- For the card, see: Penalty Game!
Penalty Games played an important part in early Yu-Gi-Oh! storylines, but are used much less frequently when the main character, Yugi Mutou, decides to stop using them, being exclusively used by villains. The first series anime toned down the fatality of a number of Penalty Games, making some merely illusions.
Penalty Games created by Millennium Item holders.
Dark Yugi's (Yami Yugi's) Penalty Games often act as poetic justice to a person who trespassed on the souls of his friends, and for their history of committing crimes and evils onto others. While some of these penalties are fatal, he has used them to help the person at times; The Mind Crush Penalty Game was used to shatter Seto Kaiba's tainted heart, so he could be given a chance to piece it together in order to become a good person again. While Penalty Games used illusions and magic on the loser's psyche and soul, some of the dangerous games played would merely boast devastating losses on their own even without the need of such powers. Not all the penalty games make use of the Millenium Puzzle's powers; a number of the punishments are mundane results of the circumstances of the game being played.
In the NAS anime, Mind Crush is the only Penalty Game shown to be used. Aside from sealing away Kaiba's evil side (instead of shattering his heart into fragments and turning it into a puzzle like in the manga), it has also been used to kill Ghost Kaiba (a shape-shifter that was hired by Maximillion Pegasus as a Player Killer), PaniK (Player Killer of Darkness in the original) and rendered a mugger (stalker/pervert in the original) unconscious (the game in which the mugger/stalker lost was to draw a card, and whichever card is the strongest wins). In the Japanese version, these three victims disappear off the land or be in a state of unconsciousness, or in the dub, banished to the Shadow Realm. During this time, Dark Yugi wasn't that different from Dark Bakura or Dark Marik, aside from the fact that he used his shadow magic to defend the honor of his friends and wasn't just banishing people for fun or to gain power. The Mind Crush has not been used since PaniK, or seen since the flashback with the mugger, with no real explanation in the anime whereas an explanation was present in the manga. In anime terms, this is probably because Dark Yugi was beginning to learn compassion and kindness from Yugi and started learning how to beat his enemies without intimidating them with the use of Shadow Games and Penalty Games. So, theoretically, if people like Dark Bakura and Dark Marik had a similar relationship that Dark Yugi had with Yugi, they too would go through that kind of epiphany.
In the manga, a variety of different Penalty Games were used during Duelist Kingdom not unlike the previous chapters. Unlike the anime in which no explanation is given, Dark Yugi decides to stop using them after the defeat of Pegasus, because it would have proven that the Millennium Items indeed had an evil will. 
|Greed, Illusion of Avarice||In the manga, Dark Yugi used this to make Ushio believe litter and leaves were money. Done as punishment for having abused his role on the disciplinary committee, conning and extorting underclassmen for "bodyguard" duty, and for trying to extort money from Yugi in the same manner. |
|In the first series anime, Dark Yugi caused Ushio to believe to he was being eaten by monsters. Done to expose Ushio as a coward and punish him for extorting his classmates.|
|Mosaic Illusion||The ZTV director had his vision pixelated like a television censor. Done as punishment for the director's covering up the truth and cooking up faux controversy tabloid specials for ratings.|
|Beat Festival||Sozoji was forced to hear the beating of his heart as an increasingly growing and incredibly loud noise. Done as punishment for tormenting his classmates with his horrendous karaoke singing, extortion of his classmates, and beating up Tomoya Hanasaki.|
|Fire~!!!||In the manga, the escaped prisoner was set on fire after dropping his cigarette into his overflowing vodka. Done for holding the patrons at Burger World hostage, threatening Anzu with a gun, and for having escaped his punishment on Death Row for crimes prior to his failed robbery attempt and execution. |
|In the anime, the punishment is edited slightly: the prisoner, Jiro the Jorogumo, was subjected to an illusion that made him believe he had been set on fire.|
|Peaceful Rest of the Timid||Kokurano was rendered unconscious by his own chloroform bottle, revealing the hidden notes in his jacket, exposing him as a fraudulent psychic to his classmates. Done to punish him for manipulating his classmates with his "powers" for popularity, assaulting Anzu and attempting to injure Yugi with falling bookcases.|
