Episode 187: Let the Games Begin! Part 1 (Jounouchi vs Mask the Rock)
Fireworks explode, and skywriting planes spell out "KC Grand Championship" in the sky over the Kaiba Dome. (In the Japanese version, it's "KC Grand Prix.")
The roof of the Kaiba Dome opens to reveal a stadium full of cheering spectators. Roland announces the beginning of the Kaiba Corp Grand Championship. They've assembled a lineup of first-class duelists from around the world, one of which will be crowned World Champ! Joey clenches his fists and hunches over in his excitement. (Again, "KC Grand Prix" is changed to "KC Grand Championship" in the US version. Any time you see "KC Grand Championship" in the US episodes, you can assume it was originally "KC Grand Prix.")
From the front row of the spectators, Yugi watches with Téa and Duke, exclaiming about the huge crowd. Duke points out Joey trying to scare his competition with his weird chicken dance. Téa repeats that she needs some female friends, as Tristan mugs for the camera, making peace signs and grinning. Téa whacks him on the head, telling him to try acting normal.
Next, the announcer introduces the master of ceremonies—Mokuba, who appears on a platform that rises behind the stage where the duelists are lined up. Mokuba asks everyone if they're ready to get their duel on, then says it's time to kick off the greatest Duel Monsters tournament ever organized. (Cut from the US version is this bit where Mokuba explains the tournament rules, saying that the duelists will be divided into two groups, A and B, for the preliminary elimination. The winner will be the first KC Grand Prix champion.)
Before the week is through, there may be a new international Duel Monsters champion! (Japanese Mokuba says that the winner of the KC Grand Prix will then face Yugi Mutou for the World Championship.) Then he introduces the current champion, Yugi Mutou. As the crowd chants his name, Yugi looks around in confusion. Joey raises his fist to Yugi from the stage, and Vivian Wong waves, while Rebecca winks at him.
Next, Mokuba directs everyone's attention to the Kaibatron for the first round match-ups. In Block A, the first competitor chosen is Joey Wheeler. (In the Japanese version, Jounouchi's name is written on the screen in Japanese and English. It's Romanized "Katsuya Jyonouchi" here, which is one of many ways of spelling "Jounouchi.")
Joey is thrilled to be in one of the first matches, and tells his fans, this one's for them! His opponent will be the mystery duelist, whose true identity remains unknown, Apnarg Otom. (In the Japanese version, "Mask The Rock" is written in katakana, the characters used for foreign words, and in English. By the way, the sixes on Grandpa's mask and overalls are probably a reference to his Japanese given name, "Sugoroku," [the Japanese word for backgammon]. The "Roku" in his name means "six." Also, I'd guess that in his alias, "Rock" is a play on "Roku.")
Joey tells the masked duelist that when he wins, that mask is coming off! Tristan wonders where they know that guy from. Téa doesn't know, but Yugi does.
In Block B, Leon Wilson will face Dr. Richard Goat. (Their names, written in katakana and English, are also removed from the US version.)
Téa stands up to wave at Leon and cheer him on, and he turns to her, blushing.
Before the duels get underway, Mokuba says, there's someone they all want to hear from. He asks Yugi to come up to the stage and say a few words. Yugi tells the Pharaoh he needs him, but Yami says no, Yugi can do this. (Japanese Yugi doesn't speak. Yami tells him they're all counting on him.) Tristan tells Yugi he can't let his fans down, and Duke pushes Yugi out of his seat, saying Tristan's right. Yugi walks hesitantly towards the stage, wondering what to say. He turns and waves to the crowd, but Mokuba wants him to come up on stage. Slowly, he starts to climb the stairs, complaining that no one said there would be public speaking! He walks awkwardly onto the stage and waves.
But then, the crowd's attention turns to the roar of engines passing over the stadium—it's the Blue-Eyes White Dragon jet, and Kaiba jumps out, flying with a jetpack strapped on his back. He descends into the stadium and lands beside Mokuba, dropping the jetpack and holding his hand behind him for Mokuba to pass him the microphone.
Kaiba announces that this is not a show—it's the ultimate test of survival! This is a ruthless battle, and, in the end, only one duelist will remain standing. From this moment forward, Kaiba Land is a battlefield! May the best duelist win. (Cut from the US version are these brief shots of Kaiba standing below the screen, and Yugi and the other duelists looking on.)
