"Darkness Dawns", known as "The United Front with Dark Astral - Challenge to the Shadow Giant!!" in the Japanese version, is the eighty-ninth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL anime. If first aired in Japan on February 3, 2013 and in the United States on November 30, 2013.
Yuma, now knowing Ray's true identity as a member of the "Barian Cosmic Crime Unit", decides to investigate the Barians with Ray, leaving Astral in the dark about it. On the other hand, Astral investigates his memories in the Emperor's Key to find out what he can about the Barians and runs into Number 96! A gigantic black shadow looms towards Astral, as he refuses to accept Number 96's rants that "Astral requires evil". When the voice's master says "thou must be tested", Yuma and Astral are challenged to a Duel.
Yuma and Ray are exploring the rooms Alito and Girag used as their hideout. As they survey the discarded cups and snack wrappers, Yuma comments that Alito and Girag haven't appeared at all recently and wonders if they fled. Addressing Yuma as "Detective", Ray tells him to be careful with his words - Ray is the officer and Yuma is his subordinate (in the dub, Ray tells Yuma to leave the investigation to him, while addressing Yuma as "Junior Deputy Yuma"). Yuma asks if he's joking and Ray continues that depending on how things go, Yuma may get a "Rank-Up" (in the dub, Ray tells Yuma that since he's a rookie, he has to keep his opinions to himself). Ray holds out an ID badge with the words "Barian's Guardian" written on it (in the dub, the words are replaced with stars). Yuma thinks it's really cool and Ray asks how Astral is holding up. Clasping the Emperor's Key, Yuma says he hasn't come out since the Duel with Girag concluded. He speculates that Astral is still healing. Ray reminds him that his business must be kept secret, even from Astral. Yuma says he dislikes keeping secrets, but Ray says it's all for Astral's sake as well, ending by calling Yuma "Detective" again (in the dub, Ray adds that this is an order). Excited, Yuma salutes and calls him "Officer Shingetsu" (in the dub, Yuma says, "Yes sir, sir! Understood!").
Within the ship in the Emperor's Key, Astral lies in a Sphere Field, thinking about the powerful Over-Hundred "Numbers" that the Barians have used, that can even transform into "Number C" monsters. With their current power, he knows there's no guarantee he and Yuma will win next time they encounter the Barians (in the dub, Astral thinks that he and Yuma will not be able to beat the Barians until he finds a way to get stronger). Hearing something, Astral floats upright and the Sphere Field vanishes. All of the "Number" pillars are glowing and Astral wonders if they're trying to tell him something. Number 96 appears behind him, commenting that his fight against the Barians doesn't seem to be going too well. Astral insists that Number 96's power was sealed. Number 96 says that's true, but it doesn't mean he will obey Astral (in the dub, Number 96 states that Astral was wrong about seeing the last of him). He suggests that Astral allow him to lend his powers against the Barians. Astral responds that he'd never borrow power from someone like Number 96. Laughing, Number 96 says Astral has yet to recover the true memories of the "Numbers". He suggests Astral try to listen again - to him and the other "Numbers". (in the dub, Number 96 says that he knows that Astral has been stumbling around in the dark, and reasserts that Astral does not have the strength to fight the Barians alone--he needs Number 96's help) Number 96 insists that wherever there is light, there is also darkness, vanishing.
In class, Yuma holds the Emperor's Key and mutters Astral's name a few times. Tori asks what he's doing and Yuma says that Astral just won't emerge. (in the dub, Tori asks Yuma why it can't wait until after class, with the latter responding that he can't) Suddenly, Yuma leaps to his feet and asks to go to the infirmary. Back in the Key, Astral says he's collected fifty "Numbers" so far. He wonders if there truly are memories still sealed in them that he's not recovered. He raises an arm towards them and is suddenly taken to the Door. (in the dub, Astral is disturbed by the sudden reappearance of Number 96. He also thinks that he wants to make sense of it all, but his mission is as mysterious as ever) The Door says that he is the one who will test Astral. The latter wonders what that means and the Door responds that he'll be tested to see if he is worthy of the other memories - everything can continue from there if he passes. (in the dub, Astral's memories aren't mentioned, but the Door mentions that Astral's time has come.) The Door vanishes and Astral appears on the top of the ship within the key, a large figure (the Duel readout identifies him as the Shadow Giant, though he is not otherwise named) across from him. Speaking as though he is more than one entity, the Shadow Giant states that "we" will test Astral with a Duel (in the dub, the Shadow Giant speaks as if he was a single entity).
