Battle City

Battle City


Battle City

Manga storyline



Preceded by

Dungeon Dice Monsters

Followed by

Millennium World

Anime storyline




Battle City (part 1)

Original run

10 April 2001 – 5 March 2002



Preceded by

Dungeon Dice Monsters

Followed by

Virtual World

Anime storyline




Battle City (part 2)

Original run

27 August 2002 – 11 February 2003



Preceded by

Virtual World

Followed by

Waking the Dragons

Battle City, in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and Anime series, is the third story arc of the series. The arc is part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist manga series in the English version, as well as the second story arc in the Yu-Gi-Oh! (Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters) anime series. It also refers to a central plot to the manga and anime, a Duel Monsters tournament hosted by one of the series' antiheroes, Seto Kaiba.

Story Setting

When Kaiba learns of the God Cards, a set of Duel Monsters cards that were purported to be based on three Egyptian Gods (and thus powerful enough to have never been put into circulation), Kaiba, at the request of Ishizu Ishtar, holds an elite Tournament with the intention of winning and acquiring all three cards, while defeating Yugi Mutou (Yugi Muto in the English anime) in the process. The tournament would be held in the streets of Domino, using a portable Duel Disk holographic projection system of his own design. For his efforts, Kaiba is given a God Card, The God of the Obelisk or Obelisk the Tormentor (Obelisk no Kyōshinhei in Japanese, literally translated means Giant God Soldier of Obelisk, "The God of the Obelisk" in the English manga).

Battle City Rules

Main article: Battle City Rules

To acquire the God Cards, Kaiba creates the ante rule in the tournament, a rule that the winner of a duel in his tournament could take the rarest card from the loser's deck and used a satellite to monitor every duel by adding a device to his new mass production duel disks. It is not mentioned in the series what would happen if the duel was to end in a draw, but it was implied that, although winners were entitled to take the rarest card from their opponent, the winner need not do so. As for the tournament itself, entrants in the tournament were given a special transparent card in the shape of a puzzle piece, known as a locator card. Winners in duels, in addition to the ante rule, would also be entitled to take one such locator card from their opponents. Those without locator cards would be eliminated from the tournament, while the first eight duelists with six cards would move on. The duel disks were also used as a method to prevent cheating, as well as a method of helping Kaiba (himself an entrant) track the progress and location of other duelists.

In a move ostensibly to promote the real-life Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, the tournament used rules that were, for the most part, identical to the trading card game's rules (unlike the Duelist Kingdom tournament), with the major difference being that duelists would start a game with 4000 life points rather than the 8000 of the real-life game (and the 2000 of the Duelist Kingdom tournament) for the purposes of brevity. Minor differences include being able to summon in defense mode (face-up, instead of "setting" face-down) and Fusion monsters not being able to attack during the turn they are summoned.

Marik & the Rare Hunters (GHOULS)


Marik Ishtar shadowed by the light of his Millennium Rod

Meanwhile, Yugi and the nameless Pharaoh learn, from Ishizu Ishtar, of the God Cards and how it may have a connection with the nameless Pharaoh's past. Ishizu warns Yugi of the organization known as GHOULS (in the English anime, Rare Hunters), whose leader, Ishizu's brother Marik, seeks Yugi's Millennium Puzzle and the three God Cards to usurp the nameless Pharaoh of his own powers. Ishizu convinces Yugi that in order to find more about the nameless Pharaoh's past, he must enter and win the Battle City contest. Helping him along is Katsuya Jonouchi (Joey Wheeler in the English anime), who seeks to become a True Duelist. Ishizu would later reveal that, as an Ishtar, a family entrusted to guarding the secrets of the nameless Pharaoh's power, her family were effectively locked away from the outside world, and Marik saw it as a lost cause. When Marik was punished for wandering into the outside world, the dark part of Marik was born, and only Odion (Rishid in the Japanese versions), their adopted older brother and trusted servant, could hold Marik in check.