Zigfried regards Kaiba from under his bangs, while the crowd chants, "Kaiba! Kaiba!" Joey fumes, calling Kaiba a showoff, and saying Kaiba's lucky he's not dueling. Kaiba thinks, he knows one of these punks is out to ruin him, and before this tournament's over, he's going to find out who. Zigfried smiles.
Roland takes over announcing duties, telling the crowd that all tournament matches will be held on Kaiba Land grounds, but only the two remaining finalists will be invited back to duel in the Kaiba Dome. Match One will take place on the Amazon Adventure Trail, and Match Two will be held beneath the Dragon's Lair Flume. Duelists should report to their designated locations.
Yugi exclaims as Leon appears on the giant screen, walking under the Dragon's Lair ride. Dr. Goat approaches, flanked by his two nurses. The duelists hand each other their decks, and one of the nurses wipes the doctor's brow as he shuffles Leon's deck. Then they take back their decks and prepare to duel.
The scene on the screen changes to show Apnarg Otom waiting for his opponent in the Amazon Adventure. Tristan continues to think that the dude in the mask looks so familiar, and Téa thinks maybe it's their gym teacher. Yami asks Yugi if it's... and Yugi nods.
Then Duke asks where Joey is. They're all startled when Joey walks in front of them, a hot dog in each hand. Yugi asks him what he's doing there, and he says there's a two-for-one sale on weenies. Tristan and the others run up to him, along with Mokuba, who tells him he should be on the Amazon Adventure Trail. Joey insists that he doesn't duel on an empty stomach, but Mokuba warns him that if he doesn't get to his match in ten minutes, he'll be disqualified. Joey thinks ten minutes is a piece of cake, until Mokuba tells him that the Amazon Adventure is a fifteen square mile virtual jungle! Mokuba sighs, saying he's going to have to.... But before he can finish, a panicked Joey is running for the exit, the rest of the gang following him. Mokuba says, oh well.
Joey stands in the prow of a boat heading down the stream into the jungle, while Tristan reads the map, and tells him where to dock the boat. Joey jumps out of the boat and runs down the trail, while Tristan yells at him to slow down—the jungle is loaded with pitfalls. Too late, Joey has already fallen into one. Soon, Joey is making his way across a wobbly suspension bridge, while hungry crocodiles snap at him from the water below. Then, the gang all run down a trail followed by a huge rolling boulder. Tristan tells them to break left, but Joey goes the wrong way, and the boulder rolls over him, leaving him lying on the ground with his eyes spiraling around.
Next, Joey's confronted by a snake, then he runs into a flock of bats. As he yells for help, Téa wonders if they should tell him they're only holograms. Duke thinks it would spoil the fun.
But Joey keeps running down the trail, even though he's starting to flag. He only has twenty seconds to make it to his duel, so he pulls out one last effort, pushing through the vines and leaves until he finally makes it into the clearing where the masked duelist awaits on the steps of a stone platform. Mokuba steps out to tell Joey if he's not there in ten seconds, he's disqualified. Joey staggers up to Mokuba with five seconds to spare. But how did Mokuba get there before him?
Mokuba says he tried to tell him—there's a secret passageway for special guests. Joey cries that it's not fair, while the rest of the gang catch up, all gasping for breath. But at least they made it on time.
The masked duelist tells Joey that it looks as if the student is finally going to face his former dueling instructor. Then he quickly corrects himself, saying it's time to teach Joey a lesson. Joey says he doesn't think so.
Tristan is sure that they know that voice. Joey and the masked duelist face each other atop the platform, while Téa tells Yugi that the mystery duelist sounds just like his grandpa. Yugi says it is, and Tristan wonders why the disguise, when suddenly Professor Hawkins shows up, saying that perhaps he should explain. He says that he tried to talk Grandpa out of it, but he wouldn't listen.
In flashback, Grandpa talks to Arthur Hawkins on the phone from the airport, telling him he's joining the tournament, and that's final. He needs to get back to the action and relive his glory days. But he'll need a disguise—he doesn't want anyone going easy on him. (The beginning of the flashback is changed in the US version to a shot of Grandpa at the airport. The Japanese version starts with a shot of the gang sitting at the camp table outside the trailer, while Professor Hopkins talks on the phone inside. This is the phone call he received in Episode 185.)
Back at the duel, Grandpa and Joey are shuffling each other's decks, while Tristan says he can't believe Grandpa had them fooled! It is a pretty lame disguise. Téa says it looks like Joey's still clueless. Duke thinks they should tell Joey to go easy on him, but Yugi says no, his Grandpa will be just fine. Mokuba says he hopes so. Tristan says that Mokuba invited him, didn't he? But Mokuba says no, Mr. Mutou begged to be let in. But he taught Yugi everything he knows, and that's good enough for Mokuba. Téa hopes he doesn't hurt himself, but Yugi's more worried about Joey. (Japanese Anzu says she hasn't seen Grandpa duel before. Yugi doesn't say anything.)
