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Characters / Godzilla The Ghidorahs

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The one who is many in his many incarnations – with one head apiece.note  (art by pyrasterran)

"Bow down and worship the Golden Demise."

A character page for Godzilla's three-headed Arch-Enemy and all of its variants and subspecies. Godzilla's most persistent foe, King Ghidorah has appeared in every continuity, and his rivalry with Godzilla has a deeply personal edge to it. Generally portrayed as an absolute bastard, his origin varies depending on the continuity.

To return to the main character index, go here. For the Legendary King Ghidorah from the MonsterVerse, go here.

Due to Wiki Policy, this page contains numerous unmarked spoilers for each Ghidorah involved. You Have Been Warned.

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    General Tropes Shared Across Media 
  • Arch-Enemy: Simply put, where ever there is a Godzilla, there will also be a King Ghidorah, and they will fight.
  • Draconic Abomination: The common trait he has for every version is that he's a giant three-headed space dragon that wields electricity.
  • Eldritch Abomination: A borderline case which inches closer or further away depending on the version of Ghidorah. However he is always depicted as extraterrestrial and even extra-dimensional, extremely ancient, able to survive and travel across great distances of space, is practically immortal with a regenerative healing ability that makes him virtually unkillable, can usually manipulate lightning or gravity (sometimes both), can create storms and atmospheric disturbances (at times by sheer accident) and, except for one iteration of Ghidorah, wants to wipe out all intelligent life on earth (possibly all life). If you were describing this to someone who doesn't know Ghidorah or didn't mention that he was a giant space dragon, they would think you were talking about one of the Old Ones from the Cthulhu Mythos.


    Showa King Ghidorah

First appearance: Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster , 1964
AKA: Ghidrah, Ghidora, King of Terror, Monster Zero, Space Super Monster, Emperor of the Cosmos, Venus Hellfire, Space Super Terror-Beast, Supreme Ruler of the Cosmos
Portrayed by: Haruya Sakamoto (Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster); Shoichi Hirose (Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster - Invasion of Astro-Monster); Susumu Utsumi (Destroy All Monsters); Kanta Ina (Godzilla vs. Gigan); Isao Zushi (Zone Fighter)

In the Showa continuity, King Ghidorah is a rapacious space-faring alien dragon who wanders the galaxy destroying worlds for his own amusement. In the ancient past, Ghidorah annihilated Venus' advanced civilization and reduced the planet to an inhospitable wasteland. Arriving on Earth in a meteor, he is opposed by Mothra; who is eventually joined by Godzilla and Rodan. Repelled by the combined onslaught of the three monsters, Ghidorah retreats into space.

In subsequent appearances, he is mind-controlled and used as a weapon by various alien races, who hope to use him to help subjugate the Earth.

  • Adaptational Backstory Change: The planet that King Ghidorah devastated in the distant past was Venus in the original Japanese, but the English dub changed it to Mars.
  • Alien Invasion: In Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster, King Ghidorah attacks Earth of his own initiative; but in subsequent films he's mind-controlled by other invading aliens.
  • Animalistic Abomination: A Cosmic Horror in the form of an alien dragon.
  • Arch-Enemy: The top contender for the title; he's opposed Godzilla across eight movies and four continuities. Both he and Godzilla seem to take it personally too.
  • Armless Biped: In fighting games, he uses his left and right heads as arms to lift an opponent up.
  • Asshole Victim: From the destruction he's caused to the earth as well as the pain he's given to the other kaiju with no remorse can you actually sympathize with him as he's getting pummeled to death in Destroy All Monsters?
  • Ax-Crazy: Whether he's a Psycho for Hire or not, it's guaranteed he'll be laughing throughout all of his massacres.
  • Big Bad: King Ghidorah not only became Godzilla's arch-nemesis in the original series, but he even fought Zone Fighter on his own show twice and ended the fight in a draw.
  • Blow You Away: Ghidorah can create hurricane-force winds by just flapping his wings.
  • Breakout Villain: Ghidorah is one of the definitive Godzilla villain, having had an incarnation in almost every continuity.
  • Breath Weapon: Lightning-bolt like beams of energy described as gravity beams.
  • Confusion Fu: In the earlier films, monsters would sometimes have a hard time even getting close to King Ghidorah because he'd keep moving his heads around in such wild ways. It was hard to predict which volley of gravity beams would hit or miss, if he would rake them across an enemy monster's body, or if he would readjust his aim for another direct shot; because there is no glowing warning or recharge time, he spammed these rays like no tomorrow. He wasn't a dangerous planet-killing monster because of strength, but because of how wild he was—chaos incarnate!
  • Dirty Coward: Showa Ghidorah is infamous for this, every time he found himself in the receiving end of a beatdown he fled, his other incarnations tend to be braver.
  • The Dragon: Plays this role to various aliens besides literally being a dragon himself.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: The fact that aliens have mind controlled him is typically what makes them a threat. Usually when his mind-control is broken, he continues fighting without a care in the world that he was being controlled or simply leaves unless he is defeated. No matter the outcome, the aliens are always helpless against Godzilla's might without Ghidorah or another giant monster.
  • Draconic Abomination: Showa Ghidorah is an ancient evil that travels through space (presumably faster than light or being able to create wormhole given the fact that inhabited worlds are so far apart and he has a reputation as a destroyer of civilizations) just to stomp out all life on inhabitable planets For the Evulz, manipulates energy and electricity, regenerates, causes natural disasters from the atmospheric disturbances caused by his presence, and is virtually unkillable.
  • Dragons are Demonic: He is a gigantic evil alien dragon who annihilates civilizations for fun and was the cause of the extinction of life on Venus or Mars.
  • Dynamic Entry: When Showa Ghidorah re-awakens from a meteorite it's bad ass. King Ghidorah is never without a Dynamic Entry. In every movie he's in, he somehow makes his entry epic. This also extends to his expies, as Kaiser Ghidorah's transformation from Monster X is equally awesome.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: In some of the Japanese movie posters during his debut he had a purple body with red, yellow, and blue colored wings as that was how he was originally going to be colored. But his color was changed to gold because it matched the color of Venus, the planet he destroyed.
  • Evil Is Bigger: One of the most consistently evil monsters, and one of the few to dwarf Godzilla himself — usually being 1.5 to 2 times Godzilla's height.
  • Evil Laugh: Showa Ghidorah's iconic roar is a shrill cackle — derived from instructions that his voice sound like a bell.
  • Final Boss: The Kilaaks deploy him at the end of Destroy All Monsters, after their control over Godzilla and the other monsters is broken; he proceeds to fight all ten of Earth's monsters at once. His expy, Kaiser Ghidorah, does the same thing in Final Wars. As far as video games go, King Ghidorah has been the final boss in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, and Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters.
  • Foil: Godzilla is an Earth-born, manmade mutant who destroys out of pain and anger rather than malice, and who can usually be counted upon to come through for humanity in the end. Ghidorah is an alien (whether to the planet or the time period) who destroys life for kicks, works for various other alien menaces, and poses a colossal threat to planet Earth. The contrast couldn't be much more stark.
  • For the Evulz: In Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, King Ghidorah causes massive amounts of destruction because he can, and enjoys every second of it.
  • Genki Guy: A very dark example. He seems gleefully sadistic as he destroys stuff.
  • Giant Flyer: Emphasis on the giant part. He towers over Godzilla himself.
  • Giggling Villain: His cackling roar gives the impression that he's laughing constantly, even when he's being beaten to death!
  • Hate Sink: He was never meant to be rooted by anybody especially since he's a galactic destroyer that kills for his own entertainment, his psychotic cruelty makes it clear that we want Godzilla to put him in his place.
    The Official Godzilla Compendium p. 133: Thanks to the force of its evil personality, Ghidorah never engenders audience sympathy, coming across less as a pawn than merely the logical extension of its masters' hostile intentions.

