Rodan (ラドン, 'Radon') is a giant pteranodon, introduced in Rodan, a 1956 release from Toho Studios. Like Godzilla and Anguirus, it is designed after a type of prehistoric reptile. The Japanese name "Radon" is a contraction of "pteranodon " and may also have been chosen to suggest radiation. In the United States, the monster is most commonly referred to as Rodan.
ShowaIn Rodan, two Rodans (whose relationship is unknown) were unearthed and awakened by mining operations in Kitamatsu along with a swarm of prehistoric insects called Meganulons. After devouring several people, raiding various Pacific countries such as the Philippines and Sasebo to ruins, one Rodan is maimed in a bombardment of their nest in Mount Aso and falls, apparently fatally, into a volcanic eruption triggered by the attack. The other grief-stricken Rodan flies into the volcano to join the first. Also, as with Godzilla, the US version differs from the original Japanese release by more than simple matters of language translation; it is recommended that one views both versions to fully appreciate these differences. Briefly, the original Japanese version is much darker in tone. It also has one of the two Rodans injured by a jet fighter, causing it to dive into a river. Later we find that this injury prevents it from achieving supersonic flight, as now only one Rodan can do. Rodan went on to cross over into the Godzilla series. Whether another Rodan entirely, or a survivor from 1956, this Rodan was resurrected by accumulated volcanic gas, appearing in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster in 1964 when he broke out of the crust of the volcano and helped Godzilla and Mothra defeat King Ghidorah. In this appearance and all subsequent appearances in the Showa series Rodan is as tall as Godzilla with a wingspan a little wider than he is tall. Rodan appeared with Godzilla again in Invasion of the Astro Monster , where both were mind-controlled by Xilians to destroy Earth's cities and later fought King Ghidorah again when the mind control was broken.
In Destroy All Monsters, Rodan was again used by aliens to wreak havoc on Earth, this time by the Kilaaks. Again the mind control was broken and the monsters fought King Ghidorah. Rodan would only appear again in the Shōwa series in stock footage used for Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, and Terror of Mechagodzilla.
Rodan was one of the few monsters not affected by Godzilla's atomic breath. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster , Godzilla uses his breath against Rodan several times but the pterosaur seemed unaffected by it at all, only shaking his head in an annoyed manner. Rodan also shrugged off King Ghidorah's gravity beams; in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and Invasion of the Astro-Monster. He was struck several times on his wings but showed no pain or reaction.
HeiseiRodan appeared in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, where he sought to protect Baby Godzilla, whose egg was in Rodan's nest. Rodan played a vital role in the film's climax, sacrificing his own life to revive Godzilla by transferring his life-energy to him.
Heisei Rodan is notably much smaller than his appearances in the Showa series, standing only about 1/3 as tall as Godzilla and having a wingspan 1/2 Godzilla's height. The prominent rows of spines on his belly are replaced with overlapping ridges of bone, and he has three spines on 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. Heisei Rodan does have some of his predecessor's durability, withstanding several blasts from both Godzilla and MechaGodzilla, and kept his speed and shockwave abilities as well as a stronger pecking attack that can shatter boulders.
After being defeated and left for dead by Godzilla following a fight on the small island where his and Baby Godzilla's eggs are found, Rodan was revived by the psychic song of an ancient plant that had covered the eggs. Godzilla's radiation mutated Rodan into "Fire Rodan (ファイヤーラドン, Faiya Radon)", changing his colors from brown and tan to brick red and light yellow/gold. Fire Rodan also gained a uranium heat ray as a weapon, similar to Godzilla's Atomic Breath. Besides that, Fire Rodan remained basically the same as Rodan.
Fire RodanBaby Godzilla. Over the urban sprawls of Japan it soared, searching. Finally, it located Baby Godzilla, being transported via helicopter as bait for Godzilla. Rodan quickly annihilated the helicopter and caught the plummeting container, in which Baby Godzilla and his protector Azusa Gojo were being transported. Clumsily, Rodan pecked away at the container, attempting to reveal its contents. Mechagodzilla soon arrived, and the winged reptile turned its attention to this new foe. Rodan fired its uranium heat beam at its towering target. Mechagodzilla countered with a Mega Buster, but Garuda suddenly appeared. Rodan quickly sent the bulky jet crashing into a building, and its attention returned to Mechagodzilla. Its Uranium heat beam crashed into the mammoth mech, and Mechagodzilla countered with its plasma grenade and mega buster. Rodan rose from the attack and began to peck at Mechagodzilla's right eye, but the poor creature was soon repelled by the powerful plasma grenade. It appeared as though Fire Rodan was down for the count.
