Episode 125: The Darkness Returns, Part 1 (Jounouchi vs Malik - Part 1)
(In Japan, Episodes 125 and 126 were shown together as a one-hour special. It was introduced by a three- or four-minute recap of the duelists' arrival at Alcatraz and the Battle Royal, narrated by Jounouchi.)
Marik and Joey rise to the duel ring at the top of the tower. Marik tells Joey he hopes he's prepared to be swallowed by darkness. Joey tells him to keep dreaming. (Japanese Malik thinks this wasn't what he'd planned, but that's fine—Jounouchi had better watch out. Jounouchi thinks finally it's time. He'll beat Malik to save Mai.) They're followed by Kaiba, who's thinking that at last he can defeat Yugi and reclaim his glory, and Yugi, who thinks he must crush Kaiba to get to Marik and save the world from destruction. (Japanese Kaiba thinks he'll beat Yugi in their final duel. Yugi thinks it's time for him and Kaiba to put an end to everything.)
Mokuba starts to lead the rest of the gang to an elevator, but Duke tells them to hold on. Somebody has to tell Serenity that her brother's about to duel. Tristan's all ready to take off to the ship, when Mokuba stops him—the Duel Tower is high-tech, with a phone in the elevator. He calls Serenity, who decides to stay on the ship with Mai, but tells Mokuba to wish her brother good luck.
Joey and Marik's dueling stations reach the top of the tower first, and they emerge at opposite sides of the arena. Joey wonders where his "fan club" is, but Marik tells him when his mind is engulfed by Shadows, he'll be glad no one was there to see it. Laughing, Marik turns away. (Japanese Jounouchi says, is this where the finals will be? It's not pleasant. Malik laughs and tells Jounouchi not to worry, he'll show him something interesting and fascinating.)
Yugi and Kaiba arrive next. Kaiba thinks this duel won't take long, while Yugi worries that if Joey loses to Marik, he could end up losing more than the tournament. (Japanese Kaiba doesn't say anything here. Yugi thinks that Jounouchi sacrificed himself in the Battle Royal in order to face Malik, and the reason he wants to duel Malik is....) He tells Joey that this will be the most difficult and dangerous duel he's faced, but Joey says he'll crush that creep. (Japanese Yugi tells Jounouchi he must win. Jounouchi tells Yugi not to worry—as soon as he wins Malik's God card, he'll keep his promise to him.)
But Kaiba tells Joey he couldn't beat Marik if he was blindfolded and handcuffed! He's no match for Marik's Egyptian God card. Joey protests that he went up against Ra once before, and he did just fine. But Kaiba reminds him that the God card knocked him out cold. (A shot of Joey being struck down by the fake Ra is added over Kaiba's face in the US version.)
Kaiba says he's the only one who can beat Ra. (Japanese Kaiba says Jounouchi won't have the chance to duel Yugi. Malik will kill him in no time. Jounouchi says he's been fighting in Battle City, and it's not easy to beat him. Kaiba says Jounouchi has no idea of the horrible power of Ra. Jounouchi makes threatening faces, but he's a bit green, and he's thinking, "Is it so powerful?")
Yugi says that Ra holds secrets none of them understand yet. Wrong, says Kaiba. He's uncovered the secrets of Ra. His computer has translated the Egyptian writing no one else could. But Yugi thinks there's more to it than that. He thinks Kaiba's connection to the ancient past helped him. (Japanese Yugi asks Kaiba if he knows Ra's special abilities, and Kaiba says yes, he's finished the translation. Yugi remembers the hieratic text on the card. Jounouchi asks how Kaiba can understand those words, and Yugi knows it's because Kaiba is connected to the Millennium Items.)
Kaiba says he's going to defeat the Winged Dragon of Ra, and Joey's going to help him. Joey says no way, but Kaiba explains that he'll be watching Joey's duel with Marik carefully to test his own strategy and take Marik down in the final. (Japanese Kaiba tells Yugi that even he can't beat Malik's Ra. Jounouchi doesn't like that, but Kaiba says that Ra is more powerful than either his Obelisk or Yugi's Osiris.) Marik thinks that's pretty amusing.
Once he defeats Yugi and wins Slifer the Sky Dragon, Kaiba says he'll be ready to take on Marik—with Joey serving as his lab rat. Joey insists he's nobody's lab rat! Kaiba doesn't know how an amateur like Joey ever got this far in his tournament in the first place, but at least he's serving a purpose now, helping Kaiba perfect his plan to beat Marik's Ra. (Japanese Kaiba goes on to say that in order to beat Malik, he has to study his duel strategy. He tells Jounouchi to work hard and entertain the audience before the real duel between Malik and him. Jounouchi protests he's not just an entertainment! Kaiba says that if Yugi were dueling Malik, Malik would win Yugi's Osiris, and then Kaiba would have to fight against two God cards in the final.)
