LAP 40
Coffee Break

Ryu, Jack and Lucy are running their latest race on Meteor Stream, and the existence of the Galaxy Mobile Platoon has gone public - the three of them (and more!) are part of a secret police organisation designed to stop criminals from profitting from F-Zero. The three take all three leading positions as they cross the finish line, and Mr. Zero sums up their reception to Ryu Suzaku: "It doesn't matter if he's a racer or an officer, he's a hero!"

On the podium, Jack notices Ryu struggling to keep his smile up for the entire ovation. They hit the showers back on the Galaxy Runner as he tells him his own plights of fame; sure, being a superstar can be troublesome, but he never tires of the excitement. What has he got to be grouching about anyway?

Oh, only the second revival of his archnemesis; the looming threat of a greater evil; his hero being sucked into a vortex of death; and an ongoing enigma surrounding the loss, whereabouts and true identity of his girlfriend...

Well, pouting ain't gonna solve it! Ryu thanks his friend for his emotional support and steps into the hallway, gazing out the window and finding himself awestruck by the sights outside:

Billions upon billions of stars, each farther away than he can possibly imagine. A titanic warp gate, towering even in space, allowing vessels to transport to just about anywhere in the galaxy in a matter of seconds - a feat once thought impossible now used everyday on an ordinary commute. And the Earth! In his day, only a handful from a population of billions would ever see the Earth from the space, and now everyone has that luxury.

Jack instantly blowdries his hair with a helmet shaped like an elephant, and Ryu is just as entranced - he never had that in the year 2051! He tests it out excitedly and just has to try it out on Clank as well, who does not approve. EAD brings the two their coffee, with milk and sugar for Ryu. Jack scoffs at the notion of putting those in coffee.

Ryu also finally realises what a thrill it is to have a robot as a workmate, and asks him all sorts of questions: can he fly? What do his insides look like? EAD says it's a secret. Jack finally recognises Ryu's sense of whimsy, and the moment the Galaxy Runner docks, he'll show him all the sweet stuff the year 2202 has to offer! Jody isn't so sure, but Dr. Stewart tells her to lighten up - they could do with a breather once in a while.

Back on Earth, Ryu and Jack hit the high street and visit every shop they can. They try on futuristic fashion, ogle incomprehensible contraptions, try out some exotic fruit, and even fawn over some alien pets.

This is such a change of pace; in his own time, all Ryu did in his free time was do the laundry and eat ready meals. Another curiosity catches his eye: a bicycle dispenser! You mean these old things are still around? That won't be enough to carry all their shopping, so Jack summons a floating robot that carries their groceries straight home for them, allowing them to continue shopping unhindered. What a convenience!

And the aliens! Streets full of creatures from other planets and machines made to serve man! What a world! What an age! Clank catches up with the two, having also been given some off-time, just in time for Ryu to make the outrageous suggestion that F-Zero machines aren't that different from common cars.

Clank goes full beardo and goes "um, actually," F-Zero machines hover slightly above the ground thanks to their Gravity Drives; they determine where the centre of the planet is and make calculations so they can move smoothly across any terrain, no matter how rough. God, talk about fake F-Zero pilots. Son of a bitch probably doesn't even know what spaceflying is. Freakin' pleb.

The group find themselves surrounded by fans, so decide to retreat back to Falcon House and order some brewskis. Clank brings up the subject of music, and Jack immediately finds a music video he wants to show to them, wiring it to the café's television. Clank recoils at the sight of it.

It's a trifle flamboyant.

Jack explains this was from his stint in a boy band, before he was a hooligan and before Jody invited him to the Platoon. Of all the people to ask, Clank grumbles. Ryu is absolutely mesmerised by the video, and gets uppity when anyone blocks his view. "So handsome."

The two get their coffees and Jack gets on Ryu's case again for the sugar and milk fiasco. What is he, twelve?! Ryu tries desperately to make him try it, but Levin resists so hard the sugar flies over Ryu's face. Why doesn't he behave like a man and take his coffee black?! The two set to bickering over which of them is more mature, before being reduced to calling each other fatties.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Runner ejects its F-Zero machines and lands, its components splitting apart and re-combining in new configurations...

... before the machines enter the separate components as they combine to the main hull, interlocking and unfolding in weird and wonderful ways...

... until the machine has finally completed its transformation! No longer the Galaxy Runner, this is an F-Zero gestalt mecha!!

Clash and Lucy show their design to Jody with great gusto... but unfortunately, this robot is far beyond what the Platoon could possibly afford, not to mention its very existence probably breaks a number of laws. Clank rushes in to request Jody's assistance; Ryu and Jack are still getting at each other like a couple of five year olds.

