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Members of the Ghouls organization from the manga and anime series Yu-Gi-Oh.

ALL spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware major spoilers.

Repeat! ALL spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware major spoilers

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    General 
  • Dub Name Change: In the original the Rare Hunters were the prominent members of Marik's group while the Ghouls were the mooks; the dub simplifies this to calling everyone in the organization a Rare Hunter. (Not that it matters, since every Duelist among them is, in fact, a Rare Hunter.)
  • Purple Is Powerful: Most of them dress in purple, and they are very aggressive duelists and card seekers.

    Marik Ishtar 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_509.png

Marik Ishtar (マリク・イシュタール; Mariku Ishutaaru)

Voiced by: Tetsuya Iwanaga (Japanese), Jonathan Todd Ross (English), Martín Soto (Latin American Spanish), Rafa Romero (European Spanish)

I will put an end to our curse... but not by welcoming the king we have waited for. I will kill him a second time and take revenge!

The initial Big Bad of the Battle City arc, he's a former tombkeeper charged with protecting the Pharaoh's Millennium Items and carvings, until his return. As a little boy, an ancient ritual which involved carving the ancient writings onto his back using a hot dagger traumatized him so much that he created an alternate personality to cope with the pain. This became his Superpowered Evil Side, Dark Marik. He later betrayed his order, set up an underground organization within the gaming world's black market ("the Ghouls"), and sought to defeat the King of Games, the reasons for which which vary between adaptations and dub or original — in the 4Kids dub, Marik wants to claim the Millennium Puzzle and become the new Pharaoh, in the original Japanese anime and manga, he wants to kill the Pharaoh because he thinks the Pharaoh was responsible for his father's death.

He wields the Millennium Rod, which brainwashes and controls any victim that touches it.