  • Hero Killer: Billed as such and usually lives up to it, forcing one team-up after another in order to take him down.
  • It's Personal: He and Godzilla certainly seem to take their rivalry this way. Made explicit in the Scott Ciencin novel, Godzilla vs. The Space Monster where Ghidorah's mockery of his victims, revelry in destruction, and general sadism have Godzilla wanting his head(s) on a platter.
  • Joker Immunity: No matter how many times he's killed, blown up, or reduced to atomic dust, King Ghidorah always finds a way to return from any sort of death, largely due to his popularity as a villain (typically ranking 2nd to Godzilla himself in popularity polls).
  • Large and in Charge: He's often the Big Bad, at least the Dragon-in-Chief, and is one of the largest—if not the largest—of Toho's monsters, towering a good hundred feet above Godzilla's head.
  • Light Is Not Good: Showa Ghidorah has golden scales, but is a malevolent civilization-destroying alien dragon.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Always big, always fast, typically very strong. This could also count as a pun, since his Gravity Beams take on the appearance of electric bolts, and seem to have the same effect on living organisms.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: His meteor form draws dozens of pick axes and other various metallic objects that latch onto it as keeps growing as time goes on.
    • In Zone Fighter he levitates multiple cars in mid-air.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: He has two long tails, which are tipped by spiked clubs.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Has been given the nickname "the King of Terror" for good reason.
  • No-Sell: He's capable of effortlessly shrugging off Godzilla's Atomic Breath.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: In the Showa continuity, he apparently lives simply to wipe out all life that he encounters.
  • Orochi: Is loosely based off of the Yamata-no-Orochi, and Ghidorah (or "Ghidora" in Japanese) is a slightly altered version of the Japanese word "hidora", which is "hydra", possibly since it rolls off the tongue so well.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: King Ghidorah is a civilization-destroying three-headed alien.
  • Planet Eater: Showa Ghidorah was feared for wiping out entire planets.
  • Psycho for Hire:
    • When in the employ of various aliens, as is usually the case. In the Showa continuity, he acts of his own free will in only his first appearance - Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla Vs. Gigan and the TV series Zone Fighter all have him controlled by a different alien race, while in the Heisei series, he's controlled by the Futurians.
    • The "Psycho" part, on the other hand, comes from the fact that he really seems to get a kick out of his work, letting out one Evil Laugh after another. Made explicit in the novel Godzilla vs The Space Monster, where Ghidorah's constant mockery of his victims is one of the many, many things that makes Godzilla want to kick his ass. The only real difference between Ghidorah under mind control and Ghidorah not under mind control is his creators get to pick which planet he's trying to destroy.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": He never stops cackling, usually intensifying it as he reduces major metropolitan centres to rubble.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Arrives concealed in a meteor in Three-Headed Monster.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Showa Godzilla. He is what Godzilla would have become if he never change his ways and fully embraces his destructive nature
  • Shock and Awe: All versions spit lightning, or gravity bolts.
  • Signature Roar: Showa Ghidorah had an iconic high-pitched cackle, though this was discarded in favor of recycling and speeding up Rodan's roar for subsequent iterations.
  • Vocal Dissonance: An ominous 3 headed alien draconic planet destroyer who's struck fear across the galaxy, who dwarfs Godzilla as well the other kaiju in overall size, and is considered one of his most challenging enemies. You'd think he'll sound as menacing as he looks right? Instead he has high-pitched vocals that sounds almost completely dolphin-like with an ounce of unsettling laughter but perhaps that was the intention in constrast to his appearance.

    Heisei Ghidorahs 


First appearance: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, 1991

These small creatures are genetically-engineered pets of the Futurians. After relocating the injured Godzillasaurus from Lagos Island to the Bering Sea in 1945, Emmy Kano left three Dorats in its place on the island. There the creatures stayed until 1954, when the nuclear bomb test that originally mutated Godzilla instead caused the Dorats to fuse together and mutate into the Heisei incarnation of King Ghidorah.

