Yugi as seen with his 'other self', known as Dark Yugi, Yami Yugi, Pharaoh and Atem.
|Voiced by||1st series: Megumi Ogata
2nd series: Shunsuke Kazama (Japanese)
Dan Green (US English)
Chuck Powers (Singapore English)
King of Games (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
King of Duelists
Duel Monsters King
Beast Tamer Yugi
|Relatives||Grandfather: Sugoroku Mutou (Solomon Muto in the English anime)
Mother (Appears twice in the anime and twice in the manga)
Father (Is said to be on a business trip in the manga)
Pharaoh Atem (past incarnate)
Pharaoh Aknamkanon (past incarnate's father)
Atem's mother (past incarnate's mother, shown in a manga flashback)
Yugi Mutou (武藤 遊戯 Mutō Yūgi?, spelled "Muto" pronounced "Moto" in the English dubbed anime) is a fictional character and the protagonist of the manga and anime series Yu-Gi-Oh!. He is a young boy whose body becomes inhabited by the spirit of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh named Atem (アテム Atemu?) when he completes the Millennium Puzzle, also known in the English manga as Dark Yugi (闇遊戯 Yami Yugi?, known as Yami Yugi in the English anime and video games). Yugi's main defining trait in the manga is that he has an extreme fondness for games of all kinds, and his alter-ego Dark Yugi is a master gamer and gambler, often referred to in the manga as Game King (遊戯王 Yūgiō?, King of Games in most English translations). He first starts off as a vigilante; using the powers given to a Millennium Item wielder, he challenges bullies and criminals to occult judgment games called Shadow Games (闇のゲーム Yami no Gēmu?) and enforces Penalty Games (罰ゲーム Batsu Gēmu?) on them when they lose, dark punishments that may or may not result in death. A defining character moment for him (in the manga) is when he stops using them, instead challenging those who abuse these powers for their own selfish gain in his search to uncover his lost memories.
His usual outfit consists of the standard male Domino High School uniform, although he wears a closed buckled leather collar. In the second series anime, during his battles in the Battle City arc, under the control of his alter-ego, he would often wear his jacket like a makeshift cape, while in the manga, most of the time he would just simply take it off, though he does wear it in that style sometimes. His extravagant hair consists of multiple layers: while his fringe is made up of long, crooked blond locks spraying from his head, the main body features seven large, black spikes with magenta-rimmed edges. Yugi himself is wide-eyed and young-looking, sporting large eyes with purple irises and cartoonist features. When Yugi's dark alter-ego takes control of Yugi's body, some of Yugi's bangs stand on end, giving him additional streaks of yellow in his hair, and gaining fiercer eyes. Like the normal Yugi, Atem (Dark Yugi) cares deeply for his friends.
Additionally, in the first series anime by Toei Animation, Yugi's eyes were purple and Dark Yugi's were red. In the second series anime by Nihon Ad Systems, Yugi undergoes a growth spurt when his body is taken over by Dark Yugi (while in the manga, they are both the same size; not only on profiles but also visually), and during the Duelist Kingdom arc, his shoes change when the Pharaoh takes over, from tennis shoes to what seemed like heeled boots. In the manga, Yugi's eye color and clothes don't change whenever he transforms into his other self, with the exception of the first few chapters where Dark Yugi is seen sporting Ankh-like accessories on both arms that seemingly appear out of nowhere.
He wears the Millennium Puzzle on a rope around his neck. At the start of the Dungeon Dice Monsters arc of the manga (before his Puzzle is stolen by Mr. Clown and Ryuji Otogi), the rope is replaced with a chain as a fashion suggestion from Dark Yugi (volume 16 of the original Japanese manga series, volume 9 of the Duelist series in English). In the anime version (taking place before a replacement story, where his Puzzle is instead stolen by Bandit Keith, under the control of Marik), Yugi replaces the rope with a chain, mentioning that the Puzzle is an important bond between himself and his alter-ego, and that the chain will ensure that no one can ever break it again.
