The Millennium Puzzle (
3,000 years before present day events (5,000 in the dub), the Millennium Pendant and the other Millennium Items were forged in Kul Elna by sacrificing 99 souls of the Kul Elna villagers. The items were created in order to protect Egypt from attackers. Pharaoh Aknamkanon was given the Pendant, while six priests were given the other six items. Together they fought off the attackers and saved Egypt.
After Aknamkanon became aware how the Items were created, he fell ill and died shortly afterward. The Pendant was inherited by his son Atem.
Atem defeated Zorc at the cost of his own life. He used his name as part of a spell that sealed Zorc's soul and his own in the Millennium Pendant, which was shattered and was laid to rest in his tomb. Atem's memory, including his name, was wiped, so that he could not recall the spell, to prevent the binding from ever being undone.
Originally, it was said that the Millennium Pendant had been discovered by a team of British archaeologists in the Valley of the Kings at the beginning of the 20th century. Each of them suffered mysterious deaths, with the last one uttering "The Shadow Games" in his dying breath. This plot detail was later changed.
The box containing the Puzzle's pieces had two messages written on it, "The person who solves this puzzle will have their wish granted." and "The one who solves me, will receive my dark knowledge and power."
In the 1960s, Solomon Muto retrieved the Millennium Pendant, now called the Millennium Puzzle in the Tomb of the Nameless Pharaoh who was Atem. Over the years, no one had been able to assemble the puzzle, Solomon believed that the Puzzle is simply impossible. Solomon's grandson, Yugi, found the puzzle in the family game shop and spent eight years trying to solve it. Solomon repeatedly tried to convince Yugi to give up on the puzzle with no success. He also feared that the Puzzle contained the power of the Shadow Game so he hoped Yugi would never solve it.
Yugi managed to solve the Puzzle, while under the pressure of getting money to pay Ushio's self-imposed bodyguard fee. After solving it, his body bore host to part of Atem's soul, known as Yami Yugi.
Yami Yugi was able to take control of Yugi's body while Yugi had the Puzzle. Yugi often wore the Puzzle around his neck on a brown rope and later a metal chain, allowing him to easily get Yami's help, usually to play games, particularly Duel Monsters.
When Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi) played a dice game Shadow Game with the ZTV director, he used the Millennium Puzzle to block one of the dice that the director threw at his face. This broke the die in two, causing it to land on both 1 and 6, which totaled 7. Being a "lowest roll wins" game, this caused the director to lose.
When Yugi was searching for Jonouchi (Joey), whom he feared was in danger, he asked the puzzle to help him find Jonouchi. This caused Dark Yugi to take control and track down Jonouchi at Hirutani's torture chamber. Dark Yugi used the puzzle as part of a trap in the Landmine Search Network game with Hirutani's gang; he hung it over an unconscious gangster's forehead, causing rainwater to drop from it onto his head waking him up and making him drop his stun gun in a puddle, electrocuting the gang.
Mokuba Kaiba played Russian Roulette dinner against Yugi and Jonouchi. Dark Yugi realized that Mokuba was cheating by using a hidden switch in a syrup bottle, so he attached the Millennium Puzzle to the turntable so that it smashed the syrup bottle as it spun.
The Puzzle was later shattered by Mr. Clown in the manga or Bandit Keith in the anime. Yugi managed to reassemble the puzzle while the building he was in was on fire, as he couldn't bear losing Yami Yugi.
After Yami Yugi collected the Egyptian God cards and presented them to the tablet, he was sucked into the Ultimate Shadow RPG, which was a replay of his life in Ancient Egypt. Yami Yugi was the player, while Atem was one of his characters, both of whom had the Millennium Puzzle.
As the RPG replayed Atem's life, Thief King Bakura managed to steal it again. He once again gathered the Items and Summoned Zorc. However, when Yugi and his friends were able to help Yami learn his original name, Atem managed to summon Holactie the Creator of Light, destroying Zorc without sealing him into the Puzzle or shattering it.
After the RPG ended, Yugi returned to the real world and once again had the Puzzle, which was laid to rest, before the Ceremonial Battle. After the battle the Puzzle, along with the other items, was buried underground in pieces.
