Mechagodzilla

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Godzilla film series character
All three incarnations of Mechagodzilla (from left to right; Showa, Heisei, Millenium)
Mechagodzilla
Species Mecha/Robot/Cyborg
Alias Bionic Monster
Cosmic Monster
Mecha-G
Super Mechagodzilla
Kiryu
Form(s) Fake Godzilla (Godzilla disguise)
Super Mechagodzilla (combination of Garuda and Heisei Mechagodzilla)
Height 50 – 120 metres
Weight 40,000-150,482 tons
Abilities/Weaponry See text
Relationships Godzilla (Blueprint/Frame (Kiryu))
Mecha-King Ghidorah (Predecessor- Heisei)
M.O.G.U.E.R.A (Successor - Heisei)
Major enemies Godzilla
Anguirus (Showa)
King Caesar (Showa)
Rodan (Heisei)
Allies Titanosaurus (Showa)
Mothra (Godzilla: Tokyo SOS)
Controllers: Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens
JSDF
Vortaak (Destroy All Monsters Melee and Unleashed)
First appearance Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
Latest appearance Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003)
Portrayed by: Shōwa
Ise Mori
Heisei
Wataru Fukuda
Kiryu
Hirofumi Ishigaki
Motokuni Nakagawa

Mechagodzilla (メカゴジラ Mekagojira?) is a fictional character from various films in the Godzilla series, introduced in Jun Fukuda's final entry Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). He is Godzilla's mechanical counterpart and one of the most popular Toho kaiju. Mechagodzilla is also recognized as one of Godzilla's most brutal foes, having temporarily defeated the King of Monsters on several occasions.

Appearances[edit]

Showa[edit]

The original Mechagodzilla was created as a weapon of destruction by the Simians, and the only one to be referred to by numerics within the movies themselves; when it is rebuilt in Terror of Mechagodzilla, the "MG" emblazoned on its arm has a "2" added to it; but is still usually referred to as simply "Mechagodzilla" by the characters.

History[edit]

First appearing in a pseudo-flesh outer covering and masquerading as the real Godzilla, Mechagodzilla makes a few attacks against Japan. Godzilla's ally Anguirus wasn't fooled by the impostor's disguise, but in the resulting fight Mechagodzilla swiftly overpowered the beast; breaking Anguirus' jaw and sending him fleeing underground. Anguirus attacking his ally was a complete shock; and the battle had also exposed a piece of Mechagodzilla's true mechanical nature (though most humans did not seem to notice it), tipping any keen eyes off to the robot's charade. Godzilla then reappeared from a warehouse and, in the ensuing brawl, used his atomic heat ray to destroy large chunks of the psuedo-flesh, utterly ruining the robot's disguise and forcing Mechagodzilla to reveal itself in full. The battle resulted in a tie, however, as Godzilla was severely wounded and Mechagodzilla forced back into the Simian's base for a repair job. Fearing for the robot's advance, a priestess of the Azumi royal family, prepares to awaken King Caesar, an ancient Okninawan deity. Mechagodzilla was finished repairs and, due to the Simians catching onto the idea, sent to Okinawa to destroy the golem before he could awaken. Unfortunately, the Simians were too slow, and King Ceasar was awoken to fend off the robot. Despite the shisa golem's best efforts, however, Mechagodzilla still proved too much, and the guardian was soundly trounced. However, Godzilla had been following his doppleganger, and he immediately resumed engagement with Mechagodzilla. After a long, hard and bloody battle, Godzilla and King Ceasar's cooperation pays off when Godzilla manages to forcibly turn Mechagodzilla's head around his shoulders against it's will and tear it clean off, causing the robot to detonate and defeating the menace.

