Godzilla (TriStar) / Zilla

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Godzilla copyright icon Zilla Copyright Icon TriStar PicturesSlash.pngToho Company, Limited Monster
Godzilla in GODZILLA (1998)
Zilla in Godzilla: Final Wars
Zilla™ / Godzilla® 1998

Subtitle Strong-Legged Monster
(強足怪獣,   Tsuyo Ashi Kaijū?)GFW[1]
Nicknames American Godzilla, G.I.N.O., Tuna-Head, TriZilla, Godzilla USA, Godzilla 1998
Species Mutant Marine IguanaG98
Height 60 metersG98[2], 90 metersGFW
Length 78 meters (Tail)G98[3], 180 metersGFW
Weight 500 tonsG98[citation needed], 20,000 tonsGFW
Forms Cyber-Godzilla[4]
Controlled by TachyonsGTS[4], XiliensGFW
Relations Numerous offspring, Second Godzilla (Son)[5]
Allies Jet JaguarGRoE, GodzillaGRoE, King CaesarGRoE, RodanGRoE, AnguirusGRoE, KumongaGRoE, GorosaurusGRoE, BaragonGRoE, KamoebasGRoE, TitanosaurusGRoE, VaranGRoE,
SandaGRoE, GairaGRoE
Enemies Godzilla, U.S. Armed Forces, Second Godzilla[4], TrilopodGRoE, MagitaGRoE
Created by Roland Emmerich[3], Dean Devlin[3], Patrick Tatopoulos[3]
Portrayed Frank Welker (Vocal effects),
Kurt Carley (Suit), CGI
First Appearance Latest Appearance
GODZILLA (1998) Godzilla: Final Wars
Designs 1998: TriStarGoji
Other: Animated Godzilla, IDW Zilla
More Roars
Disclaimer: Godzilla® 1998 and Zilla™ are legally separate characters. They are included in the same page for accessibility's sake. Each character is referred to by its proper name within the article to clearly distinguish one from the other.
I knew that tuna-eating monster was useless! „ 

X (Godzilla: Final Wars)

Zilla (ジラ,   Jira?) is a giant reptilian kaiju created by Toho that first appeared in the 2004 Godzilla film, Godzilla: Final Wars.

The 1998 Godzilla (ゴジラ,   Gojira?) was created by TriStar Pictures, with approval from Toho. It first appeared in the 1998 Godzilla film, GODZILLA.


The 1998 incarnation of the monster is called "Godzilla" in the film, and is still legally trademarked under that name in all media released prior to Toho acquiring the rights to the creature in 2003.

Toho has declared that any subsequent appearances of the 1998 character will be under the name "Zilla," because according to Shogo Tomiyama it "took the 'God' out of 'Godzilla.'"[6]


Main articles: TriStarGoji and ShodaiJira.

Godzilla 1998/Zilla resembles modern depictions of theropod dinosaurs, specifically dromaeosaurids, with some inspiration from iguanas and crocodilians. He has a rough, square-shaped underbite and a pronounced chin, a long and thick neck with a small, spiky dewlap, large, fin-shaped scutes[7] (which differ greatly from Godzilla's maple leaf-shaped dorsal plates), and long, powerful legs and arms. His mouth is lipless with numerous small, pyramid-shaped teeth that are always visible, even when his mouth is closed, and stick out over both his upper and lower jaws, much like a crocodile. His eyes are fiery-looking, with bright yellow pupils and orange sclera. Each of his 13.7-meter-long feet possess three large, dinosaur-like primary digits on the front and a much smaller, seemingly vestigial, hallux on the back.


The 1998 Godzilla was originally a very animalistic, illusive 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, Godzilla: Final Wars, and Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla, or Cyber-Godzilla in Godzilla: The Series's case, was shown to not run away nearly as much and tried to fight even when outmatched. In Godzilla: Final Wars, he faced Godzilla head-on, a move that, while not smart, was brave, although this could be because he was under the Xiliens' control and was forced to fight Godzilla. In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, he retained many of the same abilities and characteristics of his 1998 appearance, although he lost his cowardly nature. He faced Godzilla head-on once again, evaded his attacks, and landed several attacks of his own. However, he retreated to the sea when Godzilla was close to killing him and he had just barely escaped Godzilla's grip. When Zilla resurfaced for the final battle against the Trilopods, Zilla attacked head-on and viciously killed and wounded multiple Trilopods.


The 1998 Godzilla is a giant mutated marine iguana originating from a nuclear test in the Maruroa Atoll Islands of French Polynesia.[8] 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.

