The first major antagonist of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series was a flamboyant man named Maximillion Pegasus. He was the creator of the card game known as Duel Monsters, around which the entire series was based. Pegasus was also the owner of Industrial Illusions, the company that produced the Duel Monsters cards. As the bearer of the mysterious object known as the Millennium Eye, Pegasus wants to gather the other Millennium items that are scattered around the world. He creates a tournament on his own private island and blackmails Yugi Muto into attending, so he can procure the Millennium Puzzle that Yugi wears around his neck.
Pegasus was kind of like a mix between Howard Hughes and Willy Wonka. He was a reclusive millionaire, who used his money to indulge in childish games. As a villain, he left a major impression on the Yu-Gi-Oh! fanbase and would go on to become one of the most popular characters in the show.
We are here today to examine the mysterious creator of Duel Monsters. From his untimely death in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga to his embarrassing music career.
Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Maximillion Pegasus!
15 He Was Killed In The Yu-Gi-Oh Manga
When Yugi defeats Pegasus at the end of the Duelist Kingdom arc, Pegasus restores the souls of Yugi's grandfather, Mokuba Kaiba and Seto Kaiba. It is at this point that Bakura's dark side takes over his body. He follows Pegasus into his private chambers and manages to overcome him with the power of his Millenium Ring. Dark Bakura takes the Millenium Eye from a weakened and defeated Pegasus.
Pegasus would reappear in the later arcs of the show. He would return during the Waking the Dragons arc, where he would be pursued by members of the Doma organisation. Pegasus would also have a large role in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D Bonds Beyond Time and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
This was not the case in the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. When Dark Bakura confronts Pegasus at the end of Duelist Kingdom, he bloodily rips the Millenium Eye from his head. This kills Pegasus, who remains dead throughout the rest of the series. Dark Bakura even licks Pegasus' blood from the Millenium Eye as he leaves his chambers.
14 The Wine Censorship
The company that first dubbed Yu-Gi-Oh! into English was 4Kids Entertainment. They have earned a reputation for taking shows that were never meant for young children and censoring the hell out of them. Shows like Pokémon and One Piece were edited in a very heavy handed manner; Yu-Gi-Oh! was no exception to this. Along with obvious things that needed censoring (like guns and scantily clad women), the 4Kids dub had to create the concept of the Shadow Realm in order to find a way to avoid saying that people were killing each other.
A common edit that is made to anime shows that are brought over to the West is the changing of alcoholic beverages. Dragon Ball Z was one show that was notorious for having to change glasses of beer into water. This would also happen in Yu-Gi-Oh!, as Pegasus was often seen holding a glass of wine. The dub established that this was actually fruit juice.
While this change might seem ridiculous, it actually fits Pegasus' character better. He is established as being a very childlike figure (with his love of cartoons and card games), so drinking fruit juice instead of wine is something that he would do.
13 The Crawford Connection
In the English dub of the anime, Pegasus' full name is stated to be Maximillion Pegasus. Unless you are a fan of the Wu-Tang clan, then you will likely have never heard the name Maximillion before. It is an altered version of the name Maximilian, which has been used by many famous figures throughout history.
The Maximillion name is an invention of the dub. In the original Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh!, he is referred to as Pegasus J. Crawford.
When Pegasus is defeated at the end of the Duelist Kingdom arc, we finally learn his motivations. He wants to use the power of the Millenium items in order to resurrect his fiance, who passed away a month before their wedding. In the English dub, his fiance is called Cecelia, while in the original Japanese version of the show, she is called Cyndia.
If she had survived and married Pegasus, then her name would have been Cyndia Crawford.
12 Nerfing The Toons
When Pegasus battles Kaiba during the Duelist Kingdom arc, he uses his Toon monster deck for the first time. As the creator of Duel Monsters, Pegasus designed his own archetype of creatures that he uses exclusively. This is tantamount to cheating, as the Toon monsters were better than most other monsters in the game.
Pegasus' Toon monster deck is based around a card called Toon World. In the anime, this turns all of his regular monsters into cartoons. They become impervious to damage from non-Toon monsters. This even includes a double KO (the attacking monster would be destroyed, but the Toon would not).
When the Toon deck was adapted into the actual Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, it was severely weakened to the point of being downright awful. Toon World now cost 1000 life points to activate. You needed special Toon monsters cards to use with it (whereas Pegasus could change regular monsters into Toons in the show). The Toon monsters could not attack the turn they were summoned and cost the user 500 life points to declare an attack in the first place. They could now be hit by non-Toon monsters. So what do you get for all of this? Toons can attack the opponents life points directly... so long as they don't have any Toons on the field themselves.
The sheer amount of setup and cost needed to make the Toons playable just wasn't worth it when they were first released.
