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Video Game / Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist

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Relive moments and duels from all of the animated series!
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist (sometimes called LOTD) is a Yu-Gi-Oh! video game released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in July 30 and 31 2015, with PC getting the game on Steam December 7, 2016.

Set in the world of the various anime series, relive the legacy of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, and Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V by playing through all of their most iconic duels in the Campaign Mode. Players can test their skills further by taking on the Duelist Challenges mode, where every character in the game gets an upgraded deck with more powerful cards and better strategies than what they used in Campaign Mode. Battle Pack offers a different breed of challenge, forcing players to win with either a 50-card deck made instantly in Sealed Play or make their own 45-card deck from random boosters in Draft Play.

On April 25, 2019, An Updated Re-release named Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution was released exclusively for the Nintendo Switch in Japan, but eventually made its way to the USA and Europe on August 20, 2019. Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC received the game later on March 24, 2020. This version of the game includes a Campaign Mode for Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, as well as the Master Rule 4 update to the real card game's rules. It also included all content from the original Legacy of the Duelist that was once DLC, with updated Campaign Mode cut scenes to boot.

This game contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: As a result of factors detailed under Adaptation Distillation and Pragmatic Adaptation (namely, that none of Riley’s cards, nor cards closely matching them exist in real life), Declan defeats Z-ARC in the “gauntlet duel”.
  • Adaptation Distillation: As the game focuses on the most important duels from the anime, many less important duels and characters are not made playable for the sake of brevity in the Campaign Mode.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Or Adaptational Deck Change, regarding a number of characters such as Valon. In the anime proper, he uses an Armor deck; since those cards don't actually exist, he instead uses a Deskbot deck. In addition, Spectre uses an Aroma deck as the Sunvine/Sunavalon archetypes had not yet been released in the real life card game.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Each campaign streamlines the story and events, leading to moments where certain duels and even duelists are omitted entirely, including characters like the Paradox Brothers, Espa Roba, Lumis, Umbra and Rebecca Hawkins. Justified, somewhat, with the Paradox Brothers and Lumis and Umbra, as their duels didn't follow traditional duel rules that could be recreated for the game.
    • In the "Duel Monsters" Campaign, there's no Millennium arc as the last fight before the Ceremonial Duel is against Dartz, who is the final boss in Season Four of the show. Understandably, it's cut out since the entire season is an RPG-esque battle instead of card duels.
    • While some duels of the Waking the Dragons / DOMA arc are available via DLC (and Link Evolution), the Virtual World / Noah Kaiba arc is entirely absent.
  • A.I. Breaker: In some consoles, the AI takes a long time in order to set up plays the game can freeze for a few seconds especially when it's against a solid board. Most of the Link Decks and combo heavy decks, but especially Trickstar and Salamangreat Decks, are prone to this.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: All duel arenas, depending on the story arc featured, range from a normal duel arena or an outdoor setting to a vibrant and colorful duel arena with floating islands and neon lights scattered in the background.
  • Animation Bump: Signature monsters like the Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon get special 3D attacking animations each time they do battle. Link Evolution replaces these with the type of special summoning animations previously seen in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Tag Force Series.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Losing a duel will always earn you one card from your Campaign or Duelist Challenge opponent's deck recipe as well as a fair amount of DP, meaning you can still get every card they own even if you aren't able to win consistently.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The AI can make dumb moves at times, especially when it summons a high-level monster using monsters that have more practical card effects. That said, considering the decks you use against them are often impractical, it gives you a better chance of winning.
