Let the Finals Begin!

As Copter 1 lands in the centre of the open-top, empty, Kaibacorp Stadium and Kaiba and Mokuba disembark, Kaiba looks forward to the arrival of the seven other Battle City finalists, however he does not realises that Marik and Odion have already arrived and are talking in the empty stands. Marik informs Odion that his plan to claim the pharaoh’s power is coming together and that once he claims the Millennium Puzzle and the two remaining Egyptian God Cards he will be able to drain Yami’s power and banish him to the Shadow Realm forever.

However while things are coming together it is important that nobody knows Marik’s true identity and so he orders Odion to pretend to be the real Marik while he uses the guise of Namu to get close to Yugi and his friends. As the two continue to discuss their plans, Kaiba senses that somebody is in the stadium and orders the lights to be turned on however as the stadium is filled with light there is nobody to be seen.

Before Kaiba has a chance to look into things further, Yugi, Mai, Joey and the others arrive however they are all confused to see the stadium empty and barely constructed. Even so, the trio of finalists present their Locator Cards and are given Tournament ID cards which will gain them access to the finals. As the gang asks where the other finalists are they are informed that so far only Seto Kaiba and themselves have arrived.

As the group await the arrival of the next finalists, wind begins to howl through the stadium as the next entrant arrives. Although Yugi is suspicious of the new arrival, as well he should be, Joey and Téa are both surprised to see their friend Namu who helped them out when Bakura was injured. While Namu asks how Bakura is doing, Joey is somehow creeped out by him however as Téa introduces Namu to Yugi Joey starts to calm down as they explain how Namu found Bakura after he had been attacked.

As Namu announces that he is honoured to be meeting the great Yugi Moto, Marik is pleased that nobody has worked out who he really is. However before any of them can get talking Bakura staggers into the stadium, clearly still weak from the injury he suffered. As the gang questions how Bakura found them Yugi spots that Bakura is wearing a Duel Disk and everyone is stunned as their friend reveals that he is the sixth finalist. While Yugi is suspicious that this may not be their friend, Bakura distracts them by pointing out that the next finalist is arriving.

Shrouded in a dark robe, the tattoo-faced finalist enters the arena and as Joey recognises him from his encounter when he was captured they realises that this must be Marik, leader of the Rare Hunters. As the robed figure introduces himself as one and the same Kaiba warns Marik that he could have him disqualified for hacking his way into the tournament however he won’t do that because he wants to defeat Marik and claim his Egyptian God Card.

Now that seven of the finalists have gathered, the tournament officials announce that although the Locator Cards lead the duellists to this location, it is not actually where the finals will be held. As everyone wonders what they could mean by this, the stadium lights are angled upwards as a large blimp, Kaiba Craft 3, lands in the center of the stadium. While the finalists look on in amazement Mokuba explains that the finals will be held 4000 feet in the sky.

As a door onto the blimp opens, the finalists begin to board and are informed that the ship will take off as soon as the eighth finalist arrives. However while Yugi wonders who the eighth finalist will be Téa. Tristan, Duke and Serenity are blocked from boarding as none of them are qualified for the tournament. As the four friends plead to be let onto the ship, Maokuba tells the officials to let them on, pointing out that he isn’t qualified either and yet he will be boarding.

With everybody else on board, Kaiba informs the officials to take off even though the last finalist has not arrived, however as they wonder whether they should wait or follow his order the last entrant, Ishizu Ishtar, arrives and Kaiba Craft 3 takes off into the skies. As the blimp reaches the crusing altitude of 4000 feet, the gang are amazed by the view of Domino from so high up, however as Serenity thanks Joey for bringing her Joey is distracted by Kaiba who insists that Joey qualified through luck not skill. While Joey is left reeling from Kaiba’s remarks, Kaiba tells Yugi that he must use his God card in the finals as Kaiba claims to win it when he defeats him in a duel.

As the finalists are asked to go to their rooms to prepare for the first round, Serenity is impressed with Joey’s room and thanks him for helping her regain her sight so that she could see all the wonderful things he has shown her so far. However as the two do some brother-sister bonding they are rudely interrupted by Téa, Tristan and Duke who are looking for a place to crash until rooms can be found for them.

While Joey is furious that he won’t be able to focus with the others around, Tristan plans to ask Serenity to look at the view with him but Duke beats him to it. Unable to get close to Serenity, Tristan apologises to Joey for bothering him, explaining that they didn’t want to distract Yugi while he was preparing for the finals. Reminding Tristan that he is also supposed to be prepping for the finals, Joey goes on to thank his friend for looking after Serenity while he was duelling in Battle City.

As Kaiba prepares his deck in his room, Mokuba sees the officials approaching his room and tells them to stop, warning them that Kaiba may well have them fired if they interrupt him while he is preparing. The officials apologise and explain that they only wanted to inform Kaiba that the eighth finalist arrived before the ship took off, however Kaiba does not look like he would be concerned by this as his only interest is destroying Yugi and Marik and claiming their Egyptian God Cards.

Elsewhere on the ship, Mai is psyched about the finals, sure that she will do better than she did in Duellist Kingdom, while Odion is determined not to fail his master. Marik is also confident that success will be his, especially as he has control over Téa and Bakura, although his control over Bakura will not be needed as long as Yami Bakura agrees to keep up his end of their bargain.

Yugi, meanwhile, knows that Kaiba was right and that he will have to use Slifer the Sky Dragon is he is to have any hope of winning the finals, however he fears that Slifer may be too dangerous for some opponents to handle. As Yami agrees that Slifer is their only chance of beating Marik he warns Yugi that the finals will turn into a clash of all three God cards, however Yugi is more concerned about Bakura, worried that the evil spirit that controlled him at Duellist Kingdom has somehow returned even though Tristan got rid of the Millennium Ring.

Pointing out the the Millennium Items work in unpredicatble ways Yami agrees that he senses something different about Bakura. However neither of them know just how climatic the finals will be, unlike Ishizu who knows that everything is in place for the final clash between Yugi and Marik to begin. As all the finalists finish their preparations, an announcement comes across requesting everyone’s presence in the main hall.

Leaving his room, Joey sees Kaiba coming along the corridor and the two exchange insults before Joey and Namu meet up. While Namu tells Joey that he never thought he would make it to the finals, Joey warns him that he won’t make it much further once the two of them meet on the duelling field. As the two make their way to the main hall, Yugi also sets off knowing that the fate of the world lies in his hands.