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Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is the second Yu-Gi-Oh! video game, following Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule: Breed and Battle. It is the first game in the Duel Monsters series and the only game released for the Game Boy. It was published in Japan by Konami on December 16, 1998.[1]


The player must defeat each character in a stage five times to advance to the next stage. A character that has been defeated five times can be Dueled additional times for more cards. Here are the list of characters that a player may duel against:

Opponents Stage image Opponent image
Stage 1
  1. Yugi Muto
  2. Tristan Taylor
  3. Joey Wheeler
  4. Ryou Bakura
Stage 1 Joey Wheeler
Stage 2
  1. Weevil Underwood
  2. Mai Valentine
  3. Rex Raptor
  4. Mako Tsunami
  5. Seto Kaiba
  6. Mokuba Kaiba
  7. Puppeteer
  8. PaniK
  9. Bandit Keith
Stage 2 Seto Kaiba
Stage 3
  1. Simon Muran
Stage 3 Simon Muran
Stage 4
  1. Maximillion Pegasus
Stage 4 Maximillion Pegasus
Stage 5
  1. Yami Yugi
Stage 5 Yami Yugi

Starter Deck[]


Title screen

The player starts the game with a 40-card Starter Deck which includes 33 Monster Cards, selected randomly from a pool of 100 monsters, as well as seven Magic Cards, which are always the same.[2]

Starter Deck
Magic & Traps


Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters features 365 cards, with the last 15 cards being secret. Most of the cards present were invented for the game; cards featured from the manga are from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist - Duel 032 and prior. The basic rules are based on the mechanics of the manga, not to be confused with the more complex OCG format invented later.

  • There are 315 Normal Monsters (from number 001 to 300, and from 351 to 365) and 50 Spell Cards (from number 301 to 350) in the game; these are the only types of cards featured.
  • While there are no Fusion Monsters (and thus no Fusion Deck), fusions can be performed by trying to summon a monster from the hand on top of a monster on the field (e.g. "Ansatsu" + "Darkfire Dragon" = "Flame Swordsman").
  • BlueEyesWhiteDragon-DM1-JP-VG

    "B.eye White Dragon"

    Monsters only have an ATK, DEF, Type, and description. Levels, Attributes, and Alignments are not featured in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, and monsters can be summoned without tributing.
  • There is no Deck Cost and no limit to the number of copies of one card which can be in a Deck, but the Deck must contain exactly 40 cards and the player can only have one Deck at a time. There is no Side Deck.
  • Each Duelist's hand consists of five cards.
  • Each turn has the same layout:
    1. The turn player draws a card.
    2. The turn player must play one card from their hand. If their hand is empty, the Duel ends and the Duelist with higher Life Points wins. Only one card can be played from the hand each turn.
    3. The turn player must attack with or switch to Defense Position each monster on their side of the field.
    4. The turn ends.
  • The player always goes first in a Duel, but does not draw a card and cannot attack on the first turn.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (J) -S- 2

    Battle screen showing "Sangan" attacking "Ancient Jar".

    Attacking works the same as it does in the OCG and TCG.
    • If the attack target is in Attack Position:
      • If the monsters have different ATK, the monster with the lowest ATK is destroyed and its controller takes battle damage equal to the difference.
      • If the monsters have equal ATK, both monsters are destroyed and neither Duelist takes battle damage.
    • If the attack target is in Defense Position:
      • If the attack target's DEF is greater than the attacker's ATK, neither monster is destroyed and the attacking monster's controller takes battle damage equal to the difference.
      • If the attack target's DEF is lower than the attacker's ATK, the attack target is destroyed and its controller does not take battle damage.
      • If the attack target's DEF equals the attacker's ATK, neither monster is destroyed and neither Duelist takes battle damage.
    • If the opponent has no monsters, the turn player can attack the opponent directly. In this case, the opponent takes battle damage equal to the attacking monster's ATK.
  • The player receives a card after every win or draw. Milestone drops are also awarded after every 10 wins against each opponent, up to 100 wins per opponent.

Promotional cards[]

Each copy of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters came with three cards randomly selected from the following set of ten cards:[1]

The cards in this promotional set were from Konami's Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, a set of 21 cards that also included the Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule: Breed and Battle promotional cards and the "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Meeting Experience Card". All of these cards were printed as Holofoil Rares and are Illegal because they predate the OCG and use a completely different card design.

Game guides[]

Two game guides for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters were published in Japan by Shueisha: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Perfect Master BOOK, published on December 21, 1998,[3][4] and Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Perfect Master BOOK Volume 2, published in January 1999.[5] Neither guide included any bundled promotional cards.

External links[]