Episode 194: One Step Ahead, Part 1 (Kaiba Intrudes! Grand Prix Finals)
(Cut from the US version is this opening sequence showing several kids zooming along on bicycles, then rushing into a room where other people are already gathered in front of a television set. Then, a crowd stands before a large-screen TV in a store window, and an even larger crowd intently watches a huge screen on the side of a building—all showing the KC Grand Prix finals.)
Roland announces the finalists of the KC Grand Championship: standing on a high pinnacle of rock in the middle of the ocean is Zigfried Lloyd, and across from him on another pinnacle stands Leon Wilson. The winner of this bout will face Yugi Muto for the championship crown. History may be made in the next few hours here in the Kaiba Dome.
The images of the ocean and pinnacles of rock fade, to reveal Leon and Zigfried standing at either end of the Kaiba Dome's dueling arena, surrounded by the cheering crowds. The Dome opens up, letting sunlight spread across the arena, as Roland says, let the KC Grand Championship finals begin!
(Cut from the US version are these long shots of Kaiba's helicopter flying above the stadium, and the gang wondering what's happening.)
Then a helicopter is seen flying above the stadium, with Kaiba suspended from it on a ladder. The gang watch, openmouthed. Joey wonders what he's doing here, and Yugi suggests, just dropping by? Mokuba says he wasn't scheduled to be here. (Japanese Jounouchi says, "Kaiba!" Yugi says, "Kaiba-kun!" and Mokuba says, "Nii-sama!")
The helicopter lowers Kaiba to the dueling arena, where he jumps down, sets down his briefcase, and demands that the duel be stopped. As president of Kaiba Corp, he declares the match invalid. Joey protests that Kaiba can't rip them off like that! (Japanese Jounouchi wonders what Kaiba's up to.) And Leon says he doesn't get it.
Kaiba goes on to announce that, as a result of a disqualification, the winner of this duel is Leon Wilson. (Cut from the US version is this bit where Honda asks Mokuba what's going on, and Mokuba says he doesn't know.)
Zigfried asks if there's any particular reason for this. Kaiba says he broke his tournament contract by entering the tournament under a false name. His real name is Zigfried von Schroeder, of the Schroeder Corporation.
Yugi turns to his Grandpa to ask, wasn't that an old gaming company? Grandpa says it still is, you just don't hear much about it any more. Once Kaiba Corp became number one, everyone forgot about the Schroeders. Téa wonders if Zigfried joined to get revenge. (Japanese Grandpa says that Schroeder is the number one gaming company in Europe. He wonders if it's the same Schroeder. Anzu says he's Kaiba Corporation's rival.)
Kaiba tells Zigfried he never trusted him from the start—and his instincts are never wrong. Remembering the hacker attack on the Kaiba Dome and the other Kaiba Land dueling locations, he says it all makes sense—Kaiba Corp's biggest rival joins the tournament and suddenly everything goes haywire. Coincidence? Kaiba doesn't think so. But since he's a nice guy, he won't have Zigfried arrested for trespassing and fraud, under one condition—Zigfried gets out of his life, and takes his bad hair with him. (Japanese Kaiba says he suspects Siegfried of being responsible for all the problems. But he entered the tournament under a false name, which alone is enough to disqualify him. This shot of Leon is cut from the US version. The following shot of Grandpa cringing, which in the US version is in reaction to Kaiba's remark about Zigfried's "bad hair," in the Japanese is in reaction to Kaiba's statement about entering the tournament under a false name—since Grandpa did, indeed, enter under a false name himself.)
If Zigfried comes near him again, Kaiba says he'll destroy what's left of his pathetic company.
Zigfried just laughs, and says Kaiba has finally been exposed to the public for what he is—a complete coward. The truth, Zigfried says, is that Kaiba's afraid of Zigfried's superior skills, so he's hiding behind a technicality instead of facing Zigfried. And now the whole world knows! (Japanese Siegfried says he didn't expect the president of Kaiba Corporation to be so petty. Or is Kaiba afraid that someone from Schroeder Corporation will be the first winner of the KC Cup?)
(This sequence showing Kaiba from behind and Siegfried in long shot is run backwards in the US version, changing it from a pan up to a pan down.)
Zigfried says he doesn't blame Kaiba for throwing him out—Kaiba knows that if Zigfried won the tournament and became the world champion, Kaiba would never win the title back. (Japanese Siegfried points out that this is being broadcast all over the world. Everyone else will think Kaiba's afraid, too. This pan across the stadium is cut from the US version.)
