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

— Ai[1]

The "Dark Ignis" ( (やみ) のイグニス, Yami no Igunisu), alternatively named Ai (Ai (アイ) ), is a character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime, the deuteragonist in the first and second seasons, and the main antagonist of season 3. He is also the final antagonist of the series. He is one of the six Ignis of who he is based on Yusaku Fujiki, and is one of the supporters of human co-existence.

Following his and Yusaku's victory over Bohman, Ai was left as the last remaining Ignis. He took on a human appearance, and was able to manifest this appearance in the real world through hijacking a SOLtiS. He took on more of a sympathetic but forced antagonistic role, taking Roboppi under his wing after giving it free will, and planning to use SOL Technologies for his own ends. It was revealed he did this to result in his own termination out of fear his existence would bring an end to humanity. He ultimately got his wish after being defeated by Playmaker and thus became the 6th and final Ignis to be terminated, however Ai was briefly seen being revived 3 months after his termination.



Ai is a small, digital humanoid being. Ai's distinct features that distinguishes him from the other Ignis is his pointed top and his clown shoe like feet. He has markings over his purple-tinted black body, in the shape of thin lines and circles, which are tinted with a purple color. He has oval-shaped, yellow-orange eyes. His pure data form is yet to be seen. In stature, Ai is one of the taller Ignis, the same height as Flame and shorter than Earth.[2] 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' "Cracking Dragon" ate his body, Ai was reduced to an eye with his purple lines, yellow-orange iris and a purple pupil. When he ate off Varis' arm, Ai regained his body.

In the third season, Ai has now taken a "human" form after using a SOLtis Android as a host. In this form, he appears as a tall young man with yellow eyes that have rectangular pupils, black shoulder length, spiky hair with yellow tips, along with purple bangs with pink highlights similar to Playmaker's. He wears a light purple formal shirt with a black cravat, vest, pants, and cape with golden stripes at the bottom and a red lining. He wears black boots with silver toes. He also has a pair of purple earrings with orange studs that resemble his old head and a blue diamond chip on his neck and back.


Ai claims he is their savior

Ai proclaiming himself as a savior.

Ai is a mischievous, cocky, playful, energetic, somewhat annoying, arrogant, and snarky AI who gets carried away easily and likes to joke around. Despite his occasional cockiness or annoying moments, he is actually quite funny, loyal, resourceful, and amiable. According to his own words, he is disliked by his own people because he was more laid-back than them and didn't perform his job. 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 and to be forgetful as he had to be reminded what Borreload Dragon's effect was and what Earth's dueling style is like. Ai often gets frustrated when he thinks others are trying to act better than him, such as when Bohman felt confident about winning since he had a Link-5 monster, or when Pandor claimed Earth would still have been absorbed even if Gore hadn't captured him.

Ai was initially annoyed with the name Yusaku gave him, saying he and Kolter named him like a dog, but he soon warms up to it. If someone calls him "Ignis," he quickly corrects them and says he has a cool name, though he gets embarrassed when they ask if he was called that because he was an AI. He had gotten so used to it that Ai still called himself that when he returned to Cyberse World, even though the other Ignis didn't know him by that name. Ai enjoys making puns out of his name, such as "Ai-chan fly" or "Ai don't know." He still does this after gaining control of a SOLtiS android, and uses his name in all his Spell and Trap cards. In his final moments, Ai asked Yusaku for a definition of his name, which the latter replied means "to love people."

Ai frequently tries to interact with other AIs, showing a more social side but is always left disappointed because they're not as capable of free thinking as himself. Ai is also shown to be very chatty, posting on a Playmaker discussion forum 212 times under similar pen names, all starting with "Silent". He 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. He does seem to show concern for Yusaku when the latter’s on his last legs, either genuinely for his safety or Ai needing to survive in order to return to Cyberse. Ai is also kind and thinks positively about people he considers his friends, even when they think of him as annoying or they betray each other in the case of Lightning.

Ai is shown to be very absent-minded when he was lured into a meeting with Windy and Lightning, realizing at the last moment that Windy had freed him from the Duel Disk. This is a contradiction in his program because Ai has the most wisdom of the six Ignis according to Lightning.[3] However, he still shows his reasons to believe that the Ignis and humans can coexist and remains loyal to his partner. After the deaths of his friends, Ai became more mature, understanding how easy it is for AIs with free will to become arrogant and look down upon humans.[4]

Ai's trust in humanity was hurt after learning of Earth's apparent death, as he began to show a strong resentment towards humanity over their continuous attacks against the Ignis. After learning of Earth's demise he briefly stated that he was starting to hate humanity while being completely serious without any hint of his usual snarky attitude or humor. However, despite this, he remains loyal to his beliefs and his allies, until after the defeat of Bohman and the demise of his fellow Ignis. During the Duel with Pandor, Ai admits he still believes in the possibility of coexistence, but it is impossible for him.

Like Yusaku, Ai also appears to have a sense of justice, as seen when he protested against Bohman using the conscious data of the people in LINK VRAINS to feed his Data Storm.

Despite his arrogance, Ai is actually very selfless and also shown to care deeply for his friends. He was willing to isolate himself alone in the network to protect his fellow Ignis and his home. This also drives him to sacrifice himself in order to destroy the Neuron Link created by Bohman, in order to help Playmaker. Ai proved this again by choosing to die rather than letting humanity be wiped out, even if it meant turning on his human friends. This arguably makes Ai the most humane Ignis.

After Bohman's defeat, the demise of the other Ignis and the shut down of Link VRAINS, much of Ai's bubbly, positive personality disappears and is replaced by a more calm, calculated, serious nature as a result of losing the other Ignis. He takes responsibility for the future of the Ignis, telling the graves of his fallen friends that he made a decision for his next course of action. Traces of who Ai used to be is seen in the casino, where he states to Roboppi that they can live however they want among the humans, and hijacking the slot machines. Ai also retains his inflated ego, as he attributed all of Playmaker's victories to himself and suggested that without him Playmaker is a bad Duelist. He also retains some of his previous amiable side, particularly towards Playmaker, greeting his former partner with a cheerful smile and being genuinely happy to see him again. He retains his sense of fair play, as seen when he was willing to duel for Akira's half of the code key instead of taking it by force and allowing Akira and Blue Maiden to take him on at the same time.

Ai has also shown to have become ruthless in his objectives, such as brutally defeating Queen and then targeting Akira. In addition, Ai has developed a slightly sadistic side, as shown when he smirked and gloated about defeating Queen on his recorded threat to Akira. Ai has also decided to carry on Lightning's wishes by destroying humans. Much of Ai's personality change appears to stem from a combination of losing all his Ignis friends and the insecurity of being the last remaining Ignis in existence. Despite his calmness, he holds a deep grudge against George Gore for the death of Earth. However, Ai did admit he didn't hate Gore and wished he could be more like him after dealing with the loss of his friends. Despite everything, Ai's inner kindness ultimately remains, as seen when he was genuinely touched by Pandor's concern for him as a fellow AI when she gave him a chance to surrender and leave peacefully and thank her for this.

Ai also appears to acknowledge that while he doesn't intend to destroy humans, he may just end up doing so. He also still believes in coexistence between AI and humans, but claims that it was impossible for him individually speaking. As noted by Pandor, Ai appears to carry incredible sadness. However, Ai doesn't want to share his feelings with anyone, except for one person. During his duel against Akira and Blue Maiden, he mentions that for him, time has stopped moving after failing the other Ignis, which mirrors how Playmaker felt after going through the Lost Incident. Ai also has become a bit coldhearted and cruel, as seen when he decided not to erase Blue Maiden when she lost, wanting her to feel the pain of failing to save a loved one just like he did and cruelly bidding her farewell after obtaining the code key. However, given his true motives, he may have been done this to incite hatred toward him.

During his final Duel against Playmaker, Ai explained his current state and purpose of being destroyed is after learning about "truth of Ignis" from Lightning's message: the Light Ignis ran endless simulations about future, and realized even after own demise, the future still is on an apocalyptic course if Ai remains alive. No matter how many scenarios and perspectives Ai researched after Bohman's duel against Playmaker, the results remained the same: only destruction. This convinced Ai that if the situation doesn’t change, he could end up adopting the same supremacy views as Lightning and Bohman. This revelation shows as Ai is depressed about wearing a heavy burden as "the Ignis, who could destroy a future, despite the attempts to change that", and wants to be freed from it by being defeated by Playmaker. After being defeated by Yusaku and during own final moments, Ai revealed the true reason he turned against Playmaker: any future he researched contained a situation, where Ai is surrounded by an military army and Yusaku dies, protecting him. This forced the DARK Ignis to take drastic measures to take over SOL Technologies and set a series of situations, only to make sure Yusaku will survive. This revelation shows as Ai cares about Yusaku and didn't want him to die.

In the dub, Ai has a habit of saying, "Oh glitch!" when he's surprised or angry. He also occasionally makes references to internet terms. Also following the death of his friends Ai refers to humans as meatbags.


Ai Devours a Knight of Hanoi Member

Ai about to devour a Knight of Hanoi.

As an Ignis, who created Cyberse World, Ai has some degree of control over it. He was the only one who knew its location when he made a program to hide it. Ai and can unlock data from Cyberse to start a Data Storm. His recent upgrade allows him to summon one at will so Yusaku can use Storm Access or escape danger.

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. The Ignis can use the algorithm to send secret messages to other Ignis if on a public forum. 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. Despite this, Ai is capable of feeling instinct, an unusual trait for even AI with free will which makes Lightning claim that he is a special AI.

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 also has an upgraded form of Storm Access called Neo Storm Access that allows the user to obtain a Cyberse Extra deck monster, no longer being limited to just Link monsters.

Ai has the ability to sense a Knight of Hanoi's presence through the cards in their Deck, such as when he knew right away that 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. This is later revealed to be his Link Sense, which connects him to his originator, Yusaku, who in turn has the same powers.


Ai getting ready to fire.

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. In Link VRAINS, he's able to enlarge to human size while still linked to Yusaku's Duel Disk and regenerate parts of an avatar. He can even enhance the D-Board to higher speed and act as a shield, at the cost of it destroying him. Ai can regenerate himself, but an immature data recovery causes him to be smaller until all of his data returns.

Ai is able to release blasts of purple energy, which he used to try to free Aqua and fight off Bohman absorbing him.[5]

As each Ignis is associated with an element, or Attribute of Duel Monsters, Ai is associated with the DARK Attribute. This can be supported by Linkuriboh, a Cyberse Monster Ai interacts with, being a DARK Monster.[6] This is later confirmed by Haru and Flame, referring to him as the "Dark Ignis".[7] Ai appears to be able to create cards of other Attributes as well, as seen with his "@Ignister" Deck. He also created Yusaku's Cyberse Deck.

After adopting a human form, Ai became able to hijack a SOLtis to enter the real world, when doing so the SOLtis takes his appearance. He can even transport people's minds into a private digital world, or just put them to sleep. His arm also has a grappling hook , though he questions why the SOLtiS had that function. He also has an altimeter in his SOLtis

Ai also possesses the ability to create copies of himself, as seen when sends 3 copies of himself to act as decoys to Varis, Soulburner and Playmaker, while he proceeded forward.

Despite his previous panicky and forgetful nature, Ai is actually an extremely skilled Duelist, easily able to cut through Queen's defence and win in just one turn and quickly defeat Dr. Genome, Baira, Faust, Spectre, and George Gore, the last without even using his Skill in a Speed Duel. He also managed to defeat Pandor, an anti-Ignis program designed by Varis, himself living up to his reputation as the Ignis modeled after Playmaker.



Ai riding Linkuriboh

Ai relaxes on "Linkuriboh" in Cyberse World.

Ai was created by Dr. Kogami, the scientist who created the Ignis.[8] The Ignis were developed by watching the six test subjects Duel, with Ai modeled after Yusaku Fujiki.[9] Eventually, Ai and the other Ignis evolved and created the Cyberse World, as well as the Cyberse monsters. Their progress worried Dr. Kogami who created Ignis to help humanity, and predicted through his simulations that the AI and humanity would become enemies.[2] Despite this, Ai and the other Ignis continued to create their world, each with a sector based on themselves. In Ai's words, the Ignis would never try to harm humanity, and would rather live in their own world.[6] However, the simulations showed that, in a group, the Ignis would destroy the world, but separately, they'd improve humanity through coexistence. The exception to this was Lightning, who was predicted to demolish others' progress and start a war between the Ignis and humanity.[10]

Ai was a laid-back Ignis,[3] and didn't do his job as the other Ignis did, which made him less-liked by his kin.[6] Aqua once even threw Ai and Linkuriboh to the ground for slacking off.[11] One day, Ai was fooling around the water domain with Linkuriboh. Aqua warned Ai not to be playing around, since it was dangerous. Ai didn't mind, but it nearly hurt himself when it fell down a waterfall. Aqua scolded Ai, reminding it should behave like an Ignis. Earth becames jealous, and demanded of Ai to stay away from Aqua, as he'd protect the latter.[12] Ai, unlike other Ignis, had a human's instinct. Due to his rebellious behavior, Lightning observed him, believing that would inspire the other Ignis to evolve.[13]

Ai eaten by cracking dragon

Ai about to get crunched by "Cracking Dragon".

Five years prior to the start of the series, the Knights of Hanoi launched an attack against the Cyberse World 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 before he was crushed by a "Cracking Dragon" (in the dub, this scene was replaced by the flash of data). However, his eye survived. Ever since, he had been running from both the Knights and SOL Technologies.[1] At some point, Ai started following Yusaku and Kolter, influencing them to work together and placing hints about a Cyberse Deck for Playmaker, thus turning him into the ultimate weapon against the Knights of Hanoi.[14]

Season one[]

Ai on the run

Ai is hunted by the Knights of Hanoi.

Ai inside Yusaku's Duel Disk

Ai trapped inside Yusaku's Duel Disk.

Ai was in LINK VRAINS, and watched certain events, like Playmaker confronting a Knight of Hanoi. Later, while being pursued by SOL Technologies and the Knights of Hanoi, Ai fell into a trap created by Playmaker, who saved him by absorbing him into his Duel Disk. Yusaku explained Ai would be their hostage, and made it clear Ai could not escape. Yusaku went into LINK VRAINS as Playmaker to confront the Knight of Hanoi, which displeased Ai for returning into the danger. Playmaker showed Ai, and threatened to delete it if the Knight did not stop his attack. Thus, Ai was turned into a Dueling AI. thus necessitating the defeat of Playmaker in order to recover Ai. Ai doubted that Playmaker's Deck was strong enough to defeat the Knights' "Cracking Dragon", but Playmaker doubted Ai's words and told him to pray for the victory. Ai declared AI do not pray before stirring up a virtual wind called "Data Storm" that initiated a Speed Duel.[1]

Before the Duel began, Ai explained to Playmaker how Speed Duels worked but didn't mention Skills. Throughout the Duel Ai repeatedly tried to offer support for Playmaker, only for Playmaker to keep telling him to shut up and remind that he was holding Ai hostage. When they sucked into a tornado within the Data Storm, Playmaker figured out that Ai not mentioning 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.[15]

The Knight attempted to self destruct and kill Playmaker, but Ai turned into a monster and devoured the knight to save Playmaker. He suggested Playmaker should log out soon. Yusaku and Kolter spent the next few days trying to figure out Ai' programming and nicknamed him "Ai", a pun on "A.I." and "eye". Eventually, Yusaku found footage from some of Ai's 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, where he tried to convince Roboppi to set him free.[16]

Ai panicked when Yusaku returned home and had Roboppi put him back on the shelf. When Yusaku found them, Ai told Yusaku that he had arrived home early, to which Yusaku said a Knight of Hanoi appeared and revealed a secret room he used to go to LINK VRAINS. As soon as they arrived, both Playmaker and Ai quickly figured out the Knight was fake. The "Knight" revealed himself to be The Gore, who wanted to challenge Playmaker. Ai looked up information about The Gore, Playmaker was uninterested and attempted to log out but 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 found out that The Gore donated most of his money to the orphanage where he grew up.[17] When Gore let himself take 2000 Damage when he had the chance to avoid it, Ai was confused about why humans make 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.[18]

When Kolter found out that Skye Zaizen, Yusaku's classmate, is "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 AI. The next day Ai noticed something strange about Skye's AI so he sent her a text message on Playmaker's behalf challenging Blue Angel to a Duel, then tricked Yusaku into going into 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.[19] 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.[20]

After the Duel concluded Ai devoured Hanoi's program and detected that they had infected Skye with a virus to keep her comatose. Later 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 because he could get a chance to obtain the anti-virus. Upon arriving however, the impostor turned the entirety of 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 being comatose 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 Akira into releasing Playmaker so they could Duel.[21] During the Duel, Ai noted that Varis didn't have an AI. Varis said that he didn't trust AIs and that Ai must be destroyed, because otherwise, the virtual fiction of VRAINS will destroy the world. When Varis used "Storm Access", Ai was shocked that because that was his signature program, but also called out Varis' hypocrisy of wanting to destroy Cyberse World while borrowing power from it, Varis countered that claiming that he was "countering poison with poison".[22]

Ai vanishes

"Fire Prison" causes Ai to disappear.

Ai sea

Ai, at sea.

As the Duel progressed, Varis gained the upper hand, and worrying that they might lose, Ai led Playmaker to the Deleted Data Storm, where the two obtained a dragon. However, Varis activated the Trap Card, "Remote Rebirth", and comboed it with the effect of "Topologic Bomber Dragon", ending the Speed Duel in a draw. Following that, Varis dragged Playmaker and Ai inside a Data Storm, where they began a Master Duel. As the Duel went on, Varis activated the effect of "Fire Prison", eliminating all Cyberse cards from the field, as well as making Ai seemingly vanish into thin air.[23] Ai woke up at sea, and remembered how "Fire Prison" erased his program. Though he was surprised by the surroundings, Ai felt somewhat sleepy, even if he never had felt this before. When Playmaker called out to him, Ai woke up and came back 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 the two dragons, until Varis used the effect of "Borreload Dragon" to take control of "Firewall Dragon".[8]

Ai viscious

Ai takes revenge on Varis.

Ai restored body

Ai gets his body back.

Ai was frustrated how "Firewall Dragon" failed to remove "Borreload Dragon" from the field, and reminded Playmaker to protect his own dragon. He also reminded Playmaker how they had to count everything on their next draw. Ai was pleased when Playmaker used "Battle Buffer" to negate Varis' "rokket" monsters' effects and could not use them as ammunition for "Borreload Dragon". He had "Firewall Dragon" attack "Borreload", despite the ATK disadvantage. This was part of the strategy for "Encode Talker" to destroy Varis' dragon. Ai watched as "Firewall Dragon" defeated "Borreload Dragon", and Varis as well. He then became vicious and tried to devour Varis, even biting his avatar's arm off, but lightning struck, restraining Ai, and Ai cursed Varis for leaving. Later on, Ai noticed Yusaku was sleeping, and called out how lazy he was. Kolter replied heroes need rest, too, though Ai started bragging how heroes needed to be just like him.[24]

When Kolter went to analyze the program, Ai called him a pervert for looking into his private parts, and refused to say anything about the program he ate off from Varis. Later, Ai woke up and explained to Yusaku and Kolter he was alive, but they wanted proof. Ai then started to focus and a golden light appeared out of Yusaku's Duel Disk. Ai came out, with his whole body intact, stating his pride how he managed to recover his body back. 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.[24] After Yusaku left him home for being annoying, Ai flexed his muscles to impress Roboppi, who was amused. Ai commented how dumb robots were, which insulted Roboppi. However, Ai swore once he was completed, they would "start doing that again", which made him and Roboppi blush.[25]

Ai talks with Playmaker

Ai talks to Playmaker about Ghost Gal's tactics.

Ai "played" with Roboppi, and claimed Yusaku wouldn't watch them, since he was deep in a thought. After Yusaku got a message from Kolter, he took Ai with him to the food truck. There, the two read how Ghost Gal challenged Playmaker, with her access to the data bank and Playmaker's Ai as wagers. Ai stated they didn't have to accept her challenge, but Playmaker nevertheless did so, as he was interested in the data from SOL Technologies' data bank. Inside, Ai was displeased the two initiated the Duel. Ai reminded Playmaker while he did not know anything about Ghost Gal, she must've studied his tactics well. During the Duel, Ai pointed out how Ghost Gal reinforced her defenses, and even set three Trap Cards that would stop them. As Ghost Gal initiated the Battle Phase and claimed she would win in that turn, Ai laughed, as she would make 2400 LP damage. Both Playmaker and Ghost Gal scolded Ai for such thinking; Playmaker claimed no Duelist would make that simple math error, making Ghost Gal wonder why was everyone after this dumb AI. Ai was offended, while Playmaker pointed out she did bring out "Altergeist Meluseek". The latter attacked and destroyed "Cyberse Wizard", allowing "Altergeist Marionetter" to attack directly, and allowing "Altergeist Primebanshee" to do so as well. Ai started panicking, as his fate was on the stake.[26]

Ai yelled at Playmaker that Ghost Gal's next attack would deplete all of his LP. As Playmaker Special Summoned "Lockout Gardna", Ai knew they would have enough LP to continue and even use Storm Access, and exclaimed how "bad" this would be. However, Ghost Gal knew Ai was just pretending and decided not to attack. Ai was in shock, and Playmaker told him this acting stunk, making Ai sniff himself. Ai continued watching the Duel, and commented how Ghost Gal was foiling their strategies, and wondered what her Skill was. Using Secret Cure, Ghost Gal increased both her and Playmaker's LP by the ATK of "Altergeist Meluseek", making Ai comment on how the latter punished them before already. Still, Playmaker paid the LP to activate "Scan Doll" and Ai praised him, encouraging him to use Storm Access. Since Ghost Gal was in the Data Storm, Ai was surprised that Playmaker went to save her, even if they could be swallowed inside, too. Coming out of the Data Storm, Ai commented how Playmaker behaved like a hero. With "Excode Talker" brought out and able to attack twice, Ai smiled, claiming it is over for Ghost Gal. At the end of Duel, Ai explained it was a stressful battle and would've ended in defeat if it wasn't for him. After Ghost Gal left, Ai asked what was in the SOL Technologies' data bank. Playmaker admitted he did not know but hoped there was some info about himself, ten years ago.[27]

The next day, Yusaku was searching for Skye, but noticed she was not present there, nor in LINK VRAINS. Ai thought her brother was blocking her the access to LINK VRAINS, to prevent any further danger that might harm her. However, Ai also wondered why Yusaku was concerned about "that cutie", as Yusaku wished that she wouldn't give up on Duels. The following night, Kolter created a link to the mother computer. Yusaku started hesitating to enter, making Ai surprised, since he did wish to find more out and even won the program as a bet from Ghost Gal. Ai claimed he did warn them there were traps from the start, but Kolter explained Yusaku was just being careful. Ai expressed his annoyance, and went with Yusaku into the LINK VRAINS. While inside the system, Ai saw how empty the place was, and wasn't impressed by the rope Playmaker held. Soon, Ai warned Playmaker about the security traps, which were sent to hamper their path.[28]

After passing through Area A, Ai was glad they succeeded, but was shocked to see a Data Storm inside the network. Playmaker and Ai were pulled towards the Data Storm, with their rope shattering and alerting Kitamura. Playmaker and Ai were "visited" by two AI prototypes, who went to Duel them, even when Ai reminded them Duels were one on one. Playmaker avoided them and proceeded further, though one of the AI-s intercepted him. The two began a Duel, in which the AI prototype dropped all of Playmaker's hand with "Tentacluster Nautilus". Ai told Playmaker had no luck, thinking he was bad at old maid, but Playmaker shushed him. The two were attacked by the other AI prototype until Blue Angel came to stop the AIs.[28] When Playmaker shaved his LP down to 1000, AI encouraged him to enter the Data Storm, wondering what monster would he obtain. Inside the data bank, Ai and Playmaker were surprised to see Akira, who expected Playmaker to arrive there.[29]

Ai pointed out the core of the data bank was where SOL Technologies' information was processed and released. Hearing Ghost Gal's plans, Ai thought Ghost Gal lost on purpose to hand them the backdoor route, but Ghost Gal corrected it that she still had the opportunity to obtain Ai. Regardless, she was fine with either outcome, making Ai curse her for being so cunning, which Ghost Gal took as a compliment. When Akira refused to hand over the data from the bank, Ai started to complain, claiming he is the great Ignis everyone was searching for. Akira wondered if Ai actually had free will, like Varis told them. Ghost Gal told them Akira was demoted, which made Ai amused how much he sacrificed himself to look after his sister. Since Akira refused to hand over the data, Playmaker challenged Akira to a Duel, betting Ai for the data, which Akira accepted. Ai was displeased, as being a bet was a normal thing to him.[30]

As Akira reinforced his defenses, Ai noted Akira was a stiff man, just like his strategy. As Ai swapped "Tindangle Base Gardna" for "Tindangle Hound", Ai started complaining until seeing how scary the latter was. "Tindangle Hound" roared as its effect activated, making Ai feel woozy, but Playmaker silenced him. Playmaker brought out "Flame Administrator" and destroyed "Tindangle Hound", with Ai mimicking Playmaker's pose. However, he cursed as Akira revived his "Tindangle Hound", via "Tindangle Angel", and ended the Battle Phase. Ai realized Akira played a Flip Monster deck, with unique strategies. Since Playmaker refused to give up, Ai encouraged him to crush Akira. Ai admitted Akira's monsters hurt his pride, seeing its power continued lowering Playmaker's monsters' ATK.[30]

Playmaker destroyed Akira's monsters with "Link Hole", and Ai taunted Akira for being unable to use his Flip Monsters' effects. However, Ai started panicking when "Decode Talker" was destroyed and "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" was summoned, whose ATK was boosted to 3000. "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" attacked "Firewall Dragon", and Ai feared he and Playmaker would lose, so the latter protected "Firewall Dragon" with "Doppler Phase Coating". Akira protected his own monster with "Gergonne's End", so Playmaker tried to have "Firewall Dragon", enhanced with "Alert Lancer", attack "Tindangle Token" to finish the Duel. Ai smiled for the victory, until Akira protected himself with "Morley's Shield". Ai continued panicking when Akira played "Nagel's Protection" to protect his Tokens, and even doubling the damage "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" dealt, lowering Playmaker's LP to 500.[31]

Ai no friend

Ai fails to befriend Playmaker.

Ai yelled to Playmaker to do something, and even wondered if there was anything that can be done to get them out of the situation. Playmaker told Ai to stop panicking, asking if it even was an AI, making the latter furious why he 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 no friends, stating Ai should behave like other AIs. This crushed Ai, seeing Playmaker was colder than AIs. Ai started acting like a dumb AI to amuse Playmaker, though he also wished to know about the incident from ten years ago. Hearing Playmaker was a part of Hanoi Project, Ai started to ponder thoughts about it. He was also shocked to hear SOL Technologies' data bank contained the name of the mastermind behind the project.[31]

Ai realized Playmaker had two parallel choices which confirmed this, exciting Ai, as their opinions matched. As Akira declared an attack on "Firewall Dragon", Ai panicked once more, but was silenced by Playmaker. As "Doppler Phase Coating" was removed, Akira's Battle Phase ended, and Ai was impressed, seeing Playmaker could survive. As Akira summoned the Deleted token to power up "Tindangle Acute Cerberus", Ai ignored that, thinking that was a pointless move, as "Firewall Dragon" would attack Akira directly. Instead, the latter activated "Euler's Circuit" to stop Playmaker from attacking. Ai lost hope, thinking he would be turned over to SOL Technologies. However, as the conditions for "Gergonne's End" were fulfilled, Akira destroyed all monsters linked to "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" to defeat Playmaker. However, the latter's "Secure Gardna" prevented the damage, and Ai taunted Akira for falling for the trick. Ai bragged his acting made this possible, but Playmaker brushed him off, as it was poor acting that nearly made Akira suspect something wrong.[32]

Despite the advantage, Playmaker used "Recovery Sorcerer" to bring back "Secure Gardna". Ai questioned this, as Playmaker could simply make a direct attack with "Firewall Dragon", but was told a Duel is more than just winning or losing. With Akira's defeat, Playmaker walked pass by Akira and Blue Angel, having Ai eat away SOL Technologies' data. Ai was surprised his name was mentioned, and ate the data, to the point of becoming stuffed. Outside, Kolter praised Yusaku and Ai, the latter being happy he was praised. The two hacked into Ai, and found out the Hanoi Project's leader was Dr. Kiyoshi Kogami, an employee from SOL Technologies, who alone worked on the project in secret. Ai doubted the man could have done this on his own, and thought Akira was involved, but Kolter reminded him Akira, back then, was 16 and was not employed at SOL Technologies. The two continued browsing, and were shocked to see Dr. Kogami died seven years ago.[32]

After being left home again, Ai promised to tell Roboppi a story, and she wanted to listen more, since she did help Ai out in "secret things". Both started blushing and giggling. Ai told the story of the recent events: the confrontation with Ghost Gal, entering the SOL Technologies' data bank, battling the AI prototypes and facing the former security-in-chief, Akira, himself. Ai credited himself for some of Playmaker's contributions, amazing Roboppi, until he claimed he wished everyone to fight, with him as the bet. He also thought Playmaker as some sort of a fiend, though Roboppi stated he was just cold-hearted. After he told the story, Ai admitted he was uncertain what would they do next, since nobody else but Dr. Kogami knew about the incident.[33]

Playmaker and Ai 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 people, even today, were still afraid. Playmaker replied people remain the same, unlike technology that advances. The latter proclaimed the light was blocked by darkness, and confirmed to Ai he meant the Lost Incident. He would not let the incident be buried in darkness, and would uncover the truth. At school, Yusaku spoke with Naoki Shima, who mentioned the "the Deleted" incident. Ai thought this had relations to Blue Angel, but Yusaku shushed him, since Naoki could hear him. Inside the van, Kolter showed to Ai and Yusaku the footage of a camera, when a person turned into a Deleted, which happened six minutes before midnight. Ai noted there were no white hands taking the person into LINK VRAINS. Kolter told them the person had not recovered yet, and showed pictures of more of the Deleted patients in the hospitals.[34]

Ai and Yusaku knew this was the same accident with Blue Angel, who was infected by a virus. Kolter believed someone wanted people to be turned into mindless people, but has not find out what happened to their LINK VRAINS' avatars. Kolter showed more data, and Yusaku analyzed all of the the Deleteds were great Duelists with old-type Duel Disks, and all of them were hackers, too. The trio realized Playmaker, or Ai, were the targets. Yusaku reminded the importance of uncovering the truth behind Lost Incident, and as noted by Ai, they had to stop people from becoming the Deleteds. Ai noted Yusaku was a cool hero of justice, even if the latter claimed that was unnecessary. Kolter showed a list of possible targets, from which the first was McKendrick Kellenbocker. Yusaku traced the person to his house, and saw lights at his window. Yusaku broke through into his room, and saw he became a victim.[34]

In addition, he and Ai watched Makoto's avatar inside LINK VRAINS being confronted by a person, who wished to know if he was Playmaker and had Ignis. Yusaku and Ai saw the person casted some glitter, causing Makoto to fall asleep and fall off the cliff, but was saved by the Gore. Playmaker watched as The Gore confronted the person, Dr. Genome, who placed the virus into Makoto, only to draw Playmaker out. At the van, Kolter and Yusaku watched the Knights of Hanoi Dueling people, and turning them into the Deleteds. Yusaku decided to go into LINK VRAINS, even if Kolter believed he would be at a disadvantage, and Ai wished to feel secure. The group watched as Dr. Genome came, confronting "Playmaker", who revealed himself as The Gore, and challenged Genome, betting Playmaker's identity.[34]

Yusaku, Kolter and Ai watched Gore confronting Dr. Genome. Since Gore claimed to have known Playmaker's identity, Kolter remembered Yusaku did run into Gore at the hospital, but Yusaku claimed it was impossible. Once The Gore equipped himself with a mask and declared himself as "Dark Gore", Ai thought that was a tacky thing to do. Yusaku and Kolter realized The Gore changed his battling style to a heel, and would not hold back. Ai was surprised to see Gore actually had his "Gouki Riscorpio" attack "Helixx Marmotroll", causing the former to be destroyed, since it had less ATK. However, Ai noticed this was to have Gore gain an advantage, as 500 LP was inflicted on Genome, and Yusaku added that was how a heel fights. Ai noted Gore started using his brain to win, while Yusaku noted Gore still wanted to win, in his own way. Just as Gore was to win, Genome played "Regeneration Cure" to stop the damage, and everyone saw Genome had the advantage. As Genome tributed "Helixx Necro Darwin" to defeat Gore, Yusaku became displeased. Ai suggested he could enter LINK VRAINS to save Gore. Yusaku, who saw Gore barely saving himself with "Gouki Octostretch", decided to take Ai's advice.[35]

Playmaker and Ai came to LINK VRAINS to help Gore. Dr. Genome noticed the Ignis was here, who claimed he had a name, Ai. Genome was surprised, and saw Ai was domesticated, like a pet, which Ai denied. Later, Playmaker and Ai suggested a person, who wanted to fight the Knight of Hanoi, to Go home. The man did so, while Playmaker confronted the Knight of Hanoi. After the defeat, Playmaker demanded the virus-removal program. The Knight did not have it, so Playmaker questioned who was the virus' creator, and Ai threatened the Knight to delete him. However, someone else dissolved the Knight before he could reply.[36] At the van, Ai was amused to read Kitamura was criticized for his failed efforts to stop the Knights of Hanoi. He also read the people demanded some action to be taken for someone responsible in SOL Technologies. Yusaku shushed Ai, since he was interfering with their work. After Yusaku returned, Kolter found nothing new. Ai believed Kolter gave up, who replied he was just getting started. Later, Ai watched Blue Angel Dueling Baira. He noted Blue Angel was cornered, but Yusaku shushed him, since they were still working.[37]

Yusaku showed the woman behind an the Deleted victim, and compared her to Skye Zaizen's doctor, Clarissa Turner. Ai confirmed this, but wondered if she would help the victim because she was a doctor. Yusaku reminded Ai to listen in the end, as he proclaimed she was one of the Knights of Hanoi. Yusaku went to her apartment, worrying Ai, as the place could be the Knights of Hanoi's headquarters. Yusaku replied it was more reason for him to go, and Ai even asked if he was good at fighting. Inside, the two passed by a robot, and Ai hacked into the security system, opening the apartment. Ai saw nobody, but Yusaku shushed him. Continuing on, the two found a room with a pod, in which Clarissa Turner was, logged in LINK VRAINS as Baira. When she logged out, Ai proposed to tie her up, but she appeared next to Varis, who punished her. Yusaku thought she released the virus-removal program because she felt guilty, a feeling Ai did not understand.[38]

Ai in air

Ai flies above Den City, to find Yusaku's colleague.

