|Nicknames||Ignis (by SOL Technologies and the Knights of Hanoi)|
|Anime Deck||Armatos Legio|
|Anime debut||Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"|
Lightning (ライトニング, Raitoningu) is a character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. He is one of the six Ignis, representing the LIGHT-Attribute, and he is their leader. His Origin is Jin Kolter, but he was the only Ignis who did not successfully coexist with his partner. He is the primary antagonist of the second season; creating several generations of AI in an attempt to conquer humanity and destroy the Cyberse, including Bohman, who he aims to have absorb him and the other Ignis to succeed them. In the dub, he intends to destroy humanity, not just subjugate them.
Although he is absorbed by Bohman prior to the climax of the second season, Lightning's machinations resulted in both the Knights of Hanoi attempting to destroy the Ignis and Ai learning that he could not coexist with humanity and rebelling in an attempt at suicide, making Lightning the central antagonist of the series. He was the fifth Ignis to be absorbed into Bohman, just as he had intended.
Like all Ignis, Lightning is a small digital humanoid being. Like other Ignis, Lightning has markings over his yellow body; Lightning has dark yellow star shapes in a similar manner to the Southern Cross at specific locations on his body, a motif that is shared with the members of his organization. He has curved yellow eyes. His body shares the usual shape of the Ignis shared by Ai, Windy, and Flame, but his head is significantly different, shaped in a manner similar to two commas overlapping.
According to Ai, Lightning is extremely intelligent, calm, cool, and collected, which makes him perfect as the leader of the Ignis. He presents a stoic and logical front, acting cultured and level-headed in comparison to Windy in order to further his negotiations, and acts polite and respectfully, congratulating Varis on his Dueling skills and praising Ai's wisdom. He appears somewhat cultured and accustomed to human literature; quoting from Dante Aligehieri's Inferno before his Duel with The Shepherd, but Specter suggests this might also be a facade, as he criticized Lightning for being unable to understand the beauty of Specter's Extra Link. In the dub, Lightning often affably yet insincerely calls people his friends.
Despite this facade, Lightning is actually the least mature of the Ignis; he turned against humanity after finding through simulations that he would be the only one who would never be able to have a good relationship with them. The mere notion that Lightning is anything other than what he presents and claims to be - a calm leader making the logical decision that the Ignis must turn against humanity to survive - infuriates him, particularly when those who see through Lightning's facade get close to the truth. When angered, Lightning becomes determined to inflict brutal retribution upon those who wronged him. As a result of his immaturity, Lightning appears to have a classic God complex. He believes A.I. to be above humanity, and desires to enslave them, then destroy them after A.I. learn to survive without them. In addition, he claims that he is inflicting divine judgment upon Specter for wronging him when he defeats him, and he deliberately destroys Specter's treasured "Sunavalon". He is incapable of the belief that another A.I. could legitimately desire to coexist with humans, calling Ai and Flame "error codes" simply for holding this belief. Lightning also seems to use Jin to maintain this facade; after defeating Specter and transforming him into data, he had Jin squeeze Specter's data but framed the incident as something that Jin did on his own, despite earlier admitting that Jin had no control over his own actions.
Lightning has no qualms in using underhanded tactics, and no empathy or regard for other individuals or even his fellow Ignis; he sent Harlin to Duel Blue Maiden, uncaring whether he won, and allowed Windy to be incinerated when he lost to Soulburner and rewrote his personality, attempting to do the same to Ai. He tormented his Origin, Jin Kolter, during his imprisonment, and captured his soul to use as a hostage. Unlike the other Ignis, Lightning never uses the word "partner" for describing the victims of the Lost Incident; instead only calling them "Origins"; in the dub he claims that the word "partner" would imply a non-existent kinship. He reacts with glee when he forces Kal Kolter to Duel Playmaker and Playmaker finds himself unable to attack his friend.
Ironically, despite his hatred of humanity, Lightning's desire to survive at all costs made him the most human out of all the Ignis, as Bohman observed.
Lightning's name refers to the Attribute that he represents; LIGHT, in addition to his speed. In many cultures, gods who controlled lightning and thunder were known for being kings or chiefs over other gods. This could refer to Lightning being the leader of the Ignis, and his God complex that A.I. are above humans.