The Simians, though, rebuilt their dreadnought for another try one year later, in Terror of Mechagodzilla. Having learned the value of teamwork firsthand, the Simians called in an old debt to pair Mechagodzilla with the aquatic dinosaur, known as Titanosaurus, that had been discovered by Dr. Mafune, a scientist shunned by his comrades because of his experimentation on oceanic life. This time, though, some modifications were made, mainly turning the mecha into a true cyborg by giving it living human brain cells; accomplished by integrating its control circuitry into the body of Dr. Mafune's daughter Katsura, as well as a variety of other cybernetic enhancements. Godzilla tried to exploit the flaw found in their last brawl, but this time the Simians prepared for it and had installed a secondary head to allow the mech to operate without it's head. Mechagodzilla was once more defeated after Katsura committed suicide, destroying the mech's controls and freezing it long enough for Godzilla to use his atomic heat ray on Mechagodzilla's headless body, causing it to explode in a massive fireball and finishing off the doppleganger once and for all.

Arsenal[edit]

The Showa Mechagodzilla has a vast arsenal. The main body of this Mechagodzilla is constructed out of a mysterious, nearly indestructible alloy known as "Space Titanium", as well as being equipped with a staggering amount of firepower; including an optical beam, known as the "Space Beam", that could match Godzilla's Atomic Ray. Its head can rotate 360 degrees, allowing the robot to shoot down an opponent that might attempt to approach from behind. Mechagodzilla's head is also able to generate a cylindrical force-field around its body by spinning around rapidly. When disguised as Godzilla, it could use a flamethrower in its mouth to mimic the real Godzilla's atomic breath; once the disguise was destroyed, Mechagodzilla never used it again. Mechagodzilla is also equipped with powerful missiles in its fingers, knees, and even its toes; these can explode on contact with a target or lodge in an enemy's flesh like darts. Located under a hatch in Mechagodzilla's chest is a weapon that fires a jagged orange energy beam with enough power to cut a mountain in half. Its rebuilt self could increase the velocity of the finger missiles by rapidly rotating its hands and could also fire a ray from under its head when it was ripped off.

Heisei[edit]

The second incarnation of the character, this version only appeared in Godzilla VS. Mechagodzilla.

History[edit]

Created by the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center using Futurian technology scavenged from the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla was the most powerful weapon to counter Godzilla, or other kaiju, yet developed. When Godzilla attacked the city of Kyoto, Mechagodzilla was deployed against him. The mechanical kaiju acquitted itself well, but was eventually defeated due to a voltage backsurge during their electrocution of Godzilla. One of the back-up pilots suggests merging Mechagodzilla with the Garuda, a smaller airship that had been constructed by the UNGCC before Mecha-King Ghidorah's remains had been salvaged.

Kazuma, in fact the chief designer and main pilot of Garuda to start with and the back-up pilot of Mechagodzilla, found some personal redemption when the idea is approved. The combined form of the two mechs is dubbed Super-Mechagodzilla (スーパーメカゴジラ Supa-Mekagojira?), and then sent into battle against Godzilla and Fire Rodan. In the heat of battle, Kazuma detaches Garuda from Mechagodzilla to battle against Fire Rodan while the other Mechagodzilla crew continue against Godzilla. Kazuma is defeated, but manages to reattach the Garuda to Mechagodzilla to reform Super-Mechagodzilla. It proceeds to destroy Godzilla's secondary brain crippling Godzilla and then moves in to destroy Godzilla. Rodan then leaps to Godzilla's defense, but is fatally wounded by a blast from Super-Mechagodzilla's Megabuster Ray. Upon landing on Godzilla Rodan then, with his last ounce of strength, places his beak on one of Godzilla's dorsal plates, releasing the radioactive energy within his body and healing Godzilla. As Fire Rodan dissolved, he filled the air with a superheated, radioactive dust, which melted Super-Mechgodzilla's diamond coating. As a result, Super-Mechagodzilla was rendered defenseless against the revived monster. Godzilla, temporarily supercharged with radiation, destroys the mech with his red spiral atomic breath as revenge for Rodan's death, as Super-Mechagodzilla's crew escape uninjured.

