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     The Game in General 

  • The Allies of Justice seem to exclusively target LIGHT monsters and facedown monsters. This becomes logical when you realize that, in-universe, they battle the Worms, which are (mostly) LIGHT Flip Effect monsters.
  • There is a Yu-Gi-Oh! card called Fire Kraken, which is a paradoxically fire-elemental squid/octopus thing. It's a pun on "firecracker."
  • The Meklords are meant to just dominate Synchros; taking them and using them themselves. Unlike in the anime, there is nothing stopping players from using Synchros after Xyzs are released. The Meklords are meant to discourage Synchros in favor of Xyzs, which came out about a month after the Meklords were released.
  • If it seems odd that dueling using cards to solve disputes is commonplace, consider the reasons dueling using swords or pistols was once considered acceptable - it avoided others getting involved in the dispute and the argument turning into a bloodbath. The first duel between Yuma and Anna in Zexal can be considered an example. While Kotori called it ridiculous, it at least convinced her to put down the real weapon she was using to wreck the city.
  • Many Egyptian deities are part human, part animal, with the convention being animal heads and human bodies. With that in mind, take another look at Kaibaman's design.
  • So far, the DS World championship have had annual releases from 2007-2011. however, as of 5th of august, there's been no news of a 2012 game. then, it hit me: they're saving it for next year, to include all the 2012 cards
  • Why does the card Ragnarok require two Spellcasters to activate? Because in Norse mythology, Loki, a magic user, was the one to cause Ragnarok!
  • Part of the reason for the name of "Xyz" monsters is that the game mechanics for them involve stacking multiple cards on top of one another, thus adding a Z axis to the existing X and Y axes of the playing field. It may also be a reference to the previously-existing fusion monster, "XYZ Dragon Cannon", which depicted its component monsters (you guessed it) stacked on top of one another. By extension, this also explains people not reacting to special, one-of-a-kind cards. We, the audience, know that Stardust Dragon has magical properties stemming from being a piece of an ancient god, but his opponents, unless they know as well, just assume it's a rare Synchro Monster they've never seen before. As long as the Duel Disk accepts it's a legitimate card, they just roll with it. (Same with the Zexal Weapons; as far as the audience to the WDC finals knew, they were just a lucky topdeck, and not literally made on the spot.)
  • From the Card Game, why is the leader of Shaddolls, a bunch of monsters created with the shadows of other monsters LIGHT? Because shadows require light to be cast and grow the closer they are to the light source. Nephilim's light is what allows Shadolls to exist!
  • In some of the video games you can have Shadow Games with evil Duelists, where losing kills you. If you win, though, they run off scot-free. Since your opponent called the Shadow Game, losing wouldn't harm them, while winning caused you to take the penalty.
  • Many of the later Cyber Dragon cards have Gratuitous German in their card names (e.g. Zwei, Drei, Nachster, and so on). Their user in the anime, Ryo Marufuji, was nicknamed "Kaiser". Now, which country was ruled by a Kaiser again?

     Yu-Gi-Oh! The Anime and Manga 
  • In the manga, Yami gives Kaiba one of the least harsh Penalty Games in the manga after Kaiba nearly got Yugi and all his friends killed through Death-T. Makes sense as part of the reason Death-T even existed was to get revenge on Yami for the harsher first Penalty Game.
  • The manga has a bit of a Reread Bonus going on. In the final arc, it is established that everything that has happened so far is the result of the Ancient Egyptians sealing the ka of criminals into stone slabs, turning them into monsters. Well, since this is part of the cosmology of the series, this means that the darkness in human hearts is still turning into monsters, even in the present day. This explains a lot of previously unexplained things in the series, such as Kaiba's behavior in Death-T (and why the Mind Crush was able to cure his Ax Craziness), the very existence of Dark Marik, and even the over-the-top behavior of some of the Bullies of the Week from the very beginning of the series. note  All this time, the darkness in their hearts has been turning their ka into monsters.
  • The shadow games that occurred in the early manga series always ended with Yugi's opponent doing something needlessly villainous to try and win, which would only work against them. It seemed farfetched at first that every guy Yugi Dueled would be so inclined to cheat when they could easily win on fair terms, but then the Millennium World arc revealed that the Pharaoh's soul wasn't the only spirit inside the Millennium Puzzle. Zork Necrophades, the embodiment of cruelty and destruction was also sealed in the puzzle. Every shadow game has been a recreation of their original feud.
  • In the manga Akhenaden called himself Zork, the other soul sealed inside the Millennium Puzzle, the one who made a deal with the powers of darkness (he gave no name to them) and a god which indicates that the spirit in the Millennium Ring isn't the Thief King but Akhenaden himself possessing it as an insult to the person whose family he destroyed years ago. The possession of Bakura (the Thief King's reincarnation) is a further attempt to torment the Thief King. Also consider that Akhenaden created the Millennium Items which might explain exactly when he made a deal with the darkness in the real past rather than the past of the World of Memory (it was when he got the Millennium Eye).


