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A common trend in fiction is to give the character a Super Mode. These come in many shapes, sizes, and colors but the most common color variation is gold. If a character and/or their weapon turns gold in fiction, he or she gains a boatload of power.

This is because gold has long been associated with greatness. It can mean authority, wealth, divinity, but in all cases, the bottom line is that gold=power. Thus, a character that glows gold has to be tremendously powerful. This makes it a useful visual cue for a Super Mode.

Sub-Trope of Power Makeover and Law of Chromatic Superiority (and to be specific, Gold-Colored Superiority).

See also: Power Glows and Super Mode. It's often an Eleventh Hour Super Power. It occasionally overlaps with Power Dyes Your Hair.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The Super Saiyan form is the Trope Codifier, famous for giving the character glowing golden hair and a gold Battle Aura. Interestingly, several transformations beyond regular Super Saiyan use different colors entirely: Super Saiyan 4 and Super Saiyan God are red, Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan is blue (to the point where it was officially shortened to "Super Saiyan Blue" after everyone realized what a mouthful the original name was), and Ultra Instinct is silver.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Freeza acknowledges this trope by deliberately making his new Super Mode "Golden Freeza"; he concedes that the color might be a bit gaudy, but thought that it was the simplest way to communicate how much more powerful he is now.
    • A downplayed example predating Freeza and the Saiyans would be Launch, whose hair shifts from blue to blonde when she sneezes into her much more capable and wildly aggressive Superpowered Evil Side.
  • A small handful of the most powerful evolved forms in the Digimon franchise have gold armour; the most prominent examples being Magnamon, OmegaShoutmon and ZekeGreymon (and by extension Shoutmon DX and Superior Mode). The God Grade Appmon in Digimon Universe Applimonsters are also adorned with plenty of gold accents.
  • Inverted in Tenjho Tenge. Soichiro Nagi has blond hair that turns black when he powers up.
  • In Saint Seiya when Bronze Saints get upgraded Cloths through the blood of Gold Saints. Then this trope is in full effect as their regular armors take a golden shade to highlight their full power.
  • Karasu from YuYu Hakusho turns his hair golden in the Dark Tournament finals. there have been a few jokes about him turning Super Saiyan. It's even funnier, considering that his voice actors play Vegeta and Son Gohan, respectively.
    • Also, Sensui 's Shinobu personality and Sei-Kou-Ki/Sacred Energy. Though it doesn't dye his hair.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam has Gundam fighters turn gold when they're using their most powerful attacks.
  • In one of his many amateur manga, Harima Kenji from School Rumble makes himself into a super-saiyan style character, complete with gold shining hair and a kamehameha look-alike.
  • In Dance in the Vampire Bund (at least the broadcast anime version therof), Mina's true form is an adult with swirly gold skin, as seen here (slightly NSFW).
  • After their Mid Season Upgrade, Teppei and X in B't X are gold-colored.
  • GaoGaiGar:
    • Gai's cyborg body is capable of entering a golden "Hyper Mode" which drastically increases his strength and speed, though the auxillary batteries used to power this form last for only three minutes before burning out and needing to be replaced.
    • GaoGaiGar itself turns gold when equipped with the Goldion Hammer. Interestingly, a videogame Spin-Off shows that King J-Der is also capable of wielding the hammer; being much larger than GaoGaiGar, King J-Der does not change colour, but the hammer itself turns silver.
    • In GaoGaiGar FINAL, Genesic GaoGaiGar's "hair" is composed of long strings of Hyper Mode batteries, allowing it to enter an upscaled version of the form.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Yusei's Over Top Clear Mind, which lets him summon his most powerful monster, dyes his entire body and his BIKE gold.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: While the namesake ZEXAL form emulates Super Saiyan hair, the outfit is mostly white and red. ZEXAL II is has even less gold than ZEXAL (even though resembling Super Saiyan 3), but ZEXAL III looks like a combination of Super Saiyan and Gold Cloth.
  • Naruto gains this after defeating The Nine-Tailed Fox inside their shared consciousness, allowing Naruto to siphon the Fox's power at will. Naruto later achieves perfect control after making peace with Kurama, allowing the two to work in unison.
  • In Kishin Douji Zenki, Zenki gains one as his final transformation.
  • Shin Mazinger: Zeus's appearance in peacetime is of a knight in dull iron armor (identical to his Z Mazinger incarnation), but he can power up into a Nigh Invulnerable golden form which earns him the epithet "Shining Zeus". Mazinger Z inherits this power after docking with the God Scrander, which it uses as part of the Big Bang Punch Finishing Move.
  • God Mars's Super Final Godmars.
    Takeru: Zuul! I'll show you everyone's anger! This is the final fight! I'll put everything on the line!
    (God Mars turns golden while church bells ring in the background.)
    Takeru:MARS FLASH!
    (God Mars summons the Mars Flash.)
    Takeru: FINAL GODMARS!
    (God Mars performs a vertical slash and jams the Mars Flash into Zuul's gut.)
  • The first Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart movie had the Golden Power, which turned Pretty Cure and Shiny Luminous' clothes a glowing gold and their earrings and brooches into diamonds. (Subsequent movies featured a different super form.)
  • The Medicine Peddler of Mononoke has his demon-slaying form, who is robed in gold and covered with golden tattoos. As a bonus, the paper talismans he usually uses are replaced with stronger variations whenever his Super Mode shows up. What color are they? Guess.
  • The upgraded Goku Uniforms from Kill la Kill have gold accessories instead of silver.
  • This seems to be a recurring them in Shinzo as almost every important character able to transform has at least some gold in his transformed form:
    • Mushrambo normally appears as a purple haired samurai. He later gains a Golden Super Mode aptly named Gold Mushrambo, which gives him gold plate armor and turns his hair gold.
    • Insect King Daku appears as a knight with blue insectoid armor. When he powers up, his armor turns gold and becomes more ornate looking.
    • Reptile King Ryuma gains golden chest armor when transforming to his Super Mode. However, he is only seen in this form for a few seconds, as he performs a Fusion Dance with his pet dragon soon after, turning into a largely blue humanoid dragon.
    • The Humongous Mecha Daigo turns gold when at full power.
    • Bird Queen Rusephine is a strange example. Her regular form looks like a golden haired angel, while her transformed state has purple hair, but gains golden chest armor and shoulder pads.
    • During the battle against the Greater-Scope Villain Lanancuras, it is revealed that Mushra is actually an angel. When he remembers this, he transforms into a form that has a gold suit of armor, circlet and a pair of golden wings.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear:

