Barugon

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Barugon
Barugon in Gamera vs. Barugon
Baby Barugon in Gamera vs. Barugon
Alternate names Godzilla[note 1]
Subtitle(s) Chilling Monster (冷凍怪獣,   Reitō Kaijū)
Legendary Monster
(伝説の怪獣,   Densetsu no Kaijū)
Dragon (ドラゴン,   Doragon)GvBCV[1]
Species Giant ancient reptile
Length 80 meters[2]
Weight 70 metric tons[2]
Forms Hatchling, adult
Place(s) of emergence Valley of Rainbows, New Guinea[2]
Enemies Gamera
Modeled by Ryosaku Takayama
First appearance Gamera vs. Barugon
Roar(s)
More roars
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Karen: “Barugon. That's Barugon.
Keisuke Hirata: “What?
Karen: “Yes, it's him.
― Karen and Keisuke Hirata react to seeing Barugon on a news broadcast. (Gamera vs. Barugon)

Barugon (バルゴン,   Barugon) is an ancient reptilian kaiju who first appeared in the 1966 Daiei Gamera film Gamera vs. Barugon.

After a group of treasure hunters ventured into the forbidden Valley of Rainbows in New Guinea, one of them brought a giant opal with him back to Japan, not knowing the precious stone was actually the egg of Barugon. After being unintentionally incubated by an infrared lamp, Barugon hatched from his egg and came ashore in Kobe, tearing the city apart with his extending tongue and rainbow death ray and freezing entire blocks with the chilling liquid released from his tongue. Barugon reached Osaka and confronted Gamera, and defeated him after freezing him solid. After withstanding multiple failed attempts by the JSDF to destroy him, Barugon was attacked by Gamera once again, this time being dragged to the bottom of Lake Biwa to his death. In Gamera Super Monster, Barugon was employed by the evil crew of the pirate spaceship Zanon to fight Gamera, but was defeated; like the other monsters who appear in the film, Barugon's appearance is depicted entirely through stock footage.

Introduced in the second film of the Gamera series, Barugon was Gamera's first-ever opponent. Though he never returned in a film outside of stock footage, he was featured in a 2003 Kadokawa manga retelling of his debut film titled Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version, which is set in the continuity of the Heisei trilogy between the events of Gamera 2: Attack of Legion and Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris.

Development

Barugon was modeled by Ryosaku Takayama, with finishing details applied by Ex Productions. According to special effects director Noriaki Yuasa, Barugon's head was made especially large in order to hide the human figure inside the suit as much as possible. Furthermore, Yuasa took measures to avoid filming the suit's feet to better maintain the illusion. Takayama modeled the Barugon suit to be easy to move in, but it ended up being very easily damaged. The shooting was difficult as a result and the suit required repairs every day. Another consequence of the efforts to make the suit easier to use meant that it was quite lightweight; for Barugon's death at the climax of the film as the monster sinks into Lake Biwa, the suit was unusually buoyant and did not submerge into the water very easily. An initial attempt to mitigate this involved cutting the suit's stomach open with scissors and then filling it with water. When even this did not work, the suit was reduced to essentially only the head which finally achieved the desired effect. Children who were touring the studio at the time were reported to have laughed at the difficulties experienced in filming this sequence.

Takayama also modeled a prop of Barugon's upper body the same size as the suit which had a mechanism for extending its tongue. This mechanism was operated by three people. A fire extinguisher was used to portray the chilling liquid sprayed from Barugon's tongue.

A three-shaku (Japanese foot) hand-operated puppet or Guignol was created for the final battle at Lake Biwa, along with an equally-scaled Gamera Guignol. For the scene where Barugon hatches from his egg, a Guignol was employed with the puppet operator's hand inserted from below. Tobacco smoke was used in this scene, while the baby Barugon Guignol was covered in custom-made materials from the United States to depict the mucus-like substance covering the hatchling. Yuasa commented that Barugon's hatching was his favorite scene in the movie.

Design

The ancient Barugon in Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version.

Barugon is a gigantic quadrupedal reptile, with reddish-brown scaly skin, sharp teeth, a long horn on his snout, smaller horns above his eyes, and a long whip-like tail. He has two rows of short spikes running down his back, which begin to glow and pulse in sequence when the creature is ready to attack. Barugon also possess a very long, stiff tongue with a clubbed tip, and has purple blood. His eyelids open and close sideways rather than up and down. Overall, Barugon resembles a Jackson's chameleon.

