretly arrived on Earth and located Godzilla sleeping under Lake Myojin and Rodan roosting in the side of a mountain. When the Xiliens revealed themselves, they used their flying saucers to transport Godzilla and Rodan to Planet X, accompanied by Glenn, Fuji, and their superior officer Dr. Sakurai. On Planet X, they witnessed Godzilla and Rodan fight and defeat King Ghidorah. The Controller gave the three humans a tape he claimed held the cure and sent them back to Earth.
Back on Earth, it was revealed the tape was actually an ultimatum from the Xiliens demanding Earth's surrender, or else the now mind-controlled Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah would be set loose on Earth. When humanity would not give in, all three monsters were set loose. Thankfully, Fuji developed a way to sever the Xiliens' mind control, freeing the monsters. The Xiliens' forces were quickly defeated by the J.S.D.F., leaving only the monsters. Godzilla and Rodan teamed up against King Ghidorah once more, eventually falling off a cliff with him into the water. King Ghidorah retreated back to space, while Godzilla and Rodan vanished. However, witnesses were certain neither monster had died.
Godzilla was discovered sleeping in a cave on Letchi Island by a group of people hiding from the island's resident terrorist group, the Red Bamboo. When several members of the group were either captured or disappeared, the remaining people decided to awaken Godzilla by attaching a sword to copper wire during a storm and placing the wire on Godzilla. When the sword was hit by lightning, Godzilla woke up and broke free of the cavern. Godzilla tried to return to the sea, he was attacked by Ebirah, a giant lobster that guarded the waters of the island. Godzilla and Ebirah threw rocks at each other for a while, then Godzilla entered the water to fight Ebirah hand-to-hand. After an underwater clash, Godzilla forced Ebirah to retreat.
Godzilla returned to the shore and took up refuge on a mountain. There, he was attacked by a Giant Condor, which he killed with a single blast of his atomic breath. Godzilla was then attacked by a fleet of Red Bamboo fighter jets, which he destroyed easily. Godzilla then retaliated by assaulting the Red Bamboo's base on the island, unwittingly activating a nuclear bomb in the base that would explode and destroy the island. Godzilla approached the ocean once again, but was again confronted by Ebirah. The monsters battled again, with Godzilla virtually boiling Ebirah alive by blasting the water with his atomic breath. Godzilla then tore off both of Ebirah's claws and taunted him, forcing the giant lobster to swim away in defeat. Godzilla then witnessed Mothra fly overhead and went back ashore to challenge her.
Mothra had actually come to save the Infant Islanders being enslaved by the Red Bamboo, and knocked Godzilla aside with her wing in order to rescue them before the bomb could go off. As the survivors were airlifted away, they called out to Godzilla warning him to leave the island. Godzilla watched Mothra fly away, and then dove into the ocean just as Letchi Island was consumed by a nuclear explosion, much to everyone's relief.
Godzilla was summoned to Solgell Island after detecting a distress call from another member of his species. When he arrived, he found three giant mantises called Kamacuras attacking a prematurely hatched infant Godzilla, dubbed Minilla. Godzilla killed two of the Kamacuras and saved Minilla, who began to follow him. Godzilla begrudgingly allowed Minilla to ride on his tail, and the two of them traveled to the interior of the island.
Godzilla took up residence next to a lake of boiling red water, where he began to raise Minilla as his son and train him to take up his mantle. Godzilla demonstrated to Minilla how to use his atomic breath, but Minilla was only able to fire a pitiful smoke ring. Godzilla stepped on Minilla's tail, which caused him to fire an atomic beam. Minilla shrieked excitedly, and Godzilla gave him a congratulatory pat on the head. When Godzilla was sleeping, Minilla jumped over his tail several times, eventually tripping over him. Godzilla looked up at Minilla, who stared guiltily at him until he fell back asleep.