(Japanese Siegfried says that Kaiba is afraid of him, so he wants to kick him out of the competition. This shot of the crowd watching the tournament on a television in a store window is cut from the US version.)
Kaiba says he's throwing Zigfried out because he doesn't like him, not because he's scared of him. Kaiba says he promised himself he wouldn't duel in this tournament, but now that he has the chance to embarrass Zigfried, those plans have changed! (Japanese Kaiba says Siegfried is mistaken. Nobody's going to kick him out. With Siegfried's ability, it's doubtful he'd win anyway, but Kaiba is going to duel him himself.)
Yugi says, Kaiba's going to duel Zigfried! Rebecca says, there's never a dull moment.
Zigfried agrees to duel Kaiba. But if he wins, he gets to stay. And if he loses, Kaiba says, he disappears, never to be heard from again. (Japanese Siegfried doesn't set any conditions. He asks if Kaiba intends to duel him. Kaiba says he's Siegfried's target, isn't he?) Yugi doesn't know about this, but Mokuba is sure his brother will win. Kaiba tells Roland to hold his briefcase while he takes out his Duel Disk and deck. He says this shouldn't take too long.
Kaiba asks Zigfried if he's sure he wants to go through with this. Zigfried says he wouldn't miss the chance to destroy his arch-rival in front of the entire world. (Japanese Kaiba asks Siegfried if he's afraid. Siegfried says no, it's his honor to duel Kaiba.) They shuffle each other's decks, then Zigfried wonders who should go first. Saying there's only one fair way to decide, he flips a coin. Kaiba says it's Zigfried's call, and Zigfried chooses heads, and heads it is. He chooses to let Kaiba go first. Kaiba says he never knew Zigfried was so kind—he'll have to return the favor. Zigfried says there's no need, but Kaiba says he insists. (Japanese Siegfried says he won—fate has taken care of him. Kaiba says, Siegfried thinks fate is taking care of him, just because he guessed correctly? If he says so... which does he choose? Siegfried says he'll go second, and Kaiba says all right.)
The two go to the dueling stations, as Roland announces a slight change of plans. The tournament host, Seto Kaiba, will face off against Zigfried von Schroeder. Kaiba plugs his Duel Disk into the dueling console, and his life point counter lights up with 4000 points. Zigfried does the same, setting his deck on the field. Mokuba calls out to Seto to show this circus freak who's boss!
Leon joins Yugi and the others, asking what's next. Is he going to duel against Yugi or Zigfried? Téa says she guesses it depends on how well Kaiba does in this next duel. Leon says he hopes Kaiba wins, and Téa says not to worry, she's sure Leon will get his chance, no matter who wins. Rebecca adds, unless he wants to give her his place in the tournament. Leon says he thinks he'll pass. (Japanese Leon says he didn't expect to duel Yugi this way. Anzu asks, but wasn't it his dream to duel Yugi? He says he supposes so. Anzu says, what's the difference? Leon will still get to duel Yugi. Rebecca adds that she'd love to be the one dueling Yugi, and Leon tells her he's sorry.) Joey says that as much as he can't stand Kaiba, anyone's better than that pink-haired sideshow freak, Zigfried. (Japanese Jounouchi says even though Kaiba is very confident, Siegfried won't be an easy opponent.) Yugi and Téa agree.
As the dueling stations rise into place, Zigfried thinks that his most devastating flower is about to blossom. Kaiba thinks that he doesn't know what Zigfried is after, but it all ends here. (Japanese Siegfried thinks that he wants Kaiba and Kaiba Corporation to fall. Kaiba thinks that he won't let Siegfried have his way. He'll show him it was a mistake to challenge him.)
Kaiba begins by summoning X-Head Cannon (1800 ATK) in attack mode. He also sets two cards face down and ends his turn.
Zigfried tells Kaiba his little mechanical toys are nothing but insignificant seedlings that are about to be uprooted by his raging wildflowers. Kaiba says these people came here to see a duel, not a bad poetry reading. (Japanese Siegfried says that the prologue of fate does not always come quietly. Sometimes it brings a storm with it. Kaiba says he's going to be sick, and tells Siegfried to get on with the duel.) Zigfried supposes Kaiba's right—the true beauty of his maidens of mayhem can best be appreciated if he simply calls them to the field. He plays his magic card, Ride of the Valkyries, which allows him to summon every Valkyrie he holds in his hand. He summons three of them, Valkyrie Zweite (1600 ATK), Valkyrie Erste (1600 ATK), and Valkyrie Dritte (1000 ATK).
