"I know gold's a bit gauche, but I wanted to ensure you grasp my new position atop the pecking order. And for the sake of your feeble mind, let's keep the name simple as well. We'll call this Golden Frieza."Sometimes Red Ones Go Faster. Sometimes, though, golden ones do. This is Law of Chromatic Superiority applied to the gold color. This has to do with the assumption that gold, as the metal, is rare, and thus something golden is standing for wealth and power. This could be by a gold Sixth Ranger being equal to or better than the Red Ranger, an already Red character turning gold as an upgrade, a gold tier above other tiers, or something else. Whatever the case, Gold is simply the best. Chrome Champion, Bling-Bling-BANG! and Bling of War are related, but are not part of the same Metallic Motifs purpose of "just better" as the Law of Chromatic Superiority. note Compare Power Glows, Gold Makes Everything Shiny, Gold and White Are Divine and Golden Super Mode. Contrast Worthless Yellow Rocks.
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Anime & Manga
- In Bleach, Don Kanouji seizes gold for his Sentai color after the rest of the team spends an entire episode arguing over who gets to be red. They eventually settled on two reds in addition to his gold.
- In Digimon Tamers, Takato's red digivice is destroyed, but his replacement is gold. His and his partner's Super Mode, Gallantmon Crimson Mode, does stick with traditional red, though.
- Dragon Ball Z:
Frieza: I know gold's a bit gauche, but I wanted to ensure you grasp my new position atop the pecking order.
- Goku's original power multiplier was the Kaioken which had him Turn Red and maxed out at 20x base power. When that wasn't enough to beat Frieza he transformed into a golden-haired Super Saiyan, 50x base power.
- Averted with Super Saiyan God and Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (aka Super Saiyan Blue), which are red and blue respectively.
- In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and Dragon Ball Super, Frieza himself develops a new Super Mode that turns his skin gold. He mentions that he chose to make it gold with this very trope in mind, as stated in the page quote:
- Lyrical Nanoha: Fate's base magical color is golden, which is said to be rare among mages. She's also one of the strongest TSAB mages and considered by many to be the fastest, hence her other title "Golden Flash."
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam... the Shining Gundam has a Turns Red Super Mode early on, but when it gets upgraded to the God Gundam, it instead gets a GOLDEN Super Mode. This is much more powerful since it's powered by Inner Peace, while the original, red super-mode was just powered by Unstoppable Rage.
- Char Aznable of Gundam fame changes his usual color from red in the original Mobile Suit Gundam to gold in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam where he fights for the AEUG, piloting the Hyaku-Shiki under the alias of Quattro Bajeena The idea being that the Gold paintjob as actually an anti-beam coating. He goes back to using red for Char's Counterattack though. Even more iconic about this change is that Char caused an entire trope in part about his normal color scheme.
- The Zeta example is referenced in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny with the Akatsuki, a gold-colored mobile suit based on the first Strike models and originally piloted by Cagalli. It is heads and shoulders above her standard Strike Rouge, being faster, better armed, and most importantly beam-coated, which lends it its color. At one point it No Sells the Destiny Gundam's beam weapons—something that no other suit could do up to that point. Once the un-brainwashed Mu La Flaga gets his hands on it, its combination of speed and defensive ability becomes critical in saving the Archangel by Taking the Bullet again just like in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, this time without getting blown up.
- The gold cloths of Saint Seiya, seeing how all the gold saints are extremely powerful. The full breakdown in Saint Seiya is Bronze < Silver < Gold < God. This last one is used only by Gods, though there is an important exception late in the Hades Saga. It's also worth noting that five Bronze saints, basically Mooks / Red Shirts for the good guys, manage to fight their way up that chain all the way up to god and beat their opponents throughout the course of the series.
- The Aquarion Logos Genesis from Aquarion Logos.
- In Metal Men Gold is the leader, not counting Dr. Magus (Da Chief).
- Iron Man is often called "The Golden Avenger" even though he's mostly red nowadays (although he once had a fully golden armor).
- To make himself stand out as the Smurf above all others, King Smurf from The Smurfs comic book story of the same name (and its Animated Adaptation) wore a Smurf suit made entirely of gold.
- Inverted in RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse, where due to its association with Corona gold is taboo. Jewelry made with gold won't sell, minting gold coins is considered blasphemous (and possibly treasonous), and even using the word in a poem is enough to raise eyebrows.
- Jane from Project Delta has golden-colored biotics with enough power to kill an army.
Films — Live-Action
- The Lawnmower Man: Jobe is able to project himself as a Huge Holographic Head at a certain point. A yellow-tinted head, no less.