  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Every battle he sets up between Yugi and one of his minions ends up being Death Games/Shadow Games. Buzzsaws that chop off the loser's legs after they lose? Check! A bomb that's set to explode, destroying the floor and sending the loser falling down over ten stories? Check!
  • A God Am I: In the 4Kids dub, his goal is to use the Millennium Puzzle and the Egyptian God Cards to become the Pharaoh and seize his full power, implying he would become a God-Emperor.
  • Arc Villain: Of the first half of Battle City
  • Artifact of Doom: Carries the Millenium Rod, which can control the minds of his victims. Not a lot of positive ways to use that.
  • The Atoner: During the last bits of Battle City. Knowing the damage he's caused and that he's unwittingly freed his much worse darker half, Marik tries to make sure in whatever way he can that Yugi defeats him, thus invoking Death Equals Redemption.
  • Badass Biker: He rides a motorcycle, which is made somewhat more poignant by how it connects to his past: a motorcycle was the first thing he saw (on a television set) the first time he ever left his family's underground home.
  • Bad Boss: He pulls You Have Failed Me on most of his minions when they lose and inflicts Penalty Games on them, using his hold on their minds to break them and slaps his adoptive brother in the face when he fails to find Yugi's friends.
  • Bare Your Midriff: His pink tanktop.
  • Beauty = Goodness: Played with. Normal Marik is a Bishounen who nevertheless schemes to Take Over the World/kill the king and has no problems brainwashing people into doing his fighting for him. His dark side however is far worse and is very grotesque, in addition to acting and sounding plain creepy.
  • Big Bad: Of the first half of Battle City, when he causes trouble in the Battle City tournament to kill Yugi. But then the finals come.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: While he is played up as a major threat in the Battle City arc, the finals reveal Dark Marik to be an even greater threat than the normal Marik.
  • Bishounen: Marik is very pretty.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Marik brain controls Bandit Keith (only in the anime, as Bandit Keith is dead long before this in the manga), Strings, and Jonouchi during three separate duels with Yugi. He also uses mind control to punish the first Ghoul (Rare Hunter), Pandora (Arcana), and Mask of Light (Lumis) when they fail, driving them insane.
  • Break the Haughty: At the hands of his Superpowered Evil Side. After spending some time floating around as a disembodied ghost, and being repeatedly victimized by Dark Marik when he tries to fight back, Marik becomes The Atoner, and looks to aid the Pharaoh.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Ishizu's Abel.
  • Crystal Prison: As he "borrows" Anzu's body to talk to Ishizu, he's seen trapped in one of these as a symbol of Dark Malik's Split-Personality Takeover, which also forces him to see his other self's evil deads while unable to stop him.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Wears black clothing in his appearances after his Heel–Face Turn. These contrast heavily with the light purple belly shirt that he used as casual clothes beforehand. In the manga, he always wore a black shirt underneath.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Has platinum blond hair and dark skin.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Tries to invoke this. Needless to say, Yugi doesn't really want to go along with this and chooses another way.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Toyed with. The real Marik becomes friends with the main cast after Dark Marik is defeated. This is following an arc-long Break the Haughty at his darker self's hands.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Marik has dozens of Ghouls minions working for him across the globe, making bootlegs, gathering rare cards and hunting for Ishizu and the missing God Cards.
  • Dirty Coward: Marik never confronts Yugi directly, preferring to send minions after him and speak to him through mental slaves even after he's arrived in the city, has Rishid pose as him at first to avoid being found out, and relies on cheating and trickery in his plans, including turning Yugi's friends against him. This is lampshaded by Dark Marik, who outright declares the normal Marik was a wimp compared to him, and indeed he has no such problems taking care of things personally.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: To himself, being displaced by his own Superpowered Evil Side partway through the Battle City semifinals.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the dub, he decides to conquer the world because he had a miserable childhood and was forced to swear fealty to a thousand-year dead spirit.
  • Easily Forgiven: This guy had pulled off a lot of schemes to kill Yugi and his friends if they got in the way, and at one point even forced Yugi and Jonouchi into a duel that would kill the loser. In the manga, it's also revealed that his Rare Hunters/Dueling Ghouls organization is pretty much the Mafia in everything except name, since they kill, steal and blackmail players for their rare cards. Along with being a Bad Boss that killed or mind-raped any of the minions that failed him. Yet, after the truth that it's actually Dark Marik who killed his father was revealed, Yugi/Yami went out of their way to save his soul and after that no one seemed to hold a grudge against him.
    • He also cried when his father died and went all crazy to avenge him... despite the fact that his father abused him and his siblings for years.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: How Jonouchi manages to break free of normal Marik's mind control — he underestimates Jonouchi's willpower to not hurt his friends.
  • Evil Laugh: Very frequently.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Inverted in the English 4Kids dub. In Season 3 when Marik takes on a much more sympathetic role, his voice is lighter and softer than in Season 2 when he was a villain.
  • Evil Vegetarian: The official stats lists his favorite food as koshary, a vegetarian Egyptian dish, and least favorite food as any kind of meat dish.
  • Fair-Play Villain: Though his minions cheat like crazy, Marik always lets Yugi duel for his life and lets him go when he wins. The English 4Kids dub gives a Hand Wave that to actually use the Millennium Puzzle's powers, he has to beat Yugi in a duel, just killing him and taking the Puzzle won't do it, so it's in his interests to let Yugi live once he wins and send someone else after him. Presumably, he'd just duel whatever minion eventually got the job done and take it from them in turn.
  • Fanservice: As Normal Marik, in his tanktop and tight pants.
  • Foil: To Kaiba, more obviously in the manga but still present in the anime. They're both products of abusive parents that they escaped by killing their fathers and seizing control of their own lives, their only companions are their brothers, and they steal cards to acquire the most powerful cards in the game, the Blue-Eyes White Dragons for Kaiba and the Egyptian God Cards for Marik. They also desire revenge on Yami Yugi for punishments they blame him for (Kaiba for his Penalty Game, Marik for his tombkeeper upbringing) before losing to him in a duel and coming to their senses. Marik's tombkeeper lineage and acceptance of the Myth Arc of the series also contrasts Kaiba's control of the tech giant Kaiba Corp and his disbelief in the ancient ways. Note also the Millennium Rod Marik uses was used by Priest Seto in ancient times.
  • Freudian Excuse: Marik was raised in absolute darkness and near isolation by his Abusive Dad, who cut a hideously disfiguring set of symbols into his back with a hot dagger. This drives him around the bend, and leads to the creation of Dark Marik.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Marik's are narrow and snakey. Dark Marik's bulge constantly and are filled with red veins.
  • Heel–Face Turn/Defeat Means Friendship: Once Battle City concludes, Marik has no problem being civil towards Yugi, who helped extinguish his Superpowered Evil Side once and for all.
  • Human Shield: Is used as one during Dark Marik's Shadow Game with Dark Yugi—whenever he loses lifepoints, another part of the real Marik's soul fades away. This means that even if Dark Yugi wins the duel, he'll have been responsible for damning somebody who didn't have it coming.
  • Hypocrite: Marik considers it cheating when Yugi switches places with Dark Yugi during the duel with Jounouchi. During the Battle City finals, he has Rishid pose as him so his identity remains secret, and has Dark Bakura switch places with his host during his duel with Dark Yugi to give Dark Yugi a Sadistic Choice and try and make him lose.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Little Marik, when finally getting his chance to sneak out of the underground tomb, quickly grows fond of motorcycles as they symbolize freedom. Really, all the guy truly wants is to live a normal, free life.
  • Irony: After half a season of brainwashing and mind raping people (partially even causing death), Marik gets a taste of his own medicine by his darker half and almost dies as a result.
  • It's Personal: Marik hated Yami the most for apparently murdering his father. This constrasts how Dark Marik hates everyone just the same.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Dark Marik is a split personality created from his repressed anger and hatred that takes control after Rishid is knocked unconscious, planning to kill Marik to keep control of the body.
  • Jerkass: Normal Marik, though he gets better.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: In the anime only, he's able to enter Ryo Bakura and Dark Bakura's soul rooms using his Millennium Rod. However, only Shadi should be able to enter soul rooms with his Millennium Ankh. The power of the rod is to take control and influence a person's heart, not enter it physically.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Marik's dirty tactics end up backfiring on him, and trying to use Rishid as a minion unleashes Dark Marik.
  • Knight of Cerebus: In the anime and especially the English dub. Duelist Kingdom (or at least the anime version) was pretty light-hearted, with the only major Shadow Games all involving Pegasus—and even then, they only got truly ugly if you lost. Marik's arrival heralded an entire season of duels designed to maim, kill, or "banish the loser to the Shadow Realm" (in the dub), and his love of Mind Rape and mind control only made things worse. Then Dark Marik made things even worse.
  • Lack of Empathy: Marik's empathy is limited.
  • Large Ham: Though not as large as his evil side.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Marik's an isolated and arrogant narcissist with a split personality.
  • Mind Rape: His chosen variety of You Have Failed Me for use on his minions.
  • Morality Chain: Rishid is the only thing keeping Dark Marik in check. It's unclear though if he actually did anything to try and ground Marik otherwise, his simple presence was enough to hold Dark Marik back.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Nearly states this word for word after learning that he was the one who killed his own father and that everything going wrong was his own fault rather than the Pharaoh's.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: When Marik forced Rishid to use Ra against Jounouchi, he enabled Jounouchi to win the duel, once an angry Ra knocked Rishid out.
    • Also, when he brought up the possibility of Dark Yugi attacking Bakura despite the latter's condition. Dark Bakura, fearing his safety, switched back with his host and told Dark Yugi to attack anyway, thus rendering the aforementioned Sadistic Choice useless.
  • People Puppets: His Mind Slaves. Pantomimer, the mime is the most extreme example, being an Empty Shell when not under Marik's control.
  • Primal Fear: The manga describes Marik as having developed an extremely severe fear of the dark due to having to grow up underground.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Frequently has one.
  • Purple Eyes: Descendant of the tombkeepers with a mystical artifact and delusions of grandeur.
  • Revenge: Marik's goal in the original sub and manga: he thinks Dark Yugi killed his father.
  • Sadistic Choice: Normal Marik sets it up so that Yugi can lose his Millennium Puzzle or kill Jonouchi. He even tries it again during Yami Yugi's duel with Yami Bakura in the semi-finals of Battle City.
  • Siblings in Crime: Marik was one with his adoptive brother, Rishid.
  • Sissy Villain: Normal Marik has some traits of this. Especially in the dub, he tends to angst over his past, wears a pink midriff-bearing hoodie, and prefers to have his minions do his work for him rather than dirty his hands personally.
  • Smug Snake: Marik is eternally arrogant and confident that the Pharaoh will fall before him.
  • Sore Loser: Neither Marik takes defeat well, though the real Marik is a Graceful Loser (and a grateful one) when he surrenders to Dark Yugi during the Battle City finale.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Marik or Malik? Takahashi spelled his name in the bunkoban as Maric.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Dark Marik successfully takes over their body following Rishid's collapse, and exiles normal Marik from his mind. Marik is left as a disembodied spirit, wandering the real world until Dark Marik's defeat.
  • Spoiled Brat: He uses the Rod's mind control to get whatever he wants. Jonouchi outright describes him as such in the dub, albeit in the wrong context.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Marik has the same hairstyle like his father.
  • Stupid Evil: Simply giving Rashid a counterfeit Ra card to maintain the façade was stupid enough; ordering Rashid to use it brought him into Too Dumb to Live territory.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Dark Marik, who's more vicious and far tougher than normal Marik ever was.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Marik plays the same role in Battle City as Kaiba does in Death-T (and Dark Marik even more so). For more information, see the analysis under "Foil".
  • Take Over the World: Marik's goal in the English 4Kids dub.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Marik underestimates Jounouchi's willpower and loses control of him when he pushes him too far trying to make him kill Yugi.
  • The Unfought: For someone who was supposed to be the big bad of the Battle City tournament, Mark is never actually fought and replaced by Dark Marik. Though technically Yugi fought him via Strings.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He really did.
  • Villain Ball: Ordered Rishid to seize this by summoning Ra to defeat Jounouchi when Rishid' Serket could do it just fine on its own — Jounouchi has voiced suspicions that Rishid isn't the real Marik, so Marik wants Rishid to eliminate the doubt.
  • Villain Team-Up: Allies with Dark Bakura against Dark Marik to try and get his body back. It doesn't work out for either of them.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Sports white hair and little in the way of conscience. It's averted after his Heel–Face Turn, however.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Despite having innumerable chances to kill Yugi, especially since he has legions of brainwashed minions around town stalking him, Marik always tries to do it via a duel and lets Yugi go when he wins. The dub excuses this, since Marik doesn't want to kill Yugi, he wants the Millennium Puzzle, and is only allowed to use its powers by beating the current owner in a duel. Killing Yugi without someone beating him first presumably wouldn't do the job.
    • Usually Yu-Gi-Oh! villains/heroes get excused with the whole Shadow Game/mental problems thing, but when you're the boss of an entire criminal organization that has access to bombs and giant buzzsaws and only want to kill the guy... Could be explained that it was Dark Marik's minor influence on the real one, and the darker personality loved to torture his victims rather than kill immediately.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Marik became cynical and evil from his father's abuse of him including a painful tattoo covering his whole back, and that's not getting into his alter-ego attempting to destroy his spirit.
  • You Killed My Father: His motivation in the manga and original dub; after his father was killed, Shadi appeared and said something which Marik assumed meant that the Pharaoh had murdered his father to punish him for leaving the tomb. He doesn't quite care for the fact that his family has been enslaved for three thousand years either. Of course, it was actually Marik himself who killed his father- or rather, Dark Marik, which sort of plays this trope straight when regular Marik becomes a disembodied spirit, though only in the original.

