Atem is ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who sealed his soul within the Millennium Puzzle. His soul took on the form of entity Yami Yugi, which resided in the body of Yugi Muto, after Yugi solved the Millennium Puzzle.
Atem was born around the millennium 3000 B.C. as son of king Aknamkanon. Atem became heir to the throne and the Millennium Puzzle. During his childhood he befriended Mana and was protected by Mahad. Atem was attacked by a snake, but Mahad took the hit. Atem then saved him by sucking the venom out.
His father Aknamkanon took him on a trip to an ancient tomb, his father made a deal with the monsters to spare his son from the repercussions of the horrible actions from the creation the Millennium Items.
One day, Priest Seto was appointed as guardian of the Millennium Rod by Aknamkanon. Atem was present for the ceremony. The Pharaoh anounced that Seto would serve him as his right hand. Secretly, Aknamkanon's brother, Aknadin, showed resentment towards Atem as Seto was his son and Aknadin wanted him to be Pharoah, a goal he vowed to accomplish.
On the day he became Pharaoh, his kingdom was attacked by Thief King Bakura. Bakura had raided the tomb of his father Aknamkanon and stolen his DiaDhank and his coffin. Atem put Bakura through the Millennium trial, but it failed. Atem anounced that Bakura's disrespect was appalling. Bakura easily defeated the The Sacred Guardians with his Diabound before Atem stepped in and challenged him with Obelisk the Tormentor. Diabound was severely injured and after almost being destroyed, Bakura fled.
Bakura later returned to the kingdom after defeating Mahad and using his Millennium Ring to possess Aknadin. After this, he and Atem fought each other once again. Atem fought with Slifer the Sky Dragon whilst riding on horseback. While they fought, he ran past Dartz, a resident of Atlantis who was to become his enemy in 3000 years (5000 years in the English version). Atem was defeated and lost his Millennium Puzzle to Bakura.
After Atem was found, he and the other guardians headed for Kul Elna, the birth place of the Millennium Items. Atem and Bakura fought one last time. As Atem was about to defeat Bakura, Aknadin showed up with the Millennium Key that he stole from Shada and stole the other Millennium Items. After putting them in the Millennium Stone, Zorc Necrophades appeared and offered Aknadin anything he desired in exchange for his loyalty. Aknadin requested that Priest Seto become the new king of Egypt. He also revealed that Seto was his son. Zorc agreed and transformed Aknadin into Shadow Magus. Magus attempted to destroy Atem but Hassan appeared and protected him. Magus tried to convince Seto to join his side, but Atem convinced him not to. Magus took Seto and escaped into a worm hole that lead to the kingdom, Atem following in pursuit. However, in Kul Elna, Bakura sacrificed himself to summon Zorc Necrophades. Atem needed Priest Seto to become the new king as he planned to sacrifice himself to defeat Zorc, so he found his puzzle and headed for the Kingdom.
By the time Atem got there, Magus had possessed Seto after the latter refused to serve him. Magus had also killed Kisara and taken her spirit monster, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Seto/Aknadin tormented Atem as to how powerless he was to stop the dark one. Atem demanded to know why Seto chose Zorc's side over Atem's, but Seto claimed that he and his followers had no allegiance to Zorc or Atem. Atem and Seto fought, Atem using Dark Magician (Mahad) and Seto using Blue-Eyes White Dragon, with Seto emerging as the victor. However, Kisara stopped Blue-Eyes from killing Atem and destroyed Aknadin. Seto was free from Aknadin's control, and Atem thanked Kisara for this. This fight would be the main source of Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba's rivalry.
However, after their duel, Zorc had destroyed most of the kingdom. Not wanting Zorc's rampage to continue into other parts of the world, he defeated Zorc by using a spell which included his name and sealed Zorc in the Millennium Ring. He gave leadership of Egypt to Priest Seto, then sealed his soul within the Millennium Puzzle, erasing his own memories to keep the spell from ever being used to resurrect Zorc. The puzzle was then destroyed. However, Zorc created Yami Bakura out of the combined spirit of himself and Thief King Bakura to find the 7 Millennium Items.
The Tomb of the Nameless Pharaoh was built for his body and the Millennium Puzzle was scattered with in it. A number of traps and monsters were placed within to protect him. All traces of his name were destroyed. Priest Seto built the Tablet of Lost Memories, a famous stone tablet depicting them battling one another with their favorite monsters, Blue-Eyes White Dragon (Kisara) and Dark Magician (Mahad), as a symbol of their Friendship.