- The Wiz: The Emerald City starts green, but then an announcement from the Wizard changes everything red. "I thought it over and green is dead / 'Till I change my mind, the color is red" The residents turn red and sing its praises, and then there's another announcement: "How quickly fashion goes down the sink. / Last week when you all was wearin' pink / Already for me red was old. / The ultimate brick is gold." It remains gold for the rest of the film.
- TRON: Legacy: An evil example. Clu, the administrator program gone full Zeroth Law Rebellion, is the only one with gold Tron Lines.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 inverts this. Since the Sovereign are gold anyway, their high priestess stands out when they all wear winter capes, and her's is covered with white fur, while her subordinated wear gold capes lined with fur.
- In Last Legionary, Altern, aka The One, is The Dragon to The Warlord. He comes decked out in a massive golden exoskeleton, which allows the otherwise crippled Altern to not only walk, but defeat nearly any adversary in combat.
- Golden dragons are considered a myth in The Witcher universe, but they actually exist and are the most powerful (and rarest) kind of dragon, preferring to disguise themselves as humans, as the Limit of Possibility short story demonstrates.
- In the original Battlestar Galactica (1978), ordinary Cylons are silver/chrome but special commander Cylons are gold.
- Doctor Who:
- The rank structure of the Daleks places Golden Daleks high in the heirarchy.
- In "The Deadly Assassin," the Doctor sneaks into the President's retirement ceremony by stealing a Gold Usher's robe, which allowed him to get past security checks. "You wouldn't stop Gold Usher, would you?"
- Super Sentai / Power Rangers:
- Gold Rangers serve as a Sixth Ranger in various seasons. Power Rangers Zeo actually beat Sentai to the punch by renaming King Ranger (black suit with lots of gold armor) the Gold Ranger. They even brought back the original team leader to fill the suit.
- Power-ups frequently feature gold, whether they're team upgrades or Red Ranger-exclusive battlizers.
- In Star Trek: The Original Series the captains wore gold uniforms. Anyone wearing a Red Shirt was not so lucky. This all changed starting with Star Trek: The Next Generation, however. The command uniforms were originally a greenish shade close to chartreuse. But the color came out on many people's TV sets as yellowish, so eventually the producers threw in the towel and changed them to gold.
- The golden dragons in Dungeons & Dragons are the most powerful among the metallic (i.e. good-aligned) dragons and, Depending on the Writer, the most powerful dragons overall. "Basic" D&D in particular had golden dragons as the only "metallic" example — the usual chromatic spread of black, blue, green, red, and white (interestingly not all "evil" respectively "chaotic" — whites and blues were neutral in this edition), plus gold... and that was that. Golden dragons were still the most powerful here, having the best stats and being the only type to get two distinct breath weapons and have guaranteed spellcasting abilities (an explicit 100% chance on what would otherwise be a random roll) on top of that.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The Blood Angels chapter use a predominantly red color scheme. The Sanguinor,◊ an angelic psychic manifestation called "the Exemplar of the Host", is almost entirely gold.
- The Adeptus Custodes, the Space Marines who guard Terra and are said to be to Space Marines what Space Marines are to humans, are gold-armored.
- Gold is a trademark color (and material) of Exalted's Solars, who occupy the pinnacle position of power (by most measures) of the game's namesake characters. Their trademark magical material, orichalcum, looks like gold, and can even be refined from actual gold with considerable effort.
- Zig-zagged throughout Magic: The Gathering's historynote , as "gold" cards (cards with gold templates) tend to provide more bang for the buck, usually with added effects or being ahead of the power curve—the drawback being they're more difficult to cast; gold cards have more than one color of mana in their casting cost.
- BIONICLE: The Golden Kanohi allows the Toa Mata to call upon all their mask powers they have obtained without the need to switch between them.
- In the Call of Duty games with selectable camouflages for weapons, golden camouflage is one of the harder unlocks to get. Starting with Call of Duty: Black Ops II, however, it is not top-tier since unlocking gold camouflage for all weapons in a category unlocks diamond camouflage for that particular category.
- In Chrono Trigger, the Knight Commander wears gold armour. If you agree to help him (read: defeat all the monsters yourself) at Zenan bridge, he'll give you his helmet of the same make.
- The Chocobos in the Final Fantasy series. Regular chocobos are yellow-orange, but there are other chocobo types characterized by different colors. Stronger breeds can swim and fly, but the gold chocobo is always the strongest.
- In Mass Effect, Cerberus has a white-black color scheme with gold accents. In-universe excerpts mention how Cerberus tech is often superior than standard fare of the same type.
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time had a golden version of a early mook that appears halfway through the game. Although this one has lower health than the original, it compensates by having a higher defense and attack power.
- Golden Beanie in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga have higher stats than the standard Beanie.
- In the Mario Kart series, regular red mushrooms gives one Nitro Boost. The rare Gold Mushroom gives infinite Nitro Boosts for about 10 seconds, and usually only shows up when you're falling way behind, (or playing as Toad/Toadette in Double Dash).