    Dark Marik (Yami Marik) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_marik_2.png

Dark Marik (闇マリク; Yami Mariku)

Voiced by: Tetsuya Iwanaga (Japanese), Jonathan Todd Ross (English), Martín Soto (Latin American Spanish), Rafa Romero (European Spanish)

Keh keh keh... You're lucky you got away with your life... But you'll regret it... You'll wish you had died here painlessly.... The loser of a Shadow Game must be penalized!

Marik's Superpowered Evil Side, formed from the trauma, pain, and hatred Marik felt as a child. He performs a Split-Personality Takeover late in Battle City, becoming the Big Bad of the rest of the arc. Unlike the original Marik, who had actual goals and plans, Dark Marik only seeks to cause as much pain and misery as he can, to anyone he can.

All of the duels Dark Marik employs are Shadow Games. Dark Marik uses a Fiend deck which focuses on summoning and reviving the Winged Dragon of Ra and is meant to signify immortality. Many of his cards emulate torture devices; thanks to his ability to make the duel real, he tries to get the opponent to give up, pass out, or die from the extreme pain and injury before the game is even over.


  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Every Shadow Game with him has lives on the line.
  • Adaptational Wimp: A very minor example, as he's no wimp in either continuity, but when comparing his duels with Mai and Jonouchi in the manga to the anime, he has a clearer lead and/or strategy. For Mai, he basically held the lead throughout the duel via Makyura the Destructor's hand-trap effect and Viser Des' indestructibility, and knew fully well that Mai would not be able to control Ra, compared to the anime, where his pulling of All Your Powers Combined via Revival Jam and Masked Beast Des Guardius enabled Mai to pull an early lead. His duel with Jonouchi in the manga is an expansion of said strategy, having a clear burn/disruption-based win condition. His anime counterpart goes through similar hoops to pull said strategy off, compared to the more straightforward plan in the manga. note 
  • All Your Powers Combined: His deck draws on those used by other Ghouls. Like Rishid, he has Trap Monsters. Like Pandora, he has designed his cards to counter Yugi's. He has Jam monsters like the Silent Doll, and he mimics the Rare Hunter by focusing his efforts on a single powerful monster.
  • Anime Hair: His hair stands up in a storm of spikes.
    Joey: Hey, get a load of Marik, guys! He's so scared his hair is standing up. Oh wait, he always looks like that.
  • Arc Villain: During the final parts of Battle City.
  • Artifact of Doom: Keeps Marik's Millennium Rod.
  • Ax-Crazy: Dark Marik is a raving madman, whose sanity only slips further and further away the longer he's free. While in the English dub he wishes to continue his alter-ego's plans to become Pharaoh and hurts anyone who stands in his way, in the Japanese version he's just interested in killing people via Shadow Games and causing them as much suffering as he can before he wins.
  • Badass Cape: Dark Marik adds a cape to his wardrobe. It flares and billows appropriately whenever he does something sufficiently evil or over the top.
  • Beauty = Goodness: Compared to the Bishounen normal Marik, Dark Marik has Anime Hair, Tainted Veins, bulging eyes, and is frequently and purposefully Off-Model. He also has a habit of wagging his tongue during duels and speaks with a Voice of the Legion. And yet impressively, his base facial structure is the same as his good half.
  • Big Bad: Of the second half of Battle City, when he hijacks Marik's body and attempts to kill the other duelists, driving everyone to defeat him.
  • Big "NO!": Gives one when the normal Marik surrenders their duel to Dark Yugi, destroying him forever.
  • Blood Knight: Dark Marik doesn't care who he has to play a game with, as long as he gets to torture them.
  • Bowdlerise: Dark Marik gets bonus points here, as he was Bowlderized twice over, his actions in the manga being so dark that they were changed for the original anime. He used a monsters called Viser Des and Byser Shock in his duel with Mai, also using the former against Jonouchi; these were demonic versions of a head vise and an electric chair, respectively. In the anime, they were replaced by Holding Arms and Holding Legs, which resembled shackles, and was replaced with Plasma Eel for the duel with Jonouchi. Also, the Mind Rape he inflicted on Mai was more brutal in the manga; the hourglass had scarabs in it rather than sand, and instead of losing her memories she was eaten alive and would have died within the day if not rescued—though Mai takes it better in the manga than in the anime.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Dark Marik gets a bonus prize—while he doesn't brainjack anyone himself, in the anime continuity, his mental torture of Mai leaves her open to being brainwashed by Dartz in the Doma arc.
  • Cain and Abel: Dark Marik would not only happily kill both of Marik's siblings along with Marik himself, but he tries to do it.
  • Call-Back: Many of his cards were also used by Lumis, Umbra, and Strings.
  • The Cameo: Briefly appears in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX's episode 85 when The Winged Dragon of Ra was discussed.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Dark Marik is more or less evil for its own sake. Then again, he's not a fully formed personality so this should come as no surprise.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Many of Dark Marik's cards, and most notably Ra, draw on the player's life points. During his Shadow Games this becomes even more literal, with both players' cards drawing on their life force to stay on the field.
  • Characterization Marches On: His duelist tactics. In his first couple of duels, he plays like a normal duelist and uses the Winged Dragon of Ra as his trump card like the Dark Magician or Blue-Eyes. By the time his duel with Yugi comes around, his deck is devoted to summoning Ra over and over and giving him ways to power it up once he has it in play. This is justified given that Yugi has two Gods of his own and Ra is Dark Marik's best offense/defense against them.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Dark Marik does this in every Shadow Game, using psychological and physical pain to break the will of his opponent. Sometimes you lose part of your memory when you lose a card. Sometimes part of your life force. Sometimes part of your body, or that of someone you care about. Regardless, it's gonna hurt, in every sense of the word.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Inflicting pain or suffering from it, it's all the same to Dark Marik. He actually starts laughing after he's struck by Obelisk the Tormentor.
  • Combo Platter Powers: The Winged Dragon of Ra has as many special abilities as a swiss army knife has attachments, and Dark Marik reveals new ones every time he duels which let him win when otherwise Ra would be useless.
  • The Corrupter: It's implied that once he was created as Marik's split personality to cope with his traumatic childhood, bits of his psyche leaked over throughout the years and drove the normal Marik crazy too.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: His deck is tailor-made for fighting Yugi and no one else, so duelists like Mai and Joey give him more trouble. note 
  • Dark Is Evil: Dark Marik is a hideous man in dark clothes, whose deck uses Fiend-monsters and Traps and Spells that mimic torture devices. He even states that, while the normal Marik feared darkness, he loves it.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Just like the normal Marik.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He certainly gets his moments.
  • Deranged Animation: Especially in the better episodes, Dark Marik is very good at showing very psychotic faces.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: His only motivation is he enjoys seeing people suffer and wants to plunge the world into darkness for the fun of it.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Dark Marik finds a black shirt, purple cape, and white pants somewhere to replace Normal Marik's pink tanktop and tight black pants when he takes over their body. In the manga, Marik had actually been wearing all of those save the cape, so all Dark Marik did then was switch the hoodie for the cape.
  • Evil Laugh: Dark Marik crosses into Laughing Mad territory.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Pretty-boy Marik was hardly a good guy, but he's got nothing on his disfigured Superpowered Evil Side for sheer malice. Notably, the more Ax-Crazy Dark Marik gets, the more his veins stand out, the more his eyes bulge, and the more his face stretches.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Dark Marik's deep Voice of the Legion in the dub. In the sub, the other effects aren't present, but his voice still drops.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Dark Marik has this with both Dark Bakura and the normal Marik. In the anime, he's also a Spanner in the Works for Noah, destroying much of the machinery in his headquarters during his rampage.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: During Dark Marik's duel with the Pharaoh, his face (and sometimes his whole body) is frequently concealed in shadow, leaving only the Eye of Wdjat standing out on his forehead.
  • Fan Disservice: He's not nearly as pretty as his normal half, and it only gets worse. Thank God he puts on a less revealing outfit within an episode of his first appearance.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Dark Marik will often act this way, giving sarcastic compliments, offering to "help" his opponents, and using Terms of Endangerment. Everyone knows it's an act and that he's just taunting them, and he's quick to revert back to Ax-Crazy at a moment's notice.
  • Final Boss: Dark Marik is the last opponent Yugi faces in Battle City, and easily the strongest.
  • Fixing the Game: Dark Marik sets up the rules of his Shadow Games to favor him even as they apply equally to both players.
    • Against Mai, each time a monster is destroyed the duelist forgets someone from their life. This plays on Mai's feelings of being alone, Dark Marik of course doesn't care. In the manga, the stipulation is the same as the duel with Jounouchi, see next entry.
    • Against Jounouchi, when a monster is weakened or destroyed the controller feels the pain, Dark Marik is a Combat Sadomasochist.
    • Against Dark Yugi, when a duelist loses Life Points their alter-ego fades away bit by bit. Dark Yugi has to deal with the fact hurting Dark Marik will hurt and potentially destroy the real Marik he wants to save; Dark Marik on the other hand gets to destroy both Yugi and Dark Yugi, and get rid of his other self by paying Life Points until Marik is too weak to stay alive any longer even if Dark Marik wins the duel.
  • Foil: To Dark Yugi. They both have spiky hair and a glowing third eye. Also, Dark Yugi used to be just as sadistic as Dark Marik, but Dark Yugi always had a sense of justice, while Dark Marik is just in it for kicks. Both are Dark alter egos, but while Dark Yugi is a spirit inhabiting the Millennium Puzzle, Dark Marik exists independently of the Millennium Rod, due to being a Literal Split Personality of Marik.
  • For the Evulz: When asked by Dark Yugi, Dark Marik outright states he has no reason for what he does aside from simply enjoying torment and suffering.
  • Gambit Roulette: Some of Dark Marik's strategies rely on having the right cards at the right time, not to mention New Rules as the Plot Demands. Notably, using the De-Fusion he acquired from Yugi's hand a couple turns earlier to separate himself from Ra in point-to-point transfer powered up mode to evade defeat from Yugi, and also regaining his life points in the process.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Normal Marik's are narrow and snakey. Dark Marik's bulge constantly and are filled with red veins.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He has an influence on the first half of Battle City, though the normal Marik is the one trying to kill Yugi. In particular, he took away Marik's guilt for his evil actions, letting him commit worse crimes without feeling bad.
