Battle City is a Duel Monsters tournament hosted by the series tritagonist Seto Kaiba at the request of Ishizu Ishtar, whose goal it was to gather the three Egyptian God cards together in the the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga..
When Kaiba learns of the Egyptian God Cards, a set of Duel Monsters cards that were purported to be based on three Egyptian Gods (and thus powerful enough to have never been put into circulation), Kaiba, at the request of Ishizu Ishtar, holds an elite tournament with the intention of winning and acquiring all 3 cards while defeating Yugi Muto in the process. The tournament would be held in the streets of Domino City, using a portable Duel Disk holographic projection system of his own design. For his efforts, Seto Kaiba is given 1 of the Egyptian God Cards, "Obelisk the Tormentor".
Battle City rules
To acquire the remaining God Cards, Kaiba created the ante rule in the tournament, a rule that the winner of a Duel could take the rarest card from the loser's Deck (any card of the winner's choice in the Japanese version), although they were not required to (as in Yugi's Duel with Bakura). Tournament participants each received one Locator Card; in addition to the ante rule, the winner of a Duel was entitled to take one Locator Card from their opponent, with the Duelist being eliminated if they had no Locator Cards left. However, in some Duels, Duelists wagered multiple ante cards or Locator Cards. It was not clarified what would happen in the case of a draw. The first 8 Duelists to obtain 6 Locator Cards moved on to the finals.
Duel Disks had cheating-prevention mechanisms, although this didn't prevent Espa Roba from having his siblings read Joey Wheeler's cards, Weevil from slipping a copy of "Parasite Paracide" into Joey's Deck, a Rare Hunter from using counterfeit cards (marked cards in the dub), and Arkana from trimming his cards down to size to draw those cards more often. The Duel Disks also allowed Kaiba to monitor every Duel by communicating with a satellite, in order to track the progress of all the Duelists.
In a move ostensibly to promote the real-life Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, the tournament used rules much closer to the Trading Card Game's rules (unlike the Duelist Kingdom tournament). The most significant difference from the real-life Trading Card Game is that Duelists start a Duel with 4000 Life Points rather than 8000 Life Points (2000 Life Points in the Duelist Kingdom tournament), for the purposes of brevity. There are also other minor differences, such as being able to Summon monsters in face-up Defense Position (rather than Setting them) and Fusion Monsters not being able to attack during the turn they are Summoned. From this point onward, almost all Duels in the series follow these rules, except for the restriction on Fusion Monsters attacking.
Marik and the Rare Hunters
Meanwhile, Yugi and the nameless Pharaoh learn from Ishizu Ishtar about the Egyptian God Cards and how it may have a connection with the nameless Pharaoh's past. Ishizu warns Yami Yugi of the organization known as Rare Hunters, whose leader is Ishizu's brother Marik. He seeks Yugi's Millennium Puzzle and the 3 Egyptian God Cards to drain the nameless Pharaoh of his own powers. Ishizu convinces Yugi that in order to find out more about the nameless Pharaoh's past he must enter and win the Battle City tournament. Helping him along is Joey Wheeler, who seeks to become a True Duelist (help Yugi against the Rare Hunters in the dub). Ishizu would later reveal as an Ishtar, a family entrusted to guard the secrets of the nameless Pharaoh's power, her family were effectively locked away from the outside world, and Marik saw it as a lost cause. When Marik was punished for wandering into the outside world, the dark part of Marik was born and only Odion (Rishid in the Japanese versions) their adopted older brother and trusted servant could hold Marik in check.
Although Yugi would enter the Battle City tournament without a problem, Joey, because Seto Kaiba only thought of him in a derogatory manner, was barred from entering the tournament. However, seeing that Joey would ante his "Red-Eyes Black Dragon", the shop owner, a Rare Hunter, successfully enters Joey into the tournament with the intention of getting his rare card off his hands. Joey, unfamiliar with Seto Kaiba's "advanced rules", had his card taken away from him even before the tournament began and Joey began the tournament by Dueling Seeker, a Rare Hunter for it. Although Yugi wins (as well as exposing the Rare Hunter's use of forgeries in the meantime), Joey declines to take his card back saying that he would have to earn it in the spirit of a True Duelist. (In the dub, Joey declines the card as a way to show that Joey would always be supporting Yugi - the True Duelist subplot was eliminated altogether.) Instead, Joey stakes his "Time Wizard" in the tournament - the only other card in his possession that is considered to be rare.
Also cheering Joey on is his sister, Serenity Wheeler who had managed to get her eye operation just in time due to the prize money from Duelist Kingdom that Yugi gave to Joey. Although the operation was successful, Serenity vowed not to remove her bandages until she saw her brother Duel.
