Shadow of a Duel

Emotions are running high after their last encounter with Marik, however while Joey is psyched at having broken Marik’s mind control, Yugi is sure that they haven’t seen the last of their nemesis and fears that their next encounter will be face to face. With the heat of the moment behind him, Joey is thrilled to see Serenity is alright and hhas her bandages off and thanks her for saving his life. However as he tells her that she can now see him win the Battle City Finals, Mai pulls her aside and tells her that the only victory Serenity will see is Mai defeating Joey in the first round.

Unsurprisingly annoyed by the comment, Joey reminds Mai of who was the winner last time they duelled, but Mai responds that Duellist Kingdom is ancient history now and that she is in Battle City to win. Joey is still insistent that he will win, confident that the Finals will be a piece of cake compared to what he and Yugi have been through so far. With the bickering out of their system, Joey takes out his six Locator Cards and inserts them into his Duel Disk which immediately reads the card before producing a holographic mad of the stadium where the finals will be held.

Elsewhere in the city, Bakura is resting in the hospital as Marik enters his sleeping mind. Marik congratulates Yami Bakura of his success in helping Marik earn the trust of the group under the guise of Namu but warns his partner in crime that he will only give up the Millennium Rod if Bakura keeps up the other end of the bargain and claims the two remaining Egyptian God Cards from Yugi and Kaiba. Marik warns Bakura that he will need a spot in the Finals if he wants any chance of getting the God Cards and that there are only a few spots remaining in the final rounds.

As Yami Bakura becomes increasingly frustrated by Marik telling him what to do, he senses that Solomon is trying to wake Bakura up and takes control of the body, waking it. Solomon excitedly tells Bakura that Yugi and Joey have both qualified for the finals but when Bakura asks where the location of the finals is Solomon realises he forgot to ask in all the excitement. Infuriated that he will have to find the finals on his own, Bakura gets out of the hospital bed and, as Solomon tells him that he needs to rest, Yami Bakura uses the power of the Millennium Ring to put Solomon to sleep before heading out into Domino to find the location of the finals.

Finding a guy with a Duel Disk in the street, Yami Bakura steals his Locator Card and Duel Disk but throws his deck back at him, disgusted by his weak deck. Realising that he will have to earn five more Locator Cards some how, Bakura hears some people talking about how there are already six people qualified for the finals already and demands to know where he can find Battle City duellists. The group are annoyed by his direct approach, but as he threatens them they tell him that there have been reports of duellists hanging around the cemetery.

As another duellist arrives at the deserted cemetery he is frightened by the eerie atmosphere, especially as a trio of zombies rise from the ground and surround him, demanding that he give up his Duel Disk and leave. Terrified by the trio, the duellist does as he has been told and runs off, leaving his Disk behind. However as he leaves the sight of the tree zombies, they remove their masks to reveal that they are actually Bandit Keith’s lackeys from Duellist Kingdom; Bonz, Syd and Zygore.

Celebrating the acquisition of their fifth Locator Card the gang are pleased to have done so well without having to participate in a single duel. As they tell themselves that they deserve to get into the Battle City Finals after having their Star Chips stolen by Bandit Keith at Duellist Kingdom, they hear somebody else approaching and prepare to attack. As Bakura approaches the trio attack but he dodges and unmasks all of them, challenging them to a duel. Bonz is confident that he can win one legitimate duel but Zygore warns him that Bakura seems familiar from somewhere.

As the two prepare to begin the duel, Bakura suggests that Bonz puts all five of his Locator Cards at stake and while Bonz is initially apprehensive he agrees when Bakura explains that time is running out and that if neither of them qualifies this evening then it is likely that neither of them will qualify before all the slots in the finals are filled. Sure that Bakura can’t be very good, seeing as he only has one Locator Card after so long, Bonz accepts to the duel, however as the duel begins the arena becomes shrouded in a purple fog.

Preparing to take his first turn, Bakura informs the trio that the cemetery is haunted by a knight who lost his head, and as he summons The Headless Knight (1450/1700) and sets one card Bonz is freaked by the monster. Even so, he wastes no time in summoning Snakehair the Sorceress (1500/1200), attacking and destroying Yami Bakura’s Knight (YB’s LP: 3950). Although his monster has been destroyed, Bakura is not fazed as he flips Shallow Grave, reviving his Knight from the graveyard in Defence Mode before sacrificing it to summon The Earl of Demise (2000/700).

Destroying Bonz’s Sorceress (B’s LP: 3500) Bakura is confident that he will easily win the duel, however Bonz is also confident of his skills as he summons Dragon Zombie (1600/0) before playing Premature Burial at a cost of 800 Life Points (B’s LP: 2700) to revive his Sorceress. With his two zombies on the field, Bonz activates Polymerization, fusing his two monsters to form the Great Mammoth of Goldfine (2200/1800) before setting one card.

As Yami Bakura draws his next card, Bonz activates his trap card, Skull Invitation, a card which deals 300 Life Points of damage to any player whhen one of their cards is sent to the Graveyard. Deciding to help Bonz with his strategy, Bakura discards all five cards in his hand at a cost of 1500 Life Points (YB’s LP: 2750) however while the move pleases Bonz it pleases Yami Bakura more as he reveals his Magic card, Spiritualistic Medium. Explaining that the card increases the ATK of one of his monsters by 500 for every card he has discarded from his hand, Bakura uses the power to increase his Earl’s ATK to 4000 before destroying Bonz’s Mammoth (B’s LP: 900).

As if the attack was not enough, the destruction of his Mammoth activates the effect of Skull Invitation (B’s LP: 600). Confident that victory will soon be his, Yami Bakura informs his opponents that they will soon be trapped in the Shadow Realm with the other lost souls in the cemetery. Worried by the prospect of an eternity spent in the Shadow Realm, Syd tries to escape from the cemetery but finds himself back at the duel from the other side of the cemetery. As Bakura explains that the only way to escape is to beat him in a duel, Bonz plays Nightmare’s Steelcage in the hopes to give himself two turns to find a way to win, setting a card to help him in his plan.

Amused at the futile attempt to stop him, Bakura takes great pleasure in playing Ectoplasmer, turning his Earl of Demise into a spirit able to attack Bonz’s Life Points directly, reducing them to zero and winning Bakura the match. Having lost the Shadow Game, the trio are sucked into the ground as Bakura claims their Locator Card. With six now in his possession he prepares to enter the Battle City Finals in order to keep his deal with Marik and claim the Millennium Rod for his own.