Episode 174: Grappling with a Guardian, Part 1 (The Destined Duel: Yugi vs Rafael)
Joey lies senseless, propped up against the fence where Mai left him. The gang gather around, Téa begging him to please say something, but Yami says he doesn't think Joey can. Then it's true, Téa says, sinking to the ground. The Orichalcos took his soul. (The Japanese gang all say, "Jounouchi!" "Jounouchi!" and Yami says, "Jounouchi-kun!") Tristan reaches out to Joey, saying that when he gets his hands on the person who did this, they'll wish they were never born. He kneels before Joey, tears running down his cheeks, and puts his hand on Joey's shoulder, urging him to wake up. (Japanese Honda says, "Teme," which is a somewhat rude way of saying, "You." It's what he calls Jounouchi when he's angry with him for getting himself into trouble.)
Téa wonders who did do it—by the looks of Valon, who's also unconscious against the fence, it wasn't him. Tristan says Joey must have defeated Valon, and then Mai showed up. He's sure that Mai did this to Joey. (Japanese Honda says he'll get Mai for this.) Yami agrees, but says that there's only one person they can really blame for all this—he hides in his fortress while others do his dirty work. Well, not any more. Yami turns and runs off, while Téa and Tristan lift Joey between them. Téa calls out to Yami to wait, but Yami keeps on running towards the Paradias building, telling Dartz that this all ends now.
Yami stands in the empty foyer of the building, where he hears Dartz's laughter, and Dartz's voice telling him that he's been expecting him. (Dartz is not heard in the Japanese. This shot of three elevator doors is cut from the US version. Yami looks at the three elevators, wondering which one to take.)
(Also cut is this long shot, from behind Yami, of the elevator door whose lights indicate that it's coming down.)
Yami runs to the elevator. The door opens, and he sees Mai standing there—but then Mai falls forward into Yami's arms, unconscious. He sees a feather drifting down inside the elevator, and realizes that Mai must have been in a duel—and lost. (Japanese Yami says, Harpie feathers!) He sets her down against the wall, then gets in the elevator, taking his deck out of his pocket and thinking that he must put an end to this. (Yami's thoughts aren't heard in the Japanese. Cut from the US version is this shot of Yami fanning his deck as the elevator rises, then shuffling his cards and setting them into his Duel Disk.)
The elevator rises to the Roof level, where Yami's greeted by Rafael, who tells him it's about time he showed up for their rematch. Yami says he's there to see Dartz, but Rafael's only reply is the appearance of the Guardian wings at his shoulders. Yami asks if Dartz is so much of a coward that he sent Rafael to do his battles for him. Rafael steps forward, saying Yami owes him something. (Japanese Yami says, so, it's Rafael. Rafael says he's been waiting for the Nameless Pharaoh.)
Rafael tosses Yami a card—Joey's Hermos card. Yami assumes Rafael defeated Joey, but Rafael explains that it was Mai who beat Joey, and then he defeated her. Yami wants to know why—wasn't Mai on their side? Rafael says he never trusted her, and it turns out he was right. After she took Joey's soul, she turned on them. Flashbacks show Mai confronting Rafael across Dartz's conference table, telling him she's had enough of this world domination mumbo-jumbo, and she wants out. It's time for Dartz to answer for what he made her do to Joey. (Japanese Mai tells Rafael this is none of his business. She asks him where Dartz is, saying she no longer needs the Seal of Orichalcos. She wants to defeat Dartz with her own strength, and rescue Jounouchi and Valon.) Rafael tells her it's his duty to protect Dartz (Japanese Rafael tells her to forget it, she's just a sacrifice. She's of no more use to them), and activates his Duel Disk, telling her to say goodbye to her soul. Next thing we know, Mai is crying out to Joey as the Seal of Orichalcos takes her, saying she tried her best. The Hermos card falls out of her hand as she collapses to the floor, and Rafael says her best wasn't good enough.
Yami holds the Hermos card in a trembling hand, saying this madness has to stop. Think of how many innocent lives have been destroyed! Rafael may be next. (Japanese Yami says that Jounouchi's feelings did reach Mai. But....)
Rafael says he doesn't care. He's made a commitment to Dartz to help him save the planet from people like Yami. If keeping his promise means giving up his own soul, so be it. (Japanese Rafael says that both Jounouchi and Mai would have loved to send Yami this card, so he should hang onto it. Cut from the US version is this sequence where Yami asks Rafael, doesn't he feel any pain at all? Pegasus, Haga, Ryuuzaki, Mai, Jounouchi-kun, and Aibou—how many souls has he seized? Even Amelda and Valon, even Rafael's companions' souls have been taken. Doesn't he feel anything at all?)
