Baragon (バラゴンFrankenstein vs. Baragon, and was subsequently absorbed into the Godzilla franchise. Baragon's suit was utilized to portray several kaiju in Tsuburaya Productions' series, Ultra Q and Ultraman.) is a subterranean kaiju that debuted in the 1965 film,
Beginning at Toho
Baragon was first seen in Toho's 1965 film, Frankenstein vs. Baragon, where he fought and lost to a giant version of the Frankenstein monster. The floppy-eared dinosaur became a beloved monster in Japan, despite his single film appearance. By 1966, Toho had no major plans for Baragon, but Tsuburaya Productions had major plans for the underground saurian.
Role in Ultra Q
During the production of Ultra Q in 1966, Eiji Tsuburaya made it no secret they were using suits from the Toho studios, even Godzilla himself appeared as the very first Ultra Kaiju. As the show continued, Tsuburaya wanted Gomess to return, but due to the suit being sent back to Toho, the executives sent Baragon's suit to the Ultra Q set. This marked the first time Baragon became one with the Ultra Series, becoming the monster Pagos.
As Pagos appeared and was destroyed in his titular episode, Tsuburaya had plans to revive the monster and have him fight others such as Garamon, Kemur Man, and Peguila, but the plans were never executed. As Ultra Q ended, Baragon's suit sat in Tsuburaya's warehouse.
Moving onto bigger thingsAs the Ultra Q series finished, Baragon's suit was hauled out of storage for the third episode of Ultraman, gaining a new head, a yellow coat of paint for his back, and a green fin on his rump, Baragon was christened the Transparent Monster Neronga. Neronga was a one off monster, destroyed by the titular hero's signature attack, but this wasn't the end of Baragon's career.
The next time Baragon's suit was reused was during "The Lawless Monster Zone" episode where it was used for the Underground monster, Magular. Magular's screentime was brief, being dispatched by a simple well-placed grenade from the Science Patrol, and the monster never got to even fight Ultraman or the villain of the episode, Red King.
The final time Baragon was dragged out of storage was when Tsuburaya planned to revive the monster Pagos for a Uranium based episode. However, Pagos' head was butchered to create the head of the dragon horse Dodongo, so Tsuburaya decided to just reuse the Neronga/Magular head. Removing the spikes of Magular and using six giant silver petals to hide the seam around the neck, Gabora was born. The Baragon suit by this time was in shambles.
No More Pagos...
As the filming of Ultraman was done, Baragon's suit, damaged, paint smeared, and well-worn, was meant to be revived as the monster Pagos, once again, for Eiji Tsuburaya's next series, Ultraseven. However, plans of Pagos' revival where greatly changed as was his fight with Capsule Monster Windom. Windam was replaced by a new monster, Agira, and Pagos was completely re-written into the monster Riggah, so Baragon's suit remained in the Tsuburaya warehouse for two years, gathering dust and mold. It wasn't until 1968 that Toho remembered how popular the pug like dinosaur was, and contacted Tsuburaya, requesting the suit back.
Back Home at Toho
Baragon returned to the silver screen in Toho's then-planned final Godzilla film, Destroy All Monsters. However, due to the expenses of the new Godzilla, Anguirus and Rodan suits, the new Manda and Mothra puppets, and repairing King Ghidorah's suit and Kumonga's puppet, some of the monster's promised attention was drawn from him. Toho didn't even have time to repaint the beast back to his rustic red brown color.
Due to the damages sustained during his stint as an Ultra kaiju, Baragon was relegated to a cameo role. With a completely new head, the monster appeared on a small monitor in Monsterland, promotional photos, and briefly during the film's final battle and ending sequence. Baragon was originally planned to attack Paris in the film and destroy the Arc de Triomphe, but Toho was forced to replace him with the monster Gorosaurus, whose suit was still relatively new. Gorosaurus is still referred to as "Baragon" in the scene however.
And thus ends the history of Baragon's role in the Ultra franchise. His likeness and role in the Ultra Series would not be forgotten though, as Geronga appeared in Ultraman Max's tribute to Ultra Q's Pagos, as well as Neronga from the orgiinal series. Baragon himself has continued to appear in media related to the Godzilla franchise over the years, and was even featured in the film Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack in 2001, though barred from the title.
Powers and Weapons
- Burrowing: Baragon is able to burrow underground at moderate speeds. This ability has been retained by all Kaiju retooled from his suit, as well as any inspired by said uses, such as Geronga.
- Fire Breath: Baragon is capable of emitting an orange-colored beam of flame from his mouth. The majority of Kaiju retooled from his suit have retained some form of heat ray based upon this attack, the only exceptions being Magular, who posseses no beam attack at all, and Neronga, who fires an electric beam from his horn.
- Baragon has undoubtely had his suit retooled for appearances in the Ultra Series the most out of any Godzilla Kaiju.
- Baragon's roar has become a staple of the Tokusatsu genre, from it's use for the monster Varan to later being reused for Baragon himself, then quickly becoming often reused for several Kaiju thereafter.
- In the Godzilla manga produced by Kodyansa, Baragon has a variation called Sea Baragon, a hybrid creature created by the manga's villain, Professor Omiyama, that apparently also uses DNA from Toho's walrus Kaiju Maguma. Sporting a narwhal-esc horn on its head and lacking the monster's trademark ears, this variation incidentially bears some resemblence to the numerous Ultra Kaiju born from Baragon's original suit, especially Neronga, who sported the most prominent nasal horn of all the Baragon-based Kaiju to have them.
- Baragon's most recent film appearance in GMK was originally intended to include the Toho Monsters Anguirus and Varan, the latter of which Baragon shared a roar with, and the former similarly had his roar used for a few Ultra Kaiju such as Banila, but both were switched out in favor of the more marketable King Ghidorah and Mothra.
- Interestingly, the film managed to boost Baragon's popularity in Japan, with him being comparable to the noteriety given to his contemparary Anguirus in the west.