|Relatives||George (adoptive father)|
Maria (adoptive mother)
|Nom de guerre||Giegue|
- "Ninten! I am grateful to your family. Your Great-Grandparents, George and Maria raised me. But, George stole vital information from our planet that can be used to betray my people... And now, one of his descendants is obstructing our plans, and must be stopped!! Ninten! I am talking about you! Go home now! Perish with the rest of the ugly Earth People. Foolish one, you cannot do a thing with your meager powers... Powers worthy of a lowly insect. Ninten! You alone, I may save you. Just you alone. Board our Mother Ship with me... then, fall into a long sleep with your friends and the other ugly earth people."
- — Giegue (Mother)
Known as both the "Embodiment of Evil" and the "Universal Cosmic Destroyer", Giygas is an evil alien who intends to sentence all of reality to the horror of infinite darkness.
In EarthBound, most of Giygas's operations take place in the city of Fourside.
Giygas was an alien raised from infancy by a woman named Maria and her husband George, both of whom were abducted from Earth in 1909 (dated as the early 1900s in the unreleased English translation of Mother and in Mother 1 + 2).
During this time, George studied the alien's PSI powers without their permission, culminating with their escape back to Earth.
Once he matured, Giygas was tasked by his people to ensure that PSI never spread onto Earth. However, Giygas did not want to betray those who raised him, particularly Maria.
In the end, he was forced to detach himself from Maria and begin preparations for the invasion of Earth. Sometime before the invasion, Giygas comes across the Apple of Enlightenment, a fruit that shows the future.
Giygas learns of his inevitable defeat at the hands of Ness, and so he attacks Earth twenty years before this would occur in order to disprove the prophecy.
- "Giygas cannot be defeated with force... You cannot defeat Giygas with a weapon of any kind. You must SING my lullaby, with all your feelings...SING my lullaby with all your heart."
- — Queen Mary
Eighty years later, the invasion begins, and Giygas is confronted by the great-grandson of Maria and George, Ninten, and his companions.
Giygas's influence is seen across the land as inanimate objects come to life, animals turn vicious and strange aliens begin to inhabit the earth.
During the final battle of the game, Giygas, still hurt by the loss of Maria, offers Ninten to come with him back to his home planet.
Ninten declines this offer, and Giygas continues to attack. Ninten and his friends quickly prove no match for Giygas; they resort to singing a song once shared between Maria and Giygas, and the comforting memories he had suppressed weaken Giygas.
The latter surrenders and retreats, promising that he will return.
- "So, isn't this terrifying? I'm terrified too. Giygas cannot think rationally anymore, and he isn't even aware of what he is doing now. His own mind was destroyed by his incredible power. What an all-mighty idiot! Yep, that's what he is! Heh heh heh heh... and you... you will be... just another meal to him!"
- — Pokey Minch
Giygas returns to Earth many years later as the primary antagonist of EarthBound, though he vastly differs from his appearance in Mother. In the time between invasions, Giygas, still trying to defy fate, brainwashes Ness's neighbor Porky Minch into becoming his right hand man so that he would be victorious. Giygas gains such tremendous evil power that it destroys his entire being, including his mind, causing him to become undefinable by human standards. As such, Giygas manifests as what can only be described as pure evil; in Porky Minch's words, "he is the Evil Power". Due to the loss of his mind, Giygas becomes irrational and incapable of thought. To rectify this, Porky seals him in the Devil's Machine so that his power would be contained and his mind kept intact. In the final battle, Porky attests that Giygas isn't aware of himself or what he is doing, referring to him as "an all-mighty idiot".
Now wielding a vast cosmic power which he is unable to control, Giygas becomes a threat to the existence of the universe itself. Ten years after the beginning of EarthBound, Giygas initiates the apocalypse. The only known beings who manage to escape destruction are a Starman Junior and an alien insect named Buzz Buzz, who travel back in time ten years. Buzz Buzz warns Ness of the impending catastrophe. Ness is given the Sound Stone and instructed to record the Eight Melodies in order to gain the power of Earth and be strong enough to face Giygas.
In Ness's present-day, Giygas's influence is seen throughout the world, mainly in the form of enemies that Ness encounters. Now existing as the whole of evil power in the universe, Giygas is able to manipulate the evil in the minds of living beings, both human and animal, and can apparently manipulate even the forms of inanimate objects.