  • Each of the cast's favorite or signature cards end ups being a neat way to prove that a card can judge a person's character, and their dueling styles:
    • Yugi's favorite card is Dark Magician, a powerful wizard that uses dark magic and relies on support cards. Yugi/Yami has access to shadow powers such as Penalty Game and Mind Crush, and relies on the support of his friends to make it through the impossible. Magicians are also masters of sleight of hand and deception, highlighting how Yugi/Yami's preference for complex tactics to bypass difficult obstacles and opponent's strengths. The fact that it is also a DARK attribute monster also only signifies that while Dark Magician and Yami are not evil, he is capable of immense ruthlessness if he feels it's merited.
    • Kaiba's favorite card is Blue-Eyes White Dragon, a creature with raw destructive power. Kaiba cares being the best above all else, and wishes absolute victory over others. His focus on powerful monsters can also be read as his means of opposing the skeletons and darker aspects of his past; by being so overwhelmingly powerful that he can ensure that he will never be subjected to the same horrors again.
    • Joey's favorite cards are Flame Swordsman, a fire-based warrior, and Red-Eyes Black Dragon. The former is representative of Joey's fiery nature and courage, even in spite of being less skilled and powerful as Yugi or Kaiba. The latter Red-Eyes is considered a rare monster with immense potential (according to the Toei Movie) with the right support cards, but is also much weaker than Blue-Eyes. Likewise, Joey is often disregarded by many, but shows his potential as a high ranking duelist and prefers to use cards that help weaker monsters overcome their deficiencies against naturally stronger ones. His proclivity for gambling cards also highlights his erratic luck and propensity to rely on it against opponents where his card's strength isn't enough.
    • Tea's favored card was the Magician of Faith, and to a lesser extent the Dark Magician Girl in the Virtual World Arc. She was initially one of the more competent duelists out of Yugi's friends (with the exception of Yugi himself), before Joey surpassed her, the threats began to outclass her, and she was relegated to the sidelines. Magician of Faith ties to how much she holds faith in her friends to succeed, even when things are at their darkest. Likewise, her focus on magician themed monsters and use of Dark Magician Girl ties her to Yugi's character, as well as her budding attraction to both Yugi and the Pharaoh.
    • Tristan's favored card is the Cyber Commander, a monster that ties into Tristan being somewhat capable of commanding others, such as Tristan's attempts to help Serenity during the Virtual World Arc, but is otherwise too weak to be of any value except as fodder or support for something else, such as Tristan usually being relegated to cheerleader alongside Tea, as well as his defeat helping to bolster the rest of his team to victory in the Virtual World Arc against Robotic Knight.
    • Pegasus' favored cards were Toon Monsters, with Relinquished/Thousand-Eyes Restrict being his signature card for Duelist Kingdom. The former are known for being bizarre parodies of their original characters, with unique effects and odd restrictions fitting the eccentric nature of the creator of Duel Monsters. Relinquished/Thousand-Eyes Restrict, on the other hand, is the true nature of Pegasus for the first arc, showing the deep rot and anguish underneath his mask of joviality and his actions being heavily influenced by the Millenium Eye, and it's a monster dedicated to absorbing the power of others to compensate for its own weakness, much like Pegasus being a mediocre duelist who has to rely on the power of the Shadow Games to get what he wants.
    • Mai's signature card is the Harpy Lady, a monster that relies heavily on support cards and other monsters to be effective, much like Mai needing to be more willing to accept friendship in order to be better as a person and duelist. Additionally, in legends and symbolism, harpies are considered symbols of obsession, lust and evil. Fittingly, Mai's most common vices in her arcs tend to be related to her obsession to achieve victory at any cost, especially with her cheating in early episodes and her turn to the Orichalcos in the Waking the Dragons Arc, as well as her complicated relationship with Joey Wheeler.

  • Aside from the Egyptian Gods the series also contains a monster resembling the most common representation of Tiamat, (a Babylonian deity), Five God Dragon. With that knowledge, one would know that there are cards based on deities from other religions in Duel Monsters. Hence why everyone specifies that the god cards they own are in fact Egyptian. The later series run with this; all of the Spirit monsters are based off of the deities of the Shinto religion (Japanese God Cards), and later, there are the Aesir, based off of Odin, Loki, & Thor (Norse God Cards) and the Crimson Dragon aka Quetzalcoatl.

  • Why does Blue-Eyes White Dragon, who is supposed to be as strong as the Egyptian gods, have only 3000 ATK, much weaker than Obelisk? Remember, Pegasus made the card basing on ancient texts. Who made the ancient text about Blue-Eyes? Priest Seto. Due to his respect to the Pharaoh Atem, who made a heroic sacrifice to save the world, Seto made a description considering Blue-Eyes (his power) as weaker than the three gods (the Pharaoh's power). That brings another fridge brilliance: Pegasus estimated the number of all cards' Attack and Defense Points according to the ancient text, but those texts are just opinions of who wrote them. So, the card's values are actually opinions (ancient writer's) plus opinions (Pegasus's). That explains the power difference between the card game's monsters and Pharaoh's memory arc monsters. Taken a step further, this neatly explains the existence of the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon, which Pegasus claims to be 'as powerful as the God cards': Some time after creating the first Blue-Eyes cards, Pegasus discovered new evidence that the original White Dragon's power had been greatly downplayed compared to the Gods, and thus Pegasus created the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon as a way of representing the possible 'True' power of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon.