In the infirmary, Yuma stands with Ray and Tori, the Emperor's Key tucked into a nearby bed. Ray asks what's he doing and Yuma says Astral hasn't come out of the key at all, so he must be sick (in the dub, Ray did not say anything at this point). His eyes wide, he asks if Astral is alright and offers to get him some medicine (in the dub, he offers to ask the nurse to take his temperature). Incredulous, Tori begins to say something, but Ray interrupts and tells her to calm down (in the dub, Tori tells Yuma to calm down, while Ray reassures Yuma that everything will be okay). Suddenly, electricity crackles, the Key begins to glow and Yuma is pulled into it, leaving Ray and Tori to wonder what happened. Yuma, surrounded in red energy, floats through a yellow portal, landing with another pulse of energy on top of the ship next to Astral.
Seeing Astral, Yuma realizes he's inside the Key. Astral confirms that and Yuma asks why he's there. Pointing to the Shadow Giant, he says that he probably called Yuma here (in the dub, Yuma asks if Astral brought him inside the Key, but Astral says that it was the Shadow Giant who did it). Yuma asks who the Giant is is, but Astral doesn't know - he suddenly appeared when Astral tried to absorb the memories from the "Numbers" (in the dub, Astral says that he must be tested by the Shadow Giant to further his mission). Yuma asks if he's a Barian, but Astral says no, adding that it seem they must Duel him regardless. Lightning strikes in the space around the Key and the Shadow Giant says he'll test them. Yuma says he doesn't know what's going on, but arms his D-Pad and D-Gazer anyway.
The Shadow Giant says that through suffering, they will either get stronger or be crushed (in the dub, the Shadow Giant asks how well Yuma can overcome adversity--can he overcome it, or be destroyed by it?). The Shadow Giant takes the first turn and Normal Summons "Bubble Breeder". Sending another "Bubble Breeder" from his hand to the Graveyard, he Special Summons a third copy from his hand via its effect. Finally, he plays "Monster Reborn" to Special Summon the third "Bubble Breeder". Yuma says he has three monsters all at once (in the dub, Yuma comments that the Shadow Giant isn't fooling around) and the Shadow Giant overlays his three Level 4 monsters to Xyz Summon "Unformed Void" in Attack Position. Yuma comments it has 0 ATK, but Astral says he must be up to something, so Yuma should be cautious.
The Shadow Giant activates a Field Spell Card, "Overlay World". He reveals that at each End Phase, players who do not control an Xyz Monster will take 500 damage and that any destroyed Xyz Monsters will be banished instead of sent to the Graveyard. The Shadow Giant ends his turn and green lightning strikes Yuma and Astral, inflicting 500 damage as they lack an Xyz Monster. Yuma begins his turn, vowing he won't lose. Astral suggests they go "full power". Yuma Normal Summons "Dododo Warrior" without Tribute via its effect by reducing its ATK by 500. Then, he activates "Fourcing", letting him send a card in his hand to the Graveyard to Special Summon a Level 4 monster from his hand. He sends "Ganbara Lancer" to the Graveyard to Special Summon "Gagaga Magician" in Attack Position. Then, he activates "Monster Reborn", Special Summoning "Ganbara Lancer" from his Graveyard in Attack Position. Astral reveals that it can be treated as two Overlay Units, so they overlay it to Xyz Summon "Number 61: Volcasaurus" in Attack Position.
Astral urges him to Summon another "Number". Yuma agrees and activates the effect of "Gagaga Magician", changing its Level to 6. Yuma overlays "Dododo Warrior" and "Gagaga Magician" to Xyz Summon "Number 6: Chronomaly Atlandis" in Attack Position. Astral says they that should finish the Duel as soon as possible (in the dub, Yuma says he and Astral can get the upper hand; Astral agrees and says that the time to act is now). Yuma activates the effect of "Atlandis", detaching an Overlay Unit to halve his opponent's Life Points. As Yuma declares "Orichalcum Gate", a wave of purple energy washes over the Shadow Giant, dropping him to 2000 Life Points. Yuma is excited they inflicted so much damage - and they've not even attacked yet.
