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Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand Year Door is a fanfiction written by Cyber Commander. A remake of the fic, using updated rules and info, which now complete, can be found here. Although it takes place in the Yugioh world, virtually every character is an OC of some kind. The entire plot references Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and a few other Super Mario Bros. games. Several characters, artifacts, and spells from the Mario games appear as characters or cards.One Thousand years ago, an evil immortal sorceress known as the Shadow Queen attempted to Take Over the World. Fortunately, Three legendary heroes fought the Shadow Queen in the Palace of Shadows and won. However, seeing as they couldn't kill her, they did the next best thing: they cursed her, preventing her from leaving the Palace forever.However, the Queen eventually found an escape clause: if she or anyone working for her (willingly or not) beat the heirs of each hero in a fair contest, the curse would be lifted.Naturally, she chooses Duel Monsters as her weapon of choice.During her imprisonment, she separately lured six males (all masters of an element) to her palace and sired children with them, killing the fathers after conception. These children became the Shadow Spawn, masters of the six elements and her top enforcers. In Redux, it is implied that this is not the first time she has done this, and that her current children are a second generation of heirs.Cut forward to the present day. Three duelists, Stanley Mason, Francesca Benedict, and Andy Markova, each receive invitations to a duel monsters tournament on Monster Island (Arcadia in Redux). However, they quickly learn of the evil behind the Thousand Year Door, and fight to make sure the Queen doesn't leave its unholy doors.Although most references in the fic come from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, many characters from other Mario games have and will appear, at least as cameos. Cyber Commander has said that there were four characters he definately never intended to appear: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Bowser, the first three because they would overshadow the actual heroes of the fic, and the last because he feels that Bowser is Mario's enemy, and should not be anyone else's.A Spin-Off to this fic by 7th Librarian is being planned which will be called Rise of the Shadow King. Also, Shadowchasers Conspiracy can be considered a Spiritual Successor.See also the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand Year Door character page. And for the author's own Troper Page, look here.See also Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Messiah and the Shadowchasers series.
This fanfic has the following examples:
0% Approval Rating: It's no secret that the Shadow Queen is a tyrant who keeps her subjects in line out of fear and threat of force. Most of her minions despise her, and even her own children work for her more out of fear than anything else. Her only servants who seem to be the exception are Grodus and maybe Crump, who both go out of their way to please her.
A God Am I: In Redux, The Witty Phantom. His "Take a Chance" Spell card combined with "Dice Reaper" rigging his rolls increases his Life Points to 795,000, soon causing him to believe he he is invincible. Unfortunately for him, he makes a careless mistake which results in Stan decimating a very large chunk of those Life Points.
Always Night: Twilight Town. In Redux, a theory is given as to why this phenomenon exists in this area.
Amazonian Beauty: Glamazon, a Warrior Monster in Rawk Hawk's deck, which is a likeness of his girlfriend, who was one of Maria's victims.
Lady of Unicorns, a monster in Fran's deck who looks just like her also qualifies, as does Warrior Maiden of the Storm, an updated version which appears to be the avatar of her ancestor.
Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Ushio. He entered Battle City just to defeat Yugi Moto's Dark Magician to prove his cards were better.
Ascended Extra: Aesop. From being just another duelist that Stan defeats to earn another Crystal Card in the original to becoming one of the finalists in Redux. (According to Cyber Commander, Aesop has officially become Wanda's replacement. See Old Shame below.)
The demon Graz'zt also qualifies. In Shadowchasers: Ascension, he was only mentioned as the demon that Jalie Squarefoot wanted to offer Red Feather and Penelope to (Both of these fics were written by Cyber Commander). In Redux however, he is the one who gave the Shadow Queen her powers and she serves as his proxy as well.
The various supporters of the Three Heroes such as: Jolene, Ivan, and Pennigton also qualify: In the original fic, they don't do much in supporting Stan, Francesca, and Andy and only appear at certain parts, and are never seen again. In Redux, They are a part of a secret resistance led by Merlow that plans on fighting the Shadow Queen's forces outside the Palace of Shadow.
The Witty Phantom in Redux as well. In the original fic, his only role was to give the finalists the puzzle when they first enter the Palace of Shadow. In Redux however, aside from that, he is also Stan's 1st opponent in the tournament, the one who convinced Jackson and Poison to serve the Shadow Queen, and has another rematch with Stan with an incredibly powerful card in hand.
The other remaining contestants such as Ryo and Sean qualify in Redux as well. In the original, they are never seen again after their initial duels (with the latter appearing only in a brief scene in one of the later chapters), but in Redux they reappear in a small role as members of Merlow's resistance force wherein they get to duel again and actually win.
Bad Boss: The Shadow Queen, although not as bad as some examples of this trope. She does punish her minions harshly for failure (even her own children) and claims to have executed some of them in the past, but she is willing to show mercy and give second chances occasionally, even to Ruklamba, who went so far as insulting her. (She tells Ruklamba sternly that she normally does not give second chances to minions who do that.)
Possibly Smithy too, who seems to treat Cloaker and Domino like dirt. Stan expresses to himself that the two of them likey worked so hard to revive him only because they didn't have anyone else to work for.
Battle In The Center Of The Soul: Diana has a quick contest of luck while resisting the Queen's control. Diana wins. This happens in Redux as well, but a little more skill is involves along with luck, and Count Bleck may have helped it reach that point.
Big Bad Duumvirate: Averted. Apparently, part of plan for the Shadow Queen's first attempt to escape five-hundred years ago involved forming a partnership with Smithy. Smithy and his army was defeated by an unidentified hero (who the Queen now claims is dead) and the Queen aborted that part of the plan. When Smithy is revived in the current storyline, she is open to the possibility again; but Smithy is defeated again. (It is possible that the Queen would have eventually double-crossed him, seeing as she was willing to steal his blueprints in case he failed.)
Bigger Bad: In Redux, Graz'zt, the demon lord that Iris - now the Shadow Queen - made a bargain with. She is his proxy (meaning she is his most powerful mortal servant) and appears to have led many cults devoted to him over the last millennia.
Kurtis uses a Harpie deck, which is headed by Dark Simorgh in Redux.
Bittersweet Ending: Arcadia is liberated, and almost every innocent has been saved. There have even been a few unforeseen bonuses, like the suggestion of Madripoor being liberated. But there are still a few sad events that keep the ending from being entirely happy. The Companions have to leave (although Francesca realizes asking them to stay after so long would be selfish). The worst part, however, is the horrid fate of Iris' soul; even though she repented, renounced her evil side, and helped the heroes win in the end, her bargain with Graz'zt still stands, and her soul is quickly claimed by the demon lord, possibly damning her forever. Still, hope for her still remains, as the second chance given to Lyrius might mean one for her, no matter how much the odds are against it.
