Yu-Gi-Oh! - Duel 001

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"The Puzzle of the Gods"
Title page
EnglishThe Puzzle of the Gods
Japanese name
RōmajiKami no Pazuru
Japanese magazineWeekly Shōnen Jump 1996 #42
English magazineShonen Jump 2003 #1
Tankōbon volume1: "The Millennium Puzzle"
Bunkoban volumeVolume 1
SJR volumeVolume 1
Release dates
JapaneseSeptember 14, 1996
EnglishNovember 26, 2002
Yu-Gi-Oh! chapters
Next"Lying Eyes"

"The Puzzle of the Gods" is first publication of any Yu-Gi-Oh! media. It was originally published September 14, 1996[1], in Japanese, in 1996's issue 42 of the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. Its first English release was in the Shonen Jump magazine. It has been reprinted in volume 1 of the tankōbon and volume 1 of the bunkoban.

Yugi Mutou is been bullied in school. Protected and comforted by his friend Anzu Mazaki, Yugi shows her his secret puzzle, that he has been unable to solve for eight years. Although offered protection by the hall monitor Ushio, Yugi is not happy with Ushio's methods.


Day 1[edit]

Yugi is offered to come and play basketball.

At lunch time at Domino High School, the boys decide to play basketball and let the girls join them. Yugi is offered to come too, rather than play Bluebeard's Attack by himself. Yugi declines saying it is alright, his team would just lose.

Yugi begins to talk in soliloquy, wishing he could play his kind of games with someone. Taking a box containing a puzzle out of his bag, he says his greatest treasure is in this box, but you have to keep it a secret. He gives a riddle to hint what is in the box, "It is something that you see, but have never seen before". About to reveal the answer, as he opens the box, Hiroto Honda suddenly appears and swipes it from Yugi's hands.

Honda and Katsuya Jonouchi mock Yugi for talking to himself. They tease him by throwing the puzzle across the room to each other, while Yugi tries to take it back. Jonouchi is disgusted by Yugi caring so much for the box. He tells Yugi that he is going to teach him to be a man. Holding up the puzzle Jonouchi says, "You want this box back? Then gimme all you got." Yugi protests, shouting that he hates fighting. As they continue to tease him, Jonouchi peeks inside and calls it dumb, as he chucks it across to Honda. However Anzu Mazaki arrives and catches the box in midair, exclaiming that if he thinks it is dumb, he should give it back to Yugi. After being told off, Jonouchi and Honda leave the room, saying they will get her back for this.

Yugi thanks Anzu, while she explains that the boys playing basketball had been peeking up the girls skirts, while they took their shots. Yugi begins to fantasize and Anzu is slightly taken back, but asks him what is in the box. Yugi offers to show her, provided she keeps it a secret. He shows the contents to Anzu, who is impressed by the sparkling gold pieces. Yugi reveals that the answer to the riddle is "a puzzle". He has never finished it, so he does not know what it looks like. Explaining that his family owns a game shop, that sells unusual games from all over the world, he tells Anzu that he found the puzzle a few years ago and that it is a memento of his grandpa. Shocked, Anzu shouts out "Your Grandpa died, Yugi!?!" and calms down thinking that that does make it special. Yugi tells her that the puzzle had been found in an Egyptian ruin and proclaims that the hieroglyphs read "Whoever solves this puzzle shall be granted one wish... like the dragon balls". He drops his head in shame, thinking Anzu is laughing at him. He reminds her that this is a secret, and Anzu insists he can trust her. Yugi admits that it is depressing that he has been working the puzzle for eight years and has not solved it. Anzu tells him not to give up, he has heart in it. She winks and asks Yugi what his wish was. Yugi winks back saying that it is too secret.

Meanwhile Honda and Jonouchi bump into Ushio, who overhears them talking about bullies and asks what they said. Jonouchi tells hims to keep out of this, but Honda quickly restrains Jonouchi and forces a smile saying that it is nothing. Ushio declares that picking on people is bad and Honda quickly agrees. After Ushio leaves Honda tells Jonouchi not to pick a fight with Ushio. He explains that Ushio makes the rules and even the teachers are afraid of him. Jonouchi yells that he will get Ushio someday. He slips his hand into his pocket and reveals a piece of Yugi's puzzle he managed to swipe from the box earlier. He grasps the piece and grins, saying how Yugi will not be able to solve his puzzle if it is missing a piece. Honda laughs and compliments Jonouchi, who throws it out the window into a body of water.

