Difference between revisions of "Varan"

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(Video Games)
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*''[[Godzilla: Trading Battle]]'' (1998) - Sony PlayStation
*''[[Godzilla: Trading Battle]]'' (1998) - Sony PlayStation
*''[[Godzilla Generations]]'' (1998) - Sega Dreamcast
*''[[Godzilla Generations]]'' (1998) - Sega Dreamcast
*''Collect Godzilla: Giant Monster Assembly'' (1998) - Sega Dreamcast VMU
*''[[Godzilla: Unleashed]]'' (2007) - Nintendo Wii
*''[[Godzilla: Unleashed]]'' (2007) - Nintendo Wii
*''[[Godzilla (2014 video game)|Godzilla]]'' (2014) - PlayStation 3 and 4 [Kaiju Guide]
*''[[Godzilla (2014 video game)|Godzilla]]'' (2014) - PlayStation 3 and 4 [Kaiju Guide]
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<gallery widths="120" position="center" captionalign="center" spacing="small">
<gallery widths="120" position="center" captionalign="center" spacing="small">
Varan_GMoM.gif|Varan in ''[[Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!]]''
Varan_GMoM.gif|Varan in ''[[Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!]]''
File:28b_varan.png|Varan's sprite in Collect Godzilla: Giant Monster Assembly
*''[[Godzilla on Monster Island]]'' (1996)
*''[[Godzilla on Monster Island]]'' (1996)

Revision as of 15:10, 17 January 2019

Image gallery for Varan

Varan™ copyright icon
Varan in Destroy All Monsters
Varan in Varan
Alternate names Baradagi Mountain God, Baradagi, Baradagi-Sama, O-baki, Obake,[1]
Varan the Unbelievable
Subtitle(s) Giant Monster (大怪獣,   Daikaijū)[2]
Monster from the East
(東洋の怪物,   Tōyō no Kaibutsu)[3][4]
Giant Monster from the East
(東洋の大怪獣,   Tōyō no Daikaijū)[4][5]
Giant Flying Squirrel Monster
(むささび怪獣,   Musasabi Kaijū)[6]
Winged Membrane Dragon
(有翼膜竜,   Yūyoku Maku Ryū)[7]
Baradagi Mountain God
(婆羅陀巍山神,   Baradagi-Sanjin)G:TB
Species Varanopode[6]
Height 50 metersVAR[1][8][9]
10 metersDAM[5][10][note 1]
Weight 15,000 metric tonsVAR[1][9]
60 metric tonsDAM[5][10][note 1]
Controlled by KilaaksDAM
Allies Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Baragon, Minilla, Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Kumonga, Manda, King CaesarGRoE, ZillaGRoE,
Jet JaguarGRoE, KamoebasGRoE, TitanosaurusGRoE, SandaGRoE, GairaGRoE, KamacurasGRoE
Enemies King Ghidorah, GairaGRoE (At first), RodanGRoE, Trilopod, Magita, AnguirusGRAT
Created by Ken Kuronuma
Portrayed by Haruo Nakajima, Katsumi Tezuka
First appearance Latest appearance
Varan Destroy All Monsters
More roars

Varan (バラン,   Baran) is a tri-phibian kaiju created by Toho that first appeared in the 1958 Toho film, Varan, and later debuted in the Godzilla series in the 1968 film Destroy All Monsters.

In his debut film, Varan was a huge prehistoric reptile that lived beneath a lake near a Japanese mountain village, whose inhabitants came to fear him as the "Baradagi" mountain god. Varan eventually emerged from the lake, destroying the village and making his way to Tokyo, where he was finally defeated by the JSDF at Haneda Airport. A second incarnation of Varan was introduced in Destroy All Monsters ten years later, in which the creature was now a small juvenile living in peace with the other monsters of Earth on Monsterland.[5] Varan was present during the Earth monsters' battle against King Ghidorah, but did not take part and only observed. While relatively obscure compared to most of Toho's kaiju library due to only having a major role in a single film, Varan has nonetheless retained some degree of popularity over the years, being considered for many unrealized film projects and making appearances in non-film media such as comic books and video games.


