Designation: Multi-Purpose Fighting System-3
Height: 60 Meters (196.85 Feet)
Mass: 40,000 Tons
Premiered in: Godzilla x Mechagodzilla (2002)
Out of the three incarnations of the machine known simply as Mechagodzilla, Kiryu holds the distinction of being the only one in the franchise to not only be not called that in film but also commonly referred to by its designation by the fanbase and in most other media. Contrary to its predecessors, Kiryu is not fully a machine duplicate of Godzilla but rather a sort of pseudo-cyborg with the bones of the first Godzilla from 1954 acting as the literal bones of the machine in more ways than one.
As I stated in the film review of Godzilla x Mechagodzilla, a specialized DNA based computer systems use the bones of the first Godzilla to allow for finer motor control of subconscious motions like balance but they are also used for attacking. Contrary to what most video games and anime display with reckless abandon, combat machines are not so easily controlled by way of levels or a small series of buttons especially those based on an actual life form. True, an attack command can be inputted into the machine but how would it fare against an actual living creature that can think on its feet and react accordingly to the machine, especially a machine that is limited to certain actions.
Take for example the character of Baymax from the film Big Hero 6. He had to have all of the martial arts skills programmed into him and though he has a wide variety to choose from, he still has to go through the actual motions of those programs and not differ them based on the situation. Thanks to the DNA computers installed into his head, Kiryu not only has the motor controls of the life form that he’s based on but can fight in a similar, if not heavily enhanced, style.
I say heavily enhanced because aside from the enhanced strength and endurance of being a robot, compromised of an alloy that is surprisingly resilient to Godzilla’s atomic breath, Kiryu is also armed to the extreme. His “accessory” for example is actually a massive missile silo that contains six rocket launchers in the front and eight slots along the back that carry heat-seekers. The device can also be detached via rockets and set to explode once the fuel runs out.
As to Kiryu himself he possesses twin Maser cannons in his mouth and a pair of short blades hidden with his forearms that can also unleash a large payload of Maser energy. The blades are also sharp enough to pierce Godzilla’s thick hide, something that only Gigan had accomplished in the Showa era.
Kiryu’s greatest weapon is the Absolute Zero Cannon located in his chest cavity. As its name might imply, the AZC is a weapon that unleashes a ball of energy that is -273.15°C and freezes everything in its path down to the molecular level. Unfortunately, using the Absolute Zero Cannon uses up 40% of Kiryu’s energy, meaning that he needs to have at least that much power remaining in order to use it.
Unfortunately, like most machines based on organic life, Kiryu is not without a few… quirks. Initially, Kiryu’s organic based computers worked too well, delving entirely into the instincts of the first Godzilla upon hearing the second one’s roar. Though this programming was supposedly fixed to never occur again, this quirk reemerged again in the second film Tokyo SOS when the second Godzilla was about to be killed by Kiryu thanks to the aid of Mothra’s two larval offspring. Rather than strike the killing blow, Kiryu took Godzilla in his arms and flew out into the ocean where the two were lost to the waves.
What makes this particularly interesting, and incredibly frightening I think, was that, at the time, Kiryu had a human pilot in him and was shown an actual message from Kiryu prior to being forced out of the robot before it impacted into the ocean.
That would mean that the computer falsely believed that it was the first Godzilla and was acting accordingly whilst also demonstrating a level of sentience that border-lined on a human level. However, the other explanation as supplied by both Godzilla and Mothra themselves in how they acted towards Kiryu as a whole, the soul of the first Godzilla had somehow not only been forced into the machine but in the time since Kiryu’s creation had grown in intelligence to match human intellect.
The idea of mankind utilizing massive war-machines shaped after organic life, whether it is a simple humanoid form or that of some species of animal, is not one that is likely to never occur in our world for multiple reasons. For one thing, the sheer amount of expenses involved in creating one machine likely costs more than what the entirety of the world could afford. Secondly, at the time of this post we do not possess the level of technology necessary to create such a machine at this scale, never mind one that could be programed to act and react accordingly in any situation.
However, if such a machine were to be created at all… gentlemen and ladies, the likes of such apocalyptic futures seen in films like Terminator and The Matrix would be the least of our concerns. For in order to have created such a machine as Kiryu, there too must be a reason, an opposing force, for it to try and destroy.