Monster X / Keizer Ghidorah
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Monster X (モンスター
The last and most powerful of the Xiliens' legion of monsters, Monster X arrived on Earth concealed inside the Gorath asteroid, which was shot down by Godzilla over Tokyo. Monster X initiated combat with Godzilla, and proved to be a considerably more challenging opponent than the rest of the Xiliens' monsters. Monster X was briefly joined by Gigan, but Mothra soon arrived and sacrificed herself to destroy Gigan, leaving only Monster X and Godzilla. When the Xilien Mothership self-destructed, Monster X transformed into the immensely powerful Keizer Ghidorah, which nearly killed Godzilla before the Gotengo intervened and gave Godzilla a surge of energy that allowed him to triumph over his extraterrestrial foe. Monster X was Godzilla's final opponent in the Millennium series, as well as his last onscreen foe for a period of 10 years and the final new kaiju introduced in a Toho film until the Servum.
Name[edit | edit source]
Keizer Ghidorah's name comes from the German word kaiser, meaning "emperor", and "Ghidorah," coming from the immediate name of King Ghidorah's species. Perhaps coincidentally, the "Keizer" spelling matches the Dutch word for "emperor", keizer. Keizer Ghidorah's name was chosen in reference to Keizer Ghidorah's position at the top of the Ghidorah group; an emperor above a king. Keizer Ghidorah's English name is alternatively spelled Kaiser Ghidorah or Kaizer Ghidorah in some Japanese media. In order to keep Keizer Ghidorah's appearance in the film a secret, the monster was referred to under the codename Monster X II, which also appeared on its trademark icon and in the film's end credits. Monster X, Monster X II and Keizer Ghidorah are unregistered trademarks of Toho, while "モンスターX" in Japanese is officially registered.
Godzilla: Rage Across Time #4 contains a trademark icon for Keizer Ghidorah, despite Godzilla being the only monster to appear in the comic. Peculiarly, the icon used there uniquely bears the name "KEIZER GHIDORAH" rather than "MONSTER X II." Rage Across Time #5—which does actually feature Keizer Ghidorah and Monster X—utilizes the normal "MONSTER X II" icon for the character, as do Godzilla #12 and #13.
Development[edit | edit source]
Monster X and Keizer Ghidorah were designed by illustrator Katsuya Terada, who did character designs for many video games including the Legend of Zelda series. Monster X's design was meant to give the impression of Keizer Ghidorah's bones.[note 2] Monster X was portrayed by suit actor Motokuni Nakagawa, while Keizer Ghidorah's suit was operated by Nakagawa and Toshihiro Ogura, each of whom controlled one half of the suit.
Design[edit | edit source]
Monster X is a bipedal creature with a white bone-like exoskeleton and black skin. Monster X has red eyes, a skeletal face, and long spikes on the top of his head. He possesses two small half-skulls on his shoulders and a long black forked tail.
Keizer Ghidorah incorporates elements of both King Ghidorah and Desghidorah in his appearance. Like Desghidorah, Keizer Ghidorah is quadrupedal, and like King Ghidorah he has gold skin. Keizer Ghidorah has much smaller wings than the other Ghidorahs, and lacks defined scales on his skin, instead having smooth gold skin with teal streaks and spikes erupting from multiple spots on his body. Keizer Ghidorah's middle neck is much longer than the other two, and each of his heads has a different arrangement of horns and spikes. Keizer Ghidorah also possesses two long, whip-like tails.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Unlike most of the Xiliens' other mind-controlled monsters, Monster X displays true malice in his battle with Godzilla, fighting viciously and relentlessly. He seems to take pleasure in causing Godzilla pain, such as when he breaks Godzilla's wrists and suspends him into the air, as well as when he holds Godzilla still for Gigan to slice him with his chainsaws. Monster X's maliciousness is further demonstrated when he continues the battle even after Gigan and the Xiliens are defeated and any mind-control the Xiliens had over him is severed. After transforming into Keizer Ghidorah, Monster X blasts and beats Godzilla mercilessly across Tokyo, throwing him around with his antigravity beams and kicking the weakened Godzilla in the head.
Origins[edit | edit source]
Monster X was summoned by the Xiliens from the Gorath asteroid, which has unknown origins. Keizer Ghidorah is a form of Monster X. It is unknown if the Xiliens themselves created Monster X or if he was simply discovered by them.
In the comic series Godzilla, Monster X's origins are equally cryptic. According to the Shobijin, Monster X is a creature who is "both of this world, and not of this world." Later comics establish that Monster X is likely of the same species as King Ghidorah, who is established to be a space-faring alien beast in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth.
