- For the card, see: Penalty Game!
Penalty Games played an important part in early Yu-Gi-Oh! storylines, but are used much less frequently when the main character, Yugi Mutou, decides to stop using them, being exclusively used by villains. The first series anime toned down the fatality of a number of Penalty Games, making some merely illusions.
Penalty Games created by Millennium Item holders.
Dark Yugi's (Yami Yugi's) Penalty Games often act as poetic justice to a person, who trespassed on the souls of his friends, and for their own history of committing crimes and evils onto others. While some of these penalties are fatal, he has used them to help the person at times; The Mind Crush Penalty Game was used to shatter Seto Kaiba's tainted heart, so he could be given a chance to piece it together in order to become a good person again. While Penalty Games used illusions and magic on the loser's psyche and soul, some of the dangerous games played would merely boast devastating losses on their own even without the need of such powers.
In the second series anime, Mind Crush is the only Penalty Game shown to be used. Aside from sealing away Kaiba's evil side (instead of shattering his heart into fragments and turning it into a puzzle like in the manga), it has also been used to kill Ghost Kaiba (a shape-shifter that was hired by Pegasus as a Player Killer), PaniK, and rendered a mugger unconscious (the game in which the mugger lost was to draw a card, and whichever card is the strongest wins). In the Japanese version, these three victims disappear off the land or be in a state of unconsciousness, or in the dub, banished to the Shadow Realm. During this time, Dark Yugi wasn't that different from Dark Bakura or Dark Marik, aside from the fact that he used his shadow magic to defend the honor of his friends and wasn't just banishing people for fun or to gain power. The Mind Crush has not been used since PaniK, or seen since the flashback with the mugger, with no real explanation in the anime whereas an explanation was present in the manga. In anime terms, this is probably because Dark Yugi was beginning to learn compassion and kindness from Yugi and started learning how to beat his enemies without intimidating them with the use of Shadow Games and Penalty Games. So, theoretically, if people like Dark Bakura and Dark Marik had a similar relationship that Dark Yugi had with Yugi, they too would go through that kind of epiphany.
In the manga, a variety of different Penalty Games were used during Duelist Kingdom not unlike the previous chapters. Unlike the anime in which no explanation is given, Dark Yugi decides to stop using them after the defeat of Pegasus, because it would have proven that the Millennium Items indeed had an evil will. 
|Greed, Illusion of Avarice||In the manga, Dark Yugi used this to make Ushio believe litter and leaves were money. Done as punishment for having abused his role on the disciplinary committee, conning and extorting underclassmen for "bodyguard" duty, and for trying to extort money from Yugi in the same manner. |
|In the first series anime, Dark Yugi caused Ushio to believe to he was being eaten by monsters.|
|Mosaic Illusion||The ZTV director had his vision pixelated as he always covered up the truth and batched up faux controversy tabloid specials for ratings.|
|Beat Festival||Sozoji was forced to hear his heart beat incredibly loud as he was tone deaf to the loud music he played, and the fact he was a terrible singer who bullied others to listen to him sing.|
|Fire~!!!||In the manga, the convict was set on fire after dropping his cigarette into his overflowing vodka. Done for holding the patrons at Burger World hostage, threatening Anzu hostage, and for having escaped his punishment on Death Row for crimes prior to his failed robbery attempt and execution. |
|In the anime, the convict, Jiro the Yellow Spider, instead believed he was being set on fire.|
|Peaceful Rest of the Timid||Kokurano was rendered unconscious by chloroform, revealing the hidden notes in his jacket, which exposed him as a fraudulent psychic.|
|Exploding Death by Ice||Goro Inogashira was injured by the explosion from a chemical hitting a hot surface.|
|Face Puzzle||Ms. Chono's make-up cracked-up and peeled away like jigsaw pieces, revealing her true ugly face. In the anime, this would happen every time she tried to enforce strict rules. Done for her cruel habit of abusing rules and punishments for a mere kick and way to relieve stress from her shady personal life, and out of her not caring for Honda and Ribbon's feelings and privacy.|
|Poison Revolt||The Junky Scorpion owner was poisoned by his pet scorpion.|
|Experience of Death||Seto Kaiba imagined that he was trapped in the Duel Monsters Spirit World, where he suffered death at the hands of Duel Monsters. Done to teach Kaiba about the Heart of the Cards; failed. |
