Bet you weren’t expecting that. I’d recently watched the Pyramid of Light, and was thinking about how its place in the Ancient Egypt story line had never been explained. On top of that, the origin of Anubis and the Pyramid of Light itself really needed to be explained. It’s odd that we have this pseudo-Millennium Item, but literally no backstory behind it. As soon as I realized this, I knew that I had to base the Ancient Egypt arc off of Anubis, because there was so much story potential. I started thinking about what this origin story should be. I quickly decided that the Pyramid of Light should be an attempt by Anubis to recreate the Millennium Puzzle and gain power equal or greater than the Pharaoh’s. Then, while I was re-watching the Dawn of the Duel arc, I realized that the Millennium Spellbook had no story either. I figured that the item that is the source of the Millennium Items themselves really needed some more story of its own as well. It was the perfect fit with the origin of the Pyramid of Light. Through in Aknadin, as he was the creator of the original Millennium Items, and I had what I think is a great idea for a story.
The first thing I want to point out is a minor retcon I made to the original series with this episode. Originally, when Mahad gave up his life to protect the Pharaoh, he became the Dark Magician. In the duel I just wrote, I had Atem’s signature monster be called the Millennium Magician instead of the Dark Magician. I figured it just wouldn’t make sense if Timaeus had the Atlantis Magician, Yuni the Cyber-Tech Magician, but both Yugi and Atem had the Dark Magician, so I changed Atem’s to the Millennium Magician, both to give him something different, and something that fit better into the deck I had created for him. As for his deck itself, I figured that each of his monster are the actual spirits of the Millennium Items themselves.
With Tori’s plan being a success, Yuni is able to talk to Atem long enough to challenge him to a duel. Now Yuni must battle the once nameless Pharaoh and partner to Yugi. Yuni finds himself facing a deck that represents the very power of the Millennium Items and the Egyptian Gods themselves.
And now the story turns to Ancient Egypt, the focus of the original series. It was a whole new world when compared to Atlantis in more ways then one. When it came to writing about Atlantis, I was just using vague story cues, and essentially writing my own story otherwise. Egypt on the other hand is a much more established place, with a much more established story. The choice to put my story in alternate timeline was not one I arrived at lightly. I really wanted to put my story in the same timeline we see in the original series, the problem is, the first episode of the Dawn of the Duel arc shows the first day that Atem became pharaoh, and the final episode shows him disappearing right before Priest Seto’s eyes. So essentially, if I wanted to write a story about Atem being Pharaoh, it would have to take place in the middle of Dawn of the Duel, and that would never work. So instead, I came up with the idea of using an alternate timeline. I have another reason too, but I’ll leave that as a surprise. The only major thing I added so far to the Egyptian story was my addition of the new High Priests. Mana was an obvious choice to hold the Millennium Ring, since she was Mahad’s student. The other ones were not so easy. I decided that at least one of them needed to be an incarnation of an already known character. I contemplated using Joey, as he is one of the few main characters from the original series to not have an Egyptian version, but decided that I didn’t need to do that. I eventually settled on using Ma’at, as he needed an incarnation besides Thoth. Also, it made perfect sense, as the Millennium Scale is based off of the Scale of Ma’at, the owner of which is Ma’at’s namesake. The name Isfet is actually based off of the opposing concept of Ma’at. While Ma’at is Order, Isfet is Chaos. I felt it was poetic considering recent events. The other High Priests are all named after various Egyptian gods.