King Ghidorah's name is composed of "King" (キング?) and "Ghidorah." The "Ghidorah" part of King Ghidorah's name comes from the Japanese word for "hydra" (ヒドラ?, Hidora), which is spelt very similarly to the Japanese katakana for Ghidorah.
King Ghidorah was referred to as either "Ghidrah" or "Ghidorah" in the American versions of his first three movies, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster and Destroy All Monsters, because they sounded more like "hydra." He wasn't referred to as "King Ghidorah" in an original American release of one of his movies until Godzilla vs. Gigan.
In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, the guardian monster Ghidorah's name is spelled in kanji but pronounced the same: 魏怒羅? (Gidora).
King Ghidorah is a golden dragon monster with two legs, three heads on long necks, giant bat-like wings, and two tails. King Ghidorah's multiple heads were inspired by Yamata no Orochi, an eight-headed dragon from Japanese mythology. King Ghidorah was brought to life on the movie screen by a stunt actor inside an elaborate three-piece suit, with a team of puppeteers to control the suit's many appendages. His design was mostly created by Eiji Tsuburaya based on a minimal description in the script: "It has three heads, two tails, and a voice like a bell."
King Ghidorah does not have much of a developed personality because it is under someone's control in most of his appearances. The only times he was not under mind-control throughout most of the film were Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Rebirth of Mothra III, and Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. He temporarily was free of mind-control in Invasion of Astro-Monster and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, where, in the former, he fled from Godzilla and Rodan in fear and probably from being overwhelmed, and in the latter, he was very confused to what was happening and was killed by Godzilla. It seems that each of King Ghidorah's heads can think for themselves separately, although the middle head appears to be dominant. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, King Ghidorah was said to be evil, and he destroyed civilizations on several planets for reasons unknown. He tried destroying Earth and its civilizations, but he fought the three monsters that got in his way and retreated eventually. In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah caused the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period, then returned to Earth in the modern day to feed on humanity. In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, King Ghidorah is one of the Guardian Monsters, being the God of the Sky. King Ghidorah was a protector of Japan, making Ghidorah a protagonist for the first, and so far, only time.
King Ghidorah has a different origin in every series.
In the Showa series, King Ghidorah was created by the Garogans and was given to the Xiliens, who sent King Ghidorah to Earth to weaken its forces and take it over without any trouble. But the Xiliens did not know of Earth's monsters. King Ghidorah was destined to be given to different alien races, losing his history on the way.
In the Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, King Ghidorah is the result of three Dorats fusing due to an atomic bomb being dropped in Lagos Island, the island where the original Godzillasaurus was mutated. The Dorats were put on the island by the Futurians.
In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah arrived on the Earth millions of years ago and caused the Cretaceous extinction. He returned to Earth in the present in order to feed off of humans, especially children.
In the Millennium series, King Ghidorah was an eight-headed serpent god, or Yamata no Orochi, that was prematurely awoken before he could grow all eight of his heads, instead only growing three.
Invasion of Astro-Monster, it was revealed to be a mind-controlled pawn of beings from Planet X, a newly discovered planet in Jupiter's umbra, who called him "Monster Zero." These Xiliens coveted Earth's water resources and took control of Godzilla and Rodan in an attempt to conquer Earth. However, the human characters intervened by freeing the monsters, and after a fight with Godzilla and Rodan, King Ghidorah flew back into space. While generally accepted as a victory for Godzilla and Rodan, some have argued that King Ghidorah actually won the encounter and left of his own accord, maybe because he was too injured to continue attacking Earth. Some have looked to the fact that in the next film Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Godzilla is found on an island supposedly dead but other fans say that Godzilla is recovering or sleeping.
Destroy All Monsters, controlled by the Kilaaks, he fought and was seemingly killed by the combined might of ten of Earth's monsters in the year 1999.
Godzilla vs. Gigan, as one of the monsters controlled by the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens, and an ally of Gigan in a battle against Godzilla and Anguirus.
Godzilla and Gigan. Godzilla was allied with Zone Fighter, and Gigan was allied with King Ghidorah.