|Exploding Death by Ice||Goro Inogashira was injured by the explosion from the chemicals used in his and Yugi's Griddle Ice Hockey game when they collided with the hot grill. Done for using his strength to force Yugi's class out of the lot they won for the school festival.|
|Face Puzzle||Ms. Chono's make-up cracked-up and peeled away like jigsaw pieces, revealing her true ugly face. In the anime, this would happen every time she tried to enforce strict rules. Done for her cruel habit of abusing rules and punishments as a way to relieve stress from her shady personal life, and out of her not caring for Honda and Ribbon's feelings and privacy.|
|Poison Revolt||The Junky Scorpion owner was poisoned by his pet scorpion. Done for extorting money from Jonouchi and others using the Air Muscle shoes, as well as having the Muscle Hunters beat and rob his customers.|
|Experience of Death||Seto Kaiba imagined that he was trapped in the Duel Monsters Spirit World, where he suffered death at the hands of Duel Monsters. Done to teach Kaiba respect for his cards and punish him for stealing Sugoroku Mutou's "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" card.|
|"Landmine" Prey||Hirutani's gang was electrocuted by their own petard, as a puddle and dampness caused by a heavy downpour allowed one gang member's taser to conduct a current that shocked the whole group. Dark Yugi remained safe by standing on a rubber tire. Done as punishment for cruelty done to Jonouchi.|
|Maze of Flames||Three delinquents originally hired by Mr. Hanasaki got caught in a maze of flaming paint laid by Yugi, which drove them to jump into the harbor. Done as punishment for the trio's abuse, manipulation and extortion of Hanasaki and his father.|
|Capsule Hell||Mokuba Kaiba was made to believe that he was trapped inside a giant Level 1 Capsule Monster Chess capsule. Punishment for rigging the slot machine used for his and Yugi's chess match and having his gang threaten Yugi with knives.|
|Poisonous Meal||Mokuba had to eat the the poisoned hamburger he had prepared for his and Yugi's Russian Roulette Dinner. Mokuba survived because his butlers had the antidote ready. Punishment for poisoning Jonouchi before the game, and rigging the turntable with a fake syrup bottle.|
|Mind Crush||Yugi uses this to destroy the evil part of Kaiba's heart, to give him a chance at regaining his former happiness. In the anime, Dark Yugi also uses this against Ghost Kaiba, PaniK and a mugger.|
|Mind on Air||Yugi used it to reveal the ZTV producer's inner greed, making him go raving mad on-air and order his "lazy working-class couch potato" audience to send him money. Done when Yugi discovers that the station the producer worked for had a history of conning contestants of their dignity by manipulating the odds of winning the final game, all as a way of boosting profits. While the punishment succeeded in exposing the producer's depravity, it bankrupted the company, ruining Jonouchi's chance to win the money he needed to pay off his father's debts.|
|Face Collapse||During Yugi's Shadow Game of Monster Fighter with Koji Nagumo, both players acted as scapegoats for their fighters; feeling the blows given to their figures and taking damage instead of them. Upon Nagumo's third attempt to cheat by kicking his competition in the ribs, the Shadow Game's effect intensified, animating his stolen fighters to hold down his kicking leg. This included his Wild Spider figurine, which became sickened by his master's cheating and abandoned him. The game manifested in its place a fitting monster based off of Nagumo's twisted desires, which Yugi finished off by using Killer Emaada's Space Cannon punch technique. Done as punishment for Nagumo cheating his classmates in Monster Fighter, then taking their figures and reselling them at inflated prices. Despite the seeming fatality, Nagumo survived and later awakened to participate in Battle City.|
|Xing Zhen Xu||Imori unsealed the forbidden feng shui game, Dragon Cards (Dragon Block in the anime– a mahjong game with the same rules), whose ravenous dragon spirits demanded the loser's soul as sustenance, else the land which they were unsealed would suffer eternal disaster and misfortune. Upon the last game with Dark Yugi, Imori lost and his soul was consumed as punishment for unsealing the evil game and desiring to usurp Yugi's position as the Guardian of Darkness for his own ends. This game was not devised by Yami Yugi, a detail he acknowledges in the manga, but was merely a casualty of losing the game.
