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Marik Ishtar

Marik Ishtar


Marik Ishtar




Mariku Ishutāru

Alternate names

 Maric Ishutarl (bunkoban)
 Malik Ishtar (fanslation)

Manga debut

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Duel 92:

Anime debut

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 51: The Mystery Duelist - Part 2?


December 23




180 cm1.8 m
5.906 ft
70.866 in


55 kg121.254 lb



Blood type




Voice actors

Marik Ishtar is the main villain of the Battle City arc. He has dissociative identity disorder with two distinct identities. His alter ego Dark Marik (or Yami Marik in the English anime) was created by Marik's hatred for being a tombkeeper and for his father who strictly enforced that he continue his family's lineage. Dark Marik slowly grew by Marik's hatred. Marik is often considered to be one of the foremost adversaries in the series.


Character design

Yami Marik's design incorporates multiple layers of clothing and a wide range of expressions. Depicted here is the duelist in full regalia from front, side and rear views and alongside views of his head from different angles.

Marik's usual outfit consists of a long purple cape with a gold chain at the front worn by the rare hunters, a sleeveless black shirt and beige combats. He wears gold earrings, neckwear, armbands and bracelets all up his wrists. His white-blond hair is neatly arranged as Marik. As Yami Marik his face features various veins which seem to become more prominent over time, his hair is spiked upwards and points in all directions and he bears the Eye of Wdjat on his forehead. Whilst dueling, faint, ghastly images of his face frequently stretch out from his head. In the Battle City arc he often wears a KaibaCorp Duel Disk on his left arm.


Marik Ishtar

As a child, Marik was an innocent boy who desired to see the outside world, despite his clan's laws forbid him from doing so, and was willing to sneak out to fulfill his desire. He cared for his siblings very much. Marik also considered Rishid to be his brother, despite being not blood related.

Marik bore a grudge towards the pharaoh, who he was forced to guard with his life, robbing him of his freedom. Marik's hatred only intensified when he was forced to take the family's ritual of having the carvings cut onto his back.(In the English version the carvings were marked on with permanent ink). The pain was so intense that he gave birth to his alter ego, Dark Marik. When his father brutally tortures Rishid for helping Marik and Ishizu to sneak outside for a view, Dark Marik woke up and killed the man. (In the English Version, Yami Marik banished him to the Shadow Realm.) Marik, who had no recollection of the murder, thought Shadi, a loyalist to the Pharaoh, was the killer, and thus leading to Marik's betrayal to the clan to get revenge against the Pharaoh.

While leading the Rare Hunters, in his quest for world domination and freedom, Marik became rather cruel and uncaring, willing to brainwash people to do his bidding, and force them to cheat and use cruelty on his behalf, victims being Keith Howard and Joey Wheeler and Strings. He was not above using death to punish his subordinates for failure, such as Arkana and Lumis, nor did he care about sacrificing them to test the fake The Winged Dragon of Ra cards, which produced severe injuries and death. He even threatened his sister with the Millennium Rod for getting in his way, and ordered Rishid to use the fake Ra card against his will. However, he still retained his love for his family, despite his mistreatment to them.

Dark Marik

Dark Marik

As Dark Marik, he becomes a person of pure cruelty and insanity who cares for no one but himself, as he was born of hate, anger and envy. Dark Marik ruthlessly murdered his father, and was constantly trying to kill Rishid for being a hindrance to his existence in the outside, and even threatened Ishizu with death for hiding their brother. Dark Marik showed no interest for Kaiba's past, something which his alter ego wanted to know. It is not said what Dark Marik's goals were in the original Japanese version, but he desired to kill Yugi more than anything, as he was born by Marik's hatred towards the pharaoh. In the English dub anime, he wanted to rule the world.

Aside from his lack of empathy, he also seems to be a sadist, building his deck around torture-themed cards, and using the shadow powers to manifest them into reality, painfully hurting his opponents for his own pleasures. He even tried to kill Mai Kujaku in order to make Yugi suffer, and then placed her in a Shadow Game, despite her having no involvement in Marik's grudge against the pharaoh.

In the Virtual World fortress of Noah Kaiba, Dark Marik showed that he can be a reckless person, as he destroyed the fortress' computer, the only way of stopping a missile is programmed to fire at the place.

Despite his cruelty and evilness, he valued his own life dearly, and tried to kill Rishid so he would not be sealed back in. He also tried to plead for Marik to help him win against Yugi.