Thanks to Valkyrie Zweite's special effect, Kaiba's X-Head Cannon is destroyed. Next, Valkyrie Erste removes X-Head Cannon from play, and takes on its attack. Then, Valkyrie Dritte gains 100 attack points for every monster removed from the game.
Joey says, Zigfried summoned three monsters at once! And, Yugi adds, Kaiba's life points are defenseless, so if Zigfried attacks with all three Valkyries, the duel is done. Mokuba urges his brother on.
Zigfried says it looks like they've reached the finale before they've even begun. Telling Kaiba "Auf Wiedersehen," he orders Valkyrie Zweite to attack Kaiba directly. But Kaiba activates his trap card, Negate Attack, stopping the Valkyrie's attack. Yugi says it's awesome—Zigfried's turn is over, so his three Valkyries go back to his deck. Kaiba asks Zigfried what he's waiting for—call back his ponies. But Zigfried plays a magic card, saying it gives them a second performance. Again, he orders Valkyrie Zweite to attack. Téa says he's cheating! Mokuba agrees, saying those Valkyries should have gone back to Zigfried's deck.
Kaiba asks what Zigfried is doing. Zigfried explains that his magic card, Mischief of the Time Goddess, allows him to skip Kaiba's turn and pick up where he left off.
Kaiba activates his other trap card, Magical Trick Mirror, which activates a magic card from Zigfried's graveyard. He chooses Mischief of the Time Goddess, skipping Zigfried's turn. Joey says Kaiba just bought himself a second chance, and tells Kaiba not to screw it up.
Kaiba says if Zigfried thought he could win this in one turn, he doesn't know who he's up against. Kaiba's come a long way since they were kids. Kaiba summons Z-Metal Tank (1300 DEF) in defense mode, then summons Clone Dragon, which becomes an exact duplicate of the monster he just played. (Japanese Kaiba explains that he can special summon Clone Dragon when he's successfully summoned a monster.) With two Z-Metal Tanks on the field, he ends his turn.
Leon says, what a duel! The action hasn't stopped since Kaiba made his first move. Unfortunately, Tristan says, most of the action has been at Kaiba's expense. Yugi says it's going to get worse—Zigfried's Valkyries are still on the field.
Zigfried asks if Kaiba's going to do anything but stall. They both know Kaiba's going to lose, so why not get it over with? That way he can still make his eight o'clock massage. (Japanese Siegfried explains that since the End Phase of his turn was skipped, his Valkyries don't have to return to his deck, and can remain on the field. It looks like Hell hasn't left Kaiba yet.) Kaiba says Zigfried nauseates him, and tells him to make his move.
Zigfried plays a magic card, Valkyrie's Embrace, then switches Valkyrie Dritte to defense mode. (The card he's switching to defense mode in the US version isn't Valkyrie Dritte—it's a level 5 monster, with ATK and DEF of 1600. Those are Valkyrie Zweite's stats. The three Valkyrie cards are very similar, but in the Japanese version you can see that the background of Dritte's image is red, and it's a level 4 monster with 1000 ATK and 1600 DEF. The card next to it has a blue background and a sword upraised—that's Valkyrie Erste, or Altest. Valkyrie Zweite, which is used for both cards in the US version, has a lavender-white background.)
One of Kaiba's Z-Metal Tanks disappears. Zigfried explains that after he plays his magic card, switching one of his Valkyries to defense removes one of Kaiba's monsters from play. Then Valkyrie Dritte's attack goes up by another 100 points, to 1200. He orders Valkyrie Erste to attack Kaiba's Clone Dragon, destroying it. Then Valkyrie Zweite attacks Kaiba directly. Kaiba loses 1600 life points, taking him down to 2400.
Yugi says, this is bad. Rebecca says, Kaiba lost almost half his points, and Joey adds that there's more where that came from. But Kaiba just brushes off his sleeve and draws, saying, that's all? Zigfried says Kaiba's not fooling anyone. The whole world can sense his fear. Kaiba wonders what Zigfried thinks he's afraid of—his ferocious galloping Girl Scouts? (Japanese Kaiba says he doesn't have time to deal with every one of Siegfried's attacks.)
Kaiba plays Pitch-Dark Dragon (600 DEF) in defense, then sets one card face down and ends his turn. Zigfried switches Valkyrie Dritte to attack mode, then attacks Pitch-Dark Dragon with Valkyrie Zweite, destroying it. Tristan says, every time Kaiba summons a monster, it gets crushed! Yugi tells the guys to hold on and not lose hope yet.
