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May 16, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards (Part 3)

Part 1 can be read here, and Part 2 can be read here.

Hello again, and welcome back to my biggest review ever! If you think I'm done, you're sadly mistaken. If you hate Yu-Gi-Oh, you're in trouble, because I'm gonna spend this part and another one STILL talking about this. If you love to hate the series, though (or just find it very enjoyable to riff on), then you should be happy that I'm making fun of it... right?

Okay, enough chatter, I got Ghouls to kill- No? Then, beat up? No? Punch on the nose? Still not? ...Okay, alright! Defeat in a card game... Alright, I understood! God damn it! I still think everything in this series would be solved a lot faster if a weapon entered the equation.

"Oh noes! You used Lame Concept! I lost the duel and my social life!"

So... When we left off last time, we had news that Joey (the normal guy who relies way too much on luck; it's turned against him on a few occasions) and Téa (the moral support who does very little aside from being the cute token girl and talk about friendship) have gone missing. Like that was not enough, Ghouls have chased away most duelists, even most of the rather good ones. You know, just saying it out loud, I realize how utterly ridiculous this sounds: An evil organization using a children card game to achieve world domination. Eh... I'll roll with it because it's faithful to the original manga...

Okay, so first Nikorasu goes around Times Rectangle (Seriously, will anyone tell our character what time it is? The clock in the center is too blurry because of the GBA graphics!). He duels one in the Roba brothers' alley and one in Bonz's Graveyard. Each time one is defeated, a “Ding!” sound is heard. So, basically, the game counts the number of Ghouls you've defeated, because you really have to defeat every single one of them. What's Yugi doing during that time? ...No idea. It's like he vanishes off the face of Domino City until you defeat most Ghouls. So, afterward there's a Ghoul in front of the museum, replacing the guards who were there originally. There's also a few Ghouls at the Aquarium and near the river where the Funky Mime was defeated. Then there's three regular Ghouls in the Park.

Luckily you never duel 5 at the same time. Yugi does, though.

Hey... weren't you dead?
When Nikorasu sees Weevil Underwood again, the loser-I mean, the poor guy is being bullied by Bandit Keith, inexplicably a member of the Ghouls now. In the original manga series, after losing to Joey in the finale of Duelist Kingdom, Pegasus turned Keith's hand into a gun and made him shoot himself, if I'm not mistaken... In the freaking HEAD. How's he still alive now? What the Hell is wrong with you, story? What drugs are you on, plot? Is that a 4Kids-induced stupidity? Anyway, as the self-insert Gary Stu protagonist, you have to defeat Bandit Keith. … Holy wow, what a cool name. I'm totally naming my next Pokémon rival Keith. I call dibs on that. Once he's defeated, Keith says that Marik is way stronger than Pegasus, and therefore no one stands a chance against him. Then, the bad guy returns... TO AMERICA!

...I hope.

Hellllllooooo nur- Um, forget what I was about to say.
So, Nikorasu goes back to Yugi's Game Shop, where Yugi is waiting. With Mai Valentine, the busty French bab- er, woman, who's clearly wasting her life in card games. She could be a supermodel. A businesswoman. Or both at once, she's smart and beautiful enough for both. But no. Card games. Anyway, Mai tells the player character and Yugi that Kaiba has implanted tracking devices on all Duel Disks so that duelists can be found easily. You know, because anyone bearing a Duel Disk on his arm seems easy to kidnap.

So, after that point, Yugi decides to follow you around, since the two of you have to find Kaiba. However, Yugi is following the orange cap boy a... little too closely. As in, he'll literally follow every of the character's movements. Hey, there's absolutely NO need for more yaoi fanfiction fuel in this series! However, if you know where to go, Yugi won't follow Nikorasu for very long. First the two head to Kaiba Corp, where the guard can tell them where Mokuba is; Kaiba's brother knows where the duelist is. But where's Mokuba?

