To ensure your cooperation, we have stationed monsters near your major cities.
Not even the mighty Godzilla can save your planet!"
Godzilla is a Physical Pinball Table released in the fall of 2021 by Stern Pinball. Designed by Keith Elwinnote and featuring artwork by Jeremy "Zombie Yeti" Packer, it is based on the Godzilla film series and uses footage from ten of its Showa-era films.note
The Xiliens (previously seen in Invasion of Astro-Monster) have come to Earth, intending to conquer it and seize its resources. To that end, they've mind-controlled several kaiju and placed them in major cities around the globe. The planet's only hope lies in Godzilla (who emerges around this time) and his allies: Mothra, Rodan, and Anguirus. He must gather his comrades, fend off the brainwashed monsters, and deal with the armed forces that pester him at every turn – in part because he continues to destroy buildings, topple power lines, snap bridges in half, and generally wreak havoc wherever he goes.
Like most Stern games post-2011, the game comes in three editions: Pro, Premium, and Limited. Major physical features common to all three versions includes "magna-grab" – a magnetic newton ball that can catch balls and release them near the uppermost flipper – and a model building that the game's primary ramps cut through. The latter two models upgrade the building to allow it to "collapse" into the playfield and host three balls on the top for multiball, as well as adding a rotating target bank/jump ramp combo near a magnetic Mechagodzilla figurine. In addition, every version features both English and Japanese voice acting (which can be switched at the start of a new game) and two licensed songs: Akira Ifukube's theme for the franchise and Blue Öyster Cult's "Godzilla" (from the album Spectres). Finally, the game is also the first to have Stern Insider Connected – an online platform that adds achievements, tracks scores, and helps operators manage their games & earnings – built in by default.
Not to be confused with Godzilla (Sega), which was based on the 1998 American remake and came out that same year.
This game provides examples of:
- Adaptation Dye-Job: The game's artwork depicts Godzilla as green, unlike the grayer color he is in the original films.
- Alien Invasion: The plot centers on the Xiliens invading the Earth, taking control of several monsters, and demanding the planet turn over its resources to them.
- Aliens Speaking English: Depending on what language the game is set to, the Xiliens that are invading Earth speak either English or Japanese.
- Autobots, Rock Out!:
- Downplayed. Godzilla Multiball (themed around the game's protagonist) is accompanied by a hard rock song – specifically, "Godzilla" from the Blue Öyster Cult album Spectres. However, the story casts Godzilla as an Anti-Hero, and the footage used for the mode is entirely dedicated to him destroying cities during his less sympathetic moments in the original films. Regardless, it's framed as a triumphant and epic moment for the player.
- Played straight during many of the monster battles, which are scored to instrumental hard rock.
- Big Bad: The Xiliens, who are invading Earth to plunder its resources and mind control several other monsters to do their bidding, forcing Godzilla and company to fight back.
- Bilingual Bonus: The Pro version's backglass artwork has signs reading "ピンボール" and "イエティ". Respectively, these are "pinball" and "Yeti"note written in katakana.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: King Ghidorah, Megalon, Ebirah, Titanosaurus, and Gigan are all mind-controlled by the Xiliens to force the Earth's population to give up their resources. Godzilla and his allies must fight them to stop them from taking over major world cities.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: During Godzilla Multiball, shots are colored according to their current jackpot level. Regular jackpots are blue, double jackpots are green, triple jackpots are yellow, 4x jackpots are orange, and 5x and super jackpots are red.
- Destructive Saviour: While Godzilla's the protagonist of the game and works to repel the Xilien invasion, he also wreaks havoc across various cities as he does so."One can only imagine the destruction Godzilla could unleash in another city."
- Dull Surprise: The reporter who narrates most of the game consistently uses a dry, detached tone in dialogue, even when he's describing monsters emerging to battle for the fate of the Earth or expressing astonishment during multiball modes.
- Evil Laugh: The Xiliens cap off some of their messages with a smug yet staccato laugh."That is all. Ha, ha ha."
- Flying Saucer: Just like in Invasion of Astro-Monster, the Xiliens arrive to Earth in saucer-shaped spacecraft. The only pop bumper is also decorated to resemble one of them.
- Gratuitous Japanese: Some of the more important text during gameplay is written in both English and Japanese, like the monster names when choosing a Kaiju Battle or the jackpots during Godzilla Multiball. In this case, it's meant to hearken back to the source material's country of origin.
- "Just Joking" Justification: Completing Planet X Multiball results in the defeated Xiliens attempting to claim that their hostile invasion of Earth was only a joke.