The Shadow Giant reveals the effect of "Unformed Void". By detaching an Overlay Unit, it will gain ATK equal to the total ATK of all face-up Xyz Monsters the opponent controls. The eyes all over "Unformed Void" open and glow red, absorbing energy. Its ATK rises to 5100 as shadowy versions of "Atlandis" and "Volcasaurus" appear chained by the eyes. Yuma says the Duel will still be won now and activates the effect of "Volcasaurus". He detaches an Overlay Unit to destroy "Unformed Void" and inflict damage to the Shadow Giant equal to its ATK. Yuma declares "Magma Max" and says this is the end, but Astral says it won't work. The lava plume that "Volcasaurus" shoots simply dissolves. The Shadow Giant reveals that "Overlay World" prevents the destruction of Xyz Monsters by card effects. With that, Yuma is forced to end his turn.
The Shadow Giant begins his turn, declaring an attack on "Atlandis" with "Unformed Void". Astral tells him that "Numbers" won't be destroyed by battle except with other "Numbers", but the Shadow Giant counters, saying that "Unformed Void" negates card effects that prevent destruction when it battles. Astral says that's impossible and Yuma mutters "Atlandis". The shadowy forms of "Volcasaurus" and "Atlandis" launch attacks, which destroy "Atlandis" and drops Yuma to 1000 Life Points. Yuma is shocked at how terribly strong their opponent is (in the dub, Yuma says that the Shadow Giant can counter every move he and Astral make, while Astral mutters that he and Yuma are not strong enough). As Astral thinks about what to do next, the laughter of Number 96 is heard.
Behind them, Number 96 appears, commenting on what an interesting predicament they're in (in the dub, Number 96 says that Yuma and Astral cannot win without the one thing they lack--his help). Number 96 states that their opponent is there to test their worthiness to wield the "Numbers". Number 96 says that Astral's already realized the answer - without using Number 96's power, they won't be able to win. Yuma asks if that's true and Number 96 insists that without him, they don't have enough power. They need his malice, his hate and his anger - his heart of darkness (anger, envy and malice in the dub). Yuma asks why they would need something like that (in the dub, Yuma declares that he and Astral do not need those negative emotions and never will). Number 96 tells Astral he'd be willing to lend him his aid if Astral would just release him (in the dub, Number 96 tells Astral to think about his decision before turning him down again). Number 96 vanishes, saying that this isn't the human world, so he wonders what will happen to Yuma if they lose. Yuma tells him not to listen - Astral doesn't need an evil heart. Yuma draws, Sets a monster and switches "Volcasaurus" to Defense Position. The Shadow Giant declares the effect of "Unformed Void" - detaching an Overlay Unit, the ATK of "Unformed Void" increases by that of "Volcasaurus" again. Another shadowy "Volcasaurus" appears, chained by the eyes of "Unformed Void", and its ATK rises to 7600. Astral tells Yuma to Set a card and he does so.
The Shadow Giant draws, then attacks and destroys "Volcasaurus" with "Unformed Void". He ends his turn then and Astral realizes the effect of "Overlay World" will hit them again now as they lack an Xyz Monster. Green lightning strikes them and their Life Points fall to 500 and Yuma is thrown onto the ground, sliding back a great deal. Astral realizes this will be their last turn - if they can't Xyz Summon, they'll lose. Seeing Yuma in pain on the ground and remembering Number 96's words of what might become of him, Astral makes a decision. Shouting to the sky, he says that Number 96 is released. Yuma protests against this decision. Raising his arm, Astral asks to receive its power. At the "Numbers" pillar, Number 96's card appears, chained. The chains break and Number 96 flies out of it, laughing. Yuma calls Astral an idiot and asks why he'd use that guy's power (in the dub, Yuma asks why Astral is teaming up with Number 96). Number 96 appears next to them and says that as promised, he'll help them win. He urges Yuma to Summon "his other self". Yuma simply says "you....", (in the dub, Yuma refuses to Summon the card) but Astral says they must win this Duel.
