King Ghidorah (Showa)
|King Ghidorah Incarnations|
The entire human race will perish from the Earth. When the monster Ghidorah passes, only flaming ruins are left.
Having been featured in four films and a television series, it is the King Ghidorah incarnation with the most onscreen appearances to date.
- 1 Name
- 2 Design
- 3 Personality
- 4 Origins
- 5 History
- 6 Abilities
- 7 Filmography
- 8 Video Games
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Roar
- 11 Trivia
- 12 Videos
- 13 References
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" Kingu) (ヒドラ, which is spelled very similarly to the Hidora)Japanese katakana for Ghidorah.
King Ghidorah's name was pronounced several different ways in the American English-dubbed versions of his first three films. King Ghidorah was referred to as "Ghidrah" in the American English-dubbed version of Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, presumably because it sounded more like "hydra." In the American dubbed version of Invasion of Astro-Monster, he was called "King Ghidorah," with the "o" syllable unemphasized. He was simply called "Ghidorah" in Destroy All Monsters, again with the unemphasized "o."
The Showa King Ghidorah is denoted in official books as Super Space Monster King Ghidorah (宇宙超怪獣キングギドラ. In Uchū Chō Kaijū Kingu Gidora)Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Maas Doulina Salno at one point refers to King Ghidorah as Venus Hellfire (金星の業火, referencing his destruction of the planet Kinboshi no Gōka)Venus. In Invasion of Astro-Monster, the Xiliens refer to King Ghidorah as Monster Zero (怪物０ Kaibutsu Zero). In Zone Fighter, King Ghidorah is given the subtitle Super Space Terror-Beast (宇宙超恐獣, and nicknamed the Supreme Ruler of Space Uchū Chō Kyōjū) (宇宙の覇者 by the Uchū no Hasha)Gold Garoga.
The King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs. Gigan and Zone Fighter is sometimes referred to in books as the Second Generation King Ghidorah (二代目キングギドラ, even though he is assumed to be the same individual featured in his previous three film appearances. Nidaime Kingu Gidora)
King Ghidorah is a giant three-headed bipedal dragon. King Ghidorah's three heads sit atop three long necks, and are adorned with two horns, a crescent and a mane of hair. King Ghidorah's multiple heads are inspired by the Yamata no Orochi, a multi-headed dragon from Japanese mythology. King Ghidorah possesses two large bat-like wings and two long tails tipped with feather-like projections. King Ghidorah's entire body is gold in color, although he was originally conceptualized as having a purple colored body and rainbow-colored wings. King Ghidorah stands mostly upright, but with a slight forward hunch. At 100 meters tall, King Ghidorah is the tallest kaiju featured in the Showa Godzilla series.
King Ghidorah is an evil destructive space monster, and is said to destroy entire planets simply for his own amusement. King Ghidorah destroyed Venus' entire civilization thousands of years ago, and attempted to do the same to Earth, only to be thwarted by the planet's monsters. In subsequent films, King Ghidorah was the pawn of various invading alien races who used him as a living weapon of mass destruction to attempt to conquer the Earth. Whenever his alien masters' mind control is severed or interrupted, King Ghidorah tends to become confused and easily overwhelmed by his enemies, forcing him to retreat. King Ghidorah does collaborate with Gigan briefly in Godzilla vs. Gigan without being under mind control, and the two kaiju seem to argue and strike each other in annoyance as they try to kill Godzilla and Anguirus.
A malevolent space monster, King Ghidorah attacked the planet Venus under his own power thousands of years ago, eradicating the planet's entire civilization in only three days. In 1964, King Ghidorah arrived on Earth inside a meteorite, eventually emerging from it and attacking the planet's cities. After his initial defeat, King Ghidorah would be taken control of by various alien races, losing his history along the way.
Thousands of years ago, King Ghidorah attacked the planet Venus, eradicating the planet's advanced civilization and rendering Venus an uninhabitable wasteland. The few Venusians that survived the monster's attacks fled to Earth, where they interbred with the native humans and gradually began to lose their identity.