  • All Animals Are Dogs: They sound like whimpering puppies.
  • All There in the Manual: According to the Japanese novelization of the film, the Dorats were genetically engineered from DNA recovered from the preserved corpse of another King Ghidorah found on Venus.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from three cute, harmless pets to a giant, three-headed monster that could hold its ground against Godzilla.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: They look like some strange hybrid between a cat, a bat, and a dragon with green hair on their heads. The fact that they fuse and mutate into King Ghidorah is even weirder.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The Dorats went from being a trio of adorable-looking monsters to being fused into one of the biggest threats to the planet.

King Ghidorah / Mecha-King Ghidorah

First appearance: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, 1991
AKA: Mecha-Ghidrah

In the Heisei continuity, King Ghidorah is born after the three Dorats left on Lagos Island are fused into a single three-headed dragon. Initially under the control of the Futurians, King Ghidorah is able to fight evenly against and even overwhelm the upgraded Godzilla, but after their control over him is broken Ghidorah loses his edge and is killed - having his middle head blown off and his wings torched. In the future, Emi recovers King Ghidorah's corpse and rebuilds it as a cyborg equipped with an internal command center. The revivified Mecha-King Gidorah is then sent back to the present to try and stop the rampage of Godzilla, incapacitating him and dragging him to the bottom of the ocean before being destroyed.

Though Mecha-King Ghidorah has never appeared in any subsequent films, he has appeared in a number of videogames.

  • Adaptational Villainy: Mecha-King Ghidorah in Marc Cerasini's novel Godzilla Vs. the Robot Monsters and the comic Rulers of Earth.
  • Anti-Hero: Type V in the finale of Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, where Mecha King Ghidorah is a villain being controlled by the heroes to stop a rampaging Godzilla.
  • Anti-Villain: Yes really. Unlike the Showa King Ghidorah, this version is less outright malicious and more a victim of circumstance. The three Dorats were innocent pets that never harmed anyone, while the giant hydra only does as its masters order it to. The only thing we see it attack is Godzilla, and that's after he's been furiously trying to kill it even after the mind control was broken.
  • Back from the Dead: Heisei Ghidorah was killed, but got resurrected as a cyborg in the distant future.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mecha-Ghidorah returns from the future just in time to stop Godzilla from destroying the rest of Tokyo.
  • Breath Weapon: Two of the lightning-bolt gravity beams of his original incarnation, plus a laser from his new cybernetic head. Originally, each head was going to shoot a different colored bolt, and they were to be able to combine each into a massive laser attack, but this was cut for budget reasons.
  • Chest Blaster: Not quite, but Mecha-King Ghidorah can deploy an enormous clamp and electrical cables from his chest armor.
  • Choke Holds: Wrapped his middle head around Godzilla's neck as a brutal method to finish him off almost to the point of Godzilla foaming at the mouth although it was a bad idea to begin with since it forced Godzilla to Nuclear Pulse him dozens of feet away.
  • Cyborg: Mecha-King Ghidorah, who has a mechanical head and wings, plating over his chest and legs, and a vast array of built-in weapons. How much of him is mechanical tends to vary depending on the media and the continuity.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: In Godzilla vs King Ghidorah where Godzilla beats him and takes over as Big Bad. King Ghidorah doesn't take this lying down, returns as Mecha King Ghidorah and fights Godzilla to a Mutual Kill. King Ghidorah and Mecha-Ghidorah also serve as literal Disc One Final Bosses in several of the Godzilla video games.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: As per usual, this Ghidorah was the only reason the Futurians were a threat.
  • Energy Absorption: In the Atari fighting games, Mecha-King Ghidorah tends to be weak to most of the different types of energy/breath weapons. To counter this, if he is struck by them while he has his defense shield up the power will be absorbed and either completely nullified or heal him.
  • Final Boss: In Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, Mecha-Ghidorah serves as the final opponent in Mechagodzilla's Adventure Mode. He's also been confirmed to be the final villain in Godzilla: The Half-Century War alongside Gigan.
  • Fossil Revival: In an early draft of the script, Heisei Ghidorah was to be a clone created from the corpse of an older extraterrestrial Ghidorah. This extraterrestrial Ghidorah was intended to be revealed to be alive and fight Godzilla, but after it was scrapped the idea was recycled into Grand-King Ghidorah from the Mothra trilogy.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Mecha-Ghidorah can fire a laser from his central, mechanical head.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Heisei King Ghidorah starts out as three tiny bat-like creatures. One nuclear explosion later and you've got a monster who's ready to take out most of the planet. Played With in that the novel reveals the Dorats were genetically engineered from an alien King Ghidorah found dead on Venus.
  • Humongous Mecha: In a weird way, Mecha King Ghidorah, who had a cockpit built into his chest from which Emi could operate his weapons systems and direct his actions.
  • It's Personal: King Ghidorah did not take well to Godzilla killing him in Marc Cerasini's novel Godzilla 2000 and was keen to act on his displeasure in a later book by the same author, Godzilla vs. the Robot Monsters, which featured a three on one battle as Mecha-Ghidorah battles Godzilla, Moguera, and Mechagodzilla. But it's Godzilla and Mecha-Ghidorah who have the most interaction as the two of them hate each other with a passion and act on it in brutal fashion.
  • Meaningful Name: His English name hints at both his cyborg nature and the fact he is more a piloted mecha than a living Kaiju.
  • More Than Mind Control: Emiko may be piloting Mecha King Ghidorah but it's pretty clear he wants to be there.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: He's a genetically engineered radioactive dragon cyborg zombie Humongous Mecha.
  • Nuclear Nasty: King Ghidorah was born when three Dorats were exposed to the radiation of an American hydrogen bomb test, merging them together.
  • Robeast: Mecha-Ghidorah's mechanical parts seem every bit as alive and enraged as his living ones.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He may be stopping Godzilla's rampage by fighting him, but it doesn't mean he's redeemed or had a change of heart - he is merely allowing Emiko to pilot his middle (robotic) head so he gets a proper rematch against Big G.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah succeeds in stopping a superpowered Godzilla where King Ghidorah could not.
  • Walking Armoury: Mecha-King Ghidorah, who boasts lasers, electric cables, and a massive clamp in addition to King Ghidorah's lightning spitting heads and its own immense size. Some of the video games add even more weaponry into the mix.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Heisei King Ghidorah was rebuilt into Mecha-King Ghidorah; this plotline also appears in Marc Cerasini's novels and several of the video games.
  • Worf Effect: Occurs in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah to show how tough Godzilla is, albeit a Godzilla who got pumped up into an even more powerful monster by a nuclear sub. He then promptly returns as Mecha-King Ghidorah and fights Godzilla to a Mutual Kill.

