Episode 173: Fighting for a Friend, Part 5 (Bitter Victory)
Yami, Tristan, and Téa are still running down the street, searching for Joey. (In the Japanese version, a siren can be heard in the distance as they run.) They call out to Joey, stopping to look down each side street. Tristan says he could swear that Orichalcos thing activated right there. Téa agrees—so why isn't it there now? Unless they're too late. Yami tells Joey to hang in there, and they take off again.
Kaiba and Mokuba stand before a whole army of Orichalcos Soldiers. Mokuba asks what do they do now, and Kaiba says they exterminate these oversized cockroaches. He summons his Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and the Soldiers step back. Kaiba tells the Blue-Eyes to attack, and it wipes out a row of Soldiers, but more Soldiers materialize in their place. How are you supposed to get rid of these things? Mokuba asks. When you smash them, they come right back. Kaiba says, if at first you don't succeed, blast 'em with your Blue-Eyes again! (Japanese Mokuba asks where these things are coming from. Kaiba says fools are fools, no matter how many of them there are. They're no match for him.) The Blue-Eyes mows down another row of Soldiers, but, again, they reappear as quickly as they're destroyed. Then an Orichalcos Soldier sneaks up behind Mokuba and grabs him.
Mokuba calls for help, and Kaiba summons Critius (Kaiba's Duel Disk has been changed in the US version to show the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card on the tray in addition to Critius),
whose lightning blasts destroy whole groups of Soldiers at a time, and it kills the Soldier holding Mokuba. Still, the Soldiers just keep coming. But Kaiba won't give up. He orders both of his dragons to attack.
Back at the duel, Joey is pretty shaky on his feet. Mai asks him if her Harpies are too much for him, and he says, why doesn't she try fighting two duels in a row? She tells him to quit making excuses and duel, or he'll end up like Valon. (There's no dialog here in the Japanese.) Joey draws, saying he really misses the old Mai, and plays Swordsman of Landstar (1200 DEF) in defense. He tries to slot a face-down card into his Duel Disk, but it takes several tries before the card goes in. He sets two cards face down and ends his turn. Joey's vision continues to blur, and he thinks, he's in worse shape than he thought. That last duel wiped him out. He remembers the blow he took from Valon that sent him flying and destroyed his Lord of Red armor. But, he thinks, it's not over yet.
Mai taunts him for bragging about his new monster, but not even using it. He says he's just waiting for the right time. Mai says it's typical of him—he puts on this tough guy show, but inside he's just a scared little kid. Does he honestly think he can win this duel? Joey says that depends on what she means by the word "win." To him, winning's about more than cards and life points. (Japanese Mai says he's always like this. Even if he's dueling a top duelist, even if he's in a bad situation, he won't give up. Isn't he afraid of losing? He says let him ask her this instead: What does winning mean to her? Is it only to defeat others in duels?) Mai tells him to spare her, but he goes on. He says that when he first met her, she told him she only cared about herself, and had no friends. As he recalls meeting her at Duelist Kingdom, he says he told her she should hang out with him and the others. After they dueled side by side, he thought she'd discovered something more important than winning—something called friendship. But he guesses he was wrong—or maybe she just forgot. (Japanese Jounouchi reminds her that she said before that she can't trust anyone. She only trusts herself. But at Duelist Kingdom, didn't they find something more important than victory when they dueled each other? He asks her why she's returned to the old self who duels alone. Cut from the US version is this bit where she says she doesn't know when she changed, and he tells her that she's a friend, even now.)
Mai tells him to save it. She's come too far to turn back now. (Japanese Mai says says it's too late, she can only continue to fight.) The Seal in her forehead glows, and she says it's time to destroy him. Joey tells her he'll always stand by her, no matter what, and he'll never forget their friendship.
Mai draws, then orders her Cyber Harpie to destroy the Swordsman of Landstar. Joey activates his trap, Double Magical Arm Bind, which allows him to sacrifice two of his Scapegoats to take control of two of her Cyber Harpies. But she says she still has two Harpies left, and orders them to attack. Then Joey activates his second trap card, Vow of Tribe. (The card's image is changed in the US version.)