Zilla's origins go unexplained in Godzilla: Final Wars, and he is never even mentioned by name. According to the film's theater program, Zilla's "true identity is unknown, but according to one theory it may be the same monster that struck New York in 1997."[9]

In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla's origins are never directly discussed, but it is established that he is part of the natural balance of Earth, along with all of the other Earth kaiju. Zilla's appearance on the Infant Island mural suggests that he is an ancient creature, instead of a mutated iguana like his previous incarnations.



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

Main articles: Cyber-Godzilla and Godzilla/Godzilla: The Series.

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 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, but Cyber-Godzilla 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, with Godzilla ripping off Cyber-Godzilla's robotic arm and tearing out his internal mechanisms, killing him again.

Millennium Series

Godzilla: Final Wars

Zilla was sent to attack Sydney, Australia, under the command of the Xiliens. The towering reptile terrorized the city, destroying cars and eating civilians. Suddenly, Zilla and all of the other kaiju that had appeared around the world were teleported away by the Xiliens, who claimed to have come to save humanity. After the Xiliens' true intent, to take over the world and harvest mankind's mitochondria, was revealed, they re-released all of their monsters. The Earth Defense Force freed Godzilla from Area G in Antarctica and led him across the world to defeat the Xiliens' monsters. X had Zilla redeployed in Sydney to battle Godzilla. Zilla pounced at Godzilla, but Godzilla swung his tail and knocked the monster into the Sydney Opera House before incinerating him with his atomic breath. Following Zilla's defeat, X simply remarked that he "knew that tuna-eating monster was useless."


Physical Strength

While not as physically powerful as the Japanese Godzilla, Godzilla 1998 has shown a high amount of physical strength. He is able to sink three fishing boats by pulling them underwater despite them moving at full speed. He also dredged a large freighter onto shore with ease.


Both incarnations of the creature are extremely agile, possessing a land speed of 300 miles per hour.[3] 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.


Both incarnations of the character have shown an ability to camouflage to some extent. The 1998 Godzilla's skin color allows him to blend in well with New York City's architecture. This Godzilla also possesses an incredibly low body temperature, which renders him colder than his surroundings and unable to be detected by the military's thermal scanning.

In Godzilla: Final Wars, Zilla's stone-gray skin color seemingly allows him to blend in with Sydney's architecture.

Biting and Slashing

Godzilla 1998 has five-foot-long teeth and six-foot-long talons,[3] which allow him to burrow through tough surfaces and chomp steel helicopters with little recoil.


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.[3] This ability is also present in Zilla in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, which allowed him to evade and ambush Godzilla.


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 kill him.

Power Breath

Godzilla 1998 lacks 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.[3]

In Final Wars, Zilla is said by director Ryuhei Kitamura to possess an "acidic flame breath."[citation needed] This is most likely a variation of his previous incarnation's power breath, but it is never seen in use, only hinted at when Zilla emerges from behind an explosion similar to the one caused by Godzilla's power breath in the 1998 film.[10]

Atomic Breath

When the 1998 Godzilla was revived and upgraded as Cyber-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.


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.[11]


While Godzilla 1998 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.

In Godzilla: Final Wars, Zilla does not exhibit a great deal of strategy, as he (perhaps foolishly) attempts to attack Godzilla head-on, only to be swatted aside and quickly dispatched by his atomic breath. In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla seems to regain the 1998 Godzilla's intelligence, as he exhibits strategy in his battle with Godzilla, using his burrowing ability to evade a blast of Godzilla's atomic breath and even pulling Godzilla into the military's line of fire while the latter is grappling him. When Zilla realizes he has no chance of winning the fight, he waits for an opportunity and escapes to the ocean while Godzilla is distracted. Zilla later somehow manages to avoid capture by the Trilopods when they attack the Monster Islands, and knows to travel to Los Angeles to join forces with the other Earth monsters and battle the Trilopods.


In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla displayed the ability to use his scutes as a weapon. Zilla ran at a Trilopod and bent downward, causing his scutes to slice its neck.


Video Game Appearances


Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

Zilla appears in the first issue of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth as a rogue kaiju. He is first sighted by a submarine which mistakes him for Godzilla. He later makes landfall in Honolulu, Hawaii and is given the identification as "Zilla" due to radio interference. He then goes on a rampage while fighting the CKR forces stationed there before being attacked by Godzilla, who has also arrived, and the two monsters prepare to fight. Godzilla tail-smacks Zilla into a building and blasts him with his atomic breath, similar to the way Godzilla finished him in Godzilla: Final Wars. However, Zilla burrows underground and avoids the blast. Zilla then digs behind Godzilla and ambushes him. Godzilla and Zilla engage in a heated physical battle until Godzilla grabs Zilla by the neck and chokes him. Before Godzilla can kill Zilla, CKR opens fire on Godzilla, distracting him long enough for Zilla to escape to the sea.

