Godzilla beating the tar out of Wargilgar and Spyler. A good guide to the Zone Fighter series can be found here. Some of the names may be a little wonky, but then again, the Zone Fighter monsters don't really have official english names, so there you go.
When we last left off, Godzilla was thwarting a terrorist plot and Frankenstein had regenerated into two new, seperate monsters that up and killed each other. Everything up until now has had an explanation, but what the Godzilla timeline is about to do leaves alot to the imagination. For confused Americans, this is going to be really important to remember: Because these films were effectively stand-alone, and only fit into a timeline by the want to push Godzilla and co. as a franchise, some things WILL NOT be explained. There are going to be things that only the audience can answer, but this will not actually contradict the timeline, it just leaves some holes.
KING KONG ESCAPES: Here's the problem this movie can create: King Kong reappears, but rather than being a sequel to Godzilla vs. King Kong, it is a film adaptation of several of the episodes of a Rankin-Bass cartoon from the time. Mechanikong comes from this cartoon.
The backstory of the cartoon, from what I understand, includes the first King Kong film, but uses a second King Kong living on a different island to fill the name role. This Kong is a friend to all children, and constantly battles that international judas, Dr. Who! There are neat cartoon monster fights all the time. A cool little monster cartoon.
So the movie runs with this premise, but replaces the human protagonists of Englehorn and some kid with Akira Takarada and some American douche-bag. The events of the cartoon never happened, but the film recreates some of them.
So why bother if it's a different King Kong? Because this is the first time Gorosaurus appears. Gorosaurus later appears on the institutionalized Monster Island that exists in 1999, and everyone knows who he is, so going by the general rules of Toho monster movies of the time, the events of KKE must have happened in the Godzilla timeline.
This can seem like a pretty big problem if you let it, but it turns out it doesn't actually matter. Even in the first cartoon there was a first King Kong who destroyed New York, so Nurse Susan or whatever her title was had no excuse to be ignorant to begin with. That King Kong seems to be smaller isn't of consequence either, since Gorosaurus too was a different size in 1999. A case can be made that Gorosaurus mutated as a result of exposure to Godzilla and the other mutants of Monster Island, but this isn't really neccessary. Wargilgar, by the way, is supposed to be taller than King Ghidorah at 108 meters. I gotta tell ya', I'm not seeing it.
By reseting the timeline, Toho essentially put elements of the King Kong cartoon into the existing Toho universe. There is simply nothing stated within the film that contradicts the only other films it is directly connected to: GvsKK and DAM.
So the final word here is that if it wasn't supposed to be in the Godzilla continuity, they wouldn't have reused Gorosaurus as the same monster only a year later. This is one of those situations where it only doesn't make sense if you imply too much.
SON OF GODZILLA: Minya is another thing people have a hard time dealing with. He's called Godzilla's son... but where's the mother? Could Godzilla have been female all along, and Minya be a product of parthenogenesis? Could Minya just a distant relative of Godzilla, like Junior is? The hard truth is that whether you like it or not, Minya is officially Godzilla's son. Furthermore, Minya is not a 12 meter long Coelophysid, it's a fully mutated Godzilla who at an incredibly young age already developed the ability to use Godzilla's ray.
This is often seen as a huge problem in the continuity because in order for Godzilla, who is definately a male, to have a child there needs to be another, female, fully mutated Godzilla. So where did this female Godzilla come from? Was it the first Godzilla? Maybe so, but the issue is never touched upon in the films, so there is no real answer. This is a situation where fan theories are simply the only explanation there is. As I mentioned in the intro to this article, however, this lack of information doesn't really affect the timeline. Remember, there was a whole year where the second Godzilla was undetected by humans, and anything could have happened during that time. And after Godzilla becomes a good guy, he is not monitored... at all, really.
How in the hell Kumonga got that big naturally and can still breathe, however, is a complete mystery.
DESTROY ALL MONSTERS: Fast forward to 1999, Monster Island, which while established in this film, becomes an island where Godzilla and friends have chosen to live naturally, thereby making the decision to use the place as a location to relocate all the world's surviving monsters to is an obvious one.
There is a moon base on the... moon to which the SY-3 ferries workers to and from. This is the epitome of the good future that Ishiro Honda wanted to portray so often. Not only do all the people of the world cooperate with each other on a daily basis, but Earth's monsters have even calmed down, and will actively work with humans to deal with any threats that only the monsters can deal with. Ogasawara Island, formerly a place where only Godzilla, Anguirus, and Rodan would hang out when they weren't saving the world, has become a government sactioned facility where all surviving monsters are both studied and cared for.
And King Ghidorah dies. This will mean that every remaining Showa film will have KG run away at the conclusion of a fight.
ALL MONSTERS ATTACK: This film may or may not take place in the same reality as the rest of the series. Some choose to exclude this one because of that, but that seems like a cop-out. Godzilla exists outside Ichiro's imagination, this much is explicit. And based on the assumption that all Showa kaiju films exist in a sort of "background continuity" where they do not have to interact until overlapping characters deem it necessary, this film is definitely within the timeline.
And what's the problem with including it anyways? Nothing relating to the monsters actually happens. AMA is a non-monster movie with inserted stock footage acting as a character development trick to get Ichiro's courage up. The only connection this could have to the "real world" of the rest of the series is if you assume that all the monsters in the dream world were actually the real monster's dream selves acting out subconscious memories of battles with Godzilla. Gabara is the only original character, and he is clearly a manifestation of something in Ichiro's head that, due to it's size, Minya and Godzilla are forced to deal with.
But there's no evidence that it's anyone's dream but Ichiro's. Doesn't matter anyways.
