The Winged Dragon of Ra, known as Winged God Dragon of Ra in the Japanese version is a character version of the card "The Winged Dragon of Ra", also variously as the Sun or the Sun God.[Notes 1] Ra appears in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, as one of the most powerful monster spirits, the Egyptian Gods. In-series, its Duel Monsters card is considered to be the most powerful in the game.
Ra is a giant golden dragon that appears to be composed of or covered in golden metal. It has a saurian posture and bird-like features; its head and neck are sculpted to resemble that of a bird of prey, with feather-like ornaments on each side of its head and at the elbows, and a jagged cone surrounding its neck. Its wings have the appearance of being feathered. Ra has a large arch connecting its shoulder pauldrons that is where its "Blaze Cannon" attack is generated before being channeled to its mouth through the feather-like ornaments on its head. During the Memory World arc, Ra's beak is toothless and more bird-like in shape and its tail is thinner. This is the form it uses in its first legal artwork, though in that artwork it also possesses a feather-like plume rather than a bony tail.
In Ra's Sphere Mode it appears as an orb of golden metal that unfolds into its Battle Mode. In its Phoenix Mode Ra becomes a giant flaming bird with its wings and head shaped in a similar manner to its Battle Mode.
Ra is one of the three Egyptian Gods, along with Obelisk the Tormentor and Slifer the Sky Dragon. These monsters were only capable of being summoned by the chosen Pharaoh, which is revealed to be Atem.
3000 (5000 in the dub) years later, Maximillion Pegasus created cards depicting the three Egyptian Gods, for his game Duel Monsters. Pegasus was unable to decipher the hidden powers of Ra, which were written in Hieratic text, so he transcribed the Hieratic text onto the card. This text was only visible in the light emitted from 'Ra' and had to be recited in order to Summon "The Winged Dragon of Ra".
The souls of the Gods came to dwell in the cards, making them powerful weapons. On realizing this, Pegasus regarded their creation as one of his greatest mistakes. He tried to destroy the God Cards, but could not bring himself to do it, so he had the Egyptian supreme council of antiquities bury the cards in different locations in the Valley of the Kings. The Rare Hunters managed to steal the "Slifer the Sky Dragon" and "The Winged Dragon of Ra" cards. However the Egyptian supreme council of antiquities was able to prevent them finding the "Obelisk the Tormentor" card. Ishizu Ishtar, from the council, later gave it to Seto Kaiba, so that he would host the Battle City tournament to retrieve the other two.
Odion, posing as Marik, Dueled Joey Wheeler in the quarter finals. Towards the end of the Duel, Joey expressed disbelief that his opponent was Marik. Marik then tried to create some false proof by having Odion Summon "The Winged Dragon of Ra". He believed Odion would be capable of Summoning it. However the card was a counterfeit and this angered the real Ra, who smote the Dueling arena with lightning, hitting both Duelists.
During Mai Valentine and Yami Marik's quarter final Duel, Mai took "The Winged Dragon of Ra" using the effect of "Amazoness Chain Master". However when she Summoned Ra, it appeared in its Sphere Mode. Unable to read the Hieratic text, Mai could not Summon it. On his next turn, Yami Marik recited the inscription and Summoned Ra to his side of the field. He prepared to attack Mai, who was held still by his torture cards. The nature of the Shadow Game, meant that this attack would kill Mai. However as Joey tried to free her, Yami Yugi stood between them and Ra and took its blast on his back, preventing Mai from dying. Kaiba used satellites to get images of the Hieratic text and was surprised to find that he was able to read them.
During the semi-final Duel between Joey and Yami Marik, Yami Marik Special Summoned "The Winged Dragon of Ra". Since he did not Tribute any monsters, its ATK and DEF became 0. However Yami Marik converted Ra to its Egyptian God Phoenix form and destroyed Joey's monster. This inflicted immense pain on Joey, which Yami Marik did not expect him to withstand. Joey did manage to stay standing after the attack, but collapsed during his turn before he was able to finish the Duel.
Yami Marik and Yami Yugi Dueled in the finals. Yami Marik demonstrated the rest of Ra's abilities, but ultimately lost the Duel. Yami Yugi then received "The Winged Dragon of Ra" card through the tournament's rules.
