I am a thief and a stealer of souls. And I have done terrible things in my quest to possess the Millennium Items. You do remember the legends, don't you? "Whosoever wields all seven Millennium Items will possess power unimaginable."— Yami Bakura explaining his objective to steal the Millennium Items to Yami Yugi.
Yami Bakura, known as Dark Bakura (
Yami Bakura's character design was overseen by Kazuki Takahashi.
Yami Bakura has fair skin and brown eyes. His white hair is pointed downwards in various directions and trails half way down his back. His hair points in more directions than Bakura's and becomes noticeably more stiff and rigid rather than Bakura's smooth flowing hair. Part of his bangs angle upward like wings or horns when Yami Bakura is in control. He wears the Millennium Ring on a cord around his neck.
Yami Bakura usually wears whatever Bakura Ryou is wearing.
In the Duelist Kingdom arc, he wore a white wool sweater and green undershirt. He had blue pants.
His usual outfit in following seasons consists of a teal short sleeved collared jacket worn over a blue and white horizontally striped t-shirt. In the manga, he wears just the t-shirt more often. In the Battle City arc, he often wore a KaibaCorp Duel Disk on his left arm.
In the Millennium World arc, Yami Bakura wore a black trench coat with the collar flipped up, as an addition to this outfit.
Yami Bakura's fragment within the Millennium Puzzle still wore the teal jacket that his complete form had worn.
In the Japanese version, Yami Bakura dares to disrespect his adversaries by referring to them using the word temee (a very offensive way of saying "you") and refers to himself as ore-sama (a very egocentric way of saying "I"). In the 4Kids version, he speaks with a British accent. In the Singaporean dub, he speaks with a southern accent.
5,000 years ago (3,000 in the Japanese version), a shard of Zorc Necrophades' soul was sealed during the Millennium Ring's creation, which later acclimated Bandit King Bakura's soul to getting sealed within the Millennium Ring, resulting in the fusion between the two souls. This composite was reawakened in the present day when someone had acquired the Millennium Ring in Egypt and presented the artifact to Bakura Ryou. Unbeknownst to Bakura and his father, the Millennium Ring contained the malignant spirit that became known as Yami Bakura upon possessing Bakura. He lost many memories as Bandit King Bakura and Zorc Necrophades yet sought to obtain all seven Millennium Items so he could resurrect Zorc and reunite so he could be complete. Yami Bakura had murdered Shadi, the guardian of the Millennium Key and Millennium Scale.
Although not a participating player, his host snuck onto the Duelist Kingdom island for the tournament.
Yami Bakura trapped Yugi Muto, Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor, Téa Gardner and Bakura Ryou in their favorite Duel Monsters cards in an effort to take the Millennium Puzzle, however, faced off with Yami Yugi in a Shadow Game Duel instead. Yami Bakura told Yami Yugi that he wasn't Bakura, but a thief and stealer of souls. Yami Bakura used several "Morphing Jars" to discard Yami Yugi's monsters while also using cards like "Man-Eater Bug" to destroy his opponent's monsters and "Change of Heart" to turn his opponent's monsters against each other. When Yami Bakura tried to use "Change of Heart" to turn Yugi (as the "Dark Magician") against the others, Bakura took the card's form and interfered with the Duel. Bakura attempted to sacrifice himself so Yugi could win, but Yami Yugi switched the places of Bakura's two souls, resulting in Yami Bakura's defeat and subsequent trip to the Graveyard. Yami Bakura was running away from a grim reaper. Afterward, he was assumed to be dead, trapped in the Shadow Realm.
Bakura then stayed with the group until the night of the Duelist Kingdom finals, at which point he, Tristan and Téa went on an adventure through Pegasus Castle. When Maximillion Pegasus caught them and sent them to the Shadow Realm for a Shadow Game, Yami Bakura took this opportunity to retake control over Bakura, then sent everybody back to their rooms, plotting to take both Yugi's Millennium Puzzle and Pegasus' Millennium Eye.
At the beginning of Yugi's Duel with Pegasus later on, Bakura heard Tristan's idea of trying to find the bodies Pegasus took souls from, and Yami Bakura is intrigued by this plan, taking over Bakura's body again. He saved Tristan from Pegasus' guards while the two of them searched for a way to escape, utilizing the card "Man-Eater Bug" and the magic of his Millennium Ring. Tristan was still somewhat disturbed by Bakura's sadistic enjoyment from torturing the guards before killing them. After Tristan realizes who Bakura really is, Yami Bakura revealed what he wants (he wanted Mokuba's key to the means of taking over KaibaCorp in the original version; he wanted to use Mokuba Kaiba as his new host body in the dub), and threatened to kill Tristan if anything is tried. Tristan, however, managed to catch Yami Bakura off guard, knocking him out. Tristan then threw the Millennium Ring into the jungle.