  • Jerkass: Dark Marik blows right past this and into full on psychopathy.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In the four-way duel to determine the semi-final matches, Jounouchi uses Graverobber to use Dark Marik's spell card to redirect his effect damage against him, causing him to lose.
    • Merging with Ra, Dark Marik's best move, results in his defeat, as the shock of losing Ra is enough to let normal Marik regain control of their body.
  • Irony: He wants to cover the world in darkness, yet his strongest monster is based on the Egyptian sun god.
  • It's Personal: Although Dark Marik does seem to Hates Everyone Equally, he holds a special grudge against Rishid for being the only one who can hold him from taking over Marik's body.
    • It's implied that he also hates his father greatly for abusing Marik/him. The fact that when Marik accuses him of killing their father, his reaction can pretty much be summed up as "well, he deserved to die" only confirms this. In fact, their father and Rishid are the only people who Dark Marik attempted physical abuse to, while the other are only mind-raped.
  • Knight of Cerebus: He is one of the most deranged, flat-out evil characters in the original series. The other villains were evil too, but none of them were insane maniacs who killed for fun.
  • Kubrick Stare: His default expression.
  • Lack of Empathy: Dark Marik's empathy is nonexistent.
  • Large Ham: His English voice actor was definitely having fun.
  • Literal Split Personality: Dark Marik started out as Marik's even worse side, but by the end of Battle City he gains a separate soul, kicking his other half out of the body. This comes back to bite him when Marik surrenders their final match, letting him vanish into the shadows while Marik remains unharmed.
  • Made of Evil: He is the embodiment of the hatred, jealousy, and resentment Marik held against the Pharaoh, held inside for decades until given physical form.
  • Maniac Tongue: Dark Marik, big time.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Screws with his opponents' minds during duels. It's especially obvious against Mai, whose mind he breaks so badly that she's more afraid of him than Dartz.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Dark Marik's a gleefully psychopathic sadist whose grip on reality gets looser by the moment, in addition to being the alter-ego of a traumatized teenager. Sanity is nowhere in sight here.
  • Mind Rape: Dark Marik loves doing this in his Shadow Games. His Penalty Game for Mai involved her being trapped in an hourglass, and either attacked by scarabs, or drowned in sand.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Inverted and Downplayed in the duel against Mai, where he tries to set up the same combo he did through Strings, likely to summon Ra. Doesn't work this time; Mai is able to tear the lock down with ease.
  • Nightmare Face: He has this expression perpetually since he is prone to having veins randomly pop up on his face, usually while his eyes are out of proportion and his tongue sticking out. Even the Off-Model shots of their faces are nightmarish.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: The first thing he does once he's out is try and kill the comatose Rishid to make sure he can't wake up and bring back the real Marik. He later banishes Marik from his mind so he can't fight his control over their body. He's also a skilled duelist.
  • No Social Skills: Not in a humorous way. He sticks out his tongue, makes faces, and doesn't have a single line of dialogue that doesn't relate to hurting somebody.
  • Nothing Personal: Marik wanted to kill Yugi/Yami for apparently murdering his father, but Dark Marik held no personal grudge against anyone. He hated everybody just the same. The only exception is Rishid, as he could stop Dark Marik from taking over Marik's body.
  • Off-Model: Dark Marik is frequently off-model. Throw in the facial stretching, the tendency towards sticking out his tongue, and the voice, and it makes him really gross.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Implied in the manga/anime, and made explicit in the video game adaptations. Dark Marik's goal is to destroy everything but himself, plunging the world into shadow, and laughing over the remains in the dark. In the Virtual World Filler Arc, he destroys the computers that control Gozaburo's missiles so no one can stop the launch, then heads back to the airship and snickers that he's waiting for them to launch and kill everyone.
  • One-Winged Angel: To the normal Marik. He also fuses with the Ra to deal the final blow in his duels.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Has a big one when Yami declares a direct attack with Obelisk, leading to this one-liner from Jonouchi (dub only): "Hey look! Marik's so scared his hair is standing on end! Oh wait, it's always like that."
    • When the shock of having Ra destroyed while he's merged with it weakens him enough to let the normal Marik take back control of their body, making him the soul at stake when the Shadow Game is lost.
  • Plot Armor: He barely wins his duels with Jonouchi and his anime-exclusive duel with Dark Bakura, and in the anime his duel with Mai has keep up with him until the last few turns (in the manga he was in control the entire time). In all three duels he's on the cusp of losing, then suddenly he summons Ra and and activates a new ability for it he had never mentioned before that wins him the duel. The duel with Jonouchi is particularly blatant with this — Jonouchi fainted from the physical strain of the Shadow Game and was ruled unable to continue, otherwise all he had to do was declare his final attack and he would have won.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: He laughed and psychotically stated after he destroyed his Gil Garth that he enjoyed the feeling.
  • Red Right Hand: Dark Marik has Tainted Veins, bloodshot eyes, and the Eye of Widjat displayed prominently on his forehead. That's without even getting into the facial stretching.
  • Sadist: Dark Marik's the most blatant example in the anime/manga, possessing a textbook case of what used to be called Sadistic Personality Disorder.
  • Sadistic Choice: Dark Marik frequently creates set ups like this, such as forcing Dark Yugi to sacrifice either Yugi or the real Marik during their final duel.
  • Sanity Slippage: As the finals progress, Dark Marik becomes increasingly unhinged, displaying his sadism and bloodlust more openly. By the time he faces off against Dark Yugi & Yugi he's degenerated from a criminal mastermind to a slavering animal, though he maintains enough of his intelligence to be very dangerous.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dark Marik is this to normal Marik, sealed away unless Rishid is knocked out.
  • Slasher Smile: Dark Marik almost always has one.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Dark Marik is considerably smarter and saner than he appears to be, though every bit as evil.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Dark Marik is rude as fuck to everyone, but there are two people whom he refers to with a respectful term: Ishizu by "aneue-sama" (meaning "honored big sister") and Marik by "shujinkaku-sama" (roughly translated "Master Other Personality" or "Master Main Personality"). This is understandable as he actually respects Ishizu a little, and doesn't hate Marik personally but just want to get him out of their shared body. (In fact, he actually seems thankful that Marik created him.) But they are still endangering terms as, in the end, he still wants to kill them.
  • The Sociopath: Dark Marik hits every one of the requirements for the trope and the real life personality disorder, being a physical and psychologicalnote  sadist with no impulse control, a staggering Lack of Empathy, No Social Skills, a love for manipulating others, and an ingrained belief in his own superiority.
  • Spanner in the Works: In the anime, after Noah has a change of heart and runs back to change the missile controls to save the heroes, he discovers Dark Marik was there in his absence and the control console has been destroyed. He's this to normal Marik as well, with his appearance foiling the original Evil Plan. In the end, the original Marik manages to do this to Dark Marik, regaining control of their body after the loss of Ra, and surrendering to the Pharaoh.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Seizes Marik's body for himself when Rishid collapses, and banishing him from their mind to make sure he can't fight back.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Dark Marik is more vicious and dangerous than normal Marik ever was.
  • Sword Cane: In the Japanese version, he has a dagger hidden in the handle of the Millenium Rod, which he uses to kill his father and menace a couple other characters.
  • Tainted Veins: Dark Marik's veins aren't a different colour, but they bulge quite unhealthily out of his face, and the crazier he gets, the more they stand out.
  • Taking You with Me: His Shadow Game against Dark Yugi, where the antes are the souls of their other halves. In this set-up, even if Dark Marik loses, the normal Marik will be lost as well.
  • Torture Technician: Dark Games already take a toll on people, but he adds extra rules to make them as extra painful.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He thinks there's no way Jounouchi can survive an attack by Ra. He not only does, but Jounouchi was seconds away from winning the duel afterwards because Dark Marik had no plan to defend himself if Jounouchi survived and kept dueling.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He's not a bad Duelist, but he isn't up to the skill level of professional duelists like Yugi and Kaiba. In all of his duels up to his match with Yugi, he puts in a good showing but is ultimately outplayed by his opponents and pushed into a corner. Then he summons The Winged Dragon of Ra, which is just so powerful with so many unpredictable abilities, that it always clinches him the win. It's a hint to his true skill level that in the four-way qualifying duel, the one time he never summons Ra, he's the first opponent eliminated.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has a big one when Yugi and Dark Yugi manage to reduce him into an eye and begging his normal ego to win the fight. Also has one when Joey manages to stand up after Ra's attack and almost manages to defeat him.
  • Voice of the Legion: In the 4Kids dub.
  • Walking Spoiler: Though mostly undone by It Was His Sled, Dark Marik came out of nowhere when he was first introduced.
  • We Can Rule Together: Dark Marik tries this on the real Marik after the latter regains control of their body.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Dark Marik being in the running for "worst person in the series."
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Though he makes the wise decision to kill Rishid once he's freed so he can't be sealed again, just as he's holding his dagger over Rishid, he gets called away to duel Mai and decides to take care of him later. He then sticks around to watch Kaiba duel Ishizu, and by the time he finally gets around to going back to Rishid and finishing the job, Ishizu and Dark Bakura have hidden him. There's also little stopping Dark Marik from just going around the airship stabbing people, he just chooses to go along with the tournament for little given reason. Later, after Ishizu has given away her Necklace and thus her only protection against him, he gets interrupted two separate times and walks away instead of stabbing her. This is mainly due to preferring torture than outright killing, which his Shadow Games give him a convenient excuse to dish out.

