Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Commentary On The 1954/2014 Godzilla trailers And Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

I started looking into the original Godzilla movie from 1954 after all the new Godzilla trailer and movie echoes it in both spirit and substance. There is a ton of stuff going on with the new movie that parallels the old 1954 classic.

Owen Gliberman sums up the movie quite well with the following: 
In Entertainment Weekly, Owen Glieberman, who gave the film an A- rating, wrote:
"Godzilla, an ancient beast roused from the ocean depths and irradiated by Japanese H-bomb tests, reduces Tokyo to a pile of ash, yet, like Kong, he grows more sympathetic as his rampage goes on. The characters talk about him not as an enemy but as a force of destiny, a "god". The inescapable subtext is that Japan, in some bizarre way, deserves this hell. Godzilla is pop culture's grandest symbol of nuclear apocalypse, but he is also the primordial spirit of Japanese aggression turned, with something like fate, against itself.
Could this world ending agression not merely turn on itself but us as well? A sign of the times when a Godzilla is returned as an OSR force of nature. Call of Cthlhu may hold the answer for the beginning of a kick ass OSR campaign. 
File:Godzilla '54 design.jpg

The 1954 trailer might be considered ancient history in this style of world. A place of eldrith horror and abominable legends that plump the deepest fears of mankind. For more on this,we need to look into the 1954 movie's history and its connection to the new movie. 
Major Plot Spoiler ahead From Wiki : 
When a Japanese fishing boat is attacked by a flash of light near Odo Island, another ship is sent to investigate only to meet the same fate, with only a few surviving. On Odo Island, a village elder blames their poor fishing on a sea monster known as "Godzilla" and recalls that in earlier times native girls were sacrificed to appease the giant sea monster. Word gets out and a helicopter arrives on the island with curious, but skeptical, reporters. Frightened natives perform a night-time ceremony to keep the monster away. However, that night, while the natives sleep, a storm arrives and something else comes with it, bringing death and destruction. A boy sees the cause during the midst of the destruction.
The next day, witnesses arrive in Tokyo. Archeologist Kyohei Yamane suggests that investigators be sent to the island. On arrival, Yamane finds giant radioactive footprints, and atrilobite. When an alarm sounds, the villagers arm themselves with sticks and various weapons and run to the hills, only to be confronted by Godzilla, who is revealed to be an enormous dinosaur-like creature. After a quick skirmish, the villagers run for safety and Godzilla heads to the ocean.
Yamane returns to Tokyo to present his findings and concludes that Godzilla was unleashed by a nuclear explosion. Some want to conceal that fact, fearing international repercussions. Others say the truth must be revealed. They prevail and Godzilla's origins are announced to the public. Ships are sent with depth charges to kill the monster. When that fails, Godzilla appears again, frightening patrons on a party boat, and causing nationwide panic. Officials appeal to Dr. Yamane for some way to kill the monster, but Yamane wants him kept alive and studied.
Meanwhile, Emiko, Yamane's daughter, decides to break off her arranged engagement to Yamane's colleague, Daisuke Serizawa, because of her love for Hideto Ogata, a salvage ship captain. Before she can do that, Serizawa tells her about his secret experiment. He gives a small demonstration, using a fish tank in the lab. Shocked, Emiko is sworn to secrecy and never gets a chance to break off the engagement. That night Godzilla climbs from Tokyo Bay and attacks the city. Though the attack is over quickly, there is much death and destruction. The next morning, the army constructs a line of 40-meter electrical towers along the coast of Tokyo that will send 50,000 volts of electricity through Godzilla, should he appear again. Civilians are evacuated from the city and put into bomb shelters. As night falls, Godzilla does indeed attack again. He easily breaks through the electric fence, melting the wires with his atomic breath. A bombardment of shells from the army tanks has no effect. Godzilla continues his rampage until much of the city is destroyed and thousands of civilians are dead or wounded. Godzilla descends unscathed into Tokyo Bay, despite a squadron of fighter jets' last-ditch attack.
The next morning finds Tokyo in ruins. Hospitals overflow with victims, including some with radiation poisoning. Witnessing the devastation, Emiko tells Ogata about Serizawa's secret Oxygen Destroyer, a device that disintegrates oxygen atoms and organisms die of asphyxiation, and that it accidentally created a new energy source. She hopes that the two can persuade Serizawa to use it to stop Godzilla. When Serizawa realizes Emiko has betrayed his secret, he refuses, and Ogata and Serizawa fight and Ogata receives a minor head wound. As Emiko treats Ogata's wound, Serizawa apologizes, but he refuses to use the weapon on Godzilla, citing the public bedlam his weapon could cause. Then a newscast shows the devastation Godzilla has caused. Choirs of children are shown singing a hymn. Finally realizing this, Serizawa decides he will use the weapon once and then its secret must be destroyed for the good of humanity. He then burns all his papers and research. Emiko breaks down and cries when she sees this, as she understands that Serizawa is sacrificing his life's work and himself to stop Godzilla.
A navy ship takes Ogata and Serizawa to plant the device in Tokyo Bay. They don diving gear and descend into the water, where they find Godzilla at rest. Ogata returns to the surface as Serizawa activates the device. Serizawa watches as Godzilla dies then tells Ogata to be with Emiko. At the cost of his own life, Serizawa cuts his own oxygen cord so his knowledge of the device cannot be used to harm mankind. A dying Godzilla surfaces, lets out a final roar, and sinks to the bottom before completely disintegrating.
Although the monster is gone, those aboard ship mourn the unexpected loss of Serizawa. Godzilla's death has come at a terrible price and Dr. Yamane believes that if mankind continues to test nuclear weapons, another Godzilla may appear again one day.
Which he will in 2014 and far beyond into the Shadow Years of Mutant Future. 

