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  • Homage/Shout-Out - The game started off as a homage to Magic: the Gathering for the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. On top of that, several of the cards also reference various of Konami's video game franchises, most notably the Gradius video game series (not to mention a very special appearance from Metal Gear Solid).
    • Apparently, Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear Solid series, has expressed interest in the game, and as such is called "Hideojama" in reference to the "Ojamas". The Metal Gear reference is probably a shout back at this.
      • To stop beating around the bush, Tactical Espionage Expert is a near physical double of either Solid Snake or Raiden, and his name comes from the series's subtitle: "Tactical Espionage Action".
    • The Six Samurai archetype seems to be intended as an homage to The Seven Samurai.
    • The Deformer archetype (Morphtronic in English to avoid copyright issues) is a collective reference to Transformers and other giant mecha shows for kids in Japan such as "Golden Warrior Gold Lightan".
    • Look at Super Vehicroid - Stealth Union. Now look at this.
    • According to Word of God, the Arcana Force monsters were based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
      • Also, in the set of cards based on Tarot Greater Arcana, the card representing The World has the power to, effectively, stop time by giving you potentially unlimited turns -- a shout out to Dio Brando's famous stand of the same name from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure.
    • There is a card called Gradius. There is also a card called Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja.
    • Genex Ally are incredibly similar to the original Mega Man characters.
    • The ability of Gladiator Beast monster to switch places with another Gladiator Beast from the deck after battling has been unanimously dubbed "Tag Out" by the playerdom.
    • The Elemental Heroes, or at least the earlier non-Fusion ones, are based on various American superheroes (Avian / Hawkman, Bladedge / Iron Man, Necroshade / Spawn).
      • The Elementals weren't the only ones: Destiny Heroes, two in particular, were based on two chracters in classic Novels (Double Dude/ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Dreadmaster/ The Man in the Iron Mask) and one Evil Hero is based on one of the X-Men (Malicious Edge/Wolverine).
      • And the Masked Heroes as a whole are nods to the Kamen Rider franchise.
    • More specifically, the Inzektor monsters design, and their overall effect of a stronger armoured Inzektor over a lighter faster Inzektor is a shout out to Kamen Rider Kabuto.
    • Several cards use characters from other Shonen Jump series.
    • Many archetypes and series released directly to the card game without having a major appearance in the anime or manga can draw inspiration from existing media franchises (not just other Konami ones), such as:
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
    • Anything with "Assault Mode" in its name
    • Anything called an "Earthbound Immortal"
    • Armaggedon Knight
    • Black Luster Soldier - Envoy Of The Beginning
    • Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon
    • Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy Of The End
    • The "Chaos End" spell card
    • Dark Armed Dragon
    • Dark Strike Fighter
    • Dark Magician of Chaos
    • Dark Master - Zorc
    • Demise, King of Armageddon
    • Destiny End Dragoon
    • Doomsday Horror
    • Dreadscythe Harvester
    • Exodia the Forbidden One
    • The "Final Destiny" spell card
    • Five Headed Dragon
    • Gandora the Dragon of Destruction
    • Garlandolf, King of Destruction
    • Goyo Guardian
    • Hamon, Lord of Striking Thunder
    • Infernity Doom Dragon
    • Judgment Dragon
    • Legendary Six Samurai Shi En
    • "Monarch" (Specifically, any card that ends in Monarch - Mobius, Thestalos, Granmarg, Zaborg, Kuraz, Caius, Delg, and RAIZA.)
    • Obelisk the Tormentor
    • Ocean Dragon Lord - Neo Daedalus
    • Raviel, Lord of Phantams
    • Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
    • Red Nova Dragon
    • Relinquished
    • Reshef, the Dark Being
    • Ruin, Queen of Oblivion
    • Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth
    • Shooting Quasar Dragon
    • "The Beginning of The End" spell card
    • The Wicked Avatar/Dreadroot/Eraser
    • Thousand Eyes Restrict
    • Trishula Dragon of Ice Barrier
    • Uria, Lord of Searing Flames
    • Venominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes
    • Yata-Garusu
    • Yubel, Terror Incarnate
    • Yubel, The Ultimate Nightmare
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