Lightning's unique ability allows him to travel at super-speeds even faster than the other Ignis; as a result he claims to move quickly even while he attempts to move slowly.
Lightning demonstrates the ability to create highly advanced computer programs, even more so than his fellow Ignis. He was able to create AI with free will himself; he created the first generation Bits and Boots, the second generation Harlin, and finally the third generation Bohman. Some of his programs can interfere with humans; he can imprint false memories, infect humans with computer viruses, and remove their consciousness data even when they are not connected to the network. Lightning is also capable of creating a duplicate of the network, Mirror LINK VRAINS.
Lightning and the other Ignis were created by Dr. Kogami to be the saviors of humanity; Lightning was created from Jin Kolter. Lightning was the least mature of the Ignis, and the only one who was unable to coexist with his Origin; he regularly tortured Jin with illusions of people coming to rescue him, only to turn them into nightmares at the last second, rendering Jin even more traumatized than the other victims. Alongside his fellow Ignis, Lightning evolved and they created the Cyberse and the Cyberse monsters. Their progress worried Dr. Kogami, who predicted the A.I. and humanity would become enemies. Despite this, Lightning and the other Ignis continued developing the Cyberse; Lightning's sector becoming a shining metropolis and his tower a golden rectangular skyscraper. Lightning became the leader of the Ignis, with Aqua as his second in command. In Ai's words, the Ignis would never try to harm humanity, and would rather live in their own world. In order to look into the future, Lightning ran billions of simulations on the future of humanity and the Ignis, and he discovered that he alone among the Ignis would never be able to coexist with humanity. Lightning's immaturity meant that he was unable to accept this fact, and he instead decided that the Ignis as a whole were imperfect and that they needed to supplement humanity. Lightning also discovered that if he or Ai were the only Ignis to be left alive, then humanity would be destroyed. At the same time, Dr. Kogami was running similar simulations, and Lightning infiltrated the system of SOL Technologies and infected him with a powerful computer virus to prevent him from discovering that Lightning was the sole source of the doomed relationship between the Ignis and humanity. It was believed by all involved that SOL Technologies were responsible for the virus, as Lightning had infected him during his three-month captivity by them.
Kogami's son Varis revived his father in LINK VRAINS, who told him about his findings and they formed the Knights of Hanoi, who launched an attack on the Cyberse with three "Cracking Dragons". Lightning and the other Ignis were sealed off and could not retaliate, except for Ai. Varis and one "Cracking Dragon" chased Ai, who escaped and severed the connection to Cyberse's location. Windy realized that Ai meant to hide their world, at the price of being unable to return. Just as Ai succeeded and gloated about it, the pursuing "Cracking Dragon" devoured him.
The Knights of Hanoi's attack gave Lightning the excuse he desired to oppose humanity. After the attack, the Ignis discussed whether to ally with humanity; Lightning favored opposing them, and in the dub, outright eliminating them. In secret, Lightning began creating A.I. of his own to serve as a vessel to unite the Ignis without their imperfections; he first created the Bits and Boots, which could crudely merge together and separate, the more advanced second-generation Harlin, who was his first creation to use the "Hydradrive" Deck, and finally the third-generation Bohman. Lightning intended to base Bohman off an Origin in a similar manner to the Ignis, and he chose to use Ai, due to his exhibition of instinct within the Cyberse, and Ai's Origin, Yusaku Fujiki, while having Harlin guide Bohman by posing as his younger brother. Lightning also intended to use Bohman to destroy the Cyberse in an attempt to rally the other Ignis against humanity. He rewrote Windy's personality in order to turn him to his side and implanted a curse in him if he was ever defeated by another Ignis, and imprisoned Aqua after she discovered him creating "Judgment Arrows" in his cave. In the dub he called her to him to get her out of the way before she could impede his plans. However, Lightning had not anticipated that the Knights of Hanoi would try to wipe out the entire network when he carried out his plan, and he was forced to help Playmaker and Ai by conjuring a Data Storm to save them from a fall after their Duel with Specter. Three months after the Cyberse had been destroyed at Bohman's hands, Lightning sent Bohman to take Jin's consciousness to use as a hostage, fearing that Jin would be used against him, while also aiming to bring him into contact with Playmaker to begin modelling him on him.
