Episode 29: Duel Identity - Part I (Driven to Desperation! Shadow of Temptation)
Morning arrives on Pegasus' island, and Yugi stands at the window of his room, wondering if he's doing the right thing deciding to duel again. But he has no choice, if he's going to save his Grandpa. As he puts on the Millennium Puzzle, he thinks that his Grandpa told him to trust the ancient presence within the Puzzle, but how can he? It was willing to do anything to beat Kaiba. (Japanese Yugi thinks that the day of the finals has at last arrived. As he puts on his Puzzle, he thinks, "Jii-chan," or "Grandpa.")
Joey, Tristan, Téa, and Bakura come to Yugi's room to accompany him to the tournament. Téa asks, isn't he ready yet? He's going to be late. Joey adds that if he's late, he'll be disqualified. (Japanese Anzu says the big day has arrived, and Jounouchi says, let's go to the stage of our competition.) Yugi nods, and the Puzzle activates. (The US version continues to add back the sequence of the Puzzle spinning, etc., as Yugi switches with Yami. Which is especially silly in this case, since the dub would have you believe that Yugi is now afraid of Yami and refusing to let him duel today. That subplot was added to the US version, and doesn't exist in the original Japanese. Throughout the episode, it is clearly visually Yami who's dueling.)
Yami Yugi appears, throws his coat over his shoulders, and says, Let's do it!
They head off to the dueling arena. Tristan tells Joey and Yugi that he and the others will watch from the balcony—only duelists are allowed on the arena floor—and wishes them good luck. Téa tells Yugi and Joey that she's so proud of them, and tells them to kick some butt! Then Tristan, Téa, and Bakura head off for the balcony, while Yugi and Joey open the doors to the arena.
Inside the anteroom, Mai and Bandit Keith are waiting. Mai greets Yugi, asking if he slept well, and saying she was beginning to wonder if he would show up. (Japanese Mai says, good morning, and tells Yugi that the time of the final has arrived.) Bandit Keith taunts Joey, calling him "Dweeb" and telling him he'll kick his butt. Joey says at least he didn't have to steal the Star Chips to qualify. (Japanese Keith says Jounouchi's come a long way to lose to him. Jounouchi replies that Keith may be a former champion, but he's a rotten egg, and Jounouchi will beat him with his cards.) Bandit Keith just chuckles to himself, knowing he has Joey's entry card. He thinks Joey has already lost, and he's too dumb to know it.
The eyes of the winged horse carved on the doors to the arena begin to flash, and Croquet's voice is heard, announcing that the playoffs are about to begin. All duelists should now enter the arena. The doors slide open, revealing the dueling arena, which is suspended in the middle of a large hall. Across the arena is a double door, behind an area where a throne-like chair sits. As Bakura and the others watch from the balcony, the finalists enter.
The doors on the other side swing open, and Pegasus enters, flanked by Croquet and Kemo. Pegasus welcomes the duelists, telling them that here the duels shall be waged to determine the championship of the Duelist Kingdom. Only one of them will emerge victorious and win the three million dollar prize. Joey thinks it has to be him, so he can pay for his sister's operation.
Pegasus adds that the victor will win the right to challenge him in a duel. Tristan wants to know what the player will win for defeating Pegasus in the final duel. Pegasus replies that the victor will be granted one request—anything that person wants that's in Pegasus' power to grant. The winner will also be declared the Duelist Kingdom Champion, ranked number one in the world. (Japanese Pegasus doesn't mention anything about a request being granted, only that the winner will be given the title King of Duelists, and be recognized throughout the world as the number one duelist.) Mai says that will be her. (Japanese Mai repeats, number one in the world!)
Pegasus says that any duelist who's come this far must realize that it's the title, not the money, that's the real prize. Bandit Keith says Pegasus is a real comedian, and Joey says that the money is all he needs, for his sister's operation. (Japanese Bandit Keith says, interesting! and Jounouchi says, let's do it!) Pegasus dismissively agrees that some of them have more riding on this tournament than others—hm, Yugi? (Japanese Pegasus says that they'll want to win the competition so as to have the right to challenge him.)