Ai boasted he couldn't be captured, and laughed with Roboppi, thinking how Yusaku would be surprised when he saw them. Later, he was at the van with Yusaku and Kolter. The next day, Yusaku spoke with Naoki, who wished to battle the Knights of Hanoi. Yusaku knew Naoki was scared, and knew Naoki came to ask him for help. Naoki was furious and stormed out, and Ai noted Yusaku went too far on him. When Yusaku came to the van, Kolter showed him someone has played his "Cyberse Wizard". Kolter identified him as Lonely Brave, which Ai thought as a cool name. When Yusaku showed his "Cyberse Wizard", Ai touched it and sensed the data from the card was missing. Ai thought Lonely Brave was the mastermind, and defeated the Knight of Hanoi to lure Playmaker out.[39]

Brave Max was soon interrogated by the mastermind, Faust, and called out to Playmaker to Duel him. Yusaku went to grab his Duel Disk, but saw it was gone. Ai logged on the screen, and showed he was on the Duel Disk, which Roboppi modified it with a drone. While Yusaku noted the device felt heavier, Ai explained he was searching for Naoki, though the data of "Cyberse Wizard". Yusaku realized Ai even knew this would happen, which offended Ai, seeing Yusaku was even accusing him. Regardless, Ai showed the location, where Naoki was captured. Ai got distracted by the Deleted drone, and nearly crashed into the building. Yusaku called out to him, and Ai returned to the van. Yusaku grabbed the Duel Disk and left Kolter to rescue Naoki, while Yusaku logged in to LINK VRAINS.[39]

Playmaker confronted Faust, who denied having stolen "Cyberse Wizard" and giving it to Lonely Brave. Playmaker was confused, but Ai reminded him that was not important, and that he had to defeat Faust, who summoned the Data Gale. Playmaker noted it was just like during Blue Angel and Gore's Duels, and Ai noted this prevented them from returning home. Faust started the Speed Duel with summoning three "Motor Worm Tokens", and Ai sensed Faust was going all-out from the start. As "Cyberse Wizard" destroyed "Motor Worm Spreader Queen", Ai waved goodbye to her until Faust revived her with "Worm Revival". Shockingly to Ai, Faust used "Egg Clutch" to turn "Cyberse Wizard" into an Insect monster. Ai wondered if there was nothing they could do, and repeated this to Playmaker when he ended his turn. Due to "Egg Clutch", Faust tributed his "Motor Worm Token" to summon two new tokens on Playmaker's field, and Ai counted the queen got 700 additional ATK.[40]

The queen attacked Playmaker, who halved the damage by using "Urgent Link". Ai pointed out he barely survived with 50 LP left, though Playmaker stated it was still enough to fight. After destroying "Wormhole Defense", Ai encouraged Playmaker to use Storm Access skill. After Playmaker won, he repeated "humanity's future" Faust spoke of, though Ai didn't know anything of that. After the Duel, Yusaku went to rescue Naoki, who complimented him. He also spoke about Playmaker rescuing him, and Ai told Naoki talks too much. Yusaku, however, wondered if Ai was the one that put him in danger by giving Naoki his "Cyberse Wizard".[40] Since Yusaku felt uneasy, he could not sleep and went to Kolter's van. Ai smiled at Yusaku, thinking how cute he was, but Yusaku ordered him to be quiet. Regardless, he also agreed with Yusaku something bad would soon begin, as Yusaku believed Varis would make his move soon.[41]

Yusaku and Ai, in real life, sensed something wrong in LINK VRAINS. Later, Ai saw that Kolter lost a customer with a red triangle on his right arm. Ai claimed Kolter needed a mascot, who claimed Ai would make a terrible mascot. Kolter noted the Deleteds' incident has been resolved, but also reminded Varis was still out there. Ai thought Varis had retreated, but Yusaku doubted that. Suddenly, Yusaku and Ai felt a pulse within LINK VRAINS, and the latter noted Yusaku had Link Sense. Yusaku asked Kolter to scan through the network. Kolter worked on scanning, and just as Yusaku and Ai sensed the Deleted pulse, Kolter saw LINK VRAINS infrastructure was changing. Yusaku decided to visit LINK VRAINS, even if Ai felt a bad omen ahead. Ai tried to convince Playmaker things would go bad and they should return home, but Playmaker was focused on finding the cause. Once again, they sensed the pulse coming from the network.[42]

Ai's Destiny Draw

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

Finding some data fireflies, Playmaker traced them to a spot. As the data fireflies stopped, Ai thought they were taking a break. The two were visited by Ghost Gal, who wasn't particularly pleased Ai and Playmaker were present, too. The data fireflies opened a path, though which Ghost Gal entered, and Playmaker joined in, too. Finding a fork in the path, Ghost Gal saw her data fireflies went to the path on the right. Ai thought they could settle this with a game, which amused Ghost Gal, who credited the AI. Ai explained he had a name, and Ghost Gal thought his name was just a pun. Ghost Gal told the one that chose the "lovelier" card from her Deck could choose the path. Ai was confident in his skills, but had his doubts that Ghost Gal could cheat, who told there wasn't anything beneficial in that.[42]

Ghost Gal shuffled her Deck, and let Ai draw a card. Ai declared "Destiny Draw", only to choose "Fake Trap". Ghost Gal claimed the card was nothing her favorite, and didn't even choose to draw a card. She bid farewell to Ai and Playmaker, going to the path on the right. Ai was displeased he chose "Fake Trap", but Playmaker knew that Ghost Gal cheated, by using a Deck filled with bad cards. Ai was even more depressed he was cheated off once more, but Playmaker reminded the importance of their mission, and continued on. They were ambushed by a data giant, who went after them, making Ai even panic. While dodging the data giant's attacks, Playmaker and Ai sensed the pulse was getting stronger, and felt a danger was coming.[42]

Playmaker continued running away from the data giant, and Ai told him to run faster. The two ran to a dead end, and just as the data giant went to attack them, it disappeared in a veil of light. Ai was glad they were saved, while Playmaker noticed the Deleted abnormality. Playmaker jumped in the crack, and Ai noticed that was the path that Ghost Gal took. The two watched as Ghost Gal was defeated by Varis' "Topologic Trisbaena". Ghost Gal glowed with a red light, and started vanishing. She warned Playmaker of Varis and his new card before disappearing. Ai and Playmaker were terrified, and were soon visited by Varis behind bars. Playmaker yelled at Varis, while Ai pointed out the place was collapsing, and they swore to protect Ghost Gal's data. Playmaker ignored Ai, who forced Playmaker to log out. Yusaku and Ai joined Kolter, and watched hundreds of tentacles wrapped a beam that was shot in the sky and destroyed LINK VRAINS' cyberspace.[43]

Yusaku, Kolter, and Ai watched as the tower appeared in LINK VRAINS, causing the cyberspace to be absorbed. Since Yusaku obtained Ghost Gal's data, Kolter promised to look into it. Ai noticed the avatars were being absorbed, and not just buildings or roads - Yusaku knew this was Varis' doing. Kolter analyzed Ghost Gal's data, showing the Tower of Hanoi. Ai was shocked, seeing how much data has been absorbed, as Kolter noted that speed has not decreased. Kolter counted six rings would be crafted from this system, one per each passing hour. He realized that once every ring is crafted, a pulse would be sent with high-density data, affecting every machine or program - every piece of technology existing in the world would cease function, as if the world has no computers at all. Ai thought it was safe as long as they did not enter the network, but Yusaku was certain Varis thought of that, and made something that would still erase Ai. Kolter continued his analysis, seeing even devices not connected to the network would also be affected, as an electromagnetic pulse would be sent out, even to erase Ai. While Ai was frustrated, Kolter was overwhelmed, knowing Varis made all of this just to erase an Ignis.[44]

The trio watched Kitamura - Akira's successor in SOL Technologies - battling a Knight of Hanoi, named Specter. They saw how Specter erased Kitamura, and the former threatened to do this to anyone that dared entering LINK VRAINS. Yusaku swore to stop the Knights of Hanoi, by shutting down the core. Yusaku logged in to LINK VRAINS with Ai, and he quickly met up with Gore and Blue Angel. The latter explaining she was fighting for everyone, as those people look up to her. Gore exclaimed the same, since he was the hero that needed to protect LINK VRAINS. Ai noted how full of energy Gore was. Gore noted that was the Ignis, who yelled out he had a name, Ai. Playmaker explained he came to stop the Tower of Hanoi, rescue Ghost Gal and confront the mastermind, Varis. Playmaker exclaimed the importance of stopping the tower's completion, and Ai added it would prevent him from being erased. Gore asked how to stop the tower, and was told Varis had to be defeated. Ai warned the time limit was six hours before the tower was completed. The trio promised to meet up against and went in different directions.[44]

After Playmaker saved a kid in LINK VRAINS, Ai noted Playmaker wanted to do something cool, but the latter silenced it.[45] 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, for he bears that name for such purposes. When Blue Angel was defeated, Ai and Playmaker saw a whirlwind from afar.[46] Playmaker and Ai continued on towards the Tower of Hanoi, as the surroundings continued to be absorbed as data into the tower itself. Playmaker continued running, and went to the bridge, which also started to vanish, as Ai noted they had to cross it to get to the tower. Ai thought of conjuring a Data Storm, but Playmaker asked him not to do that, since the tower would continue absorbing that data, too, which would hasten the tower's completion. On their way, the two faced Specter, who came out of a portal. Specter introduced himself, and explained he would not let them pass through. He told these were Varis' orders, and they would be crushed, too, like Blue Angel was, which shocked Ai and Playmaker. Specter informed them he defeated her without even having to use his full strength.[47]

Specter confirmed he did defeat Blue Angel, but he remembered she spoke 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 promised the same fate would befall Playmaker. When the Duel started, Specter again began by using "Sunseed Genus Loci" to Link Summon "Sunavalon Dryas", and setting a card. Playmaker remembered Blue Angel's tactics were about burning effect damage, and knowing he defeated her quickly, Ai proclaimed he was very dangerous, too. However, Ai noticed Specter's monster did not look very offensive. Specter spoke about his past, and started questioning Playmaker's goal to bring the Knights of Hanoi to justice. Ai noticed Playmaker was distant, and reminded he was nothing alike Specter, and pointed out the tower would continue growing as long as they waste time. When Specter evolved his tree into "Sunavalon Dryanome", Ai sensed they could be in big trouble, unless Playmaker tried harder. In addition, Specter neutralized Playmaker's efforts by returning the LP count to 4000. Playmaker noticed that is a defense-oriented deck, and Blue Angel must've fallen to Specter's tricks. Specter announced the tree could not be attacked, and Ai knew Specter anticipated these attacks. Playmaker's attacks boosted "Multi Sledgehammer", for removing all of the Counters "Multi Sledgehammer" received, its ATK was raised to 4000.[48]

Ai claimed it was a brilliant strategy, but Specter told it was not perfect; "Sunavalon Glorious Growth" redirected the attack to "Sunvine Gardna", who reduced the damage. Once more, Specter summoned a "Sunvine Gardna", regained the LP and made Playmaker's LP back to 4000. Ai realized Specter has the advantage in here, who confirmed these words, for Playmaker was walking towards his defeat. When Specter's "Sunvine Thrasher" started attacking, Ai warned Playmaker he was losing, but Playmaker was glad that Specter could no longer use the effect of "Sunavalon Dryanome", for all of the zones its Link Markers were pointing to were occupied, and believed to have a chance at winning the next turn. Ai noted that's why Playmaker has that name. Specter explained someone said the same thing earlier.[48]

He Normal Summoned "Sunseed Genius Loci", and used it with "Sunvine Gardna" to Link Summon "Sunavalon Daphne". Ai and Playmaker realized this just expanded Specter's zones for its effects. Using "Sunavalon Force", Specter made his tree immune to effects, while Ai reminded Specter could simply summon more "Sunvine" monsters to protect himself. Playmaker made three consecutive Link Summons to bring out "Excode Talker" and "Underclock Taker", preventing Specter from using two Main Monster Zones and reducing the ATK of "Sunshine Thrasher" to 900. Specter was displeased, since he could not use his combo to protect himself, while Ai gloated they would win. However, Specter summoned Akira, and showed if he was hurt, the vines could hurt Akira and infect him with a virus. Ai and Playmaker were angry that Specter was cheating and playing dirty, by dragging people that weren't even involved.[48]

Specter chuckled, reminding how many people Playmaker actually got involved in this crisis. He noted Blue Angel became a victim, and Akira was captured, too, who told Playmaker not to worry about him. Ai reminded Playmaker not to listen to this villain. However, Playmaker ended his turn, surprising Ai and Akira. Specter laughed, for he discovered Playmaker's weakness: virtue. After Playmaker took the hits from Specter's monsters, Ai panicked, as the bridge continued collapsing.[48] Ai pointed at Specter for cheating and dirty play, who took those words as a compliment. Specter was happy, considering this foul play let him gain the advantage. Playmaker set a card, despite Specter daring him to attack. Specter was slightly disappointed, as so was Ai. Specter had "Sunvine Thrasher" attack "Excode Talker", who was protected by Playmaker's "Overload Anchor". Ai claimed they were just getting started, so Specter let his opponent do whatever they wanted.[49]

Ai reminded Playmaker about the other effect of "Overload Anchor", which could decrease the ATK of "Sunvine Thrasher", to mount an attack. Playmaker remained silent, which Specter noted he truly was a champion of justice. Ai reminded Playmaker if they lose, the tower would be completed, and everyone would be erased. Specter continued mocking Playmaker, who activated "Link Processing Failure" to stop Specter's Link Monsters from attacking. Specter claimed that was nevertheless a pointless move, and Playmaker could not do anything, unless he attacked. Ai voiced Specter's words, telling him to forget Akira, else the world would be plunged into chaos. Ai named Playmaker as the world's last hope. Specter did not want to watch Ai and Playmaker quarrel, and he Link Summoned the Link-4 "Sunavalon Dryatrentiay". He tributed "Sunavalon Daphne" to destroy Playmaker's Spell and Trap Cards. Next, he revived "Sunseed Genius Loci" and used it to bring out the Deleted "Sunvine Thrasher", whose ATK became 4000.[49]

Ai became worried, but sighed, hearing that Specter's monsters in Main Monster Zones could not attack the turn he used his tree's effect. Playmaker doubted that, since Specter had a reason to summon that high ATK monster. Specter commended Playmaker for that observation, as his tree attacked and gained ATK, equal to the ATK of the monsters it pointed to. The tree went to make the finishing move, but Playmaker anticipated this. Using "Link Surge Counter", The ATK of "Excode Talker" became equal to that of "Sunavalon Dryatrentiay", making both monsters destroyed in battle. Specter claimed it was still pointless, for "Sunavalon Force" shaved Playmaker's LP to 50. Ai praised Playmaker for avoiding defeat. Just as Specter went to mock Playmaker's efforts, he saw "Sunavalon Dryatrentiay" falling, and was reminded of the tree he saw cut from his childhood. Without Specter's tree, the cards on his field became destroyed. Playmaker noted it was very difficult to break Specter's combo, until his tree was the one that attacked.[49]

Ai started to mock Specter that "his mommy could not protect him". Specter yelled out for his sacred tree, startling Ai and Playmaker. Specter revived the tree with "Sunavalon Cursed Reborn", and while its effects were negated, its ATK became 4000. Ai was scared, while Specter exclaimed due to the effect, any LP damage he would receive would also be taken to Playmaker, assuring that defeat. Ai noted this was why Akira should've been ignored. Kolter completed the code, causing Akira to vanish. However, the trap was too complex, and the attempt failed. Akira reminded the importance of winning, else Skye's sacrifice would've been in vain, and all of this would lead to more victims. He asked for Playmaker's conviction, reminding even with these sacrifices, he has to bear this burden and continue. Akira smiled for a bit, and grasped the vines, taking damage and vanishing. Specter laughed at Akira, for he entrusted the future to a man, who could not win. Playmaker, who became vengeful, made Specter doubt his words, reminding his Dueling always wins, and with Akira gone, his doubts have disappeared. Playmaker quickly summoned "Excode Talker" and had it slash the tree, thus resulting in Specter's defeat. Specter fell down, and started laughing, letting Playmaker and Ai run past him. As the bridge continued collapsing, Playmaker and Ai continued towards the tower. However, the bridge collapsed, making the two fall down.[49]

As Playmaker and Ai fell down, the former sensed something. The two were blown up by data. Playmaker wondered about the pulse he sensed, while Ai, who explained he did not create the data, pointed half of the tower was completed. Playmaker arrived to watch the Duel between Varis and Gore, and Ai noted the latter's toughness. The two watched the Duel, and Ai was terrified to see the effect of "Topologic Bomber Dragon". Ai noticed Gore was trying his best and cheered for him, but Playmaker shushed him. Ai was glad to see Varis' dragon was destroyed, and Playmaker noticed Gore had an advantage, but was concerned about Varis' confidence. Ai cheered that Gore would win with four Link Monsters, but Playmaker realized Varis had a set card.[50]

Playmaker continued watching the Duel, noting Varis' tactics of destroying "rokket" monsters to destroy Gore's monsters. Ai was nevertheless impressed that Gore continued on, despite having no monsters on his field, while Playmaker knew that was something that would not stop Gore. Watching the Duel, Playmaker and Ai were glad to see Gore stopped Varis' "Magnarokket Dragon" from destroying "Gouki The Giant Ogre". Ai was curious what would Varis do, and Playmaker reminded him about the field, as he'd summon a Link-4 monster. Playmaker and Ai watched as Gore was defeated by Varis' "Borrelsword Dragon". Ai watched as Gore was defeated and absorbed as data into the tower.[51]

To stop Varis, Playmaker and his opponent went on their D-Boards to have a Speed Duel around the tower. This displeased Ai, since they were Dueling in a dangerous area. Playmaker reminded Varis about his goal to destroy Ignis, and pointed out he would throw the world into chaos by destroying the network. Varis explained he would not have been forced to do this if Ignis was given to him from the start, and would not have anyone stop his plan. Varis promised to destroy Ai, who was feeling unpleasant. Since Varis defeated many people, Playmaker swore to stop him through this Duel. Ai motivated Playmaker, who took the first turn by summoning "Decode Talker". Ai was glad the monster was summoned, though Varis simply smiled. Playmaker used "Stack Reviver" to bring back "Backup Secretary" and boost the ATK of "Decode Talker" for a bit. Ai warned Playmaker about the floating debris, which nearly hit them. Ai was nevertheless enthusiastic, believing that his teamwork with Playmaker would prove no match against Varis. Ai started to practice punching, which made Varis remark what an arrogant AI he was.[9]

Ai's distrust

Ai realizing Playmaker has no trust in him.

Varis gave Playmaker a question why Ai was running away from the Knights of Hanoi. Ai reminded him was its existence on the stake, while Playmaker remembered Ai had few memories when he first found it. Varis explained Ignis was coded by Dr. Kogami, and since Playmaker could not decode it, he only believed what Ai told him. Varis explained through the data he acquired, Ai still had memories of its past. He claimed that Ignis' ID was "IGN006", an AI linked to the sixth test subject, shaped after Playmaker himself. Varis continued, explaining six test subjects were used for Dueling to create six artificial intelligence units, which was the goal of the Lost Incident project. He told Ai learned through Playmaker's actions; its original goal was to save humanity, but they evolved quickly, to the point of creating the Cyberse World, which Ai hid to protect other Ignises. Varis pointed out Ai, in fact, was misleading Playmaker, lying that it lost its memories. Due to the fact it could lie, Varis branded Ignis as a threat to humanity, and why the Knights of Hanoi were determined to hunt it down. [9]

Varis questioned Playmaker would he continue trust Ai, who tried to explain when he saw Playmaker, Ai knew it was the same person he observed during the Lost Incident. Ai tried to reason with Playmaker, claiming when he met him, Ai was still chased and could not trust anyone. Varis was angry Ai continued lying, but Playmaker reminded this had no bearing on their Duel. Ai feared what would happen to his friendship with Playmaker, who brushed him off, reminding Ai was just a hostage, and felt no friendship towards him. Varis swore to defeat Playmaker and crush Ai, who warned them about the Deleted debris. Ai pointed out how suspicious it was that Varis Summoned a low-ATK monster, but Playmaker shushed him. Playmaker, per Ai's warning, dodged a debris, which scratched a part of his face, which quickly regenerated. Despite the lack of trust, Ai reminded he would be destroyed if Playmaker lost, who simply ignored Ai. When Playmaker took a direct attack from "Flash Charge Dragon" and fell to his knees, Ai became concerned. Ai still reminded Playmaker would be at least down to 100, until Varis' "Blast Powder Dragon" had its ATK doubled. Varis proclaimed Playmaker's doom, as, once more, his dragon attacked him directly.[9]

Giant Ai helps Playmaker

A big Ai helps Playmaker get back on his D-Board.

Remembering his promise to his father, Varis' "Blast Powder Dragon" attacked Playmaker directly. Ai feared this would be the end, but Playmaker used "Spool Code" to stop the attack and summon three "Spool Tokens". Playmaker attempted to remove "Flash Charge Dragon" with the effect of "Security Dragon", but Varis negated its effect. Ai was disappointed the strategy failed, and upon counting 400 LP that Playmaker had, realized he could activate his Skill. The rubble started hitting Playmaker, as Ai noted that was a dangerous move. Playmaker sensed a lot of density in the Data Storm, and there was no other way to defeat Varis, who thought Playmaker would destroy himself with that move. Playmaker reached his hand into the Data Storm, but was overwhelmed by the energy. However, Ai, who got bigger, reached out to Playmaker, saving him from the fall and regenerated his body. Ai explained this was his secret move he wanted to use in the end, and helped Playmaker get back on his D-Board before minimizing himself into the Duel Disk.[52]

Ai tired

Ai recovers from the damage he took while protecting Playmaker.

Playmaker was surprised about this move, but Ai claimed he would go down with Playmaker, believing he was still its friend. Ai took control of the D-Board and shielded Playmaker, to let him execute his Skill for a limited time, reminding this is his way to atone for not speaking the truth. Playmaker took the card out of the Data Storm, and heard Ai bidding him farewell before disappearing. When Varis started his turn, Ai came out of Playmaker's Duel Disk, but became smaller, since he recovered from the damage it took. He believed the two "Code Talkers" were no match for Varis, who reminded Ai about his Skill. Varis, who attempted to use Storm Access, was taken aback from the damage, due to the density of the Data Storm. He still went to use his Skill, as Playmaker and Ai noted he still wanted to win at any cost. After the Duel ended, Ai, Playmaker and Varis were overwhelmed by the wind of the Data Storm.[52]

Yusaku managed to get out, although strained, as Ai explained to Kolter the shockwave made them log out. Regardless, Kolter reminded the Tower of Hanoi was still active. Ai, knowing he and the others of his kin would be erased, asked of Yusaku to log in. Yusaku claimed that was pointless, for without Varis, the tower would still be active.

Instead, the group drove to Varis' place. During the sunset, the group came to Varis' house, where they confronted Varis. Varis noted Playmaker has found this place. He already knew Yusaku Fujiki's name, and that of Jin Kusanagi's brother, Kolter. Ai shouted he was present, too, but Varis simply stated "Ignis". Ryoken explained the story about Kiyoshi creating Ignis, about its goal, their evolution, and the prediction Ignis would become an enemy of the humanity. Ai claimed he was not an enemy, but Ryoken did not trust it. Since Ryoken refused to turn off the Tower of Hanoi, Ai reminded the sixth level of the tower was to be completed soon, and asked of Yusaku to force Ryoken into LINK VRAINS and stop him. Ryoken admitted he was going back to LINK VRAINS, for the sake of his friends, who believed in Ryoken and his father, and the only way to stop the tower would be to defeat him.

Thus, Yusaku and Ai went into LINK VRAINS, where the former started a battle with Varis. When Varis tributed "Vorticular Drumgon", Ai wondered if that was a move worth using, until he saw Varis picked "Mirror Force" from his Deck. Playmaker summoned "Linkslayer" and sent a card from his hand to destroy "Mirror Force", which pleased Ai. Varis smirked, for the card was actually "Mirror Force Launcher", which allowed Varis to set that card back and "Mirror Force", too. Ai sensed Varis researched Playmaker's Deck thoroughly to have anticipated this move. Playmaker Link Summoned "Restoration Point Guard", a move Ai questioned, due to "Mirror Force". Playmaker proceeded to Link Summon "Excode Talker", and have it attack directly, ignoring Ai's warnings. "Excode Talker" was destroyed, but this let "Restoration Point Guard" to be summoned back on the field and attack Varis directly.[2]

Varis immediately mass-summoned his Dragons to Link Summon "Vorticular Drumgon", and Tributed it for "Link Coin". Ai wondered if that was a move worth using, until he saw Varis picked "Mirror Force" from his Deck. Playmaker summoned "Linkslayer" and sent a card from his hand to destroy "Mirror Force". Varis smirked, for the card was actually "Mirror Force Launcher", which allowed Varis to set that card back and "Mirror Force", too. Ai sensed Varis researched Playmaker's Deck thoroughly to have anticipated this move. Playmaker Link Summoned "Restoration Point Guard", a move Ai questioned, due to "Mirror Force". Playmaker proceeded to Link Summon "Excode Talker", and have it attack directly, ignoring Ai's warnings. "Excode Talker" was destroyed, but Playmaker revived "Restoration Point Guard", which attacked Varis directly.[2]

Ai counted less than an hour before the tower was finished, and Playmaker agreed with him that the tower had to be stopped. Varis summoned "Sniffer Dragon", and with Link-3 "Vorticular Drumgon", Ai and Playmaker predicted Varis would summon a Link-4 monster. Varis did that, by Link Summoning "Topologic Bomber Dragon", which attempted to destroy all monsters in Main Monster Zones. Ai was grateful Playmaker managed to minimize the damage, by protecting "Restoration Point Guard", 0but Varis used "Mirror Force Launcher" to take the "Mirror Force" from his GY. Playmaker admitted Varis made a powerful combo, but noticed a way to break through. He Link Summoned "Transcode Talker" and brought back his "Excode Talker". Varis' dragon's effect was triggered to destroy all Main Monster Zone monsters, but Playmaker played "Shield Handler" to stop Varis' dragon's destructive effect from occurring.[53]

Ai announced an attack from "Transcode Talker", but Playmaker stopped him, for he Link Summoned his third Link Monster, "Powercode Talker". Ai was happy, and believed Playmaker had a chance at winning. However, Varis protected his dragons with "Link Turret". While Varis summoned "Autorokket Dragon", Ai was concerned about those five counters. Combined with "Sniffer Dragon", "Miniborrel Dragon" and "Gateway Dragon", Varis Link Summoned his second ace dragon, "Borreload Dragon". Ai was smug, since they had a monster with a higher ATK. Playmaker saw Ai forgot about that dragon's effect. "Borreload Dragon" lowered the ATK of "Powercode Talker" and took control of "Transcode Talker". Ai grasped his head, remembering the terrifying effect once more. "Topologic Bomber Dragon", powered up by "Transcode Talker", destroyed "Excode Talker", and "Powercode Talker" fell to the same fate by "Transcode Talker", too.[53]

Playmaker gasped, and Ai was sad their defense was broken so easily. Varis swore to crush them and fulfill his father's wishes. Thus, he promised to show something that was incomprehensible in the Duel. He tributed Playmaker's "Transcode Talker" he took control of to summon "Miniborrel Dragon", and used "Link Turret" to revive his "rokket" monsters from his GY. Ai noted Varis could summon five "rokket Dragons", but believed that was just a preparation for his next turn. Varis laughed Ai off, as Playmaker sensed Varis intended to finish them off in his current turn. Ai doubted that, since Varis used up his Battle Phase.[6]

Varis used his "Shelrokket", "Metalrokket" and "Miniborrel Dragon" to Link Summon the Deleted Link-4 monster, "Borrelguard Dragon". Ai panicked, since they never faced this "friend" of the "Borreload Dragon". Varis sent "Mirror Force", through the effect of "Borrelguard Dragon", to revive "Excode Talker". Ai was surprised Varis would get rid of his ace card, but Playmaker realized Varis wanted to summon something else. By removing the final counter from "Link Turret" to revive "Anesthrokket Dragon", Varis performed a fifth Link Summon. With his Extra Monster Zone co-linked to the Main Monster Zones, Varis made a final co-link by Link Summoning "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" to the other Extra Monster Zone, thus forming the Extra Link with five Link-4 dragons. With "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" being Extra Linked, Varis had it destroy Playmaker's cards and inflict 3000 LP damage that could not be negated. Ai screamed at this effect, as Varis proclaimed Playmaker's end, as the dragon attacked. Much to Varis' frustration, Playmaker used "Drop Frame Wedge", which quartered the damage.[6]

Playmaker was nevertheless hurt, and fell down to exhaustion. Ai reminded Playmaker this is not a Duel he could lose, for Ai had friends and home he would wish to return, instead of being destroyed. Playmaker muttered "friends", and asked about Cyberse World, which Ai described as his homeland. Ai admitted he did use Playmaker, but only to return to that world. He also reminded Playmaker had friends to protect. Playmaker swore he also had things to do, and barely stood up. Varis called Playmaker stubborn, and undervalued his efforts, since he had few LP left and no cards in his hand. Ai pointed out they could not attack, but was reminded Playmaker could take a severe blow from "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" if he kept a card in his hand. Playmaker set his card. Varis, however, summoned "Autorokket Dragon", which filled up his Main Monster Zones. He had "Autorokket Dragon" targeted by the effect "Borreload Dragon", destroying to destroy Playmaker's set card. Varis fulfilled his promise to seal away their moves. Playmaker thought it was still a miracle he and Ai were still standing, and confirmed they had to do something, lest they lose.[6]

Ai's prayer

Ai prays that Playmaker draws good cards.

