zorc the dark one

I’ve always felt sorry for Thief King Bakura.

When he was a child, he had to watch the cruel murder of all his friends and family members so that the Millennium items could be created. After that he was all alone. His grief, hatred and loneliness slowly made him go mad. Everything got even worse when Zorc took control of him.

Of course Bakura did some horrible things. Revenge is never a solution, but he didn’t deserve this destiny. It would have been great if only the darkness in his heart was destroyed and he finally found peace.

After all Bakura was a victim as well.

On the debate of Yami Bakura's identity (& some other stuff)

My friend diaboluslapis and I did some analysis of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and Yami Bakura’s identity a while ago, and we ended up with a couple of rather interesting conclusions, so we wanted to share them with all of you.

Ever since the Millennium World story arc first aired, there has been a lot of discussion in this fandom about whether Yami Bakura is actually the Thief King or Zorc Necrophades, and after all these years, people still don’t agree with each other on the matter. We think we may have found an answer to this age-old question, or at least, what we have come to consider the answer. (We solved the Millennium Puzzle, if you will…) Of course, it’s a difficult thing to say how accurate this is, since the Millennium World story arc is well-known for being incredibly confusing, but at least this is our viewpoint on it.

Our first conclusion when reading the Millennium World story arc in the manga, was that Yami Bakura was in fact Zorc. He says so himself, not only in the manga but also in the anime, and he seemed to disappear only when Zorc was defeated. So at first we thought that… well… there’s really nothing strange here. He is Zorc, and that’s it. Here, have a screenshot from chapter 29 of the Millennium World storyarc in the manga:

Yami Bakura states that a piece of Zorc’s soul was sealed in the Millennium Ring…

…and a few chapters earlier, Zorc, as he appears to Akhenaden, also explained that his soul was sealed into the Millennium Puzzle along with Atem’s after their final battle 3.000 years ago.

In other words, there are two pieces of Zorc which survived within the Millennium Items; the one in the Puzzle and the one in the Ring. Keep this in mind because it will be important later.

It all sounds rather obvious, and we were both pretty sure that Yami Bakura was Zorc and that was it. But when we reread the manga we found a few things that implied something else; things that we missed the first time. Now things start getting complicated.

Earlier on, before Yami Bakura even mentions being Zorc, he speaks of the Thief King as if they were the same person. Alone, I guess this could be dismissed as a simple plot hole, but there’s more than just this.

For example, when Yami Bakura confronts Yugi and his friends in the Pharaoh’s tomb later on (notably AFTER he admitted to being Zorc), he talks about the Thief King’s soul inside the Millennium Ring. But wait, wasn’t it Zorc who was sealed in the Ring?

God, Kazuki Takahashi sure does know how to mess with our brains! This is the point where we started getting rather confused. If we suppose all of Yami Bakura’s statements are true (which is of course impossible to prove, so we’ll just have to assume that he doesn’t really have a reason to lie), then it seems like both Zorc’s and the Thief King’s souls are sealed in the Ring, and another piece of Zorc is in the Puzzle with Atem. In other words, this means that Yami Bakura is in fact a combination of the Thief King AND Zorc, whose souls have been merged into one over the long years they spent trapped in the Millennium RIng together. So technically, you’re all right when you say Yami Bakura is the Thief King/Zorc; he’s both of them! Everybody wins! ^^

…But, moving on, if we think like that… then shouldn’t the Atem that exists in the modern world in the Puzzle (he version of him that is commonly referred to as Yami Yugi) also be a combination of Ancient Egyptian Atem and Zorc, like Yami Bakura supposedly is a combination of the Thief King and Zorc? …Well… What if he actually is?

Here’s the explanation: in case you’ve read the seven first volumes of the manga or watched “season zero” of the anime, you’re familiar with Yami Yugi’s behaviour when he was first released from the Puzzle. Playing Shadow Games with people, and after their loss exposing them to cruel Penalty Games which often involved a lot of mindfuckery… It doesn’t really sound like something the Atem we later get to know would do, right? Atem is very just and believes in doing what is right, and later on in the series he certainly doesn’t seem to think that Penalty Games are a good way to solve problems.

But let’s think about it like this: Atem had been alone with Zorc in the Puzzle for 3000 years and the constant exposure to Zorc’s darkness had almost corrupted him with his evil, using Atem’s sense of justice as a malevolent force without Atem being aware of the manipulation. But then, when Atem got to know Yugi and his friends, he began to calm down and befriended them, which eventually led to his Penalty Games stopping. His friendship with Yugi and the others ended up pushing Zorc’s soul away from Atem and freeing him from the darkness, giving him complete control of himself once again. Of course, Atem probably wouldn’t be aware of the fact that he’s been controlled, since he wasn’t aware of Zorc’s presence in the Millennium Puzzle at all until the Millennium World arc.

Now, let’s jump back to Yami Bakura for a little bit, just for comparison. Unlike Atem, who found friends and changed for their sake, the Thief King would have no reason to resist against Zorc. He was pretty messed up already, and being trapped with Zorc for 3.000 years probably wouldn’t be the best treatment for any of his issues, meaning that the Thief King would most likely end up more corrupted by Zorc than Atem ever was, and their souls would even end up being fused into one. Eventually, without any kind of support since he was unable to confide in his host Ryou Bakura (unlike in Atem’s and Yugi’s case), the Thief King’s soul would be completely lost to Zorc’s darkness, leaving Zorc the one to be in control of the entity we know as “Yami Bakura” for most of the time.


1. Kazuki Takahashi probably didn’t think this through as much as we did

2. Staying up to 1:30AM makes you over-analyze stuff

3. I still want to write some kind of fanfic about this

4. Uhh… Friendship is important to stop the darkness from devouring your soul???

au idea:

it’s almost impossible to tell bakura and dark bakura apart but anzu realizes that if there’s a vase on the table then dark bakura will unfailingly knock it over

zorc is foiled because dark bakura is basically a cat

problem solved