Others Godzilla, American Godzilla, Fraudzilla, G.I.N.O. (Godzilla In Name Only)
Binomen Theropoda allosauria
Body type Theropod-like lizard
Average height 60-90 meters
Average weight 500-20,000 tons
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Semi-Sapient
Aggressivity High
Place of origin French Polynesia
Habitat Semi-aquatic
Diet Piscivore
Locomotion Bipedal walking, swimming, jumping
Status Deceased
Behind the Scenes
Universe Godzilla
Created by Roland Emmerich (based on the original creature by Ishirō Honda and Tomoyuki Tanaka)
Designed by Patrick Tatopoulos
Performed by Kurt Carley
Frank Welker
Elephant and Cougar vocals

Zilla is Toho Studio's official name for the titular creature of the 1998 American film GODZILLA. The creature has also appeared in Godzilla: The Series as a cyborg, its 1998 attack been mentioned in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack and another version of the creature appeared in Godzilla Final Wars.

Story (TV/Films)


After unconfirmed sightings of the monster in the French Polynesian islands, Zilla made its appearance known when it swam across the Pacific Ocean and attacked a Japanese freighter - with one of the survivors referring to the monster as 'Gojira' - before crossing Panama and Jamaica. Following this, the creature attacked a trio of fishing trawlers and effectively pulled them underwater. Elsie Chapman (one of the scientists working with the military regarding the monster) initially proposed that the monster was some kind of dinosaur that had survived the great extinction 65 million years ago. However, Niko Tatopoulos (an NRC scientist also brought in to help the military) suggests that the creature is instead a mutated creature caused by the fallout on the French Polynesia - based on the evidence of its first sightings, the monster's size, that radiation traces had been found in the monsters footprints and that the French Polynesia had been subject to dozens of nuclear tests over the years.

Zilla soon appears in New York, walking through the city and causing both panic and destruction. The city is soon evacuated as the military prepares to deal with the monster - which becomes more complicated when it
Zilla attacked by the Military.

Zilla attacked by the Military.

is discovered the monster can burrow after finding a large tunnel under a group of buildings. Based on Nick's idea to draw the creature out, the military set a trap in Madison Square using a large pile of fish - following their discovery of fish inside the tunnel. As Nick and the military begin removing the manhole covers, Zilla bursts out of the ground and, after a brief moment investigating Nick out of curiosity, heads towards the fish and begins to feed. The military soon open fire, but Zilla dodges the attacks and flees through the city with a trio of Apache helicopters in pursuit. The pilots soon discover that heat-seeking missiles can't lock onto Zilla due to his cold body, with one pair of missiles flying past him and hitting the Chrysler Building. At one point, the helicopters open fire into a hole where they feel Zilla may have gone - only for Zilla to burst out behind them and bring down two of the helicopters, before pursuing and bringing down the third.

Although the plan to kill Zilla had failed, Nick did recover blood from the scene. Investigating a possible idea
Audrey find the video of the first sightings.

Audrey finds the video of the first sightings.

about why the creature was in New York to begin with, Nick purchased several pregnancy tests - meeting his old girlfriend Audrey Timmonds (who was trying to become a journalist). As Nick tests the blood, he finds that Godzilla is indeed pregnant and reproduces asexually - meaning all the fish that they found in the tunnel is not just to feed him but to actually feed his offspring. Nick presents this information to the military, with the statement that they need to find the nest as soon as possible. However, Audrey had stolen a classified military video detailing the monster's attacks - which was then broadcast by her boss Charles Caiman (who names the monster 'Godzilla' after misinterpreting what the survivor in the video said). Following this information leak, Nick was kicked off the team.

However, as he tried to leave, he was intercepted by a man called Philippe Roaché and a group of men from the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE) - who had been listening to everything that had
Zilla crawling through the tunnel.

Zilla crawling through the tunnel.

been going on regarding the military's attempts to stop the creature and were trying to cover up their involvement in the creature's creation. Asking for Nick's help in locating and destroying the nest, Nick agreed - with the group disguising themselves as soldiers and sneaking into the city to the tunnel where they found the fish. Audrey, feeling guilty for what she did, decided to sneak into the city after Victor 'Animal' Palotti (a camerman for the news company she worked for) revealed that he had seen that Nick and the French agents were planning to find the nest. With Victor accompanying her, the pair snuck into the city through the underground subway tunnels - both parties narrowly avoiding Zilla as he crawls up to the surface. 

