Episode 33: Best of Friends, Best of Duelists - Part I (The Final Game of Friendship - Yugi vs Jounouchi, Part 1)
Waves crash against the cliffs of Pegasus' island. In the castle, Croquet announces the final playoff match between Yugi Motou and Joey Wheeler, which will not only determine who wins the tournament, but who wins a match with Pegasus.
Standing on the dueling platform, Yugi thinks, he has to win the match so he can duel Pegasus to save his Grandpa. He remembers his dream, in which his Grandpa told him that whatever it takes, Pegasus must be defeated. On the other side of the dueling platform, Joey thinks, he has to win for Serenity, and remembers the video his sister sent him, telling him that she wants to see him once more, and Mai giving him her entry card so he could participate in the finals.
Up on the gallery, Bakura says, who would have guessed that out of all the duelists who started this tournament, two best friends would end up in the final? Tristan agrees that it's harsh, but at least one of them will get the chance to take on Pegasus. Téa guesses so, but wouldn't it be easier to flip a coin or something, and get to the match with Pegasus now? Tristan doesn't think it works that way. Téa protests that Yugi and Joey are like brothers—they shouldn't be forced to fight each other like this. Tristan says, it's just how this tournament works, but Téa still doesn't like it. (Japanese Anzu says they know Yugi is going to give Jounouchi the prize money, so why do they still fight? Honda says if they don't duel, they can't win the prize. She says, even so, they're friends. They shouldn't duel. Honda says they duel because they're friends, but Anzu doesn't get it.)
Yugi tells Joey to wait a second, but Joey interrupts, saying he hopes Yugi isn't having second thoughts about dueling him. Yugi says he's sorry, but he doesn't know if he can do this. Joey tells him to suck it up—they've already agreed that if it came down to them, they'd both just fight their best and most honorable duel. That's the only way they'll really know who's best prepared to take on Pegasus. (Japanese Jounouchi says they must fight to the end, no matter who their opponent is.)
Yugi thinks that Joey's right. He may not want to do this, but it has to be done, if they want to beat Pegasus. (Japanese Yugi agrees that they must fight to the end.) Joey says, let's do this thing. The Millennium Puzzle activates, and Yami takes over, telling Joey it's time to duel. (As before, the whole transformation sequence is added back to the US version. Then, this sequence is cut from the US version showing a pan up field to the balcony from behind Yugi, and a close-up of Anzu saying, "Yugi.")
Croquet announces that their gracious host will now make a few opening remarks. (This long shot of the duel is added to the US version while Croquet makes his announcement. He doesn't make an announcement in the Japanese version.)
Pegasus stands up and congratulates the finalists, telling them that they're the finest in the world, and he looks forward to their dueling best. If they give him any less, he will know. (Japanese Pegasus says that, as the host of Duelist Kingdom, he admires them. He urges them to fight with no regrets.) He chuckles, and his Millennium Eye glows through his silver hair.
Joey takes a moment to thank Yugi. Here he is, in the final match of the biggest Duel Monsters tournament ever held, and it's all because of Yugi. Yugi says Joey's wrong—he earned his place there. Joey says that no matter what happens, Yugi will always be his friend. But that doesn't mean he's going to go easy on Yugi, or that he expects Yugi to go easy on him. He's ready for Yugi's best. (Japanese Jounouchi says, "I want to fight a real battle with you one day. There's an enormous power within you, and I will get to share that power by fighting you." This is a small preview of the True Duelist thread that runs through the upcoming Battle City tournament.)
Bakura thinks that Pegasus doesn't have to worry about these two not dueling their hardest. With what's on the line here, they're sure to go all out. (Japanese Bakura reflects that the true dueling spirit is awakening in Jounouchi—the instinct to challenge a stronger fighter.)
Pegasus laughs to himself, thinking, how amusing! The same best friends who would do anything to help each other have become arch-rivals. What a splendid show this should make! (Japanese Pegasus thinks this will be the best final ever.)
Yugi thinks that Joey asked for his best, and he intends to give it, and Joey thinks he's going to come at Yugi hard, right from the start. Then, there's a music video about Yugi and Joey's friendship to the song, "No Matter What." (The music vid is added to the US version. A lot of scenes from previous episodes are combined with a few later shots from this episode. I'm not going to cap them all, but here are a few shots from the vid.)
(In the Japanese episode, instead of the music vid, the scene proceeds to Crocketts telling the duelists to begin, then the hologram generators lighting up and the life point counters initializing, and an overhead shot of the duel.)
Yugi begins by summoning Celtic Guardian (Elf Swordsman) (1400 ATK) in attack mode. Téa says it was one thing when these two had duels back home, and there wasn't anything big on the line. But here.... Tristan finishes, everything's at stake. The money for Serenity's operation, the match with Pegasus to save Yugi's Grandpa—he wishes they could both win. Bakura agrees that the stakes are high, but hopes there will be a way for both of them to get what they've fought for. (Japanese Anzu says that both of them are fighting for their family, so why? Honda says that doesn't matter now—they are just battling as duelists, and that's what makes them men. Bakura wonders if Jounouchi's head-on attacks will be able to defeat Yugi.)
Pegasus, eavesdropping from his ringside seat at the duel, chuckles evilly and thinks that after everything is said and done, he's the only one who'll get everything he wants. (Japanese Pegasus marvels at how beautiful the sight is, as if two wild beasts had been released to battle.)
Joey summons Giltia the Knight (real name of the card is Giltia the D. Knight) (1850 ATK) and attacks Celtic Guardian, striking the first blow of the match and reducing Yugi's life points to 1550. He tells Yugi he warned him he's not pulling any punches in this duel. (Japanese Jounouchi asks Yugi if that's the best he can do.) Tristan says, Joey's not kidding! He's in the lead. Bakura reminds him that there's still a long way to go. Anyone can score an early lead in a duel, but only a few can play well for an entire match. Téa adds, only the best. Bakura says that even though Yugi's behind on life points now, he's proven himself able to stay focused and make the big plays when they count. Not that Joey doesn't show the same promise, but Yugi's had more experience, and that may be what gives him the edge. (Japanese Honda says Jounouchi's gotten tougher. Bakura says that the duel's just begun. Yugi has the upper hand when it comes to focus. Anzu asks what he means, and Bakura says to look at Yugi's eyes. He's hiding his fighting spirit, while observing Jounouchi.)
Yugi thinks that Joey left his knight on the field completely unprotected—just one of those amateur mistakes could cost him the match if he were dueling Pegasus. (Japanese Yugi thinks that the old Jounouchi would fight with raw strength, but Jounouchi is different now. After many battles, he knows the importance of strategy.) He calls for a time out, much to Joey's surprise, and tells him that ever since they arrived on the island, he's done his best to teach Joey everything he knows. Now, Joey must put everything he's learned into play, and think strategically. He can't afford to make any mistakes. Joey doesn't get it. Did he do something wrong already? It's only been one turn! Yugi says that in a duel of this magnitude, every single move is crucial. One false card could cost him everything he's worked for. (Japanese Yugi tells Jounouchi that in this game, each battle is a risk. Playing a stronger monster may only win one turn. Jounouchi says he knows—he's learned a lot since coming to this island. Yugi reminds Jounouchi that the key to winning is the balance between monster cards and magic cards.)
Joey says he's got it. Every move has to be right. Yugi agrees. No mistake will remain unpunished—by Pegasus, or by him. Joey says okay, and calls time in. (Japanese Jounouchi says he learned that from Yugi. Yugi advises Jounouchi not to use up all his monsters right away, and Jounouchi thanks him for the advice.) Yugi makes his next move, summoning Gaia the Fierce Knight (Dark Knight Gaia) (2300 ATK). He attacks and destroys Giltia the Knight. Now they're even at 1550.
Joey congratulates Yugi on his move, and says now they'll see what he can come up with. He plays Armored Lizard (1200 DEF) in defense. Yugi knows Joey has a better monsters than that, and wonders what Joey is planning. (Japanese Yugi realizes that Jounouchi is luring him to attack, and accepts the call.) Tristan wonders why Joey's playing that throwaway monster, and Bakura thinks maybe Joey hasn't learned as much as they thought. But Pegasus sees what Joey's doing. Joey says it's Yugi's turn now.
Yugi responds by playing Summoned Skull (Demon Summon) (2500 ATK) in attack mode and destroying Armored Lizard. But Joey smiles, and Bakura says Joey almost looks glad his monster was destroyed! Tristan says it's sad—Joey's in denial already. But Bakura says that's not what he meant. (Japanese Bakura says, that's right. That's what Jounouchi's strategy was. Honda says it was just a simple defeat, but Bakura says that's not it.) He thinks Joey played a mediocre monster so that Yugi would be lulled into a false sense of security and attack it. Joey knows full well that Yugi has monsters in his deck that could easily beat Armored Lizard. Bakura thinks Joey was just trying to lure Yugi's monsters out.
Bakura's right. Joey says he was hoping Yugi would play Summoned Skull. He needed Summoned Skull out for his strategy to work. But don't take his word for it—watch and learn! Now it's his turn to teach Yugi a lesson. (Japanese Jounouchi tells Yugi that the balance between magic and monster cards is the key—now he gives Yugi's advice back to him!)
Téa says that Joey sure seems confident that whatever he has planned will take down Summoned Skull. Joey begins by playing Flame Swordsman (1800 ATK) in attack mode. Yugi wonders, why play Flame Swordsman? Tristan says Flame Swordsman won't stand a chance—Summoned Skull's attack is too high. Bakura says, not once Joey plays that!
Joey plays his magic card, Shield & Sword (Shield in the Right Hand, Sword in the Left Hand). Yugi says, oh no! while Bakura explains that Shield & Sword reverses each monster's attack points with its defense points. Tristan says he gets it now, and Flame Swordsman's attack becomes 1600, while Summoned Skull's goes down to 1200. Joey asks, how's that? and Yugi glowers. Then Joey attacks and destroys Summoned Skull, and Yugi's life points go down to 1150.
Yugi tells Joey, well played. Joey not only reduced Yugi's life points, he took out one of Yugi's best monsters, too. Joey thanks him, and says it's nothing compared to some of the other moves he's got ready to bust out. Yugi says he looks forward to them, but Joey's not the only one with powerful moves ready to play. Joey tells him to bring them on. (Japanese Yugi says, so Joey used Armored Lizard to lure out Summoned Skull. Jounouchi says that in order to beat Yugi, he has to take him on one monster at a time. Yugi says Jounouchi's really grown. The monster-magic card combo was interesting. Jounouchi says he's flattered.)
Tristan says this duel is really heating up, and Bakura agrees that with the level of skill those two possess, things are only going to get hotter. (Japanese Honda says Jounouchi is really good. Bakura agrees, and says that if Jounouchi keeps this up, he might be able to beat Yugi.) Téa's not happy about that, but Pegasus thinks it's splendid. Friends make such wonderful adversaries! (Japanese Pegasus thinks that they each know what the other's thinking, and know each other's strategies. It's a game to watch.)
Yugi says his Summoned Skull will be avenged, and summons Curse of Dragon (2000 ATK) in attack mode, then plays Polymerization to fuse it with Gaia the Fierce Knight, forming Gaia the Dragon Champion (Dragon Knight Gaia) (2600 ATK). He attacks and destroys Flame Swordsman, and Joey's down to 750 life points.
Up on the balcony, Téa worries, while Bakura says this is what he meant—no matter what happens, Yugi keeps a laser-like focus and makes the big plays when they really count. Now they'll see if Joey can do the same. Tristan asks how Joey can make a big play with that Dragon Champion out there. Bakura says it's not about what's out—Joey must keep his cool, like Yugi did, when being attacked by his best friend. Téa says it's as if Yugi and Joey are pushing each other to duel their very best. Bakura agrees that they're pushing each other as hard as they can, so whoever wins will be at his best when he faces Pegasus. (Japanese Bakura says it was a strong attack—Yugi has been observing the way Jounouchi plays, and thinks Yugi will get serious now. Honda says Jounouchi wouldn't want it any other way. Bakura says it's like two beasts fighting with their natural instincts. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a need for such a huge attack. They both just want to win. Anzu protests that it's Yugi and Jounouchi. Why do they have to fight? Bakura says, because they're duelists.)
Pegasus reflects that he seems to be the only one who enjoys watching two friends push each other to the brink. It must be an acquired taste. (Japanese Pegasus agrees—once in the arena, they must fight until one of them falls. That's the world of the duelist.)