Book Ends: In the start of Redux, Stan, Andy and Francesca all draw Monster Reborn at a suggestion by Andy. Towards the end of the fic, during the Triangle Duel, all three of them draw it again simultaneously from the effect of Francesca's Card from a Different Dimension.
Boss Rush: Andy, Stan, and Fran get to battle the Shadow Spawn again during their treck into the Palace of Shadow. Although they get small rests betwen fights, they cannot leave their general area until all six of them have fallen.
Brick Joke: In Fran's duel with Maria, she tells her to tell the Shadow Queen that she and her friends are going to defeat her even if the Queen decides to sic a dragon at them. While it initially appears only as a Badass Boast and a throwaway line later in the Palace of Shadow,the Shadow Queen sets them into a trap which forces them to confront one. Francesca's deadpan reaction says it all.
Canon Foreigner: A good number of characters in Redux are completely new characters who either replace the ones who were removed or are a part of a character's new backstory and/or a new subplot. The most significant ones so far include Count Bleck and Lyrius.
Crapsaccharine World: Arcadia as a whole is a lot like this. The place looks friendly and inviting at first, the citizens seem happy for the most part, and indeed, they're okay... So long as they stay in line. The Queen's cruelty comes into play when they break the rules or make her angry - which isn't hard to do - and for the ones who she has hurt, it's a living hell. (And it is suggested that the place would be much worse if she freed herself.)
In the original, Diana mentions that her favorite hero is Green Lantern. Later on, during Diana's (under the Shadow Queen's control) rematch with Stan, Francesca uses her yellow pendant and blue light emanating from Skyscraper to create green light, and she chants the Green Lantern oath, giving Diana enough strength to fight the Queen's control.
Another example, Stan gives Andy his Xyz monster Queen Dragun Djinn early in the fic. While Andy isn't all-too conservative about using it, it plays a vital role in his final battle in the fic against Grodus, saving him from defeat, restoring his bond with his two friends, and acting as the embodiment of that bond overall.
Only applies in Redux, after defeating Cortez, he gives Stan the key to all of his treasures and gold. During the epilogue, Stan gives the key to Vladimir to give him and the rest of the Spawn enough money to rebuild Arcadia.
Continuity Cameo: In Redux, Hyde Vayne from Shadowcasers: Risen Nemesis makes an appearance as Andy's final Crystal Card opponent which establishes Redux and the Shadowchaser series as being part of the same universe.
Likewise, later on in the fic, Rave and Lan'tao from Shadowchasers: Twice-Told Tales appear in Chapter 67 in a confrontation between the Shadow Queen, Grodus, and Lyrius. Twice-Told Tales even has a chapter that leads up to their appearance in this chapter.
Continuity Nod: Due to being a part of the Shadowchasers universe, Redux has a few of these:
The Alice in Despairland card that Count Bleck gives to Vladimir is heavily implied to be the same one that Bruno Von Klein would later obtain in Shadowchasers: Tournament of Shadows as his girlfriend makes a mention if he finally found "that Shadow Spawn" (mostly likely referring to Vladimir).
The demon that the Queen made a deal with for her power was the demon lord Graz'zt. Graz'zt was the demon lord that Jalie Squarefoot wanted to offer the kidnapped Red Feather and Penelope to in Shadowchasers: Ascension.
Jalie himself was mentioned by the Queen in Chapter 67 as one of the evil entities that Lan'tao made a Deal with the Devil with in his attempt to steal the Queen's power for himself.
In Chapter 66, Hyde mentions to Merlow that he lives in New York City, which is where he returns to and is also the main setting in Shadowchasers: Dark City Chronicles, the sequel to Risen Nemesis.
Convection Schmonvection: Subverted. When the heroes meet Tyson in a lava-filled cavern, he even gives a short speech about why humans shouldn't be able to survive in such a place. (The reason they can is because he can protect them.)
Corrupt Politician: Grodus, sort of. In addition to being the Queen's right-hand man, he's a member of Arcadia's parliment, which is a puppet government that the Queen gives orders to. Grodus' job there, more or less, is to make sure that they don't have a problem with that. (If a member does, they have to answer to him.)
The other members of the parliament might qualify too, even thought they are never actually seen. A lot that happens after Merlow's resistance movement gains ground seems to suggest that they're a bunch of lazy, incompetent cowards who took the job simply to avoid having to avoid anything that resembled actual work, and this is proven when they barricade themselves in the parliamentary building after the resistance gains a substantial advantage. However, a desperate attempt to save themselves leads to their doom...
Cryptic Background Reference: In addition to the events of a thousand years ago, there were the events of five-hundred years ago, when the Queen made her first (unsuccessful) attempt to escape. Very little of the details are known as yet; what is known is that there were six different Shadow Spawn at the time (who apparently didn't survive the attempt), part of the Queen's plan involved trying to form an alliance with Smithy, and she was opposed by an unidentified hero. (Whoever it was appears to have foiled her plans, only to have fallen victim to her later, as she claims that he is dead.)
As mentioned above, if the Queen or anyone working for her, whether they want to or not (mind-controlled people and people who don't know they're working for the Shadow Queen, like people she loans cards to, count), defeats Stan, Fran, and Andy in a fair contest, the spell is lifted and the Queen can leave.
Cortez also has one for the curse he received for stealing from the Queen. He has to guard his treasure forever as a ghost, and can't pass on until he is beaten in battle, and he can't intentionally lose or else it doesn't count.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Shadow Queen reviews footage of previous duels like Yugi, Joey, and Kaiba's struggles against Dartz and his henchmen to learn from the bad guys' mistakes. Also, to increase her chances of victory, she loans cards to ordinary people, because this causes them to count as working for her, meaning these ordinary people would break the curse if they were to beat Stan, Fran, and Andy. In Redux, when the Queen revives her former ally Smithy, she has a very clever backup plan in case he is defeated (which he is) sending Magical Scientist to sneak into his lair while he and the heroes are distracted to steal his blueprints. This backup plan is successful, and threatens to have repercussions that affect the remainder of the story.
Several of the villains use multiple decks and switch in their rematches to keep Stan, Fran, and Andy guessing. Ivan also states that all of the Shadow Spawn have multiple decks (although they each remain within their own Attribute) so that no-one can truly prepare for them when they are doing their jobs as the Queen's enforcers.
Vladimir mentions once that the Evil Overlord List is incredibly easy to look up on the internet, but for some strange reason, real evil overlords rarely read it or follow any of the advice on it.
Dark Is NotObviously Evil: Vladmir, the Shadow Spawn of Darkness. Among the Spawn, and most of the Queen's servants, he's the nicest of the bunch. Although he still wants to defeat our heroes and free the Queen.
