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Waking the Dragons

Waking the Dragons


Waking the Dragons

Anime storyline



Original run

February 18, 2003 – December 17, 2003



Preceded by

Battle City

Followed by

Grand Championship

The Waking the Dragons story arc constitutes Season 4 in the anime series Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters. The story arc is exclusive to the anime (not based on the original manga), being one of the two created to make distance between the prior Battle City arc and the following Millennium World (Dawn of the Duel) arc.

The story arc is also called the Doma (ドーマ Dōma) story arc, named for the storyline's central antagonists, the Doma organization (sometimes misread as "Doom"). It is also known as the Orichalcos storyline, named for one of the central cards played within ("The Seal of Orichalcos").


Gameplay Mechanics

Unlike the anime-exclusive Virtual World story arc before it, the story arc does not introduce any new gameplay elements - instead it is notably the first time that Fusion monsters were permitted to attack on the turn that they were summoned, a tactic illegal during Battle City. Games remain a 4000-point battle, and monsters are still permitted to be summoned face-up in defense mode.

Instead, the focus is spent on creating new -anime-exclusive- cards (particularly Dartz's Orichalcos cards, as well as Yugi & friends' Legendary Dragons), which allow their user to "bend the rules" in subtle ways.


This page uses the English anime names since this arc does not take place in the manga.

The storyline is based around an organization (named Doma in the Japanese version) which uses a card known as "The Seal of Orichalcos" to entrap the souls of people and duel monsters alike, in an effort to revive an ancient monster known as The Great Leviathan. The beast was the center of the destruction of Atlantian society 10,000 years ago, well before the time of the Egyptians (on which the rest of the series is based).

In the past, the Great Leviathan was defeated by the three Legendary Dragons: Timaeus, Critias, and Hermos. Although not destroyed, the Leviathan was severely weakened, forcing Dartz, King of Atlantis, and his Doma organization to collect souls for 10,000 years. Dartz knew that he would succeed after seeing the power of Pharaoh Atem in Ancient Egypt some thousands of years later (in the English adaptation, Dartz cites the Shadow Realm specifically).

Stealing Yugi's Egyptian God Cards

The story begins after the end of the Battle City tournament, with the three Egyptian Gods Cards in the possession of Yugi Muto (romanized to "Yugi Mutou" in the English manga). One night, a group of perpetrators break into the Kame Game Shop and steal the three God Cards from Yugi's grandfather Solomon Muto, who had been given the cards for safekeeping. Giving chase to the thieves, they eventually encounter Grerimo, a mysterious man in a cape. Grerimo is collecting souls for the group, and plans to collect the souls of duelists by defeating them in a duel. To this end, he uses "The Seal of Orichalcos" card, a Field Magic Card that could not be dispelled and prevented outside interference, with only the winner of the duel being able to escape and the loser having his soul taken by the Seal. Although Grerimo manages to unleash the power of "Obelisk the Tormentor" against its former owner, Yugi eventually wins the duel but ultimately fails to recover the God Cards.

The God Cards eventually arrive in the hands of Dartz, who sacrifices their power to awaken his Great Beast, The Great Leviathan.

Releasing the Legendary Dragons

Yugi and the Pharaoh release "The Eye of Timaeus"
Seto wields "The Fang of Critias"
"The Claw of Hermos" appears to assist Joey

The next night, as the world sees a giant eye in the sky, Yugi and the Pharaoh awaken in the depths of the Millennium Puzzle where they encounter "Kuriboh", urging them to follow a portal hidden inside the puzzle to the world of beasts. There, they are greeted by "Dark Magician Girl", who tells then the tale of The Great Leviathan, and urges them to pull a sword from an ice statue. They do so, and unlock the power of "The Eye of Timaeus", who proceeds to destroy the eye in the sky above the world of beasts. Similarly, Yugi would unleash the same power in the real world, forcing The Great Leviathan to retreat.

