"The Price of Decisiveness! The Darkness in O'Brien's Flame" is the one hundred and sixty-ninth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime. It first aired in Japan on January 9, 2008.
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Trueman confronts Axel in Domino City, with Axel asking what Trueman has done with the residents of Domino. Trueman responds by saying to ask him through a Duel, and they activate their Duel Disks. Axel activates a camera hidden in his Duel Disk to record the Duel, so a record of this incident will exist no matter the result. The Duel begins, and Trueman Summons "Dark Psycho Eye" via the effect of his "Dark Archetype". Having received information from Jaden Yuki about Trueman's strategy, Axel is prepared with "Buster Trap", which destroys a monster Special Summoned during the Battle Phase. However, this plays right into Trueman's hands, as the effect of "Dark Psycho Eye" triggers upon its destruction, allowing Trueman to take control of Axel's "Volcanic Slicer". This also triggers strange effects in Axel's mind, causing him to believe he's Dueling his own father, not Trueman. Prior to the Duel, Trueman had taken the memory that Axel had of his father's Deck, and used his dark powers to copy its contents and mix it with some of his own cards, furthering the masquerade.
Trueman tells Axel to calm down and make his decisions wisely, which is something Axel's father had always told him. He also suggests that Axel is being calm in this Duel - like the time he left his own mother to die on a mountain. Trueman plays "Firewall", "Flame Wall" and "Volcanic Wall", which is a combo that Axel's father had once taught him during training. With this, he is able to negate direct attacks, effect damage and deal damage to Axel by sending the top cards of his Deck to the Graveyard. Axel decides to break the combo by depleting the number of Pyro-type monsters in Trueman's Graveyard, so that "Firewall" cannot activate. Axel Sets "Volcanic Mine" and "Switch Off", the former would allow him to Special Summon "Bomb Tokens" to Trueman's field, which all be destroyed if "Volcanic Doomfire" attacks, while the latter would let him negate the effect of a Continuous Spell or Trap Card like "Flame Wall", which would let the effect damage from the destruction of the "Bomb Tokens" defeat Trueman.
Trueman again makes reference to the death of Axel's mother. He Summons "Volcanic Queen" to Axel's side of the field. Axel remembers the time of the mountain, his family have crashed their van, setting the area around them on fire. Axel was the only one out of his family still conscious, and he had to choose between saving his mother or saving his father, knowing he only had time to get one of them out alive. Trueman then plays "The Unchosen One", forcing Axel to choose between saving his "Volcanic Doomfire" or "Volcanic Queen". He chooses "Volcanic Doomfire", which Trueman states mirrors Axel's decision on the mountain - he chose to save his father, not his mother. "The Unchosen One" also thwarts Axel's strategy by destroying his face-down cards and Special Summons "Volcanic Queen" to Trueman's side of the field.
The psychological effects that this decision has on Axel are profound, and he believes he should have simply let himself and both of his parents die rather than choose. Ultimately, Trueman defeats him using "Volcanic Curse" to increase the ATK of "Volcanic Queen" after Axel attacked it with "Volcanic Doomfire". Axel is absorbed into the World of Darkness, and Trueman takes his true form again, and crushes Axel's Duel Disk under his feet, destroying the camera within it. It then shows both of Axel's parents in a mountain hut, alive and well, and reading a letter from Axel. Trueman now takes Axel's form and arrives at the hut, telling his parents that though his father regained consciousness and saved them all, Axel had made the decision on who to save before that had happened. Had his father not revived himself, he would have saved him and left his mother to die. Jaden arrives in Domino, trying to contact Axel via cell phone. Instead, he encounters numerous clones of Axel, who surround him.
Featured Duel: Axel Brodie vs. Trueman
Turn 1: Axel
Axel draws "Volcanic Slicer" and subsequently Normal Summons it (1800/1200) in Attack Position. He then activates the effect of "Volcanic Slicer" to inflict 500 damage to Trueman (Trueman 4000 → 3500) at the cost of forbidding "Volcanic Slicer" from attacking this turn. Axel Sets a card.
Turn 2: Trueman
Trueman draws "Dark Archetype" and subsequently Normal Summons it (1400/400) in Attack Position. "Dark Archetype" attacks "Volcanic Slicer". The latter monster then destroys "Dark Archetype" (Trueman 3500 → 3100). Since "Dark Archetype" was destroyed by battle, its effect activates, letting Trueman send "Volcanic Blaster" from his hand to the Graveyard and Special Summon "Dark Psycho Eye" (400/1100) in Attack Position.
Axel activates his face-down "Buster Trap" to destroy "Dark Psycho Eye" and end the Battle Phase. Since "Dark Psycho Eye" was destroyed, its effect activates, letting Trueman take control of "Volcanic Slicer". Trueman activates the effect of "Volcanic Slicer" (Axel 4000 → 3500). Trueman sets a card. On Trueman's End Phase, "Volcanic Slicer" returns to Axel's side of the field.
