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Fanfic: Decks Fall Everyone Dies
"What happens when a world based on card games falls? And what happens when the characters, tired of the tyranny of dice games, decide to literally stage a revolution?"

Decks Fall, Everyone Dies is a parody Fan Fic by Kalarin that adapts the plot of Moulin Rouge! for the cast of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. It takes place six years after the canon.

Tristan returns to Domino City, only to find it a hollowed-out shell after the fall of dueling and the rise of dice games. It's up to him and the former great duelists to return Duel Monsters to its former glory through pro-dueling propaganda spread by musical theater and Filk songs. Oh, and he falls in love in the process.

The story seems to focus more on the play and revolution than the romance aspect.

The title appears to be inspired by the trope Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, likely due to the fact that they based their lives around their decks, and when they fell, life as everyone knew it ended. There also seems to be a lesson about not basing your government on something so frivolous, somewhere in there.


This Fan Fic provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: In this case, it's a game and a play. If the play is a success, the players get the money, and possibly credibility, to start their "Card Game Revolution" in a world ruled by dice games. Also, there's the fact that their political system is based on a game.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: Because it uses the abridged series characterization. Also, in one of the musical numbers, it gives Seto and Mokuba a last name (from before they were Kaibas) and it is definitely very unlikely that they would have that name.
    • Also, like in other Yu-Gi-Oh fanfictions, Yami has his own body, but it is explained right in the first chapter (unlike other fanfictions).
  • A Day In The Lime Light Fic: This was supposed to be one for Tristan, but he seems to have gotten overshadowed. In the source material, Tristan is routinely mocked for being a supporting character.
  • Anachronism Stew: The characters write a propaganda play (to revive card games as a form of government) set in ancient Egypt. The play, according to the scenes depicting the rehearsals, involves thrift shops at which the penniless duelist buys the Pharaoh's old clothes, Riverdance, and Rap music.
  • Author Appeal: The Yu-Gi-Oh fandom and the Moulin Rouge fandom don't have much overlap. Add in the fact that the songs seem to be a mish-mash of genres, ranging from obscure to mainstream, seemingly because the author likes them.
  • Beta Couple: Kaiba and Yugi.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Hints have been given that the other characters may want to watch out for Bakura (though he no longer has the Millennium Ring Spirit).
    • Also, Yugi sprays tear gas in a mugger's eyes in Chapter Eleven.
  • Big Fancy House: Duke's manor.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The revolution is implied to have been a success, but Joey is dead.
  • Boastful Rap: In Chapter Nine, Bandit Keith does one about how easily he can read Kaiba after spending so much time with him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: It happened in Chapter Eleven.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Noah's situation.
  • Convenient Terminal Illness: Joey will most likely not have to face the Duke's wrath when the duelists carry out their "Card Game Revolution."
  • Costume Porn / Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Played straight: despite the author's attempts to hide the descriptions in the action, if you add up all the details you end up with a fairly detailed outfit.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The play they're planning to put on to bring dueling (and the government based on it) back is this.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Duke. See the end of Chapter Four, and anything after that.
  • Crowd Song: Uses and lampshades this.
  • Dances and Balls: Before and after they become a theater.
  • Desolation Shot: Whenever Domino City outside of the club and Duke's manor is described.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The plot happens after this has been crossed.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Duke wants to kill Tristan if the show doesn't end his way.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Joey in Chapter Nine plans to go out fighting with their card game revolution.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Kaiba and Yugi, possibly.
  • Easy Impersonation / Wig, Dress, Accent: All Bakura has to do to get Duke excited is put a yellow napkin on his head and imitate Joey's accent.
    • Kaiba mockingly offers to do this for Tristan.
      • He does it to Duke in a song in Chapter Ten.
  • End of an Age: Takes place after an age where card games ruled, replaced by dice games.
  • Fall of the House of Cards: Metaphorically speaking.
  • Faustian Rebellion: The Black Dragon Theater gets its funding from Duke Devlin. He orders the players to use their play to promote dice games as a way of running the country over card games, but the players, most of whom are duelists, don't agree with this. Apparently, once he signed the contract, he can't take his money back. Though, if he tried, he'd have to deal with Kaiba.
