Kaiju Profile: Godzilla (2014-2021)
Hey kaiju fans, Titano here. It's the video you've demanded for the past two years: an up-to-date, authoritative look at the monster who saved movie theaters, Legendary's Godzilla!
Godzilla, King of the Monsters Aliases: Titanus Gojira, Hollywood Godzilla Height: 355 feet (2014) \ 393 feet ('19-'21) Length: 550.4 feet (2014) \ 582 feet ('19-'21) Weight: 90,000 tons (2014) \ 99,634 tons ('19-'21)
Legendary Pictures' 2014 film "Godzilla" brought the character back to theaters around the world after a decade-long absence. Its success launched the MonsterVerse, with his most famous allies and adversaries joining him in the sequels. This incarnation of the Big G is an ancient agent of balance; he keeps more hostile monsters from disrupting the natural order through intimidation or pure atomic power. That said, he's not without his pride, challenging his fellow alpha Kong instead of pursuing a growing threat inside Apex Cybernetics. In the end, the two Titans found common ground against the company's renegade creation, Mechagodzilla.
In supervising the birth of a new American Godzilla, Gareth Edwards had a simple task: don't hire Patrick Tatopolous. The design he came up with for TriStar's 1998 film, which bore only a passing resemblance to Toho's daikaiju, was high on the list of fan complaints. Still, Edwards was willing to let the artists at Weta Workshop and MPC experiment during the six-month process. Some of the Godzillas by Andrew Baker, Christian Pearce, and Greg Broadmore were influenced by reptiles, others by dragons or fish, and a few even went for the Heisei look. Matt Allsopp, the chief designer of the MUTOs, also came up with a breakthrough: an eagle-like face. Edwards was conscious of the need to make the monster look good from every angle, since "we were going to be living with this design for the rest of our lives," and ultimately fused together all of the elements from the assortment that he liked the most. The final "GareGoji"—as it has come to be known in the Japanese fanbase—was clearly recognizable as Godzilla, with a few innovations. It had visible gills; sauropod-like feet; simple, pointed dorsal plates the same color as the body; and a tail that narrowed to a whip. The new look debuted in partial silhouette at San Diego Comic Con in 2012, and Legendary would slowly reveal more and more of it as the release date neared.
Sound designers Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van Der Ryn created Godzilla's new roar. They first tried the same glove-on-a-contrabass trick that Akira Ifukube came up with for the original film, but found the results weren't quite right for the era of 12-channel IMAX theaters. Their breakthrough was metal friction. As Aadahl put it, "Dried ice supercools certain types of metal, and it starts contracting and vibrating and produces this shrieking and bellowing." For the rumble at the end of the roar, they manipulated recordings of a potted plant raked across concrete. Aadahl lucked into another subtler sound when he heard nearby movers dragging a heavy wooden pallet on a concrete floor. To capture how the roars would resonate in a city, they blasted them from the Rolling Stones' tour speakers in a Warner Bros. backlot, which could be heard from about three miles away. The sound of Godzilla's atomic breath came from the launch of a Delta IV rocket, with the buildup a heavily-manipulated elephant trumpet.
The finished movie changed a number of elements in the June 2012 script by Max Borenstein, which is available online. The Godzilla skeleton would have been discovered in Siberia instead of the Philippines, but this was changed as it was deemed too similar to a scene in "Man of Steel." Godzilla's backstory included references to "Oto" Island and a theory that radiation from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings "affected him somehow." In San Francisco, he would have done a bit more sightseeing, forced onto Alcatraz Island by a bizarrely effective military assault and smashing the Transamerica Pyramid while fighting the Male MUTO. With the Female MUTO's magnetism preventing him from using his atomic breath, he killed the parasites with a bite and a big swing of his claws. Edwards claims he came up with the glorious "Kiss of Death" finisher, initially as a joke.
It took seven or eight months for the team at MPC, supervised by Guillaume Rocheron, to turn the new Godzilla into a CG model. The company also handled the keyframe animation for the monster throughout the film. There was a minor performance capture component as well, with Andy Serkis and his Imaginarium Studios brought in as consultants. Late in post-production, Serkis stepped in again to provide some references for Godzilla's eyes. T.J. Storm provided full-body performance capture reference for the character, and he's also claimed credit for the Kiss of Death. Conflicting stories aren't just for movies made in the sixties… Performance capture can be thankless work; Storm's name doesn't appear in the movie's end credits, and we have only two behind-the-scenes photos of his session. 2019's "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" was a different story: he worked personally with director Mike Dougherty, appeared in the bonus features, and was listed early in the credits. Rocheron, meanwhile, was promoted to visual effects supervisor of the entire film. MPC built the new Godzilla model, which boasted a more advanced facial rig, and animated most of his scenes. His fighting style was based on bears and komodo dragons.
