"Merger of the Big Five, Part 1", known as "Big Five's Counterattack" in the Japanese version, is the one hundred and eleventh episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. It first aired in Japan on June 18, 2002 and in the United States on January 17, 2004.
Noah confronts Gansley, Crump, Johnson and Leichter of The Big Five, through screen communication, angry with them for trying to take over the bodies of Joey, Serenity and Duke, by force, after losing their duels; thus, not earning the right to take over their bodies (in accordance with Noah's rules). Nezbitt, still in control of Tristan's body, joins the conversation to alert his associates that he is about to leave the virtual world. The other four members of The Big Five, state that although Nezbitt defeated Tristan in his one on three duel with the latter, Duke and Serenity, in which Tristan's deck master was destroyed, causing him to automatically lose the duel, Duke and Serenity still defeated him; and therefore, due to losing the duel, he shouldn't have earned the right to take over the body. Noah proposes that all members of The Big Five share Tristan's body in a duel against Yugi and if they win they're free to take over Yugi's body, in addition to the rest of his friends. The Big Five, desperate to escape, agree to Noah's offer and vow not to let him down.
Despite learning about Noah's secret, Kaiba is still not convinced that Noah is the true son of his stepfather; Gozaburo. The gang believe that Noah brought them to the virtual world to defeat Kaiba in a duel to prove to his father that he's the better son. In control of Tristan's body, The Big Five approach the gang and Kaiba, to duel Yugi, Kaiba leaves the group to search for Noah and Mokuba. Yugi orders The Big Five to give Tristan his body back. However, Gansley, Crump, Johnson and Leichter tell Yugi that they will only return the body if he beats them in a duel. Nezbitt, inside Tristan, questions his associates on why they'll return the body should they lose, claiming that they never discussed that beforehand and stating that he doesn't want to give the body up as he is the one who won it; claiming that it's his property now. Leichter states in response to Nezbitt, that returning the body was a group decision (a group decision that Nezbitt clearly wasn't involved in). Johnson chuckles and states that it's not like they are going to keep they're promise; meaning, despite Noah's regulations, they're still going to keep the body regardless of the outcome of the duel.
Yugi merges with Yami Yugi, to begin the duel. However before kicking the duel off against The Big Five, Joey suggests joining as Yugi's partner, believing five on one is uneven. Johnson, on behalf of The Big Five, agrees to Joey's request. The rest of The Big Five then confront Johnson inside Tristan, stating that this wasn't part of the plan to duel Yugi alone. Johnson tells his associates not to worry, stating that Joey is an amateur and will only hold Yugi back, making the duel easier to win. Leichter isn't entirely convinced by Johnson's statement, as he lost to Joey; somewhat contradicting his statement on Joey. Since the duel is technically two bodies against one, Johnson declares that they start with 8000 life points, while Joey and Yami Yugi start with 4000 each; claiming that it's the only way for justice to be served. Johnson then claims to Joey and Yami Yugi that if they win Tristan's body will be returned to him, however should they lose, they'll keep Tristan's body and will take over the bodies of the rest of the gang (four more bodies will be taken over, while the remainders will stay trapped in virtual world). The duelist then select their virtual decks from the virtual card database. The Big Five combine their decks together, of which contain some cards used in their individual duels. They also choose the same deck masters; Gansley; Deepsea Warrior, Crump; Nightmare Penguin, Johnson; Judge Man, Nezbitt; Robotic Knight and Leichter; Jinzo. Joey looking through the virtual card database whilst selecting his cards, spots Cyber Harpie and thinks of Mai, and remembers how Marik, recently back in the Battle City tournament, defeated her in a duel and sent her to the Shadow Realm, with the power of his Millennium Rod. Joey vows to himself to rescue her after escaping from the virtual world and heading back to finish off the Battle City tournament. He adds Cyber Harpie and Harpie's Feather Duster to his deck for luck. Yami Yugi and Joey both choose their favorite monsters; Dark Magician and Flame Swordsman to serve as their deck masters. Against The Big Five, Yami Yugi and Joey begin what is the first duel as partners together since battling the Paradox Brothers back in Duelist Kingdom.