  • Fictional Country: It takes place in Jamerica (fictional Japan-America fusion mentioned in the Abridged Series), in a crumbling Domino City, which borders the fictional territory of "Diceland."
  • Filk: Every song in the fic.
  • Film Fic: Meant to be an adaptation of Moulin Rouge, only the author attempts to write it so it makes sense. It's somewhat faithful, but there are extra songs and scenes that don't correspond to any of the ones in the movie (likely, to flesh the plot out more) and it seems to focus more on the revolution than the romance. The fact that it's a musical and the "Star Crossed Lovers" theme of the main plot is basically intact.
  • Fix Fic: In adapting the story, the author seems to have changed a few things about the plot of Moulin Rouge. For one, the Duke has more of a reason for why he wants the theater to fail (more substantial than "I want the leading lady and I can't have her"). Another small detail is that Duke comes to the conclusion that the play is imitating real life all on his own (instead of having one of the others endanger their career to make a catty Freudian Slip). Another is that since Joey and Tristan knew each other before the plot, they have more of a foundation for their romance. It may not necessarily make the story better, but it might eliminate some of the questions that might have been asked if it had stuck closer to the original.
  • Funetik Aksent: The author has chosen to write out Joey's accent.
    • Also, whenever another character imitates Joey.
  • Fusion Fic: Character Conversion List:
    • Satine: Joey
    • Christian: Tristan
    • Toulouse-Lautrec: Yugi (Toulouse was the main character of the novel of the same name, just as Yugi was the main character of the source material)
    • Zidler: Turned into two characters: Bakura, the less money-hungry side; and Kaiba, the more business-oriented side.
    • The Duke: Duke Devlin
    • Warner (the Duke's manservant): Noah (who plays a bigger role in this adaptation than Warner did in the original)
    • Narcoleptic Argentinian: Yami, the Narcoleptic Egyptian Pharaoh
    • Satie (the guy on piano): Mokuba
    • Audrey (the guy originally writing the Bohemians' play): Pegasus
    • Green Fairy: Kaiba, the Blue-Eyed White Fairy (an Abysmalinth hallucination)
  • Genre Savvy: The characters have occasional moments of lucidity:
    Mokuba: Sounds like someone's drug-induced fanfiction.
  • Glory Days: What everyone except Duke is trying to bring back.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Joey.
  • Goal in Life: Everyone's goal seems to be bringing back/continuing the game of their choice and bringing down the popularity and power of the opponent's game.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: In Chapter Nine's "Josephino."
    • Gratuitous Latin: One of the shorter song bits is just a bunch of Latin phrases strung together into a non-sequitur.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Duke, figuratively and literally.
  • Hey Lets Put On A Show: The show is meant to be the vehicle to bring dueling back.
  • High Class Rent Boy: Kaiba only seems to service former high-status businessmen and top duelists.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Joey, and possibly Kaiba (but only to Mokuba).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: They tend to be parts of the chapter's plot mashed together with puns and look as if they are meant to set the mood of the chapter. Examples:
    • Chapter One: "A Very Strange Enchanted Tristan"-A reference to the way Moulin Rouge! started: "A very strange, enchanted boy."
    • Chapter Two: "Heigh Ho, Black Dragon Top Dog!"-Stating the name of the club and Joey's stage name, in a Crack Fic-ish way.
    • Chapter Three: "Hellacious Fallaciousness"-A reference to the show from the movie, "Spectacular, Spectacular" and the fact that they're lying to Duke about having the script to the play already written.
    • Chapter Four: "Desperately Seeking Duke's Dollars"-Patterned after the name of the movie "Desperately Seeking Susan." Also refers to Bakura and Kaiba's goal for the chapter.
    • Chapter Five: "Love Is Like Oxygen Laced With SARS"-A reference to the line from the movie, "Love is like oxygen." Also the comparison of love to a disease foreshadows Joey's eventual demise, though, not due to SARS. It's also a bit of cynicism on the author's part.
    • Chapter Six: "Defibrillating the Heart of the Cards"-An Pun-Based Title.
