The Millennium Puzzle is one of the Millennium Items. It was originally known as the Millennium Pendant, but after being shattered and requiring assembly it came to be known as the Millennium Puzzle.
3,000 years before present day events (5,000 in the English anime), 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 [Yami Yugi].
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 Items. Atem's soul got sealed in the Millennium Puzzle, 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, so that the binding could never be 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.
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's grandson, Yugi, found the puzzle in the family game shop and spent eight years trying to solve it. When he solved it, his adventure began.
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 silver chain with links, 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 a die, 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), who 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 Gods 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 Bakura managed to steal it again. He once again gathered the Items and Summoned Zorc.
After the RPG, Yugi 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 destroyed.
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.
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 asked many times over the course of the series, with different characters providing different answers.
Powers & Abilities
In addition to holding the soul of Atem, the puzzle is able to fulfill one wish of the person who had solved it and heighten its owner's chance of success in a game, judging by their skill as well as the importance of the game at hand. The hieroglyphs enscribed on the puzzle say, "The one who solves me shall gain the powers and knowledge of darkness..."
Out of all the Millennium Items, its powers are the least obvious. It grants the owner the ability to wield the powers of the Shadow games and to command Duel Monsters. When he uses the magic of his Millennium Puzzle, the Eye of Wdjat glows on his forehead. Its most well known power is the Yu-Gi-Oh transformation where Yugi and the spirit of the puzzle merge together, where both light and darkness are in his heart.
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. Yugi Moto 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, has the power to materialize, command, and harness the effects of Duel Monsters, and has influence over the Shadow Realm, just like all Millennium items. In the Memory World arc, Atem couldn't summon the Egyptian Gods without the puzzle. Also, like the rest of the items, it has the power to manipulate souls, 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 powers of other Millennium Items, and at its full power, even break through the Seal of Orichalcos.
Other lesser-known powers include protecting the user and others from physical harm and magical forces (like when PaniK tried to burn him alive, or when Yami Marik unleashed the Winged Dragon of Ra on Mai and Joey, and Yugi stepped in front to protect them), 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 great power.
History of possession
|Holder||Means of acquisition|
|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)
|Professor 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|
|Keith Howard||Stole (anime only)|
|Joey Wheeler||Lent to by Yugi|
|Yugi Muto||Returned to from Joey|
|Pharaoh Atem||Used in the Shadow RPG|
|Thief King Bakura||Stole|
|Yugi Muto||RPG ended|
|Ma'at||The Millennium Puzzle features as a belt buckle around Ma'at's waist|
- 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"