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A MONSTER ISLAND FOOTNOTE:
DIGRESSIONS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS

by Den Valdron

edited by Chris N
[additions by this editor will usually appear in parentheses, brackets (with initials) or in blue text, depending upon how significant the addition]

Chris N's writing on the creation and history of the Monster Islands or Monsterlands in the Showa continuity, as far as I'm concerned, is both masterful and definitive, as is the rest of his work on the Showa and Heisei continuities [I swear on my life that I don't pay the author to say this! LOL!--CN]. In my own writing on these subjects, I am content to merely putter around the edges of his masterpiece [Ditto!--CN], tying up loose threads, or offering minor suggestions [which often results in this editor modifying or outright changing his own theories in response to the suggestions of the author--CN].

The one small caveat I would add to Chris N's work, arising out of my discussion of Gabara [elsewhere in the Guest Section of this site], is that not all known kaiju of the time wound up on Monster Island. At least four might be alive and well, known but unnaccounted for: King Kong, the Mondo Island Serpent [heretofore referred to as 'the Mondo Serpent'], King Ghidorah, and the giant octopi [the small breeding population of the daidako, i.e., "giant octopi," likely hang out in the waters, sometimes near and sometimes far away from, various Pacific islands; the same would be the case for Ebirah, so I will add a bit about the giant shrimp in the author's speculations--CN]. Perhaps King Kong is alive and well, and has successfully evaded detection. The Mondo Serpent might actually have been destroyed in King Kong Escapes. The giant octopi which plagued Kong, Frankenstein, and Gaila is nowhere to be seen, so it may either be literally out of sight, or running at large. It's quite possible that there may be more than one daidako, in fact a small breeding population, and if so, it's possible that these creatures, who likely spend a good deal of time deep beneath the ocean, were simply never collected by those who sought to place all kaiju on a single island, and it's also likely that in the Showa Toho Universe, the daidako are simply considered a natural (if rare and quite deadly) member of the animal kingdom. G-fan author Ed Godzisewski's now out of print GODZILLA ENCYCLOPEDIA had a detailed diagram of Monster Island which suggested that Ebirah was indeed herded there and contained in a sophisticated corral intended to keep exclusively sea-faring kaiju trapped in the island's near-vicinity, but it's unknown why the Kilaaks didn't use the giant lobster to attack ocean vessels in Destroy All Monsters...or, it's also quite possible that they did and these events were simply not recorded in the film.
Or, perhaps with each of the previously mentioned kaiju, the decision was made to leave well enough alone and not go looking for trouble. King Ghidorah is clearly back in space.

Selga Island seems to be home to a small diverse colony (or even breeding populations) of kaiju: Kamebas, Ganime and Gezora. Their existence is only apparently discovered in 1970, two years after Monster Island was evidently established. But they might possibly have been discovered and covertly herded to this location previously.

Note the similarity in name between Selga (sometimes called "Selgel") and Solgell Islands. Perhaps they are geographically related? Part of the same small archipelago complex? The Ganime, Gezora and Kamebas troop may well have been an adjunct of Monster Island.

Frankenstein and his genetic progeny, the Gargantuas (Sanda and Gaila) are all presumed dead, but given their regenerative powers, this may not be a safe bet. Varan and Baragon have both been presumed dead for years at this time in 1970, as Chris N writes, but by 1999 they are alive and well on Monster Island.

Creatures like Megalon, Gigan, King Seesar, and Titanosaurus are undiscovered in 1970, as he also points out. But Monster Island (or the 1999 location) in the then-future, is set in a time after these creatures are discovered, and none of them are residents. Gigan, we can assume is either destroyed or returned to space [Gigan was apparently destroyed in battle with Zone Fighter in Episode 11 of the latter sentai's 1973 TV series--CN]. King Seesar has obviously returned to his resting site in Okinawa and gone dormant, and it's not in anyone's interest to wake him up. But Megalon and Titanosaurus finish their movie appearances definitely alive, and there is no record of their destruction. Where are they? It's possible, even likely, that Megalon returned to the Seatopians and dwells with them still. The Muans must be jealous, having permanently lost their Manda to confinement on Monster Island.

There doesn't seem to be any good reason why Titanosaurus isn't on Monster Island of the future, and in that respect, may be judged to be AWOL like Kong, the Mondo Serpent, and the Giant Octopus. Perhaps Titanosaurus is simply a reclusive kaiju, and having long avoided detection, it returned to its old ways, and causing no further harm, it was not deemed worthwhile to risk tracking and capturing the otherwise peaceful beast [a conjecture this editor happens to share--CN].

We can assume by the time of Destroy All Monsters, that the Selga Island trio (or quartet) are long dead. Or maybe not, depending on whether one accepts some video games as legitimate extensions of Showa continuity.
It's also possible that, like the daidako, there was a small breeding population of Gezora, Ganime, and Kamebas, so that none of these creatures were unique...some evidence seen in Yog, Monster From Space would appear to suggest this, as does the dialogue regarding the Kamebas from the Millennium Series film Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., which occurs in an alternate reality that shares much of the Showa continuity, including the 1970 incident on Selga Island.

