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The Ceremonial Battle (戦いの儀 Tatakai no Gi), known as The Final Duel in the dub, is the final Duel of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and anime series, taking place in the Ceremonial Battle arc. The Ceremonial Battle took place in episodes 221-224.

The Introduction[]

Both the Pharaoh and Yugi have obtained all 7 Millennium items and all 3 Egyptian God Cards. The Pharaoh has defeated Zorc Necrophades in the memory RPG and the former has finally learned his true name. Soon it was time for the final test to see if Atem and Yugi were finally ready to separate for good; Atem would have to be defeated in a duel where he was actively trying to win, demonstrating that he had learned from Yugi that one did not need to win all the time and that defeat could teach us just as much as victory. In the Japanese dub, Atem stated that as a duelist and with his pride on the line, he must give his all into defeat his opponent, no matter the cost, even if it means not being able to pass on.

Originally planned to travel to Luxor in the Cairo International Airport, a sandstorm brewed over the Valley of Kings, blocking that path. Marik and Ishizu Ishtar step in to help them, and they proceed to the Valley of Kings by boat from where it was stated that the sandstorm might have not been without purpose due to the ancient belief that ships carried kings or people back from the gods as it says, from this world to the afterlife. Both Joey and Kaiba (in the manga, Kaiba wasn't in this arc) asked Yugi if they could battle the Pharaoh. Yugi declined both requests, feeling that battling the Pharaoh was something he had to do to prove to himself that he was ready to separate from him.

The boat docked, and everyone there was waiting for him. Ishizu then led them across the desert to an underground cavern all the way to the back, where there was a large door with a carving of The Eye of Wdjat which Ishizu explained would unravel the Pharaoh's spirit from Yugi's, further explaining that in order to pass on, he must act the Rite of the Duel. Yugi approached the Shrine of The Millennium Items and placed all the seven Millennium Items in their appropriate places. A wave of light passed over Yugi, his shadow started to split in half and then his body. The Pharaoh and Yugi walked opposite ways to the far sides of the cavern. The Final Duel had begun.

The Battle[]

Summoning of the Egyptian Gods[]

The Created Bonds of the Past and Present[]

  • Atem plays "Pot of Greed" to draw 2 cards.
  • Meanwhile, Ishizu Ishtar relates the story of the Power of the Pharaoh, which, she says, was so strong that no one wanted to battle him because of the unmatched strength of his sword.
  • Seto Kaiba then talks about the Egyptian God Cards, believing that since Atem holds the most feared cards in the entire game of Duel Monsters, no one can defeat him. He feels that this is why his name is written in history and hastily decides to leave, but he is momentarily stopped by Joey. Kaiba shuns Joey by asking him if he knew any way to defeat the cards, because no Duelist present here was able to.
  • Ishizu says it is up to fate now: if Yugi and Atem are ready to separate, then Yugi will win. If not, Atem will remain trapped for another 5000 years.
  • Kaiba offers Atem a rematch, since it seems (to Kaiba, at least) he'll be sticking around for a while.
  • Yugi asks why Kaiba will leave if Yugi is losing, but Kaiba replies that he only wants to watch Yugi lose to him, so he reminds Kaiba about their bond (sparking a flashback when Atem gives the Millennium Puzzle to Priest Seto), and says Kaiba has to stay to watch. Yugi assures Kaiba that he has a plan to defeat the Egyptian Gods, and Kaiba stays, if only to step in and Duel Atem once Yugi loses. On this note, fear enters Yugi's heart.
  • Tristan tries to encourage him but Marik stops him. He and Joey rekindle the fact that the fear in facing the Egyptian Gods is indescribable.
  • Yugi ruminates that forever he has tried to follow in Atem's footsteps and yet when he thinks he is nearing, he is actually so far.
  • Atem then encourages him by telling him to trust in the Deck or he would not win, and that it takes heart in building the Deck that one trusts. Yugi responds that he gained his strength from Atem, but reminds him that he himself has also taken pain that Atem was supposed to receive. Afterwards, Yugi is more confident and tells him that he built his Deck so that Atem's spirit would rest, and Téa realizes that Yugi is about to build a strategy that can defeat the Egyptian Gods.