The other two dragon cards would also be unleashed in a similar manner - the "The Fang of Critias" was unlocked by Seto Kaiba in a duel, after kowtowing to a demand allegedly by Maximillion Pegasus to duel at his Duelist Kingdom as a publicity stunt. There, he discovers that one of the thieves, Amelda (Alister named for Aleister Crowley, who coined the unicursal hexagram that acts as the symbol of the Orichalcos, in the English version), had led him there, wanting retribution for what KaibaCorp had done against his family. Although "The Seal of Orichalcos" was indeed used, the battle was fought to a draw, allowing both Alister and Kaiba to escape unharmed.

The third dragon card, the "The Claw of Hermos", would be unlocked by Joey Wheeler (Katsuya Jonouchi): when Yugi and his friends receive a video from Pegasus (as it turns out, shortly before he is defeated and his soul sealed), who implores Yugi and his friends to travel to America and retrieve a card holding the key to defeating their then-unknown threat. At Pegasus' Industrial Illusions HQ however, they are locked inside the building, where Mai Valentine (Mai Kujaku) emerges to battle Joey. During this duel, Yugi & friends discover that Mai had been wandering the Earth after their Battle City tournament: although she finished in the Top 8 she was always overshadowed by Joey, and continually traumatized by her loss to Marik Ishtar (in which she was physically and emotionally seriously scarred). Determined to become stronger at any cost and never wanting to lose another duel again, Mai eventually wound up with Dartz, eagerly accepting his offer of becoming stronger, not realizing that the power of the Orichalcos would be her undoing.

The change in Mai's behavior would, as it turns out, be partially due to Valon, the second of Doma's three Swordsmen, who had cared for Mai in her time of need, and wanted her to move on with her life by defeating Joey (effectively also doing his work for her). When Joey appears to have the upper hand in the Duel (thanks to "The Claw of Hermos"), Valon uses his Orichalcos stone to break the seal, rendering the match a no-contest and allowing both Mai and Joey's souls to survive.

Meanwhile, Duke Devlin (Ryuji Otogi), accompanied by Weevil Underwood (Insector Haga) and Rex Raptor (Dinosaur Ryuzaki), would manage to break into the building and unlock the doors. Seto and Mokuba Kaiba would also appear, and all of them would help Yugi find the card that Pegasus claimed would help Yugi end the threat of Doma - yet, when they find it, it is blank.

Yugi's Sacrifice

The evil power of the Orichalcos inhabits the Pharaoh

The third swordsman, Rafael, would later challenge Yugi. Rafael claimed that Yugi and his friends are fighting for the wrong cause, and that Rafael was a noble hero out to save the world. He claimed that mankind was inherently evil, and that the Orichalcos exposed the darkness within the souls of mankind - thus the need for them to be sealed by "The Seal of Orichalcos".

However, as Yugi dueled, he finds himself easily outmatched by Rafael's Guardian Monsters, which he refused to allow to go to the card graveyard. After Rafael plays the Spell Card "Exchange", Yugi finds himself with "The Seal of Orichalcos" in his hand. Not wanting to lose yet not wanting to play the Seal, the two souls of Yugi would debate over whether to use the card. Blinded by the desire to win at any cost, Yami (in control of Yugi's body during the Duel) ignores Yugi's pleas and plays the Seal in order to power up his monsters. Using the ability of "Catapult Turtle", he sacrifices monster after monster to wear away at Rafael's Life Points, even sacrificing his trusted "Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl" in the process. Yet, Rafael is able to survive and use the situation to his advantage by summoning "Guardian Eatos". Eatos would use the spirits of Yugi's own monsters to defeat Yugi.

As the Seal slowly circles around the fallen Pharaoh, however, Yugi realizes that two souls reside within one body, and allows the seal to take him instead, sacrificing himself so that the Pharaoh would survive. Meanwhile, Weevil and Rex, after seeing the power of the Orichalcos, seek to have the power for themselves.

Fighting the Darkness

The Pharaoh, despite the attempts of his friends to cheer him up, was depressed over the loss of his other self. Meanwhile, as the Pharaoh and company continue to travel, Weevil and Rex meet Dartz, who grants them the power of the Orichalcos. In return however, they are told to use their newfound power on the Pharaoh and Joey - a win-win scenario for Dartz in any event.

