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A common trend in video games and anime is to give the character a Super Mode, these come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Perhaps the most common color variation is gold.
For whatever reason, if a character turns gold in fiction, he or she seems to gain a boatload of power. This seems to be most common in anime.
Can also cover a weapon turning gold as a powerup or upgrade.
Anime & Manga
- Dragon Ball is not the first example but became the Trope Maker for many future examples that would emulate it. The Super Saiyan form is famous for giving the character glowing golden hair and a gold Battle Aura. This is played straight and then averted in GT: The new Golden Oozaru plays it straight, whereas the Super Saiyan 4 form is not Golden at all. And now there is the fully revived Frieza's new powerful transformation: Golden Frieza.
- 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, Shoutmon X7 and Superior Mode).
- Inverted in Tenjho Tenge. Soichiro Nagi has blond hair that turns black when he powers up.
- Gold Saints from Saint Seiya
- Karasu from Yu Yu Hakusho turns his hair golden in the Dark Tournament finals. there have been a few jokes about him turning Super Saiyan.
- 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 Bt X are gold-colored.
- Both Gao Gai Gar and Genesic GaoGaiGar turn gold when they are respectively equipped with Goldion Hammer and Goldion Crusher.
- Yu-Gi-Oh 5 Ds: Yusei's Over Top Clear Mind
- 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.
- Kishin Douji Zenki has the title character gain one as his final transformation.
- In Shinzo, Mushrambo has a golden armored form that's only second to God Mushra. Earlier in the series, a Humongous Mecha turns gold when at full power.
- Superman Prime (From DC One Million) is completely Gold and is one of Superman's strongest forms.
- The Sentry, Marvel's rip off of Superman, whose powers verge on the ridiculous and psychological problems on the tragic.
- The goal of The Last Dragon is to achieve this, apparently Bruce Lee was the first to do so here.
- Ultimate Ryukendo from Madan Senki Ryukendo.
- Gooooooooooooooooooooookaisilver...GOLD MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODE!
- Some Heisei Kamen Riders have this, for example: Blade King Form, Kiva Emperor. Retroactively, Kamen Rider Decade adds another form for Kamen Rider Kuuga (who was already famous for having a large number of forms), the Rising Ultimate Form. Kuuga's Rising forms already had gold trim, so there was precedent for it.
- Super Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog. He is admittedly, by word of Yuji Naka, based on Super Saiyan Goku from Dragonball. He is obtainable by using all 7 emeralds in conjunction with 50 rings. he becomes invincible and gains the ablity 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 is a form of his in the comics and Sonic X.
- In Sonic the Comic, it was his Super-Powered Evil Side.
- 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 Blaz Blue 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 the old arcade 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.
- Subverted 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 strenght of your attacks for 5 seconds or so.
- In Mega Man X 3, 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 of the sequel of Dissidia Final Fantasy 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.
- 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.
- In Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, Goemon's special power turns his hair gold and increases his strength.
- In Tasakeru, Zero's Shogun transformation has a glowing golden aura.
- The Golden Kanohi and Golden Armor in Bionicle. The former gives the wearer the power of 6 Kanohi in one, while the Golden Armor allows to wearer to destroy all solid Antidermis.
- Also, in the game BIONICLE Heroes, a Toa's Hero Mode is completely Gold.
- 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.