Dougherty and Allsopp made some tweaks to the 2014 design. Their "DougheGoji" brought the GareGoji a skosh more in line with the typical Toho Godzilla. It had dorsal plates closely based on the original 1954 suit, a larger head and claws, and a shorter tail. The Burning Godzilla form, which originated in "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah" with a much grimmer outcome, allowed Dougherty and fellow screenwriter Zach Shields to up the ante in a way that mainstream audiences hadn't seen before. They also increased the Titan's height from 355 to 393 feet, making him the tallest live-action version of Goji after Shin Godzilla briefly stole the crown. His physical presence on set was limited to a three-foot-by-three-foot section of his skin, made by Morphology FX, for Ken Watanabe to touch in his final scene. According to Rocheron, it was overwritten with CG "so we could make it move with Godzilla's breathing." To help the actors react to the Titan in other scenes, Dougherty blasted his roars using a device he called "Behemoth" and "Voice of God." LED screens representing his bright blue bioluminescence allowed for more natural lighting.
For "Godzilla vs. Kong," director Adam Wingard considered making Godzilla's head even bigger or giving him spikier dorsal plates. He ultimately left the design unchanged, believing that the film's premise mandated versions of the characters that audiences were already familiar with. That allowed MPC, Weta, and Scanline VFX to reuse the model from "King of the Monsters." Aside from several aspects of the asset being reworked to be higher fidelity including the textures, Goji received some extra wounds; his eyes were reworked, and the atomic charge-up of his tail and fins was once again changed. (It's different in each appearance.)"
When Playmates' "Godzilla vs. Kong" toys leaked online last year, a "Mega Godzilla" wearing red armor caused tons of fan speculation. They seemingly released it this year without the armor, as Mega Heat-Ray Godzilla. We don't know if this was ever intended for the movie or just a gimmick Playmates came up with, akin to Trendmasters' Power-Up line. Concept art does show a painting in Kong's temple of a winged Godzilla opposed by terrestrial Godzillas and Kongs. The chamber it was in became a set, but like so many things in "Godzilla vs. Kong," it didn't make the cut. Regardless, Hazama from "Shin Godzilla" just punched the air. "It could sprout wings capable of intercontinental flight."
Godzilla is the last known member of a species of radiation-eating Titans, suggested to have lived since at least the end of the Paleozoic Era. His kind lived on the surface until the Permian-Triassic extinction 250 million years ago. "Godzilla: Awakening" indicates a meteor impact which diminished atmospheric radioactivity levels forced them underground in search of more radiation from the Earth's core. Nonetheless, he and his kind crossed paths with humanity repeatedly prior to the 20th century. Advanced human societies predating any known civilization worshipped the Titans as gods, but their coexistence shattered when some tried to use the creatures as weapons. Cave paintings show him defending the Earth against the alien invader Ghidorah—who he ultimately sealed away in Antarctica—and waging war against Kong's species in the Hollow Earth. Mothra, a Titan that developed a symbiotic relationship with him, appeared to have aided him against both opponents. Dr. Eiji Serizawa's research also identified Godzilla in art through the ages. The opening credits of the 2014 film even implicated him in the 1898 sinking of the U.S.S. Maine, a major cause of the Spanish-American War.
MonsterVerse continuity alert! The 2014 film and its prequel comic, "Godzilla: Awakening", are filled with contradictions about the Titan's mid-century activities that Legendary has never really bothered addressing. Rather than try to reconcile them ourselves, as we did for our Monarch timeline video which was set in-universe, we're going to present them in succession.
Godzilla: Awakening (2014): The American nuclear bomb that levelled Hiroshima in 1945 also summoned a radiation-eating parasite that had been dormant for millions of years: Shinomura. Godzilla, its natural predator, pursued it to the surface. The parasite's raids on ships in the Pacific led to the formation of a secret Japanese-American unit called Monarch in 1946, intended to destroy it and any other monsters. Among its founding members was Eiji Serizawa, a Hiroshima survivor whose family would become forever intertwined with Godzilla. Monarch chased reports of Shinomura attacks on nuclear sites across the Pacific Rim. Many eyewitnesses reported a second monster chasing it off, with one man in Guam identifying him as the legendary monster Gojira, which the Americans later mispronounced as "Godzilla." Monarch unsuccessfully searched for him in Challenger Deep in 1950 using the USS Nautilus (the first nuclear submarine) at Eiji's suggestion. He continued building a case for the monster's existence and his essential role in defeating Shinomura, though his superiors were unconvinced. The parasite became even more dangerous after a sample of it obtained by Monarch grew into a second monster in 1953 and escaped. Serizawa, tracking Godzilla alone, witnessed a battle between him and the Shinomura on Moansta Island the following year. After Godzilla killed one of the creatures with his atomic breath, the other retreated. With the U.S. Navy now aware of Godzilla's existence, they made plans to destroy both monsters with the Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll. The blast incinerated Shinomura, but they were unable to confirm Godzilla's death.
