The Gauntlet is Thrown

At Domino High School, Téa and Joey are having a duel against each other, and Téa is well in the lead having used a magic card to power up her monster. As Joey loses the match, he asks Yugi to explain why he keeps losing, but as his friend looks through the deck, the problem quickly becomes apparent. Joey’s deck consists of really strong monsters, but doesn’t have any magic cards at all, meaning that there is little chance of him ever winning a match.

As Joey worries how to solve his problem, he begs Yugi to teach him how to play properly. Yugi explains that he isn’t talented enough to teach Joey, but suggests that his grandpa might be able to help. When the two arrive at the Game Shop, Yugi’s grandpa agrees to teach Joey, but warns him that the training will be hard work. Joey agrees to do whatever it takes, and so Yugi’s grandpa asks him some simple questions about Duel Monsters. When Joey reveals that he doesn’t know the answers to any of the questions, Yugi’s grandpa realises that he is going to have his work cut out for him teaching Joey how to duel like an expert.

A few days later, Yugi, Joey, Téa and Tristan are watching the final round of the Regional Duel Monsters Championship at the Duel Dome between Weevil Underwood and Rex Raptor. Joey comments that he wishes he was dueling in the tournament, but Yugi explains that he still has a lot to learn, even though he is progressing well. As Yugi’s grandpa arrives to give Joey another lesson, he hands Yugi a parcel that had just been delivered.

As Yugi looks at the label, he sees that it is from Industrial Illusions, the company that makes the Duel Monsters cards. Yugi wonders why Industrial Illusions would want to send him a parcel, but Joey suggests that it may be because of his victory against Kaiba. After all, Kaiba dropped out of the Regional Championships after being defeated by Yugi. However the duel has already started, so Yugi puts the parcel to one side so that he can watch the duel.

As the match continues, Joey is certain that Rex’s powerhouse line up will crush Weevil’s bugs, but Yugi is not so sure, knowing that Weevil is noted for his strategy and use of magic and trap cards to help him win. As Rex plays the Two-Headed King Rex, Weevil plays a Basic Insect card. However as Rex attacks the puny bug, Weevil counters the attack with his Vortex trap card before upgrading his Insect using Armour with Laser Cannon. Attacking with his enhanced monster, Weevil destroys Rex’s dinosaur, winning the match.

As a shocked Rex tries to work out how he could have lost, the creator of Duel Monsters, Pegasus J. Crawford, presents Weevil with his prize and offers him a place at the Duelist Kingdom tournament that is about to begin. As Pegasus leaves the Duel Dome in his limo, one of his guards informs him that the parcel was delivered as requested.

With the match over, Yugi remembers that he hasn’t opened the parcel yet. However as he unwraps it, he finds a strange glove, a couple of stars and a video cassette. As he places the tape into the machine, Pegasus appears on screen to introduce himself. He explains that he is interested in Yugi and would like to get to know him better. Therefore Pegasus proposes a 15-minute timed duel between the two Duelists to try and break the ice between the two.

Yugi is puzzled by the suggestion of dueling over a tape, but as he wonders how it could be done it becomes apparent that this is no ordinary tape and that Pegasus is no ordinary person. As Pegasus moves the hair away from his left eye, he reveals a strange fake eye, which he uses to transport Yugi into a mysterious Shadow Realm.

With no choice but to accept the duel, Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle activates, transforming himself into his other self. Pegasus begins the duel, playing one card face down, but as Yugi prepares to make his move, Pegasus predicts what it is and as Yugi plays the Koumori Dragon, Pegasus counters the play by playing the Dragon Capture Jar, sealing the monster inside it.

Pegasus explains that they are no longer in the normal world, but that he has transported the two of them to the Shadow Realm, where anything is possible if you believe in the magic within the cards. Pegasus explains that the duel that he and Yugi are playing is similar to the Shadow Games of Ancient Egypt. He explains that the Duel Monsters game is not actually his invention, but a recreation of the Shadow Games that once threatened to destroy the world.

As Pegasus uses the Dragon Piper to revive Yugi’s Dragon on his side of the field, Yugi counters with Silver Fang but it is destroyed, reducing Yugi’s life points to 1500. Pegasus taunts Yugi, commenting that he has not realised the true potential of his Millennium Item. As Yugi wonders what he means, Pegasus explains that there are in fact seven Millennium Items that the Pharaoh used in ancient times to seal away the magic of the Shadow Realm.

With time running out, Yugi prepares to make his next move, but Pegasus announces that he already knows how to counter the Zombie Warrior. As Yugi realises that Pegasus can use his Millennium Eye to see the cards in his hand, he realises that he has a better chance if he plays the cards straight from his deck without looking at them. As Pegasus sets up a counter measure to block Yugi’s zombie, Yugi instead plays the top card from his deck.

Revealing the Dark Magician, Yugi destroys Pegasus’s dragon, reducing his life points to 1200. Pegasus plays the Faceless Mage, he equips it with the Eye of Illusion, but as Yugi attacks it, nothing happens. However as Yugi plays the Celtic Guardian and orders it to attack, the Faceless Mage uses his own Dark Magician to block the attack. As Yugi’s Magician is destroyed, his life points fall to 400, but the attack has left the Faceless Mage vulnerable.

Playing the Summoned Skull, Yugi orders it to attack the mage. But as the Skull’s finishing attack prepares to destroy the mage, the time runs out and the duel ends with Pegasus still in the lead. Pegasus offers that he and Yugi can duel again sometime, but Yugi refuses to duel with him ever again. But as Pegasus uses the Millennium Eye to steal the soul of Yugi’s grandpa, he explains that anybody can be made to play his game, even if they need a little persuading. And with Yugi’s grandpa’s soul the prize of their next duel, Yugi may not have any choice but to accept Pegasus’s challenge.