While this card is on the field, if the same monsters are on both sides of the field, they can't attack. So none of the Cyber Harpies can attack.
Mai tells Joey it was a nice move. He says he wouldn't be this good a duelist without her. She's always pushed him to be his best. (Japanese Jounouchi says he wants to grow through dueling.) Mai wonders how he can still feel that way about her, after everything she's put him through. Why doesn't he give in to his anger, like everyone else? She thinks she could never be like that. Maybe Wheeler really is different. (Japanese Mai thinks that this strength of spirit is what Jounouchi is best at. No matter how hard he's beat up, no matter how hopeless the situation, he won't give up. What she doesn't have....) She remembers Valon telling her that now he understands why Joey meant so much to her—the guy's got heart. And she remembers Joey telling her that he's fighting her with all his heart and soul, because it's the only way to save her. (The flashback is changed in the US version. In the Japanese flashback, Mai remembers Valon telling her he understands why she cares about Jounouchi—he has what they don't have, the pure zeal for dueling.)
But then she thinks, so what if Valon was right? That's all the more reason to crush Wheeler. If he really duels with all his soul, she'll just have to take his soul away. (Japanese Mai thinks, no, when she she beats Jounouchi, he'll see that she has the real power—power that won't lose to anybody.) The Orichalcos stone around her neck glitters, as she tells Joey it's all over for him.
In his temple, Dartz tells the Great Leviathan it won't be long now. Soon, the chosen duelists will be theirs. (Japanese Dartz is silent.)
Back at the duel, Mai tells Joey it's his move—his last. He thinks that deep down, Mai still values their friendship. He just has to remind her. (Japanese Jounouchi thinks that Mai's true duelist's soul has nothing to do with Doma. It's only a soul yearning for duels. He'll fight with her to the end, as a duelist.) He draws, then sacrifices the two Cyber Harpies plus the Swordsman of Landstar to summon Gilford the Lightning (2800 ATK). As the mighty warrior appears, Joey explains that whenever Gilford the Lightning is summoned by sacrificing three monsters, every monster on his opponent's side of the field is destroyed. Gilford the Lightning draws his great sword, and all four of Mai's Harpies are wiped out. Then he attacks Mai directly with Gilford, and she's flung back against the Seal's boundary by the blow, then falls to the ground, crackling with electricity.
Joey says he's got plenty of fight left in him (Japanese Jounouchi tells Mai to stand up—their duel isn't finished yet), but Mai gets to her feet, laughing. That may be, she says, but does he have enough? (Japanese Mai tells Jounouchi he's really grown stronger. But she'll win in the end.) Her life points go down to 800 from Gilford's attack. (Cut from the US version are this shot of Mai, a long shot of the duel, and a split-screen shot of Mai and Jounouchi showing their respective scores.)
Besides, it's her turn now.
Mai draws, and plays Card of Sanctity, requiring both of them to draw until they have six cards in their hands. Joey looks at his new cards, and Mai asks him if he drew anything worth using. (Japanese Mai asks him if he drew "that card.") He says she'll have to wait and see. He thinks, he didn't draw Hermos, but these cards should help.
Next, Mai plays Monster Reborn to bring back one of her Cyber Harpies (1800 ATK, raised to 2300) from the graveyard. Then she plays Elegant Egotist to multiply Cyber Harpie by three. (As usual, the spikes on the Cyber Harpies' breastplates are removed in the US version.)
Joey wonders how many Harpies she has in that deck! Finally, she plays Harpie Lady Phoenix Formation. (And, as usual, Mai's cleavage is reduced in the US version.)
(And her Duel Disk is changed to show the Cyber Harpie card on the tray.)
Since she has three Harpies on the field, she can destroy up to three of his monsters, and the total of their attack points will be deducted from his life points.
Gilford the Lightning and the remaining Scapegoat are destroyed. Joey staggers under the force of the destruction, and his life points go down to 800. Mai laughs, saying one more attack, and this duel's over. (Cut from the US version is this bit where Mai says, how's that? Her Harpie Lady combo is invincible. Jounouchi straightens up and smiles at her, telling her she's really good to reduce his life points by so much.)