    Rishid (Odion) 

Rishid (リシド; Rishido) (Odion)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rishid.png
Voiced by: Konta (Japanese), Michael Alston Baley (English), Cholo Moratalla (European Spanish)

Marik's older brother by adoption and his dragon. Abandoned as a child, Rishid was taken in by Marik's mother prior to his birth. However, his father never accepted him as a suitable heir to their family of tombkeepers and treated him as a servant rather than a son. Despite this, Rishid had always desire to become a true part of the family and a heir to the tombkeeper clan. When Marik was born, he was told by his dying mother to take care of his younger brother. Although they were close siblings, Rishid harbored a resentment for him as the true heir to the tombkeeper's clan and legitimate son of his parents. When young Marik was bitten by a cobra and became ill, their father beat Rishid for allowing Marik to be harmed, and ordered that he not leave Marik's bedside until he recovered. Rishid attempted to kill Marik in his sleep, but Marik awakens and murmurs "brother", which causes Rishid to drop the weapon in shock: Marik sees Rishid as his brother, despite the fact they are not blood related. And thus, Rishid stood by Marik's side, even when he turned to a life of evil.

He poses as Marik while the real Marik tries to infiltrate Yugi's gang as "Namu". In the Duel Monsters card game, he uses a deck themed on Egyptian mythology, which consists almost entirely of trap cards. His trump card is Holy Beast Serket.