In the 2003 manga Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version, Barugon is given a radically different design, and appears somewhat similar to an Ankylosaurus. He remains a reptilian quadraped, but he has red, front-facing eyes, blue skin, and green horns, spikes, and claws. The spikes that produce his Rainbow Death Ray are all over his body, with the ray itself appearing more like a thick, solid beam than the Showa incarnation. Barugon has a long tail that has a spiky and whip-thin ending. He has a red gem lodged into the top of his skull, and has a multitude of horns on his head, along with a long nasal horn. His tongue is long and has a visible open end for his chilling liquid to be fired from. He has four-clawed feet and is covered in patterns and markings on his back. One of his predecessors, shown in a vision, had a drastically different head design from the current individual.

Origins

Barugon is a reptilian monster who appears every thousand years, and had previously attacked New Guinea's remote villages many times throughout the island's history, being defeated by humans each time. During World War II, his egg was placed inside the Valley of Rainbows, a vast complex of caves in New Guinea's dense rainforest. Mistaken for a large opal by three treasure hunters bent on retrieving it, the egg was transported back to Japan by Onodera, who betrayed the others and left with the egg. During the final part of the trip back to Japan, the egg was accidentally left under an infrared lamp Onodera was using to treat his athlete's foot infection. The electromagnetic radiation from the lamp induced the creature to hatch at a drastically increased speed, and also caused it to grow to an unusually large size within minutes of hatching.

In the manga Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version, Barugon's egg was found inside the skull of another Barugon located in a cave decorated with paintings of the monster fighting Gyaos. It is later suggested that Barugon was one of a series of prototype guardian monsters developed by the ancient Atlanteans to stop Gyaos before they finally created Gamera.

History

Showa era

Gamera vs. Barugon

Barugon battles Gamera in Gamera vs. Barugon

A monster who appears once every 1,000 years, Barugon was revered and feared in the myths and legends of New Guinea. Barugon's egg, which resembled a giant opal, was placed in a red sack and concealed in the Valley of Rainbows by Ichiro, a Japanese soldier, who found the egg during World War II. Twenty-one years later, Ichiro resolved to obtain the priceless object, sending three treasure hunters, Kawajiri, Onodera, and his brother, Keisuke, to search for it. The three men made their way to New Guinea by posing as sailors on a merchant ship, with Keisuke also hired to pilot a helicopter to leave New Guinea once the gemstone was obtained. However, after Kawajiri located the ‘opal’, Onodera betrayed him and Keisuke, intentionally letting Kawajiri be fatally stung by a cave scorpion, then setting off explosive charges, hoping Keisuke would die in the resultant cave-in. Fleeing the cave with the egg, Onodera made it back to the ship, and began the return journey to Japan. During the voyage, Onodera developed symptoms of malaria and athlete's foot, which the ship's doctor began treating using an infrared heat lamp.

During the final leg of the trip, as the ship neared Kobe, Onodera accidentally left the egg under the heat lamp, which he carelessly neglected to switch off, and went to play Mahjong with the ship's crew. The lamp incubated the egg and it hatched into a baby Barugon. Barugon then rapidly grew to his full size, causing the boat to explode, before swimming to shore and making his way into downtown Kobe, levelling much of the city, before continuing onward to Osaka where he froze areas of the city solid with his Chilling Liquid, including the keep of Osaka Castle. As Barugon rampaged, the military attempted to destroy him with a missile strike, but Barugon destroyed the missiles and their launchers with his Rainbow Death Ray, blowing the launch facility to pieces. As this happened, Barugon's Rainbow Death Ray also happened to catch the attention of Gamera, who had recently returned to Japan from space to resume his quest for energy to consume. The two titans clashed in the castle's grounds, and just when Gamera got the upper hand, Barugon used his Chilling Liquid to freeze Gamera solid, though Gamera managed to cut Barugon's cheek with his frozen hand just before he was completely frozen. With the military and Gamera out of the way, Barugon left Osaka and began travelling towards Tokyo.

