The Darkness Returns (1)

As the platforms make their way to the top of the tower, Marik warns Joey that he will soon be defeated in a Shadow Game. Kaiba and Yugi meanwhile are both determined to with their duel, however while Kaiba is only concerned about reclaiming his glory, Yugi is more concerned with the safety of the world.

Back at the base of the tower, Mokuba and the others prepare to take the lift to the top when Duke suggests that they should inform Serenity that her brother’s semi-final duel is about to begin. As Tristan eagerly prepares to run back and tell her, Mokuba beats him to it by phoning through to Mai’s room. Pleased that Mokuba thought to call, Serenity declines the invitation to watch the duel, deciding instead to continue her bedside vigil at Mai’s side.

Up at the top of the duel tower, Marik and Joey’s platforms have arrived but as Joey wonders where his friends are Marik suggests that it may be better if they are not around to witness his defeat. As Yugi arrives, he is still unable to shake off his concerns for his friend’s safety, but as he tries to warn Joey that this will be a dangerous and difficult duel he shakes off the warning, confident that he can beat Marik.

More sceptical and realistic, Kaiba is sure that Joey will be defeated, doubtful that he has the power to defeat an Egyptian God Card. And as Joey reminds Kaiba that he has already gone up against The Winged Dragon of Ra and won, Kaiba points out that Joey was knocked out by the attack along with Odion.

As Kaiba suggests that only he has the power to defeat Ra, Yugi is not so sure, doubtful that any of them can beat it unless they can ascertain its true power. Explaining that he does know Ra’s true strength, having deciphered the text printed on the card, Kaiba informs Joey and Yugi that the first semi-final duel will be a perfect opportunity for him to see the true power of Ra in action. Growing tired of Kaiba’s bragging, Yugi points out to his rival that he must first win his own semi-final if he wishes to duel Marik in the final.

Arriving at the top of the tower, Tristan and the others quickly sense the tension between the four finalists, however despite all of the arguing Joey is still determined and confident that he can beat Marik and rescue Mai.

As the duel begins, Marik summons Gilguard (1800/1200) in Attack Mode before setting one card and ending his turn. With a bad opening hand, Joey can only set one card before summoning Alligator’s Sword in Defence Mode. However as his Joey’s ends, Marik decides that the time has come for the Shadow Game to begin.

As the arena becomes clouded in a dark mist, Marik warns his opponent that this Shadow Game will be much worse than the one in which Mai duelled, as Marik’s power grows every minute, feeding on the minds of his victims. Worried that Joey will be unable to stand the pressure of a Shadow Game, Tristan and Duke want to intervene in the duel but Téa reminds them of what Joey told her after Mai was defeated.

Shocked to hear that Joey has wanted to duel Marik all along, Yugi is also concerned that his friend may be unable to defeat their nemesis however there is little that they can do other than have faith in their friend’s abilities.

With the Shadow Game begun, Joey is shocked to discover a strange energy stream connecting him to his Alligator’s Sword. As Marik prepares to make his move, he explains that these streams are connected directly to the player’s energy, and that each time a monster is destroyed, some of that player’s energy will be drained from them.

Summoning Drillago (1600/1100) to the field, Marik decides to demonstrate this as his monster attacks, destroying Joey’s Alligator and causing his body to suffer as a result of the attack. Continuing the onslaught, Marik’s Gilguard attacks directly however Joey counters by activating his Scapegoat Magic Card.

As one of Joey’s Goats is destroyed, his body remains safe as the creatures are not monsters. Drawing his next card, Joey summons Panther Warrior (2000/1600) to the field and sacrifices one of his Scapegoats in order to attack Marik’s Gilguard (Marik’s Life Points: 3800).

Hardly fased by the attack, Marik plays the Tribute Burial Magic Card, offering Joey’s Aliigator’s Sword and his own Gilguard in order to summon Helpoema (2000/1400) in Attack Mode. Setting one card, Marik ends his turn without attacking, leading Joey to become suspicious as to what special effect the new monster might be hiding.

Drawing Jinzo, Joey is wary to summon it to the field before he knows what Marik’s new monster can do so instead summons Rocket Warrior (1500/1300) to the field. However before he can continue his move, Marik activates the Hidden Soldiers Trap Card, using it to Special Summon his Plasma Eel (500/1200), a monster which latches on to Joey’s Panther Warrior, draining it, and Joey, of 500 ATK points.

Determined not to give up, Joey orders his Rocket Warrior to attack Marik’s Helpoema in Invincible Mode, reducing the monster’s ATK by 500 points. He then orders his Panther Warrior to attack, sacrificing one Scapegoat in the process, and destroys Marik’s monster (Marik’s Life Points: 3300)

Unconcerned that his monster has been destroyed, Marik is in fact glad of the chance to demonstrate his monster’s special ability. As the card is sent to the graveyard, it is transferred into Joey’s graveyard where it will destroy one card from Joey’s hand each turn.

As Helpoema’s effect activates for the first time, Joey’s Jinzo is stolen from his hand and sent to the graveyard. Shocked to see one of his best cards taken from him, Joey’s determination may be starting to weaken as his chances of winning will continue to fall with each additional card taken from his hand.