  • Yami always set his Shadow Games up as tests of character. Yami just kept handing his opponents the Villain Ball, using the power of the shadows to do so, and it worked. Every single time. While the shadows do have a mind of their own, the person initiating the game clearly has a lot of leeway. But it's obvious that only people who don't have power over the shadows themselves can't cheat in a shadow game, as Yami Bakura, Yami Marik, and Pegasus all manage to victimize people unfairly using the shadows. Every game Yami set up was fair to those who had no power over shadows. Only Shadi had similar scruples when doing Shadow Games, and it showed when he tested Yami. He was rather vindictive with his penalty games, and that probably was Zorc's influence, but no one can deny his victims didn't deserve it. That said, he screwed up big time when he finally penalty gamed someone who could actually retaliate afterwards (Seto Kaiba). He learned the hard way that sometimes people snap when under psychological torment, and when someone with power snaps, it's NOT pretty. He had to win again and Mind Crush Kaiba to undo the damage he did before.

  • After all the crazy, life-threatening stuff that everybody gets into in the anime-exclusive arcs it's not surprising Ryou Bakura stays out of them. His danger-avoiding instincts were good already, since he suggested Yugi to not challenge Kaiba in Duelist Kingdom, that Tea and Tristan get Yugi or Joey's help in their nighttime adventure, and urged them to run from Pegasus's cultists before they were spotted.

  • While Kaiba's complete denial of magic in the dub is annoying, it actually makes sense. Kaiba is a Control Freak. Of course he's going to pretend that a powerful force he has absolutely no control over doesn't exist.

  • Seto loves his Blue-Eyes White Dragons. Makes sense he'd model his own appearance after them with a draconic-looking white coat.

  • In the second anime series, the Egyptian God Cards are so powerful, it takes another card of similar strength (most likely another Egyptian God) or a strategy capable of exploiting their weaknesses to overcome them. By GX, Jaden with his Season 2 deck was able to defeat Ra, the most powerful of the Egyptian Gods. By 5D's, Zushin the Sleeping Giant, a being claimed to be on par with the Egyptian Gods, is also an extremely common card (albeit one that has a ridiculously hard summon requirement). It may seem weird the strongest cards in Duel Monsters are quickly losing relevance to the game, but it makes sense. After knowing the dangers of the Egyptian Gods, Pegasus and possibly Kaiba would naturally encourage the selling of progressively stronger cards in the game so other Duelists can defend themselves just in case another super-card is used to hurt them. This becomes Lampshaded in the Gaiden Manga Yu-Gi-Oh! R Where the Wicked God cards were deliberately created as a countermeasure against the Egyptian Gods, albeit with specific effects for each ones effects tailored to counteract each individual god's effects.

  • You'll get a lot of this, about the series' concepts in general, if you do a little bit of study on ancient Egypt. For example, the ancient Egyptian concept of duality; that nothing can exist without its equal but opposite double. Also makes sense for the finale- naturally the only way for the Pharaoh to defeat Bakura and the creature of darkness he summoned was for him and Yugi to work together to summon Horakty, a deity of light. Once Zorc was destroyed, The Pharaoh had to pass on because his opposite (Bakura) was no longer around.

  • The new Field Spell rules, which allow both players to control a Field Spell Card at a time rather than only one, have a basis in the original anime - specifically, it makes it closer to the Duelist Kingdom field rules, where multiple types of field could be on the board at once. But instead of applying the field's effects per card zone, it just applies both field effects across the whole field (because, as Konami became well aware, rules that result in the positioning of monsters mattering don't work very well since most people don't actually keep track of that).

  • Why is Rex Raptor so frequently lumped together with Weevil as being a malicious wannabe bad guy despite his manga counterpart being nowhere near as bad? Even his earlier showings portray him as being at worst a bit of a jerk, but otherwise a regular guy. The answer is that it's precisely because of his affiliation with Weevil Underwood. The only times he ever does anything remotely malicious or cruel is only whenever he's around or influenced by Weevil, and his better (or at least more justified moments) are when he's far away from the guy. Weevil is a toxic friend, and seems to bring out the worst in him.
    • In that regard, Weevil and Rex can be considered the counterpart to the themes of friendship that is so prevalent in the series, showing what happens when you are influenced by friends who are not good for you, who can bring out your darker qualities even if you're otherwise a relatively upstanding person.
    • And why would Rex hang out with Weevil even in spite of just how much the latter brings out the worst in him? Because Rex is stuck in the past like Weevil. Both of them are fixated on their glory days as champion-level duelists, and their inability to let go of past grudges (Weevil) and past failures (Rex) has resulted in them not only stagnating, but falling into bad habits and behaviors that only ensure that they'll remain there up to the end of the series.
First Episodes + Duelist Kingdom Arc
  • The early transitions between Yugi and Atem involved an elaborate light show and the Puzzle itself crying out "YU-GI-OHHHHHHHHHHHH!" This got greatly toned down in later seasons because the two got closer and learned to work together more seamlessly, which made the transition smoother.