Joey and Grandpa take their decks and face off. Joey begins by summoning Swordsman of Landstar (500 ATK) in attack, then he sets two cards face down and ends his turn. Grandpa also plays two cards face down, then summons Wandering Mummy (1500 ATK), asking Joey how he likes them apples.
Joey says that saying went out about fifty years ago, then summons Little-Winguard (1400 ATK). (Japanese Jounouchi says it's his turn, draw.) He attacks Wandering Mummy with Swordsman of Landstar. Tristan warns Joey that his monster is weaker than his opponent's, but Joey says he knows that, and activates his face-down magic card, Graceful Dice. This will increase his monster's attack, depending on the number he rolls.
But Grandpa activates his trap card, Legendary Gambler, which tosses its own die onto the field. If its roll is greater than Joey's, Joey's roll will be canceled out. Joey's die rolls a four, but Grandpa's is a six. So Joey activates his trap card, Skull Dice, to weaken his opponent's monster.
Legendary Gambler is a continuous trap, and it also rolls again. Joey's die comes up a five, but Grandpa's is a six. Joey's Swordsman of Landstar is destroyed by Wandering Mummy, and Joey loses 1000 life points, taking him down to 3000.
Grandpa tells Joey that he knows him better than he knows himself. Joey, who still doesn't recognize Grandpa behind his mask, says his mystery opponent just got lucky. He switches Little-Winguard to defense (which he can do because of its effect) and ends his turn.
Tristan says that Joey's getting schooled by his teacher. Téa agrees, and Yugi says, poor guy. (Japanese Yugi says, "Jii-chan," which means, "Grandpa.")
Grandpa draws, then activates his other trap card, Non Aggression Area, by discarding one card from his hand. This trap prevents Joey from summoning any monsters in his next turn. Then he plays Mirage of Nightmare, which will allow him to draw until he has four cards in his hand during his opponent's next standby phase. Grandpa tells Joey it won't be long before he's out of the tournament, then sets a card face down. (Cut from the US version is this bit where Yami says, so this is the way Grandfather Sugoroku duels. He's always two steps ahead of his opponent. Yugi agrees, but he thinks Grandpa is after something else. It's replaced in the US version by a shot of Joey grimacing from a little later in the episode.)
Joey draws, then Grandpa reminds him that his magic card now activates, letting him draw three more cards, so that he has four cards in his hand. Joey says he knows how it works, and it also means Apnarg has to discard three cards on his own turn. But Grandpa activates his set magic card, Emergency Provisions, allowing him to destroy one magic or trap card on his own side of the field, and gain 1000 life points. He sends Mirage of Nightmare to the graveyard, so that he won't have to discard his cards next turn, and his life points rise to 5000.
Joey reaches for his cards (he has Jinzo, Brigadier of Landstar, Scapegoat, and another Swordsman of Landstar in his hand), but Grandpa reminds him that Non Aggression Area prevents him from summoning any monsters this turn. Grumbling that Apnarg doesn't have to tell him how to play, Joey ends his turn.
Grandpa plays the magic card, Ancient City, which causes a huge city to rise behind him. Everyone stares in awe, as Grandpa says that's just the beginning of his archeological assault. Next, he sacrifices Wandering Mummy to summon Ancient Giant (2200 ATK). As long as it remains face up on the field, it must attack, Grandpa explains. If he doesn't attack, he loses 300 life points. Tristan says Joey doesn't stand a chance against that thing!
Next, Grandpa plays the magic card, Ancient Key, which forms in the lock of the door of the Ancient City. This key allows him to summon two Stone Giant tokens (400 ATK each), which must also attack, or Grandpa will lose 1000 life points. Grandpa attacks and destroys Little-Winguard with Ancient Giant, then attacks Joey directly with the Stone Giants. Joey's down to 2200 life points, and Grandpa sets one card face down and ends his turn. One more direct attack and Joey's life points will be zero—Grandpa suggests he'd better come up with a strategy quickly!
Grandpa tells Joey he's no match for an old crow like him. Joey says they'll see, but Grandpa says that with no monsters to protect him from Grandpa's Giants, Joey won't make it past the next turn!
To Be Continued