Episode 106: Mechanical Mayhem - Part I (A Man's Passage to the Stage: Honda's Death for Honor)
Serenity, Tristan, and Duke are standing in a meadow, enjoying a cool breeze. Tristan says this virtual world does have its good points, but Duke says five creepy old guys want to steal their bodies! What could be good about that? Tristan tries to shut Duke up to avoid upsetting Serenity, but she says she's not afraid because "you make me feel safe." Tristan and Duke argue about whether she meant both of them, or only Tristan, but Serenity tells them they have to work together to get out of there. (In the Japanese, Honda says the area seems safe, but Otogi warns that there may be traps. Honda tells him not to upset Shizuka, and she says it's all right as long as she's with Honda and Otogi. Honda says that's right, they'll protect her, and Otogi says Honda's too "ecstasized." Then Shizuka tells them not to fight, wondering how her brother and the others are.)
Duke points out that the Big 5 need five bodies, so they won't just be after Kaiba, Yugi, and Joey—they might also want to duel them. Tristan says so what, and Serenity agrees—they'll be fine as long as they stick with Tristan. She tells Duke that Tristan taught Joey how to play Duel Monsters. Duke wants to know what Tristan's been telling the poor girl, but Tristan clamps a hand over Duke's mouth, while nervously telling Serenity that defeating the Big 5 will be a walk in the park.
Meanwhile, Yugi, Joey, and Téa are walking through some underground caverns. Téa says the good news is that they've each defeated one of the Big 5—three down, and two to go. But Yugi says the bad news is they don't know where they'll strike next. (Japanese Yugi says Kaiba will probably be all right, but the others....) Joey starts to run, telling Serenity he's coming, and Yugi and Téa run after him.
Duke, Tristan, and Serenity come to a door. Duke and Tristan hesitate to enter it, not knowing what could be on the other side, but Serenity thinks it might lead back to the real world, and opens it. They find themselves in what appears to be the fortress' hanger, but the airship isn't there. Serenity wonders if they're in the real world, but Duke doesn't think so—a huge robot suddenly floats to the floor before them.
The robot introduces himself as Nesbitt, former Vice President of New Technology at Kaiba Corporation (his Japanese name sounds like Ota Soichiro), now taking the form of the Robotic Knight (Machine Sergeant, I think). (As before, the Big 5's face is shown over his Deck Master's in the US version.)
As the tech expert of the Big 5, he explains, he designed some of Kaiba Corp's most advanced machinery, and as soon as he defeats one of them, he'll be able to continue his work in the real world. Ladies first, he says, choosing Serenity to duel against. (In the Japanese, he says his opponent is the first one to come in.) But Serenity says she's never dueled before, and Tristan says if Robotic Knight wants to duel someone, duel him! Then Duke tells the robot to fight him, warning Tristan that he doesn't know what he's getting into.
But Robotic Knight has chosen "the female." Tristan insists that he's dueling. Duke thinks he can't let either Tristan or Serenity duel alone. He's the most experienced duelist there, and he's the only one who has a chance of beating the Big 5. He suggests that he and Tristan duel together. (Japanese Otogi thinks that pain here is almost the same as in the real world. If one of them is injured, he doesn't know what it will do to them. No matter what, he can't let Shizuka duel. Honda also thinks he has to protect Shizuka.)
Robotic Knight has a better idea—he'll duel all three of them. Then when he wins, he'll take control of all of their bodies! He'll prove once and for all that machines are more powerful than people. (Japanese Machine Sergeant says he wants all three of their bodies, and they realize that Yugi and the others must have won their duels. Then he says that weaklings like them should fight together, so he's really doing them a favor.)
Tristan tries to insist that only he and Duke will duel, but Serenity says they're all in it together, and she'll duel, too. She'll just follow Tristan's lead! (Japanese Shizuka tells the Machine Sergeant that Honda-san taught her brother how to duel.) Duel Disks appear on their arms, while Tristan continues to try to talk Serenity out of dueling, telling her it's been a while since he dueled. But she's determined, and so is the Robotic Knight.
Virtual cards appear before them, and they choose their decks. Serenity asks what she should do, and Tristan tells her to trust her instincts, and also to choose a balance of magic, trap and monsters for her deck. (Japanese Honda tells her to pick forty cards, magic and trap cards as well as monsters.) Duke chooses Strike Ninja for his Deck Master, Serenity chooses Goddess with the Third Eye (Japanese Shizuka adds "-san" to the monster's name, and Honda tells her there's no need to), and Tristan picks Super Roboyarou (Rare Metal Knight).
Then the floor between the Robotic Knight and the kids slides open, revealing a burning abyss below them. Robotic Knight says it's a sea of radioactive waste—if they play by the rules, they won't fall in. (He doesn't say what the fires are in the Japanese, or threaten to drop them in if they break the rules. He just tells them how the duel will work—they can attack together, but not discuss strategy. They'll each take their turns, then he'll take his.) One rule he intends to strictly enforce—they are not to discuss strategies with one another. Serenity asks Tristan how she can duel without his advice. And he tells her just to believe in herself. (Japanese Shizuka says they put their decks in the Duel Disk, right? And he says yes.)
Serenity goes first, summoning Shadow Tamer (Devil Tamer) in attack mode. It's a weak monster, with only 800 attack points. Duke tells her it's too weak to play in attack, and she apologizes for messing up, while Tristan tries to reassure her that she did fine. Next, Tristan plays Cyber Commander, an even weaker monster than Serenity's, also in attack mode, to try to get Robotic Knight to attack him instead of Serenity. Duke plays 13th Grave in defense, to Tristan's displeasure—he thought Duke should also play a weak monster.
Now it's Robotic Knight's turn. He summons Giga-Tech Wolf and attacks Serenity's Shadow Tamer. (As usual, there's a shiny light added to the US version where Giga-Tech Wolf bites Shadow Tamer's shoulder.)
Serenity falls from the force of the attack, losing 400 life points and her monster. (In the Japanese, Shizuka is shown being hit by the attack. This sequence is cut in the US version and replaced by the fall from later in the episode.)
In the caverns, Joey, Yugi, and Téa are still running when they hear a scream. Joey says he just knows it was Serenity! (Or, as the subtitles would have it, "I heard the plangent cry of Serenity!")
They run on.
(In the Japanese, Shizuka is shown flying through the air. Then comes the shot of her falling that's shown earlier in the US version. Honda tries to go to her, but the Machine Sergeant orders him back.)
Serenity struggles to her feet, saying she's okay.
The Robotic Knight activates his Deck Master ability, Final Artillery, discarding three machine monsters to inflict 500 points of direct damage to each of the kids. Serenity's down again. As she gets to her feet, insisting that she's okay, Robotic Knight plays one card face down and ends his turn.
Serenity draws, then plays Forgiving Maiden (Merciful Nun, who's been redesigned for the US to make her less nun-like).
Serenity thinks she's putting her monster in defense mode, but she actually places the card in attack position. Duke tells her if she wants it in defense mode, she has to put the card sideways on the Duel Disk, but it's too late for her to change it.
Tristan draws the magic card, Block Attack (Attack Seal), and plays it to shift Serenity's monster into defense. But Robotic Knight activates his face-down trap card, Riryoku Field (Force Field), negating Tristan's magic card and destroying it.
Kaiba and Mokuba are walking through a sandy desert, when they see ruins in the distance. Kaiba recognizes it as Nesbitt's old research lab. (In the Japanese, it's the Kaiba Corp Military Factory.) He always hated that place. Kaiba remembers meeting Nesbitt in his office to tell him that now that he's running the company, he's shutting down the lab. Nesbitt protested, but Kaiba thinks he had no choice but to tear it down. Nesbitt's battle machines were useless in the new Kaiba Corp. (In the Japanese flashback, Kaiba told Ota to show him his loyalty by destroying the military factory on Alcatraz.) Once again, Kaiba looks at the sky and addresses Noah, telling him he can't lead him around like a puppet forever!
In his control center, Noah says he can do whatever he wants! And he's having too much fun to stop now.
Duke draws, thinking he's got to play smart. He summons Yaranzo and sets one card face down. Robotic Knight sacrifices Giga-Tech Wolf to summon Machine King. It receives an extra 100 attack points for every machine monster on the field—including himself and Tristan's Cyber Commander—raising its attack from 2200 to 2400. He attacks Serenity's Forgiving Maiden, but Tristan sends his Cyber Commander to intercept the attack, taking the 1650-point hit. Duke says he could have protected Serenity without losing life points (by intercepting the attack with his defense monster, he explains in the Japanese), but Tristan just tells him he's not helping. (Japanese Honda asks why Otogi didn't tell him sooner, and Otogi says, isn't it common sense?)
Robotic Knight activates his face-down magic card, Card of Sanctity, requiring all of them to draw until they have six cards, then discards three machine monsters to activate his Deck Master ability and hit them each for another 500 life points. Both Serenity and Tristan are in trouble. Robotic Knight plays a card face-down and ends his turn.
Serenity plays Lady Panther in defense, and also switches Forgiving Maiden to defense. Tristan plays Command Angel in defense, and Duke plays Dark Assailant in defense. Now they've got a wall of defense monsters protecting them, and Duke says Robotic Knight doesn't have enough cards in his hand to activate his Deck Master ability again, so their life points are safe. (Japanese Otogi adds that he's gathered enough defense monsters to sacrifice to summon a higher-level monster. Honda's impressed that Otogi's thought of all this.)
But Robotic Knight activates his trap card, Backup Soldier, allowing him to return three monsters from his graveyard to his hand. He discards those three once again, activating his Deck Master ability, Final Artillery, again. Tristan's now down to 850 life points, Serenity 2100, and Duke 2500. Then Robotic Knight plays the magic card, Clockwork Knight, converting all monsters on the field to machine monsters. The metallized monsters each lose 500 attack points, while Machine King gains another 100 attack points for each of them, raising its attack to 2900. Finally, Clockwork Knight gives Machine King another 500 attack points.
Tristan's freaking out, but Duke tells him to chill—as long as their monsters are in defense, it doesn't matter how powerful Machine King gets, it can't hurt them.
Wrong again, Duke. Robotic Knight then plays the magic card, Short Circuit (Short), taking control of all of the kid's monsters and forcing them into attack position. Once again, he attacks Serenity's Forgiving Maiden. (In the Japanese, Machine Sergeant also explains that Short's effect prevents any of their monsters from attacking or using their special effects.) Determined to save her, Tristan sends his Deck Master, Roboyarou, to intercept the attack, using its Deck Master ability to place one card face down on the field, raising its attack points to 2200. But it's not enough. Machine King destroys it, and Tristan loses.
Tristan confesses to Serenity that he lied about teaching Joey how to duel—he barely knows how to play himself. Then he tells Duke he'd better take care of her. The floor opens up beneath him and Tristan falls into the fire. Serenity falls to her knees beside the opening in the floor, calling to Tristan to come back, telling Robotic Knight he said they'd only fall if they broke the rules. Robotic Knight tells her not to worry, Tristan's mind has been digitized, while his body has been placed in a holding area—where hers and Duke's will soon join it!
To Be Continued