Kaiba activates his trap card, Flat Level 4. Now that his dragon is gone, they can each choose a 4-star monster from their decks and summon it to the field. Kaiba chooses Y-Dragon Head (1600 DEF) and plays it in defense. Zigfried chooses another Valkyrie Dritte, which gets the 200-point power boost from Kaiba's two monsters that have been removed from play, making her attack 1200. Then he ends his turn.
Kaiba draws, then plays Pot of Greed, allowing him to draw two more cards. Next, he plays the magic card, Dimension Fusion, paying 2000 life points to bring back his X-Head Cannon and Z-Metal Tank that were removed from play. Now he'll be able to combine them together, says Yugi. Téa says, but he paid 2000 life points. Tristan thinks it wasn't worth it.
Next, Kaiba plays the magic card, Soul Absorption, giving him an extra 500 life points each time a card is removed from play. Then he removes X-Head Cannon, Y-Dragon Head, and Z-Metal Tank from play, in order to summon XYZ-Dragon Cannon (2800 ATK), and gaining 1500 points in the bargain to bring his score back up to 1900.
Duke's impressed—not only did Kaiba summon a really powerful monster, he was able to regain 1500 life points! Grandpa says this could be just the break Kaiba needed to make his comeback. Yugi hopes so.
Zigfried isn't so happy, though. He makes a fierce face at Kaiba, as Kaiba says it's time to get rid of Zigfried's little friend. He attacks with XYZ-Dragon Cannon, destroying one of the Valkyrie Drittes, and taking Zigfried's life points down to 2500. Téa says it was a nice move—Kaiba totally caught Zigfried off guard. Mokuba says, that's his bro! Always one step ahead. (Japanese Honda, I think—I can't see who's talking, says "Sasuga Kaiba!" This is an expression that means something like, "Kaiba's the one!")
One step ahead? Zigfried thinks. He swore that would never happen again! In flashback, he sees a gathering of businessmen saying that Seto Kaiba is a genius. Thanks to him, the gaming industry will never be the same. (Japanese Siegfried thinks, "Sasuga Kaiba?" The businessmen in his flashback say, "Sasuga Kaiba.") A younger Zigfried runs into the room with his briefcase, but he's too late. The crowd watches, flashbulbs flashing, as Pegasus shakes Kaiba's hand. Before them is a gaming table on which Kaiba's first holographic Duel Monsters system is displayed. A holographic Battle Ox shimmers on the table. Zigfried falls to his knees, protesting that that idea belongs to him! His briefcase falls open, and the papers slide out, showing diagrams of a similar dueling system. (As an aside, this is a neat little nod to the manga, in which the original duels took place in dueling boxes, with the monsters appearing as small holographs on the gaming table. This style of dueling was never used in the anime. In the Japanese version, the papers in Siegfried's briefcase read "Duel System.")
Back in the present, Zigfried vows that Kaiba's beaten him to the punch for the last time! Yugi thinks that Kaiba's not out of trouble yet. And now it's Zigfried's turn again.... (Cut from the US version is this bit where Yugi takes note as he notices that Siegfried's expression has changed.)
Zigfried draws, then plays the magic card, Nibelung's Treasure. Tristan recognizes it as the card Zigfried use to do Joey in. Joey says that's it, and it's not a fond memory. Nibelung's Ring appears on Kaiba's side of the field, the Ring forming around XYZ-Dragon Cannon. The magic card also allows Zigfried to draw five new cards, and the Ring stops XYZ-Dragon Cannon from attacking. It gets worse, says Joey. Kaiba will have to draw two cards, and if one of them is a monster, it will be removed from play.
Next, Zigfried sacrifices Valkyrie Dritte to summon the instrument of Kaiba's destruction. A chariot drawn by two horses comes pounding out of the sky. It's Fortune Chariot, Zigfried says, and it's come to cart Kaiba to oblivion! Valkyrie Zweite leaps from her horse into the chariot. This allows her to attack Kaiba directly, with half her attack points. Kaiba loses 800 life points, taking him down to 1100. Yugi calls out to Kaiba to hang in there. But Zigfried isn't finished yet. He plays Mystical Space Typhoon, destroying Kaiba's Soul Absorption, then sets a card face down and ends his turn.
Zigfried gloats that without his Soul Absorption magic card, Kaiba can no longer replenish his life points. And with his Fortune Chariot in play, Zigfried can continue to chip away at Kaiba's life points. Now, who's one step ahead, Herr Kaiba?
To Be Continued