Kaiju Profile: Godzilla (Godzilla: The Series)
Written by Les, The Boy Who Cried Godzilla, Titanollante, Gomora
Edited by Titanollante
Voiced by The Boy Who Cried Godzilla
Greetings kaiju fans, it's The Boy Who Cried Godzilla, and wrapping up G98 month, today we'll take a look at the namesake monster of "Godzilla: The Series"!
The only one of the original Godzilla's offspring to survive the destruction of Madison Square Garden, this Godzilla imprinted upon scientist Niko "Nick" Tatopoulos after his egg hatched in close proximity to Nick inside the building's ruins. Godzilla quickly matured into an adult and assumed the title of "King of the Monsters," becoming an ally to mankind and assisting Nick and his research team H.E.A.T. in dealing with other mutations around the world before they could threaten innocent people. Unlike his father, this Godzilla is portrayed more akin to the traditional interpretation of the character from Toho's film series, possessing an impressive resistance to conventional weaponry and preferring to fight attackers head-on, as well as utilizing the character's trademark atomic breath - with his being uniquely green.
He displays planning and strategy in his fighting style, though he may resort to brute force if angered enough. He shows empathy, freeing the mutant Nessie's baby (though this is chalked up to being 'instinctual' by a member of H.E.A.T.); and even romantic feelings, when he falls in love with Komodithrax and becomes the surrogate father of her unborn offspring. After these two perished at the end of their episode, he showed signs of mourning as well.
Godzilla's most prominent trait, however, is his protectiveness and loyalty towards Nick Tatopoulos. The only time the monster's loyalty faltered was when he met his biological father, resurrected as Cyber Godzilla, for the first time and was subsequently placed under mind control by the Leviathan aliens. However, after breaking free from their control, he decided to fight for his adoptive father rather than his biological one.
A widespread misconception or fan theory contends that the monster Zilla, featured in 2004's "Godzilla: Final Wars," is the same individual as the Godzilla which appears in "Godzilla: The Series." However, this is demonstrably false on multiple fronts, most prominently on the grounds of the 2004 Zilla being nearly twice as tall as the animated Godzilla, but also on the fact that "Final Wars" does not share continuity with any previous media. On that note, another popular rumor claims that Toho honored this version of Godzilla by OFFICIALLY dubbing him "Godzilla Junior," supposedly seeing that he was worthy of the "Godzilla" name. However, this rumor was clarified to be false, with the monster still legally trademarked as "Godzilla" by Toho—who has added no comment to the matter.
The appearance of the "Godzilla: The Series" Godzilla was majorly adapted from that of Patrick Tatopoulos's decided design by lead character designer Fil Barlow, who further developed the design while working closely alongside Jeff Kline and Audu Paden. Due to production of the series beginning prior to the release of the film however, Barlow relied solely on sketches he made of Patrick Tatopoulos' Godzilla maquette and animatronic head. Tatopoulos provided a great deal of input of his own early on regarding the adaptation and design of the new Godzilla. Similarly, the newborn Godzilla from the first episode of "Godzilla: The Series" was based on maquettes of the Baby 'Zillas from the '98 film.
While his overall design is the same as the TriStar film Godzilla's, he bore a bright blue coloration in early production artwork, and is a desaturated purple that's lighter on the undersides in the final series. Additionally, he has red eyes with orange pupils and lacks the fifth vestigial digit on his hands that his father and brethren possessed.
Godzilla's signature weapon is his green atomic fire breath, something his father lacked. A blue glow runs up his dorsal plates and reaches his eyes before he finally unleashes the attack. The atomic breath has a long range and is extremely hot, capable of melting steel and turning sand into glass. When firing his breath underwater, it initially comes out as fire, but soon simply turns the surrounding water into steam, hampering visibility. He can also exhale atomic fire through his nostrils.
In the "Godzilla: The Series" Game Boy Color game, Godzilla instead possesses an attack called Fire Ball, which takes the shape of a sphere rather than a ray.
Godzilla is incredibly fast and nimble, and can run at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. He uses this to outrun and outmaneuver enemies in order to gain an advantage in battle, shown utilizing his speed to ram and tackle opponents or evade oncoming attacks. Moreover, he can perform leaps over great distances; quickly scale and perch himself atop buildings; and has been shown to possess quick reflexes.
