The Heart of the Cards
“Long ago, when the pyramids were still young, Egyptian kings played a game of great and terrible power. But these Shadow Games erupted into a war that threatened to destroy the entire world until a brave and powerful pharaoh locked the magic away, imprisoning it within the mystical Millennium Items. Now, 5000 years later, a boy named Yugi unlocks the secret of the Millennium Puzzle. He is infused with ancient magical energies, for destiny has chosen him to defend the world from the return of the Shadow Games just as the brave pharaoh did 5000 years ago…”
As another day begins for the students of Domino City High School, Yugi Moto and his friend Joey Wheeler are playing a game of cards as their friend Téa watched. As their other friend Honda arrives, Joey explains that Yugi is teaching him how to play Duel Monsters, the latest card game craze to sweep the town.
The aim of the game is to use your monsters to destroy your opponent’s life points. But while Yugi is something of an expert at the game, Joey is just beginning to learn how to play. However Joey explains that Yugi has the advantage that his Grandpa owns the only Game Shop in the town. As Yugi offers to take his friends to see his grandpa’s super-rare card, the mention of a rare card catches the interest of one of their classmates who seems to be looking for a particularly rare card.
At the Game Shop, Yugi persuades his grandpa to show the group his special card. As Yugi’s grandpa shows the group the rare Blue-Eyes White Dragon card, Honda is unable to see what is so special about it but is soon set straight on the matter. The Blue-Eyes is not only a powerful monster, but there are only four copies of the card in existence. As Joey tries to persuade Yugi’s grandpa to trade the card, Yugi explains that the card also has sentimental value and because of that his grandpa would never trade it. But as the group continues to talk, the boy from school enters the shop.
Honda explains that he is Seto Kaiba, the guy who runs the powerful Kaiba Corporations company that makes most of the Duel Monsters dueling equipment. Not only that, but Kaiba is also the best Duelist in the world and a sure favourite to win the regional championships being held shortly in the town. As Kaiba spots the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card, he realises that he has finally found what he is looking for.
As Yugi’s grandpa quickly packs the card away, Kaiba offers both money and cards in exchange for it but the old man refuses to trade. As Yugi’s grandpa explains that a friend gave the card to him and so he could never give it away, Kaiba leaves the shop, deciding that there is no way that the foolish man will be willing to give him the card. But later that night, Kaiba sends round a group of guards to bring Yugi’s grandpa to KaibaCorp so that the two can duel each other.
As Yugi and his friends arrive at the shop the next morning, Yugi is concerned that his grandpa is missing. As the phone rings, Yugi answers it to find Kaiba on the other end of the line. Kaiba tells Yugi that his grandpa is unwell and recommends that he come to collect him. When the gang arrives at KaibaCorp, they find Yugi’s grandpa weak and unwell.
As Yugi’s grandpa mutters something about trying to teach Kaiba a lesson, Kaiba explains that Yugi’s grandpa had been beaten by him in a duel. However the two Duelists had each put their best card up as a prize and now that he has won the duel Kaiba has control of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. However rather than deciding to use it, Kaiba rips up the card to prevent it from ever being used against him. As Yugi’s grandpa passes his deck to his grandson, Yugi promises to teach Kaiba respect for the Heart of the Cards.
As Yugi prepares to duel Kaiba, the Millennium Puzzle around his neck begins to glow as Yugi is transformed into an older looking version of himself. With the two ready to duel, Téa marks a special friendship sign onto the hands of the four friends and then she, Tristan and Joey head off to take Yugi’s grandpa to the hospital.
Back at KaibaCorp, Yugi is amazed to discover a giant virtual dueling arena. Kaiba explains that he designed it personally to make duels more exciting. As the duel begins, Kaiba plays the Hitotsu-Me Giant onto the field and a surprised Yugi watches in amazement as a life-like hologram of the monster appears on the field. As Yugi plays the Winged Dragon, Joey arrives to cheer on his friend and is startled to see the two life-like monsters facing up against each other.
As Yugi’s Dragon attacks, it destroys Kaiba’s Giant and reduces his life points from 2000 to 1800. While Kaiba is unfazed by this, his younger brother, who is watching from the sidelines, is amazed to see his big brother lose the first confrontation. However as Kaiba plays Saggi the Dark Clown, he uses the Negative Energy magic card to increase the Clown’s ATK points before attacking. As Yugi’s Dragon is destroyed, his life points fall to 1600 putting Kaiba in the lead.
As Yugi tries to plan out a strategy, he draws a card that seems useless too him and is forced to play a monster into defence mode, where its destruction will not damage his life points. However as Kaiba taunts Yugi for being as weak as his grandpa was, Yugi’s faith in his deck prevails as he draws Gaia the Fierce Knight. Playing the powerful monster, Yugi destroys Kaiba’s clown, reducing his life points to 1300.
But as Kaiba begins his turn, he shocks both Yugi and Kaiba by playing the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. As the Dragon destroys Yugi’s Knight and reduces his life points to 900, Kaiba explains that Yugi’s grandpa is not the only Duelist to have a Blue-Eyes in their deck. And to prove his point further, Kaiba plays a second Blue-Eyes onto the field.
With Yugi up against two powerful dragons, he frantically searches for a way to stop Kaiba from defeating him. Finally seeing a way out of the problem, Yugi plays the Swords of Revealing Light, paralysing Kaiba’s dragons for three full turns. However as Yugi continues to doubt that he will be able to win, he senses his grandpa trying to communicate with him. As Yugi listens, his grandpa explains that he still has a way to win, but that he will need to assemble the pieces of the puzzle to do so.
Remembering a conversation he had with his grandpa one time, Yugi recalls that there is one truly unstoppable monster in the game and that is Exodia. But to summon Exodia it is necessary to draw all five pieces of the monster, a feat that no Duelist has ever achieved. But as Yugi draws his next card, he realises that he already has four pieces of the puzzle in his hand.
However Kaiba is unrelenting as he summons the Judge Man and destroys the monster that Yugi had played in defence mode. Playing the Dark Magician, Yugi easily destroys Kaiba’s monster, reducing his life points to 1000. But as Kaiba’s next turn begins, he plays a third Blue-Eyes White Dragon and destroys Yugi’s Magician, reducing his life points to 400, and, as Kaiba’s turn ends, the Swords of Revealing Light fade away, freeing all three of his dragons to attack on his next turn.
As Kaiba warns Yugi that there is no way for him to win, Yugi realises that Kaiba only wanted to fourth Blue-Eyes so that it could never be used against him. As Yugi prepares to draw his final card, the deck senses his doubt that he will be able to win. But as Yugi remembers the support of his friendship, he believes in himself once more and prepares to draw his final card. As Kaiba taunts Yugi, claiming that none of his pathetic cards can defeat three Blue-Eyes, Yugi proves that his deck is far from pathetic as he draws the final part of Exodia.
Summoning the powerful monster, Yugi obliterates all three of Kaiba’s dragons, reducing his life points to zero and winning the match. With Yugi victorious, he uses the power of the Millennium Puzzle to release the hatred from Kaiba’s mind. However as Yugi and Joey celebrate the win, Kaiba is unable to believe that Yugi was able to summon Exodia when no other Duelist had ever managed it before. Kaiba’s younger brother is unable to believe it either, as he has never seen his big brother get beaten before.
Over at the hospital, Yugi’s grandpa is making a full recovery from the shock of his duel with Kaiba, however elsewhere a mysterious figure seems intrigued to learn of Yugi’s victory over the best Duelist in the world, realising that things are beginning to go as he hoped they would.