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Mechagodzilla (メカゴジラ is a mechanical Mekagojira)Titan that appears in the 2021 Legendary Pictures film Godzilla vs. Kong. It is the second incarnation of Mechagodzilla to appear in an American-made film, after the incarnation featured in the 2018 film Ready Player One.
A robotic duplicate of Godzilla built in secrecy by Apex Cybernetics to end the reign of the Titans, Mechagodzilla was activated while Godzilla and Kong battled in Hong Kong. Quickly going out of control, the machine tore its way out of the Apex facility, bursting free from beneath Victoria Peak Mountain just after Godzilla defeated Kong. The mechanical monster set its sights on its organic counterpart and bombarded him with its missiles, proton scream, and punches from its drill hand, easily overpowering Godzilla. Just when Godzilla seemed outmatched, Kong came to his enemy's rescue, helping to turn the tide. By cooperating, Godzilla and Kong were able to triumph over the Ultimate Destroyer when Godzilla charged Kong's axe with his atomic breath, allowing Kong to slice Mechagodzilla apart.
The name "Mechagodzilla" comes from "mecha," which is derived from the word "mechanical," and Godzilla's name.
In-universe, it is Josh Valentine who gives the machine the name "Mechagodzilla," after Bernie Hayes calls it "Robo-Godzilla." Apex Cybernetics simply refers to Mechagodzilla as "the Mecha," though a computer monitor calls it MEC. GODZILLA.
Max Borenstein included Mechagodzilla in his first draft for the third MonsterVerse film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which he wrote before director Gareth Edwards left the project. When Legendary Pictures brought him in to polish the Godzilla vs. Kong script, he was pleased to see it had made the cut this time: "It made a lot of sense to be there because then you have these two iconic adversaries, but neither one is a villain. So let's introduce an iconic villain."
According to director Adam Wingard, this Mechagodzilla was inspired by the simple, blocky designs of classic Transformers. Lindsay MacGowan, Jared Krichevsky, Darnell Isom, and Simon Weber of Legacy Effects worked on the machine's design, with Wingard favoring Krichevsky's approach after just his first revision. They were instructed not to give Mechagodzilla "shoulder rockets", which were ultimately added anyway, but otherwise given free reign. Krichevsky previously designed a Mechagodzilla for another Warner Bros. film, Ready Player One, based on Noriyoshi Ohrai's advance poster for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, though he wanted his second rendition of the character to be as distinct as possible. He put an "x" pattern on the panels running down its arms and legs as a homage to the original Mechagodzilla's Cross Attack Beam and borrowed Kiryu's "ribbed neck and abdomen pieces." Its design was also influenced by the endoskeleton of the T-800 from the Terminator movies , the Dinobots from Transformers: Age of Extinction., and the spines of Mecha-King Ghidorah. Its hands were inspired by mirror hand syndrome and chameleons.
This Mechagodzilla is considerably thinner than previous incarnations of the character. Mechagodzilla is primarily a bright gunmetal silver color, with small hints of black, accented by a rich neon-red energy glow shining throughout its body through the gaps in its armored metal plates. Mechagodzilla's neck is ribbed and laced with robotic "gills", while its abdomen is reminiscent of a ribcage. Its head and toes bear a striking resemblance to King Ghidorah's while bearing Godzilla's lumbering frame.
Mechagodzilla's back supports three rows of small, square-shaped dorsal plates, the edges of which are akin to axe blades. There are bright red lights at each tip that travel downward from its head to its back, which then converge into one row as they move down its tail. Mechagodzilla has a long, segmented tail with a set of small twin blades at the tip which can spin like a drill. Its head has a pair of small, bright red eyes that flashed blue when it begins to go out of control. Prior to being possessed by Ghidorah's consciousness, its eyes glow a steady bright red color, and after falling under Ghidorah's influence, its pupils disappear, leaving behind pure red eyeballs.