As there are five duelists in Tristan's body, The Big Five decide to take it in turns dueling against Yami Yugi and Joey. Gansley, the former Business strategist of KaibaCorp begins the duel in control of Tristan's body and with his deck master as Deepsea Warrior. Gansley starts the duel off by activating A Legendary Ocean, allowing him to summon Level 5 Water type monsters, without a sacrifice (changing the Level 5 water monsters in the player's hands to Level 4) and increasing the monster's attack points by 200. Gansley summons The Legendary Fisherman, which reminds Joey of his duel with Mako Tsunami back at Battle City. Yami Yugi warns Joey that with Gansley's field magic card in play, he has a dangerous advantage over them. Joey takes the next turn, as requested by Yami Yugi, he summons Alligator's Sword in defense mode (due to Tag Team Duel regulations, none of the players can attack, until their second standby phases, unless an effect allows them to attack). Joey still isn't sure in the robot-monkey is Tristan but is determined to reunite Tristan with his body no matter what. Yami Yugi makes his first turn by summoning Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts. Gansley is about to draw, when Crump, former accountant of KaibaCorp, declares that he takes over, as his deck master, Nightmare Penguin can raises the attack points of water monsters with its deck master ability. They switch control and Crump takes over; meaning the deck masters also switch from Deepsea Warrior to Nightmare Penguin; thus increasing the attack points of The Legendary Fisherman by 200 more attack points, which then attacks and destroys Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts. Crump then summons Catapult Turtle in defense mode; another Level 5 monster which Crump did not have to make a sacrifice to summon due to the effect of A Legendary Ocean. Joey realizes that he and Yami Yugi has to get rid of The Legendary Ocean magic card to stop Crump from summoning his strong monsters without sacrificing.
Meanwhile, Kaiba, searching for Noah and Mokuba, still wonders how Noah's claim - that he is Gozaburo's son - could possibly be true, due to the fact that Noah appears to only be a kid, when in reality if he was Gozaburo's son he'd be the same age as Kaiba, and based on the photo of him and Gozaburo together, he hasn't age in six years. Kaiba then wonders if The Big Five put Noah up to all this, but doubts it at the same time as he believes they're not smart enough to pull of such a scheme.
Back at the duel between Yami Yugi and Joey and The Big Five, it's Joey's turn; he draws Kunai With Chain, which he plans on using on The Big Five's monster, The Legendary Fisherman. He plays the trap face-down and summons Cyber Harpie in attack mode as a dote to Mai. He also switches Alligator's Sword to attack mode too, concluding his turn. Yami Yugi isn't sure what to do as he has nothing in his hand to destroy or prevent The Legendary Fisherman from attacking. He then takes Joey's face-down into account and believes that it could be a trap that could help him; aware of his best friend's strategies, due to how long he's known him. He summons Mystical Elf in defense mode and ends his turn. Inside Tristan, Johnson suggests that he takes over, however Crump declines Johnson's request, stating that the odds are still in his favor and suggests that he continues for the time being. Unlike in his previous duel with Tea, Crump does not take the face-down card on Joey's side of the field into account and attacks regardless (contradicting what he stated in his duel against Tea, that attacking whilst a face-down is on his opponent's side of the field is not a mistake a man like him would make); ordering The Legendary Fisherman to attack Mystical Elf. Joey activates Kunai With Chain, trapping The Legendary Fisherman and increasing the attack points of Cyber Harpie. Crump's associates then comfort him about his mistake. Johnson suggests that Crump step asides right away. Crump, however, states that he has calculated the probabilities and he still has a high percent chance at winning; suggesting that he should carry on. Expecting Joey or Yami Yugi to attempt destroying his Legendary Ocean magic card (most likely due to Joey saying to Yami Yugi earlier: "We've got to get rid of his Legendary Ocean card or we can say goodbye to our bodies forever Yug"), Crump sets Magician of Faith face-down in defense mode, whose flip effect will allow him to bring back his Legendary Ocean magic card from the graveyard should it be destroyed. Joey draws Harpie's Feather Duster, which he select in honor of Mai, which he activates to destroy A Legendary Ocean and a result stopping Crump from summoning anymore Level 5 water monsters without a sacrifice and decreases the attack and defense points of A Legendary Fisherman and Catapult Turtle by 200. Cyber Harpie destroys A Legendary Fisherman, Joey then prepares to attack with Alligator's Sword, initially with Catapult Turtle as the target, but Joey realizes that the defense points of Catapult Turtle are 2000 and that his Alligator's Sword does not have enough attack points to take it out and therefore changes the target to Crump's face-down monster. Yami Yugi advises Joey not to attack Crump's face-down monster, stating that it's too risky, but Joey attacks regardless, activating the flip effect of Crump's face-down Magician of Faith, allowing him to bring back his A Legendary Ocean magic card back from his graveyard and into his hand, meaning he can re-activate on his next turn. Crump's hand also contains Monster Reborn which he plans on using next turn to bring back his Legendary Fisherman. Just when Crump thought he had the duel in the bag, Yugi summons Kuriboh in defence mode and activates Card Destruction, forcing all three players to discard their hands are redraw, thereby sending Crump's A Legendary Ocean magic card back to his graveyard, meaning he is now unable to reactivate it on is next turn. Plus, since being forced to also discard Monster Reborn, Crump can not revive his Legendary Fisherman. Yami Yugi ends his turn. Crump is about to make his next turn, but Johnson, former legal adviser of KaibaCorp, takes over; thus, the deck master is also switched from Nightmare Penguin to Judge Man.