Battle City Duels
Battle City begins
In the second series anime, Arkana was "the greatest illusionist and magician since Harry Houdini himself", but his career and "movie star good looks" were lost because of a terrible accident during a simple escape routine. Arkana dismissed his love, Catherine, not being able to let her see him ruined, regretting it all the rest of his life; Marik falsely promised him the return of Catherine if Arkana became a Rare Hunter and defeat Yugi. In the manga, he tried to commit suicide twice; once when his mother died and another time when he lost his love.
Arkana plays a Deck that focuses on the "Dark Magician". He also uses various Spell Cards to power it up and save it from annihilation. He plays by a rule of Shadow Games, where the loser not only loses his rarest card (and his Locator card) but the loser loses his legs (in the dub he would get sent to the Shadow Realm). Unlike Yugi, Arkana possesses three "Dark Magicians" (only two were played, however, but his statements suggest he had three). However, after both players were down to their last chunk of Life Points, Yugi uses "Dark Magician Girl", whose special effect allows her to gain 300 Attack Points (500 Attack Points in the manga) for every "Dark Magician" in each player's Graveyards, to defeat Arkana.
Slifer the Sky Dragon
Throughout the road to the finals, Yugi faces Marik's Rare Hunters, each of which is kept in line due to Marik's Millennium Rod's ability to exert mind control over others. Marik used his Rare Hunters in an attempt to torture and kill Yugi (win Yugi's Millennium Puzzle and claim the power of the nameless Pharaoh for himself in the dub). However, Yugi prevailed each time and acquired an Egyptian God Card, "Slifer the Sky Dragon", in the process. He acquires this card in a Duel against one of Marik's mind-controlled slaves, Strings, when Marik tries to use a strategy that is thought to have been unstoppable: by combining "Slifer" with 4 other cards:
- Infinite Cards - A Spell Card that allows him to have as many cards in his hand as desired, allowing "Slifer the Sky Dragon" to have potentially unlimited ATK and DEF points.
- Revival Jam - A Monster Card which can revive itself when destroyed while in Defense Position.
- Card of the Safe Return - A Spell Card allowing Marik to draw 3 cards every time any monster is revived and thus increasing the ATK of "Slifer" every time "Revival Jam" (among other monsters) is revived.
- Jam Defender - A Trap Card which redirects any attacks to "Revival Jam", used in case an attack from "Slifer" is redirected back at itself or when another monster's ATK exceeds the ATK of "Slifer the Sky Dragon".
Marik believed that Yugi would not be able to stop "Slifer". However, by taking control of the newly reborn "Revival Jam" using "Brain Control", Yugi triggered the effect of "Slifer", which allows it to destroy any monster Summoned with less than 2000 DEF or ATK (depending on the monster's position). After "Revival Jam" was revived, Marik was forced to draw 3 cards due to "Card of Safe Return". However, "Revival Jam" came back alive again and it triggered the effect of "Slifer" again. This loop caused Marik to run out of cards from his Deck to draw (with this, he lost).
Yugi earned his final 2 locator cards in a tag-team Duel with Seto Kaiba (also two short of a complete set of locator cards at this time) against the Masks of Light and Darkness (Lumis and Umbra); first in an alley way and then atop a skyscraper, with the losers plummeting to their deaths (in the dub, the losers would fall into the Shadow Realm). It was difficult but Kaiba would finally work together with Yugi and help each other out. Ultimately, Obelisk the Tormentor was Summoned and defeated the duo.
Joey strives to become a True Duelist. First, he takes on Espa Roba, a self-proclaimed psychic who could supposedly predict the future. However, Espa Roba simply uses his 4 little brothers to spy on the opponent's cards using binoculars, until Mokuba caught them red-handed and they promised not to cheat. Joey wins again with a Spell Card - "Roulette Spider", which caused Espa's two monsters to attack each other. He then won Espa Roba's rarest card, "Jinzo".
Next, Joey Duels Weevil Underwood. Weevil used a cheating method to sneak a "Parasite Paracide" card into Joey's Deck, turning his monsters into Insects. Weevil then used "Insect Barrier" to make it impossible for insect monsters to attack him. Ironically, Joey was able to destroy Weevil's "Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth" with the parasite itself and later uses a variety of Spell and Trap Cards to destroy Weevil's insects and Life Points. Ultimately, Joey wins the Duel with "Gearfried the Iron Knight", whose special effect caused it to be immune from the parasite and "Insect Barrier". Joey won Weevil's "Insect Queen" and 2 locator cards.
