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Video Game / Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour

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Yu-Gi-Oh: Nightmare Troubadour is a Yu-Gi-Oh! video game for the Nintendo DS. It was the first DS Yu-Gi-Oh game, and the only one on the system to solely focus on the original series' cast.

The plot of the game has you on a quest to become a great duelist, but soon becomes more complex as evil duelists appear, threatening your safety and eventually the safety of the world. It's up to you to stop them and save the world, with help from Yugi on occasion.


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This game contains examples of:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Losing a Shadow Game causes your soul to be lost to the darkness and you get a Game Over.
  • Adaptational Badass: Minor villains such as Bandit Keith and the Paradox Brothers can call life-threatening Shadow Games that kill you if you lose.
  • A.I. Breaker: Floodgate cards like Gravity Bind will completely confuse the AI, as many of their cards have no way around not being able to attack. Often, this will result in them summoning their monsters face-up in preparation to attack even when they can't.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Starting a new game will keep your old deck recipes as long as you saved them to begin with.
  • Arc Villain: The first arc has Para and Dox as minor antagonists with Bandit Keith and Pegasus being the boss fights. The second arc has you facing the Big Five, Noah, and Gozaburo Kaiba, while the third and last arc deals with the Ghouls, Marik, and Yami Marik.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
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    • The AI will always go for one of its signature monsters if possible, even if it would make more sense to keep using a monster on the field. Yami Yugi will always go for one of his Magicians if possible... and will gladly tribute a 3000 ATK beater he stole from you with Snatch Steal in order to do this.
    • Ishizu and Gozaburo's decks are both based around monsters in their graveyards, with Ishizu's focusing on swapping the graveyard and deck and Gozaburo's revolving around Exodia Necross. The AI will often put many of their cards into the graveyard but not have the means to make the strategy work, resulting in an easy win for you.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Generally, any brainwashed duelist will come to their senses if you defeat them in a card game. Except a Marik-possessed Joey, who you must tie to win.
  • Boss Bonanza: Part of what makes Noah's boss rush so difficult is that you have four fights in a row with no chance to save or adjust your deck in between.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Para, Dox, and Pegasus were mind-controlled by Noah. After the brainwashing wears off, they become friendly to the player.
  • Bring It: After defeating Joey, Bandit Keith is so confident of victory that he invites the player to try to get revenge and attack him.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: After Yami Bakura defeats Joey, when you confront him about it he can't even be bothered to remember Joey's name.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Tristan and Duke are not seen or mentioned at all.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The second half of the game loosely adapts the Virtual World arc, following it with an adaptation of Battle City.
  • Covers Always Lie: While Yami Yugi is on the front cover, the player is the main character.
  • Crutch Character: Fusion monsters will likely become this from early to mid-game. You don't get access to a lot of options early on, and a lot of the early to mid-game packs have a lot of Fusion support in them. Similarly, most monsters with high ATK will usually require two tributes, while Fusion monsters, despite going minus three in the hand, can, at least, be gotten out without giving up a greater part of your board most of the time. However, come late to end-game, you'll finally start getting access to cards for your main deck that can be gotten out quicker and are generally more powerful than Fusion monsters, in addition to characters starting to run more field nukes such as Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute, which can seriously stall your deck if you lose your Fusion monsters to them. About the only Fusion monsters that remain useful are Twin-Headed Thunder Dragonnote  and Thousand-Eyes Restrict if you're running a Goat Control deck.
  • Damsel in Distress: Serenity is kidnapped by Dox early on, and the player has to fight him in a Shadow Game to save her.
  • Deader Than Dead: Losing the fight with Gozaburo Kaiba renders you dead in every possible way. The virtual base blows up on turn 20, obliterating your mind, the satellite blows up the real-life city, destroying your body, and your soul is consumed by the Shadow Realm since it's a Shadow Game.
  • Difficulty Spike: After you beat the Beginner's Cup the game gets hard fast, especially in the boss rush before the Expert Cup.
  • Disk One Nuke:
    • If you know what you're doing, it's possible to get a Meteor B. Dragon and its necessary fusion materials (polymerization, Red-Eyes, Meteor Dragon) as early as the fifth booster pack unlock, and before the plot really kicks into swing. Considering most duelists don't have any super complex strategies or high ATK monsters until the late game, and even then, this was back when the game primarily valued high ATK stats over effects, and Meteor B. Dragon is a 3500 ATK monster, by far the highest ATK monster at that point in the game, it proves to be a very effect Beatstick early on, and even in the late game.
    • Similarly, you can get Thunder Dragon and its Fusion Twin Headed Thunder Dragon around the same time. Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon is a 2800 beatstick that has materials that easily search themselves. Thunder Dragon's ability to search two more copies of itself is good for deck thinning, and if you can't get Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon off, they're still really good for discard fodder for other cards like Graceful Charity. Overall, it's a great way to speed decks up early on, especially with how slow the format was when this game was released.