Yuma draws and Flip Summons his Set monster - "Magical Undertaker". Its Flip Effect activates, letting Yuma Special Summon a Level 4 or lower Spellcaster-Type monster from his Graveyard. He Special Summons "Gagaga Magician". As he has a DARK monster on his field, he Special Summons "Caligo Claw Crow" from his hand in Attack Position via its own effect. Yuma activates the effect of "Gagaga Magician", changing its Level to 2. Number 96 tells him he can do it if he really tries (in the dub, Number 96 instructs Yuma to Summon his card to ensure victory). Yuma is hesitant at first, but Astral tells him to do it. Yuma overlays his three Level 2 DARK monsters to Xyz Summon "Number 96: Dark Mist" in Attack Position. Number 96 says the "headliner" has appeared and that it will crush everything (in the dub, Number 96 laughs and says that Yuma's troubles are over).
Number 96 orders "Dark Mist" to attack "Unformed Void". He activates the effect of "Dark Mist", detaching an Overlay Unit to halve the ATK of "Unformed Void" and add it to that of "Dark Mist". Their ATKs become 3800 and 3900, respectively, as Dark Mist declares "Shadow Gain". Astral tells Yuma to use that Trap now and Yuma activates his face-down "Battle Restart". This prevents either player from taking battle damage, either monster from being destroyed, and allows "Dark Mist" to attack again. Number 96 activates the effect of "Dark Mist" again, dropping "Unformed Void" to 1900 and increasing "Dark Mist" to 5800. Number 96 says that with this, it will tear "Unformed Void" to shreds. He asks Astral if he understands yet - he needs Number 96's power - the power of evil, that is. The battle continues and Number 96 declares "Whiplash Whirlwind". The shadowy forms of "Volcasaurus" and "Atlandis" are hit in turn and explode before the attack finally reaches the eyes of "Unformed Void". Screaming, the Shadow Giant is thrown backwards and dissolves into nothingness as his Life Points fall to 0.
Yuma and Astral appear in front of the Door and Yuma says this is from his dreams. The Door urges Astral to remember his mission (in the dub, the Door says that Astral is worthy and all will be revealed). Yuma and Astral are suddenly floating through a blue tunnel and Astral speculates that the Door is showing them the path to his memories. His true memories are in front of them. As they emerge from the tunnel, they see a shining blue void, a gout of red energy rising from it. Astral says he remembers now - there is a card that documents everything that has happened in the world. Inside it is how the world developed and where it is heading. The two are now in front of a card-like object in Astral's memories, which swirls around into different forms. Astral says that the past and future are both written in it. The card is the fate of all the worlds and the power that decides everything. Astral insists that the world itself was born from this one card. It is the God Card that created the entire world - the Numeron Code. Astral says that the "Numbers" they have yet to collect holds its location and that his true mission is to find this card before the Barians do (in the dub, Astral says that as they collect "Numbers", they will learn of the Numeron Code's location).
Back in the infirmary, energy surrounds the Emperor's Key again and Yuma reappears. Ray and Tori are happy to see Yuma back safely. Astral appears as well and a black mist swirls out of from the Key. At its center is Number 96, who says that he'll remain released now, as they had agreed. He tells Astral to keep one thing in mind - he'll need the power of evil to fight against what he will soon face. Number 96 vanishes in another swirl of energy and Tori wonders what just happened. Later, Yuma explains things to Tori and Ray. Tori asks if Yuma and Astral had a Duel inside the Key and Yuma confirms it. He clarifies that form from earlier was Number 96 and that he escaped from the ship inside the Key. He then mentions the Numeron Code and Ray's eyes narrow. Tori asks what the Numeron Code is. Astral reflects on Number 96's words - that he may need evil in the the future. He wonders if Number 96 could be right.
Featured Duel: Yuma Tsukumo vs. Shadow Giant
Turn 1: Shadow Giant
Shadow Giant Normal Summons "Bubble Breeder" (0/0). He then activates the effect of another copy of "Bubble Breeder" in his hand, sending a third copy to the Graveyard to Special Summon (0/0) it. Next, he activates "Monster Reborn", Special Summoning "Bubble Breeder" (0/0) from his Graveyard in Attack Position. He overlays his three Level 4 monsters to Xyz Summon "Unformed Void" (0/0) in Attack Position. He activates the Field Spell Card "Overlay World", which will inflict 500 damage to any player who does not control an Xyz Monster during each End Phase. Also, Xyz Monsters on the field cannot be destroyed by card effects and the Xyz Monsters that are destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard are banished instead. At the End Phase, Yuma receives the effect damage from "Overlay World" (Yuma 4000 → 3500).