Old School Gaming With The Big 'G' 

One really nice write up for Godzilla that I've seen recently is the 2005 release from Chaosuim called Secrets of Japan.
This is a really well done book and Godzilla gets a pretty small two page write up but its a write up that reveals some pretty cool little OSR gems.

From RPG manufacture Chaosium Inc.'s highly successful Call of Cthulhu series its "Gazira," Japan's defender against unspeakable elder gods.  That's right Call of Cthhlu's Godzilla battled Lovecraftian gods and paid for it with unspeakable scars and horror left in the wake of those battles. Now imagine that its two hundred years from the Rise of the Old Ones and the battles with giant monsters. 
If we start looking into the implications of this. There are some really weird possibilities for a central event that might have caused a post apocalyptic world shattering to happen. What would it be like suddenly if the 'Rise of The Old Ones' and the clash of giant monsters shattered a future world sending it back to the stone age. Suddenly, Mutant Future coupled with Realms of Crawling Chaos seems to be not only a viable OSR campaign but one many of the elements of Labyrinth Lord don't seem so far off.
All of the Goblinoid Games material is available right over
Secrets of Japan Available Right Over
Where might all of this lead? What possibilities might happen? Well one possibility might be the ideas laid down in Pacific Rim. Giant Robots vs Lovecraftian horror on a scale well beyond the pale of mortal man.
Surely there isn't a way to involve adventurers and treasure seekers into this equation. Well actually. Here's a chance to introduce your PC's into the giant monster black market. 
In fact there has been talk about a crossover even though its only talk at this point. According to wiki : 
At WonderCon 2013, Guillermo del Toro expressed enthusiasm for a potential crossover between Godzilla and del Toro's Pacific Rim—another Legendary Pictures kaiju film—but stressed that no such plans are in place.[113] In an interview at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, Edwards expressed an interest in making a sequel that uses the "Monster Island" concept used in Destroy All Monsters.[114]

These ideas are easily converted over to a post apocalyptic old school gaming as well as adventuring and even now folks are looking at playing this sort of campaign. 
As always your mileage may vary.
 This is from my twisted mind and in no way shape or form I'm I trying to violate the copyright and trade mark of the holders. This post is only for entertainment purposes only. 


  1. Are you going to post rules for looting Kaiju bodies in Mutant Future? I like the idea of that being 'treasure' in a post-ap game.

  2. I'm going to post rules for this type of treasure over the next day or so. Kaiju bodies in Mutant Future are an untapped treasure and this is very cool way to get some additional items and weirdness into characters hands! Thanks for the comments and we've got more coming up.


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