LAP 35
Falcon's Confession

Miss Killer brings an unpleasant observation to Black Shadow's attention - in the last twenty races, Dark Million minions have won a measly three races, and fourteen of those victories go to Ryu Suzaku and Captain Falcon. Black Shadow reminds her she isn't just a mere pawn to win prize money, she's a trained assassin! Go out there and kill those guys, or something, I don't know! Isn't that what she's named for?!

A feature reel of Captain Falcon's victories is playing on television, asking just who is this mysterious racer? Watching this in Falcon House, Clank repeats the question to Burt but gets a nondescript answer; he doesn't know, and some folks just carry secrets, that's all. Ryu and Lucy enter and order their usual, and Burt tells them the café will be shut tomorrow - he'll be out watching the upcoming F-Zero race!

Clank realises he's never attended an F-Zero race with Burt, though the café owner claims it's just a personal matter. That must mean Burt has a hot date! He's shocked at this answer, but Ryu and Lucy quickly tell Clank not to interfere; this is a grown-up's only event.
That night, Clank is sleeping soundly in his room, but what he doesn't know...

... is that Burt is nowhere to be found.

At the stadium the next day, Clank is busy spying on the audience through his binoculars, eager to see what his boss is up to... and more importantly, what his girlfriend looks like! He spies Burt marching up the staircase - with an extra cup! - and sees him pass it on to a real babe. Pleased to see what he's up to, he resumes assisting Clash on repairs, missing Burt walking past the woman and further up the stairs. The drink was merely a gift between total strangers.

The Mute City Grand Prix is about to begin, and the Blue Falcon makes it to the starting grid just in time. Ryu greets him with respect, and the two are the first out of the starting line, eager to challenge each other once more.

Miss Killer isn't far behind, eager to please her doubting master, but the Dark Million grunts are tripping over themselves for a chance to tackle Ryu and the Captain. Baba approaches Ryu from the rear, but a quick strike from the Dragon Bird sends hurtling backwards, toppling over the Moon Shadow in the process.

Her machine konked out, Miss Killer can only watch in anguish as the Dragon Bird and Blue Falcon initiate their Boost Fire, putting up a furious fight for first place. In the end Ryu claims first place, and Clash and Clank couldn't be more chuffed.

The two winners (and Super Arrow!) are heaped with praise on the winners' podium, and are presented with flowers from race queens. Ryu is too caught up in the excitement to notice something peculiar with the race queen approaching him...

She presses a button on her bouquet and a piercing laser shoots out from between the roses - Captain Falcon shoves her and Ryu aside just in time, but takes a blast to his left shoulder. He slumps to the ground wounded, but Ryu chases after the race queen first of all.

That's no race queen - that's Miss Killer in a wig! The fellow Platoon members rush to Ryu's aid, but she fends them off with throwing knives. When normal heroes fails, that is the moment for superheroes to intervene! Super Arrow prepares to make a dynamic launch...

... only for Miss Killer to step on his cape, sending him crashing to the ground. She makes her escape as the ambulance arrives, Jack giving chase, but amidst the chaos Ryu turns to assess everything around him. Captain Falcon has vanished!

Ryu and Clank catch up to him in the stadium's parking lot, noticing his wound and demanding he go to a hospital, but the Captain zooms off without response.
In an unknown location, the Blue Falcon emerges from a warp gate and its pilot stumbles out, disappearing up an ominous staircase...

Clank returns to Falcon House that evening and enquires about Burt's date. He instead remarks what a surprise turn-out the race had, only to Clank to comment on Captain Falcon's attack after the race - why would he be on Dark Million's hitlist? Burt suddenly drops and shatters a cup across the ground, but expresses discomfort in his left shoulder while collecting the pieces. He claims to have pulled a muscle, and chooses to close early.

While researching Captain Falcon in his room, Clank hears strange noises from the hallway and nervously goes to investigate. He finds nothing, but reflects on what's seen and heard today - Captain Falcon hurt his shoulder at the race, and Burt's having trouble with his. He's watched races with Burt on television, but anytime he goes to the stadium he closes shop... and every match he watched with Burt, Captain Falcon did not attend!

... if that's the case, where does the Blue Falcon live? Clank decides to ask his boss directly, but finds the entire café is empty; Burt is nowhere to be found. Well, while he's down here, he might as well treat himself to some OJ...

But as he pulls out a bottle, he finds it's no standard bottle of fruit juice, it's a canister easily six feet long! Puzzled, he puts it back where he found it... only to hear a mechanical clunk. The fridge seals itself shut and slides out of sight, revealing a secret doorway behind it! Clank peeks within, finding an ominous staircase leading downwards... A secret basement!

More than a basement, this looks like a fortified hangar. The moment he steps through the door, the lights turn on and reveal a surprising sight: the Blue Falcon! Then that means his rescue by Captain Falcon and being taken in by Burt weren't just wild coincidences... A voice echoes from behind him: "I knew you'd figure it out."

Captain Falcon appears before Clank, still clutching his wounded shoulder before raising his visor. There's no doubt about it, Burt Lemming is Captain Falcon! But if that's the case, then that means he knew Clank's father, Roy Hughes, right? Falcon apologises for keeping up this lie; Roy was his best friend and the two of them were close comrades, though even he never knew his true identity for most of his life.

He won't reveal all just this moment, but he tells the boy this: his father was a brave man who sacrificed his life in the pursuit of justice. He was a deep cover spy among Dark Million's ranks, but that fateful day Falcon attacked one of their transport ships, he never knew the boy's father was aboard. While Roy gave his life to protect him from Zoda's assault, he finally deduced who Captain Falcon really was... Andy Summer!

The Captain clutches his shoulder and apologises once more for his veil of secrecy, but Clank owes his newfound life to the man. He would have remained a criminal hacker had he remained on Heru, and although his father is a cyborg and still undergoing repairs, he would never have escaped Dark Million's control if Falcon had not interfered. He's pleased to have had such a positive impact on the boy's life, but asks Clank to keep this a secret. He, and only he, knows Captain Falcon's true identity.

The next morning, Ryu and Lucy visit Falcon House to find Clank manning the counter, learning the ways of serving coffee. Ryu, however, is reflecting on yesterday's events - Captain Falcon risked his life for him. Concerned about the mysterious man's wellbeing, Clank assures him Falcon has a special little someone looking after him, though Lucy interprets this as the man having a girlfriend. He serves the two their coffee...

... and it tastes awful. Don't be so stingy on the beans, bro!

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: Peeps want to know where Burt lives! His home is located only a couple of stories up from Falcon House and features seven rooms, including a bedroom for Clank and guest bedrooms for Ryu and Jack. Ryu's is meticulously clean; Jack's is not.

Jack maintains his girlish voice for the "next episode" preview, pretending to be Haruka and revealing to Ryu she's actually a man. Ryu screams in terror. Keep it tasteful, Japan.