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The Martin Empire (マルタン帝国 Marutan Teikoku?) is a fictional group of villains in the Japanese version of the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime series, appearing between episodes 106-130. The English dub does not name this group.
The Martin Empire's members serve as the main antagonists of first half of the series' third season, though the group's creator becomes the season's chief antagonist following the empire's downfall. The group's primary focus is to absorb Duel Energy from the students of Duel Academy by the usage of energy-draining bands on their wrists, which is then used to revive their leader, Yubel.
In the timeline of the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime, Professor Thelonius Viper was sent on a mission to another country to research an unspecified target following a personal tragedy, but the plane he and his companions were traveling aboard crashed, with Viper emerging the only survivor. Nonetheless, he carried out his objective and was successful in locating his target–the severed hand of the Duel Monster Yubel –which entered into a pact with him to cure his son's critical illness (in the original Japanese version of the anime, Viper's son is dead and Yubel promises to revive him).
From the onset of the third year, Viper calls for an exhibition match between Jaden Yuki and Jesse Andersen at Duel Academy. The two combatants were given special wristwatches known as Bio-Bands (Dis-Belts (デスベルト Desuberuto?) in the original Japanese language version), designed to measure emotions, intensity, concentration, and decision making during Duels. Their true function, however, is to sap Duel Energy from those that wear them following the end of a Duel, regardless of whether one defeats his opponent or not. This gathered energy is then transferred to a chamber within Viper's hideout, the lab where Wheeler was trained, to fuel his son's revival.
To jumpstart his project, Viper declares that students of all dormitories must participate in Surivival Duels (Disclosure Duels (デスクロージャーデュエル Desukurōjādyueru?, "Dis-Duels" for short) in the original Japanese language version),1 competitions wherein duelists are to carry Bio-Bands as means of assessing their fighting spirit. If a Bio-Band judges that a certain duelist lacks said fighting spirit, he or she will be demoted, and furthermore expelled if motivation does not improve. As a result of the Survival Duels, a large number of students are injured and hospitalized after having their Duel Energy absorbed.
Eventually, Viper's intentions begin drawing concern from Academy staff, and Jaden and co. set out to stop him. Tracking him to the lab in the jungle, the group is exposed to various sorts of traps and defenses installed to prevent its advance. Jaden would go on to face and defeat Viper, though Yubel ultimately amassed enough strength to hurl Duel Academy into an alternate dimension—a desert plane with three suns and resident Duel Monster spirits. Preying on the loneliness of Marcel, Yubel takes control of the boy's body and begins targeting the school's students and faculty, transforming many into zombie slaves to recruit more partners, and obtains the Sacred Beast Cards. However, Jesse Anderson succeeds in acquiring the Rainbow Dragon card and uses it to send the Academy and its students home, although he and Yubel remain behind.
During this time, Jaden and the Academy return to the dimension to search for Jesse and arrive in a different section of the dimension. While Jaden and the students battle the members of a Duel Monster empire, Jesse is possessed by Yubel. Intending to use Jesse as an avatar through which to secure the dimension in preparation for an evolution to a more powerful form, Yubel is opposed by Adrian Gecko, who challenges her for dominance even as Jaden rushes to challenge Yubel himself. Although Yubel was weakened a duel with Zane she had just previously had, she still beat Adrian, and recovered her strength in the process. However, when Jaden finally duels Yubel to save Jesse, it is revealed that Yubel actually removed Jesse's soul from his body and placed him inside the Rainbow Dragon before taking over. Although Jaden manages to free Jesse, Yubel escapes and duels Jaden herself.
As Jaden and Yubel dueled, Syrus, showing how much of a true friend to Jaden, follows suit after them and on the way Syrus ends up talking to Chazz Princeton, who was supposedly killed along with Alexis, Tyranno Hassleberry and Atticus. Chazz tells Syrus that albeit they disappeared in front of Jaden's eyes during a duel against Brron, the king of the Dark World, they weren't dead. They were sealed in alternative dimensions. The same thing had happened to Axel, Jim (who lost the duel against Jaden when he became Supreme King), Aster Phoenix (who lost his duel against Adrian Gecko) and Zane Truesdale (who lost his rematch against the Yubel-possessed Jesse).
During the final duel between Yubel and Jaden, Jaden understands that Yubel was a guardian spirit of Jaden when a reincarnated form of Jaden was apparently a prince of a kingdom. Yubel, deciding to be his guardian, transforms herself into the form that Jaden and the others see now. Syrus, who was watching the duel at the time, saw Jaden and Yubel disappear into what was the center of the 12 dimensions. But before Jaden disappeared, Jaden did his signature pose and promised that he would finish the duel and return when he "became a man". In the center of the dimensions Yubel activates a trap card that would allow her to destroy all the dimensions at once and Jaden at the same time. But Jaden, after realising that Yubel was doing all this to protect him, uses Super Polymerization to fuse not the monsters that Jaden and Yubel had on the field, but to fuse Jaden and Yubel souls together in order to become one. The duel supposedly ended in a draw and after this, most of the students who accompanies Jaden to the other dimension were sent back into the real world. Zane, Adrian, Bastion and Jaden didn't return when the others came back and are deemed missing. However, prior to Jaden's duel with Yubel, Bastion decides to stay in the alternate dimension with Tanya and her friends.
