King Kong Defeated Godzilla
The Most Epic of All Battles
The Truth Hurts
As a young boy, I rewound the vhs over and over hoping that the ending would be different. After seeing Godzilla vanish into the ocean and Kong swimming away with a triumphant roar, it was clear to me that the ending was not going to change. King Kong defeated Godzilla. After seeing many other epic Godzilla battles growing up, I felt that defeating this overgrown monkey would be a piece of cake. He had previously defeated alien cyborgs, three-headed dragons, and even a cybernetic replica of himself before taking on this clown. How could it be that an ape that only possessed a made-up power, whose sole purpose was to give him a fighting chance in this match-up, could defeat the King of the Monsters. It's taken many years, but I am finally at peace with it.
The Japanese version
You may have heard that the Japanese version had a different ending. Some will claim that Godzilla won in that version, while others claim that it was a clear draw. Regardless of which claim you have heard, understand that the ending is exactly the same, except you hear both monsters roar at the conclusion of the film, opposed to just King Kong's. To many fans' dismay, the ending is still the same and King Kong is the winner.
Can King Kong Defeat Godzilla?
King Kong could never beat Godzilla. Throughout the film it was made obvious that in a realistic showdown between the two monsters, Kong would stand no chance. At the onset of their first showdown, Godzilla breathes fire at Kong, narrowly missing him, and Kong retreats.
In their second battle, a different scenario gives Kong a fighting chance. He is airlifted and dropped on Godzilla, locking them into close-quarters battle. In this instance, King Kong had a much better chance of winning but Godzilla's immense stature eventually overcame him. King Kong is knocked out and then supercharged by lightning strikes which propeled him to victory.
The plot element that allowed King Kong to win was both clever and incredibly cheesy. Nonetheless, if you like a good giant monster death match, you will not be disappointed by the action that ensued between these two colossal titans. It is truly one of the most brutal and realistic (barring the special effects) giant monster battles ever. Despite Kong's victory, his franchise would wane thin while Godzilla's portfolio expanded.
It's All Good
The Good Guys Always Win
The disappointment among Godzilla fans doesn't really blossom from the reality that Godzilla should have won this battle. Most Godzilla fans were introduced to the franchise through the films in which he was the good guy. They may have enjoyed the antics of Big G trouncing evil Ghidorah, drop-kicking Megalon, or ripping the head off of Mechagodzilla (all of which are far superior opponents compared to King Kong). Watching him be defeated by King Kong was like watching Lex Luthor defeat Superman. It's something that is just not supposed to happen.
Alas, Godzilla found his big screen roots as a bad guy. Gojira portrayed him as an absolutely dastardly character whose sole desire was to punish mankind. In Godzilla Raids Again, he caused nearly an equal amount of destruction and death after duking it out with Anguirus. King Kong vs. Godzilla was the third movie in the series and up until that point it was experiencing great success with Godzilla as the bad guy.
Up until that point, King Kong was a tragic misunderstood giant ape. He was taken away from his home to be put on display for the entertainment of the general public. This was the same premise that undergirded King Kong vs Godzilla, although it rebooted Kong for the sake of making him bigger. Regardless of his incredible strength, greater intellectual capabilities, and upgraded size he still stood no chance in beating Godzilla. But that's just it. He was the underdog. It would have been nothing of a surprise to watch Godzilla roast Kong for an hour and a half. To have the giant ape walk off triumphant was a welcomed twist. Back then Godzilla's defeat would have been a great way to end the movie.
Who Will Win?
In the 2020 rematch between the titans the landscape is completely different. Godzilla (2014) has introduced an incarnation of the monster that is sympathetic in some ways toward mankind. He is a good guy. Kong's Skull Island has yet to have been released. There is no telling what sort of character to expect in the new King Kong. Odds are the bout will end in a clear draw. The two monsters will be interrupted mid-battle and have to team up to defeat a common foe. That, at least, seems most likely.
Embrace Kong's Victory
King Kong's victory in 1962 brought the popularity of Godzilla to new heights. Toho began making Godzilla films like McDonald's makes hot cakes and were able to market them to an enthusiastic American audience. Within the span of two more movies Godzilla made the transition from villain to hero as Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster was introduced to the world. Kong's victory was short-lived as he only appeared in one more Toho film and would endure a terrible remake accompanied by an even worse sequel in the '70s.
Embrace Kong's victory. It made both monsters iconic and made a rematch something that fans on both sides have longed to witness. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for both monster kings.