    Comics 
  • Superman Prime, the being Superman will become many centuries into the future as seen in DC One Million, is completely Gold and is quite possibly Superman's strongest form.
  • The Sentry, Marvel's pastiche of Superman, whose powers verge on the ridiculous and psychological problems on the tragic.

    Fan Works 
  • In the finale of the Enjin Arc in The Bridge, Aria Blaze's magical influence allows Monster X to access Kaizer Ghidorah's power without transforming; causing his armor to gain a golden tint from the glowing, ghidorah-shaped aura covering him.
  • Equestria: Across the Multiverse:
  • As shown below in Tabletop Games, Pokémon Reset Bloodlines features Break Evolution, which manifests as a layer of golden pure energy coating the Pokémon to increase its powers.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Omake-only character Reel's strongest form as Kamen Rider Skull the Second, shown in the fifth omake chapter, is this. While unnamed in-story, Word of God is that its name is Kamen Rider Skull Gold Xtreme.

    Film 
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: When Xavier urges Jean Grey to cut loose her Phoenix Force, she manifests golden energy wings, and her powers are amped up to Physical God levels of strength, vaporizing Apocalypse with minimal effort.
  • The goal of The Last Dragon is to achieve this, apparently Bruce Lee was the first to do so here.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: Sunset Shimmer gains this when facing off with Midnight Sparkle when calling upon the Magic of Friendship. Considering that the last time she attempted to channel it transformed her into a demon, she's gone a long way to activate it.
  • Masters of the Universe: Skeletor's golden armor at the climax.

    Live Action TV 

    Professional Wrestling 

     Tabletop Games 
  • Break cards in Pokémon are Golden Supermodes of various non-mega Pokemon from an alternate universe.