The mech’s arms and hands are noticeably larger and thicker in proportion to the rest of its body, and the panels on its arms and legs are laced with armored plating. Its claws are sharp and resemble claw cranes, with small razor-sharp circular saws at the bottom of each finger and black absorbing pads on the fingers’ tips. It has concealed four-cell missile launchers within its shoulder pads and two 16-cell missile launchers behind them which fire forward.
Both of Mechagodzilla's enormous feet support a total of five digits, with four at the front and one at the back. Its legs are shown to contain various pieces of machinery such as hydraulic pistons to support its massive weight.
Mechagodzilla is initially completely under the control of Ren Serizawa, who, using a neural interface, controls Mechagodzilla like an extension of his own body. However, once King Ghidorah's consciousness takes control of the machine, Mechagodzilla becomes incredibly violent and destructive, immediately turning on and killing its creators before bursting free from its facility. Mechagodzilla begins destroying Hong Kong before turning its attention to Godzilla, attempting to brutally kill him. It displays this same murderous intent towards Kong after the Titan intervenes. According to designer Jared Krichevsky, a "new consciousness" was created when Ghidorah's personality merged with the mechanical Titan's artificial intelligence.
Mechagodzilla is a cybernetic Titan that was created by Apex Cybernetics in secret to destroy Godzilla and end the reign of Titans. At some point during the five years after Godzilla defeated King Ghidorah, Apex had purchased Ghidorah's skull from Alan Jonah and connected its neural networks to Mechagodzilla. Bernie Hayes theorizes that Apex Cybernetics placed a second Ghidorah skull inside Mechagodzilla to take full advantage of the Titan's telepathic abilities, while the film's novelization shows Walter Simmons purchasing two skulls from Jonah. Neither version of the story explains the origin of the second skull.
In the time following King Ghidorah's defeat, billionaire Walter Simmons and his company, Apex Cybernetics, focused on helping mankind rebuild and respond to the rise of the Titans. Bernie Hayes, an online conspiracy theorist and host of the Titan Truth Podcast, worked deep undercover for Apex Cybernetics in Pensacola, Florida for five years to try and expose the company's shady activities. Just as Hayes was downloading data from an Apex computer onto a flash drive, Godzilla rose from the ocean and attacked the facility. As the staff began to evacuate, Hayes sneaked into a restricted area of the facility where he was confronted by two guards. As they held him at gunpoint, the two guards were suddenly killed by a blast of Godzilla's atomic breath, leaving Bernie with small injuries. As the smoke cleared and Godzilla continued his rampage, Bernie saw a strange piece of technology resembling a giant robotic eye among the ruins of the facility.
Soon after, Walter Simmons and his chief technology officer, Ren Serizawa, visited Nathan Lind at Denham University in Philadelphia, where they showed their interest in his studies of the Hollow Earth, the evolutionary source of the Titans. They explained that a deep scan of the planet's core revealed a powerful source of energy that sustained its ecosystem, similar to the energy of Godzilla himself. They proposed a joint mission between Apex and Monarch to enter the Hollow Earth and harvest this source of energy to create a weapon capable of defeating Godzilla.
Suspicious after Godzilla's attack, Madison Russell and her friend Josh Valentine sought out Bernie, and agreed that Apex had something to do with Godzilla's change in behavior. The three then broke into the ruined Apex facility, finding that the "eye" Bernie described was now gone. Madison found an elevator that took them to sublevel 33, a mysterious area mentioned in the data Hayes managed to download. Upon reaching the sublevel, the group of three hid in a nearby transport vessel that housed Skullcrawler eggs. The vessel was then transported to Apex's headquarters in Hong Kong. As the three began to investigate the large chamber they found themselves in, they stumbled upon the activation test for Apex's ultimate anti-Titan weapon: Mechagodzilla.