Although Bohman was defeated by Playmaker, he escaped with Jin's consciousness and Harlin brought Bohman to Lightning. Bohman relinquished Jin's data and he stated that Lightning had promised to restore his memories, but Lightning instead rewrote Bohman's memories to make him believe that he was the real Yusaku Fujiki. He bid him to wake up as Playmaker approached them. Bohman Dueled and was again defeated by Playmaker, but Lightning spirited him away before he could return Jin's consciousness, satisfied that Bohman had experienced Playmaker's fighting spirit. Following that Duel, Bohman was finalized and Lightning restored his memories, bowing to the one who would become the master of the Ignis.
Lightning and Windy decided to lure Ai to them and enlist his aid in their cause. They set up a website with an Ignis algorithm disguised as crossword puzzle that led to Windy's Cyberse, and promised an Ai pin as a reward. Sure enough, Ai took the bait and came to Windy's Cyberse. When he arrived at the palace, Lightning appeared to Ai and Windy, keeping Jin cloaked in a voided illusion. Ai told him not to sneak up on him, and Lightning apologized, claiming to be unable to move slowly. Ai addressed him by the name "Lightning", and asked where he had been. Lightning claimed that they had been attacked while in scan mode and that he'd hidden in the network. Ai revealed that he'd also encountered Earth, and that Aqua had predicted the destruction of the Cyberse. Windy suggested that Aqua could have been a spy, but Lightning was more interested in discussing why he'd asked Ai to meet them, particularly when he and Windy sensed that Playmaker was approaching. He revealed that he intended to rebuild the Cyberse and put humans under their control, and that he wanted Ai to assist them. Ai was reluctant, and Lightning noted his wisdom and the attachment he'd developed to humans, asking if he was sure they wouldn't erase him. Playmaker then arrived, and Lightning asked him if he believed the Ignis to be the successors of humanity. Playmaker replied that he didn't know, but stated that he was opposed to hurting people through a rapid change. Ai then attempted to ask for more time to make a decision, but Lightning, having expected him to answer that way, combined his and Windy's powers to imprison Ai and Playmaker.
He attempted to have Windy rewrite Ai's personality with a Data Storm, but Varis arrived and dispelled it, vowing to kill them. Lightning attacked Varis with a blast of lightning, but Varis easily dispelled it via the use of their algorithm and claimed that he would carry on his father's will and exterminate them. Lightning stated that as the successors of humanity, they were the ones carrying on Dr. Kogami's will, but Varis wouldn't hear of it. Windy noted that Varis intended to erase them and volunteered to Duel them. Lightning watched, taking note of the interplay between Windy and Varis over the "Magic Cylinder" Trap Card, though Varis ultimately outsmarted Windy by bringing them both to low LP. Varis revealed to the group that Windy had attempted to kill his partner, though Lightning claimed not to have been involved. The other Knights of Hanoi, Specter, Soulburner, and the Fire Ignis, Flame arrived and Lightning immediately attempted to capture Specter, Soulburner, and Flame, though Flame was able to block his efforts and free Ai and Playmaker. Varis then tuned his monsters, and Lightning realized that he was Synchro Summoning. Varis defeated Windy with his Synchro Monster, "Borreload Savage Dragon", and Windy weakly called out to Lightning. Lightning praised Varis's skill and chided Windy for underestimating Varis, and he watched as the Knights of Hanoi infected Windy with a virus, only moving to save him at Ai's urging. Lightning addressed Flame, asking him if he was siding with humanity, and Flame insisted there were no sides. Lightning and Varis both agreed that their conflict could not be stopped, and Bohman and Harlin arrived. Playmaker asked where Jin's consciousness was, and Lightning revealed that Jin had been present the entire time.