King Ghidorah was one of the few monsters to survive his encounter with Zone Fighter.
The Futurian Emi Kano recovered the beast in 2204 and, from its body and futuristic technology, created the cyborg Mecha-King Ghidorah (メカキングギドラ?, Meka Kingu Gidora), equipped with solar-paneled wings, an entirely mechanical middle head, and several devices specifically designed for combat with Godzilla. This incarnation managed to stun Godzilla with its Capture Cables, grasp it with the giant Machine Hand, and carry it out to sea. Godzilla finally blasted the monster at point-blank range, crippling it, and both plummeted into the water. Godzilla would return the following year (Godzilla vs. Mothra), but King Ghidorah would not appear again in the Heisei series. The cybernetic remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, however, would later be studied by the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center (U.N.G.C.C.) and the technology used to design and construct MechaGodzilla in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2 and later Moguera in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla.
Cretaceous King GhidorahKing Ghidorah's younger form, Cretaceous King Ghidorah (白亜紀キングギドラ?, Haku Aki Kingu Gidora), first arrived and attacked the Earth 130 million years ago in the Cretaceous period. Cretaceous King Ghidorah quickly caused the KT extinction event; he exterminated the dinosaurs and almost every other life form on the planet. Cretaceous King Ghidorah then encased himself within a meteor and left the Earth, using the life-essence of the creatures he had destroyed to live as he travelled through space. Millions of years later, during a meteor shower in 1999, the same meteor crashed into the Mount Fuji region, with Cretaceous King Ghidorah now being in his adult King Ghidorah form. Mothra Leo, as Rainbow Mothra, came in and attacked King Ghidorah, but ended up being overpowered by him. Then, with the aid of his priestess Moll, Leo transformed into Light Speed Mothra and traveled back in time to battle Cretaceous King Ghidorah, when he wasn't as powerful. During the battle, Leo cut off one of Cretaceous King Ghidorah's tails and the tail burrowed into the ground, which would regenerate an entire King Ghidorah body millions of years later. Cretaceous King Ghidorah was defeated when Rainbow Mothra used paralyzing powder on him and then dropped him into an active volcanic Mt. Fuji, destroying the first Cretaceous King Ghidorah.
King Ghidorah130 million years later, Cretaceous King Ghidorah arose again as King Ghidorah. It came to Japan to feed on humans, mainly children, but he soon started to eat adults. Rainbow Mothra heard of this monster, and he quickly took action to defeat it. Even with all of Rainbow Mothra's power, King Ghidorah quickly defeated him. Rainbow Mothra retreated home, and was transformed into Light Speed Mothra and he flew through time to destroy King Ghidorah in his weaker form, Cretaceous King Ghidorah. He defeated the young form of the Ghidorah, but King Ghidorah's tail dug into the ground, and regenerated his body over millions of years. King Ghidorah returned, only one day later than he arrived the first time. Rainbow Mothra was then reborn as Armor Mothra, and he engaged King Ghidorah in battle. After a long battle, Armor Mothra destroyed King Ghidorah once and for all. Zaguresu controls the monsters into fighting against each other and sends King Ghidorah to Earth. The humans break the mind-control, but most are too injured to continue fighting. Godzilla and Rodan battle King Ghidorah and all three monsters are knocked off the cliff. King Ghidorah lay at the bottom of the ocean, but Zaguresu zapped him with her beam and revived him. He battled furiously against Godzilla, who's atomic ray did nothing. Godzilla finally went down, but Torema unleashed a pyshic wave that knocked King Ghidorah back. Godzilla fired his ray again, and this time King Ghidorah could feel it. She eventually weakens from an attack from Zaguresu earlier and King Ghidorah continues his fight with Godzilla. Godzilla eventually gains the upper hand, biting one of King Ghidorah's necks. King Ghidorah tries to fly away but Godzilla bites on King Ghidorah's leg. King Ghidorah uses all of his strength to free himself, even lifting Godzilla into the air, and eventually breaks free and flies away. Yamata no Orochi. In fact, Ghidorah (魏怒羅?) is said to be an undeveloped Orochi, awakened from hibernation before it could grow all eight of its heads. Godzilla again attacks Japan and is repelled by the combined might of the guardian monsters, GidoraBaragon, Mothra, and Ghidorah, and the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Godzilla defeats Ghidorah easily, but Mothra gives up her energy to revive Ghidorah, turning him into the Golden Thousand Year-Old Dragon King, King Ghidorah (千年竜王?). King Ghidorah fires his beams at Godzilla which Godzilla absorbs. Godzilla retaliates but King Ghidorah is protected by a golden shield. Eventually, Godzilla manages to destroy the powered up King Ghidorah by absorbing his gravity beams and infusing them with his atomic breath. Chitose ryūō'
When Godzilla was in the sea after he had killed the Guardians and decimated the JSDF, the spirits of the three Guardians entered Godzilla's body, stunning him long enough to allow General Tachibana to burrow his way out of a wound on Godzilla's neck after internally firing a D-03 missile, an explosive drill. This eventually led to Godzilla's defeat when he tried to use his atomic beam again after it burst out the open wound on his shoulder and finally caused Godzilla to vaporize himself from within.