Ushio later meets Yugi and asks him if Honda and Jonouchi were bullying him. Yugi replies that nothing is happening to him. Ushio explains that victims often defend their attackers and assigns himself the position of Yugi's bodyguard.

After school[edit]

Yugi meets Anzu just outside his house and the two go in together. Anzu screams as she sees Yugi's grandfather, Sugoroku Mutou. She looks at Yugi and asks him through gritted teeth why he said his grandfather was dead. Sugoroku screams that he is not dead and Yugi said he meant it was going to be a memento.

Sugoroku makes Anzu uncomfortable by commenting on how much she has grown since he last saw her, especially around the bust. As Yugi and Anzu go upstairs to work on the puzzle, Sugoroku tells Yugi that the puzzle is beyond his understanding. The team of archaeologists who took it from a pharaoh's tomb all died mysterious deaths. The last said with his dying breath "The Shadow Games". Anzu gets worried, but Yugi thinks Shadow Games sound cool. Sugoroku makes an attempt to grab the puzzle, but Yugi runs saying that he just wants to sell it.

Day 2[edit]

Ushio shows Yugi that he has beaten-up Jonouchi and Honda.

The next day at school, Ushio greets Yugi and shows him to Jonouchi and Honda, who are lying against a wall, beaten up. Yugi tells Ushio that this is too much and asks Jonouchi if he is okay. Jonouchi grunts asks Yugi if he is happy now. Yugi tries telling him that he did not ask Ushio to do this. Ushio continues to attack Jonouchi, but Yugi protests, saying he will not let Ushio do this to his friends. Ushio jokes about Yugi calling them his friends and imposes a bodyguard fee of ¥200,000. For ¥200,000, he adds that Yugi can hit the two all he wants. Yugi continues to stare at Ushio in shock, which Ushio interprets as Yugi not being satisfied until Jonouchi and Honda are beaten up some more and continues to attack. However Yugi stands in his way and insists that if he wants to hurt someone, he can hurt him. Ushio takes Yugi by the collar and says that he hates picking on people, but does not consider this to be bullying, but a warning, showing Yugi what will happen if he does not pay up. Jonouchi is shocked at Yugi standing up for them as Ushio beats Yugi. Yugi thought about the wish he had made; it was to have friends, whom he could count on and who could count on him. As Ushio left the three of them, he warned Yugi that if he does not pay, he will hurt him with the knife he holds up.

Yugi solves the Millennium Puzzle.

That night while Yugi was trying to work out what can be done about Ushio and his fee, he could not help but work on his puzzle. Unlike other days, solving the puzzle seemed a lot easier and he quickly assembled it until there was just one piece left. Upon realizing it was not in the box, he began frantically scavenging his room in search for it. In failing to find it, he sobbed that he would not get his wish. Sugoroku enters the room and Yugi tells him about the missing piece. Sugoroku reminds him that he had put eight years into making it, and says that he should have more faith and that his wish will be granted. He then produced the last piece. Yugi hugged him for finding it, but Sugoroku said that it was not him and that a friend of Yugi's had come by earlier. He was soaking wet even though it was not raining. A flashback showed Jonouchi approaching Sugoroku's shop. Jonouchi had asked Sugoroku to give the piece to Yugi. In the present, Sugoroku remembers Jonouchi telling him about Ushio giving Yugi trouble and inserts an envelope of money into Yugi's bag, hoping it will help him stay out of trouble. Yugi inserts the last piece into its position on the puzzle, while Sugoroku walks away. Something strange begins to happen to Yugi and the Eye of Wadjat appears on his forehead.

The Shadow Game[edit]

Dark Yugi's initial appearance

Later that night, Ushio waits at the school after being called out there by Yugi. Yugi appears sitting on a nearby vaulting horse. This time Yugi, as Dark Yugi, has an air of confidence around him and looks slightly different while also wearing the now-solved Millennium Puzzle on a lace around his neck. Ushio asks for the money and Dark Yugi holds it out saying he has raised it to ¥400,000. However, he thinks it would not be fun to just hand it over and insists that they play a game. Ushio is shocked at first but thinks it sounds interesting. Dark Yugi asks Ushio for his knife and sets it next to the money saying that is what they need for the game. Ushio gets anxious as he wonders what kind of game involves money and a knife. Dark Yugi explains the rules:

  • Each player takes turns putting the money on top of their hand and stabbing through the money with the knife.
  • Each turn, a player must take more than one bill.
  • The game continues until the money is gone, and the players would then keep any of the money they stabbed.
  • If a player tries to take the money by hand, or quits, they forfeit all the money to the opponent.