Darker and Edgier: Redux is a lot more serious in tone when it comes to the origin and portrayal of the Shadow Queen. While she was already dark and sinister in the original version, Redux just takes it Up to Eleven.
Ironically Redux is the one that gives her a more tragic and sympathetic backstory in the form of her losing her two younger brothers in unfortunate events: One from exhaustion and one from an accident. Doesn't even make her more sympathetic one bit.
Vivian, who is a card and a Duel Spirit in both versions, willingly confesses in Redux that her true past was nothing like what it was in the video game version, and that she was not nearly as innocent as the game portrayed her. She calls the game "the sugar-coated, PG-rated version".
Deal with the Devil: The Shadow Queen made a deal with a nameless demon. She gives him her name, he gives her the power over shadows.
In Redux, she made a deal with the demon Graz'zt, who saved her life in exchange for her devotion. She became his proxy as a result.
Demoted to Extra: The Unfriendly Amazon in Redux. In the original version, she was a part of a Terrible Trio alongside Peten the Dark Clown and End of Anubis and was the Duel Spirit who had a personal vendetta with Francesca (due to her using Amazoness monsters). In Redux however, she only appears during her initial duel and is never seen again afterwards with her role later on being taken by Ruklamba the Spirit King.
Merlow may also qualify to some extent. In the original version, he provided assistance to the protagonists inside the Palace of Shadow. In Redux however, his role is taken by Count Bleck instead. Although he is given a new role as a leader of a resistance force that fights the Shadow Queen's forces outside the Palace of Shadow.
Doomsday Device: Originally, the Queen was building a potent weapon called the Infernal Machine, which, in theory, could use the evil energy from Hell itself as a power source to devestate opposing armies. Fortunately, it was destroyed by the three heroes before it was completed, and most of the Company of Malice perished attempting to defend it. (This victory put nearly all of Arcadia on their side, giving them what they required to storm the Palace.) But it didn't end there. One of the biggest reasons she tried to form a partnership with Smithy five-hundred years later was so that he could attempt to rebuild it. But this failed too, as the unknown hero defeated him and destroyed the prototype. Even so, Vladimir still used a card version of that prototype called the Gunyolk... only for Stan to destroy it a third time.
Do Not Call Me Paul: In the original, the Shadow Queen does not like being called by her original name, " Josephine". She explains that the name doesn't belong to her anymore. In Redux, her real name is " Iris", and she apparently will do anything to keep it a secret in this version as well.
Dolled-Up Installment: This was what Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was, in-universe, compared to what actually happened a thousand years ago. In modern times, the would-be traitor Lan'tao tried to make money by writing a novel about the conflict, but ironically, an agent told him it was a cliché. He tried to make it unique by combining the events of the past conflict with modern ones, adding many modern personalities to Arcadia to the story (making it an in-universe example of a Pragmatic Adaptation) but it still wouldn't sell. Eventually, someone suggested taking it to Nintendo. They liked the basic storyline, but wanted to change it, making it a Lighter and Softer version for a younger audience with their company mascot as the star. Being an unknown author, Lan'tao really couldn't argue. Ironically, it was a hit. (The Queen has mixed feelings about it; as she says, she found it silly, but it did keep the ruse for the tournament alive for awhile.)
Drowning Our Sorrows: In the original version, Sean, Cyrus, Gerald and Aesop do this with milkshakes after they fail to acquire a Crystal Star before they have to leave the following day. This scene doesn't exist in Redux, as Aesop is one of the finalists instead, Sean has another role as one of the members of Merlow's resistance, and Cyrus and Gerald don't appear in Redux at all.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Redux is an incredibly rare case where this is an Invoked Trope. While the protagonists are likely seen as heroes and saviors to the citizens of Arcadia, they ask that the news of their heroics be kept on its shores, in effect, forfeiting any fame or glory, even going so far as to give the Shadow Spawn Cortez's horde. They realize no-one would likely believe them, and might think they were crazy.
Effortless Amazonian Lift: The Shadow Queen displays this more than once when she is angry at a minion, effortlessly lifting him or her off the ground with one hand before delivering a punishment. Clearly, her physical strength is greater than her looks suggest.
Emotion Bomb: In Redux, Vladmir emits an aura that fills people with fear, which makes his opponents hesitate and make mistakes.
The Shadow Queen also seems to cause fear in those who see her in person, at least the first time. When she confronts the protagonists in person (as opposed to using an illusion from a distance) for the first time, it is a "waking nightmare" to them.
Endless Corridor: The Palace of Shadow seems to have quite a few of these. According to Pennington, the Queen has almost complete control of the place, and someone can only get to an important location if she allows it. (Fortunately, she does allow it, as letting the finalists wander forever would not benefit her.)
Epic Fail: In Stan and Fran's tag duel against Cloak and Domino, Fran attempts to use Stan's Gagaga Magician for a Synchro Summon - only for it to fail. Stan then explains to her that Gagaga Magician can't be used in a Synchro Summon. Cue embarrassment from Fran, and Cloak and Domino laughing at her expense. (In Fran's defense, she later makes a very smart move that lets her and Stan win the duel.)
Eternal Engine: Gearville. However, when the heroes first enter it, it is not functional. The purpose of the duel with Cloaker and Domino is both to revive Smithy and get it functional again, and they succeed; however, when Smithy is later defeated, it grinds to a halt again.
Vladmir. He surprises Andy, Fran, and Stan with his lack of threats. Not only does he also pay for lunch, he gave a pretty good tip.
Ruklamba calls out the Queen for not letting him use Ojama Delta Thunder!!note Ojama Delta Thunder!! is an anime only spell that can only be activated when Ojama's Yellow, Green, and Black are on the field. When cast, it deals 500 damage to the opponent for every card in their hand and on their field. Then to add insult to injury, the caster can discard a Ojama Delta Hurricane!! from their hand or deck to wipe out the opponents field. It's pretty broken. Her logic is that since her cover is that of a tournament, she has to use the rules of one, and that means using the Forbidden/Limited list.
According to General White, the Shadow Queen had no love - and no fear - of the Third Reich during World War II, seeing as she slaughtered an armed group of German soldiers who had come with people to "appraise" the art collections and antiques of Arcadia, and sent the commander's head back to the Führer with a very unsubtle threat.
In Redux the Shadow Spawn are warned that should they lose their rematches against the heroes, they each get sent to the sixth floor of her dungeon. During those rematches, the Spawn refuse to tell the heroes what exactly is in the sixth floor. Leopold even stops the heroes attempts to save him from the evil portal that sucks the loser into the dungeon, because it's that frightening. (The most unsettling thing about this is previous statements that the prison has nine floors total, suggesting that the sixth isn't even the worst.)
Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: The Queen sometimes falls into Type 2, according to Count Bleck. According to him, she once chewed out someone who responded with the "sticks and stones may break my bones" line. She responded by having him executed by stoning. Bleck also says that goading or threatening the Queen is a "fool's game", as she can always match any such attack on her person. (Being around for as long as she has probably helps.)
Gallows Humor: She even shows a little of this in the Final Battle of Redux. After Stan's Trap returns her heart to hr body (meaning that it is very possible, for the first time in a millennium, that she could die) and takes a solid blow from an attack, Lyrius shouts her name out; she replies, "I'm fine... Just forgot what it was like to be human..."
An opening narrative by Tyson in one chapter mentions General Jozzin, the Minister of Morale of the Company of Malice. She was clearly Type 2, a demon who always made jokes about subjects that were never funny.
Evil Laugh: Count Bleck retains the same signature laugh that he had in Super Paper Mario, although he seems a little embarrassed when he does it here.
Evil Only Has to Win Once: While true, there is an added factor: Good also only has to win once, so long as they defeat the right opponent. What gives the Queen the advantage is is that the heroes cannot challenge her or even confront her for most of the fic, while she has far more resources at her disposal which she can use to attack them at any time.
Evil Twin: Doopliss naturally, but he also makes evil versions of his opponent's deck. In the original, his deck is made up of evil Amazons, whose attribute and type are changed to Dark and Fiend. In Redux, his deck is focused on using Voltic Bicorn's mill effect.
Exiled from Continuity: From the looks of things, if recent Shadowchaser spin-offs from other authors are to go by; the original version of the fic itself has been completely removed from the Shadowchaser continuity, with Redux being the new basis from now on. The fic Shadowchasers: Twice-Told Tales is a big example of this, as some of its chapters actually involve the Redux incarnation of the characters from this fic. Not too mention two characters from that fic are soon to make an appearance that ties in the two together.
Foreshadowing: Junk Warrior does not use any cards used in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds but its deck does specialize in using weak monsters in cooperation to defeat stronger ones, much like Yusei Fudo (who used Junk Warrior almost as much as he did Stardust Dragon) did. It's worth noting that this fanfic takes place before the events of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, and after the duel with Kyle ends, Junk Warrior "hears someone calling" it and leaves.
Hyde tells Andy that he was not truly invited to the tournament, and is taking the place of a friend of his who got sick and gave him his deck. This friend is clearly Miles Davidson, Hyde's Arch-Enemy from Shadowchasers: Risen Nemesis, who is revealed in that fic to have given him the deck at some point in the past.
Fusion Dance: The Shadow Spawn fuse into Elemental Mistress Doriado. In the origional, the Queen uses a Spell to fuse the Spawn together as a last ditch attempt to stop Andy, Fran and Stan from getting to the finals. In Redux the Spawn developed this ability on their own behind the Queen's back.
The Gambler: The Witty Phantom uses a Gamble Deck. In his second duel with Stan, he uses an enchanted - and obviously cursed - card called Dice Reaper to give himself a very unfair advantage and make the dice land on whatever result he wants, but still loses, and pays a horrid price after doing so.
Gave Up Too Soon: Mercifully Subverted, but it almost happens. At the climax, nearly every member of the resistance movement thinks the situation is hopeless, and is considering surrender. Pennington convinces them that it will be Worth It, making a speech to them about those who died at the hands of despots who later became Vindicated by History while their oppressors remain universally reviled. It's enough to convince them to press on.
Generation Xerox: Variation in that the protagonists' decks reflect the Three Heroes:
Original: Stan's ancestor was a master sorcerer, and Stan uses a Dark Magician deck. Fran's ancestor was a warrior woman, and Fran uses an Amazoness deck. Andy's ancestor was a master of dragons, and Andy uses a dragon deck.
Remake: Stan's ancestor was a master sorcerer, and Stan uses an XYZ deck focusing on the Gagaga monsters, especially Gagaga Magician. Fran's ancestor was a tamer of unicorns and other animals, and Fran uses a Unicorn Synchro deck. Andy's ancestor was a master of dragons, and Andy uses a dragon Fusion deck.
Genius Bruiser: Leopold, possibly. He has not yet shown any actual feats of strength, but his father was a dao, an elemental spirit known for being incredibly strong, and he claims he inherited that trait.
Great Offscreen War: The events of a thousand years ago, with the Queen's original plot of world conquest and the Three Heroes who rose against her, likely qualifies. However, the world as a whole has forgotten about it, and the main characters of the story only learn about the details now in bits and pieces.
Green Thumb: Leopold to an extent in Redux, who has some Plant monsters as well as some Plant support in his Deck.
Rose Spectre of Dunn uses Plant monsters herself, and while technically a Fiend-Type, is a plant herself.
Grumpy Bear: Chico, a boy trained in sensing and dealing with spirits by his adoptive Native American family. He can detect the Shadow Queen's evil and vows to defeat her, but is a cold jerk who refuses to work with the protagonists.
Hanging Judge: The Agent of Judgement - Saturn. Although she does ultimately acquit Raven, her incredibly brutal and painful method (which she compares to trial by fire) is anything but pleasant for Raven.
Happiness in Slavery: According to the Queen, the whole idea of deities having proxies can be compared to "divine slavery" in regards to how the relationship between the employer and servant works. The Queen does not deny this, but she's perfectly happy with her situation.
Hellhole Prison: The prison below the Palace of Shadow is referenced a lot over the course of Redux, but when Hyde infiltrates the place late in the fic, a good look at the inside of it is finally revealed, showing that it is a horrid place. Inmates are Bound and Gagged, and consigned to small cages, a few are trapped in Crystal Prisons, and in one area (where Hyde meets and rescues Rave) there's a large, fiery pit of flame that is serious Nightmare Fuel, clearly used for torture. While the demonic jailers (at least the ones on the top three levels) are incompetent at best, it's obvious that they are only there to punish and abuse the inmates, and several other features of the prison itself prevent their escape.
Heroic BSOD: Stan after he loses to Raven in a duel. As a result, in his next duel he hesitates using his Xyz Monsters. Averted in that it was because of the Shadow Queen's spell and not because of his own self-doubt.
Hoist by Her Own Petard: Melissa's Lightsworn monsters' self-milling effects eventually causes her to lose to Fran in their duel by Deck Out.
Hollywood Acid: Much like the Convection Schmonvection example above, this Trope is not only subverted in the place where it is suggested, but the villain gives an explanation of why the Trope is so absurd.
House Rules: The Deckmaster system is in place for all duels that occur inside the Palace of Shadow, which have been upgraded slightly.