The facts presented in Godzilla (2014) go like this: In 1954, the USS Nautilus inadvertently awakened Godzilla from the ocean's depths. He began sinking both Russian and American ships in the Pacific, stoking Cold War tensions. When the Americans found out a monster was responsible, they attempted to kill him with a series of nuclear strikes presented to the public as weapons tests, including Castle Bravo. Monarch, a multinational coalition formed the same year, was closely involved with those strikes. … Confusing matters further, the "MUTO File" bonus feature included on the movie's home video releases says, "We first became aware of their existence in the late 1940's, after a series of unexplained attacks on the military vessels in the Pacific." Shinomura is neither mentioned here nor in the film.
Kong: Skull Island (2017): "Kong: Skull Island" took elements from both versions of the story. William Randa stated at the beginning of the film that Monarch was founded in 1946. However, "The 1954 Castle Bravo nuclear tests weren't tests. They were trying to kill something." This isn't perfect terminology, but it suggests all six tests conducted during Operation Castle were part of the campaign. At the end of the movie, which is set in 1973, Monarch agents Houston Brooks and Lin San showcased some of the cave paintings their organization had found since '54… with one depicting Godzilla squaring off against an enormous three-headed beast.
Godzilla (2014): In 1999, a cave-in at a Filipino mine revealed the skeleton of another member of Godzilla's species, as well as the spores of another parasitic species - the MUTOs. One had already hatched and swam to Japan, where he attached himself to the Janjira Nuclear Power Plant and formed a cocoon. Monarch moved to cover up the incident and transport the dormant spore to a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. When the male MUTO emerged in 2014, he escaped containment and flew east. Sensing this new threat, Godzilla chased him to Hawaii, causing mass destruction as he made landfall. He intercepted the MUTO at the airport in Honolulu, and bellowed a mighty challenge. The secret Monarch had guarded for decades was out: the world now knew monsters existed. The male MUTO retreated eventually and continued east. His mating call prompted the other MUTO, a female, to burst out of Yucca Mountain and march west. The U.S. military made plans to use a nuclear weapon far more powerful than Castle Bravo to lure all three monsters out to sea and kill them. Eiji's son, Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, now a member of Monarch himself, tried unsuccessfully to convince Admiral Stenz that Godzilla could restore balance on his own by killing the MUTOs.
As the Big G entered San Francisco Bay and began surfacing, the ships around him panicked and opened fire. Tanks on the Golden Gate joined them, irritating him enough to smash through the bridge. Nearby, the military set the nuke to detonate, only for the male MUTO to snatch it up. After he presented it to the female as a kind of bridal gift, he engaged Godzilla once again. They struggled into the night, witnessed by a HALO jump team sent to defuse the bomb. The tides turned against Godzilla when the female finished building her nest and joined the fight. Lieutenant Ford Brody, who had his own vendetta against the MUTOs, destroyed their nest—inadvertently giving Godzilla time to catch his breath. Godzilla returned the favor when the female closed in on Ford, stunning her with two blasts of atomic breath. Now he could focus his attention on the male, using his tail to slam him into a skyscraper. The blow killed the parasite, but the damaged skyscraper collapsed on top of Godzilla. As he gathered his strength to continue the fight, he briefly locked eyes with Ford. With the nuke's casing sealed shut, the rest of the jump team carried it to a boat in the hopes of getting it clear of the city. Ford got it moving as the female MUTO slaughtered his comrades, but her electromagnetism soon shut it down. He prepared for his final stand... but Godzilla struck first. Grabbing his opponent's jaws, he forced his atomic heat ray straight down her throat, decapitating her. As power returned to the city and the boat, Godzilla roared in triumph, before collapsing in exhaustion. Ford steered the boat out to sea and a helicopter rescued him just before the timer reached zero. The next morning, Godzilla woke up, let loose one last roar, and returned to the sea. A news chyron that day gave him an enduring nickname—but there was a note of doubt there as well.
Among the victims of the San Francisco scuffle were Mark and Emma Russell, two Monarch agents living in the city at the time. While their daughter Madison survived, their son Andrew did not, and as Godzilla marched into the sea... the seeds to something worse were being planted.