On the surface, the military repeats the fish trap strategy but this time sets it up in Central Park with the
Zilla swims towards the Anchorage, with the two torpedoes behind him.

Zilla swims towards the Anchorage, with the two torpedoes behind him.

hope that the open ground would increase their chances of killing the monster. However, Zilla realised what they were planning from his past experience and fled - with the military pursuing him to the Hudson River. Inside the river, Zilla was attacked by a trio of Ohio-Class Navy submarines; The Utah, The Indianna and the Anchorage. Both the Utah and Anchorage launched torpedoes at Zilla, who dodged the incoming attacks before swimming underneath the Anchorage - the torpedoes impacting with the submarine and destroying it. As Zilla headed back towards New York, both the Utah and Indianna launched torpedoes at the creature and appeared to kill it - with the military celebrating their apparent victory. However, Zilla had only been temporarily incapitated by the torpedo explosions.

Inside the tunnels, both parties located the nest inside Madison Square Garden - where they discovered that there were over 200 eggs. As the agents began to set explosives, the eggs began to hatch. Realising they
Nick encounters some of the baby Zillas.

Nick encounters some of the baby Zillas.

smelt like the fish that were littered all around, the group quickly fled as the baby Zillas attacked. All of Phillipe's men were killed, although Nick and Phillipe met up with Audrey and Animal - who knew of a way to broadcast a message to the military. Hiding in the Garden's broadcast booth, Audrey and Nick manage to send out a message to the public and the military about the nest and the baby Zillas - explaining that Madison Square Garden must be destroyed before the babies can escape out into the city. The Military in trun send the group a message to get outside the building in six minutes or less as they have sent a trio of F-18s in an airstrike to bomb the Garden.

Fleeing from the baby Zillas, the quartet manage to get out of the Garden mere seconds before the building
Zilla pursues the group, following the death of its offspring.

Zilla pursues the group, following the death of its offspring.

is bombed - successfully killing all the baby Zillas. As the group watch, however, Zilla appears from the Garden's ruins and finds his dead offspring. Seemingly thinking that Nick and his allies are responsible, Zilla chases the four of them - who hijack a taxi to escape from the monster. Briefly avoiding a military patrol on Broadway, Nick throws them the cab number of the taxi they are driving - allowing the military to find out the radio frequency and contact them. After briefly becoming trapped in the Park Avenue tunnel, the group manage to escape using the car's hi-beams and head towards the Brooklyn Bridge - with Nick hoping that the monster will becoming trapped in the suspension cables and thus give the military a clear shot.

Zilla is fatally wounded.

Zilla is fatally wounded.

Reaching the bridge, the group narrowly avoid been eaten after Zilla bursts out in front of them before racing across the bridge with Zilla in pursuit. As Nick hoped, Zilla gets stuck in the cables - leaving him open to attack as the F-18s hit Zilla on both sides with a barrage of missiles, fatally wounding the monster. Making a last roar, Zilla collapses and dies soon after - much to the celebration of the military and public. Unaware to everyone, one egg had survived the earlier bombing of Madison Square Garden and promptly hatches.

Godzilla the Animated Series

Zilla's Death

Zilla's Death.

In the animated series, the show begins with a recap of the film's end events - with Zilla chasing the quartet along the Brooklyn Bridge before getting trapped in the suspension cables and killed by missile fire from the F-18s. The body of the creature would later be taken to a military base for its remains to be studied. Nick, meanwhile, would discover the surviving egg - with the baby (named Zilla Junior) imprinting on him - before starting up his own research team called H.E.A.T (Humanitarian Enviromental Analysis Team) to find and stop other mutated monsters around the world with Zilla Junior's help. The team's members were Nick, Elsie Chapman and Mendel Craven (who had helped stop Zilla's initial rampage), a computer hacker named Randy Hernandez, a female DGSE agent called Monique Dupree and Mendel's robotic assistant N.I.G.E.L.

Cyber Zilla

Cyber Zilla awakens.