Ushio begins to wonder if this is really Yugi before agreeing to start. They play roshambo to decide who goes first. Dark Yugi wins and took the first move, getting less than ten bank notes. He reminds Ushio, that if you use too much strength, you will stab yourself. The point of the game is to control your greed. Ushio goes and gets over 100,000. Later in the game, when the money has almost ran out, Ushio thinks he will get the rest, but his right arm begins to tremble. Dark Yugi explains that it was now controlled by his greed and asked would he sacrifice his hand to get more money. Ushio, said there was a way he could get the money with one stab without hurting his left hand, before lunging the knife towards Dark Yugi. Dark Yugi jumps away and claims that he thought Ushio would not be able to follow the rules. Ushio starts sweating and points at the Eye of Wadjet, as it appeared on Dark Yugi's forehead. Dark Yugi explains that it is only seen by those who trespass in his soul. He points at Ushio, yelling "Penalty Game, Greed, The Illusion of Avarice!". Ushio starts to see money falling everywhere, due to the illusion of avarice. Dark Yugi then left, taking the money with him.

Day 3[edit]

Ushio in the leaves

The next morning students see Ushio showering himself in leaves and rubbish, which he believes is money, and wonder what happened to him. Yugi cannot not remember the events of the previous night apart from finishing the puzzle. While walking down the corridor celebrating, he bumps into Jonouchi. Jonouchi asks him how he is doing and says that he also has a treasure and asks Yugi if he wants so see it. Yugi says "yup". But Jonouchi laughs and says that he cannot, as "it's something you can show, but can't see". Yugi begins to think and Jonouchi tells him that the answer is friendship and thanks Yugi for showing him they are friends. Jonouchi dashes off saying he will see Yugi later in class, ashamed that he said something so corny. Yugi runs after him calling him back saying he forgot his shoe.


Debuts are in bold.


Title pages[edit]


Toei anime series[edit]

This chapter is adapted in the first episode of the Toei anime series.

Differences include:

  • Instead of playing Bluebeard's Attack, Yugi is building a card tower.
  • Why the girls were invited to play basketball is not revealed.
  • Honda is not Jonouchi's crony, but a rejected candidate for class president and junior custodian. He is not entirely in favor of how Jonouchi treats Yugi and even tells him off at times.
  • Miho Nosaka becomes a main character in this series. In this episode, Jonouchi and Honda use buying her lunch as an excuse to leave after Anzu appears.
  • Jonouchi returns the piece of the Puzzle to Yugi after Yugi gets beaten up by Ushio, rather than give it to his Grandpa to pass on.
  • The Shadow Game with Ushio was completely changed and involved reaching the top of a dome, by turning over regular playing cards.

NAS anime series[edit]

This anime starts much later in time, so the events of Yugi solving the Millennium Puzzle are skipped. The viewer is briefed in on this information at the start of episode 1.

Joey (Jonouchi) and Tristan (Honda) being beaten-up by Ushio and Yugi trying to defend them appears in a flashback in episode 3.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light[edit]

The film Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, shows Yugi solving the Millennium Puzzle under different circumstances. He's simply at home working on the puzzle, not stressed over paying Ushio. He looks through some instructions as he constructs the puzzle and is not missing the last piece. Upon completion, he is confronted by a number of Duel Monster Spirits. Dark Yugi then takes control and vanquishes them. Afterwards, Yugi regains control of his body, not sure of what just happened.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Pyramid of Light[edit]

The prologue to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Pyramid of Light, the novelization of the film, expands on the events at the beginning of the film, making it more like the manga.

It included Jonouchi retrieving the missing piece and Sugoroku passing it on, as well as explaining how Yugi got the Puzzle and spent 8 years trying to solve it. There is no mention of Yugi using instructions, but does include the monster spirits vanquished by Dark Yugi. Afterwards, Dark Yugi looks at his reflection to see his new form. He asks who Yugi is and states that he doesn't know who he is himself.


  1. Takahashi, Kazuki (2015). "Millennium Book". Yu-Gi-Oh! Character Guidebook: Millennium Book (in Japanese). Shueisha. p. 32. ISBN 978-4-08-779722-0.