In the anime, Imori's soul was spared; instead his dark side, unleashed by the Dragon Block, was consumed and destroyed by the dragons. Also, each player had to set a "base" in the real world, which suffered an earthquake when they lost. Yugi's shadow games saw Imori placing his "base" in the ocean, so there was no damage afterwards.
|Unnamed||Following his brief rose-picking game with Kaoruko Himekoji, Dark Yugi causes the remaining flower in Himekoji's hand to wither. Upon noticing the flower, Himekoji sees her skin has become wrinkly–her ultimate fear. Upon examining her reflection in the mirror, she sees that she has become wrinkled and aged. Snakes wrap around her wrists to entangle her as Dark Yugi leaves. In reality, Himekoji is merely hypnotized, and the "snakes" are actually ropes tied to buckets of water, which she dumps on herself in front of the whole school. Done as punishment for assaulting Miho Nosaka in order to win the school beauty contest.|
|Unnamed||After winning both of his pendulum-clock-stop games against the watch-obsessed Shotaro Akaboshi, Yami Yugi inflicts this grisly punishment. Looking into the open wound inflicted by the pendulum, Shotaro is made to believe that clock parts are inside of his arm, and rolls down his sleeves to reveal that his body is fused with his beloved Swiss watches. As he pleads for help, his eyes are revealed to now be clock faces. All of this is an illusion, and in reality Shotaro returns home to mindlessly destroy his watch collection in silence.  Done as punishment for stealing Miho's D-Shock watch, and his general brash immaturity.|
|Unnamed||After losing to Dark Yugi in a Digital Pet battle, Haiyama whipped his Digital Pet, commanding it to get up. Haiyama's pet would soon get up and turn against him, before proceeding to eat him. In reality, Haiyama was just collapsed on the ground.  Done as punishment for treating other people like pets, and for not treating his pet with love.|
|Unnamed||The Continuous Bomber was made to believe that a ticking time bomb had been placed inside the gondola he was hiding in, causing him to panic and jump out of his hiding spot.  Done as punishment for threatening Anzu's life and for terrorizing Domino City with bombs.|
|Unnamed||Dr. Goyu was bombarded by illusions of zombies, who were the patients who had died under his care due to his negligence. He would later confess to his actions while laughing maniacally.  Done as punishment for neglecting his patients in favor of golf, firing Miyuki Sakurai after he had been called out by her, and for blackmailing Jonouchi by threatening to kick Shizuka out of the hospital if he dared to expose the doctor's wrongdoings to the public.|
|Puppet Illusion||Dark Yugi used this during Duelist Kingdom to make the Ventriloquist of the Dead believe he was being attacked by a demonic puppet modeled after himself. Done as punishment for stealing Kaiba's deck and "toying his soul" with his caricature puppet. In the English anime, Dark Yugi used a Mind Crush against Ghost Kaiba and in the Japanese anime erases the man off the face of the earth.|
|Darkness of Naraku||The Player Killer of Darkness, imagined himself being hung from the gallows and falling into a dark abyss. Done as punishment for attacking Duelists in the dead of night out of cowardice. During the Duel, Dark Yugi showed the Player Killer illusions of the impending Penalty Game, in which the Player Killer was walking up the gallows' stairs each turn closer to the five turn limit Dark Yugi claimed that he would win within. In the anime, Dark Yugi simply used a Mind Crush against PaniK.|
Shadi uses Penalty Games to punish people who disturb the territory of the gods. Curator Kanekura was one of Shadi's victims after he defiled an Egyptian tomb. In the anime, Kanekura had tried to sell the Millennium Puzzle. Ammit was let into Kankura's soul room to pass judgment. In the manga this caused Kankura to die. In the anime, he wakes up and screams one time. Professor Yoshimori is spared of a Shadow and Penalty Game, as Shadi uses him for a Shadow Game against Yugi.