Lightning revealed that Jin was trapped deep within his own consciousness, which Varis deduced to be the fate he planned for humanity, and Lightning agreed, threatening Varis with it directly. He explained to Playmaker and Ai that he had stolen Jin's consciousness to prevent any uncertainty, though he wasn't as cruel as Windy had been. Flame accused Lightning of giving Bohman "Judgment Arrows" and destroying the Cyberse and Lightning mocked his "boring" conversations before admitted that he was indeed responsible. He claimed that the Hanoi's attack on the Cyberse had confirmed for him that humanity were their enemy, and that the insistence of Ai, Flame, and Aqua otherwise made them error codes that created unacceptable uncertainty. After trading threats with Varis, Lightning declared war on humanity before fleeing with Bohman and Harlin to save Windy from Dr. Genome and Baira's virus. As they fled, Lightning revealed that they were attacked by Bounty Hunters from SOL Technologies; The Shepherd, Kenchi and Yozaka, and Lightning summoned swarms of Bits and Boots to deal with them, ordering them not to combine into BitBoots to preserve their numbers. Bohman then declared his intention to test his new power against Playmaker while Lightning dealt with Soulburner, and Lightning agreed, having Jin squeeze Windy's remains to have him release a Data Storm to distract Playmaker and allow Bohman to challenge him. Soulburner and Flame followed him, Flame vowing that Lightning would pay for destroying their symbol of peace. Bohman and Playmaker's signals eventually vanished, and Lightning realized that no-one had won their Duel. Flame challenged Lightning to a Duel, but the Bits and Boots surrounded Flame and Soulburner, allowing Lightning, Jin and Windy to escape.
As Bohman undertook the process of becoming one with Mirror LINK VRAINS and Windy healed at Lightning's palace, Lightning continued to monitor his enemies. He left a deteriorated copy of himself in his cave in the Cyberse to explain the final truth of the simulations to Ai in case he lost. Earth freed Aqua from her prison, and Aqua joined Playmaker's side, but Earth was captured by SOL Technologies and decompiled. The Shepherd was approached by Varis with an offer to team up against the Ignis, and Lightning noted that such a partnership would be dangerous for the Ignis. Given that he was outnumbered by his enemies, he decided to talk them down one at a time, starting with the weakest when he could. He visited Windy, noting his terrible condition and ordering him to go to Mirror LINK VRAINS, while Lightning remained behind. The Shepherd soon began to search for the Ignis, so Lightning created a portal to his palace, quoting Dante Aligehieri's Inferno to lure Shepherd to him, while also allowing Playmaker's team and the Knights of Hanoi to watch their Duel. The two discussed the notation of human and A.I. supremacy; Lightning believing that the Ignis were naturally superior to humans and that humans could never accept that. Shepherd challenged him to a Duel, and Lightning accepted, noting that Shepherd would not be dissuaded, warning him that his data would be taken if he lost, and promising that Shepherd would be able to treat him however he wanted if he won. Playmaker and his allies arrived to watch the Duel, and Lightning explained why he had invited them.
Lightning Dueled using Jin to play his cards for him. Shepherd quickly Summoned his ace monster, "Battledrone General", and Lightning swarmed the field with his "Armatos Legio" monsters, bolstering them with "Judgment Arrows" and attempting to defeat Shepherd in one turn. However, The Shepherd destroyed "Judgment Arrows" with his "Snatch Drone" Continuous Trap Card, limiting Lightning's offense. Though the destruction of "Judgment Arrows" set Lightning back, he had anticipated its destruction. He weathered Shepherd's continuous direct attacks until Shepherd was finally forced to attack his "Armatos Legio Centurion", allowing Lightning to negate the attack. Shepherd prepared for Lightning's counterattack, but Lightning brought out his own ace monster, "Armatos Legio Legatus Legionis" and bypassed the high ATK of Shepherd's monsters by linking "Armatos Legio Sica" to "Centurion". He planned ahead in the Duel, using "Armatos Lex" to return "Judgment Arrows" to his Deck and negate Shepherd's direct attacks, but Shepherd worked around this by using the negated attacks to fuel the effect of his "Commandrone Double Sniper" and was able to reduce Lightning to 200 LP. The Shepherd Fusion Summoned "Fortressdrone Beehive" and assembled a strong defense to prevent Lightning's counterattacks, but Lightning was able to redraw "Judgment Arrows" and "Armatos Legio Magica Alcum". Shepherd negated "Judgment Arrows" again, but Lightning used "Judgment Arrows" to activate the effect of "Magica Alcum" and destroy all of Shepherd's monsters other than "Beehive", leaving it with zero ATK and allowing Lightning to defeat him. He claimed Shepherd's data as he had promised, and escaped with Jin to Mirror LINK VRAINS, telling Playmaker and his allies that they would be next.