Bored, Minilla wandered off only to be confronted by the giant spider Kumonga. Kumonga trapped Minilla and a Kamacuras, which he killed by injecting it with poison. Before Kumonga could do the same to Minilla, Godzilla arrived to save his son. Godzilla battled Kumonga while a team of United Nations scientists on the island activated a weather-controlling device intended to freeze the island and allow them to escape the monsters. As snow began to fall on the island, Kumonga trapped Godzilla in its web and prepared to finish him. Thankfully, Minilla used his atomic breath to attack Kumonga. Godzilla recovered and the two monsters used their atomic breath in unison to set Kumonga ablaze.
Godzilla then approached the ocean to get off the island before it froze over. Minilla fell in the snow and began to cry out as he started to fall asleep. Rather than abandon his son, Godzilla went back and embraced him in the snow, as they both went into hibernation together.
Godzilla appeared in the dreams of the young boy Ichiro Miki when he dreamed about visiting Monster Island. In his dreams, Ichiro met Minilla, and the two of them watched Godzilla battle Kamacuras, Ebirah, Kumonga and a Giant Condor|giant eagle. Godzilla then called for Minilla and attempted to teach him how to fight for himself. When Minilla proved unable to fire atomic breath, only a weak ring of smoke, Godzilla stomped on his tail, causing him to fire a powerful beam.
Minilla returned to Ichiro and the two of them formulated a plan to defeat Gabara, a giant monster who constantly bullied Minilla. They created a giant teeter-totter trap that launched Gabara into the air, leaving him apparently unconscious. Godzilla congratulated his son, only for Gabara to attack Godzilla in retaliation. Godzilla became enraged and mercilessly beat up Gabara until the monster ran away.
Godzilla was attracted by the presence of Hedorah, a monster composed of pollution, and attacked him at a port while the latter was trying to feed on a smokestack. Godzilla was able to overpower Hedorah, and forced him to retreat to the ocean. Godzilla then followed after Hedorah. When Hedorah appeared on land in broad daylight in a new flying form, Godzilla attacked him near a refinery. However, the sulfuric mist given off by Hedorah's flying form caused Godzilla to collapse and gasp for air, allowing the smog monster to fly away.
Hedorah later arrived at the summit of Mount Fuji in his gigantic final form, with Godzilla in hot pursuit. Godzilla battled Hedorah, but was gruesomely wounded, losing an eye and having his hand eaten down to the bone by Hedorah's acidic blood. Godzilla fell into a pit, where Hedorah dumped a huge amount of sludge onto him. Hedorah was lured away by the J.S.D.F., who had created a Giant Electrode to dry him out. When the electrode failed to function, Godzilla got back up and activated it with his atomic breath, drying Hedorah into a husk. Godzilla tore into Hedorah and removed two white orbs, then dried them out with the electrode. As Godzilla walked away, he hit Hedorah's husk with his tail, only for it to split open and release a second Hedorah, which flew away.
Godzilla used his atomic breath to propel himself into the air and chase after Hedorah, eventually colliding with him in midair and tackling him to the ground. Godzilla subdued Hedorah and brought him back to the electrode, drying him out again. This time, Godzilla tore Hedorah into pieces, then dried them all individually until Hedorah was nothing but dust. Godzilla then looked at the J.S.D.F. for a moment before walking down the mountain into the ocean and swimming away.
While sleeping on Monster Island, Godzilla overheard the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens' "action tape" being played, alerting him to their nefarious plans to conquer the Earth. Godzilla told his friend Anguirus to travel to Japan to investigate the Nebulans' activities. When Anguirus was repelled from Japan by the J.S.D.F., who were unaware of his intentions, and returned to Monster Island, Godzilla joined him and the two of them swam to Japan. When they reached the outskirts of Tokyo, the Nebulans had already unleashed their two monster pawns, Godzilla's arch-enemy King Ghidorah and the cyborg Gigan.