The Dark Side of Dimensions
The Millennium Stone was excavated and fragments of the Puzzle were found. Seto Kaiba attempted to reassemble the Puzzle to bring back Atem so he could Duel him. However, Aigami managed to acquire two pieces. He gave a piece to Sera, and Sera gave the piece to Yugi.
During Yugi and Kaiba's Duel, the Millennium Puzzle was reassembled, but nothing happened, much to Kaiba's anger. Later, after Kaiba was defeated by Aigami during Yugi and Kaiba's Duel against him, Kaiba gave Yugi the Puzzle. On the last turn of the Duel, Atem was revived and defeated Aigami. Atem then made the Puzzle disappear as he returned to the spirit world. Later, when Kaiba combined his technology with Aigami's cube to reach Atem's palace, the puzzle was shown to be back in Atem's possession just before he and Kaiba were presumably about to duel.
In Reshef of Destruction, the ritual to revive Reshef the Dark Being scatters the Millennium Items, including the Puzzle, across the globe. Yugi is frantic to find it and save his other self. It's eventually revealed that Bandit Keith came into possession of the Puzzle; he uses it and the other Items in a ritual to attempt to awaken Ra. When this attempt fails, the Puzzle is taken from him and Yami Yugi reemerges, frying Keith with lightning from Ra.
However, Reshef possesses Keith, making him steal and break the Millennium Puzzle. Before Yugi can assemble the pieces, Para steals them and brings them to Sol Chevalsky's castle. Once in Pegasus's possession, he uses them to bait the player, Yugi, and Joey into coming to his castle, and gloats that with the source of Yugi's power in his hands, there's no one left who can defeat him. Upon defeat, Pegasus returns the pieces and Yami Yugi is freed, enabling him to help weaken Reshef to the point where he can be beaten.
The Pendant resembles an upside-down pyramid with an eye on the front. It has a ring on top, allowing it to be worn around the owner's neck.
The puzzle is extremely complex and difficult to solve, having taken Yugi at least eight years to successfully assemble it. In addition, in the manga, when Mr. Otogi tried to rebuild it after he shattered it, he ended up almost trapped in an illusion of the puzzle's maze, indicating that only a wise, chosen one can build it, as Ryuji Otogi could also not fit the pieces in. Seto Kaiba relied on the KaibaCorp space station’s advanced supercomputer and zero gravity chamber to reassemble the pieces. It could also be that the puzzle has some will of its own, as Yugi was unable to solve it until the night he played his first Shadow Game; up to this point he hadn't needed the power the puzzle could grant.
Dark Yugi describes the power of the puzzle as "the power of unity", comparing a puzzle's pieces forming a whole to friends coming together. Yugi frequently credits the Millennium Puzzle with bringing him friendship with Joey Wheeler. Yugi originally used the phrase "Something that can be seen, yet cannot be seen" to describe the Millennium Puzzle before it was completed, since even though you can see the pieces, you can't see the whole puzzle since it isn't complete. This riddle has been used many times in the Japanese version of the anime, with different characters providing different answers.
Powers & Abilities
In addition to holding the soul/spirit of Pharaoh Atem himself, the Puzzle is able to fulfil one single wish of the person who had solved it and heighten its owner's chance of success in a game, judging by their skill-level as well as the importance of the game at hand. The hieroglyphs inscribed on the puzzle say, "The one who solves me shall gain the powers and knowledge of darkness..."
Its main power grants the owner the powers and knowledge of darkness and shadows, giving him incredible skill at strategy and allowing him to use ancient and powerful magic. That magic is mainly used to start and control Shadow Games. The Millennium Puzzle is the most powerful of all the Millennium Items. When Yugi activates its magic, the Eye of Wdjat glows on his forehead. Its most well-known power is Yugi switching his body and mind with the spirit of the Pharaoh.