    • Chapter Seven: "Coyote Bakura and Doctor Duke"-A reference to Coyote Ugly, particularly, the bar-dancing scene.
    • Chapter Eight: "Harmony, Harmony, Card Love!"-A reference to the song parodied. Also (posted on chapter seven, as a teaser):
    "In the next chapter comes the 'Robot Unicorn Dance Number' and 'Secret Song of Secretive Secrets.'"
    • Chapter Nine: "Don't Say His Name, Just Play Card Games"-Probably a rejected lyric from the song used in the chapter.
    • Chapter Ten: "The Hoedown Must Go on for Lover Puppy"-Refers to the two songs in the chapter.
    • Chapter Eleven: "Putting the Yugi back in the Yu-Gi-Oh fic"-The author gives Yugi a bigger role in the story.
  • I Do Not Own: The author has written that he/she does not even own any of the products spoofed in the story.
  • I Know Your True Name: Bandit Keith pulls this on Kaiba in a musical number. It's O'Brien, but the author writes that's only because it was the only name that rhymed with the previous line.
  • Impoverished Patrician: All three Kaiba brothers. And in a way, Yugi, since he doesn't have his "King of Games" title under the new dice-game-based government.
  • Incurable Cough of Death / Blood from the Mouth: Joey.
  • Invisible Aliens: We never see the aliens that abducted Kaiba and there is no flashback to the abduction (so far).
  • It's Probably Nothing: Joey thinks this about his spells of coughing up blood and fainting.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Every time anyone wonders about the impromptu musical numbers.
  • Lighter and Softer: Duke Devlin is markedly less evil than the Duke from Moulin Rouge.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Tristan, regarding Joey's tuberculosis. Duke ends up being this, but only because he doesn't believe that Joey really has tuberculosis.
  • MacGyvering: Must have happened for Kaiba to build the hologram-emitting fingerless gloves.
    • Yugi plans to do it to build an Egyptian laser.
  • Man in a Kilt: Yami wears a Scottish kilt, then a shendyt kilt.
  • Metaphorgotten: Happens a lot, especially since the author seems to be using the "card games as intercourse" metaphor jokes from the abridged series.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Step one: Put on play that contains propaganda about a revolution. Step Two: ??? Step Three: Profit and Revolution!
  • Mook-Face Turn: Noah.
  • Mundane Luxury: Domino City is in such bad shape, Tristan considers having his own toilet (as opposed to using the communal one on the roof) a bonus.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Because dice games are Serious Business.
  • Musical World Hypothesis: Played with a lot. Seems to be mostly the Alternate Universe variety. The only songs that are justified are the Robot Unicorn Dance Number and the numbers from Chapter Two.
  • Never Recycle a Building: Inverted. Instead of setting the Heigh-Ho-Good-Bi-Black-Dragon Palace in a completely different building, this fic puts it in a heavily renovated Kaibaland. Also, the apartment block where the characters live is the Kaiba mansion, converted into apartments, with the brothers as landlords.
  • Never Say "Die": Inverted, just like in the abridged series.
    Bakura: Um, Joey, you're not going to the Shadow Realm. You're actually going to die.
    Joey: Come again?
    Bakura: You have tuberculosis.
    Joey: Oh. Crap.
  • No Indoor Voice: There is no way the characters aren't disturbing the peace with their constant singing.
    From Chapter Nine: The hip-hop synth waltz faded into the sound of one of the neighbors yelling at them to "Shut off that racket and stop disgracing rap songs!"
  • No Sympathy: Most anyone who is not a main character gets this (at one point, Yami is throwing bottle glass at a down-and-out Rex for attempted deck theft). Kaiba also falls victim to this trope. Not to mention the fact that everyone's situation (mass economic depression due to the fall of card games) is played for laughs.
  • No Tell Motel: The Mastodon.
  • Out of Character: Serenity, to the point where after Kaiba implies that Joey is stupid for not going to the doctor for tuberculosis, she snaps at him.
    • Possibly Kaiba in Chapter Ten, but only because he's lost his mind.
  • Parody Names: Fracdonalds, Abysmalinth, Lolmart, Eau de Douche, Pizza Shack.
