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Fanfic / Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc V: Pendulum's Fifth Swing

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc V: Pendulum's Fifth Swing is a Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V AU story, written by SkyRig, formerly Starlight's Poet.

Following Yuya Sakaki's victory over Strong Ishijima, Maiami City has come to learn about the power of Pendulum, even if Yuya himself hasn't fully learned to how to wield it properly. One day, as he and Yuzu take a much deserved break in the park, Yuya's pendant begins to shine and leads them to discovering a mysterious youth, left unconscious in the park.

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A youth bearing the same face as Yuya himself, if older.

The You Show Students bring him to You Show Duel School, where he promptly awakens. He only remembers that he is a Duelist, and his name.

"Zarc."

The Demon Duelist, who ravaged the Original Dimension, becomes one of the main protagonists, and with a familiar premise. However, fans expecting a retread of the series will be pleased to see how the author handles Zarc's character, his own internal struggles, and how much things will change because of his presence.

The fanfic can be read on Sufficient Velocity here and on Fanfiction Dot Net here


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This story contains examples of the following Tropes. Beware of Unmarked Spoilers:

  • Academy of Evil: Reiji and Himika firmly believe Academia of the Fusion Dimension to be this, something Yuto and Shun can attest to, seeing as how Heartland was conquered and destroyed by them.
  • Action Girl: Every female duelist counts as one, with Yuzu becoming a bit of an Adaptational Badass for learning Ritual Summon, a summoning method she didn't know in canon proper. Later she also learns karate for more traditional ass-kicking, which comes in handy.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon first appeared in the anime in the tail-end of the Maiami Championship Arc. Here, it makes its debut during the Rare Hunters mini-arc, which is set before Yuya engages in duels to qualify for the championship.
    • Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon, an Xyz Monster that debuts in the Fusion Arc, makes an early appearance while Yuya and co. are still in Standard, courtesy of Zarc falling back to his Demon Duelist mindset.
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  • Adapted Out: Yuya's duels to qualify for the Maiami Championship are going to be skipped over. Word of God states that while Yuya has learned new tricks and has access to other summoning methods, he doesn't see a point in rehashing canon events that were mostly filler (with the exception of scenes involving Yuzu's interactions with Yuto and Shun).
  • Adaptation Expansion: Whereas people watching the anime are generally unaware of the rules of Duel Monsters, due to a case of All There in the Manual. Here, some aspects are clarified, though mostly in regards to the systems in place, such as monitoring Duels, records of archetypes and decks, etc.
  • Alternate Self:
    • The Yu boys are all this to each other, having been spawned from Zarc after he was defeated by Ray in the Original Dimension.
    • Likewise, the Bracelet girls are also this to themselves, all being fragments of Ray.
    • The SKSD Evil Counterpart monsters of the Four Dimensional Dragons count, but Scale 10 throws in another set: the "original" versions of the Four Dimensional Dragons from before the Original Dimension was split into the four dimensions.
  • Anime Hair: This is Yu-Gi-Oh! Notable examples include Yuya and Zarc, to name just a few.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Before Himika and Reiji introduced Fusion, Synchro and Xyz Summoning, the Standard Dimension only had Ritual Summoning to their name. It's since begun to decline, with Himika noting how rare Ritual Summoning is used in the present. Doubles as a Mythology Gag, as in canon, only two characters were ever shown using Ritual Summoning, only one of which was from Standard. The Standard native Mieru Hochun, and the former Academia Student and Fusion native Asuka Tenjoin. Yuzu and Yuya also get in on the action by having their own Ritual Monsters, but Yuya takes it a step further by making it a Ritual-Pendulum monster — the first-ever in the series.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Arrogant duelist in this case. There are a few characters who count. Sawatari was certainly this, but two defeats at the hands of Yuya, Zarc and Yuto have led to a Break the Haughty Character Development and has resolved to become a better duelist. Word of God states that Sawatari is meant to become on the level of his manga counterpart, who, in a twist of irony, nearly manages to defeat Yuto when in the anime, Yuto beat him without so much as breaking a sweat.