This film was the first and so far only time that King Ghidorah was depicted as a hero, instead of a villain. It was also the first time that King Ghidorah was physically portrayed as being smaller than Godzilla.
AbilitiesKing Ghidorah has had a number of changes made to himself over the years, but most of his traditional battle characteristics have remained the same. His different forms in the different movies have their own abilities.
- King Ghidorah can fly up to speeds of mach 3 in Earth's atmosphere.
- King Ghidorah is able to fire lightning bolt-like Gravity beams from his mouths.
- King Ghidorah is able to create hurricane winds from his wings.
- King Ghidorah uses his necks to constrict an opponent.
- Cretaceous King Ghidorah can spit fireballs from his mouths.
- Cretaceous King Ghidorah can fly at the speed of mach 3.
- Cretaceous King Ghidorah can release hurricane winds from his wings.
- Cretaceous King Ghidorah can travel in space by encasing himself within a meteor using the extracted life essences he consumes.
- Cretaceous King Ghidorah is able to grow his body back from severed parts.
- In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah is able to fly even with the loss of one of his wings using a zero gravity field.
- In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah's scales can manipulate the light from projectiles to form a protective barrier.
- In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah can shoot six bolts of electricity from each of his wings.
- In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah is able to create a dome that allows objects to pass through, yet has a corrosive effect when they try to leave & the dome's exterior is laced with tentacles.
- In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah can teleport smaller beings inside the dome.
- In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah is able to travel in space by encasing himself within a meteor using the extracted life essences he consumes.
- In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah can install a weak mind control on other beings susceptible to it.
King Ghidorah, in the Showa series, had the ability to generate what appeared to be magnetic fields, but what were stated to not be, and instead be a "mysterious pulling power". While it was never stated directly what purpose they served, it was stated that they were somehow connected to its powers. It seems possible that it used them as a form of levitation. In the Game Boy Advance video game Godzilla: Domination, the space monster King Ghidorah has two new, never-before-seen fighting abilities: first, the ability to emit devastating magnetic beams from his mouth, and second, the ability to produce a powerful magnetic pull around him which will draw nearby monsters closer and injure them. King Ghidorah is able to maintain the presence of his magnetic pull for roughly ten seconds before halting the attack and needing to recharge in order to reuse the attack.
