One of this year’s best kept secrets of Comic-Con, at least until a few days before it began, was the offsite event at 5th and Island set-up by Legendary Pictures: The Godzilla Encounter.
Starting Preview Night, though, it became the hottest ticket in town. KC and myself were able to obtain tickets for 9:30 PM on Wednesday night and eagerly stood in line with many fans, including actor Zachary Levi (Chuck).
Upon admittance, we entered a Tokyo city block full of Godzilla sets, props and memorabilia. We saw, among other things, one of the actual Godzilla suits from the movies, a bar set that had shelves loaded with small treasures for G-fans and a sculpture made of Godzilla comic books and manga. In this area, we could snap as many pictures as we liked. That was a good thing, because we moved through so quickly that it would be impossible to see and remember everything.
The next phase of the Encounter was a simulation, almost like a Disney World attraction, where we were rushed through a command center warning of the giant monster’s approach. We boarded an elevator to the roof which abruptly stopped and we were ushered onto a floor of a supposed office building. The panoramic windows on one side of the room were actually monitors depicting an actual view of Tokyo as if we were in the building.
We knew it was coming, but it was so freaking awesome that we didn’t care. Godzilla soon stomped by, turning his head to look at us. He roared and the “building” shook… Lights flickered and dust fell. But, whew, he bypassed us, turned and stomped away. The only touch that would have pushed the encounter over the top would have been a little fake window shattering and warm air from the beast’s breath.
Nevertheless, the Godzilla Encounter was a perfect experience that raises the bar for future Comic-Con attractions. Put simply, it was an incredible amount of fun.