The following day, Syrus and the others all talk about the proud moments when they met Jaden, but Chazz gets reminded on how much he hated Jaden for beating him. As this was happening, Syrus ran off into the forest and remembered the scene of which got his last view of Jaden. But just at that moment, in which he wished for Jaden to return, a shooting star crashes onto Duel Academy island in which the star was actually Jaden returning. With Jaden returned Syrus ran up to him and in which the season comes to an end. After Yubel's defeat, Zane is found unconscious on Duel Academy's shores in the fourth season and is then brought to the infirmary to recuperate. Adrian's whereabouts are currently unknown.
Yubel (ユベル Yuberu?) is a Duel Monster spirit. In the English version, Yubel is voiced by Cassandra Morris, while Hisao Egawa and Hiromi Tsuru take the role in the Japanese version. She is female in the English version, but a hermaphrodite in the Japanese version. In the Dub, Yubel is often shown to be moody and arrogant, and its immaturity is shown through its speech and actions. In the Japanese version, her insanity overrides her logic to the point where she will disregard what people say to her, instead continuing with her own unstable dialogue.
Yubel is the mastermind behind the Survival Duels and the creation of the empire. At first, he was a male human who volunteered to protect the Supreme King (an early incarnation of Jaden) from the Light of Destruction. Doing so changed his form drastically, and the Supreme King was so touched by this that he pledged to love Yubel eternally.
Eons later, she was discovered as a card by Jaden's father and became Jaden's favorite card in childhood. She became both overprotective of the boy and jealous of his friends, however, as Jaden was the reincarnation of the Supreme King, she proceeded to harm and subsequently scare away all of Jaden's playmates. Under Jaden's request (hoping that Yubel would stop hurting his friends), Yubel was sent into outer space by KaibaCorp in a separate satellite from his contest-winning card designs after she put an acquaintance of Jaden's in the hospital with a mysterious illness, but the card was hit by the same force she swore to protect her friend from and the craft crash landed back to Earth, resulting in the near-complete destruction of her body upon re-entry into the planet's atmosphere.
Yubel thus enlisted Viper's aid in reconstructing her damaged form behind the false promise that his son would return to life. Later acquiring Marcel as a host, she absorbs the Duel Energy collected by the Duel Ghoul army to finally become whole again. Though she succeeded in regaining its physical form, Yubel was cast off into the alternate dimension by Jesse's sacrifice, whom she possessed to use him and his Crystal Beasts as hosts to act through. Around this time, she hid behind the scenes where she watched Jaden's descent into darkness so he may create the Super Polymerization card that she would use to bring its plan into fruition. Jaden, free from the evil influence, finally dueled Yubel to save Jesse and is successful, but Yubel escaped and snatched the Super Polymerization card from Jaden, causing him to give chase. After Jaden brought back Super Polemerization from her spell card Spell Chronicle which forced Jaden to choose one of 5 spell cards for every 2 spell cards he plays, Yubel attempts to destroy all 12 dimensions by fusing them together. Jaden stops her by using a trap so he could choose what was fused. Super Polymerization ended up fusing their souls together in episode 155, and Yubel, finding that she can be with the Supreme King forever as a result, willingly fuses with Jaden.
Jaden reveals to his friends that he fused their souls together in episode 160, just before Honest explains what's about to occur in the dimensions.
In the final duel against Nightshroud in episode 177, Jaden reveals that Yubel in his deck now, honoring what she has done for him in the past, and since her soul is merged with his. This honor is stronger as Yubel can be fused with Neos, to summon Neos Wiseman.
Yubel wields numerous powers, most of which came from her exposure to the Light of Destruction, including the ability to cast illusions, make herself invisible to detection (even to those who can see Duel Spirits), teleportation, and limited reality warping. She is also capable of seeing the darkness of a person's heart, and tempting one to do her bidding by playing off an individual's desires. She must have some degree of super strength, as she demonstrated by picking up and tossing Marcel to Blair with one arm. These powers were transferred to Jaden as a result of binding Yubel to him.
In the original version, Yubel's primary motivation was the promise that Jaden's past life made to her and as such, it was determined to see that promise through by eliminating those it perceived as competition. However, its corruption by the Light of Destruction caused it to believe that love was a mutual feeling of joy and pain between two people and therefore felt justified to physically and mentally harm Jaden to advance its own goals. In the English dub, Yubel instead desires to take revenge on Jaden for sending her into space. Though interesting to note, she expresses doubt or mock sadness that she won't be able to protect him anymore, and also still seems obsessed with going with him in both the English, and Japanese versions.