Also, when Diana confronts the Shadow Queen inside her mind, she challenges her to a special duel called a "One-Shot Showdown". This luck-based contest uses no Life Points; each player has one turn, each player is allowed to summon a Monster using whatever cards he has, and the Monsters must battle during the second player's turn. Whoever's Monster is still standing at the end is the winner. The Queen accepts, and amazingly, Diana wins.
I Gave My Word: A variation occurs when Smithy appears. When he finds out that his two servants broke their word by not giving the protagonists three Crystal Cards (a promise that they never intended to keep, because they didn't have any) he agrees to duel Andy to make up for it, rather than simply beating the three of them into submission.
Identical Grandson: Fran is described as looking almost exactly like her ancestor. In Redux, she has the card Lady of Unicorns, which is the spitting image of her and is practically her ancestor's avatar.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In Redux, each chapter is named after a card in the game, which has been a part of Cyber Commander's works since Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Messiah. The original story did not have theme naming because it came before Dark Messiah.
Impossibly Delicious Food: Twilight Peaches, fruit that grows on trees outside of Twilight Town and flourish with no sunlight for some odd reason. While delicious, eating too many can make you sick.
I'm a Humanitarian: Ruklamba is implied to eat humans, though he doesn't like them raw. (He quickly adds a "Just kidding!" to this claim, and it is left ambiguous as to whether he was serious or not.)
Rose Spectre of Dunn and her Arlownay daughters are clearly man-eaters, claiming that they do so out of revenge against animal life, as plants are at the bottom of the food chain in most ecosystems. (The fact that she willingly works for the Shadow Queen, who - she claims - gives her permission to enact her revenge, thus seems a bit odd.)
Interactive Narrator: In Redux, there's something like this in the preview synopsis at the end of each chapter, right before one of the characters gives a commentary. (And eventually, whoever it is starts to get on all the characters' nerves.)
I Warned You: Raven uses The Thief in the Shadows to steal Vivian from Stan during their rematch. Stan warns her not to summon Vivian. Naturally, Raven ignores his warning and summons Vivian. During her next turn, Raven orders Vivian to attack Stan. Vivian instead attacks Raven. This doesn't happen in Redux.
In Redux, the Queen gives a stern warning to the Witty Phantom on how dangerous the Dice Reaper card is. He uses it anyway, and pays a horrible price after losing to Stan.
Justified Criminal: Raven, at least in her past. She was a thief not only because it the only way she could survive, but because the crimes that the government of her native country committed were far worse. (In Redux, the Shadow Queen considers recruiting her, as she is able to defeat Stan, but decides against it, as she is allied with that government, and doesn't want to risk angering them if they are still looking for her.) However, Raven still steals now and then, clearly unable to break her old habits.
Kaiju: Dead Sea Ship – The Flying Dutchman. It's a giant skeleton dragon that's using a pirate ship as a turtle shell.
Lampshade Hanging: Ryo's Green Goblin card can Special Summon itself whenever he's killed in battle, lampshading the tendency of heroes and villains in comic books being simply unable to die. (He even gives a short speech about how how this is almost always the case in comic books.)
La Résistance: In Redux, there is a secret group of people led by Merlow to fight against the Shadow Queen's forces outside the Thousand-Year Door while she is occupied in her palace. They originally consist of: Merlow (the apparent leader), Ivan, Pennigton, Mad Jack, Jolene, Tutankoopa, the Shy Guy General, Rawk Hawk, and General White. (Captain Syrup is mentioned as a former member who has quit, but still supports their cause.) Hyde is also invited to assist them, and they hope to recruit more people for their cause. Later recruits include Ryo, Jose, Sean, Yuki,and Cindy all of whom are seen fighting for the cause (presumably recruited by Hyde).
Last Request: In Redux, the Shadow Queen agrees to tell Andy, Stan, and Fran how she went from 'a starving, penniless beggar to a sorceress leading an army of demons in only a year' under the condition that if they are defeated, it counts as their Last Request. After she defeats Andy, she reconsiders this, telling Stan and Francesca that she'll rescind that decision and give them three days to themselves once it's over, even going so far as to offer Francesca a conjugal visit with Andy if they want one. (It's not very comforting to them, and we really have to take her word on this for now.)
Non-villainous example with Aesop's Fabled Deck which consists of Light-attributed Fiends.
Literal Genie: In Redux, Merlow was the victim of this. At some point centures ago, he met a creature who could grant him a wish, and desired immortality, but was granted Age Without Youth. By the time he found a way to stop his body from growing older, he was seventy years old. He warns the three protagonists to keep this in mind in case they ever meet a being that can grant a wish.
The Legions of Hell: Originally, the Queen commanded an army of demons called the Company of Malice possibly provided by Graz'zt which was her primary weapon towards building the Empire of Shadow. A turning point in the Three Heroes campaign against her was defeating the much-feared commander of this army. It is implied that the Queen lacks the ability to summon the Company in the present time, but will if she escapes and regains her full power. Grodus and Crump are the key to the ceremony needed to summon them; they are the last surviving "conduits", as Grodus puts it, and one of them is necessary for such a ritual.
Loophole Abuse: It has been shown that the Shadow Queen is quite capable of using dirty tricks so long as they don't break the rules of Duel Monsters, such as when she ordered Fran's best friend kidnapped and brainwashed in order to use as an unwilling assassin against her. Pennington, who befriends the heroes in Poshley Heights, says that the Queen will not go back on her word, but will exploit any loophole she can find and bend the rules as far as possible without breaking them. He further believes that her use of Duel Monsters to solve problems is a reflection of hypocrisy, using a system with rules in a place where her word is law.
The first overt example of the Queen using a loophole to her advantage is purposing leading the three teenagers to Gloomtail's lair, despite the fact that they would clearly be slaughtered. This does not break the rules regarding the conditions for her release because, earlier in the fic, Francesca goaded her, saying that she could even "sic a dragon on us" and they would still defeat her. Because the Queen is accepting a challenge that Francesca made, it is technically not cheating on her part. (Francesca had no idea that the Queen even had a dragon at her disposal when she said it.)
Love Slave: What Jackson and Poison seemed to have in mind for Francesca and Andy respectively. They both fail and get their just desserts though.
Mad Scientist: Magical Scientist, the Duel Spirit, employed by the Shadow Queen to decipher Smithy's blueprints and transform them into Dark Cards. He is not trusted by Grodus, and with good reason - he often makes mistakes, like confusing the symbol for teaspoon with the one for tablespoon. However, as Crump explains, he is the only one who is able to do the job other than Smithy himself.
Made of Iron: Stan, Fran, and Andy amaze everyone with how much punishment they can take in a Shadow Game, which includes getting attacked directly by 3000+ ATK monsters made solid.
Mirror Match: Doopliss takes on Francesca's form and duels with a deck similar to hers. To keep it from becoming a true mirror match, some of the cards are different, and he ultimately uses a different strategy.
