So who else butchered the pronunciation of this guy's name as a kid?
It's ok, we're all friends here, no one will judge you for just calling him "Gary the Lizardman" to save yourself the embarrassment. We all did it…
Back in the early days of Yu-Gi-Oh it seemed like we couldn't go one booster set without this fool popping up in it, in some way, shape or form. He was on spell cards, he was on trap cards, and there must have been about five monster card versions of him in the early sets. All of them were common of course, and they were never particularly useful. They never really formed any sort of cohesive deck theme, either; they just seemed to tell the story of this big lizard man for no apparent reason.
24003 || 67250
If only someone who was really smart had taken the time to painstakingly review each card and piece that story together…
Spoiler: they didn't! So you're stuck with my version instead.
Much like our friend Marauding Captain, Gagagigo story isn't part of the official Master Guides. But there is a story there if you look hard enough at the cards. And speaking of Marauding Captain, these two have shared a card frame more than a few times, so check out the Captain's story first. With that out of the way, let's dive in!
The creature who would become Gagagigo began life a bit smaller. Gigobyte was young, happy and full of energy. He met and befriended Eria the Water Charmer, agreeing to serve as her familiar, as it would allow him to gain experience fighting, and making friends. Gigobyte met and befriended multiple smaller creatures, who can all be seen together in The Law of the Normal.
That wasn't to say it was all easy for Gigobyte. There were dangers to being a familiar (like almost getting eaten by plants, if we're counting anime-only cards). But those experiences helped Gigobyte grow until he reached his next form: Jigabyte. It's at this point, dear readers, that I need to confess something: I don't know if this creature is evolving, Pokemon style, or if this is an "artist formerly known as Gigobyte" type situation. For now, we're going to assume these are basically Pokemon evolutions, so we'll be calling the different versions of this monster "forms".
Jigabyte continued to gain experience and grow, and before long we finally reached Gagagigo. Soon after, Eria released Gagagigo from the bond of being a familiar, which can be seen in Unpossessed. The now young adult set out on his own path from there...but it wouldn't be long before he found trouble.
As Gagagigo set out on his journey, he quickly became hungry. It might have been nice if Eria had taught this now rather large monster ANYTHING about taking care of himself before turning him loose. It was about then that our lizard friend smelled something delicious being prepared by a certain Captain. This was the encampment of Freed the Matchless General (not that Gagagigo knew who that was), but the young Gagagigo thought he could steal the food and get away with it.
...he couldn't, but that didn't stop him from trying.
Freed caught the thief in the act and the two engaged in a heated battle, which can be seen in the card Subspace Battle...which you can see if you pause one particular episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX where Jaden uses it. Yup, it's our second anime-only card, and even when they make up cards for plot convenience, Gagagigo still has to be in them.
Thanks to his experience and skill, Freed was able to best Gagagigo, and actually banished the creature to the Different Dimension thanks to Freed's Dimensional Prison. It was Gagagigo's first defeat that we know of, and almost certainly his first since being released from Eria. As he glared at Freed through the D.D. Borderline, Gagagigo swore revenge on the general.
Gagagigo had other matters to attend to first, however, namely getting out of the Different Dimension. So he set off to find a way home, and as he travelled, he learned of the Invader of Darkness In an attempt to convince the fiend overlord to help him return home, he joined the Invader's army...only to be almost IMMEDIATELY betrayed and placed upon the Altar for Tribute. (That's 0-for-2 on good decisions since leaving Eria).
My Body As A Shield
How Gagagigo escaped this particular situation is unclear, but we do know what happened next: Gagagigo was apprehended by Invader of Darkness henchmen and thrown into a Two-Man Cell Battle, fighting against Blazing Inpachi with (of all people) Marauding Captain as his ally. The Captain clearly came to respect Gagagigo in this match because he was willing to use his My Body As A Shield to protect the lizard from one of Impachi's attacks. Together, the two were able to overpower and defeat Inpachi, earning their freedom.
Gagagigo now had two names on his hit list. While Marauding Captain definitely wasn't going to help him off General Freed, the two did team up to take on Invader of Darkness. The Captain was able to muster a force of exiles (an "Exiled Force" if you will… yeah, I'm making that joke twice), and together they launched an assault against Invader of Darkness.
