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NOTE: This article is mainly about Dark Bakura who possessed the REAL Ryo Bakura, not the REAL Bakura, Thief King Bakura or Zorc Necrophades.

I am a thief and a stealer of souls, and I have done terrible things in my quest to possess the Millenium Items. You do remember the legends don't you?
~ Dark Bakura (possessing Bakura Ryou) to Dark Yugi.

Dark Bakura (Yami Bakura in the 4Kids dub) is one of the main antagonists of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, who almost always appeared when he possessed his host, Ryou Bakura. Born from the fusion of the Dark God Zorc Necrophades and the powerful and maniacal grave robber, Thief King Bakura, the Spirit of the Millennium Ring was a sadistic, powerful thief who would kill to get what he wanted.

Ryou Bakura was similar to Yugi in sense of personality. Meanwhile, Dark Bakura genuinely started off as being similar to Yugi's dark side, who challenged those who would bully his original personality and put them under a Penalty Game that, in his case, had to do with whatever game that they were playing, and sucked their souls into the game while their bodies fell into a coma. In that, Bakura formed as a foil to Yugi.

As the combination of both the souls of Zorc Necrophades and the Thief King, Dark Bakura in the Japanese and manga versions, resides in the Millennium Ring, his possession could apply to both the ring and its unfortunate wearer.

In the overall story, Dark Bakura was the primary and most recurring antagonist in Yu-Gi-Oh!. However, he was merely a servant/avatar to the true main villain of the series.


Darkness' Origin

Circa 1000 B.C., Pharaoh Atem gave his life to seal both the souls of, Zorc Necrophades, and his own soul in the Millennium Puzzle. Zorc also sealed a part of his soul in the Millennium Ring. Also, Bakura, King of Thieves sealed his soul in the Millennium Ring. Zorc and the Thief King merged to form Dark Bakura. The Puzzle was broken into pieces afterwards and sealed in the Valley of the Kings.

3000 years later, Ryou Bakura came into possession of the Millennium Ring. While Bakura held the Ring, the fragment of Zorc's soul was able to take control of Bakura's body as "Dark Bakura." Dark Bakura had lost many of his memories as Zorc and Bakura, King of Thieves, and was commonly referred to as the "Spirit of the Millennium Ring" or simply "Bakura" even after people became aware that he was a different mind than Ryou Bakura.

New Kid

Bakura as seen in the manga.

Ryou Bakura was an exchange student. The girls all loved him, and he just tried to be a normal person. Bakura avoided games, and knew that whenever he played, the people with whom he played with would somehow end up in a coma later. But when Yugi and friends asked the new student to play a game, he could not help but accept their kindness. He introduced them to a RPG game, and they all created their characters, though from the second they came in, it was Dark Bakura in control. After they created their characters, Dark Bakura sealed their souls inside pieces of them, and forced them to be in the game. They were able to survive, and free the good Bakura from the bad, and he was able to defeat Zorc, the boss that Dark Bakura created for the game.

Duelist Kingdom

Dark Bakura returned in Duelist Kingdom.

Dark Bakura and Ryou Bakura

In the second anime only, he took over Bakura's body to duel Dark Yugi. Jonouchi, Anzu, Honda, and the original Yugi and Bakura were turned into their favorite cards in the duel. At the duel's conclusion, Yami Bakura tried to use Change of Heart to turn Yugi (who was the Black Magician) against the others, but Bakura was the Change of Heart, and took over Dark Bakura's Lady of Faith. Dark Yugi used his Millennium Puzzle to switch Bakura and Dark Bakura around, and Yugi destroyed Dark Bakura with Black Magic Attack, which sent him to the graveyard where he was attacked by the Card-Hunting Death God.

Dark Bakura and the true Ryou Bakura

Despite his apparent death (In both cases), Dark Bakura had managed to return when Pegasus J. Crawford was about to send Anzu, Honda, and Bakura to Hell before the semifinals of Duelist Kingdom, and he erased everyone's memories of their encounter with Pegasus at that time. During Yugi's duel with Pegasus in the final round, Dark Bakura followed Honda as he found Mokuba (whose soul had been imprisoned in a card by Pegasus), and was attacked by several of Pegasus' goons, but Dark Bakura set the Man Eater Bug on them and then sent them to the graveyard with a Metamor Pot where they were killed by the Reaper of the cards. Dark Bakura then tried to possess Mokuba, but Honda knocked him out and threw the Millennium Ring away.