Joey tells her that was an awesome move. She might be under an evil spell, but she hasn't lost her touch. She's still one of the greatest duelists he knows. He may be about to pass out, but this is fun. (Japanese Jounouchi says it would be a waste to end the duel with her. She's a True Duelist. Nothing compares to the joy of dueling with her.) Mai tells him to knock it off—she's not falling for his friendship scheme. (Japanese Mai ends her turn.)
Joey shakes his trembling hand, then draws. Finally, he's drawn the Claw of Hermos! Now, he plays Warrior Returning Alive, which allows him to return a Warrior from his graveyard to his hand. He chooses the Blue Flame Swordsman (1800 ATK) and summons it to the field. Next, he plays the magic card, Dark Dragon Ritual (Black Dragon Ritual), sacrificing Gearfried the Iron Knight to ritual summon Knight of Dark Dragon (Knight of Black Dragon). Then, he sacrifices Knight of Dark Dragon to summon his Red-Eyes Black Dragon (2400 ATK). Mai says he thinks he's so hot, but his Red-Eyes can't attack this turn. Joey says, he's got something else to attack her with. He plays the Claw of Hermos, fusing it with the Red-Eyes Black Dragon to create the Red-Eyes Black Dragon Sword, equipping it to the Blue Flame Swordsman to increase its attack to 2800. He attacks and destroys one of the Cyber Harpies, reducing Mai's life points to 300. Finally, he sets two cards face down and ends his turn.
Joey's pleased with his move, but staggers in exhaustion, vision blurring again. He tells himself he's got to pull through this. He's almost there.
Mai tells him, not bad. But his Flame Swordsman is only as strong as his weapon. She plays Harpie's Feather Duster to destroy the Red-Eyes Black Dragon Sword, and Blue Flame Swordsman's attack returns to its original 1800, low enough for her Cyber Harpies to destroy. Time to blast Joey out of her life forever. (Japanese Mai thinks that now her Harpie Ladies can destroy Jounouchi's monster, and then attack him directly. But she must do her best to beat him.)
Mai plays Spell Reproduction, discarding two magic cards from her hand to bring back a magic card from her graveyard. Joey knows she's about to play Phoenix Formation again, and he's right. She plays Harpie Lady Phoenix Formation, expecting to finish Joey off by destroying the Blue Flame Swordsman, whose attack points will be subtracted from Joey's life points. But, to her surprise, the Blue Flame Swordsman's attack is suddenly zero, and Joey's still alive. Joey explains that Blue Flame Swordsman's effect allows him to transfer its attack points to any other monster on the field, and he's transferred them to one of Mai's Harpies, raising its attack to 4100. Since the Blue Flame Swordsman's attack was zero when it was destroyed, Joey doesn't lose any life points. Plus, when the Blue Flame Swordsman is destroyed, the original Flame Swordsman (1800 ATK) is summoned in his place.
(Cut from the US version is this bit where Mai asks Jounouchi what he's doing, giving his monster's attack points to her. He says, she'd say he's stupid, right? He thinks so, too. But this is all he can do for now.)
But Mai still has two monsters more powerful. How she uses them, Joey says, is up to her. But she's one of the greatest duelists he knows, and he's sure she's going to make the right decision. Underneath all that anger and frustration is a good person. (Japanese Jounouchi says he wants to let her remember what's important through this duel. She should use her own strength to duel, not Doma's. He knows she's a kind person.) He remembers her giving him her entry card at Duelist Kingdom, so that he could play in the finals. (Japanese Jounouchi says he hasn't returned what he borrowed from her.)
That was a long time ago, Mai says, and she's sick of taking a back seat to him. He says he's sorry she feels that way. But does she think she's better off now? She's still taking a back seat, only now it's to some loony who promised her power. (Japanese Mai says it's useless trying to make her waver. He says it's not. She has to take the first step, or else she'll continue to live in misery.)
Mai thinks of the hourglass in which Marik trapped her, thinking that, without power, she's nothing. She tells Joey it's too late. Her fate has already been sealed, and so has his.