  • Ascended Extra: Downplayed. Kakimoto, one of Sawatari's three stooges, is chosen to participate in a Tag Duel in Scale 02 with Sawatari, even possessing a Pyro deck. In the show proper, his name was only revealed in the credits and had no other role besides sucking up to Sawatari.
  • Ascended Fan Boy: Downplayed. Zarc makes it clear he wants to perform the same kind of dueling as Yuya, much to the latter's embarrassment. Yuzu even lampshades it by saying that he has a new fanboy.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • The Tag Duel between Sawatari and Kakimoto against Yuya and Zarc. Initially, they have trouble getting past them, but its at the halfway point that they show off the full skill set.
    • Happens again when Yuya and Zarc team up against Reiji and Ray.
  • Berserk Button: Just ask Sawatari what happened when he almost killed the little ones, just to make sure Yuya didn't deliver the final blow in the Tag Duel. He was very lucky Yuya brought Zarc back to his senses, otherwise the Demon Duelist would have made a terrifying comeback!
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Scale 10 has Yuya and Zarc borrowing Dennis' Catchphrase, when they are going to defeat Ray and Reiji.
    Yuya & Zarc: SHOW MUST GO ON!
  • Call-Back: Scale 14, the start of the Rare Hunters mini-arc, is this plus Mythology Gag galore. Joey's duel with the Rare Hunter, who uses a Machina deck, reminds him of dueling Bandit Keith from the original series.
  • The Chessmaster: Sora, in Scale 07. Near the end of his Duel with Masumi, he reveals that he had studied her when he applied for Leo Duel School and researched her techniques. Add to his taunting to cause her to slip up, he was able to put her into a situation where he could end the duel in a DRAW. And the worst part? Sora was holding back, purposely ending the duel in a DRAW. As if to add insult to injury, his Trap's effect would finish before her Brilliant Spark would, meaning he had her beat since the start.
  • Cool Big Sis: Ray's this to the LDS trio. She's also regarded as the top student of Leo Duel School's Expert Class, to which Yaiba considers her the standard they have to reach.
  • Darker and Edgier: Arc-V was plenty dark once the dimensional warfare was revealed, but the Rare Hunters mini-arc is a Call-Back to the horror elements of the original manga series, though not to the extent of the Death-T arc.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Zarc's "Supreme King" Deck is primarily composed of DARK Attribute Monsters, with the SKSD counterpart to the Dimensional Dragons being particularly terrifying. However, Zarc is nowhere near his mindset as the Demon Duelist.
    • Two of Ray's En Magicians are dressed in dark clothing, and one of them is a Starving Venom monster. Despite this, they're apparently designed to counter the Dimensional Dragons, not to mention they're all designed after the Bracelet Girls.
    • Joey runs a deck focused on Red Eyes Black Dragon, which looks evil by default, but is unquestionably a good guy.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Discussed by the author. Yaiba's new ace monster is called "XXX-Saber Hannibal." He fully expects to hear dirty jokes being made at Yaiba's expense.
  • Doorstopper: As of Scale 16, the story now sits at over 200,000 words long. The fanfic is also currently in the Pre-Maiami Championship arc.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Leo started the Dimensional War to revive his daughter, who is already here.
    • Once Yuya found out that Yuzu is learning Karate, he wonders incredulously if she's going to a war or something.
  • The Dreaded: Yuri's this to Sora. When he first sees Yuya and Zarc, one being Yuri's Standard Counterpart and the other the origin of the dragon boys, he says that Standard's trying to give him a heart attack. When Zarc summons "Supreme King Servant Dragon Starving Venom," Sora has a Freak Out and loses his calm demeanor. As it turns out, Sora had dueled Yuri before and got his ass laid out flat. The end of the duel brings up some very bad memories of that time.