After Karen informed the JSDF that Barugon's weakness was fresh water, the JSDF set up a plan to drown him in Lake Biwa north of Kyoto, utilising a large diamond from New Guinea that had been handed down through multiple generations to attract him, but the plan seemed to fail, as Barugon eventually lost interest. A week later, with Barugon kept from continuing on his journey east by artificial rain, a second attempt was put into motion, utilising a Ruby Death Ray that imbued the diamond with infrared light. This time, Barugon continued following the diamond all the way to the shores of Lake Biwa. As the amphibious vehicle carrying the Ruby Death Ray sailed out into the lake, disaster struck when Onodera arrived on a speedboat and attacked the team, stealing the diamond from the JSDF. As Onodera attempted to make good his escape, Barugon used his extremely long tongue to ensnare both the thief and the diamond and consumed both, before quickly getting back to the safety of the lake’s shore before he could be injured by exposure to the water.

With this plan a failure, the JSDF changed tactics, bringing in more helicopters to drop artificial rain to keep Barugon at bay. The next day, Keisuke and Karen arrived at the missile facility destroyed by Barugon during his attack on Osaka, and discovered that the wing mirrors of a jeep destroyed by Barugon’s Rainbow Death Ray remained intact, despite the rest of the vehicle having been completely disintegrated. Realising that this meant Barugon’s Rainbow Death Ray must have a weakness, he presented the mirrors to the JSDF and explained that mirrors could be used to reflect Barugon’s beam back at him. With this plan approved, the microwave antenna on Mount Kajika was equipped with giant panels coated in mercury, turning it into a mirror capable of reflecting the energy. A set of remotely-controlled tanks were then sent to the summit to be used to provoke Barugon into using his beam.

That evening, the plan, code-named Operation Rear-View Mirror, was set into motion. As the tanks fired on Barugon, he fired his Rainbow Death ray towards them, destroying the vehicles and striking the reflective surface of the Giant Parabolic Mirror exactly as had been predicted. As the energy was shot back towards its source, it struck Barugon over his spine, blowing vast quantities of skin and muscle off and leaving the monster screeching and writhing in pain as blood freely issued from his wounds. However, the reflector, while extremely powerful, had failed to kill Barugon. Realizing the humans had the ability to potentially kill him, he refused to use his Rainbow Death Ray again.

Just as all hope seemed lost, the areas of Osaka frozen by Barugon finally began to thaw. Revived, Gamera emerged from his icy prison and flew to Lake Biwa to fight Barugon. Though Barugon was a worthy fighter and capable of defending himself in close quarters, Gamera held the upper hand, and hurled him into the Biwako Ohashi Bridge. Barugon made it to the shore again, and attempted to subdue Gamera by knocking him down with his tongue and holding him against the ground with his legs, but Gamera remained in control, eventually hurling Barugon back into the lake. Barugon panicked and attempted to scramble out of the water, distracting him for long enough for Gamera to use his jaws to grab hold of Barugon by the neck, dragging him away from the shore and into Lake Biwa's interior. With his strength rapidly fading away, Barugon began to violently bleed, and sank below the lake's surface as Gamera pulled him down, eventually reaching the bottom. After Gamera let go of Barugon, the monster attempted one last, futile use of his Rainbow Death Ray, which rose above the surface, but faded before it could hit anything; Barugon had finally died.

Gamera Super Monster

Barugon was one of the monsters revived by the evil crew of the pirate spaceship Zanon, and was the last monster to engage in battle with Gamera. Like the others, he was eventually defeated. Barugon's appearance in this film was realized entirely through stock footage.

Abilities

Physical capabilities

To be added.

Extendable tongue

Barugon possesses an incredibly long extendable tongue, which he can fire from his mouth as a rigid battering ram to knock opponents over or strike targets from a distance. Barugon's tongue also functions like that of a chameleon, and can attach to objects to pull them towards Barugon, as seen when he used it to retrieve a large diamond set out by the JSDF as a lure without having to touch the fresh water the military hoped would incapacitate him. The destructive force of Barugon's tongue is stated to be 200,000 times greater than the punch of professional boxer Fighting Harada.[2]

The incarnation of Barugon in Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version can extend membranes on the tip of its tongue in a manner similar to tentacles to catch small targets.[3]

Chilling Liquid

Barugon can release Chilling Liquid (冷凍液,   Reitō-eki) at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius below zero from the tip of his extendable tongue. This liquid takes the form of an icy mist, and can freeze objects or opponents completely solid. Gamera was particularly susceptible to this liquid, as it left him frozen and immobilized for a period of several days. The Chilling Liquid has an impressive range and potency, freezing entire city blocks in mere moments. In Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version, Barugon can utilize the Chilling Liquid to create massive, miles-wide ice storms.