Because the Millennium Ring had a bond with its owner, it found its way back to Bakura, causing Yami Bakura to once again be in control, which went unbeknownst to Yugi and company. After Pegasus's defeat at Yami Yugi's hands, Yami Bakura challenged Pegasus to another Shadow Game. After using several of his cards as tarot cards, Yami Bakura revealed that he had lived for centuries which freaked out Pegasus. He then told his intentions to Pegasus and took the Millennium Eye. As Bakura left with Yugi and the gang off Pegasus Island on the Kaiba helicopter, Yami Bakura licked the Millennium Eye.
Yami Bakura, after hearing that Yugi's Millennium Puzzle was stolen, took over Bakura. Yami Bakura detected the Millennium Puzzle was in distress due to the possessed Bandit Keith. He used his Millennium Ring's power to release Keith from the possession, causing Keith to shatter the Millennium Puzzle in a rage. Bakura later took control and came to the rescue, knocking Keith back. Yami Bakura took over his host, then took advantage of the opportunity to seal a fragment of his soul into a piece of the Millennium Puzzle.
The Millennium Ring later detected the Millennium Necklace, though Yami Bakura was unable to locate its owner as he was distracted upon seeing the Tablet of the Pharaoh's Memories. Later, he sensed the Millennium Rod and tracked down its owner Marik Ishtar. He agreed to cooperate with Marik in a verbal pact consisting of Marik's relinquishment of the Millennium Rod if Yami Bakura defeated Yugi Muto for Marik. Yami Bakura suggested that Marik use Yugi's friends, citing them as a huge weakness. As part of their plan, Yami Bakura stabbed himself, then released his host while Marik (posing as Namu) pretended to rescue Bakura for Joey Wheeler and Téa Gardner.
While Bakura was sleeping in the hospital, Yami Bakura's mind encountered Marik. In the Japanese version, Yami Bakura protested that he lent his host to Marik, and Marik was supposed to hand over the Millennium Rod. Marik told Yami Bakura that he needed to enter the Battle City finals in order to receive the Millennium Rod. Bakura was awoken by Solomon Muto, however, turned into Yami Bakura. Solomon told him that Yugi and Joey were qualified for the Battle City finals. When Bakura got up to leave to try to find them, he was stopped by Solomon because he was still injured. Yami Bakura used the Millennium Ring to knock out Solomon and left the hospital.
Yami Bakura acquired a place in the Battle City finals by stealing another Duelist's Duel Disk and Locator Card, but disliked the Duelist's Deck and threw the cards back to the Duelist. He found out from a group of teenagers that Bonz's gang were in the cemetery; he set out to find this gang as he wanted to take their locator cards. When he found them, Bonz's gang used scare tactics which worked previously on other Duelists, but Yami Bakura was not fazed and saw right through the disguises, disarming Zygor with ease. Yami Bakura then challenged Bonz to a winner-takes-all Duel, where the winner takes six Locator Cards. Without telling Bonz, Zygor, and Sid, he turned their Duel into a Shadow Game. Yami Bakura launched his "Headless Knight" at Bonz several times but Bonz called out "Great Mammoth of Goldfine". Yami Bakura Summoned "The Earl of Demise" with twice its ATK and destroyed Bonz's monster. Bonz trapped Yami Bakura in "Nightmare's Steelcage" but Yami Bakura activated "Ectoplasmer" to attack directly and win. Yami Bakura obtained six Locator Cards and claimed that he was going to send the three to the 'Dark World' instead, by Summoning Grim Reapers inside of the Shadow Game's space, and told them that he was going to send the three to the Shadow Realm (to hell in the Japanese version). He mentioned that he would release them when he chose to do so and left.
During the Battle City quarter-finals, Yami Bakura and Yami Yugi Dueled each other. Yami Bakura allowed Yugi to destroy four of his monsters, losing most of his Life Points in the process, but activated "Dark Sanctuary" to turn Yugi's monsters against each other, as well as "The Dark Door" to limit Yugi's attacking choices. He also used "Destiny Board" to allow him to declare an automatic win after playing all five "Spirit Message" letters. Before the final letter was placed on the field, Yugi Summoned "Slifer the Sky Dragon", shocking Yami Bakura. As Yami Bakura was about to lose, Odion Ishtar (impersonating Marik) "released" Bakura from Yami Bakura's control (which Yami Bakura actually did himself), knowing that Yami Yugi would not attack Bakura, since Bakura was still injured and unable to withstand a direct attack. But when Marik mentioned that Yami Yugi may still attack with the fate of the world at stake, Yami Bakura decided that leaving Bakura's vulnerable state posed too much of a risk, taking over his host's body, challenging Yami Yugi to attack. When Yami Yugi declared the attack, Yugi won the Duel but left Bakura comatose. The Millennium Ring was lost in the Duel, but was recovered by Téa (controlled by Marik).