Bakura says that even though they've been forced to fight each other, they've actually found a way to help each other. It's amazing. (Bakura says there'll be some heavy fighting here. No one can stop them.)
(Cut from the US version is this sequence, starting with a pan across the field from Jounouchi to Yugi.)
(Yugi asks Jounouchi, what now? He says Jounouchi will want to destroy Dragon Knight Gaia. Jounouchi urges himself to come on! He has to be serious now.)
(Jounouchi stares at his hand, thinking that what he has to worry about is destroying Dragon Knight Gaia.)
(It has 2600 attack points, while his strongest monster, the Red-Eyes Black Dragon, has only 2400. Without it, his chances of winning are...)
(Watching, Pegasus thinks that this is exciting.)
(Pegasus thinks, Jounouchi must be trying to think of a way to defeat Dark Knight Gaia. What will Jounouchi do?)
(Jounouchi thinks that a straight-on attack will just get him killed. He wonders if he can use a magic card to make the Red-Eyes stronger than Gaia.)
(Meanwhile, Yugi thinks that he's sorry, but once he steps onto the battlefield, he will not lose. He'll block Jounouchi's attacks any way he can. What will Jounouchi do next?)
(Waves crash against the cliffs, and the wind rustles through the trees.)
As he draws, Joey asks his deck not to fail him now. The card he's drawn is Copycat, and he sees that he also has Graverobber in his hand, and gets an idea. (The other cards in his hand are Garoozis, Kunai with Chain, and Red-Eyes Black Dragon.) He thinks he might be able to use these two to take out Yugi's Dragon Champion, and maybe even clinch the match!
Joey stares at his cards, thinking that this combo of his might actually work. Yugi wonders what Joey's smiling about—Gaia the Dragon Champion is one of his toughest monsters. Joey says the Dragon Champ is done for, and tells Yugi to watch this. Bakura says Joey must have something big planned!
Joey summons the Red-Eyes Black Dragon (2400 ATK), then he uses Graverobber to steal Summoned Skull from Yugi's graveyard. (That's an illegal move—Graverobber is a trap card, and must be set on the field for one turn before it can be activated. Japanese Jounouchi calls it a magic card, although it's got the red background of a trap card. Also, the real Graverobber can only be used to steal a magic card). Next, he plays Copycat, using it to copy Yugi's Polymerization card. (Also an illegal move—he's already summoned a monster this turn, and shouldn't be able to summon Copycat as well. In the Japanese, he plays it in the magic and trap zone as if it's a magic card, the same way he uses Time Wizard. The real Copycat can only copy a monster card on the field.) Joey says he's never used Polymerization before, but he's seen Yugi use it plenty of times, and he fuses Red-Eyes Black Dragon and Summoned Skull to form the Black Skull Dragon (Black Demons Dragon), with an attack of 3200!
Pegasus applauds Joey's move. Now there are two fused duel monsters set for battle! Joey attacks, and Black Skull Dragon destroys Gaia the Dragon Champion, taking Yugi's life points down to 550.
Joey says, he did it! He just took down one of the most powerful monsters in Yugi's deck. He says Yugi's got to admit that was a pretty sweet move he played. Yugi is grim and silent, and Joey says he understands—Yugi's got his game face on, trying to keep Joey in suspense. But Yugi says that's not it—he's just letting Joey enjoy his triumph. Joey played a fine move. (Japanese Jounouchi tells Yugi he's beginning to understand the fun of dueling, and Yugi agrees that this is a true duel.)
But now it's Yugi's move. Téa says, uh oh—looks like the duel's heating up again. Tristan says, look at Yugi's eyes, and Bakura says that stare's meant doom for many a duelist. But at the same time, Joey seems almost unstoppable right now. It's truly anyone's duel. (Japanese Anzu says, what will happen now? Honda says, only they know. Bakura says they'll continue fighting until one of them falls.) Téa looks worriedly at her friends, and Pegasus says, bravo! He so looks forward to seeing how this will turn out. (Japanese Pegasus says he couldn't leave now—he must watch this duel.)
Joey says his Black Skull Dragon's about to end this match! but Yugi says the duel's just getting started. (Japanese Jounouchi says the duel has just begun. Come on, Yugi! Yugi says, yes, let's go, Jounouchi!) Rain falls over the castle as the duel continues.
To Be Continued