Desghidorah / Death Ghidorah

First appearance: Rebirth of Mothra, 1996

Returning to the roots of King Ghidorah, Desighidorah is a demonic space beast that ravages living worlds and leaves them as apocalyptic wastelands. Whereas the Cretaceous King Ghidorah had arrived on Earth 130 million years ago, his relative Desghidorah destroyed the population of Mars before moving on to Earth 65 million years ago, where he engaged the ancient civilization (good grief, how many of these did Earth have?!) of Elias and their guardians, the Mothras. Desighidorah was defeated and sealed away, but not before destroying the Elias, most of the Mothras, and the dinosaurs (and in eliminating the latter, finishing the job the first Ghidorah had started). In the present, he was released by one of the three surviving Elias, Belvera, and began his destruction anew, defeating Mothra and her son. The larval Mothra matured to Leo Mothra and battled Desighidorah again, defeating him and sealing him away once again.

  • Aliens Are Bastards: Much like his inspiration.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Desighidorah's wings had atrophied and become useless during his imprisonment, as well as his powers diminishing. After draining enough life energy his wings were restored and his power returned to full. It didn't help.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: While he works for Belvera, he's the main reason she's even a threat. As soon as he's sealed away, she runs away screaming.
  • Expy: Of King Ghidorah. In-universe, they're related; Death Ghidorah apparently having modeled his body off of the King Ghidorah after they fought once.
  • For the Evulz: His main reason for making planets barren and lifeless.
  • Giant Flyer: He's big, and he's got wings (though they were inaccessible for his fight with the adult Mothra and her son and only came back for the fight with the adult Leo).
  • Ground Pound: Does this to split open a fissure and create a giant lava pit.
  • Life Energy: Desighidorah feeds on the life energy of plants, draining worlds dry of all plant energy and leaving them to die.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: He looks too detailed (not to mention demonic) for a Toho-based monster. Also he's a rare quadruped.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Unlike King Ghidorah, Desighidorah is a quadruped, but still has wings. His abilities are also fire-based, and his color is a dark charcoal gray/black with red wings.
  • Psycho Electro: He does have a defensive measure for the giant blind spot on his back; he electrifies himself and sends the foe flying.
  • Planet Eater: In the same sense as the original Ghidorah, he scours planets clean of life.
  • Playing with Fire: Spits fireballs from his mouths, has a fiery bite, and can open rifts in the ground to scorch foes with lava.
  • Sadist: Takes his time torturing Mothra Leo's larva form to death, rather than simply blasting him and being done.
  • Stock Sound Effects: His roars are altered off of stock Elephant sounds performed by Frank Welker.

Cretaceous King Ghidorah / Modern Type King Ghidorah

First appearance: Rebirth of Mothra III, 1998
AKA: Grand King Ghidorah, Super Dragon King Ghidorah

In the Rebirth of Mothra series, King Ghidorah is depicted as a space-traveling living disaster that takes cruel delight in the destruction of life, arriving on Earth in the ancient past as Cretaceous King Ghidorah, and causing the K/Pg extinction event. Ultimately, this King Ghidorah is seemingly destroyed by Mothra Leo when he drops the alien dragon into an active volcano. However, a severed tail burrows away and regenerates into a the Modern-Type King Ghidorah — also known as Grand-King Ghidorah, who is even more powerful and is only vanquished when Mothra Leo becomes Armor Mothra.

  • Ancient Evil: He arrived on Earth 130 million years ago, intending to wipe out all life on the planet.
  • Beam Spam: As Modern Type King Ghidorah, it could fire up to six Antigravity Beams from its wings.
  • Breath Weapon: In its Cretaceous form it can spit fireballs from its mouth, but its Modern Type form has the traditional Gravity Beams.
  • Character Rerailment: After years of being an attack dog for every new alien race, Ghidorah is once again an independent villain, acting entirely on his own.
  • Child Eater: Grand King Ghidorah feeds on the souls of children. For the hell of it.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Even in his weaker Cretaceous form he effortlessly destroys Rainbow Mothra in a fight and then tortures him while almost killing him, whereas previous antagonists monsters never went beyond the curbstomp, further highlighting his power and abilities.
  • Defiant to the End: In Rebirth of Mothra 3 he refuses to flee from Mothra Leo after his wing is cut off, instead merely glaring at him in pure anger before resuming his fight.
  • The Dreaded: The sheer mention of his arrival is enough to scare the Elias, the fact that Belvera helps the heroes due to fearing Ghidorah (and the fact that Belvera previously attempted to control another Ghidorah who wiped all life from Mars and Dagahra, who destroyed an acient civilization much more advanced than humanity on its own) should speak for itself.
  • Eye Beams: It could fire hypnosis beams from its eyes, using them to bend other beings to its will.
  • Final Boss: In Rebirth of Mothra 3 he plays this role, as Mothra Leo's final and most powerful adversary and his last obstacle in ensuring the safety of the Earth.
  • For the Evulz: King Ghidorah is shown to be perfectly capable of mass kidnapping his prey without destruction, but does it anyway just to occupy himself while waiting for his meal to be ready.
  • From a Single Cell: After Armored Mothra destroyed his body one of his tales survived and regrew into a new King Ghidorah.
  • It's Personal: When Armor Mothra humilliates him in a fight he glares at him and refuses to flee out of anger proving that wounding his ego by making him vulnerable is a way to make things personal for him.
  • No-Sell: Grand King Ghidorah shrugs off everything Mothra Leo throws at him, until Armored Mothra comes into the picture and Ghidorah finds himself on the receiving end of this trope.
  • Mind Manipulation: A rather weaker variation.
  • Not Quite Dead: Mothra Leo tries to prevent Grand King Ghidorah from coming into existence by travelling 130 million years into the past to vanquish it when it was younger and weaker. However, one of Ghidorah's tails was severed and escaped, eventually being revealed to have regenerated a new body.
  • Psycho Electro: It's Ghidorah. Of course he has this power.
  • Red Baron: The King of Terror, a title he earned for the worst possible reasons.
  • Soul Eating: Grand-King Ghidorah enjoys feeding on the souls and life-force of its victims, and has a taste for children.