Although Yugi would enter the tournament without a problem, Jonouchi, because Kaiba only thought of him in a derogatory manner, was barred from entering the tournament. However, seeing that Jonouchi would ante his Red-Eyes B. Dragon card in the tournament, the shop owner, a GHOULS agent, successfully enters Jonouchi into the tournament, with the intention of getting his rare card off his hands. Jonouchi, unfamiliar with Kaiba's "advanced rules", had his card taken away from him before the tournament began, and thus Yugi began the tournament by dueling the Rare Hunter for it. Although Yugi wins (exposing the Rare Hunter's use of forgeries in the meantime), Jonouchi declines to take his card back, saying that he would have to earn it in the spirit of a True Duelist (in the English anime, Joey declines the card as a way to show that Joey would always be supporting Yugi - the True Duelist subplot was eliminated altogether). Instead, Jonouchi stakes his Time Wizard (known as Time Magician in Japan) in the tournament - the only other card in his possession that is considered to be rare.

Also cheering Jonouchi on is his sister, Shizuka Kawai (Serenity Wheeler in the English anime), who had managed to get her eye operation just in time due to the prize money from Duelist Kingdom that Yugi gives to Jonouchi. Although Shizuka was successful, she vowed not to remove her bandages until she saw her brother duel.

Battle City Duels

Battle City Begins

After Yugi defeats the Rare Hunter, Yugi would proceed with Pandora (Arkana). In the second series anime, Arkana was a great magician, but his career was lost due to a terrible accident during a simple escape routine. Arkana dismissed his love, regretting it all the rest of his life. Arkana plays a deck that focuses on the Dark Magician, and Arkana uses various magic cards to power it up and to save it from annihilation. He plays by a rule of Shadow Games, where the loser not only loses his rarest card (and his Locator card), but the loser loses his legs (in the English anime he would get sent to the Shadow Realm). Unlike Yugi, Arkana possesses three Dark Magicians. However, after both players were down to their last chunk of life points, Yugi uses Dark Magician Girl, whose special ability allows her to gain 300 attack points for every Dark Magician in the graveyard, to defeat Arkana.

Slifer the Sky Dragon


Slifer the Sky Dragon makes its first appearance

Throughout the road to the finals, Yugi faces Marik's GHOULS members (rare hunters in the English version), each of which is kept in line due to Marik's Millennium Rod's ability to exert mind control over others. Each time, Marik would use his Rare Hunters in an attempt to win Yugi's Millennium Puzzle, and thus claim the power of the nameless Pharaoh for himself. However, Yugi would prevail each time, and acquire a God card, Slifer the Sky Dragon (known as Osiris no Tenkūryū, or Sky Dragon of Osiris in Japan) in the process. He acquires this card in a duel against one of Marik's mind-controlled slaves, the Silent Puppet (Strings in the English anime), when Marik tries to use a strategy that is thought to have been unstoppable: by combining Slifer with four other cards:

  • Infinite Cards - a magic card that allows him to have as many cards in his hand as desired, allowing Slifer to have potentially unlimited attack and defense points (normally, players are restricted to a maximum of six cards in their hand)
  • Revival Jam - a monster card which can revive itself when destroyed while in defense mode
  • Card of Safe Return - a magic card allowing Marik to draw three cards every time any monster is revived, and thus increasing Slifer's attack every time Revival Jam (among other monsters) is revived
  • Jam Defender - a trap card which redirects any attacks to Revival Jam, used in case Osiris' attack is redirected back at itself.

Marik believed that Yugi would not be able to stop Slifer. However, by taking control of the newly reborn Revival Jam using Brain Control, Yugi triggered Slifer's effect which allows it to destroy any monster summoned with less than 2000 defense points. After Revival Jam was revived, Marik was forced to draw three cards due to Card of Safe Return. However, Revival Jam came back alive again and it triggered Slifer's effect again. This loop causes Marik to run out of cards from his deck to draw (with this, he loses).

