King Ghidorah キングギドラ [Showa]

King Ghidorah [Showa Series]
King Ghidorah

Height : 100 meters
Wingspan : 150 meters
Mass : 30,000 tons

Powers / Weapons

Flight at mach 3; space travel at mach 400; gravity beams; hurricane winds from wings; meteor transformation


Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964); Invasion of Astro-Monster; Destroy All Monsters; Godzilla vs. Gigan; Zone Fighter Episodes 5, 6; Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (stock footage); Terror of Mechagodzilla (stock footage); Bye-Bye Jupiter (stock footage)

Series // Showa

Sound Effect


5,000 years ago, an advanced civilization was living on Venus. Both culturally and in aspects of scientific knowledge, the race was advanced beyond what humanity would achieve far into the future. Fate, however, was cruel to the civilization, as they caught the attention of a space demon...

Landing on the planet, King Ghidorah proceeded to wipe the population out, its only perceived aim being destruction. As the alien race on Venus fell, the three-headed terror continued its onslaught in space. Seething with destruction in its blood, the golden demon concealed its form in the confines of a blazing meteor. Crossing the black voids of space, its destination was a new world to purge and decimate.

Eventually, the meteor came crashing to Earth. The creature's presence caused a reaction, awakening huge behemoths from their slumber. Godzilla and Rodan were reawakened. Meanwhile humanity watched in horror as the demonic egg birthed huge scarlet flames. Fire and smoke that took on a life of its own, twisting and congesting into the night sky. Lashing against themselves and taking on the form of King Ghidorah. Spreading its wide leathery wings, it took off, and laid waste to all life that dare to see its godly form. Cutting a path of destruction from the Kanto region to the Chubu region, the beast seemed unstoppable. However, the demon met unexpected retaliation. Standing to defend mankind, Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra beat back the devil. Its three heads covered in thick silk, King Ghidorah fled, flapping back to the cold arctic depths of space.

Greatly angered by his thwarted advents he swore to bring, the King of Terror flew to another planet; consequently, one that was unknown to the populace of Earth. A planet on the dark side of Jupiter named Planet X. Living on this world were a race of machine-like beings dubbed the Xilien. Seeing the monster as a perfect tool for their future plans, they captured the demon. Following the next steps of their plan, they sent out radio waves to Earth, alerting mankind of their existence. The astronaut pair of Fuji and Glen arrived soon, and was coaxed, along with the rest of humanity, into allowing the Xilien to have Godzilla and Rodan. They begged for the monsters, insisting that the newly arrived creature King Ghidorah threatened to destroy their people. Falling for the trick, humanity allowed the aliens to take the twin terrestrial kaijus to the new planet, and successfully fight off the dragon. In exchange for the behemoths, the Xilien promised a medical drug that would cure all diseases. Deceit was brought, when the drug turned out to be a tape recording that told the Earthlings to surrender and become a new colony of Planet X. If humanity did not comply within 24 hours, the Xilien warned of the consequences. Needless to say, humanity stood its ground and created a plan to fight back. However, the A-Cycle Light Ray Guns were still be constructed as Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah were released. Laying waste to anything that moved, the trio of monsters nearly succeed, when finally mankind's technology prevailed. Released from their control, the monsters fought amongst themselves. Their ongoing war pulling them from a craggy cliff, and into the seas below. Only the space dragon surfaced, fleeing back to space.

King Ghidorah [Showa Series]Years past, the infamy of the three-headed demon growing. As the 1970's came, a new, hostile invading race set their eyes on Earth: the Space Hunter Nebula M aliens. Controlling the cyborg Gigan, the alien race knew they needed something more to combat the monsters of Earth. As fate would have it, they located a three-headed creature gliding through the frigid vacuum of space: King Ghidorah. However, this was not the same beast that had attacked Earth in the 1960's, but rather a second, weaker King Ghidorah. Regardless, the race took control of the monster.

Combining the horror with their own twisted cyborg Gigan, the two descended to earth and begin their destructive directive in Tokyo. Planes, tanks, masers, all fell before the might of the duo. Only through the courage of Godzilla and Anguirus, were the beasts given real opposition. Due to the combined efforts of the earth monsters and humanity, the Space Hunter Nebula M aliens were defeated and their control over the monsters broken. Left to their own devices, Godzilla and Anguirus were eventually victorious, as King Ghidorah and Gigan were sent into retreat, soaring into the fathomless regions of space.

Gliding on its way, this second King Ghidorah's travels didn't go unnoticed. Gazing from afar, the Garogas saw the perfect tool in their latest and greatest plans to conquer Earth. Scheming to block the flow of sunlight to Earth, they planed to use an item called the Dark Prism. The crystal would deflect the sun's rays, and transform the world into a cold lifeless rock. With malice clutching their soul, the alien race captured King Ghidorah, making the creature instinctively seek out the Dark Prism. Cast down from the heavens, King Ghidorah rampaged its destruction on Earth. Its new and improved gravity beams, being able to levitate cars, homes, and signs. However, the abomination wouldn't last, and Earth's hope, Zone Fighter, stepped in. However, there was nothing he could do to stop the cackling dragon. Mustering the last ounce of strength, the hero flew into space, leading the creature from Earth.