Those who read the Marauding Captain story know what happens here: it's Gagagigo and another hapless human - we named him Greg in the last article, so we'll stick with that for the sake of consistency - who eventually reach Invader of Darkness. The tyrant fires a blast from his palm at Greg, but remembering the heroic actions of Marauding Captain protecting him from Blazing Inpachi, Gagagigo protects Greg from the attack (this all plays out in Absolute End).
The remaining forces arrive and drive off Invader of Darkness, but at a cost. Gagagigo is critically injured by the attack. On the brink of death, Marauding Captain forces are unsure how to save the noble warrior. It's at this point that some unexpected aid arrives: the scientist Kozaky agrees to save Gagagigo's life...and apparently everyone was so busy being relieved that no one stopped to notice how absolutely evil this guy looked.
I'm sure no one will regret that lack of observation.
I lied: everyone is going to regret failing to notice that Kozaky clearly evil. The mad doctor took Gagagigo back to his Level Conversion Lab, where things started to look a bit like the end of Revenge of the Sith.
Yeah, it doesn't go great for our green friend…
Lo and behold, Gagagigo survives, thanks to the wonders of anime science and technology. He ascended beyond his Gagagigo form in the process though, and this new form would be known as Giga Gagagigo. While Kozaky was screwing around in Giga Gagagigo head, he took the liberty of amplifying the monster's rage and anger toward Freed and directing it at all humans instead...you know, just for good measure.
Having decided he was done with the technical aspects of his experiment, Kozaky decided to field test his new monstrosity, and what better way to do that than to send him back to his own dimension to take on Freed again? Kozaky loaded Giga Gagagigo into his most absurd machine, the Compulsory Evacuation Device, and launched the poor bastard back to his own home via the Monster Gate.
Giga Gagagigo came to and was (understandably) filled with unquenchable rage and bloodlust. He set out and battled every monster he came across, starting by crushing Venom Cobra as we can see in the artwork of Ambush Fangs. Giga Gagagigo reveled in his new strength and continued to test himself against more and more powerful foes. Finally, he found his target: Freed.
Wasting no time, he launched himself at the General, who had - unbeknownst to our favorite cyborg lizard - learned a few new tricks. Freed was able to weaken Giga Gagagigo with Draining Shield, and then defeat him again as seen in Des Counterblow. Driven mad by this defeat and probably not helped by the good doctor's "enhancements", Giga Gagagigo transformed again, growing even more powerful as the almighty Gogiga Gagagigo.
Gogiga Gagagigo wasn't about to make the mistake of not testing out his new form before taking on Freed again. Returning to the Different Dimension, Gogiga Gagagigo set out on a happy little trip down memory lane... slaughtering everyone who had ever tried to harm him.
He started with Inpachi, who really didn't stand much of a chance. It was so bad that when it was over, Gogiga Gagagigo took Inpachi's head as a trophy, and continued on to face the one who destroyed his body originally: Invader of Darkness. Last time, it took an army to drive the Invader off. This time, Gogiga Gagagigo soloed him, killing him and dragging his entire body off with him as a trophy. You can see Gogiga Gagagigo carrying his fallen enemies in savage victory, in the art for Memory of an Adversary.
Remember when he was all cute as Gigobyte? Did you see this story heading all the way to brutal decapitation and trophy hunting back then? Because I sure as hell didn't!
Deciding he was powerful enough to take on Freed again, Gogiga Gagagigo set out to find the General one last time. This time, Freed had no clever tricks to halt the rampage. Freed was brutally beaten, but before our favorite cyborg lizard could deliver the final blow, he was stopped by an old friend: Marauding Captain. That's also visible in Memory of an Adversary.
The Captain reminded Gogiga Gagagigo of who he used to be. His kindness, his innocence, his desire to help others; you can see it in Oath of Companionship). These positive emotions overwrote Kozaky's programming and our hero transformed one last time, becoming Gagagigo the Risen. Determined to make up for his past, [[Gagagigo set out to battle the forces of darkness once again.
Hell no! There have already been more cards printed that use Gagagigo the Risen as a character. He can be seen battling Sword Breaker and losing one of his XYZ Materials in Overlay Capture. No, I think as long as Yu-Gi-Oh! exists, Gagagigo's story will continue.
Thanks for joining me on this wild adventure! It certainly went to some places - some very, very dark places - but it was interesting to finally learn about this character who's been popping up in my packs since middle school. Next time you pull a card with Gagagigo in it, see where it fits in the story!