History[edit | edit source]
Monster X was summoned by the Controller of Planet X through the Gorath asteroid. Godzilla destroyed Gorath with his atomic breath in the skies over Tokyo, devastating much of the surrounding area. Monster X then floated down behind Godzilla and attacked him. Monster X overpowered Godzilla in hand-to-hand combat until Godzilla retaliated, resulting in a stalemate between the two monsters. Eventually, the modified Gigan arrived to assist Monster X. Monster X held Godzilla still from behind while Gigan sliced his chest with his chainsaw hands. Mothra arrived and knocked Monster X and Gigan down, freeing Godzilla. Mothra and Gigan then fought and destroyed each other, leaving only Monster X and Godzilla. The monsters resumed their battle, with Godzilla gaining the upper hand and pinning Monster X to the ground, then proceeding to punch him repeatedly. Godzilla tried to blast Monster X in the face with his atomic breath, but Monster X pushed his head away, causing the beam to strike the Xilien Mothership instead. After the Mothership self-destructed and the Xiliens were destroyed, Monster X and Godzilla engaged in a beam-lock, causing both monsters to be blown back. After this, Monster X transformed into Keizer Ghidorah.
- Keizer Ghidorah
After his transformation, Keizer Ghidorah also engaged in a beam-lock with Godzilla, his antigravity beams easily overpowering Godzilla's atomic breath. Keizer Ghidorah then repeatedly attacked the outmatched Godzilla with his antigravity beams, tossing him across the ruins of Tokyo like a rag doll. Eventually, Keizer Ghidorah approached the fallen Godzilla and kicked him repeatedly in the head before lifting him into the air and draining his energy through his bite. The crew of the Gotengo saw Godzilla losing his energy to Keizer Ghidorah, and Shinichi Ozaki used the ship's Maser Cannon to transfer some of his Keizer energy into Godzilla. Godzilla was immediately re-energized and released a shockwave of energy, breaking him free from Keizer Ghidorah's grip. Keizer Ghidorah tried to retaliate with his antigravity beams, but Godzilla blasted off his middle head with his atomic breath and caused one of Keizer Ghidorah's antigravity beams to sever another head. Godzilla then tossed the maimed Keizer Ghidorah over his shoulder by the beast's remaining neck. Finally, Godzilla threw Keizer Ghidorah into the air and blasted him with his red spiral ray, pushing Keizer Ghidorah into space and causing him to explode.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Physical strength and durability[edit | edit source]
Monster X is a physical match for Godzilla with his rapid melee attacks and impressive agility. Monster X is also the only monster Godzilla fought in Godzilla Final Wars that survived getting blasted by Godzilla's atomic breath at point-blank in the face, actually appearing to shrug the attack off, as well as the only one able to bring Godzilla to his knees and make him roar out in pain with just one attack. Monster X's grip strength is extremely impressive, as he was able to suspend Godzilla in the air, then snap both his wrists simultaneously.
Keizer Ghidorah trades Monster X's agility and his exoskeleton for even more power, described by the Godzilla Final Wars theater program as the "trump card of the Ghidorah clan" who "possesses far more power than King Ghidorah." He is not fazed by any of Godzilla's attacks until the King of the Monsters is revitalized by Ozaki's energy. He is able to send Godzilla flying with a mere kick, clobber Godzilla with super-weight body presses (超重量ボディープレス), and easily lift him with his neck strength. Despite being slightly weaker than Monster X defensively, he can still completely resist Godzilla's atomic breath.
Monster X twists Godzilla's arms
Gravitational Beams[edit | edit source]
Monster X can fire yellow electrical beams in rapid bursts from its eyes, an ability known as Gravitational Beam "Destroyed Thunder" (引力光線「デストロイド・サンダー」). These beams are fired from both eyes on Monster X's head and a single eye on each of the partial skull-like structures on his shoulders. These beams appear to be roughly equal in strength to Godzilla's atomic breath, and are able to visibly injure Godzilla.
Monster X's Destroyed Thunder beams collide and lock with Godzilla's atomic breath
Antigravity Beams[edit | edit source]
Keizer Ghidorah possesses a more powerful variant of Monster X's gravitational beams, called the Antigravity Beam "Destroyed Keizer" (反重力光線「デストロイド・カイザー」). Keizer Ghidorah spits these beams in continuous streams from all three of his mouths. These beams are seemingly stronger than Godzilla's atomic breath. Keizer Ghidorah can also guide their paths and both pick up and throw objects with them.
