Episode 58: Espa Roba, the ESP Duelist - Part I (Esper Roba: Psychic Deck Terror)
Joey sees a duel going on and runs up to check it out. Espa Roba (Esper Roba) is about to beat Rex Raptor, saying that he knew Rex was going to play his Serpent Night Dragon, so he had his Mesmeric Control ready to go. Rex wants to know how Espa Roba could have known what card he was going to play, and Roba says he's psychic! Then Roba's Jinzo destroys Serpent Night Dragon, and wins the duel. Devastated, Rex hands over his locator card and his Serpent Night Dragon, and Roba looks around for his next victim.
Afraid of Roba's ESP powers, several duelists make up lame excuses and refuse to duel. Then Roba spots Joey and challenges him, thinking he looks clueless. Rex warns Joey not to duel him—he'll read Joey's mind and know all of his moves before he makes them!
So naturally, Joey accepts the challenge. He beat Rex at Duelist Kingdom, he says, and besides he makes his own rules: Rule One, never back down from a challenge! And Rule Two, seek opponents with crazy dueling techniques. (Japanese Jounouchi says, "I have no chance to win. That's why I want to play!" He remembers his promise to Yugi to become a True Duelist. The steps to becoming a True Duelist are: Step One, never turn your back on a challenge. And Step Two, always play with a stronger player.)
Espa Roba recognizes Joey as the runner-up from Duelist Kingdom, and says he'd be honored to duel him. Joey eats it up.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Tristan comes to visit Serenity, bringing a laptop computer so they can watch Joey's duel, since all the duels are being shown live on the Internet. Serenity reminds Tristan that she can't see with bandages over her eyes, so he says he'll watch and give her the play-by-play. But first he has to figure out how to turn on the computer.... (They've cut out a tight close-up of Honda with a big sweat-drop on his forehead, thinking "I forgot how to use it.")
Téa is still looking for Yugi and Joey.
Yugi overhears some kids running to Joey's duel with Espa Roba. He thinks he'll check it out, too. (Japanese Yami Yugi is looking for the Rare Hunter with the God Cards when he stops to watch Jounouchi duel.)
Roba stakes his Jinzo card, while Joey puts up his Time Wizard. The duelists face off.
At the hospital, Serenity's nurse has just finished setting up the laptop and finding Joey's duel for Tristan, who says, "I could have done that!" (In the Japanese, he just thanks her.) He sees that Joey's duel is just about to begin.
Joey's about to make his first move, when Espa Roba goes into his psychic act, calling on the powers of the universe, yadda, yadda. Joey's a little boggled, but goes ahead and summons Giltia the Dark Knight—or tries to. He forgot about the new Battle City sacrifice rules. Giltia's a Level 5 monster, and can't be summoned without sacrificing another monster.
Roba does his psychic thing again and tells Joey he sees that the top card in his hand is the Swordsman of Landstar (why does Joey keep such a wimpy monster in his deck?). Joey's a little freaked, wondering if Roba really does have psychic powers. But he's seen this trick before. He says it's a scam, but Roba says Joey's just jealous of his powers.
Roba summons Cyber Raider. With no monsters on the field, Joey's open to a direct attack, and Cyber Raider knocks Joey onto his butt. Joey's down to 2600 life points already.
Tristan wonders what's going on here—Joey's getting whipped! If he loses this duel, he'll be out of the tournament. Serenity asks how her brother's doing, but Tristan can't bear to tell her Joey's losing.
Yugi's watching the tournament from a nearby rooftop, mentally encouraging Joey. (In the Japanese, he wonders if Jounouchi's opponent is a Rare Hunter.) Then he spots a bunch of little Roba lookalikes on another rooftop, watching the duel with binoculars and feeding the information about Joey's hand cards to their brother by radio. So the psychic duelist is a fake!
Roba announces that his psychic powers tell him that Joey's just drawn another Graceful Dice (Angel Dice). Joey freaks again, while Yugi thinks he knows Joey can beat this cheat! (Japanese Yugi thinks Jounouchi's a True Duelist. He can figure out Roba's tricks.)
Joey knows something funny's going on—Roba thought he'd drawn a second Graceful Dice, but in fact his other card isn't Graceful Dice, it's Skull Dice (Devil Dice). (In the Japanese, both Dice cards are magic cards—which makes it easier to mistake one for the other—while in the US version, they've made Skull Dice a trap card, which is what the real card is.)
He decides to play a few mind games of his own. Joey summons Swordsman of Landstar, then plays two cards face down and ends his turn.
Roba thinks Joey played two Graceful Dice cards face down, and tells him it won't work—he can't play both Graceful Dice in one turn! He sacrifices Cyber Raider to summon the Fiend Megacyber, with 2200 attack points. Joey activates Graceful Dice, which will multiply his monster's attack strength by the number of his dice roll. Joey needs a five or six to pump up his Swordsman of Landstar enough to withstand the Fiend Megacyber's attack, but his Graceful Dice only rolls a three, bringing the Swordsman of Landstar's attack up to 1500. Roba attacks.
But then Joey activates his second set card—Skull Dice, not Graceful Dice! It reduces the Fiend Megacyber's attack to 440 with its roll, and the pumped up Swordsman of Landstar destroys it.
Joey's figured out Roba's trick—someone nearby is checking out Joey's cards and feeding Roba the information. But because Joey's Skull Dice was partially covered by the other cards in his hand, Roba's spies only knew it was a Dice card, not which one it was. Roba's horrified that he's been found out, and his crowd of matching blue-haired brothers know they've been busted! Yugi smiles, congratulating his friend and saying now Joey's in control.
Now Commissioner Mokuba's on the job with his whistle, tackling the biggest Roba brother as he tries to escape, telling them their brother will never duel in this town again! But they beg him to let Roba finish the duel, saying that he does it to protect them from bullies. (They call their brother "Anichan," a very affectionate and informal way of saying Big Brother in Japanese.) Mokuba remembers how his own brother would always protect him from the bigger kids, and they explain that as long as Espa is a winning duelist, the other kids respect him and leave them alone.
Then Mokuba sees Yugi watching from his rooftop. Yugi saw everything! How can Mokuba let them get away with it? They swear not to cheat again, and Mokuba thinks Yugi'd give them a second chance. A sucker for a big brother story, Mokuba lets the duel continue.
Téa sits on a park bench, still unable to find Yugi, swearing to be right beside him when he duels (although right now she's not doing such a good job of it). (Japanese Anzu tells the other Yugi to go find his lost memory.)
Unwilling to give it up, Espa Roba claims his psychic abilities are real! He predicts he'll win, and tells Joey he's no good without Yugi to help him. (They've cut out another short bit here where Jounouchi thinks about Yugi, saying that he doesn't know the future, but he knows that somewhere in the city someone is waiting for him. He has to keep going until he finds him, he thinks.)
Roba plays one card face down and ends his turn.
Joey draws Alligator Sword. Its 1500 attack points together with the souped-up Swordsman's 1500 can wipe out the rest of Roba's life points! He direct attacks with Alligator Sword, bringing Roba's life points down to 1440. Then he sends Swordsman of Landstar to attack.
But Roba plays his trap card, Mind Control, and takes control of the Swordsman, stopping its attack. Joey wonders why Roba didn't use it on Alligator Sword—he could have turned its attack on Swordsman of Landstar, destroying both monsters. Joey realizes Roba must be planning to use the Swordsman as a sacrifice to summon a stronger monster, so he plays a trap card face down to be ready for it and ends his turn.
Sure enough, Roba sacrifices the Swordsman of Landstar and summons the powerful Jinzo (Android Psycho Shocker)! Joey thinks he's ready with his trap card, but Jinzo destroys it! With Jinzo on the field, trap cards are useless. Joey's in trouble now!
To Be Continued