In the first series anime, Shadi entered Yugi's mind room belonging to Dark Yugi, looking for the secret powers of the Millennium Puzzle. Dark Yugi confronted him and challenged him to a game, where he was to find the true mind room amongst the countless mazes of doors that were riddled with traps. He failed, and was very nearly killed by a particular trap which caused the floor of the room to collapse. Dark Yugi saved him and Shadi left, defeated. A similar event happens in the second series anime during the Duelist Kingdom arc, but it is Yugi who rescues Shadi, not Yami Yugi. Yami Yugi also explains to Shadi that the Millennium Puzzle holds the power of unity, just as the many pieces of the Millennium Puzzle assembled and united.
It is able to initiate Shadow Games and corresponding Penalty Games that Dark Yugi used to punish those who harmed Yugi or his friends. In the Memory World arc, Atem couldn't summon the Egyptian Gods without the immense power of the puzzle. It can cast illusions, and can manipulate the minds and souls of others, such as when Yami Bakura put Bakura's soul inside of "Change of Heart" but Yami Yugi changed it to Yami Bakura's soul in the card. It can even interfere with the magic of other Millennium Items, and at its full power it can repel the dark Seal of Orichalcos.
Other lesser-known powers include protecting the user and others from harm and magical forces, and the ability to communicate with Duel Monster spirits. Also, it allows its owner to sense and feel thoughts and emotions, and to enter the minds of others. It can also sense impending danger and the great powers of other mystical artifacts and beings. During his tag-team duel with Joey against Para and Dox Yami Yugi was able to sense the power of the Gate Guardian monsters the brothers were preparing to summon, but didn't know what the pair of Eliminators planned to summon until it happened.
History of possession
|Holder||Means of acquisition|
|Aknamkanon||Created for, to protect his kingdom|
|Atem||Inherited from his late father|
|Atem||Regained from Bakura|
|Solomon Muto||Recovered from Atem's tomb|
|Yugi Muto||Found in his family's game shop (manga)|
His Grandpa gave it to him to solve (anime)
|Curator Kanekura||Lent to|
|Shadi||Safe kept after killing Kanekura|
|Yugi Muto||Returned to from Shadi|
|Yugi Muto||Returned to from Joey|
|Yugi Muto||Yami Yugi took back|
|Bandit Keith||Stole (anime only)|
|Joey Wheeler||Lent to by Yugi|
|Yugi Muto||Returned to from Joey|
|Atem||Used in the Shadow RPG|
|Thief King Bakura||Stole|
|Yugi Muto||Returns to the Millennium Stone, which again shatters and is sealed away|
|Seto Kaiba||Aigami steals two pieces.|
|Seto Kaiba||Aigami gives a piece to Sera.|
|Seto Kaiba||Sera gives her piece to Yugi.|
|Seto Kaiba||Yugi wins a piece from Aigami|
|Yugi Muto||Kaiba gives Yugi the puzzle to recomplete.|
|Atem||Returned from the afterlife to help Yugi defeat Dark Diva, then returned to the afterlife with it.|
|Ma'at||The Millennium Puzzle features as a belt buckle around Ma'at's waist|
- This kanji used in the manga, 錘, literally "spindle", was likely used as an alternative spelling for 錐 which is a geometric term for "pointy" solids such as pyramids and cones.
- Takahashi, Kazuki (1997-03-09). "
遊闘1 神のパッズル" (in Japanese). Yu-Gi-Oh!. 1. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-872311-2.
- Takahashi, Kazuki (1997-05-06). "
遊闘13 エジプトから 来た 神〈 前 編〉" (in Japanese). Yu-Gi-Oh!. 2. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-872312-0.
- Takahashi, Kazuki (2003-03-09). "
遊闘281 超古代遺物の 真 実‼" (in Japanese). Yu-Gi-Oh!. 32. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-873390-8.
- Takahashi, Kazuki (2003-03-09). "
遊闘302 奇 襲‼ 奇 襲‼" (in Japanese). Yu-Gi-Oh!. 34. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-873492-0.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 1: "The Puzzle of the Gods"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 1: "The Violent Battle - A Game of Darkness"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World Duel 1: "The Millennium Treasure"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 2: "Lying Eyes"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 12: "The Wild Gang (Part 2)"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 26: "Russian Roulette"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 18: "The King of the Copycats, Part 1"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 19: "The King of the Copycats, Part 2"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 5: "The Shadow Duelist, Part 1"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 6: "The Shadow Duelist, Part 2"