STOP FOLLOWING MEEEEEEEEEEEEE! On Twitter it's fine,
BUT NOT IN PERSON!
You can look around all the places you've visited before, and Yugi will ALWAYS follow you; like he has a hand on your character's shoulder to make sure you do not escape him. Just putting this here as a preemptive measure: Writing tip number 3, if a canon character falls for your original character, then your character is a Mary Sue or a Gar Stu. It's extremely difficult to write good and/or believable romance (insert your own paranormal romance or fetish story punchline here). In the world of fanfiction, sadly, nothing ever gets destroyed as much as “canon pairings”. Established couples are broken for the sake of a quick fanfic, and sometimes it's a shame because the resulting story is simply horrible. It's worse when the canon character falls for an Original Character, and it gets even worse when that character is a Mary Sue (you know, better than everyone, even better than the heroes). This should not happen.

Or Yugi is staying close to Nikorasu because he doesn't want to lose him in the (barely) crowded locations. Wait, is there a reason why Yugi follows the player character, anyway? Well... Luckily, yes, there is. There's gonna be a double duel soon. If you know the series, you know what I'm talking about, and you know where Mokuba is: The arcade!

...No, Mokuba isn't there to play games. He's being bullied by two adults, one noticeably shorter than the other. Both have the Ghoul robes and both wear a mask that covers only half their faces (which begs the question how the Hell do they stay in place). Yugi and Nikorasu interfere, and the two Ghouls turn around and recognize the heroes. Next, as far as I know, all four are standing on a glass rooftop with bombs that will set off and destroy the glass under those whose HP fall to 0. Once again, card games become overly dramatic for the sake of keeping the audience on its toes, even though the premise is so comically dumb.

Yes, those two actually team up once.
Glad I'm not making that up. It was
awesome on so many levels.
Now, in the original series, Yugi and Kaiba had to team up to defeat Lumis (Light Mask) and Umbra (Dark Mask). They used prety damn strong decks and the two great duelists almost lost to them. However, they were beaten because Yugi and Kaiba worked together, even if it was for a short time. I can't wait to see how they implement a double battle in this game, with its rather sucky representation of the original game!

...They don't? I should have seen that coming. Screw you, game! Anyway, what happens is that when the four are about to duel, Yugi asks the player character which one he wants to duel. You pick either Lumis or Umbra, and then the duels begin. Yugi will inevitably win his duel. As for Nikorasu... well, I hope you got a good deck.

"Obey my Rod... Wait, that came out wrong."
Anyway, once the two are defeated, Lumis gets possessed by the main villain, Marik, who tells them that he has taken control of Joey and Téa. Once that body possession is over, the two Ghouls faint. Yugi and Nikorasu ask Mokuba where Kaiba might be... and the kid replies that Kaiba is at the Museum.

So, the two protagonists (yes, Yugi is STILL following Nikorasu too closely for comfort) head to the Museum, where Kaiba has been conveniently waiting for them outside. So they ask for the location of Joey, since he's got a Duel Disk... and thus they spot him at the Pier. This is it, the most emotionally-charged duel of the entire series, the one everyone remembers because it's one of the scariest moments in the franchise! You know what I'm talking about, right?

Right?

No? Where were you all this time?

However, when Yugi and the player character arrive at the Pier, they're blocked by a horde of Ghouls... and Bandit Keith. You again, dammit? Yes, and he's stronger than before. Yugi defeats all the other Ghouls while you defeat the (too) proud American. Go back TO AMERICA, now, and STAY THERE!

"Scuse me, I just wanted to show ya my bandana again."

Say something... please... Speak...
Snap out of his control...
Alright, so Nikorasu and Yugi move to the end of the pier, where a Joey possessed by Marik is waiting for Yugi. Téa is there as well, as ante; if any trick is tried by the heroes, she'll gulp down a capsule of poison. Oh, did I mention that Joey and Yugi duel attached to chains, which are themselves attached to an anchor? The victor gains access to his key, detach his handcuff and live, while the other goes down? ...Yeah. The preceding attempts at being “dangerous” from Marik seemed just silly, what with circular saws, and glass ceilings rigged to break... This time, it's god damn serious. Technically, it's a no-win situation for the heroes as whoever wins, the other dies drowned. The manga managed to bypass that rule as Yugi decided to sacrifice himself for his friend, therefore losing and plunging down. However, Joey fights Marik's possession away, and back to normal, he cheats and asks for Yugi's remaining monster to attack him so his Life Points reach 0 as well, an act that gives him access to Yugi's key, which means he saves both himself and his friend.

