|Godzilla film series character|
|Species||Giant three-headed dragon like alien|
|Alias|| Monster Zero|
King of Terror
|Form(s)|| Dorats (unirradiated form in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah)|
Mecha-King Ghidorah (enhanced form in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah)
Cretaceous King Ghidorah (prehistoric form in Rebirth of Mothra III)
Grand King Ghidorah (Form seen in Rebirth of Mothra III)
|M.O.||The destruction of all life.|
|Air speed||Mach 3-4|
Life force absorption
G-grasper (in Mecha form)
Mothra (in GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack)
|Major Enemies|| Godzilla|
|Controlled by|| Xiliens|
M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens
Vortaak (in the Godzilla games)
|First appearance||Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster|
|Created by||Eiji Tsuburaya|
|Portrayed by:|| Shōwa series|
Created as an opponent for Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra in 1964's Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Ghidorah is a golden dragon-like space monster with two legs, three heads on long necks, bat-like wings, and two tails. It was said to be 100 meters tall with a 150-meter wingspan and to weigh 30,000 metric tons. King Ghidorah was brought to life on the movie screen by a stunt actor inside an elaborate three-piece costume, with a team of puppeteers to control the beast's many appendages. Its alarming shrieks — a different ringing pitch for each of its heads — are among the genre's most recognizable sound effects. Its design is due to special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya based on a minimal description in the script: "It has three heads, two tails, and a voice like a bell."
In recent films Ghidorah has undergone several revisions to its origin and appearance — for instance, a 150-meter tall irradiated triplet of genetically-engineered pets with a Rodan-like cackle, called Dorats in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and a 49-meter-tall guardian monster in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack — and has been realized via CGI as well as suitmation.
King Ghidorah made two more appearances in the Shōwa Series, both times as an agent of alien invaders. In Destroy All Monsters, controlled by the Kilaaks, it fought and was killed by the combined might of ten of Earth's daikaiju. There is some confusion around this event because in Godzilla vs. Gigan, King Ghidorah returns. However, Destroy All Monsters was set in the year 1999, while Godzilla vs. Gigan is set in the 1970s. So, chronologically, Destroy All Monsters takes place after Godzilla vs. Gigan, and is the last film of the Showa series, instead of Terror of Mechagodzilla.
Ghidorah also appeared in two episodes of the tokusatsu superhero TV series, Meteor Man Zone. He appeared in two back-to-back episodes, and was one of the few monsters to survive defeat at the hands of Zone Fighter.
The daikaiju was revamped for 1991's Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, third in the Heisei series. Time-travelers from the 23rd century (called "Futurians") released three genetically-engineered creatures called Dorats onto Lagos Island, the location at which a Godzillasaurus was to be exposed to radiation and become Godzilla. Instead, the irradiated Dorats fused into King Ghidorah, which the Futurians then used to devastate present-day (1992) Japan. The marauder was defeated by a reincarnated Godzilla; this newer Godzilla was larger and more powerful than ever because he managed to get back to Lagos Island and was mutated by the atomic bomb test, the oxygen destroyer, long term feeding on nuclear waste after his original attack on Tokyo, and three attacks on nuclear submarines. Even so, Ghidorah appeared to be winning the battle until its controlling computer was sabotaged, allowing Godzilla to use his atomic breath to decapitate Ghidorah's middle head and burn a hole through its left wing. Ghidorah fell into the ocean, where he remained comatose for hundreds of years.
The Futurian Emi Kano recovered the beast in 2204 and, from its body and futuristic technology, created the cyborg, equipped with solar-paneled wings, an entirely mechanical middle head, and several devices specifically designed for combat with Godzilla. This incarnation managed to stun Godzilla with its Capture Cables, grasp it with the giant Machine Hand, and carry it out to sea. Godzilla finally blasted the monster at point-blank range with his atomic breath, and both plummeted into the water. Godzilla would return the following year (Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth), but Ghidorah would not appear again in the Heisei series. The cybernetic remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, however, would later be recovered by the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center (UNGCC) and the technology used to design and construct Heisei era Mechagodzilla (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II) and MOGUERA (Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla).
King Ghidorah reappeared in 1998's Rebirth of Mothra III, resuming his world-destroying roots from the Showa Era. Having come from outer space and responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs, he returns in the present day. Using his Light Speed Form, Mothra Leo travelled back in time and battled the younger King Ghidorah, known as Cretaceous Ghidorah, in prehistoric times in an attempt to negate the existence of the current-age Ghidorah. During the fight in the past Mothra managed to sever one of Ghidorah's tails, which then burrowed into the ground. Believed to be destroyed after Leo dropped him into the interior of Mt. Fuji, the younger Ghidorah reappeared in the present day in its adult form. Fortunately for the world, Mothra Leo had also entered a state of hibernation after fighting King Ghidorah in the Cretaceous, and reemerged with the ability to transform into a more powerful armored form which finally enabled him to destroy King Ghidorah once and for all.