Godzilla and Anguirus engaged the space monsters in battle, with their struggle reaching to construction site of the World Children's Land, the secret base of the Nebulans' operations. The Nebulans' activated their Godzilla Tower, which fired a laser beam at Godzilla. Godzilla was unable to withstand the brutal onslaught of both the tower and Gigan and was seemingly knocked down for the count. Anguirus tried to take on Gigan and King Ghidorah by himself, but was overwhelmed. When Godzilla got back to his feet, his vision was blurry and he stumbled into the Godzilla Tower, which was already damaged by a TNT explosion, completely destroying it.
Godzilla regrouped with Anguirus while Gigan and King Ghidorah tried to regain their composure after they ceased receiving commands from their alien overlords. Godzilla and Anguirus attacked their foes again, eventually forcing Gigan to retreat. Godzilla and Anguirus then double-teamed King Ghidorah, who retreated back to space shortly after. With the planet safe from alien invaders once again, Godzilla and Anguirus began swimming back to Monster Island.
Following a nuclear test in the Pacific Ocean, violent tremors spread across the Pacific islands, eventually reaching Monster Island and tearing it apart. During the earthquake, Anguirus tumbled into an underground fissure, while Godzilla found himself surrounded by growing fissures releasing volcanic gases. After the tremors had ceased, Godzilla was approached by the robot Jet Jaguar, who warned him that the giant monster Megalon was attacking Japan.
Godzilla left the island and swam toward Japan, while Jet Jaguar grew to kaiju size to occupy Megalon until Godzilla arrived. Unfortunately, Megalon's masters, the Seatopians, contacted the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens and borrowed their monster Gigan to assist him. Jet Jaguar found himself overwhelmed by the duo of Gigan and Megalon, until Godzilla finally arrived. After a lengthy battle, Gigan retreated as he had done a year before, leaving Megalon at the mercy of Godzilla and his robot ally.
Jet Jaguar held Megalon still as Godzilla delivered a punishing kick to his chest after sliding on his tail. Firmly beaten, Megalon burrowed back underground to Seatopia, leaving the surface world safe. Godzilla shook hands with Jet Jaguar, then swam back to Monster Island.
Godzilla would be called upon several times by the Sakimori family to assist them and the hero Zone Fighter against various monsters sent by the Garogas to conquer the Earth, including Gigan. Godzilla gradually developed a friendship with Zone Fighter and the Sakimori family, who came to know him as the "Monster of Justice."
After "Godzilla" emerged from Mount Fuji and wreaked havoc across the countryside and broke Anguirus' jaw, it appeared he had returned to his villainous ways. When Godzilla reached Tokyo and began destroying it, another Godzilla appeared from underneath a building. This second Godzilla fired his atomic breath at the other one, revealing it as a robotic impostor. The robot, Mechagodzilla, burned off the rest of its disguise and revealed its full arsenal of weapons. Godzilla fired his atomic breath at Mechagodzilla, which countered with its eye-mounted laser beams. The monsters' beams locked and exploded, sending Godzilla crashing into Tokyo Bay, with his blood welling to the surface. Mechagodzilla was damaged as well and returned to the base of his alien masters, the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens, in Okinawa.
Godzilla came ashore on an island (possibly Monster Island) to recover, where he was struck repeatedly by lightning. However, the lightning had an unforeseen side effect, allowing Godzilla to harness magnetic forces. Godzilla then swam to Okinawa to engage his robotic counterpart in battle once again. When Godzilla arrived, Mechagodzilla was battling the Okinawan guardian beast King Caesar. Godzilla joined forces with King Caesar, and with his help was able to overwhelm Mechagodzilla and force it to retreat.