Rainbow Death Ray

Barugon firing his Rainbow Death Ray in Gamera vs. Barugon

Barugon's most notable ability is a rainbow that he launches from the 7 spikes on his back, known as the Rainbow Death Ray (殺人虹光線,   Satsujin Niji Kōsen). This rainbow is an incredibly powerful attack that can destroy entire lines of missiles being fired at Barugon or damage buildings or tanks. Gamera is immune to the effects of the Rainbow Death Ray, and can draw energy from it instead. Curiously, the beam can be reflected by mirrors, even small ones such as those found inside the wing mirrors of a jeep that had otherwise been vaporised by the attack. The Rainbow Death Ray is also strong enough to severely damage Barugon's own body if it is reflected by an array of large mirrors, which the JSDF used as part of their plan to defeat him at Lake Biwa, though Barugon learned from his mistakes after the first time this was tried, and refused to fire the beam in the presence of the mirror after that point. In Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version, the beam is powerful enough to vaporize ocean water fathoms deep everywhere it touches, and is also capable of causing tsunamis.[4]:287

Jumping

Barugon can leap great distances, an ability he used to close the distance against Gamera.

Intelligence

Barugon is actually a deceptively intelligent creature, and uses his cunning to withstand two of the JSDF's attempts to kill him. When the JSDF used a gigantic mirror to reflect Barugon's Rainbow Death Ray back at him, Barugon realized his mistake and consciously chose to stop using the attack. Another plan involved luring Barugon into Lake Biwa with a diamond. However, Barugon used his extendable tongue to recover the diamond and avoided wading out into the lake.

Regeneration

In Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version, Barugon was shown to be able to completely regenerate his severed tail in an instant.

Hypnosis and blinding

The incarnation of Barugon in Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version also has the ability to hypnotize humans that look directly into its eyes. This caused a group of civilians to obsessively covet jewelry and become violent, with two of them holding back a police officer as it fed off of gemstones at a jewelry store. JSDF soldiers became hypnotized by Barugon as well at close range, forcing the military to rethink its strategy.

Alternatively, Barugon may blind onlookers with light generated from its eyes.[5]

Weaknesses

Barugon bleeding profusely as he is drowned in Lake Biwa by Gamera

Barugon's Rainbow Death Ray can be reflected by mirrors, and if reflected back to Barugon will severely injure him. Barugon's most critical weakness is to fresh water. While salt water appears to pose him no threat, as he managed to make it ashore after hatching with no apparent injuries, if Barugon comes into contact with fresh water, it will rapidly weaken him. In small amounts, fresh water interferes with Barugon's ability to use his Chilling Liquid, while in large amounts it burns his flesh and causes him to bleed profusely. The JSDF used artificial rainfall through dropping water from helicopters to keep Barugon restrained and at bay, and the monster was left temporarily unable to use his Chilling Liquid while exposed to the rainfall. Barugon is ultimately killed when Gamera drags him to the bottom of Lake Biwa and drowns him.

Video games

Comics

Gamera the Giant Monster

Barugon alongside Gamera's past foes in Gamera the Giant Monster

Barugon was among Gamera's many past foes who were combined into a single hybrid kaiju dubbed Powered Gyaos.

Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version

An expedition headed deep into a cave, discovering Atlantean murals along the way depicting a reptilian monster. After a long journey they found a giant skeleton with a gem in its skull. The expedition force, already stressed from the journey and dark surroundings, had several members suffer insatiable greed and mania when the cave started to flood after the skeleton broke. One member tried to steal the gem and slashed his comrades with a knife, only to be shot in the face by another manic member of the party, which spilled blood onto the gem. The shooter managed to flee into the jungle and leave on a plane, leaving the only other survivor in the cave, where he experienced visions that implied Barugon was an earlier attempt at creating a counter to the Gyaos before Gamera. Aboard a ship, the gem quickly hatched into Barugon, and preyed upon the shooter before rapidly growing in size. He attacked a city, inducing mania in the populace before the JSDF confronted him. Barugon shot down their craft with freezing waves emitted from the tip of his long tongue. When warships came to attack him, he retaliated using his Rainbow Death Ray. Gamera, after learning from Asagi Kusanagi of Barugon's assault, came to fight. Gamera broke Barugon's tail using his plasma fireballs, but Barugon fought on. The former's icy blasts and the latter's fireballs created a temperature gradient that started producing large storms in the region. It was discovered that Barugon had a weakness to water when he tried to escape after being thrown into Tokyo Bay. He froze Gamera before going about freezing Tokyo. Eventually, Gamera thawed out, and the two fought again on an iceberg made by Barugon. Although Gamera was gravely wounded during the battle, Barugon was blown off the iceberg by Gamera's fireballs and sank into the sea.