When Marik (through Téa) later returned the Millennium Ring to its host, Yami Bakura then challenged Yami Marik to a Shadow Game; Yami Bakura teaming up with the real Marik to as long as he acquires the Millennium Rod. Yami Marik's Shadow Game caused the darkness to devour parts of their bodies as they lost Life Points. Yami Bakura lost most of his Life Points but obtained "The Winged Dragon of Ra".
Despite this, Yami Marik weakened the card to be useless to which Yami Bakura used as a Tribute to Summon "The Dark Ruler", thinking that no one could use it buried in the Graveyard. However, Yami Marik brought the Egyptian God card back from the Graveyard with "Monster Reborn", revealing the Point-to-Point Transfer abilities to win the Duel, resulting in Yami Bakura's destruction. Before disappearing, Yami Bakura vowed to return and claimed that he was the darkness, vanishing with a laugh, leaving only the Millennium Ring behind. However, the fragment within the Millennium Puzzle allowed him to continue existing in secret, attempting to find the secret of the Millennium Puzzle's power.
Enter the Shadow Realm
The Millennium Ring appeared as a trophy shown during Yami Marik's Duel with Yami Yugi. After Yami Marik's destruction by Yami Yugi, all of Marik's Penalty Games were undone, allowing Bakura and Yami Bakura to return. Although the Millennium Ring wasn't in its initial owner's possession, Yami Bakura's fragment still remained within the Millennium Puzzle. He secretly thanked Yami Yugi for freeing him.
Waking the Dragons
During a vision involving the Millennium Puzzle, Yami Bakura briefly appeared among Dartz's monologue about the Nameless Pharaoh's various rivals.
Dawn of the Duel
Despite the Millennium Ring not being in his possession, Yami Bakura had a lingering link to Bakura, whom he began to torment.
Bakura was running away from Yami Bakura. Not wanting to be possessed again, Bakura attempted to hide in a church. However, Yami Bakura cornered his host and said that the Millennium Items were in possession of only three individuals. Yami Bakura had to find the eight key, the secret of which was hidden somewhere in the Nameless Pharaoh's world of memories. As he possessed Bakura, Yami Bakura claimed that the doors of the nameless Pharaoh's memory opened and the Ultimate Shadow Game would begin.
He took the Millennium Ring back when Rex Raptor and Weevil Underwood were trying to steal the Egyptian God Cards but mistakenly also took several Millennium Items, knocking the two out (temporarily sending them to the Shadow Realm in the dub). When Yugi Muto eventually catches up with Rex and Weevil, Yami Bakura returned Yugi's Millennium Items and the Egyptian God cards that were in the box the Millennium Puzzle came in, chastising Yugi for failing to protect the various items. However, Bakura kept the Millennium Ring, as he wasn't ready to part with his own Millennium Item yet. He reassured Yugi that he'd return the Millennium Ring once Yugi has all seven Millennium Items to return to the Millennium Stone in Kul Elna to which Yami Yugi asked him what he was plotting. But Yami Bakura merely responded that they were souls sealed in an Millennium Item; Yami Bakura didn't know much more than that albeit much more than Yami Yugi did about being a king. Yami Bakura then challenged Yami Yugi to settle their 'pending scores' in a fitting place for them: the Ultimate Shadow Game RPG. Nevertheless, Yami Yugi accepted Yami Bakura's challenge. Yami Bakura departed by saying that it began once the Memory World's doors open.
Yami Bakura next challenged Seto Kaiba to a Duel in an effort to obtain the power of the "Blue-Eyes White Dragon". The former Duelist first abducted Mokuba Kaiba to get Kaiba to the top of the KaibaCorp building. With Mokuba's life at stake, Yami Bakura repeatedly taunted Kaiba's denial, mockingly referring to Kaiba as Seto. He used "Diabound Kernel" which almost defeated Seto, giving his monster the power that could rival the Egyptian Gods. But when the sun began to rise, Yami Bakura left before they could finish their Duel. He gave Kaiba the Millennium Eye that he took from Duelist Kingdom so that Kaiba could also enter the Memory World. With his real purpose to gain the power to stand up to the Egyptian Gods accomplished, Yami Bakura mocked Kaiba before leaving the Duel inconclusive.