11 Yu-Gi-Oh Genisys
The original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series has long since ended. Konami wasn't going to give up on the show so quickly, however, as the card game was still making lots of money. The show would receive new iterations that focused on different characters and settings. The 2nd iteration of the show was Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, which focused on a school for duelists (which may have been an attempt at emulating Harry Potter). This was followed by Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, which had a darker, almost post-apocalyptic setting. The show is currently gearing up for a sixth series, that will star all new characters.
While the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime has continued to evolve, there are still many fans who love the original cast the most. It is due to this nostalgia that Yugi Muto and his friends have starred in recent Yu-Gi-Oh! movies. The entire original cast would return for one last duel in the 2016 movie Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions.
There was another Yu-Gi-Oh! film that was released in 2010. It was called Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time, and it starred Yugi, Jaden (of GX) and Yusei (of 5D's). The villain of the movie was a time-travelling duelist known as Paradox. His plan involved going back in time and murdering Pegasus so that Duel Monsters can never become successful. It's kind of like if Paradox was the Terminator and Pegasus was Sarah Conner.
10 The Return Of The Villain
Pegasus remains one of the most beloved villains in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. This is partly due to the excellent performance made by Pegasus' voice actor, Darren Dunstan. Pegasus had a clear motivation, which was resolved in a single tournament held within the Duelist Kingdom arc. By contrast, Marik Ishtar (the villain of the Battle City arc) was less clear in his motivations. He was also replaced by a generic evil spirit about halfway through the story. Dark Bakura ended up becoming the ultimate villain of the story, but his schemes took forever to actually go anywhere. The other villains in the show appeared in filler arcs and they had no relevance to the overall story.
It is due to Pegasus' popularity that he returned as the villain of the franchise in the video game, Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction. This game was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004. You played as a brand new character as he entered the Battle City tournament. It is revealed that Pegasus is the new villain of the story, as he now seeks to unleash an evil creature known as Reshef the Dark Being.
9 Valentine's Day
In the world of professional wrestling, there is a role that some wrestlers take, which is referred to as a "jobber". It is the role of the jobber to lose badly to the important wrestlers, in order to make them look good. This can be taken to another level, by creating a character who is said to be strong and having them lose to make a new villain look even stronger. Some of the most famous examples of characters like this are Worf from Star Trek, Wolverine from the X-Men and Martian Manhunter from Justice League.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! equivalent to this is Mai Valentine. She is repeatedly stated to be an excellent duelist. Despite this, she loses most of the time. Throughout the course of the show, she lost to Joey, Téa, Panik, Yugi, Marik, Valon and Rafael.
One of the few characters to ever lose to Mai was Pegasus. She hunts him down when she enters the service of the Doma organization. Mai even manages to steal his soul (which Pegasus kind of deserves, considering how many souls he stole in the first season).
8 Saving Solomon
In the second episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, Pegasus sends an invitation for his Duelist Kingdom tournament to Yugi Muto. This comes with a VHS tape, that allows Pegasus to duel Yugi (like a nerdier version of The Ring). As the timer on the duel eventually runs out, Yugi loses the match. This allows Pegasus to steal the soul of Solomon Muto, who is Yugi's grandfather. With Solomon's soul in hand, Pegasus blackmails Yugi into entering the Duelist Kingdom tournament, so that he can win the Millennium Puzzle from him.
Pegasus would go on to save Solomon's life during Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light. The duel arena in which Yugi and Kaiba are battling begins to break apart. Pegasus shows up in a helicopter and saves Solomon, Mokuba and Téa from falling to their deaths. Solomon is so grateful for the save that he doesn't bring up the whole "stealing my soul and condemning me to an eternity in the Shadow Realm" thing.
7 The Return Of Pegasus
After the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series ended, the franchise would continue with Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. This series followed Jaden Yuki, as he entered an academy that trained professional Duel Monster players. While the original series of Yu-Gi-Oh! tended to have monsters that were based on fantasy and mythology, GX focused more on superheroes and futuristic creatures.
With both Yu-Gi-Oh! and GX set a few years apart from each other, a few members of the original cast returned to make cameos. Yugi Muto appears in the first episode, where he bequeaths his Winged Kuriboh card to Jaden. He would later duel Jaden during the final match of the show.
The character from the original series who appeared the most in GX was Pegasus. While he may seem to be a middle-aged man on the outside (partly due to his grey hair), Pegasus is only 24 years old at the beginning of the original series of Yu-Gi-Oh!. As of GX, Pegasus is still the head of Industrial Illusions and has continued to create more Duel Monsters cards. Even though the Duel Academy was founded by Kaiba, Pegasus still gets involved with events at the school.
6 He Killed Bandit Keith
The Yu-Gi-Oh! anime featured several scenes where characters used realistic looking firearms. These were usually censored by making them invisible, so it looked like the person was just pointing their finger (instead of a gun).
After Bandit Keith lost to Joey Wheeler during the Duelist Kingdom tournament, he attempts to blackmail Pegasus. He pulls out a pistol and holds it to Pegasus' head, demanding to be given the prize money for the competition. Pegasus activates a trapdoor, which sends Bandit Keith tumbling down into the water outside of the island.
