Type 66 Maser Beam Tank 66式メーサー殺獣光線車

Type 66 Maser Beam Tank
Type 66 Maser Beam Tank

Length : 14.5 meters
Height : 6 meters
Mass : 80 tons

Powers / Weapons

Maser Cannon

Appearances

The War of the Gargantuas (1966); Godzilla vs. Gigan; Godzilla vs. Megalon (stock footage); Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (stock footage)

Series // Showa

Sound Effect

Description

With conventional weapons proving ineffective against a steady onslaught of monsters, the Japanese self defense force focused efforts on advanced weaponry. Their engineers eventually developed a Maser Beam Tank. This featured a large cannon on wheels that was pulled by a tractor on treads. The Maser Cannon was powered by a nuclear reactor, augmented by liquid oxygen contained in tanks that could be injected into the reactor.

For their first trial, the vehicles were deployed in an offensive against the monster Gaira. A Frankenstein offspring, the creature had been on a killing spree near the water before venturing into the countryside. Planning a counter strike, with the masers and Trip Wire Cannons, a concentrated assault was launched. The maser cannon proved very effective, burning tissue on the monster and leaving bloody wounds where the beams connected. The assault was a huge success, as none of the Maser Beam Tanks were destroyed while at the same time they were able to incapacitate the monster, pinning it down in an electrified lake. Unfortunately, Gaira's cries traveled and were heard by another creature. Sanda, another offspring of Frankenstein, arrived to save his "brother". Disconnecting electrodes, thereby unelectrifying the lake, the gargantua helped his brother to safety and together they escaped.

Type 66 Maser Beam TankDismayed by the setback, the military searched for the monsters to no avail. However, their whereabouts quickly became public knowledge. Being a relatively peaceful creature, Sanda was mortified by the blood lust of Gaira. This led to a violent disagreement between the monsters. As a result, Gaira fled, only to later show up in Tokyo. Followed there by Sanda, the two monsters battled. The self defense force, though, had a difficult choice. It had become apparent that Gaira was actually the offspring of Sanda, created from a piece of flesh that had grown. Consequently, attacking them could cause this to happen again, leaving more potential threats. Aware of the risk, the military pressed forward, deploying Type 66 Maser Beam Tanks anyway. However, the tanks focused their efforts on Gaira, assisting Sanda in his fight. This eventually pushed the conflict to Tokyo Bay. Moving to the docks, the Maser Beam Tanks continued to assist until the fight ventured too far out to sea. Eventually, though, the monsters would stumble on an undersea volcano, which would engulf and kill them both.

Happy with their performance, the tanks continued to be used into the 1970s. In fact, in 1973, they were deployed near Sagami Bay, south of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshu. Their target was the monster Anguirus, who had swam to the area from Monster Island. Joined by conventional weapons, the masers eventually drove the spiked monster into retreat, swimming away from Japan.

However, Anguirus had actually been drawn to the area by the broadcast plans of the Nebula M Space Hunter aliens. Those plans, unfortunately, came to fruition, summoning the monsters Gigan and King Ghidorah. As the space monsters devastated Tokyo, the self defense force deployed a large unit of Maser Beam Tanks nearby. This time, the Type 66 model was joined by the Type 70 Maser Beam Tanks. This later version had streamlined parts of the cannon, decreasing the mass and improving its targeting mobility. Together, the maser tanks unleashed their fury on the space monsters. Gigan was the first to feel their firepower, which brought the creature to its knees. The cyborg attempted to avoid fire, moving behind trees, only for the cannons to slice through the forest and hit their target. Moving on to King Ghidorah, the cannons blasted one of the monster's heads. However, the three-headed monster wasn't as easily discouraged. Unleashing its gravity beams, the attack made quick work of the contingent of maser tanks. As space demon destroyed their ranks, the extraterrestrials continued their assault on Japan.

