SDCC 2013: Legendary’s Godzilla Encounter Stomps Into San Diego – And We Got A Sneak Peek

I encountered Godzilla at San Diego Comic-Con, and lived to tell the tale. And, in the coming days (well, as long as you’re in SD), you can too, thanks to Legendary PicturesGodzilla Encounter.

There’s a couple of crucial steps to meeting the King of All Monsters face to face (literally – we’ll get to that in a second), but because I’m a swanky dude, Legendary was nice enough to invite me and a few other members of the press to their installation located somewhere in the San Diego area.

Spoiler: it’s pretty close to the Convention Center, and looks like it was swiped by Godzilla, but WHO KNOWS WHERE IT IS???

In any case, after being picked up in black cars outfitted with atomic monster fighting shields, we were whisked over to the installation area. On the way, the car played a disturbing medley of siren noises, and warnings that an atomic monster had been sighted in the area. Then we parked, and were quickly ushered into the warehouse by agitated “police” warning us that the monster was near.

Photo credit: Legendary Entertainment

Inside was a different story. Though there was an overturned police car, and some rubble, the first large room of the Godzilla Encounter is a museum out of any Kaiju fans dreams. The center-piece is an actual man-in-suit Godzilla costume, but also noteworthy are a collection of every Godzilla film playing on a TV from the appropriate era, and a veritable tornado of giant monster Manga.

Photo credit: Legendary Entertainment

There’s also a ramen bar, with actors – well, I think they were actors – serving Godzilla rolls, beer, and other tasty treats (at least to press people; for you plebes, I guarantee NO SNACKS).

Photo credit: Legendary Entertainment

Additionally, while there, you can use Legendary’s Godzilla Encounter App to unlock an image of the beast himself rising out of the ocean. Well, I think that’s what it was… I was one image away from unlocking the full thing, when suddenly, the lights started flashing, and we were ushered into another room.

Photo credit: Legendary Entertainment

In the next space, “scientists” hurriedly pulled on levers and knobs, while sirens blared and news footage of an atomic monster attack played on widescreen TVs. We were informed by our previously affable host that a monster from Tokyo was making it’s way to the West Coast of America, and we were in imminent danger. From there, it was off to the world’s largest elevator, and then into an even larger office.

Outside the windows, rain poured down in sheets, and we were urged to go over to a line of police tape to stay safe. “You should probably look at the windows,” one PR rep whispered to me as we all stood looking, instead, at the bare center of the room. And when I turned around, that’s when I saw him.

Now, Legendary has cleverly hidden the newest incarnation of Godzilla behind sheets of rain, shades on the windows, and of course, his own size. So we didn’t get a complete, full on look at the monster. But from the quick glance I got as he passed by, and then stared at us full in the face before skreeonking like nobody’s business… It’s Godzilla. It’s not the, shall we kindly say, abomination, from the 1998 film. Nope, this is the G to the Z himself. I could be wrong, but his snout does look a little longer and more lizard like, but that’s the only change I noticed. Oh, other than CGI of course. Really cool looking CGI.

From there, we were rushed into the next room, where Legendary proudly displayed a giant version of their – awesome – <a href="Comic-Con exclusive poster. And then it was back to the real world, with its non-atomic monsters, and sad lack of free snacks.

Photo credit: Legendary Entertainment

For fans in the San Diego area, you’ll be able to head to the Godzilla Encounter starting tomorrow for the ticketed event, and throughout the weekend. For those of you elsewhere, other than being pointed at and laughed at by the people of San Diego, you can also create your own Godzilla pics in the App and upload them. And, Legendary promised, as the release date on May 16th, 2014 draws closer, there will be way more things to do. The only thing you can’t do, though? Run from Godzilla.