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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
ComicsVaran 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.
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
- Varan was meant to be in The Return of King Ghidorah, a TV version of Varan, and Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, a proposed movie replaced with Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. However, in the latter film, King Ghidorah has facial features similar to those of Varan in order to give tribute to the monster.
- Just as with the Baragon suit, the Varan suit was heavily damaged from water exposure and deterioration. Because of this, he could only appear in Destroy All Monsters for a few seconds as an immobile puppet. Varan's name is briefly mentioned in the U.S. version of the film, at least. Contrary to popular belief, Varan was not thrown in for a few seconds just to say the film had more monsters. He was to have a bigger role, but Toho chose not to repair the suit damage and so Varan was relegated to being part of the backdrop.