- Juxtaposed Halves Shot: The artwork at the very front of the Limited Edition model◊ features part of Godzilla and Mechagodzilla's heads, each one half of a whole. It hammers home the contrast between the two, the central theme of that model's art package.
- Match Sequence: The game plays a short sequence from Son of Godzilla where Minillanote attempts to emulate Godzilla's Atomic Breath. He can only cough up a single ring of smoke (representing a 0), which is paired with another digit to form the final match number.
- Medium Blending: Downplayed. The game's display switches between CGI animation and clips from Showa-era Godzilla films, but the two very rarely mix (an exception being the CG Xiliens broadcasting on top of a live-action exterior shot).
- Mythology Gag:
- The opening shot of the game claims it takes place on December 19th, 1965 – the date Invasion of Astro-Monster, the film where the Xiliens first appeared, was originally released in Japan.
- Mechagodzilla is protected by his Defense Neo Barrier from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (depicted as a target bank in the Premium and Limited Editions).
- Artist's notes by Zombie Yeti◊ reveal that the game's art package depicts Godzilla as a blend of his ShodaiGoji,note MosuGoji,note and MegaroGojinote suits (with some artistic liberties taken as well).
- Orange/Blue Contrast: The game's artwork leans heavily on shades of orange and blue for various reasons, generally creating a thematic contrast between certain entities.
- The playfield artwork uses eye-catching oranges and blues for various effects: the former accompanies exploding buildings, fire, and general destruction, while the latter is associated with the Xiliens and electricity (particularly when it comes to Mechagodzilla).
- The Limited Edition artwork uses it as part of a fire-water dichotomy, associating Godzilla with orange-hued fiery destruction and Mechagodzilla with the deep blue ocean.
- Painting the Medium: Starting Powerline Attack causes the game's many lights to partially power off, as though it were being affected by the sudden interruption in electricity. Likewise, starting Tesla Strike causes every light on the playfield to briefly, sequentially turn off.
- Riding into the Sunset: The Game Over sequence shows Godzilla and Anguirus walking off into the ocean as the sun sets.
- Score Multiplier:
- Acquiring Rodan as an ally doubles all scoring for the next minute - or longer if you have the right Godzilla Powerup.
- Completing Kaiju battles and various other tasks increases the multiplier of the Destruction Jackpot, and while the base value of the Destruction Jackpot resets upon changing cities, the multiplier never decreases.
- Finishing other tasks in the city (tanks, powerlines, bridges) allows those shots to build up the "carnage bonus" for changing cities. Having multiple tasks active at once can multiply that whole bonus by up to 5x.
- Second-Person Attack: Activating the Heat Ray depicts Godzilla unleashing his Breath Weapon against the camera, incinerating part of the on-screen text.
- Spelling Bonus: Spelling R-A-M-P-A-G-E starts the Monster Rampage mode.
- Wizard Mode: Two mini-wizard modes can be unlocked through Godzilla Powerups and multiball super jackpots, an "in-between" wizard mode after defeating all monsters in all four cities, a true final wizard mode after playing all those, and a very secret hidden wizard mode for the very top-tier players.
- A super jackpot in Godzilla multiball and a power level of 4 or 8 will unlock Monster Zero. There are three phases of locking balls and building up jackpots, after which all locked balls are released in a victory multiball frenzy.
- A super jackpot in Mechagodzilla multiball and a power level of 4 or 8 will unlock Terror of Mechagodzilla. It's a four-phase mode with a limited number of flips each phase, and a new ball being introduced each phase. The first three phases build up different jackpots that can be cashed in at the fourth phase.
- The super jackpots unlock the above mini-wizard modes. If you collect both by power level 4, you can choose one of those two to play now, and play the other at level 8. Otherwise you may only have one qualified by level 4, at which point you must play that at level 4, then you must unlock the other mode by level 8 to play it then.
- Completing all the Kaiju battles unlocks Planet X multiball. A large bonus is awarded based on Earth's destruction in the game. Completing all phases of the multiball unlocks a large hurry-up at the scoop. Completing this unlocks the Victory Challenge multiball, where you go through the whole mode again with double scoring, limited time, and a requirement to keep 2 balls active.
- Completing Monster Zero, Terror of Mechagodzilla, and Planet X (regardless of Victory Challenge) unlocks King of the Monsters at level 11. Godzilla must prove himself worthy of the title by first taking on all four of his main enemies at the same time (Ebirah, Titanosaurus, Gigan, Megalon) before a multiball phase starts in a final showdown against King Ghidorah. And "final" does indeed mean "final", since the game ends after this mode!
- If the player successfully completes King of the Monsters and the Planet X Victory Challenge, this will unlock the secret, true wizard mode: Monster Island Madness.
- "When and where will Godzilla strike again? No one can tell."