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
- Invasion of Astro-Monster
- Destroy All Monsters
- Godzilla vs. Gigan
- Zone Fighter
- Terror of MechaGodzilla (Stock Footage)
- Bye-Bye Jupiter (Stock Footage)
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
- Godzilla Island
- Rebirth of Mothra III
- Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
- Godzilla 2
- Godzilla vs. 3 Major Monsters
- Godzilla (Gameboy)
- Godzilla: Monster of Monsters
- Battle Soccer
- Super Godzilla (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Kaiju-Oh Godzilla (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla (Arcade) (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla: Battle Legends (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla: Monster War
- Godzilla: Giant Monster March (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla: Archipelago Shock
- Godzilla Trading Battle (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla: Domination! (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla: Save the Earth (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- CR Godzilla 3S-T Battle
- Godzilla: Unleashed (Wii and PlayStation 2, also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash (also Mecha-King Ghidorah)
- Godzilla: Pachislot Wars
- Godzilla: Monster Mayhem
- CR Godzilla: Descent of the Destruction God
- Godzilla On Monster Island
- Godzilla: The Game
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
- Ace Combat Infinity (Tokyo Martial Law online mission)
Weight: 80,000 tons
"If Gigan is the hammer of the Vortaak invasion forces, then King Ghidorah is the anvil. King Ghidorah is the most physically powerful monster in the universe, and blends immense size, incredible strength, and near invulnerability into a unified engine of monstrous destruction. The Vortaak often hesitate to deploy King Ghidorah at all, lest he demolish their enemies and leave nothing to subjugate. King Ghidorah is at home in the vacuum of space, and travels between planets under his own power. King Ghidorah's wings allow him to fly in Earth's atmosphere, though his great mass hinders his aerial mobility. He naturally generates intense electrical energy that he unleashes as a powerful Triple Gravity Beam from his three heads. Despite all this, King Ghidorah's greatest ability is his asset to withstand damage-all known forms of attack splinter against his thick golden scales."
King Ghidorah appears as a boss on multiple levels, and an ending boss on the final level of some paths. King Ghidorah is one of the most powerful kaiju in the game. He attacks using his gravity beams, flying kick and melee attacks. He will approach Godzilla quickly by flying through the air and firing his gravity beams. He appears as a playable character in the PS4 version.
- One tap: Pincer Bite
- Two taps: Three Headed Bite
- One tap (Mid Air): Bite Kick
- Tap: Three Headed Attack
- Tap (Mid Air): Rotation Attack
- Tap: Jump
- Hold: Fly
- Tap (Mid Air): Land
- Tap: Gravity Beam
- Down + Tap: Wind Gust
- Roar + Tap: Triple Discharge
- Tap: Windstorm
King Ghidorah appeared in the The Godzilla Comic Raids Again manga, being used by the Xiliens to take over Earth. Before reaching Earth, King Ghidorah encounters Biollante, who later becomes a King Ghidorah clone.MechaGodzilla. In the following three-way battle, Steven Woods fired MechaGodzilla's special weapon at both King Ghidorah and Godzilla, knocking out both monsters in the process. King Ghidorah did not appear again in the series and is presumed to be dead.
King Ghidorah later appeared in three issues of the mini-series Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths. Here, it is shown that King Ghidorah is a resident of Monster Island along with Godzilla, Mothra, Anguirus, and Battra.Dimension Tide, a device that could open miniature black holes. The AMF planned to use it on the alien duo and Godzilla himself. The two aliens were lured to Antarctica, soon were involved in a four-way battle between themselves, Kiryu, and Godzilla. At the fight's climax, the Dimension Tide fired and opened a miniature black hole. King Ghidorah and Gigan were soon sucked into the hole, with a heavily-damaged Kiryu following in suit shortly afterwards.
Mecha-King Ghidorah in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Issue 15. In issue #16, the Cryog leader Rhizon recalls discovering the badly wounded body of King Ghidorah following his earlier battle with Godzilla and MechaGodzilla. Rhizon ordered Gigan to slice off Ghidorah's middle head so that he could replace it with a mechanical head that gave him control over the entire monster.
Later, it was revealed by Rhizon in a flashback that the Cryogs' homeworld was destroyed by King Ghidorah, and that the race's emperor, Karkaro, fled the planet when King Ghidorah arrived, prompting Rhizon to seize control of the planet.
King Ghidorah appears in Godzilla: Cataclysm Issue 1 locked in battle with Godzilla. King Ghidorah bites Godzilla and shocks him through his bite, but Godzilla lifts Ghidorah by his head and slams him to the ground. Godzilla then blasts Ghidorah at point-blank range with his atomic breath and defeats him. It is unknown if King Ghidorah survived the encounter or not. Arata's grandfather later recalls that some members of his village pray to King Ghidorah as a deity that brings rain.