The two would manage to hijack the train the Pharaoh and company would be riding in - Weevil isolating Yami and Téa Gardner (Anzu Mazaki), while Rex finding Joey and Tristan Taylor (Hiroto Honda). Thus, the two Duelist Kingdom rematches were slated to begin, only with much more on the line. While Joey would have little trouble dispatching Rex with the help of his "Claw of Hermos", Timaeus would seemingly abandon the Pharaoh, forcing him to win the duel without it. He would ultimately prevail against Weevil with the help of "Breaker the Magical Warrior", which, along with its ability and "Berserker Soul", allowed it to attack Weevil repeatedly as long as the Pharaoh drew and discarded monsters - which he did ruthlessly. Téa would implore the Pharaoh to stop - long after he had beaten Weevil - just as Yami was about to discard "Dark Magician Girl". Just then, however, the moving train would head off a cliff, although they would survive, having been rescued by a mysterious person.

When the Pharaoh came to, his saviour would be revealed as Ironheart. Ironheart would lead the Pharaoh into the Valley of Lost Souls, where the Pharaoh found the spirit of Yugi. Yugi confronts the Pharaoh, and implores him to face himself through a duel, with both players sharing the same deck. In this duel, Yugi would bring forth "The Seal of Orichalcos", and would use a similar strategy to what the Pharaoh had used against Rafael. Yet, the Pharaoh ultimately succeeds after successfully countering Yugi's moves, despite not wanting to lose Yugi again.

Just as he was about to leave, however, Dartz, who had been observing the Pharaoh's activities, conjures a spell to bring forth an Orichalcos Soldier. While fighting the Orichalcos Soldier, however, the Pharaoh realizes that Timaeus is his only hope of winning, yet he cannot use it as he does not have the card in his deck (after having given it to Ironheart, believing him to be unworthy of the card's power). Ironheart and his family (consisting of grand-daughter Chris and pet wolf Skye) would sacrifice their lives to deliver the card to Yugi, who uses it successfully to defeat the Orichalcos Soldier. With the darkness within himself defeated, the Pharaoh could finally move on, and hope to find and free Yugi, wherever he may be.

It would later be revealed Ironheart and Chris are respectively Dartz's father and daughter.

The Fall of the Swordsmen

Each of the three swordsmen were chosen for their apparent misfortunes in life - all of which, as it turns out, was orchestrated by Dartz.

Alister duels against Kaiba

Alister came from a war-torn region, and his life revolved around helping himself and his brother survive the ravages of war. Ultimately, however, his family was killed ("captured" in the English adaptation) by opposing forces, who were allegedly funded by Kaiba Corporation. Holding its head, Gozaburo Kaiba responsible, Alister seeks his adopted sons for revenge.

He manages to hijack the plane Seto and Mokuba were piloting, and seeks a rematch with Seto to end it once and for all. As the duel moves on, Alister recounts his history with the Kaiba Corporation, and notes that whether he wins or loses, the plane will crash, allowing "The Seal of Orichalcos" to claim all three lives. Kaiba, willing to protect Mokuba at any cost, would use Critias to prevail. In his brief moment of defeat before being claimed by the Orichalcos, Alister sees a bit of his brother in Mokuba, allowing him to stop living in the past move on with his life.

Valon making full use of his Armor Monsters

Valon was a child delinquent, always getting into fights. When he gets into a fight with a gang of street thugs, they retaliate by burning a local church down, along with a nun who had taken care of him. In revenge, he had killed the street thugs, and as a result, he was sent to prison (this detail was omitted from the English adaptation - there, Valon was imprisoned without the reason being mentioned). He was sent in and out of twelve detention centers, before a warden turns him into Duel Monsters. There, the warden sets forth a Battle Royale style challenge, where the winner would be set free. Valon would eventually be the winner, having trapped all others within "The Seal of Orichalcos". He is granted release, into the custody of the prison's "sponsor" - Dartz.

Valon, in his view, saw Joey as the big obstacle in Mai's life, and vowed to take him down in her honor, while Joey wants to take down Valon, believing that Doma is to blame for turning Mai against him. When their duel inevitably begins, Valon uses his deck of Armor Monsters - 0 ATK and 0 DEF monsters with devastating effects, to literally form a suit of armor around himself, intending to literally beat Joey senseless. Likewise, Joey is forced to defend himself with a suit of armor of his own, formed from his trusted Red-Eyes Black Dragon. The two would physically punish each other throughout the match, with Joey coming out in front.

