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Gwangi the dinosaur statuette


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • The Valley of Gwangi was a movie I remembered from my teen years. I ended up buying it and you know how it is; everything has an AP value and before I knew it Gwangi was near completion.
  • The History is pretty much stolen straight from Wikipedia and is full of SPOILERS. And here he is…

“He who takes from Gwangi is cursed !”


  • Real Name: Gwangi means “Lizard” in an unspecified Native American language
  • Marital Status: N/A
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Somewhere south of the Rio Grande in the Forbidden Valley (also known as the Valley of Gwangi)
  • Height: 14’ Weight: 4,000 lbs (7APs)
  • Eyes: Black Hair: N.A.
  • Other distinguishing features: Gwangi’s skin is blue

Powers and Abilities

Gwangi is more than just an instinctive killer. Gwangi is a true monster who kills for the pleasure of it.

Gwangi is a powerful carnivore with one-foot long teeth, razor-sharp and dagger-like. Gwangi has powerful back legs, and can run down most prey and makes good use of his tail for balance as well as for making sweeping attacks.

Gwangi prowls on a street

Gwangi… Allosaurus ? or T-Rex ?

Gwangi is commonly refered to as an allosaurus, because Willis O’Brien labelled him as one in the original Gwangi script back in the forties. O’Brien apparently didn’t draw much distinction between the big theropods, because he also referred to the T-Rex in King Kong as an allosaur on set.

Interestingly, both the Kong rex and Gwangi himself (including the version created for the aborted forties movie) were based on the same Charles R. Knight painting of T. rex – it’s the second-most famous Knight-T. rex, and one characterized by the fact that the eye is actually placed in one of the nasal sockets (this is also reflected in the Rhedosaurus’ head from Beast From Twenty Thousand Fathoms).

Harryhausen also recently put out a book – An Animated Life – where he confirms that in his treatment, Gwangi was a tyrannosaurus.

Gwangi faces a cowboy with a pole

The main difference between the T-Rex and the allosaurus beyond sheer size, was the forearms and head. T-rex had very little arms and two tiny fingers on each arm. Allosaurus had a long, narrow skull, large orbits, three-fingered hands, and usually “horns” or ornamental crests on their heads.

Gwangi has the size and three fingered forelimbs of the allosaur but the head and general overall appearance of the tyrannosaurus.


Sometime near the turn of the century, a beautiful cowgirl named T.J. Brekenridge hosts a rodeo that is struggling. Her former fiancé Tuck Kirby, a heroic former stuntman working for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, wants to buy her out.

T.J. has an ace she hopes will boost attendance at her show – a tiny horse. Tuck meets a paleontologist, from the British named Horace Bromley, who was working in a nearby Mexican desert. Bromley shows Tuck fossilized horse tracks, which Tuck notices to be similar to T.J.’s tiny horse’s feet. So Tuck sneaks Bromley in for a peek. Bromley declares the horse to be an eohippus.

The tiny horse came from an area known as the Forbidden Valley. A gypsy claims that it has a curse, and demands that it be returned. Later, a group of thieves (presumably under orders from the gypsy) collaborate with Bromley to steal the horse and release it to the valley. Bromley collaborates in the hopes of following the horse to its home.

Theft of Dreams

Tuck nearly walks in on the theft, notices the horse missing, and sets off after it and Bromley. When T.J. and her crew discover the horse is missing they believe Tuck had stolen it. T.J. then forms and leads a group of cowboys after Tuck and Bromley on a mission to retrieve the tiny horse.

A drawing of Gwangi chasing a cowboy

Making their way into the valley, Tuck, T.J, and the rest of the group meet up and soon discover why the valley is said to be cursed as a pteranodon swoops down and snatches a boy who had accompanied the group. After killing the pteranodon, they spy a struthomimus, a small dinosaur which they chase after in the hopes of capturing for the show.

Chasing it to a creek they run right into Gwangi, a vicious killer which pursues them back to their base camp. Upon discovering their guns are armed with blanks the group attempts to rope Gwangi only to have a styracosaurus enter the fray which distracts the meat-eater long enough for the cowboys to make a break for it.

Gwangi kills the styracosaurus then pusues and manages to catch and kill one of the cowboys. Gwangi is knocked out by falling rocks when he tries to force his way out of the valley in pursuit of the group.

Mad World

The misguided entrepreneurs secure him and take Gwangi back to town where he is to be put on display in T.J.’s show. However on opening night one of the gypsies sneaks in and begins to unlock Gwangi’s cage in an effort to free him. Instead the unfortunate man ends up on the menu and Gwangi breaks free, killing Bromley in the process.

Gwangi gets lasso'd

Eventually Gwangi, Tuck and T.J. end up in a cathedral which catches fire during the battle. After some near misses Tuck and T.J. manage to escape and lock the door behind them, trapping Gwangi in the burning building which then crumbles around him.

Gwangi dies in the fiery holocaust and the town makes Tuck the town hero. However, the town’s population is also saddened by the thought of a magnificent creature like Gwangi dying a horrible death.


Gwangi is roughly 35 feet in length. He is blue in color and looks a lot like a diminutive tyrannosaur.


Gwangi is a blood-lusting monster killing for the sake of killing. Any living thing that gets his attention Gwangi will snap in it’s direction and give chase without ceasing. Gwangi has been known to kill large dinosaurs like the styracosaurus only to take one bite of his kill and give chase to much smaller prey.

Marvel Universe History

Gwangi would have an obvious home in the Savage Land.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats


A 281 points Character

Dex: 04 Str: 07 Bod: 08 Motivation: Nihilist
Int: 01 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Carnivore
Inf: 02 Aur: 00 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 007 HP: 005

Claws: 08, Extra-Limb(Tail): 07,Growth: 04, Running: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Growth is always on (-1), innate, and already factored in




Serious Irrational Attraction toward Killing


By Ethan Roe

Source of Character: The Valley of Gwangi 1969 movie written by William Bast

Helper(s): www.wikipedia.org, Sébastien Andrivet, Jesndr

Writeup revised on the 21st of January, 2012.

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