  • Perfect Health: Everyone, no matter what their income bracket and despite the fact that they can't get proper health care. Even Joey has this, except for his Incurable Cough of Death.
  • Please, I Will Do Anything!: Kaiba tries this on Duke in Chapter Ten, hoping to get his approval of the holographic elements in the show. It fails miserably.
  • Plot Surgical Mask: Tristan is constantly around Joey, and even shares a drink with him, yet doesn't contract tuberculosis. Same with Serenity, minus the drink sharing.
    • Also, if Duke's comment at the end of Chapter Ten is to be believed, Kaiba's lucky he's still alive, if it's advanced that far. (He probably doesn't have a disease, though.)
  • Power is Sexy: Duke's appeal.
  • Pressure Point: Keith uses this on Kaiba to further his argument that he knows him too well.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: It's Moulin Rouge with CARD GAMES!
    • ...In Jamerica!
  • Red Light District: Domino is written as the liberal version.
    • And in Chapter Eleven, it turns into something between the pitiful version and the hostile version.
  • Reference Overdosed: There are many references to jokes used in Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series, in an attempt to capture the tone of it:
    • In Chapter Six, Joey uses Duke's Image Song, "Sexy Back" as propaganda for the card game revolution (to get Tristan to join the movement).
    • There are lots of references to Duke's sexiness and jokes about him falling under his own spell (with the exception of being able to look into his own eyes).
    "He had no tissue. He'd used the last one while he was looking at his own reflection in the restroom. Thank god nobody but him had been in there at the time."
    • One of Tristan's lines in a song in Chapter Three: "My voice gives me strength!"
    • When Joey tries to distract Duke from finding out about Tristan: "Brooklyn lust! Brooklyn lust!"
    • Bakura's stereotypical Britishness is emphasized:
    "Joey just melted into his (Duke's) arms like cheese on a hot plate of chips."
    Bakura: (upon realizing Joey's meeting with the Duke has gone terribly wrong) "What the bloody hell is all that?"
    • One of the songs has Bakura singing about the subway being derailed, calling it the Tube (London's underground railway).
    • A reference to the original dub in a song from Chapter Seven:
    "I better check your pulse."
    • Kaiba's catchphrase gets mangled a lot:
    "Like the rules, the Black Dragon is screwed."
    "Why is it so hard to screw my conscience, I have money?"
    "Screw dis date, he has no rhythm!"
    "We're endin' it our way and if Duke doesn't like it, he can screw himself because we have a revolution."
    "We may win; we may lose! But I was born to screw the rules!"
    • Possible meta-reference: The fact that everyone gets to screw Kaiba because they have money (and he doesn't).
      • Stated outright in Chapter Eleven.
    (while trying to pay Yugi back for getting his cards back) "Please…I don't have money. Screw me."
    • The "card games as sex" analogy is used:
    "Someone told me that love is like playing card games," Yami began. "I hope you used protection, both on the field and off because nearly everyone here is an experienced duelist, especially Joey."
    • From Chapter Nine:
    Duke: "How do you feel about dice games on motorcycles?"
    • Also:
    Bakura: "Because dice games are serious business." (regarding why Duke will kill Tristan if the play doesn't end his way.
  • Rightful King Returns: Presumably, after Duke loses power, Yugi will go back to being the King of Games.
  • Shout-Out: The entire story shows the author must be a big fan of Yu-Gi-Oh The Abridged Series. Also:
    • From one of the songs: "I was so blind, before/My heart was so broken/What do I find, but your/Reverse card open." A reference to either the original and/or the MAD anime music videos on Youtube.
    • Lines about "rolling/heel bones" are references to something Yami said in the manga about astragali (dice bones).
    • The Ke$ha parody Kaiba does in Chapter Two sounds like a reference to Mega-Ultra Chicken (Winged Dragon of Ra).
    • From Chapter Two: "Schwing!"
    • The windmills on the Heigh-Ho-Good-Bi-Black-Dragon Palace are a reference to the giant windmill on the Moulin Rouge in the movie.
    • In a musical number, Joey imitates Flashdance, complete with bicycle riding through a puddle to soak him.
    • Tristan's angsting ("Angst, angst, angst") references a line from Potter Puppet Pals.