Yugi would earn his final two locator cards in a tag-team duel with Kaiba (also two short of a complete set of locator cards at this time) against the Mask of Light and the Mask of Darkness (Lumis and Umbra, respectively, in the English anime); first in an alley way and then atop a skyscraper, with the losers plummeting to their deaths (in the English anime, the losers would fall into the Shadow Realm). It was difficult, but Kaiba would finally work together with Yugi and help each other out. Ultimately, Obelisk the Tormentor was able to be summoned and defeat the Masks.

Joey's duels

Joey strives to become a true duelist. First, he takes on Esper Roba (Espa Roba in the English anime), a self-proclaimed psychic who could supposedly predict the future. However, Espa Roba simply uses his four little brothers to spy on the opponent's cards using binoculars, until Mokuba caught them red-handed and they promised not to cheat. Joey wins again with a lucky magic card - Roulette Spider. Joey won Roba's Jinzo (Jinzo-ningen Psycho Shocker). Next, Joey duels Insector Haga (Weevil Underwood in the English anime). Weevil used a cheating method to sneak the Parasite Paracide (Parasite) into Joey's deck, turning his monsters into insects. Weevil then used the Insect Barrier to make it unable for insect monsters to attack. Ironically, Jonouchi was able to destroy Weevil's Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth with the parasite itself and later use a variety of magic cards to destroy Weevil's insects and life points. Ultimately, Joey would win the duel with Gearfried the Iron Knight, whose special ability caused it to be immune from the parasite and the insect barrier. Joey won Weevil's Insect Queen and two locator cards. Joey would gain his last two locator cards from Ryota Kajiki (Mako Tsunami in the English anime). For once, Joey didn't rely on luck, but rather the great many new magic and trap cards he got, such as Lightning Sword, Magic Shield Arm, Graceful Dice, Skull Dice (Devil Dice) , and Giant Trunade. Joey won the Fortress Whale (but not the ritual magic card Fortress Whale's Oath, meaning he cannot play it). Mako offered and gave Joey his prized Legendary Fisherman card.

Battle Between Friends


Joey's mind is under Marik's control

In a desperate move to take the power of the nameless Pharaoh for himself, Marik attempts to capture Yugi's friends. Although he fails to capture Hiroto Honda (Tristan Taylor) and Jonouchi's sister, Shizuka (Serenity in the English anime) (thanks to Ryuji Otogi (Duke Devlin) and his dice), he does manage to capture Joey and Anzu Mazaki (Téa Gardner), and force Yugi to duel against his friend, in which both were tied to an anchor and the loser would drown from the anchor falling into the water (a rare instance death is mentioned in the English dub). However, Joey manages to rid himself of Marik's Mind Control when he declines to take his own Red Eyes Black Dragon from Yugi's hand, and Yugi summons the dragon, making Joey remember his promise to help Yugi. Marik becomes very angry at the hesitancy of Joey, and decides to take control over Joey's body, but Joey is able to force Marik out. Joey plays to a draw, and both players' keys are released. Joey frees Yugi, but before he can free himself he plummets into the ocean, where he was saved by Shizuka (in the manga, Kaiba saved him).

In the end, the 8 duelists to qualify for the finals were be Yugi, Joey, Kaiba, Mai Kujaku (Mai Valentine), Marik, Odion (who everyone was led to believe was Marik), Ryo Bakura (who had won all his locator cards in one duel, despite being injured), and Ishizu.