    Video Games 
  • Super Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog. He is admittedly, by word of Yuji Naka, based on Super Saiyan Goku from Dragon Ball. He is obtainable by using all 7 emeralds in conjunction with 50 rings, whereupon Sonic becomes invincible and gains the ability to fly. Several other Super Forms in the series take on a golden hue. This is also his Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and 3DS/Wii U and is a form of his in the comics and Sonic X.
    • Shadow and Silver gain this too, along with other characters.
    • In Sonic the Comic, it was his Superpowered Evil Side.
  • White Tanooki Mario and White Raccoon Mario from Super Mario 3D Land and New Super Mario Bros. 2, respectively. Both forms give Mario a gold and white hue and make him invincible for the remainder of the level.
    • The Golden Fire Flower also in New Super Mario Bros 2 is an upgraded Fire Flower that can blow up not only nigh every enemy in the game, but even blocks too and turn them into a huge pile of coins.
    • Super Mario 3D World has the Lucky Cat Suit, which allows the player to turn into a gold lucky cat statue when ground pounding. It functions exactly like the stone form the Tanooki Suit can do, but you get coins as you fall allowing you to obtain many lives.
  • The Golden Gun from GoldenEye, and the golden Cougar Magnum from Perfect Dark. To a lesser extent, the golden/silver PP7s from GoldenEye as well.
  • In BlazBlue this happens to Tager in his gag reels, thanks to Kokonoe's modifications.
    • This may be a reference to its predecessor, the Guilty Gear series, which often included golden-shaded character variants that were extremely overpowered.
  • In Knights of the Round, Arthur and his friends' armors and swords got bigger and eventually became golden as they leveled up.
  • Yet another Arthur can don golden armor in the Ghosts 'n Goblins series, greatly powering up his attacks and giving him the ability to cast magic based on his weapon of choice. In his appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, equipping this armor is one of his super moves.
  • In Wild Guns, when you activate your Limit Break, your character flashes gold.
  • Averted in the first Tomb Raider game (and in Tomb Raider Anniversary): if Lara Croft steps onto the Midas Hand, she turns into solid gold and dies.
  • The Warrior Force spell in Skyblazer does this: it makes you invincible and doubles the strength of your attacks for 5 seconds or so.
  • In Mega Man X3, X's armor parts can be upgraded further if you find the corresponding chip parts, but normally you can only pick one. If you get the whole armor but pass up the chips, then in the first fortress level you can find a hidden capsule that gives X the benefits of all four chips and more, turning his armor a stunning gold color. The Ultimate Armor in the later games has its own amazing traits, but nothing as absolutely broken as the Gold Armor's combination of two air-dashes, health recovery, a damage-reducing forcefield, and a supply of instant charged shots.
  • Laguna, in Dissidia 012, uses various weapons in battle. In his EX Mode, they all are colored gold, in reference to the Aura spell in Final Fantasy VIII, which turned the whole character gold.
    • Final Fantasy XIV did something similar with Gaius van Baelsar, his armor and sword turning gold during the battle against him in the Praetorium. The effect is undone when he's KO'd.
  • Front Mission Evolved plays with this. The EDGE System usable by the player gives a silver sheen to Dylan's Wanzer but the system used by Blood Knight Cornelius colors his Wanzer gold. The 'silver = good' and 'gold = evil' is reinforced by on-off ally Adela's EDGE System: When she is an ally her EDGE glow is silver but when she falls under More Than Mind Control in the same cutscene it becomes gold, as does Dylan's when his Wanzer gets taken over.
  • Wang Tang in Power Stone, a Shout-Out to DBZ above.
  • In Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, Goemon's special power turns his hair gold and increases his strength.
  • In High Seas Havoc, a game influenced by Sonic, it is the final boss who turns golden and starts summoning bigger meteors.
  • In Doom, the Space Marine's eyes become golden when the god-mode cheat is entered.
  • In Arfenhouse 3, Housemaster transforms into a Super Saiyan bread, with MS Paint-style yellow hair.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 gives Jin Saotome a hyper named Saotome Shine, which, upon activation (which requires that Jin be the only surviving member of his team, has his feet on the ground, and has roughly only 35% of his health remaining), grants Jin an increase in attack power and defense, as well as super armor.
  • In Batman: Return of the Joker for the NES, Batman's Temporary Invincibility power causes his sprite to become golden.
  • In Five Nights at Freddy's, after certain events are triggered, the Big Bad, Freddy Fazbear, reveals that he has a strange, almost illusionary-counterpart known as Golden Freddy. Golden Freddy can move instantaneously — even through closed doors — and you only have a split second to change the cameras before his power crashes the game.
    • In Five Nights at Freddy's 2, He can no longer crash the game, but still appears only under certain circumstances, and kills you by firing his head off his body, and straight into your face.
      • In Five Nights at Freddy's 3, Springtrap, as the sole true animatronic takes this trope, mostly because of the Organic materials crushed into his endoskeleton...
      • Five Nights at Freddy's 4 reveals that Golden Freddy was actually an old animatronic named Fredbear, who has his own Nightmare version that spends all of Night 5 trying to kill you.
  • In Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2, Sparkster will become Gold Sparkster when the player collects all seven Holy Swords, also resulting in the true ending being shown after the Big Bad, King Gedol, is defeated. Gold Sparkster can charge his jet pack faster, and his attacks do more damage, but unlike Super Sonic, he can still take damage.
  • After you win one fight with the Dojo Master in Paper Mario 64, he shows he's taking you more seriously by powering up into this. In case the Shout-Out wasn't obvious enough, his third fight adds a flaming gold Battle Aura.
  • In Breath of Fire III, Kaiser is the ultimate dragon form, but he only transforms fully into a dragon when using Kaiser Breath. Otherwise, the form just appears as Ryuu's normal form, colored gold.
  • Ashikaga Yoshiteru from Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, turn his body golden when using his most powerful form, which increased everything, and stop time briefly.
  • When Fei-Yen from Virtual-ON drops below 50% health, she enters her golden Hyper Mode.
    • Z-Gradt both plays this straight and averts it: He turns gold when firing his Sun Cannon, but also takes significantly increased damage.
  • In Ōkami, Orochi's true form, in which he exhibits his true power, is covered in golden armor.
  • One of the bosses in Kirby's Return to Dream Land is Goriath, a yeti martial artist. When he gets down to half health and Turns Red, his hair turns yellow and stands up. To heighten the obvious homage to Dragon Ball Z, he starts pulling out Kamehame Hadouken attacks and (in EX Mode) an icy Spirit Bomb.
  • In Persona 3 and Persona 4, the protagonists' ultimate Personae (one of them, in the former case), Orpheus Telos and Izanagi-no-Ookami, which have golden color schemes, are much more powerful variants of their initial Personae (well, potentially more powerful in the case of Orpheus Telos, depending on how you build it).