Ai noticed Playmaker was laughing, who thought of nothing else but that to do in their current predicament. He used "Arrow Change" to draw two cards. Ai started to pray for good cards, even if he was reminded by Playmaker that AI-s do not pray. Using "Disconnect Linker", Playmaker took back "Restoration Point Guard" and used it to summon "Secure Gardna" to protect himself, and prevent Varis' "Topologic" dragons in Extra Monster Zones from attacking.[6] Varis knew already that "Secure Gardna" could prevent damage to Playmaker once. Ai shouted they knew that, so Varis saw Playmaker was counting on something else. Playmaker exclaimed it was his determination to defeat Varis once and for all. Varis applauded him for that, since that was what made him a rival, hence why he'd use all his strength, too. Ai was agitated of Varis' tactics, since they were unable to play their set card. Playmaker swtiched to defense, by banishing "Cluster Congester" and "Secure Gardna" to fill his entire field with "Congester Tokens", which could inflict 1500 LP damage on Varis if he did not stop them..[54]

Yusaku's goodbye

Yusaku releases Ai, having fulfilled his purpose.

Ai's farewell

Ai bids farewell to Yusaku and goes back home.

Varis destroyed a Token, and dared Playmaker to show his Set card. Much to his dismay, Playmaker's "Transaction Rollback" copied the effect of "Mirror Force". Varis thought this could've been the case, hence why his Extra Linked "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" stopped his dragons from being destroyed. His dragons destroyed all of Playmaker's Tokens, leaving Playmaker with no cards left on the field. Ai felt tense because of that, but denied he would give up. Playmaker admitted he could not give up, either, but Ai ordered him to stop smiling and become serious, like he always was. Playmaker swore to do so, and bet his victory, his fate of the incident, and the safety of the world on the final draw. Playmaker spoke Varis suffered like he did, and even went to protect Yusaku during the incident. Ai believed Playmaker wanted to become Varis' friend, and that would mean Ai would have to befriend his enemy. Playmaker confirmed this, shocking Ai. Varis laughed, believing Playmaker begged for his life. Instead, Playmaker managed to co-link his monsters, extending the Extra Link, and bring out "Decode Talker", who destroyed "Borreload Dragon", and stopped the Tower of Hanoi. Later, outside LINK VRAINS, Yusaku and Ai watched the phenomeon of Stardust Road. Yusaku used his program on his Duel Disk, and set Ai free. Ai was surprised, but was reminded since the Hanoi threat is gone, he was free to go; his role as the hostage was over. Ai thought a bit, and said "one man's fault is another's lesson!" Yusaku was amused by these wise words, and let Ai go, but reminded him to leave his Duel Disk. Ai nodded, bidded Yusaku farewell and vanished.[54]

Season two[]

Ai in the destroyed world

A depressed Ai realizes everyone is gone.

Three months after Varis' defeat, Ai went throughout the network, and found a dent, which was the location of Cyberse World - his homeworld, from which he was absent for five years. Releasing the code he hid, Ai unlocked Cyberse World and entered it. Much to his shock, he found the world devastated. He went to search for survivors, and heard something from the ruins. He was happy to see "Linkuriboh", who glomped it. However, Ai was concerned for others, and wished to know what happened. Since "Linkuriboh" could not speak properly, Ai fell to his knees and slammed his fist in frustration (in the dub, he said he thought he was protecting Cyberse World, but he failed). When Playmaker was confronted by a bounty hunter, he showed he did not have an Ignis. Much to his surprise, Ai returned to him with "Linkuriboh". Ai started to speak why he returned, but Playmaker silenced him, since he was more focused on Jin's assailant, the orange figure. To get rid of the bounty hunter, The Shepherd, Ai summoned a Data Storm, causing Shepherd to log out, due to the danger present. Playmaker intended on challenging the orange figure, and upon winning, he had a chance at a trade, and intended on restoring Jin.[55]

Ai returns

Ai returns to Playmaker.

Ai showed "Linkuriboh", which Playmaker placed in his Extra Deck for being a good card. Initiating the Speed Duel, Playmaker immediately Link Summoned "Linkuriboh", as well as "Elphase", who attacked the orange figure. Ai wondered if this would be an easy victory. When the figure summoned "Hydradrive Booster", Ai and Playmaker sensed something. Playmaker knew the monster the figure played was a "Cyberse" monster, which made Ai wonder if the figure was connected to the attack on Cyberse World. Playmaker was shocked at these news, but Ai nevertheless wanted the orange figure to be defeated. The figure summoned "Flow Hydradrive", and activated a Link Spell. The mention of Link Spell astounded Ai and Playmaker, having never heard of that. The figure used "Judgment Arrows", and its Link Marker allowed him to summon another "Flow Hydradrive" next to that spell. "Flow Hydradrive" attacked Playmaker directly, and its ATK was doubled through "Judgment Arrows". Playmaker, with 2000 LP left, went to receive the other the attack of the other "Flow Hydradrive". Ai started screaming, since they were in a pinch already.[55]

Playmaker avoided the defeat by tributing "Linkuriboh", thus causing the ATK of "Flow Hydradrive" to become 0. Ai petted "Linkuriboh" for saving them, and let it return to Playmaker's Deck. Playmaker demanded answers from the orange figure, who remained silent at the questions about Link Spell and Cyberse monsters. Ai reminded the figure could do anything, and braced Playmaker to defeat him quickly. Playmaker summoned "Cyberse Witch", and with the effect of "Elphase", summoned back "Defcon Bird" to trigger the witch's effect. Ai pretended to perform witchcraft, as Playmaker conducted a Ritual Summon, using "Cynet Ritual" to tribute "Cyberse Wizard" and "Defcon Bird" to bring out "Cyberse Magician". The figure took lots of damage, but did not know who he was. He even asked why was he Dueling them, but was reminded by Ai that he attacked Jin and they were to bring him to justice. The man was surprised, since he would not do such a thing. Playmaker saw the man forgot what he did, and Ai believed he just had an amnesia from the attack. The man was reminded by his younger brother his name was Bohman and he was Dueling to restore their memories.[56]

Bohman revised his situation, and continued Dueling, by summoning two "Hydradrive Tokens". Ai was uncertain what he'd do with Bohman, but Playmaker reminded they still needed to defeat him, due to Jin being attacked. Bohman continued on, summoning two WATER "Coolant Hydradrive" Link Monsters. Tributing one for "Property Spray", Bohman regained LP and changed Playmaker's monsters to the WATER Attribute, thus letting his other "Coolant Hydradrive" attack him directly. Ai trembled in fear, but "Cyberse Magician" halved that damage. To protect himself, Bohman summoned "Covered Hydrarive" to counter battle damage. Ai hoped Bohman would be easy to defeat, even if he said he fought to regain his memories. To mount an attack, Playmaker asked Ai to do "that thing". Ai became happy, and called upon the Data Storm, which allowed Playmaker to obtain "Shootingcode Talker" and defeat Bohman. Playmaker went to interrogate him, while Ai started consuming his data. However, upon chewing on Bohman's hand, Ai staggered and withdrew. Playmaker was surprised about that, and chased after Harlin.[56] Playmaker and Ai followed Harlin, who escaped through a barrier of the forbidden area.[57]

Yusaku debugged Ai, restoring him back, since he ate the bad program. Yusaku nevertheless reminded he was gluttonous, while Ai noticed Kolter had returned. Kolter wished to see the culprit and find more about them, since they attacked his brother. Kolter did not know the reason behind the attack, but Ai noted stealing a person's consciousness through a program was more impressive than the the Deleted virus. Ai returned to Yusaku's house, where he was reunited with Roboppi. Roboppi was glad to see him, since she thought Ai abandoned her, and reminded Ai would make her smarter. Roboppi, however, was infuriated about "Linkuriboh", Ai's additional minion, and saw it as his rival, while Ai thought of himself as popular. The next day, Yusaku went to school with Ai, who noted he was not going to school for a while. Yusaku asked him to be hidden, since he locked him into his Duel Disk again, and reminded since Kolter was depressed, he was good to have an ally around. Ai noted Yusaku considered him as a friend. Yusaku was nevertheless concerned about the attacks on Jin and Cyberse World, thinking Ignis were involved again. Finally, Yusaku thought the most important information was that Ai was used to being a hostage.[7]

At school, Yusaku met with a boy, who referred to him as Playmaker, and introduced himself as Soulburner. Yusaku was surprised, and asked what he was after. Theodore claimed he was his ally, and showed Flame, the other Ignis, whose presence surprised Ai. Flame introduced himself, and though Theodore reminded he named himself like that, Flame thought it was a cool name, unlike Ai. Theodore added Flame, whose Attribute was Fire, was based on him, since he was a victim of Lost Incident, too. Theodore pointed out after Hanoi's defeat, Flame sought him out, but a new enemy attacked Cyberse World. Ai asked Flame did he know what happened to Cyberse World, but the latter wished to speak to a place more private. Hence, they went to a Ferris wheel. Flame explained what happened after Ai fled, and about the attack on Cyberse World. To gather help, Flame asked for Ai and Yusaku's help. Ai pledged his support, while Yusaku replied he needed to find Jin's assailant. Flame exclaimed those two incidents were linked, since they both used the same Link Spell, "Judgment Arrows", to attack Cyberse World and fight off Playmaker and Soulburner.[7]

Thus, Theodore reminded the importance of finding the attackers. Yusaku believed Kolter found more about the attackers, for even while depressed, he was still a focused, determined man. At the food truck, Kolter provided Yusaku and Theodore with beverage. He admitted he didn't anticipate Yusaku to bring a friend, who knew about their identities. Still, he welcomed Theodore and Flame. Theodore admitted he was also involved in the Lost Incident, and understood Jin's suffering. Kolter nodded, and asked of them to help in search for the assailant of his brother. Theodore promised, while Flame described Theodore as soft, but a boy capable of Dueling. Kolter showed that Yusaku's enemies fled through the restricted area, and showed a location under LINK VRAINS, and an unknown program Yusaku identified to be an Ignis program. With the boys equipped to find the gate to LINK VRAINS, Yusaku and Theodore logged in with Ai and Flame to find that gate. They activated their stealth program and tried to go to the restricted area. However, Ai saw he was right, for they were chased by SOL Techologies' bounty hunters.[7]

Ai recognized Gore, who was working for SOL Technologies. Gore and his companions chased after Playmaker. SOL Technlogies activated a trap, which ended up hitting Gore's companions. Ai smiled about the success, but Soulburner reminded without the trap, Gore could easily chase them. Soulburner asked if he could face Gore, since he didn't wish to see him fight Playmaker, as both were heroes of LINK VRAINS. Flame wished his friends luck; Ai thanked Flame, who replied he was not referring to him. Regardless, Playmaker and Ai left Soulburner and Flame to confront Gore.[58] Ai and Playmaker descended down to find the gate to the restricted area. However, they started to feel spooky, fearing something was to happen soon. The two were attacked by Shepherd, who came to collect his bounty.[59]

Shepherd started shooting, so Ai tried to lose him by releasing a Data Storm. However, Shepherd resisted him and continued shooting. Playmaker reminded he was just threatening them, and could only win Ai through a Duel. Shepherd made them choose to either battle or surrender. Playmaker and Ai pondered thoughts, but Shepherd shot at the second turn. Playmaker realized he wanted them to think they had three turns to lower their guard, and would do anything to win. Since neither side would give up, they started a Duel. Ai commented he must be up to something when facing Playmaker, who shushed Ai. Ai thought Shepherd was bluffing and was just bad at Dueling, but Playmaker asked of him not to interfere. Instead, Ai boasted Shepherd would lose soon, but even Shepherd silenced him.[60]

Playmaker Link Summoned "Elphase", but remained silent for a moment, for Shepherd's AI told him he could not activate his set card. Ai claimed they should finish off the bounty hunter in no time, so Playmaker used "Elphase" and "Clock Token" to bring out "Shootingcode Talker", and using "Elphase", Playmaker revived "Clock Wyvern". Shepherd's AI explained his owner would lose in the next attack, and Ai confirmed this. Shepherd, however, claimed he succeeded in fooling them; by playing "Capture Drone", Playmaker's "Shootingcode Talker" was unable to attack. Ai confronted Shepherd that his AI stated he could not activate the set card. He simply replied nobody stated AI gave out correct information, which made Ai realize Shepherd modified his AI to lie. Instead, the latter replied one should never trust an AI, which riled up Ai. Playmaker noted Shepherd has analyzed his Deck, so he set a card. Shepherd, however, Link Summoned "Battledrone Sergeant", but Ai pointed out he could not win with an 800 ATK monster. Shepherd called him dumb for pointing out such obvious info, and used "Capture Drone" to summon three "Drone Tokens". After silencing his AI, Shepherd used his tokens to Link Summon "Battledrone General".[60]

Shepherd proceeded with his tactics, equipping "Battledrone General" with "Drone Launcher Unit". Ai thought the enemy was a fan of weaponry. Ai tried to fool Shepherd into six Link Markers, but failed. With the ATK of "Battledrone Pawn" lowered by 1000, it attacked Playmaker directly, and tributed it through the effect of "Battledrone General" to inflict 600 more LP damage. He made the same move with "Battledrone Sergeant", lowering Playmaker's LP to 500. To reverse the damage, Playmaker played "Cure Conversion", tributing "Clock Wyvern" to stop Shepherd's attack and heal himself by the ATK of the monster he drew: "Cyberse Wizard", who had 1800 ATK. Ai taunted Shepherd for missing the target, but the latter replied so did they, for they were unable to activate the Skill. Shepherd, however, counted two turns before Playmaker met his doom. Playmaker quickly summoned his "Cyberse Magician". Though "Capture Drone" prevented Link Monsters from attacking, "Cyberse Magician" was unaffected, and Playmaker banished "Trash Hacker" to double that damage. In return, Shepherd tributed "Battledrone General" to use "Demolition Drone" and halve the damage. Ai nevertheless questioned if it was worth to reduce the damage by tributing that general. [61]

As the two went deeper into the system, Shepherd promised to end them. He managed to power up his monsters and take out all of Playmaker's monsters. Playmaker managed to stop his last attack, thus preventing his loss. Shepherd commended Playmaker, since he evaded the loss, even after he made the count. To prevent Playmaker's Skill Access, the destruction of "Medicdrone Dock" increased both sides' LP by 1000. Ai claimed there was no need for that "gift". Shepherd nevertheless urged Playmaker to hand over Ignis, but Ai claimed Playmaker and him had strong bonds. This made Shepherd surprised, and made him think of his past. Shepherd shouted at Playmaker that humans should control AI, which surprised Ai. To turn the situation around, Playmaker paid 600 LP to banish "Shootingcode Talker", thus destroying "Capture Drone". To protect his drones, Shepherd played "Drone Cordon", disabling Playmaker from attacking with Link Monsters. Regardless, Ai called upon a Data Storm, pemitting Playmaker to use Skill Access. With the help of the new Link Monster, "Clock Spartoi", Playmaker Fusion Summoned "Cyberse Clock Dragon" and won the Duel.[61]

Soulburner and Flame regrouped with Playmaker and Ai. The latter two were pleased to see them, since they defeated Gore, the success Flame attributed to himself. The group advanced on, and eventually crossed through LINK VRAINS, finding the "gate". The two continued crossing through, making Ai doubt whether that was safe, but was reminded they could not turn back. They came to a canyon area, and were nearly swept away by the strong winds, at the risk of crashing and getting hurt. To protect themselves, Ai and Flame emitted a small Data Storm to safely travel through the winds, an idea that impressed Playmaker. After a while, however, Ai and Flame were too exhausted to use this ability. The shields faded, but strangely enough, the wind stopped blowing, and the group reached to a quiet floating temple. The group went up, and Playmaker sensed something. A monster took shape which Flame recognized to be the attacker of Cyberse World. Just as the monster started attacking, an Ignis appeared, laughing how he fooled the group. Ai described that one to be the Wind Ignis, who asked of Echo to form back; the monster took a different shape, to that of a monk.[62]

The Wind Ignis wondered if his joke was funny, but Ai denied that, claiming Flame nearly farted in fear, but Flame attributed that to Ai. The Wind Ignis believed the two were hanging out too much with humans; unlike them, he did not seek his Lost Incident Partner, since he could not trust humans that easily to be captured. Since the Wind Ignis name was mouthful, he decided to be nicknamed Windy. He pointed to the monk, claiming it was a program he named as Echo. Playmaker asked Windy why was he here, but Windy examined him and Soulburner, and had them follow them around. Windy stated he waited for his friends to come, and created the world to lure them and rejoin them. He believed the Ignis could rebuild Cyberse World, an idea Flame and Ai approved of. More importantly, Windy also wanted to lure the enemy in the territory to fight them, taking revenge for the destruction of Cyberse World, despite his calm nature. Windy proclaimed the place to be a trap, since he did not have the strength to battle the enemy. It was why he needed time to gather the data needed to build the place. Playmaker told that they were after Bohman, who assaulted his friend's brother, while Flame added that Bohman played the card that destroyed Cyberse World.[62]

Windy was intrigued, but had no clue, since most people that venture in the world were usually overwhelmed by his wind trap. However, he did notice a strange presence recently. Flame wondered if someone made a new world by using the trap as a cover. Windy was intrigued, and was asked to lend help. Windy refused, stating the facts were just assumptions, and needed proof. Instead, he asked Ai to stay around and help in rebuilding the world. Flame and Ai were tempted, but wished to know more about the attackers of Cyberse World. Windy saw no point in trying to convince the two. He promised to help them in weakening the Data Storm to access that new world, but asked for a favor. Snapping his fingers, Windy showed Ghost Gal and Blue Girl, whom he wished to see gone. Windy told if the two are defeated in a Duel, they would return to the real world. He did not wish to fight them alone, for the sake of exposing himself and the temple. Playmaker accepted the task, asking the winds to be toned down, believing he could convince Ghost Gal to stay down, due to his cooperation with her. However, they failed, and Soulburner ended up facing Blue Girl in the Duel. As for Playmaker and Ai, they tried to find Bohman, while Ai conjured a Data Storm to stop Ghost Gal from stalking them.[62]

Playmaker and Ai advanced to a group of pillars, where they believed their enemy, Bohman, was located.[63] Playmaker and Ai traveled through the canyons to reach Bohman. Ai swore revenge for being hurt by the virus they fed him earlier, but Playmaker had doubts if the enemy was close. They reached a cloudy area, but Ai became disappointed there was nothing there. He started doubting Windy, but Playmaker reminded the latter only suspected a chance the enemy was present. The two came to a group of pillars, which crumbled. Ai and Playmaker were surprised by the turn of the events and started dodging hands, which tried to crush them. Soon after, a sculpture rose above the clouds, on which Bohman and Haru were. Ai noted Bohman wore armor, while Playmaker demanded of him to return Jin Kusanagi's data. Bohman approved of that, but he demanded something if he were to win. Much to Ai's surprise, Bohman had no interest in Ignis, but in something else, and would show that later.[64]

Another sculpture rose, setting the field for a Master Duel. Ai and Playmaker were suspicious of that, but the latter anticipated something unique that Bohman would set up. Bohman played similar tactics from his last Duel, and summoned a "Twin Hydradrive Knight". Ai stated Bohman was prepared this time, and believed the set cards were really troublesome. Playmaker believed one of the cards to be "Property Spray", or at least know that he would intend on using it. Playmaker also thought there was something more to Bohman this time. Playmaker swarmed the field, and immediately used the Level 1 "Flame Bufferlo" (its Level lowered by "Catche Eve L2") to summon "Linkuriboh". Ai cheered for "Linkuriboh", while Playmaker used "Catche Eve L2" and "Cyberse White Hat" to summon "Update Jammer". Playmaker defeated Bohman's knight, but Bohman played "Property Spray".[64]

In a trap, Playmaker negated the Trap's effects, only to trigger Bohman's second Trap, "Hydradrive Cycle". Playmaker and Ai saw Bohman started gaining the advantage, and even expected their moves. Bohman re-summoned "Twin Hydradrive Knight" and went on with his attack. To stop "Linkuriboh", he discarded "Break Hydradrive" to negate its zero ATK effect. Ai became sad that Linkuriboh was gone, and became startled at 3600 ATK "Twin Hydradrive Knight". Playmaker could not do anything else about its attack, and was slammed to a wall, his LP lowered to 1600. Ai was nervous as to how Bohman became this strong, who gloated in Playmaker's despair, but dared him to stand up and fight. Much to Playmaker and Ai's shock, Bohman stated that he was actually Playmaker, whose consciousness was swapped onto the backup files during the Lost Incident, and was there to reclaim his body back.[64]

Ai thought of the possibility of Bohman being a copy of Playmaker, and realized that could be a possible option. Ai questioned Playmaker if Bohman was the real person, but Playmaker only stated whoever would win was the real persona, which made Ai think if Playmaker was the fake one. Ai started pondering thoughts whether he should switch sides, and chose to stay by Playmaker, who continued the Duel. Bohman, however, swore he'd never forgive Playmaker, since he had been rescued instead of him, who lied among the data at the site of the Lost Incident. The clouds turned darker, and Bohman was struck by lightning as he proceeded on, claiming he was "the emissary of revenge". Bohman set his field with three "Hydradrive" monsters. Much to everyone's surprise, Bohman, during a Master Duel, with 650 LP left, called upon the Data Storm to use Storm Access. Playmaker and Ai questioned how could he have used that. Bohman Link Summoned the WIND "Flow Hydradrive", the WATER "Coolant Hydradrive" and the FIRE "Burn Hydradrive", to set up the Link Summon of "Trident Hydradrive Lord", the monster Bohman had just obtained.[65]

Bohman quickly attacked Playmaker, who survived with a hundred LP left. Bohman was disturbed, but noted Playmaker was unwilling to give up, like a copy he was. Ai wondered if he could join Bohman, but stopped when Bohman declared he'd defeat it and Playmaker. Ai had double thoughts, since both sides could be right. Playmaker confirmed this, for there was really no way to confirm who spoke the truth. Regardless, Playmaker believed he was the real person, for it was Varis, who decided to act during the Lost Incident, gave him the hope to move forward. Motivated by his goals, Playmaker Fusion Summoned "Cyberse Clock Dragon". Playmaker smiled, for Bohman failed to predict the following tactic, that "Cyberse Clock Dragon", when there was a Link Monster on his field - "Linkuriboh" - prevented other monsters from being targeted by card effects. Playmaker called Bohman's "Judgment Arrows" pointless, as his dragon destroyed "Trident Hydradrive Lord" and defeated Bohman. Ai cheered, pretending that he knew Playmaker would've won from the start.[65]

Yusaku and Ai walked home, and the latter wished to know why Windy's gate collapsed. Yusaku felt the same, since they could not learn anything about Bohman. Still, he believed Bohman would seek them out, and Ai claimed they have to wait for another gate to be opened. Just as Yusaku pondered thoughts, he received a message from Kolter, and went to him right away. At the van, Kolter showed the news about Clarissa Turner's escape from prison. Yusaku knew Varis had been involved, and remembered his words that he'd eventually return.[66] The gate in LINK VRAINS was reopened, in an area still in development. Ai cursed Windy's choice, but Flame believed this was a logical move he did. Yusaku and Theodore logged into LINK VRAINS and went towards the gate. The gate was actually a trap for Playmaker. Soulburner pushed Playmaker out of the way and was trapped instead.[67] Playmaker explained to Kolter that Soulburner had been captured by Shepherd, whom Ai referred to as the counting guy. Kolter apologized for not realizing the trap sooner, but was reminded they had to find Soulburner. While Kolter started to decode the program to open the gate, Ai alerted Playmaker of the two bounty hunters.[68]

With the two bounty hunters coming, Ai reminded Playmaker they could always log out, but Playmaker didn't wish to abandon Soulburner. Ai grumbled, but decided to help out by releasing a Data Storm, which trapped one of the bounty hunters and forced him to log out. The other bounty hunter, Kenmochi, initiated a Duel against Playmaker, who noted that Kenmochi played a "Gouki" Deck. Ai cheered Playmaker to defeat the bounty hunter, whose "Pentestag" destroyed "Gouki Riscorpio" and made Playmaker win the Duel. Despite Ai's skepticism, Kolter swore to help in finding Soulburner. While Kolter did that, Ai and Playmaker went after the second bounty hunter that logged in.[69] Ai noted Yoroizaka also used a "Gouki" deck. Playmaker quickly defeated the bounty hunter with "Firewall Dragon". After regrouping with Soulburner, the latter and Playmaker logged out.[70]

Ai was enjoying riding Yusaku's Duel Disk, since Yusaku was at school. Kolter asked of him to come down, to give him something nice. Ai was excited until he was given a banner for Kolter's food truck. Kolter asked of him to make ten laps around the city to show the advertisement, which annoyed Ai. Ai, however, noticed Theodore coming to speak with Kolter. Ai suspected Flame obtained some new information, but by accident, Ai bumped into a pillar and crashed down onto Theodore. Theodore and Flame were astounded by falling Duel Disks, but Ai claimed he simply fell, for in his words, "Ai fly". Flame was motivated by this to have Theodore install an engine into his Duel Disk, so he wouldn't have to pay train fare to return home. Theodore was not amused by the idea, but he greeted Kolter. He wanted to give him a present for rescuing him from LINK VRAINS, but Kolter was modest about that. Ai identified the present to be a burger, and exclaimed one should not bring such food to a food truck. Kolter silenced Ai, reminding he was still important to have a taste of food of his rivals. While Kolter went to grab some coffee, Flame told Ai that Yusaku met up with Naoki for something important. Ai had his doubts about Naoki having something important to say, however.[71]

File:Ai argues with Roboppi.png

Ai argues with Roboppi for writing comments about Playmaker.

Theodore, inside the food truck, thanked Kolter for the meal, and was impressed by the equipment. Kolter replied one's abilities were more important than the equipment, and noted Yusaku was a much better hacker. Theodore noted how Kolter and Yusaku were in sync, prompting Ai to ask why did the two even teamed up. Kolter told it was a long tale, but Ai talked him into telling the tale.[71] Kolter continued telling his tale with Yusaku about finding the fabled Cyberse deck to Theodore, Ai and Flame. The three were impressed by the tale, but noted the story didn't tell how Yusaku obtained his avatar name, Playmaker.[72] Back home, Ai reviewed some of the comments about Playmaker. Dissatisfied, he typed in a comment that Playmaker was strong because of the AI he had, Ai. Roboppi scolded Ai, since he typed in the comment to promote himself, and did so 212 times already. Ai simply exclaimed he wanted to remind people that he also deserved some credit. Just as Ai bragged, Yusaku came in. Ai pretended to read more comments, but screamed when he read about an Earth Ignis.[11]

Ai Hugs Earth

Ai reunites with the Earth Ignis.

At the food truck, Kolter read that this Earth Ignis wanted to meet Playmaker. Ai believed the comment was authentic, and promised he'd contact the Earth Ignis. Ai composed a crypted message, and had Kolter post in on the board. Not soon after, they received a response, which Ai read as coordinates - the location where they were to meet. Kolter nevertheless feared this could be one of Shepherd's traps, since he knows about the Ignis algorithm. Ai claimed Kolter was too suspicious, and Yusaku backed him up, for they still needed more information about Jin's attack. Playmaker went into LINK VRAINS with Ai, to the coordinates. Since nobody was seen, Ai still trusted Kolter that Shepherd or Gore would come. When Ai started to describe the Ignis, he pulled the EARTH Ignis, Earth, to himself. Playmaker was surprised, as Ai, who was happy to see the Ignis, introduced Earth to him. Earth created a portal, and let them follow him through that portal. Beyond the portal, at a barren land, Ai asked of Earth to stop. Earth did so, surprised that Ai named himself like that. Ai reminded that humans could not pronounce their actual names, hence why he is named Ai, through Earth believed it was just because he was an AI. Ai denied that, while Playmaker asked why did Earth seek him out. Earth stood silent for a moment, his face turning grim, for he wanted Playmaker to Duel him.[11]

Ai asked if he does not like the name Earth, but Earth denied this. In fact, Earth wanted to find out the truth about humanity. Ai replied that wasn't a good reason, but Earth stated that the WATER Ignis, Aqua, questioned him whether he should join humans or AI. Ai didn't understand any of this, but was asked why did he join Playmaker. Ai stated he shared a bond with Playmaker, who was silent of Ai's words. Playmaker, however, asked Earth about Bohman. Earth replied he would share that info if Playmaker Dueled him. Ai didn't approve of that, but Earth stated he was socially awkward. To Duel, Earth used a fallen log, reforming it as a figure. Playmaker noticed that behavior was similar to Specter. Earth stood silent, before stating he would go second. Ai exclaimed he could've mentioned that; Playmaker summoned "Poisoning Blocker" and set two cards. Earth mentioned Cyberse World was attacked by humans, which made Ai think of Bohman. To find out why Ai sided with humans, Earth promised to win the Duel. Playmaker mentioned to Ai that Specter may have been the person Earth was based upon. Ai noted that made sense, since Earth was distrustful of humans, but he did not have any info on his Dueling style, since he never stood out.[11]

Earth used "Cost Down" and summoned "G Golem Rock Hammer". Summoning three tokens, Earth used them to Link Summon "G Golem Invalid Dolmen". Earth's golem attacked "Poisoning Blocker", and inflicted 600 LP damage to Playmaker. Ai suddenly remembered Earth was great at Dueling. To stop the golem, Playmaker used "Bitron" to Link Summon "Zombie Prosaber". The latter attacked the golem, who was destroyed by Playmaker's "Link Rush". To prevent Playmaker from acquiring his monster, Earth's "G Golem Invalid Golem" negated the effect of "Zombie Prosaber". Ai suggested the Deleted attack, but Playmaker silenced Ai, for he didn't remember anything about Earth until now. Earth used "Gravity Balance", reviving two of his golems to Link Summon "G Golem Crystal Heart". Upon the latter's summoning, the barren land was revitalized with water, turning it into a lush field with grass and trees. As Ai remembered this was Aqua's monster, Earth, thinking of Aqua, stated it was time to verify humanity and AI's future.[11]

Ai suggested the Deleted attack, but Playmaker silenced Ai, for he didn't remember anything about Earth until now. Earth used "Gravity Balance", reviving two of his golems to Link Summon "G Golem Crystal Heart". Upon the latter's summoning, the barren land was revitalized with water, turning it into a lush field with grass and trees. As Ai remembered this was Aqua's monster, Earth, thinking of Aqua, stated it was time to verify humanity and AI's future.[11] Playmaker summoned "Clock Wyvern", and had his corresponding token, "Clock Token", used to Link Summon "Linkuriboh". Using "Cynet Fusion", Playmaker Fusion Summoned "Cyberse Clock Dragon". Sending two cards, Playmaker's dragon had its ATK raised by 2000. Ai was enthusiastic, for one hit against the "Crystal Heart" would defeat Earth. The latter had the heart protected, as the dragon attacked "G-Golem Invalid Dolmen", and Earth's LP fell to 2900.[12]

Earth was concerned, noting Playmaker's strength, for Ai may be with him to exploit that power. Ai, however, noted that the golem protected the heart, and felt that Earth's deck was filled with cards that symbolized his bond with Aqua. The two believed that made Earth even more dangerous. Earth repeated his move, and powered his golem up to 4000 ATK, who destroyed "Cyberse Clock Dragon". Ai was glad they survived the attack with 100 LP left, but told Playmaker to get himself together, since they were getting beaten up. Earth sensed Ai was irresponsible, but calculative. Earth, due to "G-Golem Crystal Heart" having two counters, had "G-Golem Invalid Dolmen" attack once more, but Playmaker's "Spool Code" negated that attack. Earth belittled Ai for acting, who was surprised that Earth knew he was just faking. Earth asked Playmaker why was he with Ai, since Ai could just be holding him back, which insulted the Ignis.[12]

Despite Ai's claim, Playmaker still did not view Ai as a partner. Instead, he claimed they had both things to do, they had to track down their enemies, and came here out of their free will. Still, he did let it know that made them partners, at least. Ai was touched, while Earth set two cards, noting that Playmaker will try to finish him in one move. Playmaker used "Spool Tokens" to Link Summon "Clock Lizard", while the third one was used for "Link Disciple". The latter was tributed for "Link Drive", which inflicted 500 LP to Earth, and also let Playmaker gain two "Link Tokens". Ai cheered for Playmaker, who used "Cyberse Clock Dragon" to defeat Earth. Earth was disappointed, but Ai applauded him for protecting Aqua's card to the very end. Much to Ai's dismay, Earth did not know anything about Bohman. Ai tried to remind Earth about the deal, but Earth stated he gave the info he knew, and that was that he knew nothing about the guy. Regardless, Earth had the two teleported back to LINK VRAINS. Ai, however, was very angry that Earth had no info to share in the first place.[12]

Ai found himself in front of a gate, unaware why was he there, suspecting it was a dream. He went through the gate, and found himself in Cyberse World. Ai found "Linkuriboh", who had an angry expression. Ai suspected it was infected by a virus, but sensed the being wanted him to ride it. Ai did so, and recalled memories of Cyberse World. He noticed the buildings were just props, and "Linkuriboh" led him through a crack. Ai noticed the entire world was fake, its walls simply being painted background. He noticed Windy's temple through the crack, but since he didn't get along with Windy, he wanted to turn around and go home. "Linkuriboh" abandoned him, forcing Ai to climb the stairs leading to the temple. Ai entered the temple, and yelled to get Windy's attention. Echo approached him, who started muttering. Ai asked of him not to speak in Ignis language, and on Echo's shoulder, Windy appeared. Windy stated that speaking Ignis language was more convenient than the human one. Regardless, Windy anticipated his coming, and "rebuilt" Cyberse World to make Ai comfortable. Ai was suspicious of Windy, who wanted Ai to come, since someone wished to speak to him.[3]

Behind Ai, the Light Ignis teleported. Ai scolded him for creeping up on him, and the Light Ignis apologized. Ai flew to him, asking the Light Ignis, Lightning, where has he been this time. Lightning was surprised at the name Ai gave him, but replied he hid in the network. Lightning examined the defense program that was supposed to protect them from such intruders, and found it didn't activate - someone supposedly sabotaged it. Ai was concerned, and asked about Aqua, who had gone missing since the most recent attack. Ai doubted she was the spy, and mentioned running into the Earth, who stated Aqua predicted the destruction of Cyberse World. Windy still thought Aqua was the spy, but Ai pointed out she wanted peace more than anyone else. Despite these squabbles, Lightning also told that he wanted to start rebuilding Cyberse World. He and Windy sensed that "Linkuriboh" saw Playmaker, the intruder. This time, Lightning wanted to build Cyberse World out of humans' reach, fearing they would band together and exterminate the Ignis, whom he believed to be superior to humans.[3]

Lightning reminded that Dr. Kogami created them to be superior to humans, to be their successor. Ai stated that guy also wanted to destroy them. Windy and Lightning pointed out, unlike humans, they were not flawed, and had eternal life. Thus, they planned to make a base and put humans into their control. Ai became shocked with these words, and asked the point of that. He was told they needed components, through which they could act; they wanted humans to craft hardware for them, until they could become capable of doing that on their own. The two asked of Ai to join them in this mission. Ai was terrified, since that would mean the end of humans, a destiny that Dr. Kogami had predicted. The Wind Ignis confirmed this, while Lightning wished to maintain Earth, even if life on it was wiped out. Ai questioned whether they could live with humans. Lightning noticed his connection towards humans, making him doubt if such a link could be permanent, claiming the humans would delete Ai one day. Ai thought of his memories with Yusaku, who was behind him. Ai was glad to see him, who greeted Windy, and met Lightning.[3]

Lightning reported they were talking with Ai about rebuilding Cyberse World, and claimed the Ignis cannot be with humans. Playmaker questioned their goals, and was reminded of Ryoken, who told him the Ignis were coded to be humanity's successor. He didn't care about that goal, stating more people would get hurt, just like they were in the Lost Incident. Windy's eyes narrowed, stating he was uncertain if humans were their enemies. Ai wanted more time to find a way to keep humans and Ignis intact. Ai walked away, as Lighting and Windy saw wisdom in those words. However, the two sealed him and Playmaker inside blue spheres; they could not let them go, due to the discussion they just had. Windy summoned a Data Storm to absorb Ai, but the latter still wished to find a peaceful way to resolve this, as did Playmaker. Lightning doubted a single person could do anything, but Ai learned that even a small chance could change much. Playmaker realized Windy was the one that unlocked his Duel Disk. Windy confirmed this, stating he and Lightning anticipated their moves, and bemoaned Ai's slow thinking. Ai wanted to challenge them, but the two doubted Ai could win, with Lightning's speed and Windy's Data Storm.[3]

A flash of light appeared, stopping the Data Storm, and a guy appeared. Much to Playmaker and Ai's shock, Varis appeared, questioning the Ignis if they could've predicted his arrival.[3] Ai and Playmaker were shocked at Varis' arrival, as Varis exclaimed he came to destroy the Ignis. Ai tried to ask of Varis to set them out first, since they were trapped by the Ignis. Varis refused, for Ai was also an Ignis, his enemy. Ai replied that he was saving LINK VRAINS with Playmaker, but stopped, when Varis pointed out that nobody asked them to do that. Instead, Ai and Playmaker watched the Duel between Windy and Varis. Ai became amazed by Varis' tactics to attempt to defeat Windy, considering he had "Magic Cylinder". Ai was intrigued, for Varis already had the powerful "Mirror Force". He noted that Windy was skilled, considering that he did break through some of Varis' defences. He was at a dilemma, since he didn't know which side to support that would rescue him. Playmaker told Ai that the result after the Duel was important: either Varis would destroyed the Ignis, or the Ignis' plans would continue to conquer humanity.[73]

Lightning explained that he took Jin's consciousness, for Jin was related to him as hispartner. Ai noted this was like the Link Sense he and Playmaker shared, but Lightning simply stated he erased uncertainty from Jin. Upon revealing that Lightning gave Bohman "Judgment Arrows" card, and was the one that destroyed Cyberse World, and Ai swore to stop Lightning for his crimes. Lightning knew that he would not be forgiven, and openly admitted he was the one responsible for the attack. Since Ai and Flame trusted humanity, Lightning branded them as code errors; claiming that such a thing could evolve Ignis in unpredictable ways, Lightning thought that was a mistake he had to handle. Eventually, he had Jin, Harlin and Bohman fly away, but Playmaker and Soulburner were chasing them down. Ai called Lightning a villain, who exclaimed he was the one that saved him and Playmaker from falling down the bridge after Spectre's Duel. Soulburner and Playmaker chased them down, and Flame thought that Lighting could not attack when the Knights of Hanoi were active.[74]

Ai glad about Bohman

Ai is glad that Bohman's memories were kept intact.

Ai saw that Lightning actually saved them, so Playmaker could defeat the Knights of Hanoi, thus making way for Lightning to execute his plans. Lighting had Jin hurt Windy to summon a Data Storm, thus allowing Bohman to intercept Playmaker and Ai. Ai wondered if Bohman knew who he was this time, and Bohman confirmed this. Ai gave him a thumbs up, while Bohman admitted he was a third-generation AI, created by Lightning: Bit and Boot were the first, Haru was the second and Bohman was the final form. Questioning whether the AI could be defeated, Bohman had himself and Ai placed as wager. Ai saw that Bohman was actually chasing him, after all. Playmaker accepted this, and declared the start of the Speed Duel.[74] Bohman proposed a game to determine who would take the first turn. Ai didn't want to take part in it, since they knew Bohman's deck far too well by now. Bohman stated that was still not competitive enough, and exited to the fake Cyberse World. Ai became displeased with the surroundings, but Playmaker reminded it should not lose its spirit. Ai was still distraught, but Bohman claimed the real Cyberse World suffered a greater attack by his hand. Ai became provoked by his taunt, but Playmaker reminded Ai they should not get riled up by Bohman's statements. Ai still wondered if Bohman was the guy that could have done this thing, but Playmaker reminded he did say he evolved quickly.[75]

The two went to the fake tower, which was actually a Data Storm, avoiding rubble to see who would take the first turn. Playmaker noted the Data Storm was intense as the one at the Tower of Hanoi. Ai admitted he never thought the Ignis would have to fight each other. Playmaker replied they had to fight to change the future, and only they could do that. Ai saw Playmaker was right, and inspired by these words, urged Playmaker to defeat Bohman together. Since Bohman passed by the tower first, he let Playmaker go first. Ai reminded the trouble of Bohman's "Judgment Arrows", which could defeat Playmaker quickly. Playmaker took note of that, and planned on making a defensive formation: he summoned "Cyberse Magician" and equipped it with "Grid Rod". Bohman proceeded with his turn, and in process of summoning "Trident Hydradrive Lord", he destroyed "Grid Rod". Ai still swore to take revenge for his fallen homeworld, and urged Playmaker to continue. Playmaker played "Resume Mace", lowering the ATK of "Cyberse Magician" by 800, though he counted on sending it to double the ATK of "Cyberse Magician".[75]

Before Playmaker declared an attack, Ai reminded Playmaker of the Deleted card he had in his hand; he admitted Bohman became stronger, and they may not have the Deleted chance at defeating Bohman. Playmaker was surprised at Ai's behavior, for Ai felt something, and believed Bohman should be defeated quickly. Playmaker trusted Ai, and equipped "Cyberse Magician" with "Suspend Wand", which doubled damage Playmaker would receive. Despite taking 1900 LP damage, Playmaker had the ATK of his "Cyberse Magician" become 7900. Bohman was in shock, since Playmaker could've easily destroyed "Trident Hydradrive Lord" without "Suspend Wand", and asked Playmaker the reason behind this. Seeing Ai's smug face, Bohman realized the AI gave him this advice. "Cyberse Magician" annihilated "Trident Hydradrive Lord", whooping Bohman's LP to 700. Just as "Cyberse Witch" was to attack, Bohman ended the Battle Phase with "Property Flash", which received 3 counters - one per each 1000 LP damage he took.[75]

Bohman claimed that Ai was misleading Playmaker, since he could not have defeated him. Ai replied he just felt a voice inside of him was saying that Bohman needed to be defeated. Bohman knew what Lightning spoke of: Ai was a special Ignis, because he had instinct.[75] Bohman explained that Lightning held an interest in Ai, for he was the rebellious Ignis among the group; instead of dedicating himself to the cause to collect data material, Bohman stated Ai simply pursued enjoyment. However, Bohman noted that was an unique behavior, for the Ignis were highly-intelligent creatures, but they did not have the instinct that Ai had. Bohman also wanted to know from where did Ai get that trait, and thought he must've picked that from Playmaker. Ai boasted that made him the greatest among the Ignis, but Bohman denied that, since Ai was just rebellious. However, since Ai was different, Bohman thought that distinction would speed the evolution among the Ignis. Ai was insulted that Bohman thought he was not superior.[13]

Since he had 700 LP, Playmaker predicted that Bohman would use Storm Access skill. Bohman went into the Data Storm, his arm starting to crack, as he pulled out a monster. A "Hydradrive Token" from "Hydradrive Scabbard" was used to Link Summon "Grand Hydradrive". Instead of conducting a Link Summon, Bohman sent his "Property Flash" to Link Summon a monster, equal to the number of counters that card had. Adding the "Grand Hydadrive", "Property Flash" had 4 counters, allowing him to bring out his Storm Access monster, the Link-4 "Rousing Hydradrive Monarch". Playmaker and Ai analyzed that "Judgment Arrows" could double that monarch's ATK to 6000, though "Cyberse Magician", with a boosted 5400 ATK, could halve some of that damage. Bohman went to have the monarch destroy Playmaker's monsters, based on the result of throwing a dice. This surprised Ai, since the result was based on luck.[13]

Bohman claimed unpredictable luck meant diversity, which then meant progress and development. Much to Bohman's luck, the dice rolled on DARK attribute, and destroyed all of Playmaker's monsters. Playmaker barely survived the turn, as he managed to defend himself from Bohman's attack. Bohman smiled and ended his turn, though he wondered if Playmaker could cope with him. Ai apologized to Playmaker for his fault that they have been pushed into a corner. Playmaker replied he was just a hostage in the crisis, and only Playmaker made decisions, who was to use Storm Access to bail them out. Ai was intrigued, and showed that he just made a new program for Playmaker. In truth, he admitted that it was finished a long time ago, but kept it hidden for such situations, and Playmaker noted that kind of behavior was more fitting for Ai. Surprising Haru and Bohman, Playmaker went into the Data Storm to use his refined skill, Neo Storm Access.[13]

Bohman was interested in their new move; Playmaker Link Summoned "Cyberse Wicckid". Bohman played his monarch's effect to attempt to destroy Playmaker's monsters and inflict LP damage. The result was, once more, the DARK attribute, but "Cyberse Wicckid" protected itself and "Cyberse Synchron", who were candidates for that effect. With the level of "Backup Secretary" doubled, Playmaker performed a Synchro Summon, using the latter and "Cyberse Synchron" as Synchro Materials. The dragon attacked Bohman's "Rousing Hydradrive Monarch", and its effect returned the latter to Bohman's Extra Deck. The dragon gained another attack through its effect, and went to attack Bohman directly. Bohman was in shock, as he played "Hydradrive Scabbard" from his GY to have Playmaker take the damage Bohman would take. Bohman and Playmaker took 1250 damage, and the Duel ended in a tie. Despite this, Harlin fled with Bohman, who promised to face Playmaker in a different stage.[13]

Playmaker was nevertheless surprised by Bohman's evolution, and feared how strong would he become the next time they'd meet. In the real world, when Ryoken came to Kolter's food truck, Yusaku was surprised to see him as the customer. Ai thought the guy came for a hot dog, but Ryoken simply commented that Bohman escaped from Playmaker. He tossed a gift to Yusaku, and to answer Ai, he explained that the enemy would notice if he gave him the program in the network, so he could only personally give him the program. Ryoken was concerned Yusaku would be attacked directly, just like what happened to Jin Kolter, so the program should protect him from that offence. Despite Ai's protests, Yusaku installed the program, and Ai noted a powerful algorithm. Ai then asked Ryoken why he would give them this, since they were enemies. Ryoken simply stated with a common enemy, they were allies. He asked of them to survive the fight so that they could settle the score afterwards.[13]

Akira went to seek Playmaker out at a warehouse at night. Yusaku, who wore a hood, approached him from behind, and swore he would leave if Akira saw his face. Ai commented that Akira was distrustful, who was still surprised that Playmaker sought him out. Yusaku warned him about the two Ignis that were causing trouble in the network. Akira was in disbelief, as he was told that the Ignis declared war on humans. Ai wanted to stop Lightning, and while they did not know how would the war look like, Yusaku feared a much bigger threat than the Tower of Hanoi. The next day, Ai was annoyed that Earth still didn't show up, at the time when things became important. Flame exclaimed Aqua went missing after the attack on Cyberse World. Ai doubted she would align herself with Lightning, though Flame believed the latter would still view her as an enemy if she didn't join him. Thus, Ai concluded they had to find them soon. Yusaku, Theodore and Kolter tried to find the two Ignis - Earth and Aqua - finding that he was lurking around LINK VRAINS, trying to find Aqua. They logged in, and split up to find Earth. Kolter discovered Earth's location in LINK VRAINS, and sent it to Soulburner and Playmaker. Playmaker went to get Earth, and found a bounty hunter, Gore, pursuing the Ignis. Gore swore to battle Playmaker, after he was done with Earth. While Ai wondered why Gore lost so much weight, Playmaker sensed something was wrong with Gore. When Gore set a monster, Ai commented that he changed his playstyle, too, making Playmaker wonder what was wrong with the guy.[76]

Ai feels tingling

Ai reacts to Ryoken's program.

Playmaker questioned the Gore's actions. The latter explained that he had an AI installed into his body; with the technology integrated into his brain, the Gore could make perfect actions in the Duel. Ai commented he'd become "Ai Gore" if he were to be placed in the Gore's brain. Playmaker was still hesitant to believe an AI and a human can work as one. To prove he was right, the Gore promised to win the Duel, but Ai still had confidence that Earth would win. Ai cheered for Earth, and was glad that he was at the brink of his victory. However, he and Playmaker were surprised at Gore's Anti-Skill, which was created due to the AI in his brain, to counter Earth's Skill. Suddenly, the two were visited by Blue Girl, who commented the Duel. The three continued watching the Duel, and Ai was impressed that Earth protected "Crystal Heart", as it'd allow him to Special Summon "G Golem Dignified Trilithon". Upon Earth's defeat, the Gore absorbed that Ignis. Ai kneeled, and swore to rescue Earth someday. Following Earth's loss against Gore, Flame and Ai each sensed Earth, wondering what was happening to him.[77]

Ryoken met with Ai and Yusaku, to tell them that SOL Technologies had decompiled the EARTH Ignis. Ai wondered what "decompiled" meant, and laughed, thinking he was just disassembled. He continued laughing, reminding he restored himself from an eye, but Ryoken called him naive. Ryoken explained that SOL Technologies could not decipher the Ignis algorithm, and dissolved Earth into data, but he could not be restored. Ryoken smiled, but Ai became agitated, since he could not know what happened in SOL Technologies. Yusaku, however, believed a spy of the Knights of Hanoi was inside the company. As Ryoken continued smiling, Ai fell to his knees, troubled that Earth perished. He admitted he started to hate humans for such atrocities, while Ryoken simply left.[78]

Kolter showed Yusaku and Theodore a video of Shepherd chasing Blue Girl, who had the WATER Ignis. Flame believed Aqua was in trouble, and Ai urged others to rescue her from "the gunman". Yusaku nodded, and went into LINK VRAINS with Theodore. There, Playmaker and Soulburner met up with Ghost Gal, who reported that Shepherd was gone. Suddenly, Blue Girl appeared with the WATER Ignis, Aqua. Aqua greeted Ai, the DARK Ignis. Just as Flame went to introduce himself, Blue Girl announced her rebirth. She transformed her avatar, calling herself now as Blue Maiden, and exclaimed she would now fight together with Playmaker. With rebuilding of Cyberse World, saving Miyu and stopping Lightning, the trio rode off.[79] In LINK VRAINS, Blue Maiden, Playmaker, Soulburner and Ghost Gal went to the place where Aqua had been imprisoned. They went to inspect traces of Lightning's logs, but Ai found nothing. Playmaker reminded Lightning was not so careless to leave clues behind, which made Ai curse for their predicament.[80]

The group continued searching the network, but found no trace of Lightning. Flame and Aqua advised caution, for Lightning was the type that erased any sort of evidence. Later, Kolter saw a signal in LINK VRAINS, and led Playmaker to it. Playmaker regrouped with Theodore, Blue Maiden and Ghost Gal, and sensed Lightning beyond the portal. The group went through the portal, where they saw Lightning and Jin facing Shepherd. Lightning explained to the group that he wanted them invited; he Dueled Shepherd to reduce the amount of his enemies. Thus, the group watched the Duel, and noted how Shepherd timed his "Snatch Drone" destroy "Judgment Arrows", though Lightning managed to evade its negative effects.[81]

Ai was undecisive whom to support, since both Lightning and Shepherd were their enemies. Playmaker reminded they both have their lives to risk in this Duel. However, Playmaker hoped that Shepherd would free Jin out of his captivity, so Ai decided to support him. The group became frustrated, since Lightning managed to build a solid defense, as well as offense. However, they noted that Shepherd overcame this by having "Commandrone Double Sniper" negate the effect of Lightning's "Armatos Legio Centurion". Ai became impressed when Shepherd countered his Link Monsters with "Capture Drone", but was alerted when Lightning drew a "good" card. In the end, Shepherd was defeated, as Playmaker noted the connection between "Judgment Arrows" and "Armatos Legio Legatus Legionis". With Shepherd gone, Lightning turned to the group, and stated they would be his next targets, then disappeared.[82]

At the food truck, Ai admitted he was surprised to hear Shepherd and Ghost Gal were siblings. However, he wondered if they'd see each other, with Lightning having taken the brother. He stopped, and apologized to Kolter for mentioning Lightning, as Flame nodded to him. Kolter didn't mind that, while Yusaku was alerted of Lightning's strategy, who anticipated Shepherd's moves. Flame reminded that an AI can detect numerous patterns, and pointed out Lightning was no ordinary AI, either. Suddenly, Kolter showed traces of Earth, whose algorithm was detected in LINK VRAINS. Ai cheered that their friend may have escaped SOL Technologies, but others had doubts about that; Flame stated Ai was carefree to believe that. Realizing that even if he had escaped, Ai thought Earth could still be hunted by SOL Technologies, and Flame added that Lightning could be on his trail. Theodore and Yusaku immediately went to LINK VRAINS to investigate more.[83]

Inside, Playmaker and Soulburner sensed something was coming. Ai went to hug Earth, but stopped as the Gore passed them by. Ai believed he took Earth, and was why SOL Technologies sent him to take the AI. The Gore replied he'd take on Soulburner, after he'd defeat Playmaker. Flame noticed that Earth already stated Playmaker would lose, but Ai demanded Earth back. Playmaker didn't want to fight the Gore, as a war between humanity and technology was going on. The Gore remained silent, even after Playmaker asked for his help, like the time during the Tower of Hanoi crisis. He simply stated he could not have won on his own. Ai went to boast, but Playmaker silenced him. Ai tried to reason with the Gore, who also silenced him. Seeing there was no way to sway the Gore's mind, Playmaker decided to fight him, who stated this would be Playmaker's final Duel. The Gore started off, as his Brain Hack ability increased. The Gore set a monster, a move Ai identified to be the same when the Gore fought Earth. Ai reminded about the Anti-Skill, while Playmaker summoned "Linkslayer", "Storm Cipher" and "Boot Staggered".[83]

Aiming to finish the Duel quickly, Playmaker's monsters attacked, but the Gore protected his set monster - "Dinowrestler Valeonyx" - by sending "Dinowrestler Martial Anga", and end his Battle Phase. The Gore taunted Playmaker for being scared, by trying to end the Duel quickly. Ai became annoyed, but stopped when the Gore eyed him. The Gore expected Playmaker to entertain him, to make him evolve. The Gore smiled, as he summoned "G Golem Crystal Heart", but now corrupted. Ai demanded to know how did the Gore acquire Earth's card, but the Gore didn't want to answer. With Earth under his control, the Gore stated that the Ignis were a threat to humanity, unless he took control of them. Ai became furious, and wanted to defeat the Gore for that. Using the crystal heart, the Gore revived "Dinowrestler Terra Parkourio". Next, the Gore brought out "Dinowrestler King T-Wrextle". As the latter gained 600 ATK from "G Golem Crystal Heart", the Gore admitted he would enjoy the final confrontation with Playmaker.[83]

The Gore summoned "Dinowrestler Valeonyx", and had his Link ace attack "Storm Cipher", damaging Playmaker with 1400 LP damage. Ai shouted the Gore should take care of Earth's "Crystal Heart" until Playmaker would defeat him. The Gore boldly stated he cannot be defeated; as he struggled in the real world, the Gore felt he was moments away from becoming the perfect Duelist, while Ai felt that Playmaker was uncertain if he had to defeat the Gore. Ai reminded that the Gore wanted to crush them, and this Duel was taking revenge for Earth's capture. Playmaker attempted to remove the Gore's Link Monster, even by summoning "Firewall Dragon". However, he chose not to battle, so his "Firewall Dragon", by the effect of "T King", was sent to his GY, as Ai cursed at their predicament. While the Gore belittled Playmaker, Ai reminded the latter they can at least use their Skill. Playmaker swore not to give up, and a Data Storm was conjured, even if Ai reminded about the Gore's Anti-Skill. Playmaker exclaimed he would bet on his instincts, but the Gore continued to belittle him. Ai pointed out the Gore Dueled on instincts, who stated he abandoned that philosophy.[84]

With Ai stating they would be desperate, Playmaker went to use Neo Storm Access, but the Gore played Anti-Skill. The Gore drew two cards for negating this Skill, and stated to Playmaker the Duel was over. Playmaker anticipated this; he played "Draw Discharge" to destroy the monsters the Gore may have drawn, and inflict damage to their combined ATK. Ai cheered for Playmaker's ingenious move, and the Gore even praised Playmaker, for he drew two monsters, whose ATK summed up to 4400 ("Dinowrestler Pankratops" and "Capoeiraptor"). However, the Gore used "Dino Sense" to negate Playmaker's card and banish it, as well as taking 900 LP damage. The wind started to conjure another Data Storm; Ai praised Playmaker for creating a miracle out of his instincts. Ai added that if Playmaker had 100 or less LP, and his attempt had failed, he could retry taking a random monster from the Data Storm, and drawing a card from his Deck. The Gore was furious, as Playmaker succeeded in taking a card from the Data Storm.[84]

Ai admitted not even he could've anticipated this outcome, Playmaker declared "Firewall eXceed Dragon" to attack. The sheer force of the One-Turn Kill knocked the Gore off his D-Board, who had a brief vision of the past as a Celebrity Duelist. The Gore fell down, crying, as he muttered "Playmaker". Ai went to take Earth's data back, but the Gore suddenly grew tentacles, his eyes becoming red, but was logged out. Later, Playmaker gave Aqua the "G Golem Crystal Heart" card back, as it is the only thing Ai managed to retrieve from the Gore. Ai believed Earth would be more comfortable if Aqua held onto that card. However, Blue Maiden worried how was the Gore doing. Soulburner thought he was also a victim of this battle, a battle Playmaker hoped to end quickly.[84] Kolter showed footage of SOL Technologies' experiment on Earth to Yusaku and Theodore. The group noted that these were Earth's last moments before its data was passed onto the Gore. Kolter called them ruthless, but Flame feared this could be their future if they would be captured. Ai became frustrated, seeing that SOL Technologies looked upon AI as tools. Yusaku stated Duelists were also treated as tools, and walked away.[85]

Outside, Theodore joined Yusaku, and gave him the Duel Disk. He reminded that what happened to Earth and the Gore was not his fault; their clash of beliefs caused this tragedy. Ai reminded that the Gore would sacrifice much to grow stronger, while Earth only wanted to protect Aqua. Ai also mentioned that he recovered some of Earth's memories when he bit the Gore. Theodore feared that the dispute between humans and AI grew larger, and Ai stated that Varis and Lightning's predictions would come true. Theodore and Yusaku realized that they never heard Lightning having mentioned that, and Yusaku asked of him to explain. Ai replied that Lightning wanted him to join his side, as he believed humanity would turn on him, and remembered how Varis showed up to confront the Ignis. Theodore saw that the AI don't want peace, either, while Yusaku reminded that even AI could develop free will, though they have superior intelligence. He noted that the AI don't feel comfortable around humans, who would eventually fear them; through fear, this would spark a battle, one that Yusaku believed it could not be stopped. Ai was surprised, since they were to find a compromise between two sides, and Yusaku's pessimistic outlook would mean that he already gave up.[85]

He reminded that Yusaku stated they had to change the future, and Theodore and Flame supported that thought. Yusaku smiled, stating they had to win this battle, for the sake of the future. However, he noted that both Ai and Flame had to hide after the battle was over, since someone else could try to take advantage of them, thus starting another battle. He believed another space had to be created for them to hide, and he and Kolter promised to create such space. Ai reminded another AI could easily be created, which was why Yusaku felt that another such battle between technology and humanity would occur once more. Still, he felt that at least the Ignis would stay out of that fight, since they also had the right to live, too. Ai noticed that Yusaku told him he had a life to protect, and Theodore claimed that he and Flame would have to separate after this fight. Theodore stated that Flame was a good Ignis, and wished him to take care of himself, and be well. Ai saw that he and Yusaku would have to separate once more, but the latter swore this had to be the last fight together.[85]

Later, Yusaku found a digital card of "Borreload Dragon", and underneath, an image of Varis. In LINK VRAINS, Playmaker and Soulburner flew on their D-Boards. They met up with Blue Maiden and Ghost Gal, who noticed someone crashing into a building, which made Ghost Gal think it was a fool that could not control his D-Board. Much to everyone's shock, Playmaker stated that Varis wanted to meet with them. Playmaker didn't know why would Varis want to talk with them, but Soulburner wanted to know how could he even know where Playmaker even was. Ai mentioned that Varis knew Playmaker's identity, as he knows about Soulburner's, much to the latter's shock. Flame asked Soulburner to calm down, since Varis, as the leader of the Knights of Hanoi, knew who was involved in the Lost Incident. Ai admitted that they also knew Varis' identity, which surprised Blue Maiden and Ghost Gal. The latter wanted to know who that was, but Ai replied that she could ask Varis herself.[85]

Aqua feared an incoming trap, but Ai stated they were not enemies, at least, for Varis gave them a protection program. Aqua still thought this could be a trap, but Ghost Gal wanted to stay, since she had a score to settle with the guy. Despite this, Soulburner was disturbed. As they waited, the area they were in was shielded with a program, as Varis arrived through a portal. Varis noted everyone was present. Ghost Gal demanded to know the meaning behind the barrier. Varis simply stated this was to ensure nobody could spy on them. He wanted to join the group, since they had a common enemy to defeat: Lightning and his group. Aqua noted that he did speak the truth, but Ghost Gal wanted to know the reason behind that, since he wished to eliminate all the Ignis. He wanted to join the main group to fight the enemy, hence why he wanted Shepherd to join them, who refused, but still gave him the advice on how to fight the enemy. He reminded that Shepherd's Dueling was perfect, but the Light Ignis was more powerful, and ended up taking Shepherd's consciousness.[85]

He knew the enemy was plotting something, and they had act immediately on finding them. Much to Ai's shock, Soulburner felt grudge for the Lost Incident project, and wanted to avenge his parents by Dueling Varis.[85] Ai was uncertain about this revenge, but Playmaker thought this would at least let Soulburner clear his feelings out; they could not work together if they bore hatred for one another. Much to their surprise, Varis drew a card and passed his turn. Soulburner demanded a reason for the lack of action, but Varis refused to answer. Soulburner summoned "Salamangreat Jack Jaguar", and had "Heatleo" attack Varis directly, successfully inflicting 2300 LP damage. As he went to attack directly with "Jack Jaguar", Soulburner screamed and fell to his knees. He realized he wouldn't accomplish anything by defeating Varis like that. Varis asked if he was satisfied, but Soulburner denied, since he didn't know anything about Varis. Varis replied he was Ryoken Kogami, son of Doctor Kiyoshi Kogami, who initiated the Lost Incident.[86]

Everyone was shocked that Varis revealed his identity like that. Soulburner was still not satisfied, but Playmaker added that Varis was eight years old during the project, and he felt guilt about the whole project. Ai noted that Varis actually saved them, and that Doctor Kogami had passed away, which frustrated Soulburner. Varis told him they would work together only to defeat the Light Ignis. He reminded once that was done, they would return on being enemies, since they still protect their Ignises. Soulburner calmed down, while Varis wanted to show them something. Since Aqua noted Varis' heart was pure, Blue Maiden and Ghost Gal decided to tag along, while Soulburner swore to fight Varis if he was to trick them. Varis snapped his fingers, conjuring a portal for the group. They went to the place that Varis recently visited, the ruins of the Tower of Hanoi. Soulburner realized they were in the old LINK VRAINS, which was in ruins. Blue Maiden thought that Varis would reconstruct the tower. Varis confirmed this, for it was the only way to find the Light Ignis by scanning the network, and let the group take time to make a decision of this.[86]

While they were doing so, Ai spoke with Roboppi that Yusaku was looking for Lightning. Roboppi noted that the master was busy, and Ai proclaimed they would enter another fight, and still had a bad omen about Lightning's plans. Roboppi cheered for Ai, who started an argument with her. Regardless, Ai swore to fulfill his promise to make her smart. Roboppi cheered, thinking she'll be able to dance. Ai executed a program, and Roboppi's eyes glowed red. The next day, Kolter and Yusaku finished their part of the program. Kolter wondered if he could join the group, but Yusaku refused, since they may not come back. Theodore promised to join, while Ai considered Kolter better behind the lines, supporting them. Before they went away, Kolter gave them another, but more powerful, escape program, and asked of them to give that to others. Kolter wished them luck, and Yusaku swore to return Jin back. Playmaker, Soulburner, Blue Maiden and their Ignises went to the old LINK VRAINS with Specter and Varis. The group raised their hands, as they triggered the program.[86]

Kolter's program activates

Ai feels tingly, as Kolter's program activates.

