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Sunday, July 28, 2013

CREATURE FEATURE : Battra


Battra (バトラ Batora) is a fictional kaiju (Japanese giant monster) appearing in the Heisei Godzilla film Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth. He is the main antagonist of the film. Like Mothra, Battra has both larval and adult forms.

Biography
Battra was created by Earth's life force to defend the planet from various threats, such as meteorites and human destruction of the environment. Over 12,000 years ago there was an advanced human civilization which originally lived in harmony with the Earth, but when they created a device to control the climate, this offended the living Earth, which sent Battra to destroy the device. Unfortunately, Battra, as the physical embodiment of the Earth's anger, continued its rage well beyond its task, and began to harm the very Earth itself. Mothra was sent to stop Battra's rampage and restore the natural order. In the fierce battle between Mothra and Battra, the existing human civilization was destroyed in a tremendous flood.
After the battle, Battra rested in the Arctic Ocean, whereas Mothra retired to Infant Island, accompanied by the two Cosmos. It was intended that Battra would reawaken in 1999 to prevent a large meteorite from destroying the Earth. Instead he awoke when a smaller meteorite hit the Earth in 1992, seven years too early. With no assigned task, the Cosmos expressed concern for what Battra might do. As predicted, Battra once again vented his wrath on human civilization. The larval Battra was drawn to the newly hatched incarnation of Mothra, but was distracted by the presence of Godzilla, who had also been awakened by the meteorite. Godzilla, as the epitome of ecological imbalance and human violation of the Earth, became Battra's target instead of Mothra, who escaped while the two fought. Godzilla and Battra battled on the ocean floor, until they caused a rift to open between tectonic plates. Both monsters were swallowed up into the Earth's crust.
Battra emerged from the sea later, apparently unharmed by the searing lava, and set off after Mothra and Godzilla. After a fierce aerial battle with Mothra, in which Mothra was injured, Battra attacked Godzilla. Godzilla severely wounded Battra, and was about to finish him off, but Mothra suddenly intervened to save Battra. Mothra then gave Battra an influx of light and sparkling energy, and the Cosmos were delighted that their two charges had become friends. Godzilla then attacked again, wounding Mothra. As the mutant dinosaur was about to strike the killing blow, Battra intervened this time, saving Mothra's life. The two insects then had a conversation, much to the amazement of the observing humans. During this communication, Mothra made a promise to Battra. The two then worked as a team to get rid of Godzilla, and together carried him back out to sea. Unfortunately, Godzilla had mortally wounded Battra, and he died. Godzilla showed the power of his double rows of teeth, being able to easily crunch through Battra's tough armor.
The promise Mothra made to Battra was to take on Battra's task of preventing the destruction of the Earth, should Battra not survive. At the end of the film, Mothra leaves Earth to fulfill this promise.


Battle statistics
In its larval form, Battra was a horribly brutal opponent who was relentless and remorseless in its attack. In this form, he wielded a massive yellow horn which could be put to use as a battering ram or bludgeoning weapon. From the horn, he was also capable of firing off furious electrical blasts of an orange-yellow color. He could fire similar electrical blasts of a purple color from his crimson eyes. However, these beams would often fly wildly about, Battra not having precise control over them yet.
Unlike Mothra, Battra did not require a chrysalis in order to metamorphose into his adult form, and had no Cosmos to represent him.
In its imago form, Battra had lost the ability to burrow or swim, but attained flight with its new wings, allowing for easier and more efficient travel for further destruction. The once prominent horn had disappeared and had been replaced with three smaller horns. These horns were incapable of releasing energy anymore, but Battra had developed more powerful optic beams, known as prism beams. Unlike the beams used in his larval form, adult Battra had complete control over the beams. He also developed three pairs of legs and would utilize them for grasping objects.


Comics
Battra has appeared in a number of issues of IDW's Godzilla comic series.


Video games
He made his boss appearance inSuper Godzilla after the defeat of King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla and Biollante and before Godzilla confronts Mecha King Ghidorah and his new enemy Bagan. His only appearance in Godzilla: Save the Earth is as a summonable sidekick. Battra later appeared in Godzilla: Unleashed as a playable character. Battra is one of the 2 monsters who is conformed to be playable in all versions of an upcoming sequel, the other being Titanosaurus (Godzilla).


Trivia
Battra is also the name of a bird-like charabom in Bomberman Jetters.
Battra's roar is actually an edited version of Rodan's roar.
Within Godzilla vs. Mothra, there is a continuity discrepancy involving Battra that deserves mention. In the film, the Cosmos explain Battra's origins and it's defeat at the hands of Mothra. They state that Battra's body (either lifeless or still barely alive) was deposited in the Northern Sea. Thousands of years later, in 1993, Battra emerges, in his larval form, from his Siberian ice prison and departs the Northern Sea, heading for Japan.  However, the cave painting on Infant Island clearly depicts an adult Battra in combat with Mothra. This raises several questions about the nature of Battra itself, including a possibility of the Battra from 12,000 years ago being a different Battra altogether, and the 1993 Battra being a second creature created by Earth's life force (probably from the remains of the original Battra). If they are, in fact, the same creature, then the fact that it emerges 12,000 years after it's defeat, once again in it's larval form is a contradiction that can only be reconciled by the viewer's personal opinion on the matter. Of course, if Battra is able to reincarnate and become a larva again, like Mothra, then the contradiction can be explained. This reincarnation ability would also indicate that Battra is not permanently dead, only resting until he is needed again. It is possible that Battra can revert back to larva form at will.
Battra was originally meant to be an evil twin of Mothra named "Gigamoth" whose abilities resemble Hedorah in an unmade film[1], but this project was scrapped and replaced with Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth.
In Godzilla: Save the Earth, Battra is seen helping the player when they are fighting via the particular power up, as seen in the video at 4:23-4:24 and the whole fight, during the fight between Godzilla (Heisei) & Godzilla 2000.
Battra makes a cameo as stock footage from Godzilla vs Mothra in Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla when the characters are explaining how SpaceGodzilla came to be.
Battra is the only monster in the Heisei series who's origin is not at all influenced by Godzilla.



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