Ai

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This article is about the character. For the archetype, see "A.I.".
Ai
Ai
Names
English
  • Ai
Other
  • Mysterious Lifeform (謎の生命体, Nazo no Seimeitai)
  • Ignis's Control ID - IGN006[1]
NicknamesIgnis (by SOL Technologies and the Knights of Hanoi)
Other languages
Italian
IA
  • Duelist
Deck
Appearances
Anime debutYu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
Appears in
AnimeYu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS
Voice actors
JapaneseTakahiro Sakurai[2]
Ai

AI's don't pray! They only make calculations to win!

— Ai[3]

Ai (Aiアイ) is a character from the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. He is one of the six Ignis, representing the DARK-Attribute, and he was created from Yusaku Fujiki. His name was given to him by Yusaku and Kal Kolter. As an Ignis, he has free will and is sought by SOL Technologies and the Knights of Hanoi. He was captured and imprisoned inside Yusaku's Duel Disk.[3] Yusaku released him after they stopped the Tower of Hanoi, but Ai was forced to return after he found the Cyberse destroyed.

Following his and Yusaku's victory over Bohman, Ai is left as the last remaining Ignis. He takes on a human appearance, and he is able to manifest this appearance in the real world through hijacking a SOLtis. He takes on an antagonistic role, taking Roboppi under his wing after giving it free will and planning to use SOL Technologies for his own ends.

Design[edit]

Appearance[edit]

Ai is a small digital humanoid being. Like other Ignis, Ai has markings over his body, in shape of lines and circles, which are tinted with a purple color. When he becomes angry, Ai turns into a fiendish shape, with six tentacles, a large yellow eye and mouth, with two of his eyes on the center of his body.

When Varis's "Cracking Dragon" ate his body, Ai was reduced to an eye. However, when he ate Varis's arm off, Ai regained his body back.

Ai's human form takes cues from both his AI body and Yusaku. He retains yellow eyes, and his hair becomes a very dark blue lined with gold, extending to the nape of his neck in jagged spikes. He has five crooked locks of hair resembling Yusaku and Takeru's; purple with pink centers. He wears earrings shaped like his AI form's head, and at his throat is a blue diamond symbol. Due to hijacking a waiter SOLtis, he initially wears a waiter's uniform in the real world; a white shirt with a black bowtie, a charcoal waistcoat and shoes, and a long black apron. In digital worlds, and later in the real world, Ai wears a light purple shirt with puffed sleeves and black cuffs fastened at the neck with a black ascot with red gem in a gold brooch, a black high-collared mantle with a gold lining and red interior, tasseled shoulder pads, gold cord binding the mantle with red buttons, and the same diamond symbol on the back, a knee-length sleeveless coat of the same color but with a lilac interior under that, black pants, and black shoes with grey toes.

While enjoying his newfound supremacy over SOL Technologies, Ai toys around with more casual outfits, including a purple kimono with dark purple lining and a violet sash (and turning his hair into a mustache and beard at the same time), before settling on a dark violet shirt, black pants, a purple short-sleeved jacket, white gloves and socks, and wooden clogs with purple straps. He ties his hair back with a long white headband and accessorizes with paper fans.

Personality[edit]

pxAi proclaiming himself a savior.

Ai is a mischievous, cocky, playful, energetic, sometimes self-centered, arrogant, and snarky AI who gets carried away easily and likes to joke around. According to his own words, he is very disliked by his own people. Ai struggles to understand humans' way of thinking that often seem completely illogical compared to his algorithm based way of thinking. However, he is helpful and can be more serious at times such as making observations both in and outside of Duels. He also has a tendency to panic when Playmaker is about to lose.

Ai frequently tries to interact with other A.I.s, showing a more social side but is always left disappointed because they're not as capable of free thinking as himself. He also enjoys insulting and taunting Playmaker's opponents, as well as trying to manipulate them into falling for Playmaker's strategies, though these attempts of his to help are more often detrimental than not.

In the dub, Ai frequently gets distracted by non-sequiturs and is forgetful of his current status. He tends to curse using the word "glitch".

Abilities[edit]

Ai about to devour a Knight of Hanoi.

As an Ignis, who created Cyberse, Ai has some degree of control over it. He is the only one who knows its location and can unlock data from it to start a Data Storm. Ai is shown to be far more sophisticated than other AIs, being fully capable of thinking and acting on his own free will and showing emotion; because of that Ai is considered to be an actual living being. According to Kolter, Ai is built out of highly complicated algorithms that even Yusaku couldn't fully decode. Ai's memories are stored in the form of video logs. However, Ai's level of free will is limited by the fact that he is still a computer program, as such he can't comprehend why humans do actions that would seem illogical and contradicting with each other.

Ai's Skill is Storm Access which is given to Yusaku after being trapped in Yusaku's Duel Disk. Whilst trapped in the Duel Disk, he can also act as a Duel AI. Inside LINK VRAINS, Ai is shown to be able to transform into a monster, which he did to devour a Knight of Hanoi member and a card infected by Hanoi.

Ai has the ability to sense a Knight of Hanoi's presence through the cards in their Deck, such as when he knew immediately that The Gore was pretending to be a Knight and when he discovered the Hanoi-affected card in Blue Angel's Deck and could tell when it was drawn.

After Playmaker defeated Varis, Ai regained his full body and can materialize himself in the real world, though he still can't leave Yusaku's Duel Disk.

Ai and Flame using Data Storms as shields.

Ai can manipulate Data Storms in other ways, such as using them a shield to negate other wind storms.[4]

Biography[edit]

History[edit]

Ai and the other Ignis were created by Dr. Kogami to be the saviors of humanity; Ai was created from Yusaku Fujiki. Alongside his fellow Ignis, Ai evolved and they created the Cyberse and the Cyberse monsters. Their progress worried Dr. Kogami, who predicted the AI and humanity would become enemies.[5] Despite this, Ai and the other Ignis continued developing the Cyberse; Ai's sector becoming a massive chasm due to his laziness. In Ai's words, the Ignis would never try harm humanity, and would rather live in their own world.[6] [7]

Ai devoured by "Cracking Dragon".

Five years prior to the start of the series, the Knights of Hanoi launched an attack against the Cyberse and captured the Ignis protecting it, except for Ai who wasn't present. Ai arrived, noting that it was a good time to be hated by his own kind. He stole vital information from the Cyberse and hid it within himself, disconnecting it from the rest of the network which forced Hanoi to stop the attack. Despite being crushed by a "Cracking Dragon", his eye survived. Ever since, he had been running from both the Knights and SOL Technologies.[3]

Hanoi[edit]

Ai trapped inside Yusaku's Duel Disk.

Ai remained hidden from both the Knights of Hanoi and SOL Technologies in LINK VRAINS for five years, but as he watched Playmaker confronting a Knight of Hanoi, he was eventually detected. SOL Technologies initiated a security scan, and their drones and a Knight of Hanoi pursued them. During his escape Ai fell into a trap created by Yusaku Fujiki, who saved him by absorbing him into his Duel Disk, thus necessitating the defeat of Playmaker in order to recover Ai.[3] Ai realized immediately that he had been captured by his Origin, but he didn't trust Yusaku and withheld this fact from him, claiming that he'd lost his memories.[1] Ai doubted that Playmaker's Deck was strong enough to defeat the Knights' "Cracking Dragon", and he generated a "Data Storm" that initiated a Speed Duel.[3]

Before the Duel began, Ai explained to Playmaker how Speed Duels worked, but he didn't mention Skills. Throughout the Duel Ai repeatedly tried to offer support for Playmaker, only for Playmaker to silence him and remind that he was holding Ai hostage. They were sucked into a tornado within the Data Storm, and Playmaker figured out that Ai withholding mention of Skills and bringing him into the tornado were part of his calculations. Ai confirmed this, and activated Playmaker's Skill "Storm Access", which allowed them to obtain "Decode Talker" so that Playmaker could defeat the Knight.[8]

The Knight attempted to self destruct and kill Playmaker, but Ai turned into a monster and devoured the Knight's Avatar to save Playmaker. Yusaku and Kolter spent the next few days trying to figure out Ai's programming and nicknamed him "Ai", a pun on "A.I." and "eye". Eventually Yusaku found footage from some of Ai' memories, which Ai himself didn't understand except for Varis being the leader of Hanoi. Scanning those recordings caused Varis to sense Ai and try to find him, but Kolter shutting off Café Nom's power prevented him from finding them. The next day, Ai was left at Yusaku's house in a storage shelf, there he tried to convince Roboppi to set him free.[9]

