When Technology Betrays: Terranoid

When Technology Betrays: Terranoid

Hello and welcome, Ultraman Connection readers! Throughout these articles, we’ve journeyed through the decades of battles, victories, heroes and villains throughout the Ultraman series. There is a rather famous saying; that “those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it,” and last week we examined a case of some villains making the same mistakes over and over again while trying to defeat Ultraman and conquer the Earth. 

However, villains are not the only ones plagued by prideful flaws, or a stubborn refusal to learn from their mistakes. This time, we’ll take a look back at one of the most cataclysmic human errors in the history of the franchise: the creation of the Terranoid from Ultraman Dyna. 

There’s a common misconception I’ve seen repeated when some people make assumptions about the defense teams of each Ultraman show. It tends to follow the idea that these defense teams are only considered successful if they can defeat the Kaiju or aliens who threaten the Earth. Makes sense, right? I mean, the word “defense” is right there in the common moniker given to these various organizations! 

Of course, it wouldn’t be much of an “Ultraman” show if humanity had no need of the titular alien hero at all. But more importantly, “defense” teams do more than just defeat monsters – they defend the Earth and humanity. And the best of those defense teams also recognize the distinction between those two missions.

The Super GUTS team in Ultraman Dyna was made up of the best humanity had to offer, although it may not seem that way on its surface. Following in their predecessor’s footsteps from Ultraman Tiga, many of their members boasted outstanding skills as pilots, scientists, soldiers, and leaders among the TPC. They stood at the forefront of humanity’s mission into space, blazing a trail into the unexplored cosmos. 

Just based on that description though, you might be surprised to see the actual clash of goofy personalities behind the individuals following such a lofty calling. We already make plenty of jokes about Shin Asuka, the main character and titular hero of Dyna, but the rest of his teammates can be just as immature and insecure at times, faced with their own flaws and failings in comparison to the grandeur of their mission. Even their courageous and steadfast captain has more in common with Asuka’s hotheaded recklessness than it initially appears.

So why do I still call them the “best” if they seem to make mistakes and struggle in battle – against giant monsters and evil aliens, but also against each other and even with themselves? 

When the Super GUTS members struggle and make mistakes, they learn from their lessons, and acknowledge their own shortcomings. They may not be perfect, but by the end of the show they come together as a stronger team precisely because they know their shortcomings

It’s just too bad not everyone in the larger TPC organization got that memo. 


The high ranking staff officer Gondo had already tried to maneuver himself into a position of prestigious leadership within the TPC, during the events of the movie, Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna: Warriors of the Star of Light. At that time, he secretly sponsored a program to copy the expertise of the Super GUTS team to make a superior artificial intelligence, powerful enough to run an entire battleship to defeat any threat against the Earth. As you might remember, this plan went very badly when the program was hijacked by aliens and turned against humanity to create the robotic monster “Deathfacer”.

Being manipulated by invading aliens didn’t put a damper on his plans though. If anything, they only accelerated and became more ambitious as the Ultraman Dyna series continued. Things came to a head late in the show, when Gondo learned of Dyna’s identity – not just as a human being, any human being, but the upstart rookie of the Super GUTS team, Shin Asuka himself. That revelation kicked off the final stage of his project, to copy the powers of Ultraman in order to make a perfectly efficient engine of war. A weapon, in fact, called the Terranoid. 


The real tragedy of this entire story is that Gondo sincerely believed he was doing what was best for humanity! All the defense teams, all throughout the history of the franchise, always are inspired by the example of Ultraman. In a twisted way, so was Gondo, along with his sympathizers who helped to enact his project in the TPC. Rather than fighting alongside Ultraman though, they tried to usurp that power to use for themselves. 

Remember, the real strength of the Super GUTS team does not consist of perfection, but rather the teamwork that comes from an honest view of themselves – including their flaws, but also their unique strengths together. Gondo and his team cannot tolerate flaws or failure in humanity, so they must make a power that resembles Ultraman, but in reality is only a hollow shell with no life or spirit animating it, completely removed from humanity.


At the end of the day, what they made was a perfectly hollow vessel for the Spheres. They practically gift-wrapped it for them. And even worse, in order to activate the Terranoid in the first place, they had to literally steal the power of Ultraman from Asuka himself. 

It was only at this moment that Gondo realized he had screwed up. To his credit, he learns the lesson the Super GUTS team emphasizes across the entire show, that the important secret to true strength is by acknowledging those mistakes in order to become stronger. In one last desperate act of foolhardiness (appropriately enough for this show), Gondo gives up his own life to become the energy needed for Asuka to fight at his full strength as Dyna once again.


The subsequent battle, and eventual victory over the corrupted “Zeluganoid” is only the first act of the show’s dramatic conclusion. To see the rest of the story, how Asuka and his Super GUTS teammates unite together to finally defeat the Sphere’s invasion, you’ll just have to watch for yourself. In the meantime, we here at Ultraman Connection will continue to bring you all the news, events and stories you need.