- Averted in MechWarrior Online, where you can buy golden Clan Mechs as vanity items for about 400 USD (!), although they have no better stats than the normal models.
- In fact, the golden 'Mechs tend to die first, both because of higher visibility and the general disdain most players have for the people who were wasteful enough to actually buy them.
- Heavily averted in Minecraft, where not only is making gold gear excessively difficult due to the rarity of gold underground, but they are lacking in all stats except for enchantability. As a matter of fact, a golden sword is worse than a wood one, dealing an equal amount of damage and having much less durability.
- The first Ratchet & Clank game allows you to upgrade 10 weapons into Gold Weapons through the use of hidden Gold Bolts and several regular bolts. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando replaced this weapon-upgrading system with the one that would be a staple of the Ratchet & Clank series, but came back in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction with one of your devices, the Groovitron, being able to be upgraded for the Gold Groovitron.
- In Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2, if the player collects all seven Holy Swords, Sparkster will become Gold Sparkster, and the true ending will be shown after the Big Bad, King Gedol is defeated. Gold Sparkster charges his jet pack faster and his attacks do more damage, but unlike Super Sonic, he can still take damage.
- The gilded Egg Knight in Sonic Heroes has more health than the standard Egg Pawn.
- In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Tempered Sword (an upgrade of the Master Sword) is red, but near the end of the game, even that can be upgraded to the Golden Sword. At least according to this chart◊, the Golden Sword may be the most powerful sword in the entire franchise (at least until The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild threw a wrench in the scaling).
- In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild enemies tier in order of Basic all the way up to Silver as the most powerful (of which, Silver Lynels are considered to be on the same level as a Bonus Boss, having more health than even the final boss of the game). Thanks to Downloadable Content there is a new difficulty setting for the game, Master Mode, which also introduces a new enemy tier, Golden enemies (of which there is, of course, a Golden Lynel).
- In Warriors Orochi 3, Guan Yu's 4th level weapon is "Gold Dragon".
- While command rank Elites tend to wear gold, the only game where this trope is played straight in is Halo: Combat Evolved. Otherwise, gold-armored Elites are usually only the second strongest Elite variant in any given game.
- That said, Arbiter Thel 'Vadam is one Elite who currently plays it straight; he wears gold armor by Halo 5: Guardians, and is perhaps the greatest warrior of his race.
- Played straight for the Brutes in Halo 3, with the gold-armored War Chieftains being the most powerful type. But subverted in Halo: Reach, where the gold-armored Captains are weaker than the darker armored Chieftains.
- The gold-colored Drone Leaders in Halo 3: ODST are the strongest of their kind, as they're equipped with energy shields and Brute plasma rifles.
- The highest ranked Skirmishers, the Champions, wear gold armor.
- Halo 5: Guardians has the gold-colored "Temple" line of Covenant vehicles, which have strong armor, better handling, and can either shoot faster or shoot while speed-boosting.
- A downplayed example is present with the Liang Dortmund line of UNSC vehicles, which have slightly stronger armor and are painted goldenrod.
- Five Nights at Freddy's:
- The first and second games in the series have Golden Freddy, a gold version of main mascot and Big Bad, Freddy Fazbear. In each game he appears, Golden Freddy exhibits behaviors completely unlike any of the other animatronics out to murder you, such as teleporting into and vanishing out of your office. In the first game in particular, failing to avoid his jumpscare will not just kill you, but crash your game entirely.
- Five Nights at Freddy's 3 has Springtrap, initially known as "Golden Bonnie" prior to the reveal of his proper name. Springtrap is a gold version of Bonnie the Bunny, though the colors have faded to a sickly greenish yellow after more than 30 years. What makes Springtrap superior to the other animatronics is that he is possessed by the spirit of the Purple Man, the child murderer whose killings caused the other animatronics to become murderous, thus causing the events of the prior game. Possibly. Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location hints it might be his son instead.
- In Five Nights at Freddy's 4, Golden Freddy, known here as Fredbear, is so dangerous that he completely replaces the other four animatronics when he becomes active. He performs all the other animatronics' same behaviors, but takes them Up to Eleven so you need much quicker reaction time to survive.
- Super Metroid: Samus has to face two living Chozo statues named "Torizo". The second one, aptly named Golden Torizo is the most powerful of the duo, given it is faster, jumps higher, possesses great strength and can even throw Samus' missiles back at her. Its attacks are also rather devastating. The more damage you deal to it will cause its golden color to fade.
- In the James Bond game Agent Under Fire, player upgrades take the form of "Golden P 2 K," "Golden Missiles" (read: unlimited missiles), "Golden Armor," "Golden Accuracy," etc. NightFire toned it down so that only the Wolfram P 2 K received gold upgrades.