Upon becoming the Pharaoh, his features become accented and "serious-looking." In the manga (post Volume 10 of Duelist) and in the second series anime (after the Duelist Kingdom Arc) he often wears a KaibaCorp Duel Disk on his left arm and as such, is seen holding cards with his right hand, suggesting he is right-handed.
Yugi's speech patterns are polite and he uses honorifics almost all the time. In comparison, Dark Yugi uses a rougher speech pattern that could be seen as rude, mostly dropping honorifics when talking to anyone other than his friends and grandfather. Yugi refers to himself with the pronoun boku (僕?, Japanese pronoun for I), while Dark Yugi refers to himself with the more masculine and cocky ore (俺?, Japanese pronoun for I) in all Japanese incarnations. In comparison to the normal Yugi, Dark Yugi's voice sounds similar yet carries a different tone, as noted in Chapter 4 of the manga. When the transformation happens in the presence of Anzu Mazaki, who was blindfolded at the time, she comments that the voice is similar to Yugi's but different at the same time, carrying a tone of confidence and courage that the normal Yugi lacks, making her doubt that it's Yugi. This tone change is carried over to both the first series anime and the Japanese second series anime. On several other occasions, other characters who possess Millennium Items are able to tell the two apart.
In the 4kids dub, Yugi's thoughts while under the Pharaoh's control have the voice of Yugi himself instead of the Pharaoh (with the exception of the Doma Orichalcos arc, where Yugi's soul is captured), while in the Japanese dub (as well as the uncut English dub), the voice retains that of the current host. As the English dub got further into the story, Yami Yugi's voice became noticeably more deep than Yugi's voice. In the English language dub of the first episode of the NAS/Studio Gallop anime, Seto Kaiba also notices a change in Yugi's voice.
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A bairn who grew up playing games by himself, Yugi later received the pieces of the ancient Egyptian artifact called the Millennium Puzzle (千年パズル Sennen Pazuru?) from his grandfather, Sugoroku. As such, Yugi spent eight years trying to solve it.
When he eventually succeeded, Yugi unknowingly undid a binding spell created by the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Atem, who had sealed the magic of the Shadow Games in the Puzzle and the other Millennium Items thousands of years ago in order to stop the victory of the evil demon Zorc Necrophades. The Pharaoh had bound the spell with his own name and sealed his own soul within the puzzle; when Yugi solved the puzzle, both the magic of the Shadow Games and Atem's soul were released, and Yugi's body became host to the spirit of Atem, resulting in Yugi gaining an other half while changing the youngster's life forever.
At first, Yugi has no awareness of the presence of this second personality within himself, which emerges in times of stress and takes control of his body, usually when playing a game or taking part in a contest, or when his friends are in danger. The spirit of Atem also would emerge from the Millennium Puzzle to take control of Yugi's body for the purposes of challenging others to games. It becomes clear to the readers that this personality may not be a mere split personality, when Shadi enters Yugi's soul which contain two rooms, one of filled with innocence and toys, and one ominous room which houses the soul of Dark Yugi, resembling the tomb of an ancient Pharaoh, who challenges Shadi to a Shadow Game to find the true door in his Puzzle maze (of which it is revealed he doesn't know where the true door is himself).
Yugi slowly became aware of the presence of another being in his heart as the earlier stories progressed. During Kaiba's Death-T trial, in which his and his friends' lives were put on the line in Kaiba's death games, Yugi finally admits to his friends that he frequently had blackouts and that there may be another Yugi that sometimes takes over his body in times of stress. With encouragement from his friends and avenging his grandpa by defeating Seto Kaiba, Yugi no longer fears his other half and now remembers everything that transpires whenever Dark Yugi takes over his body.