While the dub edited Keith's gun from his hand, his fate was actually edited in the transition from the manga to the anime. In the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Pegasus inflicts a penalty game on Bandit Keith (due to him cheating in his duel against Joey). He uses his Millennium Eye to make Keith shoot himself in the head with his own gun.
As Bandit Keith survives in the anime, he would return later in the series to battle Yugi.
5 The Revenge Plot
Due to Pegasus' popularity as a villain, he continued to appear across the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and video game series. As Pegasus was killed in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, he remained dead throughout the comic. Even though Pegasus was a popular character, the author of the manga never brought him back.
Pegasus' death did go on to have a major impact in the manga. As Yu-Gi-Oh! was becoming more and more successful, it received a spinoff comic that followed the story of the original manga. It was called Yu-Gi-Oh! R and it debuted in V Jump magazine in 2004.
Yu-Gi-Oh! R takes place after the Battle City arc. A new villain manages to take over KaibaCorp, as part of a revenge plot against Yugi and Kaiba. His name is Yako Tenma and he is revealed to be the adopted son of Pegasus. The series follows his attempts to avenge the death of his father, as he incorrectly believes that Yugi was responsible.
4 The Fifteen Year Wait
The purpose of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime is to promote the card game. Despite this, not all of the cards seen in the show made their way into the actual game, at least not for a long time. The Egyptian God cards were a huge part of the show but didn't become part of the game until 2010.
After his duels against Kaiba and Yugi in the anime, the vast majority of Pegasus' Toon cards made their way into the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game. The one major exception to this was a card called "Doppelganger". This card depicted a black cartoon cat. It had the ability to copy another card in the opponent's grave, or on their side of the field.
The Doppelganger card debuted in the 27th episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, which was broadcast in the year 2000. Doppelganger would not appear in the actual card game until 2015, where it was renamed "Mimicat".
3 He Accidentally Saved Yugi
While Yugi never had to face off against Pegasus' adopted son in the anime, he would still have to face someone who sought revenge for his defeat. After the Duelist Kingdom arc ended, a new game store threatened to steal the business away from the one owned by Yugi's grandfather. This store was owned by Duke Devlin, who was a student at Yugi's school. Duke had created his own game, called Dungeon Dice Monsters. He had sold the rights to the game to Pegasus, who wanted to start working on the game... after his Duelist Kingdom tournament had finished. As Pegasus disappeared after his loss to Yugi, Duke sought to avenge him.
Yugi battles Duke Devlin in a game of Dungeon Dice Monsters. Yugi eventually wins the match, even though Duke is the creator of the game. The reason for this is explained in the Japanese version of the episodes but was left out of the English dub.
When Pegasus agreed to fund Dungeon Dice Monsters, he did so under the condition that he could add one of his own monsters into the game. It turns out that this monster was the Dark Magician. As Duke wasn't aware of the Dark Magician's existence, he had no way to counter it.
2 The Legacy Of Pegasus
Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX took place within a similar time frame, with only a few years between them. The next series, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, was set in the distant future. The world of Yu-Gi-Oh! was transformed into that of Mad Max. Poor kids from the ghetto needed to learn how to drive a motorcycle whilst playing Duel Monsters in order to earn a better life for themselves. The setting is pretty silly (even for Yu-Gi-Oh!), but the series remains popular among the fans (perhaps even more so than GX).
Even though Pegasus has long since died by the time Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's happens (like all of the original cast members), his legacy still remains. One of the most important tournaments in the 5D's setting is the World Racing Grand Prix. This tournament is partly funded by an organization called the Pegasus J. Crawford Memorial Foundation. As the creator of Duel Monsters (which is still a serious business in the future), there are still those who honour Pegasus' memory. His legacy helps to keep the game alive, even in the dark and depressing world of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's.
1 Face Up Face Down
The Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series was a huge success for 4Kids Entertainment. It got to the point where 4Kids started to finance and produce their own Yu-Gi-Oh! projects. They were primarily responsible for the creation of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, as well as the reviled Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters series (which never even aired in Japan).
It is not unusual for an anime series to receive its own soundtrack CDs in Japan. These are less likely to see an international release, due to the niche nature of most anime shows in the West. 4Kids made a few valiant, yet misguided attempts at changing this. They released several Pokémon soundtrack CDs, as well as one for Yu-Gi-Oh!...
Yu-Gi-Oh! Music to Duel By is the most cringeworthy thing produced by the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. While it contains a few of the musical tracks from the show, it also contains several songs that were produced for the CD (most of which made it into the show at a later point). The worst thing on the album is a song called "Face Up Face Down". It is a song performed by Pegasus' voice actor, as the character of Pegasus. The song features Pegasus hyping up his Duelist Kingdom tournament and promising to defeat you.
"Face Up Face Down" can be found on YouTube. After listening to it, you'll wish someone would send you to the Shadow Realm.