More thoroughly dead are Frankenstein and the Gargantuas. Or at least these monsters are actually presumed dead in the sense of never having reappeared, despite their regenerative ability. They're either truly dead, dormant, or in hiding; it can be diffuclt to be truly certain with kaiju.

After all, Godzilla apparently died several times, Anguirus died in his first appearance and got better, Rodan died at the end of his movie and also got better. Varan died and apparently recovered after decades of convelescence. Gorosaurus recovered from an apparently fatal beating by King Kong, and Baragon recovered from an apparent broken neck, courtesy of Frankenstein. So, it may not be wise to order up the flowers too quickly.

Chris N includes the Godzilla, Monster of Monsters! video game as a part of Showa continuity. I'm happy enough to go along with the Master, although I note that the video game was created in 1988, well after the Showa Era had run its course.

Still, the latter video game seems dedicated to using Showa characters and concepts in its storyline, so it's perhaps valid to include it in the established continuity, as a depiction of the Showa Toho Universe's 21st Century. But if we accept that, we should note that Gezora and Gigan both appear again. So clearly these creatures must be assumed to have survived their apparent destruction. Gigan, presumably, is off in space in 1999. Gezora, like the Giant Octopus, is probably hiding out underwater, either running loose, or merely concealed beneath the waves of either Ogasawara, Selga, or Solgell Islands.

For the record, Gezora also appears to bedevil Mothra, as the pawn of unidentified aliens in the 1986 video game, Monster's Fair. In this game, aliens steal the Shobijin, and Mothra, in larval form, must retrieve them over the opposition of Gezora, Hedorah, Minya [!], and Godzilla.

Gezora, *and* Ganime, *and* Gigan, *and* Kamakiras, *and* Megalon, *and* Titanosaurus appear in the 1993 Godzilla: King of Monsters monsterfest game. It is not clear whether this game's storyline is a legitimate part of Showa Continuity, or merely apocryphal. But it does seem to suggest the survival of Gezora and other MIA kaiju absent from Monster Island but still alive and active at some point in the late 20th or 21st centuries.

Anyway, the point is that Gezora, or possibly multiple Gezoras, must be presumed to be active monsters who do not end up on any official version of the filmic Monster Island, and but who appear in both the '70's and the 21st Century, at least in video games.

At least two of the early Solgell Island creatures do not appear on the Ogsawaara Monster Island of the future. Both Gabara and Kamakiras are absent [at least one Kamakiras was implied to have been on Monster Island during the atoll's early days, in Godzilla's Revenge and in a quick stock footage vignette seen in Godzilla vs. Gigan--CN]. Gabara may or may not have been imaginary [within the context of the Toho Showa Universe], but for now, I'll consider him real.

Does this mean they are dead? Possibly. But kaiju, as we've noted previously, have been thought dead and merely been dormant for years or decades. It's quite likely that Gabara and Kamakiras are merely dormant at this time. Other theories might hold them as being left behind on Solgell for the sake of keeping Ogsawara peaceful, or more improbably, running loose.

After all, there seems to be no objective reason to keep all of the kaiju on a single island. It might be deemed convenient to let sleeping dogs lie and confine quiescent or harmless ones in their original locations, rather than risk provoking them. By the same token, it might also be advisable to maintain a second, or even a third site, to segregate troublesome monsters. I think we can assume, based on their past history, that neither Gabara nor Kamakiras play well with others.

And of course, there is indirect evidence for the existence of dinosaurs and Kong apes on other Pacific Islands, as per the Wold Newton discussions, who seem to be left strictly alone.

SPECIFIC DIGRESSIONS

Monster's Fair video game, released 1986.

As noted above, certain previously "destroyed" kaiju (including Gezora and Hedorah) appear in the storyline of this game to bedevil Mothra.

Unless, of course, this is a completely apocryphal experience, I would be tempted to identify the aliens as the Nebulans. Their obsession with pollution connects them, however distantly, with Hedorah.

Actually, come to think of it, Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster immediately preceded Godzilla vs. Gigan, in which the pollution-obsessed Nebulans made their appearance. It's easy to assume that the Xians were behind the scenes in Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster, since they show up controlling King Ghidorah a year later in the direct sequel, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero. So perhaps the situation is similar here, with Hedorah being the catspaw for the Nebulans, who only reveal themselves, like the Xians, in the next movie.

Of course, the difference between the two situations is that unlike the Xians, the Nebulans in the movies are never subsequently shown to control Hedorah...

But they appear to do exactly that in the Monster's Fair video game. Hmmm...

