Saint Seiya Gold Saints
The Gold Saints are the most powerful, almost invincible warriors 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 Saints have mastered the Seventh Sense, the essence of Cosmo, which grants them miraculous abilities, such as the capacity to attack at 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 theSanctuary 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.
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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-rankedSpecters, including the 3 Judges of the Underworld and most of the otherCelestial 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. This does not necessarily indicate a Gold Saint holds a righteous attitude, as there have been instances of Gold Saints acting with unrestrained lethality and self-interest, instances which were openly overlooked by others. 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, Capricorn Shura. The other Gold Saints, 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.
In the 21st Century, the God of War Mars succeeded a hostile takeover of the Sanctury. In the previous years, the majority of Gold Saint ranks had still been depleted from previous wars, the only acting Gold Saints being former Bronze Saints Sagittarius Seiya and Libra Shiryu, in addition to the pupil of the previous Aries Saint,Aries Kiki. Now in control of the Sanctuary, Mars offered the vacant Gold Cloths to a number of loyal followers, all ruthlessly malevolent warriors unworthy of wearing a Gold Cloth, yet powerful enough to control them;Taurus Harbinger, Gemini Paradox, Cancer Schiller, Leo Mycenae, Virgo Fudō and Libra Genbu, who was actually acting on Athena’s behalf. Meanwhile, the God of War’s wife Medea, secretly conspiring to betray him while appearing to aid him, appointed his own daughter Hornet Sonia as the new Scorpio Saint, and later granted Silver Saint Horologium Tokisada the Aquarius Cloth. Medea’s own brother, Amor, secretly obtained the Pisces cloth. Out of these false Gold Saints, with Aries Kiki and Libra Genbu pretending to serve him, Mars was ultimately betrayed after Harbinger and Fudo had a change of heart. Schiller perished in battle, while Paradox was defeated and later apprehended, her Gold Cloth being taken up by her twin sister Gemini Integra. Mycanae was murdered by Pisces Amor, who himself was later killed by an Abzu-possessed Pegasus Kouga. Tokisada seemingly perished at the edge of time during a battle with Wolf Haruto, and Sonia was later killed by her own Cosmo when she proved unable to handle the power of the Scorpio cloth. When order was restored to the world, Taurus Harbinger and Virgo Fudo joined Aries Kiki, Sagittarius Seiya and Libra Genbu as official Gold Saints, despite their time serving Mars.
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 Popesummons 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. TheContemplative 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, regardless of the intent.
The Athena Exclamation appears in the Hades saga when Gemini Saga, Aquarius Camus and Capricorn Shuraused this technique to defeat Virgo Shaka‘s Tembu Horin secret attack. After defeating Shaka, the three former Gold 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, Shionand 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.
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