The Gold Saints (黄金聖闘士「ゴールドセイント」, Gōrudo Seinto) are the most powerful, almost-invincible Knights in Athena's army, since the mythological ages. They wear the 12 Gold Cloths that correspond to the zodiac constellations, the most powerful among the 88 Cloth. The Gold Knights have mastered the Seventh Sense, the essence of Cosmo, which grants them miraculous abilities, such as the capacity of attaining the speed of light.
In the Toei adaptation, the artists gave their aura a golden color though other media sometimes did not. Their duty at the Sanctuary is mainly to defend the 12 Zodiac Temples, one for each sign, but they are also the ultimate arsenal at the disposition of Athena and the Grand Pope to accomplish the most difficult of missions. They represent Athena's main war strength during the conflicts against the other deities' armies.
They are known for being among the most powerful characters in the series. While they are all known to dominate the Seventh Sense, a few of them are so powerful that they have reached the Eighth Sense(Arayashiki) during the series. They are protected by the twelve zodiacal constellations that are on the ecliptic cycle, thus, containing the energy and light of the sun.With the evolution of the series, only the most powerful enemies are comparable to the Gold Saints, such as the Marina Generals or the high-ranked Specters, including the 3 Judges of the Underworld and most of the other Celestial Star Specters. The anime series and films added some other Gold Saint-level enemies such as the God Warriors.
Generally, the elites of any army can master a Cosmo to the same extent as a Gold Saint, and sometimes beyond, although like any other Saint, the Gold Saints are capable of overcoming their limits in time of crisis to accomplish miracles. Not only the power of the Gold Saints is incomparably superior to all other Saints (except for a few cases), their notions of honesty, ethics and righteousness are also highly respected by the other Saints. In many cases the Grand Pope choses his successor from amongst The Gold Saints.
During the battle of the 12 Temples, in the final part of the Sanctuary saga, five Gold Saints died, but only two - Cancer Death Mask and Pisces Aphrodite - were actually traitors to Athena. However, the manga considers a third Gold Saint as a traitor, which is Capricorn Shura. The others, including those that survived and fought for what they believed, were indeed faithful to Athena. In fact, in the following sagas they sided with the protagonists, helping them as much as they could.When the 12 Gold Cloths are near one another, they emits a shining light and produce a very loud sound: this phenomenon is called a resonance. However it is not a common event, because the reunion of all the 12 Gold Saints is a rare event, which usually only happened when Athena and the Grand Pope summons the Gold Saints to a meeting in view of an upcoming crisis.
If the Gold Saints with two equivalent forces wages a battle, the conflict can last a long time. In this confrontation, which is called the "War of a Thousand Days," they can both die or fight forever without a winner.
The Gold Saints posseses a legendary technique known as the Athena Exclamation, where 3 Gold Saints join their Cosmo to form a single blow. The Contemplative Athena Tablet represents its essence. In the manga, that tablet resides in Athena's room. The A.E. power is so immense that it releases an energy similar to the Big Bang (on a smaller scale), the explosion that gave birth to the universe. When two Athena Exclamation collide, they will not only double or multiply, but increase exponentially. Athena banned all Gold Saints to use this technique because, besides being considered a coward's technique (three Saints attacking a single enemy), they can also cause terrible damage to both the opponent and the surroundings. Whoever dares uses this technique, will be regarded as a barbaric and dishonorable person that can never be called a Saint anymore.The Athena Exclamation appears in the Hades saga when Gemini Saga, Aquarius Camus and Capricorn Shura used this technique to defeat Virgo Shaka's Tembu Horin secret attack. After defeating Shaka, the three former Saints switched the technique against Aries Mu, Scorpio Milo and Leo Aioria who retaliated with the same technique. It's unclear how the latter group are able to use this forbidden move without breaking their code of honor, but it's possibly due to the fact that the enemies were equal in number, and were about to use that attack against them as well, not to mention the difficult situation the Sanctuary was put into. Athena Exclamation was also used in The Lost Canvas, first by Sisyphus, Shion and Regulus to destroy the Lost Canvas Gate cursed by the dying Pharaoh, and later used by the fighting genius Regulus on his own to defeat the powered up Rhadamanthys. Regulus managed to use a technique that needs three Gold Saints to be used with his single strength.
However, the most powerful and destructive technique for the Gold Saints is the one referred to as the "sacrifice of the Gold Saints." In it, the twelve Gold Saints raise their Cosmo and put their souls into an energy as strong and bright as the sun. All who come in contact with this energy, including the Gold Saints themselves, will die. It's unclear though if it has a real destructive power or if it's limited to the creation of a focused sunlight beam at the cost of the explosion of the full Cosmo of the 12 Gold Saints that causes a massive explosion.
Added to the already amazing array of skills that the 12 Gold Saints have, the Cloth of Libra has six pairs of golden weapons that can be used only in exceptionally desperate cases and with the consent of the Saint of Libra, the one allowed to value the justice and righteousness of the cause, in the absence of Athena herself. The destructive force of the weapons is extraordinary, as they are said to be able to pulverize a star with a single blow, a feat equal only to the most devastating techniques such as Gemini's Galaxian Explosion. The six pair of arms are: Tongfar, Spear, Sword, Shield, Triple Rod and Twin Rod.
