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Overview

The Rodan (ラドン,   Radon?) of the Heisei era is a giant pteranodon kaiju created by Toho that first appeared in the 1993 Godzilla film, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.

Name

The Japanese name of Rodan, "Radon," is a contraction of "pteranodon" and may also have been chosen to suggest radiation. The spelling of Radon in Japanese also corresponds to the name of Ladon, the dragon-like monster represented in Greek Mythology. In the United States, the monster's name was changed to and trademarked as "Rodan". The name of his second, more powerful form is Fire Rodan (ファイヤーラドン,   Faiyā Radon?) after absorbing nuclear radiation from Godzilla.

Design

Appearance

Like his Showa era predecessor, Rodan resembles a large pterosaur that walks upright on two legs. Rodan's design, dubbed as HeiseiRado (平成ラド?), retains his brown skin, albeit muted, but with three yellow horns on the back of his head instead of two (the outer two curve outwards and the center curves up), as well as a wider beak and more predatory face. While larger in this incarnation, he is proportionally much smaller compared to Godzilla, standing only about two-thirds as tall as Godzilla and having a wingspan slightly longer than Godzilla's height. The prominent rows of spines on his belly are replaced with overlapping yellow ridges of bone running to the end of his tail. Furthermore, his eyes possess white sclera and golden irises, similar to that of Godzilla's.

As Fire Rodan, his skin becomes vermilion red, his horns and the spines on his chest become bright gold, and his beak turns black.

Portrayal

Rodan's portrayal was done not through a suit, but rather a puppet. A hand puppet of Rodan's upper body, operated by Koichi Kawakita, was employed for close-up shots of Rodan.

Roar

Similar to his Showa era counterpart, Rodan's roar starts off as a shriek and then becomes a deep exhale.

Personality

Rodan is shown to be a fiercely loyal and protective kaiju. He sees Baby Godzilla as his brother and will go to great lengths to protect him, nearly being killed by both Godzilla and Mechagodzilla. Ever after seeing that Baby Godzilla is a Godzillasaurus and not a pteranodon like him, this did not change Rodan's care toward his surrogate sibling, and willingly sacrifices himself to save Godzilla from Mechagodzilla, so he can raise Baby Godzilla.

Origins

Rodan was the sole surviving offspring of a pteranodon that nested on Adonoa Island. Alongside a lone Godzillasaurus egg that was inserted into the nest as a form of brood parasitism, Rodan's egg was exposed to nuclear dumping on the island by the Russians, mutating him as he hatched and grew. After hatching, he would watch over the Godzillasaurus egg as though it were his own kin.

History

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II

Rodan in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II

Rodan first appeared in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2, on a small island where his and Baby Godzilla's eggs were found by a Japanese research team. After he observed Baby Godzilla's egg being commandeered by a squadron, Rodan attacked the scientific team and their camp in an effort to protect Baby Godzilla. Suddenly, Godzilla appeared from the sea and Rodan, assuming the kaiju to be another threat, engaged and fought him, although unaware of the team escaping on a helicopter with Baby Godzilla's egg.

While putting up a brutal fight, Rodan was defeated by Godzilla. As he was left for dead, the psychic song of an ancient plant that had covered the eggs sang to Baby Godzilla. Rodan heard the song miles away on the island, and it revived him. He then absorbed the nuclear energy from Godzilla and transformed into Fire Rodan, changing his colors and giving him a uranium heat ray as a weapon, similar to Godzilla's atomic breath.

Fire Rodan in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2

Empowered by his transformation, Rodan took off to save his surrogate brother. He caught the capsule that was carrying the baby, and flew it off towards a city. He was attacked by the Garuda and then by Mechagodzilla, who made him fly into a building. The humans' attention was then turned to the arriving Godzilla, and they battled him. Godzilla was defeated and paralyzed by Super Mechagodzilla, and Fire Rodan acted to save the life of his surrogate brother, and flew on top of Godzilla's body. He gave his life force and melted into Godzilla, sacrificing his own life to revive Godzilla, healing his damaged second brain and giving him the power of the Spiral Beam. With Fire Rodan's power, Godzilla destroyed Super Mechagodzilla, and took Baby Godzilla out to sea.

Godzilla Island

Rodan in Godzilla Island

Fire Rodan in Godzilla Island


This section is a stub. You can help expand this section by adding some information.

Rodan was featured in the television series.

Abilities

Flight speed

Rodan's most noticeable trait is his flying speed, which has allowed him to effortlessly outmaneuver and outrun supersonic jets at speeds of Mach 3 (2,301.81 mph). In addition, Rodan can cause powerful shockwaves while flying, and gather strong winds while on the ground by simply flapping his wings.

Durability

Rodan does have some degree of durability, withstanding several blasts from both Godzilla and Mechagodzilla.

Energy transfer

In the film, Fire Rodan was able to transmit his life into Godzilla to heal him, which caused Godzilla to absorb him in the process. In the manga adaptation of the film, it is shown that Fire Rodan can also absorb life for himself, such as from any nearby small animals such as birds, and fish, among others, into his body in order to restore his health and vitality.

Physical traits

Rodan can use his beak and talons effectively in battle, where his beak was powerful enough to crush boulders, and his wings, despite their delicate appearance, are quite durable. Rodan also usually has spikes on his head and chest, which he may use in battle.

Uranium heat beam

Fire Rodan firing his Uranium Beam in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2

Rodan, as Fire Rodan, could emit a blast of wind from his mouth similar to that of his Showa appearance. Rodan develops the ability to emit a purple-colored radioactive heat beam from his mouth called the uranium heat beam, following exposure to Godzilla and radioactive waste on Adonoa Island. Similar to Godzilla's atomic breath in many ways, this uranium heat beam was relatively powerful, capable of creating large explosions upon contact.

Video games

Godzilla: Unleashed

Fire Rodan is Earth's largest flier. His element is the air, the clouds, and the wind-swept mountain peaks that scrape against them. Nesting in the tops of active volcanoes, Fire Rodan is virtually immune to heat and lava-based attacks. Rodan is the fastest of all monsters while in the air, and prefers to confront challenges from a lofty height. His great speed also makes him a fierce hand-to-hand combatant, with savage claw, talon, and beak attacks. Fire Rodan defends the Earth's atmosphere - eliminating all airborne threats to the planet's well-being. „ 

— Rodan's Godzilla: Unleashed bio

Rodan returns in Godzilla: Unleashed but under the name "Fire Rodan," to coincide with the use of his Uranium Beam. Rodan is part of the Earth Defender Faction and is one of the fastest flyers in the game.

Trivia

  • Koichi Kawakita, special effects director for the Heisei Godzilla series, made the decision to reduce Rodan's size to smaller than Godzilla, thereby avoiding the previous series' tendency of having every monster Godzilla fights be his size.
  • Strangely, despite being referred to as 'Fire Rodan' in the game Godzilla: Unleashed, and keeping the use of the form's Uranium Beam, Rodan is still represented in his normal form's appearance. This was most likely made as an excuse to give Rodan a beam weapon since, in Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and Godzilla: Save the Earth, he is normal Rodan but was given the Uranium Beam, which is an ability that Rodan never uses in his regular form. As a result of this, Fire Rodan's copyright icon is utilized in Godzilla: Unleashed, but Rodan's regular icon is not.

List of appearances

Films

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Official Godzilla Compendium. Profiles of the Monsters; Page 138.
Film-based kaiju
Godzilla kaiju
King Kong kaiju
Mothra kaiju
Gamera kaiju
Other kaiju
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