|Annihilate Black Shadow|
|Original broadcast||July 20, 2004|
|Series||F-Zero: GP Legend|
|Previous episode||[[Coffee Break]]|
|Next episode||[[The Great Don Genie]]|
Before being summoned to her master's chamber, Miss Killer awakens from a containment pod full of pink liquid. Black Shadow is disappointed his last attempt to defeat the Galaxy Mobile Platoon went poorly, and has only strengthened their resolve. With Blood Falcon gone, Miss Killer and Zoda are expected to double their work ethic. Zoda retires to his room to grumble about what a big meanie his boss is...only for his Reactor Might to glow, reminding him of his one-time team-up with Rick Wheeler, and also of Haruka having gone so far to hunt him down. Those two might be just what he needs to defeat Black Shadow.
On the highway, Rick is suddenly overtaken out of nowhere by the Death Anchor! He leads him on a merry chase through the traffic, something Jack spots from a road overhead. Rick is eventually led to the lakeside park where he finds Zoda leisurely relaxing on a bench. He raises his pistol, but the criminal tells him to chill, he's not here to fight. He's here to talk Reactor Mights. Only a few people have the strength to utilize them, y'know, and when multiple Reactor Mights are in close proximity, their energy output increases dramatically.
Zoda stands and advances slowly towards Rick, his Reactor Might radiating waves of energy towards him, leaving him weak and feeble. He collapses back into his vehicle before Zoda lifts him by the head, gloating over his power. Enquiring about his girlfriend and his uncanny resemblance to Zoda's coworker, he presses their foreheads together and lets the Reactor Might do its work...
Rick receives a vision of Zoda's fateful bank raid 150 years ago...and Haruka was there. The vision leaves Rick drained, but before Zoda can truly spell out the connection to him, Jack arrives to save Rick's skin, sending Zoda on his way.
The two rush back to Platoon HQ and Rick just has to know - was Haruka there the day Zoda got put in cold sleep? He's babbling too much for anyone to give an answer, and when he dares to suggest Haruka is actually Miss Killer, Jack calms him down. That broad has tried to axe him several times by now. That is totally not what his girlfriend would be doing.
Rick takes a load off at the Falcon House, and Clank mentions Burt hasn't returned yet - that must be one long vacation. He can tell Rick would love to speak to him; the two had a knack for solving each others' problems.
The Fire Field Grand Prix is mere minutes from starting, and it's a spectacularly dangerous course - a perilous track covered with minefields and suspended above a sea of molten lava. The Platoon brace themselves for a risky race, and Miss Killer flashes Rick a mean look, but it only makes him angry and confused...who was Haruka? His smiling girlfriend, or a part of Zoda's criminal troupe? Zoda prides himself on his trickery.
The race is seconds away, only for an ominous cackle to boom over the racers. The Black Bull joins the starting grid! Black Shadow loves a course that risks life and limb. The race begins, and everyone floods onto the track - Zoda is thrilled that his boss has come to take part.
The Black Bull pushes machines aside like they were paper dolls, challenging anyone to take him on. Rick rises to the challenge, but the Moon Shadow is there to prevent him from inconveniencing her master. The two are locked in bitter combat, but a moment of weakness for his dear Haruka leaves Rick open, getting himself knocked to the edge of the track. Miss Killer prepares to ram him into the lava below...but the Astro Robin steps in to block her, before the White Cat takes over to fight the Moon Shadow, covering for him while Rick catches up to Black Shadow. Jack tells him there's no way that murderous missus could be his girlfriend, and he's got to put it behind him.
The three leading machines enter the minefield, and the Black Bull is so fast he can outrun the detonating mines, making life tricky for the two. Jody is suddenly clobbered by the Death Anchor, allowing Miss Killer to continue without harassment, though she doesn't thank him for it. She proceeds to knock the Astro Robin out of commission and is itching for a scrap with Rick, but Zoda takes up that offer and allows her to carry on. He prevents Rick from catching up to her and tells him a little more about his showdown with Haruka a century ago, how she reminds him so much of Miss Killer. She made a statement that Zoda can't help but laugh at:
"Zoda, I'm going to avenge Rick!"
He is almost paralyzed by shock...but quickly boils up into anger, as he boosts ahead to catch up; just what Zoda wants. Black Bull is in the far lead and grows bored of his curb stomp victory, but before he can retire from the race, the Dragon Bird and Death Anchor are making a speedy return. Zoda's Reactor Might fills Rick's head with more messages: doesn't he want to save his brainwashed girlfriend from Black Shadow? Doesn't he want to kill Black Shadow?!
Zoda claims the only way he can do that is for them to team-up, though Rick tries to fight his manipulation. The two machines Spin Booster their way towards Black Shadow's machine, their Reactor Mights emanating waves of uncontrolled power...so much so that the lava below rumbles and thrashes, splashing onto the track.
The Black Bull spins out and vanishes behind a wall of steam, but before Miss Killer can seek him out, she too is subject to Zoda's mental messages: this time of Rick Wheeler reaching out to her lovingly. The Reactor Mights' energy settles, and all three machines find themselves parked before a plume of smoke. Could Black Shadow be toast...?
Nope! He roars out of the smoke and rams the Death Anchor right into the lava.
He panics and screams, fearing no one will be there to save him...but his Reactor Might has already saved him, as its power soon envelopes his machine. The surviving pilots disembark their machines and Miss Killer rushes passed, ignoring Rick to come to Black Shadow's side. The Platoon arrive and he can scarcely believe she still doesn't feel anything for him, when the track quakes beneath them...and the Death Anchor roars out of the lava, now the head of a massive molten serpent! Black Shadow ducks back into his machine just before the beast takes a hold of it, crushing the machine in a single snap.
Miss Killer screams her master's name, but nothing remains of him...only the Death Anchor, as the beast dissipates and the machine lands back on the track. Zoda takes a bow and thanks Rick for his most helpful support - he's next on the hit list - before zooming off.
He may have killed the boss, but Zoda returns to the Dark Million base to find someone else has claimed the throne. Miss Killer has taken the position just to keep Zoda out of power, and he stomps away in disgust, but not before his Reactor Might leaves her with another image of Rick Wheeler lingering in her head...
- Falcon House now features Clank on the closed sign.
- For once, and only, we see Fire Field in the series, and it's completely unlike the Blast Track Rick participated in the GBA game.
- It seems the Reactor Mights have the ability to make hallucinations on those exposed to their energy. As well as making them weak and vulnerable in their wake.
- So, Haruka finally receives visions of Rick, could this snap her out of Black Shadow's thrall? Is he truly defeated?
- We actually see Zoda for once transform into a large lizard mutant thanks to his Reactor Might and the lava; surprisingly, he hasn't been killed.
- Also, what is the purpose of those weird stasis tubes with the pink liquid? I guess the Reactor Mights aren't the only methods of manipulation Dark Million uses.
- Btw, the last image of Rick lending a hand was one of the best pics of him in the series.