    GMK King Ghidorah 

Guardian Ghidorah

First Appearance: Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monster All Out Attack, 2001
AKA: God of the Sky

Vastly different from any other of Ghidorah's characterizations, in the Millennium era King Ghidorah is depicted as a guardian monster, as well as an immature Yamato no Orochi. One of the three Guardian Monsters, King Ghidorah is only concerned for the balance of nature and cares not for humanity (at first), and is awoken to fend off the revived Godzilla and put the souls of those lost in the second World War to rest. He joins Mothra at Yokohama in the night to confront Godzilla, but is ultimately overwhelmed and left vulnerable for Godzilla to deliver a fatal blow; however, Mothra sacrifices herself to save her comrade, and the energy of Mothra flows into the heavily-wounded King Ghidorah, reviving the great serpent and allowing him to carry on the fight with Godzilla; in which King Ghidorah opens a wound on Godzilla's neck. After a long battle, King Ghidorah is destroyed by Godzilla, but the wound he created is what ultimately causes Godzilla to destroy himself.

  • Adaptational Heroism: Unlike the other Ghidorahs, this one is actually a heroic kaiju.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Most versions require multiple monsters to put down; this can barely get much of an offense on Godzilla.
  • Breath Weapon: He can spit bolts of lightning.
  • Deflector Shields: Temporarily gains one after his Heroic Second Wind, which blocks Godzilla's nuclear breath. He then throws it at Godzilla, forcing the monster into the ocean.
  • Dragons Are Divine: In contrast to his other incarnations, GMK Ghidorah is a benevolent entity that protects Japan from threats.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: Gains one after absorbing Mothra's spirit. This is also when the characters start calling him King Ghidorah, rather than just Ghidorah.
  • Expy: In a sense of a GMK incarnation of Varan. As awesome as Guardian Ghidorah turned out, the designer for Ghidorah put Varan's facial features into GMK Ghidorah.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: A defender of nature specifically. It's pointed out that the Guardian Monsters don't care for humans, but for the 'trees and rocks and forests and things.'
  • Giant Flyer: He doesn't start out as one, but becomes this after he gets powered up by Mothra.
  • Glass Cannon: Managed to actually hurt Godzilla with his electrical bites and was the only monster in the movie to even wound him with his Energy Ball however Godzilla's beam can easily turn the tables and when he goes down he literally goes down hard.
  • Good Counterpart: The only truly heroic incarnation of a Ghidorah monster.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Gets defeated by Godzilla easily at first, but when Mothra sacrifices herself to save him, he absorbs her spirit and rises again to fight Godzilla.
  • The Hero: GMK Ghidorah was The Hero and The Big Guy of the Guardian Monster Trio.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: How he dies. He lets loose his electrical beams at Godzilla but instead of harming him he actually absorbs it's power as his dorsal fins become electrified and glowing gold. When Ghidorah fires all of his beams at once unaware that Godzilla is being empowered by them, the nuclear beast blasts his ray (with golden spirals wrapped around it) at the orochi point-blank putting an end to the last guardian monster.
  • Light Is Good: Begins as golden scaled, before gaining a heroic golden glow, as seen in the picture.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Gets blown to smithereens by Godzilla's empowered Atomic Ray. Chunks of his flesh are seen falling into the ocean.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: He has two tails.
  • Orochi: He is an immature Yamata no Orochi, and only has three heads and two tails.
  • Redemption Demotion: Nowhere near as imposing or as big a threat to Godzilla as his villainous showings were.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: He first appears hibernating inside crystalline rock underground. He is supposedly growing in his torpor, and is growing into a Yamato no Orochi.
  • Shock and Awe: One of his only similarities to other Ghidorahs, bar his appearance. He spits lightning after his Eleventh Hour Super Power. Before that, he could electrocute Godzilla through his bite.
  • Super Mode: A Golden Super Mode to be exact after being revived by Mothra's essence it gave him the power of flight and an energy reflecting shield to send Godzilla's Atomic Breath right at him.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Didn't have time to mature fully before being revived, resulting in him only having three heads instead of the eight he's supposed to have and being much weaker. It's noted that if he'd been at his full power, he'd probably have fared a lot better. He also has the upperhand on Godzilla after his upgrade from Mothra's spirit, and only loses it when the humans accidentally hit him when aiming for Godzilla.

    Monster X / Keizer Ghidorah 

Monster X / Keizer Ghidorah

First appearance: Godzilla: Final Wars, 2004
AKA: Monster X II

The last and most powerful monster Godzilla fought in Final Wars, or to put it more bluntly, the only monster in the film that could actually prove a match for him. Sent down in a meteor that destroyed Tokyo, he and Godzilla fight, Monster X initially holding the upper hand. The Xilians then send an upgraded Gigan to make sure Godzilla dies, but Gigan is killed in the battle by Mothra's Heroic Sacrifice. After a Beam-O-War between Godzilla's atomic breath and Monster X's eye beams, which ends in a draw, Monster X transforms into the quadrupedal dragon Keizer Ghidorah and nearly kills Godzilla. Godzilla is saved however, by being sent power from the mutant soldiers, which allows him to overwhelm and kill Keizer Ghidorah.