Rafael says, even if he's taken, he'll be doing his part, by giving the Great Leviathan the strength it needs to restore peace to the world. Yami tells him to wake up—can't he see that Dartz is just using him for his own selfish needs? If he really wants to save the world, he should stop fighting Yami and join him. Rafael says that as soon as the Great Beast is revived, Yami's side will no longer exist. And all it needs is one more strong soul. (Rafael says that world can't be saved as long as there are people in it. That's destiny. In order to understand destiny, you must accept it and offer yourself to it. Rafael says he wants to understand destiny. That's why he'll gladly sacrifice body and soul. Yami asks why a duelist like Rafael must submit to Dartz's so-called destiny, and even steal souls for it. Rafael says destiny has already been set in motion. No one can stop it from moving.)
Rafael looks up, where the silhouette of the Great Leviathan snakes through the sky. Yami gasps—oh no, it's true! Rafael says that even as they speak, the Great Leviathan lurks in the shadows all over the Earth. And as soon as Rafael defeats Yami, Yami's soul will be offered to the Great Beast, giving it the strength it needs to fully cross over into their world. (Japanese Yami asks, what is that? Rafael doesn't answer.)
The shadow of the Great Leviathan is seen flying all over the world. People stand in city streets, looking up and wondering what they're seeing. (The writing is removed from signs on a Chinese temple and US city buildings in the US version.)
On the balcony of a chalet on a remote hillside, a little girl stands watching the beast in awe. (Cut from the US version is this close-up of the little girl saying, "The stars are slowly disappearing.")
Meanwhile, Téa and Tristan, carrying Joey, are running down the street after Yami, when a car pulls up behind them. It's Mokuba and Kaiba, who've somehow escaped the endless stream of Orichalcos Soldiers blocking them and are also on their way to Paradias headquarters. Tristan notes that it's a nice car, but Kaiba just grumbles about running into the dork-fest again, and asks what happened to Wheeler—did baby need a nap? Téa doesn't think that's very funny. (Japanese Kaiba says, "Bonkotsu—You've lost, too, haven't you?" Mokuba sadly adds, "Jounouchi," and Kaiba asks where Yugi is. Anzu says he's gone to Paradias alone.) Mokuba yells, oh no! and runs behind the front of the car. Kaiba asks him what's his problem, and Mokuba points down the alley, which is suddenly full of rats with glowing red eyes, running towards them at full speed. Téa and Tristan both shriek like girls, and Joey starts to slide off Tristan's back, but Kaiba casually lifts Joey back up with one arm and tells the geeks to get moving. They run for a fire escape, which they climb up to by standing on a garbage can, even though there's a stairway up the fire escape right behind them.
Mokuba and Téa haul Joey's body over the railing, then Tristan and Kaiba—who's too cool to use both hands—leap up and catch onto the railing, just as the hordes of rats run beneath them. Kaiba says he smells a rat, and his name's Dartz. (Japanese Kaiba asks what's going on.)
Meanwhile, beneath the ocean, the Leviathan's eye opens.
Atop the Paradias building, Rafael tells Yami that as they speak, the most devastating creature that ever lived is waiting to rise again. All it needs now is the Pharaoh's soul, and the Seal of Orichalcos will take care of that. He was already able to defeat Yami once, but Yami cheated him by switching places with someone else. (Japanese Rafael says that soon the door of destiny will be opened by Lord Dartz. The moment for the answer to be revealed will soon be here. For the sake of that day, he asks the Pharaoh to duel him again. He says that he did defeat Yami that day.) He remembers the end of their last duel, when Yugi was taken by the Seal in the Pharaoh's place, and tells Yami not to even think about trying to pull a stunt like that again. He doesn't appreciate being lied to, and besides, there's no one for Yami to hide behind this time. It's just him and Yami. (The flashback is different in the Japanese version, showing Rafael's Guardian Eatos' final attack against Yami, and Yami's life points going to zero. In the US version, it's changed to show Yugi pushing Yami out of the way so the Seal will take his soul instead.)
(Rafael says that even though Yami was defeated, his soul wasn't taken. He doesn't know why Yami escaped his fate, but compared to the destiny Dartz speaks of, it's negligible. Yami can't defeat Rafael, and he's going to prove it here.)