As Mechagodzilla activated, with Serizawa controlling it via a neural link, Simmons unleashed a giant Skullcrawler, codenamed "Number 10," into the chamber as a test subject. The Skullcrawler set its sights on the small group of people and began to give chase. As Josh and Bernie took cover in a small hatch, Madison tripped as she was running. Before the Skullcrawler could devour her, Mechagodzilla restrained it, held it by its arms, and sliced it in half with its proton scream before powering down. Serizawa reported that Mechagodzilla only reached about 40% of its power capacity. Simmons stated this was as expected, and told them not to worry as they would soon have the power they needed to finish their creation. However, Godzilla sensed Mechagodzilla's activation and began swimming toward Hong Kong.
As Madison, Josh, and Bernie continued to sneak around the facility, they came upon a room containing Ghidorah's skull, which Apex had converted into a living supercomputer and neural interface used to control Mechagodzilla. After Kong had led the Apex-Monarch team into a massive castle-like structure that was built for his species, he found a massive axe that glowed with blue energy, which caused the ground around him began to glow with the same energy. Apex immediately sent out a spider-like drone to extract and analyze a sample of the energy, much to Monarch's disagreement.
Nevertheless, Apex managed to copy and recreate the energy from the Hollow Earth and implant it into Mechagodzilla. Simmons gave the order to activate Mechagodzilla once more, but Serizawa objected, warning him that the neural interface was untested and that they had no idea how Mechagodzilla could react to the new source of energy. Simmons dismissed these concerns and ordered Serizawa to activate the mecha.
As Godzilla and Kong fought in Hong Kong for supremacy, Apex activated Mechagodzilla, which was now infused with the power from the Hollow Earth. However, this also prompted Ghidorah's consciousness to possess the mecha. The machine instantly severed its neural link with Serizawa and went out of control, killing Simmons. An electrical shock promptly killed Serizawa before Mechagodzilla broke free from its facility underneath Victoria Peak Mountain and began to destroy what was left of Hong Kong with its proton scream. Godzilla, who had just nearly killed Kong, roared at his mechanical doppelgänger and promptly charged at him.
Mechagodzilla, recognizing its old rival, responded with a charge of its own, firing a barrage of missiles at the King of the Monsters. Both monsters clashed, and Mechagodzilla activated its jet boosters as its claws ignited with energy, knocking Godzilla to the ground with ease. Watching the battle from the control room, Madison, Josh, and Bernie realized that Mechagodzilla was still being controlled by the command center, so Josh tried to hack into Mechagodzilla's system in an attempt to slow it down.
As Mechagodzilla continued its assault, it grabbed Godzilla by the head and slammed it against multiple buildings. Finally, the two monsters engaged in a beam lock, only for Mechagodzilla to pour more energy into its proton scream, knocking Godzilla over once more and severely burning his chest. As the mechanical Titan continued its relentless assault against Godzilla, Lind used a HEAV as a defibrillator on Kong's chest, reviving him. As Kong woke up, he witnessed the battle between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla. Jia convinced Kong that Godzilla wasn't the enemy and that Mechagodzilla was the true threat to get the ape to help Godzilla. Convinced, Kong readied for battle after Jia warned him to be careful. As Kong sprung into action, Mechagodzilla dragged Godzilla to the ground once more. It pried Godzilla's jaws open, intending on firing its proton scream into Godzilla's mouth. Just before Mechagodzilla dealt the killing blow, Kong jumped onto Mechagodzilla's back and pulled its head back, forcing it to fire its proton scream into the sky. Mechagodzilla threw Kong off of its back and was just about to strike, only for Godzilla to grab one of its arms, stopping the oncoming attack and allowing Kong to do the same. Both monsters joined forces, pulling Mechagodzilla through a building by its arms. Mechagodzilla soon broke free of both monsters' grip, knocking Kong away as it dealt with Godzilla. Mechagodzilla delivered a swift uppercut to Godzilla's chin before pinning him to a building. But before Mechagodzilla could deliver a blow from its tail, Kong reentered the fight, his axe at hand, and swung the weapon at Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla quickly gained the upper hand once more, pinning Kong against a building as it lashed its spinning drill-tipped tail into Kong’s face, only for him to catch it.