    • For decks focusing on Link Summoning, the AI will Link Summon monsters whenever possible using whatever monsters on the field, even if it's summoning the same monster.
    • Against Pegasus in the GX story, the AI will prioritize using Toon Table of Contents to search out two more copies of itself, before using it to search an important card like Toon Kingdom. Although this is what Toon Table of Contents is used for in competitive play (Deck thinning), it's a bad move in an actual Toon Deck. Made worse because Crowler, his opponent, has plenty of removal, so the absence of two additional search cards greatly hurts the possibility of him being able to get his many Toon cards online.
    • The AI absolutely loves attacking or activating effects, and will do so even if you have a card that negates the attack/effect and destroys the monster face up on the field, and even if the monster that attacks/whose effect is activated is the only thing standing between you and victory. What makes this even stupider is that if you have a monster that can’t be destroyed by battle, the AI won’t bother attacking it, meaning the code is there.
      • The one exception to this is Jesse. The AI will always try to send his Crystal Beasts into the backrow whenever possible, until it gets completely clogged. On paper, that is a good strategy because his field spell, Ancient City - Rainbow Ruins, gains increasingly powerful effects for each one, and if the backrow is full can summon a monster from there each turn, and if it happens to be Ruby Carbuncle it will result in a massive advantage. However, the AI will NEVER use said final effect, thus locking himself out of all the spell and trap cards on his deck; most importantly blocking his main win conditions, Dark Hole and Crystal Abundance.Note 
    • The AI loves to put cards in defense position when you have Blue Eyes Chaos Max Dragon on the field, often taking massive amounts of damage due to this.
    • If you are using spell/trap cards that punish your opponent for certain plays, the computer will STILL perform said plays, even if they lose the duel in doing so. One of the arguably best examples (which can be observed as early as the reverse version of the Yami Yugi vs Bakura duel in Campaign) is if they are below 1000 LP and decide to send several monsters to graveyard (be it by fusion summon or tribute summon, for example) while you have multiple Coffin Sellers active, which deal 300 damage each whenever your opponent sends a monster to the graveyard. Any sane player would try to get rid of the traps first before trying to send more cards to the graveyard, but the AI will happily kill itself in such scenario.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The difficulty of the Campaign Mode is centered around using pre-built decks that focus on recreating the iconic moves used to win each duel from the anime. While it's certainly fun to recreate the moment Yugi defeated Kaiba with Exodia The Forbidden One, this more often than not results in struggling to win using poorly constructed decks with almost no synergy between the cards in them. While later series tend to have main characters with good decks, the first two have a lot of fights where you use Yugi and Jaden, both of whom have infamously terrible decks. Fortunately, one can choose to use another deck should they desire.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: If you win the reverse duels while playing as the "bad guy" of the fight.
  • Balance Buff: Konami made a patch where after a player gets 3 copies of any unique card (from anywhere in the game), the fourth copy has a lower chance of appearing in a card pack. This allows collecting every card in a pack much faster and increases the chances of getting rares.
  • Butt-Monkey: Skye Zaizen/Blue Angel/Blue Gal/Blue Maiden. Three of the VRAINS character packs are unlocked by defeating each of her Avatars in the campaign, including her own.
  • Compressed Adaptation:
    • The fate of the Arc V campaign in the original version; as the anime was still ongoing at the time, the only duel within in is the tutorial for explaining Pendulum Summoning. Even when more of the story and characters were added via DLC, they contained no cut scenes that explained who they were or why they were dueling each other. Story content was also discontinued after the Yuya vs. Crow duel.
    • Link Evolution did much the same for the VRAINS campaign, which only included 3 duels from the still ongoing anime. The March 2020 update that brought Link Evolution to PS4 and Xbox One also added a far more lengthy campaign, albeit still lacking in cutscenes because the VRAINS anime dub was nowhere near close to complete at the time.
  • Continuation Fic: Of a sort. The Pendulum Campaign's final fight is Yuya dueling Yusho, where the anime ended without even showing the fight between the two. Here you are able to duel him.
  • Defeat Means Playable: Once you defeat a character in Campaign Mode you can get the deck recipe but you still have to buy the cards from the Card Shop.