Godzilla: Aftershock (2019): Later in 2014, Godzilla faced the MUTOs' parent. Their first encounter in Guam was short: MUTO Prime decked him and tunneled away. It used the same hit-and-run tactic when he caught up with it in the Barents Sea, but stood its ground in France. Both monsters bloodied each other before it fell back, but Godzilla got the worst of it. After the battle, the Japanese government shared with Monarch a series of Phoenecian stone tablets dating to the 11th century B.C. They told the story of MUTO Prime defeating their Titan god, Dagon, and implanting two eggs in him with its ovipositors. He staggered to the Philippines before dying, and Monarch found his skeleton in 1999. (Sidebar: while Dagon's design appears identical to GareGoji, the characters in "Aftershock" call him a "Godzilla-like" or "Godzilla-type" creature, possibly to skirt around Toho's rule that Godzilla cannot die.) Dr. Emma Russell of Monarch noted that MUTO Prime also tried to use its ovipositors against Godzilla in France. To better his odds, she proposed replicating the sonic pulse emitted by its eggs to confuse it. Her first attempt in the Azores was disastrous, causing the United Nations to lose interest in picking a side in the war of the Titans. Undeterred, Emma pulled some strings to obtain the prototype sonar device she and her husband had built. The next battlefield MUTO Prime chose was a nuclear repository station in Montana. Again, it gained the upper hand, shattering Godzilla's dorsal plates with a sonic scream. Emma's prototype halted its assault at a crucial moment, however, and Godzilla struck back. Hoisting MUTO Prime onto his back, he blasted it into the air with waves of nuclear energy, then finished it off by crushing its head. Triumphant, he began his long trek back to the sea... a cloud of blue smoke trailing behind him.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Godzilla remained inactive for the following five years. The public reaction to the existence of giant monsters, now called Titans, has created a divide. Monarch sought to continue preserving and studying them, while the government called for their extermination, including Godzilla. Unbeknownst to them, Emma Russell had been working behind Monarch's backs by siding with an eco-terrorist group, who planned to release an enigmatic titan located in Outpost 32. Meanwhile in Monarch Outpost 54, Godzilla approached, gave the base a good scare in a display of dominance, then turned his attention to Outpost 32. Boarding the USS Argo, the members of Monarch arrived in Antarctica before Godzilla. After a brief encounter with Jonah's men where Mark Russell learned Emma had been working for them this whole time, the group succeeded in awakening Monster Zero, the three-headed dragon. Giving the tiny ragtag group of underprepared Monarch agents a good scorching, Ghidorah was about to finish them off before Godzilla arrived on the scene, erupting from the ice. A battle between the two broke out, with the Monarch agents caught in the middle of it. The ancient rivals were evenly matched, but this first round ended in a draw when they were interrupted by the intervention of the Argo. At this point, Ghidorah vanished into the sky. Later, as Rodan escaped from his containment in Outpost 56 and was led into a fight with Ghidorah, Godzilla reappeared in the nick of time to stop Ghidorah from attacking the Argo. Within Godzilla's element, the now- two-headed monster was no match. Things may have ended right there had it not been for the military's last-second intervention with the Oxygen Destroyer: a new device intended to kill both Titans. A mushroom cloud glowing an eerie green erupted from the water. The Oxygen Destroyer killed everything in the water… except for its intended targets. Ghidorah flew off, with Godzilla heavily wounded and nowhere in sight. His rival seemingly vanquished, King Ghidorah perched himself atop the volcano on Isle de Mara and regenerated his missing head. Declaring himself the new Alpha Titan, he let out a screech that awakened Titans all over the world, coming under his influence. Monarch scrambled to figure out what they needed to do next. With the help of Mothra, they tracked the wounded Godzilla to his ancient lair in a lost city underwater. A desperate plan to revitalize the fallen king was spearheaded by Dr. Serizawa. Traveling into the extremely radioactive temple, Serizawa approached Godzilla knowing this was a one-way trip. His presence seemingly acknowledged by the Titan he'd devoted his life to studying, Serizawa's final words were "Goodbye, old friend." A massive explosion destroyed the underwater temple, yet it completely revitalized Godzilla. He surfaced and unleashed a powerful atomic blast into the sky as a call to arms, leaving for Boston after detecting the ORCA's signal.
Madison had stolen the ORCA from her mother and was broadcasting it, halting Titan activity all over the world and leading them to the city. Acknowledging this challenge to his authority, Ghidorah arrived first, pursuing Madison until she could no longer hide. Preparing to finish her off, Ghidorah was knocked back by a powerful atomic blast. Godzilla had arrived. Backed up by an entire squadron of Monarch aircraft, an all-out assault on Ghidorah began. Monarch's Dr. Stanton observed that as a result of the nuke, Godzilla's radiation levels were rapidly increasing to critical levels, and that he'd go "thermonuclear" in just over 10 minutes.
Mothra suddenly emerged from the clouds to back Goji up. The tag-team didn't last though, with Rodan - who'd submitted to Ghidorah - taking Mothra one-on-one. Eventually, Ghidorah bested Godzilla, grabbing him and flying high into the atmosphere, dropping him from miles high onto the ground.
While Mothra was able to defeat Rodan, Godzilla was on the ropes. Before he could be finished off, the wounded Mothra crawled on top of Godzilla and shielded him, sacrificing herself by taking the full force of Ghidorah's gravity beams. Her life force precipitated onto Godzilla, his skin crackling red as he absorbed it. Ghidorah bit into his rival and lifted him into the air, siphoning his energy. Concurrently, Emma and Mark serendipitously fixed the ORCA. Sacrificing herself, Emma led Ghidorah away from her family using the ORCA, distracted Ghidorah for long enough that Godzilla was able to make another full recovery, and then some. The three-headed monster turned to face Burning Godzilla. A series of nuclear pulses expelled by the God of Destruction disintegrated Ghidorah's body piece by piece. At last, Godzilla pinned down his foe and reached critical mass. Boston was consumed in a massive explosion. A couple beats passed, and Godzilla emerged from the rubble with Ghidorah's middle head in his mouth, ultimately incinerating it with a glorious atomic heat ray. But it wasn't over. He was surrounded by several of the Titans summoned by the ORCA's signal, joined last by Rodan. However, they each submitted to him, as it was easily understood he was the, undoubted, King of the Monsters.