Defeating the Egyptian Gods[]

  • While "Silent Swordsman" grows to Level 4 with 3000 ATK, Yugi Tributes his Magnet Warriors—"Alpha", "Beta", and "Gamma"—from his hand to Summon "Valkyrion the Magna Warrior" in Attack Position.
    • This activates "Slifer's" special effect, as it now opens its second mouth to drain Yugi's "Valkyrion" of 2000 ATK, but Yugi activates "Mirage Spell", which negates "Slifer's" special effect and adds 2000 points to his Life Points, bringing him up to 3400 Life Points.
    • Even Kaiba is impressed, but knows it will take more to beat the Egyptian Gods, while Yugi Sets 2 cards and ends his turn.
    • Joey and Marik question why Yugi wouldn't attack "Obelisk", since both of his monsters are strong enough to destroy it. Kaiba demands for Yugi to show his strategy, and Atem reflects that Yugi's monsters are still too weak to defeat either "Slifer" or "Ra".
    • Atem then thinks that "Silent Swordsman"—now at Level 4—and "Valkyrion" are the best cards, but only pale in comparison to the God Cards. Then, he draws; now that he holds 4 cards, "Slifer's" ATK becomes 4000. Atem attacks "Silent Swordsman" with "Slifer", but Yugi activates a Trap, and Atem responds in turn with the reminder that "Slifer" is immune to Traps.
  • "Silent Swordsman" is destroyed, and Yugi is down to 2400 Life Points. Next, Atem attacks "Valkyrion" with "The Winged Dragon of Ra", destroying it and bringing Yugi's score down to 900. Finally, "Obelisk" attacks, but "Valkyrion" and "Silent Swordsman" suddenly reappear on the field, and Yugi's score returns to 3400. Yugi reveals that the Trap he activated was "Mirage Ruler", which, should all his monsters be destroyed in one turn, re-Summons them to the field in the same battle position as when they were destroyed, and any damage he took from the attack restores his Life Points, although all this costs him 1000 Life Points, taking him down to 2400. On this note, Atem ends his turn.
    • Everyone sighs in relief, including Grandpa (who thought he'd have a heart attack). Téa is also relieved, but is now confused about whose side she wants to be on.
      • However, Kaiba merely thinks Yugi is stalling until he can find a weakness in the Egyptian Gods. The only weakness Kaiba himself knows about the Egyptian God Cards is that each one require 3 Tributes to Summon them, but Atem's strategy eliminated that weakness, so he thinks Atem is the true King of Games.
      • But, Ishizu believes Yugi can still win, as she stated that the suffering that a soul bore after 3,000 years (5,000 years in the English dub) has strengthened him, and only a strong body would be able to carry that soul whose own soul strengthened with the other. Because of that, the soul who owns the body could make miracles, Yugi could make miracles.
  • Yugi decides to start thinking like the Pharaoh, and realizes that Atem had not played his face-down card since he Set it before activating "Card of Sanctity". After much thinking, he deduces that Atem's face-down card must be "Mirror Force". If he's right, he knows how to defeat the Egyptian Gods. He draws, and "Silent Swordsman's" ATK rises to 3500 points and upgrades to Level 5. Then, he activates "Valkyrion's" effect, de-fusing it into Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.
    • However, "Slifer's" special effect activates again, blasting each of the 3 new monsters with a force strong enough to destroy them—but Yugi responds with his Trap Card, "Magnet Force" and redirects each blast toward each of the Gods, draining each of them of 2000 ATK. "Ra", "Slifer" and "Obelisk" now have 3000, 2000, and 500 ATK, respectively.
  • Yugi orders "Silent Swordsman" to attack, but Atem activates his face-down card. As Yugi anticipated, Atem's face-down card was indeed "Mirror Force", which destroys all of Yugi's Attack Position monsters. Yugi admits he wanted Atem to use "Mirror Force", and tells him the time has come to destroy the Egyptian Gods. Yugi plays "Magnet Reverse" to re-Summon "Valkyrion", reactivating "Slifer's" special effect. However, "Magnet Force" redirects the blast to "Obelisk", destroying it.
    • Finally, Yugi de-fuses "Valkyrion" again, and "Slifer's" effect activates yet again, but the 3 blasts are again reflected, 1 blast to "Slifer" and 2 to "Ra", destroying both of them.
  • Everyone is amazed: while Atem had Summoned all 3 Egyptian Gods in 2 turns, Yugi was able to destroy them all in just one.
  • Yugi reminds Atem of something he learned of in their battles together: sometimes to defeat someone with a strong power, you need to turn that power against them. Atem is impressed and notes that that is how a true Duelist thinks.