Turn 2: Yuma
Yuma Normal Summons "Dododo Warrior" (2300/900) without Tribute via its own effect by decreasing its ATK by 500 (2300 → 1800). He then activates "Fourcing", which allows him to Special Summon a Level 4 Spellcaster-Type monster from his hand at the cost of sending a card from his hand to the Graveyard. Yuma sends "Ganbara Lancer" to Special Summon "Gagaga Magician" (1500/1000) in Attack Position. Next, he activates "Monster Reborn", Special Summoning "Ganbara Lancer" (1000/2000) from his Graveyard in Attack Position. Since the effect of "Ganbara Lancer" allows it to be treated as two Overlay Units for an Xyz Summon, he overlays his one Level 5 monster to Xyz Summon "Number 61: Volcasaurus" (2500/1000) in Attack Position. He then activates the effect of "Gagaga Magician", changing its Level from 4 to 6. Yuma overlays his two Level 6 monsters to Xyz Summon "Number 6: Chronomaly Atlandis" (2600/3000) in Attack Position. Yuma activates the effect of "Atlandis", detaching an Overlay Unit ("Atlandis" ORU 2 → 1) to halve his opponent's LP (Shadow Giant 4000 → 2000). Shadow Giant activates the effect of "Unformed Void", detaching an Overlay Unit ("Unformed Void" ORU 3 → 2) to increase the ATK of "Unformed Void" by the combined ATK of all face-up Xyz Monsters his opponent currently controls (0 → 5100). Yuma activates the effect of "Volcasaurus", detaching the overlaid "Ganbara Lancer" ("Volcasaurus" ORU 1 → 0) to destroy one of his opponent's monsters and inflict damage equal to half its ATK, but the effect of "Overlay World" prevents Xyz Monsters from being destroyed by card effects.
Turn 3: Shadow Giant
"Unformed Void" attacks "Atlandis", with the effect of "Unformed Void" negating effects that prevent the destruction of monsters by battle. Therefore, "Atlandis" is destroyed even though "Unformed Void" is not a "Number" monster (Yuma 3500 → 1000).
Turn 4: Yuma
Yuma Sets a monster and changes "Volcasaurus" to Defense Position. Shadow Giant activates the effect of "Unformed Void", detaching an Overlay Unit ("Unformed Void" ORU 2 → 1) to increase its ATK by those of the Xyz Monsters Yuma controls (5100 → 7600). Yuma Sets a card.
Turn 5: Shadow Giant
"Unformed Void" attacks and destroys "Volcasaurus". During the End Phase, Yuma takes 500 damage from "Overlay World" as he controls no Xyz Monsters (Yuma 1000 → 500).
Turn 6: Yuma
Yuma Flip Summons "Magicial Undertaker" (400/400), activating its Flip Effect, Special Summoning a Level 4 or lower Spellcaster-Type monster from his Graveyard. He chooses "Gagaga Magician" (1500/1000). As he controls a DARK monster, he Special Summons "Caligo Claw Crow" (900/600) from his hand via its own effect. Yuma activates the effect of "Gagaga Magician", changing it to Level 2. He overlays his three Level 2 DARK monsters to Xyz Summon "Number 96: Dark Mist" (100/1000) in Attack Position. "Dark Mist" attacks "Unformed Void", with Yuma activating the effect of "Dark Mist", detaching an Overlay Unit ("Dark Mist" ORU 3 → 2) to halve the ATK of the monster its battling and gain an equal amount of ATK ("Dark Mist" 100 → 3900, "Unformed Void" 7600 → 3800). Yuma activates his face-down "Battle Restart", preventing both players from taking battle damage and both monsters from being destroyed by this battle, while also letting "Dark Mist" attack again. "Dark Mist" attacks "Unformed Void", with Yuma detaching an Overlay Unit ("Dark Mist" ORU 2 → 1) to activate the effect of "Dark Mist" again ("Dark Mist" 3900 → 5800, "Unformed Void" 3800 → 1900). "Dark Mist" destroys "Unformed Void" (Shadow Giant 2000 → 0).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.