After this, the timeline events get much less complicated and much more inclusive of information. In 1970 an unmanned spaceship gets possessed by Yog-Sothoth or Dogora's more malevolent brother (Yog-Sothoth is the only name it's ever given, but it sure doesn't look very bubbly to me) and is turned back to Earth where it crash lands at Selgio Island. Gezora, two Ganimes, and Kamoebas appear, and all are killed in a volcanic eruption on the island. Hedorah comes to Earth and Godzilla kills it... and yet another one? Gigan and King Ghidorah come to Earth as part of another evil alien invasion scheme. Godzilla and Anguirus, now living on Monster Island, send them packing.
Godzilla vs. Megalon gets a little interesting. In the dub, the film is said to take place in 1971. This is impossible, because it is clearly Gigan's second appearance, and unlike King Kong, Gigan has a rock solid continuity in the Showa series. What had happened was the original film states the date as "197X," which, while awesome, can't really be any other year besides 1973 as it takes place after Godzilla vs. Gigan in 1972 and the entirety of the Zone Fighter series, which takes place in 1973. You could say that GvsMeg takes place in a nebulous time period between 1972 and 1973, and is either one or both dates, but there's no need and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense anywhichways. There is also mention of the sinking of Seatopia occuring 3 MILLION years ago. They reference back to Mu, the other lost continent, and state this in a manner which implies this was simply a product of continental drift. Except it sunk. There weren't any modern humans 3 million years ago, so this means that they are a different genus, or they colonized an already sunken continent.
Whatever, that movie is wierd.
Zone Fighter occurs entirely within 1973, between the events of GvsMeg and GvsMG, according to Toho. Guess what, everyone, they get to say that. You don't argue with Toho, this is a Word of God situation. The only people who have ZF doesn't count are those "false-fan" types who say they like the Godzilla series, but have nothing good to say about any of actual films. Here is a brief summary of the reccuring characters from that directly interact with Godzilla:
ZF arrives on Earth seeking refuge after his home world Peace land (where I have heard that before?) was destroyed. And I mean the whole fucking planet was blown to smithereens. It's gone bay-bee. He fights a series of "Terror-Beasts," monsters created by the Garoga aliens who destroyed his home, who are now filtering into Earth. Red Spark and Jikiro appear together, and Red Spark is completely destroyed. Jikiro loses, but will return multiple times to bother Zone. More stupid ultra-monster looking things are sent and die by Zone's hands. Wargilgar shows up eventually, followed by Spyler who is disguised as Zone Angel's old flame from Peaceland, and Zone Junior has the brilliant idea to just call Godzilla. So he magically shows up and tears the spine off Spyler, then nukes Wargilgar to death. Spyler actually lives past this episode, but only in a bit part.
Now faced with resistance from the Zones AND Godzilla, the Garoga decide it's time to bring out the big guns. You remember the world destroying monster with the mysterious past whispered by the ruins of aeon-dead planets as King Ghidorah? Well, turns out he is a Terror-Beast created by the Garoga.
So THATS where he came from!
Not only that, but do you know when he was created? During the Garoga's war with Venus. Wait a minute, this is linking up so well, is Toho really doing this in 1973? Yes, friends, that is exactly what they did. KG, i'm happy to say, has a tighter history than Godzilla himself. Zone desperately tries to get rid of KG for two episodes, a process proved more difficult by the addition of the Dark Prism, an object possibly related to KG's meteor form that leeches energy off of living things and sends them into KG. So Zone, who is not, by the way, Godzilla, becomes less powerful as Ghidorah starts to use his gravitational powers to lift cars and learns to combine his three beams into one super powerful blast. Stuff happens (alot), but Zone eventually lures KG back to the ruined Venus where it all began, and away from Earth, and sends him packing in time for the credits.
In the following episodes, swarms of Terror-Beasts are sent who fail to conquer Earth miserably. A bright red Garoga Spider transforms a normal Gorilla into the "Garoga Gorilla," and then becomes Spideros. The Gorilla doesn't make it. Garogas get help from Nebula M Space Hunter, who send Gigan while they get close to crushing Zone Fighter in a car. Godzilla beats the snot of Gigan AGAIN, and then leaves, Gigan gets back up and is killed by Zone Fighter once and for all. More monsters attack Zone, including Garoborg, who we'll see again. Spyler is spotted for a short period of time during Barakidon's attack. Zone builds Godzilla a retractable door for his cave, and they begin sparring before Zandolla appears, who almost sinks the entire city of Tokyo. Godzilla and Zone kill it, but not before Godzilla rips Zandolla's tail off (of course).
Moguranda survives after his failed invasion, unlike some monsters who follow. Godzilla comes to Zone's aid again to fight the monster Jellar, and his clone Katsam-Jellar. So they die. Jikiro returns as "Super Jikiro," who is larger, but still doesn't go down for the last time. Two failed invasion attempts later, the Garogas unleash an army of monsters (while the hell didn't they START that way?), which includes surviving Terror-Beasts Garoborg, Moguranda, Spideros, and of course Jikiro, no longer so super. Zone manages to defeat the new monster Kabutogirah, but requires Godzilla's help for the others.
In the last episode, Zone Fights (heheh, geddit?) Grotogauros. Since the show never continues, the Garogas must just have given up. A different alien race arrives the next year, and bring with them Mechagodzilla, who is defeated by the combined forces of Godzilla and the Okinawan defender King Ceasar, who wanted to become emperor. The aliens repair Mechagodzilla, send it back with a monster called Titanosaurus that is the most unusual looking Sauropod I've ever fucking seen being mind-controlled by Akihiko Hirata, and both get their asses handed to them by Godzilla.
That covers everything. Next time we gather up the dates and put them in chronological order. Hooray! Then we can move on to the Heisei series... which will surprise the hell out of you.