The Golden Wrench is an Engineer weapon discovered within TF2's game files after the July 1, 2010 Patch. It has a different skin and kill icon than the regular Wrench, and enemies killed by it turn into motionless golden statues instead of normal ragdolls. In all other ways, it is identical to the standard Wrench. The weapon is acquired through an as-yet unknown criteria.  The Golden Wrench is currently the only item, when found, that is announced globally to every user currently playing TF2.
The material file containing the kill notification icon also contains an encrypted message saying,
This text can be unencrypted with the key "saxtonhale", revealing the message,
Such a message implies that the Golden Wrench was intended to be discovered within the game files. The message is likely referring to the large 512 × 1024 image that only contained the Golden Wrench's kill icon, the message and link to the decrypter.
Golden Wrenches have ID numbers ("%s1 has found Golden Wrench no. %s2!"), similarly to the Gentle Manne's Service Medal, though unlike all other weapons to date, the same game file also suggests that the weapon may be intentionally or maliciously destroyed ("%s1 has destroyed Golden Wrench no. %s2!").
The Golden Wrench can be equipped and used in a server by replacing the contents of an already-owned unlockable weapon in \tf\scripts\items\items_game.txt with those of the Golden Wrench element of the same file (items_game.txt can be extracted from game files using GCFScape) on both client and server. Only clients with it enabled will be able to use it, although all other players will see the effects. The visual effect only works in DirectX 9, and the weapon reverts to the old Wrench skin when dropped.
If you wish to enable the Golden Wrench on a local server, download this file and place it in tf/scripts/items. This replaces the Flare Gun. Alternatively, you may use this file to replace Natascha. Bear in mind, this will ONLY work on your local server or servers that are modified in the same fashion.
An alternative method, is for server owners running a copy of Sourcemod. You can assign the "turn to gold" attribute to the normal Wrench, using the TF2items plugin.
Interestingly however, the attribute only works for the Wrench. When assigned to any other weapon, the attribute shows, but does not take any effect.
The Initial Drops
On the night of July 4th, 2010, sixteen accounted for players received the Golden Wrench after a drop was triggered by Robin. The following is the process of events according to Nineaxis, TF2 Wiki moderator and contributor.
According to him, he queried Robin Walker about whether or not the wrench was a preorder reward for another game, which it is not. Robin then invited him to play, promising more answers. After playing, Robin told him the code had a bug. A while later, Robin invited him to a server, supposedly having fixed the bug mentioned before, and proceeded to trigger the drops, mentioning that they do not drop randomly after Nineaxis asked. Shortly after, Robin left and halted any further drops, to presumably fix a bug that affected the wrenches which had been dropped.
On July 5th, 2010, it was revealed that there is a possible limit of 100 wrenches to be dropped over the next few days. According to the page, it can be presumed that it is only found when crafting something. It is unclear whether the 100 wrenches will be the only ones of their kind, or if only the first 100 will be numbered and more are to be given out later.
The first player in the world to receive a Golden Wrench, Kaori, later had his revoked due to a hacking infraction. He was also later banned from VAC-secured servers.
- Golden Wrench screenshot 1.png
- Golden Wrench screenshot 2.png
- Point Blank: 65 (59 to 72 damage)
- Mini-Crit: 88
- Critical Hit: 195
- Damage Repaired per Hit: 105
- Upgrade Amount per Hit: 25 (Corresponding loss in metal)
- Metal Cost per Repairing Stroke: 1 + Damage / 5
- Metal Cost for reloading ammo: 1 per bullet, 2 per rocket salvo
Damages are approximate and determined by community testing.
- Attack Interval: 0.8
All times are in seconds. Times are approximate and determined by community testing.
- The Golden Wrench uses a kill icon that isn't one of the two normal kill icon colors.
- Even though the enemies turn into golden statues, they can still move their facial muscles and cry upon dying. (This is true for normal rag-dolls as well). The sound they make when they hit the ground still sounds like flesh, despite being made of metal.
- The Golden Wrench is a possible reference to King Midas, who gained the ability, or curse, to transform whatever he touched into solid gold.
- The Golden Wrench might be plated with Australium, a "transformative" metal mentioned in the comic "Loose Canon" 
- Golden Statues of defeated players reflect the world around them.
- Only one version of the Golden Wrench's kill icon was released, and as such it blends into the background of the kill feed.
- The Golden Wrench does not turn enemy Hats and Misc. items into gold.
- The Golden Wrench freezes jiggle bones.
- The "turn to gold" attribute, is hard coded to the Wrench. Meaning, if it is added to another weapon using a server plugin, it will not work.
- It was once possible to craft the Golden Wrench using the 'Fabricate Class Weapons' blueprint. However it was impossible to create an engineer token so nobody was able to do so. Valve then fixed the Wrench so that it could not be crafted alltogether.
- It is rumored that on July 4th only 5 wrenches were meant to drop, but due to lag and a bug in the drop system multiple wrenches of the same number were dropped.
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