Out in space, Zone Fighter leads the ancient horror towards an asteroid, but suddenly all contacts with Zone family is lost, and King Ghidorah disappears. Meanwhile on Earth, the Garogas agents have taken prisoner the Zone Family. Realizing their fate, Zone Fighter heads back and frees them. Yet in his absence, King Ghidorah is unleashed. With sweeping wings, and suspending gravity beams, the celestial reptile destroys the facility that housed a scientist vowing to stop the Dark Prism. Little time passes, before finally Zone Fighter is able to fight again. Throwing his courage in the fray, he saw to end the destruction caused by King Ghidorah forever. Zone Fighter attacked King Ghidorah, but once again the space beast triumphed, and the hero is forced to lead the demon away. Taking off, Zone Fighter heads to Venus, ironically the location where the first King Ghidorah once massacred an entire race.

Prayers followed, as the final battle prepared to show itself on the planet's surface. Assaulting with flurries of punches and kicks, Zone Fighter fought. Though King Ghidorah was still too much. Unleashing a new technique, by combining all three of it's gravity beams, into one hellish wave of pain, the gleaming monster nearly succeeded in destroying the protector. The Garogas race was on the verge of victory, if not for the interference of the Zone Family. Together, Zone Fighter was able to topple the titan, and turn his blistering arsenal upon the demon. Though he was not able to kill the creature, he severely wounded it, and returned to Earth exhausted.

Time passed on Earth, and peace grew. Then on the brimming hour of the next century, another race of aliens attacked. Calling themselves the Kilaakian, the race quickly took control of all the Earth's monsters. Sending them out in waves, Earth's defenses were weakened. Only through the will of the human spirit, did mankind prevail and regain control of the monsters. However, the Kilaakian were a noble and proud race, and threw in their last triumph card: King Ghidorah. The alien race had located the original three-headed monster that had attacked Earth in the 1960's. Unleashing this more powerful King Ghidorah, the demon struck against the monster legion, fighting back viciously. The golden dragon knocked back the forces of Earth for only a bit, though. In the end, even the cosmic strength of the celestial beast was not enough, and the first King Ghidorah was killed. Cast into the open maw of Earth's land, never to be seen again.

Powers / Weapons
Flight at Mach 3

Flight at Mach 3

Inside an atmosphere, the multi-headed creature could fly at a speed of mach 3.

The space demon was fond of staying airborne as it flailed its heads around, releasing a flurry of gravity beams all around it.

Space Travel at Mach 400

Space Travel at Mach 400

King Ghidorah could travel through space at an incredible speed of up to mach 400.

Interestingly, the beast does not flap its wings when traveling through space, instead propelling its body along in some other manner.

Gravity Beams

Gravity Beams

The three-headed monster could fire gravity beams from its three heads.

The beams boasted tremendous kinetic force, able to easily toss around the 10,000 ton Mothra Larva on impact.

Hurricane Winds from Wings

Hurricane Winds from Wings

King Ghidorah could release powerful, hurricane level winds by flapping its wings.

It used this feat to push back an advancing Godzilla, allowing Gigan to assault him with aerial strikes as the King of the Monsters had trouble keeping his footing.

Meteor Transformation

Meteor Transformation

The creature was able to incase itself in a meteor that had magnetic properties. This was done when the creature first came to Earth, and crash landed in this form. To change back, the three-headed monster becomes engulfed in flames as its body takes shape.

Later, the second King Ghidorah appeared in this form next to Gigan, transforming into its normal form in space before continuing to Earth.

Background and Trivia
  • The space demon was portrayed by suit actor Shoichi Hirose in his first two appearances. In Destroy All Monsters (1968) suit actor Susumu Utsumi played the part, while his appearance in Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) was done by Kanta Ina.
  • King Ghidorah was designed by Akira Watanabe. In terms of modeling the beast, the head was done by Teizo Toshimitsu while the body was a team effort by brothers Yasuei Yagi and Kanju Yagi.
  • King Ghidorah [Showa Series]During the Showa series, there were two King Ghidorahs. The first appeared in its debut film and in the following 1960's movies, along with stock footage appearances in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) and Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984). The second King Ghidorah first appeared in Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and was also featured in Zone Fighter (1973). This is noted in the 2016 book Definitive Edition: The Perfect Godzilla Giant Monster Super Encyclopedia (ISBN: 9784063048476).
  • The Godzilla Dictionary: New Edition (ISBN: 4773087250), which also notes the two King Ghidorahs, mentions that although the physique and weapons aren't changed between them, the 2nd generation King Ghidorah is said to be inferior to the 1st generation in both agility and fighting power.
  • In the 2000 publication The Giant Picture Encyclopedia of Godzilla: Toho Special Effects Movie World (ISBN: 4873765587), King Ghidorah's powers and weapons are listed as "Gravity Beams" (引力光線 - Inryoku Kosen), "Shock Waves" (衝撃波 - Shogekiha) and "Bite" (噛み付く - Kamitsuku).
  • King Ghidorah's speed that it could travel in space, which is mach 400, is cited in the Godzilla Dictionary: New Edition (ISBN: 4773087250).
  • The Godzilla Dictionary: New Edition (ISBN: 4773087250) notes that the space monster wiped out the civilization on Venus 5,000 years ago.
  • New Godzilla Walker - The New Legend of the King of the Monsters (ISBN: 9784048956321) lists a history of weaponry, which gives a date for several movies in terms of when they take place. This states Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) as taking place in 1973.