Monster Clown: Dimentio, whom is also a member of a race of demons that are insane even by the standards of other demons
Diana is able to defeat the Shadow Queen in a Battle in the Center of the Mind, despite having no supernatural powers and no ties to the conditions surrounding her curse at all. (However, it does seem to take a severer drain on her energy.)
Merlowe recruits Hyde to infiltrate the Queen's prison, as it is specifically warded to defend against magical intrusion, and has only light defenses against nonmagical intruders. Indeed, Hyde is able to make short work of most of the Mooks who serve as jailers and free Rave and Bianca quickly.
Near the climax of the story, the resistance outside the Palace starts to gain a clear advantage over the Queen's demonic army, although at least some of this comes from the inspiration they feel when it seems Stan and Francesca finally manage to wound the Queen.
Mysterious Backer: Count Bleck, who only appears in Redux. He claims to oppose the Shadow Queen and offers aid the three protagonists when he first appears to them, and seems to actually do so, but in previous appearances, it is clear that he and Merlow do NOT like each other, and he also has a hidden agenda that involves Vladimir.
The less serious one involved Crump, who in addition to gaining a powerful Spell Card called Last Word (likely a Dark Card) from a mystic just outside of New Orleans, gained a Spell Card called Dead Man's Hand from someone in the city who owned a business with "questionable reputation". Using this card let both players wager how many Special Summons he would make in a turn, and while it had a great risk, a gamble that paid off could benefit the player greatly. Somehow, he convinced the Queen to use it, and both Stan and Francesca benefitted far more from its effect than the Queen or Lyrius did, able to turn the Final Battle around at a crucial point.
The more serious one was Damien, one of the original Shadow Spawn. He used Sexual Extortion (maybe even a Scarpia Ultimatum) against at least one female citizen of Arcadia in the past. (Given who he was related too, he likely did it a lot.) However, he talked in his sleep, and the victim learned about the Spell of Despair that way, and had the courage to tell someone who told Artorigus. If not for Damien's horrid act, the most vital part of her plan would have been kept secret and she likely would have been victorious.)
No Endor Holocaust: By all scientific logic, something as big as Exor (which is bigger than the Washington Monument, by Stan's estimate) crashing into the Palace of Shadow from above, would cause a cataclysm that would have sank Arcada into the ocean. Nevertheless, the actual damage to the place seems to be minimal (although it is shaken up a little) and even everyone at the impact point manages to survive (even though that actual part of the Palace doesn't; more than likely there was powerful magic in place by the Queen to buffer most of the impact, and she simply didn't bother mentioning it.)
Nonhuman Sidekicks: The Companions are Duel Spirits, and not limited to making appearances during duels. They appear at other times to the three protagonists to offer useful help and advice.
Noodle Incident: In Redux Melissa once drank a Growing Potion and a Shrinking Potion at the same time to see what would happen. (Neither she nor anyone else reveals what did happen.)
Also, when the three protagonists meet the other five finalists in the center of the Palace (who all got there before them), they mention a few thing that happened to them that the viewers didn't see after they entered the Palace. (Each of them was featured in one chapter which detailed the encounter that was most important to the Queen's plan concerning them, but apparently, there were some other problems for them getting there). Raven said she'd "nearly been frozen, burned, electrocuted, and chased by things I can’t even describe" while Aesop mentions "Zombies, giant rats, [and] flower nymphs". (The "flower nymphs" is clearly the encounter with Rose Specter of Dunn that was detailed.)
The Nose Knows: Ms. Mowz is able to track down precious metals and gems like a bloodhound, including the gems in the amulets that the protagonists have (which was useful on at least one occasion for finding Stan). She could do this a thousand years ago when she was the greatest thief in Arcadia, and retains the ability as a Spirit.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Several of the villains are overconfident fools, but this doesn't mean they are pushovers.
Oddly Small Organization: The Three Heroes were originally just that: a team of three - albeit powerful - warriors who had lost everything to the Queen's dark armies, and figured they had nothing more to lose by opposing her. (Their group slowly grew, as each of the Companions joined, but that still only makes ten at its best.) They never even gave themselves a proper name (the title was added later). Of course, this was kind of the point. The Queen was well-prepared to counter direct opposition from a large force. Their strategy was to attack and destroy the symbols of her authority one by one, convincing her oppressed subjects that freedom was possible. By the time she realized they were a threat, the influence they had gained was nearly beyond her control.
Old Master: Merlow, (called Merlee in the original, changed because that was actually the name of a female character in the video game), a wizard who has a bad stuttering problem, except when he talks about serious matters. He is an enemy of the Shadow Queen, and tries to help the protagonists. According to the Queen, his real name is Adrian, and she considers him enough of a threat to deal with personally. In Redux, the card Noble Knight Artorigus (which the Queen does not like for some reason and has made illegal to own on Arcadia) is important to him.
Our Zombies Are Different: Cortez's deck in Redux is a ghost pirate deck. The monsters in it are all Water attribute Zombies, something rare for the Zombie type. His deck in the original was a standard Zombie deck.
Also, Hyde Vayne's Yokai Deck.
Pirate Girl: Maria wears this outfit when she confronts the protagonists the first time.
Smithy also qualifies. He doesn't use a Fire Deck, but enchanted flames are used to revive him, and the same flames heal him an make him stronger. He boasts that he is "a living forge". Ultimately, however, when Merlow gives him too much of these flames, he "overdoses" and shuts down. Merlow claims that this is exactly how he was defeated five-hundred years ago.
Posthumous Character: There are a few, all of them important figures in the original battle a thousand years ago. Hooktail is the most obvious one (her bones are found in the ruins of his old stronghold, where Melissa confronts the protagonists for the first time). Another character mentioned is General U’ulgan, the commander of the Company of Malice (althought Pennington does say that it was never confirmed whether or not he was truly dead. The original Three Heroes themselves may or may not qualify; they seem to at least have a sort of pseudo-life in the form of cards that their descendants now have.
Power Trio: The Three Heroes and Stan, Fran, and Andy.
In '"Redux'', Stan, Fran, and Andy's decks also form a power trio of the three cards that go into the Extra deck: Stan's Xyz's, Fran's Unicorn Synchros, and Andy's Fusion Dragons.
Pragmatic Villainy: Some of the Shadow Queen's minions actually try to kill Stan, Fran, and Andy outright. The Shadow Queen saves them, since if they were to die without being defeated in a fair contest, she would be trapped forever. This is also why she does not tolerate her minions cheating; if they cheat, it's no longer a fair contest.
When her children ask why she didn't acquire copies of The Seal of Orichalcos, she says that since it drives its users insane, she's not going to risk it.
