Godzilla may seem like an insurmountable threat to humanity, but these purpose-built weapons gave him serious trouble, some even outright killing him.
- Godzilla’s healing factor and ability to absorb energy make him nearly indestructible, rendering conventional weaponry useless.
- Despite their impressive names, weapons like the Maser Cannons and Dimension Tide prove ineffective against Godzilla’s power.
- The Oxygen Destroyer is one of the deadliest weapons encountered by Godzilla, capable of reducing him to a skeleton in minutes.
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As the king of all monsters, Godzilla has endured many powerful weapons dreamed up by humanity, some of which even came close to killing him. It’s hard to imagine that any feat of human engineering could do damage to the all-powerful kaiju, especially considering it was a nuclear bomb — one of humanity’s deadliest creations in real life — that awakened him in the first place. Though there have been 11 different versions of Godzilla over the years, they’re all nearly indestructible.
There are a few key mutations Godzilla possesses that make him so difficult to put down. For one, the creature has a healing factor not unlike the X-Men’s Wolverine, making it hard to do lasting damage with sheer physical force. Secondly, in most Godzilla movies, Godzilla is capable absorbing vast amounts of energy, especially radiation, feeding on the same physical force that birthed him. This combination of traits, along with his sheer bulk, make Godzilla completely immune to most forms of conventional weaponry. His appearances require the human governments and task forces pitted against him to get creative with their weaponry.
10 Maser Cannons
Perhaps the weakest force to register as a threat to Godzilla, the Maser Cannons are a series staple. Maser is actually an acronym, standing for Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Resembling a satellite dish, these weapons are frequently mounted to tanks, encampments, and train cars as a sort of anti-kaiju artillery, bombarding their targets with atomic energy similar to Godzilla’s own atomic breath.
Though they’ve become a familiar sight in various eras of Godzilla films, the Maser Cannons actually made their first appearance in a different kaiju movie: 1966’s The War of the Gargantuas. While sometimes effective in slowing down or distracting a target long enough for bigger guns to arrive, the Maser Cannons themselves are, ironically, not much more than cannon fodder to Godzilla and his gargantuan ilk. As the lowest common denominator of anti-kaiju weaponry, they’re usually crushed underfoot without a second thought.
9 Dimension Tide
Despite its impressive name, the Dimension Tide is perhaps one of the biggest failures put to screen as an anti-Godzilla weapon. Appearing in the Millennium Era Godzilla timeline, the Dimension Tide is an orbital satellite super weapon capable of generating and launching miniature black holes into the Earth’s surface below. While understandably a dangerous weapon with a huge potential for collateral damage, there’s not much that humans of the Millennium Era were capable of building that could actually hurt Godzilla.
In its first test, the Dimension Tide actually causes a rift in time, bringing forth the giant pre-historic Meganulon flying insects into the present-day. As if that weren’t bad enough, these insects eventually feed off of Godzilla’s energy and inject it into their queen to form, Megaguirus, an evil mutant kaiju similar to Mothra. When the Dimension Tide finally gets a clear shot at Godzilla, he manages to counter it with his atomic breath, causing an explosion that enables him to fake his death, taking the humans by surprise when Tokyo once again feels tremors in only a few days’ time.
8 Mecha King Ghidorah
King Ghidorah is one of Godzilla’s best and most iconic enemies, a fearsome three-headed dragon from space bent on dominating the planet. After his defeat at the hands of Godzilla in 1992, Mecha King Ghidorah was built in the far-off year of 2204 before being sent back in time for a rematch. A cyborg created by fusing futuristic technology with the biology of the space-faring monster, Mecha King Ghidorah added upgrades such as anti-gravity flight, a triple laser beam, and restraining devices purpose-built for restraining Godzilla.
Piloted by the time-traveling rebel, Emmy, Mecha King Ghidorah got a rematch with Godzilla, catching him mid-rampage just after the defeat of the original model. After a relatively even fight, it seemed that Emmy was able to get the upper hand, capturing Godzilla and flying him high over the ocean before ejecting, sending both monsters plummeting to the ocean floor. However, the cybernetic creation stood no chance against atomic breath, which Godzilla used to free himself.
7 The Gotengo
A more conventional military approach to dealing with giant monsters, the Gotengo is a giant, aerodynamics-defying battleship bristling with weapons. These include its signature bow drill, which allows it to travel through the Earth. The ship first appears in the Showa-era film Atragon, during which it goes up against the Mu Empire, an underground civilization bent on taking over the surface. Though originally invented as a weapon of human warfare, the Gotengo eventually sees action against Godzilla in Godzilla: Final Wars.
After a rampage across Japan, the Gotengo tracks Godzilla down to Antarctica, where it engages the beast with a bombardment of specialty cannons. Though Godzilla fights back viciously, the Gotengo is able to blast apart the ice sheets below, causing the monster to fall deep within a crevasse. Trapping him for 20 years, this victory may not result in an outright kill, but it gives humanity a 20-year break from Godzilla’s destructive rampages. In the end, a heavily refurbished ship, creatively dubbed The New Gotengo, travels back to Antarctica to free Godzilla in wake of the Xiliens invasion.
One of the most ingenious weapons to be developed for use against Godzilla, A.N.E.B. is a breakthrough for humanity’s ability to strike back against the king of the monsters. A genetically engineered bioweapon, A.N.E.B. stands for Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria. A microorganism made to strike the monster where it hurts, A.N.E.B. is developed using Godzilla’s own cells, producing an enzyme that allows the bacteria to break down and consume nuclear materials.