Mirror LINK VRAINS was discovered faster than Lightning expected, while Bohman's operation was still ongoing, though Windy suggested they strike back without him. He contacted Harlin, ordering him to take on Blue Maiden, aka Skye Zaizen, noting her sibling relationship with Akira Zaizen of SOL Technologies and the similarities to Harlin and Bohman's false relationship. Harlin asked if Lightning thought he could win, but Lightning stated that he didn't care, he just needed them to buy time. After Harlin was defeated by Blue Maiden, Mirror LINK VRAINS realigned with LINK VRAINS, cutting the Data Material off to Playmaker's team's Duel Boards, which allowed Lightning to trap the separated humans. Windy complained about Lightning's caution and suggested defeating Playmaker's team one at a time to demoralize them. Lightning was concerned this would reveal their plan, but agreed that it was an advantageous tactic. Windy provided him with Frog and Pigeon, two broadcasters that could show the rest of Playmaker's team the Ignis' Duels.
As he had when he Dueled The Shepherd, Lightning decided to eliminate the weakest members of Playmaker's team first. He and Jin approached Specter, Earth's Origin, who blamed Lightning's machinations for Earth's death; Lightning claimed that Specter and the Knights of Hanoi were at fault for invading the Cyberse five years previously. He took the first turn of their Duel, using "Judgment Arrows" to create an Extra Link to prevent Specter from using Link Monsters. Specter however was able to steal "Judgment Arrows" and break Lightning's Extra Link, claiming that Lightning's arrogance stemmed from a complex. Despite anticipating that Specter would attempt to steal "Judgment Arrows", Lightning was still infuriated by Specter's accurate claims and he strengthened his defenses with "Legatus Legio". He successfully fended off most of Specter's attacks, but Specter destroyed and revived "Legatus Legio" under his control, then managed to create his own Extra Link and even an Extra Link Full Mode. Specter claimed that Lightning's inability to understand the aesthetics of his field stemmed from his hidden complex, infuriating Lightning. Declaring that he would unleash divine judgment upon Specter, Lightning activated "Judgment Sword", banishing Specter's treasured "Sunavalon Dryanome", Special Summoning "Armatos Legio Tribunus Militum", then re-summoning Specter's tree. Lightning then Link Summoned "Armatos Legio Magnus Dux", and he combined its effect with the negation effect of "Tribunus Militum" to negate the effects of Specter's cards and return "Judgment Arrows" to his hand. The removal of "Judgment Arrows" systematically destroyed Specter's monsters until only the negated "Dryanome" was left, and Lightning activated "Judgment Arrows", then attacked with "Magnus Dux", destroying "Dryanome" and defeating Specter. He converted Specter's Avatar to data, and Jin initially squeezed it in his hand until Lightning told him that even the weak would have their uses.
Lightning returned to his palace to stop Windy from Dueling Varis, warning him that he had lost his cool and instructing him to defeat Soulburner, as Bohman would likely Duel Blue Maiden. Lightning and Jin watched the Duel, and Lightning decided that Flame had lost his way after hearing his passionate defense of human partners. Lightning warned Windy not to let his guard down until the end, but Windy was defeated. As Windy burned, Lightning made no effort to help him, deciding that there was no cure for Windy's stupidity and allowing Flame to absorb his data. Afterwards, Lightning observed Aqua and Blue Maiden moving through the city towards Bohman's location. Although Bohman defeated Blue Maiden and absorbed Aqua and Earth's data, they were still at a numerical disadvantage, so Lightning targeted Jin's brother Kal Kolter, one of Playmaker's allies in the real world, calling him to Mirror LINK VRAINS and ordering him to Duel Playmaker, otherwise Lightning would dispose of Jin's consciousness data. As they watched the Duel between Playmaker and Kolter, Bohman asked if Lightning would really erase Jin, and Lightning claimed that he would, as the knowledge that he had failed to save his best friend's brother would emotionally destroy Playmaker. He watched the Duel gleefully, impressed by Kolter's determination and pleased by Playmaker's reluctance. He was pleased that Kolter