    • To top it off, you can get a Fusion Substitute monster, Goddess with the Third Eye, as soon as you start the game. Being level four, it helps negate the problems that Meteor B. Dragon's material has in needing tributes to summon, so you can at least use it for defense if you find yourself in a tight situation. Similarly, if you use up two Thunder Dragons already, it still keeps Twin-Head up as a viable option.
  • Early Game Hell: Early on you can't tell who duelists are, or even if they are a duelist. Once you defeat Bandit Keith, it becomes much easier to find people as Seto Kaiba upgrades your Duel Disk to judge duelists by a star rating. Non-duelists have no stars, and you can register duelists to make finding them easier.
  • Fake Difficulty: Probably the game's biggest problem is it loves spamming bosses and decks that are hard for all the wrong reasons. Multiple characters run stall/burn decks or decks based on luck, and have an uncanny ability for topdecking their deck's main cards early on while cards you have that can counter them are usually at the bottom of your deck. This isn't even getting into the gimmick matches of the game, such as having to force a draw on a Brainwashed and Crazy Joey, or beating Gozaburo in twenty turns at the end of a Boss Rush with no chances to save, who, as true to the above, will get all his stall cards while all your spell destruction cards are usually at the bottom of your deck. It doesn't help that this was an era where Konami absolutely hated cards that dealt with floodgate cards like Mystical Space Typhoon, with such cards being limited to one or outright banned for use in the main story.
  • Fighting Your Friend: One section of the game pits you against a mind-controlled Joey. Winning or losing this battle results in a Game Over, so you have to use particular cards to make the game end in a draw.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In the JP and NA versions, Pegasus disappears from the game permanently after you defeat Odion, and you cannot get his Imperial Order trade before he leaves. The EU version fixes the bug.
  • The Goomba: Tea, Serenity, and Mokuba are the easiest duelists in the game. It's almost impossible to lose to them even with your very first deck.
  • Have a Nice Death: Losing a Shadow Game boss fight results in a quote from the duelist who defeated you.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Your character is only seen as a silhouette, with the hair length being determined by the player.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The shadow duelist ambush music, "Card as Blade," features drums akin to a sped-up heart rate—which the player will likely be feeling as well if it's a hard duelist.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Time passes whenever you move towards a building or duelist, and some duelists only show up at certain times of the day. If you want to make time pass without having to duel, you can just run between your house and the game shop.
  • Mercy Mode: Losing too many duels increases the chance of meeting Mokuba, one of the weakest opponents in the game.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: After beating the expert cup tournament, you gain the ability to use banned cards in your deck. Shortly after, you also gain one of the God cards, with the one you get being based off the answer you give Ishizu. note 
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Marik uses this when he heavily brainwashes Joey. He makes it so losing or winning to Joey results in a Game Over, so you must tie to win. Tying any other Shadow Game results in your death.
  • Nocturnal Mooks: Evil duelists ambush you at night and challenge you to soul-stealing Shadow Games. Losing means Game Over.
  • Old Save Bonus: By having a copy of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Duel Academy in the GBA slot, you receive three Winged Kuriboh cards.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Due to a glitch in the JP and NA versions, Pegasus disappears from the game permanently after you defeat Odion, and you cannot get his Imperial Order trade before he leaves. The EU version fixed the bug.
  • Random Encounters: At the beginning of the game, you can't tell or guess which duelist you will be facing or even if they are a duelist. Similarly, it's random as to which shadow duelists attack you at night, if they attack at all.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Forcing a draw with Self-Destruct Button or Ring of Destruction is the only way to 'win' against a mind-controlled Joey.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: When trying to find the card thief, the only useful thing witnesses say was that the suspect has blond hair, which leads Joey to deny the theft and mistakenly accuse Mai. The thief turns out to be Bandit Keith, whose hair is very short and tied back with an American flag bandanna.
  • Take a Third Option: When Marik possesses Joey and draws you into a Shadow Game, winning the duel will cause Joey to die, while losing means you will die. The only way to win is to force a draw using Ring of Destruction or Self-Destruct Button, which Yami Yugi is kind enough to give you before the fight begins.
  • Timed Mission: Gozaburo Kaiba's boss fight is set in a self-destructing military base that will explode after turn 20, so you must defeat him before then.
  • To Be a Master: When not saving the world, you're trying to become the next King of Games.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Noah-controlled Mokuba and Marik-controlled Tea's decks are exactly the same as their regular decks, making it almost impossible to lose to them.
  • Word Salad Title: A troubadour is a writer and performer of songs or poetry in the Middle Ages. What this has to do with Duel Monsters is anyone's guess. The actual reason for it is an extremely obtuse example of Super Title 64 Advance, as the title can be shortened to "Ni-Tro", referring to the DS's codename of "Nitro".
  • The Worf Effect: Joey loses to Bandit Keith and Yami Bakura, and Seto Kaiba loses to Noah Kaiba, forcing you to duel them in all cases. Kaiba's case is even worse because his loss to Noah rendered him unable to fight Gozaburo.

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