Punch Clock Villain: Lord Crump, most of the time. He is a suck-up to the Queen, but the only time he ever seems truly malicious towards anyone is when under the influence of the potion of bravery.
Really 700 Years Old: The Shadow Queen, naturally. Due to Rudwilla's story about her, we can assume that her age is slightly more than 1,100 years, although she appears to be about thirty, physically.
Merlow is at least 500 years old, possibly older. Rudwilla claims that he's been protecting her family for that long.
Reassigned to Antarctica: While the inmates in the Shadow Queen's dungeons are clearly miserable, so are the demons summoned to guard them. They consider guarding humans to be a boring, mind-numbing job (even the ones in charge of "punishing" them) and would much rather be back home fighting in demonic armies. Many of them are sent here by the Queen's patron after messing up.
Red Light District: Glitzville. It's tamer than most examples of this, but still far from innocent. Stan describes it as “A city of sin… but suspended in the heavens… A place of contradictions if there ever was one…”
Reverse Psychology: In Redux, when Kyle and Drake run into Merlow while trying to escape, he gives them the directions they need although they expected him to convince them to go back, in which Merlow makes a comment regarding free will and fate. Later on, when they arrive to the Door, instead of escaping Drake convinces Kyle of an idea he though up based on the advice Merlow had given them. (It is not yet known if Reverse Psychology was actually Merlow's intent, or whether he truly wanted them to make their decision on their own.)
Francesca:"Uh, Andy...Maybe she didn't want an answer to that question..."
Rip Van Winkle: Gloomtail seems to be in this situation. He is apparently unaware of just how much time has passed since he originally fought the Three Heroes, and believes Francesca to be her ancestor. Seeing as Francesca's ancestor was the one who killed Hooktail, seeing her infuriates him.
Rousseau Was Right: St. Cuthbert's speech to Lyrius in the epilogue seems to indicate that he agrees with Rousseau, even going so far to use the "blank slate" term. He also claims that Lyrius' sword made chose Good after reverting to its "blank slate" because it found that Good Feels Good, even though it could remember the time when it was evil. Clearly, St. Cuthbert believes mortals have free will.
Running Gag: In the original, Andy ends up facing people who utilize Dark Necrofear several times, which he lampshades and finds very annoying.
Anyone who sees Cosmo Queen for the first time utters "Neat hat." (This gag is actually universal in YGO fanfics.)
In the original version, Merlee senses dark forces and deduces that a new hero will eventually emerge to oppose it. This alludes to the now-cancelled fic Yu-Gi-Oh!: Tilting the Balance.
In Redux, not only is the mystery of who Falagar is and what is his agenda left unanswered, but Lyrius also survives the Final Battle and is also set to go on a Redemption Quest by St. Cuthbert to rescue Iris and another individual he had failed to save in the past. Cyber Commander has confirmed that he plans to address the former in an upcoming fic and that 7th Librarian plans to address the latter in his own works.
Seven Deadly Sins: Each of the Shadow Spawn and their mother. (This seems to be absent from Redux.)
Melissa is Sloth. She is a slacker who gets others to wait on her.
Kurtis is Lust. Any woman with a good body is one he wants. He's really fixated on Mai Kujaku/Mai Valentine.
Tyson is Greed. He steals power from anyone he can without getting caught.
Leopold is Pride. He won't admit that he has his flaws, and firmly believes that he is the best amongst his siblings.
Maria is Wrath. She has a horrible temper and would probably try to murder an opponent outright if she where not forbidden to by her mother.
Vladmir is Envy. He views anyone stronger than him as a rival, and seeks to be better than them. He's also envious of the average duelist. They duel for fun; he duels to kill.
The Shadow Queen is Gluttony. Not only does she indulge in fine food, but she also indulges is trivialities and the like.
Ship Tease: Francesca and Andy throughout the chapters. Culminating in Chapter 33 where in they kiss.
Shout-Out: Cortez's backstory is nearly identical to that of Gold Roger from One Piece. Cyber Commander freely admits this.
In Stan's duel with Diana in Redux, when he sees that she uses Heroics he says to himself that he was expecting her to use Elemental Heroes. Diana used an Elemental Hero Deck in the original version of the fic.
In Drake's duel with Sea Serpent Warrior of Darkness, the Duel Spirit makes a not-too-subtle reference to Portal and the fact that it is the Trope Namer for The Cake Is a Lie, leading Drake to believe that he is admitting that the finalists are being led to their doom.
The room in which Stan duels the Prophecy Destroyer bears a resemblance to the Dead Pool arena from Mortal Kombat, and when he tries to question the Queen about it later on, she protests that it was the video game developers who copied from her, as she had created the place way before video games were a thing.
Small Name, Big Ego: Leopold thinks he's one of the smartest beings in existence. He's very well read and clever, but not nearly as clever as he thinks he is.
The Starscream: The Queen had one of these in her army during the original battle one-thousand years ago (according to a narrative made by Leopold) and his attempt at treason killed her lover, the first man to hold Grodus' position. His name has not yet been revealed, but according to Leopold, he escaped, and still lives. And in true Starscream fashion, he comes back to mess with her again. This time, he doesn't escape.
Stupid Evil: Lord Crump. He has a few good ideas now and then (like brainwashing Diana and in Redux, suggesting helping to revive Smithy) but more often than not, he messes up due to his incompetence. His crowning moment of stupidity comes when he breaks into the Shadow Queen's alchemy lab and steals a potion of bravery to help him confront the heroes, even though people who steal from her don't survive long and she gave him a direct order NOT to confront them. (To add insult to injury, the potion is actually a failed experiment, and makes him incredibly reckless.) In Crump's defense, he doesn't do half-bad when he duels Stan, but he still loses, and the Queen punishes him.
Tailor-Made Prison: The Palace of Shadow itself for the Shadow Queen, thanks to the spell the Three Heroes put on her.
The Queen also had one of her own at her disposal in both versions. In the original, she created the graveyard, an extradimensional prison where she sent captives to using an enchanted version of the Grave Arm card. note Grave Arm is an anime-only Quickplay Spell used by Mai Kujaku which, for no cost, destroyed a monster and prevented either player from Special Summoning it again. Suffice to say, it was broken. Exactly what happened to them there was unclear. The Queen also had an enchanted version of Soul Release which she could have used to eradicate up to five prisoners in the graveyard; this was a one-use item that she could never recreate, fortunately, and she was saving it to use on Stan, Andy, and Francesca.
In Redux, the Queen's prison is physical in nature, consisting of nine levels underneath the Palace of Shadow. Punishments for prisoners get more severe the lower the level, so she sends prisoners who deserve it more (in her opinion) to lower layers. The purpose of this structure is to give prisoners the feeling that they are literally in Hell. Curiously, the ninth layer of the prison has never been used, so its purpose is as of yet unknown. (She told Stan, Andy, and Francesca that it has nothing to do with them.)