Godzilla Dominion (2021): Godzilla found the United States Coast Guard engaging Scylla, who was trying to acquire a nuclear warhead for sustenance and was refusing to submit. Knowing its detonation would damage the land and sea, he engaged her. Following a vicious brawl, she'd gotten the message, and fled. Godzilla next arrived in the Amazon rainforest, where Behemoth was locked in battle with Amhuluk, who'd managed to shatter one of the Titan's tusks and soon knocked him out. Godzilla stepped in and threw Amhuluk as he'd dragged the beast away. Amhuluk submitted to the alpha and left, while Behemoth got back on his feet and wandered off. Tired, Godzilla returned to the former location of his lair in the Hollow Earth, which was destroyed when Ishiro Serizawa gave his life to revitalize him. As Godzilla observed the site where his altar once stood, he was suddenly attacked by a murderfish swarm which arrived through a passage that had been opened deeper into the Hollow Earth. They were easily killed, but more kept arriving, as did a single colossal murderfish genitor. Godzilla clashed with it, ultimately killing it by tearing its spine from its body. Their hive mind shattered, Godzilla incinerated them all with his atomic breath. With the energy from the planet's core upon which he fed no longer flowing to this place, Godzilla left, seeking out a new source of nourishment.
Granted the ability to perceive the entirety of the world around him by Mothra's sacrifice, Godzilla used this to search for a new home… one he'd been driven from by a rival. But first, sensing a disturbance in the ocean depths, he arrived at an area where numerous animals had been apparently killed by humans. He also came upon the Titan Na Kika trapped within a net. Godzilla freed the monster and turned his attention to the humans responsible. After making short work of those attacking him, he destroyed an oil platform he attributed as the cause for the animals' death.
Godzilla eventually came ashore at his destination. He roared to signal his intentions, sensing his rival was still there. But it was the Titan Tiamat who attacked Godzilla, coiling her body around him and dragging him underwater continually as they fought. Finally, the two surfaced in an air pocket. Godzilla grabbed Tiamat and smacked her onto solid ground with his tail. He proceeded to stomp on her head, but she was defiant; roaring at him. Godzilla responded in kind. That convinced her to back down. Godzilla continued deeper into the cavern and came upon one of his old lairs, adorned with paintings of himself and the humans who worshiped him. Godzilla eventually found the skull of the rival which had once driven him from this place. A member of Kong's species. With his new home found, Godzilla could rest. But first, he had to call the other Titans to their rest as well.
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021): Following a long period of inactivity, Godzilla suddenly appeared in Pensacola, Florida and attacked an APEX Cybernetics Facility. This was the first Titan attack in three years, and the fact that it was Godzilla was puzzling. Convinced that something was making Godzilla act that way, Madison Russell contacted conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes, and they, along with her friend Josh Valentine, managed to infiltrate an APEX facility to get to the bottom of it while Godzilla continued to destroy other facilities.
Meanwhile, Kong was being transported by a carrier fleet through the Tasman Sea. Jia, a young deaf Iwi girl who was able to communicate with Kong, detected Godzilla's approach by feeling the vibrations of the ship and sure enough, there he was - barreling straight for Kong. Tipping over Kong's carrier, the two titans exchanged blows. Eventually freed from his restraints, the ape put up a fight - but found himself completely out of his element. Godzilla coiled around and dragged him, but depth charges detonated above the monsters allowed Kong to escape to the surface barely in time. At that point, Lind advised Admiral Wilcox to deactivate all power in the fleet in order to "play dead" and signal to Godzilla that he had won. Satisfied, the King of Monsters swam off.
Some time later, APEX activated Mechagodzilla. As a result, Godzilla turned abruptly and started towards Hong Kong, building up atomic energy as he arrived. By the time he made landfall, the mecha he was tracking had gone offline; at the same time, he sensed something was happening down below. Unleashing an indeterminable amount of pent up power, Godzilla fired straight at the ground - drilling a crater into the Hollow Earth for an unknown amount of time and through countless miles of earth. Meanwhile, a Monarch-Apex expedition using Kong to lead them to a Hollow Earth energy source ended in betrayal; Apex harvested the energy they'd been looking for and transmitted its signature to headquarters. In the ensuing chaos, Godzilla's heat ray finally broke through to the chamber - and as it collapsed, Kong grabbed his new axe and climbed up the hole to Hong Kong.
