SchizoidHorse here, I'm a longtime lurker, who has recently started commenting on threads, and this is my first full thread.
My query is such: what is your absolute FAVORITE Ghidorah (not just KING Ghidorah) ever seen in Toho film or comic. I've compiled every version I could think of, as well as some comic versions I didn't know existed.
In addition to your personal overall favorite, please don't hesitate to discuss your favorite Ghidorah design, as well as which Ghidorah is the strongest.
Please feel free to leave lots of feedback and create some conversation. Have some good friendly debates, I'd love to see what you guys think.
First up is the OG, ShodaiGhido, whose first appearance was in 1964, and appeared in four Godzilla movies all the way through 1972, as well as appearances on Zone Fighter. Obviously, being the first, he is the basis for all following Ghidorahs. He is notable for his prominent manes on all three heads, as well as wavy horns that point back. He is unique for being the only Ghidorah design used in more than one movie.
Following up, all the way into the future of 1991, is HeiseiGhido, who appeared in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, and it would mark his only active role in the Heisei series. He did have a brief cameo in Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II. This King Ghidorah also had 3 different iterations on screen over the course of the film, both of which are to follow. HeiseiGhido is defined by his more prominent hooks on his wing tips, as well as multiple, straight horns on all three heads. In addition, he also has more prominent neck spines. (Note: This is my personal favorite design.)
Next up is the Dorat, which could technically be considered a Ghidorah. Dorats appeared in 1991's Godzilla vs King Ghidorah. Dorats' purpose was as the pet of choice for the people of the future. Three Dorats, through an series of convoluted events that are orchestrated to defeat Godzilla, are eventually irradiated and merge to become King Ghidorah, setting up the origin of the classic Godzilla villain.
Mecha King Ghidorah is the next challenger! Mecha King Ghidorah appeared in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), following the mutation of the Dorats, and King Ghidorah's subsequent defeat by Godzilla. Mecha King Ghidorah is salvaged from the remains of King Ghidorah, and through future technology, is brought to bear against Godzilla (also losing). Mecha King Ghidorah is based off of the same basic design as HeiseiGhido, with the obvious design changes being the cyborg appearance. MKG gains mechanical wings, as well as augmentations to the legs, tails, and torso. The middle head is also replaced.
SokogekiGhido appears in 2001's Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack. This is also the first and only time King Ghidorah is portrayed as benevolent. SokogekiGhido is one of three guardian monsters who rise to fight a rampaging "Spirit" Godzilla. SokogekiGhido's design is more reminiscent of ShodaiGhido, in that the horns regain their wavy shape, and again point backwards, though with some added verticality. The hook claws on the wing tips are significantly smaller than those of HeiseiGhido. In addition, SokogekiGhido has more prominent talons on his feet, and has a hunch very similar to that of the Godzilla who stood opposite him in the same film. SokogekiGhido has prominent fangs, and while still lacking the mane of hair seen in ShodaiGhido, he does gain frills near the base of the jaws of all three heads, reminiscent of the manes.
The next time Godzilla would face a Ghidorah (though not KING Ghidorah) would be in Final Wars (2004). This Ghidorah has two forms, the first being a more bipedal martial artist sort of appearance. He is given the name "Monster X". Monster X briefly fights Godzilla in this form before revealing himself to be a member of the Ghidorah family. Traces of Ghidorah can be seen in the design, however its drastic differences make it hard to compare to other, more typical Ghidorahs.
Keizer Ghidorah would soon be revealed as Monster X's true form in Final Wars (2004). Keizer Ghidorah, while related to King Ghidorah, is registered by Toho as a different entity, and has somewhat different abilities. Keizer Ghidorah's most obvious difference from OG King Ghidorah is that he is quadrupedal, as opposed to the standard bipedal look we are used to. In addition, his tails are completely separate, and he has various additional spikes found on his knees and legs in general. The skin in more similar to plate armor than the previous golden scaled appearances, with more dark patches and less gold. Keizer Ghidorah also trades to typical claws at the end of each "fingertip" for a cluster that is more similar to a hand. His horns revert to that of HeiseiGhido's appearance, though they have a certain antler like quality to them. His eyes are also notably red.
More than one Ghidorah made an appearance in the Rebirth of Mothra series, with the first one being Desghidorah. Desghidorah appeared in Rebirth of Mothra (1996), to duke it out against Mothra in one of her (later to change to Leo Mothra, a male) few solo outings. Desghidorah is noticeably similar to Keizer Ghidorah, who he predates. The prominent features are as follows: he is quadrupedal, and his primary coloring is dark gray/black, instead of the typical gold. His wing are smaller than the average Ghidorah's, and have bright red webbing, lacking the wing tip hooks. The heads are more angular, and the horns are straight. Desghidorah is less similar to typical Eastern Dragons and seems to draw more design inspiration from Western Dragons.
King Ghidorah himself would also appear outside of a Godzilla film once, in 1998's Rebirth of Mothra III, with the RaishuGhido design. RaishuGhido is stockier than previous iterations of King Ghidorah, and has significantly bigger wing tip "hooks" than any previous version, HeiseiGhido included. In addition, his horns would take on a very antler-like appearance, though still retaining similarity to HeiseiGhido. All three necks are also noticeably more stout.
