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Friends ‘Til the End (1)

As Marik, Téa and Joey await Yugi’s arrival at Domino Harbour, Odion approaches Marik, bringing with him 12 Locator Cards that he has earned by duelling other Battle City duellists. Marik is pleased with Odion’s success and taking 6 of the cards for himself he tells Odion to take the other 6 himself so that they can both enter the Battle City finals. Odion also informs his master that he has brought the cards that Marik wanted added to Joey’s deck, and as Marik’s new mind slave’s deck is upgraded ready for his duel with Yugi, Marik eagerly looks forward to Yugi’s final defeat.

As the helicopter approaches the docks, Kaiba is sure that Joey will be under Marik’s control, however Yugi does not care as he is determined to save Joey no matter what it takes. This attitude intrigues Kaiba who comments that Yugi’s sense of teamwork and frienship seems to have been replaced by a determination to duel Joey. Spotting Joey on the harbour, Mokuba calls for the chopper to land, however as Yugi approaches his friend, Marik is inside Joey’s head, willing him to kill Yugi.

Yugi tries to break Joey from Marik’s control, but his brainwashed friend is hostile towards him, and as Yugi tells Joey to wake up he explains that he is more awak than he has ever been. As Joey explains that only one of them will survive the duel, Kaiba is intrigued to see what Yugi will do, but as Yugi tries to convince Joey that this is not how either of them wanted their rematch to happen Joey tells Yugi to follow him to their duel arena.

As the two approach a small platform over the water, Téa, also controlled by Marik, approaches from on board a nearby ship and informs Yugi that he won’t be able to free Joey from his control and that Joey’s mind is now filled with hatred for Yugi. Arriving at the sea platform, Téa holds up two foot chains and attaches one to Joey’s leg and one to Yugi’s. She explains that the chains are connected to an anchor which will drop 30 seconds after one of them loses the duel, giving the winner enough time to claim the key that they will need to escape from a box by their feet.

Yugi refuses to duel under such conditions, however by now Téa has made her way back to shore where she has been secured into a metal seat. She explains that the anchor is also connected to a 40 minute times that will cause it to be released at that time even if neither duellist has won by that time. Shocked to hear this, Kaiba approaches the platform to help Yugi and Joey out of the chains, however as he does a Rare Hunter drives onto the scene in a crane with a large metal container dangling from the hook. The Rare Hunter explains that if anybody attempts to help Yugi and Joey, he will release the container and it will crush Téa where she sits.

With all the facts explained, Marik frees Téa from his control to allow her to watch the duel, however she is both frightened and confused as she regains consciousness, not knowing what has happened to her or Joey. Worried for his friend’s safety, Yugi demands that Marik release Téa but he refuses and makes a demand of his own; that Yugi must not have Slifer the Sky Dragon in his deck during the duel in case he loses and the card is dragged into the sea. As Yugi takes out his card pouch to put Slifer into it, he spots Joey’s Red-Eyes in the pouch and adds it to his deck, hoping that it may help him to free Joey from Marik’s control.

Throwing his card pouch to the side of the platform where it will be safe, Yugi prepares for the harshest duel he has ever had to face against the best friend he has ever had. However as he and Joey begin their duel, neither of them know what is happening to Tristan and Serenity elsewhere in Domino.

Having arrived in Domino, Tristan realises that he has no idea as to where Joey has gone and tries to call Téa’s cell phone, however he cannot get a connection because it has been smashed by the Rare Hunters. As he tries to work out where to go next to look for his friends, neither he or Serenity realise that they are being watched by a team of Rare Hunters.

Back at the harbour, Yugi is determined to find a way to save Joey without winning the duel as he makes his first move and summons Gazelle, King of Mythical Beasts (1500/1200) in Defence Mode. However as Joey’s turn begins, he plays Thunder Whirlpool, destroying Yugi’s Gazelle, before summoning Alligator’s Sword (1500/1200). With no monsters to defend Yugi, Joey delivers a crushing direct attack at his opponent’s life points (Y’s LP: 2500).

Not wishing to face another attack, Yugi summons Big Shield Gardna (100/2600) in Defence Mode, however as Joey’s next turn begins he plays Fire Ball, inflicting 500 points of Direct Damage to Yugi’s Life Points (Y’s LP: 2000). Kaiba calls out that Direct Damage cards are banned under Battle City rules however Marik is not concerned with such petty matters.

As the duel prepares to continue, Odion approaches Marik in a nearby shipyard to inform him that Serenity and Tristan have been spotted and are curently being followed. Pleased by this information, Marik informs Odion that the two must be captured as soon as possible. As Marik returns his focus to the duel, he gets inside Joey’s head once again, willing him to kill Yugi.

Desperately seeking a way to awaken Joey’s heart before things are too late, Yugi prepares to draw his next card, however as the two continue to duel things are starting to go from bad to worse for Serenity and Tristan. As Tristan apologises to Serenity for not knowing where her brother is, the two are surrounded by the trio of Rare Hunters, but rather than stay and fight Tristan tells Serenity to climb onto his back and the two make a run for safety.

Still confused as to what is happening, Téa calls out to Mokuba to ask what is happening and he explains that Joey has been brainwashed by Marik. As Téa remembers what Ishizu told her and Yugi about the new threat, the Rare Hunter in the crane warns her to keep quiet or else he will release the container. Although worried by he current situation, Téa calls to Kaiba and Mokuba to stop the duel but they refuse to do it.

Annoyed by Yugi’s stalling, Joey demands that Yugi makes his next move so Yugi sets one card before summoning Kuriboh (300/200) in Attack Mode. Although confused by Yugi’s decision to summon such a pathetic monster in Attack Mode, Joey is sure that Yugi is surrendering, however as his Alligator’s Sword attacks Yugi reveals his set card is in fact the Spellbinding Circle.

Although it looks like Yugi may not be giving up just yet, Kaiba is still not sure that Yugi will be able to win and neither is Téa as she calls for the two friends to stop fighting. However as Joey plays Fire Ball once again (Y’s LP: 1500) and Yugi reels from the direct attack, Marik is pleased that things are going exactly to plan.