The Battle of Marineford (マリンフォード頂上戦争 Marinfōdo Chōjō Sensō?, literally meaning "Summit War of Marineford") took place on the island of Marineford and resulted in the Whitebeard Pirates' failure to save Ace from death and loss of their captain Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate, along with many other comrades. It is known as the Paramount War in the Viz Manga translation, and in the FUNimation version, it is known as the War of the Best.
Preparation for WarEdit
The Whitebeard Pirates' 2nd division commander Portgas D. Ace's public execution was scheduled to take place at 3:00 p.m. sharp. To prevent Whitebeard and his crew's attempt to save their comrade, all of the high ranking Marines (almost one hundred thousand strong), along with the Shichibukai, were called to Marineford to prepare for the war. This was one of the world's most pivotal events. Jinbe, however, caused an outrage in the headquarters in his refusal to cooperate, and was transferred to Impel Down.
Marineford was declared a target by Monkey D. Luffy in his attempt to rescue his brother, Portgas D. Ace, from his impending execution. He and Buggy the Clown caused a mass breakout within Impel Down and started on their way there, preparing for an imminent assault upon Marine Headquarters.
Prior to Ace's execution, the normal citizens of Marineford were evacuated from the town, leaving only the Marines to prepare for battle. Sengoku announced Ace's origins of being the son of Pirate King, Gol D. Roger, in front of the Marine forces and consequently the world.
The War BeginsEdit
After Sengoku revealed Ace's secret to the world, Whitebeard arrived with his crew, along with 43 subordinate pirate crews from the New World. With Whitebeard setting off a massive earthquake that causes two giant tidal waves to crash into Marineford as a starting signal for the war. Aokiji froze the oncoming tidal waves and consequently the sea so to trap the pirate ships with his "Ice Age", as well as to give the pirates a surface to conduct their attack on the Marines.
While Oars Jr. tried his best to reach Ace, and defeating several members of the Giant Squad on his way, he was eventually defeated when Bartholomew Kuma blasted him with his attack "Ursus Shock", Donquixote Doflamingo severed his leg with his strings and Gecko Moria pierced him with "Tsuno Tokage". However, his rampage did manage to open a clear path to the platform, along with Whitey Bay and her icebreaker.
New Allies ArriveEdit
After a fierce battle between the Whitebeard Pirates and the World Government forces, Monkey D. Luffy and his motley crew of Impel Down escapees came crashing down with their ship, due to being caught in the frozen tsunami, which cracked (Luffy originally planned for the ex-cons to break the vessel away from the iceberg, then slide it back to the un-frozen sea behind the frozen tidal wave). They joined the war against the World Government as well, most of them on Whitebeard's side. Ace then tries to tell Luffy to leave for his own safety, but Luffy retorts by claiming to be his brother, which brought the Marines to wonder how Roger can have a second son when he and Portgas D. Rouge already died after Ace's birth. Sengoku then revealed worldwide that they are adopted brothers, and Luffy is Monkey D. Dragon's son, and is as dangerous as Ace, much to the shock of many.
About one-and-a-half hours after the battle's start, Sentomaru brought an army of Pacifista units as their master strategy to eliminate the pirates. However, they were ordered not to attack the Whitebeard Pirates themselves, but instead the subordinate crews, in order to make it look like Whitebeard made a deal with the Marines to spare his crew in exchange of his subordinate crews, all according to Sengoku's plan. The Pacifista then began an encircling formation around Marineford, to prevent the pirates from escaping.
The War's Final PhaseEdit
After Akainu deceived Squard to stab Whitebeard, Whitebeard himself joined the war. He launched a devastating quake that tilted the entire island and the sea around it, but it was stopped by the three admirals before it reached the execution platform. The "Encircling Wall" then rose, trapping the pirates. Even though a part of the wall's mechanism was damaged by Oars Jr.'s blood preventing it from rising, Sengoku ordered Akainu to proceeded to launch his "Ryusei Kazan" to devastate the pirates, as well as to melt the ice floor, robbing the pirates of their foothold. Many pirates were running in circles in fright, as Whitebeard looked at the rain of magma fists.
After the Whitebeard Pirates tried and failed to destroy the Encircling Wall, Luffy, in desperation to save Ace, requested Jinbe to throw him over the wall with a stream of water. When Luffy bypassed the barrier to get into the inner plaza of Marineford, he landed right in front of the three admirals, whom he promptly attacked.