- Yami Yugi: "Dark Magician"
- Joey Wheeler: "Flame Swordsman"
- The Big Five: "Deepsea Warrior" and "Nightmare Penguin"
Featured Duel: Yami Yugi + Joey Wheeler vs. The Big Five, Part 1
Turn 1: The Big Five (Gansley)
Gansley draws "The Legendary Fisherman". He then activates "A Legendary Ocean". Now all WATER monsters on the field and in both players' hands have their levels reduced by one and in addition all WATER monsters gain 200 ATK and DEF. He then Normal Summons "The Legendary Fisherman" ( 5 → 4/1850/1600) in Attack Position. As the name of "A Legendary Ocean" is treated as "Umi", "The Legendary Fisherman" cannot be attacked and is unaffected by Magic Cards.
Turn 4: The Big Five (Crump)
At this point, Crump takes over for Gansley. Crump draws. Due to the Deck Master Ability of "Nightmare Penguin", the ATK of "The Legendary Fisherman" rises by 200 ("The Legendary Fisherman": 1850 → 2050/1600) as it's a WATER monster. "The Legendary Fisherman" attacks and destroys "Gazelle". Crump then Normal Summons "Catapult Turtle" (1000 → 1400/2000 → 2200; 5 → 4) in Defense Position.
Turn 5: Joey
Joey draws "Kunai with Chain" and subsequently Sets it. Joey's hand contains "Fairy Box", "Burning Soul Sword", "Polymerization", "Double Snare", and "Cyber Harpie". Joey Normal Summons "Cyber Harpie" (1800/1300) in Attack Position and switches "Alligator's Sword" to Attack Position.
Turn 6: Yami
Yami Yugi's hand contains "Buster Blader", "Alpha the Magnet Warrior", "Black Luster Ritual", "Card Destruction", and "Kuriboh". Yami Yugi draws "Mystical Elf" and subsequently Normal Summons it (800/2000) in Defense Position.
Turn 7: The Big Five (Crump)
Crump draws. "The Legendary Fisherman" attacks "Mystical Elf", but Joey activates his face-down "Kunai with Chain" to switch "The Legendary Fisherman" to Defense Position, equip "Kunai with Chain" onto "Alligator's Sword" and increase the ATK of "Alligator's Sword" by 500 ("Alligator's Sword": 1500 → 2000/1200). Crump Sets a monster ("Magician of Faith").
Turn 8: Joey
Joey draws "Harpie's Feather Duster" and subsequently activates it to destroy "A Legendary Ocean" ("Catapult Turtle" 1400 → 1200/2200 → 2000; 4 → 5). "Cyber Harpie" attacks and destroys "The Legendary Fisherman". "Alligator's Sword" attacks and destroys The Big Five's face-down monster. It's revealed to be "Magician of Faith" (300/400). The Flip Effect of "Magician of Faith" then activates, letting Crump add "A Legendary Ocean" from his Graveyard to his hand.
Crump's hand contains "Monster Reborn", "Premature Burial", "Polymerization", "Driving Snow", and "A Legendary Ocean". Crump plans to activate "A Legendary Ocean" next turn as well as use "Monster Reborn" to revive "The Legendary Fisherman" which will rebuild the Big Five's previous combo.
Turn 9: Yami
Yami Yugi draws. He then Normal Summons "Kuriboh" (300/200) in Defense Position. He then activates "Card Destruction" to force all players to discard their hand and draw the same amount of cards they discarded. Crump is thus forced to discard "A Legendary Ocean" along with his other cards. At this point, Johnson takes over for Crump.
Differences In Adaptations
- Cut from the dub is a shot of robot monkey Honda, moved to tears by Jounouchi's insistence on fighting for him.
- Another sequence with robot monkey Honda and the gang is cut from the English version. Firstly, Honda tearfully urges Yugi and Jounouchi on. Anzu tells him not to worry, and Otogi says he'll soon have his body back. He thanks them, and Shizuka, who encourages her brother. Honda melts in her arms.
- Brainwashed Mokuba has red eyes in the dub.
- When Joey has a flashback of Mai getting sent to the Shadow Realm, Yami Marik has the original Marik's voice by mistake.
- In the original, "Alligator's Sword" got the boost from "Kunai with Chain." In the dub, it was "Cyber Harpie." Despite this change, "Alligator's Sword" is still shown holding the weapon.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! episode 102: "Freeze Play, Part 1"
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.
- This card can be seen in Yugi's hand.
- Yugi picks this card when he was building his Deck.
- This was played as a Normal Monster. It is a Fusion Monster in the TCG/OCG.
- Joey picks this card when he was building his Deck.
- This card can be seen in Joey's hand.
- This card was played as a Magic Card. It was depicted as a Trap Card in the English version. It is a Trap Card in the TCG/OCG.
- This card can be seen in The Big Five's hand.