When the aliens known as the Tachyons put into action their plan to take over Earth, they took over the minds of numerous humans - including many in the military. Having now gained access to Zilla's corpse, the aliens brought the creature back to life as a cyborg - dubbed 'Cyber-Zilla'. In his cyborg form, Zilla had a mechanical right arm, a 'helmet' to keep the monster under the alien's mind control, eight 'energy missile launchers' on his shoulder spines and a disc hidden in his chest that can reflect an enemy's beam attack back at them. He still retained his amphibiousness, his high running speed and jumping ability - but had also been genetically modified by the aliens to have a much tougher hide and use radioactive fire. He also still had some amount of memory left, despite having been dead for a good portion of time. Due to been made into a cyborg, the creature had a more mechanical roar.

Zilla Junior becomes confused over who his true parent is.

Zilla Junior becomes confused over who his true parent is.

The Tachyons planned to use the creature - along with several other mutations that Zilla Junior had defeated but not killed - to aid in their takeover of Earth. When Nick and Mendel tried to free Elsie from the alien's mind control, the aliens sent Cyber-Zilla after them. Before Cyber-Zilla could kill them, Zilla Junior emerged from the ocean and briefly battled the cyborg. However, Cyber-Zilla still retained enough of its memory to assert some dominance over his son - leading to Zilla Junior getting confused between Nick and Cyber-Zilla over who to see as his parent. The Tachyons used this confusion to take control of Zilla Junior and bring him under their control - forcing Nick and Mendel to flee.

Cyber-Zilla attacking Tokyo

Cyber-Zilla attacking Tokyo

Cyber-Zilla and Zilla Junior later headed to an uninhabited pacific island known as 'Site Omega', where the alien's main base was located and where they had gathered all the mutations for their plan. After a failed attempt by Nick and his allies to free the monsters from their mind control, the aliens initiated their plan - sending the mutations to attack various cities across the world. Cyber-Zilla was sent to attack Tokyo, Japan as part of the alien's plan for humanity to deplete their weapons battling the monsters, thus leaving them more vulnerable for when the invasion fleet arrived. The cyborg would remain under the alien's mind control even when Nick and his allies (including Elsie, whom Monique had helped break free from her mind control) managed to break the control over the monsters - remaining out of the way as the alien's invasion fleet attacked Tokyo and the other cities that had been attacked.

Cyber-Zilla defeats the Giant Bat

Cyber-Zilla defeats the Giant Bat.

Cyber-Zilla later returned to Site Omega and battled the Giant Bat, who had returned to the island after attacking Paris following the mind control been broken. The Bat attacked Cyber-Zilla with its sonic scream, only for Cyber-Zilla to open up its chest to reveal the disc - which directed the bat's attack back at it and knocked it unconcious. As Cyber-Zilla closed in on Nick and the group, Zilla Junior arrived - having surivived an attempt by the aliens to kill it. Cyber-Zilla again tried to assert its dominance over the monster, but Zilla Junior decided its natural bond with Nick was stronger then the artificial bond with Cyber-Zilla and attacked the alien ships. Although he was again brought down by an energy blast from one of the ships, Zilla Junior quickly recovered and roared his challenge to Cyber-Zilla.

Cyber-Zilla hit by Zilla Junior's atomic fire.

Cyber-Zilla hit by Zilla Junior's atomic fire.

Cyber-Zilla initially fired its energy missiles at Zilla Junior, who dodged them all and then tricked Cyber-Zilla by burrowing into the ground. When Cyber-Zilla investigated the hole, Zilla Junior blasted the cyborg at point blank range using his atomic fire and knocked it off its feet, before again using his atomic fire on the creature. Cyber-Zilla was quickly backed up with a group of alien fighter ships, who attacked Zilla Junior, but also accidentally blasted off Cyber-Zilla's mechanical arm. Despite this, Zilla Junior continued on the attack and knocked the cyborg to the ground with a powerful headbutt. Becoming desperate, the aliens diverted more power to Cyber-Zilla, who charged at Zilla Junior - only to be hit in the face by his son's tail and again knocked down by a blast of atomic fire.