  • The first Duel Yugi has in the second anime is iconic for Yugi Summoning Exodia while Dark Magician is unceremoniously destroyed without much thought, which seems weird since Dark Magician is shown to have a much bigger connection with Yugi and Yami Yugi later on. Then you realize that Yugi, at that point, wasn't playing with his own Deck; he was playing with his Grandpa's Deck. It would make sense why Exodia took center stage; Grandpa Muto's Egyptian counterpart's spirit monster was Exodia, not Dark Magician. The Deck that Yugi took to Duelist Kingdom and onwards was primarily formed from the cards of his Grandfather's Deck he was given in the first episode, but Yugi was already a Duelist before that, so what cards did he have in his own Deck? The childish cards and Silent Swordsman/Magician we first see him use after he is separated from his alter ego and Dueling for himself in the Shadow RPG.
  • Why are so many of the rules and actions taken in the Duelist Kingdom arc so utterly bizarre and nonsensical? Even factoring in Early-Installment Weirdness, even later series have had ancient duels that didn't follow the odd rules at play. The reason is that Pegasus was the one running the tournament, and of the people there, he was the only one aware of Duel Monsters' origin. As he was directly mimicking them, the elements of the game interacted in ways they would in the Shadow Games, where the monsters and spells and such were physical objects and creatures, as opposed to abstract implementations of the rules. That, and given Pegasus' motivation for holding such Shadow Games, he also might have deliberately fudged the rules to give himself as much of an advantage as possible, given he was otherwise a mediocre duelist at the time. This is also why Yugi (or more importantly, Yami) has the edge in these Duels; he fought in the original Shadow Games and just treats Duel Monsters as a slightly more organized version of them.
    • With that in consideration, Kaiba's decision to alter the rules can be seen as a parallel to Pegasus', basically shifting the rules into something that would give him an advantage over Yugi, albeit one that ironically might have resulted in the rules of Duel Monsters to be much closer to how they originally were. It's fitting that, given how much of a Control Freak Kaiba can be, that his desire to win would result in the game that Pegasus made to be forcefully fitted into a set of rules that better fits his personal goals.

  • Contrary to popular belief, Weevil actually had two very good reasons for throwing the Exodia pieces away instead of using them himself in Duelist Kingdom. First, they may be powerful, but the steep requirement of needing all of them in your hand for Exodia's effect made them a poor fit for Weevil's Deck, which lacked a draw engine that would be able to use them with any reliability. Second, having them on his person would only put him at greater risk of being disqualified or even arrested, since there would be conclusive proof that he stole them.

  • During Duelist Kingdom each opponent with Decks with 1 or more DARK cards gave off impressive strategies that failed due to overspecializing in a specific way. If Yugi had fought someone who combined the strategies of every Deck with a DARK card in Duelist Kingdom (Black Skull Dragon, Dark Sage, Castle of Dark Illusions, Reaper of the Cards, Call of the Haunted, Labyrinth Wall/Wall Shadow combo and Crush Card/Sagi the Dark Clown combo) he would have lost badly! That was the reason he had so much trouble against Kaiba during their second Duel. Not only was Kaiba not screwing around, but he knew that his strategies were supplements of one another, not something he should rely on. Crush Card Virus was used to cripple Yugi's offensive capabilities, and Kaiba already had the means to power through his defenses. It was only due to creativity and the Heart of the Cards that he managed to turn things around, and even then he had to surrender so as not to kill Kaiba by accident.
  • Before Duelist Kingdom, Yugi gave Joey his Time Wizard card. Why did Yugi have Time Wizard in the first place? So he could upgrade his Dark Magician into Dark Sage.

  • It makes sense that Yami underestimated Mai in their Duelist Kingdom Duel. Besides his feeling under pressure from Pegasus, Mai used to be a cheater and Yami has a very strong dislike for liars and cheats.

  • The original season has the interesting Duel where Yugi has to beat Pegasus, the guy who made the game, is equipped with a personalized Game-Breaker Deck and and a mind-reading eye. But there's a Fan Fic out there that raises an interesting point, and a comparison to the Real Life game: just because Pegasus made the game, it doesn't mean he's the best at it. Yugi has a combination of strategy, good cards and mystical backup, and Kaiba obsesses over getting the tactical advantage, but Pegasus is an artist, not a Duelist, and all his unfair advantages only make the playing field level against them.

  • Word of God states that the Millennium Eye's spirit influenced Pegasus to create Duel Monsters. Consider the fact that in the manga Akhenaden's Spirit outright calls himself Zork. It's obvious that like with the Millennium Ring (once used by the Thief King who once sought revenge against Akhenaden and would thus be tied to him) he sealed a piece of his soul into the Millennium Eye becoming its spirit.
  • In the movie, Pegasus insisting on using the old-fashioned Dueling Arena instead of the Duel Disks makes a lot of sense when you remember that the reason Kaiba invented them in the first place was to use against him; it would likely have soured his opinion of them.

