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The Atlanteans (アトランティス人 are a fictional people who inhabit the lost city of Atlantis in various media. They are often portrayed as an advanced race of super-ancient humans. Similar to the people of Antorantisujin)Mu and Lemuria, the Atlanteans are typically said to have possessed a powerful and scientifically advanced civilization that was abruptly wiped out and all traces of it disappeared. The Atlanteans are an important part of the lore of Daiei's Heisei Gamera trilogy.
This race is usually just referred to as a "super-ancient civilization" (超古代文明 or simply the Ancients chō kodai bunmei) (古代人 throughout the Gamera trilogy. In Kodaijin, lit. "Ancient People")Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, Naoya Kusanagi states that this civilization is the origin of the myth of Atlantis, which spread across many cultures and took on many different names. Western fans usually refer to the civilization as either the Atlanteans or the Ancients.
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Thousands of years ago, an advanced super-ancient civilization genetically engineered the perfect organism, Gyaos, possibly as a weapon. However, the Gyaos began to reproduce out of control and turned on their creators, feeding on them and destroying their civilization. As a last-ditch effort to stop the Gyaos, the ancients created Gamera, a benevolent creature with the sole duty of destroying the Gyaos and defending the planet Earth from any threats. Gamera successfully destroyed most of the Gyaos, but the civilization which created him was completely destroyed. Before the ancient people were wiped out, they sealed Gamera in an atoll with a prophetic tablet, knowing that if the Gyaos ever returned, Gamera would arise to stop them. Though their civilization perished, the ancients persisted throughout human mythology around the world, most prominently inspiring the myth of Atlantis. In the present day, damage to Earth's environment by human activities caused clutches of Gyaos eggs to hatch, and three Gyaos appeared off the coast of Japan. Gamera was awakened and attempted to destroy the creatures, but the JSDF mistakenly considered him the bigger threat and attacked him. Meanwhile, the teenage Asagi Kusanagi developed a telepathic bond with Gamera after touching one of the magatama recovered from Gamera's atoll. Gamera managed to kill two Gyaos, but the third evolved into Super Gyaos and created a nest on the Tokyo Tower. Gamera arrived in Tokyo and destroyed the nest, and after a long battle managed to kill Super Gyaos. Gamera then returned to the sea, ready to fight against any future threats.
The next year, Gamera was seemingly killed while battling the Legion. Gamera was forced to sever his link with Asagi, and therefore all of humanity, and was revived by absorbing a large portion of Earth's Mana, the energy of all life. Gamera destroyed the Legion, but had to absorb all of Earth's Mana to do so.
As thousands of evolved Hyper Gyaos appeared around the globe due to Gamera's use of all Earth's Mana to destroy Legion, another monster with ties to the Atlanteans, Iris, was awakened from a shrine in Asuka and raised by Ayana Hirasaka, a vengeful orphan who blamed Gamera for her parents' deaths. Japanese Cabinet Secretary and Shinto occultist Mito Asakura claimed to be descended from the Atlanteans, genetically and by her occult practices being descended from the methods the Atlanteans used to create and bond with the monsters. Finding out about Ayana, Mito and her accomplices kidnapped her and took her to Kyoto after she'd been hospitalized due to Iris attempting to fuse with her. The magatama Ayana had which was tethered to Iris alerted the now-giant monster as to where Ayana was. While Gamera struggled to battle the Hyper Gyaos all across the planet, Iris wiped out an entire village and terrorized the Japanese countryside. After eradicating a JSDF platoon, Iris flew to Kyoto to again fuse with Ayana, but was intercepted by Gamera. Upon Ayana's command for Iris to attack Gamera, the two monsters battled in Kyoto. Mito, believing Gamera to be an evil spirit the Atlanteans regretted creating, stole Ayana's magatama and tried to command Iris to fuse with her instead. While the magatama did activate, Iris ignored the command and continued to battle Gamera ignorant of Mito's presence, causing her death when the two battling kaiju smashed into the station she was standing on. Iris gained the upper hand after impaling and seemingly defeating Gamera, giving it time to try and to merge itself with Ayana. However, intervention by Tatsunari Moribe helped Ayana come to her senses just as she was forcefully absorbed by Iris. After a repentant Ayana called out for help, Gamera recovered, stopped the fusion and tore her out of Iris' Gene Snatcher. Gamera then destroyed Iris using his Mana manipulation powers, at the cost of one of his arms. After stomping on Iris' carcass and setting Ayana down, Gamera then prepared to face a swarm of thousands of Hyper Gyaos approaching the city.