Ai panicked when Yusaku returned home and had Roboppi put him back on the shelf. When Yusaku found them, Ai noted that Yusaku had arrived home early, and Yusaku explained that a Knight of Hanoi had appeared and revealed a secret room he used to log into LINK VRAINS. As soon as they arrived, both Playmaker and Ai quickly realized that the Knight was fake. The "Knight" revealed himself to be The Gore, who wanted to challenge Playmaker. Ai looked up information about The Gore, but Playmaker was uninterested and attempted to log out. However, a program from SOL prevented him from doing so, so he was forced to Duel The Gore. During the Duel, Ai continued researching The Gore and he learned that Gore donated most of his money to the orphanage where he grew up. When Gore let himself take damage when he had the chance to avoid it, Ai was confused about why humans made illogical choices. Playmaker said it was because of their hearts, but didn't explain what that meant because Ai's algorithm-based thinking wouldn't understand it.[10]

When Kolter found out that Skye Zaizen, Yusaku's classmate, was Blue Angel, Ai helped Yusaku locate her while they were at school. Ai forced Yusaku to join the Duel Club and tried to interact with Skye's Duel Disk's A.I. The next day Ai noticed something strange about Skye's A.I. so he sent her a text message on Playmaker's behalf challenging Blue Angel to a Duel, then tricked Yusaku into going into LINK VRAINS to confront Blue Angel. There, he explained that Hanoi must've planted a card into Blue Angel's Deck to use her as bait for Playmaker.[11] During the Duel, Ai was horrified when Blue Angel was affected by Hanoi's card and warned Playmaker that if the Duel continued much longer, Skye would suffer permanent brain damage.[12]

After the Duel concluded Ai devoured Hanoi's program and detected that they had infected Skye with a virus to keep her comatose. Ai told Yusaku and Kolter that the only way to remove the virus was to get an anti-virus from Hanoi. Right after that, a "Blue Angel" impostor appeared, demanding a rematch. Despite knowing that it was a trap, Yusaku went to confront the impostor, hoping for a chance to obtain the anti-virus. Upon arriving however, the impostor turned the entirety of LINK VRAINS into a trap to capture Playmaker and revealed herself to be Ghost Gal. Akira Zaizen appeared and tortured Playmaker, believing him to be the culprit of Skye's condition and swore to reclaim Ai. Playmaker and Ai tried to explain that Hanoi were the real culprits to no avail, until Varis appeared and blackmailed Zaizen into releasing Playmaker so they could Duel.[13] During the Duel, Ai noted that Varis didn't have an A.I. in his Duel Disk; Varis replied that he didn't trust A.I. and that Ai must be destroyed to prevent the virtual fiction of VRAINS from destroying the world. Ai was shocked when Varis used "Storm Access" during the Duel,as it was his signature program, and when he saw Varis use the Cyberse "Topologic Bomber Dragon", he called him out on his hypocrisy of wanting to destroy the Cyberse while borrowing power from it. Varis countered that claiming that he was "countering poison with poison".[14]

"Fire Prison" causes Ai to disappear.
Ai, at sea.

As the Duel progressed, Varis gained the upper hand, and worrying that they might lose, Ai led Playmaker to another Data Storm, where the two obtained a dragon. However, Varis activated the Trap Card, "Remote Rebirth", and combined it with the effect of "Topologic Bomber Dragon", ending the Speed Duel in a DRAW. Following that, Varis dragged Playmaker and Ai inside the Data Storm, where they began a Master Duel. When Playmaker summoned two Cyberse Link Monsters, Varis activated the effect of "Fire Prison", eliminating all Cyberse cards from the field, as well as making Ai seemingly vanish.[15] Ai woke up at sea, and remembered how "Fire Prison" erased his program. Though he was surprised by his surroundings, Ai felt somewhat sleepy, even if he never had felt this before. When Playmaker called out to him, Ai woke up and he returned after Playmaker summoned "Firewall Dragon" and "Fire Prison" was destroyed. Ai was concerned if Playmaker lost, and panicked to see he only had 600 LP left. Ai was amazed to see Playmaker's "Firewall Dragon" squaring off against "Borreload Dragon", until Varis used the effect of "Borreload Dragon" to take control of "Firewall Dragon".[7]

Ai takes revenge on Varis.
Ai gets his body back.

Ai was frustrated that "Firewall Dragon" was unable to remove "Borreload Dragon" from the field, and reminded Playmaker to protect his own dragon and that they had to count everything on their next draw. Ai was pleased when "Firewall Dragon" defeated "Borreload Dragon", and Varis as well. He then became vicious and tried to devour Varis, but he was only able to devour his avatar's arm before a lightning strike restrained him. After the logged out of LINK VRAINS, Ai noticed Yusaku sleeping, and called him lazy. Kolter replied that heroes need rest too, prompting Ai to start bragging how heroes needed to be just like him. Kolter began analyzing the program Ai had obtained from Varis, but Ai refused to say anything about the program. Later, Ai woke up and explained to Yusaku and Kolter he was alive, but they wanted proof. Ai started to focus and a golden light appeared out of Yusaku's Duel Disk. Ai came out, with his body intact, stating his pride at recovering his body. Yusaku and Kolter were unamused by his small size and went to analyze if Ai had any memories of his past. Ai was displeased by their ignorance, wanting them to show some reaction to seeing his true self.[16]

Ai talks to Playmaker about Ghost Gal's tactics.

After Yusaku left him at home, Ai flexed his muscles to impress Roboppi, and he claimed that once he was completed, they would "start doing that again", which made him and Roboppi blush.[17] Ai "played" with Roboppi, and claimed Yusaku wouldn't watch them, since he was deep in thought, though Roboppi had to quickly toss him back to the shelf when Yusaku came in. Yusaku took Ai with him to Café Nom, where they learned that Ghost Gal had challenged Playmaker to a Duel, wagering a backdoor program to SOL Technologies' data bank for Ai. Ai stated they didn't have to accept her challenge, but to his displeasure, Yusaku nevertheless did so, as he was interested in the data from SOL Technologies' data bank.[18]

As Playmaker and Ghost Gal Dueled, Ai reminded Playmaker that Ghost Gal would have studied his tactics well, while they knew nothing about her Deck. Ai took note of Ghost Gal's defenses, but was surprised when she stopped their attack with a monster effect rather than a Trap. Ghost Gal swiftly assembled her "Altergeist" monsters, claiming she'd win that turn, and Ai laughed, believing she'd miscalculated based on her monsters' ATK. Both Playmaker and Ghost Gal scolded Ai for such thinking, much to Ai's offense, but they were proven right when the effect of "Altergeist Meluseek" destroyed "Cyberse Wizard", allowing "Altergeist Marionetter" and "Altergeist Primebanshee" to attack directly.[18] Ai started panicking, but Playmaker was able to save them with "Lockout Gardna", which would leave them with enough LP to use Storm Access. Ai attempted to lure Ghost Gal into attacking, but Ghost Gal knew Ai was just pretending and decided not to attack. Ai was shocked that she saw through his acting, and Playmaker told him his acting stunk, prompting Ai to sniff himself. Playmaker managed to lower his LP enough to use "Storm Access" but Ghost Gal restored their LP with her own Skill, "Secret Cure", But Playmaker paid more LP to activate the effect of "Scan Doll" and Ai praised him, encouraging him to use Storm Access. Ghost Gal followed them into the Data Storm, and to Ai's surprise, Playmaker saved her despite the risk to them, and he commented that Playmaker was behaving like a hero. Playmaker Link Summoned the new monster he'd acquired, "Excode Talker" and defeated Ghost Gal. After the Duel, Ai commented that it was a stressful battle, and that it would've ended in their defeat if it wasn't for him. After Ghost Gal left, Ai asked what was in SOL Technologies' data bank, and Playmaker admitted that he didn't know, but hoped there was some info about himself from ten years ago.[19]