When Ghidorah first awakens, his wings are underdeveloped and his only method of attack is an electrified bite from each of his three heads. Godzilla knocks him unconscious with relative ease and is about to destroy him when Mothra throws herself between them, sacrificing herself by taking the full force of Godzilla's atomic breath. After Mothra is destroyed, her energy flows into Ghidorah, which simultaneously awakens him, grants him the power of flight, increases his power to full strength, and triggering his growth into King Ghidorah. Godzilla fires his atomic breath at King Ghidorah, but the dragon blocks the attack with a force-field. King Ghidorah then gathers the energy of his force field and fires it back at the King of the Monsters in the form of a massive energy ball. The resulting blast was not only strong enough to send Godzilla flying out of Tokyo and into the sea but also inflicted a large gash in Godzilla's left shoulder.
King Ghidorah chased after Godzilla and after a brief battle underwater, took back to the sky where he bombarded Godzilla with gravity beams from his mouths. Although Ghidorah briefly appeared to be winning, Godzilla fired a supercharged atomic breath that completely obliterated the three-headed monster. But despite falling in battle, Ghidorah's attack ultimately proved to be Godzilla's downfall as the spirits of the guardian monsters possessed and weakened Godzilla, allowing a mini-sub piloted by the Japanese Self Defense Force to fire a torpedo into the wound inflicted by King Ghidorah that destabilized Godzilla's nuclear power, causing him to self-destruct when he next attempted to use his atomic breath.
Three seemingly harmless Dorats are taken by a group of people known as Futurians to the 20th century, to convince Japan to aide them in destroying Godzilla, so that Japan's ultimate destruction can be averted. The time travellers go further into the past to the Pacific war of 1944, with the intention of removing a Godzillasaurus from the atomic bomb sites that would mutate him into Godzilla. The plan is a success and the Godzillasaurus is transported to the Bering sea. Unknown to the present day collaborators, the Futurians left in the dinosaurs place the Dorats. The Futurians plan had been to remove Godzilla and replace him with a monster that they could control and use for their own ends. In fact, the atomic tests that would create Godzilla cause the three Dorats to fuse into one powerful creature, resulting in the creation of King Ghidorah.
Desghidorah developed over the years following its defeat, eventually being awakened by a logging operation in Hokkaido. The beast had been sealed away by Mothra whilst it was developing, but the foreman removed the binding seal and thus alerted the wicked fairy Belvera to the discovery. Belvera secured the seal and released the monster, hoping to control him. Her sisters, the good Elias, soon arrived, summoning Mothra to again defeat the dreaded beast. But Mothra could not prevail against Desghidorah.
Sensing her distress, the unborn Mothra caterpillar emerged from its egg and came to its mother's aid. Even this was not enough, and Desghidorah drove both of his enemies away. The elder Mothra expired from wounds received in the battle. The younger sought out a mystic 10,000 year old tree, employing its ancient energies to transform into an even more powerful adult Mothra. The new Mothra, Leo lost little time in renewing the battle, handedly defeating Desghidorah and with the help of the Elias, once more imprisoning him within his mountain.
Monster X was summoned by the Xiliens as their trump card against Godzilla, coming to earth inside a meteor. Godzilla and Monster X commenced battle, with Monster X holding an initial advantage, and then fought to a standstill. Mothra arrived to even the odds, and in response, the Xilians sent out the upgraded Gigan, who quickly dispatched her, and then assisted Monster X. Monster X and Gigan were briefly able to overcome Godzilla, when Mothra attacked once more and knocked both of them down. Gigan resumed his battle with Mothra, and both were killed. Although Monster X had the advantage Godzilla soon seemed to gain the upper hand as he knocked the other monster down and punched him multiple times. Finally they split apart and Monster X and Godzilla locked beams, causing a massive explosion which blew the kaiju off their feet.
Godzilla staggered to his feet, and looked up to see Monster X undergo a terrifying transformation; he dropped to all fours, grew wings, enlarged his bodily proportions, changed his white armor into a dark golden armor, and then finally, his neck elongated and his shoulder skulls filled out and became a pair of extra heads. After the Xilien Controller's defeat at the hands of Ozaki, the dying Controller transferred his Kaiser powers to Monster X, causing it to transform into Monster X II as a last ditch move.
It is at this point when the mutant soldier Ozaki, realizing Godzilla is their only hope at saving the planet, leaps into the main firing chair of the warship Gotengo and uses his own Kaiser powers to transfer a massive amount of energy to Godzilla. The energy awakens Godzilla and recharges him. Godzilla proceeds to turn the tables on Monster X II, escaping by using his nuclear pulse, decapitating his middle head with his atomic breath and cutting his right head off by its left head's beam at its right head's neck. He then pummels Monster X II and hurls him to the sky, firing his red spiral atomic breath that pushes Monster X II into outer space, where he explodes and is killed.
Ghidorah (often also as Mecha-King Ghidorah) has appeared in several Godzilla video games:
It is notable that, since Mecha King Ghidorah was created, he has accompanied his organic counterpart in every single video game he has been in.
