LAP 23
Gangway! Spin Booster!!

Another day, another race that Ryu's bound to win. He's miles ahead of the competition and gloating to Jack about his upcoming victory, when the Blue Falcon effortlessly sweeps ahead of him! Try as he might, Captain Falcon isn't letting him overtake, blocking his every move.

Ryu feels challenged - Captain Falcon saved his bacon the last time he met. Could this be another test? He boosts as they approach a corner, taking the lead on the inside... only for the Blue Falcon to drift behind him to his other side, securing the inside for himself!

This surprise tactic throws Ryu off his game and he spins out, allowing Captain Falcon to take first place, Jack Levin in second. Ryu is embittered by his loss, reflecting on it long after the race is over.

The Platoon try to urge him home, but Ryu is unmoving. Lucy thought Captain Falcon was on their side, but after a sneaky move like that, she's not so sure. Clash reminds her Captain Falcon is a bounty hunter who's only in it for the money... but Jack remarks that Ryu's becoming predictable. Taking the inside lane might sound smart, but his Astro Robin moves faster on the outside.

They reassure him that his Dragon Bird isn't faulty, and in the replay they see just how impassable Falcon really was. Ryu suddenly hops in his machine and drives off, eager to see how much he pales in comparison to the Blue Falcon. He tries the corners again, but no matter how he handles them, he envisions the Blue Falcon blocking his every move.

Ryu, Jack and Clank take the argument to Falcon House, where Burt confesses he still hasn't seen the race. Ryu knows he's fast enough to beat Falcon, but Burt asks him a question: has his driving technique remained unchanged since 2051? F-Zero machines do have safety features, you know.

That's it! Ryu remembers when he was told to disable the Dragon Bird's control system, showing its true power. Driving the safety features is like driving with the brakes on - without them, he'll have true control over his machine! Jack asks him if he's out of his mind - an F-Zero machine would go berserk without the safety reining it in! Ryu has his mind set on it and leaves, thanking Burt for his advice.

At the test track, Clash and Lucy are there to also warn Ryu about what he's got in mind, but as far as he's concerned, it's his only shot at trumping Captain Falcon. He disables his control system, prays for the best and hits the accelerator.

He immediately begins spinning like a buckin' bronco, applying the brakes just in time before he hurts them. Lucy and Clash call to say they told him so, threatening to withdraw their services on his machine, but that's not stopping him - he's eager to tame this beast!

Ryu hits the road again, his machine wobbling furiously while he tries to swallow his fear. He mananges to finish one lap, but Clash won't even tell him his time, it was that bad. It didn't hurt to try, though the two promise to help him out a different way...

... only for Jack to appear, calling him a big wuss for giving up so soon. What good is he if he doesn't give it his all? The two return to the track against Lucy's pleas, but they've got a point to make here and nothing will stop them. Ryu tries to recall what he and Falcon performed back at the warp gate...

He boosts and sets his machine into a wild spin, giving him a serious speed advantage - maintaining control is the tricky part! He loses his cool as he rounds a corner and the Dragon Bird loses its control, just as the Astro Robin tries to boost on the inside...

The two machines crunch against the wall before the Astro Robin flips on its roof, grinding against the ground in a spectacular crash. Both machines are battered, but Ryu is shaken by what may have happened to Jack!

In the medical bay, Ryu is slapped for what he's done to Jack, who also receives a scolding for facilitating this behaviour. Jack remarks he only wanted to improve Ryu's chances of winning... and Jody shares the sentiment, but the mission of the Platoon holds priority over their childish rivalry with Captain Falcon.

Ryu returns to the garage to examine the damage; Clash reminds him he can always fix the Dragon Bird, but human injury is out of his hands. Having examined what he was trying to do, he confirms that it's possible: spinning the machine with the power of its booster. The Spin Booster. However, it's so taxing upon the machine that it can only be used once per race before seeking repairs, and he doesn't recommend it either way. Losing control for only a second can have grave results, as Jack has shown them.

Meanwhile in one of Dark Million's battle stations, The Skull is at work on his dark magic, seeking a means of defeating Captain Falcon. His cards suggest Jody Summer is the key to defeating him, and armed with the dark magic of his ancestors, nothing will stop him!

The next big race is ready to begin at Wave Panic; Captain Falcon has his eye on Ryu even from the starting grid, so the pressure's on him already. Jack calls in to wish him luck from the base, now well enough to walk on crutches. He tells Ryu not to worry about his wellbeing, but to give this race 110%!

Jody listens in to the conversation approvingly, but is oblivious that something has been planted on the underside of her White Cat - a magic card. The Skull has his trap set, it's just a matter of time until he activates it...
The race is under way, and right from the beginning Captain Falcon has taken first place.

Ryu puts his pedal to the metal and whizzes past the rest of the competition - faster than he's ever been seen before! He catches up to the Blue Falcon and apologises for keeping him waiting, before going through the same charade as before - whichever way he goes, Captain Falcon is there to block him.

Coming to the corner, Ryu pulls out his Spin Booster, overtaking the Captain for one brief moment... before petering out and losing his spin, slowing down and falling a few positions. Jody kicks the man while he's down, telling Ryu the Galaxy Mobile Platoon has no place for losers and he'd best leave if he hasn't a reason to race. This is just what Ryu needs to ignite his racing spirit, and the two unite to give this race their all.

Not far behind, however, is The Skull in his Sonic Phantom, who summons dark spirits into the card on the White Cat, turning it into a vessel under his control! Jody is shocked as the machine behaves on its own, boosting forward of its own volition to ram the Blue Falcon in its rear!

Jody is powerless to stop it, and Captain Falcon is apparently incapable of moving out of her way, giving the Sonic Phantom the chance to slip into first place. Ryu catches up to Jody and asks Captain Falcon to lend him a hand in stopping her, with her permission.

The two box in the White Cat and push it towards the barrier, grinding it against the wall until it conks out, exorcised of its malicious spirits. The Blue Falcon resumes the race and Jody urges Ryu to continue - he's obviously got a score to settle. It's onto the final lap, and the Dragon Bird is still eating Falcon's dust... he's got to win this race!

Getting a little too close for comfort, The Skull sics a trio of lackeys to box in Ryu and hold him back. They've got him cornered: he can't accelerate, brake or move to the side. This calls for only one thing: Boost Fire! He rockets ahead, the goons following after...

... only to plough right into his Spin Booster! The Dragon Bird spins like a top, gaining immense speed and knocking racers aside like tiddlywinks, ultimately nailing first place for himself. The Skull can't believe he lost at the last second, but Captain Falcon smiles knowingly.

After the race, Ryu wishes to talk to Captain Falcon personally, but he's a man of few words. He commends him on a great race, and tells him to "watch your boost timing." Jody catches a glimpse of him before he leaves, feeling like she recognises him, but he's gone in the blink of an eye. Ryu can't help but feel Captain Falcon is testing his skills.

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: A viewer asks what ages Ryu, Jack and Burt are. Ryu is 23, born July 28th and his blood type A. Jack is 24, born May 5th and his blood type is O. Burt was born on April 10th, his blood type is A, but refuses to give his age, merely saying "I'm pretty old."