Mechagodzilla (Ready Player One)
An awestruck silence fell over the crowd, followed by a rumble of fearful recognition from the thousands of gunters present. They all recognized this giant metal behemoth. And they all knew it was nearly indestructible.
— Wade Watts as Nolan Sorrento unleashes Mechagodzilla (Ready Player One, 2011)
Mechagodzilla (メカゴジラ is a Mekagojira)giant robot monster which appears in the 2011 novel Ready Player One and its 2018 film adaptation of the same name. Rather than a real machine, it exists as a powerful magical artifact in a virtual-reality game called the OASIS, piloted by the leader of Innovative Online Industries, Nolan Sorrento.
Artist Jared Krichevsky designed the Mechagodzilla which appeared in Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One film adaptation. He speculated that legal restrictions prevented Warner Bros. from simply using Kiryu or another existing Mechagodzilla design. Per Toho's request, he based his final design on Noriyoshi Ohrai's advance poster artwork for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, which depicted an angular transforming version of Mechagodzilla; in Krichevsky's words, Toho sent him Ohrai's poster and said, "Make it like this."
This Mechagodzilla was a completely computer-generated character. Like everything else in the OASIS, it was animated by Industrial Light and Magic.
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In the Ready Player One book, Mechagodzilla simply looks like Kiryu, although it is not specified as the original model from Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla or the modified version in Godzilla: Tokyo SOS.
Upon his death, OASIS creator James Halliday revealed to the world that he hid an Easter egg in his game; the first person to obtain it will inherit his fortune and control of the OASIS. First, however, they must complete challenges to obtain three keys; in the novel, they must also face additional challenges upon inserting each key into a gate. Upon completing the Second Gate, Innovative Online Industries head Nolan Sorrento was presented with a list of giant robots, spanning decades of pop culture, to choose from. He selected Mechagodzilla, receiving a toy-sized version of the machine which he could expand to massive size by shouting, "Kiryu!" After IOI discovered the location of the Third Gate, Anorak's Castle, they sent an army to guard it, then surrounded it with an impenetrable force field. Wade Watts, an independent "egg hunter" (gunter) who had also collected the three keys, infiltrated IOI in the real world to prepare a timed explosion inside the stronghold to disable the shield. He gathered his allies - Samantha Cook, Helen Harris, and Akihide Karatsu, each with their own giant robot - and raised an army of millions of other gunters to surround the castle. Just before the explosion went off, Sorrento revealed Mechagodzilla to them, stepped inside the cockpit, and bellowed a challenge.
The film adaptation does not reveal how Sorrento obtained Mechagodzilla. When Wade's army charged towards Anorak's Castle after Samantha brought down the shield, he selected a toy-sized Mechagodzilla from his inventory and threw it to the ground, causing it to build the full-sized machine around him.
- Ready Player One (2018)
Helen activated her custom Iron Giant for the final battle, while Daito used an artifact to turn into an RX-78-2 Gundam for two minutes. Helen was no match for Mechagodzilla, who knocked her aside before unleashing its flamethrower. Before Wade and Samantha could slip past it, a tail whip totaled his DeLorean. Daito entered the battle as they tried fleeing on foot, saving them from being crushed underfoot. Samantha headed towards Helen while Wade and Zhou continued towards the castle. Though the Gundam was an even match for Mechagodzilla, landing some solid hits with his Beam Saber, the time limit proved to be Toshiro's downfall. As he stood defiant, Mechagodzilla vaporized him, then trained its finger missiles on Wade and Zhou. Just then, Helen leaped onto its back, causing its shots to go wild. With Samantha in the palm of her hand, he held the mech's head in place long enough for the gunter to shoot out one of its eyes with her pulse rifle. Before Sorrento could react, she tossed a Madball grenade through the hole and into the cockpit, killing his avatar and destroying Mechagodzilla.
In the novel, Sorrento relied exclusively on a blue lightning weapon fired from Mechagodzilla's mouth. The ray destroyed every giant robot, ship, and avatar it touched, although it required time to recharge after each use. In the film, Mechagodzilla fired a blue flamethrower from its mouth instead, reminiscent of the MonsterVerse Godzilla's atomic breath from the 2014 film. The flames severely damaged Helen as the Iron Giant and destroyed Toshiro's avatar instantly, though he had been able to reflect them as the RX-78 Gundam using the Gundam's shield.
In the film, Mechagodzilla can fire missiles from each of its fingers akin to the Showa Mechagodzilla.
Physical capabilities and durability
The novel's depiction of Mechagodzilla did not engage in hand-to-hand combat, while in the film it knocked down the Iron Giant with one punch and held its own against the RX-78-2 Gundam. In the novel, Mechagodzilla absorbed attacks from countless gunters, only taking damage from Minerva X's Breast Fire, Raideen's God Breaker swords, and Ultraman's Specium Ray and flying kick. The giant hero ultimately destroyed it with an Ultra-Slice. In the film, it shrugged off the Iron Giant's arm cannon and remained fully functional after multiple cuts from the Gundam's Beam Saber.
In the novel, Mechagodzilla moved relatively slowly, allowing both Raideen and Ultraman to outmaneuver it. In the film, Mechagodzilla's missile targeting system can be interrupted if it is attacked while aiming. Samantha easily shot out its eyes with her pulse rifle, then destroyed the entire machine after killing it’s pilot by throwing a grenade through the hole and into the cockpit.
- Ready Player One (2011)
As the final battle between the gunters and IOI began, Mechagodzilla seemed invincible, unaffected by the barrage of attacks that quickly destroyed the giant robots Sorrento's underlings were piloting. Even Wade (in Leopardon), Helen (in an RX-78-2 Gundam), and Akihide (in Raideen) couldn't damage it, though Samantha (in Minerva X) destroyed its right shoulder cannon with a Breast Fire attack. They all dodged its counterattack, a lightning blast from its mouth, but soon concluded they couldn't beat it. Akihide, seeking to avenge the death of his friend Toshiro Yoshiaki, attacked Mechagodzilla head-on while Helen and Samantha exited their robots and flew towards the castle. Raideen's God Breaker swords disabled Mechagodzilla's right arm, but its lightning blast annihilated both the robot and Akihide's avatar. Wade ejected as the ray cut Leopardon in half. As Mechagodzilla pursued him, he followed Helen and Samantha, then stopped, deciding Sorrento needed to be humbled. Using the Beta Capsule Akihude had given him, he transformed into Ultraman. He unleashed a devastating flurry of attacks: a Specium Ray to knock Mechagodzilla over, a flying kick to its spine, and an Ultra-Slice to cut it in half. Sorrento ejected in Mechagodzilla's head, but Wade shot him down with another Specium Ray.
- Main article: Mechagodzilla (Ready Player One)/Gallery.
- GUNSHIP's "Art3mis & Parzival" music video, released a few weeks before the Ready Player One movie, depicts Mechagodzilla as its Showa incarnation. In this telling, it wiped out Leopardon and Minerva X before Wade transformed into Ultraman and quickly destroyed it.
- Mechagodzilla's silhouette from the film bears a resemblance to the GareGoji Godzilla design from Legendary Pictures' Godzilla. Both films were distributed by Warner Bros.
- The portion of the Alan Silvestri track "Looking for a Truck" playing when Mechagodzilla first appears adapts "Godzilla's Theme".
- Wade states that Mechagodzilla is twice the height of Leopardon, who is "almost a hundred meters." However, he also describes Ultraman, who is stated to be 156 feet tall elsewhere in the book, as "matching [Mechagodzilla's] height and size almost exactly."
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