  • Affably Evil: Is very polite in his duel with Jounouchi, using proper honorifics (calling him "Mr. Wheeler" in the dub) and clearly respects Jounouchi's dueling skills even when Jounouchi is about to lose. It's what gives his Marik disguise away. In addition, he himself isn't so much evil as he is completely devoted to protecting Marik.
  • Anti-Villain: He only follows Marik to protect him and keep his dark personality in check.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wears the standard Rare Hunter robes, and being that he duels on an airship, it billows and flares dramatically all the time.
  • Bald of Evil: On first appearance.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He will do anything to protect Marik, even from himself.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: His Holy Beast Serket gains half the ATK of every creature it devours. This is a bad thing.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Almost. He's well prepared to counter Jonouchi's Com Mons, Giant Trunade, and Scapegoat, but clearly did not expect Jinzo. Granted, there isn't much a deck entirely centered around Trap Cards can do against a monster that destroys any and all traps.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: His strategy of Trap Cards works extremely well...until Jounouchi plays Jinzo, a monster card that destroys Trap Cards. He does manage to pull together a backup plan, though.
  • Doorstop Baby: He was discovered by Mr. and Mrs. Ishtar as an infant, wrapped in a blanket, outside their home; who his actual parents are or were and why they abandoned him, nobody knows.
  • The Dragon: To Marik.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In Season 2, the dub writers have him thinking that he must follow Marik's order's because "Master Marik always knows best". This is blatantly contradictory to his original characterizationnote , and this is only highlighted when that characterization actually pops up later in the dub.
  • Happily Adopted: Subverted hard. While the Ishtars' mother always seemed to treat Odion well, their father was indifferent to him at best and only took Odion in because he didn't know if he would ever have a son of his own. Once he and his wife finally had a biological son to inherit the tombkeeping responsibilities their father was outright abusive of Odion.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: In his duel with Jounouchi, as he's supposed to be impersonating Marik. Jounouchi eventually sees through it.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Rishid won enough Puzzle Cards for he and Marik to enter the Battle City finals (and given his conduct during his duel with Jounouchi, he likely won them fairly), and would have defeated Jounouchi in a fair duel had Marik not forced him to use the Sun Dragon Ra. Conversely, Marik loses (or is in the process of losing when they are called off) all three of his duels with Yami & Yugi, despite cheating (while controlling Bandit Keith), having an Egyptian God Card on his side (while controlling Strings), and using Yugi's best friend as a shield (while controlling Jounouchi). It's pretty clear who the better duelist is here.
  • Irony: He's a noble-hearted character and the only decent Rare Hunter, while his strongest monsters are based on Apophis, the Egyptian god of chaos and Ra's opposite.
  • Large and in Charge: Downplayed as he is second in command, but not completely in charge.
  • Morality Chain: He keeps Marik's dark personality in check. When he's taken out of commission following his duel with Jonouchi, this allows Dark Marik to take control of the real one.
  • Noble Demon: He's a villain, but he is honorable and moral. Unlike the other Rare Hunters (and indeed, most of the other villains in the show), he never even entertains the thought of cheating in a duel, nor does he need to.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Unlike Marik (and every other Ghoul), Rishid forgoes cheating in favor of kicking ass fairly; also unlike Marik, he's talented enough that he doesn't need to cheat to win.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: His polite nature and fair dueling methods eventually clue Jounouchi in that he isn't Marik. The real Marik then forces him to play a false version of Ra in order to remove any doubt, which ends with him in a coma.
  • Obvious Trap: His Duel Monsters deck consists of almost nothing but traps, so when he ends his turn by just setting two cards, you know they're going to protect him. But you have to attack him sooner or later, and when you do, he's ready. Try to destroy his traps? He's got protection for them, though not foolproof.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jinzo is a very shocking wake-up call for him, and it shows, although he manages to cope quickly.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Assuming he didn't steal any of the locator cards or bribe their owners, he has twelve of them (double the required) by the end of the Battle City preliminaries, gaining enough for entry for himself and Marik. (In the manga, even Marik is clearly impressed by this.)
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Serket is Fairy Type, for some reason. It clearly doesn't resemble any other Fairies in the game.
  • Red Right Hand: The scarring/tattoos on his face.
  • Scary Black Man: He's an Egyptian and is cold and stoic, giving a very intimidating presence.
  • Something Completely Different: Not even Yugi himself had ever heard of Trap-Monsters before he used them. (Ironically, they're everywhere now in-universe and out, and Embodiment of Apophis isn't very impressive compared to the others.)
  • Scary Scorpions: His Holy Beast Serket. 2500 ATK. 2000 DEF. Can add half the ATK of every creature it devours to its score. That's pretty darn scary.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: His Embodiment of Apophis Trap-Monsters are Snake People with two heads. Sinister and scary.
  • Superpower Lottery: Mokuba assumes he has better cards than the typical Rare Hunter and he assumes right; even the nerfed real-life version of Judgment of Anubis is a powerful Counter Trap, while Temple of Kings is so massively broken, it was illegal in the OCG for years before being rereleased with new errata.
  • Tattooed Crook: His face is tattooed in Egyptian hieroglyphs. He did it himself to prove his loyalty to the Tombkeepers since Marik's father would not officially induct him into the group.
  • Token Good Teammate: The only Rare Hunter who doesn't cheat when he duels. Plus he's mostly there to keep an eye on Marik.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: His deck consists of almost nothing but traps, so when he ends his turn by just setting two cards, you know they're going to protect him, he isn't stupid. But you have to attack him sooner or later, and when you do, he's ready.
  • Trap Master: Relies on masses of Trap Cards to duel; he was the first in the franchise to use Trap-Monsters, and uses powerful Counter Traps like Judgment of Anubis and Magic Jammer, along with the Field Spell Temple of Kings, which allows him to use them the turn they are set. (Video game adaptations take it further, his deck having such infamous Traps as Solemn Judgment, ring of Destruction, and Magic Cylinder.)
  • The Stoic: Contends with Shadi for the title, although he can get angry if pressed far enough.
  • Undying Loyalty: He swore his absolute loyalty to Marik.
  • The Un-Favourite: His adoptive father never saw him as more than a servant, and it only got worse once Ishizu and Marik were born.
  • The Unfought: He's the only rare hunter Yugi never duels.
  • Villain Ball: He had Jonouchi beat. Then Marik forces him to grab this by summoning Ra.
  • Worthy Opponent: Plays totally fairly and respects Jounouchi's skills as a duelist. The sentiment is returned by Jounouchi, who notes that unlike a lot of his past opponents, Rishid has played a fair duel and it's been one of the toughest yet. The problem is that he's supposed to be impersonating Marik, who has shown no problems cheating and setting up unfair games.

    The Rare Hunter (Seeker) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_61.png

The Rare Hunter (レアハンター; Reahantā) (Seeker)

Voiced by: Eiji Takemoto (JP), David Willis (EN), Lorenzo Beteta (European Spanish)

The first Ghoul encountered in the manga and the second in the anime, he's never given a name other than "Rare Hunter". He beats Jonouchi and takes his Red-Eyes, and is in turn beaten by Dark Yugi. He runs an Exodia deck that focuses on assembling counterfeited Exodia cards and using them to defeat his opponents.


