Episode 30: Duel Identity - Part II (The Legendary Strongest Soldier: Chaos Soldier Descends)
Joey sums up the game so far, saying that Mai's got Yugi on the ropes—he's down to 300 life points, while she hasn't lost any. Yugi stares at the field in horror, thinking that as long as Mai has Shadow of Eyes on the field, he can't play any monsters in defense mode. (The real Shadow of Eyes is a normal trap, not a continuous trap. It can only be activated when the opponent sets a monster in defense, and it flips that one monster into attack position.) But if he attacks, his monsters lose half their attack when they hit her Mirror Wall. Yami asks Yugi to let him help, and again Yugi refuses, saying he can't risk turning Yami loose. (And again, this isn't in the Japanese version. An image of Yami is added over the image of... Yami in the US version.)
Pegasus senses Yugi's conflict. Instead of embracing the power of his Millennium Item, he seems to be struggling against it—and that will be his undoing. (Japanese Pegasus thinks, "Wonderful!" Mai's troops are increasing in strength, while Yugi is struggling with the fear of defeat.)
Tristan asks Yugi what the problem is, and Téa answers that Mai is. She's played this duel flawlessly. Joey wonders if it was sheer dumb luck that let him beat her before.
But Mai tells Joey it wasn't luck. (A continuity error here—Mai's dueling field shows two Shadow of Eyes traps and two Harpie Lady cards. She actually has only one of each in play.)
She continues, saying that Joey won because he knew something she didn't, and she learned more from that duel than from any duel she'd ever played. She tells a surprised Joey that it's true—she learned a lesson that day that she never really wanted to learn. It changed her, and the way she looked at dueling. She had to take a hard look at herself, and admit that the reason she relied on tricks was that she was afraid to trust in her own abilities. She had to learn to trust in herself, just as Joey trusted in himself. (Japanese Mai says that when she dueled Jounouchi, she dueled as hard as she could. The truth was, when she lost their duel she couldn't face her defeat. But she couldn't get the voice out of her mind, asking her "what can be seen, but not seen?" It was only when she faced her true self that she understood what it meant.)
Yugi tells Mai that she's really changed. (Japanese Yugi repeats, "My true self....") Mai asks Joey if he knows why he made it all the way to the final round of the tournament, and Joey says it was because he had his friends behind him, cheering him on and telling him that he could go all the way. Mai says that's very true, he did have his friends behind him all the way. But as well as having his friends, he had the guts to look inside and face up to what he saw there. He looked his demons in the eye and dealt with them. (Japanese Mai says that Jounouchi knows his weaknesses, and works to overcome them. That's the path of a True Duelist. That's what Jounouchi taught her.) Yugi looks on, as Mai adds that that's a lesson everyone should learn.
Surprised, Joey asks, he did that? Mai says that in that duel, Joey taught her that she can learn more from her defeats than her victories. He taught her to face up to her fears. (Japanese Mai says that a duelist demonstrates bravery not in winning, but in defeat. If he can look at himself without flinching after losing, then he shows bravery of spirit.) Then she asks Yugi—has he faced up to his fears? Has he come to grips with whatever freaked him out in his battle with Kaiba? (Japanese Mai asks Yugi if he has that kind of brave spirit.)
Yugi wonders, how can he? Kaiba was willing to risk everything in their duel, and the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle was willing to do anything to stop him. But if the spirit had attacked, Kaiba could have been seriously hurt. Yugi couldn't let that happen, even if it cost him the duel. (Japanese Yami thinks, "Yes, back then, in the face of Kaiba's determination to stake his life on the duel, I was so afraid of losing. I was afraid losing would hurt my pride. But standing between me and Kaiba was the other me. It was the other me who lost the duel. I didn't realize..." The flashback of Yugi and Kaiba's duel is changed in the US version to emphasize the conflict between Yugi and Yami.)
No matter how badly he wanted to save his Grandpa, he couldn't hurt anyone else. (This shot of Yugi is inserted into the US version.)
Yami speaks to Yugi, telling him he only wanted to help, and vows never to go against Yugi's wishes again. Yugi asks how he can believe Yami, and Yami reminds him that Grandpa urged him to trust in the power of the Millennium Puzzle. (In the Japanese version, there's no conversation between Yugi and Yami. Instead, Yami continues his reflection, thinking, "No, I didn't want to see. My other self's strength made up for my weakness. And so... 'Something you can see but can't see...' ".)
Yugi thinks that maybe Yami is right. He returns to the duel, thanking Mai for reminding him that a duelist faces his problems. He tells Mai she was right—he was holding back, but not any longer. (Japanese Yugi says he's glad he's gotten to know Mai. Now, the real duel begins.) Mai thinks Yugi's a little late to the party. She's been dueling for real all along. (Japanese Mai thinks it's too late. He can't change the outcome now no matter what he does.)
Yami starts to draw, and Yugi reminds him that he promised they'd do this his way. (Yugi's reminder, and his image, are added in the US version.)
Yami agrees that he did, and says that his word is his bond. (Japanese Yugi smiles at Yami, and Yami says that he no longer fears defeat.) Yugi nods, and Yami draws, and plays the magic card, Brain Control. (The card has been slightly redesigned in the US version.)
This allows him to brainwash one enemy monster and control it for a turn. He uses it to seize control of Harpie's Pet Dragon, and the Dragon turns to face the frightened Harpie Lady. Mai tells him, nice move—but the Dragon is a servant of Harpie Lady only, and, even brainwashed, it won't turn on its master. She tells Yugi he just made his final mistake. (This shot of Yugi is added to the US version, just before the US version goes into commercial break.)
(Following the break, this long shot of the duel is added in, to provide a transition back to the scene.)
But Yugi says he doesn't intend to attack Harpie Lady. First, he sets a card face down, then plays Catapult Turtle (1000 ATK). He puts Harpie's Pet Dragon on the catapult and launches it at the Mirror Wall. Mai thinks, oh no! the catapult has the power to destroy walls and fortresses! (The real Catapult Turtle doesn't.) Harpie's Pet Dragon smashes through the Mirror Wall, shattering it. The gang on the balcony cheer, while Mai watches in horror.
Destroying Mirror Wall is not all he's done, Yugi says. Harpie's Pet Dragon is destroyed, and half of its attack points are deducted from Mai's life points. The tide of the battle is turning. Mai's down to 850 life points. Joey cheers, and Pegasus thinks that it's most unexpected. It seems that Yugi-boy has somehow regained his inner strength.
Yugi thinks that Mai wanted his best, and she's about to get her wish. If he can trust the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle, if they can really work together, then nothing can stop them. (Japanese Yami thinks that Mai and his other self made him realize that warriors must search their own souls in order to gain real strength.)
It's Mai's turn, and she draws, thinking that Yugi only has one monster on the field. She could send Harpie Lady to destroy Yugi's Catapult Turtle, which would finish Yugi off and win the game. But he's got that one face-down card—if it's a trap, she could walk right into it, and that would finish her. This is the toughest decision she's had to make all game—to attack, or not to attack. She notices Yugi's steely look, and he urges her to bring on her assault.
She decides not to attack. She's not falling into his trap. Instead, she plays the magic card Elegant Egotist, which turns her one Harpie Lady into three, each with an attack of 2450. (How they got that attack, I have no idea.)
Mai ends her turn, telling Yugi that next time around, he'll get a taste of her Ladies' claws.
Yugi tells her it's too bad—she really should have attacked. She says that's his opinion, but he says it's fact. His face-down card isn't a trap, it's a magic card, Monster Recovery. (Monster Recovery gets a slight redesign in the US version.)
If she had attacked him, she'd have won, but she fell for his bluff. Now, it's a whole new duel.
(Cut from the US version is this pan over Mai and her Harpie Ladies, as Mai tells Yugi it was a good move. But her chance will come next turn, when her Harpie Lady troops and their Pet Dragon will attack.)
(Also cut is this shot of Yugi looking at his cards, thinking that Mai still has Shadow of Temptation on the field, to force all his monsters into attack mode. He doesn't have anything in his hand strong enough to face her monsters. So he'll have to use his Monster Recovery card now.)
Yugi activates Monster Recovery, which allows him to put his Catapult Turtle and his hand back into his deck, shuffle, and draw five new cards. But to his disappointment, none of these cards is strong enough to bring down Mai's Harpie Ladies. (The cards in his new hand are Celtic Guardian, Monster Reborn, Kuriboh, Griffore, and Mystical Elf.)
Mai says that each of her Harpie Ladies now has an attack of 2450. (Japanese Mai says her Harpies' combined attack has a strength of 2700.) There are only a handful of cards in all of Duel Monsters that can stand up to that, and from the look on Yugi's face, he hasn't drawn one.
(Cut from the US version are these shots of Mai looking triumphant, and Yugi glowering at her.)
(Also cut are these shots of the gang on the balcony and Yugi looking grim, as Jounouchi calls out to Yugi, asking him what's going on—he can't give up now. Anzu also calls out encouragement, and tells him to beat Mai.)
(Honda says that Mai's "pheromone cards"—the Harpies use pheromones to lure the opponent's monsters into attacking—are very strong. It won't be easy to defeat them. Anzu protests, "Pheromone cards, so what?")
