Matt and Gabumon have settled down for the night following splitting off from the other DigiDestined to solve the riddle to the Crest of Friendship, only for Gabumon to be startled awake by a vision he has in his dreams. Shortly thereafter, a strange purple mist envelopes the area. They attempt to flee, but are intercepted by Zanbamon, only for Zanbamon to then be attacked by a trio of Digimon consisting of Apemon, Grizzlymon, and Strabimon. While Strabimon is told to stay back, Grizzlymon and Apemon try to attack Zanbamon from two different angles, but Zanbamon is able to strike both of them simultaneously, killing them both, with Grizzlymon telling Strabimon that it is up to him to protect the others in his last moments. When Zanbamon then goes for Strabimon, Matt and Garurumon save him, but Zanbamon gives pursuit, and nearly has them before he vanishes as daybreak comes.
Returning to the village, Strabimon apologizes to Mojyamon for what happened, before Mojyamon explains to Matt and Gabumon that they are all survivors of villages ravaged by Zanbamon. Matt and Gabumon relay the information back to Izzy and Tentomon at Wisemon's tree, who will look further into it, while Matt and Gabumon try to help as best they can. They volunteer to go after Zanbamon the following night, but when engaging him, WereGarurumon Sagittarius Mode is unable to harm Zanbamon. Luckily, Tai and MetalGreymon arrive to assist, having been warned by Izzy about everything, but even when they became WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon, Zanbamon proved too strong and overpowered them until daybreak came and he retreated. Thankfully, Izzy finds some data on Zanbamon at Wisemon's tree and passes on to Tai and Matt, and Strabimon guides Matt and Garurumon to the site where Zanbamon was sealed, which is Strabimon's former home, where they find what's left of the sword used against Zanbamon, and Garurumon takes it, intending to use it to stop Zanbamon once and for all. When Zanbamon appears that night, Tai and MetalGreymon engage him until Matt and WereGarurumon arrive to fight him, only for the rusted blade to shatter when used on Zanbamon. As Zanbamon moves in for the kill, Matt and WereGarurumon's refusal to give up and fight back allows WereGarurumon to restore the blade and digivolve into a new Mega digivolution of CresGarurumon, while also confirming to Matt that he had solved the riddle of the Crest of Friendship. When the two collide, CresGarurumon finally slays Zanbamon, putting its spirit to rest for good.
Afterwards, back in the village, Strabimon promises to make good use of the skills from CresGarurumon to train and defend everyone, before Tai and Agumon prepare to head out once more to continue their own journey.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance. Bolded characters are fought by the protagonist(s), and italicized characters feature non-explicitly, e.g. voice, silhouette, image.)