The Titans confronted one another, and a fierce brawl in the neon-lit cityscape ensued. Following a few traded blows, Kong blocked a heat ray using his axe. Godzilla rushed in and tackled Kong, who lodged the weapon right into Goji's thigh. Knocking his foe away first, Godzilla grabbed the axe in his jaws and hurled it away. The Big G took aim at Kong with repeated atomic blasts after that. Soon enough one landed, burning the ape and knocking him down… with Godzilla grinning in delight. Kong got back up and the pursuit continued. Eventually, the one surviving Hollow Earth Aerial Vehicle containing Drs. Lind and Andrews, as well as Jia, emerged from the Hollow Earth tunnel. Closing the distance, Kong grabbed his axe, used it to absorb the atomic blast like earlier, and brought it down on Godzilla, creating a massive shockwave that blew both monsters back. Its charge expended, the axe ceased glowing. Kong had won round 2, Lind remarked. Godzilla got back up not long after and began prowling on all fours. Misdirecting him with a crane, Kong ambushed Godzilla - but the enraged atomic monster quickly tossed him away, relentlessly assaulting him in a fury prior to finally pinning him down. They bellowed in each others' faces, but Godzilla knew the fight was over. Taking his foot off Kong's chest, the King of the Monsters turned and left him to die. Kong weakly got back to his feet, only to collapse and pass out.
Meanwhile, the Hollow Earth energy that Apex had reconstructed led to them losing control of their ultimate weapon, Mechagodzilla, which broke out into the city. At last in the presence of what he'd been sensing in Hong Kong all this time, Godzilla charged forth - being bombarded with a barrage of missiles until finally clashing with the Mecha. Immediately, it became clear that this robotic doppelganger outclassed the original in every aspect. While Godzilla was being beaten within an inch of his life - Lind, Andrews and Jia landed next to the fallen Kong, and a desperate plot to use the HEAV as a defibrillator was put into action. Just as Mechagodzilla was about to perform its own "Kiss of Death" by firing its proton scream down its counterpart's throat, the revived Kong jumped onto its back and pulled its head back, saving Godzilla.
The robot threw the ape off its back, but the Big G recovered and grabbed it by the arm. The Titans briefly tag-teamed the Mecha, until it knocked both aside. Kong saw his axe and ran to get it as the mecha focused its wrath on Godzilla again. He reentered the battle and swung his axe into Mechagodzilla repeatedly, but ended up in a pinch. Fortunately, Madison's group interfered with the mech's control monitor at Apex HQ and it led to the robot stalling briefly. Godzilla took this opportunity to fire his atomic breath at the axe, charging it. Kong turned the tables on the robot - hacking it apart and ripping off its head, holding it up victoriously.
Godzilla bellowed and approached his former opponent, who weakly got back to his feet, axe in hand. The two stared each other down. Once Kong finally dropped his axe, Godzilla roared in acknowledgment and turned around, wading out into the ocean.
Atomic Breath: A trademark of the character that was actually carried over this time, Godzilla can unleash a powerful stream of atomic energy from his mouth. Its power varies from film to film, but the force of the blast is determined by how long he charges it. As it charges, energy is drawn from his bio-nuclear circulatory system, triggering a neutron flux that appears as a blue glow traveling from the tip of the tail to his dorsal fins. This energy reaches the throat and ultimately expelled from the mouth, unleashed as a concentrated stream of energy. In the 2014 film, the ability is used as a last resort, and has enough power to push back the Female MUTO as well as decapitate her when blasted directly down her throat, a maneuver affectionately nicknamed The Kiss of Death by fans. Godzilla uses his atomic breath much more frequently in his fights against Ghidorah and Kong, showcasing its destructive power on buildings when it misses. His battle against Ghidorah in Boston revealed how much stronger it had become following the dose of radiatio n Serizawa had given him, as it easily sent the three headed terror flying on two occasions. The breath was powerful enough to drill ALL THE WAY into the Hollow Earth following an indeterminable period of buildup. "GVK" bonus material states that the energy yield of the Big G's heat ray is equivalent to 3.15×10^¹⁴ Joules; comparable to the total energy released by the meteor which exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February 2013 - and five times as powerful as the 15 kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
In addition to its use as a weapon, his atomic energy is used for "dominance displays" in a couple different ways.
Physical abilities: The Monsterverse Godzilla excels in close-quarters combat. He leverages his immense mass to ram and pin opponents. He overpowers smaller foes with his size advantage, having the upper hand on the MUTOs when they were fought individually, and holding his own against Ghidorah. That said, his stamina isn't limitless, indicated by his sheer exhaustion after MUTO fights, and the handful of times he was put on the ropes by worthy foes.
His powerful jaws are frequently used to grapple with his opponents, its grip strong enough to swing the male MUTO from side to side like a dog with its toy; drag the 60,000 ton Female into the kiss of death; as well as toss Kong several city blocks with enough force to dislocate the poor ape's shoulder on impact. His chomp also drew blood from the Female MUTO when they first clashed, and ripped off one of Ghidorah's heads during their brief underwater scuffle. His close quarters combat skills are further bolstered by his sharp claws, which tear deep into his enemies' otherwise impervious flesh.
