I mean the damage done outside duels with supernatural elements or with some device that causes the players to get damage.

Even in normal duels the holograms cause some damage to the players, although one far from a serious one, which looks pretty dumb, as an hologram in reality is not going to hurt you in any way.

As far as I know first 4 seasons of Yu-gi-oh only show holograms, this changes in the 5th season as solid things are created from the holograms, so in this one it makes sense that they could hurt, and I don't know for the sixth one as I didn't watch it yet.

Is it ever explained how holograms cause damage to the players?

  • IIRC, it was called Darkness Duel, where the players plays using the power of darkness to deal damage to the opponent. In other words, it is by the power of black magic, curse, stuffs like that. Mar 17, 2018 at 7:41
  • As I'm telling it happens even in normal duels, for example, among a lot others, this one: youtube.com/watch?v=-fKwtB4Pn10 is a normal duel where we can see that due to holograms they can be sent to the ground or that they put faces that indicate a little pain. Mar 17, 2018 at 11:03
  • Part of me often thought they would appear to flinch or shield their eyes because of the high-intensity light sometimes fired at them. Burst Stream of Destruction could damage your eyes AND your life points.
    – user38352
    Mar 20, 2018 at 8:41

4 Answers 4


In the manga, Kaiba created Battle Boxes which used Solid Vision to enhance Duel Monsters and made a deal with Industrial Illusions to produce them.

During Death-T (Death Trial), a series of games which Kaiba created to test Yugi, Kaiba used Battle Boxes, to create holograms of the monsters Summoned in Duel Monsters and Capsule Monster Chess. Whoever lost a game, would be subject to the Illusion of Death by virtual reality. He tested this version of Penalty Game on human subjects, finding that the average person went insane after ten minutes of the torture. Which explains how Solomon Mutou was hurt in the manga when Kaiba forced him to play against him.

In the anime, Dueling Arenas were used instead of Battle Boxes and Death-T did not happen.

In the anime, Kaiba was still responsible for the creation of the Dueling Arenas. Throughout the series it is implied that the monsters that are summoned are not just a hologram projections but Solid Visions. This implies that there is some kind of artificial mass that is formed behind the projection. How Kaiba managed to achieve this, is not explained in details, but it is implied that he programmed the dueling system to simulate combat damage, which explains why when monsters attack, there are shock waves that are felt in the air, and why when direct attacks are made on the players, they are pushed and sometimes even physically hurt. This can explain why Solomon Mutou was hurt during his first duel with Kaiba in the very first episode of the anime. Even though direct attacks where not in the rules of the game back then, the shock waves from the attacks between the monsters could still be felt in the air. And the psychological shock of seeing solid vision monsters for the first time, took their tool on the fragile body of Solomon Mutou, who was at that point, a retired old man. In the episode where Kaiba received Obelisk the tormentor from Ishizu, he decided to test the might of the god card while also testing the new dueling disk with the updated game rules. The scientist working for Kaiba, expressed concern about the decision to include direct attacks in the rules, since the solid vision combined with the combat simulation could really hurt the players who participate in the duel. This is shown in the same episode when Kaiba summons Obelisk and uses it to destroy the Blue eyes ultimate dragon, while also dealing 4000 points of damage to the duel bot. The shock from that attack, destroyed the machine. However, if Kaiba didn't summon Obelisk to win the game, he might've been injured by the attacks of the Ultimate Dragon which the duel bot was using against him. The japanese version of the anime, does a better job than the dub version, in explaining how the monsters could push and hurt the players. I guess the real questions to ask here are, how come no one sued Kaiba for creating a technology that can physically damage people and advertise it for a game of cards. And why did kids where given access to posses such a dangerous piece of technology. :D But I guess someone has to write that question and I will do my best to give the best logical answer to that.

I hope my answer was helpful and fun to read. :)


My best guess is immersion, like if you're playing a vr game and you're about to get attacked or something and flinch a bit, let's be honest here though it's just to make the duels dramatic. (I'm talking about the first and second series')


There are holographic technologies that allow you to "touch" holograms using a machine that applies pressure to anything that touches the hologram.

Maybe the machines Kaiba made with the colourful lights, are able to do that, in a minor scale that is not harmful.


It is called solid vision. They are not exactly holograms but more like an actual things with conscience as you can see the characters interact with them quite often. In DSOD we see Kaiba implementing a much more realistic,powerful version of it. But honestly,they never explained how it works. In Arc-V too this can be seen.

  • Please include relevant sources/references.
    – W. Are
    Aug 28, 2019 at 4:16

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