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Godzilla (TriStar)

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Note: While Godzilla® 1998 and Zilla are technicality the same character by design, they are legally different characters. All media and merchandise of the character before 2004 is under the Trademark of Godzilla®. All media and merch after 2003 is under the title and trademark Zilla. For the character and design from Toho created after 2003, see Zilla.

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Godzilla (ゴジラ,   Gojira?) was a daikaiju created by TriStar Pictures that first appeared in the 1998 movie Godzilla and in the sequel series: Godzilla: The Series as Cyber-Godzilla.

Name

During the events of the movie, the monster is referred to a "Gojira" by the sole survivor of Kobayashi Maru; the English transliteration of that name being "Godzilla".

Six years after the film was released, Toho Company Ltd. acquired the rights to the creature, and officially re-branded it as "Zilla" in any appearances post-2004. However, any appearances before then in any media still refer to the creature as "Godzilla", officially.

Legally, both are entirely separate creatures due to this.

Appearance

Main article: Godzilla design (1998 film).

Physically, the 1998 Godzilla resembled a giant-sized, flesh-eating Tyrannosaur, with some inspiration from iguanas. He has a rough, square-shaped underbite, a pronounced chin, a long neck, and large, fin-shaped scutes[5] (which differ greatly from Godzilla's maple leaf-shaped dorsal plates).

The 1998 Godzilla possessed long, powerful legs and arms. He also possessed a seemingly vestigial toe on the back of his foot, and three dinosaur-like toes on its 13.7-foot-long feet.

Roar

The 1998 Godzilla's roars seem to be a mix between the roars of the Japanese Godzilla from the 1960s - 1970s and elephant sounds, as demonstrated when he got hit by torpedoes and groaned like an elephant. When submerged, Godzilla 1998 made a moaning sound created from the song of a humpback whale. The monster's roars were made by Gary A. Hecker and Frank Welker.

The 1998 monster's roars were later used for the Japanese Godzilla in the American version of Godzilla 2000: Millennium and for his cameo appearance in Always: Sunset on Third Street 2.

Personality

The 1998 Godzilla was originally a very animalistic, elusive, and evasive, yet clever creature in his first film appearance, and he kept most, or at the very least some of these traits later on. He mostly ate fish, making him a piscivore, which he would also give his offspring.

When being attacked, he would try to confuse his offenders and then attack them back, and he even faked his own death when the two Ohio Class Nuclear-Powered Submarines shot two torpedoes at him.

After his offspring were killed when the Madison Square Garden was bombed by the military, he showed a great amount of anger towards the main characters, who he may or may not have known were somewhat behind their deaths.

In his later appearances in Godzilla: The Series, Cyber-Godzilla was shown to not run away nearly as much and tried to fight even when outmatched.

Origins

The 1998 Godzilla was a giant mutated marine iguana originating from a nuclear test in the Maruroa Atoll Islands of French Polynesia.[6] As the test was done in the summer of 1968, the creature grew over a period of approximately thirty years. His irradiated genes caused him to achieve a height of about sixty meters.

History

Godzilla

Godzilla98

Godzilla in GODZILLA (1998)

A giant reptilian monster swam from the islands across the Pacific, attacking the cannery ship Kobayashi Maru, and then stomped across Panama.

From there it traveled up the American Eastern Seaboard, where it sank several American fishing boats. Later on, the creature arrived in New York City, wandering through the city and causing major damage. Eventually, it was lured into Flatiron Square with 20,000 pounds of fish. After escaping a military attack, the monster stomped through New York, necessitating the evacuation of the entire city. The monster was later labeled "Godzilla," after the lone survivor of the monster's attack on the Kobayashi Maru identified it as "Gojira." The military battled Godzilla extensively, and seemingly killed it in the East River with torpedoes.

