GoLion's story starts in the year 1999, when the planet Altea is subdued and enslaved by the Galra Empire. Five space pilots return to Earth to find the planet annihilated by thermonuclear war. Eventually, the explorers are captured and enslaved, and forced to fight for their lives in Emperor Daibazaal's arena. The young pilots escape and eventually land on the planet Altea, where they discover the secret of the mighty sentient robot GoLion, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Emperor Daibazaal's forces. Thousands of years ago, GoLion was once an arrogant robot who, after defeating several beastmen, tried to challenge a goddess to battle, but failed. To teach him humility, the goddess separated him into five pieces in the form of five lion robots that sailed through space and crash-landed on Altea to lay in wait for those who would one day reawaken him to fight evil once again.