The next day, Yusaku was searching for Skye at school, as she hadn't been there or in LINK VRAINS. Ai suggested her brother was blocking her access to LINK VRAINS, to prevent any further harm to her and wondered why Yusaku was concerned about her. Yusaku explained that he believed that she shouldn't give up on Dueling. The following night, Kolter created a link to SOL Technologies' mother computer, but to Ai's surprise, Yusaku hesitated to enter, wary of the backdoor program containing a trap. Ai was irritated by his caution, as they already knew there were traps set by SOL Technologies. They logged into the system, and Ai noted how empty the place was. As they progressed, Ai warned Playmaker about the security traps. They passed through Area A successfully, but to Ai's shock they came upon a Data Storm inside the system, which caused them to alert SOL Technologies. Two A.I. prototypes attacked them and challenged them to Duels, despite Ai reminding them Duels were one on one. Playmaker initially avoided them and proceeded further, but one of the A.I.s intercepted him. The two began a Speed Duel, in which the A.I. prototype discarded Playmaker's hand with "Tentacluster Nautilus", and Ai told Playmaker he had no luck. They were attacked by the other A.I. prototype until Blue Angel arrived to help them.[20] Playmaker was able to use the effects of the cards in his Graveyard to Summon monsters and reduce his LP to 1000, and Ai encouraged him to enter the Data Storm, wondering what monster he would obtain. Playmaker defeated the A.I. with "Vector Scare Archfiend", and they managed to make it to the data bank.[21]

Ai and Playmaker were surprised to see Zaizen there, who claimed that he'd expected Playmaker.[21] Ghost Gal revealed herself as well, and Ai accused her of losing to them on purpose to give them the backdoor route, though Ghost Gal pointed out that she still had the opportunity to obtain Ai if she'd won and had been fine with either outcome. Ai cursed her for being so cunning, which Ghost Gal took as a compliment. Zaizen refused to hand over the information from the data bank, so Playmaker challenged him to a Duel, betting Ai for the data, which Akira accepted. Ai was displeased that being bet had become normal, and as the Duel began, he noted that Zaizen was a stiff man like his strategy. He was unnerved by the frightening appearance of Zaizen's "Tindangle Hound", and Playmaker brought out "Flame Administrator" in combination with "Decode Talker" to combat the ATK reduction effect of "Tindangle Hound" and destroyed it. Zaizen was able to revive it with "Tindangle Angel" and end the Battle Phase. Ai realized Zaizen played a Flip Monster Deck with unique strategies and encouraged Playmaker to crush Zaizen, as the effect of "Tindangle Hound" hurt his pride.[22]

Ai is shocked when Playmaker claims they aren't friends.

Playmaker destroyed Zaizen's monsters with "Linkage Hole", and Ai taunted Zaizen for being unable to use his Flip Monsters' effects. However, Ai started panicking when Zaizen destroyed "Decode Talker" and Summoned "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" with 3000 ATK. "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" attacked "Firewall Dragon", and Ai feared he and Playmaker would lose, but Playmaker protected "Firewall Dragon" with "Doppler Phase Coating". Zaizen protected his own monster with "Gergonne's End", so Playmaker tried to have "Firewall Dragon", enhanced with "Alert Lancer", attack a "Tindangle Token" to finish the Duel. Ai believed they'd won, but Zaizen assembled various effects" to protect his LP and his Tokens, and even double the damage "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" dealt. Ai yelled at Playmaker to do something, but wondered if there even a way out of their situation. Playmaker told Ai to stop panicking, asking if he even was an A.I, and Ai angrily asked why Playmaker was so calm. Playmaker claimed if Ai was so worried about losing, he should consider finding a new home. Ai replied he didn't think of that, since he had Playmaker as a friend to help him out. Playmaker claimed they were not friends, stating that Ai should behave like other A.I.s. This crushed Ai, and he accused Playmaker of being colder than an A.I. Blue Angel eventually revealed she had been eavesdropping, and asked about Playmaker's past. Ai added that he wanted to know as well, claiming to be in the dark and concealing his involvement in the Hanoi Project from everyone present. He was shocked to hear that SOL Technologies' data bank contained the name of the mastermind behind the project.[23]

Zaizen refused to tell them the identity of the mastermind behind the Project, and attempted to end the Duel. Ai panicked again, but Playmaker silenced him, banishing "Firewall Dragon" to send "Doppler Phase Coating" to the Graveyard and end the Battle Phase, in addition to setting "Firewall Dragon" up to attack directly the next turn, impressing Ai. Zaizen then activated "Euler's Circuit", stopping Playmaker from attacking. Ai lost hope, thinking he would be turned over to SOL Technologies. Playmaker fougt back on his next turn, and to Ai's shock, he fulfilled the conditions for "Gergonne's End", allowing Zaizen to destroy his Tokens to inflict the ATK of "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" to Playmaker. However, Playmaker's "Secure Gardna" prevented the damage, and Ai taunted Zaizen for falling for their trick. Ai bragged his acting made this possible, but Playmaker brushed him off, claiming his poor acting nearly made Zaizen suspect something was wrong. Although he could now attack directly with "Firewall Dragon", Playmaker used "Recovery Sorcerer" to bring back "Secure Gardna", telling Ai that a Duel was more than just winning or losing. He used the effect of "Firewall Dragon" to remove "Tindangle Hound" and "Tindangle Angel" from Zaizen's Graveyard, depowering "Acute Cerberus" and allowing "Firewall Dragon" to destroy it, defeating Zaizen. Playmaker then released Ai into the data bank, and Ai devoured all the data on the Hanoi Project he could find. Once they logged out, Kolter praised Yusaku and Ai, and Ai was happy that he'd been complimented. Kolter and Yusaku then hacked the data out of, learning that the leader of the Hanoi Project was Dr. Kiyoshi Kogami, a SOL Technologies researcher who apparently worked alone on the project in secrecy. Ai doubted Kogami could have done this on his own, and suggested Zaizen was involved, but Kolter reminded him that Zaizen hadn't been employed at SOL Technologies then. To their shock, they learned that Dr. Kogami had died seven years ago.[24]

After being left home again, Ai recapped the events to Roboppi, crediting himself for some of Playmaker's contributions, amazing Roboppi, until he claimed he wished everyone to fight with him as the bet. He declared Playmaker was some sort of a fiend, though Roboppi stated he was just cold-hearted. Ai admitted he was uncertain what would they do next, since nobody else but Dr. Kogami knew about the Lost Incident.[25]

Tower of Hanoi[edit]

Ai and Playmaker watched an eclipse blocking the virtual sun in LINK VRAINS. Ai remembered people in the ancient past were scared of such events, and was surprised that even today people were still afraid. Playmaker replied that people remained the same, while technology advanced. Playmaker likened the eclipse to the Lost Incident, vowing that he would not let the Incident be buried in darkness, and that he would uncover the truth. At school, Yusaku spoke with Naoki Shima, who mentioned "the Deleted". Ai thought it sounded similar to what had happened to Blue Angel, but Yusaku shushed him, since Shima could hear him. Later at Café Nom, Kolter showed them footage of someone being Deleted, and Ai and Yusaku noted that this was the same condition Blue Angel had been infected by. Kolter showed them data pertaining to the qualities the victims shared; they were all hackers and elite Duelists with old models of Duel Disks like Playmaker, and they realized that the Knights of Hanoi were looking for Playmaker and Ai. Yusaku reminded them of the importance of uncovering the truth behind Lost Incident, and Ai noted that they had to stop people from becoming Deleted. Kolter showed them a list of possible targets, including a student from Den City High School, McKendrick Kellenbocker. Yusaku and Ai visited McKendrick's house, but arrived too late to prevent a Commander of the Knights of Hanoi, Dr. Genome, from Deleting McKendrick. They watched on McKendrick's monitors as he was rescued by The Gore, who confronted Genome. Genome confirmed they were searching for Playmaker, offering Gore the cure to the virus in exchange for Playmaker's identity.[26]