Cyber-Zilla's death

Cyber-Zilla's death

As Cyber-Zilla used his own atomic fire attack, Zilla Junior easily dodged it and jumped on top of the cyborg - ripping out the disc and tossing it aside - revealing the now-exposed cables inside Cyber-Zilla's body. With an open weakness now available, Zilla Junior bit down on the cables and ripped them out - with the aliens control centre sparking as their control over Cyber-Zilla was cut. Giving a final death-rattle, Cyber-Zilla died - killing the creature for good and forcing the alien invasion force to retreat, following the loss of their main weapon. Following this victory, Zilla Junior roared in triumph. It is unbeknown what happened to the body of Cyber-Zilla following the battle as it is never explained.

Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

During the beginning of the film, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces cadets are gathered before Admiral Taizo Tachibana briefs them on the events of 1954 - when Tokyo was attacked by the monster known as Godzilla and how the Self-Defense Forces defeated the forces. However, he also tells them of an event in 1998 when New York was attacked by a similar monster. One of the cadets quietly asks his friend if the monster that attacked New York was Godzilla, to which his friend states that the Americans believed it was Godzilla - although the Japanese have doubts that it was.

Godzilla: Final Wars

In the year 2004, an alien race known as the Xiliens sought to take control of Earth. They did this by taking control of several monsters and sending them to attack various locations around the world. Zilla was taken control of and sent to attack Sydney - where, due to the Earth Defense Forces been busy with other monster attacks across the globe, the monster causes a large amount of damage to the city. Zilla is seemingly
Zilla attacks Sydney

Zilla attacks Sydney.

destroyed when the Xiliens make their appearance - with their Controller (wanting a peaceful takeover) claiming that the Xiliens destroyed the monsters to save humanity and want to forge an alliance. They also warn that a runaway planet called Gorath is heading towards Earth, and that they will help humanity survive the coming catastrophe.

However, a group of the Earth Defense Force discover that the Xiliens are lying and that Gorath doesn't exist. Exposed on worldwide television, the Xilien second-in-command kills the Controller and takes control of the invasion. Returning to the Xilien Mothership, the mind-controlled monsters (revealed to have only been stored away) are re-released against humanity while been aided by a fleet of Xilien fighters. However, a small surviving group of the EDF head to Antarctica to 'Area G' - where the EDF successfully buried Godzilla in the ice. Due to Godzilla not possessing M-base in his body unlike the other monsters, the Xiliens will be unable to control him.

Godzilla is successfully released and - after defeating the alien cyborg Gigan - begins to follow the EDF
Godzilla Final Wars Godzilla Vs Zilla

Godzilla Final Wars Godzilla Vs Zilla

Godzilla fights Zilla in Sydney

Super Submarine Gotengo towards Japan. When they arrive in Sydney, Zilla is deployed to fight Godzilla. After roaring at each other, Zilla charges at Godzilla and - avoiding Godzilla's atomic breath - leaps at the Monster King. Godzilla, however, spins around and smacks Zilla with his tail - sending the mutated iguana crashing straight into the Sydney Opera House. Charging up another attack, Godzilla decimates the Opera House with his Atomic Breath - killing Zilla in the process. Onboard the Mothership, the new Controller has a brief temper tantrum following this failure and refers to Zilla as a "useless, tuna-eating monster".


Zilla in Godzilla Generations.

Zilla in Godzilla Generations.

Zilla has appeared in his own pinball machine game as well as his own handheld LCD video game called Godzilla: Virtual Shakin'.

He has appeared as a playable character in the Dreamcast game Godzilla Generations (Where he is called Godzilla-USA). In the game, he is the fastest monster to use, although his power breath attack has the shortest range. His special attack is to run at high speed through the enviroment - knocking down any building in his way.

He has also appeared in the Japan-only PSOne game, Godzilla Trading Battles (where he is called GODZILLA). He even
Cyber Zilla vs. Zilla Junior.

Cyber Zilla vs. Zilla Junior.

appears in two of the trailers for the game and is stated as been 'born in Hollywood' - presumably as a reference to Tristar.

His Cyber-Zilla form did appear in the Gameboy Colour game, Godzilla the Series: Monster Wars as the final boss character for Zilla Junior to fight. Like in the animated series, it is explained that it is the corpse of the first Zilla that 'attacked' New York that has been made into a cyborg by the Tachyon aliens.