  • There was one thing that didn't make sense to this Troper about Pegasus's Deck. Namely, how it played first with Toons but when those were out of the picture, his star cards were actually Relinquished and Thousand-Eyes Restrict. But then, thanks to some new support for Pegasus's monsters, it finally became clear how these two symbolize the creator of the card game! First off, Relinquished is a monster that steals the monsters of his opponents and uses them as a shield. This is how Pegasus tried to get his way, taking people's loved ones and using them as bait. It's name could also even be read as "unleashed", and he's responsible for "unleashing" the threat of Duel Monsters on the world by making the game as seen in later series! Next, we have Thousand-Eyes Restrict. Its effect is the same as Relinquished, but with the bonus that no monsters can change their battle positions or attack. This is befitting to Pegasus's way of dueling, making it so his opponents can't fight back. And even better, what is another way to read "Thousand-Eyes Restrict"? Millennium-Eyes Restrict! Pegasus's strategy always involves using his opponent's monsters - Dragon Piper, Illusionist Faceless Mage, Doppelganger, and Relinquished. He likes to rub it in that he is their creator and their master. Also, thanks to his mind reading, he knows how his opponent likes to use their cards, and can then use them against them.
    • It can also be seen as a representation of how Pegasus has fallen hard since the death of his beloved Cynthia. The Toon monsters can be seen as a representation of his joy for creating, given his history as a painter, and that he was willing to develop the entirety of Duel Monsters (Shadow Games and ulterior motives aside). In that sense, Relinquished and Thousand-Eyes Restrict are the true Pegasus until he was finally defeated; embittered, twisted and completely warped by the death of someone he loved, with his cheerful and jovial demeanor a mask to hide the rot underneath. It's telling that in most of his appearances afterwards, his deck goes back to focusing primarily on Toon Monsters, signifying that he's finally moved on from Cynthia's death and can properly embrace his love of creation once again.

Battle City Arc + Virtual World Arc

  • Bakura using Dark Necrofear takes on a whole new significance once you know his backstory. It's a mother whose child turns into a monstrous, powerful possessing spirit (he even describes it as a "spirit of vengeance") when she's destroyed. Does This Remind You of Anything? Heck, how he describes his Battle City Occult Deck has significance considering his backstory. "As more monsters go into the Graveyard, my Deck grows stronger!" The Kul Ena Massacre had killed everyone except Bakura, which resulted in him getting a monstrously powerful Ka which can in turn eat other Kas to become even MORE powerful! In short, he has grown monstrously strong from the deaths of others.

  • Dark Bakura is shown to have Goblin Zombie, which seems a bit out of place considering his Deck is reliant on Fiends and Goblin Zombie is only effective in a Zombie Deck. Remember though that the last Duelist he beat was Ghost Kozuka, who specializes in Zombie cards. Goblin Zombie was obviously the ante card in that Duel.

  • Why did Kaiba have Masked Beast Des Gardius during the preliminary match? He probably took it from Lumis as the ante card. And since he was the one who organized the tournament, Kaiba certainly understood how the 4-way match was designed and more than likely claimed Masked Beast Des Gardius specifically for that duel. It's a 3300 ATK monster, which pretty much guarantees that he will be the first to go, and since Kaiba doesn't have Grand Tiki Elder or Melchid the Four-Faced Beast, removing it from his deck for the sake of the duel doesn't negatively affect him in the slightest since he was never able to summon it anyway.
  • The Millennium Puzzle's soul-swapping power in the anime is used once and never again, leading many to wonder why - Yugi could have swapped Ryou and Bakura's souls right off. But when you think about the circumstances of the Duel, it was the only time both Bakuras were in separate places and had physical containers. It was only used there because it was the only way it could work; if he'd tried to swap Ryou and Bakura's souls any other time, either the Ring would have prevented it with its soul-sticking power or Bakura/Ryou would have had nowhere to switch places.

  • Why Atem, or Yami Yugi uses Slifer the Sky Dragon, or Saint Dragon - The God of Osiris as it is known in Japan? Well, Atem was a pharaoh who died after sealing Zorc the Dark One and his soul in the Millennium Puzzle. In Ancient Egyptian mythology, dead pharaohs are associated with Osiris, whereas in the living pharaohs are associated with Horus. So it is appropriate that he would be using the Egyptian God Card which is associated with Osiris.
  • While this troper has always thought that Dub!Marik Ishtar's goal of becoming the Pharaoh and taking over the world seemed ridiculous and over the top, in hindsight it does sort of make sense. At the beginning of season two, he believes that the Pharaoh is unworthy of the powers and title he has, and thinks that he would be much more worthy of those powers than Atem himself. Seeing as how, to him at least, the Pharaoh enslaved multiple generations of his family, forced them to live lives that were filled with despair and eventually drove them insane, and murdered his father just because he was a curious child, this assumption isn't entirely illogical. While defeating the Pharaoh and sending him to the Shadow Realm sounds better than outright killing him, consider this; the Pharaoh is already dead and the Shadow Realm is more or less a slightly watered down version of hell that tortures you and drives you insane until you eventually fade away into nothing. It's more or less implied that because the Pharaoh is immortal, he would have spent all of eternity being tortured and surrounded in despair; he also would have never found out who he really was or been able to reunite with his loved ones. After suffering so much because of being a tomb keeper for the Pharaoh, it would only make sense that Marik would want him to suffer as he did in the past. Also (despite the fact that most of his suffering was largely self-created) he's had a pretty craptacular life; it's fairly reasonable that he would resent the world and wouldn't have any qualms about taking over something that he considered horrible and unjust. Marik wanting the Pharaoh's powers also makes sense given what said powers are. Between adaptations and the original manga, the Pharaoh has been able to rearrange souls, resurrect the dead, drive people insane, see into people's souls, read minds; the list goes on and on. While at a basic level, having the Pharaoh's powers would mean the tomb keepers are free, he could use the the Pharaoh's powers on a much grander scale. What he really wants is to live a free life with his siblings; he could manipulate Ishizu and Odion's memories so that they wouldn't remember their past or all the crimes he committed and they could all live a happy life together. He could also resurrect his father. (Despite the fact that the man was an abusive wack-job, and the fact that he hated him enough to degrade his own sanity, he obviously did love his father on some level, otherwise he wouldn't have cared that the guy was killed.) Or he could rearrange and alter the past so that his father wasn't abusive to him and his siblings and they could all be a normal family.

