“I’ve been playing the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game for a good long time, and every now and then I do some research on new cards and archetypes. A couple months ago I was looking around on Yu-Gi-Oh! Wikia and found something…disturbing.  Apparently, Kazuki Takahashi tried to make a new type to be released alongside the Psychics: Ghosts. This might be the reasoning behind the joke in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXal when Astral asks Yuma what kind of card a Ghost is.

“From what I read, it was widely released in Japan and only one pack series was released in the UK that was exclusively Ghost-Type cards, Tombstone Ritual, and they were only in stores for about a month. There wasn’t much reasoning behind it on the Wiki page, just that strange anomalies were happening around the places that a lot of Ghost-Type cards were gathered, mostly tournaments and schoolyard dueling areas, I’m guessing.  No other details.

“After a little more research, I noticed that most of the Ghost-Type cards were either Spirit cards or turned into Zombie-Type cards in later pack releases. One card that caught my eye on the latter list was 'Il Blud,' which was released in Crossroads of Chaos. I myself owned one, so I was curious if the effect of the Ghost-Type was the same. I didn’t see the Ghost-Type version on the Wiki, however, since there was only a couple released in the packs. 'It must have been an Ulti,' I told myself.

“I eventually forgot about it, being in school and all, but when Summer Break started, my interest was renewed.

“I searched EBay for a long while before finding something interesting: A bulk set of 119 Cards, with the thumbnail being a Ghost Rare 'Il Blud' card, the kind released in the Tombstone Ritual packs. After reading the product description, I learned that the bulk set was in fact the entire English set released in the UK, plus a few duplicates. There were no bids, and it was for only $2. With only about an hour left to bid, I clicked 'Bid' and raised it to $5, just to make sure those cards were mine. Strangely enough, despite the fact there was an hour left on the auction, the screen changed to say 'Thank You For Purchasing This Item. Please Proceed to Checkout.'

“Now, I’m not a big EBay user, but I’m sure that when you bid, it doesn’t automatically thank you for buying the item, just for bidding, and that you’d be notified when bidding was over or if someone outbid you. Anyway, I shook off my strange feeling and continued pay for the cards. Almost immediately after the purchase, I got an email from the seller. This is what it said:

'Thank you so so sooo much for buying the cards from me. You have NO idea how long I’ve been trying to get rid of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if you sell them off again later on. Thanks again though. ☺'

“At the time, I had no idea what he meant by that, but once I received the cards, I knew instantly.

“At first, everything was normal: cardboard box, send label, tape. However, it took me a second to realize that the sender used red tape. 'Who uses red tape for a box?' I wondered. I shook this feeling off, too, assuming he ran out of regular tape. It can happen, right?

“So, without another thought, I opened the box and sifted through the cards. As promised, they were either Ghost-Type Monster cards or their support Spells and Traps, and all had the call number starting with 'TSRT,' indicating that they are all from the Tombstone Ritual pack set.

“Time went on from then; I made a deck and dueled a few people. I got a lot of complaints because my opponents thought the cards were fake. But since I mostly dueled my friends, who don’t mind at all, I didn’t care. My best friend, who, for the purpose of security we will call Samantha, was a perky blonde who was always trying to beat me, but never could so long as I was using my ghosts.
Il Blud

An approximate recreation of the "Il Blud" card from Tombstone Ritual.

“The one card she dreaded was the one card I always seemed to be able to draw against her: 'Il Blud.' You see, unlike the Zombie/Gemini version released in Crossroads of Chaos, the Ghost-Type was able to Special Summon itself from my hand if I controlled only one Ghost-Type and all cards on my opponent’s side of the field were anything but. Samantha hated this, seeing as how I am very conservative with my monsters and never summon them unless I absolutely have to. She’s always surrender at that moment, like she thought that if I attacked for game with 'Il Blud,' something awful would happen.

“This went on for a while until Sam got so disheveled that when  I played 'Il Blud' she didn’t surrender, stating that she didn't care who was going to win, she'd 'finally conquer that son of a bitch anyway.' It concerned me that she referred to a card like it was a person, but I shook this notion off and won two turns later with a direct attack from 'Il Blud'.

“That night, I got a call from Samantha’s mother saying she had slipped in her nightly shower and broke her neck. I was so….It’s been a year now and I still don’t have a word for it. I didn’t even want to go to her funeral and see her head still tilted at a funny angle. I decided right then and there I was going to stop playing the game altogether, since playing it more would keep reminding me of the last time I saw her alive, yelling at my card, calling it a son of a bitch. What could she have meant by it?

“The morning after I was told my best friend was dead, I woke up holding the 'Il Blud' card, but something about it had changed. Instead of it being Ghost Rare, it was colored in and non-holographic, but the name was a shiny indented black, like the rares from Battle Pack-Epic Dawn. The picture—instead of having a giant eye and mouth in the stomach of the monster—held a girl being sucked into the depths of its fat belly: 'D.D. Warrior Lady,' whom everyone said Samantha looked like. The text had also changed too, to read:

“'She’s mine now, not yours. If you want her, you know what to do. I’m here, watching and waiting and watching and waiting and watching and waiting and watching and waiting and watching and waiting and watching and waiting…'

“I was officially done, unable to even. Never before had I seen a card like this. I knew it couldn’t be a fake because everything it needed to be real was in place, and I’ve never seen a fake card with a Battle Pack like name engraving. Oh, I almost forgot. The entire front of the card was faded an eerie red. I wish I still had it with me to show you, but what happened afterwards was just too much for me.