However, it had laid 228 eggs in and under Madison Square Garden (an arena in Midtown Manhattan), which hatched and filled the Garden with hundreds of Baby Godzillas. The military bombed the Garden, slaying the infant 'Zillas. However, Godzilla then revealed itself to have survived, bursting up from underneath the street, and, after seeing its dead offspring, chased the heroes through New York across the Brooklyn Bridge, where it became entangled in the suspension cables. It was then killed by F-18 Hornets.

One unhatched offspring survived the destruction of Madison Square Garden. When it hatched, it imprinted upon Dr. Niko Tatopoulos shortly after the doctor discovered the egg. From there, the new Godzilla accompanied Tatopoulos and his team, H.E.A.T., on their missions against various monsters mutated by nuclear experiments in Godzilla: The Series.

Godzilla: The Series

Godzilla The Series - Monsters - Zilla

Godzilla in Godzilla: The Series

Main articles: Cyber-Godzilla and Zilla Junior.

New Family: Part 1

In a recap of the ending of the 1998 film, Godzilla is killed on the Brooklyn Bridge by three F-18 Hornets.

Monster Wars: Part 2

After his death, Godzilla's body was taken to a military base where it was studied. The base was eventually overtaken by Tachyons, who used their technology to resurrect Godzilla as a cyborg called Cyber-Godzilla.

He was then sent to eliminate H.E.A.T., who had sneaked into the facility, and when his son, the second Godzilla arrived to save them, he refused to fight his father and was taken under the control of the Tachyons. The father and son team gave chase, but were distracted by N.I.G.E.L., which allowed H.E.A.T. to escape.

Cyber-Godzilla and the other mutations under Tachyon control were then sent out to various cities in order to destroy them. Cyber-Godzilla was chosen for Tokyo.

Monster Wars: Part 3

The other mutations were saved from the control of the Tachyons, with the sole exception of Cyber-Godzilla who remained loyal. He soon confronted his son, who decided to fight for his surrogate father, Niko Tatopoulos, rather than his biological father.

The two began to fight, ultimately ending with Godzilla tearing off Cyber-Godzilla's robotic arm and ripping open his torso, pulling out his vital circuitry and finally killing him for good.

Abilities

Agility

This creature was extremely agile, possessing a land speed of 300 miles per hour.[2] This speed was showcased in the 1998 film when Godzilla was able to outrun multiple squadrons of AH-64 Apaches and, despite being in point-blank range, was able to dodge and avoid missiles launched at him with ease.

Atomic breath

When the 1998 Godzilla was revived and upgraded asCyber-Godzilla in Godzilla: The Series, he gained a blue atomic breath, much like the Japanese Godzilla's. His son from Godzilla: The Series possesses a green atomic breath. In some of Patrick Tatopoulos' concept artwork for the 1998 film as well as in some artwork for merchandise related to the film, Godzilla is depicted firing atomic breath.

Biting and slashing

Godzilla had five-foot-long teeth and six-foot-long talons,[2] which allow him to burrow through tough surfaces, destroy helicopters with little effort, be it by hand or jaw strength, and can gut a large ship's hull with ease.

Burrowing

He also has shown a remarkable burrowing ability, able to excavate the thick tar and concrete around New York with ease. Using this advantage, he was able to escape and hide from the United States Army.[2]

Camouflage

The 1998 Godzilla's skin color allows him to blend in well with New York City's architecture. This Godzilla also possessed an incredibly low body temperature, which rendered him colder than his surroundings and unable to be detected by the military's thermal scanning.

Durability

Durability-wise, small arms fire is useless on him as well as standard tank rounds. The F-18 Hornet's missile compliment proved strong enough to kill him, however it required at least twelve missiles to do so.

Intelligence

While the 1998 Godzilla relies on instinct to a greater degree than the Japanese Godzilla, he is still shown to be capable of thinking in the midst of a battle and forming strategies. Throughout the 1998 film, Godzilla eludes the United States military, causing them to ultimately cause more damage to New York City than he does.