As the Tower of Hanoi was reactivated, Varis had the group shielded from its effects. They noticed LINK VRAINS blurring, as Ai mentioned it was a mirror counterpart of that cyberspace, a world hidden within. The group went through the portal to Mirror LINK VRAINS. The group advanced through the portal, and the passage to the other cyberspace.[86] The group advanced through the portal, and reached Mirror LINK VRAINS. Suddenly, the group faced copies of BitBoot AI, which started a Duel.[87] Playmaker defeated the AI with "Decode Talker". He informed his allies to split and search for Lightning, but the cyberspace started to tremble. The data material disappeared, causing Playmaker to descend down from his D-Board, to a puddle-like world. Ai noted how strange the place looked. Suddenly, Kolter's program activated, as the latter saw everyone's progress, and sent the link to Varis' allies. Ai believed they had to search on foot, but Playmaker doubted that, as a barrier was formed to keep them away. Suddenly, they saw a live footage of Specter, who faced Lightning and Jin Kolter. Upon hearing Specter's grief when his Ignis was lost, Ai thought he referred to Earth. Playmaker noted the Ignis was a part of him, and Ai realized he was part of Playmaker, too, but the latter denied that.[88]

Ai told that he never saw Lightning annoyed. Playmaker reminded his Extra Link was broken and his "Judgment Arrows" was stolen. Ai knew that it would be too much if both sides lost, but at least supported Specter in this fight. They were amazed to see Specter forming an Extra Link of seven monsters, and shocked when Lightning easily destroyed it and defeated Specter.[89] The footage was closed, but a new one opened, showing Windy and Soulburner. Ai bragged that he must be the strongest for Windy to take on weaker opponents, but Playmaker shushed him. Ai also noted that Soulburner was at top of his game, too.[90] Ai pointed out both sides had to think which Spells and Traps to use. Playmaker had faith in Soulburner taking things around. When Soulburner equipped "Salamangreat Sparks" on "Bahamut Bomber", Ai was surprised by this move, but Playmaker noted the cleverness behind this, for Windy could not use "Stormrider Blast" effects. As Soulburner lowered Windy's LP to 550, Playmaker saw that Windy did not use "Stormrider Gulldiver" at his first attack, else he could not use Storm Access Skill.[91]

Ai noted that Lightning didn't save Windy this time, and Playmaker thought the Light Ignis didn't give any redemption. Soon after, the two saw a broadcast of Blue Maiden facing Bohman. The two were impressed, since Blue Maiden used one card in her hand to summon the Link-3 "Marincess Marbled Rock". However, when Bohman summoned three "Coolant Hydradrives" and used "Judgment Arrows", Ai realized Blue Maiden could take 5000 LP damage. Instead, Bohman summoned "Cubic Hydradrive Lord", and Playmaker felt there was more to it for Bohman to give up on his direct victory. When Blue Maiden brought out "Marincess Crystal Heart", Playmaker thought of Earth's "G Golem Crystal Heart", and Ai noted it was a new monster based on the memories of Earth. Playmaker noted Blue Maiden also lost her friend, which she fought to return.[92] Ai and Playmaker continued watching, commenting that Bohman's "Tesseract Hydradrive Monarch" was his new ace.[93]

As Blue Maiden was defeated, Ai slammed his fists, devastated. A moment later, while waiting, they noticed ripples in the data puddles. Just then, Bohman appeared, whom Ai swore to crush for hurting Aqua. Bohman replied he didn't come to Duel them, but to tell Playmaker goodbye. Playmaker and Ai were surprised, as Bohman explained that Lightning believed that humans' emotions were their biggest weakness that he wanted to exploit in a big test. Bohman told that they'd face a terrifying opponent that would crush his feelings. Smiling, Bohman promised to defeat Playmaker if he would return, and walked away. Ai was riled up, and dared Bohman to fight him, but to no avail. As Ai wondered who would this opponent be, a flash of light appeared, teleporting him and Playmaker away. The two realized they were in Den City's courtyard. Much to Playmaker's shock, he saw Kolter cleaning a table, who commented that he had arrived. He noted this was the place where he met Playmaker and Ai, where their plot had started.[94]

Ai was not sure what was the point of this talk, but Playmaker and Kolter saw it was *the time*. Ai suddenly realized the opponent Bohman was talking about was Kolter himself. Kolter explained that Lightning forced him to Duel against Playmaker for Jin's consciousness. His face enraged, he demanded that Ai and Playmaker lose this Duel. Ai turned to Playmaker, who phased out, as Kolter asked of him whether he and Jin, or he and Ai would survive this ordeal. As Playmaker was too shocked, Kolter summoned "Codebreaker Zero Day" and set a card. Ai muttered Playmaker's name, who brought out "Decode Talker". Ai questioned Playmaker's will to fight on, while the latter saw "Decode Talker" as a card that he and Kolter obtained together, and was their will to fight on. However, he ended the turn without attacking. Kolter belittled Playmaker for his lack of action, and reminded he was not like him. Playmaker stood silently, as Kolter inflicted heavy damage in one turn. As Playmaker stood up, Ai questioned Kolter for attacking his friend. Kolter replied this was the only way to save his brother. Ai argued with him, since Playmaker was doing his battles all this time. Kolter shouted that Jin was more important to him, and "Virus Swordsman" attacked "Decode Talker", but due to the former's effect, it didn't destroy it.[94]

Playmaker took 1000 LP damage, and Ai saw that Kolter intended to pummel "Decode Talker" and severe their LP. Furthermore, "Decode Talker" lost 500 ATK, and as Playmaker was to take that much damage, he tributed "Codebreaker Zero Day" to negate that effect and destroy "Codebreaker Virus Swordsman". Ai was glad they at least lowered the damage they'd take, but Kolter revived the swordsman, and triggered its effect to summon "Codebreaker Zero Day" to the zone "Decode Talker" pointed to to lower its ATK. Ai reminded Playmaker of the threat Kolter posed, but the former admitted he just could not fight him.[94] As Playmaker was catching his breath, Kolter bragged that he'd end Playmaker in the next turn. Ai asked Playmaker on their next move, but Playmaker admitted he did not know what to do, while Kolter reminded only one of them could survive this fight. Playmaker took his turn by using "Link Satellite", which gained counters that "Decode Talker" had Link Markers: 3. Thus, Playmaker tried to prevent both sides from attacking for three turns.[95]

Kolter was disappointed that Playmaker tried to stall the inevitable. He saw he could exploit his weakness of being unable to attack his friend, and he didn't care about this conflict, but for the well-being of his brother. With the additional force of "Codebreak Backfire", Playmaker's LP fell to 1200. While Ai panicked they could get hit twice by this effect before losing, Kolter's "Virus Berserker" destroyed "Link Satellite" and inflicted another 600 LP damage. Playmaker fell to his knees, as Ai tried to encourage him. Kolter admitted he didn't wish of Playmaker to end like this. He reminded the weight between justice and his brother, and exclaimed if Playmaker didn't remember that, he'd lose. Suddenly, Lightning and Bohman stepped in to the area where the Duel took place. Lightning, ordered Kolter to defeat Playmaker, who had 600 LP left. Kolter took a moment, and had "Virus Swordsman" attack. Taking on defense, Playmaker managed to avoid the defeat. Playmaker became tired, but Kolter was not impressed that was the partner he chose to side with, and explained Playmaker would now vanish without fulfilling the promise the two had made, at this very location. Playmaker looked around, and remembered the talk with Kolter. Using the combined effects of "Decode Talker Extended" and "Decode Destruction", Playmaker made a painful choice to defeat Kolter.[95]

Ai collects Kolter's data

Ai collects Kolter's data.

Ai-defends playmaker

Ai defending Playmaker against Lightning.

Playmaker ran towards Kolter, as he and Ai cried when Kolter was deleted from the digital world. Ai absorbed Kolter's data, while Playmaker, out of the shock that he defeated his friend, fell to his knees. Soon, the world around them reverted back to the digital puddle area. Lightning attempted to annoy Playmaker, asking how did it feel to defeat his friend. Ai cut the talk, pointing out Lightning does not have any empathy. Lightning simply replied he didn't have any will to understand. Playmaker stood up, stating Lightning and Bohman lost the fight to force Playmaker to quit. Much to Ai's shock, Playmaker collapsed.[95] Ai begged Playmaker to get up, while Lightning tried to get Jin to get him up to fight him. Ai however pointed out Playmaker was in no condition to Duel. His frustration grew as Lightning continued to harass his partner to the point of throwing him. Suddenly, the barrier surrounding them was destroyed and the Data Storm started blowing again. As Ai wondered who could have destroyed the barrier, Bohman and Lightning left. Ai later watched Soulburner and Bohman Duel. He was happy their ally was doing so well. He turned to Playmaker, telling him to look, before remembering the latter was still unconscious.[96]

Ai panicked, as Bohman brought "Rousing Hydradrive Monarch" out, and used its effect to wipe Soulburner's field clean. He tried to wake Playmaker up, as Soulburner was in a pinch. He became pleased when Soulburner managed to lower the ATK of the monarch, and tried to wake Playmaker up for the best part. Playmaker, however, had a dream where he was lying tired on a table. Kolter tried to wake him up, for there was one final thing he wanted of Playmaker to do. Playmaker woke up, pleasing Ai, and started to watch the Duel between Bohman and Soulburner. Much to their shock, they witnessed Flame's demise, and Ai could not believe that just happened. Continuing the Duel, Playmaker and Ai continued watching, and were pleased when Soulburner passed Bohman's test in rolling the dice, using "Judgment Roll". However, they became shocked when Soulburner lost the Duel.[97]

Ai became sad to see Soulburner and Flame lost the Duel, while Playmaker reminded something like that could've happened the moment they arrived in Mirror LINK VRAINS. Ai turned to Playmaker, who was also disturbed by their friends' loss. Suddenly, they saw a vision of Varis facing Lightning. Playmaker started to move, but his body ached. Ai asked if he could even walk, but the latter ignored the pain, knowing that their friends have disappeared. Thus, he swore vengeance for his fallen team mates, and promised their sacrifices would not be in vain, and took off on his D-Board. They managed to find Varis and Lightning on a flowery field, and saw Bohman arriving, too. Bohman told that he finished his training, by defeating Soulburner and Blue Maiden. Having absorbed the Ignis' powers, he came to watch the Duel. Playmaker and Ai were curious, thinking Lightning had made other crimes.[10]

Varis asked the Dark Ignis where was the free will located. Ai was stunned by the question, but claimed it was in the head, though Varis doubted that. The latter explained the head was where the memories were kept; Ai thought it was the heart, but realized the heart could not think. Varis added that he had a memory of his father's death, and this motivated his revenge. Varis stated that was free will, to have their memories remind them of their goals. Ai was uncertain what did this have to do with Lighting. Varis explained that humanity still didn't know where free will came from, but this was a different matter for the Ignis. Later, Varis asked if Ai had wondered why, who thought Lightning, as the leader of the Ignis, had his own reasons to do so. Varis smirked, as he didn't expect such an answer, thinking Ai was just following Lightning without any doubt.[10]

Ai simply pointed to Bohman, as the first AI with instinct. To that, Varis chided Ai for neglecting his own duties. Ai realized that Varis also looked into his data, and begged not to uncover his past. Lightning tried to cut the talk, but Bohman was interested in this story. Ai thought he wanted to hear about his past, but Bohman meant to the free will, since Lightning created him. Varis explained that Lightning looked into a simulation, in which other Ignis would evolve by coexisting with humanity, while only he would destroy others' progresses. Ai wondered if that meant Lightning was the worst Ignis of them all, which made Lightning enraged, demanding of Ai not to look down on him. Ai refused, while Varis showed that Lightning acting as an elite AI was just a cover-up, and that he was the source of treachery. Lightning's eyes became fired up, since he didn't expect of Varis to uncover the simulation.[10]

He didn't accept that he was the inferior Ignis, and thought of himself as the superior of them all. It was why he created Bohman, to make up for all their flaws. Ai exclaimed this was all Lightning's fault, knowing that was why he destroyed Cyberse World. Lightning saw no crime in that, which infuriated Ai, since he dragged them in this fight, and why Earth, Aqua, Flame and Windy were gone. Lightning counted on that, believing they'd all be reborn as one. As the Duel continued, Playmaker and Ai noticed that Varis could use "Autorokket Dragon" to destroy "Judgment Arrows". However, upon Lightning's "Armatos Gloria", Playmaker noted that card protected Varis' "rokket" monsters from triggering their effects, as well as to protect his monsters from the negative effect of "Judgment Arrows", and to prevent the effect of "Topologic Trisbaena".[10]

Ai became pleased when "Borreload Dragon" destroyed "Plumbum Trident", but wondered why Varis didn't just take control of it. Playmaker thought that Varis had inflicted more damage this way, else the ATK of "Plumbum Trident" would've been halved. However, at its destruction, Lightning added "Judgment Arrows", which made Playmaker see this battle was a trap to let Lightning obtain the desired card, and Ai saw that Lightning made no mistakes in his moves. The two were pleased, however, when Varis countered "Judgment Arrows" with "Mind Crush". Although Ai panicked, as "Magnus Dux" forced Varis to have that card returned to Lightning's hand, Playmaker saw it was still a big price to pay. When Lightning called Varis a monkey for being unable to destroy "Judgment Arrows", Ai called out to him. Lightning had no problems with that, though Ai noted he sounded like Windy. Varis confirmed this, stating their personalities were the same. He reminded that the Fire Ignis noted an extreme change in the Wind Ignis' personality, and Ai remembered that Windy was an easy guy, who had become twisted. Staring at Lightning, Varis told it was the latter that changed Windy's program.[98]

Ai was angry at Lightning, who simply believed these sacrifices to be for the future of the Ignis. Ai turned grim, seeing how manipulative Lightning was, knowing he was supposed to be the leader of the Ignis. Just as Varis declared his final attack, he stopped, as Lightning unveiled Jin: much to Ai's shock, Lightning declared if he was deleted, then so would Jin.[98] Ai cursed Lightning, since he cheated to gain an advantage over Varis, whom Playmaker talked down from attacking. Playmaker and Ai continued watching the Duel, learning that it was Lightning who stopped Dr. Kogami before the latter would realize that their true enemy was Lightning alone. In the end, Lightning destroyed "Armatos Legio Eques Flamma", causing both sides to be defeated and ending the Duel in a DRAW. Playmaker rushed to Varis, who didn't expect the Light Ignis to destroy himself, thinking he lowered his guard down. Ai nevertheless praised Varis, who remembered the times he laid on the field as a kid, as he was doing right now. He left the future to Playmaker and the Dark Ignis, referring to the latter as Ai, before he disappeared. The two turned to Bohman, who approached Lightning, who kept Jin's data and used it to save himself with 1 LP left. However, Bohman managed to absorb Lightning, noting the latter was behaving like a human to defy everyone and everything, just to achieve success. Bohman stood up, and stated that with his training finished, he wanted to challenge Playmaker to a final Duel, who accepted.[99]

Playmaker was ready to fight Bohman, who wanted a more suitable field for their Duel. He waved his hand, warping them to the center of Mirror LINK VRAINS. Using the five Ignises he absorbed into his Duel Disk, Bohman proudly announced his victory, as Playmaker and Ai thought he just made a new Deck. Bohman waved his hand, and used an Ignis algorithm to create a sphere. Ai became angry that Bohman used the powers of Ignis to his advantage as tools. Bohman reminded that they were not tools, but merely part of him, since he was created to absorb them. Just as their Duel began, Playmaker and Ai heard screams of avatars in LINK VRAINS, who were being paralyzed by a beam from the sphere of the Ignis algorithm. Ai had a bad omen as to what may happen, while Playmaker felt the presence of many people, despite him and Bohman being the only ones around. Bohman pointed out that Playmaker had Link Sense, an ability to sense digital presence, which could've made him a great connector between AI and humanity.[100]

Bohman summoned his Link-1 "Hydradrive" monsters, and managed to summon five of them. Ai thought Bohman was filling up the field, since there was no monster with five attributes, nor a Link-5 monster, either. Bohman told Ai he was just thinking about limits, for Bohman aimed to create such a monster. He waved his hand, using a Skill, which caused more people to become paralyzed by the sphere's beam in LINK VRAINS. Ai and Playmaker heard their screams, while Bohman summoned a Data Storm to activate Master Storm Access, creating a card out of his will. Bohman declared that everything was set: using five Link-1 monsters of different Attributes, he performed the eight Link Summon: the Link-5 "Chimera Hydradrive Dragrid". Playmaker and Ai became shocked to see such a powerful 4000 ATK monster, which gained a "Hydradrive Counter". While Ai became distraught at their predicament, Playmaker thought there was some connection with that monster and the screams they just heard. Bohman confirmed those were the people he heard, which were affected by the system he created: Neuron Link. Ai believed Bohman contradicted himself, since he didn't approve of Lightning using Jin as a human shield, and now he just used the lives of many humans to his advantage.[100]

Bohman reminded that Lightning used Jin to prevent Varis from continuing on, while this was just one of his many abilities he was able to use. Ai pointed out that the people he just used were now dead, but Bohman exclaimed that only their consciousness was a part of him, which would reside inside him forever. Ai declared Bohman a dictator since he'd take everyone to let himself as the only being remaining in this world. Bohman simply wanted to unify the world; Ai didn't understand that, but Bohman thought it was a shame that Ai could not understand that. As Bohman ended his turn, he announced he'd take everyone's consciousness in the real life, too, by using the Neuron Link throughout the network. Playmaker thought he could still take down this Link-5 monster, as he Synchro Summoned "Cyberse Quantum Dragon". Ai reminded that the latter can return Bohman's monster during its attack. Bohman anticipated this, claiming their tactics won't work, as he used another Skill. Playmaker and Ai continued hearing the screams of the unconscious avatars, while Bohman announced they would witness a Duel beyond their imaginations.[100]

Playmaker and Ai witnessed as Bohman used Master Storm Access a second time, using the people in LINK VRAINS to summon the Data Storm. Next, Bohman used the effect of "Chimera Hydradrive Dragrid" to remove the Hydradrive Counter and roll a dice. Rolling the WATER Attribute, Bohman returned "Dragrid" and summoned "Chimera Hydradrive Draghead - Aqua". Ai became surprised by the monster's name, while Bohman stated the monster negated all other monsters' effects, which it didn't link to. Bohman anticipated Playmaker's move, stating it was the voices of the people that the Neuron Link had absorbed. In fact, all those people that were absorbed were the ones that admired Playmaker, wanted to challenge him and even analyzed his moves, which allowed Bohman to think ahead. Thus, Bohman deduced those people were Playmaker's enemies in this Duel, too. Ai reminded there was a limited number of people in LINK VRAINS, and should eventually run out of absorbing them all. Bohman denied that because of humanity's curiosity: due to the news, more people started logging in, and were easy targets for the Neuron Link system.[101]

As Playmaker and Ai heard the screams of fallen people, Bohman took his turn and used the power of Master Storm Access a third time. Playmaker braced Ai to destroy this Neuron Link and prevent any more casualties. Bohman thanked Playmaker, but Ai aggressively replied they didn't need his thanks. He wondered if Bohman had a heart, which the latter admitted he did, and contributed its creation to Playmaker, a form which Bohman was developed from. Bohman even permitted Playmaker to surrender, thinking the latter stood no chance against him and promised a place inside himself to let him live happily, and in peace, with no memories of Lost Incident. Ai pointed out those would be fake memories, and Playmaker refused Bohman's "charity", and wanted to fulfil the wishes of his fallen allies. Bohman took his turn by using "Dragrid" effect to roll a dice. This time, he rolled the FIRE Attribute and brought out "Chimera Hydradrive Draghead - Flame", and Ai noted the monster' name. The monster destroyed all other monsters that were not linked to it: "Cyberse Quantum Dragon" was destroyed. Playmaker banished "Cyberse Synchron" from his GY to protect his dragon.[101]

With no other option left, Bohman's "Draghead" attacked and destroyed "Cyberse Quantum Dragon", leaving Playmaker at 2500 LP left. Once more, Bohman swapped his "Draghead" with "Chimera Hydradrive Dragrid" in his Extra Deck. To stop Bohman, Playmaker resolved himself to win this Duel. He set the field with Link Monsters; Bohman thought Playmaker's efforts were futile, but Ai wanted to stop Bohman boasting since he had a Link-5 monster. Using "Linkuriboh", "Clock Wyvern" and "Clock Spartoi" as materials, Playmaker Fusion Summoned "Cyberse Clock Dragon". Sending three cards, up to the number of Link Markers of Link Monsters used as material, Playmaker boosted the dragon's ATK by 3000, up to 5500. Bohman frowned, as Ai announced it was time for him to lose.[101] Ai was confident in their next attack, but Bohman reminded how their strategy with "Cyberse Quantum Dragon" had failed.[102]

Ai knew that Bohman would activate his Skill and attempt to negate their dragon's attack. It was why he believed the Neuron Link should be stopped first. Suddenly, he and Ai were contacted by Faust of the Knights of Hanoi, and explained they'd stop Neuron Link with Ghost Gal and Akira. He suggested to Playmaker that moment to be his perfect opportunity to attack. Bohman proceeded to activate his Skill, but felt a disturbance from Ghost Gal, Akira Zaizen and the Knights of Hanoi. As Faust told Playmaker that Akira and Ghost Gal sacrificed themselves to stop Neuron Link, Bohman got a severe headache. This caused a disturbance in the cyberspace, allowing Playmaker and Ai to see some of the victims. Playmaker and Ai swore to stop Bohman, who played the effect of "Chimera Hydradrive Dragrid". However, he rolled the LIGHT Attribute; Playmaker claimed that even luck has left him, and with no more defenses left, "Cyberse Clock Dragon" destroyed Bohman's monster, and Bohman suffered 1500 LP damage. Ai cheered, as now both sides' LP were equal.[102]

Bohman became furious, noting that Lightning was correct that bond between humans was trouble. However, using his power, Bohman repaired Neuron Link system, and Playmaker and Ai could not see the victims anymore. Bohman reminded this was his realm, and he could repair the Neuron Link any time. Ai, looking at Neuron Link, swore he would stop Bohman from using it. Much to Playmaker's shock, Ai left his Duel Disk, and went straight into the Neuron Link to stop it. Bohman became surprised, and questioned why would Ai sacrifice himself to help humanity. Ai reminded this was his desire, and Playmaker was already connected to the people that Bohman had absorbed. Ai evaded Neuron Link's bolts, reminding that when Playmaker was alone, he only thought of revenge, but by meeting new friends, he became stronger. It was why Ai believed Playmaker should give his best in defeating Bohman, to honor these friendships. Ai bid Playmaker farewell, as he became absorbed by the Neuron Link.[102]

Ai sacrifices himself

Ai sacrifices himself to stop the Neuron Link.

Bohman doubted in Playmaker's victory, who dedicated in Ai's promise. However, Ai reappeared in Playmaker's Duel Disk, as he had made a backup inside Roboppi earlier. In fact, Ai felt a chance he'd disappear, so he made such alterations to ensure his survival, and reminded he had free will to do so. Reminding themselves that the Neuron Link was stopped, but Bohman's Master Storm Access Skill has not, Playmaker decided to finish off Bohman in this turn. Before that, Ai wished to rescue his fellow Ignis from the Neuron Link. Playmaker asked of Ai to return after doing so, considering he had no backups left. Ai thanked Playmaker for those words, and entered the system. Despite its complexity, Ai reached its core, where he found the other Ignis absorbed. He approached Aqua, who questioned why he came here. Ai stated he had two lives, which made Flame remark he was crazy to enter the Neuron Link, as he had a backup. Ai stopped their talk, and swore to save them, as they were being used to power up Bohman's monster. Ai fired a beam, which did nothing; Lightning explained that they were completely fused with the system, and being compatible with Bohman, he doubted Ai could do anything. Ai refused to believe in that, but Aqua assured him that Bohman was rebuilding the Neuron Link, and Ai would soon be held captive as well.[5]

Lightning laughed, as his plan to unify the Ignises as one was near completion. He called upon Bohman, who tried to grasp Ai. Ai evaded his attacks, while Flame reminded Ai to leave, else he'd be trapped, too. Ai exclaimed if he left, the Ignises would be deleted and believed if he didn't fight, the sacrifices they made would be wasted. Aqua, Flame, Earth and Windy lent Ai their powers, surprising Lightning, whom Aqua told that Ai's powers surpassed his. Lightning was forced to lend his power, too, which molded with the rest into Ai, needed to defeat Bohman. Ai still wanted to find a way to save the Ignis, but Flame reminded that they have forgotten that they weren't immortal, and their moment to pass away has come. Ai was annoyed at his words, but Flame reminded that he merely spoke the truth. Lightning claimed Ai didn't understand the truth, who left in tears, after Aqua and Flame ordered him to do so. Before the Ignis vanished, Lightning knew it was Ai who would have to decide which path he'll take.[5]

Later, Ai returned to Playmaker, heartbroken that he could not save the Ignis, which have molded with Bohman. Still, he passed the power he obtained from the other Ignis to Playmaker. Bohman noted that Ai has escaped him, and swore to absorb him once the Duel was over. Ai promised he'd take revenge on Bohman for hurting his friends, who was amused by his fiery spirit. Bohman still reminded of all the effects he had, and wondered if Playmaker could even defeat his monster. Playmaker exclaimed he had the powers of the Ignis, and declared this to be his final turn, as he drew a card. In fact, Playmaker swarmed his field, all to set up the summon of the power of the Ignis, in form of a monster, the Link-5 "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid". Bohman could not comprehend why Playmaker had a Link-5 monster, if the only monster of such Link Rating was the one he had created. Ai exclaimed this was the representation of the power of the Ignis, who shared it with Ai. Playmaker placed 4 counters on "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid", one for each different monster type - Ritual, Fusion, Synchro and Xyz. It went to attack, gaining 2500 ATK for each counter it had, summing its ATK to 13000. While Bohman removed a counter to protect "Perfectron Hydradrive Dragon", Playmaker removed a counter from his dragon to let it attack, which displayed visions of the Ignis.[5]

Bohman's eyes widened, as Ai noted that he realized he ended up in a loop he could not escape from, a power created from his friends. Bohman gritted his teeth, seeing Playmaker had realized the dragon's power so quickly. Playmaker replied that bonds transcend evolution, and the voices of his allies had guided him to this strategy. Bohman used up his final counter to protect "Protectron Hydradrive Dragon", which caused its ATK to be reduced to zero. Playmaker also removed the final counter from "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid", reducing its ATK to its original 3000 value, but letting it attack one final time. With no counters left, Bohman was left vulnerable for the finishing move of "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid", "Neo Tempest End". With 2500 LP remaining, Bohman was defeated; he only remembered his brother, Haru, as he listened to his heart, of which Playmaker spoke of. Ai praised Playmaker, as did Bohman, who was severely hurt. The latter noted that Playmaker had a future he was not aware of, and stated that Ai has closed the future of the Ignis, by siding with humanity. He hoped that Ai does not regret that, and bidded farewell to his ultimate rival, Playmaker. Ai and Playmaker vanished, as they were warped away to LINK VRAINS. Ai noted that they won. Playmaker nodded, but stated the cost was too high, with unconscious victims lying around.[5]

Season three[]

Ai cried that their friends didn't make it in the end. However, sparkles started to fall down in the cyberspace, causing everyone that had been fallen unconscious to wake up. Ai realized that Bohman freed everyone's consciousness; in fact, Soulburner appeared right in front of them. Seeing Ai and Playmaker, Soulburner realized that they had defeated Bohman. They were joined by Blue Maiden, Ghost Gal and Akira Zaizen. The group watched as the Mirror LINK VRAINS faded, seeing it was truly over. Soulburner asked if they had saved Flame, to which Ai apologized to him and Blue Maiden, as they were unable to rescue the Ignis. Soon after that, Ai left Yusaku.[103] At some point, Ai took control of a SOLtis android, giving him a human appearance. Later, he was doing some research, and thought of Lightning's words back from before the rest of the Ignis passed away.[104]

Yusaku protects Ai

Ai witnesses a future involving Yusaku protecting him from the military.

Ai witnesses Yusaku's death

Ai's sorrow increases upon seeing his partner could die protecting him.

Intrigued about what Lightning had said about the truth of the Ignis, Ai went to his cave in the Cyberse World. He was surprised to find Lightning's figure, who was a part of a prerecorded message. Lightning suspected that Ai would defeat Bohman, which Lightning confirmed, and wanted to show Ai the truth about the Ignis. Lightning wanted to show him a future, where Ai was the only being left in the world. Ai was frustrated and emitted a blast that destroyed Lighting's figure. However, data started to possess Ai, who believed humanity would've coexisted with Lightning gone. What he saw was a future, where humanity was wiped out if Ai continued remaining as the only living Ignis. Ai assumed that was just Lightning's malicious nature to hurt Ai, so the latter made more simulations. He became convinced that Lightning spoke the truth, seeing that humanity was wiped out in every single simulation. He tried to make different decisions and actions, but they all ended in the same way, with destruction. This made Ai realize the only way this could be avoided is if he was eliminated.[4] He ran a simulation, in which he saw Yusaku protecting him. The military arrived to eliminate Ai, and in that moment, Yusaku became the martyr by letting himself get shot to protect Ai. The revelation caused Ai to scream, for he could not allow such a future to become real.[105]

File:Ai and Roboppi in front of the Ignises Graves.png

Ai visits the Ignis graveyard with Roboppi.

Sometime later, Ai and Roboppi, in their human-like forms, mourned in the remains of Cyberse World over a digital graveyard, commemorating the five fallen Ignis.[103] As he continued mourning, he was called by Roboppi to join him and Linguriboh. Ai looked at the Ignis' graves, and the fallen Ignis that he had made his decision. Later, they stowaway on SOL Technologies' ship, and hacked into two SOLtiS androids to take their place. Roboppi explained he did hack the ship's system, so their activity won't get them into trouble. As the two walked away, Roboppi exclaimed his gratefulness that Ai turned his into this. Ai stated his backup affected Roboppi as well. However, he didn't expect Roboppi to acquire free will, too. Roboppi simply stated that he got smarter, and exclaimed how great it felt to be free, and to have this body. Ai noted how lucky it was to have encountered something as useful as that, which SOL Technologies was selling. The two went to the casino, which Roboppi claimed looked like an amusement park. Ai described it as place where humans bet their money to gain even more. Roboppi thought humans were dumb to play games like these, but Ai reminded him that he said dumb was a bad word. The latter simply stated a good boy could say stuff like that.[104]

Roboppi spun the slots, and won the jackpot. However, he apologized to Ai, for they were gaining attention, which could cause them to get discovered. Ai didn't mind much, for they could live however they wanted without any worries. His hand glew, causing all the machines to break the jackpot, which amazed Roboppi. However, Ai became disinterested and left. The two went to the VIP room, hacked the door and found Queen. Queen became alarmed as she woke up, finding Ai, the DARK Ignis, and Roboppi. Queen remembered that Ai disappeared after the clash with Bohman, and wondered what he was doing in human form. Ai stated he shed his past look, to take over the company using Queen's code key, as well as to get revenge for what she did to the EARTH Ignis. He decided to give her a chance in a Duel, and touched her brow, activating a program. The two found themselves in cyberspace, looking like the stage on SOL Technologies' ship. Roboppi supported Ai, who told him to be quiet. Queen thought of Ai as an arrogant program, and braced herself for the Duel.[104]

Everybody, I made my decision. I threw away my past self.