Joey gained his last 2 locator cards from Mako Tsunami. For once, Joey didn't rely on luck, but rather the great many new Spell and Trap Cards he got, such as "Lightning Blade", "Magic Arm Shield", "Graceful Dice", "Skull Dice" and "Giant Trunade". Joey won the "Fortress Whale" (but not the Ritual Spell Card "Fortress Whale's Oath", meaning he cannot play it). Mako offered and gave Joey his prized "Legendary Fisherman" card as well.
In a desperate move to kill and emotionally torture Yugi (take the power of the nameless Pharaoh for himself in the dub), Marik attempts to capture Yugi's friends. Although he fails to capture Hiroto Honda (Tristan Taylor) and Jonouchi's sister, Shizuka (Serenity in the dub), thanks to Ryuji Otogi (Duke Devlin) and his dice, he does manage to capture Joey and Anzu Mazaki (Téa Gardner), and force Yugi to Duel against his friend, in which both were tied to an anchor and the loser would drown from the anchor falling into the water (a rare instance in which death is mentioned in the dub). However, Joey manages to rid himself of Marik's Mind Control when he declines to take his own "Red Eyes Black Dragon" from Yugi's hand, and Yugi Summons the Dragon, making Joey remember both his promise to help Yugi and his favorite card (Duel Yugi in the original). Marik becomes very angry at the hesitancy of Joey, and decides to take control over Joey's body, but Joey is able to force Marik out. Joey plays to a DRAW, and both players' keys are released. Joey frees Yugi, but before he can free himself he plummets into the ocean, where he was saved by Shizuka (in the manga, Kaiba saved him). (This is probably the only penalty game in the entire Yu-Gi-Oh! series to not be censored by 4kids in the form of a Shadow Game.)
In the end, the 8 Duelists to qualify for the finals were Yugi, Joey, Kaiba, Mai Valentine, Marik (using the pseudonym "Namu"), Odion (whom everyone was led to believe was Marik), Bakura Ryou (who had won all his locator cards in one Duel, despite being injured), and Ishizu.
Battle City finals
Battle City finals Dueling tree
|Quarter finals||Semi finals||Final|
|Bakura Ryou/Yami Bakura||0|
|Marik Ishtar||1 (surr.)|
|Marik Ishtar||900||Bronze Medal|
|Joey Wheeler||1200 K.O.||Episodes 135-137|
|Odion Ishtar||200 K.O.|
For the quarterfinal round, the Duels were to be staged atop Kaiba's airship, the Battle Ship, with the draw determined at random.
Yugi vs. Bakura (Yami Yugi vs. Yami Bakura) was the first Duel. Although Yugi got an early advantage, Bakura plays "Dark Sanctuary", whose effect allows Bakura to possess one of Yugi's monsters so that when it attacks, the attack would be negated, and Yugi would lose Life Points, stalling Yugi. Bakura also plays the "Destiny Board" cards, which, when all five are played, would give Bakura an automatic victory. In desperation, Yugi is forced to Summon "Slifer" and win the Duel, as "Slifer" (Osiris) is immune to the effects of "Dark Sanctuary".
Joey vs. Odion (Joey Wheeler vs. Odion Ishtar) would be the second quarterfinal match. Although Joey is being done in by Odion's traps, he comes back and ties the match with 200 life points apiece, thanks to the three cards he had won in Battle City, especially "Jinzo", which prevented Odion from using any Trap Cards. However, Odion played the "Mystical Beast Serket", which destroys the three monsters and left Joey wide open. However, as Odion was still posing as Marik, Marik would force Odion to play his counterfeit God Card, "The Winged Dragon of Ra". However, the counterfeit card backfires on Odion, striking down both Duelists in the process. Although Joey would win the Duel by virtue of Kaiba's edict that the first Duelist to stand would be the victor, the dark side of Marik was unleashed due to Odion being unconscious.
Mai vs. Marik (Mai Valentine vs. Yami Marik) was be the third quarterfinal, and Mai was first to fall against Marik, as she is put in Marik's Shadow Game. Mai takes a clear lead in the Duel, outplaying Marik and even managing to get the real Ra card from Marik and Summon it. However, for Ra to obey Mai (and thus, for Mai to use the card), Mai must recite the hieratic text on the card. With Mai clearly unable to do so, Marik successfully recites the text, and uses Ra to attack Mai and win, leaving Mai critically injured. As a Penalty Game, Marik trapped Mai in her mind, and she will die in 24 hours (in the dub, she is sent to the Shadow Realm).