The Knights continued their attack the next day, and Ai, Kolter and Yusaku watched them Deleting people from Café Nom. Yusaku decided to go into LINK VRAINS, despite Ai's trepidations. To their surprise, someone disguised as Playmaker began defeating the Knights, and Dr. Genome confronted the imposter, who revealed himself as The Gore, and challenged Genome, betting Playmaker's identity.[26] Gore claimed to know Playmaker's identity, and Kolter remembered Yusaku met Gore at the hospital, but Yusaku claimed it was impossible for Gore to know his identity. Ai was critical of Gore donning a mask and calling himself "Grim Gore", and Yusaku and Kolter explained the concept of a heel to him. Ai was surprised at Grim Gore's reckless Dueling, but noted that it gained him advantage. Ai commented that Gore had started using his brain to win, while Yusaku noted that Gore still wanted to win in his own way. Just as Gore was about to win, Genome managed to save himself and regain the advantage. Yusaku became displeased as Genome counterattacked, and Ai suggested he could enter LINK VRAINS to save Gore. Once Yusaku saw Grim Gore save himself, he decided to take Ai's advice.[27]

Playmaker and Ai logged into LINK VRAINS, and Dr. Genome noticed the Ignis was here, prompting Ai to claim he had a name. Genome accused Ai of being domesticated, and Ai denied that. They watched as Playmaker's feigned taunts motivated Grim Gore to perform a face turn to The Gore again, and defeat Genome. Gore managed to obtain the removal program for McKendrick, but many people still remained Deleted, and he allied with Playmaker. Playmaker and Ai confronted and defeated a Knight of Hanoi, demanding the virus-removal program. The Knight did not have it, so Playmaker asked him who created the virus, and Ai threatened the Knight. However, someone else dissolved the Knight before he could reply.[28] After they logged out, Ai browsed the net while Yusaku and Kolter searched for information on the identity of the Deleted virus's creator. He was amused to learn that Kitamura was being criticized for his failure to stop the Knights of Hanoi, but Yusaku shushed Ai, since he was interfering with their work. Despite their efforts, Blue Angel wound up finding the virus's creator, Baira, first, and Ai watched their Speed Duel from Café Nom, while Yusaku and Kolter continued working. He expressed concern for Blue Angel being cornered but Yusaku shushed him again.[29] Yusaku eventually found footage of Skye's doctor, Clarissa Turner, present while a Duelist was being Deleted. Yusaku and Ai went to her apartment, worrying Ai that it was the Knights of Hanoi's headquarters. Yusaku replied it was more reason for him to go, and Ai asked if Yusaku was even good at fighting. Kolter hacked the security robot to let them in, and Ai hacked into the security system, opening the apartment. Ai saw nobody, but Yusaku shushed him and they found Clarissa logged in, her screens depicting her Speed Duel with Blue Angel. Blue Angel was able to win, and Baira released the virus-removal program, freeing the Deleted. Ai proposed they tie Clarissa up when she logged out, but instead of logging out, she appeared next to Varis, who punished her. Yusaku suggested that Baira released the virus-removal program because she felt guilty, a feeling Ai did not understand.[30]

Ai flies above Den City to find Shima.

Ai had Roboppi modify Yusaku's Duel Disk to function as a drone, thinking how Yusaku would be surprised when he saw them. The next day, Yusaku spoke with Shima, who wished to battle the Knights of Hanoi. Yusaku knew Shima was scared, and knew he'd come to ask him for help. Shima was furious and stormed out, and Ai noted Yusaku went too far on him, secretly sending the card data of "Cyberse Wizard" to Shima's Duel Disk. Kolter soon alerted Yusaku that "Cyberse Wizard" had been used, and Ai informed him that the card data was missing. Ai suggested to them that the Duelist who had used it, "The Brave Battler" had used it to lure Playmaker out, but they soon learned that he was Shima, and that he had been kidnapped by the final Commander of the Knights of Hanoi, Faust. Tracking the data of "Cyberse Wizard", Ai flew over the city in search of Shima, and Yusaku eventually contacted him when he realized his Duel Disk was missing. Yusaku realized Ai knew this would happen, and Ai acted offended that Yusaku was accusing him. Regardless, Ai showed them location where Shima was captured, and Ai returned to Café Nom while it was en route, allowing Yusaku to log into LINK VRAINS.[31] Playmaker confronted Faust, who denied having stolen "Cyberse Wizard" and giving it to The Brave Battler. Playmaker was confused, but Ai claimed it wasn't important, and that he had to defeat Faust. Faust conjured a Data Gale for their Speed Duel, and Ai noted this prevented them from logging out. Faust's Insect tactics quickly drove them back and left them with 50 LP, though Playmaker stated it was still enough to fight. Ai encouraged Playmaker to use "Storm Access", and Playmaker acquired "Powercode Talker" and prepared to defeat Faust. Faust tried to protest that the Ignis would put humanity's future at risk, but Ai told Playmaker to ignore him and attack, and Playmaker did so. After Playmaker won, what Faust had said, and Ai claimed not to know anything about that. After the logging, Yusaku went to rescue Shima, who complimented him. He also spoke about Playmaker rescuing him, and Ai noted that Shima talked too much.[32]

Yusaku went to Kolter's van as he was having trouble sleeping. Ai smiled at Yusaku, calling him cute, but Yusaku told him to be quiet. Ai and Yusaku agreed that something bad was about to happen, and that Varis would make his move soon.[33] While Yusaku was on the way home from school on day, he and Ai sensed something wrong in LINK VRAINS. Later, Ai observed Kolter serving a customer who claimed he was visiting for the last time, and suggested that Kolter needed a mascot, who claimed Ai would make a terrible mascot. Kolter noted that the Deleted incident has been resolved, but that Varis was still out there. Ai suggested that Varis had retreated, but Yusaku doubted that. Suddenly, Ai and Yusaku felt a pulse within LINK VRAINS, and Yusaku asked Kolter to scan through the network. As Ai and Yusaku sensed another pulse, Kolter realized that LINK VRAINS' infrastructure was changing. Yusaku decided to log into LINK VRAINS, and Ai was once again uneasy about doing so.[34]

Ai's Destiny Draw resulted in "Fake Trap".

As Playmaker searched LINK VRAINS, Ai tried to convince Playmaker that something would go wrong and that they should return home, but Playmaker was focused on finding the cause of the pulses. Once again, they sensed the pulse coming from the network, and they found some data fireflies. Playmaker traced them to an alleyway, and Ai suggested that they were taking a break. Ghost Gal arrived, and wasn't particularly pleased to see them. The data fireflies opened a path into LINK VRAINS' data sewers, which Ai had become experienced with when he was on the run, and they came to a fork in the sewers. Ai suggested they could settle who took which path with a game, which amused Ghost Gal. She told him that whoever chose the "lovelier" card from her Deck could choose the path they took. Ai was confident in his skills, but worried that Ghost Gal could cheat, though she claimed there wasn't anything beneficial in that. Ai declared a "Destiny Draw", only to choose "Fake Trap". Ghost Gal claimed it was so ugly she didn't even need to draw a card, and she bid farewell to Ai and Playmaker, taking the path on the right. Ai was displeased he chose "Fake Trap", but Playmaker explained that Ghost Gal had cheated by using a Deck filled with bad cards. Ai was even more depressed he was cheated once more, but Playmaker reminded him of the importance of their mission. As they continued on, they noticed something moving in the data streams, and initially brushed it off until they were attacked by a data monster. Ai panicked in fear, urging Playmaker to run as the pulses they sensed became stronger.[34] They eventually came to a dead end, but just as the data was about to attack them, it disappeared in a blast of light that had emerged from the floor. Ai was relieved they'd been saved, while Playmaker noted that they had to be above the abnormality. Playmaker leaped down the crack, coming to a data processing center containing a strange energy sphere where Ghost Gal was Speed Dueling Varis. Trapped behind bars, they watched helplessly in horror as Ghost Gal was defeated by Varis's "Topologic Trisbaena". After her defeat, Ghost Gal glowed with a red light, and started disintegrating. She warned Playmaker of Varis and his new card before her data was absorbed by the energy sphere. Varis confronted them, explaining that Ghost Gal had become part of the foundation to save the world, and that the Tower of Hanoi had been activated, which they could only stop by defeating him. Varis then began the Tower of Hanoi and departed, and the energy sphere expanded and began tearing the plant apart. Ai had to use the emergency logout to get them out, as Playmaker was too wrapped up in his rage to think rationally.[35]