Godzilla's giant tail makes for a powerful weapon. His finisher against the Male MUTO, a big wide swing of it forcefully impaled the parasite to beams on a skyscraper. Even when shortened for his minor redesign in 2019, it's strong enough to knock Ghidorah back and destroy several warships during his first encounter with Kong. The top speed for a tail swipe of his is listed at 89 miles per hour (143.2 km/h). For the first time since "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus," the Big G's tail is prehensile at least to a degree, as it wrapped around Kong as he dragged him down into the ocean's depths.
Godzilla is capable of running at high speeds on land. When he charged at Ghidorah during their final battle, he reached a speed of around 200 miles per hour. He ran at similar speeds when he encountered Mechagodzilla, and he's just as quick and ferocious when he went full crocodile on all fours during his final match with Kong.
Durability: Classically impervious, conventional weaponry does not seriously damage the King of Monsters at all, and it's difficult for other Titans to pierce his armored skin. Perhaps most impressively, he can withstand the force of the blast of a point-blank nuclear detonation - first the 15 megaton Castle Bravo, and then the modern bomb detonated by Serizawa. Unlike the Heisei series, entering the Burning Godzilla state didn't guarantee his death, as the excess nuclear energy was expelled when it reached the peak.
Amphibiousness: Godzilla is adapted to life on both land and sea. His swimming speed in "King of the Monsters" was at one point stated to be over 60 knots, roughly twice as fast as the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and Iowa-class battleships he's swam beside (and through) in both "G14" and "GVK." Taking advantage of the system of tunnels running through the Hollow Earth, he can travel across the globe far quicker than it would otherwise take anyone going on the surface. Additionally, Godzilla's well-suited to underwater combat - especially against non-aquatic foes, absolutely dominating Ghidorah prior to the Oxygen Destroyer's intervention.
Radiation absorption: This guy feeds on radiation, which powers his atomic breath and has allowed him to survive for eons. Since the diminishment of atmospheric radiation, he receives his sustenance from the Hollow Earth, specifically from his lair that ancient humans built for him prior to its destruction. Going hand in hand with his incredible durability, Godzilla is actually strengthened from nuclear detonations, absorbing whatever radioactivity from the blast his body's able to, outright. He was implied by Mike Dougherty to be carnivorous as well, responding to a tweet asking if Godzilla eats meet that quote, "Other titans/kaiju are basically a source of radioactive meat, so…" endquote.
Symbiosis: Godzilla possesses a symbiotic relationship with Mothra, whose own wings bear a pattern mimicking Godzilla's eyes as a warning signal. The two can communicate using sonar over great distances, with Mothra using this ability to lead Monarch to Godzilla's location so they could revive him. The final stage of their symbiosis manifests when Mothra is killed by King Ghidorah: her energy rains down onto Godzilla and is absorbed into his body, causing cracks in his skin to glow orange. This, combined with the imminent atomic meltdown from being nuked by Serizawa, led to the empowered state known as Burning Godzilla. In this state, the immense heat he generates literally melts surrounding buildings. He's also capable of emitting powerful nuclear pulses that take the shape of Mothra's wings and make the sound of her screech.
Heightened senses: The narration in "Godzilla Dominion" states that Godzilla views the world's oceans as "an extension of himself"; he quickly becomes aware of any disturbances or imbalances and reacts accordingly. Following Mothra's sacrifice, he discovers that this ability now extends to the entire planet, and uses it to search for a new home. His heightened senses allowed him to detect a submerged nuclear weapon that had drawn the attention of Scylla, and to continue his fight with Tiamat without the use of sight, after she had blinded him. In "GVK," he located and targeted numerous Apex Cybernetics facilities that were constructing different parts of Mechagodzilla, and tracked Kong in the Tasman Sea - even though the Titan was being transported outside of his territorial waters - and in the Hollow Earth, beneath Hong Kong.
Nuclear pulse: Godzilla's capable of weaponizing his nuclear energy as powerful concentrated pulses in certain situations. He first demonstrates this in his final battle with MUTO Prime, placing the Titan onto his shattered dorsal plates and expelling a huge pulse of atomic energy that launched MUTO Prime into the air, rendering it helpless after it crashed to the ground. As touched upon previously, a much deadlier nuclear pulse was utilized in his Burning state during the final battle with King Ghidorah - ultimately reducing his entire body to ashes save for his middle head.
Weaknesses: Godzilla is not invulnerable. He's almost invariably the more sluggish combatant in fights, with all of his major foes often outmaneuvering him if they're not in his element - underwater. Even then, purely aquatic Titans such as Tiamat can have the upper hand.Missiles, be they from battleships, tanks, fighter jets or Mechagodzilla do make him recoil in pain, they just don't cause visible injury. Tiamat's acid spray blinded him temporarily; depth charges disoriented him. The dorsal fins of his kind are sharp enough to pierce his skin, as the head of Kong's axe got lodged deep into Godzilla's skin during their fight. The MUTOs, Scylla, Tiamat and Kong (using his axe) all made him bleed, with the MUTO tag-team, Jinshin-Mushi, Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla coming close to killing him altogether. Not only that, but the Oxygen Destroyer almost mortally weakened him.