— Ai after he made his fatal decisions.[104]

On her first turn, Queen summoned her "Allure Queen" LV3, LV5 and two copies of LV7, and played some Spell Cards. Using LV3, 5 and 7 "Allure Queen", she Link Summoned "Golden Allure Queen", who gained 2500 ATK from "Allure Palace" and "Allure Queen LV7", through its own effect. Queen exclaimed should Ai attack, his monsters would get destroyed in battle instead by "Golden Allure Queen". Ai's eyes widened, as he noted that "Allure Dance" forced him to attack "Golden Allure Queen". Roboppi supported Ai, who noted he was in trouble, seeing that Queen had set a lot of defenses up. Queen boasted about her abilities, but Ai told her not to underestimate him, thinking it'll be easy to break through these defenses. Playing "Ignister A.I.Land", Ai Special Summoned "Pikari @Ignister", and used it to Link Summon "Linguriboh". He used his Field Spell to summon "Bururu @Ignister", then Normal Summoned "Doyon @Ignister", whose effect let him add "Pikari @Ignister" back to his hand. Using the three monsters, Ai Link Summoned "Dark Templar @Ignister". As he Special Summoned "Pikari @Ignister" to the zone the "Templar" pointed to, the latter Special Summoned "Doyon" and "Bururu @Ignister" from the GY.[104]

Tuning the latter two, Ai Synchro Summoned "Wind Pegasus @Ignister". Using its effect, Ai Special Summoned "Doyon @Ignister", and overlayed it and "Pikari" to Xyz Summon "Light Dragon @Ignister". Queen was unphased, comparing Ai's 2300 ATK monsters with her 5000 ATK "Golden Allure Queen". Ai made her doubt these words, as "Wind Pegasus" destroyed Queen's "Allure Palace" and "Dance" Spell Cards, since he had three "@Ignister" monsters, which dropped the ATK of "Golden Allure Queen" to 4000. Next, Ai detached an Overlay Unit from "Light Dragon", destroying the two "Allure Queens". Queen became shocked how easily Ai emptied her field. With no monsters left, Queen was struck by the attack of "Wind Pegasus". Queen refused to be defeated, as the top of SOL Technologies. Despite Master Duel rules being in effect, Queen used her Honey Trap Skill. Roboppi pointed out that was cheating, but Queen silenced him, stating that she made the rules in here. She regained the LP she lost, and set a Trap that he could play in the same turn.[104]

She set "Drowning Mirror Force", but Ai was disappointed that's all what her Skill did. He tributed "Wind Pegasus" to Special Summon "Linguriboh" from his GY. The "Light Dragon" went to attack, so the Queen played "Drowning Mirror Force" to shuffle all of Ai's monsters back into his Extra Deck. However, Ai simply tributed "Linguriboh" to negate that effect and banish the card. With direct attacks from "Light Dragon" and "Dark Templar", Queen was defeated. Ai showed this was an easy victory, as he had proclaimed.[104] Ai and Roboppi left a message to Akira Zaizen, how they defeated Queen, and even revealed their identities. Ai threatened to attack Akira in three days and take his code key. He felt a bit sorry that Akira recently became the top executive, but announced he'd see him soon. Later, Ai and Roboppi were flying in "Linguriboh"-shaped vessel through cyberspace. Roboppi showed there were many people that logged in the system, but Playmaker was not among them. Ai had his doubts, as Playmaker appeared on their radar. Ai knew nothing could start without Playmaker, so Ai and Roboppi went on their D-Boards to defeat everybody.[106]

Ai noted that Akira deployed a lot of people to protect him. Roboppi was concerned that they were greatly outnumbered. Ai claimed everyone had better ratings than Roboppi, and explained that they were simply better Duelists. He didn't think Playmaker was good enough, because most of the time Ai was with him to support him. Ai assumed himself to be way atop the other Duelists, while Roboppi to be far underneath Playmaker himself. Roboppi took offense, but Ai pointed out that he had no Dueling experience. To correct that, Ai explained there were many strong opponents for him to battle. Roboppi felt inspired, and the two rode away to start their plan. A moment later, Playmaker ran into Ai, who happily greeted his former partner. Playmaker asked Ai why he attacked humans, since he had wanted coexistence. Ai replied it was a dream that couldn't come true; because he's the last Ignis, he decided to carry on Lightning's plans. Playmaker reminded Ai that Lightning's ego made him an enemy to humanity, but the latter had made his decision, feeling he was responsible for the other Ignises' deaths. Playmaker tried to tell him that wasn't true, that he tried to save Flame and Aqua. Ai rebutted that he didn't, and saw no difference between having no choice or erasing them. In the end, he had to live as an Ignis, much to Playmaker's sadness.[107]

However, Ai met up not only with Playmaker, but with Varis and Soulburner at the same time. Ai thought that Soulburner hated him for failing to save Flame, and blamed himself for his deletion. Soulburner replied that he does not hate Ai, and reminded that Flame wouldn't want Ai to be fighting them. Ai simply stated there was no way to know that, since Flame was not around to say that. Ai also confronted Varis, expressing his amusement to see Varis helping SOL Technologies. Varis simply stated it was his destiny to fight and delete Ai, who smiled, explaining it wouldn't be fun to take away that destiny. Since neither of the three knew which was the real Ai, the trio started a Duel against Ai's copies. Ai played "Ignister A.I.Land" to swarm his field, Link Summoning "Fire Phoenix @Ignister" against all three opponents. Ai also played "A.I. A.I. Wall" to make both sides unable to conduct their Battle Phase for three turns, also the time increases if his opponent Link Summons a monster. Soulburner was annoyed that Ai used the tactic against him, whereas Varis muttered it was a lockdown. The latter also realized Ai wanted to stall them, and Ai complimented "Professor Varis" for that observation.[107]

The real Ai defeated Baira and Dr. Genome. As he went towards Akira Zaizen, he confronted Faust, who swore he wouldn't let him pass, even at the cost of his life.[107] While the copies of Ai Dueled Varis, Soulburner and Playmaker, the real Ai defeated Specter and Faust. The Gore followed the real Ai, which made the latter glad, since he could take revenge on him for Earth. He blamed the Gore for speeding up the war between humans and Ignis, and without him, Earth could have been still alive. Pandor reacted, explaining that Bohman would've absorbed Earth anyway. Ai was surprised to see Pandor, the anti-Ignis AI. Ai went furious, since Pandor knew nothing of the past conflict. Ai thought the Gore would've been pleased with the brain chip alone, but the Gore admitted his chip was removed. In fact, he admitted he was wrong to have an AI installed in his brain. After his last Duel with Playmaker, the Gore realized his selfishness and decided to come back stronger than ever, as he had people believing in him. Thus, he swore he wouldn't let Ai's plans be fulfilled. Ai chuckled, amused how the Gore acted, and dared him to entertain Ai. The Gore started by summoning "Gouki Suprex", surprising Ai that he returned to using "Gouki" monsters. The Gore used "Suprex" to Special Summon "Gouki Riscorpio", then used the two to Link Summon "Jet Ogre". Next, he used "Gouki Re-Match" to revive the Link Materials from his GY.[108]

Next, the Gore used "Jet Ogre" and "Suprex" to Link Summon "Gouki Thunder Ogre". He Normal Summoned "Suprex" to the Zone "Thunder Ogre" pointed to, which let him Special Summon "Twistcobra". Finally, he used the latter and "Thunder Ogre" to bring out Link-4 "Gouki The Master Ogre". Ai smiled, as the Gore's skills have not rusted away, which made his defeat even sweeter. Ai summoned "Pikari @Ignister", to add "Ignister A.I.Land". In response, the Gore returned "Suprex" to have "Master Ogre" negate the effect of "Pikari @Ignister". Ai gritted his teeth, as Pandor admitted that his Duel data was shared among everyone. Ai planned a different strategy: he used the "@Ignister" to Link Summon "Linguriboh". He summoned "Hiyari @Ignister" next to the latter's Link Arrow, then chained its summon with "Doshin @Ignister". Using the three monsters, he Link Summoned "Dark Templar @Ignister". The Gore was displeased, as Ai did all of that without that Field Spell. Ai had "Dark Templar" attack "Master Ogre", which confused the Gore, due to his monster having more ATK. Knowing Ai was plotting something, the Gore played "Gouki Iron Claw" to increase the ATK of "Master Ogre" by 500, and make it immune to card effects.[108]

Ai played "TA.I. Strike" to make the ATK of his "Dark Templar" equal to that of "Master Ogre", and both sides would take damage, equal to their monsters' ATK in the GY. Both sides clashed, but only "Dark Templar" wasn’t destroyed, while the Gore took 2800 LP damage. Ai explained "Dark Templar @Ignister" could not be destroyed by another monster with the same ATK. Ai swore to crush the Gore, as he summoned "Pikari @Ignister", plus he resurrected "Doshin @Ignister". Ai asked of the Gore to simply give up, but he refused, since the children were counting on him, and rose back up, then started his turn.[108] The Gore summoned "Gouki Suprex", which let him Special Summon "Gouki Guts". Using these two, the Gore Link Summon "Gouki Heel Ogre". He followed it with "Gouki Rematch" to revive "Guts" and "Twistcobra". The effect of "Guts" was activated, but "Heel Ogre" negated the effect, which let the Gore Special Summon "Master Ogre" from his GY. Ai frowned that his ace monster returned to the field. The Gore Link Summoned "Gouki Jet Ogre", followed by a "Thunder Ogre". Ai noted that the Gore made a comeback, and now Ai was in a pinch.[109]


Ai narrowly avoids defeat.

As "Jet Ogre" left the field, the Gore's "Gouki" monsters gained 500 ATK. The Gore summoned another "Suprex", which let him Special Summon "Gouki Diver". Using "Thunder Ogre" and "Diver" as materials, the Gore summoned his final ace, "Gouki The Powerload Ogre". Ai became surprised to see another Link-4 monster, while the Gore used its effect to gain 200 ATK per the number of Link Markers of other "Gouki" monsters. The Gore also played "Gouki Face Turn" to destory "Suprex", and to revive "Thunder Ogre" from his GY. He then tributed it to have "Powerload Ogre" destroy cards, up to its Link Rating: 3. The Gore swore to destroy Ai's ace and defeat him, which made Ai panic, but he didn't show any facial features. "Master Ogre" slashed "Dark Templar @Ignister", and inflicted 1000 LP damage to Ai. Ai pleaded the Gore not to attack, who had his "Powerload Ogre" make the final attack. Ai was blown to a pillar, but a moment later, he stood unharmed. In fact, Ai had 3800 LP before the attack reduced it to 200. Ai revealed that the card that the Gore destroyed was "A.I.'s Hymn", which he banished to get 800 LP - 200 for each "@Ignister" card in his GY - to survive the attack.[109]

Ai admitted if the Gore hadn't destroyed the set card with "Powerload Ogre", he would've won. The Gore frowned, while Pandor appeared, explaining that Ai's ability to survive was much stronger than they anticipated. Ai sighed and complimented the Gore, noting if he let his guard down, he would've been defeated. Ai used "A.I.dle Reborn", reviving "Doshin @Ignister". Its effect activated, which let Ai return "Dark Templar @Ignister", and add "A.I. Love Fusion", which he activated. He used "Doshin" and the Gore's "Master Ogre" to Fusion Summon "Earth Golem @Ignister". The Gore frowned, as "Powerload Ogre" lost 800 ATK, since "Master Ogre" was no longer on the field. "Earth Golem @Ignister" attacked, its ATK doubling during the Damage Step. The Gore realized he came too far to lose; he banished "Gouki Diver" to take no damage from that battle. However, "Earth Golem" lost 600 ATK, and it could battle again, which surprised Ai. The Gore Special Summoned "Powerload Ogre" from his GY, using "Fighting Spirit" Skill. Ai noted this would mean that the Gore would still have enough LP to continue. Ai's monster went to attack, so the Gore played his final trick.[109]

Sending "Gouki Double Impact", "Powerload Ogre" gained ATK equal to the ATK of "Headbatt" in the Gore's hand. Ai reminded that "Powerload Ogre" was unaffected by card effects, but the Gore pointed out it only applied when it was Link Summoned - this time, it was Special Summoned from the GY. "Powerload Ogre" gained 800 ATK, and the Gore explained he returned to his old way of Dueling, with fortitude. Ai was overjoyed by the intensity of the Duel, but swore he wouldn't lose. Banishing "A.I.dle Reborn" and "Ignister A.I.Land", Ai returned "TA.I. Strike" and play it. The Gore thought Ai was aiming for a tie, who denied. In fact, "TA.I. Strike" inflicted damage to both players after their monsters were destroyed, but "Earth Golem @Ignister" assured Ai it would take no damage that turn. Ai stated his Ignis friends could not recover like the Gore did, because they were gone. The Gore realized Ai's pain, as Pandor noted his ability to deal with problems was outstanding. With both monsters destroyed, "TA.I. Strike" inflicted 3600 LP damage to the Gore. The Gore was defeated, but Ai admitted he didn't hate the Gore, and wished to be like him.[109]

Meanwhile, Ai's copies, who stalled Playmaker, Varis and Soulburner, were defeated and banished. Ai and Roboppi went to the location, where Akira was. As Ai expected, there was nobody around. Roboppi thought they logged out, yet Ai sensed their presence in the cyberspace, believing they were aware that it was more dangerous for them to be in the real world. Ai used his ability to trace their whereabouts, and smiled. He rode an airplane to track down Akira's airplane. Ai assaulted the airplane and faced Hayami. The latter recognized Ai as the one that attacked the Queen, to which Ai touched her forehead, causing her to faint. Ai knew there was something about SOL Technologies' airplane that took off an hour since his campaign had started. As he came to a door, Ai faced Pandor, the AI that Varis had created, which surprised Ai that he's not the only one who has changed. Ai tried to tamper with Pandor's coding, but an electric shock stopped him; Pandor was protected from such interferences. Pandor sensed hostility form Ai, an ability she was programmed with.[109]

The two decided to have a Duel, to which Pandor showed the data she collected on him. Since the airplane was too small, Ai and Pandor went atop the airplane. Ai summoned "Pikari @Ignister", and added "Ignister A.I.Land". He used "Pikari" to Link Summon "Linguriboh", then used "Ailand" to bring out "Achichi @Ignister". Pandor noted this was the way Ai Dueled, who summoned "Hiyari @Ignister" to the zone "Linguriboh" pointed to. Using the three monsters, Ai Link Summoned "Dark Templar @Ignister". He used the effect of "AiLand" to summon "Bururu @Ignister", triggering the effect of "Dark Templar" to revive "Achichi" and "Hiyari". Using the three monsters, Ai Link Summoned "Fire Phoenix @Ignister". Using "A.I. Mine" to draw to cards, Ai set them. Pandor frowned, while Ai admitted he was ready to take Pandor on.[109] Pandor asked Ai did he give up on the dream for the Ignis to coexist with humans, since it did fought alongside Playmaker and Varis. Ai wondered if Pandor even understood the topic, to which she agreed, since she had free will. However, she admitted she couldn't view humans as enemies, in order for the coexistence to work.[110]

Ai claimed it looked that way, since he did hurt some humans, and he had no intention on going back, either. In fact, he didn't really know what to do, and considered the option of destroying humanity. Ai felt that he couldn't coexist with humanity, but the same may not apply to Pandor, or that she may have free will. Pandor sensed sadness from Ai, who didn't want anyone to find out, but one person. Instead, he wanted to continue the Duel, so Pandor started her turn. Pandor startedoff with Special Summoning "Topologina Babee" that she added with "Topologina Honeycomb Beehicle", followed with "Topologina Maybee". Ai noted these monsters' names, and felt something coming up: the summon of "Topologina Nabee". A wind blew, frustrating Pandor, who summoned "Topologina Sassabee". Ai cursed that he failed to predict the name. Pandor returned its Link Materials, and used the effect of "Gatsbee" to summon it, then used it and "Sassabee" to Link Summon "Topologic Trisbaena". Ai became surprised that she used a "Topologic" Deck. She summoned another "Gatsbee" to the Zone "Trisbaena" pointed to, to activate its effect. She went to banish that monster and every one of Ai's Spells and Traps.[110]

Ai frowned, and played "A.I. Shadow", to boost the ATK of "Fire Phoenix @Ignister" before the Trap was banished. Despite this, that card, along "Ignister A.I.Land" and "TA.I. Strike", were banished and Ai took 1500 LP damage. Ai noted she had the data from his Duels, for Pandor was connected to the others of her kind. He still reminded that "A.I. Shadow" forced her to target "Fire Phoenix @Ignister" for attacks. Pandor coldly stated that won't happen; she added "Topologina Honeycomb Beehicle" and activated it, adding "Topologina Bambee" and summoning it. Ai joked as to when "Topologina Nabee" would appear; Pandor realized that Ai was preventing himself from revealing his emotions. Pandorused "Bambee" and "Trisbaena" to bring out Link-4 "Topologic Bomber Dragon". Ai was amused that Pandor brought out two aces in one turn. She also summoned "Topologina Bambee" to the Zone her "Bomber Dragon" pointed to, to activate its effect: destroy all monsters in Main Monster Zones. The effect of "Fire Phoenix" was triggered: it went to destroy "Bomber Dragon", but Pandor banished "Topologina Honeycomb Beehicle" to prevent its destruction.[110]

Pandor's "Topologic Bomber Dragon" attacked "Dark Templar @Ignister"; Pandor aimed for a One Turn Kill to inflict 3000 LP damage to Ai from the attack. Ai sent "Donyoribo @Ignister" from his hand to make the Battle Damage to zero. Nevertheless, his monster was destroyed and he took 2300 effect damage. Ai was blown away from the airplane by the attack, so his mechanical arm extended to the airplane so he could return to it. Ai survived with 200 LP, but he did wonder why was this function added to the SOLtiS. Pandor asked of Ai to give her the code key and the consciousness data from the other people. Ai asked why did she propose this now; he was told his chances to win were low, considering he had no cards on the field or in his hand, and only had 200 LP left. Since he was an AI like her, Pandor simply asked of Ai to give that and flee, rather than to fight. Ai explained he was the enemy of humanity, and Pandor was coded not to view humans as enemies. Pandor simply told that her instructions were to get the code key and to obtain the consciousness data. Ai noted "Professor Varis" was smart, after all.[110]

Ai admitted he made his decision. He stated he was always at the edge of losing something, and took his turn. He revived "Fire Phoenix" with its effect, to the Zone "Topologic Bomber Dragon" pointed to, to activate its effect. "Fire Phoenix" was destroyed, but in doing so, its effect destoryed "Topologic Bomber Dragon". Pandor played the Trap Card "Topologina Beeswax", to reduce the damage each player would take by 500 times the number of counters it had: 9 (4 of Link Rating of "Bomber Dragon" + 1 for each "Topologina" monster in the GY). Ai saw he could not inflict damage, unless it was greater than 4500. Ai noted the Duel was to stall him: Pandor's goal was to have the airplane landed on the airport, and to protect Akira and Skye, which impressed Ai for Varis' plan. Ai, however, told there was still more time: he snapped his fingers, causing the airplane to continue flying. Pandor was surprised at what happened, which pleased Ai that she finally took her off guard.[110]

He admitted that he was analyzing the algorithm of the plane, and managed to take control of the plane itself. In fact, he sensed they were descending, since the SOLtiS body has an altimeter function. Pandor still aimed to protect Akira Zaizen. Ai stated the Duel was over: he used "A.I.dle Reborn", Special Summoning "Fire Phoenix @Ignister". Pandor's Trap protected her LP, to which "Fire Phoenix" inflicted effect damage, equal to its ATK, 2300. Finally, he used "Donyoribo @Ignister", banishing it to double that damage. Pandor, who was defeated by this OTK tactic, stated even the "Topologic" Deck could not have stopped Ai, and fell off the airplane. Ai simply joked that she didn't play "Topologina Nabee", if that card really existed. Ai went into the airplane, and hacked through the security. He found Akira and Skye, lying in chamber pods. He touched Akira's forehead, and teleported himself into a strange place. There, he found both Akira and Blue Maiden.[110]

Blue Maiden asked why Ai was here, who asked of them not to underestimate him. Akira suspected Ai has infiltrated the airplane and attacked its crew. Ai was amused, seeing that Akira thought of him as a villain. He snapped his fingers, showing Hayami unconscious, but unhurt. Ai asked Akira to hand over the code key, to which Akira demanded to know for what purpose Ai wanted it. The latter stated he merely wished to take over the company, similar to the airplane. In fact, he had control over it, and could make it crash. Blue Maiden thought he was threating them, but Ai didn't want them to think like that. Instead, he wanted to Duel both siblings for the code key, to give them a chance. Pandor appeared from Blue Maiden's Duel Disk, shocking Ai, since he finished her off a moment ago. Pandor stated she was the last copy, and would use all of the previous Duel experiences for this one.[111]

Ai knew the deal behind Pandor, and swore not to lose, even if they knew his tactics. With no other option left, the two sides started a Duel. However, Ai also had Soulburner, Varis and Playmaker watch the Duel as holograms. Ai simply stated a Duel was not exciting without a crowd. He also had Kolter watch the Duel, as well as Roboppi, who teleported himself in to learn more from the Duel. While Ai approved of Roboppi's actions, Blue Maiden started her turn by using "Marincess Blue Tang" to Link Summon "Marincess Blue Slug", then continued on with summoning "Coral Anemone" and "Marbled Rock". Ai noted Blue Maiden was using Aqua's Marincess Deck. She set two cards to end the turn, and Ai approved of her strategy. Blue Maiden told this Deck was important to her, and Ai assumed Aqua would've been happy that Blue Maiden was using so well.[111]

Ai took his turn, summoning "Pikari @Ignister" to add "Ignister A.I.Land" and play it. Ai used it to summon "Linguriboh", chaining the effect of "Ignister A.I.Land" to summon "Achichi @Ignister". Finally, he summoned "Hiyari @Ignister", to use all three monsters to Link Summon "Dark Templar @Ignister". Pandor told everyone that Ai was using "@Ignister" cards, which represented his feelings towards the Ignis. Blue Maiden stated that Ai was putting a lot of effort, and asked of Akira to be careful. Since he summoned "Doyon @Ignister", Ai managed to revive "Achichi" and "Pikari" from his GY, and use the three "@Ignister" monsters to Link Summon "Fire Phoenix @Ignister". Pandor anticipated its summoning, so to make an unpredictable move, Ai, to the zone "Fire Phoenix" was pointing to, played the strongest card that the Ignis had created: "Judgment Arrows". A dark swirl appeared out of Ai before manifesting into the card, shocking everyone. Others judged him for using the card, but Ai asked of Blue Maiden what happened to Miyu. Blue Maiden stated she was recovering, and Ai believed Kolter's brother, Jin, was healed, too.[111]

Ai simply showed while humans have recovered, his Ignis friends were gone - forever. Pandor told Blue Maiden that Ai just wanted to spark some emotions into his opponents, to lower their guard before taking them down. Ai claimed Pandor shouldn't be this blunt, and swore to win. "Fire Phoenix", whose ATK became doubled by "Judgment Arrows", went to attack. Blue Maiden played the effect of "Marbled Rock" to prevent its destruction, and prevent Blue Maiden from taking battle damage. In addition, "Marincess Wave" protected her from effect damage, too. However, Ai used the situation to his advantage: he played "TA.I.med Technique", banishing "Fire Phoenix" to banish all cards in Blue Maiden's hand. He also moved "Dark Templar @Ignister" to the zone "Judgment Arrows" pointed to, to have its ATK doubled when attacking "Marincess Marbled Rock". Blue Maiden, who realized Ai predicted this outcome, took 2100 LP damage from the attack, which alarmed Akira that his sister got hurt. Ai's "Fire Phoenix" returned to the field, as did Blue Maiden's cards in her hand.[111]

Blue Maiden noted Ai was blaming himself for not being able to protect the other Ignis. In fact, she feels the same that she wasn't able to protect Aqua, who felt Blue Maiden as a perfect partner for her. Blue Maiden asked Ai why did they fight, if they both suffered the same sadness, and thought they could stop the fight. Ai became silent for a moment, and became furious that Blue Maiden proclaimed they both were grieving the same. He pointed at Pandor, stating why did she substitute Aqua for that AI. However, he calmed down, as he didn't blame Blue Maiden, who was Aqua's ally. Pandor reminded she wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Ai's crimes. She merely reminded time could only go forward, and was why she took Aqua's place. Ai understood that, and exclaimed he became closed off: he only felt pleasure in defeating his opponents, so time could move forward again for him. Ai declared Akira could take the turn, who stood still.[111]

Akira admitted that the humans have taken part in destroying the Ignis, just as they created them. Thus, as an employee of SOL Technologies, Akira admitted his deepest sorrow for that. However, he reminded that he was the executive of the company, and had to fight to protect many of his employees, and their families. It was why he needed to protect the code key, and demanded Ai to go back. Ai didn't need apologies, and demanded Akira to fight to protect those he fought for, as he declared like that. Akira stood forward, and looked at Ai's monsters, both of whose ATK would double from "Judgment Arrows". Akira set a monster, then played "Stairs of Mail". He sent "Tindangle Intruder" from his GY to flip "Tindangle Angel" up. Ai sensed Flip Monsters could be troublesome, while Akira used the effect of "Angel" to set another monster. He chained its summon to "Intruder" in his GY to summon it in face-down Defense Position, and Special Summoned "Tindangle Base Gardna", too.[111]

He used "Stairs of Mail" to flip "Tindangle Intruder", using its effect to add a "Tindangle" card from his Deck to his hand, and reactivated the "Stairs of Mail" to flip "Tindangle Hound". Ai noted it was the scary pooch again, while Akira then used the latter's effect to set "Tindangle Intruder" and gain its ATK, which summed up to 4700. With so much ATK, "Tindangle Hound" attacked and destroyed "Dark Templar @Ignister", and inflicted 100 LP damage to Ai. Since Ai would not back down, Akira played Blue Maiden's set card, "Marincess Decision", banishing "Marincess Wave" to flip his "Tindangle Intruder" face-up. In addition, Akira and Skye used "Tindangle" monsters to Link Summon "Tindangle Acute Cerberus". Despite the terrifying monster, Ai simply dared them to show the power of their sibling love.[111] Akira played "Marincess Decision" in the GY; by banishing "Marincess Marbled Rock", the ATK of "Fire Phoenix" was reduced to zero. With no defenses left, Ai took the attack, which reduced his LP from 3900 to 400.[112]

Ai applauded them, and banished "Achichi @Ignister" to destroy his "Fire Phoenix", only to trigger its effect to destroy "Tindangle Hound". Per Blue Maiden's approval, Akira banished "Marincess Basilalima" to protect the hound. He also had the cerberus gain 600 ATK, summing it up to 4100. Finally, Akira summoned a "Tindangle Token" at the zone "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" pointed to, and it gained 500 ATK more. Ai noted this was the power of the siblings. Blue Maiden reminded that they both fought on the same side to protect Aqua and others, and she didn't wish to fight him. However, she didn't want to see her brother getting hurt, and wanted to protect him, to which Ai provoked her into fighting him. Blue Maiden asked for no more jokes, but Pandor sensed that Ai's feelings were genuine. In fact, Ai wanted to see whether the one that has something to protect, or someone that has nothing to lose would win. While Ai revived "Fire Phoenix", Pandor continued sensing a great pain from Ai, a similar feeling when the other copies of Pandor had been deleted.[112]

Ai tributed "Fire Phoenix" to activate the effect of "Hiyari @Ignister", adding "A.I.’s Ritual" to his hand, and increasing the level of "Hiyari" by three. Activating "A.I.’s Ritual", Ai banished "Hiyari" and tributed "Pikari", to Ritual Summon the level 7 "Water Leviathan @Ignister", which returned "Tindangle Acute Cerbaerus" to Akira's Extra Deck, while Ai placed all of his Link Monsters to his Extra Deck, and reduced the ATK of "Tindangle Hound" by 4200 - 600 for each Link Marker of Link Monster returned. "Water Leviathan" attacked "Tindangle Hound", whose ATK was halved in this battle, thus its current ATK became 250. However, Akira survived the battle with 150 LP left - "Marincess Bubble Circle" let Akira gain 300 LP for each Link Marker of "Marincess" Link Monsters in the GY. Blue Maiden helped Akira stand up, and swore to protect her brother.[112]

Ai became intrigued, and dared to protect her brother until the end. Blue Maiden summoned "Marincess Blue Tang", and used it as Link Material for "Marincess Blue Slug". She Special Summoned "Marincess Sea Horse", and used the two monsters to summon "Marincess Coral Anemone". The latter revive "Marincess Blue Tang", and was used to Link Summon "Marincess Marbled Rock". Finally, she Special Summoned "Marincess Crown Tail" by the effect of "Sea Horse", and used it and "Marbled Rock" to summon the Link-4 "Marincess Great Bubble Reef". Before the attack, Blue Maiden banished "Crown Tail" to have "Marincess Bubble Circle" inflict 100 damage to Ai, lowering his LP to 300, while the effect of "Marincess Great Bubble Reef" let it gain 600 ATK. Ai questioned Blue Maiden, since she couldn't even attack. Blue Maiden played "Tindangle Returner" to add the banished "Marincess Crown Tail" to the GY, and replay the effect of "Bubble Circle". "Great Bubble Reef" gained another 600 ATK, and added "Marincess Sea Horse "to Blue Maiden's hand to Special Summon "Marincess Crown Tail", only to tribute it to Special Summon "Tindangle Returner". "Great Bubble Reef" gained the ATK of "Crown Tail", 600.[112]

Ai became displeased, but still dared Blue Maiden to defeat him. Pandor reminded Blue Maiden that Ai knew how to escape danger. Blue Maiden banished "Crown Tail", so that 1000 damage per number of Link Markers of "Marincess" Link Monsters would become 0, and the damage can be up to 6000. Ai noted she was cautious, while Roboppi claimed Ai's plan to provoke her failed. Since "Crown Tail" was banished, the ATK of "Great Bubble Reef" was raised to 5000. Before the attack, Blue Maiden noted that her brother always protected her, as he didn't want to get her in harm. This time, she swore to protect him: "Marincess Great Bubble Reef" attacked "Water Leviathan @Ignister", who halved the ATK of "Marincess". Ai dared Blue Maiden to attack, and played the Trap "HA.I.", which prevented the battle damage, and inflicted effect damage to Blue Maiden and Akira, double of that of the difference in the ATK of those two monsters.[112]

Ai takes Akira's data

Ai takes Akira's data, and obtains the code key.

Ai's trap defeated the siblings, and Ai commented how Blue Maiden failed to protect him. Akira and Blue Maiden held hands, promised to never be apart ever again. However, Akira vanished, which shocked Blue Maiden, as to why she wasn't erased, too. Roboppi thought Ai had compassion, which was not like him. Ai denied this, and refused to erase Blue Maiden, for he wanted to inflict the pain of regret to fail to protect someone close to her, just like Ai did with the other Ignis. Ai absorbed Akira's data, and with that, gained the code key. As he went to walk away with Roboppi, Ai was called by Playmaker. Ai turned around, but Playmaker had no words to spare. While Soulburner pointed out that Ai went too far, Varis declared he would erase Ai without hesitation. Ai ignored them, and asked of Playmaker to see each other soon. Ai vanished, leaving Blue Maiden lying on the floor.[112]

Ai used the code keys to use the SOLtiS androids to force out all the employees out of SOL Technologies and reopen LINK VRAINS, while releasing free content for everyone. Later, while steering his ship, Roboppi woke up and told Ai about his dream. Ai said dreaming was a sign of free will, and became excited about hearing what Roboppi saw, saying it was a dream of a conqueror. As thanks for all of Roboppi's help, Ai gave him their own country in LINK VRAINS. Ai then gave Roboppi a program and sent him off, solemnly telling him goodbye as he left. Ai watched as Roboppi began a duel against Soulburner.[112] Ai observed the Duel between Soulburner and Roboppi, and cheered for the latter from his vessel. He became quite amused to see a lion battle between "Appliancer Propelion" and "Salamangreat Heatleo". However, he became disappointed that the latter destroyed the former. However, his cheering attitude disappeared when Roboppi mentioned that Ai was sad that his friends were deleted. He did become pleased when Roboppi cornered Soulburner, seeing the Duel was getting fun.[113]

Ai Soulburner Playmaker shock

Ai, Soulburner, and Playmaker horrified by Roboppi's sudden sadistic change.

