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Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories is a Yu-Gi-Oh! video game for the Play Station. It is in an Alternate Universe to the anime, taking place in Ancient Egypt as the Pharaoh.

Tropes used in Yu-Gi-Oh Forbidden Memories include:


  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Want those powerful cards without cheating or just dueling a character to get it? Hope you're prepared to fight hundreds upon hundreds of duels to get the Starchips required to buy even a single card. To elaborate, the max amount of starchips you can get winning a duel is five, where any decent or useful card will cost hundreds or thousands of starchips. To make it more ridiculous, many cards inexplicably cost 999,999 starchips (which is pretty much the majority of monster cards with 2000+ attack, those with significance in the anime at the time of the game's release, and even cards that you are incapable of winning from beating people). It's to the point where you would be surprised when a card is actually viable near the endgame and can be realistically bought without cheating.
  • And I Must Scream: After Spending the entire game collecting the Millennium items to summon DarkNite, Heishin is turned into a Card at the end. The Must Scream Moment isn't very long because DarkNite then burns the card.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You must have exactly 40 cards in your deck, no more, no less.
  • Artificial Stupidity: If you have a face-up monster on your side of the field while the AI has no monsters, they will always play a single monster card (the exception to this are the field mages who'll play their respective field card regardless of what you have on your field), regardless of if their monster is too weak and a magic card in their hand could wipe out all of their opponent's monsters, there exists a fusion in their hand, or if they have a equip they could combine with their monster to strengthen it enough to defeat your monsters. This can be exploited to ensure your opponent does not fuse on you, does not equip their monsters, and prevent them from using magic/trap cards. For a more minor case of AI stupidity, they will never put a monster of 3000 or higher base attack in defense mode, regardless of how strong your monsters are and how much their monster has been weaken. On the reverse (and less likely to occur), a powerupped monster with a base attack of 0 will never be attacked with, even if it would win the duel for the AI.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Ritual cards can be utilized to summon some of the strongest monsters in the game. To use a ritual card, you have to activate it when you have the three specific monsters required for the ritual on the field (the required monsters are usually a guide dang it to figure out). Since you can only get one card on the field each turn, this will take three turns of setup (turns that you could be using doing more productive things, such as summoning actually useful monsters). To make it even more difficult, many of the required monsters to use with rituals are not viable beyond even the midgame, and some of the required monsters are so weak to even be capable of surviving in the early game (such as White Dolphin, a required monster of the Fortress Whale Oath, that has 500 atk and 400 def). This complicate things farther, as you must keep these weak required monsters from being destroyed by your opponent (which can be about impossible without significant luck or setting up trap cards prior to protect them), and in the scenario where you're able to keep them alive, you already have the duel under your complete control, in which case, using a ritual card is unnecessary to win. And if one of these required monsters are destroyed, the ritual card becomes completely useless without you being able to draw any backups of the destroyed cards potentially in your deck. Now if you actually go through all that trouble to get a ritual monster on the field, the reward itself is not much. Ritual monsters will usually have at least 550 more attack than the strongest monster used for the ritual (keep in mind this is only 50 more attack than a single equip would give, and some ritual monsters have even less of a stat boost compared to the strongest monster required), and will rarely have more than 1000 ATK than the strongest monster required for their ritual. To make things even worse for ritual cards, a simple and versatile fusion is all that is required to create a Twin Headed Thunder Dragon, which is stronger or as strong as all but five of the ritual monsters, and only two of those stronger ritual mosnters (Gate Guardian and Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon) have more than 500 ATK than the Twin Head.
    • In short, rituals are too convoluted, difficult, and time consuming to actually utilize, while offering too little of reward to be worth it, especially when there exists vastly superior options for creating stronger monsters (such as the aforementioned Twin Head fusion and just equipping monsters). You're better off using the minimum deck space of four cards that would be needed to use a ritual (which is one tenth of your deck) on other cards.
  • Boss Game: What Forbidden Memories essentially is.
  • Bonus Boss: Several opponents in the game are completely optional to duel (with the early game consisting almost entirely of optional opponents), who defeating won't give you anything additional other than another opponent to duel in Free Duel.
    • Simon Muran, who you can duel if you return to the palace before you attend the festival.
    • Jono and Teena, as well as Villagers 1, 2, and 3, who you can duel in the dueling ground.
    • Seto 1, who you can duel if you attend the festival with Teena.