The duel between Valon and Joey would arouse Mai's interest, and Joey would be forced to duel her in order to set the record straight. Joey, tired and physically beaten from the previous duel, is unable to concentrate on the duel, yet manages to deal serious damage to Mai - yet, he manages to reach out to her just as Joey is about to lose. Mai would ultimately not attack Joey (and win the duel), but Joey collapses in exhaustion, allowing "The Seal of Orichalcos" to take his soul. Taking the fallen Hermos with her, she proceeds to confront Rafael, the last of the three swordsmen, where it is implied that her soul was also taken.

Guardians arise: Rafael finally sees the light

Rafael came from a well-off family, which was taken from him when they were separated from each other at a young age. He was the sole survivor of a luxury liner disaster, and washed up ashore on a deserted island (the English adaption mentions that his family had survived the shipwreck, but had completely forgotten about Rafael) Rafael would live on the island for three years (according to Rebecca Hawkins), with his Guardian cards the only thing allowing him to retain his sanity. His attitude in dueling was simple - as the cards had cared for him during those years, he would try to do the same to his monsters. When he was eventually rescued, he found that the world he lived in had changed. Unwilling to accept the outside world 9 years after the events of his accident before the events of the series, Rafael turned to Dartz.

When Rafael confronts the Pharaoh again, he hands the Pharaoh "The Claw of Hermos" (which he had picked up from Joey's soul-less body), and promises to defeat the Pharaoh like he did before. This time, however, it is instead Rafael who uses the "The Seal of Orichalcos", to the Pharaoh's horror (up to that point, it seemed that Rafael was not the type of person who would use such a card). Like the Pharaoh before, Rafael would proceed to sacrifice his trusted Guardians, all to power up his deadliest Guardian, "Guardian Dreadscythe" - a guardian who could be revived simply by discarding a single card. Determined to set Rafael free, and see the errors of his ways, the Pharaoh takes it upon himself to destroy Dreadscythe by any means necessary, and he does so with the combined power of Hermos and "Guardian Eatos" - Rafael's most trusted Guardian.

With Rafael seeing the error of his ways, he uses a final magic card to resummon all his Guardians, at the cost of the remainder of his life points. Though Rafael loses, his soul is surprisingly not taken since he found the light in himself, as souls are taken because of the darkness inside of someone.

The Final Battle

Dartz using his magic to trap the souls of Yugi, Joey, Mai, and Pegasus inside his "Mirror Knight Tokens"

Rafael proceeds to tell the Pharaoh and company where to find Dartz, and they proceed to Dartz's lair, where they find an entire room of captured souls. Dartz appears, and challenges the Pharaoh and Kaiba in a two-on-one match.

Dartz, however, is more powerful than the three Swordsmen combined - not only is he able to repel of the "Master of Dragon Soldier", a fusion of two of Kaiba's and the Pharaoh's most powerful cards, but is able to expand the full power of "The Seal of Orichalcos", by playing its levels 2 and 3: "Orichalcos Deuteros" and "Orichalcos Tritos". These would would give Dartz even more life points, making additional attacks fruitless. Furthermore, his Αrray of "Mirror Knights" is making the Pharaoh reluctant to attack, as the souls of his fallen friends are trapped inside each one. When Rafael tries to intervene, he unleashes his stored-up rage at Dartz (who at that point revealed that he was the source of Rafael's troubles in life), and "The Seal of Orichalcos" (dormant since his earlier duel) takes his soul.

Kaiba, however, sees past Dartz's tricks to throw the Pharaoh off guard, and proceeds to attack. By destroying his monsters, however, Dartz releases an even more powerful monster ("Orichalcos Shunoros"), which easily defeats Kaiba and allows the Seal to claim his soul. Desperate for a comeback, Yugi manages to draw the blank card that Pegasus gave him - only this time, the card has changed to "Legend of Heart", allowing the true nature of the Legendary Dragons to be revealed.