  • All There in the Manual: Neither Monster X or Keizer Ghidorah ever have their names spoken in the movie. And Toho's official documents refer to Ghidorah as "Monster X-II". Likely to avoid spoilers with their trademark logos. Their names are seen in the end credits though with the actors who played them.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: A sadistic bastard, much like the original Ghidorah.
  • Beam-O-War: Fights two with Godzilla, the first as Monster X ends in a draw, the next, after turning into Kaiser Ghidorah, Godzilla loses.
  • Canon Character All Along: The previously unseen Monster X turns out to be a form of Ghidorah.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Turning into Keizer Ghidorah has him dishing this out initially against Godzilla, and then on the receiving end of it after Godzilla gets powered-up.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Keeps fighting long after the Xillians are defeated (in fact he doesn't turn into Kaiser Ghidorah until they have been) and serves as the True Final Boss of the film. It happens again in the IDW comics after Godzilla kills SpaceGodzilla.
  • Dragon Their Feet: He only transforms into Keizer Ghidorah after all the other Xiliens have been killed/defeated.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Being blasted into the stratosphere by Godzilla's Red Spiral Beam does that to you.
  • Dynamic Entry: Keizer Ghidorah's entrance is pretty epic. He even gets lightning!
    • Ditto for Monster X, with him slowly floating down behind Godzilla like something out of Dragon Ball Z.
    • Plus points on that last one because he vaguely resembles Cooler's final form.
  • Evil Laugh: Gives a pretty creepy one when he begins transforming.
  • Expy: Of King Ghidorah, to the point where a lot of people thought he was King Ghidorah. But hey—you gotta end the series with a grudge match.
    • Also of Desghidorah, if only in appearance. Both are quadrupedal, as opposed to the original Ghido's bipedal stance.
    • Some fans have also commented that his base form resembles a Xenomorph.
  • Final Boss: Of Final Wars, and consequently of the series as a whole for now.
  • Giant Flyer: In IDW's Godzilla comic when he becomes Keizer Ghidorah.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Godzilla destroys the rogue planet Gorath with his breath. When the smoke clears, down floats Monster X. He was inside Gorath, but until then there was no hint of him at any point.
  • Gravity Master: Keizer Ghidorah's gravity beams finally act like such. He lifts Godzilla and throws him around using his beams, and drags him across the ground through buildings and debris.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Godzilla lets go of his grasp Keizer Ghidorah blast him at point-blank in retaliation Godzilla does so in kind by blowing off his middle head, the left head tried to fight back but gets grabbed by Godzilla and forcibly fires his Gravity Beam at the right head decapitating him.
  • Large and in Charge: Monster X is of a size with Godzilla; Kaiser Ghidorah is even larger.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Monster X is extremely fast and can fight Godzilla hand to hand.
  • Made of Iron: The only monster to survive Godzilla's breath weapon in the film, which not only doesn't kill him, he nearly No Sells it.
  • Near-Villain Victory: If it weren't for Ozaki's Energy Donation of his Keizer power to re-energize Godzilla at full power he would've sapped him dry and the earth as well as the rest of humanity would be wiped out.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Monster X has one of the darkest and gothic designs that a Godzilla movie monster could have.
  • Off with His Head!: Loses two of them towards the end of the battle.
  • One-Winged Angel: From humanoid Monster X to quadruped three-headed Keizer Ghidorah.
  • This Ghidorah Is Different: Like Desighidorah, Keizer Ghidorah is a quadruped, but has King Ghidorah's heads, wings and golden color.
  • Psycho Electro: Kaizer Ghidorah can spit bolts of lightning that can effect the gravity of things they hit.
  • Psycho for Hire: If his behavior in the battle is anything to go by. Like Gigan and King Ghidorah, Kaiser Ghidorah tries to kill Godzilla as slowly and painfully as possible, draining the life from the big lizard instead of simply blasting him with lightning. Not to mention the fact he continues his rampage AFTER his boss gets taken out with the same sadism as before, if not more.
  • Shock and Awe: Monster X fires electrical beams from his eyes and the "eyes" on his "shoulder pads". Once he becomes a Ghidorah, he reverts to form and fires lightning from his mouth.
  • Shout-Out: To both Bagan and DesGhidorah. Likewise, his entrance of arriving from inside a meteor is similar to how the original King Ghidorah first appeared way back in 1964.
  • Skull for a Head: His facial design surely gives off the impression as such and looks all the more intimidating because of it. His design in his first form as a whole has a skeletal motif to him.
  • Vampiric Draining: During the climax of the film he bites Godzilla's arms, and neck, and proceeds to try to drain the life-force from him.
  • Villain Team-Up: In the IDW comics alongside SpaceGodzilla, Gigan and Hedorah.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Godzilla easily stomps everything in the film with barely a scratch on him until this guy shows up, and is the only monster to not only still be standing hit from his Breath Weapon, but he flat out shrugs if off.

    Anime King Ghidorah/"Otaru Ghidorah"
Ghidorah as he appears in the films, 3 golden heads projecting from another dimension.
Ghidorah's full body.

First appearance: Godzilla: The Planet Eater, 2019
AKA: The Golden Demise, Wings of Death, God of the Void

A godlike extradimensional monster that resembles a three-headed 20 kilometer-long dragon comprised of golden energy. Before the series began, Ghidorah destroyed the Exifs' homeworld and is worshipped by the survivors as a god of destruction, to whom they sacrifice planets. The Greater-Scope Villain of the anime, Ghidorah set the entire plot in motion to finally get his jaws on Earth.