After challenging the admirals and failing, Luffy collapsed once again. Meanwhile, the Whitebeard Pirates and their subordinate crews, with the help of Oars Jr., managed to use the small opening in the Encircling Wall to enter the plaza. Unfortunately, even the top commanders, Marco and Jozu, were defeated by the admirals, and Whitebeard succumbed to old age and further injuries. Luffy then requested Emporio Ivankov to give him one more Emporio Tension Hormone boost, despite the after effects, so he could continue to fight for Ace's life. After the injection, Luffy charged the execution stand, and released a burst of Haōshoku Haki throughout the entire Marineford plaza, knocking out the executioners and others, leaving the rest frightened and shocked.
As the others stared in shock and awe at Luffy's "gift," Vice Admiral Doberman declares that Luffy would be a dangerous criminal one day, and that he is not to leave Marineford alive. Whitebeard orders his subordinate crews to back up Luffy, putting their faith in him and expects to see the Will of the D. Inazuma then emerges out of Ivankov's hair and cuts out a slab of rock into a makeshift bridge to the execution stand for Luffy. Whitebeard and Vista block all incoming attacks from the Marines as Luffy continues up the bridge. Suddenly, Vice Admiral Garp jumps in, jumping down in front of Luffy and breaking part of the bridge in the process. Despite Luffy's request for his grandfather to move aside, Garp refused, on the grounds of his Marine duties. Garp prepares to attack Luffy but falters at the last minute, allowing Luffy to knock him off the bridge.
Luffy reaches the execution platform and is about to use the key to unlock Ace's handcuffs, but Kizaru destroys the key. Galdino, revealed to be disguised as an executioner, regains consciousness. Sengoku turns into a giant Buddha figure and prepares to do the execution himself. Luffy stops Sengoku with Gigant Balloon while Galdino protects Ace with a Candle Wall. The execution platform starts to collapse and the marines fire their bazookas at the platform. Galdino quickly makes a key using his wax powers and hands it to Luffy. Luffy frees Ace in mid-air and Ace in turn saves Luffy and Galdino from the bazooka fire by forming a circular wall of flames around them.
Escape from MarinefordEdit
After the Marines make several unsuccessful attempts at Luffy's and Ace's lives, Squard comes crashing in with Whitebeard's black paddle-ship. However, Whitebeard orders the crew to return to the New World, and that he alone would stay behind to finish everything with the Marines. He then launches another shock wave to shatter the Marine Headquarters' main building.
As the pirates retreat on Whitebeard's orders, Akainu launches another "Great Eruption" at them, and insults Whitebeard for being a "loser" after calling the pirates to retreat. An enraged Ace stays behind to retaliate with his "Fire Fist", only for it to be consumed by the superior magma. Akainu then states that he will not allow Luffy nor Ace to leave Marineford alive no matter what; due to their bloodlines, their very existence is the ultimate crime, and then tries to punch Luffy with a molten fist, only for Ace to intercept it.
As the entire Marineford sees how Akainu pierces Ace through his stomach and burns his vital organs, retaliation from the commanders begins, and Ace dies in Luffy's arms, causing him to undergo a severe trauma. This instantly defeats the Whitebeard Pirates' purpose, and changes the tides of the war to favor the Marines. However, Marco manages to encourage the pirates to fight on to save Luffy, the brother that Ace sacrificed himself to save.
Amidst all the chaos, Akainu continues to try and kill Luffy, but is defeated by the enraged Whitebeard. Afterwards, Newgate manages to literally split Marineford into two, separating the pirates from the marines and causing a defeated Akainu to fall into a crater, later leading to the arrival of the Blackbeard Pirates. After a short confrontation between captains, the Blackbeard Pirates deliver the death blow to Edward Newgate, marking the end of Whitebeard's reign as the strongest man in the world. Shortly thereafter, Teach manages to fuse the powers of the Gura Gura no Mi with the Yami Yami no Mi, declaring to all that his era has begun. To test out his newest ability, he attempts to sink Marineford whole, only to be promptly sent flying, along with the rest of his crew, by an enormous shockwave delivered by Sengoku in his Buddha form, with Garp joining in on the confrontation. After Sengoku taunts Blackbeard for his hubris, Blackbeard retorts on how he was looking forward to see Sengoku out on the field, and the three lock themselves in a duel to the death. Once Teach shakes the ground once again, he not only breaks the ice from Aokiji's fruit, but also caused a large tsunami to head towards Sabaody Archipelago.
Elsewhere, as Akainu prepares to kill Luffy and Jinbe, he is cut in half by Crocodile who sends the wounded duo flying out of Akainu's grasp. He then confronts Akainu, as they are joined by the remainder of the Whitebeard commanders and prepare to face off, while Trafalgar Law arrives in his submarine to get Luffy, now held by Jinbe and Buggy, out safely from the battle. After a few choice words with the commanders, Akainu orders hundreds of Marine reinforcements, previously hidden in underground passageways, to mercilessly annihilate every single pirate in their sight, with Akainu himself leading the charge against the commanders and Crocodile, the admiral quickly defeated Curiel in the initial clash.
After Koby wakes up, disgusted and horrified that the war was continuing despite the successful deaths of Ace and Whitebeard, he hears voices of the combatants, in his head, disappearing one by one. Seeking to end the violence for good, Koby pleads with the marines to end the battle and tend to the wounded, an action that caused literally every combatant in Marineford to stop fighting, allowing Luffy and Law the time they needed to escape. Unimpressed by this, Akainu dismisses Koby's pacifism and tries to kill him, only to have his attack intercepted by the notorious Shanks, commending Koby's courage to speak out against an admiral and his adherence to morality. After reclaiming his straw hat, Shanks claims that he will personally bring about the end to the Whitebeard War.
After throwing the straw hat back to Buggy, who gave it to Law as his submarine submerged into the sea, Shanks threatens both the Marines and Blackbeard Pirates alike to have his entire crew involved in the fighting, if they chose to continue the war. With the Gura Gura no Mi under his possession, Teach no longer sees the point in resuming the battle and has his crew depart from the battlefield. As Blackbeard leaves the scene, the absence of a designated rival and presence of a powerful Yonko convinces Sengoku to concede to the necessity of a ceasefire, ordering the Marines to tend to the wounded. With Shanks declaring that the Whitebeard and Red Hair Pirates will retrieve the bodies of Ace and Newgate, the Battle of Marineford had finally reached its long-anticipated conclusion, however short it may have been.
The Battle of Marineford was a catalyst for the many world-changing events that followed.
Marines and World GovernmentEdit
As a result of the war, both Monkey D. Garp and Sengoku retired. Sengoku pushed for Kuzan to take the position for Fleet Admiral, however many in the World Government voted for Sakazuki. It was decided that a duel would take place on a deserted island and the winner would be made Fleet Admiral. The battle between Aokiji and Akainu lasted for ten days and permanently changed the climate of Punk Hazard, the island they fought on, but the result was Sakazuki's win. Kuzan then chose to resign from the Marines.
While Marineford was still under construction, Monkey D. Luffy invaded the island a second time and, together with Jinbe and Silvers Rayleigh, seemingly performed a burial at sea and rang the Ox Bell 16 times before escaping.
The World Government, deciding that Gecko Moria was too weak, attempted to have him assassinated, but the Shichibukai managed to escape. With Moria's 'forced retirement' and Marshall D. Teach and Jinbe's defections, three positions were vacated in the Shichibukai. One was offered to Buggy, who accepted. The second was taken by Trafalgar Law, who exchanged the hearts of a hundred pirates for the position, while the third was taken by the self-proclaimed son of Edward Newgate, Edward Weevil.
Through Blackbeard's manipulations, many Level 6 prisoners escaped during the Impel Down breakout and Blackbeard increased his own power, causing great embarrassment and alarm for the World Government.
Edward Newgate and Portgas D. Ace were buried at an unknown island in the New World. Due to Whitebeard's death, all the islands under his protection were quickly snatched up by other pirates. The Whitebeard Pirates also fell out of their position in the Yonko, with their current status unknown.
With Newgate's final words declaring One Piece to be real, thousands of pirates worldwide set out to sea in pursuit of it.
The Eleven Supernovas, excluding Law and the Straw Hats, quickly jumped into the New World soon after the war. Jewelry Bonney was apprehended by the Marines after picking a fight with Teach and losing, though she later managed to escape.
Bartholomew Kuma, before being completely turned into a cyborg, asked Dr. Vegapunk for one last favor. Because of this, he was programmed to protect the Straw Hat Pirates's ship, the Thousand Sunny, until a member of the crew returned to it.
Luffy's second invasion of Marineford was actually a method for him to send a message to his crew, letting them know that instead of meeting up in 3 days, they will reunite on Sabaody Archipelago in 2 years. The entire crew chose to use that time to train at the respective locations they were sent to by Kuma.
Overall, the war ended with a new, greater threat for the Marines in the form of Blackbeard and his crew. It also served to increase pirate presence worldwide. This led to a giant shift in policy for the Marines, switching from defending citizens to mounting an offensive against pirates, which was reflected by the location of the new Marine headquarters.