    • When you return to the past, you can duel Jono and Teena 2 in the hidden dueling ground, as well as again duel against Villagers 1 and 2 (though 3 will now refuse to duel you).
    • Seto 2, who you can duel if you traverse the labyrinth to rescue Teena after her capture, but before defeating all the high mages (if you do this after defeating the high mages, you go to the end game instead). This bonus boss is notable as it's the only one that rewards you beyond what you gain from a normal duel victory (in this case, it makes the endgame slightly shorter and easier by allowing you to skip dueling the Labyrinth Mage in the final boss rush).
  • Boss Rush: The end game requires you to duel and defeat seven straight opponents (all seven being difficult opponents by themselves, and the last four of which are the most difficult opponents in the game), with no chance to retreat and save in between (meaning if you lose to any of them, you must duel them all over again). If you successfully traverse the labyrinth after Teena is captured to rescue her, before defeating all the high mages however, and defeat Seto 2, you'll skip the Labyrinth Mage in the endgame gauntlet, making it very slightly easier (though this doesn't help much, as he was arguably the least difficult of the final seven anyway).
  • Difficulty Spike: The early game starts out easy, with you being presented with opponents that all can be defeated reliably without any grinding, outside Heishin. Then comes Kaiba's tournament in the present, where each of your opponents rapidly get stronger and more difficult. And the game never lets up from here on out.
  • Disc One Nuke: The Twin Headed Thunder Dragon fusion. To create one, all that is required is any Dragon type monster (which includes pseudo dragons such as Dragon Zombie), and any Thunder type monster, with one of them having an attack of 1600 or higher (such ingredients can be in the deck you start out with, and aren't difficult to obtain in the early/mid game). The Twin Head has an attack of 2800 (which only 10 monsters in the game have an higher attack than, and is strong enough to wipe out your opponent's life points in just three direct attacks), and is compatible with two field cards (being a Thunder type, it is powered up by sea and mountain, and is the strongest monster with a dual compatibility), as well as compatible with many different equip cards, making it easy to powerup. With proper deck building around it, The Twin Head can be reliably used to take on any monster outside the Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon, and reliably carry the player to the end game. Eventually, unless you're fortunate enough to obtain Sanga of the Thunder, the Thunder monsters required for your fusion will become unviable for use themselves, and the Twin Head becomes overshadowed by the obtainable Meteor Black Dragon (and to a lesser extent, by the slightly weaker but even more equip versatile Skull Knight). Regardless, a card of the Twin Head is actually reasonably obtainable, and remains very viable in the end game.
  • Dummied Out: The original Japanese release of the game was compatible with the Pocket Station, with features that allowed players to obtain cards that otherwise could never be won from dueling. Since the Pocket Station was never released outside Japan, international releases of the game had the Pocket Station compatibility and features removed. This rendered the cards that can not be won from dueling to be unobtainable in international releases of the game, without using a cheat device.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Gameplaywise, the rules of dueling are quite different from what they later became (such as, no tributing is needed to summon any monster card, fusions don't require a magic card to fuse and specific monsters aren't always necessary, only one card can be played on the field at a time, you draw until you have five cards in your hand and you cannot skip a turn without playing a card, and there are several monsters that are ritual monsters in the game, that aren't ritual monsters in the card game). Storywise, Seto is a far different character, and the sealing of the Pharaoh happens completely differently than what later becomes canon.
    • Also since this was made before the official appearance of Ishizu and Marik. There is a slight change where Ishizu becomes Isis and is a completely different character from her Battle City appearance, while Marik doesn't appear at all, and the Millennium Rod has been given to Kaiba.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Each monster can be given one of two alignments available to it, with each alignment being strong against one other alignment, while being weak to another. When a monster fights a monster with an alignment its strong against, it'll temporarily gain 500 attack and defense points for that battle. The alignments go Sun (Light) -> Moon (Fiend) -> Venus (Dreams) -> Mercury (Shadow) -> Sun, and Mars (Fire) -> Jupiter (Forest) -> Saturn (Wind) -> Uranus (Earth) -> Pluto (Thunder) -> Neptune (Water) -> Mars.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Lose one duel in story mode (even against your friends), and it's game over.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Seto
  • Expy: Jono and Teena are Ancient Egyptian Joey and Tea, probably due to being their past lives.