- Main article: King Ghidorah/Gallery.
- King Ghidorah appears four times in Courage the Cowardly Dog, notably two episodes when LeQuack turns on a TV with King Ghidorah on it, and shoots fire from the TV. Another time is when Courage opens a door and King Ghidorah is behind it giving a loud roar. Both clips were from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
- In the film Independence Day, a young boy is seen playing with a King Ghidorah toy.
- In Growing Up Creepie, King Ghidorah was seen in a drive through movie screen, the clip was also from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
- In one episode of the TV series T.U.F.F Puppy, Dudley Puppy, the show's protagonist, turned into a giant, 3-headed monster that could breathe fire.
- An episode of Histeria covering Ancient Rome described the strength of Roman architecture, but saying it couldn't stand up to Ghidorah. The segment ended with the host being crushed by Ghidorah's foot, similar to "Bambi Meets Godzilla."
- In the Cartoon Network television show M.A.D., there's a skit involving the Jonas brothers where a fan sends them a letter asking how they stay so close. They reply by saying they are a giant three headed monster and go on attacking a city.
- In the anime series Shinzo, a similar monster named "Grandorah" was the antagonist in a few episodes.
- King Ghidorah appeared briefly in a Crest commercial.
- In an episode of the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy titled "Giant Billy and Mandy All Out Attack", there was a parody of King Ghidorah called "Kitty Rah" and barfed hair balls as opposed to King Ghidorah's gravity beams.
- The Pokémon Hydreigon resembles King Ghidorah strongly.
- In August of 2014, the 1998 film was mocked by RiffTrax Live, which was created by and shares many of the former members of Mystery Science Theater 3000. During the riffing, they made witty references to King Ghidorah and Mothra.
- In the film Pee Wee's Big Adventure, during a chase scene through a movie studio, both Godzilla and King Ghidorah can be seen on a set during the filming of a movie.
The most common version of King Ghidorah's roar is screeching with some clicking sounds added and modified to sound deeper. In the Heisei era, his roar is borrowed and modified from Rodan and surprisingly Biollante (as seen and heard in the behind the scenes and film) in order to sound more dragon-like and somewhat metallic. This was done by multi-tuning Rodan's roar in both high and low pitches.
In Other Languages
- Spanish: Rey Ghidorah
- Russian: Кинг Гидора
- Chinese: 王者基多拉
- King Ghidorah can be considered the primary antagonist of the Godzilla franchise due both to his popularity and his film count of 6.
- King Ghidorah was the very first alien to fight Godzilla.
- King Ghidorah consistently ranks as one of viewers' favorite monsters in the Godzilla films. This fame, coupled with the unimpressive box office run of Godzilla vs. Biollante, inspired Kazuki Omori to revive King Ghidorah for the 1991 film.
- King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is the tallest monster in the Heisei Godzilla series.
- King Ghidorah is one of few monsters to appear in all 3 series, the others being Mothra, Rodan, MechaGodzilla, Godzilla's son, and Godzilla.
- King Ghidorah is considered to be one of the strongest out of all of Godzilla's enemies and might possibly be just as strong or even stronger than Godzilla due to the fact that Godzilla almost always has help from other monsters or characters with control over King Ghidorah being interfered with.
- Once the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy came out, the word "Ghidorah" changed its meaning, as it was no longer an alias for King Ghidorah, it now means a species of space monsters, as there have been other Ghidorahs appearing in some of Toho's movies ever since the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, Desghidorah from Rebirth of Mothra and Keizer Ghidorah from Godzilla: Final Wars.
- The Heisei King Ghidorah and Mecha-King Ghidorah are the tallest main series Godzilla monsters.
- King Ghidorah, along with Mothra, were offered to TriStar to oppose Godzilla for the original 1994 American film, but the price they offered was too high, so it was declined by TriStar. Instead, the monster Godzilla was going to face was the Gryphon. This too was scrapped in favor of the 1998 film featuring Zilla.
- In Rebirth of Mothra III, King Ghidorah became the only monster to debut in the Godzilla series and later appear in a non-Godzilla film.
This is a list of references for King Ghidorah. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: