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Marik Ishtar (Holder of the Millennium Rod) is the antagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh season two and half of season three which takes place in Battle City. He's the leader of the Rare Hunters. He was raised in underground in Egypt where his family guarded the Pharaoh's tomb (Atem a.k.a. Yami Yugi) for generations. Heir to becoming a Tombkeeper, Marik, as a child, wished to see the outside world and leave the tomb. However his father had forbidden him to leave the tomb because he feared that the outside world would distract him from his duty as a Tombkeeper. Marik no longer wanted to become the Tombkeeper as it would ruin the rest of his life. His adoptive brother Odion Ishtar wanted to take Marik's place but his father refused to let him take on the role because he wasn't of the same blood and could ruin the tradition. Marik and his sister Ishizu Ishtar (Holder of the Millennium Necklace) snuck out only under Ishizu's permission that they can only stay out for a little while so they would not get caught. Soon after, their father found out they went outside the tomb. Marik was then forced to take on the ritual of becoming a full Tombkeeper by having the tattoo of the Pharaoh's memory carved on his back. This caused intense pain on Marik which later grew into hatred of the Pharaoh. Due to the pain, Marik grew a second personality (Yami Marik) to deal with his pain. Shortly after, Marik's father tortured Odion for helping Marik and Ishizu sneak out of the tomb to the outside world. Yami Marik took over Marik's body and killed his father. Marik was able to gain conscience having no recollection of what had happened. Shadi had appeared warning Marik of the dark path he had chosen. Marik thought that Shadi had killed his father leading to his betrayal of taking revenge of the Pharaoh. Growing up, Marik sought out to find the Pharaoh and steal the 3 Egyptian God Cards (Obelisk the Tormentor, Slifer the Sky Dragon, and The Winged Dragon of Ra) to take over the world and become the new Pharaoh. During Battle City he used and controlled his Rare Hunters in search of the Yugi and his friends and battle them. When Marik reached Domino City, he met and join sides with Bakura to gain what they both had desired (Bakura gaining the millennium rod from Marik and Marik getting help from Bakura in gaining the rest of the Egyptian God Cards). Later on he also met Joey and Téa (pretending to call himself Namu) after helping an injured Bakura (caused by Yami Bakura as plan to get to Yugi's friends) get to a hospital. Later on in a few episodes, Marik had held Joey and Téa under captive controlling Joey's mind and forcing him to battle Yugi. During the Battle City Finals, Marik had Odion enter the finals under his name so that Marik could keep his identity a secret and enter the finals as Namu. After entering the finals and later on in a few episodes, Odion had lost a battle with Joey due to trying to control a fake Winged Dragon of Ra card (a forced order by Marik to keep his identity safe but failed striking lightening on both Joey and himself as a results; Joey was able to gain back his conscious after a dream) and warning Yugi and his friends that Marik possessed an even darker side. After Odion lost conscious, Marik revealed himself as the "true Marik" and then cried out in pain as his Darker Side (Yami Marik) took over. Later on in the series Yugi was able to destroy Yami Marik freeing the good side of Marik from his control and accepting his role as a Tombkeeper. He was able to help Yugi and his friend later on in the last season of Yu-Gi-Oh to help find the Pharaoh's (Atem) tomb where Yugi and Atem battle to decide whether it was time to pass on to his after life and leave Yugi to be on his own.

Yami Marik