The Great Legend War was the greatest crisis that Earth had ever faced. With a massive invasion force, the Zangyack Empire, which sought to rule the entire universe, attacked Earth in order to annex it as their newest colony. But despite their overwhelming power, the Zangyack found themselves opposed by the thirty-four Super Sentai teams and their allies who united as one to drive the Zangyack off of Earth. Because of the severity of the situation, even fallen Sentai heroes such as Gai Yuki (Black Condor of Jetman), Burai (Dragonranger of Zyuranger), and redeemed Gekiranger enemies Rio and Mele were temporarily revived in order to fight alongside their allies once again.
Just days after Brajira of the Messiah's defeat, from above, countless Zangyack Battleships bombarded cities while hundreds of Gormin troops led by their Sugormin commanders fought against opposition. How long the war lasted until the Super Sentai sacrificed their powers is unknown, though it is known that before the final confrontation, there was a massive battle where over 100 robots/giants fought against the Zangyack fleet. Many of the robots were destroyed or killed during this battle.
Meanwhile, the Goseigers, after Gosei Great was crippled and Gosei Ultimate was destroyed by a Zangyack attack, were beaten back hard by the Gormin and ZuGormin. Hyde noted that the Zangyack were probably the strongest enemies they've ever faced. The Goseigers then found themselves attacked by the Zangyack fleet itself, but soon managed to lose them by hiding in a forest as the ships passed over. Alata told his team to hold on and that they would soon join with their predecessors who would fight alongside them.
Suddenly, a squad of Gormin turned up to finish off the Goseigers. However, the squad was soon taken out by the arrival of Akarenger and his Red Bute. Akarenger introduced himself to the Goseigers, and a ZuGormin tried to take advantage of the distraction, but was stopped by Big One, who proceeded to introduce himself as well. Big One told them that the 33 Super Sentai would soon meet here and were all ready to lay down their lives. Akarenger asked the Goseigers if they would join them, Alata said that they would to protect the Earth.
The eight of them prepared to leave, but were suddenly surrounded. However, help came when DekaMaster, with DekaSwan by his side, cut through the Zangyack with the Vega Slash. They were followed by Kaoru Shiba and Hyuuga, who told the Goseigers they would hold them off. Wolzard Fire and MagiMother appeared, with the former telling them to hurry and join with the other Super Sentai. They were followed by Signalman and Zubaan announcing their arrival. DekaMaster told Akarenger and Big One to leave this to them, Big One complied, telling him they were counting on them, while Akarenger gave his command to the Goseigers, "Alright, Go!" As the Goseigers rushed off with Akarenger and Big One, DekaMaster told the Super Sentai they were counting on them. Despite the intervention of the eight extra heroes, a group of Zangyack continued to pursue the Goseigers and company. However, they were halted by the RinJyuKen Warriors, Rio and Mele, who obliterated them. With the complete 10 extra heroes holding the pursuers off, the Goseigers with Akarenger and Big One joined with the 33 Super Sentai, where the real battle began.Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle
"Everyone! We must combine the power of all Super Sentai and defend the Earth!"
―Akarenger tells the 34 Super Sentai to sacrifice their powers[src]
The 34 Super Sentai formed a triangle to face the Zangyack army, with Akarenger and the other Gorengers in the middle and the Goseigers at the front. The Goseigers held their weapons as the Gormin prepared to face them. Akarenger's command to the 34 Sentai "Move out!" kicked off the battle. The heroes, 182 in total, led by the Goseiger team, converged and toppled whole squadrons of Gormin Sailors and Sugormin Non-Commissioned Officers. While this happened, the 10 extra heroes continued their skirmish in the forest. During the battle, the Sentai teams used their various powers and abilities, and teamed up with their similarly motifed allies to take the advantage over the Zangyack, whose combat styles were in no way nearly as diverse.
