I don't trust AI. The internet world is a fiction. What's important is the breath and heartbeat of life.— Varis
Ryoken Kogami (
While in LINK VRAINS, Varis has two avatars: his first one is a man with dark crimson hair and red highlights. His ears are pierced with Egyptian-style earrings with a blue diamond and a gold bullet "token". Varis wears a tan-colored visor giving him yellow featureless eyes, designed with a white casing and a diamond-shaped pattern of white dots with red centers, linked together by a white circle that surrounds a white dot in the center of Varis' forehead that suggests the barrel of a gun. The visor of his mask can be covered with a dark lens to protect him from bright lights.
Varis wears a white jumpsuit with a black elongated "T" shape tracing to the bottom of his chest, red ovals overlaying black ovals on the sides of the torso, and a v-shaped line of green where a belt would be. He wears a white trench coat lined with green with golden lines patterning both the inside and the outside of the coat. The sleeves are green white shoulder-pads and red diagonal bands on the bicep, making it unclear whether or not they are part of the jumpsuit or the coat. Varis also wears a small white mantle with a black line tracing around the middle, and a green ornament attached at the front on either side of his neck and at the back by red gems. Varis wears white-elbow length gloves with red diamond shapes on his forearm, and black boots with green heels and red patterns on the front that may be part of his jumpsuit.
His second avatar form resembles the first one with several alterations: he retains his fair skin and blue eyes, his maroon hair is now grey, and the red highlights on the sides, which are now more pronounced, have a shade of pink roots. The shaped of his mask now appears more rhombus-like, the glass now recedes up to his nose, and the forehead has a plate with the four dots spread out. The trench coat has a black color scheme on the body, a black stripe among the outer borders, the black stripe on the upper section has been removed, and the lower exterior sports a lime stripe and patter. The ornament around his neck is now lime, has a more square-like structure, and the red gems have been replaced with small, rectangular red lights. His sleeves are now black with a lime exterior, and the red diamond pattern on the forearms are more wider. His suit is more white, he wears a black belt with a gold buckle, which has a bullet carved on each sides, a red bullet-shaped light at the center, and a wide red diamond pattern on each outer thigh exterior of the pants. His black boots retained the red pattern, but now sports a lime border above the red patterns and a lime heel.
In real life, Ryoken is a tall young, fair skin man with light-blue eyes and has white hair that spikes backwards at the sides, with purple-blue highlights. On his right hand, he has a tattoo of a red triangle. He has at least two outfits, the first consisting of a white buttoned shirt and black trousers, while the second consists of a pink v-neck shirt underneath a light grey suit jacket, with black trousers that ends above his ankles and white shoes.
As a child, he wore a grey hoodie over a dark pink shirt and dark pair of pants with purple and black shoes.
Much like the other Knights of Hanoi, Varis is a ruthless individual that seeks Ai. He bears a great hatred towards Ai and the Cyberse world considering them a threat to the real world, a notion he developed from his father's research into AI-human interactions. His resolve to rid the world of Ai leads him to take drastic measures, including endangering the entire VRAINS networks and many human lives. However, Varis claims that his actions are so that he can fulfil his promise to his father to save humanity. He shows his strong resolve numerous times during the show, notably his willingness to plunge into a Data Storm far out of his league to activate "Storm Access" to compete against Playmaker during their Duel at the Tower of Hanoi, which would have severely wounded him if it had not been for his father's assistance.
Although he's a fair duelist who honors his words, he has shown at the same time to take hostages like he did with Blue Angel and several of the the Deleted victims and not concern himself very much with the collateral damage his actions cause. In fact, he justifies this as being for the greater good of humanity. These strongly held ideals and his extremists actions make him akin to a terrorist.
Unlike most hackers, Varis distrusts LINK VRAINS and the people that, to him, are dedicating their lives to it and make false relationships with other people. He values a person's life more. He distrusts Artificial Intelligence, to the point where he does not have one installed into his Duel Disk. Due to that, he looks down on the internet world as false. Despite his hatred towards VRAINS, Varis isn't against using the Cyberse for his own benefit. When Ai called him out on that, Varis described it as "counteracting poison with poison".
As he mentions during Yusaku's confrontation, Ryoken was the voice that taught Yusaku the three reason method. In real life, despite all his negative traits, Ryoken is also shown to be a rather calm, stoic individual, as seen when he calmly explains the origin of the Ignis and his father's plan during his confrontation with Yusaku.
While Dueling, he shows loads of confidence and plans ahead well, often confusing his opponents with a seemingly inefficient strategy. Varis tends to belittle 'unworthy' opponents at times, which Gore noted as arrogance. When pushed into a corner, Varis pushes himself to his limits only to win, even if that harms him.
In season two, Varis retains much of his original personality but is more level-headed and serious about his objective due to his father's sacrifice. His sense of humanity is more pronounced as well as he showed regret for what happened to Jin Kusanagi, disgust for what Windy did to his Lost Incident partner, and called Lightning unfair for pitting Kolter against Playmaker. He is also considerate and helpful at times as seen when he gave Yusaku a program to protect him from Lightning, and when he ultimately decided to join his faction. He also reveals his identity to Soulburner and the others as well as allowing Frog and Pigeon to follow them, showing that he is willing to place his trust in other people. Similar to Yusaku, Varis also has a cheerful side, as after his duel with Lightning, he was at peace with himself and entrusted everything to Playmaker, even referring to the Dark Ignis as Ai for the first time.
Varis can control and summon Data Storms at will thanks to his father's data material control program. He is also a professional hacker and can even infiltrate the system of LINK VRAINS, stating he could even destroy it. According to himself, he is one of the few people aside from his father and the Ignis who can decipher Ignis programs. He shares the same Skill as Playmaker, "Storm Access" which allows him to add a random Link Monster from a Data Storm to his Extra Deck when his LP are 1000 or less.
Varis is also a cunning person, being able to predict his enemy's movements, lead them into a trap and counter them. Like Yusaku, Varis is very perceptive and capable of seeing through the characters and intentions of anyone, as seen when he was the only person who wasn't too surprised that Lightning destroyed his own home and enslaved his partner. Varis can also regenerate his body inside LINK VRAINS.
Varis' first name, Ryoken 「
Alternately, it can be a reference to the Japanese name for the constellation Canes Venatici 「りょうけん座」another astronomical reference to his character as he resides next to Stardust Road.
In the English dub, his name is pronounced "Roh-ken". His avatar's dub name, Varis, is an allusion to the word "virus", hence his status as a hacker.
Ryoken shares Yusaku's habit of listing out three reasons for his observations, although he doesn't do it as frequently as him. In the English dub, his LINK VRAINS voice is much deeper than his real life voice.
Ryoken lived with his father, Dr. Kogami, at Stardust Road. The two occasionally watched the phenomenon, when the light of the plankton shined in the sea. Ryoken was a friend to Clarissa Turner and Aso, and the latter considered Varis as his younger brother. He used to lay down on flowery fields, watching the skies as he did not have any heavy responsibilities. When he was a child, Ryoken ran on the streets when he accidentally bumped into a fellow boy, whose name was Yusaku. They accidentally dropped their cards, and quickly collected them. Seeing Yusaku was a Duel Monsters fan, Ryoken invited him to his house to show his Deck.
When he was eight years old, Ryoken watched the progress of the Hanoi Project. He did not understand much about it, but Ryoken trusted his father's research. He even helped a boy, Yusaku, gain his confidence by telling him about finding three points to continue fighting. However, Ryoken was overwhelmed by the pain of the children, and reported the project to the authorities, thus stopping it. In doing so, Ryoken's father was imprisoned. Ryoken waited for three years for his father to return. His father was infected with a virus and fell into a coma, but during that time, he finished his project, and created the AI with free will, Ignis. Some time after, with the help of his subordinates, Ryoken saved his father, Dr. Kogami, from a comatose state, after he was infected by a virus from SOL Technologies following the Hanoi Project, by recreating his father's mind and placing it within the network. Kiyoshi formed the Knights of Hanoi, with the intent of eradicating all the Ignis within the network, believing that they were savage creatures with the intent of destroying the world, rather than saving it. At one point, after the Hanoi Project, Ryoken, as a child, met Specter at the site of the Lost Incident, and recruited him into the Knights of Hanoi.
Unfortunately, Kiyoshi told Ryoken that Ignis, who would progress, would eventually destroy the world. He believed Ignis would improve humanity's lives, and instead, he saw the AI would eventually supervise humanity. He feared the humanity would see AI as an enemy, a life-form they would want to conquer, and this would also make the humanity as Ignis' enemy. Kiyoshi told Ryoken SOL Technologies knew of this threat, but they only infected him with a virus. Together, Varis and the Knights of Hanoi worked to find Ignis, who became a threat to the world, once they found out the AI learned how to lie. Thus, Varis aimed to find Cyberse World and eliminate the Ignis that created it. While tending to his father, Ryoken began to wonder if his father's statement that the Ignis were superior beings was correct, for they could only evolve as long as they had more memories.
Varis launched an attack to Cyberse World with three of his "Cracking Dragons". The entities of Cyberse were sealed off and could not retaliate, except for Ai. Ai claimed he was their "savior", noting others have been trapped. Regardless, he claimed being hated had its uses, but promised to save all of them. Varis and the "Cracking Dragon" chased Ai, who escaped Cyberse and severed the connection with that place. Others realized he wanted to hide Cyberse at the price being unable to return. Just as Ai succeeded and gloated, Varis' "Cracking Dragon" ate him, though his eye was lost in the network. Varis had his team search for Ai's remains, for only he knew the location of Cyberse.
Five years later, SOL Technologies' security were searching for Ai. Varis smiled, seeing he could exploit this situation. He summoned a Knight of Hanoi, ordering him to capture Ai before the SOL Technologies could. He watched the situation and was intrigued how the Playmaker arrived to challenge the Knight of Hanoi and bet Ai for the Duel. Specter and Varis watched the knight Duel Playmaker, which resulted in the latter's victory.
After Playmaker had won the Duel, Varis admitted he didn't expect his opponent to be that strong. Specter arrived, explaining it was still better to let Playmaker have Ai than to be in possession of SOL Technologies. Varis knew they were going to unmask Playmaker soon, noting Playmaker hated the Knights of Hanoi, was one of few people that had Cyberse monsters and eventually would come and seek him, as the leader of the Knights of Hanoi, out. Varis was nevertheless pleased, and actually wanted to prepare himself for the battle against Playmaker. Later, as Yusaku and Kolter were looking at Ai's memories, Ai started to malfunction. Varis sensed his location, while Kolter turned the electricity of the van they were in. Yusaku went outside, and watched as Varis flew on a gigantic dragon to find Ai. While Varis did not find the AI, Yusaku felt that Varis saw him. Ai explained Varis was the leader of the Knights of Hanoi. Varis returned to his base, displeased that he could not find Ai, as the connection was severed in the last moment. He was approached by Dr. Kogami, who promised to make a new program, but needed more time. Varis stated that the ones holding Ai could not decipher him properly, but didn't want to give them too much time. Dr. Kogami said that they had to draw Playmaker out once more and defeat him properly. Varis heard an alarm, and logged off. In the real world, Varis, a young man, approached his father, who was resting inside a pod. Varis promised he would make his father's wishes come true and touched his arm, revealing a red triangle symbol on his right hand.
Seeing how Blue Angel wanted to challenge Playmaker, Varis was amused by her. Specter claimed they could use her, and went off to give her a special card. During her Duel against Playmaker, Blue Angel fell in a trance and Varis told her she was a Knight of Hanoi, prompting her to activate the effect of "Dark Angel".
When Blue Angel was defeated, Varis was certain that Playmaker would have to comply to his demands. Dr. Kogami said Ai had to be destroyed and Varis was concerned about Kogami since he designed Ai. Kogami told Varis it was a painful decision to destroy the AI, while Varis reminded the importance of destroying Ai and Cyberse. When Akira Zaizen and Ghost Gal captured and interrogated Playmaker, Varis appeared before them and demanded him to be freed, as he was challenging him to a Duel. When Akira refused, Varis showed his power by summoning a Data Storm and obliterating the place. He also threatened to destroy LINK VRAINS, but stated that was not his intention, since he was interested in Ai that Playmaker had in his possession. When Akira refused to hand over Ai, Varis revealed they placed a computer virus inside Blue Angel as a hostage and only they had the ability to reverse it. Varis admitted they could've placed the virus into anyone, but Blue Angel was the most efficient target to draw Playmaker out. Varis also knew that Akira, as the Security-in-Chief, had to take Ai back, but doing so would make Blue Angel - Akira's sister - under permanent effect of the virus. Thus, he promised to hand over the program if Playmaker defeated him. Hesitant at first, Akira freed Playmaker while Varis left to wait for Playmaker to come and Duel him.
As the two rode off on the Data Wind, Varis reminded Playmaker he interfered a lot of times in the Knights of Hanoi's plans. Playmaker promised to defeat him and uncover their identities while Varis didn't care much for Playmaker's since they had many enemies. He declared their mission was to retrieve Ai and was surprised that Playmaker had no knowledge of Ai as an AI. Ai promised to eat Varis' program and reclaim his body back, while Varis stated if he were to win, Ai would be his own. Varis admitted he didn't have an AI for his Duel Disk, as he didn't trust them, claiming the internet was but a fiction. He valued the personal values of man, and didn't trust the fake relationships and dedications over LINK VRAINS; in his words, such ignorance would destroy the world, as would Ai and declared Playmaker as his enemy for helping Ai. Before the Duel began, Varis waved his hand causing the current LINK VRAINS environment to be crushed and replaced with lava rivers and fiery lakes.
Taking the first turn, Varis used "Dragonoid Generator" to Special Summon two "Dragonoid Tokens" and Tribute Summon "Cracking Dragon". He then summoned the "Dragonoid Tokens" on Playmaker's field and used the effect of "Cracking Dragon" to deal him damage. Despite this, the Playmaker managed to turn around the tables by Link Summoning three monsters and destroying "Cracking Dragon" with "Decode Talker", lowering Varis' LP to 1400. Despite having the advantage, Playmaker noted that Varis was vigorous and would not give up. Varis thanked Playmaker for clearing his field, as he brought out "Twin Triangle Dragon" and revived "Cracking Dragon" back, at cost of it unable to attack and losing 500 LP. Varis sensed a power inside the network and, summoning a Data Storm, showing off the same Skill Playmaker had, "Storm Access". With this skill, Varis obtained "Topologic Bomber Dragon" and promptly used all of his monsters to Link Summon it, amused at the fact of his using a Cyberse monster against other Cyberse monsters. Using "Dragonoid Generator", Varis had "Bomber Dragon" use its effect to destroy a "Dragonoid Token" and Playmaker's "Capacitor Stalker". Despite the latter's effect causing Varis' LP to be lowered down to 100, the ATK of "Decode Talker" was lowered as well and Varis had "Topologic Bomber Dragon" destroy it. The effect of "Topologic Bomber Dragon" then activated, which would cause Playmaker to take damage equal to the ATK of "Decode Talker". Varis claimed that Playmaker lost the Duel and smiled as his dragon executed its effect.
To stop the effect, Playmaker activated "Link Restart", and even revived "Decode Talker". Varis noted how tough Playmaker was to avoid this situation, as "Dragonoid Generator" summoned another Token to Playmaker's field. As Playmaker had Ai conjure a Data Storm, Varis was glad they did that, since he expected them to do that. He mused how his goal for the Speed Duel was completed. After Playmaker used Storm Access, Varis was impressed, considering how mighty the Data Storm was. Playmaker went to Link Summon, but Varis stopped that with "Remote Rebirth", summoning a monster from Playmaker's field to one of zones "Topologic Bomber Dragon" pointed to, with the intention of using his dragon's effect to destroy every monster in the Main Monster Zones. The effect of "Capacitor Stalker" once again dealt 800 Damage to both, causing both Varis and Playmaker's LP to fall to 0. Ai suspected Varis wanted the Duel to end in a tie, but Varis denied this, declaring he could predict their every move. Suddenly, Varis and Playmaker were pulled to the Data Storm, as the latter realized Varis actually planned this. Varis and Playmaker were separated from their D-Boards, and entered the center of the Data Storm - a calm place, filled with floating rocks. Varis declared the place to be their new stage of battle, as a shining card Dr. Kogami sent to LINK VRAINS was added to his Deck. Varis explained they would have a Master Duel that had more Monster and Spell & Trap Zones, fitting for them to show off their Link Monsters' prowess.
Having the first turn in the Master Duel, Varis took on defense by playing "Fire Prison", "Twin Triangle Dragon" and "Linkbelt Wall Dragon" to make it harder to Link Summon and attack. Playmaker was worried about these defenses, and suspected it could be a part of Varis' plan. Instead, Playmaker summoned "Encode Talker" and had it attack "Twin Triangle Dragon". Due to the effect of "Linkbelt Wall Dragon", the attack was redirected to itself, making Playmaker's attack nullified. However, he did summon "Interrupt Resistor"; Varis realized Playmaker was preparing for a new Link Summon, but swore that strategy would cost Playmaker dearly. Varis Link Summoned "Three Burst Blast Dragon", surprising Ai, since Varis could've summoned "Topologic Bomber Dragon" instead, and was even more surprised he targeted "Backup Secretary" instead of "Encode Talker" for an attack target. Since "Three Burst Blast Dragon" negated the effect of "Encode Talker", Playmaker had "Interrupt Resistor" boost the DEF of "Backup Secretary" to take less damage from Varis' dragon's piercing effect. Playmaker sensed that Varis would bring out a different monster than "Topologic Bomber Dragon". To stop that, Playmaker summoned "Decode Talker" to take out "Linkbelt Wall Dragon". Varis anticipated this, and used the effect of "Fire Prison" to negate every Cyberse card as if it didn't exist, causing "Encode Talker" and "Decode Talker" to vanish, and even make Ai disappear.
Varis told Playmaker it was his fault for listening to Ai that made Cyberse cards unusable. Since Playmaker did not know about Ai, Varis told how there were tests to create life forms inside the network, but most attempts lacked free will. However, there was one person that succeeded, and that product was Ignis, the first AI with free will. Playmaker did not believe in this story, but Varis ignored him. He stated the most important thing was to capture and destroy Ai, who had created the Cyberse and wanted to conquer the network. On his next turn, Varis used the effect of "Three Burst Blast Dragon" to summon more Dragons, all to bring out his ace, "Borreload Dragon". Playmaker recognized it as the same dragon Varis rode on when he was searching for Ai when Yusaku and Kolter hacked it. Varis, who placed a safety mask on, declared a direct attack with his dragon, causing 3000 points of LP damage to Playmaker, even causing the blast to come out of the Data Storm. Since Playmaker was knocked out, Varis smiled, seeing the match had ended. However, Playmaker stood up, and Varis saw he failed to crush his confidence. As Playmaker played "Cynet Universe", Varis claimed it was a pointless move, since there were no Cyberse monsters. Playmaker denied this, since he could sense their pulses; Varis was greatly displeased, and shocked how he used two of his ace monsters to Link Summon "Firewall Dragon". Varis realized that was the card Playmaker had obtained from the Data Storm, and with its summoning, "Fire Prison" vanished. "Firewall Dragon" destroyed "Linkbelt Wall Dragon", which frustrated Varis, as Playmaker's "Parallel Port Armor" made his dragon untargetable and indestructible by battle. He took the next turn, replenishing his hand and bringing back "Anesthrokket Dragon" and "Autorokket Dragon". He then used the effects of "Borreload Dragon" and "Autorokket Dragon" in concert to send the latter to the GY to destroy defenses of "Firewall Dragon". He then attacked, surprising Ai and Playmaker with "Borreload Dragon" effect causing "Firewall Dragon" to switch over to Varis' field. Varis, intending to have Playmaker's own Cyberse card defeat him, had "Firewall Dragon" attack directly, but the attack was canceled by "Cynet Refresh". Still, Varis boosted his defenses by reviving two of his "Magnarokket Dragons". Playmaker brought back his "Encode Talker" and "Firewall Dragon", declaring the true fight had only begun.
When Playmaker's "Firewall Dragon" used its effect to return "Borreload Dragon" from the field to the hand, Varis informed him that it couldn't be targeted by effects. Playmaker targeted "Magnarokket Dragon" instead, prompting Varis to activate its effect and attempt to destroy "Firewall Dragon". Playmaker responded with "Cynet Refresh" to protect his dragon from destruction. Varis was amused, and ended his turn. Much to Varis' surprise, Playmaker had "Firewall Dragon", protected by "Encode Talker", attack "Borreload Dragon", who had more ATK. Playmaker used "Battle Buffer" to raise the ATK of "Encode Talker", a strategy that impressed Varis. To counter it, Varis targeted "Encode Talker" with his dragon to reduce it's ATK, causing "Encode Talker" to be destroyed and Playmaker's strategy to backfire. While the ATK of "Firewall Dragon" was raised by "Battle Buffer", Varis' "rokket" dragons regained their effects. Varis claimed the match was over, as Playmaker could not attack anymore. The latter made him doubt that, since he could not use the effect of "Magnarokket Dragon". Using "Recoded Alive", Playmaker revived "Decode Talker", whose ATK was boosted up to destroy "Borreload Dragon". However, Varis used "Borrel Cooling" to activate "Magnarokket Dragon" effect to destroy "Decode Talker". Varis smiled, seeing how close he was to his victory, with Playmaker having no cards nor attacks to execute. Playmaker refused to lose, and claimed he wanted to uncover the events that had happened 10 years ago, to recover the time he had lost and to save the person that saved him. Varis was surprised that what happened 10 years ago involved Playmaker, who replied he was "that emissary of revenge". Varis claimed Playmaker was a fool to help SOL Technologies out without knowing the truth.
Playmaker refused to listen and, using "Parallel Port Armor", he had "Firewall Dragon" attack once more to perform a One Turn Kill. The attack destroyed "Borreload Dragon", and Varis was slammed into a rock as his LP fell to zero. He then lost his avatar's arm when Ai became vicious and tried to devour Varis. Varis was pulled up to be logged out, but as promised, he threw a card that would remove Blue Angel's virus. Before leaving, Varis stated as long as Playmaker had Ai, their Duel would continue on. Varis returned to his base and Dr. Kogami was surprised how Varis let his guard down, seeing it was about that incident Playmaker spoke of. Varis apologized to him as his father, and as his hand recovered, claimed that next time would be different. His father stated that Varis didn't need to think of that, and seeing how they could not retrieve Ai, he went to execute the other plan, and needed time to make preparations for that. Varis nodded, and recalling Playmaker's speech pattern of three points of analysis, he wondered about his connection to him. Varis and Kogami went to a deep pit, where Kogami showed him a seed shaped like a cube, which would grow into a "fruit" that would destroy the whole network, including LINK VRAINS. Varis watched Kogami release the seed, which fell into the pit. Varis was still at the pit, with his father absent. He remarked that the battle for humanity would begin soon enough.