Yugi thinks that Pegasus has his Grandpa, Mokuba and Seto Kaiba captive, but he vows to find a way to defeat Pegasus and save them all.
Pegasus wishes them all good luck, and sits down to watch the duels. (The shots of the finalists standing across the arena from Pegasus, and a close-up of Yugi, are repeated here the US version. The Japanese episode goes directly from Yugi's vow to the announcement of the first duel.)
Croquet announces the first duel: Mai Valentine versus Yugi Motou. (Yugi's family name is spelled "Motou" here in the closed-captioning of the US version. Later in the series, it's changed to "Mutou," as it is in the original Japanese.) As the duelists take their places, Yugi thinks that he must keep the spirit of the Puzzle under control. He can't risk letting the spirit hurt Mai. (Japanese Yugi is silent here.)
Croquet asks the duelists to show him the cards required for their participation. Mai holds up the Glory of the King's Hand card, while Yugi shows the Glory of the King's Opposite Hand. Croquet says that both qualify, and the duel may proceed.
Téa wishes Yugi good luck. She and Tristan are surprised when Joey barges between them to lean on the balcony railing. Bakura asks him what's with him, but he says he's just getting a bird's-eye view of the action. He shouts his encouragement to Yugi.
Yugi thinks that he has to be at his best if he's going to make it through the playoffs. But he also has to keep the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle in check. If Pegasus can steal souls with his Millennium Item, who knows what the Puzzle might do to win against Mai! (Japanese Yugi thinks that, as far as he's concerned, this duel is the springboard for challenging Pegasus.)
Meanwhile, Mai reflects that she used to think the only person a duelist could trust was herself. Everyone else was just an opponent. Then she met Yugi, and learned that even the strongest opponents in the arena could be friends outside it. If he hadn't loaned her his Star Chips, she'd never have made it to the finals. She owes him a great debt. She'll give him an honorable duel, but she's going to give this match everything she's got, so when Yugi goes down, it will be a victory she can be proud of. She promised him an honorable duel, not an easy one. (Japanese Mai thinks that defeating a stronger opponent gets the adrenaline flowing. She came to this tournament for that excitement. But now that she's here, she's gotten to know Yugi, and he's given her the warmth of friendship. To compete against him is a dream come true. Yugi changed her life—but now she sees that Yugi isn't seeing her, but only thinking of challenging Pegasus. He's not prepared for this duel. Winning isn't that easy—especially if you don't take your opponent seriously!)
The duel begins, and Mai draws her first card. Yugi laughs, saying that if she's playing honorably, she can't try her psychic act on him, the way she did Joey. She says, no tricks this time, and Yugi thinks that he believes her. Mai's come a long way. She says she's not all smoke and mirrors—even without her tricks, she can still duel with the best of them. (Japanese Yugi asks Mai if she's going to use her aroma strategy. She says, no, she knows that wouldn't work on him. Yugi thinks it's too bad, but Mai isn't up to his level. She thinks he's not seeing things clearly. He can't beat her.)
Mai plays Harpie Lady (1300 ATK) in attack mode. Tristan says that move is Mai's standard opening ploy, and Téa warns Yugi to watch out. Joey says there's nothing to worry about. Yugi knows what's coming—he's seen Harpie Lady in action a billion times already. Mai sets another card face down and ends her turn. Yugi thinks he'd better finish this fast—the quicker the duel ends, the less chance for interference from the spirit of the Puzzle. (Japanese Yugi thinks he'll use his prime card and beat Harpie Lady at once.) He summons Gaia the Fierce Knight (Dark Knight Gaia) (2300 ATK), and attacks Harpie Lady. But Mai activates her trap card, Mirror Wall, which reduces Gaia's attack power by half, and stops its attack. Now Gaia the Fierce Knight's attack is down to 1150.
It's Mai's turn, and she plays the magic card Cyber Shield, powering up her Harpie Lady to 1800, making her strong enough to destroy Gaia the Fierce Knight. Yugi's down to 1350 life points. He can't believe Harpie Lady reduced his Fierce Knight to ribbons! Mai taunts Yugi, telling him she's surprised he fell for that trap. He seems to be losing his edge in the championship game. If she didn't know better, she'd say he's holding back. (Japanese Mai tells Yugi he fell for such a simple move—it seems she overestimated him. Then she tells him it's his turn.)
Yugi draws Summoned Skull, thinking that he is holding back, but maybe this will help. If he can keep drawing powerful cards like this, the match will be over quickly, and he can stop worrying about the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle. (Japanese Yugi thinks, good, he's drawn Demon Summon. With his strength, it will be easy to destroy Harpie Lady. There's a continuity error here—the display of the cards Mai has on the field shows Rose Whip next to Cyber Shield. Mai hasn't played Rose Whip yet.)
Yugi sets a card face down, then plays Summoned Skull (2500 ATK) and attacks Harpie Lady—not realizing that Mai's Mirror Wall is still in place, cutting Summoned Skull's attack in half, to 1250. Mirror Wall is a permanent trap card. (The real card incurs a cost of 2000 life points per turn in order to keep it on the field, making it an expensive card to use.)
Mai continues to ride Yugi, telling him he'd better get that little brain of his in gear. He says that most of the traps he's encountered before disappear from the field once they've been used, so her permanent trap took him by surprise. It's the exception to the rule. Mai agrees, it's exceptional, just like her. As long as it's on the field, it will launch the same effect every time Yugi attacks. His monsters can never reach her Harpie Lady. He's going to have to bring his game up a few notches to keep her interested.
On the balcony, Bakura agrees—Yugi's game is off. Joey says his strategy is wack—he can't just attack like that. Why isn't he thinking through is moves, like he's always telling Joey? Téa also wonders what Yugi is thinking.
The spirit asks Yugi to let him help, but Yugi says he can't take that risk. (This doesn't happen in the Japanese version. The scene is changed in the US version to a shot of Yugi in spirit form beside Yami. In the Japanese, there's a long shot of Yugi at the dueling platform, followed by a close-up.)
The weakened Summoned Skull faces Mai's Harpie Lady, and Mai asks Yugi what is with him. She expected a real battle from him. The only reason she duels—aside from the island trips, the cars, the clothes, the prize money—is the thrill of trouncing a worthy opponent. (Japanese Mai tells Yugi that he's really disappointed her. Who would have thought that he would turn out to be so low-grade? She sees now that he's being suppressed by an unseen pressure.) Yugi angrily asks if she thinks he's not worthy, and she says, not today. His body's here, but his head and his heart have split for parts unknown. She thinks he's still shell-shocked about losing to Kaiba, and tells him to get over it. She wants to beat someone battling at his best. She tells him to shape up and get hiss act in gear, or she's going to knock him out of the tournament. (Japanese Yugi asks, unseen pressure? Mai says that when competitors meet, each is affected by the other's fighting spirit, but Yugi doesn't seem to be feeling it. He asks if she's saying he has no fighting spirit, and she says yes. He's only looking at Pegasus, not paying attention to her. "You think you've already won, before you've even fought the duel.")
Yugi tells her she doesn't understand—it's not about Kaiba. (Japanese Yugi looks at Pegasus, saying, "Pegasus... pressure....") Pegasus laughs to himself. He senses that Yugi's afraid to tap into the power of the Puzzle. He thinks he'll cure Yugi of that, when he makes the Puzzle his! (Japanese Pegasus thinks that Mai's right. Yugi won't be able to challenge him.)
Mai says that whatever's going on, it's boring! Yugi says he can't let her win, but she says that the way he's been playing today, she doesn't think there's anything he can do to stop her. She promised him an honorable duel, and she thought he'd give her the same. She asks if he's ready to duel for real now. (Japanese Yugi tells Mai that if she thinks she can teach him, beat him first. She says, then let's duel.)
Tristan wishes Mai would zip it—she's even more obnoxious when she's winning. Joey tells Yugi not to let Mai psych him out, but to just ignore her. Téa protests that Mai promised Yugi an honorable duel, and thinks to herself that she doesn't think Mai's trying to psych Yugi out. She thinks Mai's trying to help Yugi, like she did after Yugi's loss to Kaiba, when she tried to snap him out of his funk. (Japanese Anzu thinks that Mai doesn't need to talk to Yugi like that. Then she realizes—maybe Mai's just trying to stir him up. She remembers what Mai told Yugi before, and thinks that Mai's always been very strict with herself. That's why she doesn't want to duel with someone who has no fighting spirit. Téa's expression is changed in the US version to make her look less surprised by her realization.)
Yugi insists he's giving it all he can. Mai thinks, she wants to believe him, but he seems so distracted. (Japanese Yugi tells Mai he's really mad now. She chuckles to herself and urges him to be more alert. She thinks that now he should be sharper in the next round.) He promises he's not going to lose, and tells her to make her move. She hopes that's the case, and draws her next card.
Mai thinks that Yugi expects her to send Harpie Lady to destroy Summoned Skull, and that's why he set a card face down. It must be a trap. She plays Harpie's Feather Duster to destroy Yugi's set card, which turns out to be Spellbinding Circle. (This time, since Spellbinding Circle isn't shown completely, they didn't bother to redesign the whole card, just blocked out some of the lines, so you can see part of the hexagram outline.)
If Mai had attacked, her Harpie Lady would have been snared in his trap. He congratulates Mai, who tells him to keep his eyes on her—she might teach him a thing or two. He thinks, Mai still has Mirror Wall in play, so he can't attack. He'll have to alter his strategy. Yugi switches Summoned Skull to defense mode (1200 DEF), and also plays Feral Imp (1400 DEF) face down in defense. (In the Japanese, he doesn't say what monster it is.)
Mai plays another equipment magic card, Rose Whip, to power up her Harpie Lady even more. Now its attack rises another 300 points, to 2100. (Both versions of the episode show Harpie Lady's ATK rising from 2100 to 2400, which is a mistake. It started at 1800, and should increase to 2100. Later in the episode, her correct attack of 2100 is shown.)
Yugi thinks, she keeps powering up Harpie Lady, while her Mirror Wall protects her. Yami again asks Yugi to let him help. They can defeat her together! (Again, this scene is changed in the US version, from a shot of Yugi to one of Yugi beside Yami.)
Mai attacks and destroys Feral Imp. She tells Yugi to stick around, the fun's just beginning. (Japanese Mai thinks that it's too soon. She hasn't finished her Harpie Lady combo yet.) Tristan warns Yugi to watch it, and Joey says Mai's going to try to multiply her Harpie Lady next, and tells Yugi not to let her. Téa tells Yugi not to give up. Yugi thinks that he's got to turn this around, but how? Mai's playing brilliantly, while his attention is divided. Mai reminds Yugi that he promised to try harder. (Japanese Yugi says that his monsters stay in defense, ending his turn, and thinks that if he can't figure out a way to deal with Mai's trap card, he'll be defeated. Mai thinks there's nothing Yugi can do. She'll work away at him slowly.)
Mai draws another card and summons Harpie's Pet Dragon (2000 ATK). Its attack is raised by 300 points for each Harpie Lady on the field, so its attack becomes 2300. It easily destroys Yugi's Summoned Skull (actually, an un-powered Harpie Lady could easily destroy Summoned Skull in defense mode—its defense is only 1200 points).