Varan's name is most likely derived from either the genus name for monitor lizards, Varanus, or from the name of an extinct family of synapsids, Varanopidae. In-universe, Varan's name is an abbreviation of his species name, Varanopode (バラノポーダ,   Baranopōda).[11] The villagers that worship Varan refer to him as Baradagi Mountain God (婆羅陀魏山神,   Baradagi-Sanjin), or alternatively Baradagi-Sama (バラダギサマ). In the American version of Varan's debut film, he is only called O-baki onscreen. Varan is often given the title Giant Flying Squirrel Monster (むささび怪獣,   Musasabi Kaijū) in various publications due to the gliding membranes underneath his arms, despite not actually being a flying squirrel.[6] The Varan featured in Destroy All Monsters is sometimes denoted as Varan (Second Generation) (バラン(二代目),   Baran Nidaime).[6]

According to a booklet included with Toho's 2002 three-disc DVD release of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Varan's name was originally Baradaki (波羅蛇麒) in the original unrealized version of the film, Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, with him being given the name "Varan" by the JSDF late in the story.


Varan is a primarily quadrupedal reptilian creature with thin membranes between his arms and legs, which he uses for gliding in a manner akin to that of a flying squirrel or sugar glider. Varan's eyes are small with large pupils, his head is round, and he has a short-muzzled face with a lumpy nose and a prominent upper lip. His teeth vary in size, but all of them are more or less conical in shape. He has a barrel-shaped torso with a large sternum. His neck is fairly long and thick and his limbs are relatively long and thin. Varan also has a pair of spiky, fin-like structures on the sides of his face and a single row of large spines that run down from the top of his head to the end of his long, prehensile tail. His hands and feet have five digits each and they have a slender, bony look to them. His spines are clear and translucent, having little to no real color to them, and his hide can be divided into two notable sections: the lowermost sides of his skin are smooth with a slightly baggy or wrinkled feel to them and are a light cream or tan-like sandy brown while the uppermost parts of his skin are covered with a multitude of bumpy, wart-like structures and are a much darker shade of brown. These two sections are separated by a series of wavy membranes on the sides of his torso, limbs, and tail that straighten to form Varan's gliding membranes.


Varan is an ancient reptilian creature known as a Varanopode, which lived from the Triassic through Cretaceous Periods.[6] Varan escaped extinction and lived for millions of years at the bottom of a lake in the Japanese countryside. Villagers living near the lake saw Varan as a god, giving him the title of the "Baradagi Mountain God." In Destroy All Monsters, Varan is one of the several kaiju living on Monsterland at the end of the 20th century. No details regarding him are ever discussed within the film, but external sources say that this Varan is a juvenile.[5]

A toy of Varan released by Marusan in 2016 taxonomically classifies Varan as Reptilia Class, Rodan Family, Godzilla Genus, Varanopode (爬虫類ゴジラ属ラドン科バラノポーダ,   Hachūrui Gojira-zoku Radon-ka Baranopōda), reaffirming his species as Varanopode but also suggesting a close evolutionary relationship to both Godzilla and Rodan.[11]