    • Heishin is uncannily similar to Jafar, both in appearance and personality.
  • Forced Level Grinding: Once you're in the present in Kaiba's tournament, if you don't take advantage of Free Duel to get new cards to strengthen your deck, don't expect to get far past Rex Raptor without significant luck, as your starter deck with the few additional cards you win from the optional duels in the early game, will be far too underpowered to do much against the quickly escalating opponents. Do expect to grind a lot in Free Duel before you can defeat the next opponent in campaign, and you will need to do an extreme amount of grinding if you're to have any hope of surviving the endgame. Grinding can be alleviated a bit though, through Start Scumming to get a better starter deck, Start Scumming with a second file to get cards to trade over to the first file (such as useful equips and multiple Raigekis), and by knowing which opponents to grind against (dueling Meadow Mage a hundred times for example, will give you much better rewards than dueling Kaiba one hundred times).
  • Game Mod: There exists a mod of this game that slightly alters the drop lists, mainly to make card drops more sensible for the opponent (such as, you no longer win Meteor Black Dragon from the Meadow Mage), as well as allow the unobtainable cards from the original to be winnable (albeit, they're extremely rare to win). The same person who created this mod also planned to create a Forbidden Memories 2 mod, an unofficial sequel that replaced many of the cards in the game with new ones, as well as several other alterations. However, the creator did not meet promised dates to release things pertaining to the mod (such as a beta and trailers), and nothing has been heard about it from the creator in over a year.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Although you are the Pharoah, this was made before his name was revealed in canon.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first time you duel Heishin, you'll duel him at the end of the early game, where your monsters still have stats in the hundreds or a little over one thousand, while he has endgame monsters with attack power exceeding 3000, along with powerful magic/trap cards and Megamorph. You must lose this duel to progress in the story, as if you defeat him (which while pretty much impossible when not on a new game plus without extreme luck and the Twin Head fusion), he'll rematch you until you lose. This is also the only duel in Campaign that you are allowed to lose (losing elsewhere results in a Game Over).
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Meteor Black Dragon can be seen as this. It is by far the strongest monster card the player can obtain without cheating, with 3500 attack, which is tied with the Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth for 3rd highest in the game, and 500 points higher than the next strongest obtainable monsters, the Blue Eyes White Dragon and Metal Zoa. While it doesn't have much equip versatility (only being powered up by Dragon Treasure and Salamandra outside the universal equips, which is still one more than nearly every other high level dragon is capable of being powered up by), it has the best possible alignments, with Mars allowing it to take out the aforementioned Ultimate Moth without an equip, and Sun allowing it to take out even the Gate Guardian without an equip. Obtaining it however, is actually not that difficult, as you can obtain it from defeating the Meadow Mage, a rather easy opponent you can fight right after you win Kaiba's tournament and go back to the past (which is the halfway point in the game), and the card itself is not all that rare (you can reasonably obtain a Meteor Black Dragon by the time you defeat the Meadow Mage around 50 times or so). Compare this to the second strongest obtainable cards, Metal Zoa, who can only be obtained as a very rare prize from Sebek (who you can only grind against in Free Duel after completing the game), and Blue Eyes White Dragon, who can only be obtained as a very rare prize from Seto 3 (who like Sebek, can only be fought in Free Duel after completing the game, and is the most difficult opponent to defeat as well). This is very fortunate for the player, as the Meteor Black Dragon is pretty much required for the player to reliably get through the end game without significant luck.
  • Instant Win Condition: There exist two alternative methods to winning a duel, that should occur, will automatically win the duel for the player, regardless of the cards on the field and the remaining life points.
    • The opponent not having enough cards in their deck to draw a full hand of five cards. Since the player always goes first, the only way for the player to win by this method would be to exploit the AI into doing more fusion/card combining than themselves.
    • A player having all five pieces of Exodia in their hand.
  • Jackass Genie: DarkNite is (supposedly) bound to obey the owner of all seven Millennium items. He is summoned by the tribute of all seven Millennium items - which means the summoner doesn't have them anymore!
  • Last Lousy Point: There are several obscure cards in the game that are not that useful, but have incredibly low drop rates, and are usually obtainable from only a single specific opponent that you won't duel often because of their poor/mediocre card drops (such as Dungeon Worm from the Labyrinth Mage and Hourglass of Courage from Jono). Those striving to obtain every card in the game must then duel these neglected opponents extensively (possibly in excess of 1000 duels) to win just one of these lousy cards. This is all for naught though, as unless you have the original Japanese version and a Pocket Station, there are many other cards that you cannot legitimately obtain. Not that this has stopped people from trying to find some way to win them without cheating for years, leading to several theories on how to win them and false claims of winning these cards.
