(Here we go!)
Grandpa brings Yugi, Jonouchi, and Anzu into his game shop to show them a popular card game in America. It’s called Duel Monsters.
“So how do you play with these?” asks Jonouchi.
“It’s a trading card game,” says Yugi, “you know, a game where you trade cards! You play with two people. You each stake one card, and the one who wins takes both. The game is set up so the players are both wizards. They use their cards to cast spells or summon monsters to fight! The cards have different attack and defense strengths. The person who loses their life points first loses the game. Of course there are strong cards and weak cards! But with so many cards you could never collect them all. I’ve heard of a fan in America who sold his house just to buy one card.”
Grandpa says that he is fan enough to have one amazing card and agrees to show it.
“This is called the Blue Eyes White Dragon,” says Grandpa, “It’s so overpowered that they stopped production. Collectors would pay through the nose to get their hands on an ultra-rare card like this!”
“Awright, Yugi, let’s play Duel Monsters at school tomorrow!” says Jonouchi. Yugi agrees. While Jonouchi is getting some cards, a customer walks in the store. The customer is none other than the man, the myth, and the legend himself — Seto Kaiba.
Kaiba is a student at Domino High School and is in the same class as Yugi.
“So this game store is your family’s, Yugi!?” says Kaiba, “So you play Duel Monsters?”
Jonouchi invites Kaiba to play with them tomorrow at school, but Kaiba says, “You think you’re in my league? I’m good enough to compete at the national competition! You could never win against my deck. It’d be pointless to play against you.”
Kaiba asks Grandpa if he has any good cards, but to his surprise, he sees the Blue Eyes White Dragon card sitting on the table.
“It can’t be,” says Kaiba, “I’ve never even seen this…I never thought I’d actually hold one…If I owned this card…I’d be invincible!”
Kaiba slams his brief case on the table and opens it, revealing an impressive collection of rare cards. Kaiba offers to trade all of these rare cards for Grandpa’s one Blue Eyes, but Grandpa declines. He explains that he got the card from an important gamer friend of his from America and this card is as important to him as his friend.
“Fine,” says Kaiba and leaves the store.
The next day, Yugi and Jonouchi play Duel Monsters at school.
- Kazuki Takahashi displays the basic rules for Duel Monsters as follows:
- The two players each build a deck of 40 cards.
- Each player starts with 2000 life points.
- They take turns drawing cards from their deck, one at a time, and playing them in either attack or defense mode.
- When a player can’t defend against the opponent’s attack, points are deducted from their life points. When a player’s life points reach zero, they lose the game.
While playing, Kaiba comes up to Yugi and asks if he has the Blue Eyes White Dragon card with him. Yugi says yes and Kaiba asks if he can see it once more. Yugi lets him, but when he isn’t looking, Kaiba switches the real card with a fake one from his pocket, and gives the fake card to Yugi.
As Kaiba is walking home from school, Yugi comes up to him and asks for the real Blue Eyes White Dragon card back. Kaiba plays dumb, but Yugi says, “Even I can tell the difference between a copy and the real thing.” Yugi demands that Kaiba give him the card back, but Kaiba just tells him to shut up and hits him with his briefcase.
Yugi’s injury causes him to transform into his alter-ego. He says, “It seems I’ll have to teach you a lesson with a shadow game!”
Yugi meets Kaiba later…somewhere (I don’t know where) and challenges him to a game of Duel Monsters.
“The rules of this Duel Monsters game will be a little different from what you’ve seen before!” says Yugi, “You’ll see once we start.”
“Well, sounds like fun,” says Kaiba.
The game begins.
Kaiba goes first. He draws the five-star monster Ryu-Kishin and summons it, but when he does so, Kaiba is startled to see the monster coming to life.
“I told you this game was different,” says Yugi.
Yugi responds by summoning Blackland Fire Dragon. With 1500 attack points, Yugi’s monster is able to defeat Kaiba’s Ryu-Kishin, which only has 1000 attack points.
“The monsters from the cards become real…and a penalty game awaits whoever loses,” says Yugi, “Those are the rules in the shadow game version of Duel Monsters.”
But Kaiba just laughs and says, “This is good! I’m glad I took your challenge. This is the extreme game I’ve been looking for!!”
Kaiba draws and summons Battle Ox. With 1700 attack points, it defeats Yugi’s Blackland Fire Dragon.
Yugi now has 1800 life points and Kaiba has 1500.