In the past, the kingdom of Atlantis was guarded by three knights, which were turned into dragons and sealed away during the battles that eventually destroyed Atlantis. By using the "Legend of Heart", the three Legendary Dragons revert to their true form, allowing "Legendary Knight Timaeus", "Legendary Knight Critias", and "Legendary Knight Hermos" to be reborn. The three Knights manage to destroy the three levels of "The Seal of Orichalcos", as well as Dartz's "Orichalcos Shunoros". Yet, Dartz has a last resort up his sleeves - by sacrificing all of his life points, he could summon "Divine Serpent", which has infinite ATK and DEF, and also allow Dartz to continue to duel as long as it remains on the field. Likewise, Yugi is forced to similarly entrust his own livelihood to his "Dark Magician Girl". By combining all three Knights of Atlantis to form the "Knight of Destiny", the Divine Serpent is destroyed, winning the duel in Yugi's favor.

Although as a result, the souls of Yugi, Joey, and Kaiba are freed, Dartz sacrifices his own soul, allowing the Great Leviathan to be reborn.

Attack of the Great Leviathan

The Egyptian Gods rally up against The Great Leviathan

The Great Leviathan has been reborn, thanks to Dartz's own sacrifice. Even the combined forces of the Knights of Atlantis and the most powerful of Yugi's, Kaiba's and Joey's monsters were not enough to stop it - their only hope, as it seems, was to put all their own power into reviving the three Gods of Egypt: "Obelisk the Tormentor", "Slifer the Sky Dragon", and "The Winged Dragon of Ra". With the three monsters revived with the power of the light of all Dartz's prisoners this greatly reduces The Great Leviathan's strength, enough for the three Gods to easily destroy it, freeing all the captive souls in the process.

Yet, The Great Leviathan would continue to exist, as it was made from the evils of mankind. The Pharaoh, wanting to help Dartz be rid of the influence of the Orichalcos, takes it upon himself to personally ensure that the Great Leviathan, and the influence of the Orichalcos, is no more. With it gone Dartz returns to normal, and proceeds happily into the afterlife with Ironheart, Chris, and the rest of his family.

As for the main characters, the Knights of Atlantis and "Dark Magician Girl" thank them for their assistance, and return to the world of the beasts. The three Legendary Dragon Cards, as well as "Legend of Heart", disappear into thin air just as they came, vowing to reappear when the world is in danger again.

