LAP 24
Octoman's Dream

At spaceport TCR01, a suspicious, spheroid spaceship approaches, requesting permission for landing. It docks, revealing its curious octopus-inspired design, and its colonel steps out onto the platform.

"Is this... Earth?"

John Tanaka is in a meeting with the chief of the Galaxy Police, who explains these are visitors from planet Takora. Their planet's government disagreed with the peace treaty from long ago and has been embroiled in bitter war ever since. Their visit is purely a sightseeing tour, but for political safety, the Galaxy Mobile Platoon has been entrusted with protecting them. Asked if he's up to the task, Tanaka states he's more than capable of it...

... but the moment he's out the door, he fobs the job onto Ryu and Lucy.
Meanwhile, Octoman receives an urgent call to the spaceport, but he and Bio Rex have no interest in being there. The Takora colonel and his fellow Takoraians finally find him and are overcome with joy, but Octoman tries to quiet them down - they don't know he's in a criminal organisation!

The tentacled crowd thank Octoman from the bottom of their hearts for his generous donation to their planet, and will be there to cheer him for his upcoming race - that'll be his tenth consecutive win for sure! Bio Rex is confused and about to ask what they're talking about, but Octoman corrects them - this'll be his thirteenth consecutive win!
Ryu, Lucy and Tanaka are watching from afar, and Ryu's getting riled up - that slippery squid's a big fibber, he couldn't race his way out of a paper bag! Why haven't they arrested him for stealing those classic cars already?!

The director reminds him that Octoman is a hero on Takora, being the only racer from their planet; arresting him in front of his adoring fans could spur a political incident. Ryu doesn't give a toss, he's itching to bust that squid.
Octoman convinces Bio Rex into cheering for him as well, and the two attempt a comedy routine, though it fails to impress the colonel. A hand slips onto Octoman's shoulder...

"Hey, great hero."

The squid tries to bail, but Ryu holds him back and pressures him into owning up. The Takora people are aghast - who is this stranger, and why is he manhandling their idol?! Tanaka appears in the nick of time to remind him peacekeeping is their utmost objective here, and introduces himself to the colonel, stating the Galaxy Police will serve as security during their visit. The Takoraians are overjoyed - they're being treated like kings, and it's all thanks to Octoman!

"Thank you, director! Many thanks!"

"Don't touch me."

The colonel presents Octoman with a medal, and the Takoraians tell Tanaka and Ryu of how generous their hero is; were it not for him donating his prize money to their planet, Takora would still be in an impoverished and inhospitable state. Ryu begins to change his tune towards the villain; maybe he's not so bad after all.
Bio Rex, Octoman and the three Platoon members escort their tour bus to the hotel, which Octoman paid for out of his own pocket. But he owes people money, and he's still got a welcome party to pay for...

Ryu is eager to ditch this gig and go to the test track, but Tanaka reminds him this is of the utmost importance. John's got his own concerns, though; for starters, he hopes the Takoraians don't trash the hotel!

Well, close enough. They're crawling over anything and everything, having an absolute ball. This is the best they've ever been treated! The hotel staff and poor Lucy just have to grin and bear it.
Outside, Octoman begs Ryu's cooperation, to leave him be until the Takoraian guests return to their planet, "promising" to surrender after the race. Anyway, does Ryu know where he can bum some cash? Octoman offers to trade him his medal, a rare Takoraian treasure sure to be worth a packet, but Ryu objects.

Tanaka approaches the two, also asking Ryu for money; he's got none to spare, and he's got a twenty year mortgage to pay for. Ryu finally obliges to spare the squid some dough, who's incredibly grateful.
The welcome party is set outside Falcon House, and the Takoraians have another grand old time.

Burt is pleasantly surprised that Octoman has so many fans, but Clank doesn't trust him; his father told him "liars keep on lying." Octoman boasts that Captain Falcon will be participating in the next race, but he'll be no match for his sweet squid skills. Burt tells him the Captain won't be participating in the next race: even better! Saves him the trouble of embarrassing himself! Clank asks Burt how he knew this. Oh, just a hunch.

In Dark Million's space base, Black Shadow is giving Zoda another tongue-lashing for being such a useless peon. If he doesn't win the next race, Miss Killer will be taking his place in the ranks.

The next Grand Prix is about to begin, and the stadium seats are packed with visitors from Takora, cheering the loudest for their hero. However, Octoman is begging Zoda to allow him to win this race; his fans are counting on him! Zoda's got his own neck on the line, so he's in no position to lose; he tells the squid to do what he always does, hang back and fend off anyone who poses a threat.

The race begins, and the announcer informs the audience of a last minute cancellation: Captain Falcon will not be participating. So Burt was right! The White Cat and Astro Robin lead the race, but Zoda and his two henchmen aren't far behind, hitting the first boost pad.

Zoda orders Octoman to hang back and guard his rear, and he agrees reluctantly... before handing that task to Bio Rex. Not far behind are Ryu, Lucy and John Tanaka, making a rare racing appearance in his Wonder Wasp; they've got to keep an eye on Octoman and their Takoraian guests.

The leading racers enter the next lap and run through the repair zone, refilling their ships' energy. While squaring off with Jack Levin, Zoda orders Bio Rex to slow to a crawl and wait to ambush him on the next lap. Ryu abandons his post and boosts to catch up with Jody and Jack - they need his help!

While briefing his lackeys on their objectives, Zoda offers Octoman all of the prize money if he helps him win. That ticks him off - he'd rather win this race himself! He boosts ahead and takes the lead, his boss demanding he return to his position. Meanwhile, Bio Rex gets the signal and knocks Jack Levin clean off the track.

Octoman shuts off his communicator; he doesn't care about Zoda, he's winning this race for his people! He enters the second-to-last lap in first place, miles ahead of the competition. He's gotta win this, he can't fail now!

The rest of the racers suddenly begin flying past him with ease. He's out of power! He chugs slowly through the repair zone, the gap between him and the lead growing wider and wider as they reach the final lap. It can't end like this...!

The Wonder Wasp makes a surprise reappearance, boosting past the rest of the racers and catching up to Zoda. He tries to take on the Death Anchor head-on, but Zoda zooms ahead, summoning Bio Rex to do the dirty work for him. The two machines begin clashing...

... but they both begin to spin out of control! The Big Fang crashes into Zoda, the Dragon Bird comes crashing into John, the White Cat into Ryu's rear, and so on until the entire roster is left in a smoking pile-up...

... allowing the Deep Claw to chug between the wreckage with ease.

Octoman is the winner! The people of Takora can't believe it - they got to witness just another of their hero's brilliant victories! Clank, meanwhile, can't believe what a debacle that was. Burt thought it was a sweet surprise - it ain't over 'til it's over, after all! Octoman earns his trophy and wins a loving celebration from his people...

... but also receives a thrashing from Zoda. He stole his victory, and there's no prize money left for him?!
In Falcon House, Clank is keen to report that Octoman paid his debts in entirety for the Takoraian's visit, which they commend him for; the slimy squid did keep his promise!

Even better, the leftover money was given to the Takoraian visitors, who spent it all on snacks, treats and garish souvenirs. At least the money isn't in Dark Million's hands.
Zoda isn't done scolding his subordinate, but he's interrupted by a booming voice calling his name. Black Shadow would like some answers...!

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: "How did John Tanaka become director?" Burt simply says some things in the grown-up world just aren't easily answered; maybe he came from a renowned school, or got hired for being such a bootlicker. That said, he is a surprisingly skilled racer, so perhaps there's more to him than meets the eye?

This episode features a unique title card.

The Takoraian mothership has a string come out of its top.