Marik's family guarded the tomb of the pharaoh for generations and two of the Millennium Items, the Rod and Necklace were passed on to Marik and his sister Ishizu Ishtar. Marik was forbidden to leave the Pharoah's tomb due to his father's fear that the freedom and marvels of the outside world would further divert Marik's attention away from his heritage. Marik no longer wanted to become a Tombkeeper, so his adoptive brother Odion Ishtar asked if he could take Marik's place but was refused. When Marik was forced to take the initiation ritual to become a full Tombkeeper, Dark Marik was created from the pain he endured. After the forbidden trip to surface, Marik's father, having found out, attempted to kill Odion. At this, Dark Marik emerged for the first time to resisted punishment and claimed the Millennium Rod for himself. Ignoring his father's orders to put the item down, Dark Marik used its powers to smash him against the wall. When Ishizu protested, she suffered the same strike. Marik then proceeded to his father with a killing blow. In the manga Dark Marik specifically skinned his father with it and then threw his father's back onto Odion. In the Japanese anime he killed his father to stop him from killing Odion (in the English anime he sent his father to the Shadow Realm). Dark Marik was sealed away in Marik's body by Odion.

In the Battle City arc, Marik was the leader of the Ghouls organization, he wishes to obtain the three Egyptian God Cards, and with them, unlock their power for himself so he can gain the title of "Pharaoh" and set his family free. He also has a hidden agenda - to get revenge on the ancient Pharaoh's soul, which currently resides in Yugi's body, for killing his father, as he was made to believe. In the English anime, he is considerably more fiendish. He wants the God Cards and the Millennium Puzzle to gain the power of the Pharaoh and rule the world, though he retains his hate of the Pharoah. Marik uncovers two of the three Egyptian Gods, The Winged Dragon of Ra and Slifer the Sky Dragon from where Pegasus had hidden them away due to danger associated with them. The third Egyptian God, Obelisk the Tormentor, is taken by Ishizu, who gives it to Seto Kaiba.

Marik and his Ghouls hack into to the Battle City computer system and enter themselves in the tournament. He has his Ghouls duel Yugi and Kaiba to take the Millennium Puzzle and Obelisk the Tormentor from them. One of his Ghouls included the Pantomimer (Strings in the English anime, though he was only referred to as "The Quiet One"), who he controlled using the Millennium Rod and included Slifer the Sky Dragon in his deck. But was defeated by Yugi allowing him to take Slifer. Dark Bakura (Yami Bakura) teams up with Marik Ishtar in a verbal deal consisting of Marik's relinquishment of the Millennium Rod if the Dark Bakura got back Slifer the Sky Dragon.

Marik, Bakura, and Odion get places in the quarter-finals. Marik has Odion pretend to be himself (nobody except for Yami Bakura had actually met him in person), while he took on the disguise Namu. Bakura is defeated by Yugi. Marik has Odion use a counterfeit The Winged Dragon of Ra card in his quarter-final against Joey Wheeler. Joey suspects he is not dueling the real Marik so Odion attempts to win using the counterfeit to prove he is Marik. Ra is angered by this and strikes both duelists, leaving Odion in a coma. With Odion knocked out Dark Marik was able to take control of Marik. In Marik's quarter-final match, Dark Marik traps the soul of Mai Valentine and has several brain insects slowly devour her body after he beats her in a shadow game (in the English version, he banished her soul to the Shadow Realm). After this, Joey is determined to duel Marik and save Mai no matter how high the cost.

The carving (tattoo in the English anime) of the Pharaoh's memory.

Dark Bakura teams with Marik's soul to stop Dark Marik, but fails as well and loses the Millennium Ring. In the semi-finals dark Marik duels Joey, who becomes severely injured by The Winged Dragon of Ra and is unable to continue to claim victory. As time goes on, Dark Marik becomes the dominant host of Marik's body, with the real Marik's soul slowly fading out of existence. Yugi faces Dark Marik in the finals. Dark Marik turns the duel into a Shadow Game that gave him a clear edge, when the Pharaoh lost life-points, Yugi's body would fade away, when Dark Marik lost life points, the original Marik would fade away. While they duel, Odion wakes up and he makes Marik realize he had to accept his responsibility for being a Tombkeeper. With this confidence, Marik overpowers his evil self and forfeits, destroying Dark Marik. Marik gives Yugi the Millennium Rod and The Winged Dragon of Ra. Marik then reveals the Tombkeeper's initiation. The carving of the pharaoh's memory onto the back of a tomb guardian involves using either a hot dagger (as in the manga), a normal dagger (in the Japanese version of the second series anime), or a tattoo (in the English second series anime, though the dagger was still seen in the flashback) on his back. Fulfilling his duty as a Tombkeeper, Marik returns to Egypt to start a new life.