Using his speed and camouflage, Godzilla evades several military helicopters and attacks them from behind. Later, he fakes his death by two torpedoes, causing the military to call off their attacks and allowing Godzilla to resurface later.

Power breath

Godzilla 1998 originally lacked the Japanese Godzilla's iconic atomic breath, though he possesses a Power Breath (strong flammable winds of gas) which he can also ignite to form a wall or blast of flames. This Power Breath can send things weighing several tons flying away, including cars.[2]

Reproduction

The 1998 Godzilla is capable of asexual reproduction, and is shown to have laid over 200 eggs in Madison Square Garden. The fact that this Godzilla laid eggs has led to a prevalent misconception regarding the character's gender.

However, like all other versions of Godzilla the 1998 Godzilla is officially recognized as a male creature, even in spite of its reproductive ability. Despite the monster's official gender, designer Patrick Tatopoulos has revealed that female genitalia were sculpted onto Godzilla's CGI model, though this is not plainly visible in the film.[7] (It is far more likely that despite being referred to as a male and with male pronouns, it is actually asexual or hermaphroditic.)

Weaknesses

Explosive ordnance

The 1998 Godzilla, unlike traditional Godzillas, was actually killed by missiles launched from a squadron of F-18 Hornets in the end of the 1998 film.

Less-armored skin

While most other kaiju in films have tough hides impervious to any conventional military weapons, this Godzilla was easily and mortally wounded by direct hits from missiles.

Back scutes

The 1998 Godzilla's scutes ended up getting caught in the Brooklyn Bridge's suspension cables, leading to his demise.

Trivia

  • Despite appearances, the 1998 Godzilla is a mutated marine iguana, and not a dinosaur like the Japanese Godzilla.
    • According to the movie, the 1998 Godzilla was created by nuclear fallout on French Polynesia. However, marine iguanas are indigenous to the Galápagos Islands.[8]
    • Many critics poked fun at the "iguana" origin, considering that it makes little sense that a herbivorous lizard would somehow be mutated into a fish-eating theropod.
  • The 1998 monster was designed based on only the instructions that it should be agile and fast.
  • This monster's attack on New York City was referenced in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack; although the American experts believe that it was Godzilla, the Japanese do not.
    • This suggests that GMK in fact exists in the same canon universe as the Tristar film (all of the Millenium movies otherwise follow their separate continuity).
  • Toho had clear communication with TriStar during the development of the 1998 film. When asked about Hollywood's 1998 film interpretation of Godzilla, Shogo Tomiyama stated: "There was always very good communication between Tokyo and Hollywood. We knew exactly how they were going to do it, and we knew what Godzilla was going to look like."[9]
  • Its design was widely panned by fans for departing greatly from the traditional design of Godzilla. It was said that "its face looks like an iguana and its legs look like a frog", while some critics drew comparisons to comedian Jay Leno due to its large, prominent chin.
  • Similar to Mecha-King Ghidorah, it was also killed but its remains were reconstructed and reanimated into a cyborg.
  • While individually a very weak kaiju in terms of strength and destructive power, the '98 Godzilla actually posed the greatest threat to humankind: as it reproduced very quickly (it lays over 200 eggs per clutch and is said that the offspring could in turn produce young within a couple of years) it could easily have overrun the world with its numerous offspring.

References

  1. GODZILLA Movie Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Weinberger, Kimberly, and Dawn Margolis, comps. The Official GODZILLA Movie Fact Book. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1998.
  3. "New Family - Part 1/Part 2". (September 12, 1998/September 19, 1998). Godzilla: The Series. Season 1. TriStar.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Monster_Wars
  5. [1]
  6. Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich (writers) & Roland Emmerich (director). Godzilla. (May 19, 1998). Film. TriStar.
  7. GODZILLA (1998). DVD. Special FX Supervisor Commentary.
  8. National Geographic - Marine iguanas
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named God_Out_Of_Godzilla
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