However, after Dark Yugi defeated Pegasus, Dark Bakura returned to Bakura's body with the Millennium Ring. He faced Pegasus in a Game of Darkness using their Millennium Items, but, as Pegasus was weakened from his duel with Yugi, Dark Bakura easily won, and took Pegasus' Millennium Eye. In the manga, this act killed Pegasus, but in the anime, Pegasus survived (although he was not seen again until Waking the Dragons).

Battle City

When Marik Ishtar was possessing Bandit Keith with his Millennium Rod, Dark Bakura, not wanting another to win the Millennium Puzzle, used his Millennium Ring to unbalance Marik's control, which caused Keith to take over, but not before Marik/Keith smashed the Millennium Puzzle. Dark Bakura put a piece of his soul into one of the puzzle pieces so he could learn the secrets of the Millennium Puzzle.

In Battle City, Dark Bakura made a verbal pact with Marik Ishtar, with him promising Marik Yugi's God Card and Marik promising him both Yugi's and his Millennium Items. He injured Bakura's arm while Marik pretended to be a good young man named Namu and Bakura was sent to the hospital, so Dark Bakura took over and attacked Yugi's grandpa. He entered Battle City, where he defeated Bandit Keith's ex-henchmen, Ghost Kozuka, Takaido and Satake in a Duel of Darkness, trapped the three of them in Hell as a penalty, and took their Locator Cards so he could enter the finals.

In the first round of the finals, Dark Bakura was up against Yugi, and revealed himself to the heroes for the first time since Honda threw away the Millennium Ring. He used Ouija Board and a deck full of ghosts and ghouls. However, Dark Yugi was able to summon Sky Dragon of Osiris, his Egyptian God Card, which left Dark Bakura helpless, until Marik telepathically talked him into releasing Bakura from his control so that Yugi would not attack him and risk hurting him. However, Dark Bakura soon feared that if Yugi did go through with the attack, Bakura would be killed, which would have been a foil to his plan, so he took him over again and let Yugi win. Bakura was knocked out from this, and remained in the hospital until Marik, whose body had been taken over by Dark Marik, got Dark Bakura to dule him so that he could regain his body. They had a Duel of Darkness, and whenever one of them lost Life Points, their body began to vanish. Dark Marik won, and Dark Bakura and Bakura were placed under a Penalty Game, which resulted in a coma. However, Dark Bakura escaped to Yugi's Millennium Puzzle (as part of his soul was inside it), and remained there. When Dark Yugi defeated Dark Marik, Bakura and Dark Bakura returned, but the shard of Dark Bakura's soul within the Millennium Puzzle stayed there, exploring the labyrinth.

Waking the Dragons

Bakura and Dark Bakura did not appear in the Waking the Dragons arc, except in a vision during Yugi's Duel with Dartz. During a vision of Yugi finishing the Millennium Puzzle, Dark Bakura briefly appeared behind Yugi along with Kaiba and Yami (in the 4Kids dub, Dartz mentioned that when the Pharaoh was reborn, so were his rivals).

Dawn of the Duel

Dark Bakura during his duel with Seto Kaiba in the Dawn of the Duel arc.

During the Dawn of the Duel arc, Dark Bakura repossessed Bakura despite his reluctance. Dark Bakura later caught Insector Haga and Dinosaur Ryuzaki stealing Yugi's Egyptian God Cards and knocked them out temporarily. He then did the same to Mokuba and dueled Seto Kaiba, but only as a means of destroying Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon and absorbing his power. Once he did this, Dark Bakura cancelled the duel.