Ghidorah also appears often in pop culture, for instance as Godzilla's adversary in a special effects shoot depicted in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. It is also the namesake of both Daniel Dumile's alter-ego "King Gheedorah" and (presumably) the Japanese rap group King Gidora. "Monster Zero" is referenced in Rob Zombie's "The Great American Nightmare". In an Episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, an obvious spoof, named Kittyra who is a three headed mutant cat, fights with Cragera, a spoof of Gamera. Several games in the Final Fantasy series have a 3-headed monster named 'Ghidrah', apparently a nod to the famous monster. Stock footage of Ghidorah was frequently employed in the cartoon Courage the Cowardly Dog. In The Emperor's New School episode, Kronk Moves In, Yzma's alligator turns into the shape of Ghidorah because of her "Ghidorah potion" she threw by accident. In Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island, the villain the Mawgu transforms into a monster that resembles Ghidorah. In the Jetix show Shinzo, a Ghidorah-like monster appears named Grandorah, but instead of lightning, it has powers of ice and snow. Another Ghidorah-esque monster appears in Ben Dunn's Ninja High School comic, named King Gedorah. A child can be seen playing with a Mecha-King Ghidorah toy in one scene in the film Independence Day.
King Ghidorah has also appeared in contemporary fine art. Artist Makoto Aida portrayed King Ghidorah sexually violating Ultraman's Akiko Fuji in a painting entitled The Giant Member Fuji vs. King Gidora (1993), which was a parody of both traditional ukiyo-e and contemporary Japanese pop culture.
In 2003, MF Doom released a concept album about King Ghidorah (in this instance spelled Geedorah) called Take Me To Your Leader. Though Doom wrote, produced, arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered all 13 tracks, the album featured singing by Kurious, Jet-Jaguar and Mr. Fantastik. The album is told through the perspective of the 500-foot, three-headed, golden-plated monster. Says Doom, "I made it different on purpose. A blend of ill lyrics and instrumentals. To me its way iller than any of the wack shit out now." And of the concept, he explains that "This whole album is Geedorah's alien perspective on humans. This is done intentionally to show the listener a mirror image of his/herself and the way we see each other." In the video game "Ed Edd 'n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures" on the level "Edzilla" the level's boss (called the Kankerador) based on the Kankers, closely resembles King Ghidorah, but is pink, has no wings (but arms) one tail, and the middle head has a short neck (unlike the other two heads). Also, instead of shooting lightning, the Kankerador blows kisses and makes earthquakes.
In the 2008 moive, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the titular emperor can transform into a three headed dragon that has an appearance like King Ghidorah.
In the Pokémon movie Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai, part of the Pokémon Palkia's roar is mixed with King Ghidorah's roar (This is ironic, as in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Palkia's roar is mixed with Godzilla instead.)
King Ghidorah was declared a winner in Maddox's book The Alphabet of Manliness.
In the Super Sentai series, Juuken Sentai Gekiranger, the true form of its major antagonist Long resembles to Ghidorah in general.
In 1990, a San Diego-based ska funk band named Monster Zero immortalized King Ghidorah in the song "Monster Zero".
The Showa era Ghidorah's scales made him almost immune to energy attacks, but seemed to do little else. In Invasion of Astro-Monster, Ghidorah withstood several blasts of Godzilla's atomic breath with no ill effects. In Destroy All Monsters, Anguirus used his tusks and fangs to lacerate one of the monster's necks.
In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla was able to use his atomic breath to sever one of Ghidorah's necks and burn a hole through his left wing. Ghidorah's scales would later be augmented by cybernetic armor when he was reconstituted as Mecha-King Ghidorah.
Death Ghidorah's black scales appeared to be a tough armor that could shrug off all but the strongest attacks, not just energy attacks but physical attacks as well.
In Rebirth of Mothra 3, King Ghidorah had scales that were reflective and repelled even the strongest of Mothra Leo's attacks. However, when Leo reached his final armored form he was able to cut off one of Ghidorah's wings and finally completely destroy him with an energy tackle through the monster.
In Godzilla Mothra King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Godzilla drew blood as he bit down on one of Ghidorah's necks. At the end of the movie, Ghidorah is incinerated by a point-blank blast of Godzilla's atomic breath.
After being reconstituted as a cyborg in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah was equipped with several electrified manacles that it used to incapacitate Godzilla before securing its opponent with its G-grasper; a mechanical harness mounted on its chest plate. Also while he was battling Godzilla the first time, his powerful necks were used to strangle Godzilla, making him the first monster to make Godzilla foam at the mouth.
In GMK, Ghidorah's immature form possessed an electrified bite while it's fully energized form was capable of generating a force field that absorbed the energy of an opponent's attack, combined it with that of King Ghidorah, and then discharged it back towards its enemy.
In Rebirth of Mothra, Death Ghidorah had an explosive ability that allowed it to open fissures in the Earth's crust along with a bite attack that was capable of inflicting terrible burns on an opponent.
In Rebirth of Mothra 3, King Ghidorah appeared to have a range of Physic abilities, allowing it to teleport small objects, control minds, and telekinetic capabilities strong enough for Ghidorah to levitate.