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In Gorgo, aside from being technologically advanced and adapting to their environment, the Atlanteans also have psychic powers which they planned to use on their conquest of the surface world. They possessed mental control of monsters called "Crab-Things."
In the Heisei Gamera trilogy, the Atlanteans were proficient at genetic engineering, having bred the genetically perfect Gyaos as well as Gamera himself. The Atlanteans are also likely to have been skilled at harnessing and manipulating Mana, given Gamera's connection to it. The Atlanteans also created special magatama which allow the development of telepathic bonds between monsters and humans.
The Atlanteans are featured on the stage "Atlantis Rises from the Deep." Crystals sent to Earth by SpaceGodzilla raise the city of Atlantis to the surface, and the player's monsters must battle against the Atlanteans' vehicles and weapons, as well as Manda and the Gotengo. The Atlanteans in this game are closer to the Muans from Atragon, due to their hostility towards the surface world and control of Manda.
In Gorgo, the Atlanteans are a race of fish people. While they were once a race of humans on the surface, after their city sank the adapted to the environment and became 12-foot-tall, fish-like humanoids.
While Gorgo was collecting undersea herbs and food to nurse his Mother back to health, on the surface Professor Stodard went to a conference to talk with General Canfield about the two monsters, during which they briefly mentioned Atlantis. Once Gorgo's mother recovered, the pair swam to the lowest depths of the sea and rested near a rock formation. This formation contained a tunnel that led to the legendary lost city of Atlantis. The Atlanteans had a huge meeting to attend; with all of them gathered, the Elder Atlantean gave a speech about the cave that led to the surface world, how they should use their psychic powers to control the minds of the humans, and then send the strongest Atlanteans to wipe out humanity in order to take over the surface world. The ranks of the Atlanteans formed and they practiced with their weapons, and then, in long lines, they approached the cave that led to the surface. But something was blocking the exit - something scaly. They blasted at it with atomic handguns, which ended up hurting Gorgo. Ogra, enraged by how they hurt her child, swatted the Atlanteans away, but more of them kept coming out of the cave and started shooting stinging missiles. After Gorgo and his mother gained the upper hand, the Atlantean Elder decided to release the vicious monsters known as the Crab-Things who were under their mental control. Gorgo and his mother fought viciously against the Crab-Things and Atlanteans, eventually prevailing. The Atlanteans retreated through the cave, but Gorgo and his mother tore the cave open and made it to Atlantis, which they rampaged through and destroyed entirely. This caused turmoil near the surface and Prof. Stodard sent a submarine to investigate, but the pressure from going too deep made the submarine return to the surface. Meanwhile, Gorgo and his mother rested in the ruins of Atlantis.
An illustration of the Atlanteans by designer Mahiro Maeda in a making-of book for Gamera the Guardian of the Universe
- The Atlanteans' connection to the monster Iris in Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris is not entirely known. A black Atlantean magatama similar to the ones found with Gamera is located in Iris' shrine, and creates the telepathic link between Ayana and Iris. In the film, it is suggested that Iris is simply the ultimate evolution of the Gyaos, due to sharing most of its DNA with Gyaos. A much darker suggestion is offered by the character Kurata Shinya. According to him, the Atlanteans may have intentionally created Iris to kill Gamera, either to prevent him from ever becoming evil or to actually allow the Gyaos to wipe out the human race. In addition, another theory is provided which suggests that Iris is the spiritual opposite to Gamera, being the equivalent of the Vermilion Bird and the "Guardian of the South." No theory about Iris' origin is ever proven, but it is certain that Iris possesses a link to the Atlanteans and is related to the Gyaos.
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