LAP 17
Ryu's Splendid Day Off

Another day, another F-Zero victory in the hands of Ryu Suzaku. Even on this bumpy track, he kept his machine under control with ease, showing no signs of stress... though the Dragon Bird has seen better days. Miss Killer is vexed - she has to know what his driving technique is like!

Ryu returns to the Galaxy Mobile Platoon headquarters to great acclaim, but is lightly scolded for treating his machine so roughly. It's a small sacrifice towards snatching victory, he claims, but Clash interrupts to say it's in serious need of a repair. Jody lets him have the day off, which is fine by Ryu - he's got a hot date scheduled today! He leaves, and Lucy can barely hide her jealousy. In the meantime, Jody assigns the other members to investigate a rash of classic car thievery going about.

In his garage, Ryu is hard at work fixing up his own classic car - one and Clank had picked out from a junkyard - when he notices he's missing a few vital parks. Conveniently enough, Clank pops by to lend a hand and makes a list of what they need and where to source it.

Clank snaps a few photos of Ryu, eager to add them to his album. He shows Ryu his pet project - a homepage dedicated to all the F-Zero pilots, where Ryu is the star attraction.
Elsewhere, a classic car sits parked on the street...

... but not for long! Octoman sneaks up and wriggles his tentacle through the window, unlocking it and allowing him to drive it away. He drops it off with a used car salesman, oblivious that Miss Killer has been watching the whole ordeal.

On their quest for parts, Ryu and Clank visit Mute City's only outlet for classic car parts, and the ace pilot makes a tit of himself by fumbling with some tyres. The salesman approaches, knowing a classic car enthusiast when he sees one, informs him of some rare new parts he's just received, but that's not what they want. They get their parts and leave.

With those installed and a few minor adjustments, the car's engine finally roars to life - a success! The two celebrate with Doreyo mango soda and try to think of a name for it. Considering it the Dragon Bird's little brother, Clank names it the Dragon Egg, before Ryu reminds him this is way, way, way older than an F-Zero machine... so they dub it the Dragon Ghost instead. Formally christened, the two hop in and give the Dragon Ghost its first drive in years.

Meanwhile, Octoman is using his newly-earned cash to gorge himself at King Burger, when Miss Killer sits down before him. So, the slippery squid has made a car-stealing ring, has he? Octoman begs her to keep this hush-hush - this is his living, and if Zoda knew about it he'd take all the earnings! In exchange, she demands a favour.

Ryu orders some burgers through the drive-through (frightening Octoman and forcing Miss Killer to quiet him) beore he and Clank visit the park. Clank mentions he's been reading up on Ryu's accident 150 years ago, and Ryu asks him to look up Haruka Misaki, his old girlfriend.

Clank's search doesn't return much info: She was born in 2030 to a fashion designer and a diplomat, but Ryu already knew that. She quit being a race queen after his accident... and that's all it says. The entry stops there. The two ponder wistfully; maybe she left New York and lived out her days in happiness somewhere else. Clank wishes she could have been put into cold sleep so the two could be reunited, though Ryu doesn't want to get hung up about it - the two return to the car.

... only to find the tyres have been slashed! Who could have done such a thing? They fill them up as best they can and return to the car part store, finding a saleswoman is covering for her boss. They ask for new tyres, and the woman warns them about a car thief going about, joking that their flat tyres will keep them safe. But they didn't mention the flat tyres...!

The two apply their new tyres and are ready to go, when the saleswoman offers them an anti-theft camera as a free gift. Clank remarks how friendly she was after they leave, but Ryu reserves his suspicions about her for now. If only they had known the store owner had been bound and gagged!...

... and that the woman was Miss Killer in disguise, now using the dashboard camera to spy on her archnemesis! Ryu finally voices his queries, and given how the tyre slashing was so recent, they deduce that the salesoman must have been the culprit. Clank exits the car to investigate. Meanwhile, Miss Killer signals Octoman to follow her plan.

Another cars suddenly pulls out in front of the Dragon Ghost - it's Octoman! He taunts Ryu over his tyres before racing away, but he underestimated how fast the other car is - the Dragon Ghost is in hot pursuit!

Clank nips around the back of the car parts shop, finding an underground garage filled to the brim with classic cars! As he's snooping around, a set of headlights flash up behind him and he narrowly avoids being run down by the Moon Shadow, which quickly exits the garage.

Ryu is still on Octoman's trail, and it's a thrill he hasn't felt in a long time - the sense of being close to the ground, a firm set of tyres carrying your machine. It's an irreplaceable sensation. He pulls some sick drifts while keeping close on Octoman's car, unaware that the dashboard camera is watching him.

Octoman isn't having a good time - he's not a big fan of old-fashioned automobiles. Miss Killer directs him along the best paths to evade Ryu, using lots of turns and hills, though her intention is not for Octoman's getaway, but instead to test Ryu's skill and record his racing data. Frustrated with the traffic, Octoman mounts the sidewalk and roars over the hill...

... just as a cat is walking across the road! He brakes just in time and scolds the foolish feline, but Ryu's got the drop on him, parking in front of his car. That doesn't stop Octoman, though, as he exits his vehicle and boards the Deep Claw. Now this is a machine he can handle!

His machine darts away and turns down an alley, but cities aren't built for such fast machines, and he bangs against the wall before continuing on. Clank is busy checking his computer when he notices the Dragon Ghost is emitting a signal... and it's coming from the anti-theft camera!

Despite his bumps, Octoman is cocky his machine can vastly outrun Ryu's duff old antique... when he finds the Dragon Ghost is waiting for him up the road! It begins to charge at him in a game of chicken, and Octoman is too flustered to react...

... but he doesn't need to, as the Dragon Ghost tilts up on its two side wheels, avoiding collision by mere inches. Scared witless, the Deep Claw crashes into a wall, its pilot cursing Ryu Suzaku. There's no time to rest yet - Clank contacts Ryu and warns him the camera is recording his every move. He chucks it out the window, and Clank tells him he knows where the data is being sent.

At the lakeside park, Miss Killer's feed goes dead just before Ryu barges in. He thanks her for the exciting day off before demanding to know why he was being recorded. She explains she's keen to know the reason behind his consecutive victories, and the data will be passed on to Dark Million for further examination. Before he can stop her, she drives off in the Moon Shadow - not even his Dragon Ghost could catch up to that.

Returning to headquarters, Ryu is prasied for single-handedly solving the stolen cars case - and on his day off, no less! The man's yearning for justice knows no bounds. To cap off the day, Jack shows him Clank's F-Zero homepage where all the boy's photos have ended up - photos of Ryu fixing cars, eating burgers and tripping over tyres now grace a heartfelt tribute to the racer Clank respects the most.

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: A viewer from Tokyo wishes to know who is Captain Falcon's real identity? Even Burt doesn't know, though he suggests "if a cool and mysterious man appears on a street near you, perhaps he is Captain Falcon."