|"Landmine" Prey||Hirutani's gang was electrocuted by their own petard, as a puddle and dampness caused by a heavy downpour allowed the gang's tasers to conduct the current. Done as punishment for cruelty done to Jonouchi.|
|Maze of Flames||Thugs A, B and C got caught in a maze of flames.|
|Capsule Hell||Mokuba Kaiba imagined that he was trapped inside a giant Capsule Monster Chess capsule. Punishment for rigging the slot machine.|
|Poisonous Meal||Mokuba had to eat one of the meals he had poisoned.|
|Mind Crush||Yugi used it to destroy the evil part of Seto Kaiba to give him a second chance. In the anime, Dark Yugi also uses this against Ghost Kaiba, PaniK and a mugger.|
|Mind on Air||Yugi used it to reveal the producer's true personality, as the station he worked for was revealed to have a history of conning contestants of their dignity and any sort of fair play for their prize money they offered. However, this proved to backfire as it ruined Jonouchi's chances to win the prize money.|
|Face Collapse||During his Shadow Game of Monster Battle with Nagumo, both players would literally feel the blows given by each other's monsters. Upon Nagumo's third attempt to cheat by kicking his competition in the ribs, the Shadow Game's effect animated his stolen fighters, holding down his kicking leg, and manifested a fitting monster based off of himself, which Yugi finished off by using Mighty Emmada's Space Cannon punch technique.|
|Xing Zhen Xu||Hajime Imori unsealed the forbidden feng shui game, Dragon Cards, whose dragon spirits demanded a Shadow Game to feast upon the soul of the loser, else the land which they were unsealed would suffer eternal disaster and misfortune. Upon the last game with Yami Yugi, Imori lost and his soul was consumed as punishment for unsealing the evil game and desiring to usurp Yugi's position as the Guardian of Darkness for his own ends.|
|Puppet Illusion||Yugi used this during Duelist Kingdom to make the Ventriloquist of the Dead believe he was being attacked by a demonic puppet modeled after himself. Punishment for stealing Kaiba's deck and toying his soul with a puppet. In the anime, Dark Yugi simply used a Mind Crush against Ghost Kaiba.|
|Darkness of Naraku||The Player Killer of Darkness, PaniK, is hung from the gallows and falls into a dark abyss. Punishment for attacking duelists in cowardice, with the darkness as cover. During the duel, Dark Yugi showed the Player Killer an illusion of the impending Penalty Game, to which the Player Killer was walking up the gallows' stairs every turn closer to the five turns Dark Yugi claimed that he will win in. In the anime, Dark Yugi simply used a Mind Crush against PaniK.|
Shadi uses Penalty Games to punish people who disturb the territory of the gods. Professor Kanekura was one of Shadi's victims after he defiled an Egyptian tomb. In the anime, Kanekura had tried to sell the Millennium Puzzle. Ammit was let into Kankura's soul room to pass judgment. In the manga this caused Kankura to die. In the anime, he wakes up and screams one time. Professor Yoshimori is spared of a Shadow and Penalty Game, as Shadi uses him for a Shadow Game against Yugi.
|Ammit Nesting in "Soul Room"||Professor Kanekura imagined his chair transformed into Ammit, during his Shadow Game. After losing Shadi told him that Ammit was inside his soul room devouring his soul. In reality, Kanekura died of a heart attack.|
Dark Bakura's (Yami Bakura's) Penalty Games at the beginning of the manga turn the victims into figurines to use in Monster World. During Battle City, he kills "Ghost" Kotsuzuka (Bonz) after beating him in Duel Monsters. In the English second series anime, he instead sends Bonz to the Shadow Realm (In the Japanese version, he sent him to Hell).
|Mind Doll||Dark Bakura transfers the soul of the victim into their corresponding figurine in the Monster World game, whenever they roll a fumble (99), whenever he rolls a super-critical (00) or break a rule. He also used it against the gym teacher Mr. Karita for simply offending Ryo Bakura earlier that day.|
|Dark Bakura in the Duel Monsters anime used this after he defeated "Ghost" Kotsuzuka (Bonz). He summoned Earthbound Spirits to pull "Ghost" Kotsuzuka with them to Hell. In the manga, Dark Bakura simply inflicted a Penalty Game on Kotsuzuka that "took his life", and Kotsuzuka dropped dead onto the ground.|
Pegasus uses Penalty Games for personal gain, often trapping the souls of the victims in the "Soul Prison" card. He trapped Sugoroku Mutou's soul into a video tape (Soul Prison card in the anime) after beating Yugi, to force Yugi into entering Duelist Kingdom. He also trapped Mokuba Kaiba's in a card and later Seto Kaiba's after beating him in a Duel. In the manga, after Jonouchi beat Bandit Keith in a duel, Pegasus forced Keith to shoot himself in the head for cheating. In the anime, there's an inconsistency where Pegasus is shown giving a Penalty Game to Mokuba without playing a game with him. In the manga, it is assumed he played a game with Mokuba off-screen and then trapped him in a Mind Card.