Although the Super Sentai put up a valiant fight, they were overwhelmed by the Zangyack fleet. Akarenger was the first to notice their approach, soon followed by the 10 extra heroes who left their fight with Zangyack. Akarenger gave the order for all of the groups to combine their powers into one attack. Ep. 1: The Space Pirates Appear Wolzard Fire decided, along with the extra rangers and heroes to infuse their power as well. Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle The resulting blast wiped out the entire Zangyack invasion fleet, thus ending the Great Legend War.
On the former battlefield, Alata woke up, confused to what had happened. Hyde and Agri woke up, with Alata and Agri making sure Eri and Moune were alright, as Hyde noted that they were obviously all alive. When Moune asked if they had beaten the Zangyack, Satoru Akashi (Bouken Red†), with Saki Rouyama (Go-On Yellow†) by his side, verbally confirmed that their fleet was destroyed, while Saki merely nodded. Eri ascertained that it was all over as Chiaki Tani (Shinken Green†) arrived, helping his worn out comrade Genta Umemori (Shinken Gold†). Chiaki said that although it was over, they could never fight in their transformed forms again, with Genta explaining to the Goseigers that they all used up their fighting powers in the final attack. Saki added that their powers were scattered into space along with Zangyack's fleet.
Indeed, as the powers had left the Earth, this was observed by AkaRed, a hero who first appeared five years ago. Aguri held up a Gosei Card but it disintegrated, confirming that they could never transform again nor use their Tensou Techniques. Everyone was understandably feeling dismal, apart from Alata, who said that, despite the sacrifice, it was for the best as they protected the planet, raising everyone's hopes. The 34 Super Sentai proceeded to go their separate ways and carry on with their lives, without their powers. Although they were now powerless, the people of Earth still respected and admired their heroes, who were regarded as legends. Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle
Despite what had happened, the powers of the 34 Super Sentai were not lost forever, but had taken on a new form, the Ranger Keys, which were dispersed all over the universe. To find them, AkaRed became a pirate and formed the Red Pirates, with his teammates, Marvelous and Basco ta Jolokia, along with his robotic parrot, Navi. They searched the universe in the Gokai Galleon to find the Ranger Keys. The pirates knew that with them, they could find the Greatest Treasure in the Universe. AkaRed did not actually care about the Greatest Treasure in the Universe, and was only interested in collecting the Ranger Keys so he could give them to their original owners, the 34 Super Sentai, so they could protect the Earth.
AkaRed encountered Marvelous when he discovered the Akarenger Key after fighting Gormin. Marvelous refused to give it to him and fought AkaRed, who swiftly defeated Marvelous. Marvelous revealed to AkaRed that he wished to find the Greatest Treasure in the Universe. AkaRed shown Marvelous his ship, the GokaiGalleon, telling him that he would never find the treasure if he gave up. Ep. 16: Clash! Sentai vs. Sentai They went on to find many Ranger Keys, such as the BoukenRed Key. Ep. 21: The Adventurer Heart
They also met Basco ta Jolokia who joined them. At that time, Basco was a far more feared pirate than Marvelous in the eyes of Zangyack, partly due to his powerful true form, having a Z=3,000,000 bounty on his head. Marvelous did not know of his true form but AkaRed did, and feared Basco. Ep. 31: Crash!! Secret Operations While Marvelous followed AkaRed in pursuing the treasure, Basco was more wiser, knowing AkaRed's true intentions with the Ranger Keys. Ep. 48: The Fated Showdown
They eventually managed to find all the Ranger Keys, but Basco betrayed AkaRed and Marvelous, justifying this in that AkaRed had betrayed him and Marvelous from the very beginning. Ep. 48: The Fated Showdown He conspired with Zangyack which attacked the ship, wanting the treasure all for himself. AkaRed saved Marvelous from the Zangyack forces and gave him the chest containing the Ranger Keys, telling him to find the Greatest Treasure in the Universe. AkaRed was last seen charging into dozens of Gormin Sailors. Ep. 15: A Privateer AppearsEp. 2: The Worth of this Planet
Marvelous, along with Navi, later founded the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, the 35th Super Sentai and worked on unlocking the power of the Ranger Keys on Earth so they could get the Greatest Treasure. Ep. 1: The Space Pirates Appear He did this by unlocking the greater powers of the Super Sentai. Ep. 3: Changing Courage into Magic This quest resulted in him and his team meeting many legends, heroes of past Sentai teams. The Gokaigers had to prove themselves that they were worthy of the greater powers before the legends granted them to them. Also, the legends would normally teach the Gokaigers a useful lesson, the Gokaigers themselves operated on their desire to seize their dreams and not let anyone stop them.