In this series, Zilla bears more of a resemblance to his 1998 Godzilla design as opposed to his 2004 Final Wars design. Although any real powers have yet to be seen, he appears to have an extremely thick hide as implied to him sustaining multiple hits from artillery fire. He also is very quick and actually does not run away strictly like his 1998 film incarnation, but instead has an attitude more like the animated series incarnation, not running away until Godzilla almost kills him.

Zilla reappears in Rulers of Earth #13, where he is spotted swimming in the waters around the Monster Islands. Zilla apparently avoided capture when the Trilopods invaded the Monster Islands, as he was not seen inside the Trilopod hive.

Zilla returned in the final issue, where he suddenly appeared in Los Angeles and saved Jet Jaguar from a Trilopod with Godzilla's characteristics. Zilla then took part in the final battle against the Trilopods alongside Godzilla and the other Earth monsters, managing to injure and kill several of the creatures. Zilla attempted to battle Magita, the gigantic Trilopod queen, but was kicked aside by its massive legs. After Godzilla destroyed Magita, Zilla and the other monsters followed Godzilla out to sea.

Godzilla: Oblivion

Zilla appeared at the very end of the fourth issue of Godzilla: Oblivion, where he emerged from an interdimensional portal alongside Biollante, Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus and King Caesar. In the following issue, where Hedorah joined the monsters, Zilla wandered off and rampaged through the city on his own while most of the other monsters tried to battle Mecha-King Ghidorah. Later, after Mecha-King Ghidorah was defeated by Godzilla, all of the monsters were left behind as the humans left the Earth as it became covered by tiny robotic cells that served as interdimensional doorways.


Main article: Zilla/Gallery.



Godzilla 1998's roars seem to be a mix between the roars of the Japanese Godzilla from the 1960's-1970's and elephant sounds, 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. Zilla's roars were the same as Godzilla 1998's roars, but mostly used the elephant-like roars rather than the Godzilla-based ones. In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla's roar is written as "SKREEEEEENK."

The 1998 monster's roars were later used for the Japanese Godzilla in the American version of Godzilla 2000 and his cameo appearance in Always: Sunset on Third Street 2. Zilla in Godzilla: Final Wars also used these same roars, only slightly modified.

Godzilla 1998 and Zilla's roars

In Other Languages

  • Serbian: Зила
  • Russian: Зилла
  • Bengali: জেলা
  • Chinese: 斯拉
  • Gujarati: જીલ્લા
  • Hebrew: זילה
  • Hindi: जिला
  • Kannada: ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ
  • Korean: 질라
  • Marathi: जिल्हा
  • Telugu: జిల్లా
  • Urdu: ضلع
  • Yiddish: זיללאַ


  • Zilla was considered for Godzilla: Unleashed, but didn't make the cut due to his lack of popularity during production on the previous games.[13][14]
  • Despite its appearance suggesting otherwise, the 1998 Godzilla is actually a mutated marine iguana, and not a theropod dinosaur or a prehistoric reptile 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.[15]
  • The 1998 monster was designed based on only the instructions that it should be agile and fast.
  • Both versions of this monster's colors suit him to better camouflage within an urban environment, so as to be harder to spot. In the 1998 film, Godzilla's body is a silvery blue to almost black color, allowing him to blend in with New York's architecture. In Final Wars, Zilla's body is a stone gray color, which blends in better with Sydney's architecture.
  • 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.
  • 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."[6]
  • In an interview with Starlog, Dean Devlin mentioned that in several earlier drafts of the 1998 film, Godzilla was to have been created by aliens rather than nuclear testing. Devlin said that the filmmakers stuck with Godzilla's traditional nuclear origin because it was something they "felt strongly about not abandoning" and that they thought "it was too important to what Godzilla is all about."[16]


This is a list of references for Zilla. 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: [1]

