Mechagodzilla

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Mechagodzilla
Godzilla film series character
All three incarnations of Mechagodzilla (from left to right; Showa, Heisei, Millenium)
First appearance Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
Last appearance Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003)
Portrayed by Shōwa
Ise Mori
Heisei
Wataru Fukuda
Millennium
Hirofumi Ishigaki
Motokuni Nakagawa
Aliases Bionic Monster
Cosmic Monster
Mecha-G
Super Mechagodzilla
Kiryu
Forms Fake Godzilla (Godzilla disguise)
Super Mechagodzilla (combination of Garuda and Heisei Mechagodzilla)

Mechagodzilla (メカゴジラ Mekagojira?) is the designated name of three separate mecha that appeared in the Toho's Godzilla film series. The character first appeared in the 1974 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla as an extraterrestrial villain opposing Godzilla. In subsequent iterations, Mechagodzilla is depicted as a man-made weapon designed to defend Japan from Godzilla. In all incarnations, Mechagodziila appears as a robotic doppelgänger and arch-enemy of Godzilla.

Overview[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. First appearing in a pseudo-flesh outer covering and masquerading as the real Godzilla, Mechagodzilla begins a few attacks against Japan. Mechagodzilla then overpowers Godzilla's ally Anguirus and forces him to flee, but in the process damages his disguise. Godzilla then appears from a warehouse and destroys the pseudo-flesh disguise, forcing Mechagodzilla to reveal itself in full. Their initial battle resulted in a tie as Godzilla was severely wounded and Mechagodzilla was forced back into the Simian's base for repair. Fearing for the robot's advance, a priestess of the Azumi royal family, awakened King Caesar, an ancient Okinawan deity. Despite the shisa golem's best efforts, the rebuilt Mechagodzilla soundly trounced the guardian. However, Godzilla joined the fight and cooperated with King Caesar in decapitating Mechagodzilla, causing the robot to detonate in defeat.

The Simians, though, rebuilt their dreadnought in Terror of Mechagodzilla. This time, the Simians recruited the shunned oceanic scientist Dr. Mafune to enslave the aquatic dinosaur Titanosaurus. The mecha was further modified with living human brain cells and had its control circuitry integrated into the body of Dr. Mafune's daughter Katsura. 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 its 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 imposter once and for all.

Showa Mechagodzilla is 50 meters (164 feet) tall, weighs 40,000 metric tons (44,092 short tons), and can fly at speeds of up to Mach 5.

Heisei[edit]

The second incarnation of the character appeared only in Godzilla VS. Mechagodzilla. Created by the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center using Futurian technology scavenged from the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla was designed as a weapon to counter Godzilla and other kaiju. Mechagodzilla first fought Godzilla in Kyoto, where it was defeated by a voltage backsurge caused by Godzilla. Mechagodzilla was recovered in a relatively intact state and merged with the smaller airship Garuda to form Super-Mechagodzilla (スーパーメカゴジラ Supa-Mekagojira?). This combined mecha later fought both Fire Rodan and Godzilla. It proceeds to cripple Godzilla by destroying his secondary brain and mortally wounds Rodan. Rodan then sacrificed his energy to revive Godzilla, who then uses his new red spiral atomic breath to destroy the weakened Super-Mechagodzilla.

Heisei Mechagodzilla is 120 meters (393 feet) tall, weighs 150,000 metric tons (165,346 short tons), and can fly at speeds of up to Mach 1 in its standard form. Combined with the Garuda as Super Mechagodzilla, it weighs 150,482 metric tons (165,878 short tons), and can fly at speeds of up to Mach 2.

Millennium ("Kiryu")[edit]

The Millennium incarnation, Kiryu (機龍 Kiryū?) (derived from Kikai ryu (機械龍 machine dragon?)) was featured in two films: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo SOS. When a second Godzilla appeared in 1999, the Japanese military created a Mechagodzilla built around the skeleton of the original Godzilla from 1954. Four years later, this machine was finished and inducted into the military under the codename Kiryu. During its first battle with Godzilla, Kiryu's genetic memories of its 1954 incarnation were awakened as it proceeded to attack the city free from the controls of its pilot, Akane Yashiro. Kiryu's rampage ended when its power supply ran out and was hastily recalled. After additional repair and upgrades, Kiryu was redeployed with Akane at the ROV controls again. Kiryu's receiver was damaged during its second battle with Godzilla, prompting Akane to pilot the cyborg directly and fight Godzilla to a draw. Godzilla was forced retreat after suffering horrible injuries while Kiryu was sent back after receiving severe damage.

In Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, Mothra's fairies warned Japan that the creation of Kiryu from the bones was a violation of the natural order. They also claimed that Mothra would gladly take the cyborg's place in protecting Japan, should they agree 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. Godzilla eventually appeared after killing a Kamoebas, prompting Mothra and Kiryu to cooperate with each other. Despite their efforts, the 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.

As Kiryu is a true cyborg the DNA-enhanced computer systems it used (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).

Kiryu is 60 meters (196 feet) tall and weighs between 36,000 metric tons (39,683 short tons) and 40,000 metric tons (44,092 short tons).

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, because 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 (erroneously 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 Earth for 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 created by the G.D.F. (Global Defense Force) faction to defend Earth from the Vortaak and their kaiju of the Aliens faction. The original Showa Mechagodzilla was salvaged and rebuilt by the Vortaak to be used in their kaiju force.

Appearances[edit]

Films[edit]

Television[edit]

Video games[edit]

Literature[edit]

References[edit]

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

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