In the present day, a meteor shower was visible in the skies above Earth, with one meteor crashing down in the Kurobe Valley in Japan. A scientific team led by Professor Murai traveled to the valley to examine the meteor, which exuded a strange glow and even produced its own magnetic field that fluctuated in strength. After several days of study, Murai and his colleagues observed that the meteor was actually growing in size. One day, the meteor began producing an extremely powerful magnetic field before splitting open and launching a ball of fire into the sky above. The fireball exploded several times before finally taking the form of King Ghidorah, having come to do to to Earth what he did to Venus in the past. King Ghidorah flew over Japan, leveling cities effortlessly with his gravity beams. As the cosmic terror approached the Mount Fuji area, Mothra tried to convince her fellow Earth monsters Godzilla and Rodan to cease their fighting and join forces against King Ghidorah. The monsters refused, forcing Mothra to take on King Ghidorah by herself. King Ghidorah blasted the larva with his gravity beams, arousing the anger of Godzilla and Rodan, who finally entered the battle. While King Ghidorah was more powerful than the three monsters individually, he was no match for their combined might, and was beaten into submission and covered in a silken cocoon. As Godzilla pelted King Ghidorah with boulders and threw him off a cliff, King Ghidorah finally retreated and flew back into the void of outer space.
When astronauts Fuji and Glenn arrived on the newly-discovered Planet X, they encountered an intelligent and technologically advanced alien race called the Xiliens. The Xiliens' leader, the Controller of Planet X, explained that his people lived in constant terror due to the attacks of a horrific space monster known as Monster Zero (怪物０ Kaibutsu Zero). The Controller showed the two a video feed of the creature, revealing it to be none other than King Ghidorah. The Controller explained that he knew Godzilla and Rodan drove off King Ghidorah when the monster attacked Earth, and asked that his people be allowed to "borrow" the two monsters to fight off King Ghidorah on Planet X. When the two astronauts returned to Earth and received the support of the world's leaders, the Xiliens reveled themselves, having already been operating on Earth in secret. The Controller apologized for the secrecy, but thanked Earth's leaders and ordered the Xiliens' UFOs to transport Godzilla and Rodan to Planet X, with Glenn, Fuji and their superior Dr. Sakurai accompanying them to oversee the mission. When the monsters were placed on Planet X, King Ghidorah flew overhead and attacked them. Godzilla and Rodan joined forces again, and managed to force the space monster to retreat. The Controller remarked that this was a triumphant day for Planet X, and provided Glenn and Fuji with a tape he claimed contained the cure for cancer. The Controller sent the astronauts on their way, keeping Godzilla and Rodan on Planet X.
When the astronauts returned to Earth, they found the tape was actually an ultimatum demanding that Earth surrender to Planet X and become a colony. King Ghidorah had actually been under the Xiliens' control the entire time, and now both Godzilla and Rodan had become their pawns as well. When humanity refused to surrender, the Xiliens released the mind-controlled Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah on Earth to destroy its major cities. Thankfully, Fuji and several Earth scientists discovered a device capable of breaking the aliens' control over the monsters. The device was activated, while the JSDF assaulted the Xiliens' hidden base. The Xiliens lost their control over the monsters, while their forces were defeated by the JSDF When Godzilla regained consciousness, he woke up Rodan and the two attacked King Ghidorah once again. During the battle, Rodan grabbed Godzilla and carried him in the air, slamming into King Ghidorah and sending all three monsters plummeting into the sea below. After a few moments, King Ghidorah flew out of the water and retreated back to outer space, while Godzilla and Rodan disappeared beneath the waves.