  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In addition to loading his deck with three copies of each Exodia piece, he also marks his cards in the dub (in the original, his cards are counterfeit). He still loses, and it's largely because his deck is so filled with Exodia pieces that he can't draw anything else.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: His deck and strategy are based entirely around summoning Exodia. Once that's no longer possible, he goes down like a chump.
  • Curbstomp Battle:
    • Against Dark Yugi, who handed his ass to him after Yugi activates a trap that destroys the same cards, rendering him unable to receive an insta-win with Exodia. To know how it's a curb-stomp battle, Dark Yugi never lost a single life point (upgraded to 4000 rather than the usual 2000), which is a rarity for the series. Somewhat justified, given how his strategy is based less on taking out opponents' life points and more on biding time for his hand to be filled with Exodia cards.
    • In the manga, his battle against Dark Yugi is arguably one of the shortest chapters ever - it was only a few pages long.
  • Dub Name Change: If his name can be treated as such. The Spanish dub refers to him as just "Exodia's Hunter".
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: When he can't use Exodia as a surprise, this guy is all talk. (In fact, Yami didn't have to "destroy" Exodia to win, seeing as he had Dust Tornado set; he just did it to teach the guy a lesson.) Yugi's entire dialogue during the duel is a "The Reason You Suck" Speech with a Paranoia Gambit built in that Seeker falls for hook line and sinker.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: Displays this attitude towards card hunting.
  • Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": He's always addressed as "Rare Hunter" in the anime; the name "Seeker" is only used in one of the video games. (In the manga version, Yami asks his name, but then decides he'd rather not know.)
  • Obviously Evil: If the portrait above doesn't show it, his scary dark robes don't help. The guy is creepy.
  • Smug Snake: Seems to think that simply having Exodia makes him invincible.
  • Stone Wall: Uses monsters with high DEF but low ATK, like Stone Statue of the Aztecs and Gear Golem, to defend his Life Points while he searches for Exodia.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: It wasn't losing the duel and his best card that made Jonouchi upset. This guy had to beat him up before taking it. That was what crossed the line for Jonouchi and Yami.
  • Villain Has a Point: He's sadistic scum, yes, but he was well within his rights to tell Jonouchi not to help Yugi, as such an act is not permitted in a tournament, even using Real Life rules.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: For the Battle City arc. He demonstrates how dogged and dangerous the Ghouls actually are in their pursuit of rare cards by beating the tar out of Jonouchi after he defeats him in a duel.
  • You Have Failed Me: Courtesy of Marik.
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    Pandora the Conjurer (Arkana) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pandora_the_conjurer.png

Pandora the Conjurer (パンドラ; Pandora) (Arkana)

Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (JP), Sam Riegel (EN), Eduardo Bosch (European Spanish)

A former stage magician who either had his mother die at one point in his life and his lover dying in a magic trick gone wrong, then joining the Rare Hunters in his despair (in the manga), or lost his good looks to a fire and his girlfriend to the BSOD that followed and serves as one of Marik's Ghouls in the hopes of winning her back (in the anime). He challenges Yugi to a deathmatch, where the loser will get their legs chopped off by buzzsaws.

He runs a Spellcaster deck designed specifically to counter many of Yugi's best cards, and many of the cards emulate a magician's act. His trump card is the Black Magician, having three copies of the rare card in his deck.


  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: His battle against Yugi is Death-T level of ridiculously dangerous. As each player loses life points, buzzsaws get closer and closer to the player's legs. The loser will ultimately die from blood loss by having their legs chopped off. The dub changes this to dark energy discs with the threat of sending the user's mind to the Shadow Realm, which would leave them brain-dead at the very least.
  • Bad Liar: Yami saw his attempt to rig his first hand coming from a mile away.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: He trims his cards and uses trick shuffling to bring his Black Magician into his opening hand, and cares so little about his deck he plans to throw it away after he wins. Dark Yugi is disgusted by the way he treats his cards for the sake of winning. And if it wasn't for the regular Yugi, Dark Yugi would have probably left Pandora to get his legs chopped off.
  • Critical Research Failureinvoked: In-Universe example. His deck seems prepared for anything Yugi can throw of him, except Dark Magician Girl, a card he never even realized existed.
  • Death by Irony: On several levels. He's defeated by Dark Magician Girl, after claiming he was a Dark Magician master but didn't know she even existed, underestimates her power and attacks her with his own Dark Magician causing it to be destroyed, and it's because Dark Magician Girl has gained power from his own Dark Magician that he let be destroyed earlier.
  • Dirty Coward: Panics every time the duel is turning against him.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the manga, Pandora considered suicide twice; when his mother died and when his lover died. After losing his duel with Yugi, Marik stirs up those feelings to make him commit suicide when he wakes up.
  • Evil Costume Switch: His Dark Magician is different than Yugi's, an "evil version" detailed below. Note that the Real Life version of his card is not technically an "alternate art" version, as it has a different 8-digit passcodes from the "standard" art versions.
  • Evil Counterpart: Not Pandora himself, but his Black Magician, with its white hair and evil smile. It's the evil counterpart to Yugi's Black Magician. Until he sacrifices it for a cheap shot at Yugi's life points.
  • Expressive Mask: His mask's eye holes change sizes and shapes depending on his moods.
  • Facial Horror: The upper half of his face was ruined in a botched escape trick.
  • False Reassurance: He does this in the English dub, while setting up his deck to give him a Dark Magician.
Yami Yugi: I'm watching you. Don't try any sleight of hand, Arkana.
Arkana: Card tricks are strictly for amateurs, Yugi Mutou. [later] Sure, card tricks may be for amateurs, but as a duelist, knowing how to pick any card, any time comes in very handy.
  • Foil: To Pegasus, particularly in the anime. While they share similarities in their characters and backstories (worldly showmen in red suits which lost a lover and use creepy trickster magic-themed cards), Pandora treats his monsters very differently than Pegasus, and evokes Yugi's pity instead of respect.
  • Giggling Villain: He does a lot of laughing.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: He went mad after the loss of his mother and fiance in the manga, and his fiance and good looks in the anime after a magic trick gone wrong. In the anime he's so deluded that he thinks a doll is the real Catherine even as it falls apart in his arms.
  • Love Makes You Evil: He turned to Marik to get Catherine back in the anime.
  • Man of Kryptonite: His deck was made to specifically counter Yugi's, employing multiple Dark Magicians and many monster, trap, and magic-destroying cards to keep him pinned down.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: The reason Yami doesn't trust him from the start.
  • Mask Power: Wears a mask to conceal his scarred face.
  • Meaningful Name: His dub version is named Arkana, the name of the tarot suits, which fits his personality being a magician.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Technically, it was an effect of her own card, but Pandora's Dark Magician seemed pretty pissed at him and more than willing to help Dark Magician Girl.
  • Nerf: While his anime-only cards are pretty broken, the ones that were made into real card are an inversion. Thousand Knives seems to be the same as his, while Legion the Fiend Jester and Doll of Demise are effect monsters in the OCG. Ectoplasmer is Zigagged a little; it's a Continuous Spell in the OCG, while his is a Normal Spell; however, he could use it on multiple monsters, while the real one can only be used once per turn.
  • Nice Hat: Still wears his magician's hat.
  • Obviously Evil: Well, Obviously a Criminal, at least. As Yami says in the dub, "Never trust a masked man."
  • Save the Villain: Yugi saves him from his own trap, but in the manga Marik stirs up his suicidal thoughts so the moment he wakes up he'll kill himself (it's unknown whether he did or not). In the anime what happens to him afterward is unknown, though he's completely broken by the fact that Marik lied.
  • Scars Are Forever: His face was permanently marred by an accident that occurred while he was a stage magician.
  • The Sixth Ranger: Pandora does not have the trappings of typical Ghoul and has little passion for Duel Monsters, but nonetheless follows Marik's orders.
  • Slasher Smile: Does a lot of grinning and smirking.
  • Smug Snake: Arrogantly declares he's a true master of the Dark Magician and Yugi can't hope to compare to him. Yami Yugi, for his part, pities him rather than respects him.
  • Stage Magician: Things went wrong as this though.
  • Take Our Word for It: Given Yami's reaction, his face must be unpleasant to look at.
  • The Un-Reveal: He shows Dark Yugi his unmasked face. Dark Yugi is repulsed, but we don't get to see it.
  • Worthy Opponent: Early on in the duel, Dark Yugi praises him for fighting against his Black Magician and openly tells Pandora that his skills are wasted on a lowly organization like the Ghouls. Of course, this goes out of the window once Pandora starts disrespecting his cards.
  • You Have Failed Me: Courtesy of Marik, who forces his suicidal thoughts back to the surface in the manga in an attempt at Psychic-Assisted Suicide. It's not clear if he actually did though.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Has no problem with sacrificing his monsters willy-nilly, and has the gall to insult them. In the Japanese version, he explains that he doesn't care about the Duel Monsters card game and only reason why he learned to duel, built a deck, and challenged Yugi was because Marik ordered him to. As soon as he beat Yugi and got his reward, he would have thrown the deck away as it is meaningless to him.