Arsenal[edit]

This second incarnation of Mechagodzilla has an impressive and varied arsenal built only to destroy Godzilla and other monsters, which makes it a powerful adversary. Mechagodzilla is protected by an armor plating much like Garuda's NT-1 armor though Mechagodzilla's is made from a much stronger version, called NT-20, which is coated in a layer of artificial diamond that allows it to absorb energy from Godzilla's atomic breath and transfer it to the Plasma Grenade, and Mechagodzilla was also able to absorb energy from Rodan's Uranium Heat Ray. This Mechagodzilla also possesses laser cannons in its eyes and a Mega-Buster beam in its mouth with power equitable to Godzilla's atomic breath and tranquilizer missiles fired from its hips, paralysis missiles from the shoulders, and shock anchor cables from its wrists which deliver a powerful electrical surge into its opponent. After Mechagodzilla's first defeat, the shock cables were upgraded into a more powerful version called the G-Crusher. Mechagodzilla can also attach to the airship Garuda and becomes Super-Mechagodzilla. As Super-Mechagodzilla, it gains Garuda's powerful laser cannons as well as added thrust from Garuda's jets.

Millennium ("Kiryu")[edit]

The Millennium incarnation, Kiryu (機龍 Kiryū?) was featured in two films: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo SOS.

History[edit]

Despite the fact that the original Godzilla had been killed in 1954 by the Oxygen Destroyer, Japan still found itself under attack from other monsters such as Mothra and Gaira over the decades. When a second Godzilla appeared in 1999, Japan proposed a shocking plan: to dredge up the skeleton of the first Godzilla from Tokyo Bay and use it as a skeleton/framework for constructing a Mechagodzilla, also known as Kiryu; but they were unaware that this bold move would only infuriate and provoke this new Godzilla into attacking. Kiryu was unleashed, but the cyborg's latent memories were reawakened by the new Godzilla's own roars. Recovering the memories of its attack on Tokyo in 1954, Kiryu broke free of its pilot, Akane Yashiro, and proceeded to trash the city (manual overrides being ignored) without the new Godzilla's help for a couple of hours until it ran out of power. The public was not amused. Hastily recalled, Kiryu received quite a few weapon upgrades in addition to new computer control software routines. When the new Godzilla attacked again a few days later, both branches of the JSDF tried stopping him without the steel monster's help, but it was useless. With Akane at the ROV controls again, Kiryu was sent out. The second battle went well until Kiryu's receiver was damaged. Akane proceeded to enter Kiryu and effect repairs personally, despite being ordered not to. She then piloted the cyborg directly from its skull, carrying Godzilla out into the bay once more. Akane tried to destroy Godzilla with Kiryu's ultimate weapon, the Absolute Zero Cannon, but the fight ended in a draw. Godzilla retreated to the sea (though not before suffering a horribly shredded chest) and Kiryu was sent back to the body shop after receiving a utterly destroyed right arm, heavily damaged Absolute Zero system and emptied power cells.

Mothra's fairies, the Shobijin, then appeared to warn Japan, claiming that building Kiryu using the bones was a violation of the natural order of things, sure to keep attracting Godzilla. They also claimed that Mothra would gladly take the cyborg's place in protecting Japan, should they agreed to dismantle the mechanical beast. Since Kiryu had been built partially to defend against a second attack from Mothra herself, the Japanese declined at first. But eventually, Godzilla did appear, first killing Kamoebas and then making a march for Japan itself. Mothra voluntarily (but at the same time, reluctantly) engaged him and Prime Minister Hayato Igarishi was shamed into aiding her; thus Kiryu flew into battle again. Despite their efforts, the current adult Mothra was killed and Kiryu's transmitter damaged once again. Just like Akane before him, Yoshito entered Kiryu for repairs, but was forced to remain inside the mech during the rest of the battle after Godzilla's atomic breath had accidentally struck both of the hatch doors damaging and jamming them. Teaming up with the newly hatched twin Mothra larvae, Kiryu was able to use his drill in his right arm to injure Godzilla's chest even more, eventually reaching, and tearing up his insides, causing Godzilla to bleed. While Godzilla screamed in pain, Kiryu fired his Triple Hyper Maser at Godzilla. Godzilla's resultant roar enabled Kiryu to pass his memories to Yoshito, whilst Godzilla was restrained and subdued by the web of Mothra's twin larvae. Unable to fight and severely injured, Godzilla fell to the ground and could not return to his feet. Breaking free of Akiba's control, Kiryu carried Godzilla out to sea, and after releasing Akane and Yoshito to safety, plunged into the depths with his counterpart and was never seen again.

