So Close Yet So Far, entitled The Darkness of the Kaiba Family in the Japanese version, is the 119th episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! television series. It first aired in Japan on August 20, 2002 and in the United States on March 20, 2004.
The Duel between Yugi Muto and Noah Kaiba comes to a close, with Yugi the victor, but their troubles are far from over, as the gang must now contend with the true mastermind behind all their ordeals in the Virtual World: Gozaburo Kaiba.
With the three "Blue-Eyes White Dragons" having launched their triple Direct Attack, Yugi wins the Duel against Noah and wins the freedom of Kaiba, Mokuba, and the rest of the gang from stone. Noah realizes that he'd lost because Yugi has what Seto has: the courage to never give up, even when the situation seemed hopeless.
Left alone in the Virtual World for six years after his accident, Noah felt that his father, Gozaburo, forgot him upon Seto's arrival into the Kaiba family. Because of this, he blames his stepbrother for robbing him of his birthright of ownership of the family company, and he intends to take revenge by escaping to the real world. He targets Yugi and tries to possess him by force but is thwarted when he discovers that not one, but two souls inhabit Yugi's body. The "other Yugi" forces Noah to back out, but not before he discovers that their minds have also been digitized into the virtual prison.
Moments later, Gozaburo Kaiba reveals his own virtual self to Noah and the gang and explains the story behind Kaiba's adoption: initially, Kaiba was to become a replacement body for Noah's digitized mind, but Gozaburo later determined that Seto's mind was perfectly good and realized that even though Noah would have a body, his son would never truly grow up and would always remain a spoiled brat in spirit. Gozaburo turned his attention toward training Kaiba into becoming the businessman who would someday inherit KaibaCorp.
Kaiba's takeover of the company ruined Gozaburo's plans. Humiliated, he uploaded his mind into Noah's virtual world and was never seen in the real world again. As the mastermind behind the events drawing Kaiba and the gang to the virutal world, Gozaburo unveils his new plan: to destroy the entire real world and trap everyone's mind in Virtual Reality using the global networking idea that Noah had conceived six years previously. In being uploaded to the virtual world, the population of Earth would essentially become immortal, and Gozaburo would be the powerful ruler of the new world. Noah realizes for the first time that, although Gozaburo promised to help him claim his birthright when he uploaded his own mind to the virtual world, he was actually just using Noah and The Big Five all along.
Noah leads everyone to a door which he claims is the exit. Instead of entering the real world, they each become trapped in their memories until they realize they've been tricked and return to a virtual Domino City. Noah takes Mokuba to the virtual Domino City arcade where the real exit is. He takes possession of Mokuba's body and escapes to the real world.
Featured Duel: Yami Yugi vs. Noah Kaiba - Part 3
Differences in adaptations
- In the original version, Noah didn't know that Gozaburo digitized his mind into the virtual world while he was aware of it in the English version.
- In the original version, Gozaburo said that the missile satellite that was in space was actually from the secret underwater base, while in the dub he said that the satellite was one of many things he made when he was in charge of KaibaCorp.
- In the original version, Noah said that KaibaCorp's weapon stockpiles could wipe out 97% of the human race within the span of 30 days. In the dub, he had instead found a way to upload the Virtual World into every computer on the planet.
- In the original version, Gozaburo said that he would use the missiles of the satellite to destroy all life on Earth, while in the dub he planned to digitize the entire human race with the satellite.