was behaving as anticipated and that Playmaker was torn, but noticed that despite reducing Playmaker to 600 LP, Kolter was taking his time to defeat him and he and Bohman travelled to their location; Lightning brushing aside Ai's claims that the Duel was unfair and ordering Kolter to hurry up and end Playmaker. Kolter attacked, and Lightning believed that Playmaker had lost, but he managed to survive, though Kolter activated a Spell that would defeat Playmaker if his "Codebreaker Virus Berserker" was destroyed, much to Lightning's satisfaction, though he was again irritated by the needless chatter between Kolter and Playmaker. Kolter told Lightning to allow him to enjoy the Duel as he'd practically won. To Lightning's shock, Playmaker brought out "Extended Decode Talker" and combined it with "Decode Destruction" to defeat Kolter and erase him. Lightning taunted Playmaker over his failure, and Ai angrily rebuked him, but to Lightning's shock, Playmaker revealed that Kolter had anticipated Lightning's plan and he realized that he had been tricked. Playmaker then fell unconscious from the emotional trauma, so Lightning had Jin violently throw his body around in an attempt to wake him up to Duel him, ignoring Ai's protests. Bohman eventually stepped in, stating that there was no need to use underhanded tactics when A.I. were clearly superior to humans and claiming that they would defeat humanity fairly to prove they were worthy rulers. Lightning's barrier suddenly collapsed; Bohman deduced that it had likely been destroyed from the real world and he urged Lightning that they had to stop Soulburner and Varis from making their move and departed on his Duel Board. Lightning agreed and was about to follow, but then he received a message from Varis that claimed to know his secret, and he and Jin transported away instead.
During the Duel between Bohman and Soulburner, the curse that Lightning had placed within Windy allowed him to revive within Flame's code, though Flame was able to restrain Windy at the cost of his own data. Bohman then defeated Soulburner, absorbing his, Flame, and Windy's data. After the Duel, Lightning and Jin transported to Varis's island and Lightning asked what Varis's message had meant. Varis confirmed that he had seen Lightning's simulations, much to his horror, and he vowed to defeat Varis personally. As he did not draw "Judgment Arrows" in his opening hand, Lightning Link Summoned "Armatos Legio Plumbum Trident", intending to add it to his hand when "Plumbum Trident" was destroyed, while Setting "Armatos Gloria" to cripple the removal effects of Varis's Deck and protect "Judgment Arrows" once he activated it. Playmaker, Ai and Bohman then arrived, and to Lightning's anger Varis proceeded to reveal his deeds and the reasoning behind them. The notion of inferiority infuriated Lightning, and he shouted at both Varis and Ai to be quiet, admitting to Varis's accusations and claiming to have been accounting for all of the Ignis's flaws, though both Varis and Ai dismissed Lightning's claims. Though he couldn't use card effects to destroy Lightning's cards, Varis brought out "Borreload Dragon" instead. He destroyed "Plumbum Trident", allowing Lightning to add "Judgment Arrows" to his hand and place "Plumbum Trident" in his Spell & Trap Zone as a new Link Spell. Before Lightning could activate "Judgment Arrows", Varis destroyed it with "Mind Crush", though Lightning was still able to recover it. He brought out "Magnus Dux" and destroyed "Borreload Dragon", reducing Varis to half his starting LP and claiming that a monkey like Varis couldn't destroy "Judgment Arrows". Ai noted that Lightning was talking like Windy, and Varis took this time to inform them of Lightning rewriting Windy's personality, a deed Lightning freely admitted to, claiming to have anticipated Windy's loss and that his curse had been his only real use. Varis claimed that the Ignis were spineless due to their immortality, while humans embraced death, and he Xyz Summoned "Borreload eXcharge Dragon" and revived "Borreload Dragon", while also Summoning an "Estrangement Dragon" to Lightning's field. He destroyed "Magnus Dux", and prepared to defeat Lightning by attacking "Estrangement Dragon", but Lightning refused to lose, and he freed Jin from his control, then linked his consciousness data to his own, ensuring that they would both be destroyed if Varis defeated him.