  • Everyone Can See It: A lot of characters believe that Yuya and Yuzu are boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Supreme King Servant Dragon variants of the Four Dimensional Dragons are this, as they not only boast incredible power but have superior effects compared to the other dragons. In Scale 01, Zarc also notices that Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon is very hostile towards SKSD Odd-Eyes and vice versa.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Both Zarc and Ray suffer from these, specifically of the moment when Ray activated the four En cards. Zarc sees himself as a monster to his horror, whilst Ray sees herself having to put an end to someone she cared for. Both are convinced they're just dreams due to their amnesia.
  • For Want of a Nail: The Nail here being the presence of not just Zarc, but Ray being in Standard.
    • Zarc's presence in Standard makes it easier for the others to accept that there are people with the same face as Yuya, meaning Yuto and Yuya are not as easily mistaken for one another. Zarc's use of Pendulum Cards and training with Yuya also gives LDS more data on Pendulum Cards, allowing the production of their own much faster. Conversely, it also lets Yuya find out more of the limitations and benefits behind Pendulum Summoning, and incorporate other summoning methods into his deck much earlier.
      • Zarc's SKSD cards combined with the appearance of Yuto clues LDS into the existence of both Synchro and Fusion counterparts to Yuya much earlier, thanks to Yuya and Yuto possessing doppelgangers to two of Zarc's SKSD cards.
      • Zarc's training with Yuya in trying to understand the complexities of Pendulum Summoning in turn made Yuzu afraid she Can't Catch Up, causing her to begin training earlier than in canon and add Ritual Summoning to her repertoire.
    • Ray is adopted into the Akaba family years prior, with Himika eventually coming to legitimately care for her and Reiji and Reira bonding with her. Ray also ingratiates herself among the LDS students, becoming a Cool Big Sis to many of them, namely the LDS trio, Masumi in particular.
      • The Akabas are much more functional as a family, especially Reira who is nowhere close to an Empty Shell, is a lot more talkative and even has hobbies.
      • Ray's status as The Ace of LDS has in turn inspired others to up their game in an attempt to beat her, such as Yaiba, a Synchro Course student, learning Xyz Summoning in secret.
    • Losing to both Yuya and Zarc damaged Sawatari's pride enough that he actually took training seriously. Despite this, he was still woefully unprepared against Yuto, keying Yuto into the fact LDS and Academia are not the same. After doing his own digging, he then relays to Shun, and convinces him not to try and take Reiji hostage like in canon.
    • Sawatari doesn't readily accuse Yuya of Yuto's actions and doesn't fake his injuries, requiring Himika to use different tactics in regards to You Show. Her motives have also changed. Rather than just trying to get Yuya, the School Duel is designed to test if Zarc and Yuya are actually ready for when Fusion invades.
    • The School Duel plays out a bit differently.
      • Sora decides to actually partake in the School Duel this time, challenging Masumi and forcing a DRAW after he finishes probing her and her Fusion Summoning. This in turn causes Yaiba to face Yuzu, meaning Gongenzaka doesn't join the School Duel.
      • While Yuzu still loses during the School Duel with LDS, due to losing to Yaiba instead, a Blood Knight who respects his opponents openly, she doesn't fall into a Heroic BSoD, but rather resolves to keep training and gains respect for the LDS trio as duelists.
      • With the score between the schools being 1 Win, 1 Lose, and a DRAW, the tiebreaker round goes off with Reiji and Yuya like in canon. This time however, its a Tag Duel, with Zarc joining Yuya and Ray joining Reiji. This in turn introduces Ray to the You Show students, making them aware that Yuzu has doppelgangers as well.
    • After the Tag Duel with Yuya and Zarc, Reiji discovers the location of Shun and Yuto and confronts them, accepting a duel from Shun in order to prove he can be trusted while asking for their help in preparing Standard for the coming war. Due to Yuto's investigation, and the results of the duel, Shun accepts.