Yugi says Kaiba thinks he has it all figured out. But for Kaiba's scheme to work, he has to get past him first. (Japanese Yugi says, "Your plan has a flaw. You forget that your opponent is me.")
Kaiba walks away, saying they'll soon find out. But first, Wheeler has a battle to lose. (Japanese Kaiba tells Yugi the duel between them is destined. He's looking forward to it.) Joey grumbles that he hates that guy!
Mokuba and the others arrive at the top of the tower, and Mokuba runs off to his brother, while Tristan, Téa, and Duke join Yugi and Joey. Tristan asks Joey what's wrong, and Duke asks if Kaiba's bugging him. Joey crosses his arms and says it's none of their business. (Japanese Jounouchi says it's nothing.) While Tristan makes offended noises, Joey walks away, thinking to himself that he has to keep his cool. Kaiba's playing mind games with him, and he has to focus on taking down Marik. This is about more than winning a duel—this is about keeping a promise to a friend.
Joey and Marik face off. Roland announces the start of the duel, and the duel ring rises up from the arena. (This shot of the gang watching the duel ring rise is cut from the US version. In fact, lots of shots are snipped and shortened in this episode—way too many to cap.)
On the ship, Ishizu sits by Odion's side, saying that there's nothing more for her to do. The rest is in the hands of fate.
Marik draws first and summons Gilgarth (1800 ATK), then sets a card face down. Joey draws Alligator Sword (1500 ATK) (Wyvern Warrior). He doesn't have any monsters strong enough to attack Gilgarth, so he sets a card face down, then plays Alligator Sword in defense and ends his turn.
Marik says it's time to take the duel to the next level. A dark cloud begins to rise over the field—the gang realize Marik is taking the game into the Shadow Realm. (This shot of Kaiba and Mokuba watching the darkness cover the tower is cut from the US version. Mokuba says, "Nii-sama" ["Big Brother"]. Kaiba says, "Hunh.")
Marik tells Joey that the Shadows hunger for his soul. Joey says he's not afraid, but Marik asks what's that look in Joey's eyes? He says it's the look of fear—fear that Joey's about to join his friend in the Shadow Realm. Joey insists he'll get Mai back, but Marik says she's trapped there forever, and each passing second she loses a little more of her mind. (Japanese Malik tells Jounouchi he'll fulfill his wish to see "that woman" again—he'll send him to hell to join her in pain and suffering.)
(Cut from the US version is a scene aboard the Battle Ship. Ishizu sees the darkness engulf the tower and knows that the Dark Game has begun. She asks if Malik wants to add a new sacrifice.)
(Also cut is this shot of Malik looking insane, and Jounouchi staring daggers at him.)
The gang's pretty freaked out by the darkness. Tristan says this is exactly what happened when Marik dueled Mai. They can't let Joey go through with it, it's too dangerous. But Téa says Joey's already made up his mind. Then she tells Yugi about Joey's determination to defeat Marik and rescue Mai from the Shadow Realm. (Japanese Honda says, if Jounouchi loses, he'll fall into the darkness forever! How can he go on fighting? Otogi says Jounouchi must be mad, but Anzu says Jounouchi knows what he's doing. She explains to Yugi, saying Jounouchi doesn't think he'll be a True Duelist unless he can save Mai. So, in order to fulfill his promise to Yugi, he must defeat Malik with his own hands.)
Yugi appears beside Yami in spirit form, saying there must be something they can do to save Joey. But Yami says it's Joey's fight. Just as Joey made a promise to Mai, they made a promise that they would stop protecting him. They must prove to Joey that they believe in him by letting him duel on his own. Yugi says he can't, but Yami urges him to trust Joey. He can win, but he needs their support. (Japanese Yugi begs Yami to stop Jounouchi from dueling, saying that if Jounouchi loses he'll become like Mai and Bakura. But Yami says he can't do it. Jounouchi knew that Malik would set a Dark Game, but he was still determined to fight. No one should stop such a duel. Believe in Jounouchi, he tells Yugi.)
Téa calls out encouragement to Joey, and Joey thinks he has to win this game or lose his mind trying. He tells Marik to bring it on. Marik tells Joey how this Shadow Game will differ from the one Mai lost. As usual, the loser will be banished to the Shadow Realm for eternity. But there's more! A glowing pink rope of light forms between Joey and his monster. A similar rope connects Marik to his monster. Whenever a player's monster is attacked, the player's body will be drained of a little more energy, leaving him weaker than before. (Japanese Malik says the player will suffer the pain and horror of his monsters. He's looking forward to enjoying Jounouchi's suffering, just as he enjoys Mai's.)
Marik summons Drillago (1600 ATK), and destroys Alligator Sword. As the rope of pink light snaps, Joey cries out in pain. On the ship, Serenity runs to the porthole window, telling her brother to stay strong. Joey sinks to one knee, saying that wasn't fun. (A group shot of the gang is cut from the US version, while Yugi explains that the damage done to the monsters is transferred to the players.)