After playing the Monster World RPG with Ryo Bakura's evil alter-ego, in which Yugi's soul was removed from his body and placed into a figurine, he and his friends came to understand that an additional soul existed within Yugi's body, rather them him merely just having a split personality, when the pharaoh's soul, left in the body alone, took control of it and defeated Dark Bakura in their Shadow Game. This led to "Dark Yugi" being referred to as "the other Yugi" (もう一人の遊戯 mō hitori no Yūgi?) by Yugi's friends, and as "the other me" or "my other self" (もう一人の僕 mō hitori no boku?) by Yugi himself. Additionally, Dark Yugi calls Yugi "partner" (相棒 aibō?). When it was revealed that "Dark Yugi" was the spirit of the pharaoh, he became known as the Nameless Pharaoh (名も無きファラオ namonaki farao?), as his true name was unknown even to him, although everyone besides Yugi himself would refer to Atem as "Yugi" or "the other Yugi" nonetheless. Rather than entirely supplanting Yugi's personality, as he had before, there was a degree of interplay between the two, wherein Yugi was aware of his surroundings and the events of the game, but his other self would be the one calling the shots. In the English version of the anime, during the anime's remix of the Monster World arc in Duelist Kingdom (in which Yugi plays a Duel Monsters game with Dark Bakura, with his and his friends' souls trapped in their favorite Duel Monsters cards), Yugi mentions that whenever he duels, he is aware of his surroundings but feels the presence of another entity guiding his hand. In the Japanese version of the anime, this serves as a replacement for the reveal during the manga's Death-T story.
For the first fifteen volumes of the manga and the first series anime, Dark Yugi initiates Shadow Games and gives Penalty Games to those who wrong his friend or acquaintances. In the second series anime, the only Penalty Game he uses is Mind Crush. After his battle with Pegasus, in which Pegasus tells him the story of how he encountered Shadi and is informed that an evil will is contained within the Millennium Items, he decides to stop using them because doing so would prove that statement right, becoming interested in finding out who or what he is and instead crush those who use these powers for their own gain - his soul search becoming the main plotline for the second half of the manga. In the anime, there is no explanation for why he stops using Mind Crush, although after finally communicating with his host Yugi firsthand he becomes curious about who or what he is.
Atem is an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who sealed his soul within the Millennium Puzzle in order to seal Zorc Necrophades. This is only mentioned, not shown, as the past events re-told as an interactive RPG-style Shadow Game ended with Atem defeating Zorc Necrophades without the Millennium Pendant shattering into the Millennium Puzzle.
His soul took on the identity of Dark Yugi, which resided in the body of his future incarnation Yugi Muto, after Yugi solved the Millennium Puzzle. He is the center piece of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series and is the reason for all the events that transpired during the series happen. In the English dubbed anime, it is stated that Yugi is the reincarnated other half of Pharaoh Atem, while in the Japanese manga and anime, this is left to fan speculation.
Yugi's name in Japanese, "遊戯", means "Game" - reflecting his fondness for games. Yugi's family name is romanized as Mutou in the English manga and uncut anime DVDs, although the manga occasionally uses the name Mutoh instead. In the English anime and all its spin-off products (including the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, ani-manga, the anniversary film, and various video games), his name is romanized as Yugi Muto, though it is consistently pronounced as Moto. The "Yu" (遊?) is also used in the names of the subsequent Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonists, Jaden Yuki, Yusei Fudo, Yuma Tsukumo and Yuya Sakaki.
Solicitations and summaries for the English-language release of the manga, as well as the opening prologue dialogue to the second series anime (the same opening dialogue is used in some first series episodes), refer to the pharaoh as Yu-Gi-Oh, from the title of the series meaning "King of Games," along with the name "Dark Yugi." Additionally, various English-language sources, notably video games, draw on the Japanese terminology of "Dark Yugi" and refer to the character as Yami Yugi. The English language translation of the series began referring to the character as Yami for the duration of the second season (to justify the "Yami Yugi" moniker without having to involve the Japanese language in the explanation), but this dropped early in the third season, and characters began to refer to Atem as "Pharaoh" without explanation to the sudden reversal of naming. On the other hand, Atem calls Yugi "Yugi" instead of "partner".
All of the Indo-European language dubs of the anime use Yugi Muto. The character is also referred to as Yugi Muto in the Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Italian versions of the manga. The French and German localizations use the same pronunciation, but spell his name Yûgi Muto and Yugi Mutô, respectively. The Japanese-language Yu-Gi-Oh! website romanizes his name as Yuhgi Mutoh.