Téa calls out to Yugi to keep fighting. (Japanese Anzu calls out to Yugi not to lose to those seductive kinds of cards.)
Yugi thinks that, without a monster on the field, Mai is free to attack his life points directly! (Actually, at this point in the show, direct attacks aren't allowed. Japanese Yugi thinks, "Harpies' seductive lure... ") He'll never survive—unless... Yugi plays a monster in defense. Mai says he it won't work—Shadow of Eyes lures all monsters into attack mode. (Cut from the US version are these shots of Yugi's monster remaining in defense on the field, and Mai gasping in surprise.)
But Yugi says, not all monsters, and that's what will save his life points. He flips over his monster, revealing Mystical Elf. Shadow of Eyes lures men into battle, but it doesn't work on female monsters. (Which is, you know, a crock.) Mai says she forgot about that! Téa sighs with relief—he made it with all of his life points intact. But Bakura points out that Yugi's not out of the woods yet—it won't take Mai long to destroy Mystical Elf.
It's Mai's turn, and she uses Monster Reborn to revive Harpie's Pet Dragon, now powered up to 2900 attack points by the three Harpie Ladies on the field. Then she uses the three Harpie Ladies' X-terminator attack (the Japanese attack is "Triangle Ecstasy Spark") to destroy Mystical Elf, leaving Yugi defenseless. (This close-up of Yugi is added to the US version to transition to the commercial break, and the long shot of the duel is added to transition back.)
Mai tells Yugi his time has run out. Next turn, she'll eliminate the rest of his life points. And then she'll go on to the finals. Mai smiles to herself, thinking that she's unstoppable. There's nothing Yugi can do against her monsters' attack power. One more turn, and it's all over.
Yugi thinks that there must be something he can do! The next card he draws will decide the fate of so many lives! But what happens if he draws the wrong card? What happens to Grandpa, to Joey and his sister, and to Kaiba and Mokuba? He can't do it. But Yami encourages him, saying they can do it together. Yugi must trust him, and the heart of the cards. With their hands together they draw their next card. (In the Japanese, natch, it's Yugi's presence encouraging Yami.)
Mai says she'll wipe out whatever card Yugi draws. But Yugi plays Swords of Revealing Light! Mai is astonished that he drew Swords of Revealing Light. How can anybody be that lucky? Joey says that will hold Mai at bay for three turns, and buy Yugi some time to find a way out of this mess.
Mai thinks Yugi's determined to go down fighting and go out in a blaze of glory, but Yugi says he intends to go out in a blaze of victory. He thinks, Harpie's Pet Dragon is Mai's most powerful monster, and unless he can defeat it, there's no way to win. Yami says that they can defeat it, but only at great risk. It involves the Black Luster Ritual, and three turns might not be enough.
Yugi asks what the Black Luster Ritual is, but Yami only says that if he can draw the right cards, Yugi will see soon enough. (Okay, this is dumb. It's Yugi's deck, surely he knows what cards he has in it. This conversation between the two selves, with the shots of Yami and Yugi, is added to the US version, replacing a pan across the dueling field in the Japanese, as Mai tells Yugi that he has no monsters on the field, and Yugi says, yes, so he'll play this.)
Yugi plays Kuriboh, and Mai has a good laugh at the little hairball, saying it's totally ferocious. She thinks it wants to attack Harpie's Pet Dragon! Yugi just glares at her, and she sobers up, asking if he doesn't think that's funny. Yugi tells her to laugh all she wants, but don't mistake the Kuriboh for a joke. It's an important step on his way to victory. Mai thinks Kuriboh couldn't be an important step on the way to anything, except maybe choking a cat. Anyway, she can't attack with Swords of Revealing Light on the field, so she draws a card and ends her turn. But soon, she says, Yugi will be history.
Yugi looks at his remaining cards—Celtic Guardian, Monster Reborn, and Griffore—thinking that Kuriboh was a good start, but with just the cards he has in his hand now, he can't initiate the Black Luster Ritual. He still needs one more card. He draws Polymerization, but it's not the card he needs.
Mai watches, smiling, thinking that she doesn't know what Yugi's up to, but go for it! If he's got to lose, he might as well lose with some flair. (Japanese Mai thinks that she doesn't know what Yugi's up to, but the Goddess of Victory hasn't smiled on him yet.) Yugi plays Monster Reborn to bring back Gaia the Fierce Knight (2300 ATK). Mai isn't impressed, saying she supposes he's an improvement over Kuriboh, but he hardly represents a threat to her Harpies and their supercharged Pet Dragon. She draws and ends her second turn under Swords of Revealing Light.