The following year the Type 66 Maser Beam Tank was used for a final time. Once more, Japan was under siege, this time by the monster Megalon. Following the destruction of a dam, the insect-like creature ventured into the country side. There, the self defense force had deployed a large squad of machines, including various Maser Beam Tanks. Unfortunately, the giant creature proved resilient and returned firepower of its own. Using the energy from its horn, it destroyed the surrounding maser tanks, ending the military opposition.


Powers / Weapons
Maser Cannon

Maser Cannon

Powered by a built-in nuclear reactor, the vehicle's main cannon could emit a thin, jagged beam of energy. This beam could be fired for long spans of time or in short spurts.

The 100,000 volt energy blast proved strong enough to damage Gaira, Anguirus and Gigan, although King Ghidorah and Megalon fared better against the weapon.


Background and Trivia
  • The full title of the vehicle, as noted in Everything Godzilla: The Complete Super Encyclopedia (ISBN: 4063045579), is 66式メーサー殺獣光線車 (66 Shiki Mesa ya Shishi Kosen Sha). This translates to "Type 66 Maser Beast Ray Car".
  • The 2005 Godzilla: Toho Monster Picture Book (ISBN: 4092800525) lists an English name of "Maser Ray Gun" for the vehicle. However, the machines are better known by the English name of Maser Beam Tank, both for the MBT-92 from Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) and the Type 90 Maser Beam Tank from Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002).
  • Koichi Kawakita's Toho SFX Mechanic Chronicle 1954-2003 (ISBN: 477530142X) goes indepth on the stats of the vehicle. It cites a total length of 14.5 meters (6 meters is the tractor length), a width of 3.5 meters (3 meters is the tractor width) and a height of 6 meters (2.5 meters is the tractor height). The listed mass of the tank is 80 tons, with the tractor on its own weighing 32 tons. Occupants are noted as being up to four people, with three being in the tractor and one on the large turrent.
  • The Godzilla 1954-1999 Super Complete Works (ISBN: 4091014704) mentions a 100,000 volt discharge for the cannon.
  • Everything Godzilla: The Complete Super Encyclopedia (ISBN: 4063045579) cites a mass of 87 tons for the Type 66 Maser Beam Tank, which is different from the 80 tons listed in other publications.
  • New Godzilla Walker - The New Legend of the King of the Monsters (ISBN: 9784048956321) includes a history of weaponry. This gives a date for several movies for when they take place. In the case of Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), it is stated as occuring in 1973.
  • The Type 66 Maser Beam Tank is cross generational, appearing in both the Showa and Millennium Godzilla series. In regards to its appearance in the Millennium series, the Godzilla X Mechagodzilla Completion (ISBN: 9784798613536) lists a history for the craft. This war history, which was instrumental in forming the military unit that later oversees Kiryu, is as follows:

    "1966: Frankenstein's blood-thirsty monster Gaira landed. To combat it, the Ground SDF launched their new weapon, the "beast-killing Maser Cannon". The power of the Maser rays were overwhelming. Although the monster couldn't be annihilated due to the intervention of Sanda, the Maser showed great promise. Impatient for success, the air unit ignores the warning that a new monster could be replicated from the scattered cells of Gaira, and began an all-out attack. The Ground SDF, aware of this assault, prepared to enter the battlefield as well. Sanda and Gaira suffered combined attacks from both forces, and an underwater volcano, triggered by the assault, began to erupt, engulfing the two monsters in flames and killing them.

    Although pleased with the destruction of the monsters, the Defense Agency and the government deemed it too dangerous for the SDF units to remain separated due to their behavior, and a unified organization to combat the giant creatures at last began. Thus the "Versus Special Organisms Self-Defense Force", also known as the "Special Self-Defense Force", was born."
  • The Godzilla X Mechagodzilla Completion (ISBN: 9784798613536) goes on to list other events in the Millennium series which are not connected with The War of the Gargantuas (1966) but involve the Type 66 Maser Beam Tanks. This includes fighting and killing Kumonga in 1967, who had created a nest in tankers in Japan. It also mentions attacking Gigan in 1972, although does not reference killing him, and preventing Anguirus from landing in Yokosuka.