|SOUL TV||Pegasus sucked the soul of Sugoroku Mutou into a TV. His soul became sealed in a videotape, allowing Yugi to communicate with him through other devices he could put the tape in. In the anime, after being sucked into the TV, his soul was sent to a "Soul Prison", as done in the Mind Card Penalty Game.|
|Mind Card||Pegasus casts the "Mind Card" Penalty Game onto victims of those who lose a duel against him; this seals his victims' souls into a card, "Soul Prison". Pegasus used it on Mokuba in part of his plan to capture KaibaCorp, and then against Seto Kaiba for losing against him. The Glory of the King's Opposite Hand that he gave to Yugi is intended to trap Yugi's soul into the card should Pegasus win the duel. However, when Yugi won, Pegasus released the three imprisoned souls, as promised.|
|Hand and Gun||In the manga, after confronting Keith for cheating in the duel against Jonouchi in the semifinals, and showing neither remorse nor regret for his transgression, Pegasus declared that Keith had lost his mind as a duelist and inflicted a Penalty Game on him, making Keith see that his right hand has a gun barrel imbedded into it, and said hand moved on its own to "shoot" Keith in the temple, Russian Roulette style, thus killing him instantly. However, Keith was later revived by Yako Tenma.|
Dark Marik traps Mai's soul in an hourglass after defeating her. Here, she is consumed by insects and given 24 hours to live, in which when time passes, her brain tissues would be completely devoured. In the anime, the insects are replaced with sand and the time to live is extended. In the English anime, the hourglass exists in the Shadow Realm.
|Mind-Eroding Insects|| After defeating Mai, Dark Marik traps Mai's soul inside an hourglass, with The Winged Dragon of Ra card blocking the neck of it, blocking the contents of the upper portion until Marik removed it. In the manga, the upper portion of the hourglass is filled with insects that would completely devour Mai's brain tissues in 24 hours, thus killing her, and the hourglass is floating in some sort of limbo with various casino gambling devices floating around it. The anime replaces the insects with sand and her time to live is extended, and is floating above a beach where Mai's friends are enjoying themselves, seemingly forgetting her, as part of Marik's ploy to add insult to injury, and the English dub states the hourglass exists in the Shadow Realm.
After Yami Yugi defeats Dark Marik in the finals, Mai was saved just before her mind was killed. In the anime, Mai was continuously traumatized by this Penalty Game until she managed to find herself after many trials.
|Darkness Prey||Dark Bakura became consumed by darkness after losing to Dark Marik.|
|Phoenix Dance||Katsuya Jonouchi collapsed after being struck by Egyptian God Phoenix. Dark Marik erroneously pronounced him dead afterwards.|
Reproductions of the genuine Penalty Games, using means other than the supernatural powers of the Millennium Items.
|Experience of Death||Seto Kaiba recreated the "Experience of Death" Penalty Game, that Dark Yugi subjected him to, using virtual reality. Using a Battle Box, he created holographic images of monsters to attack the victim. He claims to have tested this on human subjects and found that the average person went insane after being subjected to this for ten minutes. He inflicted this penalty on Sugoroku after beating him in Duel Monsters. He forced Yugi to participate in Death-T, before releasing Sugoroku. After Mokuba's loss against Yugi at Death T-4, he was subjected to the same punishment (before being saved by Yugi).|
|Mind Crush||After Eviluder loses to Yuma, Kyoji applies his version of "Mind Crush" on him. He somehow introduced a spider in Eviluder's heart previously, and then makes it attack his heart, which quickly causes him to collapse after feeling enormous pain.|
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Duel 74: "The Precious Piece"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 1: "The Puzzle of the Gods"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! (first series) Episode 1: "The Violent Battle - A Game of Darkness"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 2: "Lying Eyes"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 3: "Hard Beat!"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 4: "Jail Break!"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! (first series) Episode 2: "The Evil Gamer - The Trap of Hell"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 5: "The Ultimate Great Moth"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 6: "First Duel"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 7: "The Face of Truth"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 10: "Give up the Ghost"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 8: "The Poison Man"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 10: "The Cards with Teeth (Part 2)"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 12: "The Wild Gang (Part 2)"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 26: "Russian Roulette"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 13: "The Man from Egypt (Part 1)"