Alternate Histories: Greg Cox's "Godzilla" (2014) novelization is a midpoint of sorts between the 2012 script and the film. It retains the Alcatraz battle, though fighter jets attack Godzilla instead of more Navy ships. The male MUTO's EMP prevents him from finishing off the female with atomic breath. He kills the male by biting one of his wings, forcing him to tear it off to escape, then tackles him into a skyscraper. The female's death is the same as in the script, just with a blast of atomic breath beforehand. For the "Kong: Skull Island" novelization, Tim Lebbon removed the Big G and his fellow Toho kaiju from the ending, possibly to spare Titan Books the licensing fees. The "King of the Monsters" novelization by Greg Keyes opens with a short prologue from Godzilla's perspective in which he reflects on the damage humanity has inflicted on the oceans. The "GVK" novelization has Jia sharing with Ilene the story she was told about Godzilla's species, who the Iwi call "Zo-zla-halawa." After one Titan "ate a star" in the Hollow Earth that turned him wicked, the Iwi and Kongs tried to expel him and his kind, but ultimately decided to leave the underground realm themselves. Both of the Keyes novelizations acknowledge the events of the MonsterVerse comics... whereas the movies, uh, never do.
In the novelization of "Godzilla vs. Kong," Madison Russell speculates that Apex may have created another version of the ORCA, which doesn't have a payoff in the finished film but did at some point during development. In early versions of the movie, Godzilla would've been manipulated by a new version of the device dubbed the ORCA-Z, providing a more direct explanation for why he suddenly attacked the Apex facility in Florida—as Maia Simmons' character would have been setting him up to make her father look like a hero when Mechagodzilla defeated him. Moreover, when the power of the fleet was shut down to make Godzilla less aggressive, it would have ceased the influence of the ORCA-Z as well. In the final cut, Godzilla just kinda… stops attacking.
G in video games: The 2014 Big G first appeared in a trio of free-to-play games released that May: the browser-only singleplayer strategy game "Godzilla: Crisis Defense", the first-person action game "Godzilla: Strike Zone," and the match-3 puzzle game, "Godzilla Smash3." The latter was the only tie-in game that had you "play" as the Big G; the other two featured him as a villain with no MUTOs in sight. (Just like the marketing of the movie.) In Bandai Namco's PlayStation 3 & 4 "Godzilla," he was the final boss of the God of Destruction mode, becoming playable once you beat him, though he was instantly available if you'd pre-ordered the game... which, well, probably only three people did outside of Japan. [...and I was one of those 3!] He also featured in 2014's "Godzilla: Kaiju Collection," where you could also get a cool red variant of him. Aside from the "MonsterVerse" slot machine in 2020 his next full-fledged game appearance wouldn't be until "Godzilla: Battle Line," another gacha game. He can barely fend off a swarm of Kamacuras...or even Minilla...by himself, but with enough strategic placing and patience he can absolutely annihilate a powerful enemy. "Battle Line" was one of many collaborations tying into the release of "Godzilla vs. Kong," including "PUBG Mobile," "Roblox," "World of Warships," and a couple of Chinese app games. For G's 67th birthday, he and Kong were part of the soft-launch of casual action game "Go Big!"
Stay Out of My Movie: Godzilla had an expanded role in some iterations of "Kong: Skull Island." Late in post-production, the editing team was planning to add an image of Godzilla to Randa and Brooks's presentation to Senator Willis, but Jordan Vogt-Roberts objected. "We cannot start our Kong movie with the image of Godzilla. Let this be about Kong." And in an Empire interview, he revealed that one version of the post-credits scene had Conrad, Weaver, and Brooks on a ship watching Godzilla burst through the Arctic ice.
Water Weight? The opening credits of "Godzilla vs. Kong" gave Godzilla a weight of 164,000 tons—much heavier than he was in "King of the Monsters," even though his design and height remained the same. That stat, along with his blood volume and the tensile strength of his bones, were taken from a 2014 Popular Mechanics article by Danielle Venton. Adam Wingard attributed this mistake, and others, to "finishing that title sequence while doing 200 other things during the pandemic [...] some things got a little overlooked."
Sometimes Friends Fight: The latest MonsterVerse movie led to the very first English-language Godzilla picture book released this century: "Godzilla vs. Kong: Sometimes Friends Fight (But They Always Make Up)." Godzilla and Kong travel the world demonstrating the key tenets of friendship, and they even make nice with Mechagodzilla!
With the MonsterVerse slated to continue, we'll be seeing more of this Big G in due time. But for now, that's all we have for him. Thanks for watching.