Post–Egyptian Gods[]

  • Yugi is amazed that Atem discarded "Gaia" at his first turn, and Atem admits he knew the Duel would end up this way. When he'd chosen his cards and built his Deck, he knew how this Duel would go. He surprised everyone by saying that he'd known all along that Yugi would defeat the Egyptian Gods, and now that they're gone, the true Duel can begin.
  • "Gaia" destroys "Buster Blader", bringing Yugi's Life Points down to 2200, but Yugi activates "Soul Rope". Paying 1000 Life Points, he Summons "Witch of the Black Forest" from his Deck. (Note that this is illegal in real life since "Soul Rope" cannot be activated during the Damage Step.)
  • Yugi draws and trades in his Witch for "Summoned Skull", using his Witch's effect to add "Marshmallon" from his Deck to his hand.
  • "Summoned Skull" destroys "Gaia" and brings Atem's Life Points down to 3300. This is emotionally painful due to the fact that they had once defended each other.
  • Atem thinks he has to fight hard to win, and draws exactly what he needs, calling out the card's name before he draws it: he Summons "Big Shield Gardna" in Defense Position.
  • While Joey and Tristan think its luck, Marik tells them that the Pharaoh knew what he would draw. Ishizu agrees that Atem's will was so strong, he influenced fate to draw what he needed.
  • However, "Big Shield Gardna's" effect activates on this note, because it was attacked by a weaker Attack Position monster while in Defense Position. Now, it switches to Attack Position, and Yugi attacks with "Curse of Dragon", who destroys "Big Shield Gardna" and reduces Atem's Life Points to 1400.
  • Téa says she can't watch anymore, and asks for the Duel to stop, because she isn't ready to say goodbye to Atem.
  • Joey comforts her and tells her that every Duel Yugi and Atem had ever fought has led up to this Duel, and reminds her that this a test to see how much both of them have grown, and if they're ready to move on. This Duel is for the best, and Téa agrees.
  • Meanwhile, Atem thinks to himself that he senses an old friend in his Deck, and apologizes for keeping him waiting so long. Then he draws his next card.

Atem's Trusted Cards[]

Atem's Defeat[]

  • With the thought of winning, Atem plays "Monster Reborn" to revive "Slifer the Sky Dragon". Since he holds 4 cards in his hand, "Slifer's" ATK becomes 4000.
    • However, Yugi reflects that, if he were in Atem's situation, he would have used the same strategy, and he was counting on Atem to do so himself. Within the next few seconds, Yugi's "Gold Sarcophagus" glows as it returns to the field, and as it opens, Yugi reveals that the card he removed from play with "Gold Sarcophagus" was the very same card Atem just played. Everyone protests that only one copy of "Slifer the Sky Dragon" was in existence, but to their surprise, Yugi revealed the card inside his "Gold Sarcophagus": "Monster Reborn".
  • Joey realizes that Yugi could have also benefited from that card, but he also reveals that, to ensure Yugi's victory, his friend needed to sacrifice that card.
  • Ishizu recognized it as a message to Atem that a peaceful soul shouldn't return to life in order to experience suffering. Atem's "Monster Reborn" card is then negated by Yugi "Gold Sarcophagus", while "Slifer the Sky Dragon" dissolves and returns to the Graveyard.
  • On this, Atem ends his turn and tells Yugi this has been the best Duel of his life. Yugi stands motionless with his head bowed, and Duke asks why Yugi is hesitating: he can win with his next attack. But Bakura explains that that's the problem: after Yugi attacks, he will win, and Atem will leave forever.
  • One last tear falls from Yugi's eye as he commands his "Silent Magician" to launch a direct attack on Atem. Yugi has won the Duel.

The End of Atem's Story[]

Yugi falls to his knees, cries and tells Atem that he (Yugi) is weak. Atem tells him that he would not cry if he were in his place. Yugi says that that is the point, he admits that he could not follow in the footsteps of Atem. Atem reminds him that he is not a coward and it was he who taught Atem about the principles needed to win. He also says that now he is leaving, there would be no one else for Yugi to follow and that there would only be one Yugi.

The Eye of Wdjat glows on the wall, and Ishizu says the spirit of the Pharaoh has been freed. Atem stands before the Eye and declares that he is Atem. The wall parts to reveal a glowing light, and Atem walks towards it. Téa, Joey and Tristan step forward, asking him if this is how it ends: Atem can't show up, change their lives, and leave.

Yugi says that they don't want to say goodbye, and Téa cries that while she knows its for the best, it doesn't seem fair that Atem has to leave. They were just getting to know him, and Atem was just getting to know himself, but now he's leaving. She knows they should be happy for him, but its hard when they're losing their best friend and they don't understand why. Joey says there are some things they aren't supposed to understand: he goes through half his life like that. But he does know that while Atem's stay isn't as long as they'd like, they were lucky to know him at all. Atem silently thanks him, and Téa wishes him luck.

Joey shouts that Atem isn't going anywhere: the memories he gave each of them will remain in their hearts. Joey and Yugi give Atem a thumbs-up, and Atem returns the gesture as he walks forward. The Pharaoh's cloak and clothing appear around him as images of Adviser Siamun, Mana, Akhenamkhanen, and the six priests (Young Akhenaden, Mahado, Seto, Isis, Kalim and Shada) greet him. Atem vanishes into the light, the wall closing behind him.