Appearing in Godzilla vs. Biollante, A.N.E.B. also results in the birth of the titular villain, the head scientist behind A.N.E.B. splicing Godzilla DNA used for the project with a rose bush. After giving rise to the terrifying Biollante, A.N.E.B. is deployed against Godzilla. It has little effect at first, but the Japanese Self-Defense Forces realize that the bacteria need higher temperatures to do their job. They blast Godzilla with heat-based weaponry until the biological weapon leaves him too weak to fight. This could easily have killed him were it not for the cold waves of the ocean bringing his body back to manageable levels, allowing him to recover.
5 Blood Coagulant
While not technically a purpose-built weapon, the coagulant used against a newly-birthed version of the monster in 2016’s Shin Godzilla has a great record. As a standalone film, Shin Godzilla reintroduces the all-powerful kaiju in one of the strangest and most dangerous forms he’s ever taken. Rather than an ancient species slumbering beneath the oceans that’s reawakened by nuclear tests, Shin Godzilla is a fully formed mutant birthed from the dumping of nuclear waste.
One of the largest and most destructive forms of Godzilla put to screen, Shin Godzilla shows none of the heroics that the titular kaiju has come to be known for, instead lashing out in a rampage across Japan. As such, it’s all the more imperative for the Japanese government in the film to find a solution. In the end, this version of Godzilla is put down after being force-fed a special blood coagulant, interrupting his body’s temperature regulation and freezing him in a state of suspended animation. While this isn’t technically a kill, it does manage to incapacitate Godzilla completely.
4 Super X
Another flying warship, Super X is a vehicle deployed against Godzilla by the Japanese Self-Defense Force in the Heisei Era. Initially designed for military use, the aerial weapons platform is deployed to intercept Godzilla in 1984’s The Return of Godzilla. Firing a barrage of cadmium-tipped missiles directly into Godzilla’s mouth, the ship is able to halt the nuclear reactions occurring within the monster’s metabolism, weakening him to near-death.
Unfortunately for the Super X, its victory is short-lived. Simultaneous hasty nuclear strikes from the Soviet Union and the United States collide midair over the battlefield, creating a deadly storm of nuclear energy. In addition to shutting down the Super X’s systems, lightning from the cloud defibrillates Godzilla. This restores him to fighting form, much to the ship’s crew’s dismay. The ship is succeeded by the Super X2 and Super X3 in future films, each battling Godzilla with varying degrees of success.
One of Godzilla’s most infamous enemies, Mechagodzilla is a purpose-built kaiju made for the sole purpose of destroying his inspiration. While there have been many different Mechagodzillas that Godzilla has fought over the years, they always manage to put up a close fight. The original Mechagodzilla is actually created by aliens to use as a weapon against humanity, disguising him as the real Godzilla before a confrontation with Earth’s most powerful kaiju. While Godzilla is no match for his mechanical doppelganger by himself, he takes down Mechagodzilla with the help of another monster: the lion-headed King Caesar.
Later, another version of Mechagodzilla, also known as Kiryu, is built by the Anti-Megalosaurus Force to combat Godzilla. Built around the skeleton of the original Godzilla from 1954, Kiryu is bristling with weapons, most notably the Absolute Zero Cannon, a powerful freeze ray built into its chest. This version of Mechagodzilla comes incredibly close to killing the Millennium Era’s Godzilla. It’s only stopped when the latent primal consciousness dormant within the original Godzilla’s bones takes over, freeing the mech from human control and bringing the near-death Godzilla into the ocean to recover.
2 The G-Crusher
Yet another robotic counterpart to Godzilla, Super Mechagodzilla is in a league of its own when it comes to facing his organic counterpart, as he wields the powerful G-Crusher. Showing up in the Heisei Era, Super Mechagodzilla is built by G-Force, an international joint military organization solely dedicated to the protection of people from kaiju around the globe. Super Mechagodzilla, also known as Mechagodzilla II, is built using reverse-engineered future technology from the wreckage of Mecha King Ghidorah. Among the creation’s suite of weaponry is the G-Crusher, a series of electrically charged harpoons.
In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, G-Force uses Godzilla’s status as a new parent against him, kidnapping the creature’s offspring to use as bait. In their studies of the baby Godzilla, they learn a key weakness: the location of Godzilla’s secondary brain used to autonomously control his body. In the ensuing battle, the G-Crusher targets this secondary brain directly, essentially killing an already beheaded Godzilla. In the end, Godzilla is only able to survive thanks to the sacrifice of Fire Rodan, a fellow kaiju and longtime ally. Rodan projects his energy into Godzilla’s secondary brain, allowing it to regenerate and revive the king of monsters.
1 The Oxygen Destroyer
The most feared weapon throughout the Godzilla franchise, the Oxygen Destroyer is the among the deadliest weapons the kaiju encounters. Debuting on-screen alongside the king of monsters himself in 1954’s Godzilla, the Oxygen Destroyer is purpose built by Dr. Daisuke Serizawa to put an end to the original Godzilla’s rampage. A chemical weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer works by releasing micro-oxygen, an incredibly powerful corrosive capable of reducing even the largest of living beasts down to a skeleton in mere minutes.
The weight of the device as a weapon is so great that it leads to Dr. Serizawa sacrificing himself in order to ensure the Oxygen Destroyer is only used once. After it permanently kills the first Godzilla, the Oxygen Destroyer is alluded to many times across the franchise. Famously, it also leads to the creation of a mutant kaiju spawned from the site of its first deployment in 1954, the aptly-named Destroyah. Destroyah goes on to become one of Godzilla’s most terrifying and powerful opponents, only further demonstrating the danger the Oxygen Destroyer posed to Godzilla and humanity at large.