Battle City Finals

Main article: Battle City Finals

Battle City Finals Dueling Tree

Quarter finals Semi finals Final
Episodes 082-084        
  Yugi Muto  750
Episodes 129-134
 Ryo Bakura  0  
  Yugi Muto  500
Episodes 086-089
     Seto Kaiba  0  
  Joey Wheeler  200
Episodes 138-142
 Odion Ishtar  200 K.O.  
  Yugi Muto  700
Episodes 090-092    
   Marik Ishtar  1 (surr.)
 Mai Valentine  0
Episodes 125-128
  Marik Ishtar  1050  
  Marik Ishtar  900 Bronze Medal
Episodes 093-094
     Joey Wheeler  1200 K.O.   Episodes 135-137
  Seto Kaiba  1350
  Seto Kaiba  700
 Ishizu Ishtar  0  
 Joey Wheeler  0



For the quarterfinal round, the duels were to be staged atop Kaiba's airship, the Battle Ship with the draw determined at random. Yugi vs. Bakura (Yami Yugi vs. Yami Bakura) would be the first duel. Although Yugi would get an early advantage, Bakura plays Dark Sanctuary, whose effect allows Bakura to possess one of Yugi's monsters so that when it attacks, the attack would be negated, and Yugi would lose life points. Bakura also plays the Destiny Board cards, which, when all five are played, would give Bakura an automatic victory. In desperation, Yugi is forced to summon Slifer and win the duel, as Slifer (Osiris) is immune to the effects of Dark Sanctuary.

Jonouchi vs. Odion (Joey Wheeler vs. Odion Ishtar) would be second quarterfinal match. Although Jonouchi is being done in by Odion's traps, he comes back and ties the match with 200 life points apiece, thanks to the three cards he had won in Battle City, especially Jinzo, which prevented Odion from using any trap cards. However, Rishid would play the Mystical Beast Serket, which destroys the three monsters and left Jonouchi wide open. However, as Odion was still posing as Marik, Marik would force Odion to play his counterfeit God Card, The Winged Dragon of Ra (Ra no Yokushinryū in Japan, "Sun Dragon Ra" in the English manga). However, the counterfeit card backfires on Rishid, striking down both duelists in the process. Although Jonouchi would win the duel by virtue of Kaiba's edict, the dark side of Marik was unleashed due to Odion being unconscious.

Mai vs. Marik (Mai Valentine vs. Marik Ishtar) would be the third quarterfinal, and Mai would be first to fall against Marik, as she is put in Marik's shadow game. Although Mai was being done in by Marik's traps, she manages to get the real Ra card from Marik and summon it. However, for Ra to obey Mai (and thus, for Mai to use the card), Mai must recite the hieratic text on the card. With Mai clearly unable to do so, Marik successfully recites the text, and uses Ra to attack Mai and win, leaving Mai critically injured (in the English anime, she is sent to the Shadow Realm).

The final quarterfinal Kaiba vs. Ishizu (Seto Kaiba vs. Ishizu Ishtar) saw Ishizu, then an eighth "mystery duelist", face off against Kaiba. Although Ishizu prophesizes that she will win, thanks to the ability of her Millennium Tauk (Millennium Necklace) to see into the future, Kaiba manages to systematically destroy Ishizu's deck using Crush Card (Deck Destruction Virus of Death in Japan) and Virus Cannon. Yet, Ishizu manages to play Exchange of Spirits, forcing both players to switch their Decks with Graveyards, thus leaving Kaiba with only six cards in his deck and Ishizu with her most powerful cards because of Kaiba's virus cards. In desperation, Kaiba attempts to summon Obelisk, while Ishizu, knowing Kaiba's intention, applied the Blast Held by a Tribute trap on Obelisk that would force itself to self-destruct when it attacks, causing Kaiba to lose. When Kaiba summons Obelisk, however, Marik's Millennium Rod [Priest Seto (Kaiba's past life)'s Millennium item] gave him a flashback of his past self and a dead girl named Kisara in front of what seems to look like the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. He analyzes this and trusts in this card so he summons it even if it is a less-powerful card but still having sufficient power to win. Kaiba does so and wins. It is later revealed that Blue-Eyes is actually Kisara (Priest Seto's loved one)'s Ka monster. It also turns out that she sacrificed her life for Seto and her ka monster stayed loyal to Seto. This flashback was Kisara's way to save Seto's future destiny once more.