When the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 destroyed the device the Kilaaks were using to control Earth's monsters, Godzilla and his fellow monsters assembled near the Kilaaks' base at Mount Fuji, preparing to assault it. The Kilaaks proceeded to unleash their trump card, King Ghidorah, to defend their base. King Ghidorah descended and attacked the Earth monsters, managing to hold his own against several opponents. Anguirus bit down on King Ghidorah's neck, causing him to take flight and send Anguirus falling to the Earth. King Ghidorah landed and stomped Anguirus into the dust, then reentered battle against Godzilla and his allies. Anguirus, undeterred, got back up and attacked King Ghidorah again. As King Ghidorah battled Godzilla and his allies, Gorosaurus landed a devastating kangaroo-kick on his back, knocking him to the ground. Godzilla proceeded to stomp on King Ghidorah's necks, causing him to cough up blood. Minilla fired a smoke ring that choked King Ghidorah's remaining head and caused it to fall limp to the ground. When Godzilla found the Kilaaks' base and destroyed it, it caused a huge fissure to open in the ground, with King Ghidorah's lifeless body falling into it. With King Ghidorah defeated for good and the alien invasion thwarted, Godzilla and the other monsters returned to Monsterland to live out their days in peace.
As part of their plan to conquer the Earth, the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens took control of King Ghidorah and allied him with their own cybernetic monster, Gigan. Controlling the two monsters from the Godzilla Tower located in World Children's Land, the Nebulans unleashed Gigan and King Ghidorah in Tokyo. The space monsters razed the city and withstood all of the JSDF's attempts to stop them, leaving humanity helpless. Thankfully, Godzilla and Anguirus became aware of the invaders' scheme, and swam to Tokyo to battle Gigan and King Ghidorah. However, King Ghidorah and his cybernetic ally proved to be more than a match for the Earth monsters. Godzilla was badly wounded by Gigan's hook-tipped appendages and the Godzilla Tower's laser beam, leaving Anguirus at the mercy of both space monsters. Fortunately, a group of humans managed to destroy the Godzilla Tower, severing the Nebulans' control over Gigan and King Ghidorah and leaving them confused. Godzilla and Anguirus regrouped and assaulted their foes once more, seizing the upper hand. Gigan eventually retreated, allowing Godzilla and Anguirus to double-team King Ghidorah. Godzilla held King Ghidorah still from behind while Anguirus rammed him with his spiky carapace. King Ghidorah soon retreated as well, leaving Godzilla and Anguirus victorious and the Earth safe once again.
King Ghidorah was later taken control of by an evil race of aliens called the Garogas, and was deployed to Earth to destroy a newly-developed invention called the Blue-Green device, meant to reduce carbon monoxide pollution. The approaching King Ghidorah is soon engaged by the Japanese Air-Self Defense Force, but their efforts prove futile against the space dragon. As the Garoga hold the Blue-Green device scientists hostage, intending for King Ghidorah to destroy the building, include the device and scientists inside. Luckily, Hikaru Sakimori and his siblings arrive just in time to stop them. Transforming into Zone Fighter, Angel, and Junior, the trio manage to ward off the Garoga.
Later, after the Garoga enact their Dark Prism operation, planting a crystal-like prism for the Zone Family to recover and eventually leading them into a trap, King Ghidorah appears once more. Hikaru transforms into his giant Zone Fighter form to combat the Terror-Beast, and attempts to lure it away from the research institute where the Blue-Green device is being held, but is greatly inhibited by the Dark Prism, which slowly absorbs the sun's light and leaves him unable to recharge energy. In this time of need, Hikaru's grandfather Raita unleashes the artificial cloud Bolt Thunder, which bombards King Ghidorah with a barrage of lightning. Weakened by the Bolt Thunder, King Ghidorah's control over the Dark Prism is severed, and Zone Fighter is able to replenish energy once more. With his energy fully restored, Zone Fighter manages to lure King Ghidorah back into space.
While luring King Ghidorah to Venus, Zone Fighter realizes that the monster has disappeared, and returns to Earth to protect his family from the Garoga, only to find that they have been kidnapped. After ultimately rescuing his family members, Zone Fighter is given an urgent call to return the research institute, where he finds that several cars have been suspended midair over the institute, deducing it as the work of King Ghidorah. Transforming into Zone Fighter once more, Hikaru rescues the passengers of the floating vehicles, and confronts King Ghidorah once more. As the titans battle in the city, Zone Fighter is struck in the face by one of King Ghidorah's gravity beams, leaving him blinded. Unable to retaliate, Zone Fighter is forced to revert to human form as King Ghidorah decimates the institute. Returning home, Hikaru's vision is restored, and he decides to face off against Ghidorah one last time. Successfully luring King Ghidorah to Venus, Zone Fighter manages to defeat the space demon after a vicious struggle, although King Ghidorah manages to escape with his life, something few of the hero's enemies, not even Gigan, manage.