- Main article: Yami Yugi
3,000 years later (5,000 in the English anime), the Millennium Puzzle was found by Solomon Muto. According to Solomon, his companion tried to kill him to take the Pharaoh's treasure for himself, but Solomon was saved by what appeared to be the spirit of Atem.
Solomon's grandson Yugi Muto solved the Millennium Puzzle, causing Atem, now a disembodied, amnesiac spirit, to reside in Yugi's body. He aided Yugi many times over the course of his adventures, in a form known as "Yami Yugi". Yugi attempted to return the favor by finding the secret of Atem's past.
After Yami Yugi completed all his tasks, he presented the Egyptian God Cards to the ancient tablet at the museum. After doing so, Yami Yugi was brought to a table, where he played a Shadow RPG with Yami Bakura. Pharaoh Atem was one of Yami Yugi's characters and had all of Yami's memories. Atem wakes up on the balcony of the Palace, where Shimon Muran tells him the people are eager to meet their New Pharaoh. Although still stripped of his memories prior to sealing himself in the Millennium Puzzle, Atem greets his subjects. Shimon Muran takes Atem to the Throne room, and invites him to sit down on this throne, calling it "The big gold chair right in front of you". Atem sits and upon seeing Shimon's face, (he was wearing a veil/mask prior to Atem sitting down), mistakenly calls him Grandpa because of his resemblance to Yugi's grandfather. Atem learns that there are six chosen priests in this world, who guard the Millennium Items.He is quick to learn the Ancient Egyptian style of dueling. He witnesses the priests extract the ba from a criminal and seal it in a tablet. Thief King Bakura then arrives, after plundering the tomb of Atem's father, Pharaoh Aknamkanon and dragging the treasures and his corpse to the palace. Seto and Bakura Summon Monster Kas, which battle. Bakura's Diabound defeats Seto's dragon. He mocks Atem by trampling on his father's corpse. As the priests Summon more monsters to fight Diabound, Atem walks over and takes his father's body from Bakura. The priests desperately use their monsters to protect Atem as he does so. Atem steps in to avenge his father and summons Obelisk the Tormentor. Obelisk battles Diabound. Bakura realizes he can't win, so he and Diabound flee.
Atem spots Bakura leaving the palace, after he had snuck in to possess Aknadin with Zorc. Atem chases after Bakura on horseback and battles Diabound, now powered by the Millennium Ring. Atem summons Slifer the Sky Dragon, but Bakura is able to take advantage of Slifer protecting the civilians. Diabound manages to defeat Slifer and Atem runs out of Ba. Atem's friends from the modern world, Yugi, Téa, Joey and Tristan come to his assistance. Yugi combines his Ba with Atem's and together they summon the third Egyptian God, The Winged Dragon of Ra. Ra transforms into God Phoenix Mode and manages to defeat Diabound, but Zorc, in control of Aknadin, reverses time, bringing back Diabound and pulling Atem's friends away from him. Without Yugi's Ba, Ra leaves. Diabound shatters the ground below Atem, leaving him hanging off an edge. Here Bakura takes the Millennium Puzzle and leaves him to fall to his death.
Atem orders the Priests and soldiers to go with him to Kul Elna to face Bakura, rather than let him prepare another attack on their city, with innocent lives at stake.
At Kul Elna, Bakura tells Atem how the Millennium Items were created, by sacrificing the lives of the villagers of Kul Elna. He tried attacking Atem with the ghosts of the villagers seeking revenge, but Mahad, now fused with his Illusion Magician Ka, returned from the dead as Dark Magician. The Dark Magician fends off the ghosts and battles Diabound. He assures Atem that his father had not known about how the Items were created. With the help of the priests and Mana, Atem and Mahad defeat Diabound, but relinquish the Millennium Key and Scales in the process. Yami Bakura then freezes time in the RPG, allowing Aknadin, corrupted by Zorc, to gather the remaining Items off the other priests.
Using the Items Aknadin performed the ritual to Summon Zorc Necrophades, while Atem watched helplessly. Zorc attacked Atem and his companions, while they were still frozen, but Hassan arrived just in time to defend them from the attack.