Afterwards, Marik and Bakura (bearing the soul of Light Marik) attempt to defeat Dark Marik in order to win Marik's body back but ultimately loses to Ra's One-Turn Kill sending Bakura to the Shadow Realm (in the Japanese version, he 'dies').

Virtual World

In the Yu-Gi-Oh! second series anime (known as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters in Japan), the Virtual World story arc would be played out before the semifinal rounds took place.



Kaiba, Marik, Yugi, and Joey in a four-way free-for-all Preliminary Duel

In the semifinal round, taking place upon Alcatraz Tower (not titled in the English anime, in which it is known only as "KaibaCorp Island") , a special, massive mechanical tower located on a lone island, the four duelists would take part in a four-way duel, with the first two losers playing in the first semifinal and the two survivors playing in the second. Both Marik and Kaiba wanted to duel Yugi for their own reasons , while Yugi wanted to duel Jonouchi so that Jonouchi couldn't duel Marik. Jonouchi, however, wanted to duel Marik in hopes he could free Mai from the Shadow Realm (and, in the process, get revenge on Marik). The four-way duel started with Kaiba going first, Marik 2nd, Yugi 3rd, and Jonouchi 4th. Jonouchi did well in the beginning turns of the duel, mainly thanks to Yugi's intervention. However, Jonouchi finally convinced Yugi to let him play without his guidance so that he could prove to himself that he didn't need Yugi's help to duel well against the best of the best. During the next turn, Jonouchi was able to set up the duel so that, in his attack on Kaiba, he deflected the damage done to himself into Marik, making him the first loser. In addition to this, he took out his only monster while attacking Kaiba, who, in the next turn, destroyed all of Jonouchi's life points. In the end, Jonouchi (and by extension, Kaiba) got what they wanted.

In the first semifinal Marik vs. Jonouchi (Marik Ishtar vs. Joey Wheeler) like Mai, Jonouchi was subject to a shadow game, with each duelist being drained of life as each monster is destroyed. As Jonouchi is pushed back by Marik's traps and monster effects, Jonouchi manages to create a short comeback with reviving Jinzo after Marik is unable to name it as the bottom card of his graveyard, and later with Gilford the Lightning. However, the comeback was short-lived as Marik revives Ra and uses its Egyptian God Phoenix and One Turn Kill abilities to bring Jonouchi to the brink of defeat. However, Jonouchi, to Marik's surprise, manages to remain standing, and he summons Gearfried the Iron Knight in an effort to attack a wide-open Marik. However, Jonouchi collapses before making his attack, and Marik wins.

With Jonouchi being in critical condition (in the English anime, he is said to be "fighting the shadows" of the Shadow Realm), Yugi is forced to battle Kaiba when more pressing matters were at stake (namely, Jonouchi's health). The Yugi vs. Kaiba (Yami Yugi vs. Seto Kaiba) duel was evenly-matched, as Yugi's attempt to summon Slifer was countered by Kaiba's attempt to summon Obelisk. The two God cards would be summoned in successive turns, and after more jockeying for power with magic cards, the two evenly-matched God cards would destroy each other. With both God cards gone, Kaiba resorts to summoning his three Blue Eyes White Dragons, while Yugi would have Red-Eyes Black Dragon, Jonouchi's "soul card". Kaiba would force the duel to end by playing Final Attack Orders, making both players discard all but three cards from their decks and prohibiting the defense mode. Using his three cards, Yugi manages to combine Dark Magician (Black Magician in Japan) with Buster Blader to form Dark Paladin (Black Paladin in Japan), and, along with Diffusion Wave-Motion, to win the duel. As the tournament rules states, Kaiba is forced to give up Obelisk.