In the final battle, Giygas is held within the Devil's Machine, which was created to contain Giygas's tremendous power. During the battle, Pokey shuts the machine off, causing all of Giygas's power to be unleashed; the event surrounds the four children in a chaotic, bizarre dimension of darkness. His attacks are random and incomprehensible, and his speech is erratic and mindless. Although Giygas was too powerful for Ness and his friends to overcome by fighting, he is eventually defeated after Paula calls out to the people of Earth to Pray (including the player), and the combined prayers reach Giygas and exploit his weakness, which turns out to be human emotions (possibly due to his loss of Maria). He fades into nothingness, and his apocalyptic future is erased.
The five phases of the battle are:
- Devil's Machine (invincible) and Heavily Armed Pokey (must be defeated to continue)
- Wounded Giygas 1
- Wounded Giygas 2
- Fatally Wounded
In an interview, Shigesato Itoi revealed that while Giygas is mostly something that can not be made sense of, a part of it is "like a living being that deserves love. That part is the breast of Hisako Tsukuba from “The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty”. "The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty" (憲兵とバラバラ死美人 "Kenpei to Barabara Shibijin") is a 1957 adult film that Shigesato Itoi accidentally saw as a child when he walked into the wrong theater, confusing a lovemaking scene that becomes a murder as rape. In fact, Itoi is incorrect about several details from the scene: he says that "When the guy grabbed her breast really hard, it got distorted into this ball shape. It all hit me really hard. It was a direct attack to my brain." despite the fact that this does not actually occur, and Itoi admitted that his memorys of that scene were "fuzzy at best". However, from his memories of the scene he added "this sense of terror having atrocity and eroticism side-by-side, and that’s what Giygas's lines at the end are. During the end, he says, “It hurts,” right? That's... her breast. It’s like, how do I put it, a “living-being” sensation."
Giygas's dialogue was created with both himself and a staff member Matchan Miura. Since Itoi did not know how to use computers at this time, the two of them would sit alone in a room with Itoi speaking the dialogue one Japanese letter at a time and Matchan typing in on the computer and it being displayed in hiragana. Itoi would then look at the screen and give Miura instructions on what to change, and a section would be finished once Itoi was impressed and they both were almost in tears.
For many years, fans have debated and created multiple theories concerning Giygas. Two theories have achieved meme-ship and have been of popular debate. The following are three theories.
- Some fans have noted a resemblance between Giygas's sprite in Mother and Mewtwo from the Pokémon series and that they both are shown to have powerful psychic abilities. It is also interesting to note that many people who worked on Mother also worked on the Pokémon series.
- There is a persistent theory that Giygas is a fetus when encountered in the Cave of the Past that gained support by the fact that Ness traveled back in time to face Giygas and that one of the final undulations of Giygas's background during the battle makes the image appear to form the outline of a baby. However, the theory has been dicouraged due to Shigesato Itoi's explanation on the creation of Giygas and that the image is simply a coincidence. However, it is still disputed that the similarity between Giygas and a baby may be a reference to his uptaking by Maria.
- Another popular theory is that the face seen in the Devil's Machine is not that of Ness but that of Ninten, as it is impossible for Giygas to have seen Ness before the fight as the only time Giygas sees Ness is when they are in the robot bodies. He faced Ninten before and probably remembers him, which makes more sense.
- Brainshock is effective against Giygas, although only during a few of his various different stages.
- Giygas is one of the three characters who can use PSI Rockin, along with Ness and Ness's Nightmare.
- In Mother 1 + 2, it is actually possible to defeat Giygas outside of the scripting by poisoning him. Doing so earns no experience points and ends the battle as if it was normal. However, the ending proceeds normally with the minor difference that Tracy, King, and Ness's Mother are briefly seen in the Cave of the Past.
- After Giygas is defeated in EarthBound, the screen effect resembles a television screen being turned off. The static at the end of the Giygas battle also resembles the static shown at the beginning of the game, before the EarthBound logo.
- The line "You cannot grasp the true form of Giygas' attack!", and many of Giygas's dialogue lines have become internet memes.
- At one point in the battle against Drawcia in the game Kirby Canvas Curse, the background uses warping special effects similar to what is used on Giygas's background in EarthBound. It is possible, though unlikely, that this technique was inspired by the EarthBound technique.
- If one were to flip a picture of Giygas in his EarthBound appearance upside down, the "face" resembles the face of his appearance in Mother.
- The incomprehension of Giygas's true form and his influence on the people of the world shares a lot of similarities to the likes of the creatures in the works of H.P. Lovecraft. This is backed by Pokey referring to Giygas as "an all-mighty idiot", where one of the nicknames of Lovecraft's Azathoth is "Blind Idiot God".