  • Mai's attempt to summon Ra is an Idiot Ball on her part, but it's also important to remember that she was involved in a Shadow Game, which amplifies someone's true intentions. It's the same as how Yami Yugi would punish one-shot characters in the early chapters of the manga, when he bordered on Villain Protagonist. Even after seeing Ra strike down Jounouchi and Rishid, she still thought about how she would have her hands on a God Card once she beat him. She didn't even consider Marik an opponent to worry about, nor did she worry about any consequences of using a God Card. She was more worried about fighting Jounouchi and Yugi in the finals and acted as if she already won, the same way Yami Yugi focused more on Pegasus during his Duel with Mai in Duelist Kingdom. The Shadow Game Marik started amplified Mai's greed and it made her want to get her hands on Ra before winning it through the ante rule. The rule of that Shadow Game caused her to forget someone to the point she couldn't even see or hear them anymore if one of her monsters was destroyed. When she forgot Tea and Joey, that also made her forget some of the things she learned from them, and if you remember when she Dueled Tea she had the tides turned on her by Tea pulling out De-Spell on her. By forgetting that, she didn't consider that the Winged Dragon of Ra may have an effect that could work against her and it was safer to keep the card on her so Marik couldn't use it unless he took it back himself. Jounouchi defeating her in Duelist Kingdom is what started her Character Development, and caused her to realize that friendship isn't a sign of weakness like she once thought. Because she forgot about him while Dueling Marik, she reverted back to who she was before losing to him.

  • Yami Marik using Joyful Doom against Bakura seems really situational, but it's for a situation that could come back to haunt him had he not prepared for it, which he probably learned from his Duel with Mai, the situation being the opponent trying to steal Ra from him and defeat him with it. While it didn't work when Mai tried it, it would've worked if Yugi or Kaiba had done the same thing due to their connections to the Millennium Items. Kaiba shows later on that he has Lullaby of Obedience, which he tried to use to steal Osiris/Slifer from Yugi. Also, due to the death-match Marik set up with Yugi and Jounouchi, Marik already knows Yugi has Exchange in his Deck, meaning it is within the realm of possibility for the two of them to just use those cards to steal Ra from him and make it a Curb-Stomp Battle unless he has a countermeasure (Joyful Doom). It's also important to note that Yugi didn't know about Ra's other powers in advance, so for all he knew Ra was just a beatstick that depended on the power of the monsters sacrificed to summon it. Marik's Duel with Jounouchi was the first time he saw God Phoenix, and he didn't see Marik Duel Bakura, so he didn't see One Turn Kill until the middle of their Duel. Marik also isn't as tech-savvy as Kaiba due to his upbringing away from modern society, so he probably didn't think that Kaiba could use satellite technology to scan Ra and read the ancient text to learn its other powers, and thought Kaiba was just as in the dark about Ra's hidden powers as Yugi was.

  • The Virtual World arc actually fixes an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole, ie: Why did Pegasus want to take over Kaibacorp back in Duelist Kingdom when his company clearly already has comparable VR technology? The backstory introduced in the Vitural World arc, that the members of the Big Five all had serious grudges against Kaiba, raises the possibility that selling out the company to Pegasus was actually their idea, simply as a way to get back at Kaiba.

  • While Mai and Joey losing to Yami Marik during Battle City due to outside circumstances (being unable to use Ra because it has a text that suddenly needs to read in Egyptian unlike the other two God cards without any indication and conveniently fainting before declaring one last attack respectively) can be chalked up to Plot Armor, there is another reason why only Atem can beat Yami Marik. During their duel, he saved the original Marik on top of defeating his dark alter ego! Even if they beat him and took Ra, chances are the original guy wouldn't be saved after losing.
  • According to this fan, each of the God Cards' effects match their owners during Battle City.
    • Kaiba had to become his own person on relying on his own wit and determination to succeed in his life goals and endeavors, even if he imposes such a cut-throat demeanor. Hence the established 4000 ATK points of Obelisk the Tormentor. Obelisk can reach infinite power using more monsters, like how Kaiba can improve himself when he finally decides to work together with others.
    • Malik became twisted on his search for vindication of his harsh fate and upbringing that he could careless about his minions being used as fodder to satisfy his rage. Hence the tribute and cumulative ATK strength of Winged Dragon of Ra.
    • Yugi at first glance seems harmless if isolated. But he found his courage with the aide of his friends, believing that as long as they are with him every step of the way then things will be alright in the end. Hence ATK points of Slifer the Sky Dragon is only as strong as the number of cards on hand.