  • Missing Secret: There are many cards in the game that you see opponents use, that have the impossible 999,999 starchip cost to buy, and that you just never seem to win from dueling. Turns out, these cards are not among the drop lists for any opponent in the game, and that you were intended to obtain these cards through features from playing on a Pocket Station. Since the Pocket Station was never released outside Japan, these features were removed altogether in international releases. And since the developers didn't adjust the drop rates of opponents to accommodate for this, these cards are not legitimately obtainable without using a cheating device (or actually grinding up to 999,999 starchips, which people have calculated would take years of nonstop playing to reach, which you then would only be able to buy one of these cards anyway unless you utilise a copy file and trade exploit with three memory cards).
  • Money Spider: The Meadow Mage, seemingly just another mook to a high mage that will be assumed to give you cards slightly better than mediocre at best, inexplicably gives you the best card drops out of anyone in the game. Such cards include several monsters with 1800+ attack (including a Meteor Dragon), Curse of Dragon (2000 attack and can be used as a strong ingredient for the Twin Headed Thunder Dragon fusion, as well as fused with Gaia to create the Dragon Champion), Gaia the Fierce Knight (2300 attack with good equip versatility and be fused with the aforementioned Curse of Dragon), Dark Magician (2500 attack), Skull Knight (2650 attack, with the useful Mercury alignment and possibly the best equip versatility in the game), and the Meteor Black Dragon. While these cards can be obtained from other, harder opponents, they have a much higher drop rate from the Meadow Mage, especially Skull Knight. Once you defeat him in campaign, run off and grind against him in Free Duel. You're going to need those Meteor Black Dragons and Skull Knights to complete the game.
  • New Game+: When you clear campaign mode, you are able to keep playing through it again, with no difference, other than you being able to run through the entire game with an endgame deck.
  • Random Drop: Every time you win a duel, you are given one card, from the drop list of the opponent you defeated. How well you did in the duel will decide which cards you can get, with getting a S/A Pow rating giving you access to getting the strongest monster cards the opponent can drop, S/A Tec rating giving you access to getting the strongest magic cards the opponent can drop, and getting anything else will give you access to a mix of cards that are less effective overall.
    • Rare Random Drop: Some cards have ridiculously low drop rates in the game, where unless you're particularly lucky, you will have to duel the opponent who drops them hundreds or even over a thousand times, just to get a single card. And since most of these cards are not that good, they'll just bring the player closer to One Hundred Percent Completion unless they were fortunate enough to obtain one of these less useful cards early on. Fortunately for those looking to collect every card, a lot of these cards can be reasonably bought with star chips, and the weaker ones can even be found in starter decks.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Some opponents (Pegasus, Heishin, Seto 3, and Darknite/Nitemare) are able to read what cards you have face down on the field, and thus can't be bluffed into not attacking your weaker monster/bluffed into attacking your stronger monster. Your opponents also have complete access to the cards you cannot legitimately obtain (such as ritual monsters, Black Skull Dragon, Shadow Spell, etc.), and can morph cards they draw into other cards in their deck (which often leads to them having multiples of the strongest monster in their deck on their first turn).
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: There are many cards in the game that cannot be won from dueling. Naturally, there have been people who have claimed to have won these cards, usually in combination with claiming to have to won it through having an extraordinary amount of wins against a specific opponent, as well as dueling a specific, convoluted way. All of these claims were never verified, with their video/screenshot proof always being debunked. Eventually, a group of players hacked the game, and found that indeed, these cards are not in the drop list for any opponent. Even with this proof to confirm these cards as unobtainable, it hasn't stopped people from claiming to have won them or believing they can be won through some way.
  • Warmup Boss: Rex Raptor, who is the first opponent you duel in Kaiba's tournament, and the second mandatory duel overall (the first being Heishin). His cards are even weaker than some of the people you dueled in the early game, and he can be reliably defeated with an unmodified starter deck. Considering the difficulty spike that occurs after him, new players can expect to play him a lot in free duel as they learn the game and gain new cards (especially if they skipped the early game).
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