Baragon is a descendant of the dinosaur Baranosdragon from the Mesozoic era. The mammoth reptile, which naturally avoided bright light, survived mass extinction by embracing a subterranean environment and shifting its natural biorhythms to a nocturnal pattern. Despite it's long age, the creature was completely unknown to humankind until the mid-20th century.
In 1965, the beast was attracted by a noise coming from an offshore oil rig in the Akita oil field. Tunneling underneath it, the kaiju attacked the unsuspecting facility. Eyewitnesses were only able to see a glowing object from the attack, while the oil rig was destroyed. The burrowing behemoth did not reveal himself again until he attacked Mount Shirane. Once there, he decimated a lodge vacation spot in the Japanese countryside. Since both of Baragon's attacks were in the dead of night and his identity was not yet confirmed, these incidents were blamed on an escaped, heavily mutated humanoid known as Frankenstein.
More disasters followed. One morning, when there was enough fog permeating the air for him to tolerate the sunlight, Baragon attacked a small farming community. He feasted on livestock and destroyed buildings before going back underground. The Japanese Self-Defense Force blamed Frankenstein once again for the terrifying event. However, one witness from the oil rig disaster convinced three scientists that it was in fact another monster.
As the scientists attempted to locate Frankenstein, an explosive was set off. This caused an angry Baragon to emerge from underground in broad daylight. Eager to feast on those who disturbed him, Baragon attempted to devour the scientists. Thankfully, Frankenstein arrived just in time, and the two monsters clashed. Baragon was ultimately forced to retreat. Frankenstein kept in pursuit of the large dinosaur, though.
Desperate for food, Baragon spotted an evacuating village. Before he could make his move, Frankenstein caught up with him and the two monsters began to fight to the death. Frankenstein outsmarted and outmaneuvered Baragon, but Baragon's fiery breath gave birth to a raging forest fire. Frankenstein eventually choked his foe into submission, and the mighty dinosaur was no more. Unfortunately, shortly after the confrontation a large fissure opened beneath the two giants. This sent Frankenstein and Baragon's corpse plummeting into the chasm below.
Powers / Weapons
magma heat ray
Baragon can fire a heat ray from his mouth. The ray takes no time to charge, and can be fired off very quickly.
The beam was hot enough to ignite the nearby forest, but had issues when used offensively. Frankenstein, who was struck several times, didn't even react to the ray. Furthermore, the blast of heat seemed to have little force behind it when used from a distance, although was used at close range for burrowing to turn up rocks.
Glowing Nasal Horn
A horn is located on Baragon's head between his two eyes.
The horn was able to glow brightly, and often pulsed with a rhythm when it did. The sharp appendage likely helped for Baragon's subterranean habits, allowing him to see in the normally pitch-black confinements.
Baragon was adept at burrowing. Featuring powerful forearms, the creature was able to turn up ground so he could ascend below the surface. The beast would occasionally launch a Magma Heat Ray at the start, to slightly turn up the Earth, before using his arms to dig himself underground.
His glowing nasal horn would help him navigate while in a subterranean environment.
While Baragon had powerful forearms for digging, he also had powerful back legs for jumping. This allowed the creature to leap very long distances, denoted as being up to 100 meters.
The monster sometimes did a little prep before jumping, although it's unclear if this was to prepare his muscles to jump the distance or if he was calculating how far he needed to travel.
Background and Trivia
Baragon was designed by art director Akira Watanabe. The head was modeled by Teizo Toshimitsu. Modeling the body was a team effort by brothers Koei Yagi and Kanji Yagi. The creature's unique double rows of back plates were done by Murase Tsugizo.
The subterranean monster was portrayed by suit actor Haruo Nakajima.
In an alternate ending that features the Giant Octopus, Baragon's corpse is instead thrown off a cliff after his neck is snapped.
In early promotional stills, Baragon's ray is depicted as being multiple strands of lightning.
Baragon's roar is the same as Varan's roar, although lacks the variants that the 1958 kaiju had that started with a low-pitched tone before getting louder.
In the 1993 publication Everything About Godzilla Movies (ISBN: 9784054002166), Baragon's Magma Heat Ray is instead called the "Death Ray".