King Ghidorah is able to fly up to speeds of Mach 3 in the Earth's atmosphere by flapping his gigantic wings. He exceeds this speed and reaches a speed of Mach 400 while flying through space. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster King Ghidorah can encase himself within a meteorite while traveling from planet to planet. In Godzilla vs. Gigan he encases himself in a large diamond-like structure while traveling through space.
King Ghidorah's most famous ability is the golden lightning bolt-like gravity beams he spits from his three mouths. These beams are roughly equal in power to Godzilla's atomic breath, and are capable of causing large-scale explosions when fired at buildings. King Ghidorah uses these beams to cover a large radius or strike multiple targets by firing them from each of his mouths. King Ghidorah can also fire these beams one at a time, demonstrated in Godzilla vs. Gigan when he turns one of his heads to blast Anguirus, who is attempting to sneak up behind him.
King Ghidorah can produce hurricane-force winds by flapping his wings, which are capable of blowing away buildings and knocking other kaiju off their feet.
King Ghidorah is extremely durable and resistant to damage, to an extent close to Godzilla. He withstands conventional weaponry with no noticeable effect, and can even shrug off point-blank blasts from Godzilla's atomic breath. King Ghidorah tends to use his durability to his advantage, as he often prefers to escape from a battle that he can't win before he suffers more injuries than necessary. King Ghidorah also holds the distinction of being the only one of the Garogas' Terror-Beasts to survive his battles with Zone Fighter.
In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, while encased in the meteorite, King Ghidorah had the ability to generate what appeared to be magnetic fields that varied in strength from time to time. 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 King Ghidorah used them as a form of levitation.
In Zone Fighter, King Ghidorah seems to retain his control over gravity, managing to suspend several cars midair above a research institute.
Though more than a match for Godzilla in a one-on-one battle, King Ghidorah tends to become overwhelmed when facing multiple kaiju at once. This proves to be his downfall in Destroy All Monsters, where he is killed in a battle against all of Earth's monsters at the same time. King Ghidorah also tends to become confused when the mind control of his alien masters is severed, which leaves him open and vulnerable to attack.
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
- Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
- Zone Fighter (TV 1973)
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) [still]
- Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) [stock footage]
- Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984) [stock footage]
- Godzilla vs. 3 Giant Monsters
- Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!
- Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
- Godzilla (Game Boy)
- Godzilla: Battle Legends
- Godzilla: Trading Battle
- Godzilla (PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4) [Kaiju Guide]
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs. 3 Giant Monsters
King Ghidorah in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!
King Ghidorah in Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
- Main article: King Ghidorah/Gallery.
King Ghidorah's roar sounds like cackling, and consists of a combination of screeching and clicking sounds. Each one of King Ghidorah's heads roars at a different pitch. King Ghidorah's roar was later reused by Tsuburaya Productions for a sound made by Kemur Man in Ultra Q, as well as a telephone ringtone in Ultraman and Fight! Mighty Jack.
- King Ghidorah was the first alien monster to appear in the Godzilla series, as well as the monster that led Godzilla to begin his transition from a villain to a hero.
- Although some subsequent film incarnations of King Ghidorah possess different origins, the Showa King Ghidorah's depiction as a villainous space monster has become a popular trait of the character in non-film media, such as video games and comic books.
- King Ghidorah's appearances in Zone Fighter marked the first time the character appeared in a piece of media without Godzilla, as the latter was absent in these episodes.
- While monsters in the Godzilla series would frequently have new suits made for each film appearance, King Ghidorah was portrayed by the same suit for all of his appearances in the Showa series, though its wings were replaced for Destroy All Monsters and it was given new heads in Godzilla vs. Gigan.
This is a list of references for King Ghidorah/Showa. 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: