Episode 43: Legendary Heroes - Part I (The Big 5's Trap: Duel Monsters Quest)
Kaiba and Mokuba confront the Big 5 executives who conspired with Pegasus to take over Kaiba Corporation. Kaiba announces that they're all immediately fired. They try to explain that they only formed the alliance with Pegasus in order to spy on Pegasus and "rescue" Kaiba. (In the Japanese, they say they only did it because of Kaiba's loss to Yugi, in order to save the company's falling reputation.) Then they tell him they've finished work on Kaiba's virtual pod, and only await his stamp of approval before releasing it. (In the Japanese, the Big 5 have developed the virtual game, called Duel Monsters Quest, and challenge Kaiba to play the game, betting that if he wins, they'll go, but if he loses, he must agree not to fire them. And Kaiba takes the bet.)
Kaiba's impressed. He's not quite ready to let the Big 5 off the hook, but he's eager to test his new virtual adventure game, and hurries off to try it out. Mokuba is worried, and warns his brother that it might be a trap, but Kaiba's confident that he can handle it, since he designed the program himself. (In the Japanese, Kaiba says he knows it's a trap, but he has to accept the challenge. "If I push them too far," he says, "they'll try to get revenge." Then, "I'm going to beat the hell out of them.") He goes to the lab and straps himself into the pod, puts his deck into the machine, and tells Mokuba to get ready. (The word "Proto" is written on the pod in the Japanese.)
Mokuba reluctantly starts it up, calling out to his brother to be careful.
Kaiba's mind enters the virtual world through a transport portal, and lands in a virtual forest. He has a duel disk on his arm and 2000 life points. Mokuba observes a graphical representation of his brother on a screen, and sees that he's okay so far.
Kaiba is confronted by a giant two-headed monster, its attack of 1600 imprinted on the sky. Just as he programmed it, he says to himself (in the Japanese, he says, "Trying to beat me with a game like this?"), and summons the Blue Eyes White Dragon, holding the card up over his head. The huge dragon forms in the sky, ready to attack. But then, an Armed Ninja flies towards him. Wait a minute, he says, I didn't program that. He tries to attack it with the Blue Eyes, but a Dragon Capture Jar appears and sucks his dragon up. Someone must have reprogrammed the game's combat protocols! The Armed Ninja lands and throws a net over Kaiba. The screen Mokuba's watching lights up, and so does the virtual pod. Something's gone wrong! Mokuba opens the pod, but Kaiba's fallen unconscious.
Then blast doors slide down over the room's entrance, trapping Mokuba in the lab. One of the Big 5 executives comes on the video screen, telling Mokuba that his brother's mind has been trapped in the game. Now, they'll take Mokuba prisoner again, and go on with their plan to take over Kaiba Corporation!
Three goons run down the hall, led by Kemo, who's back with the Big 5, and prepare to enter the lab. Mokuba grabs his brother's deck out of the pod and escapes through a ventilator shaft. One of the Big 5 orders Kemo to go after him at once! But another one says not to worry—Mokuba will be back. He won't leave his brother. The only way to save Kaiba is to enter the virtual world and beat the game—something they're confident is impossible.
Meanwhile, at the game store, Joey is buying more Duel Monsters cards from Grandpa, who tells him his tab is past due. So Joey tells him to put it on Tristan's tab. (In the Japanese, Grandpa just says he has a new card coming in, which Jounouchi's eager to see.) Then Mokuba bursts in, soaking wet from the rain, begging for help.
They bring Mokuba inside, wrap him in a blanket and give him tea, while he tells his story. He explains that his brother had worked for a long time to perfect his virtual pod, building several prototypes of the pod. It was his dream to create the ultimate virtual adventureland, but the Big 5 turned it into a nightmare. Lousy suits, says Joey. We'll show them like we showed Pegasus! Yugi agrees—they'll use the prototype pods to enter the game and save Kaiba. (In the Japanese, Mokuba asks Yugi to please save his brother. Grandpa says they'll be in trouble if the Big 5 comes after them. Mokuba says his brother's real dream is to build Kaiba Land, to bring happiness to children. Jounouchi is surprised, saying he didn't know that! Mokuba says that's why his brother works so hard at Kaiba Corporation, and Jounouchi says, don't worry, we'll help you. Yugi agrees, saying he understands the bond between the brothers.)
Mokuba takes them to Kaiba's personal laboratory, where the prototypes are kept. (In the Japanese, the sign over the building they're sneaking into says "Adventure Game." In the US version, it's replaced with a big "K".)
(Also, the "Keep Out" sign on the rope barrier they run under is removed.)
But there are only three pods—someone will have to stay behind, and Joey elects Tristan, while Tristan thinks it should be Joey. Mokuba says he's going—he knows the most about the virtual world they're going into. (In the Japanese, Jounouchi says only three people can go: himself, Yugi, and.... Honda grabs him and starts to say he'll be the third when Mokuba says he'll go. Jounouchi reminds him that if they lose the game, he won't be able to come back, but he says life is meaningless without his brother.) Finally, Mokuba, Yugi, and Joey get into the pods, while Téa and Tristan stay behind to work the console.
The Big 5 notice the activation of the pods on their monitors. Mokuba's come back, just as they predicted—but he's brought Yugi Mutou and those others with him! No worry, once Kemo has unplugged the pods, they'll be trapped in the game as well! Kaiba won't escape.
In the game, Yugi looks at his life point counter and gets a bit worried, wondering what will happen to them if they lose all their life points. (In the Japanese, he worries because they don't know the rules to this game.) They come to a graveyard, where they're confronted by three zombies! Joey notices that they're Duel Monsters, so all he has to do is draw a card and... he doesn't know what. Mokuba shows him how to summon a monster in the virtual world—just hold the card up and announce the summons, and the monster will appear. He summons Rude Kaiser, while Yugi summons the Dark Magician. (One thing they don't explain is how they know what monster's going to be on the top of their decks. Maybe the card becomes whatever they announce it's going to be? But we saw Kaiba's Blue Eyes card before he made the summons. Oh well.) They destroy the three zombies—but then the zombies come back! Joey says he's got it, and summons the Flame Swordsman, not realizing that the zombies are returning from the dead stronger each time. The Dragon Zombie destroys the Flame Swordsman.
Yugi reminds Joey that zombie monsters have one major weakness, and Joey remembers his duel with Bonz, and how he defeated Bonz's zombie army. Zombies have zero defense, so Joey activates his Shield and Sword card to switch their attack and defense points, and Yugi's Dark Magician mops them up.
After defeating the zombies, they find cards with coins depicted on them, and the number five. Yugi figures they must be part of a scoring system. (In the Japanese, they realize the cards are virtual money.) But Joey's life points have gone down to 1820, and aren't going back up. That can't be good.
Then they spot a tiny fairy that seems to be beckoning them. They follow it, and soon come to a cliff, where they see a virtual town in the valley below, and so they go to it. Soon they spot a vendor with Duel Monsters cards, and Joey's all set to pick one up (the card he's interested in appears to be the Red-Eyes Black Metal Dragon), until Mokuba points out the price: 2000 points. Their cards are only worth five points each.
They decide to split up and search for clues, and meet back at the water fountain. Joey returns with a dog hanging from his pants leg. But Mokuba has news—a man with a prisoner was seen heading for the mountains in the distance. There's an ancient temple at the top—that must be where they were going. (In the Japanese, it's the Cave of Death.) Mokuba takes off across the sand, and the others follow, but they're soon caught up in a sandstorm, and a huge twister sweeps them right back into the town.
An old man tells them the Niwatori chickens know how to cross the desert. (Niwatori means "chicken" in Japanese. However, in the Japanese version, it's the Koke card they need.) They need to get a Niwatori card, but the man tells them the card can only be won.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Kemo and a bunch of goons have arrived at Kaiba's private lab to pull the plug on the pods. Inside the lab, Tristan and Téa wait, hoping everyone's okay. Tristan thinks they should play a game of "Guess my Facial Hair," trying to show off his fine beard of eight whiskers, but Téa is so not interested. (In the Japanese, Honda reassures Anzu that even Yugi needs some time to finish the game. Then asks her if she wants to hear about his first crush. She's not interested. So he asks if she wants to hear his essay, "My Dream is to Become a Pilot." Still no interest.) Then they hear Kemo and company out in the hall, and figure they'd better barricade the door.
Joey, Yugi, and Mokuba have scoured the town, and not one of the card stands has the Niwatori card. Suddenly, Yugi realizes what the old man meant about it being a prize card, and leads them to a poster announcing a contest offering a Niwatori card as the prize to a warrior who can defeat the coliseum's champion. (And, even though the writing on the Japanese poster is just a bunch of scribbles, it's still redrawn into different scribbles for the US.)
They rush off to sign up, and they're given a combat mask and cape for the challenger to wear. But when they find out that the challenger must risk all his life points in the combat, even though his life points are lower than either of the others', Joey insists on being the one to face the champion. (In the Japanese, he tells Yugi, "You don't need me, but we can't win without you.")
Joey enters the Coliseum wearing the cape and mask—which is a pig mask. Yugi cheers him on.
The Champion is carried onto the field in a chair. It's a woman wearing a butterfly mask, who's introduced as Madam Butterfly. The Champion's a girl! Joey says. And it looks like she's ready to rumble!
To Be Continued