Showa Series


Varan in Varan

After a pair of rare Siberian butterflies were found in Japan by a young boy, two scientists were sent to investigate the area where they were found, near a secluded mountain village. The scientists were killed by an unknown force, and another team was sent to investigate. There, they encountered the local villagers, who worshiped a mountain god called "Baradagi." The team went out to find a boy who was lost in the forest, but the villagers warned that they would anger Baradagi. One of the scientists persuaded the villagers to go out to find the boy, but Varan, the "Baradagi" the villagers worshiped, emerged from the nearby lake and attacked them. Varan killed the village priest and destroyed the village before returning to the lake he had come from. The JSDF arrived and surrounded the lake, and opened fire on Varan after luring him out with chemicals. The attack had no effect, and Varan chased two people into a cave. The JSDF fired flares to distract Varan, prompting him to climb to the top of a cliff. Varan opened large membranes under his arms and dove off the cliff, gliding across the sky and towards the ocean. The JSDF deployed countless destroyers and bombers to try and stop Varan before he could reach the Japanese mainland, but their attacks did little to slow the beast's advance. Eventually, Varan surfaced from Tokyo Bay and attacked Haneda Airport. The JSDF attacked Varan with all of their available artillery and jets, but still were unable to harm him. When Varan destroyed a truck containing experimental explosives, it triggered an explosion that seemed to visibly harm him. The JSDF quickly tied two of these explosives to flares and then dropped them from helicopters, knowing Varan would eat the flares. After Varan swallowed the flares, the first bomb exploded inside Varan, causing him to become weak. Varan limped back into the ocean and disappeared beneath the waves before the second bomb exploded, producing a small mushroom cloud over the water. The J.S.D.F then finally declared the creature dead.

Destroy All Monsters

At the end of the 20th century, a juvenile Varan was living among Earth's other monsters on the human-monitored Monsterland. When the Kilaaks took control of the island and its inhabitants, Varan disappeared as the alien invaders' global assault was initiated. Whether Varan was ever used by the aliens to fight humanity is unclear, as he wasn't seen again until well after the humans used the Moonlight SY-3 to destroy the Kilaaks' Moon base. After the Kilaaks' control was broken, Varan spectated alongside Baragon and Manda during the Earth monsters' fight against King Ghidorah at Mount Fuji. Once King Ghidorah and the Kilaaks were defeated, Varan and all the others monsters returned to Monsterland in peace.

Within the context of the film itself Varan 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 gliding across the sky in Varan

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,[8] 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 in a film. 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. Godzilla: Unleashed depicts Varan using acrobatics to fight, as well as his spines. 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 Games

Varan appeared in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters! as a boss character.

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 Fire Rodan's flight, and can be unlocked by destroying the three purple objects on the Vortaak mothership while playing as an Alien.

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

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."

Godzilla (PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4)

Main article: Godzilla (2014 video game)/Kaiju Guide#Varan.


Who's Afraid of Godzilla?

Varan was one of the many monsters afraid of Godzilla living on Monster Island, but he would later see the error of his ways and befriend the monster king.

GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse

Multiple individual Varans appeared, but the second individual denoted "Varan II" came ashore in Los Angeles in 2030 along with Baragon II and Anguirus IV after they were attacked by Godzilla in the Pacific Ocean. All three kaiju were then killed by a single blast of Godzilla's atomic breath.[12]


Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

Varan first 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. It is unknown where Varan went after the battle with Gaira, as he was never present on the Monster Islands, but a Trilopod later appeared to fight Godzilla that had Varan's traits. Varan was being held in the Trilopod hive, but was freed by King Caesar along with the other kaiju. Varan then took part in the final battle against the Trilopods, helping Zilla kill the Titanosaurus Trilopod, and the massive Magita. After the threat was vanquished, Varan and the other monsters followed Godzilla out to sea.

Godzilla in Hell

A demonic version of Varan appeared in the second issue of the IDW mini-series Godzilla in Hell. The demon Varan emerged from the Eternal Ocean as Godzilla arrived there after falling from the ice following his fight with the demon Anguirus. The demon Varan and Godzilla immediately fought each other, but Godzilla dispensed of the demon with his atomic breath.


Main article: Varan/Gallery.


Varan's roar is notable in that it was reused and edited for monsters such as Gorosaurus, Megalon, the Showa Baragon and various creatures from the Ultraman franchise. The roars are derived from those of the 1954 incarnation of Godzilla. Varan's roars were also recycled for the MagiDragon in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.

Varan's roars

In Other Languages

  • Russian: Варан



  1. 1.0 1.1 The vast majority of sources erroneously give the Destroy All Monsters incarnation of Varan the same stats as the original, 1958 Varan. At the same time, Godzilla 1954-1999 Super Complete Works lists the Destroy All Monsters Varan's height as being 30 meters (p. 125).


This is a list of references for Varan. 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]

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