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Toho Kaiju
Monster Icons - Varan
DAM - Varan
Mutated Gliding Monitor Lizard
50 metersVAR
10 metersDAM
60 metersVAR
18 metersDAM
15,000 tonsVAR
60 tonsDAM

Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Baragon, Minilla, Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Kumonga, Manda

King Ghidorah, GairaGRoE, RodanGRoE

Controlled by
Created by
Ken Kuronuma

Portrayed by
Haruo Nakajima, Katsumi Tezuka
First Appearance
Latest Appearance
Destroy All Monsters
More Roars

Varan (バラン,   Baran?) is a reptilian kaiju created by Toho that first appeared in the 1958 Toho film, Varan.


Varan's name comes from the scientific name Varanus, commonly known as the monitor lizard.


Varan has membranes between his legs, which he uses for gliding, like a flying squirrel. Varan also has a row of spikes on his back.


Showa Series


Varan, the beleivable

Varan in Varan

After a pair of Japanese butterflies are found in Siberia, a team of scientists are sent to find out how they got there. A few of the scientists are killed, and the rest of the team finds a village that worships a god named Varan. The team of scientists go out to find a boy who is lost in the forest, but the villagers say they will anger Varan. One of the scientists persuades the villagers to go out to find the boy, but they are attacked by Varan. Varan attacks the village before returning to the lake he had come from. The military arrives and surrounds the lake, and they attack him when they lure him out. The attack has no effect, and the military uses light bombs to attract Varan to the top of a mountain. Varan reveals he can fly, and he glides into the ocean. Varan surfaces in Tokyo and attacks it. The military tries go stop him, but fails. Varan eats a truck filled with special gun powder, and it appears to harm him. The military releases light bombs filled with the gunpowder, and Varan eats them. One of the bombs explodes, and Varan retreats. Varan reaches the ocean when the second bomb explodes, and Varan is declared dead.

Destroy All Monsters - 9 - SoshingekiVaran Varan 1968

Varan in Destroy All Monsters

In 1999, 41 years after the incident at Haneda airport, a small, possibly infantile Varan is found living on the human monitored Monsterland. When the Kilaaks take control of the island, and its inhabitants, Varan disappears as the alien invaders global assault is initiated. After the control is broken, Varan joins the other Earth monsters in the fight against King Ghidorah at Mount Fuji, although he does not participate directly in the conflict itself. Once the space demon is defeated, the spiked creature returns to Monsterland to live out his days with the rest of the kaiju.

Within the context of the film itself he is only seen gliding through the air prior to the fight against King Ghidorah, and in the last scene as a static model rather than as a suit.


Varan does not have any beam weapons in any of his film appearances, in common with many of the older kaiju. However, in the video game Godzilla: Unleashed, Varan has the ability to emit a sonic beam from his mouth, as well as what appears to be a ball of energy. His one special ability is gliding at around the speed of Mach 1.5, like Rodan. In his debut film, he jumped off a cliff and glided to Japan. In Destroy All Monsters, he glides into view for the final battle, and later on Monsterland. Varan did not fight King Ghidorah in Destroy All Monsters.

Varan has never actually been seen in combat against any other monsters. He used his tail to level buildings in his original film, which may indicate how he'd fight in combat. He also has spines which might possibly be of use against other giant monsters. His skin is covered with huge blisters or lumps. In amphibians, such blisters contain poison glands. In reptiles, lumps like these are usually osteoderms, which are armor plates. Also in the Marc Cerasini novel Godzilla 2000, Varan's lumps filled with helium and made him rise so he could glide. Osteoderm-like armor might make the most sense, since Varan was almost invulnerable to human weapons, and had to internally eat bombs before they affected him.


Video Game Appearances

Varan was considered for Godzilla: Save the Earth, but was scrapped at some point. Varan appeared in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, but otherwise has not appeared in any games. He also appeared in Godzilla: Unleashed as an Earth Defender.

Varan made an appearance in the Wii version of Godzilla: Unleashed as an Earth Defender. He is given the ability to fire a sonic beam and a concentrated sonic energy ball. He has a gliding ability that works much like Rodan's flying, he can be unlocked by destroying the three purple objects on the Vortaak mothership while playing as an Alien. Varan himself appeared purple in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters.

Godzilla: Monster of Monsters

Appearing on the second world, Varan will assault Godzilla or Mothra with a variety of melee attacks, the most devastating attack of which is his punch, a move that has excellent range and does noticeable damage. Varan can also attack with his claws in rapid succession, which can score several hits against Godzilla or Mothra if in range. Varan may also attack his foes with a kick, or attempt to head butt them while advancing forward. Varan also has the ability to jump high into the air to avoid attacks. Despite a healthy amount of moves, Varan shouldn't cause much trouble for Godzilla or Mothra because of his lack of a projectile and his habit of reeling back in pain after sustaining heavy damage; furthermore, unlike other bosses, Varan will not trap the player in the corner but will stay just in arms reach if Godzilla or Mothra is backed into the corner.

Godzilla: Unleashed

Godzilla Unleashed - Monster - Varan 1

Varan in Godzilla: Unleashed

Height: 50 meters
Weight: 15,000 tons

"Varan is an Earth Defender with special affinity for forested and hilly areas. Although not capable of true flight, Varan's extraordinary leaping capabilities and gliding capacity mean that he rarely, if ever, touches the ground for more than an instant. Although he naturally lives in solitude, Varan has developed very finely-honed sonic projection capabilities which can be used to communicate over vast distances. These same pinpoint sonic waves can be used in battle to disrupt an opponent's sense of balance. Varan is quite possibly the most mysterious of Earth's native monsters—first-hand sightings of him by humans remain relatively rare."


Varan appears in issue #5 of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, appearing from China and traveling to a bunker where he fights Rodan and Gaira before vanishing into the ocean. He was also seen in a flash back when King Caesar and Megalon fought, appearing in the ocean with Ebirah to attack the escaping islanders. He was also seen on the mural in the Infant Island cave, where he was one of the Water monsters. 
RoE Varan

Varan as he appears in the Rulers of Earth comic


Few figures of Varan have been issued compared to many other kaiju. Bullmark released the first Varan vinyl toy in 1970. Bandai has only issued Varan in gashapon form as part of High Grade series 6, in promotion for Godzilla 2000: Millennium. Y-MSF has also released a figure on the 6" scale in 2005. Other companies, such as CCP, Marmit, Trendmasters, and the modern version of Marusan have also released Varan figures.


Main article: Gallery:Varan.


Varan's roar became very popular and it was reused for Gorosaurus, Megalon and the Showa Baragon. A little known fact to most Godzilla fans, the high pitched screeches of Rodan were quick recycles of Varan's roar. They then were recycled for the Ultraman show as well. The roars are basically roars that belonged to Godzilla from 1954.

In Other Languages

  • Russian: Варан



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Start a Discussion Discussions about Varan

  • Could Varan be a mutated Tuatara?

    16 messages
    • Ibarber wrote: ZUH!? O_O Have you ever seen the movie "The Great Dictator," there was a character who was a Jewish Barber, he was litera...
    • No I haven't actually IBarber is just actually a pun for my full name, the "I" in the name stands for Israel. ^_^
  • Varan's Popularity

    18 messages
    • I love varan why is he hated?
    • As unbelievable as it sounds I've never seen Varan. 

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