Books

Friends: Gamera the Brave

G Barugon appeared along with other G monsters that were born by intaking Gyaos's DNA, akin to Zedus. In their first battles, G monsters appeared only to defeat Gamera and they also fought each other. In the final battle, they were led by Zedus.[4]:282

Gallery

Main article: Barugon/Gallery.

Roar

Barugon's roar was reused for the Ultra Series kaiju Gubila and Twin Tail.

Barugon's roars

Trivia

  • In the late 1960s, the Japanese toy company Nitto repurposed a rejected prototype mold of Barugon for a new model kit featuring Wanigon, an aquatic crocodilian creature and archrival of Gamaron, a frog monster incidentally created from a rejected Gamera mold.[citation needed]
    • In 2000, the novelty toy company Amapro brought back Wanigon and Gamaron as vinyl figures alongside a short film, Wanigon vs. Gamaron, which they released on VHS. Both title characters were brought to life through tokusatsu techniques.
    • The horned turtle monster Kogan, created for Amapro's series of soft vinyl toys inspired by the Pachimon phenomenon, is directly based on Barugon, though the shell is a mix between Gamera and the Ultraman monster Skydon.[6]
  • In the Barugon anatomy diagram drawn by Jolyon Yates for Shout! Factory's Gamera vs. Barugon DVD, the monster has a diamond digesting sack, a claim supported in the movie as he feeds off diamonds. The diagram also claims the spikes on his back that project his Rainbow Death Rays are prisms. It is possible the diamonds that he eats are broken down and used as a resource for the prism spikes.
  • The German dub of Gamera vs. Barugon calls Barugon Godzilla. It was released theatrically in West Germany as Godzilla - The Dragon from the Jungle, and at least one VHS release retitled it Gamera vs. Godzilla, with cover art showing Gamera fighting the TriStar Godzilla and photos of the Heisei era Godzilla on the back.[7]
  • Barugon is the only monster from the Showa era Gamera films who did not appear in GAMERA -Rebirth-.
  • In the 2015 story "Holy Beast War Chronicle: The White Shadow" written by Kadokawa producer Shinichiro Inoue, the Azure Dragon of the Four Symbols was given similar physical traits (round, blunt eyes; a single long horn on its snout; crocodile-like torso; dorsal fins, etc.) and abilities as Barugon. The Azure Dragon had been associated with the samurai family Ryūzōji for generations, and members of the family were chosen to summon and control the monster with a magatama. In 1281, Kotarō Tsushima summoned Jiger the "White Tiger" to defeat the Mongolian armies during the Mongol invasions of Japan, but it went berserk and attacked Japanese troops as well as the areas around Hakata and Dazaifu. In response, Iekiyo Ryūzōji summoned the Azure Dragon, who killed Jiger with a rainbow beam from its dorsal fins.[8] The Azure Dragon also possessed the ability to fly and grant people superhuman abilities, and its rainbow beam could create windstorms.[8]
  • An early concept of Shimo that ultimately led to her final design was based on Barugon.[9]

Notes

  1. German dub of Gamera vs. Barugon.

References

This is a list of references for Barugon. 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. Kondo 2003, p. 33.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Showa Gamera monster data - Gamera.jp
  3. Kondo 2003, p. 236.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Heisei Gamera Perfection. ASCII MEDIA WORKS. 8 February 2014. ISBN 9784048918817.
  5. Kondo 2003, p. 81.
  6. https://blog.goo.ne.jp/kadomiumtank/e/6e6a44cd62424d78571a08bc43eabbf0
  7. Ok-Scale1423 (24 June 2022). "Gamera vs. Barugon (1966) German VHS cover". Reddit. Archived from the original on 24 June 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Inoue 2015, pp. 295-297
  9. Kirchevsky, Jared (2 April 2024). "i did try a version that was based on this one yes, it wasn't selected but it did lead to the final version of Shimo". X. line feed character in |title= at position 55 (help)

Bibliography

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