During the duel, as Red-Eyes Black Dragon was being played, Jonouchi manages to regain consciousness. In the Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duel Monsters anime (but not in the manga), he promptly challenges Kaiba to a duel for third place, just for fun. Kaiba declines, believing that dueling Jonouchi would be beneath him, but Jonouchi manages to convince him to duel. Although Kaiba would win, Jonouchi reveals that Kaiba had simply allowed anger to get the best of him in both his duel with Yugi and with Jonouchi (as witnessed by Joey once taking control of Blue Eyes White Dragon in their duel - a card considered to be Kaiba's prized possessions, and Kaiba using another Blue Eyes to destroy it).



All of Yugi's monsters unite with "Ragnarok" to bring down Ra

Before the final Yugi vs. Marik (Yami Yugi vs. Marik Ishtar) match takes place Kaiba is convinced Yugi cannot win, yet he cannot allow Marik to win, both for his personal reasons and for the greater good. He believes he has the perfect card to defeat Ra, being Devil's Sanctuary (Fiend Sanctuary), which he gives to Yugi. Again, Marik turns the duel into a shadow game, in which the loser must forfeit their alter-ego. Marik discards Ra in his first turn, with the intention of reviving Ra for one turn at a time. Yugi, meanwhile, manages to quickly summon Slifer, but Marik simply revives Ra to deal with it. Marik then tries to use Ra's One Turn Kill against Yugi, but Yugi forces Marik to stop the attack with Devil's Sanctuary, creating a token so that, when attacked, would redirect the damage to Marik, causing him to lose. Marik saved himself by playing De-Fusion (apparently, Marik is fused together with Ra when he used the One Turn Kill ability) - thus, all of Ra's attack points turn into Marik's life points, and Ra, without any attack points, deals no damage to Marik. Yugi then quickly turns one token to three with Multiply, summoning Obelisk with them, and reducing Marik's life points to 700.

Yugi's triumph would be short-lived, as Marik would combine Metal Reflect Slime and Revival Jam to create an indestructible "God Slime". With Yugi unable to attack with Obelisk, Marik revives Ra once again to destroy Obelisk, but Yugi revives Slifer to block the attack (The move would be illegal in the real game). Then Yugi uses Soul Taker to defuse and sacrifice the God Slime, allowing Obelisk to use its special ability, Soul Energy Max, which would give Yugi an automatic victory should Obelisk's attack be successful. The attack fails, but Marik manages to revive Ra once again. This time, Yugi sacrifices Obelisk and another monster for his trusty Dark Magician, and along with Dark Magician Girl (Black Magician Girl in Japan), activate Ragnarok (Dusk of all Cards in Japan), which allows, at the expense of all his monsters, Yugi to finally destroy Ra, and, as Marik was using One Turn Kill at the time, most of Marik with it. The two sides of Marik begin to fight, the good side attempting to take control and allowing Yugi to attack as a way to atone for his actions, while the evil side attempting to stop Yugi's attack. With the help of a strugging Odion, the good side prevails. When the smoke clears, the good Marik has control of the body, and the Dark Marik is now his sacrifice. Marik forfeits his sole remaining life point, destroying his other self, leaving Yugi the last man standing. Yugi is now the owner of the three God cards, as well as the keys to unlocking the nameless Pharaoh's past.



Yugi holding the 3 Egyptian God Cards at the end of the Battle City tournament

With the tournament behind him, Kaiba prepares to destroy the duel tower - the supposed place of his victory over the past before Yugi had beaten him, and the place where his hatred now resided. As the airship could not function, everyone was effectively trapped on the island - if it were not for a helicopter that had managed to arrive as Jonouchi was recovering from his duel with Marik. Everyone would part ways soon after, Marik, Ishizu, and Odion back to Egypt to start a new life, Otogi back to the United States to sell his Dungeon Dice Monsters game, Kaiba and Mokuba to build their new American amusement park, and the rest to new adventures. Marik surrenders his Millennium Rod to Yugi and also gives him the Millennium Ring, which Dark Marik won from his duel against Bakura. Yugi has also acquired the three most powerful cards: Slifer the Sky Dragon, Obelisk the Tormentor, and the Winged Dragon of Ra.

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