The Gotengo was constructed to defend Japan, with powers of flight, tunneling and going underwater. Captain Shinguji used it to fly to the area were Mu submarines were stationed, and destroyed them. It then went underwater and was attacked by Manda. Manda tried to squeeze the Gotengo, but it released an electrical charge through the hull, knocking Manda off. Manda tried to escape, but the Gotengo froze it with its Zero Cannon. It then dug into the Mu City's generators, causing the city to explode.
Right when it appeared as though the situation was at its worst for humankind, the tables were turned on the lumbering leviathan. An earthquake shook the frosty terrain, and Godzilla began to fall deeper and deeper into a massive gorge. The captain of the Gotengo found his advantage, and gave an order to launch an array of missiles at a mountain behind Godzilla. The resulting avalanche sent thousands of tons of ice barreling down onto the now helpless dinosaur, freezing the monster in suspended animation. The world breathed a sigh of relief as the crew of the Gotengo celebrated! That malevolent menace was finally defeated, and the world was safe, at least for the moment.
Decades after its epic bout with Godzilla in the 20th century, the Gotengo was repaired and enhanced with modern weaponry. The newly advanced craft was sent to Great Britain, where it grappled with the mighty sea serpent, Manda. After a short battle, the constricting creature was frozen by the Gotengo's zero cannon and shattered by the versatile vehicle's giant bow drill.
The aerial battleship returned to Tokyo, where it became obvious that a major monster invasion was occurring across the globe. Suddenly, the monsters vanished, and an alien race called the Xiliens took responsibility for their defeat. However, once their plans for domination were uncovered, the monsters were unleashed on the world yet again, for they had always been under the Xilien's technological spell. In order to save the world, the Gotengo was piloted to Antarctica on a mission to free Godzilla from his icy prison. The Xiliens sent the savage cyborg Gigan to prevent the revival of Godzilla, but to no avail. Though Gotengo was pummeled by Gigan's cluster beam and buzz saw, it managed to fire 10 missiles, which freed Godzilla from his tomb. Two blasts of his atomic ray defeated Gigan, and the Gotengo proceeded to launch into the air. Godzilla trailed the battleship, for it thought that the battle from forty years earlier was still waging on. Those aboard the Gotengo used this to their advantage, and they began to lead Godzilla to Tokyo.
During the long voyage to Japan's capital, the evil aliens unleashed Zilla, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Rodan, Anguirus and King Caesar to fight off Godzilla, in hopes of killing him right away. Each being defeated rather easily. When Gotengo finally reached the Mothership, the battle between humans and extra terrestrials was about to begin. Gotengo simply buzzed through the Mothership's preliminary defenses, and began to fire on the ship with its giant maser cannon. Unfortunately, it appeared as though a protective shield was protecting the entire ship from attack. The Gotengo launched its Dogfighter, which infiltrated the core of the battle station and destroyed the shield generator, at the cost of the pilot. The Gotengo utilized its drill to pierce through the hull of the immense vessel, and a long brawl ensued within.
When the Xiliens were defeated in combat, they initiated the Mothership's self-destruct sequence. The humans escaped into the Gotengo, and fled the dying Mothership. The explosion that followed caused the foe Godzilla was presently facing, Monster X, to morph into an entirely new creature: Keizer Ghidorah. This three-headed dragon began to quickly extract the life from the nuclear behemoth! It appeared as though the world was doomed, but those aboard the Gotengo had a plan. Using up nearly all of its remaining energy, the Gotengo transferred the power of Keizer into Godzilla. Supercharged with energy, Godzilla destroyed two of his adversary's three terrible heads. His hyper spiral ray finished the job, and Godzilla roared in success, for he had finally defeated his most powerful opponent yet.
Godzilla noticed the weakened Gotengo, and in his surge of triumph, began to contemplate the defeat of his old foe. An atomic ray was sent barreling into the ship, forcing it to crash into the ground. The battleship's electrical grid was damaged, and power was unavailable. Godzilla was about to finish the vessel when his son, Minilla, pleaded with him to spare the humans inside. Godzilla listened, and he respected his son's wishes. The two monsters began to swim into the distance, and into the sunset. The Gotengo had gone through a great deal, and if it weren't for this powerful ship or its courageous crew, the world may not have lived to witness another day.
Super Fleet Sazer-X the Movie: Fight! Star SoldiersIn Super Fleet Sazer-X the Movie: Fight! Star Soldiers, the Gotengo returns to assist the heroes in its Atragon appearance. The Gotengo burrows through the ground and retains all of its abilities, and even uses its Absolute Zero Cannon on one of the enemy robots. In this film, the Gotengo is accompanied by Akira Ifukube's theme whenever it appears. As of 2014, this is the most recent appearance of the Gotengo in media produced by Toho.
In Godzilla: Monster of Monsters for the NES, one of the hyperspace areas that can be encountered is a battle against a giant alien spaceship that resembles the Gotengo. Smaller versions of the Gotengo can also be encountered as stage enemies. They fly at the top of the screen, but attack slowly by dropping bombs onto the player, like the Moonlight SY-3. They are near-impossible to defeat, because they are usually positioned out of the player's reach.
The Gotengo reappears in Godzilla: Unleashed known as Atragon. The Gotengo was first shown in a pre-release trailer for the game, battling Godzilla. It was later shown to be a boss. In this game, the Gotengo was piloted by Admiral Gyozen. The Gotengo appears three times in the game. First in London as an obstacle, then in New York as a boss, here the player must get the Gotengo down to half health. The battleship appears one last time in Osaka near the end of the game. After the fight Gyozen is killed. The Gotengo fights by shooting missiles, freezing missiles, using the drill nose, and the new crystal cannon. In the PS2 Version, the Gotengo doesn't use its drill nose or crystal cannon, but still uses the freezing and regular missiles.
The Gotengo appears in the Godzilla: The Game as a military vehicle that can be summoned against Godzilla. It is modeled after its 2004 appearance. It appears in area 21 if played on stage 8 as an automatic boss. It is called once Godzilla destroys the first tower. It attacks by ramming Godzilla with its drill, then flying away and firing on Godzilla with its Maser Beams or Zero Cannon. It is seen in the final cutscene as part of the force that freezes Burning Godzilla so he can be transported back to the ocean.
The Gotengo makes a small cameo in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth issue #1 as a model on Chavez's desk.