At one point, Andy gets abducted and turned to metal. (Technically, it seems to be a metal coating used to restrain him, and he is still able to at least hear everything that is happening.)
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Witty Phantom summons Ancient Sacred Wyvern when he has 793,500 Life points, resulting in a monster with 790,800 Attack. It doesn't work as intended, due to Stan's Magic Cylinder.
'"I'm waiting, Josephine!" he shouted, tapping his foot.'
'Cue Shadow Queen entering the room'
'"I told you, Noah…" snarled the Shadow Queen's voice. "You are not to call me that!"'
'"How about if I just call you a bitch instead?" asked Noah. "Is that better?"'
Too Dumb to Live: It's only a conjecture on Pennington's part, but apparently, when the Arcadian parliament is surrounded by the resistance army with no way out, they break into Grodus' office and steal one his summoning books, and then attempt to use a spell to call for aid, despite having no experience or training whatsoever in such matters. Pennington says that what likely happened was a cross between Hellraiser and Darwin Awards, something that General White finds difficult to picture, and it results in the Court of Pandemonium being summoned.
Took a Level in Badass: Fran uses a Beast-Type Synchro Monster called Garnecia Earthshaker, which is based on an old, outdated, and by today's standards, worthless Level 7 monster called Garnecia Elefantis. The new version is actually quite lethal.
Jackson uses a similar card in his rematch with Fran, Grandstone Dragon, an Xyz version of Stone Dragon, which again, is far more useful than the original.
Tournament Arc: The basic premise of the fic, although later on it's revealed there is more to it than it seems.
Trash the Set: A non live-action version. In Redux, when the Queen summons Exor the Sword-ship during her duel with Andy. A good portion of the palace (mainly the throne room), gets wrecked the moment it arrives.
Truly Single Parent: Francesca's ancestor, who remained chaste all her life, conceived a child via a ritual that some maidens who tame unicorns are able to do (the reason she was able to actually have an heir).
Up to Eleven: In his second duel with Stan, the Witty Phantom's Life Points become higher than those of any duelist in the anime (more than seven times that of Charlie McCoy's record) and he summons a monster whose ATK becomes higher than any monster summoned in the anime, unless you count ones that achieved an infinite ATK, like Obelisk the Tormentor or the Divine Serpent. (He still loses.)
Unholy Matrimony: The Queen's relationship with Lyrius seemed to be this way, at least in part. His story is told more completely in 7th Librarian's fanfic Shadowchaser's Twice-Told Tales.
Unobtainium: The notes aquire from Smithy mention something called "amandite", which needed to keep his most powerful creations from rejecting permaneny spells, and keep and Dark Cards based on them from being one-use items. Neither Magical Scientist or the Shadow Queen knows what amandite is; Magical Scientist figures that it's something only found on Smithy's homeworld.
Vice City: Best describes Madripoor, Raven's home. A small municipality that was originally settled by bloodthirsty pirates, it's entire government is corrupt, and unlike Arcadia, make no effort to hide how they oppress the citizens. The Queen is an unofficial ally who supplies them with magical support and fundings, which is the likely reason they can survive being on the embargo list of nearly every modernized nation.
"So the treasure story was a lie?" snarled Francesca, angrily.
"Like, no!" laughed Melissa. "I do a lot of bad things, but I do NOT lie! I bluff and play nasty tricks, and tell dumb jokes sometimes, but I don't lie…"
This is subverted in the fact that she was being completely honest. The treasure was, indeed, there, and Fran was actually able to take it after defeating Melissa. (The only real "catch" was, of course, Melissa didn't count on losing.)
Villain Ball: Mellisa, Kurtis, Tyson, Leopold, and Maria each hold the ball at various points, but the dumbest moment is when they try to kill Stan, Fran, and Andy as soon as they enter the Palace. (This scene doesn't happen in Redux, where the Shadow Spawn seem to be a little smarter, more or less.)
Villainous Rescue: In the original, after Stan, Fran, and Andy pass the puzzle at the entrance of the Palace and make it inside, the Shadow Spawn (minus Vladmir) grab hold of the Villain Ball and try to kill them. The Shadow Queen finds out and saves them. She then offers them food. The heroes are understandably confused. (See Pragmatic Villainy above for her reasons.)
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Andy has coulrophobia. The Queen tries to take advantage of this by summoning Saggi the Dark Clown (Peten the Dark Clown in the original) and sending him to duel Andy with a deck that has an advantage over his.
In Redux Fran had a bad experience with a Ojama Duelist. The Queen sends Ruklamba the Spirit King to take advantage of that.
In Redux, Chico seems to have arachnophobia, so much that a Duel Spirit of Hunter Spider (an outdated and very weak card) scares him.
Womb Level: The Heart of the Palace of Shadow, the place where the finals of the tournament are held, is described as the interior of a still-living being, but not a very healthy one; it's covered with growths that resemble tumors and cancers. The Companions tell Stan that this is where the original battle between the Queen and the Three Heroes happened a thousand years ago, and she likely intends to use it as a battleground again for a currently unexplained reason.
Writing Around Trademarks: Gerald Laxina is absent from Redux because he was created by the author Man Called True, who had a major falling-out with Cyber Commander a long while after the original story's writing.
Wrong Genre Savvy: In the original, Melissa, Kurtis, Tyson, Maria, and Leopold attack Stan, Fran, and Andy upon their entry into the Palace of Shadows. Ordinarily, this would be a very practical move on their part since the trio is an enemy of theirs and this act would get rid of them, but it becomes this trope since Shadow Queen's Curse Escape Clauserequires the threesome to be defeated by her or someone under her employ (such as the aforementioned Shadow Spawn) in a fair contest. Since this attack would be anything but a fair contest, the Shadow Queen has to enact a Villianous Rescue so as to keep her only way out of the Palace from being destroyed. This scene is not present in Redux.
You Don't Want to Know: This is Bleck's response when the protagonists ask who Hooktail and Gloomtail's eldest brother was, although Stan, who is very Genre Savvy, seems to have a good idea who it is. Bleck clearly knows that it's Bonetail, who is the villain in two spin-off fics written by mario72486, one of which is considered part of the Shadowchasers series.
You Have Failed Me: The Shadow Queen delivers harsh punishments to her minions for failure, though she at least lets them live. (It is implied, however, that this is because she enjoys seeing prisoners suffer.) Surprisingly, she occasionally gives failed minions a second chance later.
Your Soul Is Mine: In Redux, the Dice Reaper card that the Witty Phantom used claims his soul after the Phantom loses in his second duel with Stan. (Technically, it may have been more like a Deal with the Devil, except that the Phantom wasn't truly clear about the terms.)