But Joey stands up, telling Marik that this plan will work against him, too. Marik thinks Joey doesn't realize that Marik's inner strength is far superior to his. Then Marik attacks Joey directly with Gilgarth. But Joey activates his covered card, Scapegoat, protecting himself from attack with four woolly little sheep. Since the sheep aren't monsters, he suffers no pain when one is destroyed. Yugi says, nice move! (The attack on the yellow sheep is obscured in the US version.)
Marik says it looks as though he's underestimated Joey, and tells Joey to make his move. (Japanese Malik laughs and says, "So you have a brain after all.")
Joey draws Panther Warrior, which he summons to the field, sacrificing one sheep so that Panther Warrior can attack Gilgarth and destroy it. Marik takes the damage, suffering his monster's pain as well. Joey says that one's for Mai, but Marik laughs and says that Mai's mind should be empty by now. (Japanese Jounouchi doesn't say anything. Malik laughs and says Jounouchi's good. Things are getting interesting.) Jounouchi says Marik's mind games won't work on him. His turn is done.
Kaiba says, "And so are you." (Cut from the US version is a shot of Mokuba saying to Kaiba, "Jounouchi's good, isn't he?" Kaiba answers, "I hope so.")
Marik activates a magic card, Tribute Burial (Buried Offering), allowing him to bring one monster back from each of their graveyards and sacrifice them to summon a high-level monster. (The Japanese card sacrifices monsters from the graveyard and removes them from play.) He uses Joey's Alligator Sword and his own Gilgarth to summon Helpoemer (2000 ATK), who, Marik says, is more than he appears to be. Joey wonders what Marik means by that—Helpoemer's attack strength is the same as Panther Warrior's. Does it have a hidden ability? Marik sets one card face-down and ends his turn. Yugi wonders why Marik didn't attack. He must be up to something.
Joey draws Jinzo, which is strong enough to destroy Helpoemer, but he doesn't understand why Marik didn't attack his Scapegoats last turn. It seems that Marik is trying to draw him into an attack in order to activate Helpoemer's special ability. (Helpoemer's cross is made into a slab in the US version.)
So Joey hangs onto Jinzo and summons Rocket Warrior (1500 ATK) instead.
Marik activates a trap card, Hidden Soldier, which allows him to summon any monster with four stars or less to the field. He summons Plasma Eel (500 ATK), using its effect to attach it to Panther Warrior. (Plasma Eel's pincers are obscured as they bite into Panther Warrior's head.)
(Also, this shot of Panther Warrior's eye twitching as the pincer stabs him is cut from the US version.)
Plasma Eel reduces Panther Warrior's attack by 500 points, which also drains Joey of his energy. (In the Japanese, Plasma Eel will reduce Panther Warrior's attack at the end of each turn. It also causes Panther Warrior great pain.) Joey falls to his knees screaming in pain, tormented by the same green bolts of light as Panther Warrior. Yugi and Tristan call out to Joey to fight it. Marik asks if Joey's beginning to regret dueling him. (Japanese Malik tells Jounouchi now he knows how Mai is feeling. The flashback is changed from Mai receiving a direct attack in the Japanese version to the final attack by Ra on Mai and Joey in the US version.)
On his knees, sweating, Joey insists Marik will never break his spirit. He made a promise to Mai. Marik might be able to drain his physical strength, but he can't drain Joey's determination, and Joey won't give up. With a furious cry, he pulls himself to his feet. Marik is surprised—he thinks Joey should be begging for mercy. Joey says Marik can't keep him down, as long as he has something to fight for.
Joey puts Rocket Warrior in invincible mode and attacks Helpoemer, reducing Helpoemer's attack by 500 points, to 1500. (This shot of Malik gagging after Helpoemer is hit by Rocket Warrior is cut from the US version.)
Then he sacrifices another sheep so that Panther Warrior can attack and finish the job, destroying Helpoemer.
Marik gasps in pain, but then laughs grotesquely, thanking Joey. (Japanese Malik says it feels good. This is just what he expected. Japanese Malik's voice is extremely creepy.) Now Helpoemer's special ability is activated, and it goes into Joey's graveyard, where its ghostly hand emerges to steal a card from Joey. The hand grabs Jinzo and pulls it into the graveyard. But that's not all—as long as Helpoemer stays in Joey's graveyard, Joey will lose one card from his hand each turn. Yugi is horrified! If Joey keeps losing cards from his hand, he'll never beat Marik!
Marik says this is even more amusing than his duel with Mai. But in the end, Joey's fate will be exactly the same as hers—an eternity in the Shadow Realm! (Japanese Malik says, "Jounouchi, you are stepping into my trap, moving toward the hell of darkness.")
To Be Continued