Instead of being made by aliens, MechaGodzilla is portrayed as an Earth creation reverse engineered from the robotic parts of Mecha-King Ghidorah. Rodan also returns, as does the concept of Godzilla having a son. Godzilla was originally supposed to die in this film, but that was changed. The film had a strong box office reception. While story flaws were noted, the film, and its soundtrack specificially, are well reviewed.
In order to defeat Godzilla once and for all, the UNGCC (United Nations Godzilla Countermeasure Center) analyses the Futurians' technology from Mecha-King Ghidorah in order to build MechaGodzilla. Meanwhile, scientists investigate Adona Island and discover a enormous egg. They flee with the egg when Rodan attacks, only to be mortally wounded by Godzilla.
The egg hatches into BabyGodzilla, a plant-eating Godzillasaur that's completely benign to humans. But Godzilla senses him and lays destruction as he makes a beeline toward him. MechaGodzilla is deployed and after an initial one-sided match, Godzilla bests him. The scientists manage to hide BabyGodzilla from Godzilla's senses, though, so the King of the Monsters retreats.
As MechaGodzilla is repaired and modified to combine with the rejected Garuda machine, the study of BabyGodzilla yields to a discovery that could finish Godzilla once and for all. But when Rodan revives and plans to get back his half-brother, what would our heroes do? And can MechaGodzilla kill Godzilla when an unlikely ally comes to his rescue?
This film contains examples of
- Adaptation Name Change: A strange inversion. Rodan's name was left as "Radon" (his Japanese name) for the English version.
- Adaptational Wimp: Heisei Rodan is not only smaller than Godzilla, he's also visibly damaged by the Big G's atomic breath, in contrast with Showa Rodan who was merely annoyed by Goji's attacks.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In the manga version, Mechagodzilla's control went berserk to the point it remembers its original objective to kill Godzilla (due to it came from the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah), literally tearing Godzilla apart by ripping his spines, giving him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and as a last-ditch effort to kill him (despite being partially destroyed when Godzilla gains his new beam), use its Self-Destruct Mechanism.
- Armored Coffins: Thankfully averted when the crew of Super Mechagodzilla survives Godzilla's newly acquired spiral atomic ray.
- Anti-Villain: Godzilla and Rodan. Ultimately, their actions aren't due to any malicious intent, rather they're both desperately trying to get Baby Godzilla. Godzilla because he senses a baby of his species and wants to adopt them and Rodan because in his mind Baby Godzilla is his baby brother. It just happens that cities and military are in the way.
- Beak Attack: Rodan, as your standard Ptero Soarer kaiju, has a beak and often uses it to attack, even crushing giant boulders with it.
- Beam-O-War: Godzilla and MechaGodzilla briefly engage in this in the final battle.
- Big Brother Instinct: Rodan is determined to reunite with BabyGodzilla, no matter what.
- Blood from the Mouth: Rodan, in at least two occasions.
- Breath Weapon: Godzilla has his iconic nuclear breath, with Mechagodzilla having a beam equivalent and Rodan acquiring his own uranium heat breath for his second appearance.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Kazuma Aoki. He sneaks around modifying the rejected Garuda, is a fanboy of dinosaurs, and isn't exactly cut for military life. But he knows how to build and toy around with mecha.
- Came Back Strong: Rodan sacrificing himself to revive the near dead Godzilla not only fully restores him, but grants him his Red Spiral Ray.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Following Rodan's Heroic Sacrifice, Godzilla's Breath Weapon turns from the traditional blue to red.
- Combining Mecha: Garuda attaches to Mechagodzilla's back to create Super Mechagodzilla (Seriously, that's the official name from Toho), which proceeds to paralyze Godzilla and almost kill him.
- Covers Always Lie: The jet seen in the poster art above. Presumably it's meant to be the Garuda, but it looks nothing like the version in the actual movie. This is actually an early concept for MechaGodzilla that never made it into the final film.
- Curb-Stomp Cushion: While Rodan is able to take out Garuda and one of MechaGodzilla's eyes, he is ultimately no match for MechaGodzilla's beam arsenal.
- Everyone Has Standards: Miki was fine fighting Godzilla...until her superiors decided using an innocent baby as bait to kill him was fair gain when Godzilla's threat in this film amounts to being a father desperate to get his son. While she still goes along with it, she understandably has qualms about the whole situation.
- Flying Firepower: Fire Rodan was able to fly as well as fire a uranium beam from his mouth.
- Gentle Giant: Rodan was this in the manga adaptation (not destroying the transport helicopter, sparing Dr. Gojo), and willingly sacrificing himself so the egg would hatch.
- Gratuitous English: Several that do not involve American actors that stink at acting in the film.
- Surprisingly Good English: Kazuma however speaks rather good English, and comes off as a much better actor than the American actor playing the professor, even while not speaking his native language.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Rodan gives up the last of his energy to reconstitute Godzilla's second brain, disintegrating in the process.
- Long-Range Fighter: Mechagodzilla. At a distance it has Godzilla's number and could potentially kill him, but its most effective physical attack is 'fly into Godzilla when he's not looking'. Whenever Godzilla actually gets his hands on it, he completely overwhelms it very quickly.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Mechagodzilla, although this incarnation uses them more conservatively than the previous one, with beam weapons being the preferred choice. Once Mechagodzilla is believed to have the upper hand, however, the missiles are used with less restraint.
- Mama Bear: In the manga adaptation, Gojo is this, except the egg hasn't hatched until the final battle.
- Mid-Movie Upgrade: Mechagodzilla and Garuda are both given upgrades, in the middle of the movie, so that Garuda can attach itself to Mechagodzilla's back, allowing the two machines to create Super Mechagodzilla.
- Mythology Gag: There are many. There are the two girls at the ESP Institute whose mannerisms resemble Mothra's fairies (and have the same actors), the original plan to defeat Godzilla in the Ogasawara Islands, and not to mention the score, some of which shouts back to the Showa Era.
- Papa Wolf: Godzilla's entire motivation in this film is he senses Baby Godzilla and is trying to get to him.
- Raised by Humans: BabyGodzilla by Azusa Gojo. Eventually, there's a heartbreaking farewell.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Many themes from Ifukube's Showa scores get reused here, such as Mechani-Kong's theme being modified to become Mechagodzilla's theme, and Kong and Susan from King Kong Escapes being used as baby's theme.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: BabyGodzilla's grow red when he's frightened. That doesn't make himself dangerous, but that does send a signal to the more dangerous Rodan and Godzilla.
- Thanatos Gambit: In some ways, Rodan. Being half-brothers with Baby Godzilla, Baby Godzilla knew that Rodan was dying after being mortally wounded by Mechagodzilla's weapons, and after realizing that Godzilla has been killed by the robot, calls upon Rodan to give up what's left of his life to revive Godzilla in order to destroy Mechagodzilla. Luckily, Rodan's sacrifice wasn't in vain as his energy passes into Godzilla and powers him up to destroy Mechagodzilla.