Vivian Willow is a 12-year-old girl attending Domino High School, thanks to being in an accelerated learning program, and one day, as she watches Yugi Muto play a game of Duel Monsters against Joey Wheeler, Yugi invites her to play a few rounds with the rest of his friends, and she accepts. And when she does, Vivian inadvertently steps into a world of card games, teenage CEOs who hold grudges like no one else, a man with one eye who will do anything it takes to get back what was taken from him, and ancient magic that few people know exist.
The Domino City Effect is a Yu-Gi-Oh! quest written by Lori, taking place from the perspective of the OC, Vivian Willow. It follows her journey through the magical and dangerous world of Duel Monsters, and the effects this has on herself and those she cares about.
Beware of unmarked spoilers.
The Domino City Effects contains examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Vivian's reaction to the Ventriloquist of the Dead's pun that he tells her once they arrive at Duelist Kingdom's castle, and he is delighted at getting her to laugh.
- Adaptation Amalgamation: The story is set in a world that combines the events from the original manga, season 0 and the anime-only filler, as opposed to just following the original anime's storyline.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: Several characters appear far sooner than they did in canon, from filler characters like Rebecca Hawkins and Vivian Wong (no relation to the MC) appearing in the Duelist Kingdom Tournament, and even characters from sequel Yu-Gi-Oh! series like Fonda Fontaine acting as an Eliminator for Pegasus. In addition, even some settings are taken from further along in the series: "Game Paradise", the arcade, actually originates from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Several of the Elminators are shown too not be as bad as their canon counterparts might make them see, such as:
- The Clown is shown to be a rather honorable Duelist, going so far as to part with his persona as the "dead" Seto Kaiba so he could face defeat with his own face rather than as "some kid's ghost." And the only reason he was pretending to be Kaiba in the first place was because Pegasus ordered him too, and as a professional Duelist, he does as his boss tells him to. Although, that doesn't mean he likes it or even agrees with his boss, which is part of the reason he even gave away Kaiba's deck to Mokuba, seeing it would be better in Mokuba's hand rather than Pegasus' men, as he realized there was more going on in the island than he first thought.
- The Ventriloquist of the Dead is an old man with a fondness for puppets that he uses to tell puns. This might be because, in the story, he wasn't the one asked to mimic Kaiba and his deck, so he didn't have to act as serious as his manga counterpart.
- Adorably Precocious Child: Vivian is a 12-year-old girl who attends high school, knows how to camp in the wilderness and is a staff member for Pegasus' tournament after agreeing to work with him in order to protect her family from Seto Kaiba.
- Alternate Universe: Naturally. It also counts as a For Want of a Nail story, given Vivian's actions have consequences that butterfly the course of canon.
- Anime Hair: This is a Yu-Gi-Oh quest, so of course, almost every character has ridiculous hair. Vivian even lampshades this a few times, with the most recent example being her finding Yugi in a large crowd of people specifically because of just how pointy and eye-catching his hair is.
- Ascended Extra: Several characters become this over the course of the story. Between Tea and Tristan getting better at Duel Monsters and the expansion of some of the Eliminators beyond just obstacles for Yugi to overcome, several members of the cast are expanded upon, both in dueling ability and personality.
- Bearer of Bad News: Pegasus, after learning that Seto Kaiba plans on ruining Vivian Willow and her family's life via gentrifying her neighborhood and forcing her to move out, calls Vivian in the middle of the night to inform her. However, he's not doing this out of the kindness of his heart, as he tells Vivian he can only help her if she either degrees to spy on Yugi Muto or work for him as an Eliminator for the Duelist Kingdom. Vivian agrees to work as an Eliminator, and Pegasus gains another pawn for his plans.
- Birds of a Feather: As two 12-year-old girls playing a game meant for adults and people constantly demeaning them because of it, Vivian Willow and Rebbecca Hawkins quickly get along after only just meeting each other. It also helps that they've both seen each other duel and know how strong the other is, so this adds to the respect they have for each other.
- Dramatic Wind: A gust of wind blows behind Vivian as she stands on the stairs of Pegasus's Castle while her friends stare in shock. Though, the effect is somewhat lost once Vivian shouts at Joey and Tristan for not answering her call and thus ruins the tension.