Arsenal[edit]

Kiryu is considerably more lithe and agile than other versions of Mechagodzilla, and thus bears a closer resemblance to Godzilla than the previous versions. While the first two incarnations are constructed of fictional alloys, it is never specified what Kiryu's armor is made out of, and Kiryu is the first Mechagodzilla to include organic parts in its internal structure from its debut, as it was built from the skeleton of the original Godzilla and thus uses that DNA in its computer system. Kiryu's arms, or weapons, include an oral maser cannon, dual laser cannons on each arm (detachable in its second outing), and a flight pack that contains two forward firing rocket launchers and four batteries along its back and sides for launching guided missiles. Upon emptying its payload, the flight pack can then detach from Kiryu's body and launched to push the enemy a safe distance back before being remotely detonated. In Tokyo SOS, the flight pack was modified so that only the weapons pods were fired; leaving the thrusters attached and allowing Kiryu to maintain its aerial capabilities. For close combat, a short blade can be extended from Kiryu's dual laser cannons which was not only able to penetrate Godzilla's nearly impervious hide, but was also able to discharge a crippling electrical surge into his opponent's body. Kiryu's arsenal was upgraded in its second outing to allow its right hand to collapse into a revolving drill. Like the previous incarnations, Kiryu is also able to fly; although its limited energy reserves required the machine to be airlifted to the battlefield by two carrier craft. Kiryu's most devastating weapon is the Absolute Zero Cannon (a weapon also utilized by the Gotengo). Stored in its chest behind a trio of folding panels, the Absolute Zero Cannon fires a ball of energy that flash freezes its target, thereby causing it to disintergrate under the weight of its own mass. After being heavily damaged and missing all of its opportunities to hit Godzilla in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Kiryu's Absolute Zero Cannon was deemed too expensive to repair and was replaced by a Hyper Maser Cannon in Kiryu's second outing.

Self-awareness[edit]

As Kiryu is a true cyborg, being a machine built over organic matter, the DNA-enhanced computer systems the mech sported (and the spirit of the original Godzilla) enabled Kiryu to act independently of any form of control, and as a result was capable of making decisions and taking certain actions on its own, performing movements and actions not programmed by any of the control systems, usually at catastrophically inopportune moments. Kiryu can seemingly express emotion or make decisions outside of its human pilots; this was never intended by its creators and was an unforeseen development, however it proves to be a pivotal ability in Tokyo S.O.S., as Kiryu makes the decision to take the modern Godzilla out to sea rather than kill him completely by itself. Also unlike the previous Mechagodzilla incarnations, this one proved to possess some form of self-awareness, as well as an understanding of human language, communicating only once with Yoshito, a human who had worked with and on the cyborg extensively, directly in Tokyo S.O.S. and indicating that it had been aware of Yoshito by name, though exactly how long Kiryu had been aware of him by name is never made clear. Unfortunately for the JSDF, building this incarnation of Mechagodzilla on the bones of the original Godzilla also had the initial side effect of making the machine go berserk if it heard the pained roars of Godzilla (an issue that was mostly fixed by the time Kiryu needed to be put out into battle again to aid Mothra against Godzilla).

In culture[edit]

The various incarnations of Mechagodzilla has appeared in other media associated with the series, such as video games, television shows or comics. In the 5th season episode of 30 Rock, "Chain Reaction of Mental Anguish", Kiryu appears as one of the characters in a theme restaurant.

Showa Mechagodzilla was rated Number 15 of the 50 Best Movie Robots by The Times, beating other such legends as C-3PO from Star Wars, the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Optimus Prime from Transformers.[1]

In Ernest Cline's novel Ready Player One, the main antagonist transforms into Mechagodzilla during the climatic battle in a virtual reality environment.

In the game Bulletstorm there's a level where the player controls a mechanical version of a Hekaton (which is the game's equivalent to Godzilla) as well as the song being played during this part of the game being called "Mecha-dzilla"

Godzilla and Mechagodzilla make a cameo appearance in Ugly Americans (Season 1: Episode 7 Kong of Queens) in which King Kong fights Godzilla (King Kong's children watching the movie Godzilla vs. King Kong) and another when Kong punches a wall (after an argument with Mark Lily on the phone), the Showa-era Mechagodzilla was seen having breakfast.