It's Joey's move, so he draws, then sets one card face down and ends his turn. He can barely stay on his feet.
Mai draws, then attacks Joey's Flame Swordsman with her powered-up Cyber Harpie. Joey activates his trap card, Skull Dice, and rolls the die. It lands on two, lowering the Cyber Harpie's attack by half, to 2050. But it's still strong enough to destroy the Flame Swordsman and take Joey's life points down to 550. (In the Japanese, his life points go down to 500 for some reason.) She's about to attack him directly with her other Cyber Harpie, but she suddenly can't do it. She can't understand why she's hesitating—if she attacks him, she'll win the duel, and he'll be gone forever. One attack and she can finally move on with her life....
She remembers Joey teasingly giving her back the Star Chips she lost to Panik, and she remembers him catching her when she fell from a flagpole after Jean Claude Magnum tried to kidnap her. Then she remembers him standing in front of her to protect her from Ra's attack in her duel with Marik, and telling her goodbye after Battle City ended. (This shot of Mai, frozen in indecision, is superimposed all throughout her flashbacks in the Japanese version.)
Joey smiles at her, congratulating her and telling he she wins. He falls to his knees, unable to stand up any longer. She runs to him, dropping her cards, and catching him as he falls. She tells him he's wrong—she never attacked, so he didn't lose the duel. But he says he's too exhausted to finish. (Japanese Jounouchi says he can't see her face any more.) She says she won't let the Orichalcos take him, but he says it's too late, he already lost the duel. He's just glad that if one of them had to lose their soul, it didn't have to be her. (Japanese Jounouchi says he's sorry. In the end, he couldn't do anything for her. But he's glad her soul won't be taken.) As the Seal contracts around them, he tells her that was one of the greatest duels he ever fought, and thanks her.
Joey pushes her out of the Seal, pulling the Orichalcos stone from around her neck. As the Seal shrinks past the stone, it cracks, and Dartz looks up, thinking that she's been set free. (Japanese Dartz, wonders, is it coming?) But then Dartz sees Joey appear in the stone wall of souls. It seems Ms. Valentine has served her purpose. (Japanese Dartz says, the winner was Kujaku Mai. But....)
Yami, Tristan, and Téa are still running down the longest block in the world. Yami stops, looking at his Timaeus card. He looks up, and sees Timaeus appear on top of a building. The dragon roars, then dissolves away.
Kaiba and Mokuba look on in surprise as Critius also roars, and flies up into the sky. Kaiba says there must be some kind of glitch in the holographic image. (Japanese Kaiba says, Critius is crying.)
The Seal of Orichalcos disappears, and Joey falls to the ground senseless, the Hermos card slipping from his fingers. Mai cradles him in her arms, crying. (Continuity error—Mai's glove is missing from her hand in this shot.)
This is all her fault, she says. She was angry and confused and she blamed it on Joey, so she tried to get rid of him. How could she be so selfish! He was the only one left who ever cared about her. (Japanese Mai says that she already knew that it wouldn't help even if she won. She knew it from the start. But even though she knew....) She clutches him to her, weeping, saying that he's the only friend she ever had, and how did she repay him? By leaving him for a madman who promised her power. (Japanese Mai asks, what does she get by sacrificing Jounouchi?) She picks up the Hermos card, and gets on her motorcycle, swearing she'll make him regret he ever met Mai Valentine. (Japanese Mai says, let it end with Dartz.)
She drives away, leaving Joey propped up against the fence beside Valon, thinking that the only way to fix this is to meet Dartz face to face. (Japanese Mai tells Jounouchi and Valon to wait for her. She'll get back their souls.) She parks her bike before Paradias Headquarters and enters the building, going up the elevator to the top floor, where she goes out into the hallway. She sees a shadowy form at the end of the hall and asks if that's Dartz. But he tells her to guess again. Angrily, she asks what he wants.
Meanwhile, Yami and the others have finally arrived at the duel—to find the action all over, and Joey and Valon both lying senseless. Yami exclaims, he lost the duel! His soul belongs to Dartz now. (Japanese Yami says, "Jounouchi-kun!")