At this point, Kazuki Takahashi presents the battle rules for Duel Monsters:
- In first edition Duel Monsters, there are two kinds of cards: Monster Cards and Spell Cards.
- Monster cards have set Attack and Defense values. The player chooses Attack or Defense mode when playing the card from his or her hand.
- Attack vs. Attack
- The card with the higher attack points wins. The losing card goes to the “graveyard” and the difference in points is subtracted from the life points of the owner.
- Attack vs. Defense
- If the attacker’s attack points are higher than the defender’s defense, the defending card goes to the graveyard. However, the owner’s life points are not affected.
- When the defender’s defense is higher than the attacker’s points, the difference in points is subtracted from the attacking player’s life points. Both cards stay put.
- Attack vs. Attack
- Spell Cards can’t attack on their own, but they can affect either the cards of the player of his opponent.
Yugi summons Mystical Elf in Defense Mode. With 2000 defense points, Kaiba’s Battle Ox cannot defeat it.
Kaiba draws a card, but decides to save it for next turn, so he places it face down on the table.
Yugi draws the monster Skull Servant, but it’s too weak to defeat Kaiba’s monster, so Yugi passes.
Kaiba flips over his face-down card. It’s a spell card called Giant’s Might and he uses it on Battle Ox. It increases the attack and defense points of a monster by 20%. Battle Ox now has 2040 ATK and 1200 DEF. Kaiba destroys Mystical Elf with Battle Ox.
Turn after turn, Kaiba’s Battle Ox destroys Yugi’s monsters one after another.
“If the next card I draw isn’t stronger than the Battle Ox, it’s all over,” thinks Yugi as he draws with all his might.
The card he draws is Summoned Skull, the strongest card in his deck. Yugi summons his monster, which puts Kaiba in a state of shock.
“That’s one of the five strongest fiends! How could he have such a rare card?” says Kaiba.
With 2500 ATK, Summoned Skull defeats Battle Ox. Kaiba now has 800 life points left, while Yugi has 500.
Kaiba realizes he has been backed into a corner. He knows his deck has cards that can beat Summoned Skull, but the odds of drawing one in the next turn are pretty low. Maybe if Kaiba believed in himself like Yugi does, he might have been able to draw one, but instead he chokes and decides to…well…screw the rules.
Kaiba reaches in his pocket for the card he stole from Yugi. While hiding it under his hand, he slips it on top of his deck and draws the card.
“I’ve got a special card I’ve been saving…the Blue Eyes White Dragon! The rarest card on earth!!” says Kaiba.
“What!?” says Yugi, “That’s my grandpa’s card!!”
“You’re wrong!” says Kaiba, “This is my very own card! I just happened to get if from someone!”
Kaiba summons Blue Eyes, and with 3000 ATK and 2500 DEF, it is able to defeat Yugi’s Summoned Skull and finish off Yugi’s life points.
Kaiba declares the attack, but Blue Eyes remains still.
“What?! Why don’t you attack?!” asks Kaiba.
“You still don’t understand the true meaning of this game,” says Yugi, “That card won’t attack me…because your soul isn’t in that Blue Eyes White Dragon.”
Kaiba’s Blue Eyes starts disappearing.
Yugi continues, “To my grandpa, that card was more that a collectible. The dragon was torn between it’s fate to destroy and it’s loyalty to Grandpa’s soul. It chose to destroy itself as the only way to fulfill it’s duty.”
“That’s impossible,” says Kaiba, “There’s no way that cards can think!”
Yugi then points to the card he has been keeping face down. “I choose to use it this turn,” he says. The card is Monster Reborn. “And the monster I choose to revive is the Blue Eyes White Dragon.”
Yugi attacks Kaiba with Blue Eyes and finishes him off.
“Aaagh!! I lost!” screams Kaiba.
“Penalty Game!!” cries Yugi.
Yugi places Kaiba inside of a card. Apparently this takes Kaiba to the world of Duel Monsters, where he is presumably attacked by all of the monsters.
“Kaiba,” says Yugi, “You will probably experience death in that world…but don’t worry it’s only a nightmare…only an illusion. This is my wish…that by becoming a card, you will come to understand the heart of the cards! Then just like my grandpa, you’ll be a true game master!”
**Images from the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga were obtained from https://www.viz.com/shonenjump/chapters/yu-gi-oh
(Funny enough, I was writing this while listening to “Duel of the Fates” which I realized was quite fitting.)