In order to regain his memories, Yami Yugi presented the three Egyptian Gods to the stone tablet in the museum. However, the God cards began to crackle with dark energy as Dartz drained their power. Yami was then interrupted as Duel Monster spirits began appearing throughout the city. Later that day, Dartz's men broke into Kame Game and stole the God Cards. Dartz placed the cards in the mouths of three stone serpents in order to use their power to summon The Great Leviathan.
After defeating Dartz in a Duel, Yami retrieved the Egyptian God cards, though their strength had already been drained. After Yami Yugi's soul had been absorbed into The Great Leviathan, the other souls Dartz had captured were able to lend him their strength. With it, Yami called out, "In the name of the Pharaoh, awaken!" and summoned the three Egyptian Gods. By summoning them, Yami was also able to free himself, Joey Wheeler and Seto Kaiba from the Leviathan. Obelisk, Slifer and Ra engaged in battle with The Great Leviathan. The three were empowered by the light of other people's souls, defeating it. However the Leviathan reappeared in a different form within Dartz, which Yami managed to defeat.
Pyramid of Light
Kaiba Dueled and defeated Pegasus to obtain a card capable of defeating the Egyptian God cards. Anubis added an extra card, "Pyramid of Light" to Kaiba's prize. Kaiba went on to face Yami Yugi in a Duel and used "Obligatory Summon" to force him to Summon the Egyptian God cards and then activated "Pyramid of Light", removing the Gods from play. He later attempts a strategy involving turning the Egyptian Gods against Yugi by destroying "Pyramid of Light". However, this fails when Anubis intervenes and knocks Kaiba out before taking over the Duel. Later, Yugi is able to destroy "Pyramid of Light" and bring the Egyptian Gods back. The Gods then combine into one monster with infinite strength; Ra taking on its Phoenix form during the attack, and they destroy "Theinen the Great Sphinx" to win the duel.
When Yami Yugi entered the Memory World, he relived some of his life as Pharaoh Atem, and fought the battle against Thief Bakura, in which he summoned Slifer, again. This time after Slifer was defeated by Diabound, Yugi and his friends arrived on the scene and Yugi was able to lend Atem strength, allowing him to Summon Ra and defeat Diabound. However, Yami Bakura at the Shadow RPG table used an Hourglass Token to reverse time. This time, Yami Bakura distracted Yugi, so that he would not reach Atem and Ra was not Summoned.
The Pharaoh used the three Egyptian Gods to battle Zorc Necrophades. However Zorc managed to overpower them and turn them into stone. Upon relearning his name, Atem was able to summon the three Gods again, this time from the cards in Yugi's Deck. He then combined them into The Creator God of Light, Horakhty, who defeated Zorc.
Yugi and Atem constructed separate Decks for the Ceremonial Battle, which Atem needed to lose in order to pass on to the afterlife. Despite needing to lose, Atem gave the Duel his all. He included the three Egyptian God cards in his Deck and managed to Summon the three of them at once in the Duel. However Yugi was able to destroy them and win.
Franz, a card designer for Industrial Illusions stole a test copy of "The Winged Dragon of Ra" and created the card "Mound of the Bound Creator" to allow him to control it. He snuck into the Genex Tournament and using "Ra", he defeated two opponents, leaving them critically injured. Franz then Dueled Jaden Yuki. Ra was chained up with "Mound of the Bound Creator", causing it to cry so much to Jaden's surprise. However Jaden managed to destroy "Mound of the Bound Creator" and "Ra". He then revived "Ra" to his side of the field and to Pegasus' surprise was able to control Ra, as he used him to defeat Franz.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 88: "Awakening of Evil, Part 3"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 89: "Awakening of Evil, Part 4"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 97: "Showdown in the Shadows, Part 2"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 145: "A New Evil - Part 1"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 147: "Legend of the Dragons"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 182: "A Duel with Dartz - Part 6"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 183: "Rise of the Great Beast - Part 1"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 184: "Rise of the Great Beast - Part 2"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World Duel 25
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 217: "The Dark One Cometh - Part 3"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 219: "In the Name of the Pharaoh"