  1. Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. p. 117. 23 July 2014. ISBN: 4-096-82090-3.
  2. GODZILLA Theater Program
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Weinberger, Kimberly, and Dawn Margolis, comps. The Official GODZILLA Movie Fact Book. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1998.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Monster Wars - Part 1/Part 3". (February 13, 1999/February 27, 1999). Godzilla: The Series. Season 1. TriStar.
  5. "New Family - Part 1/Part 2". (September 12, 1998/September 19, 1998). Godzilla: The Series. Season 1. TriStar.
  7. [1]
  8. Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich (writers) & Roland Emmerich (director). GODZILLA. (May 19, 1998). Film. TriStar.
  9. GODZILLA Unmade: The History of Jan De Bont's Unproduced TriStar Film - Part 4 of 4 - SciFi Japan
  10. Zilla's Acidic Flame Breath.png
  11. GODZILLA (1998). DVD. Special FX Supervisor Commentary.
  12. Mefjus feat. Dope D.O.D - Godzilla (Official Video) - YouTube
  13. Zilla, Cloverfield and Bagan Scrapped From Unleashed - Simon Strange Interview
  14. Zilla Scrapped From Unleashed - Simon Strange Interview
  15. Marine Iguanas - NG
  16. Warren, Bill. (June 1998) Godzilla Confidential. Starlog, 251, p. 56. (read on the Internet Archive)

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22 days ago
Score 0
I don't think he was put up to his full potential in G98. The design was a new and re-imagined look for Godzilla, but the screens writers went a little slack with his character and personality; They just tried to hard to make him a naturalistic animal and left out the classic Godzilla attitude in the process. I think Zilla could have been a better and a more Godzilla like character if put in the right hands.


22 days ago
Score 0
Zilla, the Godzilla that was, then wasn't! I think it's safe to say that this site's opinion of this guy is much more tame compared to the hordes of kiddies on the internet who blindly hate him without even watching his film.


22 days ago
Score 0
He's an awesome kaiju that like that is rpetty underrated


23 days ago
Score 1
Still don't see the point of Godzilla 1998 and Zilla being on the same page


23 days ago
Score 0
They're the sa,e character in all but name. There's no point in creating a separate article.


23 days ago
Score 0
That's supposed to be "same", not "sa,e". Sorry, I'm having technical problems with my keyboard.


23 days ago
Score 0
Toho doesn't see any distinction between the two and Toho never brings Zilla up without saying that a "suspiciously similar monster appeared in New York in 1998" but they are still legally separate characters. The 1998 Godzilla is GODZILLA and Zilla is Zilla. It's just that Toho will never let the 1998 Godzilla appear under the name Godzilla ever again and will just have you use Zilla.


22 days ago
Score 0
Legally, yes, they are different. That's what I meant when I said they are "the same in all but name". They are still, however, two different versions of the same character.


2 months ago
Score 0
Zilla looks like a skinny G14 in Godzilla oblivion


4 months ago
Score 0
"prior to Toho acquiring the rights to the creature in 2004"? wasn't it still Godzilla?


4 months ago
Score 0
That moment you're reading this comment thread and discover time travel somehow exists. In case the comment is deleted in the future or something, here is what I am talking about: http://prnt.sc/dy57iq

The King of the Monsters

4 months ago
Score 1
Um, that's exactly what it says in that part of the article you're quoting.


3 months ago
Score 0
Then why would they need to acquire his rights? they owe Godzilla

The King of the Monsters

3 months ago
Score 0
Because they had to wait for the rights to that specific incarnation of the character to revert to them. TriStar and Sony had pretty much exclusive rights to the Godzilla 1998 design, and in 2003 Toho gained the ability to use that incarnation in any way they chose. They ultimately chose to re-trademark it as a new character called Zilla.

Astounding Beyond Belief

3 months ago
Score 0
It seems, going from the Tomiyama quote and contract information in this article, that Toho always had the rights to put TriStar's Godzilla in a movie, but they never bothered to check until Kitamuya asked: https://encr...JglD596d8SgR (Part 1 of the article talks about the contract more.)

Astounding Beyond Belief

3 months ago
Score 0
Of course, the minute I hit "post," I immediately see the paragraph in the article that directly discusses this.

The King of the Monsters

3 months ago
Score 0
I got the impression from the SciFi Japan article that Toho would gain the rights to do whatever they wanted with the TriStar Godzilla once TriStar's rights to Godzilla finally expired, and during production of Final Wars Kitamura just asked if they could use the TriStar Godzilla and found out they could.


6 months ago
Score 0
Poor Zilla. He gets too much hate and really does not deserve it.


one month ago
Score 0

Magara M&E

7 months ago
Score 0
Could someone post a picture of what zilla looks like in Godzilla oblivion please.


10 months ago
Score 0