The Hanoi Project (ハノイプロジェクト Hanoi Purojekuto), also known as the Lost Incident (ロスト
Ten years before the present, six children were kidnapped by Kiyoshi Kogami. During six months of captivity, the children were imprisoned separately in rooms with nothing but VR equipment. They were forced to Duel in a virtual arena where if they did not win, they were electrocuted and starved. After the children were rescued, the incident was covered up. This was to create the Ignis; AI with free will. The Ignis were created based on available data from the children and observed them as they Dueled in order to learn how to problem-solve. As the children suffered, Kogami's son, Ryoken, heard their cries and did his best to help them; including installing Yusaku's philosophy of three reasons in him to encourage him to keep on going. Eventually, Ryoken was unable to bear the guilt and terror, and he alerted the authorities, who rescued the six children and then returned them to their homes.
In the aftermath of the incident, several of the children suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, with some taking years of therapy to recover, while others have not recovered at all. Yusaku was unaware of Ryoken's identity, and he theorized that he might still be captured, unaware that Ryoken would come to lead the Knights of Hanoi. SOL Technologies covered up the Incident, reportedly infecting Kogami with a computer virus that left him comatose and only able to exist within LINK VRAINS. In reality, Lightning, one of the Ignis, infected Kogami with the virus.
The project's name is the main reason why Yusaku and Kolter suspect the Knights of Hanoi of a major involvement in the incident and thus why they pursue them. Roken Kogami confirmed his knowledge of the incident during his Duel with Yusaku while Dr. Kogami, Dr. Genome, Clarissa Turner and Aso were all present during the incident, watching the victims' suffering.
- White room.png
The appearance of the white room
- Number on the wall before.png
The 8-digit number (99999999) shown on the wall at the start of the incident
- Number on the wall during.png
The 8-digit number (68821000) shown on the wall sometime during the incident
- Food reward 1.png
The reward for winning a Duel
- Food reward 2.png
The penalty for losing a Duel
- Electrocution Penalty.png
Yusaku being electrocuted for losing a Duel
- White room true.png
The true appearance of the white room
- White room door.png
The door leading into the white room