Godzilla (ゴジラ Gojira?), also known as the American Godzilla, AmeriGoji, GINO, TriStar Godzilla or the First Godzilla among other names, is an American movie monster that first appeared as the title character in the 1998 Roland Emmerich American film Godzilla. The design by Patrick Tatopoulos is that of a hunched bent-over marine iguana. The 60 meter tall creature is a mutation of a sea iguana caused by nuclear radiation. The movie’s incarnation is a re-imaging of the Japanese Godzilla monster, which is traditionally portrayed by a man in a latex rubber suit. When Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) was released and introduced a new American Godzilla called Zilla (an evident parody of Godzilla ’98), many people misinterpreted this as a canonization of the American Godzilla, whereas Godzilla (1998) and Zilla (2004) are officially two different characters from two different films, countries and fictional universes. Zilla is often falsely used synonymously with Godzilla (1998).
Originally a marine iguana egg irradiated by French nuclear tests in French Polynesia, makes its presence known years later when it attacks three fishing boats in the ocean. The monster then heads to New York City, dragging three trawlers under the sea on the way, then lumbering across the Fulton Fish Market, before rampaging through the city. Manhattan is evacuated and the US military attempt to kill the monster, first luring it out with a huge pile of fish. It takes the bait, but then is scared off by small arms fire, and is chased by three AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. They fire, only to knock the top two dozen stories off the Chrysler Building. The monster escapes, but not before it is realized that it reproduces asexually, and is collecting food not only for itself, but also for its offspring.
The military lures Godzilla out again, into the waters of the Hudson River and seemingly kill it with a torpedo. Meanwhile, hundreds of eggs are discovered in Madison Square Garden. The Baby Godzillas begin to look for food, but are incinerated when the building is bombarded. The adult Godzilla emerges from the wreckage and discovers that all of its offspring are dead. Heartbroken and furious he is lured to the Brooklyn Bridge where it becomes entangled in the steel suspension cables, and is an easy target for the jet fighters. After it is hit by twelve missiles, it screams in pain, looks Niko “Nick” Tatopolous in the eyes and falls to the ground, its heart beating slowly until it sadly breathes its last breath and officially marks the extinction of its species.
All seems well until we see in the smoking ruins of the Garden, a single egg has miraculously survived and hatches revealing another Baby Godzilla, an American Godzilla we will come to know as Godzilla Junior, the one who will eventually take the throne as the new king after his now deceased father.