      • Shun using Fusion Summoning catches the attention of Academia, as while the energy emitted by the summoning is lower than theirs, it's higher than what anybody in Standard should be capable of. As a result, Leo sends Berrett to investigate, with Serena sneaking along for the ride. It also leads to her encountering Yuzu slightly earlier in canon.
  • Freak Out: Sora suffers one when Zarc summons his Supreme King Servant Dragon counterpart of Starving Venom Fusion Dragon. It brings up some very bad memories, one that still serve as a source of trauma to him. Take a guess as to why that is?
  • Good Counterpart: The Four Dimensional Dragons are this to their darker, more malevolent SKSD counterparts. Special mentions go to Entermate King Odd-Eyes Dragon, which is stated to be the good counterpart to Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon.
  • Hate at First Sight: Zarc's SKSD monsters act very hostile upon meeting certain monsters, namely their Dimension Dragon counterparts, and Ray's En Magicians. Considering what the SKSD monsters represent however, and the implication that Ray and Zarc were once friends before he became the Supreme King though, it makes sense.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Due to his amnesia, Zarc doesn't remember anything about his time as the Demon Duelist, or the events that led to him becoming Supreme King Z-ARC in the first place. Thanks to Yuya's influence, he's being drawn into his more positive aspects, and possibly what he would have become had he not adhered to the crowd's want for violent duels.
  • Heroic BSoD: Zarc suffers this when he realizes he almost severely injured Sawatari and Kakimoto during their Tag Duel.
  • Hidden Depths: Part of Zarc's characterization in the story is his own internal struggle. A few times, he shows excitement at the prospect of dealing severe damage to his opponent during a duel, but it horrifies him greatly. When he sees Yuya's Entertainment Dueling, which was the duel style Zarc himself wanted to do before the crowd demanded more vicious duels, he is enthralled and wants to perform that kind of dueling.
  • Hurting Hero: An unusual example. Zarc struggles with the fact that a part of him yearns for violent acts in duels, and tries his best to ignore it.
  • Identity Amnesia:
    • Zarc remembers nothing about his past, including his tenure as the Demon Duelist. He does have vague dreams about it, however, particularly the moment when Ray Akaba defeated and separated him.
    • Ray Akaba also suffers from amnesia, though she knows for a fact that she and Zarc have met before.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The Yu boys all share identical features, save for their hairstyles, hair and eye color. Zarc also looks like Yuya, but since he's a little older than he is, it's easier for them to tell them apart. Of course, this is a given since the Yu boys are Zarc's reincarnations. The same also goes for the Bracelet Girls, who all look identical save for the same differences as their male counterparts.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In Scale 6, when Yuzu challenges Himika Akaba by saying that Hokuto was attempting to kill Yuya, Himika points out that all Duelists, when they begin playing Duel Monsters, read a manual that includes not only the rules, but also the possible risks and hazards if they engage in Action Duels. Therefore, in spite of Yuzu's protests, everyone who Duels is perfectly aware of the risks and danger involved in Action Duels, and that they have accepted those risks.
  • Mysterious Stranger: Scale 16 introduces one at the very end, who witnesses the end of Zarc's duel with Yami Marik, who then reports to someone on the phone that he's found the "Avatar of the Supreme King Dragon".
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In Scale 01, when they learn that Zarc has a deck and he remembers that he's a Duelist, Yuya suggests that they have a duel to get his memories back. In the dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, when Yusei meets Luna and Leo for the first time, he's suffering from amnesia as a result of smashing into the concrete during his harrowing escape from Trudge, and Leo suggests they have a duel so he can restore his memories.
    • In Scale 09, when Ray unveils her En archetype, Zarc asks Yuya if he's heard of it before. Yuya doesn't know anything about it, believes that it wasn't released to the public because of its effects, even outright mentioning the Toon archetype used by Duel Monsters creator Pegasus.