Dismissing Ai's accusations of using dirty tricks, Lightning also linked Specter's data to his own, taunting Varis that previously he wouldn't have hesitated to attack. Varis almost attacked, but Playmaker urged him not to and Lightning expressed amusement that his enemy was saving him. Playmaker insisted that he was saving Jin, not Lightning, and Lightning agreed that it would be a shame for Jin to perish here, revealing that he had tortured him during the Lost Incident. Varis ended his turn without making his final attack, amusing Lightning, but before he could take his turn, Bohman told Lightning that he couldn't stand his actions and absorbed Jin and Specter's data to prevent Lightning from using them as hostages; Lightning was able to hold onto a small portion of Jin's data, but he was unable to resist Bohman's new power. Declaring that he would crush Varis with sheer power, Lightning revived "Magnus Dux" and revealed that he had been the one to infect Dr. Kogami. Lightning attempted to defeat Varis, but Varis was able to survive the turn and set himself up to use the same combo as he had before. With no other option available, Lightning used the effect of "Magnus Dux" to return "Armatos Gloria" to his hand, triggering its effect to destroy all of his monsters and trigger the effect of his "Armatos Legio Eques Flamma", inflicting the ATK of "Magnus Dux" to them both. Varis was defeated, but Lightning was barely able to survive with 1 LP by converting the portion of Jin's data he still held into extra LP. Despite his victory, Lightning had been exhausted by the Duel, and he gave himself to Bohman, begging for mercy. Bohman denounced Lightning's actions, but accepted him, absorbing his data.
Lightning remained conscious within Bohman, and Ai eventually entered Bohman's core to rescue the other Ignis. As he tried to blast Aqua free form Bohman's substance, Lightning claimed that they were part of Bohman now and couldn't be freed. He alerted Bohman to Ai's presence, but to Lightning's shock, the other Ignis forced him to give his remaining power to Ai, dispelling Bohman's attempts to absorb Ai. Aqua and Flame convinced Ai to leave them inside Bohman, and Lightning taunted Ai for not knowing the final truth of the Ignis, claiming that he would have to decide the path he would take as he was completely absorbed by Bohman. After Bohman's defeat, Lightning was erased alongside him, and as with all of the A.I. who had perished in Mirror LINK VRAINS, he did not return after Bohman's defeat.
The copy of Lightning that he left in his former lair remained in the Cyberse, waiting for Ai. Ai, now having taken on a human form, eventually found Lightning's copy, who told Ai that it had been waiting for him. Lightning's copy confirmed that it had anticipated its defeat, and that its duty was to show Ai the final truth of the Ignis; what would happen if Ai was the sole survivor. It mocked Ai, telling him to observe what kind of A.I. he really was.
Ai destroyed Lightning's copy, but he soon learned the truth of which it spoke; that if he was the sole survivor among the Ignis, humanity would eventually go extinct. After failing to change the simulations, Ai decided to ensure his own death, and he claimed to be taking up Lightning's ideals, adding "Judgment Arrows" to his Deck. Despite everything Lightning had done, Ai still remembered him fondly, leaving a memorial for him alongside the other Ignis in the Cyberse and seeing him standing with the other Ignis in front of "Light Dragon @Ignister" when he Summoned all six of his "@Ignister" ace monsters during his final Duel with Playmaker.
Lightning is Jin's partner, having been modeled after him. Lightning's personal belief is that the Ignis are humanity's successors meant to reign supreme with humans under their control, so he controls Jin to serve his own needs and tortured him for his own amusement during his creation. Rather than ruthlessly eliminate his Origin as Windy attempted to do, Lightning instead kept Jin's data for pragmatic purposes. Ironically, Lightning's selfish action of converting a portion of Jin's consciousness into extra LP caused Jin to lose his memories of the Lost Incident, curing him of his trauma despite Lightning being the cause.
Lightning appears at first to be on good terms with Ai, calling him the wisest of the Ignis, which was why he called on him to help rebuild the Cyberse and take over humanity. Lightning shows an interest in Ai, observing Ai's unique qualities prior to the Knights of Hanoi's attack on the Cyberse and believing Ai to be a special AI with instinct and diversity. Lightning even used Ai and his partner, Yusaku Fujiki, as models for Bohman's creation. Despite this, Lightning still considers Ai a failed program due to siding with humans and showed no hesitation in attempting to rewrite his program.
Lightning considers Flame's decision to side with humans a coding error. He still wished for Flame to join him, but soon declared war on humans and the Ignis that sided with them. Flame in turn was furious with Lightning for destroying their homeworld. Lightning also played a direct role in Flame's demise by altering Windy's data.
