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Griffon in Latitude Zero
Lion in Latitude Zero
Alternate names Griffin, Black Moth, Kroiga, Kuroiga
Subtitle(s) Compound Monster
(合成怪獣,   Gōsei Kaiju)[1]
Artificial Monster
(人造怪獣,   Jinzō Kaijū)[2]
Combined Beast
(合体獣,   Gattaijū)[3]
Species Mutated human-lion-condor hybrid
Length 30 meters,[4]
2 meters (lion)[4]
Wingspan 50 meters[4][5]
Weight 2,000 metric tons,[4][5]
200 kilograms (lion)[4]
Relations Malic (creator),
Kroiga, lion, condor (components)
Enemies Malic
Modeled by Teizo Toshimitsu, Yasuei Yagi
Played by Haruo Nakajima, puppet
First appearance Latitude Zero
More roars
This page is about the kaiju from Latitude Zero. For Godzilla's proposed foe in the original unproduced story for TriStar Pictures' GODZILLA, see Gryphon. For the aircraft from Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, see GX-813 Griffon.
Kroiga was a fool as a woman. Is she also a fool as a Griffon? Why doesn't she attack?

Malic expressing his frustration when the Griffon does not obey his commands to attack Captain McKenzie and his allies (Latitude Zero)

The Griffon (グリホン,   Gurihon) is a surgically altered lion kaiju who first appeared in the 1969 Toho film, Latitude Zero.

In order to finally destroy his nemesis Craig McKenzie, the mad genius Malic created the Griffon by surgically implanting the brain of the Black Shark captain Kroiga into the body of a lion and grafting the wings of a condor onto it. He then injected his creation with a growth serum, causing her to grow to gigantic size before he set her loose to destroy McKenzie and his allies as they approached his base on Blood Rock. However, the Griffon did not obey Malic's orders, remaining perched atop a cliff. When Malic later tried to destroy the Alpha with the Black Shark, the Griffon swooped down and attacked the sub, seeking vengeance on her creator. The Griffon destroyed the Black Shark along with herself in an explosion which triggered a chain reaction that destroyed the rest of Blood Rock.


The Griffon's name comes from the mythological beast known as the griffin, an eagle-lion hybrid. In Latitude Zero, she is consistently called Kroiga (黒い蛾,   Kuroiga), the name of the Black Shark captain whose brain was used for the monster's creation, though the creature is referred to as a "griffon" at one point by its creator, Malic. Toho International eventually decided upon Black Moth as the monster's international English name, the literal translation of Kuroiga; the combination of kuroi (黒い), meaning black, and ga (蛾), meaning moth. However, in Japan, the monster is almost always referred to as Griffon (グリホン,   Gurihon).[6] Japanese sources usually either give the monster's English name as Griffon[2][7] or Griffin,[8] the latter spelling also used in the subtitles for the Tokyo Shock DVD release of the film.

The katakana spelling most often used for the monster's name, グリホン, is unique, as "griffon" or "gryphon" is usually translated into Japanese as グリフォン (Gurifon), as is the case with the ship GX-813 Griffon from Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.[9] The latter spelling is, however, sometimes used for the monster.[7][4] The katakana spelling グリホン is also used for the creature in the 2017 novel GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse.


The Griffon prop

Due to the film Latitude Zero being based on a radio show of the same name, the Griffon is based on a griffon that appeared in one episode.[10] The Griffon's head was sculpted by monster modelling artist Teizo Toshimitsu, while the body was modeled by Yasuei Yagi.[8]

Like many Showa era Toho kaiju, the Griffon was portrayed by Haruo Nakajima. For flying scenes, a 2-shaku (60 centimeter) miniature puppet was used.[8]


The Griffon is a giant male lion with huge black condor wings grafted onto its body. All four of its paws appear to have been replaced by sharper bird-like clawed talons.


The Griffon is the result of one of Malic's twisted experiments, in which he surgically transplanted the brain of the Black Shark captain Kroiga into the body of a lion, before grafting condor wings onto it. It was then injected with a growth serum, causing her to gradually grow to gigantic size.


Showa era

Latitude Zero

The Griffon was created by Malic, who surgically implanted the brain of the Black Shark's captain, Kroiga, into a lion and then grafted condor wings onto it. He also gave the Griffon some of his special growth serum, causing her to grow substantially in size in a few seconds. Malic gave the Griffon the first command of intercepting the crew of Alpha, but the creature disobeyed and stayed perched in the mountains. Later, after the Black Shark had been caught in a magnetic field, the Griffon swooped in, seeking revenge on her creator. The Griffon managed to knock off the aim of the submarine's laser turret, which discharged at the mountainside, thus causing an avalanche which buried the Griffon and the Black Shark and triggered a chain reaction explosion that consumed all of Blood Rock.


Physical abilities

The Griffon is incredibly strong, due to possessing the body of a lion and being incredibly large thanks to Malic's growth serum. She uses her claws and strong jaws in battle.


The Griffon can fly at Mach 2.



GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse

A flock of Griffons attacked Egypt in June of 2021, resulting in the fall of the capital city of Cairo. Failure to eradicate the early Griffons resulted in large numbers of them.[11]

GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla

Griffons were still present in North Africa in 2042 during "Operation: Long March," and preyed upon United Earth soldiers along with Giant Rats and the Giant Condor.[12]


Main article: Griffon/Gallery.


The roars of the lion that is used as the body for the Griffon are reused grunts from King Kong in King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes, as well as Manda's growls. The roars of the Griffon itself are a combination of those same King Kong and Manda growls with added Rodan chirps at the beginning.

Griffon's roars


  • Prior to appearing in any other Godzilla-related media, the Griffon was featured in the Godzilla Wars line of Toy Card 100 trading cards.
  • The Griffon's name is among the various kaiju names sung during the full theme song for the show Godzilla Island.


This is a list of references for Griffon. 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 Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 28 September 2012. p. 128. ISBN 4-864-91013-8.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yamada, Masami (1 December 1995). The Pictorial Book of Godzilla 2. Hobby Japan. pp. 6, 111. ISBN 978-4894251175.
  3. Definitive Edition of Toho Monster Movies!! Godzilla Special Effects Complete Works. Natsumesha. 21 December 1994. p. 60. ISBN 978-4816317750.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Toho Monster Graffiti. Kindaieigaisha. October 1991. p. 28. ISBN 978-4764880566.
    GvKCC Gurifon.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 Godzilla Giant Monsters Super Encyclopedia (4th ed.). Kodansha. 15 March 1994. p. 60. ISBN 978-4063042702.
  6. Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. 23 July 2014. p. 54. ISBN 4-096-82090-3.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Encyclopedia of Godzilla (Mechagodzilla Edition). Gakken. 10 December 1993. p. 105. ISBN 405600174X.
    Mechagodzilla Edition Gurifon.png
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 All Toho Monsters Pictorial Book (4th Edition). Yosensha. 4 September 2016. p. 148. ISBN 978-4-8003-0362-2.
    ATMPB Griffin.png
  9. Griffin on Japanese Wikipedia
  10. Latitude Zero (1969)
  11. Renji Ōki (October 25, 2017). GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse. Kadokawa. pp. 103–104.
  12. Oki, Renji (25 April 2018). GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla. Kadokawa. pp. 53–85. ISBN 9784041063453.


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