Godzilla vs Kong: Mechagodzilla explained

godzilla vs kong
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Spoilers for Godzilla vs Kong follow.

Godzilla vs Kong has arrived on HBO Max, and there's a lot of action and plot stuffed into its near two-hour runtime. 

One of the movie's biggest reveals is to do with its real villain. As some viewers might have worked out, neither Godzilla or Kong is the antagonist of the latest MonsterVerse film. For those of you who were surprised at the inclusion of a manmade kaiju, however, we're here to provide you with details on who or what Mechagodzilla is.

If you're here, you really should have watched the entire film by now. Should you have stumbled on this by mistake, though, there are major spoilers for Godzilla vs Kong incoming. Yes, you'll have had this reveal ruined for you, but there are other details below that will spoil the movie for you further if you haven't seen it yet. Turn back now if that's the case.

Godzilla vs Kong: Mechagodzilla's history explained

godzilla vs kong

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Before we dive into how Mechagodzilla was created in Godzilla vs Kong, let's take a brief look at the character's history.

Mechagodzilla was initially created in 1974 by Japanese film and theater production company Toho. Toho were the studio behind Godzilla and the other monsters that the lizard titan faced, and Mechagodzilla was conceived as a more serious villain to its two predecessors Gigan and Megalon. Toho considered this duo to be creative disasters, and Mechagodzilla's robotic nature was cheaper to construct in comparison to the mutated monsters that Godzilla was fighting at the time.

In Godzilla's film history, Mechagodzilla's first appearance came during Japan's Shōwa period. The robotic version of Godzilla was originally created as a weapon of destruction by an alien race known as the Simians, who wanted to use it to help them conquer Earth.

Of course, the Simians' attempts were foiled after Godzilla and its ally King Caesar defeated their creation, but the cybernetic villain kept returning in various guises. Mechagodzilla was built as an anti-Godzilla weapon during 1993 movie Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II, while Millennium Godzilla appeared in 2002's Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and 2003's Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

Mechagodzilla was briefly seen in the Godzilla anime film trilogy, which was released in Japan between November 2017 and November 2018, and was supposed to be used as a countermeasure to Godzilla in these movies. It's never fully utilized before humanity has to abandon it following a Godzilla attack, but its AI is repurposed to build a facility called Mechagodzilla City, as well as battlesuits known as Vultures, in the trilogy's second film Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle.

Mechagodzilla has an arsenal of weapons that it deploys to combat Godzilla and any other titans. Throughout its history, it's been capable of firing missiles from its toes, fingers and knees, energy beams from its eyes, and creating force fields to protect itself. Other weapons in other adaptations have included a mouth-based lazer cannon - akin to Godzilla's nuclear breath - while its diamond-coated shell has often proved effective in repelling Godzilla's atomic ray ability.

Godzilla vs Kong: Mechagodzilla in the MonsterVerse

godzilla vs kong

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

As you'll have worked out by now, Godzilla isn't the movie's chief bad guy. The trailers had installed Godzilla as the villain of the piece, but we know that's not true now. It is, in fact, Mechagodzilla.

To find out how Mechagodzilla is constructed, we need to look back to 2017's Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In that film, Godzilla killed King Ghidorah - an alien apex predator who had wanted to upset the natural order and establish itself as the king of Earth's titans.

We had suspected that King Ghidorah's remains would be cleared up by Monarch, but it appears that the secret scientific organization - or the authorities in general - didn't do a good enough job of removing Ghidorah's shattered body.

As it turns out, Apex Cybernetics - a sinister scientific corporation - acquired one of Ghidorah's skulls. Ghidorah's three heads were able to telepathically communicate with each other, so Apex uses this ability to help it create Mechagodzilla. Apex's scientists found a way to harness Ghidorah's psionic powers and, connecting it to supercomputers at its Hong Kong headquarters, were able to create a neural link between Ghidorah's skull and Mechagodzilla's robotic body. This allows anybody to control Mechagodzilla from inside Ghidorah's skull, providing that they wear a psionically linked helmet to complete the circuit.

It isn't explained how Apex built Mechagodzilla's shell and robotic parts, or what materials they used to make it. As a cybernetics company, though, we imagine that it's made up of the best and strongest materials known to man. What we do know is that Apex have been building Mechagodzilla's parts in secret at its various laboratories and sneaking them off to Hong Kong even when Godzilla has attacked its bases, much like it does in Florida.

Despite building Mechagodzilla and having one of Ghidorah's skulls, Mechagodzilla isn't exactly powerful to begin with. Sure, it can tear a Skullcrawler in half with ease, as we see in the film, but it wouldn't be a match for Godzilla in a one-on-one fight. 

That's where Apex's plan concerning Kong comes in. After the corporation taps Dr. Lind to help them, they convince Kong's main researcher Dr. Ilene Edwards and her adopted daughter Jia, who Kong has a trusting relationship with, to lead Apex to the Hollow Earth. This subterranean world contains a well of unlimited energy that, when harnessed correctly, could power Mechagodzilla and give it the edge over Godzilla.

Long story short, Apex manages to steal some of this energy and use it to power Mechagodzilla. Despite its cybernetic pilot Ren Serizawa warning that further tests are needed to see how Mechagodzilla reacts to this newfound power source, Apex CEO Walter Simmons tells Serizawa to proceed if they want to beat Godzilla and show it that humanity is Earth's top dog.

True to form, things go terribly wrong. Powered by the Hollow Earth's energy and Ghidorah's remaining consciousness, Mechagodzilla becomes sentient. It electrocutes Serizawa through his psionic helmet and kills Simmons in his office. Breaking free of Apex's laboratory, Mechagodzilla seeks out Godzilla - who has just beaten Kong for a second time - in a bid to defeat it and install itself as Earth's new apex predator.

Of course, there's more to the movie's final battle that this. Instead of spoiling that for you here, we have a Godzilla vs Kong ending explained article that dives into the climactic fight, who is crowned champion, and whether there will be more MonsterVerse movies.

Godzilla vs Kong is out now on HBO Max and in theaters in the US, as well as cinemas worldwide.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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