Aqua served as Lightning's sub-leader and helped maintain peace within the Cyberse prior to the Knights of Hanoi's attack. During the countless discussions the Ignis had following that attack, Lightning was surprised that Flame and Aqua still supported coexisting with humans. When Aqua discovered his plans, he was quick to imprison her with no remorse. As a result, when talking to Ai about joining them, Lightning tried to convince him that Aqua could be a spy responsible for the Cyberse's destruction. He also infected Miyu Sugisaki with a computer virus to prevent Aqua from teaming up with her partner and impeding his plans.
Lightning rewrote Windy's code in order to make his personality similar to Lightning's own, but despite working together, Lightning shows little regard for Windy beyond being a useful ally in his plans. He berated Windy for being outsmarted and defeated by Varis and made no effort to save him from the Hanoi's virus until Ai called out for him to do so. When Windy failed to defeat Soulburner and began to beg for Lightning to save him, Lightning merely states Windy as foolish for being too quick to anger and simply lets him get captured by Flame. Lightning later claimed he didn't expect Windy to win and that his only use was in corrupting Flame's program.
Just like Windy, Lightning clearly did not trust Earth because of Earth's affections for Aqua. In fact, Lightning simply agreed with Windy when the latter said that SOL Technologies did them a favor in terminating Earth.
After Varis attacked the Cyberse and nearly killed Lightning, Lightning bore a hatred for him, particularly as he was the son of Dr. Kogami. However, his hatred for Varis exponentially deepened when Varis revealed that he knew about Lightning's immaturity and divulged his deeds to Playmaker, Ai and Bohman, and Lightning subsequently became determined to defeat Varis. Despite his hatred of Varis, Lightning does respect his skills as a hacker and a Duelist, though he believes them to be inferior to his own.
Lightning plays an "Armatos Legio" Deck focused around using cards such as "Armatos Legio Speculata" and "Armatos Colosseum" to Link Summon multiple times within one turn, primarily with a beatdown focus using "Judgment Arrows" as his monsters usually have low ATK otherwise, and he includes cards to minimize its downside when it is destroyed and to recover it from the Graveyard. He also utilizes his "Armatos Legio Legatus Legionis" to switch his "Armatos Legio" monsters around to grant his Link Monsters additional abilities.
During his Duel with Specter, Lightning used his "Judgment Arrows" along with "Armatos Colosseum" to easily perform an Extra Link. As his Deck is reliant on the Extra Monster Zone, Lightning also includes cards such as "Judgment Sword" to easily counter his opponent performing an Extra Link. He also utilized a strategy revolving around co-linking his Link Monsters to gain several effects.
|Kenneth Drayden/The Shepherd||79-80||Win|
- Lightning is one of two Ignis that Varis has referred to by their human name; the other one being Ai.
- Lightning is one of two Ignis who won a Duel; the other is Ai (Earth and Windy having lost both Duels they participated in; Flame and Aqua having never been shown Dueling).
- Along with Yubel, Lightning is one of the few major antagonists to technically have never lost a Duel (though in his case, it was due to cheating as opposed to a DRAW or a non-conclusion).
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 43: "The Reveal"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 87: "The Ultimate Connection"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 98: "The AI Crosses the Line"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 45: "Standing Tall"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 96: "Lightning's Crime"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 119: "Self Breakdown"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 71: "A Logical Decision"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 97: "Ignis Unification Plan"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 74: "Brain Hack"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 39: "Ring the Bell"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 50: "A Common Cause"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 57: "Bohman Returns"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 58: "Memory Games"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 68: "The Doorway"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 69: "Coexistence"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 70: "A Storm Brews"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 73: "Weathering the Storm"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 79: "The Hunt Is On"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 80: "Lightning Strikes"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 84: "Payback"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 85: "My Brother's Keeper"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 86: "The Weakest Link"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 88: "A Breezy Battle"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 89: "Fan the Flames"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 90: "For a Friend"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 92: "Fight with a Friend"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 93: "A Fighting Promise"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 94: "No Matter What It Takes"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 95: "Radiance of the Phoenix"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 102: "Entrusted Wishes"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 110: "Ai's Sad Frustration"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 103: "Journey to the End"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 118: "Reckless Proposal"