"The dreams I had after Sam died got worse and worse, going from just a small night terror to full on sweat and paranoia inducing nightmares. The worst one had me chained down in a steel room, facing 'Il Blud' as he dangled Sam’s decaying body in front of me. Each time she would swing towards me, another chunk of me would be taken by her long and almost claw-like nails dug into me.

“Now, bear in mind, 'Il Blud' wasn’t the only spook I had to deal with. Oh no, he was just the beginning.

“After a couple days of being haunted by Sam, I started seeing other ghosts here and there, around the house, in my sleep, in my books, everywhere. By far, the one that scared me the most is the one I call 'The King.' His card name was actually 'Universitas Rex,' which translates to 'King of the Universe.' He could take the shape of any dead thing on any planet, but his favorite form was a young man, about my age, nearly completely decayed with a strange white and red mist trail behind him.

“He—no, it—was the most persistent. Even when I didn’t see it, I knew it was there, behind me, watching. I can clearly remember not putting its card in the deck because it was too hard to look at. I guess that was my punishment, having to either look at or smell it, always.

“But something else dawned on me at around the same time. I found one sole picture of the pack art for Tombstone Ritual. On it was a background of grave markers and in the foreground was 'The King.' Which meant that the other ghosts were his soldiers. And if there is a king with soldiers, there is a war.

“A war for what, you might ask; a war for my soul is my answer. But they wouldn’t win me over. I started to put the deck in a red deck box and the others in a box wrapped in red tape. While the dreams and visions continued, my life was almost normal again.

“However, one day after school, I found my box opened and all of the cards scattered across the floor. Wave after wave of pure negative energy flowed through me, pulsing with my blood. My head was splitting with pain. I was brought to my knees.

You will bow before the
Universitas Rex

A copy of the "Universitas Rex" card that comes from the Tombstone Ritual set.

King. A voice rang inside my head. I forced myself to look up, and standing there was 'The King.' His face held an evil smirk and he started to look more and more like me, just see-through. The war has only just begun. You think you’re the only one we are after. How foolish. I realized in that moment that the Ghosts weren’t just after me; they wanted everything I had, all that I loved and cared for. I tried to stand, I tried to defend myself. 'The King' just laughed and stepped through me, sending a shiver up my spine.

“I blacked out shortly after.

“In my dream, the Ghost army was assembled before me, bowing. I looked around with pride, believing I conquered them finally. Even the infamous 'Il Blud' kneeled to me. My joy was short-lived, because a row of 'Soul Reflectors,' a Ghost-Type support card, stood before me.

“Their mirrored sides showed me who I was—what I was. The skin came dripping off my face like water. I stood tall and proud in a black robe with a golden crown resting on my head. My empty eye sockets stared soullessly back at me.

“I was the King.

“I woke up in a hospital, hooked to an IV bag and a vitals sensor. My parents were standing over me. They told me about how three more of my friends died while I was out, two in a car accident and one in a break-in. Needless to say I was crushed. The Ghosts had taken another group of friends, and nobody else knew it but me. I’m sure you say ‘Why not tell anybody about this?’ My answer?

“‘You’re right, I’ll just tell them that my friends are dying because a box of haunted trading cards are sitting in my room. Let’s see how fast they put me away in that nice little white room with the jacket that makes me hug myself.’

“When I got home, I decided to do some research for the first time.

“As it turns out, from what I found on a deeply hidden forum post on a site I have long since forgotten, when the Ghost-Type cards were printed, three of Konami’s workers fell into the press. Those three have still not been named, but it is rumored that one of them was a murderer, explaining the rest of the souls haunting the cards.

“I tried to get a hold of the person who had posted this information, hoping to find out more. However, I soon found out that he or she had deleted his or her account about two years prior. As you could probably assume, I was annoyed to no end. I was left with little information, an army of spirits haunting a set of cards, four friends dead, and the guilt of an apparently hefty medical bill on my parents. I figured there was only one thing left to do.

“I had to destroy the cards.

“My first attempt was to cut them into bits. That only made things worse as the ghosts began to multiply in my dreams tenfold. So I thought I should burn them. Also not good, because the morning afterwards I found all of the cards neatly stacked next to my computer, with 'Il Blud' and 'Universitas Rex' on top. I contemplated sending them through a few wash cycles with some heavy-duty bleach, but decided against it, as if it worked, I’d be stuck cleaning the machine out for days. I kept trying and trying and trying to rid myself of the curse for 3 months.

“Out of options, out of luck, and out of the will to go on, I tried one last desperate act to save myself.

“I made an EBay ad. I advertised the entire 119 card set of Tombstone Ritual, with some duplicates. I set the thumbnail as a Ghost-Rare 'Il Blud.' I set the starting bid price at $2. I prepared the cardboard box with red tape. When I saw that someone else had bid for $5 with about an hour left of hope, I ended the auction and immediately sent the buyer an email:

'Thank you so so sooo much for buying the cards from me. You have NO idea how long I’ve been trying to get rid of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if you sell them off again later on. Thanks again though. ☺'

“I sent the cards off to the buyer the same day; I was free, finally free. That night, I had the best sleep in months. No nightmares, no King, no dead friends. Just darkness, just how I like it.”

The above is a transcript of a video file found on the computer of the deceased James Jackson. He and his family died in a housefire a week after the video was created. Investigation reports has found no discernable cause for the fire, and have written it off as an accident. What the report left out was that the only items in the house not reduced to ash were the computer this video was found on and a Yu-Gi-Oh! playing card:

“Universitas Rex.”

Offtherecord (talk) 04:09, March 1, 2013 (UTC)

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