Soon after, Mechagodzilla found itself gripped in battle with Godzilla. Mechagodzilla had gained the upper hand when it ruptured Godzilla's secondary brain, and Baby Godzilla quickly became distraught. It called out, and Rodan listened. It regained consciousness and began to flap and gain altitude. It didn't travel very far when it was shot down by Mechagodzilla's mega buster. In a last ditch effort to save Baby Godzilla, Rodan decided to assist its arch rival Godzilla. It landed on the paralyzed reptile and gave up its life energy to revive and enhance Godzilla's state.
Among the dust and glimmering energy, Fire Rodan disappeared in a remarkable display of courage and selflessness. It's "brother" would be saved at any cost.
MillenniumIn the 2004 film, Godzilla: Final Wars, the original Rodan is used as a weapon of destruction by the Xilians via mind control. He first appears wreaking havoc in the city of New York, utilizing his famed supersonic abilities to destroy buildings and evade attacks from the Rumbling, a high-tech warship. He appeared alongside an all-star cast of other classic monsters, as they wreaked havoc on the major cities of the world and were sent to fight Godzilla. Rodan, Anguirus and King Caesar were the only monsters Godzilla did not kill; Toho's way of paying homage to the times in the past all three had fought by his side. Originally, Toho planned to film a scene where Godzilla destroyed them, but it was cut do to the fact that the fight scene was one of the first scenes filmed. Toho needed the costumes to film in other parts of the movie, and destroying them and making new costumes would interfere with the movie's budget, so the sequence was never filmed. Also, Godzilla killing his 3 friends would seem very odd, even though his mission was to destroy every monster he faces.
Weapons and AbilitiesRodan's primary weapons are his speed and agility; he can create hurricane-force winds and destructive sonic booms in his wake by flying at supersonic speeds at low altitude. He also uses his beak and talons effectively in battle(as shown in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, where his beak was powerful enough to crush boulders) , and his wings, despite their delicate appearance, are quite durable. Rodan can lift creatures several times his weight, for instance, Godzilla. Rodan also usually has spikes on his head and chest, which he may use in battle. He also could emit a blast of wind from his mouth in the 1956 movie, but this concept was never used again. In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Rodan, as Fire Rodan, develops the ability to emit a radioactive heat beam from his mouth called his uranium heat beam, after exposure to Godzilla and a radioactive waste disposal site. Rodan is also shown to withstand Godzilla's atomic breath. They showed that concept in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. in the Game Boy Advance video game Godzilla: Domination, the aerial terror can release a radioactive mist from specialized glands located in his torso area for two seconds, which, if it connects, can score up to three hits against the opponent. It can also be noted that this Rodan sports an "atomic heat ray" which in fact, resembles a fireball rather than an actual ray.
Video Game Appearances
Rodan is in the SNES game as a goalie for the Godzilla Team.
Atari/Pipeworks Video game History
Rodan (as Fire Rodan) is a playable character in Atari's Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and Godzilla: Save the Earth video games. Rodan is a very fast character with good combo abilities and extended flight time (his energy bar does not begin to drop until several seconds have passed or until Rodan uses his heat ray, and even then it still drops much slower than King Ghidorah or Mecha-King Ghidorah's energy bars). His weapon rating is also good. On the negative side, Rodan's attacks are generally weak and his defense is low, meaning he is best playing a hit-and-run style of fight.
Rodan is back in Godzilla Unleashed but with a more fitting name called Fire Rodan to match his Uranium Beam. Rodan is part of the Earth Defender Faction and is one of the fastest flyers in the game. Rodan is in both versions for the Playstation 2 and the Nintendo Wii (planned PSP)
Rodan is in the Double Screened game called Double Smash, Rodan is featured as one of the flyers.
- Rodan is one of the fastest kaiju.
- Kohichi Kawakita, special effects director for the Heisei Godzilla series, made the decision to reduce Rodan's size to smaller then Godzilla, thereby avoiding the previous series' tendancy of having every monster Godzilla fights be his size. As Rodan in the Heisei series was exposed to less radiation then Godzilla, he stands a little shorter.
- Rodan, Gyaos, and Chandora resemble bat-like creatures with large wings, although Rodan is more birdlike.
- Rodan has appeared, either alone or alongside Godzilla, in the Animaniacs cartoon series, and The Simpsons.
- He is mentioned in the Disney Channel show Dog With A Blog in the episode Crimes Of Art by Karl Fink.