The Shōwa Mechagodzilla appears in the video games Godzilla: Monster of Monsters for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Godzilla for the Game Boy, Super Godzilla for the Super Nintendo (American release; replaces the Heisei version from the Japanese release, due to the fact that the Heisei incarnation's film had yet to be released in America when the game was released), Godzilla: Battle Legends for TurboDuo, Godzilla Generations for the Dreamcast (erronously using his Heisei counterpart's sound effects) and Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact for the Dreamcast and the Wii version of Godzilla: Unleashed.

The Heisei Mechagodzilla appeared in the video games Super Godzilla (Japanese version, replaced by the Showa Mechagodzilla in the English release) and Godzilla: Monster War, both for the Super Nintendo, Godzilla: Domination! for Game Boy Advance, Godzilla: Save the Earth for Xbox and PlayStation 2, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee for Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube, and the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of Godzilla: Unleashed.

Kiryu first appeared in the Japanese version of Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee on the Nintendo GameCube. Since the Millennium Mechagodzilla duology would take a few years to reach US stores, it was dropped from the American version of the game but did appear as an exclusive in the Xbox version. Kiryu was next playable in Godzilla: Save the Earthfor the Xbox and the PlayStation 2 under the title "Mechagodzilla 3"; this would be Kiryu's first PS2 appearance in the United States. Kiryu also appears in both versions of Godzilla: Unleashed, for the first time under the name "Kiryu" as opposed to its names in the two previous games; "Millenium Mechagodzilla" and "Mechagodzilla 3".

Like the other kaiju in the game, the backstories of all three Mechagodzilla incarnations are altered slightly, to fit the context of the game. The Heisei Mechagodzilla and Kiryu are man-made mecha and are part of the G.D.F. (Global Defense Force) faction, defending Earth from the evil Vortaak and their kaiju of the Aliens faction, which includes the original Mechagodzilla which was created by the Vortaak in the canon of the game. The altered backstories are, in order of debut;

Mechagodzilla (Showa)
The original Mechagodzilla was created by the Vortaak as part of their first attempt to conquer the earth. Plated with space titanium, it was too well armored for any of Earth's monster to defeat single-handedly, however working as a team the Earth's guardian monsters managed to destroy Mechagodzilla, foiling the Vortaak's plans. However, they managed to rebuild their Mechagodzilla to fight for them once again alongside their army of kaiju and be part of the latest attempt to conquer Earth.
Mechagodzilla 2 (Heisei)
Inspired by the Vortaak Mechagodzilla, the Global Defense Force built their own Mechagodzilla. Though they were unable to duplicate the original's space titanium alloy, GDF weapons designers managed to create an armor composite which resist physical attacks and absorbs most heat and radiation attaks used by many of Earth's monsters as well as the Vortaak. Due to it being based on the original Mechagodzilla, Mechagodzilla 2 has most of the same weapons (such as its eye beam and missile attack) and fighting style, although it possesses some weapons and abilities the original lacked (such as its flight capabilites and plasma cutter). Though it is later replaced by the third Mechagodzilla, Mechagodzilla II remains a staple of the GDF's anti-monster forces.
Kiryu (Millenium)
Unlike the previous two Mechagodzillas, who were robotic doppelgangers of Godzilla, the third generation mecha is a cyborg created by the GDF using the bones of the original Godzilla (killed by the Oxygen Destroyer in 1954) to protect human cities from monster threats. Though genetically identical to Godzilla, Kiryu has been augmented with armor plating, enhanced reflexes, and flight capabilities. These enhancements eliminated his natural ability to create atomic fire, so he was outfitted with homing missiles, an electrical cannon, a wrist-mounted energy blade, and his ultimate weapon the Absolute Zero Cannon. Being created from the remains of the original Godzilla, Kiryu retains some of Godzilla's physical attributes (such as a fully functional tail) and fighting style. Kiryu is the GDF's most successful mecha to date and is their first line of defense for defending humanity from both the monsters and the evil Vortaak.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Moran (2007-07-25). "The 50 best movie robots". The Times. Retrieved 2007-08-06.