Sunday, March 23, 2008

Millennium Puzzle

The Millennium Puzzle

Millennium Puzzle Originally owned by Atem's (Yami Yugi's) father Aknamkhanan, who after sacrificing himself left it to Atem. Accounts of how the Millennium Puzzle was removed from the Pharaoh's tomb are contradictory. According to Sugoroku Mutou (Solomon Muto), the Puzzle was discovered in the beginning of the 20th century by a team of British archaeologists. The members later died mysterious deaths, and the final words of the last man to die were, "The shadow games." Conversely, the manga later performs a retcon, stating that Sugoroku himself found the Puzzle in 1960. Hiring two guides to help him enter the Pharaoh's tomb, Sugoroku became the target of his guides, who planned to kill him so they could acquire the Puzzle for themselves. Both of them died along the way, but the spirit of the Puzzle saved Sugoroku. The first series anime uses the first account, while the second series anime uses the second account.

The Puzzle was eventually found by Sugoroku's grandson Yugi, a game expert who found it on a shelf in Sugoroku's game shop and, after eight years of trying, successfully reassembled the puzzle. Immediately, the magic of the Shadow Games was unlocked, and the soul of the Pharaoh, still dwelling within the puzzle, infused itself into Yugi's body, periodically taking control to challenge others to contests. (It should be noted that Yugi does not get older when he uses the puzzle, but he is just standing in a different position as Yugi is stated to be the same height as the pharaoh in one of the data books). It would be some time before Yugi and his friends truly understood that a second personality was existing within Yugi, but once it became apparent, Yugi and the Pharaoh co-existed peacefully, and Yugi dedicated himself to helping the Pharaoh regain his memories and defeat the dark forces once again.

The Millennium Puzzle, in addition to holding the soul of the Pharaoh, was able to fulfill one wish of the one who solved it, and heighten its owner's chance of success in a game judging by his or her skill as well as the importance of the game at hand. It also, according to the game Yu-Gi-Oh: Forbidden Memories, holds the soul of Simon Muran, though it is unclear if he still resides within the Puzzle. It also allows the user to "mind-crush," separate the good and evil sides of someone and banish the evil side to the shadow realm. This is a very painful process not unlike a lobotomy, and will often leave its victims in comas, or at the very least unconscious for several hours. The hieroglyphics on the puzzle say, "The one who solves me shall gain the powers of knowledge and powers of darkness..."

The inside of the Millennium Puzzle looks like a big labyrinth with staircases and walkways that lead to unimaginable places, resembling the paintings of M. C. Escher. There are also doors that seem to lead everywhere. These rooms are meant to distract intruders from Dark Yugi's soul room, and are often filled with traps to catch those intruders. Yugi and the gang find themselves inside the Millennium Puzzle on a few occasions. One of the most important of these occasions happened in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Movie, in which Yugi and his friends were trapped inside of it.

Not originally a puzzle, the Item was originally called the "Millennium Pyramid", as it was called by Mana in episode 216 of the second series. Only after the Pharaoh's soul was locked inside was it broken into a puzzle to be placed inside his tomb, most likely as an extra precaution to prevent the powers of the Shadow Games from being released.




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