Zilla was apparently intended to appear in the games Godzilla: Save the Earth and its sequel Godzilla Unleashed. However, due to the monster's lack of popularity among Godzilla fans, he was scrapped from the games - especially since many Godzilla
Simon Strange Talks Zilla In Godzilla Unleashed

Simon Strange Talks Zilla In Godzilla Unleashed

Why Zilla wasn't included in Godzilla Unleashed

fans still hate the monster despite the amount of time that has passed since the 1998 movie. However, some fans did question why he wasn't included in Unleashed as Zilla's popularity has steadily grown among some. (See Video Left).

Furthermore, the monster has not appeared in the 2014-2015 PS4 game, Godzilla the Game. It is unbeknown if and/or when he will appear in any future Godzilla video games.


Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

In issues #1 and #2 of the comic, Zilla is detected swimming through the ocean but is misidentified as Godzilla. He later makes landfall on Honolulu, Hawaii and causes a panic - including nearly eating a girl
Godzilla and Zilla battle each other.

Godzilla and Zilla battle each other.

called Lucy Casprell who is recording the incident. However, she is saved by Sergeant Steven Woods and his troops - whose weapon fire causes Zilla to temporarily back down.

Chaos ensues as Godzilla arrives shortly after - with Zilla narrowly dodging an atomic breath blast fired at him by the Monster King. The two fight, with Zilla and Godzilla having a heated conflict - during which both monsters cause the other to visibly bleed. However, Zilla is outmatched and is choked by Godzilla. However, as the military attacks with missiles, Zilla ducks down - causing the missiles to hit Godzilla and release Zilla from his grip. Following this, Zilla takes the opportunity and flees the battle before Godzilla could kill him. He is later seen in issue #13 - swimming in the waters around Monster Island. His appearance in this comic book matches his design from the original 1998 GODZILLA movie - as opposed to the design in had in the 2004 movie Godzilla Final Wars. Although still as vulnerable to attack, this version of Zilla had the 'warrior' personality of Zilla Junior - continuing to fight Godzilla and refusing to back down until it realized it was outmatched and thus fled to preserve its life.


Zilla is a giant mutated Marine Iguana originating from a nuclear test in French Polynesia. As the test was done in 1968, the creature (or perhaps species) grew over a period of approximately thirty years. Its irradiated genes caused it to achieve a height of over sixty meters (about two-hundred feet). Physically it resembles a giant-sized, allosaurine-like, flesh-eating dinosaur of some sort. He has rough, square-shaped (from side view) jaws, a long neck, large, fin-shaped dorsal spines (which differ greatly from the maple leaf-shaped spines of Godzilla), and long, powerful legs and arms. He also possesses a seemingly vestigial toe, on the back of, and three dinosaur-like toes on the front of each foot.


  • The history of Zilla has been a rather mixed and negative one. The initial reaction to the 1998 release was mostly a negative one spanning from both movie critics and Godzilla fan base alike.
  • Critically, the film was backlashed for uninspired acting, random plots that don't fit, unnecessary use of rain, inconsistent size of the monster, shoddy special effects (even for its time period), the constant themes and actual scenes it has ripped off from hit film Jurassic Park. Tri-Star's Godzilla heavily borrowed concepts such as the asexual development of eggs. Multiple scenes had the main characters running for their lives from the baby Godzilla's much like the Velociraptors from Jurassic Park, although the directors greatly state this was not intended. For instance, "Godzilla" (or Zilla as he is later known) was redesigned for this film, it was more like the Rhedosaurus from The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms as opposed to the Japanese Godzilla traditional design, though the designers greatly insist that this was not an intention.
  • The origin of the monster is also changed, from being a mutant fictional dinosaur to an iguana mutated by nuclear fallout from a French nuclear test. This was an attempt by the directors to make the creature more realistic and less corny. The monster was also originally not going to have a breath attack, until a group of angry fans demanded it. Zilla's breath attack - however - was a 'power breath' attack instead of Godzilla's atomic breath. The power breath was shown as Zilla unleashing a blast of air from his lungs which was strong enough to send vehicles flying and hot enough to ignite the fuel in their tanks. He was shown using this attack three times in the movie.
  • The negative response of both Tristar's Godzilla and Disney's remake of Mighty Joe Young were responsible for postponing other monster films to further release dates, one of them is Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong.

External links