HakuAkiGhido is a version of King Ghidorah who appeared in Rebirth of Mothra III (1998). This iteration appears after Leo Mothra travels back in time to stop King Ghidorah before he becomes too powerful. The first prominent feature of this design is the lack of gold scales, instead having a muted palette of browns, reds, tans, and blacks. HakuAkiGhido has prominent spikes on his head, as well as running down his jaw, and much larger neck spines on all three heads, as well as his back and tail, than other iterations of King Ghidorah. He has spiked knees, and his scale plating is reminiscent of Feudal Era samurai armor. The heads have a more dinosaur-like shape than other version, bearing a similarity to Ankylosaurus (club tails).
Other versions of Ghidorah include:
King Godzilla, from the Kodansya Godzilla manga (1992).
An unnamed Ghidorah and Biollante hybrid from the 1992 manga, The Godzilla Comic Raids Again.
Hyper Mecha King Ghidorah who first appeared in a 1998 episode of Godzilla Island.
That's everything I've got! Hopefully you enjoyed it! Sound off in the comments!
After getting that Slurpee at 7/11
Not even close. Showa by a large margin. Heisei would be second. Least favorite (from G movies) would be the GMK version. I hate that design. The FW version I don't consider King Ghidorah.
Never saw the Mothra movies.
Tie between Showa and Heisei for first place. Then Monster X/Keizer Ghidorah. Then Mecha-King Ghidorah. Then Grand King Ghidorah. Then that's it
Hands down Showa Ghidorah. I LOVE the design. I love the golden scales, the mane on each neck, the curved horns, etc. My second favorite would be the Grand King ghidorah from Mothra 3. I never got into the Heisei design; I always thought it was a lazy re-do of the Showa design but to each their own.
Showa King Ghidorah takes it by no small margin for me. It's the only King Ghidorah that was portrayed flawlessly - wild flailing heads and tail - quick pounding wings - He really seemed like a planet killer in Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster and Monster Zero. Granted his post-Destroy All Monsters appearances became stiff and shabby, but the first three movies really succeeded in portraying him as a juggernaut.
By contrast the other King Ghidorahs have either been too stiff and unconvincing in the air, despite having monstrously larger budgets. Or their designs are just a step down.
My second favorite probably goes to the maligned GMK King Ghidorah. Although I don't wish to see a protagonist King Ghidorah again, I was okay with the shift in this case - Matching Japanese mythology. I also enjoyed the fact that his heads purposefully looked like Varan since the monster was cut from the movie. I also dug the little innovations like the taloned feet and folded wings. Those are good ways to play with the design without losing the traditional silhouette--Unlike these God awful fan pieces portraying him as wyvern trite.
The others I don't think about too much or just hate--Especially Keizer Ghidorah who is easily the worst looking of the bunch.
Overall favorite Ghidroah I guess I gotta go with either GMK Ghidorah or Heisei King Ghidorah. The showa one is cool, but I never got into his head shapes. They kind of looked derpy to me with the wide eyes and the lack of a control in what they were looking.
If I had to give points for roar though, GMK Ghidorah takes the cake. I love the cackle of the Showa, but it never sounded all that threatening. GMK ramps it up and makes it sound super intimidating. Heisei Ghidorah's roar is just a sped up Rodan.
^Actually, each of the heads just had a different roar in GMK.
I'm glad to see that you guys enjoyed this topic! I kind of figured ShodaiGhido would be the unanimous champion of this discussion. OG always wins in the Godzilla forums.
On a related note, what did you guys think of non-"King" Ghidorahs (ie, Desighidorah, Keizer Ghidorah)
After getting that Slurpee at 7/11
Death Ghidorah was okay. If they were going to do a quad-dorah, I'm glad it was so far removed from the real King Ghidorah to be its own entity. It was sort of interesting to see a variant on the Ghidorah species as well.
Kaiser Ghidorah, on the other hand, is one of Toho's worst creations. Period. The quad-dorah concept was done better with Death Ghidorah and Kaiser basically just looked like a poor attempt to one-up the traditional, superior King Ghidorah. It reminds me of crumpled tinfoil, smashed together and splashed with gold paint. And why does it have those tiny wings? What's the purpose of those? Awful design and terrible execution.
Heisei Ghidorah is probably my favorite King Ghidorah design. Death Ghidorah is my favorite one that isn't King Ghidorah.
(I agree with all the points about Kaizer. Monster X was pretty cool, but why couldn't they use King Ghidorah?)
“Banana oil.”- George Takei, Gigantis: The Fire Monster
Thanks for all the feedback guys!
After getting that Slurpee at 7/11
I think my favorite version would have to be Grand King Ghidorah.
Godzilla... Truly a God incarnate.
Dont follow a fake king- Ghidorah 2019
Monarch Case File- Zero (0)
Everything here is numbered...
GMK is my favorite right now, but I have to see how Legendary handles him.
"Is that a monkey?"
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