Waking The Dragons Arc

  • In his Duel with Yugi, Rafael shows him how his Guardian cards are worn from how much he's used them. (As the abridged series eloquently points out,) why not sleeve them? Well, then the Duel Disk system probably wouldn't be able to read the cards. This extends to why every character doesn't sleeve their cards.

  • Why was Mai the first of Doma's members to pull a Heel–Face Turn? Unlike Raphael, Alister and Valon, her tragedy wasn't caused by Dartz and unlike Weevil and Rex she wasn't really angry at Yugi and Joey but manipulated into thinking that her problems were their fault. With these two factors, Dartz had a much harder time keeping her loyalty.

Kaiba Corp Grand Prix Arc

  • During the KC Grand Prix arc, the characters may have been shocked to learn that Zigfried and Leon were siblings, but we, the audience, had a major hint from their Decks. Zigfried uses a Deck based on Norse and Germanic myth. Leon uses a Deck based off of fairy tales, specifically European fairy tales such as those associated with the Brothers Grimm, who were German. Additionally, fairy tales could be somewhat accurately described as smaller-scale mythology, or mythology as large-scale fairy tales, which essentially makes Zigfried's Deck a "grown up" version of Leon's. The mythology also predates the popular versions of the fairy tales by a wide margin, which makes the source materials themselves older/younger in regards to each other, and in the hands of the appropriate Duelists.

  • The abridged series points out that Kaiba didn't participate in the Grand Prix because he's too busy running a company in crisis. It goes a little deeper than that: if Kaiba participates, he cannot be allowed to win. The Grand Prix is meant to restore the company’s reputation, and if Kaiba wins, it would be easy for KaibaCorp to be accused of rigging the match to drum up more publicity. Pegasus and Kaiba could hypothetically get away with winning Duelist Kingdom or Battle City because their real goals were the Millennium Puzzle and the God Cards. And since Kaiba's pride won't allow him to lose on purpose or even plan to lose, the best option is to swallow his pride and duel Yugi another day. Also, assuming that there's prize money, Kaiba snatching the grand prize would look like he cheated to avoid paying. Meanwhile, Duelist Kingdom and Battle City are set up so that while it's assumed that Pegasus and Kaiba win, the runner-ups still get prizes. Pegasus technically isn't a participant in Duelist Kingdom; the winner of the tournament wins a lot of money and the right to duel Pegasus for whatever they want. Of course, Pegasus intends to put the winner into a coma where they can't cash the check, but he still gave them the check, and since most participants are underage, their families can cash the check instead. Kaiba participates in Battle City, but everyone who makes it to the finals walks away happy because of the rare card ante rule. Since you need six locator cards and start with one, and the minimum number of duels under normal circumstances is three note , every finalist starts with 3-5 rare cards (Yami Bakura betting one locator card against five is abnormal). People who lose in the quarter finals end up with 2-4 rare cards, people who lost in the semifinals get 3-5 again (assuming that the duel for bronze was unofficial and didn't contain the ante rule, in which case fourth place is 2-4 and third is 4-6), second place gets 5-7, and first place gets 6-8. Plus, the cards came from a pot instead of being provided by Kaiba.

The Ceremonial Battle

  • Why did Atem go after Summoned Skull in his Duel with Yugi instead of Curse of Dragon? The impetus for this choice was likely the awareness that Yugi was using a lot of cards that either were not used in a while, or new to him. While minimizing chances of Yugi using a new card was a plus, the worry that Atem was likely worried about was Red-Eyes. With the power of friendship as it is, he was likely worried that Yugi would have borrowed Red-Eyes from Joey for this match, and with Polymerization that would bring out Black Skull Dragon. Such a beast could stop him even with Book of Secret Arts, and Atem did not want to risk such a move.