The pronunciations from the first characters of "Yugi" and "Jonouchi" form the word "Yūjō" (友情), which means "friend" or "fellowship". The card, called "Yu-Jo Friendship" (the Japanese Duel Monsters card is "友情 Yu-Jyo") is named after the word and the relationship between the characters, especially Jonouchi and Yugi.
Notable Dueling Cards
Yugi's Duel Monsters deck is well known for the Dark Magician (Black Magician in the Japanese versions). At first it is composed of low-level Earth and Dark monsters with Spell and Trap cards to enhance them. Notable examples of his early monsters are Dark Magician, Gaia the Fierce Knight, Summoned Skull, Curse of Dragon, Celtic Guardian, Black Luster Soldier, and Magician of Black Chaos. Later, during Battle City, Yugi acquires Dark Magician Girl, as well as his Magnet Warriors, Obnoxious Celtic Guardian, Buster Blader, Big Shield Gardna and Royal Knights, all of which become some of his most commonly played cards. After winning Slifer the Sky Dragon, Yugi would usually summon the Egyptian God Card by special summoning all three Royal Knights and sacrificing the three monsters. Following Battle City, his deck begins to focus more and more on the Dark Magician while maintaining a strategy to disrupt and disable his opponent's cards.
During the Ceremonial Battle, Yugi and Atem utilize decks that embody their own characters. Yugi's deck relies on the Magnet Warriors, Gadgets, and Level monsters, all of which combine powers and grow over time. In the manga, the normal Yugi's deck is themed with new Toy monsters and Level monsters that get stronger as the game progresses, symbolizing his character growth throughout the story. Atem's deck relies on summoning the Egyptian God Cards in the anime, as well as the Dark Magician.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yugi's deck goes on tour at the academy, and is stolen by a copycat duelist. It was then later returned. This deck focuses on the Dark Magician, but also has several Chaos monsters. During his duel with Jaden in the past, Yugi uses a slightly modified version of the deck he used during the Battle City tournament. In Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time, although he only has 1 turn, Yugi shows some new magic & trap cards that focus on his Dark Magician & Dark Magician Girl.
Capsule Monster Chess
Dark Yugi's known Capsule Monster collection, all rigged by Mokuba Kaiba, consists of low-level monsters that rely on their special abilities and special formations to turn the tides of the game. Notable examples of his monsters with special abilities include Mogley, a Level 1 mole that can burrow underground and resurface to disrupt an opponent's movement, Squid Ninja, a Level 2 monster that can do suicide attacks, Torigun, a Level 2 bird monster that can one-shot all enemies aligned diagonally to it, and Beeton, a Level 2 larva monster that can evolve into a Level 5 Hyper Beeton given enough turns.
Monster World RPG
During Dark Bakura's Monster World tabletop role-playing game campaign, Dark Yugi controlled the characters modeled after his friends and other self. The Half-Elf Beast Tamer Yugi (17 SPD, 18 WIS, 9 STR, 18 Courage, 22 HP), the Human Warrior Jonouchi (16 SPD, 8 WIS, 20 STR, 21 Courage, 25 HP), the Elf Magician Anzu (20 SPD, 17 WIS, 9 STR, 14 Courage, 18 HP), and Human Magic Gunman Honda (18 SPD, 10 WIS, 14 STR, 19 Courage, 23 HP). Later on in the game, Beast Tamer Yugi uses his "Hand Power" ability to change the character alignment of the characters controlled by the Dark Master to the adventures' side, including an NPC containing the soul of Ryo Bakura: Pokii, Pao, and White Mage Bakura (Level 13).
Dungeon Dice Monsters
In the manga, during Yugi's game with Ryuji Otogi, he uses the following Dungeon Dice Monsters pieces: Armor Wizard Pazoo, Crocozaurus, Knight of Twin Swords, Mighty Mage, Strike Ninja, and Thunder Ball. In the Duel Monsters anime, some of these creatures are replaced with the addition of Duel Monsters creatures, most notably the Dark Magician in place of Armor Wizard Pazoo in an attempt to give the game relation to the card game. Another difference is that Dark Yugi is the one who participates in this game, not the normal Yugi, as the battle for the Millennium Puzzle is changed to a mundane duel in the anime.