As the battle was still taking place, Josh was still trying to hack into Mechagodzilla's system, only for Hayes to dismiss the motion and suggest they have one last drink before they died. This gave Josh an idea, as he took Hayes' flask of alcohol and poured it over Mechagodzilla's control panel, causing it to spark and making Mechagodzilla momentarily stall. Godzilla took this opportunity to fire his atomic breath at Kong's axe, supercharging it. As Kong broke free, he began to strike Mechagodzilla with the axe, managing to chop both of its arms off before severing one of its legs, bringing Mechagodzilla down to the ground. As Kong lifted his axe over its head, Mechagodzilla attempted to fire one last proton scream but failed as Kong slammed his weapon onto Mechagodzilla's neck, then tore off its head. Kong held up Mechagodzilla's severed head and spine and roared triumphantly, then threw it aside, ending Mechagodzilla's short reign of terror.
Mechagodzilla has a series of lenses that assembles inside of his throat, allowing him to focus and fire a concentrated red beam of pure energy from its mouth called the proton scream. When deployed at 40% power, it was sufficient to cut a large Skullcrawler in half in gruesome fashion. After Mechagodzilla became powered by Hollow Earth energy, the proton scream became potent enough to cleave through multiple buildings in a matter of seconds and prevail in an beam lock against Godzilla's atomic breath where the Godzilla vs. Kong: The Official Movie Novelization suggests that the atomic breath Godzilla used in the beam lock was the same one he used to drill into the Hollow Earth, blasting the Titan backward and leaving a searing wound on his chest. In apparent imitation of the "Kiss of Death" Godzilla used to kill the female MUTO, Mechagodzilla favored firing the proton scream down its enemies' throats. Adam Wingard has given conflicting answers regarding whether Mechagodzilla could have killed Godzilla with this technique.
Mechagodzilla has two 16-cell missile launchers which rise from behind its shoulder pads. They did little to slow Godzilla's charge, despite each missile releasing several micro missiles before impact, yet they did cause him to roar out in pain. When Kong and Godzilla held its arms, Mechagodzilla deployed a four-cell missile launcher hidden in its left shoulder against Godzilla, causing him to release his grip. Jared Krichevsky also designed Mechagodzilla to have concealed missile launchers in its chest; though unused in the film, they are visible on its S.H. MonsterArts figure.
Mechagodzilla has a set of six rocket boosters that fire out of openable ports by its dorsal fins. These boosters make Mechagodzilla more agile in close-quarters combat, helping it gain the upper hand against Godzilla.
According to designer Jared Krichevsky, "[Mechagodzilla's] rockets could be switched to jets for underwater propulsion." He demonstrates this ability in PUBG Mobile, attacking a fleet of ships.
In PUBG Mobile, Mechagodzilla can launch several aerial drones from his back. Each is equipped with a machine gun.
Mechagodzilla's endoskeleton is composed of titanium. The mecha is incredibly resistant to damage, shrugging off the majority of Godzilla and Kong's attacks. It shows no signs of strain in its initial battle with Godzilla, and when Kong joins the fight is still able to hold its own. Mechagodzilla immediately gets back to its feet after being forcibly pulled through a building by Godzilla and Kong and does not appear to take any noticeable physical damage from repeated strikes from Kong's axe before it is charged. Jared Krichevsky stated that Mechagodzilla could have survived "short bursts" of Godzilla's atomic breath, but not "prolonged attacks."
Mechagodzilla favors close-quarters combat. It uses its massive claws to knock Godzilla to the ground and even effortlessly drags him across the ground. It can charge its limbs with additional power from the synthesized Hollow Earth energy source to strengthen its attacks. Mechagodzilla also has two sets of industrial shredders within its mouth: One set on the roof of the mouth, and the other set on the bottom jaw. Though it only tried using them once on Kong in the film, within several close-up shots, the teeth of these grinders can be seen rotating, indicating that they are functional.