- In Mega Man Star Force 2, the secret, ludicrously powerful DX bosses all have a shiny golden Palette Swap.
- Xenoblade Chronicles has the Mechon, which are primarily black. Then comes Yaldabaoth, "the most powerful Mechon ever built". Keeping in turn with the "precious metals" theme, Silver Face (or Face Nemesis if you're European or American) is also very powerful, and serves as the Leader of Mechonis' second in command, until the pilot, Fiora, returns to her senses and rejoins Shulk and co.
- Amorphous+: The Queen is the boss of the Glooples, and its color scheme is red and gold.
- Far Cry 2 has 8 golden AK-47s, 4 hidden across the two maps. There's no real point in getting them because all the only advantage is slightly more durability than the standard and can't be bought.
- In Dungeon Fighter Online, the much-coveted Epic items are indicated by gold-colored icon frames and heralded by bright golden flash effects whenever they drop in a dungeon. Legendary items, which are slightly lower on the item tiers, are heralded with copper-colored flashes.
- In Fate/stay night, the most powerful Servant one can summon is Gilgamesh, the King of Heroes. As the The Nasuverse runs on Older Is Better, Gil is more powerful than all other heroes that came after him and naturally has gold-colored hair, frequently wears gold earrings and other jewelry, and has his infamous Nigh Invulnerable gold armor. It is unknown if the armor is actually made of gold but it can take a direct hit from Excalibur like it was nothing. For bonus points, his Noble Phantasm - Gate of Babylon - creates gold-colored rifts in the the sky to fire his many fantastically powerful treasures upon his enemies from.
- Saber, Arturia Pendragon, aka King Arthur, also gets this as she is said to be the strongest of the Saber class Servants, which is considered to be the strongest class, and also has golden hair. While she can be pragmatic and is utterly duty-bound, she's actually very sweet when she opens up and counts for both this and Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold unlike Gilgamesh. While her sword is normally invisible as it is sheathed in wind magic, when she does reveal it the blade shines with a golden light and seems to be trimmed in gold - fitting as it is Excalibur, the strongest holy sword. Even her old sword from her legend, Caliburn, was shown to be gold and incredibly powerful.
- In Umineko: When They Cry, in addition to the red text, which speaks an absolute truth (from the point of view of the speaker at least), the Game Master - the witch who "writes" the scenario of the current game - can use golden text, which indicates that they fully understands the rules of the game, and can be superior to the red. After reaching the truth of Beatrice's game, Battler uses the golden truth to confirm that Kinzo is definitely Deader Than Dead, when his position prevents him from saying it in red without proof.
- Fatal Frenzy: Suzuka Tsujio's glasses and eyes.
- Author Sir Terry Pratchett remarked that he had a unique Death's Head signet ring made in silver. Then fans started copying it and the licensed merchandising company marketed a replica. So it wasn't unique any more. So he had a version made in gold. This was unique until the first gold versions appeared for fans with more disposable income. Terry has since considered upping the ante to platinum. He speculates that when platinum Discworld rings start to appear, he should move to something which is so unique it'll be practically unwearable, perhaps one cast in solid mercury that has to be kept in a physics lab freezer at minus 39°C, or perhaps one in plutonium that nobody, including the author himself, would dare wear...
- The UK emergency services operate a Gold-Silver-Bronze command structure, with the most senior officer in charge of an incident response designated as the "gold" commander.
- Gold Medals, which are awarded for first place finishes in the Olympics and other sporting events.
- Gold Records used to be this, awarded for 1,000,000 record sales, but then came Platinum (1,000,000 while Gold was reduced to 500,000) and Diamond (10,000,000).
- Gold credit cards had been originally (before the 1980s) the elite of credit and debit cards, aimed mostly at millionaires. As the pool of potential customers enlarged itself over decades, more and more people could afford them. After the unpleasantness of the late 2000s, Gold cards are perfunctory for many wage earners of the First World. Therefore to keep the status banks and companies introduced more and more classes of credit/debit cards. Platinum, palladium, and so on, plated in said metals if needed. Hopefully for their clients, they will think twice before introducing a Plutonium card.
- Averted with the officers' insignia of the US Armed Forces — an O-2note (one silver bar) outranks an O-1note (one gold bar), and an O-5note (silver oak leaf) outranks an O-4note (gold oak leaf). Various folk explanations for this have been proposed (such as gold, like junior officers, being more malleable than silver), but the decision was actually made back in 1851 for the simple reason that silver was less expensive than gold.
- Similarly with decorations. The second award of a given decoration is a gold star. If one were to actually earn enough of a given decoration to merit five gold stars, a single silver star is worn instead.
- Scientists have come up with a special way to make an alloy of titanium and gold that's 4 times stronger than titanium alone.