Saturday, April 5, 2014

Through The Atomic Glass Darkly - Commentary On The Godzilla Extended Look Trailer For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign

The trailer has  great visuals, fantastic dialogue, and just about everything a Godzilla fan could want! But will it live up to the hype of this trailer? Only time will tell. But there are more then enough elements here to keep a DM busy! I've posted some thoughts about the first Godzilla Trailer HERE
This trailer really draws the Godzilla monster as an incredible force of nature. This is a monster that can not be dealt with, human reasoning fails and we are left with another possibility for our nuclear wastelands of the future of our imagination. This truly is a hearkening back to the giant monster pictures of the fifties with the volume turned up to eleven. Even the press release statement put out by Legendary Pictures says this:

An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.
—Legendary Pictures, in official press release
But where will this all lead? Are we on the verge of a new beginning so to speak?
File:Godzilla (2014) poster.jpg

Are we seeing the dawn of a new Dark Age and the ascension of Kaiju into the dominant species of this planet?
Naw... We're seeing one of the best new giant monster films to come out since Pacific Rim though. A film rife with gamible giant  monster old school goodness and a possible stepping stone into a great post apocalyptic campaign.

Many plot hooks are dangled in this new Godzilla film campaign and now more then ever I'm convinced that we've got a creature that goes all the way back to the Fifties in it's history. The change in clothing style from the nineteen Seventies of the main characters. There may be other giant monsters lurking right in plain sight. Could we be seeing the beginnings of a brand new set of giant monster pictures? If we look into the past of the original 1954 Godzilla films for some possible answers.  Here's the final design of the creature from the cover of Empire Magazine.

Godzilla in the 1954 movie was the great unknown force of nature, a shadow or ghost of the coming atomic age. This wasn't a force that could be stood against merely survived. The entire 

Are there other giant monsters in the new Godzilla film?

Major Monster Spoilers Ahead!
 According To Wiki : 

In October 2013, toy and collectible web sites offering pre-orders of merchandise for the film revealed aspects of the other creatures to appear in the movie. The other creatures are, as a group, known as "Mutos", with some having the ability to fly and being multi-limbed.[56]
In a January 2014 interview in Total Film magazine, it was revealed that Godzilla will be 350 feet (110 meters) tall. According to special effect chief Jim Rygiel, the mechanics of Godzilla's fighting style is based on the study of animals, primarily bearsand Komodo dragons.[8]
For Empire magazine's April 2014 issue, the magazine cover featured a picture of Godzilla, revealing the monster's design. According to director Edwards, elements of the faces of bears, dogs and eagles were incorporated into the design of Godzilla's face.[57] Motion capture by the special effects firm The Imaginarium was also utilized in the movement of the movie's monsters in film sequences.[57] According to director Edwards, Andy Serkis did motion capture sequences to "control the souls" of the creatures
There is a lot of information packed into the background supplied by several interviews and  bit and pieces from Empire magazine as well as other sources.
The bottom line is that from all indications this is a rebirth. A connection to other monsters and maybe a foreshadowing of a hook up with Pacific Rim? 

Using The Godzilla Film As Basis For Your Old School
 Post Apocalyptic Campaigns 

The day that Godzilla appeared everything changed 

Imagine a humanity that is trying to cope with the on rush of  Kaijui and the devestation caused by such creatures as well as the smaller monsters spawned by the deadly alien energies of these creatures. The world would be forever changed but eventually mankind would have to adapt, study, and change to deal with such things. 
The mutants, mutates,deviants, freaks, and things spawned by the ecosystems that we've seen in countless sci fi movies over the years are easily connected into the old school back doors of post apocapytic games. Gamma World, Mutant Future, Mutant Epoch, etc. all have the tools that allow a DM to not only create but plug into this new wave vibe of Godzilla spawned movies that may follow in the wake of  this incarnation of  Giant prehistoric mutated monstrous horrors stalking our screens. 
Power armor, energy weapons, massive weapons, etc. might all be spawned and jump started by studying the kaiju up close. Using the enemy's own biological fingerprint as technological jump start would not only be necessary but vital to the survival of humanity.
Perhaps a Pacific Rim style future is a direct result of the appearance of such monsters. Could the energies released from such horrors awaken other monsters, ancient gods, and demons across the world? 
If we look at the flocks of mutant monsters in the various post apocalyptic games one thing always stands out. They're evolution makes makes no biological sense. There is a very solid reason why such a thing is. That's because they didn't evolve but where left behind in the wake of the Kaiju. Each one of these walking forces of nature carries it's own toxic waste dump of creatures with it. That's right the monsters live in the skin, organs, etc. of the monsters. As they pass through the countryside they're leaving monsters, energy, and god knows what else in their wake. 
 Humanity and the animals of the local eco systems are going to be well and truly changed by the appearance of such monsters. The monsters are terra forming the Earth around them by their very appearance.  Each one of these things is an avatar of a new mother nature. This isn't a new formula but one that appeared in the original 1954 Godzilla and to a greater extent in Rodan. Then Gamera had similar submonsters. But there is more to the appearance of such creatures.
Could the mental mutations that appear in many classic post apocalyptic games be a direct result of the various alien energies that these horrors admit? Is the appearance of so many biological humanoid mutations a direct result of the pressures of the appearance of giant monsters?
To go further, could the appearance of the Kaiji be a signal that the stars are right. We know that from various games such as Call of Cthulhu and many others that there are alien cycles of history. Could the appearance of the monsters be simply a signal that our time is over?
Imagine an old school game of adventurers and mercenaries living and dealing with the shadow of giant monsters. Perhaps a combination of giant mecha, power armor, and relic weaponry might be the only edge such a group might have. A campaign where 'drifting' or a similar mental mutation allows the pilots to match the dexterity and lethality of such mutated giants. 
The entire campaign might be moving from one safe vault to another as the giants stride the Earth and you are humanity's last hope.
 Now imagine a campaign where the PC's are a village of slayers moving across the landscape in mecha trying to slay one of these beasties on a track  of destruction across the countryside.
What kind of effort would it take to dismantle and carve up one of these giant monsters? Imagine the haul it's carcass would bring in neo materials and artifacts. Think of this style of campaign in terms of the American Indian and the buffalo. No part would go to waste here. So to would the carcass of such a monster go to waste.
 There would be a constant run for ammo, supplies, and man power to hunt and bring such horrors down. Not to mention the dooms day cults, the weird monsters lurking in the ruins, the psychic tracking of such beasties and the full on going trauma of going toe to toe with the greatest horrors to roam the Earth.  

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