As Mechagodzilla flew away, Godzilla activated his new magnetic powers and drew Mechagodzilla toward him. Godzilla held Mechagodzilla still from behind, as King Caesar repeatedly slammed into the machine. Godzilla then grabbed Mechagodzilla's head and twisted it until its entire upper torso was torn from the rest of its body. Meanwhile, a group of humans infiltrated the aliens' base and destroyed it, triggering a self-destruct sequence that also detonated Mechagodzilla, sending Godzilla tumbling into the ocean below along with Mechagodzilla's wreckage. Godzilla surfaced and began to swim away, as King Caesar returned to his slumber in the side of a cliff.
When the mad Dr. Mafune unleashed the monster Titanosaurus in Tokyo, Godzilla arrived to challenge him. Godzilla briefly fought Titanosaurus until the monster abruptly retreated, confusing Godzilla. Godzilla later returned to fight Titanosaurus and the rebuilt Mechagodzilla, who were under the control of the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens and had just obliterated most of Tokyo.
Godzilla fought valiantly, but was no match for the combined might of both monsters. After Titanosaurus had pummeled Godzilla, Mechagodzilla blasted him with its finger missiles, knocking him unconscious. Titanosaurus kicked Godzilla into a ravine, while Mechagodzilla used its missiles to bury him alive. The J.S.D.F. used a sonic oscillator to distract Titanosaurus, allowing Godzilla to emerge from underground and focus his attention on Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla unleashed its full payload of weapons against Godzilla, but Godzilla eventually reached his mechanical doppelganger and tore its head off once again. This time though, Mechagodzilla was not destroyed and was still able to fire a powerful laser beam from the mechanical "brain" atop its neck.
Meanwhile, Katsura Mafune, who had Mechagodzilla's controller installed inside of her, broke free of the mind-control the aliens had placed over her and shot and killed herself to stop Mechagodzilla. With Mechagodzilla immobile, Godzilla grabbed his robot double and threw it into the same ravine where he had been buried earlier, then blasted it with his atomic breath, causing Mechagodzilla to explode, destroyed for good. Godzilla then turned his attention to Titanosaurus, easily overpowering him.
The aliens' leader, Mugal, and his remaining underlings tried to flee in their UFOs, but Godzilla saw them escaping and destroyed them with his atomic breath. Godzilla then blasted Titanosaurus in the chest with his atomic breath, sending him falling over a cliff into the sea below. Godzilla waded back out to sea and swam away, victorious.
By the end of the 20th century, Godzilla and all of Earth's other kaiju were living together on the human-monitored Monsterland, located in the Ogasawara Islands. A sinister alien force called the Kilaaks invaded the island, brainwashing the island's staff along with the monsters and setting them loose all over the globe. Godzilla surfaced in New York, where he attacked the United Nations building. As humanity struggled to find a way to sever the Kilaaks' mind control, Godzilla, Rodan, Manda and Mothra all assaulted Tokyo at once. The monsters could not be stopped by military might, and Tokyo was reduced to rubble.
Godzilla and the other monsters were then recalled to the Mount Fuji area to guard the Kilaaks' base. Fortunately, the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 assaulted the Kilaaks' base on the moon and destroyed their mind control device. Godzilla then led his fellow Earth monsters to attack the Kilaaks' base at Mt. Fuji. The Kilaaks revealed their trump card though, in the form of King Ghidorah. King Ghidorah attacked Godzilla and the Earth monsters, but was no match for the combined might of Godzilla, Minilla, Anguirus, and Gorosaurus. Gorosaurus delivered a punishing kangaroo-kick to Ghidorah's back, while Godzilla stomped his heads into the dust. Minilla then choked off King Ghidorah's last head with a smoke ring, leaving the space monster lying limp on the ground.
Mothra and Kumonga then covered King Ghidorah's motionless body in webbing. The Kilaaks then unleashed a flaming UFO dubbed the "Fire Dragon," which was eventually shot down by the SY-3. Godzilla discovered the Kilaaks' base and destroyed it, causing a fissure to open in the ground, into which King Ghidorah's body fell. With the Earth finally saved, Godzilla and his fellow monsters were relocated back to Monsterland to live out their days in peace.
