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Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelist of the Roses is a video game for PlayStation 2 in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, is loosely based on the real-world English Wars of the Roses. This game's characters, as well as the Japanese name of this game, suggests that this game is a continuation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories game. As such, it is widely regarded as its spiritual successor. In mid 2006, Duelists of the Roses was named a PlayStation 2 Greatest Hits title.
Most of the characters are based on characters from the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga, but given names and/or roles to portray a historical figure. Some characters simply have the same or similar names as their anime/manga counterparts and aren't based on historical figures. For example, the character Bakura isn't based on a historical figure named Bakura.
The player assumes the role of the Rose duelist, who has been summoned to aid the Lancastrians by Simon McMooran, a Scottish Druid at Stonehenge. However, Christian Rosenkreuz shows up and then the player decides which side he or she is going to be a part of. In order to get back home the player needs all 16 of the "Rose cards." 8 Red Rose cards are held by the Lancastrians and the 8 White Rose cards by the Yorkists. The White Rose cards have created a barrier that keeps Yugi's forces out of Britain, effectively keeping the Yorkists in control.
The player can choose the Red Rose for the Lancastrians, or the White Rose for the Yorkists. Each side has different opponents and different endings, but there is an option to restart the game after completion to travel the path you did not choose the first time around.
If you choose the path of hero, Seto respects your choice and lets you leave in peace. After meeting Yugi and learning more about the situation, you are returned to Britain, where you fight Seto's minions, the Rose Crusaders- Rex Raptor, Weevil Underwood, Labyrinth Ruler, Keith, Ishtar, Necromancer, Darkness Ruler and Pegasus Crawford. All but Pegasus will give a card as he does not have one; Seto keeps it on him at all times.
After defeating the Yorkist King in a duel to pass time, Yugi's forces will kill him and his forces in battle, leaving you to head to Stonehenge and retrieve the last White Rose Card from Seto. However, he reveals the duel to have been part of ritual, summoning Manawyddan fab Llyr to enact a pact to ensure his family has power. However, the player defeats the guardian, sending him back into nothingness, defeating Seto and being sent back home to the future, leaving the Rose Cards behind.
If you choose the path of selfishness in wanting to go home, you will face Yugi's friends and allies. However, unlike in the first scenario, it's basically a gauntlet - one duelist after another, no choice in who to fight. To get all the Red Rose Cards, you face Tea, Tristan, Mai, Mako, Joey, Shadi, Grandpa, Bakura, and Yugi.
Upon winning the needed cards to get home, Seto is quite grateful to you and summons Manawyddan fab Llyr to enact a pact to ensure his family has status and wealth through the ages, and yours as well. However, it turns out to be the wrong guardian, who is extremely angry that he has been summoned after his brother was summoned and sealed away in Egypt. Defeating him to save the world, the player is thanked by Seto for helping in his selfish plans, apologizing for the trouble. He gives the player a White Rose Pendant, vowing that if it's shown to his decendants, they will do whatever they can to help, making the "Pact of the Rose". Seto sends the player back home and disbands the Rose Crusaders, allowing Yugi to get past the barrier keeping him out and win his throne back.
The dueling rules differ from the ones that are in the present time in that they are under the "Perfect Rule." In this way there is a crude form of movement and a Deck Leader. Deck Leaders are monster cards that are needed to play cards from the hand; they represent your Life Points (LP). Any attack to your Deck Leader is considered to be a Direct Attack to your LP.
Card movement is a simple card moving rule where you can only move the cards left, right, forwards, or backwards on the field. This movement capability is multiplied when there is a terrain movement bonus. On a "Favorited" terrain (depending on type), monsters get 500 ATK and DEF boost, similar to the fields in Duelist Kingdom. Only 1 card may be summoned per turn, and Summoning Points equal to the level of the monster are required to summon monsters. 3 Summoning Points are gained each turn.
Each card has a Deck Cost which can be used to determine the overall power of the card. Each card that is added to the deck increases the Deck Cost by the card's cost (e.g. a card with a cost of 24 will increase the deck's cost by 24). During the Campaign Mode, you cannot duel someone if you have a higher total Deck Cost than your opponent. This helps to keep players from completely dominating their opponent.
The Duelists of the Roses shows the monster itself hovering above the card when it is face up on the field. When monster battles are set to "Display" in the options menu (which you can bring up at any time during a Duel) when two monsters come into contact the screen switches to a detailed arena representing the current field terrain with the two monsters on either side of the arena. After a few moments the two monsters battle and the winner then roars or dances its approval over the victory of the battle if it was the one who attacked.
- Some allusions are made to the events of Forbidden Memories by Manawyddan fab Llyr, before the final duel if the player sides with the Yorkists.