After Yugi defeats a manifestation of Bakura, Yami learns his own name (with the help of Joey, Tea and Yugi, who had gone to search for him), enabling Atem, in the game, to summon The Creator God of Light, Horakhty, to defeat Zorc before Bakura can summon him to the present.
The Ceremonial BattleEdit
After the Ceremonial Battle, Yami crosses to the afterlife and becomes Atem once again, free to join his friends in the next world.
In English dub, Mr. Stein mentions during his history class that Atem ruled over the Ancient Egypt in the time of building of the Pyramids, 5,000 years ago, and that he saved mankind at that time.
Forbidden Memories biographyEdit
Getting sealed in the PuzzleEdit
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories, Atem serves as the main protagonist, appearing as the prince of the Amenhotep Dynasty in Ancient Egypt. His name is chosen by the player. With the exception of one scene in the game, he is a silent protagonist. Atem often sneaks out of the palace to spend time at the Dueling Grounds, with the villagers particularly Teana and Jono, who are unaware of his royalty.
After returning to the palace one night, he finds the mage Heishin, now in possession of the Millennium Rod, has attacked the palace and demands the Millennium Puzzle. Atem's attendant, Simon Muran, gives Atem the Puzzle and tells him to run. He cannot escape and is confronted by Heishin. Heishin demands the Puzzle. Atem duels him in an attempt to escape. After losing, Simon convinces Atem to shatter the Puzzle.
After shattering the puzzle, Simon seals Atem and his spirit inside it. He remains there, asleep for a Millennia, until Yugi Muto enters a competition hosted by Seto Kaiba. Shadi, holder of the Millennium Key and Millennium Scale appears and says that he came because of Yugi's Millennium Item. He uses the Key to open Yugi's mind, where he can meet Atem. Atem gives Yugi six cards. Although he doesn't speak, Yugi understands what he wants of him. Yugi defeats all the present day holders of the Millennium Items in the tournament, each time sealing their Item in one of the cards. Using the six cards, Yugi is able to send Atem home.
Battling the MagesEdit
When Atem arrives home the Mages have taken over the dynasty. He heads to the King's Valley in search of the Forbidden Ruins. Here he meets Sadin, who recognizes him as Prince, but does not know the location of the Forbidden Ruins. So Atem returns to the Pharaoh's Palace, which is now in ruins. After confronting and defeating a Mage Soldier here Atem finds a map to the Forbidden Ruins. Atem returns to the King's Valley, where the Sadin now escorts him to the ruins. Here he finds a map to the locations of the Millennium Items. Seto meets him at the ruins. He informs Atem of the map that shows the location of where Heishin has hidden the Items and that he plans to betray Heishin.
After defeating the first of the High Mages, Atem meets Jono, who tells him that the Mages have kidnapped Teana. Jono leads him to the Dark Shrine, after passing through the Labyrinth Mage(s), the boys find her held hostage by Seto and Heishin. Heishin orders Seto to defeat Atem and keep the Millennium Puzzle as his prize. After Atem defeats Seto, Seto applauds his skill, gloating that the High Mages don't stand a chance. Teana is released and she, Atem, and Jono leave. Atem is confused by why Seto was pleased. He thinks Seto must have a different agenda.
Ritual at the Dark ShrineEdit
The Prince proceeds to defeat the High Mages and acquire all Millennium Items bar the Rod, which is held by Seto. After doing so he is met by Seto, who tells him to go to the Dark Shrine, now unguarded. Here he can defeat Heishin. Atem heads to the Dark Shrine, where Seto leads him to Heishin. The prince proceeds and defeats the Guardians Sebek and Neku before finding and defeating Heishin.
After Heishin's defeat, Seto takes Atem to the Forbidden Ruins, where he confronts him and explains that he used him to gather all the Items. He tells Atem about the power of the Items, that they can be used to summon a great power. As Seto is about to claim the power, Heishin appears with a knife to Seto's neck and demands the Items. Atem hands them over and Heishin uses them to Summon DarkNite. DarkNite refuses to obey Heishin and turns him into a card, which he burns. Atem uses the Millennium Item Cards to hold back DarkNite and force him to a duel to send him back where he came from. After Atem wins, DarkNite turns into Nitemare and demands a final Duel. The Prince plays on and defeats Nitemare.
Afterwards, Atem rules on as King.
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