|Ammit Nesting in "Soul Room"||Curator Kanekura imagined his chair transformed into Ammit, during his Shadow Game. After losing Shadi told him that Ammit was inside his soul room devouring his soul. In reality, Kanekura died of a heart attack.|
Dark Bakura's (Yami Bakura's) Penalty Games at the beginning of the manga turn the victims into figurines to use in Monster World. During Battle City, he kills "Ghost" Kotsuzuka (Bonz) after beating him in Duel Monsters. In the English second series anime, he instead sends Bonz to the Shadow Realm (In the Japanese version, he sent him to Hell).
|Mind Doll||Dark Bakura transfers the soul of the victim into their corresponding figurine in the Monster World game, whenever they roll a fumble (99), whenever he rolls a super-critical (00) or break a rule. He also used it against the gym teacher Mr. Karita, who had harassed Ryo Bakura.|
|Dark Bakura in the NAS anime used this after he defeated "Ghost" Kotsuzuka (Bonz). He summoned Earthbound Spirits to pull "Ghost" Kotsuzuka, alongside with his friends Takaido and Satake with them to Hell.|
|Dark Bakura in the manga used an unnamed Penalty Game on Ghost Kozuka after defeating him, which "took his life", causing Kozuka to drop dead onto the ground.|
Maximillion J. Pegasus uses Penalty Games for personal gain, often trapping the souls of the victims in the "Soul Prison" card. He trapped Sugoroku Mutou's soul into a video tape (Soul Prison card in the anime) after beating Yugi, to force Yugi into entering Duelist Kingdom. He also trapped Mokuba Kaiba's in a card and later Seto Kaiba's after beating him in a Duel. In the manga, after Jonouchi beat Bandit Keith in a Duel, Pegasus forced Keith to shoot himself in the head for cheating. In the anime, there's an inconsistency where Pegasus is shown giving a Penalty Game to Mokuba without playing a game with him.
|SOUL TV||Pegasus sucked the soul of Sugoroku Mutou into a TV. His soul became sealed in a videotape, allowing Yugi to communicate with him through other devices he could put the tape in. In the anime, after being sucked into the TV, his soul was sent to a "Soul Prison", as done in the Mind Card Penalty Game.|
|Mind Card||Pegasus casts the "Mind Card" Penalty Game onto victims of those who lose a Duel against him; this seals his victims' souls into a card, "Soul Prison". Pegasus used it on Mokuba in part of his plan to capture KaibaCorp, and then against Seto Kaiba for losing against him. Glory of the King's Opposite Hand that he gave to Yugi is intended to trap Yugi's soul into the card should Pegasus win the duel. However, when Yugi won, Pegasus released the three imprisoned souls, as promised.|
|Hand and Gun||In the manga, after confronting Keith for cheating in the Duel against Jonouchi in the semifinals, and showing neither remorse nor regret for his transgression, Pegasus declared that Keith had lost his mind as a Duelist and inflicted a Penalty Game on him, making Keith see that his right hand has a gun barrel imbedded into it, and said hand moved on its own to "shoot" Keith in the temple, Russian Roulette style, thus killing him instantly. However, Keith was later revived by Yako Tenma.|
Dark Marik punished losers of Duels against him with Penalty Games. He played two types of Shadow Games of Duel Monsters, one of which would cause participants to suffer real pain, as they and their monsters took damage, and the other which would cause parts of the players' bodies to disappear as they lost Life Points. Under normal circumstances, the loser would die from pain or their body disappearing. Mai Kujaku survived because of Dark Yugi shielding her from an attack. So Dark Marik inflicted the "Mind-Eroding Insects" Penalty Game on her instead. Jonouchi survived, having not lost all his Life Points, but Dark Marik erroneously pronounced him dead from the injuries he suffered.
|Brain Insects||After defeating Mai, Dark Marik trapped her soul inside an hourglass, with The Winged Dragon of Ra card blocking the neck of it, blocking the contents of the upper portion until Marik removed it.