Later, Basco arrived on Earth to look for the treasure as well, using a wide array of tricks up his sleeve to hinder Marvelous. Eventually, the Gokaigers had 30 greater powers (including their own), while Basco, who would rather take the greater powers with force, had five. Marvelous took on Basco in a final battle where Basco revealed to Marvelous that AkaRed's motive was not acquiring the Greatest Treasure in the Universe. AkaRed used the treasure as bait to Marvelous and Basco so they would help him gather up the Ranger Keys. After all the Ranger Keys were collected, AkaRed would return to Earth and give them back to their owners in order to protect the planet. Basco said that he didn't betray them, AkaRed had betrayed them from the beginning. Marvelous, however, didn't care, explaining to Basco that he wasn't a Red Pirate anymore and he had everything that was needed to claim the Greatest Treasure in the Universe. He added that anyone who tried to keep the Gokaigers from their dream, whether it be Basco, Zangyack, or AkaRed himself. This battle ended with the death of Basco after he and Marvelous landing a final blow on each other, Marvelous having survived with a piece of a necklace-bomb Basco gave to his associate, Sally. Ep. 48: The Fated Showdown
After Basco's defeat, Marvelous finally unlocked the Greatest Treasure in the Universe, with Navi being revealed to be the door to the treasure. The treasure revealed that it could reshape the universe to their wishes, with the cost of the powers of the 34 Super Sentai, who would be erased from history. With the Zangyack beginning another full scale invasion of Earth, Gai suggested that they should use the treasure to erase the Zangyack, but much to his surprise, his teammates did not agree with him, claiming that using the Treasure would not only erase the Super Sentai from history, but also take from the people of Earth the hope and courage that they learned from them. However, they leave the final decision at his hands, and Gai ultimately destroys the Treasure with the Gokai Spear. Marvelous led his team in fighting the Zangyack invasion of Earth. Ep. 50: The Day of Battle
After Marvelous used the Zangyack flagship to annihilate the Zangyack fleet, the Gokaigers fought the Emperor Ackdos Gill, who they eventually defeated. The Zangyack Empire, which oppressed the entire universe for so long, began to dissolve. Marvelous and his team continued their lives as space pirates and Gokaigers, heading for the Zangyack homeworld to find the second Greatest Treasure in the Universe. Before Marvelous departed Earth, he returned the Ranger Keys and greater powers of the past Sentai teams to their original owners. Final Ep.: Farewell Space Pirates
The participants were all of the Super Sentai and extra heroes who existed at the time, not counting AkaRed or any teams that came after the war (from the Gokaiger onwards), totalling 192 heroes. It should be noted that the only Sentai Rangers that participated were those connected to Earth, including those born of Earth but no longer lived on it (such as the Flashmen), aliens whose battle made them connected to Earth (such as Signalman and Doggie Kruger) or who have died but were never replaced on their teams (such as Gai Yuki and Mikoto Nakadai) took part. Those who didn't participate include any Ranger without connection to Earth, those who were replaced, whether still living or deceased, or those who lost their powers (such as Shota Yamamori and Ryo Asuka). The only hero who was on Earth that did not fight was Ninjaman, who was trapped in a pot during the Great Legend War.
Not including Ninjaman, the only official Sentai Rangers that still had their powers that did not fight were Gunmazin, DekaGold, and DekaBright. However, it is possible that Gunmazin did fight, but was destroyed in the Mecha fight. It is also possible that DekaGold and DekaBright did not fight because of them being from different worlds, and thus having no stake in the Legend War.
