In an unknown location, footage of F-Zero races are replayed again and again, focusing on two pilots in particular: Captain Falcon and Ryu Suzaku. The screens illuminate the mysterious observer: Deathborn.
Ryu is given his wake-up call for his third consecutive day of training, and whizzes off in an instant. Since he heard he's the appointed savior of the galaxy he's been pushing his driving skills to the absolute limit, training harder and harder in his quest to slam evil. Jack and Lucy are worried about his health, but the group are summoned to the chief's office for even bigger news.
The F-Zero committee has proposed a duel between Ryu and Black Shadow! The group are quick to remind him how sketchy this is, but Ryu believes it to be destiny; he's in no position to back away from it. Jack grabs him by the shoulders and calls him out on his attitude; he may be fighting for good and all, but a little self-care wouldn't hurt! Ryu remains determined to defeat Black Shadow...
... but his fatigue is overpowering and he collapses in Jack's arms. He wakes up hours later in the hospital, and the moment he tries to rise Jack is there to shove him down. He's in no health to go traipsing about, and besides, the rest of the Platoon are working hard for his cause: the Dragon Bird is getting repairs, the race track is being scouted and Clank is digging up all he can find on Black Shadow.
Ryu is still eager to get up, but Jack puts a hand over his mouth. Just because he's the savior doesn't mean he can rise to the task in an instant; fighting Dark Million has been a group effort all this time, and until he's well enough he can count on the others to do the heavy lifting. Ryu thanks him. Jack calls him an idiot.
Meanwhile, Dr. Stewart and Jody are discussing what little info they've gathered...
... when they find Jack in the observation room. He lets them know of Ryu's condition, and how the man has never been used to relying on the support of others... but how long can it last? The enemies and organisations they're up against are massive, their help would only hinder him but Ryu couldn't take them on alone! Jody assures him that Ryu will not be alone in his fight.
Aboard Dark Million's headquarters, Miss Killer hears of Black Shadow's duel and ponders what he could be scheming. She tries to follow after him, but he declares he has no need for her today.
The stadium is packed with excited fans awaiting the duel between the heavy hitters of F-Zero racing... including Don Genie, who remarks to Berserker that the race won't be the most exciting part of today's event.
The Platoon are there to give Ryu support, Jody even going so far as to say Captain Falcon will be rooting for him - and if he leaves Ryu with all the responsibility, he's entitled to thump him. Ryu remarks that'd be tough if the man's dead.
The race begins, and all parties are watching with great interest - Don Genie, Berserker, Deathborn, Miss Killer...
The Dragon Bird takes the lead, but the Black Bull batters him out of first place and takes it for himself. Ryu returns the gesture, but the Black Bull is so tough that he injures himself more than his enemy; Clank informs him that he'll never make a dent in the machine's hull. The Dragon Bird catches a boost pad and overtakes him on the corner - all that armour means the Black Bull's cornering leaves much to be desired.
Not that Black Shadow has any interest in outmatching his opponents - he prefers to annihilate them! He Spin Boosters towards Ryu with his Black Fire technique, and Ryu performs his own to stay ahead. The two machines are at equal speeds when their machines clash, causing a flash of blinding light - a burst of energy from the Reactor Might!
Just when it looks like they've vanished, the two machines emerge from the light; Black Shadow's attack didn't work. The two have exhausted their Spin Boosters, but the Dragon Bird has the speed advantage; there's no way his foe could catch up at this rate!
Only for the Black Bull to use its Spin Booster again.
The Platoon are aghast - but that's impossible! A machine can only endure one Spin Booster per race! Black Shadow reveals his machine has two Reactor Mights installed in his Black Bull; one in each horn. He quickly catches up to the Dragon Bird and slams into it, throwing it right off the track.
The Platoon mobilise in an attempt to rescue Ryu as the chief exits his viewing chamber, only to find Don Genie, Berserker and a fleet of Dark Soldiers barring his exit. They claim the race isn't over, and the Platoon can only watch as the Black Bull produces a portal in the air, flying into it...
... and towing the Dragon Bird along with him! So that was his plan all along! Clank is quick to get a tracker on the Dragon Bird's position and Jody heads out to rescue him, but witnesses the chief being held hostage. Don Genie taunts her before departing, leaving Berserker to handle things from here. Once the Don is out of sight, the bodyguard lets go of the chief...
... and disables all the robots in an instant. The two try to ask Berserker who he really is, but he too makes a hasty exit.
Ryu finds himself in a strange space station, ensnared in a glowing web when Black Shadow approaches... and Don Genie as well! He demands to know where he is. Why, this is where they govern the decisions of the F-Zero committee!
The committee's funding comes from Don Genie, but Black Shadow is the real head of the organisation! He wishes to have Ryu under his power; after all, even the power of the Reactor Mights are unmatched by that of the savior of the galaxy. Ryu's obviously not going to join under his own volition, but that's not an issue: Black Shadow reveals a containment pod designd to erase the memories of anyone within it. He's had great success using it on Miss Killer.
Now he's really mad! Ryu tears out of the web and raises his pistol, but the two villains shrug off his threat and have Deathborn lift him up and toss him in the pod. It fills with green liquid that Black Shadow explains will slowly erase his memories until he's nothing but a blank slate. His long and lonely battle is over. He should take a load off.
Ryu is almost willing to give in, but voices of his friends and allies drift into his thoughts. He is not alone. Every step he has taken along this path has been for the sake of the people he loves and cherishes; he can't fail them now, and they would never fail him. Even in Dark Million's headquarters, Miss Killer is praying for Ryu's safe return.
A roar of defiance bellows from Ryu's lungs, and the Reactor Might within his Dragon Bird also gives him strength - enough to shatter the pod he's in! He calls his machine's name and it comes bursting through the wall, allowing him to hop in and make his escape.
Black Shadow summons the Black Bull to block his exit; did he think he could escape unaided? Speak of the devil, another machine bursts through the chamber walls - it's Berserker in the Red Bull! It skims past the three villains before revealing its true colours...
All this time the Red Bull has been a cover-up for the Blue Falcon...!
The three villains are bamboozled by his surprise reappearance, and can do naught but stare in awe. Captain Falcon gives Ryu the signal, and the two initiate their Spin Boosters, carrying them through the air and right out of the station into space. Don Genie blames a "miscalculation" for this massive oversight.
While aboard the Galaxy Runner looking for Ryu, they receive a message from the man himself: he's safe, he's on his way back... and he's bringing a friend with him. The group rush to the windows and can't believe their eyes: it's the Falcon Flyer! The two ships join courses and make their way back to Earth.
Ryu pays a long overdue visit to Falcon House, and finds a familiar face waiting for him... Burt Lemming.
While brewing up Ryu's order, Burt explains that he had infiltrated the F-Zero committee after hearing of its rising criminal influence, and laments having left Clank alone for so long. Ryu has a lot to tell him as well, they haven't spoken in so long - Burt tells him they've got all the time in the world to catch up.
And it's pilot? Why, beneath that cloak lies the familiar face of Captain Falcon!
Burt's F-Zero Classroom: No questions today, Burt spends the whole segment gushing over Falcon's return.
The scene of Deathborn and his ring of monitors might be a reference to an early trailer for F-Zero GX, where he uses a similar setup to also snoop on Captain Falcon.
Super Arrow and Mrs. Arrow make a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo among the stadium audience. That's the last appearance Mrs. Arrow makes, and we won't hear a peep from Super Arrow again until the series epilogue!
Ryu's gun now says either "GORUGAIA" or "GORUGAL4".