"Shadow of a Duel", known as "Ghost Deck vs. Occult Deck" in the Japanese version, is the seventy-ninth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. It first aired in Japan on October 30, 2001, and in the United States on August 16, 2003.
After Marik's attempt to defeat Yugi and the Pharaoh by using his Millennium Rod to control his friends backfired, he sets his sights on defeating the Pharaoh at the Battle City Finals. Within Bakura's mind, Marik convinces Yami Bakura to also enter the Battle City Finals.
Yami Bakura takes over his vessel, the good Bakura's body, steals a Duel Disk and Locator Card from a random duelist and heads to a graveyard, following a rumor there are Duels being held there. Because Yami Bakura disliked the deck that the random duelist had and threw the cards back to him, it is unknown how he got his ghostly deck, although stealing it from another random duelist is the main possibility. There is also the possibility that when Yami Bakura and Marik first met and made their deal, Yami Bakura created a deck before injuring himself and kept it in his pocket, since Marik asked him how good his Dueling skills were while making their deal.
Even though they'd already obtained five Locator Cards this way, Yami Bakura is not impressed and challenges Bonz to a duel in the Shadow Realm. Not knowing any better, Bonz accepts.
Meanwhile, Yugi and Joey Wheeler have both qualified for entry into the Battle City Finals. By putting the Locator Cards on the Duel Disk (5 in the Monster Card Zones and the last in the Field Spell Zone) they receive instructions to go to an old stadium which would be the location of the Finals... but is it really?
- Yami Bakura and Bonz begin a Duel in the Shadow Realm.
- Whoever wins goes directly to the Finals and the loser would be trapped in the Shadow Realm for all eternity (or Hell in the original).
Featured Duel: Yami Bakura vs. Bonz
Turn 3: Yami Bakura
Yami Bakura draws. He then activates his face-down "The Shallow Grave" to allow both players to Special Summon a monster from each Graveyard in Defense Position. Yami Bakura Special Summons "Headless Knight" (1450/1700) in Defense Position, but Bonz Special Summons nothing as his Graveyard is currently empty.
Turn 4: Bonz
Bonz draws "Dragon Zombie" and subsequently Normal Summons it (1600/0) in Attack Position. He then activates "Magic Burial" to pay 800 Life Points (Bonz 3500 → 2700) and revive "The Snake Hair" (1500/1200) in Attack Position. Bonz's hand, at this point, contains "Armored Zombie", "Polymerization", "Skull Invitation", and "Crass Clown".
Bonz then activates "Polymerization" to fuse "Dragon Zombie" with "The Snake Hair" and Fusion Summon "Great Mammoth of Goldfine" (2200/1800) in Attack Position. Under Battle City Rules, Fusion Monsters cannot attack during the same turn they are Fusion Summoned. Bonz Sets a card. He intends to use his set card once "Great Mammoth of Goldfine" attacks and destroys "The Earl of Demise".
Turn 5: Yami Bakura
Yami Bakura draws. Bonz activates his face-down "Skull Invitation". Now whenever a card(s) goes to the Graveyard, the owner of that card(s) will automatically take 300 damage per card. Yami Bakura then activates "Spiritualistic Medium" to discard his entire hand and increase the ATK of "The Earl of Demise" by 500 for each card discarded. There were four discarded ("Earl of Demise": 2000 → 4000/700). The effect of "Skull Invitation" then activates (Yami Bakura 3950 → 2750).
"The Earl of Demise" attacks and destroys "Great Mammoth of Goldfine" (Bonz 2700 → 900). The effect of "Skull Invitation" then activates (Bonz 900 → 600). At the End Phase, the effect of "Spiritualistic Medium" expires ("The Earl of Demise": 4000 → 2000/700).
Turn 6: Bonz
Bonz draws "Nightmare's Steelcage" and subsequently activates it. Now no monsters can attack for two turns. Bonz then Sets a card.
Turn 7: Yami Bakura
Yami Bakura draws "Ectoplasmer" and subsequently activates it. Now both players, during each of their turns, can choose up to two types of monsters to be converted into ectoplasm, with half of the turn player's Tributed monsters' ATK being inflicted as damage to their opponents. Yami Bakura activates the effect of "Ectoplasmer" and selects "Fiend" for its effect, which causes "The Earl of Demise" to be Tributed (Bonz 600 → 0).
- By losing the duel, Bonz, Sid and Zygor are banished to the Shadow Realm (Hell in the original).
- Yami Bakura obtains his sixth Locator Card, qualifying for the Battle City Finals.
Differences in Adaptations
- Cut from the dub are two I-Spy-esque scenes (the first depicting a space environment with planets and spaceships and the other showcasing things like people, land vehicles and doll) before Bakura speaks with Marik for the first time.
- The blood on Bakura's arm wound is removed from the dub.
- Cut from the dub is a scene of Yami Bakura ripping the IV needle out of his arm after he knocks out Solomon.
- "The Earl of Demise" slicing "The Snake Hair" in half is obscured in the dub.
- In the dub, Bakura identifies the dark creatures in the cemetery as lost souls who were sent to the Shadow Realm. In the original version, they are "death gods" (the Japanese equivalent of the Grim Reaper).
- The shadows that consume Bonz, Sid and Zygor are made glowy in the dub
- Cut from the dub is the last scene in the episode where Yugi and the group are traveling to the location of the finals in Mai's car, and Kaiba flies overhead in his helicopter. The dubbed episode ends with Yami Bakura monologing his plans.
- In the original broadcast of the episode, after they learn of what their fate will be, Sid tells Bonz "Don't you bloody lose!". Future airings of the episode and the DVD versions change the line to "Don't you dare lose!", as the word bloody is a minor obscenity in the UK.
- In the Dub, Bonz declares that the card he Sets during his last turn is a Magic card. However, based on what was shown to be in his hand during his previous turn, he shouldn't have had any more Magic or Trap cards to Set.
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.