Shadow RPG Cards/Items
In Dark Bakura's Shadow RPG campaign, Dark Yugi controlled the characters that were part of his royal court back when he was the Pharaoh, while Yugi Mutou himself was an NPC that was aligned on Dark Yugi's side. Dark Yugi's main player character is his past self, Pharaoh Atem, who is represented by the Pharaoh Card. Along with that, he has a deck of blank cards, which will be filled with a character's statistics whenever he envisions a person in his memory. Dark Yugi has the ability to control Siamun Muran, Mana, High Priest Mahado, High Priest Isis, High Priest Seto, High Priest Shada, and High Priest Karim who act independently as they did in history when not controlled by Dark Yugi. The characters' health and magic are represented by a bar representing their Ba, and when it runs out, it means that the character has died. Just like Yugi's status as an NPC, Jonouchi, Anzu, Honda, and Bobasa (Shadi) are transported to the game as NPCs after finding the door to the Memory World with Yugi within the Millennium Puzzle. Their character objective is to seek out Dark Yugi's true name.
Dark Yugi started out the game with all seven Millennium Item cards, which soon fall into the hands of Priest Akhenaden who fell into the influence of Zorc and became the High Priest of Darkness; summoning the boss character Zorc Necrophades, leveling up, and revealing his true alignment as one of Dark Bakura's game pieces.
In the Duel Monsters anime, Yugi is given a Hasan Master Item which allow him to summons Hasan (who is revealed to be Shadi) into the RPG. In the manga, Hasan is a powerful NPC who entered the Shadow Game as Bobasa (Bobasa is an NPC independent of Hasan in the anime), who aids the Pharaoh in the battle against Zorc. It turns out that Shadi is the one controlling the NPC, and in turn, is actually Bobasa.
Due to the number of characters he has at his disposal, he also has access to a number of Monster Spirits (Ka) during the RPG. But his most notable are the Magus of Illusions/Dark Magician, the God Spirits (Osiris/Obelisk/Ra), and The Creator God of Light, Horakhty.
In the early manga, Yugi also owned other notable game-related items. He owned a Digital Pet, named U2, which possessed similar physical traits to him, notably his hair, and his meek personality traits. When his pet mates with Jonouchi's pet, it gains the ability to transform into a pet with a personality similar to Dark Yugi in order to combat Kujirada's evil hidden pet, which was eating all of the other Digital Pets. It dies a day after the chapter ends.
In the Monster Fighter game, Yugi uses Alti which is stolen by Koji Nagumo. Dark Yugi uses Killer Emaada in a Shadow Game against Koji, winning Alti back.
Yugi Mutou re-appears in some spin-off series of the franchise taking place in the anime universe, which bears no canonicity to the manga universe.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yugi, ten years older, appears in the first episode, with only half of his face shown. The main character of Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Jaden Yuki (Judai in the original version), bumps into him on the way to the Duel Academy. Yugi gives Jaden the Winged Kuriboh card, saying he has a feeling it belongs with Jaden.
In episodes eighteen and nineteen of the series, Yugi's deck (without the god cards) goes on tour at the Academy. During a field trip to Domino (Episodes 75-78), Jaden and others visit the Kame Game Shop and meet Sugoroku Mutou, Yugi's grandfather. Sugoroku tells the students that Yugi "went to the market to get some olives" three years ago, and is probably traveling in another adventure. In Season 3, Maximillion Pegasus (known as Pegasus Crawford in the original version) mentions to Ed Phoenix that he considers Yugi to be number one in his personal list of the five best duelists in the world. In episodes 179-180, a still obscure-faced Yugi, thirteen years older than in the previous series, appears to Jaden after Jaden's graduation ceremony, in the room that houses Yugi Mutou's deck exhibit. Jaden is transported to the Game store thirteen years in the past, and duels the high school aged Yugi that had just won the Domino City tournament. When Jaden's skills are proven to Yugi, Dark Yugi decides to take control and use the Egyptian God cards. The final episode ends without a winner officially declared. However, because Jaden says after the duel that he still has a long way to go, it is implied that Yugi won the duel. Yugi can be seen whole in the last episode.