    The Silent Doll/Pantomimer (Strings) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/silent_doll.png
A mime under Marik's control, he uses a Jam-themed deck along with Slifer the Sky Dragon. He has no will of his own, but his deck is nearly unbeatable.


  • Bald of Evil: He has no hair at all.
  • Blob Monster: Most of his deck other than Osiris is composed of this theme; monsters like Revival Jam, Humanoid Slime, and the Continuous Spell Jam Breeding Machine.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Looks like an unassuming mime but has a Egyptian God Card in his deck.
  • Empty Shell: He is catatonic, and pretty much a vegetable by himself, an easy target for Marik's mind puppetry. When Marik isn't controlling him, he is rendered comatose. In the manga, it is explained that he was a mime who went mad after killing his parents, and sealed his own conscience away out of guilt.
  • Enemy Mime: He poses as an ordinary street performer mime when Marik doesn't need him.
  • Gonk: Yami himself told Marik that Strings had "seen better days", in reference to how ugly and disheveled he is.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His deck revolved around a God Card that becomes more powerful the more cards he has in his hand and decreases an opponent's attack by 2000 points (and if said stat is 2000 or less, automatically destroys it instead), a permanent spell card that allows him to draw three cards every time a monster is summoned, a monster that can automatically be resummoned to the field when it's destroyed, a permanent trap card that makes said monster the first target of any attack, and a permanent spell card that removes the 6-card limit to his hand. Yugi uses a spell that shifts control of the indestructible monster to his side of the field, which causes Slifer to attack it, and it respawns, which triggers the "draw three cards" effect, and repeat until he decked Strings out.
  • Implacable Man: Had Yugi lost, Marik would have had the mime kill him. He would not have stopped his pursuit for any reason.
  • Mook Maker: To achieve the three-tribute summon condition for Osiris quicker, he uses Jam Breeding Machine to create Slime Tokens.
  • Nerf: Almost every card he uses was depowered for the actual game, with Life Point payments and summoning conditions eliminated. His version of Card of Safe Return allows three draws with each Special Summon rather than one. (And to put this in perspective, even the real version of that card is illegal in OCG and TCG.)
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Played with. He has a black shirt and baggy red pants, but, at least in the anime, he isn't evil under his own power.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In the manga, Marik explains that he murdered his parents, the guilt causing a shock that drive him into a catatonic state.
  • The Voiceless: As a mime, he never speaks (or rarely speaks in the video games). Averted when Marik takes him over, where he speaks quite a lot.

    Masks of Light and Darkness (Lumis and Umbra) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/masks_of_light_and_darkness_9217.png

Mask of Light (光の仮面; Hikari no Kamen) (Lumis)
Mask of Darkness (闇の仮面; Yami no Kamen) (Umbra)

Mask of Light/Lumis voiced by: Yuu Mizushima (JP), Jimmy Zoppi (EN), Carlos Ysbert (European Spanish)
Mask of Darkness/Umbra voiced by: Kouji Ishii (JP), Matthew Charles (EN), Fernando de Luis (European Spanish)

Two of Marik's Ghouls, whom he orders to take on Dark Yugi and Seto Kaiba in a double deathmatch on top of building, where upon losing, a bomb will destroy the glass beneath them, sending them to their deaths (in the dub, the Shadow Realm).

They run a Mask Deck that focusses on locking down the opponents' options and draining their Life Points. Their trump cards are The Masked Beast (3200/1800) and Masked Beast-Des Gardius (3300/2500).


  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: The tag battle they challenge Yugi and Kaiba to is a deathmatch, where anybody who loses all of their Life Points will be sent falling down a 130-foot building. However, the stakes turn out to be a bit uneven, as when Mask of Darkness is sent falling, he's revealed to have a parachute (though he faints due to shock, but it's implied in the dub that Marik banishes him). In the manga, Dark Yugi, the master of high-stake gaming, reacts with "Some death match THIS turned out to be..."
  • Acrofatic: Mask of Light is surprisingly agile.
  • Bash Brothers: Before Kaiba starts screwing with them, they're a talented pair of tag duelists. (Although, their talent is kind of diluted since they only had the upper hand due to Kaiba's stubborn refusal to work with Yugi and later grabbing the idiot ball by forcing Yugi to attack Des Gardius with Valkiryon despite Yugi's speculation that Des Gardius might have an ability to turn things around, not to mention they had speakers hidden under their masks to better plan out their strategies.)
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Umbra is tall and thin, Lumis is short and stout.
  • Dark Is Evil: Most of Mask of Darkness's monsters are Dark.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: While Dark Yugi and Kaiba just dealt with a bunch of miscellaneous Ghouls in the manga before going up against the duo, the anime set things up by having them briefly duel the unmasked Mask of Light and Darkness before quickly meeting up in a deadly rematch (or, at least, their voices implied that they were the same characters).
  • Light Is Not Good: Most of Mask of Light's monsters are Light.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Uh, yeah. They're two masked criminals who make use of cards with a mask theme, most of the monsters being Fiends..
  • Mask of Power: Most of their cards are masks that make their monsters stronger or their opponents' monsters weaker.
  • Mask Power: Far more competent with their masks on (if the previous Ghouls that Dark Yugi and Kaiba battled were actually them).
  • Meaningful Name: Their dub names, Lumis and Umbra, mean light and dark.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Assuming that they are the same characters, in their first apperance, they don't wear their masks and are easily defeated. In their second, they keep Yugi and Kaiba busy for four anime episodes.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: They play dumb the first time they run into Yugi and Kaiba. The second time, not so much.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In the Japanese version their real names are never mentioned.
  • You Have Failed Me: Marik pulls it on Mask of Light (Mask of Darkness had already fallen off the building).
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