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Comic-Con 2013: Godzilla Encounter

Godzilla is back and he is beautiful. This week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, fans of the bipedal behemoth will have the chance to see where he came from and catch a glimpse of where he’s going at the Godzilla Encounter, a tricked-out immersive experience just outside the Convention Center proper. We got to check the experience out early with a few extra touches for the members of the press that made the trek down to Comic-Con before the madness begins.

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After being picked up by a caravan of SUVs, we headed out to the Encounter. The whole scenario was off to great start, with the vehicles playing a mock comm-line during Godzilla’s initial assault on San Diego. Once we arrived at the Godzilla Encounter, we found ourselves instantly transported to a Godzilla-fied Tokyo neighborhood.

In this section of Tokyo, they happen to obsess over a certain not-so-jolly green giant. The area has a video store that only carries classic films from the Godzilla franchise, a fashion shop with one-of-a-kind kicks that will make your friends green with envy, a sushi bar with newspaper clippings featuring the King of All Monsters, and a giant “manga shop” showing off some gorgeous renderings of Japan’s favorite reptilian son. This area also features props from the Godzilla franchise: the Millennium Godzilla suit and the original Oxygen Destroyer from 1954′s Gojira.

We were then swept away to a control center tracking Godzilla’s movements. As he gets closer, a lab tech ushers you into an “elevator” that shakes reminding you a giant creature is attacking the city. Filing out of the elevator we found ourselves in an office looking out across a rainy Tokyo skyline. And then we got our first look at a beautifully on target version of Godzilla. Gone are the visions of a giant Komodo dragon; Godzilla is himself again in all his scaly glory. And we’re not going to spoil it for anyone here. The experience is worth not looking at his image online.

In addition to the experience of the set-up, the landscape goes completely interactive with the Godzilla Encounter App. The niftiest feature in the app is the AR translator that works with posters in the “neighborhood” that are marked with the Legendary logo. The entire Encounter is a giant mash-up of pop art, fan service, clever marketing and ultimately one hell of a fun experience. If you’re at Comic-Con, we highly encourage you to try to attend, which is why we’re going to let seven of you (and a friend) check it out with us Thursday evening! Enter our Godzilla Encounter VIP contest now! The contest closes at 9am Thursday July 18th. For those of you who aren’t at Comic-Con International, well here’s a gallery of the Kaiju-filled goodness just for you.

(Note: Legendary Pictures owns Nerdist Industries, which remains editorially independent)

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