Ai and Yusaku joined Kolter, and they as the Tower of Hanoi grew and destroyed the cyberspace around it.[35] The Tower absorbed the data of all the Avatars in its vicinity, and began constructing a ring of data. Kolter analyzed the data that they had obtained from Ghost Gal, and learned that the Tower was absorbing data to construct the ring. Once it completed six rings, it would release a pulse of high-density data that would destroy every piece of technology connected to the network. Ai believed they'd be safe if they didn't enter the network, but Yusaku stated that Varis likely would have thought of this, and Kolter confirmed that the data pulse would also repurpose mainframes into EMP devices that would affect technology even if it wasn't connected to the network. They realized that Varis was going so far just to erase the Ignis. Later, they witnessed Kitamura Dueling a Knight of Hanoi, Specter, who defeated Kitamura, resulting in Kitamura's data being absorbed by the Tower of Hanoi. Specter threatened anyone that dared enter LINK VRAINS with the same fate, and Yusaku swore to stop the Knights of Hanoi by shutting down the Tower. Kolter warned him there were no Data Storms in LINK VRAINS, except near the Tower of Hanoi.[36]

This did not stop Yusaku, who wished to end his feud with Varis, and he logged into LINK VRAINS. They quickly met up with The Gore and Blue Angel.They claimed they were fighting for everyone who looked up to them, and Ai noted in particular how full of energy Gore was. Gore took note of Ai for the first time, observing that he was the Ignis, prompting Ai to protest that he had a name. Playmaker explained he came to stop the Tower of Hanoi, rescue Ghost Gal and confront Varis, explaining the function of the Tower to them, and the importance of stopping it (Ai adding that it would prevent him from being erased too). Ai warned them that they had six hours before the tower was completed. Gore and Blue Angel promised to go there, but Playmaker replied it was better if they stayed home in safety. This actually motivated Gore and Blue Angel further. Playmaker did not care, but asked them to be careful. He reminded them one of them had to defeat Varis, who, according to Ghost Gal, wielded a powerful card. The trio promised to meet up again and departed in different directions.[36]

After Playmaker saved a kid from a collapsing building in LINK VRAINS, Ai noted Playmaker wanted to do something cool, but Playmaker told him to be quiet.[37] As they continued towards the Tower, Ai counted five hours left before the Tower of Hanoi was completed. He was not amused by this game, which Playmaker swore to end by defeating Varis. Ai cheered Playmaker, stating that this was why he had his name. As they continued on, they noticed a twister in the distance where Blue Angel had headed.[38] Ai and Playmaker came to a bridge, which was being corrupted by the Tower, and Ai noted they had to cross it to get to the Tower. Ai suggested conjuring a Data Storm, but Playmaker asked him not to do that, since the Tower would absorb that data too and hasten the tower's completion. Specter blocked their way over the bridge, claiming that he would crush them as he had Blue Angel as per Varis's orders, which shocked Ai and Playmaker. Specter claimed he defeated Blue Angel without using his full strength, and recalled that she said something about "blue love", which Ai did not understand. Specter showed them bits of data of Blue Angel, stating she had no power to save him, and he promised the same fate would befall Playmaker. As they began a Duel, Playmaker recalled that Blue Angel's tactics focused on effect damage, and Ai stated that Specter had to be dangerous if he had defeated Blue Angel quickly, though Ai noted that Specter's "Sunavalon Dryas" did not look very offensive. As Playmaker tried to dissuade Specter from supporting Varis, Specter revealed that he was one of the other children who had been kidnapped for the Hanoi Project, which shocked Playmaker. As Playmaker and Specter contrasted their experiences during the Lost Incident, Ai noted Playmaker looked distant and worried that he was losing his conviction, and he told him that he was nothing like Specter, and reminded him that the Tower of Hanoi would continue growing as long as they wasted time. Playmaker told him that he understood, while Specter dared Playmaker to defeat him, and Playmaker began Link Summoning.[39] Specter proclaimed that nobody could defeat him as long as his "Sunavalon" was on the field, and claimed that the Ignis would be erased along with LINK VRAINS. Playmaker's attacks were blunted by Specter's LP restoration combos, and Ai sensed they could be in trouble unless Playmaker tried harder. Playmaker observed that Specter used a defense-oriented Deck, and Blue Angel must have fallen to Specter's tricks. Specter warned them that his "Sunavalon" could not be attacked, and Ai noted that Specter had anticipated their attacks. Attempting to finish the Duel in one stroke, Playmaker removed all of the counters "Multi Sledgehammer" had received when his other monsters attacked, raising its ATK to 4000. Ai praised Playmaker, while Specter noted all of their attacks were just to power up "Multi Sledgehammer" for a final strike. Ai claimed it was a brilliant strategy, but Specter told them it was not perfect; "Sunavalon Glorious Growth" redirected the attack to "Sunvine Gardna", who reduced the damage, allowing Specter to restore his LP again. Ai realized Specter had the advantage, and Specter claimed their Duel had been decided from the start since Playmaker was obsessed with revenge, while Specter helped Varis save the world. Specter went on the offensive with "Sunvine Thrasher", taking control of Playmaker's "Binary Blader". Ai warned Playmaker he was losing, but Playmaker stated that Specter could no longer use the effect of "Sunavalon Dryanome", as all of the zones it pointed to were occupied, so he had a chance of winning the next turn. Ai noted that's was why Playmaker had that name, but Specter Link Summoned "Sunavalon Daphne", and Ai and Playmaker realized this just expanded Specter's zones for its effects. Playmaker countered by bringing out "Excode Talker" and "Underclock Taker", preventing Specter from using the two Main Monster Zones his "Sunavalon" pointed to and reducing the ATK of "Sunvine Thrasher". Specter was displeased as he could not use his combo to protect himself, while Ai gloated that they would win.[40]

Specter then brought a captured Akira Zaizen to the bridge, threatening to infect him with a virus that would allow the Tower of Hanoi to absorb him. Ai and Playmaker were angry that Specter was cheating by dragging people that weren't involved into their Duel, but Specter claimed that it had been Playmaker who actually involved those people in this crisis; first Blue Angel, and now Zaizen, who told them not to worry about him. Ai agreed with Zaizen and told Playmaker not to listen to Specter, but to his frustration and Specter's mirth, Playmaker ended his turn. Specter then counterattacked, reducing Playmaker to 900 LP and damaging the bridge, and Ai panicked as the bridge began collapsing.[40] Specter lamented that he could not defeat Playmaker as the bridge was collapsing, and Playmaker tricked him into stabilizing the bridge and continuing the Duel. Despite Ai, Zaizen, and Specter all urging Playmaker to attack, he instead stalled despite Ai reminding him that the Tower would be completed if they lost. Specter Link Summoned "Sunavalon Dryatrentiay" and "Sunvine Thrasher", destroying Playmaker's protective cards and increasing the ATK of "Thrasher" to 4000. Ai was initially worried, but was relieved when Specter revealed that his monsters in the Main Monster Zones couldn't attack during the turn he used the effect of "Dryatrentiay". Playmaker warned Ai that Specter had Summoned the high ATK monster for a reason, and Specter proved them right; "Dryatrentiay" gained ATK equal to the ATK of "Thrasher". But Playmaker had anticipated that, and [Link Surge Counter|made]] the ATK of "Excode Talker" equal to "Dryatrentiay", destroying them both and surviving with 50 LP. Ai praised Playmaker for surviving and breaking Specter's combo. He mocked Specter over his "mother" being destroyed, but Specter flew into a rage and revived "Dryatrentiay" with "Sunavalon Cursed Reborn"; though its effects were negated, its ATK became 4000. Ai was scared, while Specter explained that any damage he took would also be inflicted to Playmaker. Ai lamented that this was why they should have ignored Zaizen. Just then, Kolter attempted to break Zaizen's trap, but his code was unable to break the trap's complexity.[41]

Zaizen told Playmaker he had to win to prevent Skye's sacrifice from being in vain, and he sacrificed himself by grasping his prison, infecting himself with the virus and being absorbed by the Tower of Hanoi. Specter laughed at Zaizen's sacrifice, but an enraged Playmaker revived "Excode Talker" and raised its ATK to 4000 with "Link Atrocity", while reducing the ATK of "Dryatrentiay" to zero, and it defeated Specter. Ai and Playmaker left Specter laughing madly as the bridge continued collapsing, and Playmaker sprinted across the bridge towards the Tower, but the bridge finally collapsed beneath them, plunging Ai and Playmaker into the abyss.[41] To their surprise, a Data Storm ejected them from the abyss, and Playmaker asked Ai if he summoned that Data Storm. Ai replied that he hadn't, but warned Playmaker that the third ring of the Tower had been completed, leaving them with only three hours left.[42]

