, sometimes spelled King Ghidrah, King Ghidra or King Ghidora and also known as Monster Zero, is a fiction Japanese monster featured in several of Toho Studios' Godzilla film and (in derivative forms) in their Rebirth of Mothra trilogy. Ghidorah is among the most powerful giant monsters in daikaiju eiga with a reputation that has earned him the title "The King of Terror". He is the main antagonist of the series and is considered Godzilla's archenemy, and has been in more movies than any other opponent of Godzilla, appearing in six films out of the series (seven, if one counts Kaizer Ghidorah, despite the vast difference in size and general appearance between the two). King Ghidorah is so powerful that Godzilla is often required to ally himself with another kaiju, even several, before engaging the three-headed monster in battle, most often with Mothra, Rodan, or Anguirus.
Created as an opponent for Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra in 1964's Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Ghidorah is a golden dragon-like space alien with two legs, three heads on long necks, no arms, large fan-like wings, and two tails. It was said to be 100 meters tall with a 150-meter wingspan and to weigh 30,000 metric tons. King Ghidorah was brought to life on the movie screen by a stunt actor inside an elaborate three-piece costume, with a team of puppeteers to control the beast's many appendages. Its alarming shrieks (a different ringing pitch for each of its heads) are among the genre's most recognizable sound effects. Its design is due to special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya based on a minimal description in the script: "It has three heads, two tails, and a voice like a bell."
In recent films Ghidorah has undergone several revisions to its origin and appearance. For instance, a 150-meter tall irradiated triplet of genetically-engineered pets called Dorats with a Rodan-like cackle in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and a 49-meter-tall guardian monster in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. He has been realized via CGI as well as traditional suitmation.
Initially, King Ghidorah was said to have come from outer space, an ancient evil responsible for destroying many planets, including Venus (Mars in the US version of Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster). Though his origins in the Godzilla series are left enigmatic, a later appearance in episode five of Zone Fighter he was claimed as a creation of the warlike Garoga aliens. Arriving on Earth in a magnetic meteorite, Ghidorah devastated much of the Japanese countryside before being repelled by the monstrous team of Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan. In the follow-up movie, Invasion of the Astro-Monster, it was revealed to be a mind-controlled pawn of beings from Planet X, a newly discovered planet in Jupiter's umbra, who called it "Monster Zero". These "Xians" coveted Earth's water resources and took control of Godzilla and Rodan in an attempt to conquer Earth. Earth intervened by freeing the monsters, and after a fight with Godzilla and Rodan, King Ghidorah flew back into space.
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