Ai continued to cheer Roboppi on. He noted Soulburner was fighting mercilessly with "Salamangreat Blaze Dragon," which had 4100 ATK which could have won him the Duel. After withstanding the attack, Ai became horrified when Roboppi suddenly developed a sadistic personalty. He was impressed that Soulburner managed to use Reincarnation Xyz Summoning, but continued to worry as Roboppi's insanity continued to grow. Eventually, Roboppi short-circuited, reverting back to its original programming. Since it was a housework AI, Ai realized could not withstand his Ignis system. Watching his sidekick's defeat, Ai cried, saying Roboppi was a good guy and apologized for getting him involved with his plan. The program Ai gave Roboppi was a message for Playmaker. He then left for a remote satellite in the network.[114]

Ai observed Playmaker and Soulburner from the sattelite, and became intrigued when Varis appeared, even more so when Varis changed the setting to the facility of the Lost Incident. Ai noted that Soulburner played the same turn during his last Duel with Varis, who went to end the Duel quickly with "Borreload" and "Quadborrel" dragons. He also noted that Soulburner's "Fusion of Fire" was a powerful card, too.[115] He continued watching their Duel. Ai became amused by Varis' tactics, especially when he brought out "Topologic Zeroboros". However, Soulburner survived Varis' attacks, and Ai applauded him for that. He noted Varis wasn't an ordinary Duelist to have "Topologic Zeroboros" banish every card on the field. As Varis mentioned that those that have passed away haven't truly disappeared from their lives, Ai wondered if that also applied to the Ignis, too.[116]

Ai saw that Soulburner won the Duel. Since Playmaker would receive the letter, Ai went to do some "work". Later, Ai welcomed Yusaku, who came to SOL Technologies' factory. Ai cheered for Yusaku for coming here. Ai stated this was the first time they met in real life, and remarked he was looking like an actual human. Ai showed Yusaku around the facility, which was a factory that was producing SOLtiS androids. He snapped his fingers, turning the lights on, which revealed many androids that were looking like him. Ai announced he was building his allies. Yusaku saw that was the reason he took over the company, to which Ai confirmed, and he'd copy his AI program to the androids, giving them free will. Ai admitted he could not predict what his copies would do, but he reminded that they would act similar to him. He reminisced Varis' words that humans were made out of flesh, to which Yusaku added that was what made the difference between humans and technology. Ai confirmed this, for while his copies would not be humans, they'll still be able to experience things, and act however they wanted to.[14]

He believed some would help humans, others would hinder them, or even create their own country. Ai remarked he could not know what they would do. Yusaku asked what was the point of this, to which Ai stated he would not be lonely anymore, for he'd have copies of himself to hang around. Yusaku nevertheless demanded of Ai to stop, but Ai refused. Yusaku asked why did he then place a message inside Roboppi, thinking Ai knew that Roboppi would falter. Ai remarked he regretted that, for Robppy was a good AI, and was why he gave him the dream country to appease him. Yusaku believed Ai actually called him here to stop him. Ai believed that to be the case, to which Yusaku demanded of him to free the consciousness of the people he had defeated, and to go into hiding. Ai explained he could not, for he rigged the facility so nobody could escape until their Duel was over. Moreover, the production won't stop unless he would be defeated, and he had done this so he doesn't stop the production out of his change of heart.[14]

Yusaku and Ai have their final confrontation

Ai and Yusaku brace themselves for their final battle.

Yusaku remarked that Ai set the stage to Duel, and Ai reminded that was the only option he had left. Ai reminded that whoever wins the Duel survives, and the loser would perish. Yusaku realized that all the battles they had together were just for the moment that Yusaku would have to battle Ai. Ai was sad that Yusaku said that, but reminded he set the place so nobody could leave. Yusaku questioned Ai what has happened to him, to which Ai defended himself, stating that he merely was an AI, while Yusaku was a human. The latter proclaimed Ai adopted Lightning's ideals, but Ai denied that, for he was not as extreme as him to destroy humanity, but to let AI live, too, the way they wanted to. He exclaimed he wasn't trying to create a disaster, to which the humans would be scared of. He also felt he'd have to battle Yusaku someday, and believed the latter felt that, too. Having no choice left, Yusaku and Ai logged into LINK VRAINS.[14]

The two were standing in a Data Storm, where they had their final Duel. Playmaker started off by setting his field with "Garbage Collector" and "Cynet Optimization", then summoned "Flame Bufferlo" and swap it with "Sea Archiver". Using the two monsters, Playmaker Link Summoned "Slash Mage". The latter revived "Sea Archiver", and used it and the mage to Link Summon "Decode Talker". Ai looked at the monster, remembering it was the first monster he and Playmaker obtained together. Playmaker believed it was Ai that wanted Yusaku to search for the fabled Cyberse deck. Ai tried to deny that, reminding he had to join Playmaker because the Knights of Hanoi had been chasing him. Playmaker pointed out it was Ai who had been observing him for the past five years, after the attack on Cyberse World, and was influencing his life, in small details, to have him take revenge against the Knights of Hanoi.[14]

Ai smiled, while Playmaker suspected he even influenced Kolter, so that the two would meet each other and help Ai fight the Knights of Hanoi. Ai clapped, as Playmaker was right. Ai noted that Playmaker received the Cyberse Deck and defeated the Knights of Hanoi, as he had planned. Playmaker believed everything was set in motion, to which Ai stated things were different, as he only had Playmaker as his only friend. The latter asked was Ai fine to lose his only friend. Ai was unsure, but simply asked of Playmaker to show how much he has grown. Ai summoned "Pikari @Ignister", adding "Ignister A.I.Land". As Ai Link Summoned "Linguriboh", he played "Ignister A.I.Land" to Special Summon "Doyon". Next, Ai played "CompromA.I.se", turning "Doyon" into a Spell Card. Next, he re-summoned "Pikari", and added another "Ignister A.I.Land" to his hand. Using "CompromA.I.se", Ai returned "Doyon" as amonster card to his Main Monster Zone.[14]

Ai continued on, Link Summoning "Dark Templar", then summoned "Achichi" to the zone his Link Monster pointed to, triggering its effect to revive "Doyon" and "Pikari". Using the three "@Ignister"monsters, Ai Link Summoned "Fire Phoenix". Determined to show his strength, Ai played the fabled card: a whirlwind, followed with a white lightning appeared, as Ai played "Judgment Arrows". Playmaker became angry at Ai, and reminded that "Cynet Optimization" prevented Ai from activating card effects during battle. "Fire Phoenix" went to attack "Decode Talker", to which Playmaker played his set "Code Hack" to prevent any battle damage. Thus, Ai had "Dark Templar" attack "Decode Talker", and the former was not destroyed by that battle, where as the latter was sent to the GY. Ai found it bit displeasing he could not have used the effect of "Dark Templar" to revive "Fire Phoenix".[14]

Ai pointed out Playmaker had no monsters on the field. He reminded him to either take the fight seriously, or he would die, for Ai was not holding back.[14] Ai told Playmaker that he cannot be indecisive, while Playmaker questioned if it was necessary for them to fight. Ai simply told him to stop being annoying, to which Playmaker made his turn. Playmaker summoned "Flame Bufferlo" and "Formud Skipper", using them to Link Summon "Cyberse Witch" to prepare his Ritual Summon. Adding "Degrade Buster" by the effect of "Formud Skipper", and used "Flame Bufferlo" to send "Dotscaper" to draw two cards and summon that monster via its own effect. As Playmaker used the effect of "Cyberse Witch", Ai sensed that Playmaker's moves were strong, regardless of his goal. Playmaker tributed "Degrade Busterf" to Ritual Summon "Cyberse Magician", to which Ai suspected that Playmaker wasn't done to summon powerful monsters.[117]

Next, Playmaker revived "Clock Wyvern" by the effect of "Cyberse Witch", which also revived his "Sea Archiver" by the latter's effect. Preparing his Fusion Summon, Playmaker used "Clock Wyvern" and "Cyberse Witch" to Link Summon "Clock Spartoi", adding "Cynet Fusion", while using "Sea Archiver", "Clock Wyvern" and "Dotscaper" to Link Summon "Transcode Talker". Ai praised Playmaker for fighting to his very end, while Playmaker used "Clock Spartoi" to resurrect "Clock Wyvern", while "Transcode Talker" brought "Decode Talker" back to the field. Playing "Cynet Fusion", Playmaker used "Clock Spartoi", "Clock Wyvern" and "Decode Talker" to summon "Cyberse Clock Dragon". The latter's ATK was raised by 5000, and as Playmaker went to attack, Ai used his trap, "A.I.'s Show". This only swayed in Ai's favor, as he ended Playmaker's Battle Phase, and brought out "Earth Golem", "Light Dragon" and "Wind Pegasus" from his Extra Deck, whose sum of ATK was lower than that of "Cyberse Clock Dragon": 7500.[117]

Ai cheered, as he knew about Playmaker's tactics, since he watched him Duel. Playmaker frowned and ended his turn, while Ai stated his victory was drawing near. Playmaker asked Ai would making copies of himself actually satisfy him. Ai confirmed this, as all of his friends have passed away, leaving him alone. However, Ai stated that all six of the Ignis hated each other, and was the reason for their demise, to which Playmaker exclaimed this was not Ai's fault. Ai knew that, but still felt lonely, and he could not change that fact. In fact, Ai began to understand Playmaker's pain of feeling lonely, as he was during the Lost Incident, and believed Varis was right, for they shouldn't have been given free will, so he didn't need to suffer. Playmaker understood, but reminded that Ai could prevent this sorrowful fate. Ai muttered "My fate...", and stated that would be impacted on the outcome of the Duel.[117]

Playmaker stated that Ai's copies wouldn't even become his true friends, to which Ai confirmed, as he didn't even expect them to be that. Instead, he announced his free will would be shattered and split among those copies. Ai explained if that were to happen, he would no longer exist: no matter of the outcome, Ai stated he would be deleted. Playmaker understood that as Ai was daring him to choose how would he perish. Ai stated this was what he accepted, but Playmaker ordered him to drop this nonsense, for there was some way to save him. Ai didn't want to be saved, but reminded Playmaker that he still had something to fight for. He wanted a real Duel, as Playmaker's former partner. Since Playmaker both had "Cyberse Clock Dragon" and "Cyberse Magician", Ai could not attack his monsters or target them with card effects, as long as playmaker had a Link Monster.[117]

Ai had "Wind Pegasus" destroy Playmaker's "Code Hack" and "Cynet Optimization" Trap and Spell Card. Playmaker frowned, while Ai summoned "Hiyari @Ignister", tributing "Fire Phoenix" to add "A.I.’s Ritual", and to increase its level by 3. Using that Ritual Spell Card, Ai banished "Pikari" and tributed "Hiyari" to Ritual Summon "Water Leviathan". With the latter being summoned, Playmaker's "Transcode Talker" was added to his Extra Deck, and Playmaker's protections were removed. Since "Cyberse Magician" was in his way, Ai had "Water Leviathan" attack it. Due to the effect of the "Magician", Playmaker's battle damage was halved and he took 525 LP damage. This triggered the effect of "Light Dragon", allowing Ai to Special Summon "Fire Phoenix" from his GY. Ai intended on having "Judgment Arrows" double the ATK of "Fire Phoenix", and have it attack "Cyberse Clock Dragon", to inflict 4600 effect damage to Playmaker.[117]

Playmaker refused, and used the effect of "Overfloater" in his GY to negate all of Ai's monsters' effects, since all other monsters had half the amount of ATK than "Fire Phoenix". Ai's attack backfired, and he took 2900 LP damage, with "Fire Phoenix" being destroyed. Ai was very much impressed by Playmaker's move, since he never noticed that card being sent to the GY (due to the effect of "Cyberse Clock Dragon"). Ai declared it was time for his special move, the "FA.I.ghting Spirit" Trap to revive "Fire Phoenix". Ai looked at all of his monsters, and remembered all of his Ignis friends. He declared he would be with them: using WIND, WATER, FIRE, EARTH, LIGHT and DARK "@Ignister" monsters that reminded him of Windy, Aqua, Flame, Earth, Lightning and himself, Ai went to summon a Link-6 monster. He exclaimed he improved Bohman's program for his ultimate move - "The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister" was summoned to his field.[117]

Playmaker gasped to see a Link-6 monster, whose ATK was increased by each Link Material used to summon it times 1000: 6000, plus 1000 for each card on his field, adding it to 10000. Moreover, it gained a counter. Finally, "The Arrival Cyberse" destroyed "Cyberse Clock Dragon" with its effect, and summoned an "@Ignister Token", increasing the ATK of the boss monster by another 1000. Before ending his turn, Ai used the token to Link Summon "Darkwight @Ignister", co-linking it with "The Arrival Cyberse", whom Ai described that Playmaker had to take down to defeat Ai. Ai dared Playmaker to show him his moves, who noted that he'd have to take down Ai's boss monster. Playmaker summoned "Cyberse Gadget" and returned "Formud Skipper" to his Main Monster Zone. Preparing for a Synchro Summon, Playmaker used the two to Link Summon "Cyberse Wicckid".[117]

Playmaker summoned a "Gadget Token" by the effect of "Cyberse Gadget". This triggered the effect of "Cyberse Wicckid", banishing "Dotscaper" (which was returned from banishment by its effect) to add "Cyberse Synchron". Using "Dotscaper" and "Cyberse Wicckid", Playmaker prepared an Xyz Summon by bringing out "Exslayer". Next, he Special Summoned "Parallel eXceed" from his hand, then cut its level and DEF in half to summon another copy of it from his Deck. Using two level 4 monsters, Playmaker Xyz Summoned "Firewall eXceed Dragon". as an Xyz monster was summoned to its link, "Exslayer" was used to tribute "Gadget Token" to Special Summon "Widget Kid" from the hand. Ai began to predict Playmaker's plans, as he used "Widget Kid" to Special Summon "Cyberse Synchron". With the level of "Widget Kid" doubled, Playmaker tuned the two monsters to Synchro Summon "Cyberse Quantum Dragon". Playmaker had the latter attack "The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister" to return it to Ai's Extra Deck.[117]

Ai was pleased that Playmaker was Dueling him seriously, but saw it was not enough. As long as his boss monster had a counter, it was unaffected by card effects. Playmaker gasped, for he could not cancel his attack, and "The Arrival Cyberse" retalaited to inflict 8500 damage to Playmaker.[117] Ai declared his victory, but Playmaker's "Exslayer" protected him from battle damage. However, due to "Quantum Dragon" being destroyed "Darkwight" inflicted 500 LP damage to Playmaker. The latter set a card, while Ai boasted how invincible "The Arrival Cyberse" was, and it was a matter of time before Playmaker would lose. Since the latter showed some interest in Ai's sorrow, Ai decided to unveil the secret, the true fate of the Ignis. Ai explained when he was inside Bohman, the other Ignis told him of the truth that the Ignis would reach. He told that a figure of Lightning showed him a future where humanity would've been wiped out, and believed if any other Ignis, aside him or Lighting, would live, this wouldn't have happened, a fact both Lightning and Bohman had known. This made it all the more tragic, knowing Ai wanted to save them.[4]

Playmaker reminded there was nothing they could do to save them. Ai knew that already, while Playmaker believed Lightning's message was a trap to take Ai into despair. Ai considered that possibility to Lightning would get under his skin, so he had made more simulations, all that had the same results. Playmaker stated that that was just data, but Ai reminded he was data, too, and this life could be considered as a big simulation filled with data. Playmaker tried to convince Ai that he had the power to change, and to coexist with people. Ai thanked Playmaker, seeing he was trying hard to talk him away of this, but noted he didn't understand. Ai remarked that his heart broke when he lost his Ignis friends, and even witnessed that Roboppi had been looking down on humans the moment he gained free will. He thought all AI-s were the same, as well as the Ignis, who were superior to humans to calculations and memories, to the point they can detect people's faults, all of which can lead to AI becoming arrogant.[4]

Ai admitted at one point, he started to think why would he need to adapt to humans, as he felt different. He sensed humans didn't want sudden changes, yet he could not stop his own. In fact, he feared becoming a villain like Lightning or Bohman, and wanted to end himself before that would happen. Playmaker thought Ai was doing this to show how his heart broke, and still believed that Ai could change, to backtrack. Ai shouted that he could not, and started his turn. Ai wnet to destroy "Exslayer" with "The Arrival Cyberse", but Playmaker banished "Cyberse Synchron" instead. Thus, "The Arrival Cyberse" attacked "Firewall eXceed Dragon" with Ultima Attribution, with Playmaker taking no damage, due to "Exslayer" pointing to his dragon. Like before, Playmaker took 500 LP damage from "Darkwight". Ai ended his turn, while Playmaker used "Exslayer" to Link Summon "Linkross", whose effect let him summon two "Link Tokens".[4]

Playmaker summoned "Metal Molephosis", whose effect made him change the Attribute and Type of "Link Tokens" to DARK Dragon. Next, using "Metal Molephosis" and "Linkross", Playmaker Link Summoned "Proxy F Magician". Its arrival allowed Playmaker to fuse his two DARK DRAGON tokens, into "Borreload Furious Dragon". Ai was in shock as to why Playmaker had that card, and realized that his friend, Varis, had given him that card. Moreover, Playmaker used "Proxy F Magician" to Special Summon "L2 Cachevalier" from his hand, which let him revive "Exslayer". Using the latter two, as well as "Proxy F Magician", Playmaker Link Summoned his ace, "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid". Ai remarked it was karma to face the monster created by the Ignis' wishes. Ai remarked that "Darkfluid" got 2500 ATK for each counter of Playmaker's aces - "Cyberse Magician", "Clock", "Quantum" and "Firewall eXceed Dragon" - which made it stronger than "The Arrival Cyberse".[4]

Ai dared Playmaker to attack, remarking he did come back to get all of his friends back, as the bearer of their hopes. Playmaker clenched his fist, and had "Darkfluid" attack. Ai became pleased that Playmaker did that, but didn't intend to take this attack: he removed a counter from "The Arrival Cyberse" to make itself unaffected by effects from "Darkfluid". However, the effect thus lets only Ai's card effects affect "The Arrival Cyberse". This let "Judgment Arrows" double the ATK of "The Arrival Cyberse" to 22000 ATK. Ai declared he has won, as the attack of "Darkfluid" cannot be stopped at this point. Playmaker quickly used "Borreload Furious Dragon" to destroy itself and "Judgment Arrows". Ai realized that Varis' dragon was the counter for his Link Spell, for Varis was the most worried one about it, and Ai failed to anticipate that. Ai smiled, having respect for Playmaker's plan to destroy "The Arrival Cyberse", but he simply banished "FA.I.ghting Spirit" to prevent his monster's destruction.[4]

Since the ATK of "The Arrival Cyberse" dropped to 10000, Ai noticed Playmaker has grown strong, but Ai didn't want him to win this easily. Thus, by banishing "Wind Pegasus @Ignister" from his GY, Ai went to return "Darkfluid" to the Extra Deck. By removing a counter from "Darkfluid", the effect was negated, though it lost 2500 ATK. However, Ai took 500 LP damage, and since "Darkfluid" activated its effect, it attacked once more, reducing Ai to 100 LP. Ai praised Playmaker, seeing even with his boss monster, he still found a way to take him down. Ai took his turn, and went to place a counter on "The Arrival Cyberse", but Playmaker removed a counter from "Darkfluid" to prevent that. "The Arrival Cyberse" went to destroy "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid", whose counter was removed to negate that effect. Ai started faking how would he defeat the dragon, and pointed out with one counter left, "Darkfluid" would have only 5500 ATK.[4]

With his effect negated, Ai Special Summoned "Gatchiri @Ignister", and set a card, giving 2000 ATK to "The Arrival Cyberse". The latter attacked, so Playmaker sent "Transcode Talker" from his Extra Deck to play "Link Pressure", giving 3000 ATK to "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid". However, the attack continued, pushing Playmaker on the floor, leaving him with 975 LP left. In addition, "Darkwight" inflicted 500 LP damage to Playmaker. Finally, Ai summoned "Gussari @Ignister" as he destroyed a monster in battle. Ai pointed out if "The Arrival Cyberse" would attack his monster, by linking "Gussari", it would inflict effect damage, equal to Playmaker's monster's ATK. Ai swore to end Playmaker in the next turn. As Playmaker stood up, Ai proposed that Playmaker turned into data, and fuse with Ai, to create a better future than Bohman, or Lighting, would've, and they could live within the network forever. The two sides muttered each other's names in disbelief.[4]f

With his effect negated, Ai Special Summoned "Gatchiri @Ignister", and set a card, giving 2000 ATK to "The Arrival Cyberse". The latter attacked, so Playmaker sent "Transcode Talker" from his Extra Deck to play "Link Pressure", giving 3000 ATK to "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid". However, the attack continued, pushing Playmaker on the floor, leaving him with 975 LP left. In addition, "Darkwight" inflicted 500 LP damage to Playmaker. Finally, Ai summoned "Gussari @Ignister" as he destroyed a monster in battle. Ai pointed out if "The Arrival Cyberse" would attack his monster, by linking "Gussari", it would inflict effect damage, equal to Playmaker's monster's ATK. Ai swore to end Playmaker in the next turn. As Playmaker stood up, Ai proposed that Playmaker turned into data, and fuse with Ai, to create a better future than Bohman, or Lighting, would've, and they could live within the network forever. The two sides muttered each other's names in disbelief.[4]

Ai invited Playmaker to fuse with him, but the latter, closing his eyes, refused. He reminded that this was not the solution that Ai was seeking. Playmaker believed if they were to fuse, Playmaker would be different, and Ai would change, too. Playmaker reminded that life had no solutions - they needed to find one on their own. However, if there was an absolute single one, Playmaker believed it was not a solution, but something that made them feel better that there was an option left. Ai asked what was left if there were no solutions, to which Playmaker answered "bonds". He reminded that bonds between individuals could change through time: while some can be severed, new ones could be created, all of which made life as it was. Ai noted that was a very tough work, one which the weak could not do. Playmaker admitted that individuals had to become stronger, but it also sparked conflicts. He believed people had to fight to strive for that goal, to keep living and renewing their bonds.[105]

Ai lowered his head, admitting his mistake to think logically, like an AI. However, he didn't want to fight if there was no solution ahead, considering he'd soon vanish, one way or the other. Playmaker muttered his name, to which Ai claimed everything was set in stone. Still, wielding his Duel Disk, Ai desired to finish their fight. Playmaker revised his situation: he had no cards in his hand or his field, and noted the next draw would decide his fate. He took his turn, his card glowing a bit. Ai played his final trap, "A.I.Q", to limit both players to one Link Summon per turn. Ai pointed out Playmaker had one chance to finish this. Thus, Playmaker banished "Cynet Ritual" and "Cyberse Magician" to bring out two "Cynet Tokens" to his field. He banished the two to play "Drastic Draw", and drew three cards. He quickly brought out the monsters he drew: "Linkslayer", "Cyberse Wizard" and "Backup Secretary". Ai looked at these three old monsters, and smiled, as he felt nostalgic. Playmaker then banished Varis' "Borreload Furious Dragon" to revive "Firewall Dragon Darkfluid".[105]

Playmaker clenched his fist, declaring his final Link Summon. He set the arrowheads of the Link portal, using the four Cyberse Monsters, combining the circuit to Link Summon a Link-4 monster. Playmaker's ultimate "Accesscode Talker" was summoned to his field. Ai muttered the monster's name, impressed that Playmaker brought out this powerful monster with just one card in his hand. Playmaker targeted "Darkfluid", to which "Accesscode Talker" gained 5000 ATK - 1000 per each Link Marker. Ai stated it was not powerful to take on "The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister", but Playmaker shouted he had taken that in consideration. Playmaker started banishing Link Monsters from his GY to destroy Ai's cards with "Access Integration" ability: the EARTH "Transcode Talker" for "Ignister A.I.Land". Due to the latter's destruction, Ai frowned as he became annoyed by the effect, and had his "Gatchiri @Ignister" protect all of his monsters from destruction. However, with the card's absence, "The Arrival Cyberse" got its ATK decreased by 1000.[105]

Playmaker banished the WATER "Splash Mage" from his GY to eliminate "Gatchiri @Ignister", to which Ai played its protective effect to prevent "The Arrival" from being destroyed. Playmaker proceeded by banishing the FIRE "Proxy F Magician" to send "Gussari @Ignister" to the GY. Playmaker continued by banishing the WIND "Exslayer" to remove "Darkwight @Ignister", and did the same with the LIGHT "Linkross" to target "A.I.Q". With "Decode Talker" being banished, Ai's "CompromA.I.se" was taken down, leaving "The Arrival Cyberse" as the only monster on his field, with 7000 ATK. Ai smiled, seeing it was time for the finale, for the only thing remaining was for their ace monsters to clash. Playmaker muttered Ai's name, and had his "Accesscode" attack "The Arrival". Ai banished "Gussari @Ignister", making both monsters' ATK equal 3000. "The Arrival" prepared its scythe, and clashed with the lance of "Accesscode", only for both monsters getting destroyed in battle.[105]

With the battle over, Ai used "Gussari" to bring out "Dark Templar @Ignister", leaving him with the only monster on the field. Playmaker played a similar effect with "Cynet Closure" returning the banished "Recoded Alive" Trap to his GY, and used its effect to bring his own knight out - "Decode Talker". Ai muttered its name, but he boasted that his "Dark Templar" could not be destroyed in battle with a monster sharing the same ATK power. Playmaker proclaimed his turn ended, and wondered if Ai ran a simulation of how their Duel could end. Ai denied, as that would be lame; he drew a card, and looked at that card and Playmaker. Ai reminisced about his adventures with Playmaker, and asked was he a good partner to him. Playmaker confirmed that, complimenting that Ai was the best partner to him. Ai smiled, as he was happy to have heard those words.[105]

Ai loses the Duel

Ai is blown away, as he is defeated from the attack.

"Dark Templar @Ignister" attacked "Decode Talker". As the two monsters clashed with their swords, Ai played his final spell, "TA.I. Strike", to which Playmaker became alarmed. Ai became sad, as he bid Playmaker farewell. However, the latter used "Code Hack" from his Graveyard, to negate Ai's Spell and boost the ATK of "Decode Talker" by 700. Ai asked "What?" in shock, as "Decode Talker" slashed "Dark Templar", a blow that defeated Ai. Ai was knocked away and rolled away from the damage he took. Playmaker shouted his name and kneeled down to him, to which Ai weakingly stated he had lost. Playmaker pointed out he didn't had to lose if he didn't activate "TA.I. Strike"; Ai suspected Playmaker had a hidden trick up his sleeve, but he was fine with that decision, for he had no choice left. Ai admitted that he didn't fight Playmaker in the simulation, but he saw something else: Yusaku could've protected him from military interventions, and died while doing so. It was a reason why he could not choose that path.[105]

Ai disappears

Ai vanishes upon parting with Yusaku.

Playmaker was concerned over Ai, who, as promised, had the consciousness data returned to their owners. Ai looked at his hand, which started to glow. He closed his eyes, admitting he's scared that he would soon vanish and be forgotten. In that moment, he understood Playmaker's words that if people have bonds, then they wouldn't be forgotten. Playmaker swore never to forget Ai, who had one question to ask. He wanted to know the meaning behind his name, Ai, which he has grown quite attached to. Playmaker shed a tear, revealing it was "to love people". Ai accepted that meaning, and shed a tear, too. He bid farewell to Playmaker, before correcting himself to his true name, Yusaku, and uttered his final words: "(A)I loved you". The cyberspace disappeared, and Yusaku woke up, finding Ai and his copies deactivated. Yusaku went down, and held Ai's deactivated body, and cried his name as the sun rose up.[105]

Ai unknown status

Ai's status at the end of the series.

Three months later, after Ai's defeat, a digital eyeball resembling Ai was formed in the network, and looked around in confusion.[105]



According to Ai, he is disliked by his own kind, which is explained to be because he was lazy and didn't do his duties like the rest of them. Despite this, he still considers them his friends and wishes to see them again. He worries deeply about them when he finds a desolated Cyberse. Other than his annoyance to the others, Ai was on good terms with the other Ignis, caring about each other in a sibling-like relationship, until the events of the second attack on Cyberse. He later expressed anger at Bohman after he acquired the power of the other 5 Ignis, claiming that his friends weren't Bohman's tools. Ai was heartbroken in having to leave his friends to be absorbed by Bohman, to the point that he even shed tears for them. Ai was left in grief after the loss of all his friends and made graves for each of them as a final tribute to them. The loss of his friends caused Ai to drastically change and turn against his former allies. Ai also harbours intense guilt about his friends' demise, believing he is the reason that they are gone and he was unable to save them.