    • Scale 10 has Reiji bring up the Rare Hunters from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series, even specifically mentioning an incident where a Rare Hunter dueled using the Exodia archetype and made illegal copies, as well as mark his cards so he would know what card he was drawing. In the Battle City arc, Joey was defeated by one such Rare Hunter, and was later exposed and defeated by Yugi in the following episode.
    • Scale 12 has a brief mention to Yuma.
    • Scale 14 is full of them. Joey is dueling a member of the Rare Hunters (who were mentioned in an earlier Scale), and in the duel the reference practically half of the original Yu-Gi-Oh!, from Bandit Keith to Duelist Kingdom to Kaiba.
    • Both parts of Scale 16 have both Joey and Marik make several references to the original Yu-Gi-Oh!; in fact, Marik speaks as if he was there for it. Which he was. More specifically, Yami Marik was.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Zarc brings out Supreme King Servant Dragon Starving Venom, Sora promptly freaks the fuck out and is reminded of his Duel with Yuri, in which the man utterly destroyed him.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: The Dimensional Dragons and their SKSD counterparts, if Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and SKSD Odd-Eyes are of any indication, do not like each other. At all. This is most likely because of what the SKSD dragons represent, being "shadows" of Supreme King Z-ARC.
  • Playing with Fire: Raid Raptors - Ra Armatus, Shun's Fusion monster, as befitting its name, has fire spewing from its body and attacks using a miniature sun.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Yuto rightfully points out that, eventually, Xyz Summoning will be countered by the Fusion Dimension so they should learn other Summoning Methods in order to gain the advantage. While initially hesitant, Shun decides to learn Fusion Summoning in spite of his hatred towards it.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Reiji Akaba, arguably one of the best duelists in Arc-V period, thinks Zarc is the strongest duelist. He does have a point, given that Zarc's Supreme King Deck, including his Four Heavenly Dragon counterpart cards, have some pretty overpowered effects. However, Reiji also points out that the only reason why Zarc hasn't reached his full potential is because of him using Entertainment Dueling limits his capabilities.
  • Reality Ensues: Much like the canon series, this fic shows a fair share of situations with realistic conclusions.
    • Excluding Zarc, Yuzu, and Sora, one being an amnesiac with no money or identity to his name, another being the daughter of the school Principal, and the last basically being a freeloader, it's a wonder how You Show hasn't shut down already by the time LDS arrives. As Himika points out, there's no way that You Show can continue as it is with only four students paying to attend classes, and uses it as part of her advantage in her Xanatos Gambit.
    • As stated in Scale 14, just because dueling has become a professional dueling career does not mean you can't ignore the more mundane aspects of life, such as studying in school and graduating, moving on to college, etc. Finishing one's education is also required if someone wants to become an official dueling teacher.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • The Red-Eyes archetype, which is full of dragons. The iconic "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" is regarded as a legendary monster in the game, and its primary user Joey was one of the finalists in Duelist Kingdom.
    • Zarc's eyes when in Berserk Mode turn red.
  • Secret Other Family: Brought up a few times when people are wondering why there are so many Identical Strangers around. Yuya and Shuzo explicitly mention the possibility of his father and his wife respectively cheating, and how they do NOT want to think about it. Of course, that's not actually the case.
    • In Akaba Ray's case, she does come from a different family that Himika had no clue about, but considering that they all "died" after the Cosmic Retcon, it makes it less a matter of cheating and more of a "widower getting remarried".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Single Tear: Both Odd-Eyes and Dark Rebellion shed these when seeing Zarc. While Zarc, Yuya and Yuto don't know why, it's because they're seeing their master again after so long.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted this time around. Yuzu quickly gets over Yuto looking like Yuya for a few factors, chief among them being Zarc, who is technically the original. In Zarc's case, however, he's stated to look slightly older than Yuya. This is also the case for Ray, who looks older than Yuzu, but is stated to have the same face as her Standard Dimension counterpart.
