VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
Godzilla has fought plenty of giant opponents over his long history, but this one tends to stand out. For this video we'll be breaking down the origins of Mechagodzilla. This includes examine its origins, powerful abilities, and memorable introduction.
Mechagodzilla Origin EXPLAINED
Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re looking at Mechagodzilla’s origins explained.
Godzilla has fought plenty of giant opponents over his long history. So, an enemy has to be particularly special to stand out in the kaiju rogues gallery. Fortunately for Mechagodzilla, its interesting origins, powerful abilities, and memorable introduction made it iconic when it was introduced into cinemas before. And there’s plenty of reasons why this character can make its mark after “Godzilla vs. Kong” is released.
Ironically enough, Mechagodzilla might never have come to be if it wasn't for King Kong. Almost a decade before the robotic monster appeared on screen, a mechanical Kong was introduced for the first time on “The King Kong Show”. The robotic ape then battled the original Kong in cinemas during 1967’s “King Kong Escapes”. This Mechani-Kong eventually helped Godzilla producer Tomoyuki Tanaka to come up with the idea for Mechagodzilla. And the timing couldn't be more perfect.
Godzilla first roared onto screens in 1954. With his 20th anniversary approaching fast, Toho, the company behind Godzilla, was trying to figure out who their king should fight against. One of their top ideas was all about aliens. In their original draft, a group of aliens sent a large mechanical monster named Garugan down to earth to wreak havoc. This new enemy could only be stopped if Godzilla teamed up with two of his kaiju allies, Mothra and Anguirus. At some point in the editing stage, Garugan and his storyline were tossed into the scrap heap. But aspects of its story were recycled and utilized for Mechagodzilla’s debut.
In 1974, Godzilla celebrated his 20th anniversary with his 14th film: “Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla”. During the film, we’re introduced to the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens. These extraterrestrial creatures looked like green humanoid apes. Maybe they’re Kong's really distant cousins? Whether they were related to or inspired by the ape, the black hole Planet 3 aliens planned to take over Earth by building a monster that no one could stop. They used their extraterrestrial, “space titanium” to build a creature that resembled Godzilla. But they also used their disguising technology to make their mechanical beast look like the real thing. With their creature ready to rampage, they sent it out into the world.
The first enemy Mechagodzilla faced was Godzilla’s ally Anguirus. This friend of Godzilla had a spiky exterior, massive strength, and a dangerous tail. Although Anguirus gave it his all, he barely tickled Mechagodzilla. After the mechanical beast literally kicks him up and down the battlefield, Anguirus is forced to run away and recover from his wounds. His defeat proved right away that Mechagodzilla was a huge threat. His danger level was truly confirmed when the mechanical monster faced off against the original.
When Godzilla confronts his artificial doppelganger, it becomes clear to everyone in-universe that something strange is going on. In the midst of the battle, the Black Hole Planet 3 aliens decide to drop Mechagodzilla’s disguise and show the original kaiju what their mecha can really do. Mechagodzilla could fire missiles from its hands and feet, shoot rainbow lasers, create force fields and even fly. Despite these huge advantages, Godzilla was able to end their one-on-one battle in a stalemate that injured both Fighters. As Mechagodzilla went in for repairs and Godzilla played around with lightning, the humans worked on a new plan.
A prophecy foretold that two monsters would team up to save the world. So a group of human bystanders fulfill a ritual to awaken a guardian kaiju known as King Caesar. This new beast was a scrappy fighter who had the ability to redirect energy beams back at his enemies. But his tremendous strength and special reflection skill weren’t enough to take down Mechagodzilla. Right before the mechanical beast sent the guardian into a permanent slumber, Godzilla resurfaced.
It looked like the team of Godzilla and King Caesar would be unstoppable at first. But the sheer amount of weapons that Mechagodzilla had at its disposal overwhelmed both Kaiju. But luckily Godzilla had a trick up its, um, claws. Remember when we told you about Godzilla playing around with lightning earlier? As it turns out, Godzilla's electric encounter gave him magnetic powers. He uses these new abilities to pull Mechagodzilla in and hold it in place. After King Caesar gets some well-deserved payback against the giant mecha, Godzilla rips off the robotic kaiju’s head. And then it explodes for good measure. With Mechagodzilla defeated, Godzilla returns to the ocean, waiting for his next challenger.
After its impressive debut, Mechagodzilla was rebuilt so it could appear in two Toho movies that continued its storyline. It’s also made a handful of appearances in different parts of the “Godzilla” franchise. Mechagodzilla even appeared in a climactic scene in Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.” Prior to“Godzilla vs. Kong”, there were a few hints that the villain would return to its monster movie roots again.
During the closing credits of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”, a newspaper article suggested that the Kaiju tracking agency Monarch was building a mechanical creature. After this Easter egg was discovered, the blueprints for an unknown project can be seen on a high tech computer screen. The same trailer also appeared to give us our first very quick glimpse at a Godzilla-sized metallic being. But it was the plot of the trailer that really got longtime fans excited.
As we mentioned before, Mechagodzilla was disguised as the original hero when it first stomped into the public. And in a “Godzilla vs. Kong” trailer, Godzilla is causing havoc, and nobody knows why. But what if that giant beast we're seeing was actually Mechagodzilla in disguise? Not only would it be a great twist for a modern movie, but it opens up the possibility that Kong and Godzilla can team up to defeat a giant robot. Who wouldn't want to see those two giant monsters work together to rip off Mechagodzilla’s head?
But even if that Mechagodzilla storyline never comes to be, the character would still have a rich history. It was created just in time to celebrate 20 years of Godzilla action. Although its alien backstory was originally meant for a different kaiju, Mechagodzilla took the odd origin story and made it its own. Between its tremendous strength and wide range of abilities, it's always a fun opponent to see pitted against Godzilla. Hopefully, it'll be a staple character in future monster movies. No matter where it ends up, we'll always remember it as a mechanical beast that was perfectly designed to fit into pop culture history.