LAP 34
Clank & Gazelle

Ryu and Jack are battling for first place in their latest F-Zero race, when a mass of flames on the track catches their attention - and out of it zooms Mighty Gazelle! He rams aside every racer in its way, but it's them who he's really after!

The Red Gazelle catches up and begins laying into them - they're already at their maximum speed so they haven't a chance of outrunning it. Just when it looks like they're snookered, the Blue Falcon makes a dramatic entrance using its Spin Booster...

... and rams the Red Gazelle onto its side. The Platoon rush to check on the cyborg, who stumbles out of the wreckage before collapsing, sparking and sizzling. Captain Falcon departs; his work here is done.

This attack is monitored by the members of Dark Million, and Miss Killer is trying to work out who among them made the order for Gazelle to attack. Zoda owns up to it, claiming that hunk of junk needed to show its worth once in a while; Miss Killer scolds him for acting without their master's orders, but Black Shadow isn't fussed. Zoda may be acting of his own accord, but his true purpose will come in due time.

In the space station's hangar, Bio Rex and Octoman are secretly discussing the power play going on with their superiors, believing Black Shadow now favours Zoda over Miss Killer. While discussing which of the two to root for, Miss Killer steps in and reminds the two of the consequences of betrayal.

Gazelle is brought home for repairs while Clank gets uppity about the situation; he thinks the cyborg is a hazard and should be dismantled before he injures or betrays anyone again. The Platoon argue he was being controlled by Dark Million and such a thing will never happen again, but the boy leaves in a huff.

The others enquire about Gazelle's repairs, and he's just about ready to be released. His internals have been given a clean sweep, purging any and all components Dark Million installed within him and erasing his memory, resetting him back to a child-like state. As such, someone needs to babysit him until he's more independent. Jack quickly opts out, but Jody already had someone in mind...

Clank wants nothing to do with it, but, Ryu, Lucy and Burt gently pressure him into taking the task. Dr. Stewart wouldn't have gone to such lengths to revive him if he hadn't been such a reliable officer, and Burt claims Captain Falcon would want the best for the cyborg. The kid accepts, and is brought back to HQ to be re-introduced to Mighty Gazelle.

"I'm Gazelle. Pleased to meet you!" The boy is disappointed that he doesn't remember him, until he's told of the cyborg's memory erasure. Clank is tasked with bringing him up to speed, showing him right from wrong, and demonstrating how to behave like a proper police officer. Their first course of action: cleaning this room! Gazelle promptly picks up Jack and asks which trash recepticle he belongs in.

At Falcon House, Ryu, Jack and Lucy fill in Burt on how everyone's favourite cyborg is getting on. He's very punctual and eager to help, if a little clueless at times - when asked to buff the machines, EAD got the treamtment as well, and a friendly offer to massage director Tanaka's shoulders nearly broke his neck. The director's giving him a wide berth, but aside from that, Clank and Gazelle make a good team!

The two of them are even taking a test drive on the Platoon's private track, helping Gazelle get re-acquainted with his F-Zero machine. Even with his memory reset, the cyborg takes to it like a fish to water. Jody and Stewart only hope he'll be able to remember his true identity in future, though they don't want to rush it - Gazelle and Clank are both in a sensitive state at the moment.

Ryu and the gang return to find Clank having a row with Gazelle - that bucket of bolts threw his photo pendant in the trash! The kid takes it very personally, but as far as the cyborg is concerned, he was merely following orders. Jack and Lucy calm him down; the garbage won't be disposed of until later, they've got time to try and find it. Gazelle is quick to act on this, though Jack only gets involved when he discovers his little black book was among the items chucked out.

Jack quickly reclaims his list of babes' phone numbers, but the others are not so lucky; Clank storms out and the others gradually leave, until Gazelle is the only one left looking. He eventually finds the pendant at long last, and is curious why it meant so much to the boy. He places it on his hand and opens the pendant, revealing a picture of the boy and his father...

... triggering indistinct memories in Gazelle's head.
The rest of the gang are relaxing in the command room, wondering what the big lug could be up to. They complain to Jody about his little incident while cleaning up, upset about their possesions he threw out and wondering why he's such a klutz all of a sudden. She and Stewart ask they treat the cyborg with respect, as he still needs time to recover; Lucy says it'll only be a matter of time until Gazelle remembers he's Clank's father.

"... is this true?"

The Platoon react in shock to Clank's sudden eavesdropping, but don't even have time to backpedal - Clank is upset at their remarks and refuses to believe that cold, heartless machine could be his father. He runs out of the room, spewing hatred at Gazelle along the way...

... as the cyborg enters the room. He found the pendant! Ryu is taken aback that he had been searching all this time for the boy's most treasured possession, but the cyborg turns and leaves after handing it to him. Gazelle visits the observation room, reminiscing on these strange new experiences.

Dr. Stewart enters and tries to help explain things to him: he is Roy Hughes, and Clank is his son. It's a little too soon for him to fully process things, so the doctor leaves him to it.
Ryu and Burt finally track down Clank at the lakeside park, where he's been crying to himself. He's overjoyed to be reunited with his pendant, and is stirred to hear that Gazelle was responsible for finding it.

The next F-Zero race is under way, and Octoman and Bio Rex are leading out of the starting line - they've lost Gazelle and Zoda isn't participating, so they deem it wise to root for Miss Killer's victory. Clank enters the stadium to ask why Gazelle isn't racing; Clash says it's too early for him to take part and is back at headquarters. He's been lonely without Clank's company.

Miss Killer takes the lead with the Big Fang and Deep Claw guarding her rear, but that won't stop Ryu barging through using his Boost Fire. Suddenly, the Red Gazelle appears up ahead, coming right his way! The Platoon are suitably surprised, and Clank fears the big dumb idiot has betrayed them again.

The Dark Million posse cheer on Gazelle's return... only to be knocked right off the track by the rampaging robot. As Clank exits the stadium he finds Gazelle parking and exiting his vehicle, slowly approaching him. The boy cowers in fear, no idea what to expect from his one-time friend as Dr. Stewart readies his pistol...

... only to find himself held in the cyborg's warm embrace. Confused at first, Clank is instantly reminded of the affectionate hugs and cuddles he and his father shared when he was still alive... It's true. Gazelle is his father, and the cyborg couldn't be happier to be with him once more.

The happy reunion is spoilt by the sound of evil cackling over a loudspeaker. Zoda has arrived in a Dark Million battle station with a little present to drop on them: a big stinkin' missile! The Platoon quickly run for cover, hiding inside a convenient bomb shelter...

... but the shutters close before Clank and Gazelle can get inside, and there's no time to open them - the bomb has dropped!

The track and the stadium face utter devastation as Gazelle protects Clank with his body, shielding him from the tremendous blast. Once the dust settles, the shutter opens to reveal a cracked and battered Gazelle... and Clank, who is totally untouched.

The cyborg slowly rises to his feet... but there is no power left within him, and he topples backwards to the ground. Clank rushes to his father's side, begging him to stay awake and apologising for every bad thing he ever said about him, but Gazelle's consciousness slowly fades. The last image he sees before he deactivates is that of his crying child. Dr. Stewart consoles the boy, vowing to do everything in his power to bring his father back.

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: Enquiring minds demand to know, what is Captain Falcon's favourite dish? Well, the Captain obviously isn't there to answer, so Burt answers for him: "Put tripe in a bundle and bind it with thread." He laments that Ryu doesn't touch the Falcon House curry.

During the "next episode" preview, Ryu finds Jack wearing a dress who claims to actually be an F-Zero princess, Magical Levinelle. Don't ask.