Energy siphoning[edit | edit source]
Keizer Ghidorah demonstrates the ability to directly siphon energy from Godzilla by biting down on him. His necks glow as the energy passes through them, in the case of Godzilla's energy a cyan color. However, Godzilla was able to break free after using the Keizer energy from Ozaki to overload Keizer Ghidorah's absorption, forcing him to release him.
Levitation and flight[edit | edit source]
Transformation[edit | edit source]
Monster X can transform into the more powerful Keizer Ghidorah, as demonstrated in both Godzilla Final Wars and Godzilla #12. In Godzilla: Rage Across Time #5, Keizer Ghidorah instead transforms into Monster X.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Keizer Ghidorah becomes disoriented after losing his middle head, and is easily defeated by Godzilla after this point. Keizer Ghidorah is vulnerable to his own Destroyed Keizer antigravity beams, and in Godzilla Final Wars is tricked by Godzilla into severing its right head using these beams, while in Godzilla, it bites off its own left head. Keizer Ghidorah is severely outmatched after Godzilla is empowered with Ozaki's Keizer energy, with his atomic breath being capable of obliterating Keizer Ghidorah's middle head in a single hit. Godzilla's more powerful red spiral ray was capable of pushing Keizer Ghidorah into outer space and completely destroying him.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla Final Wars (2004)
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla (2014) - PlayStation 3 and 4 [Kaiju Guide]
- Godzilla Kaiju Collection (2015) - Android and iOS
- CR True King of the Monsters Godzilla (2018) - pachinko
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
- Pachinko True King of the Monsters Godzilla 2 (2022) - pachinko
Comics[edit | edit source]
Monster X appeared in the IDW comic Godzilla alongside SpaceGodzilla, Gigan and Hedorah. He first appeared in issue #8 where he attacked New York City before fighting Mothra. He managed to dispatch her before Boxer, Harrison and Asuka Hikari arrived in Kiryu along with Kumonga. After dispatching Kumonga, Monster X engaged in a brief fight with Kiryu before SpaceGodzilla and Godzilla showed up. In the battle that followed, Monster X transmogrified into Keizer Ghidorah where he started to gain the upper hand over the King of the Monsters. However, Rodan soon arrived to assist Godzilla, managing to decapitate one of Keizer Ghidorah's heads by creating a sonic boom from his wings. Eventually with Rodan's help, Godzilla was able to overcome and kill Keizer Ghidorah.
Keizer Ghidorah in Godzilla
Keizer Ghidorah made an appearance in Godzilla: Rage Across Time #5, arriving in a meteor shower in the Late Cretaceous Period and defeating all of the various Earth monsters participating in a brawl. Keizer Ghidorah then transformed back into Monster X to fight Anguirus and Godzilla. He was nearly defeated by Godzilla, whom he tipped over into a volcano.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Monster X/Gallery.
Roar[edit | edit source]
Monster X's roar appears to have been adapted from big cat growls and roars. As Keizer Ghidorah, his roar sounds like maniacal cackling, similar to King Ghidorah's characteristic cackling roar. They were later reused for the kaiju Bosquito in Super Fleet Sazer-X the Movie . In Godzilla, Monster X's roar is written out as "AAIIEEE," and Keizer Ghidorah's is written out as "HHRRAAIII."
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The name "Monster X" is also used to refer to Jiger (in the American title of her film, Gamera vs. Monster X) and Guilala (in the title of his second film, Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit).
- Neither Monster X nor Keizer Ghidorah are referred to by name in Godzilla Final Wars.
- Toho intended to keep Monster X's transformation into Keizer Ghidorah a secret prior to the release of Godzilla Final Wars, copyrighting the latter as "Monster X II." However, the fansite Henshin!Online leaked Keizer Ghidorah's role on July 6, 2004.
- Monster X was briefly considered for Godzilla: Unleashed.
- Shunsuke Fujita wanted to include Monster X in Bandai Namco's 2014 Godzilla video game, but couldn't because of time constraints.
- Monster X's design may have been influenced by Seabozu, a monster from the original Ultraman series. Both monsters are skeletal in appearance with black and white bodies, horns on their heads, and spikes on their backs.
Video[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Most sources, including Godzilla Final Wars Super Complete Works (p. 28), say that Keizer Ghidorah's body length is 150 meters, excluding his tails. However, Common Knowledge of Godzilla (p. 125) lists the "150 meter" number as belonging to Keizer Ghidorah's wingspan rather than his length.
- Monster X, design. Monster X is designed to give the image of Keizer Ghidorah's "bones." / モンスターＸ、デザイン。モンスターＸは、カイザーギドラの”骨”をイメージしてデザインされている。
References[edit | edit source]
This is a list of references for Monster X. 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: