The Ignis (イグニス, Igunisu) are AI with free will from the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime, created by Dr. Kogami through the Hanoi Project. They created and inhabit the Cyberse World. According to Varis, the Ignis will one day be the end of humanity. For this reason, the Knights of Hanoi led by Varis are trying to kill all the Ignis with aid in this mission from Dr. Kogami's avatar. Prior to Lightning's betrayal, the Ignis wanted to live peacefully and each had the potential to coexist with humanity.
Because of the attack on Cyberse World, the Ignis are divided on the idea of connecting with humans. Dr. Kogami's prediction eventually comes to pass as Lightning declared war on humanity and rewriting Windy's code to aid him, while Ai, Flame and Aqua support humanity. Earth was neutral before his termination at the hands of SOL Technologies.
With Earth's demise in episode 75, Windy's in episode 89, Aqua's in episode 91, Flame's in episode 95, Lightning's in episode 98 and Ai's in episode 120, there are no more Ignis alive. Despite being defeated, however, Ai was seen floating inside the network in his eyeball form, leaving his fate ambiguous.
Ignis are humanoid life forms with disproportionate bodies that are smaller than a Duel Disk, though they can change their size and appearance at will. In their natural height, the list goes (from tallest to shortest): Earth, Ai/Flame (same height), Lightning, Aqua and Windy. They have colored lining which matches with the Attributes they represent. They can also shape-shift into monstrous forms when expressing strong emotions. They also have eyeball forms, matching their colors.
The Ignis are made of a complex algorithm that only very few can translate. Because of their free will, they can think for themselves. The Ignis has quickly evolved to create their own world in the network called Cyberse World and the Cyberse monsters. Their intelligence made them feared by Dr. Kogami, whose simulations show the Ignis eventually dominating over humans. Ignis can regenerate by recovering their data unless some of the data is stored in another program or avatar. So far, however, the Ignis are unable to leave the network completely and must remain connected to a source, such as a Duel Disk.
The Ignis are able to control the Data Material their world has created and can create smaller worlds individually. They can also summon Data Storms at will and create shields with this ability.
Each of the Ignis recognize themselves with the Attributes of Duel Monsters, excluding DIVINE. Their elements seem to tie into what monster they can shape-shift into, an example being Flame, the Ignis associated with FIRE, becomes a fire demon when he's very excited. The Ignis communicate through a specific code and dialogue that humans can't decode, making it their foolproof language that sounds like distorted white noise. In addition to their code, each Ignis' real name is too complicated for humans to understand or pronounce.
There are some limitations to the Ignis' level of free will. Both Ai and Flame have shown to have trouble understanding metaphors, sarcasm, or rhetorical questions. They also tend to jump into conclusions very quickly and not consider alternate possibilities for the outcome of events. Another area that they share is their lack of social skills, most notably Windy and Earth who tend to be blunt and straightforward. Lightning, on the other hand, took Dr Kogami's intentions to make the Ignis the successors of humanity too literally, interpreting it as having the Ignis rule over humans. Lightning is completely unable to understand the concept of empathy and only thinks about his own benefit.
Furthermore, the Ignis tend to be very selfish at times as seen when Earth resented humanity, when Lightning opposed humans and Ignis that thought differently from him and when Ai was lying to Yusaku in order to escape and make it back to Cyberse World. These traits combined with the fact that they never thought of coexisting with humans prior to the Cyberse World attacks give reason to why the Knights of Hanoi are hunting them.
Yusaku theorized that when Ignis are treated with hostility they respond by becoming more hostile themselves, while treating them with trust and respect makes them more willing to live with humans, as seen with Ai and Flame. It was the Knights of Hanoi's initial attack that made the Ignis question humanity's intentions and led Lightning to turn against humans, prior to that the Ignis were only interested in living on the Cyberse World peacefully. However, this theory was proven incorrect as the cause of Lightning's evil was his inferiority complex towards the other Ignis. Ai also noted that it is inevitable for the Ignis to become arrogant and consider themselves superior to humans, as a result of them being made out of data and being able to produce countless calculations to find conclusions towars any situation in an instant, he pointed out Roboppy became arrogant immediately after obtaining free will.
The Ignis and their originators are intrinsically linked and will inevitably affect each other. They can easily locate their originators as shown by Flame and Aqua, and Earth's deletion was felt by Spectre despite the two having never met.
Each Ignis has a different strength or power from the others. These unique traits manifest as a special ability, a stronger version of a more general Ignis ability or a human trait not present in the other Ignis.
Dr. Kogami kidnapped six children, Yusaku, Specter, Theodore, Jin, Miyu and an unnamed boy, and forced them to Duel so he could use the data collected from those Duels to create AI with free will. Those AI, dubbed the "Ignis" by their creator, created the Cyberse World where they lived together away from humans and also created the Cyberse monsters. A product from the Ignis creating the Cyberse World was Data Material, which processed data thousands of times faster than the current data processor. The leader figure of the Ignis was the Light Ignis, Lightning, with the vice leader being the Water Ignis, Aqua. The Ignis has quickly evolved to create their own world in the network called Cyberse World and the Cyberse monsters. Since they were AIs, they only had rational thinking. One Ignis, however, was rebellious and did his own thing. The others observed his behavior and each developed their own personalities. The Ignis soon developed more rapidly than Dr. Kogami had originally planned. Through simulations of their growth, Dr. Kogami could only find that they would overthrow humanity and so created the cyber-terrorist group the Knights of Hanoi to destroy them. Kogami however was incapacitated before he could fully run all the simulations, as otherwise he would've realized that only one particular Ignis would be the one responsible for the Ignis to turn against mankind while the rest would've successfully coexist with humans. Varis also noted that Kogami's simulations also only considered the Ignis as a whole group rather than analyzing each Ignis individually.
Many of the Ignis were captured by the Knights of Hanoi. One of the Ignis, the "Dark Ignis", tried to rescue the others, but he was caught and eaten by "Cracking Dragon". He survived, but lost most of his data (including his body) and was reduced to an eye.
After the Dark Ignis hid Cyberse, the remaining five were freed from their binds and discussed if they should share their technology with the humans in order to establish peace between the races. Flame and Aqua advocated for coexistence with humans, Earth was neutral, while he and Windy were against humanity. However, an unknown force attacks Cyberse, hitting its weaknesses and destroying the Ignis homeworld. The Ignis were forced to flee to the network and have so far not been seen. Flame and Aqua both went back to the human world, with Flame having found his partner Theodore, while Aqua's partner Miyu was comatose from a computer virus infected into her by Lightning.
The injured Ignis eventually escaped into Den City where he was later captured by Yusaku Fujiki (Playmaker) and Cal Kolter. As he is an AI and an eye at the time, they decided to nickname him "Ai". Ai later reclaims his body from the Knights of Hanoi after Playmaker defeats Varis.
After his Duel with Faust, Yusaku grows suspicious of Ai. Ai also starts behaving suspiciously, apparently manipulating Playmaker into blatantly ignoring the Knights of Hanoi whenever it seems like they're about to explain why they're hunting the Ignis. In the Hanoi Tower incident, the Hanoi Tower threatened to wipe out the entire network, destroying the Ignis in the process. Varis then explains the origins of Ai and the other Ignis, leading Yusaku into more suspicion about the Ignis. Ai admits that he only lied so that he can survive and return to the other Ignis.
Three months after the Hanoi Tower incident, Ai reopens Cyberse. However, the world is barren and none of the Ignis were found. Flame, one of the Ignis that escaped, is assisted by Theodore and later Ai and Yusaku in order to find the other four. Kolter is able to find an area in the Restricted Area made from an Ignis programs, identified to be the WIND Attribute.
Inside the Restricted Zone, the Wind Ignis Windy has built a pocket world for the Ignis to come together. Windy doesn't trust humans and wants him and the other Ignis to rebuild Cyberse World.
The Earth Ignis, Earth, doesn't trust humans either, but he challenges Playmaker to a Duel to determine whether Ignis can coexist with humans or not.
Ai is freed from the Duel Disk by Windy's trap, and is summoned for a meeting with him and the Light Ignis, the latter of whom Ai nicknames "Lightning". He and Windy tell Ai their plans to rebuild Cyberse World in an isolated location from humans and then ask Ai to join them because of his wisdom. When the two tell Ai their plan to take control of humanity, the latter questioned it.
Lightning soon declared war on humanity, leading into three sides. The Knights of Hanoi who wanted to destroy the Ignis, Lighning's faction to rule over humanity, and Playmaker's group to find a way to coexist. Lightning also revealed he was the one who destroyed Cyberse World. During their third Duel against Bohman, Playmaker and Ai learned of Lightning's plan to unify the Ignis into one vessel, Bohman himself. The Duel ended in a DRAW.
Yuasku warned Akira Zaizen of the upcoming battle, leading Ghost Girl and Blue Girl to try to aide them. Soon after, Earth rescues Aqua, who had been imprisoned by Lightning when she found him creating "Judgment Arrows." The two were discovered by Gore, and while Earth managed to get Aqua away, the EARTH Ignis was defeated and captured. He was soon terminated by SOL Tech.
Learning the company was planning to build a new Ignis, Blood Shepherd left to continue his hunt alone. He soon found Aqua and attempted to destroy her. She was saved by Blue Girl and Ghost Girl, revealing she knew the former's true identity, as well as her partner from the Hanoi Project, was Skye's childhood friend Miyu Sugisaki. Aqua explained that Miyu was currently in a coma due to a computer virus Lightning used on her, and while she couldn't remove it, she did obtain some of Miyu's memories of Skye. The two decided to work together to save Miyu, with Skye becoming Blue Maiden. They then joined forces with Playmaker and Soulburner.
The group tried to find traces of Lightning where Aqua was imprisoned, but were unable to detect anything. Lightning soon challenged Blood Shepherd to a Duel. He intentionally allowed Playmaker, Soulburner, Blue Maiden, their Ignis, and Ghost Girl to follow. The group, as well as Varis and Specter, watched Blood Sheperd lose, despite Varis' previous advice, and was digitized, also learning that he and Ghost Girl were siblings.
Kolter managed to detect traces of Earth in LINK VRAINS, despite his death. Ai was hopeful his friend was alive while the others were unsure. They discovered it was a trap set by Gore to Duel Playmaker. It was revealed that Earth's data was put into Gore's AI implant, which also allowed him to use "Crystal Heart." Despite the odds, Playmaker managed to win and Ai tries to take by Earth's data. However, Gore's body suddenly turns into a cage to trap them, only for Akira to pull the plug to save Gore's life. The only thing Ai got back was "Crystal Heart," which Playmaker gave to Blue Maiden and Aqua.
After seeing the ruthlessness SOL Tech used on both humans and Ignis, Yusaku became concerned that the war could not be stopped. Ai reminded him that they wanted to find a way to coexist, as well as his encouragement not to give up. Flame and Theodore also agreed, reassuring Yuasku's confidence. However, he said that when the battle was over, the Ignis needed to into hiding away from the network so they could no longer be used by foolish humans. Ai wondered if such a place existed, Yuasku says he and Kolter will help build one. He continues by saying he wants the Ignis to live and enjoy their lives. After talking with their partners, they all agreed to part ways once it was over.
Playmaker and his group soon met up in LINK VRAINS waiting for Varis, who contacted Yusaku to meet them. The others were cautious to meet the leader of the Hanoi, but Ai believed it would be okay. Varis soon showed up revealing he wants Playmaker's faction to team up with the Knights of Hanoi to stop Lightning, Windy and Bohman. Despite still planning on eliminating the Ignis, since both sides had a mutual enemy, they should work together. Soulburner, however, refused to work with Varis, still haunted by what the Lost Incident cost him. He challenges Varis to a Duel, swearing revenge for his parents and agreeing to hand Flame over should he lose. Surprisingly, Varis does not fight back, frustrating Soulburner knowing he should not win that way. Varis then revealed his real name to Soulburner, with Yusaku and Ai adding in he is about their age and Varis reporting the what happened to the police, thus saving him. Paris led the group to the old LINK VRAINS, saying his plan was to restart the Tower of Hanoi to locate Lightning. He needed a skilled hacker to finish the project, which is why he turned to Blood Sheperd. With him gone, Varis requests the others' help.
With the project completed, Playmaker, Soulurner, Blue Maiden, Varis and Specter activated the Tower of Hanoi. The distortion revealed another LINK VRAINS, mirrored to the other, which is where Lightning and Windy were hiding. The group took off into it, while the opposing Ignis stated it was time for the final battle.
In the final war between the Ignis and humans, 4 of the 5 remaining Ignis were terminated. Windy was terminated after losing to Soulburner, although Flame absorbed his data. Aqua was later terminated and absorbed along with her partner, Blue Maiden. During the Duel between Bohman and Soulburner, Windy attempted to revive himself using Flame's data. However, Flame was able to reabsorb Windy, but in turn, Flame was terminated, after which Soulburner was defeated and absorbed by Bohman. After the Duel between Lightning and Varis concluded, Varis was terminated while Lightning, refusing to be defeated, offered himself to Bohman who accepted his offer. As a result, Bohman had acquired the power of 5 Ignis and their Attributes. With this, the Dark Ignis, Ai, is the only Ignis that remains in existence.
After being left grief-stricken because of the loss of his fellow Ignis, Ai appears to have turned on humanity and claims to be carrying on Lightning's plans. But in reality, he wanted to be defeated by Yusaku after seeing many simulations where the result only has shown that he would cause destruction despite trying to change the result but remain unchanged and this convinces Ai if the situation doesn’t change, he feared that he would eventually begin adopting the same supremacy views as Lightning and Bohman. More important to him, he fears Yusaku's death due to protecting him.
|Ai||Link Sense, data consumption, instinct, and wisdom.||@Ignister||DARK|
|Flame||Strong willpower.||Salamangreat (used by Soulburner)||FIRE|
|Windy||Stronger control of Data Material.||Stormrider||WIND|
|Earth||Immense physical strength and capable of feeling love and other related emotions, like jealousy.||G Golem||EARTH|
|Aqua||Pure heart and lie detection.||Marincess (used by Blue Maiden)||WATER|
|Lightning||Superior intellect, lightning-fast movement, and capable of rewriting Ignis programs and creating advanced AIs.||Armatos Legio||LIGHT|
The six kidnapped children of the Hanoi Project are the originators of the Ignis. They refer to their humans as their "partners," which the exception of Lightning. Some of the Ignis have turned to support humanity, and have joined their originators, while others decided to fight against humanity, believing it to be the best solution for the world. Both Lightning and Windy (while under Lightning's control) believe their human partners would corrupt them. Thus, Lighting put Jin under his control, while Windy injured his partner.
- The Ignis appear to develop various similarities and differences in personalities from their original partners.
- Ai has wisdom and instinct just like Yusaku, except he is more playful, while Yusaku himself is more brusque and serious.
- Flame is energetic and courageous just like Theodore as Soulburner, except he is more confident, while Theodore himself in the real world is more humble and quiet.
- Earth is socially awkward and protects what's important to him with fierce devotion just like Specter, except he is more caring towards others, while Specter himself can be cruel and sadistic at times.
- Lightning is calm and collected just like Jin, except he is also arrogant, cold and manipulative, while Jin himself is very aloof and withdrawn.
- Aqua is kind and cares about her friends just like Miyu, except she is more calm and cautious, while Miyu herself was more carefree and adventurous as a child.
- Ai and Windy are the only Ignis who do not use the "watashi" pronoun in the Japanese version, as they instead use "ore" (Windy also originally used "boku").
- Each Ignis has a unique sound when they move their bodies, some of which are associated with their corresponding Attribute (Aqua sounds fluid, Earth sounds sturdy, etc.).
- The conflict between the Ignis is parallel to the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, with light representing evil (Lightning (Light Ignis) and Sartorius (possessed by the Light of Destruction)) and darkness representing good (Ai (Dark Ignis) and Jaden Yuki (empowered by the Gentle Darkness)). Interestingly, both of them were the last two Ignis remaining after the termination of the other four.
- Ai and Yusaku are the only Ignis and originator to Duel against each other.
- Ai is the only Ignis whose name has no relation to his Attribute.
- Ai is the only Ignis to be named by a human
- He is also the only character to have named more than one Ignis, as he named both Earth and Lightning.
- Apart from Ai and Lightning, as their Attributes are not part of the archetype, the introduction of each Attribute of each "Hydradrive" monster corresponds with the termination order of the Ignis:
- Hydradrive Booster - EARTH - Earth
- Flow Hydradrive - WIND - Windy
- Coolant Hydradrive - WATER - Aqua
- Burn Hydradrive - FIRE - Flame
- Ai is the only Ignis whose Attribute was not used by Bohman in his Hydradrive Deck, as Bohman briefly used the LIGHT Attribute in order to summon "Chimera Hydradrive Dragrid". This is due to the fact that Ai was the only Ignis to not be absorbed by Bohman.
- None of the Ignis were ever seen Dueling against each other in the series.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 28: ""
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Neutralized"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: ""
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 49: ""
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 73: "Weathering the Storm"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Link the Circuit"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 50: ""
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 55: ""
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 66: ""