A Gold Space Pirate (as named in Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide) was an X Parasite mimicking a Zebesian, giving itself a gold-colored exoskeleton by manipulating its host's DNA. They appeared in only a few rooms of the Tourian-like area of Sector 1, most notably before Neo-Ridley's room in Metroid Fusion. They would only come into being when two free-floating X Parasites (often resulting from the deaths of other creatures, such as Genesis), are merged. Gold Space Pirates were very strong, and could only be destroyed from behind by most weaponry; however, the Screw Attack was enough to quickly dispatch them. They were similar in behavior to the elite Silver Space Pirates encountered by Samus during her final mission on Zebes. They are not to be confused with the Yellow Space Pirates of Super Metroid.
A very strange glitch can occur while fighting these enemies. Normally, Samus would need to attack a Gold Pirate's back, but the game only checks to see if she and the Pirate are facing the same direction. As such, Samus could simply shoot then turn around immediately after, which will still damage the Pirate.