The final quarterfinal Kaiba vs. Ishizu (Seto Kaiba vs. Ishizu Ishtar) saw Ishizu, then an eighth "mystery Duelist", face off against Kaiba. Although Ishizu prophesies that she will win, thanks to the ability of her Millennium Necklace to see into the future, Kaiba manages to systematically destroy Ishizu's Deck using "Crush Card" and "Virus Cannon". Yet, Ishizu manages to play "Exchange of the Spirit", forcing both players to switch their Decks with Graveyards, thus leaving Kaiba with only six cards in his Deck and Ishizu with her most powerful cards because of Kaiba's virus cards. In desperation, Kaiba attempts to Summon "Obelisk the Tormentor", Kaiba's God Card, while Ishizu, knowing Kaiba's intention, applied the "Sacrifice's Blast" trap on Obelisk that would force itself to self-destruct when it attacks, which would have caused Kaiba to lose. When Kaiba Summons Obelisk, however, Marik's Millennium Rod (the Millennium Item of Priest Seto, Kaiba's past life) gave him a flashback of his past self and a dead girl named Kisara in front of what seems to look like the "Blue-Eyes White Dragon". He analyzes this and trusts in this card so he Summons it even if it is a card that is less power, but still having sufficient power to win. Kaiba does so and wins.
(It is later revealed that Blue-Eyes is actually the Ka monster of Kisara. It also turns out that she sacrificed her life for Seto and her Ka monster stayed loyal to Seto. This flashback was Kisara's way to save Seto's future destiny once more.)
Afterwards, Yami Bakura (bearing the soul of regular Marik) attempted to defeat Yami Marik in order to win Marik's body back but ultimately lost to Ra's Point-to-Point Transfer, sending Bakura to the Shadow Realm (in the original, he 'dies').
In the semifinal round, taking place upon Alcatraz Tower (not titled in the dub, in which it is known only as "KaibaCorp Island") , a special, massive mechanical tower located on a lone island, the four Duelists fought in Battle Royal mode, with the first two losers playing in the first semifinal and the two survivors playing in the second. Both Marik and Kaiba wanted to Duel Yugi for their own reasons, while Yugi wanted to Duel Joey so that he couldn't Duel Marik. Joey, however, wanted to Duel Marik in hopes he could save Mai (and, in the process, get revenge on Marik). The four-way Duel started with Kaiba going first, Marik second, Yugi third, and Joey fourth. Joey did well in the beginning turns of the Duel, mainly thanks to Yugi's intervention. However, Joey finally convinced Yugi to let him play without his guidance so that he could prove to himself that he didn't need Yugi's help to Duel well against the best of the best. During the next turn, Joey was able to set up the Duel so that, in his attack on Kaiba, he deflected the damage done to himself into Marik, making him the first loser. In addition to this, he took out his only monster while attacking Kaiba, who, in the next turn, destroyed all of Joey's life points. In the end, Joey (and by extension, Kaiba) got what they wanted.
In the first semifinal Marik vs. Joey (Marik Ishtar vs. Joey Wheeler) like Mai, Joey was subject to a Shadow Game, with each Duelist being drained of life as each monster is destroyed. As Joey is pushed back by Marik's traps and monster effects, Joey manages to create a short comeback with reviving "Jinzo" after Marik is unable to name it as the bottom card of his graveyard with the effect of "Question", and later with "Gilford the Lightning". However, the comeback was short-lived as Marik revives Ra and uses its Egyptian God Phoenix and Point-to-Point Transfer abilities to bring Joey to the brink of defeat in an attempt to incinerate him. However, Joey, to Marik's surprise, manages to remain standing, and he Summons "Gearfried the Iron Knight" in an effort to attack a wide-open Marik. However, Joey collapses before making his attack, and Marik wins by default. Had this Duel not been a Shadow Game, Joey would have won.
With Joey being in critical condition (in the dub, he is said to be "fighting the shadows" of the Shadow Realm), Yugi is forced to battle Kaiba when more pressing matters were at stake (namely, Joey's health). The Yugi vs. Kaiba (Yami Yugi vs. Seto Kaiba) Duel was evenly-matched, as Yugi's attempt to Summon "Slifer" was countered by Kaiba's attempt to Summon "Obelisk". The two God cards were Summoned in successive turns, and after more jockeying for power with Spell Cards, the two evenly-matched God cards destroyed each other. With both God cards gone, Kaiba resorts to Summoning his three "Blue-Eyes White Dragons", while Yugi would have "Red-Eyes Black Dragon", Joey's "soul card". Kaiba forceed the Duel to end by playing "Final Attack Orders", making both players discard all but three cards from their Decks and prohibiting the Defense Mode. Using his three cards, Yugi manages to combine "Dark Magician" with "Buster Blader" to form "Dark Paladin", and, along with "De-Fusion" used to defeat Kaiba's "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon" and give "Dark Paladin" a huge ATK boost, then used "Diffusion Wave-Motion" to win the Duel. As the tournament rules states, Kaiba is forced to give up Obelisk.