Though technically a reptile and not an amphibian, Godzilla has an amphibious lifestyle. He spends half of his life in water and the other on land. He is as adept a fighter underwater as he is on land. Capable of marching on the sea floor or swimming by undulating his tail like a crocodile, Godzilla is displayed as being able to breathe underwater, or occasionally hibernating in the ocean depths between movies.
While Godzilla's atomic breath, initially called either Incandescent Light (白熱光?) or Radioactivity Extrusion Hakunekkō (放射能噴出?) Hōshanō Funshutsu and later known as Radioactive Flame (放射火炎?) or Radioactive Heat Ray Hōsha Kaen (放射熱線?), has typically been shown to set entire city blocks ablaze and easily obliterate most military weaponry, many of Godzilla's opponents have shown the ability to withstand it, at least in its standard intensity. For example, in the Hōsha NessenShowa series, both Rodan and King Ghidorah were able to withstand direct hits from Godzilla's atomic breath with little visible harm.
From Godzilla Raids Again to Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla's atomic breath seemed identical to that of the original Godzilla, appearing as a white, mist-like blast. However, after Invasion of Astro-Monster, Godzilla's atomic breath seemed to get an increase in power, appearing as a focused beam attack and becoming powerful enough to set Kumonga and Kamacuras aflame as well as cause large explosions.
Godzilla has displayed an uncanny ability to sustain damage throughout his films. Starting in the first Godzilla film, Godzilla displayed an immunity to conventional weaponry, virtually impervious to everything the JSDF threw at him. Dr. Yamane states that the very fact Godzilla survived exposure to a hydrogen bomb explosion is a testament to his durability. Godzilla also displayed a healing factor, as he was able to recover from having his entire right hand burned to the bone by Hedorah, and cuts that caused severe bleeding from Gigan and Mechagodzilla.
Energy absorption and projection
Godzilla has been shown absorbing other forms of energy besides nuclear radiation. In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Godzilla is able to harness electricity after being struck repeatedly by lightning, granting him the ability to become a living magnetic pole.
Godzilla was also previously shown being energized and awakened by lightning in Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.
In a memorable, and somewhat infamous scene in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla used his atomic breath to fly by aiming it at the ground and lifting off like a rocket. Godzilla has used this ability two times outside of Godzilla vs. Hedorah; in the comic series Godzilla: Ongoing and in Godzilla: The Game, where it is called "Back Charge."
The extent of Godzilla's intelligence varies throughout the character's history, but Godzilla is generally depicted as a thinking creature. The Showa incarnation in particular is depicted as being close in intelligence to a human, capable of abstract thought, and able to communicate with other monsters. Other versions of Godzilla display a simple animal-like cunning.
Though the American-shot inserts from King Kong vs. Godzilla have little consistency with the timeline and rules of the Godzilla character in the Toho films, it may be worth mentioning that one of the American characters says that Godzilla has a brain about the size of a marble: "He's sheer brute force."
In comparison, the character states that King Kong "Is a thinking animal." Again, this is largely inconsistent with Godzilla's character, although this is possibly done just to show Kong, being a primate would be much more intelligent than Godzilla, who is a reptile.
In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Godzilla found a way to generate powerful magnetic fields from his body after being struck several times by lightning, which proved devastating against his metallic foe. This is the only time Godzilla ever used this power.
As attributed to his size, weight and mass, Godzilla has displayed varied levels of physical strength that are, at the very least, sufficient enough to lift weights exceeding 2,000 tons and smash skyscrapers.
He has been depicted lifting and throwing monsters in excess of his own weight, such as King Ghidorah, Hedorah, Mechagodzilla and others. He is also shown using various martial arts techniques in a comical fashion during the Showa era.
In Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla uses his dorsal plates to cut into Hedorah during the flying scene.
