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Remembering Super Godzilla

Growing up, there were three things I was a huge fan of; video games, pro wrestling, and Godzilla movies. I couldn’t get enough of Japan’s favorite (or is it least favorite?) radioactive dinosaur. Recently, I decided to revisit the series to see how well my mind had preserved it. Some movies, such as 1954 & 1955’s Gojira/Godzilla: King of the Monsters, fared better now that I’m older and not as picky about special effects or movies being in color. Other Godzilla movies, specifically Godzilla’s Revenge, will never, ever be enjoyable to watch, unless you’re with some friends who make jokes about the movie the entire time. Even America’s Godzilla 1998 starring Matthew Broderick wasn’t that bad, just not a great traditional Godzilla movie. Because of being on a Godzilla kick as of late, I thought I’d revisit 1993’s Super Godzilla for the Super Nintendo.

Super Godzillahas two types of gameplay. The first of which is the grid-based map screen where you navigate Godzilla through the sections of each stage. This is done simply by pressing up, down, left, or right on the d-pad to point Godzilla in the direction you want him to go. On the map screen, there are several different icons that you’ll see, some of which you will have to avoid. A blue dot represents Godzilla, whereas a pink one marks the enemy monster. Item and health recharge points are marked with detailed yellow and blue squares respectively. Buildings and mountains are in the game, as well, but only the smaller ones can be plowed through. Crushing buildings and power lines is what Godzilla does, but it will take its toll on his health.

Along the way to the stage’s monster, you’ll encounter alien tanks, rocket launchers, and UFO’s. While the two ground enemies appear as map icons that fire when Godzilla is in range, the UFO’s appear in random battles that use the game’s battling engine (more on that later). Fortunately, these random battles don’t pop up with the same level of frequency as in some RPG’s. The UFO’s are controlled by a Mother Ship that is somewhere in the stage (represented by an orange circle on the map). Once you take down the Mother Ship, smaller UFO’s won’t appear and the stage’s monster won’t be able to warp.

When the time comes for Godzilla to square off with the enemy monster, the game’s perspective changes. The game switches to a 2-D side view where Godzilla is on the left and the enemy monster is on the right. The way you play this part is that you guide Godzilla over to his enemy, punch said enemy, and retreat to launch a cutscene move. While it sounds simple enough, it isn’t. Both monsters have a spirit meter along the bottom half of the screen. You have to work Godzilla’s spirit up while, at the same time, managing to lower the enemy’s spirit. This is done by moving forward when the opposing monster’s fluctuating spirit lowers. Even then, the monster can charge at you and knock you back, forcing you to work up the momentum all over again.

After you do finally manage to punch the enemy and start your retreat, a whole new problem approaches; the random attack selection box. As you pull Godzilla back, an icon representing a move will be displayed in a box in the middle of the lower half of the screen. These moves are random. If your box shows a move that does little or no damage to the other monster, you need to pull Godzilla back even more to cycle through to the next random move. If you run out of real estate, you need to move forward a bit and retreat again to continue the cycle. If you get cornered by the other monster when you punch, you’re pretty much out of luck.

The cinematic moves that I’ve been mentioning are relatively faithful reproductions of the original moves from the movies. While limited to a moving background and a very small amount of animation frames, they are well-directed sequences that manage to feel close to the source material. The details in these frames of animation look great for a game of the 16-bit era. It also helps that cinematic moves aren’t just one scene playing over and over again, but two or three different takes of the same move that randomly appear.

The audio completes the presentation for Super Godzilla. Not only do you have SNES-quality recreations of classic Godzilla music, but the roars, grunts and sound effects of the monsters ripped straight from the movies. Godzilla’s iconic roar is as it should be and Mechagodzilla’s raspy, metallic hiss sounds just like it did in his 1974 (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla) and 1975 (Terror of Mechagodzilla) movie appearances, albeit at a lower audio quality than in the movies. The game is also tied together with a paper-thin alien invasion plot that feels right at home in the Godzilla universe. This strong presentation turned this otherwise lackluster game into a tolerable experience for this fan of Toho’s number one Kaiju.

It’s not often that I go as far as to say that a game cheats, but I’m going to make an exception; the game cheats. The enemy monsters aren’t forced to punch Godzilla to strike with a cinematic move. So, why is the King of the Monsters forced to punch an enemy to hit them with his fire breath? The answer is that there is no answer. It doesn’t make an ounce of sense. Combine that with the “flash step”-like charging tackle I mentioned above and you have a game that throws balance out of the window to avoid being too easy.