    • The "Unicorn Dance Number" was a reference to both Robot Unicorn Attack and Firework.
    • A lyric from the Doctor Duke song (probably only censored because the rest of the quote couldn't fit in the meter):
    • This whole story seems to be reference overdosed, like its source material.
  • Sliding Scale of Fourth Wall Hardness
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Descriptions alternate between the tacky splendor of the club/theater and the ghetto around it.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: Starting with Chapter Five, there is some serious Mood Whiplash.
  • Soiled City on a Hill: This is what Domino gets for basing their whole life on a children's card game.
  • Somewhere Song: To the tune of the Numa Numa song (Dragostea Din Tei by Ozone).
  • Song Parody: Most of the dialogue is this.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: To the point where it's Lampshaded in Chapter Five.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Bakura, Duke, and all three Kaiba brothers. The author writes more about their situations than Tristan's. Of course, he/she may just be trying to capture the feel of the source material by having the other characters overshadow Tristan.
  • STD Immunity: Averted, the characters must "take proper precautions."
  • Story Within a Story: The main story, then the play the characters are working on. It differs from Moulin Rouge because it's not solely Tristan's flashback.
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: Inverted, because it's named.
    • Played straight, too, because the author never says what Joey supposedly got tested for in Chapter Seven.
  • The Song Before The Storm: Either the hoedown in Chapter Ten, or Kaiba's negotiation with Duke.
  • Toilet Humor: The toilets on the roof flushing become musical accompaniment.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Serenity. It's explained that off-screen she'd been modeling Téa and Mai's behavior.
  • Triang Relations: Type 7, with Joey, Tristan, and Duke.
    • Also with Kaiba, Yugi, and Bandit Keith (though Bandit Keith is more of a customer than an actual love interest).
  • Unequal Pairing: Joey and Duke. Also Bandit Keith and Kaiba.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The Heigh-Ho-Good-Bi-Black-Dragon Palace/Theater is this, but that may be because it used to be Kaibaland.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: Apparently, the protection they use is 100% reliable, the customers (even the bums that Kaiba solicits) always pay their bill and never get unruly, and there is no social stigma. Of course, it could just be that the main characters are lucky and only the non-speaking characters have problems, and it is stated that they do odd jobs as well.
    • In Chapter Eleven, Kaiba has problems with it.
    • And of course, none of the customers mind the impromptu musical numbers.
  • Urban Segregation: Averted. Duke has hobos camping out on his front lawn.
  • Villain Ball: Duke gets it in this story.
  • Villain Song: "Dukey," in which Duke sings about his sexiness and involvement in the death of dueling, to the tune of Britney Spears's Lucky.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In addition to parody lyrics, there are single lines from actual songs mixed in with the dialogue (sometimes mangled):
    • There is a definite "Friday" theme in the beginning of Chapter Eleven.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: If only the duelists could stop stealing each other's cards and throwing bottle glass at each other long enough to fight for card games together....A sort of summary of this can be seen in how Noah and Kaiba fight over whether or not Noah should stop working for Duke and trying to bring dice games down from the inside (that last bit may be implied).
  • Wealthy Ever After: Implied in Chapter Thirteen.
    Kaiba: I'm back, bitch.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Right down to the placement of some of the songs:
    • Nature Boy=American Pie Parody
    • Lady Marmalade=Blah Blah Blah Parody
    • Diamonds are a Girl's best friend=Wannabe Parody
    • Your Song=Your Song Parody
    • So Exciting (The pitch)=Walk Like an Egyptian parody
    • Fly Away=Numa Numa Parody
    • Elephant Love Medley=Witch in the Ditch Parody
    • Like a Virgin=Doctor Jones Parody
    • Secret Song=Always Parody/Robot Unicorn Dance Number
    • El Tango de Roxanne=Alejandro parody
    • The Show Must go on=Jesse Hold On parody
  • Wisdom from the Gutter
  • World Half Full: Domino City, after the fall of card games.
  • Writer's Block: The fic starts with Tristan's writers block, and will probably end that way, too, based on the whole plot reference.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: This is what Domino has turned into after the fall of card games.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Joey, but he thinks he's just going to the Shadow Realm.
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