Here, we got a Gary Stu in the equation, How will it go? This kind of angers me, so it's in Caps Lock. Sorry in advance. YUGI STILL LOSES TO JOEY, BUT JOEY DID NOT RECOVER FROM HIS POSSESSION. YUGI GOES DOWN, BUT ORANGE CAP BOY, THE PROTAGONIST, GOES TO SAVE HIM (of course, somehow managing to save him from the handcuff attached to the anchor WITHOUT HAVING THE FUCKING KEY – by the way, I should also mention that you have the option of not saving Yugi, in which case everyone around tells YOU to go and save him. Except Joey). THE PROTAGONIST AND YUGI COME OUT OF THE WATER, BUT JOEY STILL HASN'T RECOVERED, SO THE PROTAGONIST DUELS HIM AND WINS, RETURNING JOEY TO NORMAL. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE ORIGINAL DUEL, IN WHICH FRIENDSHIP SAVED THE DAY? Yeah, forget about that. Now everything revolves around your character. That's a big wall banger for me, a moment that I just cannot forgive from the creators of the game. Yeah, I get it, they wanted the Orange Cap Boy to defeat Joey, but god damn it, this creates plot holes big enough to destroy the entire Yu-Gi-Oh universe.

Writing tip #4. If your original character saves a main character, it can be fine. But it has to make sense, dammit! If it doesn't, your character's Mary Sue levels skyrocket. As it happens here! Crap! Screw you, plot! Screw you, story! GO TO HELL, ORANGE CAP BOY! DIE IN A FIRE!

So, the threat of the Ghouls has been taken care of, we won't see any of them ever again. That's good, I guess... I mean, there's still Marik, but we'll worry about that later. Now that Joey and Téa are back to normal, and Yugi, Nikorasu and Joey have six Locator Cards, it's time to find out where the finale is! They do so (in a process that still seems way too farfetched for me) and head to the place of the finale... An open-ceiling hangar with a large blimp in it.

"Duel me and you'll get the God card."
"Hand it to me already, I'm a god damn Gary Stu."
Oh, but wait. Before that, there's another important thing to do. Nikorasu goes to the Museum, where Isis Ishtar, the pretty but serious priestess who also happens to be Marik's sister, has been waiting. She tells Nikorasu to enter the Museum, and shows him a giant stone with carvings representing the three God cards. She says she has one of those cards in her possession, and will give it to you only if you defeat her. So, the protagonist does, but afterward she says that another person wants the God Card: Kaiba. So you have to duel Kaiba. Uh oh... he isn't Yugi's rival for no reason, you know. His deck in this game is extremely strong, even though it would suck by that time's standards (blame the bad gameplay for that).

So, Nikorasu defeats FRIGGIN' KAIBA, mister “screw the rules, I have money” himself, who has so far been defeated only by a select few (Yugi and Pegasus, just so you know). Therefore, the protagonist inherits Obelisk the Tormentor. Awesome, the first God card! I can't wait to get and try out the other two!

Finally, Nikorasu is ready for the finale. So, he heads to the hangar. Kaiba welcomes the eight winning duelists: himself, Nikorasu, Yugi, Joey, Mai Valentine, Bakura – really? – , Namu, and the last one to get there is a dark-skinned guy with a tattoo on a side of his face. The guy claims to be Marik...

He looks too normal to be a Yu-Gi-Oh! villain,
methinks... But he says he's Marik, so...

To be concluded... This Monday! Hell yes, it's almost over! Tune in next time for the epic finale!

(By the way, for this part I've used a lot of pictures coming from this written Let's Play. It's as funny as this review, and it shows every part of the game. Credit goes to "Let's Play Archive" user Missile Waster for those pictures. Enjoy that second read!)