An Unholy Connection: Gradius and Yu-Gi-Oh
Recently, I was on a bit of Gradius high after playing through Gradius V a few dozen times and went on the ol’ eBay to see if there was any cool Gradius stuff around. Unfortunately, Gradius merchandise of any kind is hard to come by because, put quite simply, it doesn’t exist. There are very few items available, but they mostly range in the posters zone. However, while browsing the internet auction house I found something that terrified me – Gradius Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
Now, we here at Digital Monkey Box, being the fair and objective journalists that we are, always give a chance to new shows and franchises that spring up. What that means is yes, Paul and I have watched episodes of the God-awful Yu-Gi-Oh cartoon. We’re not just talking out of our asses here whenever we mention how bad the show is; we know how bad it really is.
First off, Yu-Gi-Oh came to be from the whole battling card game craze that Magic ultimately started. As soon as a few different franchises came out with their own games then nearly every sci-fi, fantasy, and kids show had its own card game. Yu-Gi-Oh then popped up and card players said, “Finally, I no longer have to play cards myself. Now I can watch other people play cards.”
The big thing Paul hates about anime is the constant and needless exposition. Many shows demonstrate this when characters say things like, “As you well know…” or “Did you forget that…” or “Of course you are aware that…” Myself, I’ve learned to live with it to a point as there are some anime shows that I regularly watch. Many animes are guilty of this and use it as a regular form of story-telling, but Yu-Gi-Oh takes exposition to a whole new level. Here’s an example of a typical Yu-Gi-Oh conversation:
Yu-Gi: “As I stand here across from you, my opponent this week, I will start out by placing my Zombie Cowboy in defense mode.”
This episode’s opponent: “A Zombie Cowboy in defense mode you say? Then I will have my Pantaloon Dragon use his fire attack on your Zombie Cowboy in defense mode which will deplete 500 of your life points. Go Pantaloon Dragon!”
Yu-Gi: “Ah-HA!! Did you forget that in defense mode my Zombie Cowboy is invulnerable to fire attacks? This means your Pantaloon Dragon's fire attack will have no effect on my Zombie Cowboy and my life points remain. Therefore, I will use my Junkie Magician to attack your Pantaloon Dragon. Go Junkie Magician!”
Opponent: “Ha ha ha. Yu-Gi, since you are a master duelist, of course you are well aware that when my Dark Clam Box is next to another card in play it traps any card that attacks the protected card. Therefore your Junkie Magician is warped into the Purgatory Realm for the rest of the game.”
Yu-Gi: “Oh no! I can’t believe I forgot about the Dark Clam Box trap. I rely on my Junkie Magician in every episode, but now how will I defeat my opponent with my main card banished to the Purgatory Realm?”
Yu-Gi's friend: "Ahh!! Yu-Gi forgot about his opponent's Dark Clam Box trap! Now his Junkie Magician is in the Purgatory Realm! How will he pull out of this one? Come on Yu-Gi!"
Freaky voice in Yu-Gi’s head: “Yu-Gi! As you well know the Power of the Cosmos is in the monkey-eye puzzle pendant around your neck. Use it, Bitch.”
And there you have it, a normal conversation that appears in every episode of Yu-Gi-Oh. Although, the dialogue in Yu-Gi-Oh is actually worse and much more drawn out.
Another odd thing about Yu-Gi-Oh is that the main character of Yu-Gi normally walks around with magenta streaked hair and is possessed by an ancient Pharaoh. I don’t have a problem with a character being possessed, but why would a powerful Pharaoh possess a young boy questioning his sexuality? Hmm, maybe I just answered my own question.
For the Yu-Gi-Oh toys, kids can strap an ugly-ass piece of plastic on their arm so they can play like they're "in the show." Yea, because using a table is way too difficult these kids have to look like complete morons and play a damn card game with this ridiculous thing.
Admittedly, there is one thing about Yu-Gi-Oh we can tolerate; some of the monsters and creatures actually look cool. But that’s it. There is no saving grace for the show since a few nifty monsters are certainly not enough.
Since Yu-Gi-Oh’s inception other similar shows have sprung up hoping to cash in on the masses of kids obsessed with watching other kids play cards. Duel Masters is just as bad as Yu-Gi-Oh, but the worst has to be Bey Blade where kids battle with tops. Goddamn tops! How hard-up kids must be for entertainment when they start turning to tops with shiny stickers on them.
Now, back to what started this whole rant, Gradius Yu-Gi-Oh cards. Since Konami owns both properties they can do whatever they want, but still, why put an old treasured video game series in with some completely unrelated property for the kids? Most of the people that play Yu-Gi-Oh are not going to know what Gradius even is. They’ll just think that Gradius is a crappy spaceship card in their deck. The Gradius, Option, and Cyclon Laser cards can’t be that good if they only sell for 50 cents or less. And why not name the ship its real name, Vic Viper? This is just another thing that should not have happened, but unfortunately did.
- Shawn - 11/25/04
More Gradius action!