Yami accepts Rafael's challenge, saying if that's the only way to save his friends, he'll duel. Once Rafael's out of the way, he'll go straight for Dartz. It's just a shame that a duelist with Rafael's talents has to throw it all away by following a madman. Rafael insists that Dartz opened him up to the truth, and made him what he is today. Yami's just jealous because he doesn't have one of these—the Seal of Orichalcos card. (Japanese Yami asks why they must be bound by destiny. He says he'd like to duel Rafael again, but that's because Rafael is a True Duelist. It has nothing to do with destiny. Rafael insists that their duel is destined, and this time, Yami's soul must be seized.) Yami says Rafael can't tempt him with that card again, and Rafael says he wasn't planning on it. But, as he walks towards Yami, he says Yami can take one last look at it as he shuffles Rafael's deck. (Japanese Rafael tells Yami to let his own hands decide his fate.) As they trade decks, Yami says he knows what Rafael's trying to do, and it won't work. He won't give in to his dark side. Rafael says they'll see about that. Yami thinks, he must stay true to his heart, no matter what Rafael tries to do. (Japanese Yami says that even if Rafael gives him the Seal of Orichalcos, he's not going to use it again. Rafael says he knows. Yami thinks, he wants Rafael to destroy the Seal with his own hands.)
They shuffle each other's decks, then Rafael returns to the other side of the roof. They activate their Duel Disks and prepare to duel, as lightning flashes in the sky. Rafael says that since he's the returning champion, he'll start things off. He plays the magic card, Guardian Treasure (cut from the US version is this shot of an aurora in the sky over Rafael's head, after he plays Guardian Treasure),
which allows him to discard his hand and draw two new cards, plus he can draw two cards each turn from now on, as long as Guardian Treasure remains on the field. Next, he summons Backup Gardna (2200 DEF) in defense, sets one card face down, and ends his turn.
Yami draws, then plays Queen's Knight (1600 DEF) in defense, and ends his turn, thinking that he's surprised Rafael didn't play the Seal of Orichalcos right away. Perhaps Rafael's toying with him.... (Or maybe he just hasn't drawn it yet. Duh. Last turn, he played one card then discarded his whole hand, drew two more cards, played one and set the other. Obviously, he doesn't have the Seal of Orichalcos in his hand. Ahem. Anyway, Japanese Yami thinks that Rafael will certainly use the Seal of Orichalcos—but when?)
Rafael draws two cards, then tells Yami he's going to reunite him with a friend from their last duel, Gravity Axe, which allows him to summon Guardian Grarl (2500 ATK), and increases Grarl's attack by 500 points, to 3000. (The real Guardian Grarl is a Level 5 monster, but its effect allows it to be summoned without a tribute, if it's the only card in the player's hand, which it was when Rafael summoned it. However, Gravity Axe is an equip card, and must be equipped to a monster when it's played—it can't be played first, then equipped. In the Japanese, Rafael equips it to Backup Gardna, then uses Backup Gardna's special effect to move Gravity Axe to Guardian Grarl.) Rafael attacks Queen's Knight with Grarl and destroys it, then ends his turn.
Yami draws, plays Monster Reborn to bring back Queen's Knight (1500 ATK) in attack position, then summons King's Knight (1600 ATK). With both Queen's Knight and King's Knight on the field, he's able to use King's Knight's effect to special summon Jack's Knight (1900 ATK). Finally, he plays the magic card, Brave Attack.
Rafael remembers Yami using Brave Attack in his duel against Grimo, which allowed the three Magnet Warriors to combine their attack strengths to defeat Obelisk. Yami says yes, Brave Attack lets him add the attack points of all three of his monsters together, although they'll be destroyed after they attack. Rafael says Yami still hasn't learned his lesson about respecting his monsters, but Yami says it's time for him to teach Rafael a lesson about teamwork (Japanese Yami says he won't listen to Rafael any more—he believes in his relationship with his monsters), and sends his Knights to attack Guardian Grarl. But Rafael activates his trap card, Guardian Force, allowing him to negate and destroy a magic card, as long as there are no Guardian monsters in his graveyard. (Guardian Force gets a slight redesign in the US version.)
With Brave Attack destroyed, Yami's monsters' attack is halted, and Yami must end his turn, thinking that Rafael ruined his strategy, and now his Knights are open to attack. He needs a new plan.
Rafael draws two cards, telling Yami he's going down. Yami thinks, if Rafael plays the Seal of Orichalcos now, he's in trouble, because if Rafael wins with that on the field, Yami will never save his friends. (Japanese Yami thinks that Rafael's making smart moves. And if he uses the Seal of Orichalcos again....)
