Mechagodzilla received a brand-new look for Godzilla vs. Kong. The long-awaited crossover marked the MonsterVerse debut for Godzilla’s robotic counterpart and second-biggest villain in Toho’s movies. By appearing in the film, he followed behind Godzilla, Rodan, Ghidorah, and Mothra to become the fifth Toho kaiju in the MonsterVerse.

Because of an action figure leak in early 2020, it was a poorly-kept secret that Mechagodzilla would be included in Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs Kong. Unsurprisingly, the mechanized Titan did turn out to be the main villain and the character that would force Godzilla and Kong to put aside their differences and team up. He was also the focus of the movie’s “Team Godzilla” story. Troubled by Godzilla’s recent aggression, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) and her friend Josh (Julian Dennison) teamed with conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) to uncover the truth about the secret activities of a cybernetics company called APEX. Their investigation led to the revelation that APEX was building Mechagodzilla.

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A big twist came in the movie when it was discovered by Bernie, Madison, and Josh that the severed Ghidorah head from Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ post-credits scene had somehow fallen into the hands of APEX founder Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) and was being used to power Mechagodzilla. Following the organization’s acquisition of the highly sought-after Hollow Earth energy source, Ghidorah took control of Mechagodzilla away from APEX and attacked Godzilla. The Titan proved so powerful that it took help from Kong for the robotic Titan to be defeated. The challenge he posed indicated that he was the most powerful villain ever to be encountered in the MonsterVerse, as well as a unique take on the Toho monster. Here’s how he compares to previous versions of the character.

Mechagodzilla Design & Powers In Godzilla vs Kong

Much like Toho’s Mechagodzilla, the MonsterVerse interpretation of the robot came equipped with an incredibly effective arsenal of weapons. The mecha-Titan, which had rows of spikes all the way down his back, had sizable claws on its hands, long arms and legs, and a whip-like tail. Similar to the alpha Titan APEX modeled him after, he can fight with his tail, which has a hidden drill in it that almost killed Kong at the end of the fight. Missiles capable of at least mildly injuring Godzilla could be fired from cannons on his shoulders, and he possessed a deadly laser blast that came from his mouth. Even without the help of the Hollow Earth “lifeforce” Simmons was looking for, Mechagodzilla’s laser was strong enough to blast clean through the head of a giant Skullcrawler. After getting powered by the energy upgrade, Mechagodzilla’s laser ray collided with (and overpowered) Godzilla’s signature attack, the atomic breath. As powerful as this was, it may not have been his greatest weapon. Arguably the attack that did the most damage to Godzilla was Mechagodzilla’s energy-charged punches, considering that they took a significant toll on Godzilla’s body.

How Mechagodzilla’s Design Is Different

The biggest difference between the MonsterVerse’s Mechagodzilla and the original is also the most obvious one: the connection to Godzilla. In each telling of the story, Mechagodzilla is designed to be a mechanized replica of Godzilla, so since the MonsterVerse’s Godzilla has a different body structure and head shape than the ones that came before him, it’s not surprising that he’s built a bit differently. On top of that, this Mechagodzilla has red spikes that protrude from his back much farther than the ones in Toho’s movies. One completely new addition to his look was the red tubes of energy behind the metal plating on his body. The change that seemed to matter the most, though, was his longer limbs, simply because they made a big difference during the fighting. Traditionally, Mechagodzilla has short arms, but the MonsterVerse version had a much more impressive reach.

Typically, his best offense against the King of the Monsters is his ranged capabilities, which was present in the MonsterVerse incarnation of the villain as well. The missiles attached to his body were consistent with past portrayals, as they’ve always been one of the weapons he employs the most while in battle with Godzilla. One thing that he didn’t have was a laser cannon in the chest, a frequently used weapon of the Showa, Heisei, and Millennium series versions of Mechagodzilla. As noted earlier, he instead fired a red laser blast out of his mouth.

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Mechagodzilla’s GvK Design Is Better

What the MonsterVerse did with Godzilla vs. Kong’s final battle was deliver the best version of Mechagodzilla ever to appear on the big screen, and a lot of that stems from his design. Not unlike how King of the Monsters adapted Ghidorah to the MonsterVerse, Godzilla vs. Kong updated Mechagodzilla in a way that felt necessary for the character. First of all, Mechagodzilla had to come off as menacing, and not silly in any way, a mistake that would be easy to make with a giant, robotic lizard. Mechagodzilla having this fearsome image was of utmost importance, due in large part to the fact that Godzilla and Kong had to team up against him. Fans needed to believe that he stood a chance against the two strongest Titans on the planet, and his sleek look, red eyes, and deadly arsenal helped convey that idea.

If the MonsterVerse didn’t make major adjustments to his design, it’s hard to imagine Mechagodzilla faring so well against Godzilla. The improvements to his design were more than just eye candy; they served practical purposes that were instrumental to Godzilla needing help from Kong. In Toho’s movies, Mechagodzilla held the advantage over the kaiju whenever there was some distance between them. It was his laser cannons and missiles that hurt Godzilla the most. Overcoming Mechagodzilla – which was never easy – always hinged on him forcing the robot to engage him in close combat. Mechagodzilla was never able to hold up well against Godzilla’s physical might. But by changing his design for the MonsterVerse, Godzilla vs. Kong managed to take away Mechagodzilla’s biggest disadvantage. What held him back in the past was the size of his shorter limbs, but that wasn’t an obstacle for him at all in the new movie. Thanks to his increased mobility and energy-charged punches, Mechagodzilla was a force to be reckoned with, and a greater challenge to the King of the Monsters than he ever was before.

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