Episode 119: So Close Yet So Far (The Kaiba Family's Darkness)
The three Blue-Eyes White Dragons wipe out the rest of Noah's life points, and he loses. The stone statues break apart, and everyone returns to normal—except poor Tristan's still a monkey. Joey and Serenity rush together; Mokuba at last flings himself into Kaiba's arms. Duke says it looks like everything's back to normal—that means Yugi must have won the duel. Kaiba wants to know what duel, and Téa explains that Yugi took over Kaiba's duel after Kaiba and Mokuba were turned to stone, combining his and Kaiba's decks. Kaiba looks at his empty Duel Disk, more concerned about Yugi using his cards than who won the duel!
As the stone dueling platforms return to their holes in the ground, Yugi says that Noah was defeated by all of them—he couldn't have won without the support of his friends, and the more Noah tried to break them apart, the stronger their friendship grew. (Japanese Yugi doesn't speak.) Noah falls to his knees, saying this wasn't how it was supposed to happen.Yugi walks over to him, telling him that he's been alone in this virtual world for six years, and it's distorted his mind. Noah thinks Yugi's right—he remembers being trapped in the sphere, and thinks of Yugi's and the others' friendships. (Japanese Noah thinks, "Did I beat Seto?" He realizes he didn't—Seto deliberately lost in order to save his brother. And he lost to Yugi, who inherited Seto's will. The flashbacks have been completely changed in the US version. The US version shows Noah's sphere, then Yugi and the others reuniting after the Big 5's final attack, and various of the gang being turned to stone. In the Japanese, it's Kaiba's attack on Noah with the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and Yugi picking up Kaiba's deck to continue the duel.)
He thinks maybe the reason he despises Yugi and his friends so much is that they share a bond he's never experienced. He tried to eliminate their friendship, but they'll never understand what it's like to be him. His father promised him everything, but left him with nothing. (Japanese Noah wonders if he lost because he had no friends. He was always alone. Again, the flashback has been changed. The US version shows Noah floating in the sphere while his father watches, while the Japanese version shows Noah's first trips through the virtual world his father created for him.)
Noah sits back on his knees, telling Yugi that it's not fair! He deserves to be president of Kaiba Corp! (Japanese Noah says he doesn't admit that he lost because he's alone. He and Yugi stare at each other without speaking, then Noah says, "Don't look at me that way!" The big staredown was cut from the US version.)
Noah attacks Yugi, intending to escape to the real world in Yugi's body. (Cut from the US version is this scene of Noah's arms sinking into Yugi's body.)
But the Millennium Items and the ancient Pharaoh appear in Noah's mind. Noah demands to know who he is. Yugi can see images in Noah's mind as well. He sees all of their bodies in VR pods. With the power of the Millennium Puzzle, he forces Noah back.
The gang run up to Noah and Yugi. Joey's about to kick Noah's butt, but Serenity tells him violence won't get them out of there. (Japanese Shizuka tells Jounouchi to stop—Noah's just a kid.) Yugi tells Noah it's time to set them free. But Noah laughs, saying their real bodies are where they've been ever since they arrived. Everything here is virtual, and their real bodies are in cyberpods. Téa realizes that this is why they've been able to feel things in the virtual world, and Kaiba says that when the floor opened up, they didn't fall into a virtual vortex, they were knocked unconscious and locked in the VR pods. (More fooling around with flashbacks is done here. The US version shows everyone falling into the "vortex," while the Japanese only shows Kaiba, since he's the one talking here. All throughout this episode, the flashbacks are changed around in the US version. I'm not going to cap every change, there are just too many of them. It's all stuff that's been seen before anyway, it's just been rearranged.)
The sky darkens, and a voice from the sky tells Noah he's failed him for the last time! Kaiba says that voice—it can't be! And Noah says, "Father, no!"
A face appears in the clouds. It's Gozaburo Kaiba. Mokuba exclaims, "Gozaburo!" and Noah begs for more time. Gozaburo says Noah had plenty of time. It's time for him to finish things off himself! (Japanese Noah says, "Why are you here? You're dead!" Gozaburo agrees that his body is dead, but his spirit is still alive.)
Gozaburo explains that he had his own mind digitized when Seto disgraced him by taking over his company. He wanted revenge. Kaiba says, so Gozaburo was behind this the whole time, and Noah happily agrees. He thinks Gozaburo is going to give Kaiba Corp to him. But Gozaburo tells Noah he had his chance, and failed. (Japanese Kaiba says about Gozaburo, "He's really persistent." Noah says he's happy to see his father. He's been so alone. But Gozaburo says Noah is useless to him now.)
Kaiba tells Gozaburo he had his chance, too, and failed, and lost Kaiba Corp to someone more fit for the job. Gozaburo says he taught Seto everything he knows, and calls him a fool. It's time Seto learned the truth about why Gozaburo adopted him. (Japanese Kaiba says the joke is over now. "All right, Gozaburo. Tell me your stupid intention." Gozaburo says, "You haven't changed at all. Still so proud, Seto. All right, I'll tell you everything.")
When Seto beat him at chess, Gozaburo explains, he decided to adopt him to motivate his real son, Noah. But then Noah had his accident, and his body was rendered useless. (In other words, he died. Sheesh.) Gozaburo tried to preserve his son's mind in cyberspace, but soon realized Noah would always be the same spoiled brat, unworthy of inheriting Kaiba Corp. So he turned his attention to Seto, thinking Seto could be the heir to his fortune, and pushed him to his limits. Noah complains that Gozaburo gave up on his own son, and trapped him all alone in cyberspace. Mokuba starts feeling sorry for Noah. (In the Japanese, Gozaburo doesn't talk about Seto here. He says that at first, he just wanted to save his young son who'd died. He wanted Noah to inherit Kaiba Corporation. But the virtual copy isn't real, and can't live like a human being. He remembers Noah's "project," when Noah determined that the Kaiba Corp weapons could destroy the world in thirty days, leaving only three percent of human beings alive. There was a big gap between Noah and him. Noah says he only wanted to please his father. Gozaburo says that's when Seto came along.)
But Gozaburo says that at first, he thought he could still use Seto. Kaiba's not happy to hear that, and wants to know what Gozaburo planned to do with him. Gozaburo says that even if Noah could learn to run a major corporation, he still lacked one thing—a body. That's where Seto came in. The gang is pretty horrified, and Kaiba is shocked, to realize that Gozaburo had planned to transfer Noah's mind to Kaiba's body. (Japanese Kaiba says Gozaburo adopted him to test Noah. If Noah could beat him, it would be proof that the virtual world was superior. But Gozaburo says no. Seto was to be Noah's "container." He only adopted Seto to find a body for Noah. Anzu says that's not something a normal person would think of, and Yugi thinks no wonder Kaiba hates Gozaburo.)
Gozaburo says that plan only lasted a short time. Why should he give Seto Noah's mind, when Seto's mind was perfectly fine? He concentrated on training Seto to inherit his empire, but then Seto stole it from him. So he used the same technology he used to download Noah's mind, and digitized his own mind, retreating to cyberspace to plot his revenge. Then he built this place for his final plan—to take over Seto's body himself! (Japanese Gozaburo says that ironically, he was the one who was hurt, when Seto stole Kaiba Corporation from him. So he copied his memories into the computer before he died. Since then, Seto was no longer to be Noah's container. Gozaburo planned to take Seto's body for himself.)
Noah realizes that Gozaburo only used him to trap Kaiba and the others there. Gozaburo says it's the only thing Noah did right! Kaiba calls him a snake, which makes Gozaburo angry. He was the most powerful human being in the world, until Seto came along and stole everything from him! He treated Seto better than he treated his own son! Kaiba says, thanks for nothing. He'll make sure Gozaburo never regains his power. (Japanese Noah says his father used him. Gozaburo tells Noah the situation has changed, and Seto is to blame. Hate him if you have to. Kaiba curses, and Gozaburo tells him his body isn't necessary now. Even without a body, he can hack into the Internet and control the world from the Kaiba Corp computer network. Kaiba thinks it's stupid. Gozaburo doesn't have a body. What can he do?)
A viewscreen opens up in the sky, showing a satellite, and Gozaburo explains that this is one of the original Kaiba Corporation satellites, and part of his newest plan. These satellites can beam signals to every computer system on earth and connect them back to the underwater base that holds his supercomputer. No one on earth will escape him! He'll have access to every home on the planet! (Japanese Gozaburo explains that the undersea fortress was originally built as a base for launching missiles. It holds weapons aimed at all the major cities of the world.)
Noah says that's the most ridiculous idea he's ever heard. But Gozaburo says the idea came from Noah. Doesn't he remember? He reminds Noah that he'd figured out that they could connect their virtual reality system to other systems around the world. (Japanese Noah's idea was to use Kaiba Corp's weapons to destroy the world.) Gozaburo's no longer interested in taking over Seto's body to regain control of Kaiba Corp. Once his new plan works, he'll be the most powerful being on the planet. When he's finished, everyone on earth will become virtual. He'll digitize the entire earth, and he'll reign as the cyber-ruler! (Japanese Gozaburo says he's deleted all the exits from the virtual world, and tells Noah and Seto to just live with the flowers in this virtual garden. They'll be immortal, not feeling pain or hunger, and live in paradise. Kaiba Corporation belongs to him, and he won't give it to anyone!) Then Gozaburo disappears.
Noah leads the gang through tunnels in the hills, telling them that they have to escape quickly, and he knows the way out. Joey doesn't know why they should believe Noah, but Duke says they have no choice. (There's no dialog in the Japanese.) They find a control panel in a cavern, which Noah says is an exit. But it seems that Gozaburo has closed off the exits to prevent them from escaping. Noah says that when his father showed up after six years, Gozaburo promised to help him. But he was lying. His father was using him. (The subtitles are kind of confusing here. Japanese Noah says something about planning to get a body and go back to the real world to help Seto run Kaiba Corporation. Then he says that, no, he can't just follow his father's instructions. His father doesn't need him any more.) Mokuba again feels sorry for Noah, thinking that Gozaburo treated Noah just as he did Seto—with no respect. He asks Noah if he's okay.
Joey asks if Noah's sure there are no other exits, and poor Tristan wants to wake up in his own body! Joey says they have to stop Gozaburo from taking over the world, and Téa adds that they can't do that from in there. (Japanese Jounouchi asks Noah what they can do. Isn't there any other exit?) Noah is silent, head bowed over the control panel. Then he laughs. Kaiba says that every virtual reality program has more than one emergency exit, so Noah should think harder. (Japanese Kaiba tells Noah that even if Noah can cheat that idiot Jounouchi, he can't cheat him.)
Noah asks Seto what's wrong—doesn't he want to stay in the virtual world a while? They won't be alone there for much longer. Then Noah turns, laughing crazily, his eyes gone dark and body moving like a puppet. His father is bringing the whole world in there, and he'll never be alone again.
Mokuba runs up to the laughing Noah and begins to shake him by the shoulders, telling him to snap out of it. Noah's in danger too, and they all have to work together. (Japanese Mokuba says, "How can you talk like that? Gozaburo has abandoned you.") Noah looks at Mokuba, suddenly looking like young Seto. Mokuba jumps back, shaking his head and wondering if he's going nuts. Back to himself, Noah tells Mokuba to calm down. Mokuba walks away, thinking that Noah's an evil jerk, but it's not his fault. They can help him. (Japanese Mokuba thinks Noah gave him a hard time, but when he sees Noah's face, he thinks of his brother.)
Noah suddenly remembers another exit he created himself that leads directly to the real world. The others can escape and warn the world of Gozaburo's plan. He starts to lead them to it, thinking that he'll steal one of their bodies and escape alone. (Japanese Noah thinks he doesn't want to get killed. No matter what happens, he'll get a body and get back to the real world.)
Meanwhile, back in the airship hangar, Dark Marik is approached by a number of mechanical sentries. (The sentries' guns are cut from the US version.)
He laughs, telling them to come and get him. They fire weapons at him, but he destroys them with his Millennium Rod. That was amusing, he says, and goes to look for "those fools."
The gang follow Noah, who leads them through the tunnels. Yugi tells Kaiba that something's not right—Noah's not to be trusted. Kaiba says tell him something he doesn't already know. Yugi asks why Kaiba's following Noah, and Kaiba says he was always taught to keep his enemies close by. As they leave the tunnels, little Yugi appears to say that maybe Kaiba's wrong. Maybe Noah is trying to help them. His father mistreated him, too. Noah and Kaiba really have a lot in common. They were both mistreated by Gozaburo, and they need Yugi and the others' help to defeat him. Yami agrees that they're all on the same team now. They exchange, and little Yugi takes over.
Noah has led them to a wide door between the walls of a canyon. He tells the gang that this is it—once they walk through, they'll wake up in the real world. The door opens, and Domino is on the other side. (Japanese Noah tells them that on the other side of the door is the virtual Domino city.)
Mokuba finds himself alone in a plaza. He calls out for his brother, hoping Seto didn't leave without him. (The first person Japanese Mokuba calls out to is "Yugi," and then "Big Brother.") Noah comes to him, asking him what he's doing there. He tells Mokuba that the others made it out already, and tells him to follow him. Noah thinks that Mokuba's friends may think they're free, but they're really trapped in their own memories.
The others start reliving pieces of their pasts. Téa finds herself sitting on a bench in the city, when Grandpa sneaks up behind her and startles her. Then, suddenly, she's at the docks where Joey and Yugi were forced to duel. Yugi is facing the Silent One, and Slifer the Sky Dragon is about to defeat him. But wait, he thinks—didn't this duel happen already? Watching, Kaiba asks what's going on, then turns to walk away.
Noah has brought Mokuba to the game arcade, saying that the exit is inside one of the games. Mokuba runs to sit at one of the games, eager to find the exit and go home. But Noah thinks Mokuba won't be going home.
Duke and Serenity are running from the Rare Hunters. Tristan's still a Robot Monkey, but no one seems to notice. Tristan runs back to face the Rare Hunters, while Duke and Serenity run into the street, where Mai almost runs over them in her sports car. Joey's sitting next to her, but he's not sure what he was about to say. Doesn't it seem like they've taken this ride before? (Japanese virtual Mai asks Jounouchi where he wants to go. He says wherever she wants to go.) Then Marik uses the Millennium Rod to trap Mai's mind. Joey finds himself sitting in Mai's car at the beach, while she stands at the shore as the sun sets. Joey thinks something's wrong... but maybe not. Looks like Mai's doing just fine. He gets out of the car to go to her, but then he sees her unconscious in bed aboard the airship. Then he's back on the beach with her. But Mai's telling him they should stop dueling and just settle down. Stop dueling! he says. That's crazy talk! Now he knows this isn't real. (Japanese virtual Mai tells Jounouchi she used to be him. He says this is all wrong!)
Suddenly, the memories end, and the gang all find themselves in the plaza. (Brief shots of circuitry have been added to the US version between the shots of the gang.)
Yugi says Noah must have tricked them. They'd better find him. Then they realize Kaiba's not with them, and neither is Mokuba.
Mokuba, meanwhile, is still sitting at the game in the arcade, searching for the exit. (In the Japanese, he's just playing a video game. A shot of the game screen is cut from the US version.)
Noah tells him he's close, and begins to reach for him. But Mokuba says he's just realized—Noah can't escape with them to the real world without a body. But he bets Seto can make Noah a body. After all, Noah's their family. He's sure the techonology experts at Kaiba Corp can make Noah a robot body. Maybe they can be twins! After all, they are brothers. (Japanese Mokuba says if Noah promises not to have any bad ideas, he'll help him ask his brother for a favor. He'll ask his brother to give Noah a new body. It won't be flesh, but with the advanced technology of Kaiba Corporation, he could have a bionic body. At least, it won't be a monkey! After all, they're brothers.)
Noah's stunned that Mokuba still likes him after all he's done. He almost feels bad for him. (Japanese Noah thinks he's messed with Mokuba so much, Mokuba still thinks Noah's his brother.) Then he shows Mokuba where the real exit is—on the stage of a dance game. Mokuba runs up onto it, and Noah comes after him, running right into him and taking over his body. He awakes and emerges from his pod—it's Mokuba's body, but Noah's inside, exulting that after all these years, he finally has a body of his own!
To Be Continued