While enjoyable, Super Godzilla was not worth anywhere near the $70 that my Grandma paid for it back in 1993 or 1994. I traded it in once (only to re-buy it several years later) to Funcoland for $10, probably when I was selling everything I could to get an original PlayStation. Here in 2011, $10 should be the absolute maximum amount that you pay for this game. If you ever see it at a second-hand store in that sub-$10 price range, give it a look. It’s unlike any other game I’ve played before.

Next Column: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for Game Boy

About Eric Blue

Often referred to by his nickname "Blue", the upbeat Eric 'BlueSwim' joined Tech-Gaming as its fighting game, pro-wrestling, and Sailor Moon expert in 2011. Although his heart belongs to the classics of yesteryear, this jack-of-all-trades gamer doesn't shy away from playing the modern-day greats as well.


  1. Nice! Every game with a giant monster should kick ass. Sadly few do.

    • I don’t know why it’s so hard to make a good monster game. Giant monsters + destructible buildings + excellent sense of scale + fun gameplay = Good monster game. Simple formula.

      I have heard good things about War of the Monsters for the PS2, but I haven’t been able to find a copy of acceptable/playable condition.

      • It’s a good game, but not as great as many people make it out to be. Maybe I was expecting something else.

  2. Custard's Revenge

    I think I remember this one. Never bought it. Probably priced too high.

    BTW- Why was the game $70? Weren’t most SNES games $50?

    • I just checked a couple of old Nintendo Power magazines I had. Back then, they would list the MSRP in their short review/preview section towards the back of the magazine. From what I’m seeing, SNES game prices were all over the map. Some were $50, others, like Super Blackjack, for example, were $59.95. Metal Marines cost a whopping $74.95. You would also see games priced rather oddly, such as Super Black Bass’ MSRP being $62.50.

  3. I was always a fan of Rampage, and would pick Lizzy the Godzilla-wannabe. Tearing up cities was a blast.

  4. Wasn’t their a Godzilla game for Xbox? I wonder how it was…

    • Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee was the first Godzilla game on the Xbox and it was a great wrestling-meets-kaiju-brawling game. Its sequel, Godzilla: Save The Earth, added more monsters and stages to the mix. For some reason, though, Save The Earth lacked the same soul as Destroy All Monsters Melee.

  5. Thanks BlueSwim. I like to hear about this games that I heard about but didn’t play as a kid. (Family was a bit poor)

    Now I can afford them.

    • There’s this strange joy to buying games you wanted as a kid, but never got. It’s such a wonderful feeling, even if the games don’t live up to the hype. 😀

  6. Blue knows his Godzilla alright!

  7. I’m surprised how well the graphics have held up. Except for the giant font that shows 15 chars a line.

  8. “Metal Marines cost a whopping $74.95”

    WOAH- First collector’s edition?

  9. I got my fill of Super Godzilla from the podcast.

    • Phoenix Wright Says: “OBJECTION! There’s a blatant contradiction in that statement.” XD

      • My question: why’s new in the Godzilla world? Are we getting any movies?

        • Yep! There’s a U.S. movie that’s supposed to come out next year, I believe.

          • Blue, what were your thoughs on Final Wars


          • Actually, Final Wars is what got my Godzilla kick going. I saw it on Crackle, Sony’s Hulu-like site, and started marathoning the newer movies.

            As for the movie itself, I like Final Wars. It’s not my favorite Godzilla movie, but it’s in my top 10. There wasn’t enough of Big G himself during the middle of the movie. It does have my favorite human character in a Godzilla movie, Captain Gordon (played by MMA fighter, Don Frye, not the same Captain Gordon as in Disgaea). Every scene he was in, he stole.

            Also, Gigan looked incredible in Final Wars. Had it not been about $25, I’d have bought the 12-inch figure of him I saw while I was out today.

  10. Whiskey for breakfast

    I played a bit of Super Godzilla. Without the instruction manual, I really didn’t know what to do. I remember the game felt kind of clunky.

  11. Good write up Blue. Keep those memories coming. I’ll try to find my copy of 6 Golden Coins.

  12. Is the game available on VC or any way BESIDES emulation and looking for an old cart?

    • Sektor! The sites most famous member!

      Not on VC dude, I’m sorry.

    • hotspitter is right on the money, unfortunately. It’s cartridge or nothing (I don’t bother with emulation so I don’t view it as a viable option).

      [Joke You Won’t Get Until You Listen To This Week’s Podcast] Has the crate that you’re shipping yourself in been delivered to Sage’s place yet? [/Joke You Won’t Get Until You Listen To This Week’s Podcast]

  13. “Even America’s Godzilla 1998 starring Matthew Broderick wasn’t that bad…”

    I polite-fully disagree. It was BAD.