The King of the Monsters can burrow underground and is shown regularly doing so at astounding speed throughout the series. He also uses this ability in battle to either avoid attacks, ambush enemies, or purposefully destabilize the ground.
Another ability that sets this Godzilla apart from his parent is his durability. Whereas his father was killed by a relatively small amount of missiles (and indeed this Godzilla bled when hit by missiles as a juvenile in "New Family: Part 1") as an adult he is shown taking large amounts of heavy artillery with no harm, much like the original Japanese Godzilla, and is stated to be immune to conventional weaponry in "An Early Frost."
Godzilla is shown to possess a potent healing factor, able to heal from injury or even poisoning fairly quickly. If injured enough, Godzilla will fall into a coma-like state where his body will rapidly heal itself, allowing for him to wake up fully healed. The healing factor was only shown to fail twice, by extreme poisoning and infection by mutated bacteria.
Amphibiousness: Godzilla is a natural swimmer and is able to breathe underwater. Able to travel thousands of miles in the ocean without displaying any signs of fatigue, he can swim faster than a submarine's torpedoes. Godzilla has occasionally rested unconscious underwater for extended periods while sick.
Godzilla is shown to be extremely intelligent throughout the series. Numerous times Godzilla has solved problems, such as stopping a train from crashing, or bamboozling enemies with a variety of attacks. He also constructed a subaquatic lair for himself near H.E.A.T. headquarters. It's implied in the episode "Web Site" that it may even be possible to "talk" with Godzilla, as he has his own "language." Additionally, he is capable of detecting tachyon signals.
Weaknesses: The monster seems to have an aversion to bright lights—a weakness which was exploited by both Cameron Winter, who used powerful searchlights while attacking Godzilla with the Cyber Flies, and Maximilian Spiel, who used high-intensity quartz beams during the monster's battle with Rhinosaurus. Poison and infection have be been shown to ail Godzilla more than most types of attacks. He is also vulnerable to dehydration, having almost died due to it when fighting the monster Medusa.
In "Future Shock," it's revealed that Godzilla was killed by genetically engineered creatures called the D.R.A.G.M.A.s in an alternate future, as his attacks and the combined might of all the planet's mutations were ineffective against the creatures. Thankfully, H.E.A.T. were able to avert this future by having Godzilla kill the weaker juvenile D.R.A.G.M.A.s in the present.
Godzilla is the result of his father laying an egg farther away from the rest of the cluster at Madison Square Garden, resulting in it being the only egg to have survived the destruction of the building by the American military. In "Godzilla: The Series," Nick is doused in amniotic fluid and is present for the hatching, resulting in Godzilla imprinting upon Nick. This Godzilla is sterile, unlike his father and brethren.
Because "Godzilla: The Series" is an episodic series with a “monster of the week” format, we'll only be discussing a handful of highlights here as opposed to the whole of the series.
New Family 1-2: After his egg survived the explosion of Madison Square Garden, Godzilla hatched in front of Dr. Niko Tatopoulos, who was covered in amniotic fluid from the other eggs after slipping into a pool of it while searching the ruins for more eggs. Godzilla imprinted upon Nick, as he was covered with the scent of his kind. Nick scared off the infant by causing a spark, and it fled into the Hudson River.
Some time later, the hatchling, now grown to 35 feet in height, appeared where Nick and his scientist colleagues had set up their base of operations in a warehouse by the sea. Despite initially being aggressive, Godzilla remembered Nick as his "parent" and became friendly. At the same time in Jamaica, swimmers and ships were disappearing under mysterious circumstances, leading the U.S. government to believe the newly-hatched Godzilla was behind it. As Nick studied and even trained Godzilla, the military intervened under the command of General Hicks after being tipped off about the creature's existence. The military engaged the monster near Nick's facility, and the creature was wounded by artillery and apparently killed after being hit by an airstrike while in the water.