Yubel plays a deck focused on her own card and its power to turn damage inflicted to it back on the opponent. Yubel also utilizes Fiend Flower cards to support it and help in its evolution into stronger stages.
Marcel, known as Martin Kanou (加納マルタン Kanō Marutan?) in the original Japanese language version, is a new student entering Ra Yellow in the third year. In the Japanese version, Martin is voiced by Asako Yoshida while Sebastian Arcelus takes the role in the English version.
Marcel is Vice-Chancellor Bonaparte's son, raised by the man's ex-wife. He grew depressed by the sight of his parents bickering and his father leaving their home in Paris, France at a young age though his dad thought he was doing it for him. After Professor Viper's defeat, he is possessed by Yubel and declares himself king of his newly-instituted empire. During a Duel with Jaden and Jesse, Marcel was set free from the creature's influence after Yubel regained physical form.
When possessed, Marcel could change his voice to sound like Yubel by glowing light blue.
Marcel plays an Exodia deck. Using cards such as Mad Reloader and Break the Seal, Marcel is able to quickly add the individual pieces of Exodia from his deck to his hand and declare an automatic victory. After retrieving the Sacred Beasts, he plays a Chaos deck, which exploits the ability of his Phantom of Chaos to mimic the beasts while in his Graveyard and also supports the summoning of their combined form, Armitael, Phantasm of Chaos.
Professor Thelonius Viper
Professor Thelonius Viper, known as Professor Cobra (プロフェッサー・コブラ Purofessā Kobura?) in the original Japanese language version, is a professor hailing from West Academy. In the Japanese version, Viper is voiced by Masaya Takatsuka, while Sean Schemmel takes the role in the English version.
While performing military services in a war-ravaged country, Viper came upon an infant who he believed saved his life by drawing his attention away from an area which was suddenly detonated. He adopted the child, Pierce (Rick in the Japanese anime), and came to regard him as the "angel" in his otherwise torturous life. Years later, Pierce was stricken with an illness (while in the Japanese anime, Rick is hit by a bus and killed). Viper enters Duel Academy in the third year in a desperate attempt to raise his son from the dead, and pits students against one another in Survival Duels. He is tricked into believing that Pierce/Rick never died upon losing to Jaden in a Duel, and seemingly falls to his death after stepping off the dueling platform. (most of this is cut in the English version).
Viper plays a Venom deck, themed on the distribution of "Venom Counters" through his Reptile-type monsters (such as Venom Snake and Venom Boa) to an opponent's monsters as means of weakening and ultimately destroying them. Several of his monsters are based on the nāga, a serpent-like race in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. One of these creatures, Viper's signature card Venominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes, is able to circulate poison in the opponent's body upon inflicting damage, declaring an automatic victory for its owner within three turns.
Three Masked Knights
The Three Masked Knights (仮面の三騎士 Kamen no Sankishi?) are group of hungry students consisting of Harada, Yamanaka, and Teraoka. (They are unnamed in the English Dub, although close captions do reveal two of them as being named Slate and Riker)
Coming across Marcel in the library, they are seduced by promises of power (food in English dub) to join him in his cause. Through the magic of a Polymerization card, each of them is fused with a Duel Monster spirit which robs him of his free will. The Three Masked Knights simultaneously duel Jesse, Axel, and Jim, serving as decoys while Marcel makes his way to the area where the Sacred Beasts were sealed. They are returned to normal after being defeated.
- Emotionless Mask (「無表情」仮面 Muhyōjō Kamen?) (voiced by Yūki Fujiwara)
- Laughter Mask (「笑い」仮面 Warai Kamen?) (voiced by Daisuke Nakamura)
- Angry Mask (「怒り」仮面 Ikari Kamen?) (voiced by Kōichi Yokota)
The Three Masked Knights play decks reflecting the expressions on their masks. Emotionless Mask's strategy relies on the activation of several cards from his hand interacting with Silence's Pain in his Graveyard, Laughter Mask's on the synergy between Fool Clown and Rough Exploder, and Angry Mask's on the Direct Damage and resurrection abilities of Anchor Knight.
When Duel Academy is sent into the first alternate dimension by Marcel/Yubel, Yubel turned some of the students into Duel Ghouls (Duel Zombies in the Japanese version), a zombie that has an obsession to duel someone. When a Duel Ghoul's opponent loses all of their energy through Bio-bands, they become a Duel Ghoul themselves. Even when a Duel Ghoul loses energy through their Bio-band, they still never give up and keep dueling. There is no way to stop a Duel Ghoul unless their controller is defeated. A few of Jaden's friends have become Duel Ghouls, such as Chazz Princeton, Syrus Truesdale, Mrs. Fontaine, and Dr. Crowler. When the Academy was taken back to its own world, all of the Duel Ghouls returned back to normal.
^1 The "Dis" portion of the terms "Disclosure Duel" and "Dis-Belt" is a double entendre in the Japanese version, identical in phonetics to "デス" (desu?), the spelling in katakana of the word "death," which is pointed out in episode 107 by Sho Marufuji.