So much for a vacation! The two don't even want a holiday anymore if they have to stand stand the sight of each other. Even the sight of the F-Zero gestalt gets Ryu hot and bothered - "Why does Jack get the head?!" Whoever has the most victories deserves that position! The two fume at each other some more.

High above Mute City, the F-Zero stadium descends and unfolds into its traditional ship, setting up position for its latest race on the Multiplex course.

Bio Rex and Octoman are using their day off to perform some time trials, and having a relaxing time of it. Unfortunately for them, the Dragon Bird and Astro Robin came rumbling onto the course, blasting the two out of their lounge chairs...

... and off the leaderboards!

Word of Jack and Ryu's feud has spread fast, and even Jack's girl fans have expressed concern; should the Galaxy Mobile Platoon break up their fight? Lucy assures Clank that the two are always scrapping, this is hardly anything new... though the fact they refuse to even look at each other before the race tells a lot.

The grand prix begins and Jack is the first out of the starting grid, though Ryu is gonna fight him for first place. The two battle their way through the right-angle turns...

... but Ryu gains a lead with a boost pad, helping him soar over the high jump. Jack isn't going to give up... and neither are Bio Rex and Octoman, who are slowly catching up!

A surprise attack from the Astro Robin sends the Dragon Bird into the slow-down zone, making his machine grind and wobble as he's overtaken by the rest of the pack. The baddies can't believe their luck; if only those two fought each other in every race!

Ryu recovers with a boost, taking him ahead of his opponents and allowing him to snag a jump pad, sending him flying over Jack's machine and into the lead!

The two run parallel again before Ryu slams Jack back just to make it equal. Reluctant to leave it there, the two machines keep up banging and thrashing each other, neither one willing to give up... not even as they run the right-angle corners again!

Mr. Zero can't get enough of these hot-blooded antics, and Octoman and Bio Rex find their chance to slip by the warring duo with ease. Clank turns to the others for support; it really doesn't look like their participants are going to win this race.

The battle gets even more violent when the Dragon Bird slams the Astro Robin into a minefield, damaging his machine and slowing him down. Only now does the announcer point out that today's winner will receive an extra-special reward, so Jack slams Ryu into another minefield as payback; he's not letting him claim that prize!

Ryu sets his boost to maximum, but Jack is waiting for him with a spin attack... only for both machines to get wrecked, land in a minefield and get blown right off the course.

The Dark Million lackeys yuk it up as they land another easy victory, but there's one machine they hadn't been paying attention to... the Great Star! EAD boosts between the two of them, knocking off-balance...

... allowing two other racers to knock into them and send them flying off the course. EAD takes first place!

Meanwhile, Jack and Ryu are still bickering even while suspended in the safety nets.

Released from their machines and pouting on the sidewalk, the two finally realise they'd forgotten what they were warring over in the first place, and begin laughing together. Jody calls them up to shout at them for their behaviour, but Jack shoots her down - EAD won, so their mission was a success. Hey, they said they didn't want a vacation, but can they have one now? After all, this might be their last holiday in a long time, so they might as well have fun. Jack begins calling the shots on where they should go, and Ryu isn't sure if he wants to follow along anymore...

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: If he won a race then he deserves some attention: who created EAD? The robot was designed by a third-party company to be a replica of Dr. Shigeru Kyupon (シーゲル・キューポン博士), whose nickname was EAD. His boots have jets to help him perform high jumps and he boasts great strength, but Burt claims he's not as strong as Ryu (CAN RYU LIFT A FUCKING CAR!?!?!?) EAD was created on November 21st 2201, so mark your birthday calendars!

This episode introduces a new set of animated eyecatches: one of Ryu leaping from the Dragon Bird, and another of Captain Falcon standing proud. The opening and ending animations have a few new chunks of animation, though the songs remain unchanged. (most frustratingly, Super Arrow appears in the opening even though his two remaining appearances are extremely small cameos. the teases!)

This episode features a unique title card, with the episode's name forming out of some coffee foam.

Jack's music career was last alluded to in Burt's F-Zero Classroom way back in episode 14. Also, I'd love it if someone could transcribe the lyrics!

The female spectators are Lucy's gal pals, last seen all the way back in episode 2!

The Multiplex course is lifted right out of F-Zero GX's Ruby Cup, and the chronology of hazards Jack and Ryu encounter are just like the game: the right-angle turns, the high jump, the slow-down zone and the bombs, plus the jump pad at the beginning of each lap.