|Scream from the Darkness|
|Original broadcast||May 18, 2004|
|Series||F-Zero: GP Legend|
|Next episode||[[James McCloud (episode)]]|
He may have been defeated and sealed away by their enemy, but Zoda still haunts Rick Wheeler's dreams, putting him in a cold sweat.
Come the next F-Zero race he's in fine fettle, duking it out with Jack Levin for first place. They may be comrades, but that doesn't mean they'll take it easy on each other! The Dragon Bird pushes the Astro Robin aside as Rick prepares to activate his booster, but his dashboard glows as an image flashes into his head - Zoda's Reactor Might. His machine begins to wobble and weave, giving Jack the chance to snatch first place.
Fearing his machine encountered a technical fault, Lucy and Clash took a gander at the Dragon Bird's internals, but there's only so much they can do - after all, its engine came from an unknown source, and it may hold secrets the mechanics don't know. Fearing Rick's uptight about something, Jack offers him the best treatment he can prescribe - partying! Lucy threatens to squeal to the boss if they're late for tomorrow's race.
In a void of infinite blackness, the Death Anchor drives aimlessly, boosting through the air and other aerodynamic feats...but no matter what he tries, Zoda remains trapped. He screams into the darkness demanding to be released, but no one hears him. The Reactor Might trembles...and Black Shadow, in his headquarters far in the depths of space, appears to acknowledge it. He finds Miss Killer and informs her she has no need to attend the upcoming race - he has an entire fleet of Blood Falcons to fill in for her!
Rick stumbles into the stadium the next day, groggy from a full night of breaking loose. Lucy is quick to scold him for his tardiness - even Jack got here earlier than him, but only because the scamp slept in the Astro Robin overnight. Jack laughs at him for actually going home to sleep - that's total scrub-tier sleeping technique - but Rick is actually feeling refreshed, so the party clearly did him some good!
The racers line up on the starting grid, Captain Falcon among them, and he has a bad feeling about this; the grid is unusually packed today. Rick notices the Wonder Wasp among the lineup, commenting that Tanaka never even told them he'd be taking part, but it's Jody's observation that really clinches it: the entire Platoon's machines are on the circuit, but Stewart, EAD and Clash are still back at the stadium!
The lights turn green and every machine bursts onto the track, though Jack, Jody and Rick are quickly approached from behind by the imposter Platoon ships. Captain Falcon assesses the racers' movements, and notices they're all working in a perfect grid...suddenly, the machines shimmer and reveal their true selves: all these imposter machines are actually Blood Hawks, and inside each and every one of them is a duplicate Blood Falcon! Mr. Zero goes ballistic at the sight of this - what an exciting twist!
Miss Killer, watching this from Dark Million's space station, has a different opinion - did Black Shadow do this because of her failure to defeat Rick and Captain Falcon? Her boss denied the claim, answering the Reactor Might had the power to clone Blood Falcon, and he has his own reasons for entering them in the race...but that doesn't mean he's going to tell her.
The five real racers find themselves at the front of an incoming pack of Blood Hawks, each and every one of them waiting as if to pounce. Just as Jody warns the Platoon to stay calm, she, Lucy and Jack are rammed from behind, putting their machines out of commission, leaving only Rick and Captain Falcon ahead of the Hawks...
As if things weren't bad enough, the monstrous Black Bull appears on the track ahead, bearing down on them at tremendous speeds! Black Shadow sets his machine to boost, clipping the barrier to send his machine spiralling through the air, creating a portal with his vapor trails! There's no time to react for anyone to react...and Rick, Captain Falcon and the legion of Blood Hawks find themselves sucked inside, spiralling deep into the void before it seals. The Black Bull mounts the track again and makes its exit unseen, leaving the audience and the Platoon to wonder whatever could have happened.
Finding himself in a well of infinite blackness, Rick tries to call Jody for support, but his communicator has no signal. Spotting a flaming wreck in the distance, he zooms over to it, finding a burning Blood Hawk slowly disappearing into the inky waters beneath them. All the time, he has the feeling someone, or something, is watching him...
He spots Captain Falcon getting harassed by two more Blood Hawks, and he quickly intervenes, allowing the two to defeat them with ease. The Captain explains where they are: this is Dark Space, a well of pure evil that enhances the powers of dark-hearted individuals. Rick is keen to find his way out of here - everyone's gonna worry about him! - when he hears a familiar voice calling him from afar...
