Battle City is the second full arc in the Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters animated series, and the third arc in the manga. It is also the name of Kaiba Corporation's first major tournament, hosted in Domino, Japan. Kaiba only permitted duelists of a certain "level" entrance into the tournament, with levels ranging from 1 star to 5. Yuugi was considered the only 5-star Duelist invited into the tournament (other than Kaiba himself). Kaiba's software also kept track of the rarest card available from each duelist, because the tourney dictated that duelists would battle until they had collected six Puzzle Cards (called Locator Cards in the dub), and whatever ante of rare cards their opponents also put up (at least one rare card had to be wagered from all players in each duel). However, Kaiba was unaware that Malik Ishtar's Ghouls (called Rare Hunters in the dub) infiltrated Battle City, and had the ability to alter levels; one such Ghoul noted Katsuya Jounouchi's rare Red-Eyes Black Dragon card and altered his Duelist Level from 2 stars to 4, enough to participate in the tournament.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Initially, Jounouchi's prized Red-Eyes Black Dragon that he won from Dinosaur Ryuzaki is stolen by Ghouls before Battle City even begins. Dark Yuugi wins the card back for him, but Jounouchi refuses to take it; he wants to prove that he can duel without the card and earn it back from Yuugi in a duel against him, when they've both gotten to the quarter-finals.
Jounouchi and Yuugi then split up to search for duels, with Yuugi first dueling one of Malik's Ghouls, Pandora (Arkana in the dub), and Jounouchi going against Espa Roba. Mokuba Kaiba, acting as the Battle City commissioner, discovers that Espa Roba is cheating by using his many brothers to spy on his opponent's hand, thereby pretending he is "psychic" and knowing what cards his opponent will use. Jounouchi defeats Espa Roba anyway, earning the Psycho Shocker card as a result.
Dark Yuugi goes on to duel "The Doll" (Strings, The Silent Puppet in the dub), a mime that Malik Ishtar has turned into one of his mind-slaves using the powers of the Millennium Rod, and earns the Saint Dragon - God of Osiris card after he breaks Malik's combo of infinite cards, which would constantly power-up Osiris.
Meanwhile, Jounouchi duels Insector Haga, who paid a young boy to sneak a Parasite Paracide monster into Jounouchi's deck, very nearly crippling it by making all of Jounouchi's powerful Warriors and Beast-Warriors into Insect-Type monsters. However, he overcomes the handicap and soundly defeats Haga, walking away with the Insect Queen that Haga prized so much, along with two Puzzle Cards.
Jounouchi earns his final two Puzzle Cards from Ryouta Kajiki (Mako Tsunami in the dub), relying less on a Chance-themed deck and more on his magic and trap cards to augment his powerful Warriors and newly won cards. He wins the duel against the water duelist and walks away with Fortress Whale and The Legendary Fisherman.
At or around the same time, Yuugi and Kaiba face two more of Malik's Ghouls, Light Mask and Dark Mask (Lumis and Umbra respectively, in the dub). The two Ghouls coordinate and cooperate together until the very end of the duel, when Kaiba plays devil's advocate and causes them to turn against each other. In a surprising twist, he and Yuugi cooperate and manage to defeat the Masks when Kaiba summons The God of Obelisk (Obelisk the Tormentor in the dub). They each earn the last two Puzzle Cards they need (one each from Light Mask and Dark Mask, for a total of two cards per person) and move on to the quarter-finals.
A Duel Between Friends
After having almost all of his Ghouls crushed by Yuugi and/or Kaiba, Malik turns Jounouchi and Anzu against Yuugi by controlling them as his mind-slaves (alternatively referred to as Possessed Katsuya Jounouchi and Possessed Anzu Mazaki). He intentionally frees Anzu from his mind control when he puts her life in danger (in the anime, a Ghoul controls a crane that holds a crate over her head, while she is restrained in a chair on the edge of a dock in the anime; in the manga, Anzu holds half of a deadly pill in her mouth, with Malik able to control her at will, and force her to swallow the pill). Meanwhile, Yuugi is forced to Duel Jounouchi while chained to an anchor on a dock. The loser of the duel would be plunged into the bay, while the winner would have access to a key from a lockbox at their feet, enabling them to get free. With the help of Yuugi, Jounouchi breaks through Malik's mind control, and intentionally loses the duel. However, in the anime, his sister Shizuka Kawai, overhears the entire duel and rips off the bandages left over from her eye operation and dives into the water to save him. She safely brings Jounouchi back to shore, and reveals that the operation is a success, and she can see. In the manga, it is Seto Kaiba who saves Jounouchi's life by dropping the key into the water so he may free himself, after saying something translated along the lines of "I wonder how long the small fry can hold his breath." Shizuka appears on the scene after Kaiba has rescued her brother and then removes her bandages.
Kaiba reveals the quarter-finals are to be held not at a stadium, where the Puzzle Cards' map indicate it will be, but on a blimp (specifically, the Duel Ship, called the Kaiba Kraft 3 in the dub) anchored in the stadium that will take off as soon as all eight quarter-finalists arrive. It is already known that Yuugi, Kaiba and Jounouchi are finalist. In an anime-only incident (shortly after the "duel between friends") Mai Kujaku duels against the amorous Jean Claude Magnum (a parody of Jean Claude van Damme), where Mai bets that she will win -thereby keeping Jean Claude out of her life for good. If she loses, however, she must forfeit all of her Puzzle Cards and agree to marry Jean Claude. This ostensibly angers Jounouchi, especially when it is found that Jean Claude Magnum is not dueling fairly, and was using a stunt double to act as a "live" Duel Monsters card and kidnap Mai. However, Mai managed to defeat Jean Claude Magnum on her own, continuing onto Battle City as a quarter-finalist.
Once at the Duel Ship, the remaining finalists are revealed: Malik Ishtar, though he uses the alias "Namu," his foster brother and loyal servant Rishid (Odion in the dub) who pretends he is Malik, Dark Bakura, who won all of his Puzzle Cards in a single duel against Ghost Kotsuzaka, and Isis Ishtar, in disguise from her brother and Kaiba (though it is presumed that Dark Yuugi and Anzu recognize her).
A machine randomly assigns each of the finalists numbers, with the first two competing against one another, the next two, the next two, and the final two, until the finalists are wheedled down to four people. The order is as follows:
The first match is Dark Yuugi vs. Dark Bakura, the second duel is Jounouchi vs. Rishid, the third duel is Mai Kujaku vs. Dark Malik (he loses control over his darker personality once Rishid falls unconscious in his duel against Jounouchi), and the final quarter-final duel pits Seto Kaiba against Isis Ishtar.
The Duel Ship then progresses to Alcatraz Island (not the island in the San Francisco bay; called Kaiba Corp. Island in the dub), a man-made island owned by Kaiba Corporation that was once the site and facility of Gozaburo Kaiba's heavy arms industrial factory, where war weapons were made and tested. In the anime, their journey to the island is interrupted when the course of the ship is inexplicably changed, and they are forced to land inside a fortress that emerged from the water.
The second and longer Virtual World arc took place between the quarter-finals and semi-finals of Battle City in the Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters anime. Please see that page for more information about the Virtual World.
Battle City Semi-Finals
The Battle Royale is a four way duel that decides who will face who in the semi-finals, the first two duelists to lose their Life Points are in the first semi-final (Dark Malik and Jounouchi) and the 'winners' (Kaiba Seto and Dark Yuugi) are in the second semi-final.