Despite his incredible power, Godzilla has displayed a few weaknesses over the years. In King Kong vs. Godzilla and Mothra vs. Godzilla, he is shown to be vulnerable to strong voltages of electricity. As the series progressed, lightning has been shown to have the opposite effect, at times serving to revitalize him.
In every film era, Godzilla has displayed at least some weakness to ice. In Godzilla Raids Again, Godzilla was frozen in an iceberg for seven years before emerging again in King Kong vs. Godzilla. In Son of Godzilla, Godzilla was forced into hibernation when a massive man made snowstorm descended on Solgell Island.
Due to Godzilla's size, super-strength and regenerative abilities, he is invulnerable to most forms of conventional attack. However, over the years, there have been some weapons that were able to hurt and damage Godzilla.
The first Mechagodzilla was created as a weapon of destruction by the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens. Mechagodzilla's body was constructed of a nearly indestructible alloy only known as "space titanium," was equipped with a staggering amount of firepower and had rockets for flight. Godzilla defeated it by pulling its head off. An updated version of the same mecha returned in Terror of Mechagodzilla, and this time it survived its head being ripped off.
The Showa era Godzilla has appeared in a few video games, including Godzilla: Unleashed, and the 2014 video game. This Godzilla also made an appearance within the mobile game Godzilla: Kaiju Collection.
Godzilla appeared in the 1983 Godzilla game for Commodore 64. The objective of the game in this case is to kill him, given the player plays as the military forces.
Godzilla is one of the playable characters present within the game Gojira-kun. His abilities include pushing rocks out of the way, and being able to defeat enemies with one punch.
Godzilla appeared in, and was playable in the 1986 Godzilla game known as Monster's Fair. He's another antagonist monster, and his abilities include being able to run diagonally and shoot his atomic heat ray at Mothra once in close proximity. Godzilla is a hard enemy to kill as he moves fast and does not travel straight down.
Much like the Commodore title, Godzilla makes an appearance as an antagonistic monster, with the player acting as the military, attempting to stop him.
Godzilla acts as the only playable character within the game's solo environment, boasting a few abilities, such as his Atomic Heat Ray.
Godzilla appears as a playable monster within the game Godzilla: Domination!. Godzilla is one of the slower characters, but comes with a few abilities.
- Level 1 Special: Godzilla fires his atomic breath instantly at point blank range.
- Level 2 Special: Godzilla leaps into the air, curls into a ball and bodyslams his opponent.
- Level 3 Special: Godzilla activates his healing factor and regains health.
The 1964 Godzilla made an appearance within the 2014 game, Godzilla and acted as a playable character within the game.
|Square||One tap: Right Punch|
Two taps: Left Punch
Three taps: Tail Combo
One tap (While grabbing): Throw
Tap + Roar: Strong Charge
Tap(While Charging): Jump Attack
|Triangle||Tap: Strong Tail Attack|
Tap + Up: Grab
Tap + Down: Tail Attack
Tap + Left/Right: Side Attack
Tap(While Charging): Front Kick
Tap(While Grabbing): Bite
|Circle||Tap: Back Leg Sand Toss|
Roar + Tap: Anguirus Ball
Tap: Nuclear Pulse
|L1 + L1/R1 + R1||180° turn|
The 1954 Godzilla made an appearance within the Kaiju Collection game for mobile devices, alongside the 1964 Godzilla.
List of appearances
- Godzilla Raids Again (First appearance)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla
- Mothra vs. Godzilla
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
- Invasion of Astro-Monster
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
- Son of Godzilla
- Destroy All Monsters
- All Monsters Attack
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah
- Godzilla vs. Gigan
- Godzilla vs. Megalon
- Zone Fighter
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
- Terror of Mechagodzilla
- Monster's Fair
- Godzilla: Monster of Monsters
- Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
- Godzilla (Arcade)
- Godzilla: Domination!
- Godzilla (2014 video game) (1964 Godzilla)
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection (1964 Godzilla)