Yu-Gi-Oh!The game’s anime focuses almost exclusively on Duel Monsters, but that game’s first spin-off could be a perfect opportunity for the series to change course and return to its roots. Of course, it never takes this opportunity and instead focuses on exploring the much more profitable card game, but it’s interesting to imagine what the series would have been like if it had also adopted the this new move. It would certainly bring more prestige to Yugi’s famous title of “King of Games”.
This title makes a lot more sense based on the first chapters of Yu-Gi-Oh! story. Creator Kazuki Takahashi first centered the series around the spirit of an ancient Pharaoh, who possesses a boy named Yugi and punishes evildoers by challenging them to various shadow games. Unlike the hero he would become, this version of Yami Yugi is truly a monster. In one case, he challenges Kaiba to a game called Duel Monsters, a game that is more of a Magic the Gathering simulation than a full game. However, this proved popular with readers, and so Takahashi leaned into the rest of the series, eliminating other types of games altogether.
Dungeon dice monsters may have brought Yu-Gi-Oh! Back to its roots
However, after the Duelist Kingdom arc ended, several episodes revealed that the series would go in a direction that did not focus entirely on Duel Monsters. In those episodes, Yugi fights an evil game designer named Duke Devlin in a game called Dungeon Dice Monsters, which is quite different from any previous game. The game shares similar monsters to the card game Duel Monsters, but it also has a completely different combat and life system as well as complex path building mechanics that give the game quite a bit of depth. This seems poised to become the new focus of the show.
Despite how cool the Dungeon Dice Monster seems, it’s unfortunately only featured in the early episodes with Duke Devlin. This is a shame, as winning this game allowed Yugi to truly prove that he is the King of all games and not just a Dueling Monster. If Dungeon Dice Monsters had been popular then perhaps it could have turned the series into one where each season the games Yugi and his friends play change, presenting entirely new challenges as They must constantly learn the latest rules and strategies. Unfortunately, this idea was never realized and so instead of fulfilling his title’s potential, Yugi became the King of Dueling Monsters.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Missed the big chance with dice monsters in the dungeon
Of course, this result isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the rest of the series is enjoyable despite focusing primarily on one game. However, this caused Yu-Gi-Oh! as a whole, the series moved away from its more diverse roots to become a vehicle for the burgeoning trading card game. If Yu-Gi-Oh! had adopted Dungeon Dice Monsters and shifted the plot focus to other games, it could have been a much more interesting series that stuck to its original premise.