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Video Game / Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories or Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters III: Tri-Holy God Advent is a Card Battle Game released for the Game Boy Color on March 18, 2002. This game was Konami's third title for the Game Boy Color and the first to be released in English.

In it, you battle multiple characters from the Yu-Gi-Oh! series in order to:

  • Win more cards to add to your deck.
  • Win more card creation parts to construct your own monster cards.
  • Unlock more difficult duelists in tiers of advancing difficulty. To do this, win 5 times against every opponent in the current to unlock a new area.
  • Increase your character level and Deck Volume.

There's no story due to the format of the "Campaign" mode. The gameplay is vastly different from how the real life game works as well. You can only have 5 cards in your hand at a time, and are unable to draw until you have at least 1 free space in your hand, trap cards can only be set once at a time and are sent to the graveyard after one turn if they don't go off, Monsters can be destroyed in battle by using Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors to bypass attack and defense point differences, some Effect Monsters are Normal Monsters and vice-versa, Fusion Monsters have no Fusion Deck and must be used in the main deck, and you can also fuse compatible monsters to create a new monster that would ordinarily be a Normal Monster. Also, Ritual Monsters must be Ritual Summoned using not only their specific Ritual Spell cards, but by having a required Monster on your field. Ritual Monsters can also be used as regular Tribute Summon Monsters, but this requires steep costs of its own.

