Toho vs. Zilla

Go Go Godzilla!

Despite authorizing the changes made to the character in the American Godzilla movie from 1998, Toho has never been shy about indulging the majority of Godzilla fandom’s desire to see the original Godzilla battle (and destroy) the American version. That same year, Toho’s video game division released Godzilla Trading Battle for the original PlayStation. Despite the game featuring most of the studio’s stable of giant monsters (including several created just for the game), the game’s cover focused instead on the battle between the two Godzillas. I’m not 100% sure of what the gameplay is like, but the title makes me suspect that card games are involved somehow.

In what may or may not be a coincidence, the next year’s release of Godzilla 2000 featured a scene where a character notes that the monster Orga is trying to become a “Godzilla clone” by assimilating Godzilla’s DNA. Immediately after this is said, there’s a scene where the mutating creature’s face bears a strong resemblance to the star of Tristar’s movie. In 2001, there was a definite jab at the movie in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. During a conversation about giant monster attacks, there’s a reference to a monster attacking New York in 1998 that Americans claimed was Godzilla. The tone of the speaker makes it very clear that they doubt it was really the Japanese Godzilla.

Then in 2004, Toho did something that the fans had never thought would ever happen: They put both Godzillas in the same film, Godzilla: Final Wars. However, the American creation was renamed “Zilla” (replacing fan-made names like “Fraudzilla” and “GINO”-Godzilla In Name Only) as it was felt that there was nothing “God”-like in the creature. First sent out to attack cities by invading aliens, Zilla is then sent after Godzilla with predictable results (with the alien leader making an amusing comment on the events). I won’t spoil things by telling exactly what happened, but I will say that it probably shocked the heck out of anyone who stumbled across the scene while channel-surfing and initially assumed it was from the Tristar film (or one of the Doritos commercials using stock footage from said movie)…

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