During the Duel, as Red-Eyes Black Dragon was being played, Joey manages to regain consciousness. In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime (but not in the manga), he promptly challenges Kaiba to a Duel for third place, just for fun. Kaiba declines, believing that Dueling Joey would be beneath him, but Joey manages to convince him to Duel. Although Kaiba won, Joey reveals that Kaiba had simply allowed anger to get the best of him in both his Duel with Yugi and with Joey (as witnessed by him once taking control of "Blue Eyes White Dragon" in their Duel - a card considered to be Kaiba's prized possessions, and Kaiba using another "Blue Eyes" to destroy it).
Before the final Yugi vs. Marik (Yami Yugi vs. Yami Marik) match takes place Kaiba is convinced Yugi cannot win, yet he cannot allow Marik to win, both for his personal reasons and for the greater good. He believes he has the perfect card to defeat Ra, being "Fiend's Sanctuary", which he gives to Yugi. Again, Marik turns the Duel into a Shadow Game, in which the loser must forfeit their alter-ego.
Marik discards Ra in his first turn, with the intention of reviving Ra for one turn at a time. Yugi, meanwhile, manages to quickly Summon "Slifer", but Marik simply revives Ra to use Egyptian God Phoenix to deal with it. Marik then tries to use Ra's Point-to-Point Transfer against Yugi, but Yugi forces Marik to stop the attack with "Fiend's Sanctuary", creating a Token so that, when attacked, it would redirect the damage to Marik, which would have caused him to lose. Marik saved himself by playing "De-Fusion" (Marik is considered to be fused with Ra when utilizing the Point-to-Point Transfer ability) - thus, all of Ra's attack points are transferred to Marik's life points, and Ra, without any attack points, deals no damage to Marik. Yugi then quickly turns one token to three with "Multiply", Summoning Obelisk with them, and reducing Marik's Life Points to 700.
Yugi's triumph was short-lived, as Marik combined "Metal Reflect Slime" and "Revival Jam" to create an indestructible "Egyptian God Slime". With Yugi unable to attack with Obelisk, Marik revives Ra once again to use Egyptian God Phoenix destroy Obelisk, but Yugi revives Slifer to block the attack (the move would be illegal in the real game because "Monster Reborn" is a Normal Spell). When Marik re-revives Ra, Yugi uses "Soul Taker" to defuse and sacrifice the God Slime, allowing Obelisk to use its special ability, making itd ATK ∞, which would give Yugi an automatic victory should Obelisk's attack be successful. The attack fails, but Marik manages to revive Ra once again. This time, Yugi sacrifices Obelisk and another monster for his trusty "Dark Magician", and along with "Dark Magician Girl", activate "Ragnarok", which allows, at the expense of all his monsters, Yugi to finally destroy Ra, and, as Marik was using Point-to-Point Transfer at the time, most of Marik with it (in the manga, he killed Ra by combining the attacks of his two Magicians using "Dimension Magic"). The two sides of Marik began to fight, the good side attempting to take control and allowing Yugi to attack as a way to atone for his actions, while the evil side attempting to stop Yugi's attack. With the help of a struggling Odion, the good side prevails. When the smoke clears, the good Marik has control of the body, and YamiMarik is now his sacrifice instead. Marik forfeits his sole remaining life point, destroying his other self, leaving Yugi the last man standing and the winner. Yugi is now the owner of the three God cards, as well as the keys to unlocking the nameless Pharaoh's past.
Aftermath of the Duel
With the tournament behind him, Kaiba prepares to destroy the Duel tower - the supposed place of his victory over the past before Yugi had beaten him, and the place where his hatred now resided. As the airship could not function, everyone was effectively trapped on the island - if it were not for a helicopter that had managed to arrive as Joey was recovering from his Duel with Marik. Everyone parted ways soon after, Marik, Ishizu, and Odion back to Egypt to start a new life, Duke back to the United States to sell his Dungeon Dice Monsters game, Kaiba and Mokuba to build their new American amusement park, and the rest to new adventures. Marik surrenders his Millennium Rod to Yugi and also gives him the Millennium Ring, which Dark Marik won from his Duel against Bakura. Yugi has also acquired the three most powerful cards: Slifer the Sky Dragon, Obelisk the Tormentor, and the Winged Dragon of Ra.
Yugi then prepares for a Duel, then walks into an alley, where he is facing Joey. They both put their Duel Disks on, saying that their Battle City isn't over yet.