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Up to date as of February 05, 2010

From Yu-Gi-Oh!

A Shadow Game {Yami no Game, literally "Game of Darkness" or "Dark Game") is a contest generally between two people that involves a harsh penalty for the loser, usually inferring the involvement of the Shadow Realm in the Dub.

In Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories is revealed that Nitemare created the Shadow Games.

In some versions of the Yu-Gi-Oh! story, the shadow games are games played given that the loser or someone who attempts to cheat suffers a harsh penalty, such as being killed, losing his or her vision, and/or losing his or her soul, an illusion forced upon the loser, etc. In others, the shadow games involve releasing monsters from stone tablets, and was played by Egyptian Pharaohs, with the fate of the world at stake. The Shadow Games are held in the Shadow Realm in the 4Kids English dub of the anime.

In the anime, it is stated that the Egyptians first allowed the Shadow Games. Using various means of sorcery, they send themselves into an alternate dimension where their duel would not be interrupted, and where cheating is strictly forbidden, punishable by death. In the Shadow Games, the sorcerers' skills would be tested by seeing how powerful of monsters they can summon, and how powerful a spell they can cast to power up their monsters.

The power of the monsters could best be harnessed by the Millennium Items. Created for the purpose of defending Egypt, they were put into the possession of the Pharaoh and his six priests. However, Dark Bakura wishes to steal the Items all for himself, and tries to take the Items, both in Ancient Egypt and in the modern world. To do so, Bakura must play shadow games.

Generally the rules of each "Shadow Game" would change based on the contestants in it. For example, when Maximillion Pegasus duels Yugi Mutou, summoning monsters and having them destroyed would drain the souls of the duelists. Moreover, the Shadow Games can commence only after the challenger makes certain rules that do not give anybody an advantage, but can test the stamina of the duelists as well as the duelists' skills. For example, Marik cannot simply say that all his monsters get an additional 10,000 attack points, but can state that the destruction of monsters erases memory or drains life energy.

In the modern world, the possessor of a Millennium Item can challenge another person to a Shadow Game, and if the other person loses, the loser is subjected to a certain power of the item against their will. However, the challenge need not be accepted. Clever challengers will attempt to entice the other person into accepting the challenge by offering a reward if they win; in the English anime, the Shadow Realm would ensure the promised reward is given. The Millennium Puzzle can temporarily force foolproof illusions onto people involving any sense if they are defeated in a Shadow Game, as well as perform a Mind Crush. The Millennium Ring and Millennium Eye have been used to steal souls of losers and imprison them.

All shadow games are possible for the person challenged to win. In the English anime, the Shadow Realm takes care of seeing to that, even if the challenger tries to rig the game.

A well chosen Shadow Game is difficult for the challenger to lose if the challenger takes advantage of knowledge about the other player's character flaws and/or weaknesses. A clever challenger will set the rules of the shadow game in such a way that unless the person overcomes the character flaw or weakness, they will lose, and there is a lot of flexibility in setting the rules. And the average victim is unaware of the fact that they are being tested that way, so they tend to fall right into the trap set by the challenger. An example is the duel between Marik Ishtar and Mai Valentine, when each time they lose a monster, they lose a memory of a friend. This preys on Mai's fear of being alone, but while this stipulation also applies to Marik, he doesn't care, as he prefers to be alone. In this way, the rules of the Shadow Game affect both players, but only one of the players suffers from such rules. (In the manga, it was an ordinary Shadow Game in which, whenever a monster felt pain, its owner would feel pain and see an illusion of blood, or even see an opposing player's head come off if his/her monster's head came off.)

Though the Millennium Items were returned to the darkness during the series finale, the series that followed still included a slightly different, yet similar version of the Shadow Games. In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, references to the Shadow Games were made, like during Jaden's duel with Titan. During the second season, more instances of the Shadow Games were referred to when the Shadow Riders would challenge the keepers of the seven Spirit Keys. The biggest nod to the Shadow Games would come in season four, during Trueman's attack on Domino City and Jaden's final duel against Nightshroud.

During the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, a group known as the Dark Signers use a sort of magic similar to that of the Shadow Games, such as the monsters doing physical damage to the duelists and the duel field and being unable to leave the game until a winner (or a draw) is declared.

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

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