Early information for Gokaiger metioned that 200 past heroes fought in the Great Legend War. However, only 192 past heroes were seen fighting.
Though the Gokaigers did not participate in the event, the suit actors of the first five were present at the filming in order to record a promotional shot in which they appeared standing before their assembled predecessors, as used in Gokaiger trailers which began airing on December 26th, 2010. Super Sentai Versus Series Theater: Battle Final
Dead heroes like Rio, Mele, Burai etc. were brought back to life to fight in the Legend War. Who brought them back isn't clear. Apparently Rio and Mele being killed in the series and then revived to fight Long in Go-onger vs. Gekiranger is mentioned in the 199 Hero Movie pamphlet as something that happened, so this adds a bit more evidence that Gokaiger incorporates everything as "canon."
The Gokaiger tribute to Jetman, Wings are Eternal, also suggests that the supernatural beings of this universe can permit those who have died to go down to Earth to conduct important business, as was the case of Gai Yuki. With the dead Sentai warriors needed to fight the Zangyack, they may have been given special permission to go down to Earth to join their teammates in the war until its completion, upon which they will return to their deceased state. This also fits with the justification for having "Burai" back in the Zyu2 footage.
Despite many of the deceased heroes returning, the only Ranger that was not replaced that did not return was Gosei Green.
According to the pamphlet, there was a massive battle that happened prior to the main battle in the Legend War where over 100 robots/giants fought against the Zangyack fleet. Many of the robots were destroyed or killed during this battle.
In Gokaiger episode 45, Gai explains to Ninjaman that he wasn't released from his jar at the end of a ten year punishment because of the legend war, suggesting the Three God Generals were destroyed. Ep. 45: The Confused Ninja However, at the end of the Kakuranger tribute, Ninjaman left to join his masters, so this might not be the case. Ep. 46: Hero Eligibility
It is possible that all or some of the mecha were repaired or healed (those that are living beings) as shown by Gosei Great being shown destroyed at the beginning of 199 Heroes but also shown able to fight at various points in the film.
Gosei Ultimate was also shown to be destroyed next to the sword of Gosei Great at the beginning of 199 Heroes when Gosei Red was fighting a Sougourmin.
Two other series have had similar battles: In Kamen Rider Decade (where it was done first), it was the (extremely one-sided) Rider War, which saw various Riders battle and fall to the titular hero with Decade destroying everyone with ease and without a scratch whatsoever. In the anime movie Pretty Cure All-Stars DX 3, the heroines sacrificed their powers and companions to stop a massive menace from overtaking the Earth. Note that both the Decade and Pretty Cure examples were undone in some way at the end.
And sure enough, the Legend War was undone in that the sacrifice the 34 Super Sentai made to resolve the conflict, their powers, was repaid in the finale of Gokaiger, Farewell Space Pirates, where the Gokaigers returned the Ranger Keys and Greater Powers to their rightful owners.
The Legend War will play a huge role in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's American adaption Power Rangers Super Megaforce although it is called the Legendary Battle. In 2012 rumors began to circulate that an interview with Toei executive Takeyuki Suzuki for Hyper Hobby Magazine mentioned the possibility of filming brand new Legend War footage for Power Rangers' 20th anniversary, with all pre-Zyuranger teams and the 5 main Dairangers removed. Henshin Justice Unlimited user Nerefir translated the interview, and does indeed suggest that TOEI will be filming new footage for the anniversary. This will be the second time TOEI has made footage for America, the first being Zyu2. However, at the Morphicon sneak peek of Power Rangers Megaforce, the shots of the "pre-charge in" show Akarenger and other unused Sentai warriors/teams as being present, though this could be due to either the "Legendary Battle" having not been filmed yet or it being saved for its official premiere for a greater impact.
Unfortunately, it later transpired that some pre-Zyu rangers haven't been properly edited out, and during a dream sequence in the first episode, Mega Mission, FivePink can clearly be seen, and other unadapted rangers are also not edited out. In Stranger Ranger, a sequence with the Jungle Fury Rangers also briefly reveals RyuuRanger for a second.