Rafael plays Butterfly Dagger, equipping it to the Backup Gardna (he calls it Backup Guardian here by mistake), and increasing its attack by 300 points, to 800. With Butterfly Dagger on the field, he can summon Guardian Elma (1300 ATK, 1200 DEF). Yami says he's never seen that Guardian monster, and Rafael tells him there are plenty of monsters in his deck Yami's never seen. Elma's effect allows him to bring his Guardian Shield back from the graveyard, and he equips it to Guardian Elma, increasing its defense by 300, to 1500. Then, he uses Backup Gardna's effect to transfer the Butterfly Dagger to Elma. Backup Gardna's attack returns to 500, while Guardian Elma's increases to 1600.
Rafael uses Guardian Elma to attack and destroy Queen's Knight, then Guardian Grarl attacks King's Knight. Yami's down to 2500 life points, and one monster on the field. What now, Pharaoh? Rafael asks. (Japanese Yami thinks that Rafael is strong enough, even without using the Seal of Orichalcos.)
Yami draws, then plays the magic card, Five Star Twilight (Twinkle Five Star. Well, actually, the card reads, "Tinkle Five Star," but I think "Twinkle" is what they mean). Since Jack's Knight is a Level 5 monster, he can sacrifice it to summon the five Kuriboh Brothers (300 ATK each). Rafael sarcastically says oh no, he's so scared. Yami continues, discarding a trap card in order to activate the Kuriboh brothers' effect, Kuriball. The white Kuriboh swallows up all the other Kuribohs, then rolls into Guardian Grarl. When the Kuribohs split up and return to their side of the field, Guardian Grarl's attack has been reduced to 1500. Then Yami combines the five Kuribohs into Kuribabylon (1500 ATK).
Rafael points out that Yami's powder puff and his Grarl have the same attack strength, but Yami's not finished yet. He plays Mystical Space Typhoon (Cyclone) to destroy Gravity Axe, and Grarl's attack goes down to 1000. Now he attacks Guardian Grarl with Kuribabylon.
But Guardian Elma blocks the attack. Rafael explains that the Guardian Shield's effect allows him to prevent any of his monsters from being destroyed. But it costs him 500 life points, so he's down to 3500. (Japanese Rafael explains that the Shield can be destroyed to save a monster from an attack, but he still takes the damage from the attack.)
Yami sets one card face down and ends his turn, thinking that he's never come across a duelist like Rafael before, who refuses to let any of his monsters go to the graveyard. He protects his monsters at all costs—why would a duelist like this hold the Seal of Orichalcos?
Yami says that as long as Rafael's loyal to Dartz, he'll never be true to himself. He has too much respect for his cards to use them for such an evil purpose, but Dartz has brainwashed him into believing that he's someone else. (Japanese Yami tells Rafael he has too much respect for his monsters to trust them with the darkness in his soul that using the Seal of Orichalcos would bring. Rafael simply says, "My turn. Draw." Cut from the US version is this sequence in which Rafael tells Yami he's right. But.... A flashback shows young Rafael screaming as he plays the Seal of Orichalcos. Rafael says that that alone will not explain destiny. When you accept darkness and make it a part of you, and when you give up everything, for the first time, light appears in the darkness. Another flashback shows young Rafael looking up with the Seal in his forehead.)
But Rafael says that Dartz opened his eyes to the truth. Holding up the two cards he's drawn, he says that this world is an evil place, and Yami's part of the problem. He's here to fix that, and thanks to his master, he has just the card to do it. (Rafael tells Yami that they're similar, but they've chosen different paths. That's why Yami is unable to fully utilize his monsters. Then, he says, let me show you the true power of this card.)
Rafael plays the Seal of Orichalcos. Yami calls out, No, please don't! But it's too late. Rafael slots the card into his Duel Disk, as lightning flashes around them, telling Yami his fate is sealed.
Kaiba and Mokuba finally arrive at the Paradias building, along with Téa and Tristan. They see Mai lying by the elevator, and realize that she lost her soul, too. Tristan, with Joey on his back, wonders who's carrying her? They see that the elevator's at the top floor.
Yami tells Rafael he's making a mistake, and the gang arrive at the roof just in time to see the Seal of Orichalcos form around the duelists. Tristan says they're too late—that guy already played the Seal of Orichalcos, and Yami thinks, this changes everything. What has Rafael done?
Rafael smiles, and when he opens his eyes, they shine red. The Seal of Orichalcos glows in his forehead.
To Be Continued