In Saint Seiya: The Next Dimension it turns out that there is a thirteenth gold saint, Ophiuchus, the evil gold saint, whose underground temple is the temple of the scorpion underneath the temple of Sagittarius.
Omega ( 21st Century )Edit
- Aries Kiki (presumed deceased)
- Taurus Harbinger
- Gemini Paradox (defected)
- Gemini Integra
- Virgo Fudō (presumed deceased)
- Libra Genbu (deceased)
- Libra Shiryū (formerly a Bronze Saint, presumed deceased)
- Sagittarius Seiya (fomerly a Bronze Saint)
- Aquarius Tokisada (defected, incapacitated)
Died during the Sanctuary Arc:
Classic Era (20th Century)Edit
- Aries Mū
- Taurus Aldebaran
- Gemini Saga
- Gemini Kanon
- Cancer Deathmask
- Leo Aiolia
- Virgo Shaka
- Libra Dōko
- Scorpio Milo
- Sagittarius Aiolos
- Capricorn Shura
- Aquarius Camus
- Pisces Aphrodite
Next Dimension (18th Century)Edit
- Aries Shion (ND)
- Taurus Ox
- Gemini Cain
- Gemini Abel
- Cancer Deathtoll
- Leo Kaiser
- Virgo Shijima
- Libra Dōko (ND)
- Ophiuchus Gold Saint
- Capricorn Izō
- Pisces Cardinale
The Lost Canvas (18th Century alternative)Edit
After Lost Canvas Era
Died during the Lost Canvas Era:
- Taurus Rasgado
- Gemini Deuteros
- Cancer Manigoldo
- Leo Regulus
- Virgo Asmita
- Scorpio Cardia
- Sagittarius Sisyphus
- Capricorn El Cid
- Aquarius Dégel
- Pisces Albafica
Before Lost Canvas
- They are so incredibly powerful that a weaker opponent may feel them as being all more or less equal in strength, because he is likely to be too far from their level to notice differencies, however when fought on the same category it can be noted that they are indeed approximately equal for the most part, although a few of them actually show to have a superior ability and Cosmo than others.
- The Gold Saints, despite being secondary characters, are among the most favorited characters by the Saint Seiya fanbase at the point that after the battle at the 12 Temples Kurumada decided to revive some of them during the Hades saga and even in the following decades various new works related to the Saint Seiya universe has been made about them, like Episode G, a whole manga all dedicated to the character of Leo Aiolia, or The Lost Canvas, a prequel that has Pegasus Tenma as the central protagonist but dedicates much space to the loved Gold Saints. The Next Dimension itself, while set after Hades arc, when all the Gold Saints are dead, introduced a time travel to the past and Kurumada managed to show the past Gold Saints again.
- For the previously mentioned reasons and for the fact that Gold Saints are related to zodiac signs, and any person is born under a sign, many fans have elected one of the Gold Saints, often that of their zodiac sign, as their favorite, in many case becoming real fanatics.
- A struggle among fans has always been up around comunities to establish who is the strongest among the Gold Saints, more than for any other class of characters of similar and high strength, typically arguing that for this or that reason a particular Gold Saint should be considered the strongest or among the strongest. The two more common candidates are usually Gemini Saga and Virgo Shaka because of their feats, but also some others are included. This question has been made to Kurumada himself who answered laughing that he has created the Gold Saints to be all incredibly powerful, but some of them stand above the others. This means that probably both Saga's and Shaka's fans are equally right.
- It was implied in Asgard arc as well as in the 4 old movies that Gold Saints were weaker than the five bronze Saints, that was an old error. It was fixed since Hades arc, close to origin, made the Gold Saints stronger than five bronze Saints again. In the 12 temples battle, Gold Saints conceded Bronze Saints for this tutorial fight. In the Hades arc, though Gold Saints were once suffering 'own goal' curse from Hades, they could still use their full power at Hell and the Wailing Wall.
- There is also a reversed feeling among many fans about some Gold Saints to be weaker or less capable than the others and they are typically Taurus Aldebaran, Cancer Deathmask and Pisces Aphrodite. This is mostly a misunderstanding of Kurumada's intentions, because in the case of Aldebaran he is used to give a demostration of the new enemies fearsome level of strength and he is chosen among the Gold Saints because he is the bulkiest and has thus the look of a tough one. As for Deathmask and Aphrodite, they are heavily defeated by both Mu and Rhadamanthys in the Hades saga, but beside the fact of showing how strong the 3 Judges are to treat two Gold Saints like crap, they are regarded as weak more for their vicious personality and notably cowardliness compared to real brave Saints like Mu or Seiya, than for a specific lack of power. The fans of those 3 characters, often born under the same signs, have been always complaining for how their Gold Saints are treated, but their hopes have been finally fulfilled by the great battle performances the three correspondents Hasgard, Manigoldo and Albafica have shown in The Lost Canvas. A Cancer Gold Saint of 16th Century, Sage, has been even made Grand Pope, a sign of being a powerful and wise Saint.
- There are two groups of gold saint of the 18th century, but only to Next Dimension designed by Kurumada are considered the gold saint officers, being Lost Canvas a manga by another author. Next Dimension is also indicated in the first volume of the Japanese series, as the official sequel to the first manga of Saint Seiya.
- In Next Dimension, it is the first canonical introduction of a thirteenth, evil, Gold Saint.