Bonds Beyond Time
Yugi appears in the Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time. He joins forces with Jaden Yuki from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, as well as Yusei Fudo from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's against a time-travelling enemy named Paradox, who plans to kill Pegasus so that Duel Monsters would never grow to the point at which it would end the world. Yugi and his grandfather attend the Domino City Duel Tournament, at which Pegasus is rumored to host. As Pegasus arrives, Paradox sends "Stardust Dragon" and "Rainbow Dragon" to destroy the city. This results in all the duel monsters cards Pegasus was revealing to be destroyed (This also seems to be when Pegasus introduced "Gladiator Beasts"). After the death of Pegasus and Sugoroku Mutou by an attack from Cyber End Dragon, a monster from Jaden's time, Yugi becomes depressed until he is approached by the Crimson Dragon, who transports him back in time to thirty minutes before Pegasus was killed. Yusei and Jaden also appear, revealing Paradox as the one responsible for the attack. Yugi joins the two, and the trio decides to evacuate the civilians from the area before Paradox arrives. When attempts to persuade Paradox fail, a 3-on-1 duel insues with Yugi, Jaden and Yusei sharing 4000 life points and Yugi allowing Dark Yugi to take over. In the duel, Dark Yugi is able to use his mastery of card effects to rescue Stardust Dragon from Paradox's control and combine the ATK of his Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl to destroy Paradox's Malefic Paradox Dragon, all before Paradox summons his most powerful card: Malefic Truth Dragon and fuses with his own monster. Yugi shows surprise when Paradox summons "Malefic Red-Eyes B. Dragon" and "Malefic Blue-Eyes White Dragon" in the same turn. In the final turn, though, he and Jaden manage to convince an upset Yusei who is prepared to accept defeat into continuing the duel and manage to boost Stardust Dragon's ATK to 10,000 to defeat Paradox and repair all the damage Paradox caused to their timelines(This also undoes the theft of the cards "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", "Red-Eyes B. Dragon", "Cyber End Dragon", and "Rainbow Dragon" from their respective owners: Kaiba, Jonouchi, Ryo and Johann). Following the duel, the duelists return to their respective timelines, with Yusei promising to protect the future so they can meet again, and duel Yugi and Jaden the next time they meet.
In Other Media
As well as appearing in several Yu-Gi-Oh! video games released by Konami, Yugi appears as a playable fighter character in the Nintendo DS game, Jump Super Stars, and its sequel, Jump Ultimate Stars, in which he attacks using various Duel Monsters, a Dungeon Dice Monster, and Monster World dice.
Mike Mignola, the creator of the Hellboy comic series, Kazuki Takahashi, once participated in an art exchange. Takahashi, who is a fan of American comics, drew a picture of Hellboy with Yugi Mutou's hairdo, a Millennium Puzzle, and a Duel Disk. Mignola drew a picture of Hellboy wearing a Millennium Puzzle and a T-Shirt with Yugi's face, and the two exchanged their artwork. These pictures can be seen in an American issue of Shonen Jump.
Dark Yugi makes a cameo in Yoshio Sawai's fellow Jump title, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, where Bo-bobo summons him from his afro and Dark Yugi summons the God Saint Dragon - God of Osiris (Slifer the Sky Dragon in the English version) to take out an enemy (a scene that is re-enacted in the video game Jump Superstars). About the same time as this, Takahashi returned the favor by sneaking in Tokoro Tennosuke's "Nu handkerchief" in a panel of his manga.
Dark Yugi makes a cameo along with other Shonen Jump characters in chapter 37 of the Hikaru no Go manga, while Hikaru was on the computer before Hikaru is pulled away by Touya. In addition, Dark Yugi makes a cameo appearances in chapter 32 of the Need a Girl manhwa, where a teacher confiscates his Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in class.
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