Let's try this on for size: The Nebulans decide to take over Earth. In their opening gambit, they hold Gigan in reserve and attack covertly with Hedorah, giving us the events of Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. Godzilla defeats the Hedorah, and the Nebulans go back to the drawing board. Perceiving Godzilla and Mothra as the big adversaries and official protectors of Earth, they decide to strike at the monsters' weak points, taking control of Minya and kidnapping the Shobijin. They also reconstitute Hedorah, and finding Gezora as the 'weakest minded' or 'most easily controlled' of the Earth Monsters, by virtue of their previous possession by Yog, begin to create a monster army. Godzilla is either mind-controlled himself, or merely loyal to and protective of Minya. Things don't go well for the Nebulans, since Mothra, rather than acquiescing, goes on the attack. In the end, the Nebulans give up on Hedorah, which has failed them twice, and abandon the idea of controlling Earth's dai kaiju. Instead, they resolve to bring out their big guns, Gigan and King Ghidorah, and concoct plans to destroy the Earth's most powerful kaiju, starting with Godzilla.

This theory places the events of the Monster's Fair game in the period 1971-1973, and in the center of the Nebulan invasion period.

On the other hand, the period between 1976 and 1998 [save for the events of the film The War In Space--CN], is a big blank spot in Showa continuity history. The only thing known to have happened during that period is an off-handed reference, in Destroy All Monsters, to a typhoon causing the Monster Island containment system to break down during that time.

So, we could offer an alternative theory to date the events of the Monster's Fair game. We simply follow the normal rule for the movies and assume it takes place in the year of release (or the year after). In this case, the scenario is similar: The Nebulans are the most likely candidates. But in 1986, they've lost their biggest guns, King Ghidorah and Gigan (both to the Garogain), and have to come up with a new plan. So they reconstitute Hedorah, mind control the extra-vulnerable Gezora, and attempt to use the Shobijin and Minya as leverage against Mothra and Godzilla, a tactic which is only partially successful...

Godzilla: King of Monsters video game 1993.

A number of Showa Era monsters, including Gabora, Gezora, Ganimes, Gigan, Kamakiras, Megalon, and Titanosaurus appear in the 1993 Godzilla: King of Monsters monsterfest game. There's no particular plot here, it simply chronicles an outbreak of monsters, so it's difficult to make judgments based on context or background.

Again as noted above, it's not overly clear whether this game is a legitimate part of Showa Continuity, or merely apocryphal.

Of course, I think its more than possible to argue that the Godzilla: King Of The Monsters game is part of the Showa continuity. The bulk of the monsters are definitely from the Showa Era, specifically Kamakiras, Kumonga/Spiega, Gezora, Ganimes, Varan, Titanosaurus, Megalon, Hedorah, Manda, Gigan, King Seesar, Ebirah, and Jet Jaguar. Other monsters, Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus, and Mechagodzilla are common to both Toho's Showa and Heisei Eras, and thus not persuasive either way.

The only creatures definitively of the Heisei Era in that game, we have Mecha-King-Ghidorah, Super Mechagodzilla, Battra, Biollante, the Super X and Super X-2 war vessels, and possibly the Godzillasaurus (who was first depicted in the Heisei Era film Godzilla vs. King Ghidora). Discounting Super Mechagodzilla, at best then, we have only perhaps three or four definitively Heisei Era creatures, with thirteen definitively of the Showa Era, and six neutral. Showa wins with a score from 19 to 13, versus 10 to 4.

So, how do we explain the existence of these three or four Heisei Era creatures in a Showa Universe?

Of these, we may dismiss Super Mechagodzilla as a natural development of Mechagodzilla. The same alien technology that produced the cyborg Gigan could well have produced a secondary, cybernetic Mecha-King Ghidorah within the Showa continuity. So Mecha-King Ghidorah is probably the product of alien science rather than human time travelers.

Biollante could have come from the same types of scientific experiments in the STU (Showa Toho Universe). In fact, Biollante might come about more easily, given the effects of strange plants and mutation in the STU. For an example of mutagenic fungi (which are more closely related to plants than to animals), consider Matango (from the Toho film Attack Of The Mushroom People, who also appear in the Godzilla, Monster Of Monsters! video game), or my essay "The Mighty Shrinking Kong" (posted elsewhere in the Guest Section of this site).
Battra might well be explained as a mutation of the second Mothra larva that disappeared after Godzilla vs. Mothra. Perhaps one of the larva was contaminated by Godzilla's radioactivity or atomic breath, precipitating its slow transmutation [the life force of the Earth had Hir own plans for this second, possibly male larva--CN].

The thing to remember is that there's a big empty gap between 1976 and 1998. Even if we insert the Destroy All Monsters typhoon reference, and Mothra's Monster's Fair Game of 1986, that's still a big pile of time for things to happen in.

It's entirely possible that rough analogues (substituting aliens for time travelers, etc.) of the developments which created the Heisei Series characters, took place in the STU between 1976 and 1993. So this game could well be set in 1993.

Or, if we wished to allow for even more time, we could assume that the game is set in the 21st Century on Earth, in the same time frame as the Godzilla, Monster of Monsters! video game.

I found the game references, by the way, on the Toho Kingdom web site.

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