Dark Bakura and Dark Yugi entered the World of Memories inside the Millennium Puzzle into an RPG, where Dark Bakura possessed his past self, Bakura, King of Thieves. Everything happened as it was before, except it was slightly modified by Dark Bakura. After being defeated, Dark Bakura talked with Dark Yugi at a table until his master, Zorc Necrophades, was awakened. He revealed that he and Zorc were one and the same and he merged with Zorc while Dark Yugi merged with his past self, the Pharaoh. During that time, Tristan was possessed by Dark Bakura, who turned him into a clone of him, and he dueled Yugi, but was Honda , and released Honda from his control.

Zorc is destroyed, killing Dark Bakura in the process.

When the Pharaoh learned his true name, Atem, he fused the three Egyptian Gods - Giant Soldier of Obelisk, Sky Dragon of Osiris, and the Winged Divine Dragon of Ra - together into the Creator God of Light, Horakthy, whose rays of light alone were enough to destroy Zorc, and also killed Dark Bakura, as he was merged with him at the time. Thus, Bakura was finally released from Dark Bakura's control forever.


Ryou Bakura kept several traits across the anime and manga. In both, he was seen as pretty shy and quiet. The Millennium Ring, a powerful Egyptian artifact that possessed the soul of an ancient grave robber, often took over him, and he was called Dark Bakura in that state.

Bakura was very mysterious, and appeared for a moment, then seemed to disappear. The Millennium Ring glowed when Dark Bakura emerged. Bakura made appearances throughout the anime, but rarely stayed with Yugi's group.

Dark Bakura was arrogant and very determined to get what he wanted. His arrogance and vengeful attitude were traits inherited from Zorc, while his other traits were taken from Bakura, King of Thieves. He referred to himself as "ore-sama" in the manga, which is Japanese and translates to "the great me," a clear sign of his utter arrogance. Dark Bakura was very mischievous whenever he took over, but because of his current status, he decided to rarely do so. Dark Bakura normally left Ryou Bakura to his life, but began to take over when he realized that Yugi Muto also possessed a Millennium Item. Dark Bakura thus took control whenever he felt that the chances of getting what he wanted was more likely. This spirit had certain levels of possession, and was able to guide Bakura into doing what he wanted instead of taking over, without Bakura even knowing of that.

During the end of the manga and anime, Dark Bakura was revealed to be a portion of both Zorc's and a grave robber's soul sealed inside the Millennium Ring to help him reawaken, not unlike a Horcrux in the Harry Potter universe.


  • "I was nice enough to let you play in my world... and you ingrates repay me by rebelling against the master! Death to all players! I'll bury you in eternal night!"
  • "3000 years ago, Akhenaden placed the Millennium Items in the stone slab and became the High Priest of Darkness through the power of the Evil God Zorc! And now I'll kill you, in obedience to the High Priest's will! Your death will bring this game to an end!"
  • "Penalty Game! MIND DOLL!"
  • "No, I'm upset because I have to end this duel so quickly, and I was enjoying prolonging your suffering."
  • "You're life is under my control" Dark Bakura to Atem
  • "Diabound, meet the pharaoh, and Pharaoh, meet the instrument of your demise!"
  • "Come on, it's a game! You should try to have fun!" Dark Bakura to Atem"
  • "Prepare yourself, mortal, for this is a Dark Game the likes of which you've never played."
  • "Present day humans are so fun to terrorize, don't you agree?"
  • "Who would have thought you even had a heart, let alone one so easily broken?" Dark Bakura to Pegasus



  • Dark Bakura was similar to Master Xehanort from the Kingdom Hearts franchise; aside from being the main antagonist of the series, Dark Bakura acted as the boss to his past self, Bakura, King of Thieves in the World of Memories Arc, just as Xehanort acted as the boss to all of his incarnations. Dark Bakura also shared the latter similarity with Dark Marik. Curiously enough, he teamed up with the regular Marik in the Battle City Arc.
  • In the manga, it is said that Dark Bakura was an entity made of both Zorc and Bakura, King of Thieves' souls. However, in the anime, Bakura, King of Thieves was possessed by Dark Bakura from present days, and the latter is entirely a fragment of Zorc who had been inside the Millennium Ring from its creation, with his qualities of Bakura, King of Thieves explained by the fact that Bakura, King of Thieves had merged his soul into Zorc in the ritual to grant him physical form.