  • Downloadable Content: There are pre-constructed decks and additional Campaigns and Challenge modes available in the official store.
  • Early Game Hell: As said in Awesome, but Impractical, you'll be having a hard time using the campaign decks since your enemy will often use better-constructed decks. So either you'll be stuck grinding for hours or get lucky in winning, doing it over and over until you can manage to save some DP and construct a better deck to use, which will make battles easier.
  • Forced Tutorial: When you'll start a campaign, you'll be forced to walk into a tutorial on the summoning mechanics( I.e Fusions for GX, Pendulums for Arc-V). Every single one has its own tutorials you can't skip, and after that, you can get to the story proper.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Every duel in the campaign follows the rules that the real life game used at the time of release, rather than the rules that the relevant show used. This is especially noticeable in the 5Ds campaign, since this means the unique rules that Turbo Duels used are not applied to this game’s Turbo Duels.
  • Guide Dang It!: Want to buy a specific card for your deck? Too bad, you have to find out which booster pack it's on. Unlike the Tag Force series where it shows what cards are in the booster pack and follows the OCG pack lists, all the cards are mixed in the card shop. You can't figure out what's on the pack you're buying unless you look it up over the internet. Even egregious that the cards are not restricted to their own Eras, so you can get Xyz monsters in GX booster packs for example.
  • Interface Spoiler: Since the English Dub of VRAINS hasn't ended at the time of release, for those who only watch the dub; the entire VRAINS campaign spoils up to the final fight like Bohman, Lightning, Windy, and Ai's and Roboppi's humanoid form.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: Character artworks from Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium Duel, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Tag Force Special and World Duel Carnival are recycled in the game. Only the VRAINS characters use exclusive artwork, due to not being introduced in Duel Links when this game was released.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted. Not only do you play as the antagonist whenever they canonically won a duel from the anime, but the Campaign Mode also lets you play Reverse Duels where you switch control from the winning duelist to the losing one, letting the player make up their own What If? moments after a character wins a battle instead of losing.
  • Optional Boss: Defeating every version of a character from the Campaign Mode unlocks a more difficult version of them in Duelist Challenges mode.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: As many anime-only archetypes were never printed and the game relies on existing ones, some characters are given an approximate deck to their anime deck.
  • The Power of Friendship: Par for the course of a Yu-Gi-Oh game of course, and in campaign mode, characters usually talk about this, especially if the protagonist defeated the big bad or rival.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: In Campaign Mode, the game features fixed decks containing the cards only shown in the duel it's featured in. As a result? Some levels wind up much harder because you're stuck with a crappy deck. This is painfully common for the original series, GX, and VRAINS, as Yugi, Jaden, and Playmaker all have bad decks that are rarely better than what they're up against.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: As an Anti-Frustration Feature, you get both a card from the opponent's recipe and a somewhere between 500 and 1000 DP (the game's currency to buy more packs). However, other than advancing the plot and unlocking more duels, beating your opponent gives three or four of their cards and around 1500-2000 DP. Therefore, the fastest way to get DP and get your opponent's cards is to repeatedly forfeit the game as soon as possible.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Tag Force series, as it has similar gameplay, mechanics, and released on a console like its predecessor.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • The release of Link Evolution added new features from the VRAINS era, including the New Master Rules, the release of Link Monsters, and the VRAINS Campaign. This update expands on some older story campaigns, most notably the Pendulum Campaign, and animations are changed to summon animations instead of attack animations. Card images have the Legacy of the Duelist logo in the bottom left corner removed so they are identical to the real-life ones.
    • The March 2020 update included cards up to the Ignition Assault, Mystic Fighters, Legendary Duelists: Magical Hero, Structure Deck: Shaddoll Showdown, and Duel Overload. The ban list is updated to use the April 2020 Forbidden and Limited List. Lastly, this is also the release of the Playstation 4, XBOX One, and Steam versions.

Alternative Title(s): Yu Gi Oh Legacy Of The Duelist Link Evolution