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • In Tasakeru, Zero's Shogun transformation has a glowing golden aura.
  • Discussed in Linkara's review of The Technis Imperative. He notes how Teen Titans characters seem to be reincarnated into more powerful golden forms (Raven's golden spirit form and Cyborg's Omegadrome body) and jokes that had Gandalf been a member of the team, he would have been resurrected as Gandalf the Gold.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE:
    • The Golden Kanohi and Golden Armor. The former gives the wearer the power of 6 Kanohi in one, while the Golden Armor allows to wearer to destroy all solid Antidermis.
    • In the game BIONICLE Heroes, a Toa's Hero Mode is completely Gold.
  • Ninjago:
    • Lloyd has a Golden Super Mode which functions differently than the other Ninjas' True Potential (which is a more traditional Super Mode unlocked when a Ninja overcomes a psychological barrier). He uses this to defeat the Overlord in Season 2's climax, but the Overlord steals his Golden Power in the next season to become the Golden Master, which nerfs Lloyd from then on out and renders him unable to access this form.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Power Animal", Jake is empowered by the Party God with the energy of a thousand partying demons to save Finn from the gnomes. His super-mode is a glowing golden-yellow with technicolor stars for eyes, which can be seen in contrast with his typical brownish-yellow when he runs out of steam.
  • The Transformers has Electrum, a golden liquid with the special property of turning any metal that touches it temporarily Nigh Invulnerable. Transformers augmented by this material will also turn gold until it wears off.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: At the climax of the season 3 episode "Toffee", Star enters one of these immediately after undoing the corruption that had stopped all the magic in Mewni and returning from...wherever she was after she "died."

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