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EPISODE 17:
DEATH IN THE DEMONIC CASTLE IN THE SKY (PART 1)

ORIGINAL AIRDATE:
23/10/1986
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SYNOPSIS

Gadess is growing tired of the delay in finding the Hyribead. Diondra tells of a legend on Cronos of a leader named Lord Borun who may be using it. Much to her displeasure Grujios is given charge of finding him, boosted by part of Gadess' own power that gives him the ability to raise the dead. He revives several captains previously defeated by Rom - Kina and Korol, Bifa, Shaben and Jingi - and sends them to defeat the travellers. Leina and Jim are resting at the settlement of Elie, home of Borun. Rom, Jet and Drill have made an early start on the next leg of their journey with Borun himself when Grujios and his minions arrive. They knock out Jim and mistake Leina for Borun's daughter Carlina as the pair are wearing matching veils. He leaves a message for Borun - tell the Gyandlar the secret of the Hyribead before daybreak or he will kill her - and takes Leina to the Sky Castle, a leftover fortress from wars involving Elie converted by Grujios. Leina is able to transmit a telepathic message to Rom. The warriors rush back and receive Grujios' message from Jim. Borun claims to know nothing about the Hyribead, but provides Rom with plans of the castle. Jet and Drill set off to find reinforcements to help storm the castle and create a distraction while Rom rescues Leina. Jim and Carlina insist on accompanying Rom, feeling responsible for Leina's situation. Carlina has a golden key that belongs to her father which she says will open some of the castle's doors.

Grujios dispatches a mist to detain Rod's Battle Tribe team in the desert but Jet's Jet Tribe team provides enough of a distraction to allow Rom, Jim and Carlina to enter the castle. Bifa stands in his way, now undead and seemingly indestructible. The key activates, telling Rom how to defeat him and they continue into the castle. Next they face Shaben, who is defeated by Kenryû - only for Bifa to suddenly appear again alongside him. Outside the castle Rod's team finally arrives after travelling underground but Jet's troops soon find themselves deadlocked with the Gyandlar guards before being attacked by fake versions of Rom, Jim and Carlina. Back inside Carlina's key opens a gateway, allowing her, Kenryû and Jim to escape from Bifa and Shaben - unaware that Grujios is watching their every move.


NOTES

Apparently Cronos Tribe robots can be knocked out by a rabbit punch to the chest. Rom uses the Fist of Heaven Shot Fist - an attack that fires a huge invisible blast from his fist. All of the Gyandlar have been featured in previous episodes - the Devil Satan 6 were ongoing heavies for the first few episodes but this is their first appearance since "Jet! Defeat the Double Death Blade!". Black/Number 96 was killed in "The Legend of the Elmedia Hero". Shaben was destroyed in "Hot Fight at Absolute Zero" and Bifa in "The Rock People and the Mysterious Dragon".

The reinforcements drill gathers include Combat Buggy (from "Pledging Love on the Great River"), Vilion and a Missile Robo (most likely the same unnamed one seen with Vilion in Yearn City during "Defeat Bug, the User of Darkness"). Jet's troops are a Falcon Robo, a Blackbird Robo and a Harrier Robo - all three have been seen in random cameos earlier in the series but it should probably be remembered that Blackbird Robo's appearance ended with his face melting before anyone gets excited. The episode features a new animation for the summoning of Kenryû.


TRIVIA

Cronos Tribe Featured: Leina Stol, Rom Stol, Carlina, Borun

Battle Tribe Featured:
Triple Jim, Rod Drill, Combat Buggy, Vilion, Missile Robo.

Jet Tribe Featured: Blue Jet, Falcon Robo, Blackbird Robo, Harrier Robo.

Gyandlar Featured: Grujios, Gadess, Diondra, Devil Satan 6, Kina, Korol, Jingi, Bifa, Shaben.

Anime Clichés: The new Kenryû sequence is rather long.

Errors: Rom, Jet and Drill leave Leina and Jim to catch up with them - was that ever going to end in a scenario that didn't involve the pair of them being captured? Shouldn't Jim recognise Grujios? The Jet Tribe/Devil Satan 6 battle sequence uses obvious recycled footage within a few minutes.


REVIEW

Wow, where did that come from? A slight premise for sure, but the continuity-laden cast is very interesting after so many largely inconsequential standalone episodes. On top of this more is crammed into this episode than the previous five, despite it being the first installment in a two-parter.

A long overdue improvement. There're even Machine Robo in it.