In the manga, the upper portion of the hourglass was filled with "brain insects" that would completely devour Mai's soft tissue over 24 hours, killing her. The hourglass was also shown to be floating in a sort of limbo with various casino gambling devices floating around it, reflecting Mai's previous occupation as a casino dealer.
In the anime, Mai's punishment in the hourglass follows the same general outline, but undergoes several major changes; the insects are replaced with sand, and her time to live is extended. In addition, the hourglass is floating above a beach where Mai's friends are enjoying themselves — and seemingly forgetting her — as part of Marik's ploy to add insult to injury. The English dub also states the hourglass exists in the Shadow Realm.
After Yami Yugi defeats Dark Marik in the finals, Mai was saved just before her mind was consumed. In the anime, Mai was traumatized by her time in the Penalty Game, and it took many trials for her to find herself anew.
|Darkness Prey||Dark Bakura became consumed by darkness after losing to Dark Marik. This was set up so that over the course of the duel, parts of the players' bodies would fade into darkness as Life Points were lost. This Shadow Game later appeared in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX two part episode "The Shadow Duelist", which also revealed the cause behind Jaden Yuki & the Shadow Rider Titan's body parts throughout the duel, those being an armada of small shadow creatures.|
|Phoenix Dance||Katsuya Jonouchi collapsed from fatigue after being struck by Egyptian God Phoenix, an attack which dealt real damage to him. Dark Marik erroneously pronounced him dead afterwards.|
Reproductions of the genuine Penalty Games, using means other than the supernatural powers of the Millennium Items.
|Experience of Death||Seto Kaiba recreated the "Experience of Death" Penalty Game, that Dark Yugi subjected him to, using virtual reality. Using a Battle Box, he created holographic images of monsters to attack the victim. He claims to have tested this on human subjects and found that the average person went insane after being subjected to this for ten minutes. He inflicted this penalty on Sugoroku Mutou after beating him in Duel Monsters. He forced Yugi to participate in Death-T, before releasing Sugoroku. After Mokuba's loss to Dark Yugi at Death T-4, he was subjected to the same punishment, before being saved by Dark Yugi.|
|Mind Crush||After Eviluder loses to Yuma, Kyoji applies his version of "Mind Crush" on him. He somehow introduced a spider in Eviluder's heart previously, and then makes it attack his heart, which quickly causes him to collapse after feeling enormous pain.|
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Duel 74: "The Precious Piece"
- 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! Duel 2: "Lying Eyes"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 3: "Hard Beat!"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 4: "Jail Break!"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 2: "The Evil Gamer - The Trap of Hell"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 5: "The Ultimate Great Moth"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 6: "First Duel"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 7: "The Face of Truth"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 10: "The Pressing Beautiful Teacher - A Secret Mask"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 8: "The Poison Man"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 10: "The Cards with Teeth (Part 2)"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 12: "The Wild Gang (Part 2)"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 11: "The Rumored Capmon's New Appearance"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 26: "Russian Roulette"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 18: "In a Forbidden Game - Show Your Hand"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 19: "The Grand Melee!! Popularity Contest"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 4: "Theft! Rare Watch Battle"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 7: "The Underhanded Digital Pet Rebellion"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 14: "In a Bomb Game - The Worst Date"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei) episode 16: "Breadth's Change - Crisis of the White Robe"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 13: "The Man from Egypt (Part 1)"