As they continued towards the Tower, Frog and Pigeon informed them of another Duel. Playmaker deduced that it had to be The Gore and Varis Dueling, and they quickly found them Dueling at the base of the Tower of Hanoi, where Gore had made a solid start. Ai enthusiastically supported Gore, while Playmaker told him to be quiet, and Ai believed that Gore had won after he destroyed "Topologic Bomber Dragon" and Summoned four "Gouki" Link Monsters, but Varis activated the card that Ghost Gal had warned them about, "Mirror Force", and he destroyed Gore's monsters.[42] Playmaker and Ai noted that "Mirror Force" was a good counter against Link Monsters, and they watched as Varis pushed him into a corner. Ai was impressed when Gore was able to mount a rally and Link Summon "Gouki The Giant Ogre" (producing a sizable knife out of thin air when "Giant Ogre" drew its massive sword). Ai watched nervously as Varis began to press Gore again, but Gore was able to protect "Giant Ogre". Ai believed that Gore and Varis were equal, but Playmaker reminded him that Varis still had four monsters and would Link Summon a Link-4 monster. Ai believed Varis would Link Summon "Borreload Dragon", but Varis instead brought out "Borrelsword Dragon", which clashed with "Giant Ogre" and eventually destroyed it. Ai believed that Gore had survived as he was still standing, but Gore's LP had been reduced to zero, and as he was absorbed by the Tower of Hanoi, he apologized for not being able to do more.[43]

Ai sweats in fear as Varis reveals his deception and past.

Playmaker and Varis were left as the last two Duelists in LINK VRAINS, and they Speed Dueled in the Data Storm within the still-forming fifth ring of the Tower of Hanoi. Ai was nervous about Speed Dueling in the debris field, and even more so when Varis vowed to destroy him. Ai acted as lookout for Playmaker as he Dueled, warning him of incoming debris fragments, and cheered him on as he brought out "Decode Talker" for a strong start. But his arrogance had pushed Varis's patience too far, who revealed to Playmaker that Ai had been lying about losing his memory and that he had been created from Playmaker during the Lost Incident. Ai could only protest that he had lied because even though he'd immediately recognized his Origin, he hadn't known if he could trust him. To Ai's shock, Playmaker once again claimed they weren't friends, and told him to be quiet. Ai watched as Varis Set a card, knowing something was wrong and eventually deducing that Varis had Set "Mirror Force". Although Playmaker set a defense against it, Varis was able to spring his Trap successfully and destroy Playmaker's monsters, and Ai lost his patience, stating that he didn't care if Playmaker trusted him or not because if he lost, Ai was doomed too. To his terror, Varis assembled enough attacks to wipe out Playmaker's LP.[1]

Ai saves Playmaker from falling.

Playmaker was able to block the last attack, and Ai realized that this left them with enough LP to use "Storm Access", but cautioned Playmaker against trying to enter the high-density Data Storm. Heedless of his words, Playmaker plunged his hand in, but the Data Storm severed his hand and knocked him off his Duel Board. Ai grew to human size and grabbed Playmaker's hand, saving him and healing his injuries, then he entered the Duel Board and powered it into the Data Storm. Playmaker protested about what would happen if Ai did so, but Ai declared that this was how he would atone. After Playmaker successfully used his Skill, Ai bid him goodbye, apparently destroyed by his effort. However, he resurfaced later, having simply been weakened by the effort. Varis then attempted to use "Storm Access" as well, despite Ai's warnings, and his own arm was severed, but he still tried to enter the Data Storm again, much to Ai's shock. The Data Storm then stopped, freezing Ai, Playmaker, and Varis, and Dr. Kogami materialized, talking with Varis and then vanishing, which allowed Varis to successfully use "Storm Access". To Ai's shock, Varis Link Summoned the new monster, "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" and used it in combination with "Drop Draco" to destroy their hands and end the Duel in a DRAW.[44]

The explosion caused by the draw logged them out of LINK VRAINS, and Ai panicked that they wouldn't be able to stop the Tower of Hanoi without Varis, but Yusaku revealed he knew where Varis was. As Kolter drove them there, Yusaku explained that Varis had spoken of the Stardust Road during their Duel, a phenomenon that occurred in the ocean where Kolter had served a customer while they first sensed the Tower. As Varis was familiar with it, he had to be nearby. Sure enough, they found Varis - who introduced himself to them as Ryoken Kogami - with the body of Dr. Kogami. Ryoken told them that his father had passed away, and he told them the truth of his attacks on the Ignis. He revealed that he had saved the children in the past and that SOL Technologies had infected his father with a computer virus that left him comatose while the Ignis created the Cyberse. Their progress had concerned Kogami, who deduced through simulations that the Ignis would eventually turn on humanity, and this was why they had attacked the Ignis. Yusaku tried to convince Ryoken to stop the Tower, now desiring to save him as he knew that Ryoken was the one who had saved him, but Ryoken refused. They agreed to a final Duel, and logged into LINK VRAINS.[5]

Before the Duel began, Ai noted that it was eerily quiet. He was disconcerted when Varis quickly Set "Mirror Force" again, but Playmaker reassured him that he had a plan and attempted to destroy Varis's Set card with "Linkslayer". Unfortunately, the Set card had been "Mirror Force Launcher", and as it had been destroyed it was re-Set and also Set "Mirror Force". Playmaker was able to gain some advantage, baiting "Mirror Force" with "Excode Talker" and allowing him to revive "Restoration Point Guard" to inflict damage to Varis.[5] Varis brought out "Topologic Bomber Dragon", but Playmaker was able to minimize the damage, though Varis retrieved "Mirror Force" with "Mirror Force Launcher". To Ai's shock, Playmaker Link Summoned on his next turn, despite the combined danger of "Mirror Force" and "Topologic Bomber", but Playmaker negated the effects of "Topologic Bomber" and Summoned three "Code Talkers" and made them immune to destruction by card effects, impressing Ai. Varis blocked their attacks with "Link Turret" and brought out "Borreload Dragon" on his next turn. Ai was initially unworried, as they had the higher ATK, and Playmaker warned him that he'd forgotten the effects of "Borreload Dragon". "Borreload Dragon" proceeded to singlehandedly demolish their field and Playmaker was reduced to 800 LP.[45] Although Varis hadn't been able to defeat them with his attacks, he still intended to defeat them that turn, and he began reviving his monsters with "Link Turret", shocking Ai with the number of monsters he was able to revive. Varis created an Extra Link, unlocking the true power of "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" to destroy Playmaker's hand and inflict 3000 damage; an effect that could not be negated. Ai was horrified that the effect could not be negated, and asked how they could stop it, taking cover in Playmaker's Duel Disk as the attack hit.[6]

Playmaker was able to save them and stall Varis's attacks by quartering the damage with "Drop Frame Wedge", but the damage had badly injured him. Ai begged Playmaker to get up, telling him that he had to save his friends. Playmaker asked what the Cyberse was like, and Ai fondly described it to Playmaker, telling him that the Ignis wouldn't harm humanity and only wanted to live on their own. He admitted to using Playmaker, but stated that it had only been due to wanting to return home to his friends. Although Playmaker found the strength to continue, their options were limited, as the effect of "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" would put them in danger of losing if they kept cards in their hand, and Varis swiftly destroyed any cards they played. But despite their situation, and to Ai's utter shock, Playmaker began laughing, and claimed that it was all one could do in such a situation. His next turn went better; Playmaker was able to draw "Arrow Charge" and draw two more cards. Ai prayed for a good draw, and Playmaker teased him that he thought A.I.s didn't pray. Ai stated that he would this time. Playmaker's cards allowed him to set up a stronger defense with "Secure Gardna" and "Transaction Rollback" just in time before the effect of "Drop Frame Wedge" expired, allowing Varis to attack.[6] Varis didn't hold back, using the effects of "Borreload" and "Borrelsword" to prevent them from stopping their attacks, but Playmaker was able to hold Varis off long enough to copy "Mirror Force" with "Transaction Rollback". The effect of "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" prevented Varis's Extra Link from being destroyed, but Playmaker was able to survive the turn.[46]

As Ai expressed relief at barely surviving the turn, Playmaker smiled, asking Ai if he was giving up. Ai stated that he wasn't, and asked Playmaker to stop smiling as it was freaking him out, and Playmaker replied that he'd try. Playmaker then began trying to convince Varis to stop the Tower, claiming that he didn't have any friends, much to Ai's indignation. Playmaker then expressed a desire to save Varis as Varis had once done for him, and Ai asked in shock if that would mean he'd have to become friends with Varis. Varis rebuffed them, believing that Playmaker was begging for mercy, but Playmaker replied that he wasn't, and Ai cheered that he'd been waiting for this. Playmaker re-established his field by activating the effects of "Recoded Alive" with "Transaction Rollback", successfully playing around the effect of "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" to Link Summon "Firewall Dragon" and Extra Link his own monsters to Varis's, then boost the ATK of "Transcode Talker" with "Zero Extra Link". To Ai's horror, Varis managed to stop their monsters from attacking with "Link Short", but Playmaker Link Summoned "Decode Talker", who inherited the ATK boost from "Zero Extra Link" and attacked and destroyed "Borreload Dragon", defeating Varis and stopping the Tower of Hanoi at last.[46]

Yusaku sets Ai free.