In the Millennium World arc, Marik, Ishizu, and Odion lead Yugi and his friends to the tomb of the Pharaoh in order for Pharaoh Atem and Yugi to have a final duel in order to determine if the spirit will move on to the afterlife or remain in the present.


Marik's name is also commonly read as Malik by fans. Some fans believe that it was made fairly obvious that it was meant to be romanized as "Malik", given the meaning of the name "Malik", and given the fact that Malik is a fairly common Arabic name. Additionally, "Malik" can be defined in Arabic as "the controller," "king", or "one who rules", a well-fitting name given his excessive use of the Millenium Rod, mind slaves, and his portrayal as a dominating villain. Marik Ishtar is known as "Malik Ishtar" in Indonesia.

Likely Marik comes from the fact that often "l" and "r" alternate in names from Japanese to English, though this was not necessarily the intended substitution.

Marik's name is derived from the Arabic word Malik ("king") and the Mesopotamian deity Ishtar. Ishtar is a vengeful Babylonian goddess according to the 3000 year-old epic of Gilgamesh.

Malik is considered a correct Romanization of 3 different Arabic words. These include:

  • (ملك) Malik (also Malek or Melik), an Arabic word and title, meaning "king", "monarch", and "sovereign". Notably not used as a given first name, but rather as a title.
  • (مالك) Mālik (also Maalik), an Arabic word and name, meaning "owner", "proprietor", "proprietary", "possessor", and "holder". It is the the most common among the three to be used as a first name for a person, and its use as a name dates back to ancient times.
  • (مليك) Malīk (also Maleek), can mean either of the two words above. Although mostly not used as a given first name.

If Marik's name was based on Arabic, then the second one (مالك) is the most correct equivalent naming-wise. It could have been chosen based on the meaning of the other two names though, as the three words are usually written with no clear differentiation in English.


Marik's own deck is never shown in a duel, as Yami Marik makes modifications to it prior to his dueling debut, but glimpses of it are shown through the decks the Rare Hunters use. Cards such as "Revival Jam", "Jam Defender" (both played by Strings), and "Masked Beast Des Gardius" (played by Lumis and Umbra), reappear as part of Marik's own deck during the Battle City arc.

Yami Marik runs an Immortality-Torture Deck, which focuses on slowly torturing his opponents and watching them squirm, until ultimately playing "The Winged Dragon of Ra" in ways he finds most evoking of pain, i.e. using Ra's "Egyptian God Phoenix" (introduced when he dueled Joey Wheeler) and "Point-to-Point Transfer" abilities (introduced when he dueled Yami Bakura). When he proceeds to duel Yami Yugi, Yami Marik's strategy focuses primarily on reviving Ra from the Graveyard with "Monster Reborn" and continually transferring that card to his hand with cards like "Left Arm Offering", "Zombie's Jewel", and "Magical Stone Excavation". He also focuses on increasing his Life Points so he can activate both of Ra's abilities, resulting in a massive ATK for Ra to deliver the finishing blow, critical injury to his opponents—since he has played all of his Duels as Shadow Games—and sometimes both.

Besides this, his Deck is largely composed of Fiend-Type monsters, and his cards rely on draining an opponent of strength: "Helpoemer" discards cards; "Plasma Eel" lowers the ATK of an opponent's monster every turn; cards like "Bowganian", "Lava Golem", and "Coffin Seller" can burn through his opponent's Life Points. In particular to the theme of pain, many cards like "Byser Shock", "Viser Des", and "Nightmare Wheel" are all modeled after torture devices.

Anime/Manga Deck
Yami Marik's World Championship Tournament 2004 Deck {Flip-Effect Destruction Deck}
Normal Marik's World Championship Tournament 2004 Deck
Facts about Marik IshtarRDF feed
Age 16  +
Anime appearances Yu-Gi-Oh! second series anime  +
Birthdate December 23  +
Blood type B  +
Gender Male  +
Height 180 cm (1.8 m, 5.906 ft, 70.866 in)  +
Manga appearances Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist  +, Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World  +, and Yu-Gi-Oh! R  +
Weight 55 kg (121.254 lb)  +

This article uses material from the "Marik Ishtar" article on the Yugioh wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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