Episode Listing

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode Guide - Season Four
Episode Number
Japanese Title and Translation
English Title
Japanese Air Date
English Air Date
Episode 145 新たなる闇の鼓動
(A New Darkness Pulsates)
A New Evil - Part 1 February 18, 2003
Episode 146 オレイカルコスの結界
(The Seal of Orichalcos)
A New Evil - Part 2 February 25, 2003
Episode 147 名もなき竜 ティマイオス
(Nameless Dragon - Timaeus)
Legend of the Dragons March 4, 2003
Episode 148 ペガサスからの招待状
(Pegasus's Invitation)
The Creator Returns March 11, 2003
Episode 149 トゥーンワールドの悪夢
(The Nightmare of Toon World)
Deja Duel! - Part 1 March 18, 2003
Episode 150 目覚めよ! クリティウス
(Awaken! Critias)
Deja Duel! - Part 2 April 8, 2003
Episode 151 予期せぬ敵
(An Unexpected Enemy)
An Unexpected Enemy April 15, 2003
Episode 152 闇に堕ちた舞
(Mai is Falling Into Darkness)
My Freaky Valentine - Part 1 April 22, 2003
Episode 153 よみがえれ! 第三の竜
(Revive! The Third Dragon)
My Freaky Valentine - Part 2 April 29, 2003
Episode 154 ヘルモスの奇跡
(The Miracle of Helmos)
My Freaky Valentine - Part 3 May 6, 2003
Episode 155 ターゲットは名もなき王
(Target: Nameless Pharaoh)
The Challenge May 13, 2003
Episode 156 遊戯vsラフェール 鉄壁のガーディアンデッキ
(Yugi vs. Rafael - The Impregnable Guardian Deck)
Fate of the Pharaoh - Part 1 May 20, 2003
Episode 157 ドーマの真実
(The Truth of Doma)
Fate of the Pharaoh - Part 2 May 27, 2003
Episode 158 遊戯の中の闇 ティマイオス消滅
(The Darkness Within Yugi - Timeaus Disappears)
Fate of the Pharaoh - Part 3 June 3, 2003
Episode 159 引きさかれた魂
(A Taken Soul)
Trial by Stone June 10, 2003
Episode 160 暴走特急デュエル
(The Runaway Train Duel)
On the Wrong Track - Part 1 June 24, 2003
Episode 161 パワーアップデッキ! 羽蛾&竜崎
(Power-Up Deck! Haga & Ryuzaki)
On the Wrong Track - Part 2 June 24, 2003
Episode 162 ティマイオス発動せず
(Timaeus Won't Activate)
On the Wrong Track - Part 3 July 1, 2003
Episode 163 対決! 二人の遊戯
(Confrontation! Both Yugis)
Self-Destruction July 8, 2003
Episode 164 オレイカルコス・ソルジャー
(Orichalcos Solder)
Reliving the Past July 22, 2003
Episode 165 ヴァロン始動! 謎のアーマーデッキ
(Valon Moves! The Mysterious Armor Deck)
Deck of Armor July 29, 2003
Episode 166 復讐のアメルダ 大空中決闘
(The Revenging Amelda - The Great Airborne Duel)
Flight of Fear - Part 1 August 12, 2003
Episode 167 天空の要塞 ジグラート
(Sky Fortress Ziggurat)
Flight of Fear - Part 2 August 19, 2003
Episode 168 忍びよるダーツの影
(The Shadow of Dartz Creeps Near)
Paradise Found August 19, 2003
Episode 169 激突! 城之内vsヴァロン
(Clash! Jonouchi vs. Valon)
Fighting for a Friend - Part 1 September 2, 2003
Episode 170 フルアーマー・グラビテーション
(Full Armor Gravitation)
Fighting for a Friend - Part 2 September 9, 2003
Episode 171 響きあう魂
(Reverberating Soul)
Fighting for a Friend - Part 3 September 16, 2003
Episode 172 激闘の果てに
(The End of the Violent Fight)
Fighting for a Friend - Part 4 September 23, 2003
Episode 173 苦い勝利
(A Bitter Victory)
Fighting for a Friend - Part 5 October 1, 2003
Episode 174 運命の決闘! 遊戯vsラフェール
(The Duel of Destiny! Yugi vs. Rafael)
Grappling with a Guardian - Part 1 October 8, 2003
Episode 175 不死身! ガーディアン・デスサイス
(Invincible! Guardian Deathscythe)
Grappling with a Guardian - Part 2 October 15, 2003
Episode 176 心の闇を撃て!
(Destroy the Darkness of the Heart!)
Grappling with a Guardian - Part 3 October 22, 2003
Episode 177 決戦の地へ! ダーツvs遊戯&海馬
(To the Final Battlefield! Dartz vs. Yugi & Kaiba)
A Duel with Dartz - Part 1 October 29, 2003 May 7, 2005
Episode 178 アトランティスの悲劇
(The Tragedy of Atlantis)
A Duel with Dartz - Part 2 November 5, 2003 May 7, 2005
Episode 179 囚われのミラーナイト
(The Captive Mirror Knights)
A Duel with Dartz - Part 3 November 12, 2003 May 14, 2005
Episode 180 オレイカルコスの三重結界
(The Third Seal of Orichalcos)
A Duel with Dartz - Part 4 November 19, 2003 May 14, 2005
Episode 181 よみがえれ! 伝説の三騎士
(Revive! The Three Legendary Knights)
A Duel with Dartz - Part 5 November 26, 2003 May 21, 2005
Episode 182 攻撃力∞! 蛇神ゲー
(Infinite Attack Power - Evil God Ge)
A Duel with Dartz - Part 6 December 3, 2003 May 21, 2005
Episode 183 神神の戦い
(Battle of the Gods)
Rise of the Great Beast - Part 1 December 10, 2003
Episode 184 光の中を歩め
(Walk into the Light)
Rise of the Great Beast - Part 2 December 17, 2003
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This article uses material from the "Waking the Dragons" article on the Yugioh wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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