Mechagodzilla's tail is a versatile weapon, which it uses to knock Kong off of its back. It is tipped with multiple spikes that can be rotated at high speed to act like a drill.
Rotating buzzsaw claws
Unlike previous incarnations, Mechagodzilla is equipped with crane-like claws rather than claws that resemble Godzilla's fingers. The interiors of these claws are adorned with industrial buzzsaws, allowing them to cut through flesh while grappling. Much like Kiryu, this Mechagodzilla can rotate its hands like drills, delivering extra damage with its punches.
According to the B roll footage for the movie, Mechagodzilla also has learning algorithms.
Mechagodzilla requires a substantial amount of power to operate at full capacity and is shown to burn through energy rather quickly. The charge from the energy source within the Hollow Earth was required to charge Mechagodzilla up to full combat potential; according to designer Jared Krichevsky, it could have run for 24 hours had it not been destroyed. Despite this, Godzilla vs. Kong: The Official Movie Novelization states that it has "a boundless, unending energy at its command." Mechagodzilla is also momentarily stalled when Josh Valentine pours Bernie Hayes' flask of alcohol onto its control panel, causing its satellite link to be disrupted. This buys Godzilla the time needed to charge Kong's axe, after which the Titan can easily slice the mecha apart. Mechagodzilla is finally destroyed once its head is torn off.
- PUBG Mobile (2021) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla vs. Kong: The Official Movie Novelization (2021)
- Godzilla vs. Kong: Sometimes Friends Fight (But They Always Make Up) (2021)
The MonsterVerse Mechagodzilla's roars are mostly Godzilla's roars that have been increased in pitch and edited to sound metallic. Once King Ghidorah's consciousness takes control of the mecha, it emits modified Ghidorah roars. Many of Mechagodzilla’s sound effects originate from the Transformers live-action series, which, coincidently, was also worked on by Erik Aadahl.
- Main article: Mechagodzilla/Legendary/Gallery.
- Mechagodzilla is the final "Big Five" Toho monster to appear in a MonsterVerse film, the others being Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Rodan.
- This Mechagodzilla has similarities to the three live-action Toho incarnations of the character. Like the Showa Mechagodzilla, it first emerges from a mountain, engages in a beam lock with Godzilla, fires missiles, fights Godzilla and another monster helping him, and is defeated by having its head torn off. This Mechagodzilla is built by humans to destroy Godzilla and other monsters after studying the remains of King Ghidorah, has its primary ranged attack fired from its mouth like Godzilla and fires missiles from its shoulders like the Heisei Mechagodzilla. The Titan is also a cyborg with the consciousness and components of a previously slain kaiju incorporated into its controls, uses a distorted version of Godzilla's roar as its own, and has rotating hands used in melee combat like Kiryu.
- This is the first incarnation of Mechagodzilla to be primarily built by humans and still serve as the main antagonist.
- The use of King Ghidorah's skull and DNA to control Mechagodzilla is reminiscent of the film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, in which Mecha-King Ghidorah's components were used to construct Mechagodzilla. Furthermore, just as Ghidorah's brain takes over control of Mechagodzilla in Godzilla vs. Kong and drives it berserk, in the Shogakukan manga adaptation of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Mecha-King Ghidorah's programming overrides control over Mechagodzilla and causes G-Force to lose control of it.
- Mechagodzilla is teased in a newspaper article during the end credits montage of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in which a person named De La Rosa claims that Monarch is building a "mechanized giant" on Skull Island. It is unknown whether this reflects an early version of Godzilla vs. Kong or is meant to be in-universe misinformation, as De La Rosa also accuses Monarch of "[trying] to create organic Titans in the past."
- Mechagodzilla designer Jared Krichevsky estimated that the machine cost Apex $3 trillion to build.
- Jared Krichevsky said that his first pass on Mechagodzilla got him a “Looks too much like a Transformer” note.
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