The Wdjat temple then starts to crumble as the Millennium Stone shatters, scattering the Millennium Items in a bottomless pit. They all run away from the temple while Shadi's spirit watches the temple he protected crumble, his duty being fulfilled, the Pharaoh's spirit has gone to the Afterlife.

The Start of Yugi's Story[]

(This is in the one-off end credits. This is not shown in the English anime nor the manga as it ends with them still being in Egypt.)

Yugi, Téa, Joey, Tristan, Duke, Grandpa, Kaiba, and Mokuba all leave Egypt and return to Japan. In the airport, they meet up with Rebecca and Serenity. Both Duke and Tristan fall for Serenity, but are pulled back by Joey. Rebecca hugs Yugi much to Téa's annoyance.

Weevil Underwood and Rex Raptor get into an argument again and decide to duel. Zigfried and Leon von Schroeder make a business proposition with Pegasus, which turns to their favor. Mako Tsunami sets sail from his fishing trip to be met up with Espa Roba at the harbor. Mai Valentine and Vivian Wong are facing a two-on-two duel against the Paradox Brothers atop the Great Wall of China.

The credits end with a scene where Grandpa is sweeping while Yugi comes out from the house to join Téa, Joey and Tristan to go to school. Yugi ends the show by saying that his story has not ended and that his story is not about a pharaoh who after three thousand years defeated the evil Zorc.

Yugioh fin

This isn't the legend of a Pharaoh. Everybody has his own story....The story that completes in the light. My story has just started.

In fact, he says that his story is just beginning. This alludes to the famous phrase "This isn't the legend of a Pharaoh. Everybody has his own story....The story that completes in the light. My story has just started." FIN


  • The English-language episode was dubbed "The Greatest Duel Ever" by the series' US network, 4Kids Entertainment, on a online vote and shown on CW4Kids on April 17, 2010 (April 18, 2010 at Atlanta, GA).
  • The English-language episode ends with Yugi and his friends in Egypt; in the Japanese version, the episode contains more footage and ends with Yugi and his friends walking down a street.
  • In the English version, Kaiba finally acknowledges Atem as 'Pharaoh', and seems to accept that he and Yugi are different people. He even seems to believe in the idea that Atem will leave if he loses, telling him at one point when he is winning, that it looks like he is not going anywhere. He also seems to finally concede his rivalry with Yugi after he defeats all three Egyptian God Cards in one turn, acknowledging Yugi as the true King of Games, and finally making peace with himself and the rest of the gang, in the process.
  • The Decks of both Yugi and Atem share only 3 of the same card: "Pot of Greed", "Card of Sanctity", and "Monster Reborn". Both Decks have cards used in prior seasons, but the above 3 cards are the only cards in both Decks built specifically for the Ceremonial Battle.
  • Although, after Yugi summons the Silent Swordsman, Atem claims to set "Mirror Force", but he does not. An underside shot of the card shows the card is, in fact, "Dark Mirror Force". Later, the real "Mirror Force" is used.
  • The chant Atem uses to Summon "The Winged Dragon of Ra" is different from the one Marik Ishtar uses in Battle City.
  • Yugi's "Blockman" card is an homage to Lego blocks.
  • In the English version of the anime, Atem continues with the phrase "Son of King Aknamkanon" but in the Japanese and Philippine versions, it continues with the phrase Pharaoh of Egypt.
  • Yugi's level monsters function differently from the real cards. The real version of Silent Swordsman only levels up when it attacks, and is only level 3, 5, or 7. Silent Magician starts at level 4, only levels up once, when the opponent has drawn 5 cards, to level 8.
  • During the Duel, Atem claims that he never had to Duel Yugi, when it is actually Atem's second time Dueling Yugi. The first time was in the "Waking the Dragons" season when Atem had to face himself (Yugi) to be free of the darkness within himself. The difference is the first time, they both had the same Deck. Since Yugi's spirit had been sealed away prior, it is possible that it was merely an illusion, augmented further by how multiple times characters state that Atem was facing was merely a reflection of his heart. (Note: The Waking the Dragons story arc was not in the original manga, and it is not considered canon to the whole story. Therefore Yugi had not Dueled Atem as of now.)
  • This final duel became the basis for the tradition of the other animes in having one more duel after the "main antagonist", usually between the two protagonists or the protagonist and his rival. These duels are generally referred as "ceremonial battle" by fans.
  • The final Duel of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL is similar to this in the two main protagonists who always fought alongside each other, now fight against each other. The Japanese name of the first episode of that duel explicitly pays homage to this.