Baragon (2nd Generation)
Height : 20 meters Mass : 250 tons
Powers / Weapons
Magma Heat Ray; glowing nasal horn; burrowing ability; extraordinary jumper
Born in the Gunma Prefecture on Mount Shirane in Kakou Lake, a smaller Baragon was discovered. The creature would eventually be contained in the zoological preserve known as Monster Land on Ogasawara Island. By a small twist of fate, the subterranean beast ended up being raised by the winged monster Rodan, a fellow inhabitant on the human controlled island.
Unfortunately, near the dawn of the new century, the creature's relatively peaceful life was interrupted by the Kilaak alien invasion. Along with his fellow monsters, Baragon was sent to destroy the capital cities on Earth in order to enact the diabolical schemes of the invading extraterrestrials. For his part in the invasion, Baragon joined Gorosaurus in a siege on Paris, France. Later, the creature was deployed as a guard dog around the Kilaak's base. However, when the self-defense forces attempted to attack the base, it was Godzilla and Anguirus that engaged the land forces while Baragon's adoptive parent, Rodan, chased off the Moonlight SY-3 craft.
In the ensuing chaos, the Earthlings managed to regain control of the monsters, and Baragon was ordered to destroy the Kilaak base near Mount Fuji. He merely watched, however, as Godzilla, Minilla, Rodan, Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga and Mothra were dominating the fight against the newly arrived King Ghidorah. Following the Kilaaks' permanent defeat, Baragon returned to Monster Land, where he lived out the rest of his days in peace.
Powers / Weapons
magma heat ray / glowing nasal horn / burrowing / extraordinary jumper
The smaller Baragon does not actually demonstrate any of its abilities during the Kilaakian invasion.
Its powers are assumed, but unconfirmed, to be equivalent to those of the creature that emerged in 1965.
Background and Trivia
Suit actor Haruo Nakajima reprised his role as Baragon for the 1968 film.
Published stats for multi-generation kaiju are notoriously contradicting, often giving the same stats regardless of if they differed from film to film. Consequently, most early publications credited the 1968 Baragon as being the same size as the 1965 version. It wasn't until Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999), although very possible publications before this year addressed this as well, that sources started to list the 1968 Baragon as being smaller. Material surrounding subsequent films, such as for Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) and Godzilla (2014), continued this trend as seen in books like the Toho Special Effects: All Kaiju Illustrated Encyclopedia. While it's possible Toho retroactively adjusted the height, it's more likely that earlier publications ignored that they were different.
The Baragon suit was popular at Eiji Tsuburaya's Tsuburaya Productions. There, he adapted the suit to be used for both the TV shows Ultra Q and Ultraman. This includes use as the monsters Pagos, Neronga and Magular, who was also seen in the Ultraman (1967) movie. All of the alterations required a new head piece for the suit, while the body was also modified such as with additional paint. The fourth and final time the suit was re-purposed was as Gabora. By this stage, the suit was showing some obvious signs of damage.
Baragon, who remained quite popular following Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), was selected as one of the monsters to partake in Destroy All Monsters (1968). Early scripts, which included monsters that did not make it in the final film such as Maguma from Gorath (1962), showcased a larger role for Baragon. As work on the film began, the Baragon suit was noted to be in bad shape and a new head was created. Unfortunately, Baragon's role in the film was eventually diminished. Despite the fact that dialogue remains in the movie indicating Baragon's participation in both an assault on Paris and as defending the Kilaak base, the actual monsters used in the film were Gorosaurus and Godzilla with Anguirus for these sequences.
In the end, Baragon is seen three times in the movie: on a small monitor, as a prop before the final battle and one last time with a full shot of the suit as he roars at the camera toward the end of the film. Despite this, the character was prominently seen in promotional stills taken for the movie.
The fact related to Baragon being born in the Gunma Prefecture and raised by Rodan comes from the 1993 publication Everything About Godzilla Movies (ISBN: 9784054002166). The book does not note which Baragon its talking about. A logical guess from this information would indicate that Rodan more specifically raised the Baragon from Destroy All Monsters (1968), although it isn't clear that Baragon was placed on Monsterland from birth.
While Baragon was a more muted brown color in Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), the character was given a deeper, almost red shade of brown for the 1968 movie.
Despite being 20% smaller, the Baragon seen in Destroy All Monsters (1968) is the same weight as the one from 1965.
Baragon's roar was altered for the 1968 version. It now has a revving component, like a motorcycle revving its engine, where it starts and then interrupts itself to start again.
In a meta-moment, Ken Yano of Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) is seen with several Bullmark toys in the movie. This included figures of Godzilla, King Ghidorah and Baragon.