Now Mai reminds Yugi of a question Joey once asked her—why does she duel? She says her answer was frivolous, but honest, and asks Yugi if he can answer that question. He says he's dueling for his Grandfather, and Joey adds that Yugi's answer is a lot better than Mai's was! He and Yugi aren't just dueling for themselves. But Mai suggests that their motives aren't entirely unselfish. Joey wants to know if she thinks they should be more like her, and he mocks her, hugging himself, saying "I'm gorgeous, I'm a great duelist. I love me!" Mai calls him a twit and says she's trying to be serious, but Joey says she's only trying to mess with Yugi's head, and gets so excited he falls off the balcony. He's caught just in time by Téa and Tristan, who haul him back up.
(Japanese Mai says that now Yugi has lost his most important thing, and says that unless he can find the answer, he won't be able to beat her. When she dueled Jounouchi before, he asked her a question: what is it that you can see, but can't see. Now she'll ask Yugi the same question. Yugi repeats the question, "Something that can be seen, but can't be seen...." Jounouchi tells Mai that this is the question he asked her—does she know the answer? She says yes, she's already shown him her answer in her own way. He says now he'll answer for Yugi, and clutches himself, saying, "It's hot, it's hot, I'm burning up!" She calls him an idiot and says he's wrong. The answer is very simple. He gets all excited, waving his arms, saying, "Simple! You say it's simple! Then what is it?" He protests that it was he and Yugi who thought up the question, then falls from the balcony.)
Mai thinks that Joey's wrong. She's not trying to confuse Yugi. Something's happened to Yugi, and he'll need more than his friendship with all of them to snap out of it, and there's only so much she can do. She admires Yugi, but she's still determined to win the duel. (Japanese Mai thinks that Jounouchi gave her the answer, so he must know it. He doesn't know the cards that well, so how could he get this far in Duelist Kingdom? The answer is here. But Yugi—he doesn't know the answer.)
Yugi thinks that Mai's right about one thing—he can't afford to be distracted now. Winning this duel is all that matters. (Japanese Yugi thinks that he can't let Mai's words confuse him. He must win this duel with his own strength.) He draws the Dark Magician, and is glad. Dark Magician would be powerful enough to beat Harpie's Pet Dragon. But he can't attack while the Mirror Wall is still in play. He needs another tactic. So he plays a trap card face down, and plays the Dark Magician in defense, ending his turn. He hopes to lure Mai to attack. He's got Mirror Force waiting to destroy all her monsters as soon as she does.
Mai draws, thinking that this card will nearly complete her Harpie combo. Whatever trap Yugi set for her just became useless! She plays Shadow of Eyes (Shadow of Temptation). (She calls it an accessory card, whatever the heck that is, but it's really a trap card, which she shouldn't be able to play without setting it on the field for a turn first. In the Japanese, it's a magic card) She tells Yugi to watch the field—he isn't going to like this at all!
Shadow of Eyes forces Dark Magician into attack mode. Mai says it exudes an irresistible force that can lure monsters into battle. Joey says Mai's trying to force Yugi to attack, and Tristan says that that means that playing monsters in defense mode is useless, too. Dark Magician attacks Harpie Lady, running into her Mirror Wall and losing half its attack points. (The real Shadow of Eyes does switch the opponent's monsters into attack position, but it doesn't make them attack.) Then she plays another Harpie's Feather Duster to destroy Yugi's trap card, and attacks Dark Magician with Harpie's Pet Dragon. Yugi's life points are reduced to 300, while Mai still has her full 2000.
Yugi's lost his best card, and his life points are dwindling. Mai asks him what he's going to do now. Joey also wonders—what is Yugi going to do? Téa tells Yugi he can still turn this around, and Joey tries to sound encouraging as well. Yami again pleads with Yugi to let him help. If Yugi continues to hold him back, he says, everybody loses! (Again, this is added to the US version. The Japanese version ends with Yugi standing silently in frustration.)
To Be Continued