     Fridge Horror 
  • In the Millennium World arc of the manga, the Pharaoh disappears when he reaches the point where his memories stopped i.e. where he died the first time round. He has a few moments to pass the Puzzle and his last wishes for Egypt - peace and prosperity - on to Seto. However, he probably didn't have time to do that in the original timeline. Given the amount of open disdain Seto shows for the common people in the manga, what must his reign have been like? It would have been especially hard on the people with Egypt in near ruins as well, unless Seto wanted to honour his cousin by treating the people with more mercy.
  • Imagine if Pegasus actually did use the Egyptian God Cards during the Duelist Kingdom Arc instead of having them locked up. Nobody, not even Yugi, would have been capable of beating him and stopping his plans, Solomon and Mokuba's souls would have been trapped forever, and Pegasus would have successfully thrown the world into total chaos. Shadi's explanations of the Egyptian God Cards' creation (at least in the Dub) indicates that even with the protection of the Millennium Eye, Pegasus wasn't meant to control their power. It's even shown in his dream, where the Gods knew that their soil had been disturbed and wanted to punish the intruders, hence why they went fairly dormant when Pegasus completed the cards but returned them to Egypt. Also a case of brilliance, as the Gods themselves knew that the Pharaoh hadn't returned yet, either and were still awaiting the Pharaoh's awakening. This could possibly be why Marik was able to acquire Slifer and Ra before the events of Battle City even; the Gods knew that destiny was ready for them to awaken.
  • Bakura is ridiculously underweight at 5'9" and 114 pounds. Since the evil spirit of the Ring treats his host with callous disregard at best and actively injures Bakura several times, not to mention Bakura has been shown eating lots of food yet never gaining weight, it's heavily possible that the spirit doesn't care to eat unless it's unavoidable.
  • Yami Marik slowly grows more haggard as his tenure goes on; veins bulge out of his face, his eyes grow extremely bloodshot, and his skin appears dirty and bruised. Just dark magic taking its toll, right? Possibly... or it's possible that Marik has been sustaining himself with magic, and not bothering to eat or sleep during all the period of the finals and the virtual world. No wonder he looks so wasted - his body is beginning to break down.
  • While Marik obviously has decided to stop being a criminal and live a normal life with his siblings, you have to wonder what happened to the rest of the Rare Hunters. They probably disbanded, but now consider the fact that this means that hundreds of criminals from from the world's worst underground gaming syndicate are essentially running freely amuck; based on the named thugs shown, the others are probably not all that nice or sane either. Based on the false promises, manipulation, and mind control Marik used to recruit many of them, there is also a very real possibility that some of them could come after him and his family for revenge; the only thing keeping them loosely in check was his Millennium Rod's powers, which could either drive them crazy or give them their deepest desires, and he no longer has it. Although, based on the flashbacks, Ishizu and Odion are more than capable of defending themselves if necessary, and, based on how he was able to physically fight his dark side in Tea's body, Marik is no slouch either. The Ishtar siblings are more than capable of taking care of themselves, but the possibility of the Rare Hunters being at large is pretty creepy.
  • Dark Marik has always been famously known as a Sadist who can't be happier to torture his opponents. However, if we look closely, he doesn't have any personal grudge against most of the opponents. He doesn't hate Jonouchi, nor does he hate Mai or Dark Bakura, and not even Yami, whom he seems to see more as a Worthy Opponent. And yet, he still gave each of them the worst mental abuse you can ever think of, which just makes you cringe when you think about how he will torture someone he does hate... And this is actually already answered in the scene where Dark Marik killed his father: if he does hate someone, he will even torture them physically. Marik didn't hate his father for the abuse, but Dark Marik does. So, in the manga, he brutally used the sharp end of the rod to peel off their father's skin... while he was still alive, and then downright stabbed him, which leads to one of the worst bloody messes this series ever had. It's also implied that he planned to torture Rishid physically before killing him as well. Man, at least the others only got mind-raped and did get better later...
  • The moment that Kaiba ripped Grandpa Muto's Blue-Eyes in half. While it's shocking that Kaiba destroyed a rare card, it's worse once we learn that it's the embodiment of the soul of the woman he loved—Kaiba essentially just mutilated Kisara without a second thought. The undertones manage to get even worse than that when you remember Kaiba's motivations for the act: it's power play to ensure that BEWD is never fighting against him. Note that this happened AFTER Yami tortured him with the penalty game, rudely implying that he had no real power, when he was a self-made man. While he was definitely a Corrupt Corporate Executive before, that event pushed him into full blown Chaotic Evil territory, where he firmly stayed until he was Mind Crushed. On the other hand, on a somewhat "comforting" note, this all happened on what is still the very early part of the manga story, likely way long before Kazuki Takahashi decided to have an arc about revisiting the Ancient Egypt (and thus introducing Kisara).
  • Rebecca is never too far away from her grandfather, and unlike Yugi's grandfather who simply lives in the same house with Yugi's family, she seemingly lives in her grandfather's house/lab. What happened to her parents?
  • The Heart of the Cards is a huge part of the early part of at least the dub, implying that a Duelist who's a good person can trust their Deck to provide them the cards they need at the time they need them. However, the only time we ever see them shuffling, they shuffle in a specific pattern: Taking a small packet of cards out of the middle and dropping it back on the pile. This should sound familiar to any magicians in the audience, who know that exact procedure as the "Hindu Force" or the "Indian Dribble", a method of faking a shuffle while leaving a deck relatively undisturbed.
  • The monsters are *usually* mere holograms, but show more than enough clarity of what's happening around them to seem sentient. For example, Pandora/Arkana's Dark Magician is visibly horrified that his soul is about to be forcibly stripped from him for the Ectoplasmer magic card. While sacrificing monsters is a heavy part of the game, it doesn't seem so incredulous that people are genuinely attached to their cards, and don't want them to be destroyed.
  • The Shadow Games. Real pain, real risks, real monsters. Mai forgot someone she knew every time one of her monsters was destroyed, and she was later banished to the Shadow Realm where she fruitlessly cries for help. It might've been just a few days in the real world, but how long was it for her?
    • Yami Bakura once trapped Yugi's friends in their favorite cards during one. Tristan and Joey are in the actual card Graveyard, and hunted by reapers and wraiths. Now, think about the actual monsters getting destroyed, and being sent there during a Shadow Game.
  • What happened to Noah's mother after his accident? She was shown grieving over him but is never seen or mentioned afterwards.