  • Synchronization:
    • The Dragon Boys are all capable of this, which have two variants:
      • The first variant, "synchronization," is usually triggered by Clear Wing Synchro Dragon when any of the four boys are somewhere nearby or in the same dimension.
      • The second variant, "Awakening," occurs whenever Zarc rears his ugly head and attempts to forcibly take control of Yuya or any of the Dragon Boys when they're in close proximity with each other. Whether or not this still is still possible as Zarc is whole remains unknown.
    • Curiously, the Bracelet Girls also seem capable of this, as Rin unknowingly syncs with Yuzu during the Tag Duel against Serena and Barrett. Word of God implies this has to do with Ray. Yuzu experienced something similar to this during the Tag Duel between Yuya and Zarc against the elder Akaba siblings, feeling as though she was standing in Ray's place for a short period of time.
    • Zarc is revealed to have his own variant, which resembles Berserk Mode. Resonance Mode has him in his Demon Duelist persona and calls out to his fragments, taking their abilities for himself. And if what the author says is true, he can also try to merge back into Supreme King Z-ARC by force this way, although Word of God states this is less effective than Yuya synchronizing with his counterparts and being in an Awakened state.
  • Tranquil Fury: How Zarc's Berserk Mode manifests. He intends to utterly destroy his opponent and makes this intention perfectly clear, but he's completely calm and calculated through it all.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Himika's plans regarding You Show run along this, as her intent is to actually make sure Zarc and Yuya are prepared for when Academia arrives in Standard. If You Show wins, then she confirms Yuya and Zarc are skilled enough to train on their own, and gives the school additional funding to make sure it stays that way. If LDS wins, Yuya and Zarc have to join LDS, where she, Reiji, and Ray can oversee their training personally. Regardless, the two will be ready for Academia in the end.
  • Wham Episode: Scale 16, which is split into two parts.
    • Part 1: Not only do the Egyptian God Cards exist in Arc-V, but the leader of the Rare Hunters is none other than Yami Marik, who is possessing the Standard native Marik Ishtar. When Yami Marik summons The Winged Dragon of Ra, almost nobody from You Show recognizes it. The only one who does is Zarc, who is still suffering from amnesia at this point.
    • Part 2: When Ray and Reiji arrive, the former recognizes the Winged Dragon of Ra while her brother does not, implying that the Egyptian God Cards are known only in the Original Dimension. When Marik attempts to land a finishing blow with his Immortal Phoenix, he causes Zarc to snap back into his Demon Duelist persona and promptly gets his ass handed to him.
  • Wham Line:
    • Scale 2 features the debut of a character that wasn't introduced until near the end of the anime, as well as being allies with Reiji.
      Reiji: Who exactly are you...Ray Akaba?
    • Chapter 13 has Shuzo introduce a new student to Zarc and Yuzu following their ordeal with Berrett and Serena. The identity of the new student guaranteed to leave readers jaw-dropped by introduction alone:
      Joey: The name's Katsuya Jonouchi, but my friends back home call me 'Joey.' Nice ta meet ya! Hope I'll be able to keep up with ya!
  • Wham Shot: The end of Scale 15 reveals the identity of the Rare Hunters: Marik Ishtar. He's shown to be carrying one of the Egyptian God Cards: the Winged Dragon of Ra.
  • Willfully Weak: Zarc. His deck is virtually unchanged from the anime, with the same overpowered cards - minus Astrograph Magician and Zarc himself - but he's nowhere close to as overwhelming as a duelist because he tries to emulate Yuya's entertainment style as much as possible. This is lampshaded by multiple characters.
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Sora is described as such multiple times, by many characters. There's also some Bitch thrown in.
  • Worthy Opponent: As usual, Yaiba shows great respect to people who prove to be a challenge. When Yuzu unveils her Ritual Summoning, he takes her seriously and responds by showing off a surprise of his own: Xyz Summoning his new ace, XXX-Saber Hannibal.

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