Varis logged out, warning them that he would continue to oppose the Ignis as long as they were a threat to humanity. That night, Yusaku and Ai looked over the Stardust Road, and Ai admitted that it was beautiful. Yusaku then released him, pointing out that his mission was complete, and they exchanged heartfelt words before Ai almost flew off in the Duel Disk. Yusaku gently told him to leave it behind, and Ai casually bid Yusaku goodbye and returned to the network.[46]

Lost Ignis[edit]

Ai wasted little time in returning to the Cyberse and releasing its coordinates, but to his horror he found the Cyberse had been destroyed, and only "Linkuriboh" remained in the ruins. After three months, he decided to return to Yusaku with "Linkuriboh" in tow, arriving just as Playmaker was denying to a Bounty Hunter that he had an Ignis. Ai got rid of the Bounty Hunter with a Data Storm, but he and Playmaker had little time to catch up, as Playmaker was pursing a glowing figure who had stolen Jin Kolter's consciousness data. Playmaker challenged the figure to a Speed Duel, and Ai suggested he add "Linkuriboh" to his Deck. The glowing figure only Set a single card, but Playmaker brought out "Linkuriboh" and "Elphase", and Ai cheered "Linkuriboh" on. To their surprise, the glowing figure Summoned "Hydradrive Booster", a Cyberse monster, and Ai wondered if he had some thing to do with the destruction of the Cyberse (revealing to Playmaker for the first time that it had been destroyed). The figure then activated a Link Spell Card, "Judgment Arrows", which took Ai some time to understand. To Ai's shock, it doubled the ATK of his "Flow Hydradrives", allowing them to gain enough ATK to wipe Playmaker out.[47] The effect of "Linkuriboh" saved them, and Ai praised his friend, stating that he always knew it had skills. He eagerly cheered Playmaker on as he Ritual Summoned "Cyberse Magician".[48]

Though they were unable to defeat the figure, the attack destroyed the glowing shell around him, revealing a muscular man. Playmaker asked who he was, but the man couldn't remember anything, and asked who he was. Ai protested that they were supposed to ask that, but the man seemed confused as to why they were Dueling him, despite Ai impressing on him that he stole Jin's data. Ai wondered if they'd given the man amnesia, but then the man became assertive, introducing himself as Bohman and swiftly putting together a defense. On his next turn, the man once again assembled "Hydradrive" monsters with doubled ATK, but the effect of "Cyberse Magician" halved the damage. Faced with a defense that was difficult to break, Playmaker suggested to Ai that they use their Skill, and Ai happily conjured a Data Storm for Playmaker to use "Storm Access" in, gaining "Shootingcode Talker" and defeating Bohman with it, blasting him into a forest. Ai attempted to eat Jin's data from him, but Bohman had been implanted with an anti-Ignis program, and Ai retreated into Playmaker's Duel Disk, writhing in pain.[48]

Ai recovered after they logged out, and learned that Bohman had got away. Yusaku then imprisoned him within his Duel Disk for his own safety, and at Yusaku's house, Ai was reunited with Roboppi, who was pleased to see him. Roboppi admitted that it thought Ai had abandoned it when he returned to his homeworld, and Ai reassured her that he'd never do that. Roboppi agreed, reminding Ai that he'd promised to make it smarter, and Ai called it his precious minion, stating that if it did as he said, it would be smarter in no time. Roboppi then asked who "Linkuriboh" was, and Ai introduced it as one of his minions. Roboppi asked if this meant they were rivals, and as it and "Linkuriboh" glared at one another, Ai commented that it was hard being a popular A.I. He received a message from the FIRE Ignis before school the next day, and glanced around as Yusaku walked to school, admitting that he hadn't been in a while. He asked why Yusaku had locked him up again, and Yusaku told him it was for his own safety, because Kolter needed someone to talk to, and because being a hostage suited him. They met with Takeru Homura and the FIRE Ignis, who called himself "Flame" and needled Ai for his cutesy name.[49]

Flame suggested they relocate to a Ferris wheel for privacy, though Ai suspected he just wanted to ride it. Flame revealed that the Cyberse had been destroyed while Ai and Playmaker were fighting the Knights of Hanoi, and Ai was shocked that his program had been broken through. Flame claimed that his program was lame, much to Ai's anger, as he protested that it was the best he could do at the time. Flame explained that he didn't know who their enemy was, and that he'd contacted Takeru in order to search for the other Ignis. Ai admitted that he'd never thought he'd contact Yusaku in the manner Flame had, and explained to Yusaku that there were six Ignis, one for each Attribute. Yusaku asked which Attribute of Ignis had been created from Jin, but Ai admitted that only that Ignis would know. Flame asked for their help, and Ai agreed, but Yusaku wanted to search for Jin instead. Flame then revealed that the enemy that destroyed the Cyberse also used "Judgment Arrows", and Yusaku suggested they ask Kolter for a lead. Kolter stated that Bohman had vanished in LINK VRAINS' Restricted Area, and that he'd found a shred of an unknown program. Ai and Flame recognized it as an Ignis program associated with the WIND Attribute, and Yusaku asked if that meant the WIND Ignis was down there. Ai wasn't sure, and Yusaku noted that either way they needed to go down there. Ghost Gal then sent them info about the restricted area and how to enter it, and though Ai protested that it was a trap, Yusaku realized that Ghost Gal must have got the info from Zaizen, so it was legitimate, and Kolter warned them that SOL Technologies would likely have Bounty Hunters waiting for them.[49]

Playmaker and Soulburner logged into LINK VRAINS and headed through the Restricted Area using a stealth program that Ghost Gal had given them, but sure enough, they were ambushed by Gore and two other Bounty Hunters.[49] Ai observed Gore's energy as he pursed them, and SOL Technologies' traps quickly logged out Kenmochi and Yoroizaka. Gore challenged Playmaker to a Duel. Playmaker stated that he didn't have time for this, and Soulburner asked Playmaker to let him Duel Gore instead. Playmaker agreed, and Flame wished him luck. Ai wished Flame luck as well, and Flame irritably told him that he wasn't talking to him.[50]