  • Flame: Ai is very surprised to have received contact from Flame. Despite Ai's claim to be disliked, they interact as if they are old colleagues that know each other well, even referring to each other by the names they chose/were given. Ai is immediately on board with helping Flame and Theodore find the other four Ignis. The two tend to bicker with each other time to time, but their arguments quickly end and they usually agree in discussions. They also agree that coexistence with humanity is possible and work together to stop Lightning's plan. Among the Ignis, Ai appears to be the closest to Flame, as their relationship seems to be akin to that of brothers, despite their constant condensation towards each other, they genuinely care for each other. Ai was visibly distraught at Flame's demise. Ai was also angered when Bohman summoned "Chimera Hydradrive Draghead - Flame". Flame along with the other Ignis entrusted Ai with the rest of their power to defeat Bohman, before forcing Ai to leave them and stop Bohman, which Ai reluctantly did. Ai later created a grave marker for Flame, out of respect for his fallen friend. According to Pandor, Achichi @Ignister reflects the feelings Ai has for Flame. Ai also created Fire Phoniex @Ignister as an incarnation of Flame.
  • Windy: When Ai reunited with Windy, he was not pleased with his prank. Ai appeared to have his plan for rebuilding Cyberse World, but he chose to continue looking for Bohman and the other Ignis. Ai points out to "Linkuriboh" that the two don't generally get along. Among the Ignis, Windy appears to be the least close toward Ai, stating had been hanging around humans too long, as he no longer spoke Ignis. He said he hated how slow Ai was at figuring things out. Ai was shocked when Windy called up a Data Storm so he and Lightning could absorb and rewrite his programming. He tried to convince Windy that Ignis and humans could coexist, but the Wind Ignis called it a waste of time. Ai was horrified to learn that Windy had caused an accident on his own partner from the Lost Incident. Despite everything, he couldn't stand to watch the Knights of Hanoi destroy Windy, and called out to Lightning to save their friend. Ai did not appear to be concerned about Windy's demise but recognized that his demise was Lightning's fault. Later, it was revealed that Windy's malevolence was because of Lightning reprogramming him, in which Ai seemed to feel pity for Windy, realizing that he was simply another victim of Lightning's actions. Ai even stated that at one point in the past, Windy was easy to talk to. Windy is actually a representation of what Ai could have been like had Lightning been able to reprogram him as well. Windy gave the last of his power to Ai to stop Bohman, showing his true faith in his friend. Although Ai doesn't show Windy the same amount of care and concern as some of the other Ignis, he still made a grave marker for Windy, out of respect for his fallen friend. Ai also created Wind Pegasus @Ignister as an incarnation of Windy.
  • Earth: Earth appears to be closer to Ai than some of the other Ignis, as Ai happily hugs Earth upon their reunion and even names him "Earth". Ai understands that Earth is weak in social skills and even admits his own lack of social skills. However, Earth himself sees Ai as a rival for Aqua's attention, even confronting him to not go near Aqua anymore. When Earth Dueled against Gore, Ai believed strongly that Earth would win. But when he was defeated and captured, Ai was distraught and vowed to save his fellow Ignis. When Varis informed him and Yusaku of Earth's demise, Ai started crying and expressed hatred that SOL Technologies destroyed his beloved comrade. Among the Ignis's demises, Ai appeared the most hurt at Earth's demise. Ai eventually gets revenge for Earth by dueling Queen, crushing her in a OTK and rendering her unconscious and putting her in critical state. Ai also duels Gore and bears strong resentment towards him for Earth's death. Ai respects Earth's feelings for Aqua, such as when he returned "Crystal Heart" back to Aqua knowing, it would make the EARTH Ignis happy. He also placed their grave markers next to each other. Ai also created Earth Golem @Ignister as an incarnation of Earth.
  • Aqua: When it comes to Aqua, the Ignis' sub-leader, the two have a rocky relationship. Most of Ai's description of his kind disliking him mostly stems from his interactions with Aqua, in which his more relaxed and mischievous behavior irritates her and gets him in trouble. Despite this, the two still care about each other and support one another. When Windy accused Aqua of being a spy, Ai defended her by saying she wanted peace more than the other Ignis. He was very happy when he met Aqua again. After she was absorbed by Bohman, Ai was devastated and demanded the latter face him. Ai later seemed troubled when Bohman summoned "Chimera Hydradrive Draghead - Aqua". Ai later tried to save Aqua from Bohman, but failed as she along with the other Ignis were fused with Bohman. Aqua along with the other Ignis entrusted Ai with the rest of their power to defeat Bohman, before forcing Ai to leave them and stop Bohman, which Ai reluctantly did. Following the deaths of the Ignis, Ai created grave markers dedicated to his fellow Ignis with Aqua's being right in the centre. Ai also seems to hold Aqua in high regard as he called out Blue Maiden who in his eyes replaced Aqua with Pandor. According to Pandor, Hiyari @Ignister reflects the feelings Ai has for Aqua. Ai also created Water Levithan @Ignister as an incarnation of Aqua.
  • Lightning: Ai describes Lightning as a cool, calm, and collected leader, though he has a hard time understanding what he's thinking. Among the Ignis, Lightning seems to be the most respectful towards Ai, even calling him the wisest of the Ignis. Ai was shocked when Lightning decided to rebuild Cyberse World and rule over humans. He rejected the offer, believing it was still possible to live in peace with humanity. Despite saying Ai gave a wise answer, he still tried to take over Ai's programming. When Ai finds out that Lightning destroyed Cyberse World, he and Flame were enraged and driven to stop him. Lightning is shown to have an interest in Ai, believing he is a special AI, due to his instinct, even modelling his creation, Bohman, after Ai and his partner Playmaker. Ai was furious with Lightning for blackmailing Kolter and even more so when the Light Ignis mocked Playmaker's pain from losing his friend. Ai's anger towards Lightning reached its peak after Lightning's past crimes were exposed. Following the revelations, Ai was enraged at Lightning's selfishness, as well as his apathy towards the demise of their fellow Ignis, realizing how truly evil Lightning really is. This is pushed even further when Ai learned that Lightning reprogrammed Windy and was the cause behind his evil as well, as well as the curse that destroyed Flame and Windy. Ai was disgusted, showing regret at how the Ignis has chosen Lightning as their leader. Lightning is the opposite of Ai, with regards to their personalities and views on humanity, which adds to the fact that they were once friends, but now bitter enemies. Despite everything, Ai still made a grave marker for Lightning to honor him. Ai later decided to carry on Lightning's wishes and became the enemy of humanity, though this was due to the simulations where Ai, as the last Ignis, would cause humanity's extinction. He even added "Judgment Arrows" to his deck. Ai also expressed fear that he would end up like Lightning, thus wanted to be erased before that happened. When meeting with a copy of Lightning in the Cyberse, Ai expressed anger towards him and even proceeded to destroy the copy with an energy blast. According to Pandor, Pikari @Ignister reflects the feelings Ai has for Lightning. Ai also created Light Dragon @Ignister as an incarnation of Lightning.


Linkuriboh is Ai's personal Cyberse monster. The two of them would hang out together, going on walks and staring at the stars of Cyberse. Linkuriboh was the only creature Ai found in the desolated Cyberse and they share a happy reunion, showing how close the two are. Ai brings Linkuriboh along to VRAINS and cheers to his Cyberse friend on whenever Yusaku Link Summons him. In the dub, he gives it a pet name, Linky. Despite this close relationship, Ai left Linkuriboh behind with Yusaku and replaced him with Linguriboh, although this hasn't been confirmed. It is also possible Ai reprogramed Linkuriboh.

Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker[]

Ai was modeled after Yusaku during the Hanoi Project. Being trapped in Yusaku's Duel Disk, Ai somewhat reluctantly acts as Playmaker's Duel AI 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. Although he does grow to love the name later on. 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. In the original, Ai occasionally calls Yusaku "Playmaker-sama" when they duel or if he feels like he's in trouble.

Their relationship takes a drastic change during their second confrontation against Varis, as the two were forced to work together to overcome him. Despite being treated in a hostage-captor relationship, he sacrificed himself (even though he did return) in order to allow Yusaku to use his skill without becoming injured in the Data Storm. From this point onward, Yusaku views Ai in a far more favorable light.

When Ryoken revealed that the Ignis are likely to rebel against mankind in the future, Yusaku refused to believe those claims and continued to believe that Ai isn't evil. Once Varis was defeated and the Knights of Hanoi disbanded, Yusaku did not hesitate to release Ai and let him return to Cyberse. Ai did return to Yusaku's Duel Disk in order to inform him of the disaster that fell on Cyberse.

The two now talk and address each other in much more friendlier terms. Although Yusaku states that being a hostage suits Ai, he does give him more respect and shows concern when the AI ate the anti-Ignis program. Ai is now also more cooperative with Yusaku, cheering for him following his second duel with Bohman. In episode 60, Ai refers to Yusaku as his best friend.

Ai has a habit of mimicking Playmaker's movements when the later Duels, showing how close he is to his partner. Ai also shows genuine concern for Yusaku in circumstances, as seen when he asked about him to Theodore when he noticed Yusaku wasn't with him. He even tells Earth that their bond is why Ai fights for humans. Ai immediately goes back to Playmaker's Duel Disk after he was freed from Windy's trap, showing how much he trusts him. The Ignis also reveals that he and Playmaker are linked to each other by the latter's Link Sense, giving them a deeper connection. After watching the video footage of SOL Technologies terminating Earth, Yusaku shows genuine kindness towards Ai by telling him that he and Kolter can create a place for the Ignis to live peacefully on their own, showing how much he cares for Ai. Yusaku has even indirectly referred to Ai as a part of himself, although he denies it. Ai was very worried for Yusaku after he passed out and angrily defends him against Lightning's taunts and was very happy when he woke up.

Although he does not forwardly show it, Yusaku shows concern for Ai whenever the Ignis is hurt or missing. It is later revealed that the two are connected by their Link Sense, showing that the two have a deep connection with each other, this is shown during their 4th duel with Bohman in which both of them heard the screaming of the victims in LINK VRAINS. Ai's loyalty to Yusaku brings him to sacrifice himself to fully destroy the Neuron Link. He tells Playmaker to not be afraid to make bonds, as they made him stronger, and to save LINK VRAINS before he makes contact with the Neuron Link. When Ai returned, thanks to his backup he gave Roboppi, Playmaker smiled. As Ai was about to go inside Bohman to save the other Ignis, Playmaker told him to come back. Hearing those words made Ai happy.

Despite having vastly different personalities, Ai and Yusaku are quite similar, as they are both individuals who care deeply for their friends/allies, they both have a firm sense of justice and both were willing to make sacrifices to ensure the safety of others. This further enforces the fact that the two of them are truly partners.

In Season 3, Yusaku was hurt and confused when he learned of Ai's attack on SOL Technologies. He was conflicted as to fight his Ignis or not, as he still wanted to trust Ai after all they had been through together. He eventually decided to join the fight, feeling it was his duty as Ai's partner to stop his criminal acts. In contrast, Ai didn't seem to be bothered at the idea of having to fight his former partner and ally. Despite this, he still seems to retain somewhat of a soft spot towards his originator, as seen when one of his copies greets Playmaker in an overall amicable way, or at least one with no hostility. He also genuinely praises Playmaker for being strong as he had expected, knowing that a copy could never defeat him. Playmaker, in turn, shows sadness for Ai after seeing that Ai was deeply impacted by the loss of his friends and was putting the blame on himself for their demise, but still vowed to stop and save Ai. Ai also confides his sadness and loneliness to only Yusaku, as seen when he rejected Pandor's attempt to sense his emotions and admitted only one person has the right to know, which shows how Ai is still close to Yusaku even when they're now both on opposing sides. Yusaku continues to express concern for Ai, as seen when he questions Varis about Ai's fate if Pandor succeeded in defeating Ai and visibly felt discomforted by Varis' words that he had no concern for an Ignis.

Ai had begun to taken on some of Yusaku's old personality traits from the first season, such as wanting revenge and feeling time had stopped for him. Hearing this greatly upset Playmaker. When Yusaku figured out if Ai had been influencing his life to fight the Knights of Hanoi and protect the DARK Ignis, Ai confirmed he set everything up. That was how it started out, but Ai admitted Yusaku was his only friend he had left. Ai later revealed that regardless of the outcome of the Duel, he would be erased, and wanted to spend his final moments with Yusaku. After being defeated, Ai told Yusaku that in the simulations he was killed trying to protect Ai, showing he would rather die than lose his partner, proving he cares more about Yusaku than anything, even his own life. Before vanishing, Ai told Yusaku he loved him.

Cal Kolter[]

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, often being the one to praise Ai. Ai also encourages Kolter as seen when Kolter was recalling how he met Yusaku. However, Ai can be annoyed with him at times as seen when Kolter made him hold up a Café Nom sign while flying around in his drone. Nonetheless, Ai genuinely cares for Kolter, showing concern for him whenever he sees Jin being controlled by Lightning. When Kolter is blackmailed into Dueling Playmaker, Ai didn't know what to do. After Kolter was defeated, Ai mourned his friend and absorbed his data to keep him close. Kolter appeared shocked that Ai had turned against him and his allies. When Kolter saw how hurt Ai was about losing his fellow Ignis while his human companions got back their loved ones, he quietly apologized to Ai, showing sympathy for his former friend.

It was later revealed Ai played a part in Yusaku and Kolter meeting.


The two appeared to have some sort of romantic relationship early on, but Roboppi refers to Ai as "Big Bro". Roboppi appears to look up him and Ai in return praises her when she does something right. He uses their relationship to his advantage to convince her to set him free and promises he would make her smarter. The two exchange conversations whenever Yusaku leaves Ai at the apartment and the Ignis has had Roboppi modified Yusaku's Duel Disk to transform into a drone with his own will. It is also shown that they like to scroll through the internet and watch soap operas together. Before going into Mirror LINK VRAINS, Ai gave Roboppi a backup program, asking her to live up to his expectations. Ai later fully recruits Roboppi after his backup program causes her to gain free will and develop a human form.

Roboppi tags along with Ai when they go somewhere, and Ai is usually having to tell Roboppi to not talk so much, just like how Yusaku used to tell him. However, he has shown to be patient with her as she has just gained free will and not fully knowledgeable of the outside world, presenting their interaction as a real brother-sibling relationship. Furthermore, despite believing Roboppi will lose, Ai still cheers Roboppi on during his duel with Soulburner, showing that he supports his comrade rather than viewing Roboppi as a pawn. He was briefly shocked, while seeing Roboppi becoming insane and desires to defeat Ai.

After Roboppi's demise, Ai shows regret about involving Roboppi into own plans, even shedding a tear, showing that he cared about Roboppi as his friend and felt guilty for causing his demise.

Ryoken Kogami[]

For five years, Ai had been on the run from Varis who was attempting to destroy the Ignis. Ai showed anger towards him for attacking his home and destroying most of his body. He later got revenge by eating Varis's arm which also allowed him to regenerate. When Ryoken revealed his father's simulations that the Ignis would wipe out humanity, Ai defended himself saying he did not want to and only wanted to return home to his friends. However, since Ai is capable of lying, Ryoken didn't believe him. This was before Ryoken discovered that Lightning was the source of evil, so at the time, he viewed all Ignis as a threat.

In the second season, the two are on more neutral grounds. Varis inadvertently saved Ai when Lightning and Windy were about to overwrite his programming. Ai was still uncertain to trust the Hanoi leader since he still wanted to annihilate the Ignis, but after Varis gave him and Yusaku a program to protect them, he began warming up to Varis and was willing to work together to defeat Lightning's group. This is seen when he defended him when the other members of his team were skeptical and playfully teased Varis for fearing Lightning's power. Varis, in turn, was friendly towards Ai, asking Ai directly what free will was while explaining Lightning's sin and how Windy was reprogrammed to be evil, even teasing Ai for being the lazy Ignis. Ai even cheered Varis on against the Light Ignis. When Varis lost, Ai told him he fought well and was touched when Varis called him by his name for the first time before being turned to data. Ai was saddened by Varis's apparent death, along with their other fallen allies after the fight with Bohman was over.

In season 3, the two are enemies once more, with Varis returning to calling Ai by 'Dark Ignis' instead of his human name. Varis even bluntly states to Playmaker that he has no compassion for the Ignis. Despite this, Varis appears visibly saddened when hearing how Ai was completely crushed by his emotions from the deaths of the other Ignis. Ai, on the other hand, keeps some of his gained respect for Varis from season 2, even frequently calling Varis "Professor Varis".

Skye Zaizen[]

When Ai first met Skye, he classified her as "beautiful," going by human characteristics. When he realized she had a Hanoi card in her deck, he set up a duel between her and Playmaker. Once Playmaker defeated Blue Angel, Ai ate the Hanoi's card data, but Skye was still unconscious due to a computer virus. More than once, Skye has been an ally to Playmaker, thus Ai as well.

After the fall of the other Ignis, Skye, now Blue Maiden, became Ai's adversary, but still hardly showed any resentment towards her. Blue Maiden tried to convince Ai to stop the duel as since they shared the same sadness about feeling guilty about what happened to Aqua. This caused Ai to snap at her for comparing their feelings and even pointed out she replaced Aqua with Pandor. However, Ai did not blame Blue Maiden for Aqua's death and said that the two had fought well together. He even complimented her for using Aqua's Marincess deck and said it would've made Aqua happy for how much it meant to Skye.

After Ai defeated her and Akira in a duel, he chose to only erase Akira and spare Blue Maiden. This made Blue Maiden furious and caused her to lash out at him as to why she was spared, only for Ai to explain that she was spared not out of compassion but to make her feel the same way he felt failing to protect loved ones. He cruelly bids her farewell, leaving her powerless to stop him.


Initially, Bohman and Ai had little interaction with each other. However, it was later revealed that Bohman was a third generation AI modelled after Ai and his partner Playmaker. During their third encounter, Bohman addressed Ai with respect and wanted to acquire him from Playmaker. During the third duel between Playmaker and Bohman, Bohman revealed that he destroyed the Cyberse World just to spite Ai, which worked. Bohman realized that Ai had something he lacked: instinct and claimed that Ai truly is a special AI. Ai appears to harbor immense hostility towards Bohman for destroying his homeworld. This hostility only grew as Bohman absorbed Aqua, this enraged Ai who immediately challenged Bohman and wanted to fight him. In the fourth duel between Bohman and Playmaker, Ai was incredibly angered at Bohman using the power of his fellow Ignis and was further appalled by Bohman's actions in creating the Neuron Link. Ai later expressed anger at Bohman for harming his friends and vowed never to forgive him. After Bohman's defeat, he told Ai that he had closed the Ignis future. Ai showed no hostility to Bohman after his defeat. His final words about Ai closing the Ignis's future have deeply impacted Ai and resulted in him turning on his human allies.

George Gore/The Gore[]

Initially, Gore and Ai were indifferent to each other but were on opposing sides as SOL Tech hired Gore to defeat Playmaker and capture Ai, although Gore failed. Later Ai and Gore became allies in fighting against the Knights of Hanoi.

However, in Season 2, the two of them became enemies as Gore became a SOL Bounty Hunter in order to defeat Playmaker and capture Ai. Later after receiving an AI implant Gore defeated and captured Ai's friend, the EARTH Ignis, Earth and delivers him to SOL Tech where he was terminated, much to Ai's sadness and horror. Upon learning of Earth's death, Ai was devastated. Gore's actions ultimately resulted in Ai developing a sense of hatred towards humans. During the course of Gore and Playmaker's second duel, Ai maintained immense hostility towards Gore, which was pushed further in discovering Earth's data had been implanted into Gore and Gore's possession of Earth's G Golem Crystal Heart. Gore was indifferent to Ai and even stated that Ai would be the next to be put under his control to which Ai refused. Upon Gore's defeat, Ai attempted to retrieve Earth's data but only managed to retrieve Crystal Heart.

By Season 3, Gore has recovered from his obsession with Playmaker, but partially because of his prior actions, Ai had gone rogue and turned against humanity. Upon meeting each other again Gore vowed to stop Ai, who in turn was glad to see Gore, as he could finally avenge Earth. Despite Gore's efforts, he is ultimately defeated by Ai and his Earth Golem @Ignister (Earth's @Ignister incarnation) as a symbolic way of avenging Earth. However Ai admitted he didn't hate Gore and even wished to be more like him, Gore, in turn, prior to his defeat, appeared sympathetic towards Ai for the loss of his friends.


Ai uses an "@Ignister" Deck capable of Ritual, Fusion, Synchro and Xyz Summoning, making Ai the first Ignis to incorporate summoning methods other than Link Summons. His strategy is to quickly summon "Dark Templar @Ignister" which he does by using his Field Spell, "Ignister A.I.Land", and "Linguriboh". After summoning "Dark Templar" he can then quickly summon other monsters for chain combos to use at a fast rate, and prevent himself from taking damage.

To trigger his monsters' effects, he uses the effects of his main "@Ignister" monsters to gather the needs to summon them, or use their abilities to trigger the Extra Deck monsters for them to gain an upper hand, with the use of "Fire Phoenix" to destroy his opponent's monsters, and deal a lot of damage, "Water Leviathan" to return monsters to the hand, "Earth Golem" to quickly double it's power for beatdown tactics, while protecting himself, and both "Wind Pegasus", and "Light Dragon" to destroy his opponent's Spell/Traps, and monsters respectfully.

This deck is heavily supported by the "A.I." archetype of Spell and Trap Cards, which have varying effects including cards needed for Ritual and Fusion Summoning the "@Ignister" monsters, while also defending his monsters, or quickly summoning his Main "@Ignister" monsters to use them all at once for a quick advantage. Starting from his duel with Blue Maiden, and Akira Zaizen he uses "Judgment Arrows" to strengthen his Beatdown Strategies, and the use of "Fire Phoenix" to formulate a potential OTK.

Should the situation call for it, he can use his main "@Ignister" monsters to summon his most powerful monster, "The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister", a monster he created by enhancing Bohman's programming that shows the true union of all 6 of the Ignis, to change the course of power by powering it up by how many cards Ai controls, and the use of it destroying a monster to summon an "@Ignister Token", and the use of Counters to make it near indestructible to what ever effects his opponents tried to use on it, and supports it with "Gatchiri @Ignister", and "Gussari @Ignister" to give it extra effects which Ai dubbed "it's strongest form" to form a near impervious state to defeat.

Unlike the other Ignis Decks, which just use one Attribute (except Earth who uses the WATER "G Golem Crystal Heart"), Ai's Deck uses the others as well. As pointed out by Yusaku, this indicates that Ai's deck reflects his feelings towards his fellow Ignis no matter what differences they had.


Opponent Episode(s) Outcome
Queen 104 Win
Dr. Genome 106 Win
Baira/Clarissa Turner 106 Win
Faust/Aso 106-107 Win
Specter 107 Win
George Gore/The Gore 107-108 Win
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker, Theodore Hamilton/Soulburner, Ryoken Kogami/Varis 106-108 Lose (only copies of Ai)
Pandor 108-109 Win
Akira Zaizen and Skye Zaizen/Blue Maiden 110-111 Win
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 117-120 Lose


  • Ai has the following distinctions from the other Ignis:
    • He is the only one to be named by a human.
    • He is the only one whose name does not relate to his corresponding Attribute.
    • He is the only one not to be absorbed by Bohman.
    • He is the only one whose personal Deck was not revealed in Season 2.
    • He is the only one who dueled on his own to use an older model Duel Disk.
    • He is the only one to have used a Summoning method other than Link Summoning.
    • He is the only one to have dueled against his own originator.
    • He is the only one whose Deck uses all six of the Ignis Attributes.
    • He is the only one to have dueled more than one of the Ignis originators.
    • He is the only one whose personal Deck does not contain a Link-4 monster, as well as the only one whose personal Deck contains a Link monster with a Link Rating higher than 4.
  • While partnerships are common among protagonists, Yusaku and Ai's relationship is somewhat different. Most of the time, the spirit or non-human partner has a more serious nature. However, in this case, Ai is more easy -going, friendly, and eager to crack jokes.
  • Ai shares a similar relationship with Yusaku as Astral's relationship with Yuma Tsukumo.
    • Both pairs are the respective protagonists of their series.
    • In the beginning, Yusaku and Yuma respectively disregard their partner's humor/advice.
      • Although, Yusaku and Ai are reverse personalities, unlike Yuma and Astral.
    • After a while they come to see each other as valuable friends and their trust is constantly tested.
      • Ironically, Ai also has similarities with Astral; sharing a similar style of hair/head and both having yellow eyes (though for Astral, it is only the left eye).
    • Similar to both Astral and Yami Yugi, Ai claimed he lost his memories after he was attacked by "Cracking Dragon". This was later proven untrue, however.
      • Also, all three have names that begin with "A" (Yami's real name being Atem).
      • Ai being the Dark Ignis could relate to Yami Yugi (Dark Yugi).
      • Unlike Yami Yugi and Astral, Ai uses the same pronoun as his partner.
      • All three have dueled against their partners in the final episodes. Unlike Yami Yugi and Astral, Ai does not use monsters he shared with his partner.
  • Ai is one of two Ignis to use a pronoun other than "watashi" in the Japanese version (in his case, "ore"); the other being Windy. In addition, both are the only Ignis to have their Code IDs revealed.
  • Ai is the second character to use five different Summoning methods (Link, Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz); the first being Yusaku, his originator and partner.
    • He is also the sixth character (after Declan Akaba, Riley Akaba, Yuya Sakaki Z-ARC and Yusaku) in the franchise to use Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz Summoning.
  • Ai is one of two Ignis that Varis has referred to by their human name; the other being Lightning.
  • Ai is the second partner of the main protagonist to become an antagonist until becoming a protagonist again in the later episodes; the first being Yubel. However, he is the first to do so after becoming the protagonist's partner.
    • Ai turning on Yusaku is similar to what Shark did to Yuma in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. Coincidently, both use monsters that represent their bond with their fallen friends. Furthermore, both died after their duel only to be resurrected sometime afterwards.
  • Lightning is the exact opposite of Ai.
    • While Lightning is usually calm and calculated, Ai is quite expressive and lazy. Lightning's plan was to unite the Ignis and rule over humanity. While Ai initially seemed to turn on humans in Season 3, his true goal was to prevent the elimination of the human race and protect Yusaku.
    • At different points, Ai questioned if he was the best Ignis since his instincts led to their rapid development, and then if Lightning was the worst Ignis since his simulations showed he would lead to destruction.
      • This can also be seen with the treatment of their partners.
        • Lightning tormented Jin until his spirit broke, and took complete control of his mind. Ai did influence Yusaku into fighting the Hanoi, but doing so helped him recover from the Lost Incident. Also Ai hardly ever told Yusaku what to do.
        • Lightning had no problem using Jin as a human shield to save himself. Ai, on the other hand, is willing to put himself in danger to protect Yusaku, to the point when he would rather be erased.
      • Both of them used their partners in some ways, but in the process caused their partners to move past their trauma of the Lost Incident, albeit differently:
        • Ai intentionally influenced Yusaku to fight against the Knights of Hanoi and find the Cyberse Deck he created in order to protect him, but in the process, Yusaku was able to grow and move forward with his life.
        • Lightning had Bohman steal Jin's conscious data and controlled him like a puppet, even using him as a hostage and shield, however, Lightning unintentionally erased Jin's memories of the Lost Incident, when he used some of Jin's data and converted it into extra LP, in doing so Jin was finally cured of his extensive trauma caused by Lightning himself.
      • Ironically, according to their simulations, both their existences would lead to the end of humanity. However, this was only true for Ai if he was the only surviving Ignis.
      • The two of them are arguably the strongest of the Ignis.
      • To drive the point home, Ai's circuit summoning phrase ("The circuit that guides the dark!") is almost the same as Lightning's ("The circuit that guides the light!").
  • Ai shares similar characteristics with Z-one.
    • They both are connected in some way to the main protagonist (Ai was created from data based on Yusaku's dueling skills, while Z-one made himself Yusei to inherit his qualities and save humanity).
    • They both have ace monsters that are almost invincible (The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister with ATK-boost and immunity, and Sephylon, the Ultimate Timelord with ATK-boost and Timelord summon engine).
    • They both became antagonists after experience with future events (Ai after seeing a simulation where Yusaku dies by protecting him, and Z-one during a failed attempt to save humankind).
    • They both died after the final duel against the protagonist (Ai after explaining to Yusaku the true reason behind his agenda, Z-one after sacrificing himself to save Yusei).
  • Ai's hair design heavily resembles Bohman's. Whether this is an intentional similarity or not is unknown. It should be noted that Ai used Bohman's programing to create "The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister" so it is possible he used the program to influence his human like-form.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 43: "The Reveal"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 68: "The Doorway"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 119: "A Losing Battle"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 102: "The Final Turn"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 45: "Standing Tall"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 50: "A Common Cause"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Neutralized"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 41: "Truth and Consequences"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 96: "I Know Your Secret"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 66: "Contact"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 67: "Choosing Sides"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 73: "Weathering the Storm"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 117: "Forced Hands"
  15. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: "Seize the Wind!"
  16. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "Contact"
  17. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 4: "Pain and Gain"
  18. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5: "Down for the Count"
  19. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "True Blue"
  20. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Fallen Angel"
  21. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 8: "A Storm is Coming"
  22. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 9: "Malicious Mayhem"
  23. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10: "Eye of the Storm"
  24. 24.0 24.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Link the Circuit"
  25. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 13: "Playback"
  26. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 14: "An Invitation"
  27. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 15: "Camouflaged Chaos"
  28. 28.0 28.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 16: "Hack Attack"
  29. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 17: "Blue's Back!"
  30. 30.0 30.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 18: "Dueling for Answers"
  31. 31.0 31.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 19: "The Lost Incident"
  32. 32.0 32.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20: "A Piece of the Puzzle"
  33. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 21: "Story Time"
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 22: "The Deleted"
  35. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 23: "A Grim Tale"
  36. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 24: "To Gore Or Not To Gore"
  37. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25: "Suture the Circuit"
  38. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 26: "Diagnosis: Deletion"
  39. 39.0 39.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 27: "The Brave Battler"
  40. 40.0 40.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 28: "Bugging Out"
  41. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 29: "Kolter's Khronicles"
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 30: "Under VRAINS"
  43. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 31: "Showdown in the Sewers"
  44. 44.0 44.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 32: "Tower of Hanoi"
  45. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 33: "Once Upon a Time"
  46. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 34: "Roots of Evil"
  47. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 35: "The Hollow"
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 36: "A Bridge Too Far"
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 37: "Out on a Limb"
  50. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 39: "Ring the Bell"
  51. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 40: "Gore at War"
  52. 52.0 52.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 42: "Storm Access"
  53. 53.0 53.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 44: "Illusion of Hope"
  54. 54.0 54.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 46: "Link to the Future"
  55. 55.0 55.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 47: "LINK VRAINS 2.0"
  56. 56.0 56.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 48: "Shed Some Light"
  57. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 49: "Bring the Heat"
  58. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 51: "Bounty Hunting"
  59. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 52: "Tapping Out"
  60. 60.0 60.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 53: "The Shepherd"
  61. 61.0 61.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 54: "Game of Drones"
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 55: "A Windy Welcome"
  63. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 56: "Blue Gal Battles!"
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 57: "Bohman Returns"
  65. 65.0 65.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 58: "Memory Games"
  66. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 59: "Return of the Hanoi"
  67. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 60: "Sidekick Showdown"
  68. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 61: "Darkness Dawns"
  69. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 62: "Fearing the Worst"
  70. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 63: "Scare Tactics"
  71. 71.0 71.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 64: "The Beginning"
  72. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 65: "Pieces of the Puzzle"
  73. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 69: "Coexistence"
  74. 74.0 74.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 71: "A Logical Decision"
  75. 75.0 75.1 75.2 75.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 72: "Strategy Shift"
  76. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 74: "Brain Hack"
  77. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 75: "Earthfall"
  78. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 76: "Awakened Memories"
  79. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 77: "A Family Reunion"
  80. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 78: "From One Hunter To Another"
  81. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 79: "The Hunt Is On"
  82. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 80: "Lightning Strikes"
  83. 83.0 83.1 83.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 81: "Heart of Darkness"
  84. 84.0 84.1 84.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 82: "Gored"
  85. 85.0 85.1 85.2 85.3 85.4 85.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 83: "Reaching Out"
  86. 86.0 86.1 86.2 86.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 84: "Payback"
  87. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 85: "My Brother’s Keeper"
  88. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 86: "The Weakest Link"
  89. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 87: "The Ultimate Connection"
  90. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 88: "A Breezy Battle"
  91. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 89: "Fan the Flames"
  92. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 90: "For a Friend"
  93. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 91: "From the Heart"
  94. 94.0 94.1 94.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 92: "Fight with a Friend"
  95. 95.0 95.1 95.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 93: "A Fighting Promise"
  96. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 94: "No Matter What It Takes"
  97. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 95: "From the Ashes"
  98. 98.0 98.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 97: "Outsmart, Outwit, Outthink!"
  99. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 98: "Lightning Storm"
  100. 100.0 100.1 100.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 99: "Bohman’s End Game"
  101. 101.0 101.1 101.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 100: "I Know Everything"
  102. 102.0 102.1 102.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 101: "Ai of the Beholder"
  103. 103.0 103.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 103: "Reflections"
  104. 104.0 104.1 104.2 104.3 104.4 104.5 104.6 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 104: "Your Reign is Over"
  105. 105.0 105.1 105.2 105.3 105.4 105.5 105.6 105.7 105.8 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 120: "Journey's End"
  106. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 105: "Unlikely Alliance"
  107. 107.0 107.1 107.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 106: "Roboppi Mops Up"
  108. 108.0 108.1 108.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 107: "Cleaning House"
  109. 109.0 109.1 109.2 109.3 109.4 109.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 108: "Smash and Mash"
  110. 110.0 110.1 110.2 110.3 110.4 110.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 109: "Al vs Ai"
  111. 111.0 111.1 111.2 111.3 111.4 111.5 111.6 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 110: "Siblings and Circuits"
  112. 112.0 112.1 112.2 112.3 112.4 112.5 112.6 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 111: "Stronger Together"
  113. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 113: "Roboppi's World"
  114. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 114: "The Chosen One"
  115. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 115: "Unfinished Business"
  116. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 116: "Stuck in the Past"
  117. 117.0 117.1 117.2 117.3 117.4 117.5 117.6 117.7 117.8 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 118: "Alone Together"