Later on, Godzilla revealed himself to still be alive as he rescued Nick and his colleagues from a shoal of Mutant Giant Squids in Jamaica. However, it turned out that these squids were actually fleeing from a much larger predator, Crustaceous Rex. C-Rex proceeded to attack, but Godzilla arrived to fight the sea beast, eventually defeating it after causing a cliff to collapse onto it. Godzilla subsequently freed the lost ships and swimmers, which were stuck to the seafloor in tar produced by C-Rex. As a result, General Hicks decided to spare Godzilla. Godzilla returned with Nick to New York, and took up residence near he and his allies' headquarters.
Monster Wars 1-3: As the aliens of the unearthed Leviathan ship plotted their invasion of Earth, they used their influence over two scientists they had abducted to overtake the Sandy Point Military Base, and used their alien technology to resurrect the original Godzilla as Cyber Godzilla. When Godzilla confronted his reanimated father, he was hesitant to attack. The aliens took advantage of this confusion and Godzilla was put under their mind control. After briefly pursuing Nick and Dr. Craven, Godzilla left for the alien base of operations, Site Omega, with Cyber Godzilla. Hoping the monsters would exhaust Earth’s military might prior to the arrival of the alien fleet, Godzilla was sent to Washington D.C. Once the alien mind control transmitter was broken, Godzilla turned on the aliens, battling them in D.C., before returning to Site Omega to battle Cyber Godzilla. There, Godzilla chose to fight for Nick and defeated his father by ripping out its internal mechanisms.
End of the Line:' H.E.A.T. followed Godzilla after he began frequent trips to the waters off the coast of Alaska, discovering he was responding to the call of an unknown creature. Once on the island, the team discovered he had found a mate in the mutation Komodithrax. Due to Komodithrax being mutated from a species in the same genus as Godzilla, it had bonded with him in order to have him become the surrogate father to its egg. Unfortunately, the military did not want the egg to hatch due to the danger of there being more Godzilla-like mutations, and launched an attack on the nest. The King of the Monsters was drawn away from the nest by H.E.A.T., using a recorded call of Komodithrax, though he destroyed the source of the signal and returned to the island. To make matters worse, a giant mutant turtle was also after the egg and took advantage of the military's attack to steal it. After Godzilla destroyed the attacking helicopters, he pursued the giant turtle and engaged it in a brief battle. Komodithrax came to Godzilla's aid and attempted to push the turtle over a cliff. Though this did work, the turtle took Komodithrax down with it, along with the egg.
"Godzilla: The Series" was kept under tight wraps during its production and as such, the new Godzilla's design was also a safely guarded secret, even from many members of the staff team. Because the design had not been revealed to everyone working on the series until the release of the '98 film, very loose representations of the character were used during the storyboarding process. All outlines for the series fell under the false title "HEAT SEEKERS" in order to keep the true nature of the project a secret from the public, with concept sketches and other early designs for Godzilla referred to as "Gorgon" and even "Thingy" or "Thingie" by some. A model sheet was created for the false "Thingy" character by Fil Barlow, sporting a Spinosaurus-like back fin and a significantly less defined jaw among other changes, which was used as a reference for proportions for the storyboarders until the official design was released.
Originally, it was intended for there to be a more prominent intercommunication between Godzilla and the character Nick Tatopoulos, thus concepts for a number of devices for Godzilla to use were created. Although the majority of these concepts would ultimately go unused, the goggle-like optical devices were actually retooled and used for the episode "Vision," in which Godzilla is fitted with a special visor to track the motion of giant mutated hummingbirds.
According to artist Matt Frank, Toho did not permit any of Godzilla’s abilities displayed in the show to be used by the monster Zilla in the comic "Godzilla: Rulers of Earth."
A second Godzilla was meant to star in "GODZILLA 2" and "GODZILLA 3," both of which were scrapped after Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin dropped out during pre-production on the second film. He would have lived in the Australian outback and battled a giant insect monster and her large termite-like subjects, first in Sydney and then on Monster Island. In this film, the second Godzilla would have retained his father's ability to reproduce asexually, giving birth to an entire brood of offspring that mature into "Teen 'Zillas," which are killed by the military. Like in the animated series, this second Godzilla would possess an atomic fire breath, rather than the flammable power breath possessed by his father. At the end, he was to wade out to sea with a surviving offspring called "The Runt," in line with the endings of classic "Godzilla" movies.
That's it for the "G:TS" Godzilla. Thank you for watching!