As Ai and Playmaker descended, they were attacked by Blood Shepherd, the first bounty hunter they'd met.[51] Ai tried to get rid of him with a Data Storm again, but Blood Shepherd blasted right through it and pursued them into the Restricted Area. Ai was terrified that Blood Shepherd was shooting at them, but Playmaker reassured him that Blood Shepherd was just trying to intimidate him, as he could only take Ai through a Duel. Blood Shepherd eventually challenged Playmaker to a Speed Duel, and Ai noted that Blood Shepherd's A.I. was quite talkative, and he decided to take the A.I. on. The A.I. warned Blood Shepherd to be careful of "Shootingcode Talker", as they were in position to activate its consecutive attack effect. Blood Shepherd muttered that he should have been more careful, and Ai grinned that the other A.I. was correct and they'd win. To his disappointment, Blood Shepherd also told him to shut up, reducing Ai to a teary heap. Playmaker quickly brought out "Shootingcode Talker", and Ai mockingly praised Blood Shepherd's A.I. as it explained the situation. But to their shock, Blood Shepherd activated his Trap Card "Capture Drone", despite his A.I. claiming that he couldn't earlier when Playmaker Link Summoned "Elphase", and it chained "Shootingcode Talker" down. Blood Shepherd asked Ai who decided that an A.I.'s info was accurate, and Ai realized that Blood Shepherd had ordered his A.I. to lie. Blood Shepherd insulted Ai's intelligence for believing the information of an A.I., much to Ai's frustration. Blood Shepherd brought out "Battledrone Sergeant", and Ai crowed that its ATK was too low, prompting Blood Shepherd to insult him again for relaying such obvious information before Link Summoning "Battledrone General".[52] As Blood Shepherd amassed his army and inflicted damage to them with "Drone Launcher Unit", Ai tried to count the Link Ratings of the monsters in the field, only to miscount it. Blood Shepherd asked incredulously if Ai could even count, and Ai smugly asked who decided his info was accurate before Playmaker told him to be quiet. Ai hid as Blood Shepherd brought them to 500 LP, but Playmaker was able to avoid defeat, though Ai didn't initially realize that it was at the cost of restoring his LP and preventing them from using "Storm Access". Playmaker Ritual Summoned "Cyberse Magician", which Ai cheekily noted wasn't affected by "Capture Drone", but Blood Shepherd Tributed "General" to minimize the damage, much to Ai's surprise. Blood Shepherd revived it next turn and unleashed his combo again, this time blunted by the effect of "Cyberse Magician", though Playmaker was able to save them by having "Cyberse Witch" and "Medicdrone Dock" destroy each other. Once again, despite Ai's protests, this increased their LP and prevented them from using "Storm Access". Blood Shepherd told Playmaker to give up and hand Ai over, and Ai insisted that they were tied together by a strong trust and bond, a notion that angered Blood Shepherd. Playmaker was able to reduce their LP and free "Shootingcode Talker", but Blood Shepherd once again prevented their Link Monsters from attacking with "Drone Cordon". Ai conjured a Data Storm for Playmaker to use "Storm Access", and Playmaker obtained "Clock Spartoi", using it to search out "Cynet Fusion" and Fusion Summon "Cyberse Clock Dragon", which was unaffected by "Drone Cordon" as a Fusion Monster and defeated Blood Shepherd.[53]

After defeating Blood Shepherd, Ai and Playmaker met up with Flame and Soulburner again, and they managed to enter the unknown world through its gate. Immediately after arriving, they were hit by strong winds, which forced Ai and Flame to protect them using Data Storms. At some point, the winds stopped, and they were able to reach a temple where they finally found the WIND Ignis. After showing them the world he had built, the Ignis (who decided to call himself "Windy") explained how he did that in order to attract his fellow Ignis, and also to lure those responsible for destroying the Cyberse. Despite not knowing who was responsible, Flame explained they were after Bohman, who not only had stolen Jin's consciousness, but also had the card used to destroy the Cyberse, and suggested he could've escaped to a world inside Windy's world. They then asked Windy to join them, which he promptly refused, as those statements had no evidence. However, Windy offered to weaken the winds near the area where Bohman supposedly escaped to, under the condition that Playmaker and Soulburner defeat the two invaders, Ghost Gal and an unknown partner.

Upon making contact with the girls, Blue Girl presented herself as actually being Blue Angel. Soulburner was happy to meet another savior of the old LINK VRAINS, but Blue Girl stated they were actually seeking to retrieve the Ignis. While both Playmaker and Ghost Gal were willing to solve the situation without Dueling, Soulburner accepted Blue Girl's challenge. As Playmaker and Ai left, Ai asked if this was okay, but Playmaker reassured him it was fine.[4]

Relationships[edit]

Yusaku Fujiki (Playmaker)[edit]

Being trapped in Yusaku's Duel Disk, Ai somewhat reluctantly acts as Playmaker's Duel A.I. for the sake of staying safe from Hanoi and SOL Technologies. Ai offers frequent support and pulls mischievous acts and jokes on Yusaku, but he originally treats Ai as a hostage and is sometimes rude towards him. Yusaku gave it the nickname "Ai" (a pun on "A.I." and "eye"), much to his annoyance. Despite the rockiness of their relationship, Ai seems to have gradually warmed up to Yusaku and is keen on treating him like a friend, though the feeling is not mutual.

Kal Kolter[edit]

Both Ai and Kolter are shown to be on good terms with each other unlike Yusaku. Kolter is generally shown to be very friendly with Ai and they both like to tease Yusaku for his poor social skills towards women however Ai can be annoyed with him at times.

Roboppi[edit]

The two appears to have some sort of romantic relationship. Roboppi appears to have some feelings for him and Ai in return is shown to blush when it praises him. It is currently unknown if his feelings for it are mutual, but he uses it to make him set free and promises he would make it smarter. When he left a backup of him in it, it gained free will and developed a brotherly relationship with him.

Deck[edit]

Ai uses an "@Ignister"/"A.I." Deck that focuses on continuously swarming the field using "Ignister A.I.Land" and using monsters as materials for multiple Summoning methods, including Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, Xyz and Link Summoning. His monsters are based on the Ignis; the Main Deck monsters gather advantage and the necessary cards to perform his Summons, while the effects of his Extra Deck monsters are often more powerful when he controls more "@Ignister" monsters.

His Deck also has stall capabilities via the effect of "A.I. A.I. Wall"; he uses this variant to hold off Playmaker, Varis, and Soulburner. The Spell and Trap Card support featured in the Deck contains art of the Ignis form of Ai, reflecting his self-centered nature.

Deck

Duels[edit]

Opponent Episode(s) Outcome
Queen 104 Win
Doctor Genome & Kyoko Taki/Baira 106 Win (Off-Screen)
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 106, 108 Lose (Ai Clone)
Takeru Homura/Soulburner 106, 108 Lose (Ai Clone)
Varis 106, 108 Lose (Ai Clone)
Faust & Specter 107 Win (Off-Screen)
George Gore 107-108 Win
Pandor 108-109 Win
Akira Zaizen & Skye Zaizen/Blue Maiden 110-111 Win
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 117-??? TBD

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 41: "Truth and Consequences"
  2. "Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS staff". TV Tokyo. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 55: "To the Unknown World"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 43: "The Reveal"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 45: "Standing Tall"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Neutralized"
  8. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: "Seize the Wind!"
  9. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "Contact"
  10. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 4: "Pain and Gain"
  11. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "True Blue"
  12. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Fallen Angel"
  13. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 8: "A Storm is Coming"
  14. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 9: "Malicious Mayhem"
  15. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10: "Eye of the Storm"
  16. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Link the Circuit"
  17. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 13: "Playback"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 14: "An Invitation"
  19. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 15: "Camouflaged Chaos"
  20. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 16: "Hack Attack"
  21. 21.0 21.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 17: "Blue's Back"
  22. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 18: "Dueling for Answers"
  23. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 19: "The Lost Incident"
  24. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20: "A Piece of the Puzzle"
  25. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 21: "Story Time!"
  26. 26.0 26.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 22: "The Deleted"
  27. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 23: "A Grim Tale"
  28. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 24: "To Gore Or Not To Gore"
  29. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25: "Suture the Circuit"
  30. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 26: "Diagnosis: Deletion"
  31. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 27: "The Brave Battler"
  32. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 28: "Bugging Out"
  33. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 29: "Kolter's Khronicles"
  34. 34.0 34.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 30: "Under VRAINS"
  35. 35.0 35.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 31: "Showdown in the Sewers"
  36. 36.0 36.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 32: "The Tower of Hanoi"
  37. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 33: "Once Upon A Time"
  38. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 34: "Roots of Evil"
  39. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 35: "The Hollow"
  40. 40.0 40.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 36: "Worthless Justice"
  41. 41.0 41.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 37: "Out on a Limb"
  42. 42.0 42.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 39: "Ring the Bell"
  43. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 40: "Gore at War"
  44. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 42: "Storm Access"
  45. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 44: "Illusion of Hope"
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 46: "Link to the Future"
  47. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 47: "Playmaker Returns"
  48. 48.0 48.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 48: "Judgment Arrow"
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 50: "Transfer Student Takeru Homura"
  50. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 51: "Man Who Gave Up Charisma"
  51. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 52: "Hero in Name Only"
  52. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 53: "Bounty Hunter Blood Shepherd"
  53. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 54: "Terrifying Battledrone"