This game provides examples of

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Deck Volume caps out at 9999, which will take far more hours of playtime to grind to than you'll be spending on average needed to defeat every non-optional duelist.
  • A.I. Breaker: This is one of those games where an opponent will always attack a monster you set face down, either inflicting huge reflected damage to themselves or setting off your Trap cards. The only duelist that doesn't fall for this is Seeker, because he plays an Exodia Stall deck.
  • Amazon Brigade: Mai and Ishizu both use decks with all-female monsters in them.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI has several flaws.
    • The AIs have a bad habit of offering high-ATK monsters as tributes to summon something of the same strength or even weaker.
    • The AI also likes to use monsters who have lower ATK than DEF to attack, as long as the ATK is at least half the DEF.
    • Sometimes, Yami Yugi will use "Megamorph" (which increases a monster's ATK and DEF by 500) on Mystical Elf just so that he can attack... with 1300 ATK.
    • As this player found out, Priest Seto will use Raigeki on a field with no monsters. On the very first turn.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Ritual monsters are all Divine-type, making them immune to the elemental weakness destruction, and tend to have really high Attack power, but to summon them normally requires a specific Ritual Spell card and a specific monster that must be on the field after you tribute 2 other monsters. The effort it would take to Ritual summon a monster would offer no real tactical advantage in a game that rewards swarming the field with multiple monsters, especially when some of these Ritual Spells require 2-tribute monsters for the Ritual Summon, equaling 4 sacrifices for 1 card. Gate Guardian and Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon are even worse in this regard because their Ritual Spells each require 3 2-tribute monsters on the field to summon them. If you can get, say, 3 Blue-Eyes White Dragons on the field at the same time it's probably a better idea to just stick with them for a win.
    • Monsters that require two tributes to summon are this in general; the extra power is rarely worth sacrificing two monsters you already have in play for, when there are no cards to get them on the field any less costly, board control is so vital, you often don't need that extra attack power to run over your opponent's monsters if you already control the board, and when you'll deplete your opponent's life points faster through having multiple monsters on the field instead of just one very strong one. Then if your opponent did get a monster out so strong that you need a level 7/8 monster to beat it, it's very unlikely you'll be able to keep two monsters in play to tribute to begin with. To make matters even worse, the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanic means your level 7/8 monster you just made two sacrifices for can be instantly taken out by any weaker monster it had an attribute disadvantage against, and late game opponents have decks chock full of destruction spells, Brain Control, and Change Of Heart, meaning you'll likely go -2 in board control just to have your opponent instantly destroy your monster or even use it against you! Having a few high attack level 5/6 monsters in your deck can still be useful though, as the single tribute cost is a lot more reasonable and their extra attack power can ensure you're able to run over all of your opponent's level 4 monsters.
    • If you're fortunate to get a ritual monster (or just input a cheat for one), it can be tantalizing to use them, what with their rarity, generally being very strong, and having the Divine attribute that makes them immune to the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors. However, aside from most being level 7/8 monsters, which are already impractical to use as covered prior, they all have the maximum deck cost of 255. Having the Divine attribute is nice, but isn't remotely worth such a staggering deck cost, when that sort of deck capacity can go towards fitting in a Game-Breaker spell like Raigeki that you need to win and other useful magic cards like equips that have steep deck costs.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Divine element is spelled "Devine" in this game.
  • Boss Game: Like Forbidden Memories, the only opponents are basically bosses.
  • Bowdlerise: The original name of the game was "Tri-Holy God Advent" in Japan, but because it contained "God" in the title, Konami went with a Recycled Title instead.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: Early game you'll rely on fusing weak 300-700 Attack point monsters to create stronger 1000-1600 Attack point monsters to win duels easier. Once you get enough Card Creation parts late in the game, it's a better idea to create powerful 3-4 Star monsters with 1700-2000 Attacks points to deal with the more powerful duelists.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Every duelist in Tier 3 and up will start running multiple copies of powerful spell cards that the player can only have 1 of in their decks. Prepare to see multiple uses of Brain Control, Swords of Revealing Light, Dark Hole, etc. in those decks.
  • Crutch Character: Fusing monsters into more powerful cards can make beating Yugi, Tristan, Joey, Mai, and Mako much easier than they would normally be. Once you get to the second area however, be prepared to abandon heavy use of fusion due to the inflation of enemy monster card power.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Twin Headed Thunder Dragon. It's the most powerful monster you can summon with fusion from the start of the game thanks to it's easy to meet requirements. With 2800 attack points it can clean house on the majority of duelists in the game with little support, and even keep it's worth well into the late game with heavy support.
    • Jirai Gumo. 2200 ATK with no tributes and no default for a measly 23 deck capacity. This, alongside Dark Elf, Gemini Elf and Mechanicalchaser, destroy both Tiers 1 and 2 with ease, having superior attack to every non-tribute monster played by the CPU at that point, while having very low costs for your Deck Capacity.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: A variation where each type automatically wins against the one it has an advantage against.
    • Pyro > Forest > Wind > Earth > Thunder > Aqua > Pyro.
    • Shadow > Light > Fiend > Dreams > Shadow.
  • Final Boss: DarkNite, who is only unlocked after defeating every preceding opponent in the game at least 5 times. His defeat unlocks the credits sequence and The Stinger.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Figuring out which monsters can fuse successfully is often a matter of trial and error.
    • Card Creation part combinations can fall into this if you're trying to min-max parts for powerful monsters with low Deck Volume costs.
  • Have a Nice Death: Duelist that defeat the player will say a victory line. These usually range from bragging about winning to mocking your for losing.
  • Infinity +1 Element: The Divine element has no strengths and no weakness, and is also very rare (restricted mostly to Ritual cards).
  • Missing Secret: Gamma the Magnet Warrior is not in this game, even though his counterparts Alpha and Beta are. Their pseudo-fusion, Valkyrion the Magna Warrior also isn't in the game.
  • Player-Exclusive Mechanic: Setting Trap Cards. No AI duelist in the game, even the bonus bosses, possesses a Trap Card in their decks. Therefore the mechanic is solely usable by the player.
  • Random Drop: Each victory against an enemy duelist gives you one random card and card creation part from Tea. If you unlock Grandpa Muto he'll do the same, doubling your rewards.
  • Recycled Title: The English title for the game actually comes from the previous Japan-only game in the series- presumably, they figured "Tri-Holy God Advent" wouldn't fly as a title in the West. And it wasn't particularly accurate anyway since the God Cards aren't in the game.
  • The Stinger: The 3 Egyptian God cards are seen on a "To Be Continued" screen after the credits are over.
  • Superboss: Yami Yugi, Yami Bakura, Nitemare, Shadi, and Marik aren't required to advance further into the game and can only be unlocked by entering special passwords for each of them. They are the most difficult opponents in the game.
  • True Final Boss: Dark Yugi counts as this due to being unlocked only after defeating DarkNite and not requiring a special password to be faced.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Harpie's Feather Duster is good for taking out enemy trap cards, but because no CPU duelist in the game uses Trap cards against the player its value is nonexistent.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Mai is the hardest duelist of the first 5 you start with due to having powerful 4 star monsters with moderately high attack (for this part of the game), multiple Spell cards to make all of her monsters stronger, and even Harpie's Feather Duster for your Trap cards.