  • Adaptational Badass: Godzilla Earth is the biggest and baddest incarnation of the character and King Ghidorah makes him look tame by comparison. So yes, this trope is definitely in play. Notably, this is the first Ghidorah to be a true Planet Eater and capable of destroying planets with his gravity powers. However, there's a trade-off...
  • Adaptational Wimp: While the above is true when he has a tether and isn't able to be attacked in any way, he's entirely reliant on his intangibility to be a threat to Godzilla. The moment he's tangible, Godzilla is able to knock him around by turning around and banish him in a few fairly casual hits, making him likely the physically frailest and weakest of all the Ghidorah incarnations, including GMK. This is barring the fact that the ritual to summon him went wrong because Haruo didn't accept Metphies' offer to sacrifice himself for Ghidorah thanks to Mothra's vision.
  • Alternate Self: Urobuchi and Seshita conceptualized Ghidorah as a "completely differently evolved Godzilla," essentially making it a giant three-headed Flying-Type Servum made of living energy. Also he is this to his other incarnations, to the point where Metphies refers to him as "Otaru Ghidorah" in Japan, rather than the usual "Kingu Gidora" spelling.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Metphies' dying words and the Gematron Calculation vision that Haruo has indicate that Ghidorah isn't dead, or that others of its kind exist and could be summoned in its place. The former is likely seeing as Haruo seems to still have a connection with it at the end of the film.
  • The Anti-God: To Godzilla's God, since they're both capable of destroying worlds. Taken to a new level with Ghidorah, who eats entire planets and cannot be truly killed.
  • Big Bad: Of Godzilla: Planet Eater.
  • Botanical Abomination: A downplayed example. To better act as a foil towards the more obviously plant-like Godzilla Earth, his spiky design was influenced by thorny rose stems, and he's implied to be a sort a of hyper-evolved Servum.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Ghidorah is everything Mechagodzilla was not as an antagonist. Mechagodzilla City was a permanently grounded creation of science Gone Horribly Right, an artificial god designed to trap and kill Godzilla Earth. Otaru Ghidorah is an ancient alien eldritch monster, and spends the entire movie attacking from the heavens. Mechagodzilla City used nanometal to shield itself from Godzilla's heat ray; Ghidorah used his gravity manipulation to simply curve it in another direction. Ghidorah is immune to all the weapons Godzilla used to destroy the City.
  • Civilization Destroyer: It did to the Exifs' homeworld what Godzilla did to Earth, and is the reason they are wandering missionaries. What makes this more sinister is that the Exif actively seek out civilized worlds to sacrifice to Ghidorah, converting the inhabitants to their religion and tricking them into summoning it. However, it turns out that the Exif willingly gave themselves to Ghidorah, and without a host, Ghidorah would not be able to enter our dimension.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Tears into the concept of King Ghidorah the same way Shin Godzilla did Godzilla. This Ghidorah is an Energy Being capable of devouring worlds that is even more powerful than Godzilla Earth. Since he's not from this dimension, however, he's also helpless here without his followers directing him into battle. His Energy Being nature means he can direct his powers in new ways, but he's also incredibly fragile without a tether. He has the sadism of the other Ghidorah incarnations, and again it's deconstructed. Taking his time and drawing out Godzilla's death is what allows Godzilla Earth to last long enough to retaliate.
  • The Dreaded: While Godzilla is capable of wiping out entire civilizations on Earth, King Ghidorah bears the epithet of "Planet Eater" and is worshiped as a deity by the Exifs due to it having destroyed their homeworld, to the extent that even saying its name is regarded with terror. Metphies explicitly states that Ghidorah is much worse than Godzilla.
  • Dirty Coward: Ghidorah, despite all his vast power, screams in terror after Godzilla touches one of his necks. Once Godzilla is able to fight back, the dragon frantically tries to escape.
  • Draconic Abomination: Ghidorah is a giant three-headed extradimensional dragon that is made entirely of energy and eats planets. When he manifests on Earth at first, just his shadow coming across the shadows of other people causes them to lose parts of their bodies as if they are bitten off and die as a result. He actually warps time and space around him and is invincible as a result, but since he is from another universe he can't normally sustain himself in other dimensions. He needs a vessel to summon and control him, and without it he becomes vulnerable and weak. Since the sacrifice wasn't performed properly, Ghidorah can't manifest correctly when Metphies is killed, leaving him open to Godzilla's counterattack.
  • Energy Being: Rather than a physical beast that's been portrayed in every other adaptation, this Ghidorah is a three-headed dragon composed of cosmic energy. Its body remains in its homeworld, with its heads being projected through black hole-like portals.
  • Evil Counterpart: Another one to Godzilla. Like Godzilla Earth, Ghidorah's design was inspired by plants. But while Godzilla Earth was based on trees, Ghidorah's design was patterned after roses and other plants with thorns, an influence which is visible in the numerous spikes sprouting from Ghidorah's necks and heads. According to Hiroyuki Seshita, Ghidorah was designed to appear both fearsome and divine. As in a rival god to Godzilla, a true one rather than an artifically made one like Mechagodzilla. Just like Godzilla Earth, Ghidorah is almost invincible, but rather than weathering attacks and guarding against them with a shield, Ghidorah renders himself intangible.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Utterly dwarfs the already colossal Godzilla Earth, and his necks are stated to have a length of twenty kilometers (with no given height or weight considering his... composition).
  • Eviler Than Thou: Metphies describes him as such compared to Godzilla, stating that he's so much worse that Godzilla isn't even worth fearing.
  • Extra Eyes: To emphasize his alien nature (even more so than other Ghidorahs of alien origin), he has numerous beady red eyes on each of his three heads.
  • Fermi Paradox: All but stated that Ghidorah is this, as Metphies says that civilizations will eventually grow advanced enough to birth monsters like Godzilla, and then Ghidorah arrives to harvest them.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: In contrast to the usual Sadist habits of most versions of the character, this Ghidorah is instead a flying apocalypse. Ghidorah simply is destroying everything for the sake of destroying everything, and in some ways this makes it worse than the usual sadistic tyrant King Ghidorah normally is.
  • Giant Flyer: Given King Ghidorah is normally even bigger than Godzilla, he makes the Flying-Type Servum look like insects in comparison, but downplayed because we never actually see him use his wings. He does however spend most of the movie hovering above ground in his portals.