Turn 3: Axel
Axel draws. "Volcanic Slicer" attacks directly but Trueman activates his face-down "Firewall". Now if Axel attacks directly, Trueman can remove from play a Pyro-Type monster from his Graveyard and negate the attack. During each of Trueman's Standby Phases, he must either pay 500 Life Points or destroy "Firewall". Trueman activates the effect of "Firewall" by removing from play "Volcanic Blaster" from his Graveyard.
Turn 4: Trueman
Trueman draws an unknown Spell Card. On Trueman's Standby Phase, he pays 500 Life Points to keep "Firewall" in play (Trueman 3100 → 2600). He then activates "Flame Wall". Now all Effect Damage to Trueman will become 0 while "Flame Wall" is face-up on the field.
Trueman then activates "Volcanic Wall". Now once a turn, Trueman can send the top three cards of his Deck to the Graveyard and inflict 500 damage to Axel for each Pyro-Type monster sent this way. If this effect is used, Trueman can't declare an attack for one turn. Trueman activates the effect of "Volcanic Wall" and he reveals his top three cards to be "Volcanic Rat", "Volcanic Cyclone" and "Volcanic Shell" (Axel 3500 → 2500).
Turn 5: Axel
Axel draws "Tri-Blaze Accelerator". Axel's hand contains "Switch Off", "Big Volcano", Volcanic Mine", "Volcanic Doomfire", and "Blaze Accelerator". Axel activates "Blaze Accelerator" and sends the latter to the Graveyard in order to activate "Tri-Blaze Accelerator". Axel then sends "Tri-Blaze Accelerator" to the Graveyard in order to Special Summon "Volcanic Doomfire" (3000/1800) in Attack Position.
"Volcanic Slicer" and "Volcanic Doomfire" attack directly, but Trueman activates the effect of "Firewall" twice by removing from play "Volcanic Rat" and "Volcanic Shell" from his Graveyard. Axel sets two cards ("Switch Off" and "Volcanic Mine"). Axel intends to activate "Volcanic Mine" to Special Summon five "Bomb Tokens" to Trueman's side of the field. He will then activate "Switch Off" to negate the effects of "Flame Wall" until the End Phase and switch one Bomb Token to Attack Position. Once "Volcanic Doomfire" attacks and destroys the Attack Position token, the effect of "Volcanic Doomfire" will destroy the remaining Bomb Tokens and inflict 2000 damage to Trueman.
Turn 6: Trueman
Trueman draws. On Trueman's Standby Phase, he pays 500 Life Points to keep "Firewall" in play (Trueman 2600 → 2100). Trueman then Tributes Axel's "Volcanic Slicer" in order to Special Summon "Volcanic Queen" (2500/1200) to Axel's side of the field in Attack Position. He then activates "The Unchosen One" to make Axel select one monster on his side of the field. The selected monster will remain on the field, but all other cards are destroyed. Axel selects "Volcanic Doomfire", so his Set cards and "Volcanic Queen" are destroyed. Trueman then activates the second effect of "The Unchosen One" to Special Summon "Volcanic Queen" (2500/1200) from his Graveyard in Attack Position.
Trueman then activates the effect of "Volcanic Wall" and he reveals his top three cards to be "Volcanic Hammerer", "Bonfire" and "Volcanic Rat" (Axel 2500 → 1500). Trueman then activates the effect of "Volcanic Queen" to send "Flame Wall" to the Graveyard and inflict 1000 damage to Axel (Axel 1500 → 500). Trueman sets a card. On Trueman's End Phase, he takes 1000 damage as he didn't Tribute a monster besides "Volcanic Queen" (Trueman 2100 → 1100).
Turn 7: Axel
Axel draws "Volcanic Scattershot". He then activates "Big Volcano" to send "Volcanic Scattershot" from his hand to the Graveyard and Special Summon "Volcanic Rat" (500/500) and "Volcanic Hammerer" (2400/1500) from Trueman's Graveyard to his side of the field. Trueman chooses for his newly summoned monsters to be summoned in Defense Position. Since "Volcanic Scattershot" was sent to the Graveyard, Trueman takes 500 damage (Trueman 1100 → 600).
"Volcanic Doomfire" attacks "Volcanic Queen" (If the attack succeeds, the second effect of "Volcanic Doomfire" will destroy all of Trueman's remaining monsters and inflict 500 damage for each one destroyed), but Trueman activates his face-down "Volcanic Curse" to increase the ATK of "Volcanic Queen" by 500 for each Pyro-type monster in both players' Graveyard. There are currently two in Axel's Graveyard ("Volcanic Queen": 2500 → 3500/1200). "Volcanic Queen" destroys "Volcanic Doomfire" (Axel 500 → 0).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.