Yugi draws Winged Dragon, Guardian of the Fortress—still not the right card. Téa worries, but Joey tells her to keep her cool. He says you can tell by the look in Yugi's eyes that he's not about to give up. Watching from the sidelines, Pegasus thinks that Yugi's being very daring to attempt the legendary Black Luster Ritual. But he's only got one turn left to draw the necessary card. Is he really ready to risk everything on the outcome of a single draw?
Mai draws another Harpie Lady—on her next turn, she can play it and raise Harpie's Pet Dragon's attack by another 300 points, to 3200! Once Yugi's Swords of Revealing Light wears off, it will be all over for him. Joey says that Mai isn't even trying to hide her next move! She's got so much firepower, she thinks she has it in the bag.
Mai's turn ends, and the three turns have passed. Swords of Revealing Light disappears, and Mai taunts Yugi, saying he didn't get much out of his three free turns. Yugi stares at his deck. One card—it all comes down to this. Joey and Téa, Bakura, and Tristan all watch anxiously, while Pegasus chuckles to himself. (The shot of Pegasus is added to the US version.)
Slowly, he begins to draw his final card... but he can't do it. (Japanese Yugi pauses, thinking that this card is the door to destiny.) Too much is riding on this last draw! Yami sees himself in darkness, facing a door that looks like the back of a card. Yugi was right, Yami thinks. There's too much riding on a single card. Who is he to gamble the lives of Yugi's friends and family? He can't do it. (Japanese Yami wonders if he has the courage to open the door.)
But Yugi's spirit joins him, laying his hand over Yami's, telling him they can do it together. He reminds Yami that they're not alone. They have the support of all their friends. Yami realizes that he was foolish to lose faith. Yugi says they have to trust in each other, and in the heart of the cards! Once they put their hearts into the game, there's nothing they can't do! (Japanese spirit Yugi smiles, but doesn't say anything. Their friends appear, and Yami says, "Everyone!" Then he says, that's right, he has no need to fear defeat, because he has everyone by his side. This card will allow him to fly down this dangerous road to the light.) They reach for the handle, and open the door together, and light streams through from the other side.
Pegasus is stunned by the sudden surge of power he senses from Yugi.
Yugi holds up his card and smiles, telling Mai that she put up a good fight, but now the duel ends. (Japanese Yugi says that he has all the pieces of his victory in hand.) He plays the magic card, Black Luster Ritual (Chaos Ritual), sacrificing Kuriboh and Gaia the Fierce Knight to summon the mighty Black Luster Soldier (Chaos Soldier), with an attack power of 3000 points! (In the real game, he would have had to have Black Luster Soldier in his hand in order to Ritual Summon it, but he could have sacrificed the two tribute monsters from his hand.) Mai is astonished—is that really the legendary Black Luster Soldier? (Mai's cleavage, which has been mostly left as is during this duel, has been partially erased here in the US version.)
Black Luster Soldier attacks Harpie's Pet Dragon, destroying it, and reducing Mai's life points to 750. Just like that, she says, her most powerful monster is gone. Joey says, it's outstanding! For a minute there, he didn't think Yugi would be able to pull it off. Tristan says he doesn't think Mai did, either. Mai just stands there, stunned by the sudden turnaround. Pegasus thinks, the duel is over. Mai's spirit is broken.
One turn away, Mai thinks. If she'd been able to play one more Harpie Lady card before the Black Luster Soldier appeared, she'd have won. (Actually, she could have played her Harpie Lady on her previous turn. Swords of Revealing Light doesn't stop you from summoning monsters, just from attacking with them.) But she can't revive her Pet Dragon, and there's no other card in her deck that can defeat that ultimate warrior. Disheartened, she lays her hand on her deck. Joey says, no way! Téa asks what happened, and Bakura explains that putting her hand over her cards like that means she surrenders.
Mai says she'd rather not see her Harpie Ladies destroyed on the next turn. She tells Yugi the duel is his, and starts to walk away.
But as she leaves, Yugi stops her to thank her. He says, she told him a duelist can learn more from defeat than victory, and she was correct. But she taught him a lot today. He had to confront his own fears and weaknesses, or he could never have defeated her. (Japanese Yugi says that in this duel, she's helped him rediscover what he'd lost—what he can see, but can't see.)
She tells him it's nice of him to say that, but it seems she still has a lot more to learn about dueling and herself. Maybe the most important lesson is that defeat doesn't have to be forever. Yugi won this duel, but there will be others. She'll meet him in the arena again, and when she does, he'd better watch out! (Japanese Mai says that, in this world, there's no perfect duelist. There is weakness in everyone's heart. But when one can't confront one's own weakness, he can't see what is there to see. There are two kinds of losing: one is complete defeat, but she has confidence that this defeat can make her stronger. In the end, she must hold onto her dream.)
Yugi gives her thumbs up, and she returns the gesture with a wink.