Yami Bakura later arrived in Egypt and entered the Memory World via the Tablet of Lost Memories alongside Yami Yugi, reuniting himself with the original fragment inside the Millennium Puzzle and being complete. He would be playing the Dark RPG with Yami Yugi while simultaneously controlling the body of Bandit King Bakura, similar to Yami Yugi as Pharaoh Atem. As each player had a character piece in the Dark RPG, Yami Yugi had the Pharaoh while Yami Bakura had his ancient self, Aknadin and Zorc Necrophades. Although he initially didn't seem to care, his ancient counterpart's anger would sometimes motivate his actions as Thief King Bakura had a series of fights with the Pharaoh and the priests. At the RPG table, Yami Bakura used three Hourglass Tokens; the first was to reverse time after Yugi's friends' presence altered the reality's normal flow of events, the second to freeze time for seven Millennium Items to be gathered together, and the third in Zorc's resurrection. As the Dark RPG would affect the modern world, Yami Bakura revealed he was a portion of the ultimate evil's soul to Yami Yugi. He then made him and Yami Yugi enter the Memory World to merge with their Egyptian counterparts, with Yami Yugi as the Pharaoh while Bakura was one with Zorc.
Meanwhile, another fragment possessed Tristan Taylor and acted as a spy after Yugi's friends got into the Millennium World. To prevent the revelation of the Pharaoh's true name, the clone eventually revealed himself and challenges Yugi to a Shadow Game Duel. During the Duel, Yami Bakura utilized "Necro" monsters, limited Yugi's attacking options using "Narrow Corridor" and focused on a Deck Out strategy with "Cursed Twin Dolls" and "Counterbalance". He ultimately reduced Yugi to one card but that card turned out to be "Gandora the Dragon of Destruction" which destroyed Bakura's cards and his strategy. Yugi was then able to use "Silent Swordsman LV0" with 4500 ATK, killing the clone and releasing Tristan in the process.
When Zorc was ultimately killed by the Egyptian Gods' divine fusion, the Millennium Ring's malevolent spirit was fused with Zorc thus also vanishing at last, Finally bringing his reign of terror to an end and freeing Ryo Bakura from his possession forever.
Yami Bakura appeared in a flashback after Franz stole the copy of "The Winged Dragon of Ra". When Franz told Jaden Yuki about the Egyptian God cards, footage from Yami Yugi's Duel with Yami Bakura from Battle City was played.
Yami Bakura runs Occult Decks, focused on Fiend and Zombie-Type monsters. His Decks often employ lockdown strategies while concurrently disrupting and stunning his opponent from employing their strategic moves while trying to either instantly win through activating his "Destiny Board" by fueling his Graveyard through Deck thinning Fiend-Type monsters, or through using the "Cursed Twin Dolls" and "Goblin Zombie" to mill his opponent Decks. Yami Bakura makes use of lower level Fiend-Type monsters such as "Headless Knight" and "The Gross Ghost of Fled Dreams" to bait opponents into attacking them for fueling his Graveyard with Fiend monsters in order to Summon his signature card "Dark Necrofear" and activate its effect to bring out "Dark Sanctuary". He also employs the use of the effects of his monsters, Spells, and Traps to turn his opponent's attacks against them such as using "Dark Necrofear" to control his opponents' monsters, limiting his opponents' attacks with "The Dark Door" or "Narrow Corridor", or crippling his opponents' Life Points when using cards like "Dark Sanctuary" and "Zoma the Spirit".
It seems that his Deck was built by Bakura, and its monsters have a Role-playing games theme (such as "Morphing Jar" being a mimic and Zorc's effect requiring to throw a dice like in RP). This makes sense due to Bakura being into RPGs in the Toei Anime.
- Yami Bakura and Yami Yugi have many similarities. They were both ancient Egyptian spirits sealed in a Millennium Item for over 5,000 years (3,000 in the Japanese version). Also, both their past selves (Yami Bakura's is Bandit King Bakura whereas Yami Yugi's is Pharaoh Atem) are their modern-day hosts' ancient Egyptian past incarnates. Also, both of their modern-day hosts are shy, meek game-loving high-school freshmen. Not only that, they both entered the bodies of their ancient selves in the anime's final season.
- In some ways, his showdown with the Sacred Guardians resembles the one with Moses and the pharaoh's magicians in the Book of Exodus and the Quran. Furthermore, Yami Bakura's Diabound resembles a serpent.
- Yami Bakura does not appear in "Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters" even though it involves the Millennium Ring. Though another Zorc corrupted spirit is inside the Ring.
- Unlike Yami Yugi and Yami Marik, Yami Bakura never once manifests the Eye of Anubis in any of his appearances in spite of his frequent possessions and usage of shadow magic.