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Video Game / Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Spirit Caller

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Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Spirit Caller is the second Yu-Gi-Oh! game for the Nintendo DS after Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, this time focusing on the cast and setting of the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime.

You are placed in the Slifer Red Dorm, and soon after the start of the school year, strange things begin happening. As soon as these odd occurrences begin, you start hearing the voice of a spirit duelist. This spirit is a good spirit and will help you duel and solve the mysteries surrounding the Duel Academy.

This game contains examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Duelist Level caps out at 99, but the last card pack unlocked by level up only requires reaching level 28.
  • Achievement System: You unlock new titles to give your character after fulfilling the matching objective.
  • A.I. Breaker: There's several cards in the game that confuse the computer controlled opponents due to their effects interacting oddly with the simple programming of their duel scripting.
    • Anything that does piercing damage (attacking a monster in defense position to inflict battle damage, when normally that wouldn't be possible). You end up trivializing many defensive plays and stall decks due to the AI not having an answer to them.
    • Fairy Box. The AI seems to be completely ignorant of its effect and will try to attack you as normal.
    • King Tiger Wanghu. The AI will try to summon monsters weak enough for its effect to destroy them as though nothing will happen.
    • Reasoning tends to be a free summon because The AI's level pick seems to be nothing more or less than any random level between 4 and 7.
  • Almighty Janitor: Your character becomes one much like Jaden in the main series. By the end of the story you'll have beaten everyone at the academy, including the teachers, fought evil and supernatural creatures and prevented the end of the world. All while being stuck in Slifer Red.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Defeat certain duelists enough times and they'll give you a new outfit or Duel Disk for your character to put on. Some outfits also double as new Duel Disks.
  • Character Select Forcing:
    • Hope you like running a generic beat-down deck for most of the game since all the archetype related choices aren't opened until the final levels of your dueling rating, and the few archetypes you do get access to fairly early on barely have half their support and aren't worth running because of it. By the time you finally have access to most of the game's actual archetypes, you'll likely be almost done with the game anyway.
    • Same can be said for getting your first Duel Spirit. Either you pick Jerry Beans Man and get an improved chance of duelists giving you items, Adhesive Explosive for a better chance to register duelists, or Oscillo Hero #2 and get more time for tests. Which of these do you think is the better option?
  • Compressed Adaptation: The game's first year is a loose retelling of the main storyline of GX season 1, with the inclusion of Tyranno Hassleberry in some parts. The second year introduces Aster Phoenix and Dark Zane, but omits the rest of season 2.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship:
    • Defeating a duel monster spirit sometimes results in them bonding and becoming partners with you.
    • Beating a duelist enough times and they'll register with you allowing you to identify them on the world map, and manually choose to go meet and duel them whenever you want.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Cyber Tech Alligator. It has as much attack power as Dark Magician and Summoned Skull while only requiring a single tribute to summon and can be found in card packs at the very beginning of the game. This one monster can carry you through the early game, where your decks will be full of weak cards and must rely upon beatdown to win.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Chazz returning from North Academy to challenge you is accompanied with cheers of "Chazz Thunder!" instead of the expected "Chazz it up!" The "Manjoume Thunder" cheer somehow persisted through the translation.
  • Early Game Hell: The cards in your starter deck are, putting it bluntly, horrendously bad. It's a wonder the player character even made it into the Academy in the first place with that deck. None of their level four monsters have more than 1500 ATK, and their tribute monsters are equally terrible, a one tribute monster usually having 1800 ATK and their two tribute having 2200 ATK. Their magic and trap cards are pretty bad too, with a few of them even being flat-out luck based. Combined this with packs being completely luck based and the few high ATK monsters being rare pulls... You're going to have a slow early game, to say the least. note 
  • Fairy Battle: Selecting a person (all represented by a triangle with a circle on top) talks to them. Usually this challenges that person to a duel... unless it is the Dark Magician Girl, who will instead give you a rare card.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Sacred Beasts are made to be important and even get a unique battle summon looking a step down from the Egyptian Gods but more impressive than other important cards. However, their Awesome, but Impractical nature leads them to be utterly ineffectual, much like in real life at the time. In the game's climax, you are forced to let the opponent Summon the Sacred Beast to progress the story, because otherwise you could easily defeat them and take out a lot of the tension from that point.
  • Have a Nice Death: If you lose in a Shadow Game, your opponent will say a menacing quip at you.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Like in the previous game, time passes whenever you move towards a building or duelist, and some duelists only show up at certain times of the day. In Spirit Caller, there are now 7 weekdays, so you'll also need to progress towards a certain day to unlock events and find duelists.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Jaden's duel against Dox in the ParaDox Tag Duel. Beforehand, you're asked to customize Jaden's Deck in order to help him win. Whether or not he wins even with your help is up to the A.I.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • Normally you're forced to return to your dorm after nightfall, but during story events you can stay out as long as you don't complete the event. This allows you as much time as you want to level grind, collect spirits, etc.
    • You can actually do this at the start of the game too. The events of the game won't progress until you trigger the event flag at the lighthouse, so if you really, really wanted to, you could continuously grind for days on end to unlock all the packs attainable by level up. It'll take a while, but considering how pathetic the cards in your starter deck are, it is a viable option.
  • Self-Insert Fic: Your character essentially plays through all the main story beats in Jaden's position, up to the first part of season 2 that introduces Aster Phoenix.
  • Sequential Boss: How Kagemaru's duel plays out. He'll use 3 decks that each focus on a different Sacred Beast monster. You need to defeat him after he summons each Sacred Beast to clear his boss fight.
  • Superboss: During the post-game, you can encounter Dark Zane and duel him during a Shadow Game. Chances are, you may encounter him at least once while hunting for spirits wherever you want to or not.
  • Wakeup Call Boss: Despite his Butt-Monkey status, Syrus can easily trip a lot of new players up. While your cards in your starter deck are terrible, you can still take on most Slifer Red students without much problem. Syrus, however, is the first duelist you'll face who uses an actual archetype instead of generic support and has monsters with annoying effects. Submarineroid can attack your life points directly and then switch itself back to defense position afterwards, and 1800 DEF is something you can't hope to match with your starter deck without equip cards, and he also has Gyroid, which, once-per-turn, can't be destroyed by battle... At a point in the game where destroying things by battle is your only real way of dealing with monsters. To top this off, he also has quite a few powerful Fusions he can pull on you which, while rare, can very tricky to deal with even with your equips, and thanks to all his monsters being able to stall, it actually is pretty easy for him to Fusion summon his Fusion Monsters. He's also the first duelist who has cards that can nuke your field, so even if you get a foothold, he can still make a comeback... Anyone who goes in thinking they'll have an easy time is in for a rude wake-up call, and even after you finally get better cards and can deal with him with much more ease, he can still pull off some surprising shenanigans on you if you're not careful.
  • With This Herring: The opening moments of the game has Syrus congratulating you for getting into the Academy after somehow managing to beat Professor Crowler at the entrance test. When you get to look at your starting Deck, it's terrible, and many a player would agree that it'd take a miracle to defeat Crowler with such a poor start.