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Gold-Colored Superiority

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, as well as Gold Beats Iron for when the metal gold is considered better, even when it's not logically practical. Contrast Worthless Yellow Rocks.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dragon Ball Z: 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 Gold Super Saiyan, 50x base power.
  • 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.
  • Magical Girl 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."

Comics
  • 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.

Film
  • 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 announement: "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.
  • The Lawnmower Man: Jobe is able to project himself as a Huge Holographic Head at a certain point. A yellow-tinted head, no less.

Literature
  • 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 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.

Live-Action TV

Music

Roleplay

Tabletop Games
  • 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 40K: 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.

Toys
  • 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.

Video Games
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 2, however, it is not top-tier since unlocking gold camouflage for all weapons in a category unlocks diamond camouflage for that particular category.
  • 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.
  • 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 had more health than the standard Egg Pawn.
  • Golden Beanie in Mario And Luigi Super Star Saga had higher stats than standard Beanie.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Warriors Orochi 3, Guan Yu's 4th level weapon is "Gold Dragon".

Visual Novels
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, 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.
  • 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.

Real Life
  • Author Sir Terry Pratchett remarked that he had a unique Death's Head signet ring made in silver. Then fans started ocpying it and the licenced 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 100%, 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).
  • 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.