It's Jack! Relieved that Rick is okay, he prepares to lead him back to the rest of the Platoon until Captain Falcon cries out to him - Jack has a gun trained on him! Rick dodges just in time, but the sight of his friend out for his blood is plenty shocking. The Captain tries to get involved, but finds a hand tugging him from beneath the waters...Zoda! He urges him not to get involved, he wants to see how this plays out.
Rick kicks the gun from Jack's hand, but is shoved to the ground as Levin's hands wrap around his neck. Falcon warns him this isn't his real friend, it's an illusion - shoot him already! Rick raises his gun, but can't find it in him to shoot his best friend. Disappointed, Zoda releases the Captain and Jack's apparition fizzles out of existence.
The Death Anchor rises from the depths and Zoda comes to greet his two visitors - have they come all this way to defeat him personally? He mocks Rick for being so sentimental over even a murderous clone of his friend, but his spiel is interrupted by an incoming fleet of Blood Hawks. Rick and Falcon run to their vehicles, but sensing energy from his Reactor Might, Zoda faces them head-on.
As he stands before them, a vortex generates from his abdomen, sweeping the Blood Hawks off the ground and sucking them into his Reactor Might, obliterating every last one of the Blood Falcons. The Reactor Might begins to glow...and Zoda finds his body growing bigger and stronger than before. Merely boarding his Death Anchor gives it the same treatment, turning it into a far more threatening vessel than it once was. It is no longer the Death Anchor...it is the Hyper Death Anchor, and he shall now be called Hyper Zoda! His machine now boosts like a force to be reckoned with...but it still is not up to his demands. He stops by the two and asks for their help - Black Shadow may have trapped them in Dark Space, but the combined might of their Boost Fires may be just what it takes to get them out of here! Rick refuses to assist his hated enemy, but the way Captain Falcon sees it, there's no other choice. The three machines line up and boost simultaneously...but it's no good. Zoda tells Rick to pick up the slack; there's no way this is the best his machine can offer! He radiates energy from his Reactor Might to lend him some added punch, and the Dragon Bird's cockpit glows a radiant golden - its engine contains a Reactor Might, just like the Blue Falcon and Black Bull!
Rick is shocked by the revelation, but Zoda doesn't care to explain - now that its true potential has been activated, their combined Boost Fire now boasts inconceivable power - enough to tear a hole in Dark Space and return them to the real world!
Jack, Jody and Lucy are still trawling the race track, eager to find any sign of their missing comrade, when a glowing portal opens from behind the Astro Robin...and out of it flies the Dragon Bird! Jack approaches and wakes up the unconscious Rick, who almost believes another apparition is attacking him again. He's relieved to find his friend safe and sound and is eager to hear of where he went, but before Rick can answer, the crowd breaks into raucous applause...
Zoda is welcomed back with cheers and open arms from the audience, and he can't get enough of having fans again. "You can't keep me down!" Captain Falcon explains to Jack that he and Rick were mere pawns in a scheme to free that villain from his cosmic prison; even Miss Killer can't believe his return, but Black Shadow responds to the news with an evil cackle.
- After five episodes in hiatus, Zoda's back..! We actually learn his full name is Zoda Strawberry. Awkward. He was born in New York on May 19th, his blood type is O and he's aged 42 (discounting the hundred-odd years in cold sleep). He enjoys sugary snacks and his hobbies include fashion, travel and committing crimes. He's known as the prince of crime, after all.
- So it's revealed that Black Shadow used the Dark Reactor Might to make replicas of Blood Falcons and Hell Hawks, rather than just the intel Mighty Gazelle stole from Dr. Stewart.
- Oh no, this is when we come across Zoda's altered form, Hyper Zoda, as well as an upgrade from his machine known as the Hyper Death Anchor; this can be played as an unlockable in F-Zero Climax.
- Also, it's revealed that Rick, Falcon, and Black Shadow each utilize a Reactor Might like Zoda does! And for the first time, we see Rick in his most powerful potential as the Dragon Bird glows a bright golden hue! He'll use it again next time!
- Rick Wheeler
- Jack Levin
- Jody Summer
- [[Dr. Stewart[[
- Dr. Clash
- Lucy Liberty
- John Tanaka
- Mr. EAD
- Captain Falcon
- Mr. Zero