|“||... Okay, but if I win, you have to endure a Penalty game!||„|
|~ Dark Yugi|
Although more commonly known as a good, but a mysterious person in the second anime series and the later portions of the manga, Dark Yugi ("Yami Yugi" in the 4Kids dub) starts as a very dark, cruel, manipulative gamer who relied both on incredible luck and dark magic to win games.
Dark Yugi, in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, is an alias used by Atem, who began possessing Yugi when he completed the "Millennium Puzzle," an ancient artifact that promises a wish granted to those who solve it. Dark Yugi is taller, and has more, messed up hair than Yugi. Dark Yugi only appears at night in the beginning, and takes revenge on the people who bully Yugi, by challenging them to a "shadow game". A shadow game reveals one's true nature, and—in the case of Dark Yugi—a loss is punishable by exploiting those traits, in the form of a "Penalty Game," an intensive form of dark magic from Yugi that creates illusion to bring out chaos towards its victim. For example, after defeating a greedy, powerful bully, the penalty game, "Illusion of Avarice," made the bully believe that trash and leaves were, literally, money. Another involved a two faced teacher who would date men only to break their hearts, when she bullied the students after a man broke up with her, and lost Dark Yugi's challenge, Dark Yugi made it so that her true face, hidden behind a thick layer of make-up, would show ("reveal the other face"). This is Dark Yugi's sense of "justice," which greatly differs from Yugi, with his "forgive and forget" attitude. Not until later in the manga, does Yugi even become aware of Dark Yugi's existence.
As the manga goes on, Dark Yugi slowly begins to change into a kinder, (following a dueling where he nearly killed Kaiba) more merciful person, though still being able to do more in the sake of "justice" for Yugi.
First Series Anime
The closest version of the original Dark Yugi in anime is only seen in the first anime series, which is an adaptation of the original manga, but was never dubbed into English. Dark Yugi is still the anti-hero; but the majority of his Penalty Games are illusions in this adaptation.
Second Series Anime
In the second series anime, Dark Yugi is shown as being much more merciful. (At one point, however, he nearly kills Kaiba in order to save Yugi's grandfather.) The only penalty game shown here is "Mind Crush," which he uses on Seto Kaiba to send his evil side to Hell, and on the Imitator of Death (an evil clown from Hell revived by Pegasus J. Crawford), as well as the Player Killer of Darkness and a mugger, to banish them to Hell.
Apart from this, Dark Yugi is shown as being a much less poetically justified person here. One exception to his kinder personality was during the Waking the Dragons Arc (in Season 4). Dark Yugi's sadistic side came into being while he was dueling Insector Haga when the latter decided to tear up what he said was Yugi's soul card (which was actually a common card) as a joke. Unfortunately for Haga, Dark Yugi became enraged and proceeded to beat the tar out of him with his Breaker the Magical Warrior.