- For Want of a Nail: As a result of Vivian's existence, more than a few changes in canon occur. Joey's deck veers from monster cards to spells and traps, Tea's getting into Ritual Monsters, Tristan's building a Normal Monster deck, Yugi's Buster Blader is destroyed, but he keeps Exodia and actually gains Grandpa's Blue-Eyes White Dragon... so on, so forth.
- In addition, since Vivian gave Yugi and the rest of her friends camping supplies, Mai didn't have to lend them a hand, and so kept traveling the Island, eventually leading to her duel with Pain K. But since Yugi wasn't nearby, there was no one there to try and win back Mai's Star Chips, so she was kicked off the island.
- Loophole Abuse: During her duel with Vivian, Rebecca activates Ring of Magnetism, a card that can only be used on monsters on her side of the field. Normally, this would mean Rebecca could only use it on her own monsters, but due to the nature of Duelist Kingdom duels, opponent's monster cards can use their opponent's own field for potential attacks and/or set up their fields. So, Rebecca uses the fact that Vivian's Skull Red Bird is currently flying over her side of the field to her advantage and equips Ring of Magnetism to it, thus making Vivian unable to attack unless she wants to kill her own monster.
- In a future duel, Vivian invokes this trope by abusing the exact same loophole to use her opponent's Fusion, Roaring Ocean Snake, to summon Elder Entity N'tss and secure her win. Many users pointed out the similarity between the two plays.
- Magical Land: Vivian's dream sequences allow her to access the Duel Monsters Spirit World, at least several arcs before it's even established as an existing place in canon. Her choices there so far have resulted in real-life consequences, whether it's character traits or actual, physical cards manifesting in her deck.
- Mood Whiplash: At the start of Duelist Kingdom, Vivian, an Eliminator hired under Pegasus, looms ominously over Yugi and friends in the first great stand-off of the tournament. Joey steps up, questioning her loyalties, as the rest look on grimly... Only for her voice to crack, yelling at them for not answering their phones. The mood lightens up quickly after that point.
- Omake: The story has a number of non-canon side-stories, with, as of now, sixteen written by author Frigid Magician, each one exploring various characters, how things have changed as a result of Vivian's actions, and what other characters think about Vivian and how their relationship grows. There are even a few future omakes about possible What-If scenarios. While none of them might now be canon, the author has stated that some of them are good enough that they fit seamlessly with the story and so there will be no harm if someone considers it canon, such as with the Pegasus omake where he and Seto talk over the phone.
- Ominous Visual Glitch: Summoning Elder Entity N'tss prompts the projector fields used for the game's holograms to glitch out and turn the field into a twisted, error-filled mimicry of itself.
- Perspective Flip: At certain points, the story will change perspective from Vivian to other characters or even an Omniscient narrator to show the changes the character's choices have had on canon Yu-Gi-OH! events.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Vivian, once she becomes an Eliminator for Pegasus. In addition, most of the Eliminators, including the Paradox Brothers, Fonda Fontaine, and the Vagabond also count as this.
- Purple Is Powerful: Vivian's fusion monsters, who all have purple backgrounds, are some of her best cards. Zellandine, the first fusion she used and also a dark type with a purple symbol on its card, clinched her victory against Yugi with its effect, as did Mbeku in her duel with Rebecca Hawkins.
- Theme Naming: The Willow family's names are all references with to Anglo-Saxon literature. Vivian's father's full name is Alexander Wulf Willow, with Wulf as a reference to Beowulf, and Vivian's own name is a contemporary version of Vivianne, one of the older names for Nimue, the Lady of the Lake. It also applies to Vivian's deck, as a lot of her monsters, such as Zellandine, are based on myths and legends of old.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: During Vivian VS PaniK, the duel ends with Vivian powering up her strongest monster card, Suijin as far as she possibly can in order to destroy PaniK's Castle of Dark Illusions. The combo creates a new attack for Suijin, the "Pacific Superlaser", which completely disintegrated the castle before flooding the entire field. Mind, this all because he decided to mock her friend.