  • Gravity Master: Ghidorah uses "Super Gravity" to destroy planets and conjure black hole-like portals.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Moreso than Godzilla Earth. It turns out that basically everything that happened since the Exif appeared on Earth was influenced by Ghidorah's orders to the Exif. Ghidorah has been communicating with the Exif via the Gematron devices, revealing that the Gematrons aren't just amazingly advanced supercomputers that tell the future, they're actually devices Ghidorah uses to communicate orders to the Exif. The immigration, the dump of info on Godzilla's weakness in the database, the return to Earth, and the events that happened on Earth were all intentionally done on Ghidorah's orders to prepare a great sacrifice for him.
  • Intangibility: Godzilla's physical attacks phase right through Ghidorah's body because since he's from another dimension, the laws of physics of our universe don't apply to him. When Metphies control over Ghidorah is broken, he becomes solid, allowing Godzilla to actually hit him and he goes down in a few hits.
  • Invincible Villain: In Ghidorah's normal state in our universe, he's literally untouchable since he's able to bend space and time around him to redirect attacks, or the attacks just go through his body with no effect because he's not made of tangible matter. Subverted when his tether is destroyed, he's no match at all for Godzilla.
  • Light Is Not Good: Shinier than ever, with a form even made of golden energy. Does make it any less destructive.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Since this King Ghidorah is from another universe, he is completely intangible to anyone in the universe he attacks and can carry out feats that break the laws of physics (but are within the laws of those of the universe he’s from), provided his ‘controller’ with the Garbetrium is alive. We don’t get to see what would happen if he had enough time to get a chance to recover from the loss of the controller (Metphies) before Godzilla defeats him, so who knows how strong he is without this benefit.
  • Mythology Gag: Ghidorah, much like Mechagodzilla City before him, is a calvacade of these.
    • Like the original Showa Ghidorah, he's a giant alien space monster summoned by the Xilien race. He is also a sadist, a planet killer, and behind all the horrible power he is also a coward. He also at one point makes the signature cackle that the Showa Ghidorah made when communicating with the Exif.
    • Like the Heisei Ghidorahs, this Ghidorah dwarfs Godzilla in both size and power, and requires some kind of direction to function. Once stripped of this direction, Ghidorah is disoriented and Godzilla is able to get the upper hand. Also, this Ghidorah is designed to be as much of a foil to Godzilla as the 90s Ghidorah was, both of them being monsters designed after plants but taken in vastly different directions. He is also thwarted by a Mothra just like in Rebirth of Mothra 3, and mind rapes people the same way that Ghidorah did.
    • Like the Milliennium King Ghidorah and Keizer Ghidorah, this Ghidorah has a vicious bite that electrifies Godzilla and slowly drains the life from him. On top of that, this Ghidorah is also the Final Boss the same way Keizer Ghidorah was.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The moniker it's given in the title of the third movie, Hoshi wo Kuu Mono, variously translates to "Planet Eater", "Eater of Stars" or, more literally, "Star-Eating Thing". The Exif consider his name this, to the point they rarely if ever speak it.
  • No-Sell: Ghidorah effortlessly deflects Godzilla's Atomic Breath and phases through his physical attacks.
  • Not Quite Dead: Implied. After Ghidorah is defeated by Godzilla Earth, Metphies tells Haruo that Ghidorah will still be watching and will return again, and Ghidorah's roar can be heard in Haruo's thoughts. Still, Haruo pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to ensure Ghidorah won't be back for a long time, if ever. It's totally possible that King Ghidorah is technically unkillable and can only be sent back to his home dimension.
  • Oh, Crap!: causes a major one for the crew of the Aratrum when he first appears and attacks it, especially after they see their own deaths 40 seconds early.
    • Gets one himself when Haruo doesn't comply and sacrifice himself to allow Ghidorah to exist on his own. Instead, he kills Metphies, trapping Ghidorah's projection here and allowing Godzilla to actually hurt him.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Ghidorah is a cosmic entity of destruction that resembles a three-headed two-tailed dragon, though only its heads are seen in full — its body remaining ensconced in its home dimension.
  • Physical God: Like Godzilla, he is worshiped by the Exif as a god of destruction. Metphies describes him as being so much worse than Godzilla that Haruo should use the fact he's not fighting Ghidorah as a motivator not to fear Godzilla.
  • Planet Eater: Ghidorah has devoured countless worlds, including the Exif homeworld Exifcalus.
  • Psycho Electro: Ghidorah retains the electric bite a few other versions of himself used in previous movies.
  • Red Baron: The Wings of Death, the Golden Demise/Death, the One Who Devours All, King/God of the Void, to name a few.
  • Sadist: Ghidorah notably does not use his gravity powers to kill Godzilla Earth quickly, instead choosing to slowly torture Godzilla to death. Taking his time like this is his undoing.
  • Speak of the Devil: The Exif believe this is the case, and as such rarely if ever speak his name out loud. When they do, it's only in whisper. This is because King Ghidorah is summoned by chanting his name.
  • The Chessmaster:The Exif reveal that Ghidorah has been pulling the strings on the operations for a long while. It commands the exif to feed it planets, and everything that happened after the escape from earth in 2048 has been directly calculated in order to prepare Earth for Ghidorah.
  • You Are Already Dead: Ghidorah is capable of causing time dilation as a result of him being immune to the laws of physics of the dimensions he is sent to invade. His first action is to use his immense gravitational pull to destroy the Aratrum, killing all onboard. Ghidorah's time dilation means that not one member of the crew is aware this has even happened until the bridge's computer announces that it couldn't detect any life signs in the area.

    Shin King Ghidorah 

  • Aliens Are Bastards: As with the Showa, Rebirth, Anime, and Legendary incarnations, he's a space monster who seeks to destroy Earth.
  • Alien Blood: When injured he bleeds blue glowing energy.
  • Big Bad: The true main antagonist of the movie, as Godzilla only appeared at all to confront and destroy him.
  • Gravity Master: Notably his Gravity Beams actually allow him broad gravity manipulation, with him throwing entire buildings at Shin during their fight.
  • Jagged Mouth: Much like Godzilla Earth, his teeth are a part of his jaws.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Shinji jumps off the buildings he was levitating with his gravity powers to stab him in the wound Shin opened in his chest.
    • Shin ends up absorbing his Gravity Beams to recharge and finish him off in a Beam-O-War.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Shinji badly injures him by driving a sword through a wound Shin opened in his chest. He survives, but is weakened enough for Godzilla to kill him.
  • Outside-Context Problem: If NERV sent out the EVAs, mistaking Godzilla for an Angel until after they'd arrived, they sure as hell weren't expecting that Godzilla was only on land to head Ghidorah off.


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