Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist of the Roses
is a Yu-Gi-Oh!
video game for the PlayStation 2
The game centers on the player character being pulled through time to arrive at Stonehenge circa the mid 1400s, during the War of the Roses. Henry Tudor, who prefers his nickname "Yugi", has sent his priest Simon McMooran to Stonehenge to summon the "Rose Duelist", who is prophecized to be The Chosen One
to turn the tide of war against the enemy Yorkists. However, Rose Crusader Seto Rosenkreuz has also arrived and offers the player to join the Yorkists and fight Yugi and the Lancastrians on their side. Both sides task the player to infiltrate the enemy's territory and duel their elite commanders to recover the "Rose Cards"
from the other side. Each side has 8, and together the cards are said to unlock great power.
Gameplay is quite different from other Yu-Gi-Oh!
games. Players control a Deck Leader on a large tiled board, and can only play one card a turn on a square adjacent to their Deck Leader. Once in play their cards, be they Monster, Magic or Trap, can move around the board freely until an opponent's card moves against them, revealing the Monster or activating the Magic or Trap effect. The tiled board can be terraformed with Field Cards, with appropriate power boosts given for monsters battling on them. Players move their cards around the board, attacking opposing monsters or attacking the opposing Deck Leader directly, to deplete the opponent's Life Points. Otherwise the usual Early-Installment Weirdness
of the early Yu-Gi-Oh!
video games, particularly freely fusing cards into new ones and using power-up cards on monsters they shouldn't effect, are in play.
This game provides examples of:
- Alternate History: As the summary above should hint.
- And You Were There: Everyone. There's even hints that the game is canon to the series and the characters are past incarnations of their modern day selves.
- Another Side, Another Story: Both sides of the story reveal details about the over-arcing plot, particularly concerning Seto and the Rose Cards.
- Big Bad: Richard Slysheen of York.
- Bigger Bad: Manawyddan fab Llyr.
- Bragging Rights Reward: Completing both sides of the game's storyline lets you duel all opponents on one save file...but you've beaten the game so why bother?
- Color-Coded Characters: Red Rose for Yugi and the Lancastrians, White Rose for Seto and the Yorkists.
- Crack Pairing: The developers may or may not have realized that by association with historical names, Pegasus is implied to marry Mai in the near future after the game's events.
- Deal with the Devil: Seto's ancestors made a pact with a Card Guardian for wealth and power. Seto's hope is that the Guardian sealed by the Rose Cards is the same being so he can cash in on that pact.
- The Dragon: Seto to Slysheen.
- Enemy Mine: Yami Bakura is on the side of the Lancastrians as Jack Cade.
- Face-Heel Turn: Ishizu is on the side of the Yorkists.
- Heel-Face Turn: Pegasus
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the Lancastrian story, your duel with Seto is what unseals Manawydan fab Llyr, as all it took was having all 16 Rose Cards present during a great duel — nothing said Seto had to have the cards with him for it to work.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Aside from Pegasus, Seto and Slysheen, none of the Yorkists have real world names associated with them, going by their usual names.
- Physical God: Implied with the name of Manawyddan fab Llyr.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Manawyddan fab Llyr.
- Shown Their Work:
- The usage of real historical names, mostly in proper context (Tea taking the place of Henry Tudor's wife Elizabeth of York), show that someone on the development team had a history textbook handy. For instance, Pegasus betrays Richard to aid Yugi when he attacks England, and Thomas Stanley was a secret supporter of Henry Tudor and his treachery to Richard was discovered during the Battle of Bosworth Field.
- Christian Rosenkreuz has pretty much nothing to do with the War of the Roses or Richard III. So why is Seto portraying him as Richard's Dragon? Rosenkreuz founded a secret society that studied ancient esoteric knowledge that he purportedly learned while studying in the Middle East, and their symbol was a cross with a white rose in the center, a white rose indeed being the symbol of Richard III's forces. This fits perfectly with Seto trying to revive an ancient Card God seemingly from Egypt...though if Seto is trying to portray him in a historically accurate manner, this would mean that Christian Rosenkreuz is over 100 years old but still looks like a teenager by the time of the War of the Roses.
- Where It All Began: The player returns to Stonehenge for the final battle in both storylines.
- Xanatos Gambit: In the York storyline, when you beat the Rose Crusaders and Richard to gather the seven White Rose Cards, Seto waits for you at Stonehenge. He needs all sixteen cards there to unleash DarkNite, but nothing says he has to be in physical possession of them all, so it didn't matter to him which side gathered all the cards. For that matter, it doesn't matter who wins the duel, as long as it happens.