Real Name: Baragon
Identity/Class: Kaiju / Giant Monster
Enemies: Furankenshutain, Gojira, the Kilaaks
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Ogasawara Island, formerly mobile
First Appearance: Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon (Frankenstein vs. Baragon, 1965)
Powers/Abilities: Due to his enormous size, Baragon possessed extraordinary strength and durability. Baragon was apparently adapted to burrowing underground and could traverse through the Earths strata with considerable speed, his passage marked with earthquakes and tremors of extremely powerful intensity. His forearms were equipped with powerful claws that enabled him to tunnel through the earth and were impressive defensive weapons, capable of clawing through stone and metal easily. Furthermore, his hind legs were extremely overdeveloped and he could literally propel himself hundreds of feet into the air. Baragons most prominent feature is his nasal horn, which generates a glowing energy that he apparently utilized to light his way underground and which he could use as a gouging weapon as well. As a defensive measure, he could discharge a powerful heat beam from his mouth that could ignite flammable materials.
Baragon was originally nocturnal and was highly sensitive to sunlight, preferring to emerge from his subterranean environment at night or when the weather was heavily overcast or fog. It later appeared that this sensitivity was decreased or Baragon simply adapted to daylight by constant exposure as he later appeared to be unaffected by strong sunlight.
History: Though unconfirmed, Baragon is generally thought to be a type of dinosaur who might have escaped extinction following the Cretaceous Period by embracing a subterranean existence. It is unknown if Baragon is simply a naturally evolved creature or if he may have undergone some event that resulted in mutating him into his prodigious size and gifting him with his heat beam, possibly some natural vein of radioactive ore or toxic contamination from human sources.
Whatever his exact origins, Baragon's existence remained undiscovered by humanity until the 20th Century when it emerged to attack an offshore oilrig at night and later, when the sky was overcast and thus Baragon's light sensitivity not in play, a small town in the Japanese countryside, where he devoured the entire population. These attacks however were wrongfully blamed on a giant mutated humanoid, Furankenshutain. In response to the attacks, the Japanese Self Defense Forces mobilized to destroy Furankenshutain, but failed. A lone survivor of Baragons previous attack on the oilrig subsequently convinced several scientists tracking Furankenshutain that a different monster was responsible. The scientists then triggered an underground explosion that caused Baragon to surface and attack them, but Furankenshutain came to their aid and forced Baragon to flee. Furankenshutain pursued the creature and their subsequent battle caused a gigantic forest fire to break out but Furankenshutain apparently prevailed, though exactly how is unclear. As a result of their battle, a fissure erupted and both monsters plummeted into the Earths depths.
Baragon either survived, or else another of its species later emerged because several years afterwards Baragon was captured and imprisoned along with several other kaiju in a protected zoological preserve on Ogasawara Island (a.k.a. "Monsterland"). By this time Baragon was no longer bothered by sunlight, having presumably acclimatised to it. There, Baragon lived relatively peacefully until 1999, when the alien race known as the Kilaaks invaded, capturing and enslaving the various kaiju imprisoned on Monsterland, including Baragon. The Kilaaks sent Baragon into a major Earth capital to wreck havoc. After a group of Earthlings destroyed the Kilaaks mind control device, Baragon accompanied the other kaiju in attacking the Kilaaks themselves, although he declined to participate in the attack or the subsequent battle against King Ghidorah. Baragon apparently returned to live peacefully on Monsterland afterwards.
Comments: First appearing in Tohos interpretation of the Frankenstein (Furankenshutain) classic, it was felt that the original story was too sad and depressing and they created the gigantic monster Baragon to appeal to children. Tohos Frankenstein was a mutated and bizarre looking human whom over the course of the film, grew in size and stature until he was a literal giant and able to fight Baragon as an equal.
In the movie, Frankenstein killed Baragon shortly before the unfortunate monsters own demise. Baragons name comes from the Latin word varanis which means dragon. Haruo Nakajima played Baragon via suitmation, an actor in an actual rubber suit. However like so many other Tohos gigantic monsters such as Mothra, Rodan, Manda, and Varan who originally appeared in their own movies, they were quickly adopted and reused to populate the Godzilla movies. Baragon reappeared in the 1968 Godzilla movie Kaiju Soshingeki or All Monsters Charge which was subsequently retitled in English as Destroy All Monsters in a cameo role.
In the original Japanese dialogue, Baragon is blamed as the kaiju responsible for destroying Paris but the film clearly establishes that a different kaiju known as Gorosarus was the one actually responsible. Apparently the original script had Baragon destroying Paris but required a last minute substitution because the Baragon suit required major repairs owing to it being used in the Ultraman TV series and the dialogue mistake was overlooked during editing.
Baragon was rescued from obscurity nearly 33 years later in 2001 in the Godzilla Millennium series, Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidora: Daikaiju Sokogeki (translated into English as Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack). In a completely new story, it is claimed that Baragon is one of three Yamato Guardian Monsters. He emerges to confront Godzilla, who the movie proclaims as being the manifestation of the lost souls of World War II. Baragon is virtually unchanged in this heroic incarnation (although he is slightly bigger to reflect the fact that Godzillas size has proportionately increased as well) except for the loss of his heat beam. He fought bravely against the King of the Monsters using innovative tactics and his burrowing and jumping abilities to great advantage but Godzillas atomic breath ray was simply too much and he was destroyed. At the climatic finish, Baragons spirit along with the other two defeated Yamato Guardian Monsters reappeared to apparently imprison Godzilla.
Undoubtedly as the King of the Monsters will resurface once more, so too will Baragon return as well. Eventually.
Profile provided by Michael Higuchi.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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