As the the Deleted victims were being infected, Varis was worried if the Hanoi program was activated, the Lost Incident records would be deleted, and he'd never uncover Playmaker's identity. He was contacted by his father, who reported the Hanoi program would soon be finished. Varis was still sad, as he wished to settle things with Playmaker. He told his father that he wouldn't move on until he defeated Playmaker, and his father permitted him a rematch, as long as it didn't take too much time. Later, Varis watched as the Knights of Hanoi forced people to Duel, preventing them from logging out. Varis was unamused, considering a thousand people that joined the Knights of Hanoi were mere grunts, who wanted self-promotion by opposing LINK VRAINS. He was visited by Faust and Baira, who informed him Dr. Genome was making his move, and gave him the Data Gale. After Baira released the virus-removal program and logged out, she appeared next to Varis, who punished her. With all three of his subordinates - Genome, Baira, and Faust - defeated and resting inside pods, Varis left his headquarters in LINK VRAINS. In the real world, at Clarissa Turner's apartment, Ryoken removed a flashdrive from its hiding place and looked at the video recording on it - Yusaku and Kolter in Baira's room witnessing Blue Angel defeating Baira. Ai appeared in the video and Ryoken smiled, as he learned that Playmaker was Yusaku. Varis was at the pit, and proclaimed the time has come that he would risk the fate of the humanity on the Tower of Hanoi.
Ryoken was at Stardust Road, ordering food from the Café Nom food truck, his face still hidden. He told Kolter, who was still unaware of his true identity, that this would be the last time he would order from him. Kolter asked him if he was moving away; Ryoken replied that his reason was something like that before leaving. Varis returned to LINK VRAINS where he met up with Specter, lamenting the loss of Dr. Genome, Baira, and Faust. He explained he was too focused on Playmaker. Despite this, Varis told the three were the core for his plan. Specter asked if Varis was fine with the fact that they still didn't know Playmaker's identity. Varis proclaimed the plan had to resolve, even if it cost him his life, promising to defeat anyone that stood in his path. Later, he met Ghost Gal at the reprocessing plant, and was surprised to find her there. Varis noted Ghost Gal was snooping again, who promised to leave. However, Varis raised the barrier, stating he can't let her leave this place. Ghost Gal used the rope to reach a different exit, but Varis barred her. Ghost Gal questioned Varis what would he do with her after she would be captured, suspecting she would be in trouble. Varis offered her a Duel to shape his Deck out, allowing her to leave if she would win. Ghost Gal attempted to leave, but Varis pointed out logging out was disabled. Thus, being forced to fight, Ghost Gal initiated her first turn in the Speed Duel.
Varis applied his swarming tactics to bring out monsters to his field. Ghost Gal noted Varis did not bring an AI for his Duel Disk, as Varis stated trusting an AI is foolish. Ghost Gal remembered Varis spoke that Ignis would destroy the world, but Varis ignored her, considering her as a mercenary that would not understand that. Ghost Gal reminded herself of Varis' ace, and noted the longer the Duel lasted, the more she would be at a disadvantage. Varis quickly brought out "Topologic Bomber Dragon", as Ghost Gal sensed Varis wanted to quickly end the Duel. Varis' dragon attacked Ghost Gal's "Altergeist Marionetter". To prevent this, Ghost Gal played "Altergeist Kunquery", and sealed off the dragon's effects. Ghost Gal questioned Varis about the energy sphere, and Varis simply replied something unimaginable was bound to happen. Ghost Gal brought out "Altergeist Primebanshee" and Kidolga". Her "Altergeist" monsters attacked Varis directly, dropping his LP to 400, and even took Varis' "Twin Triangle Dragon" to defeat him. Ghost Gal gloated in her victory, but Varis called her a fool. Playing a Trap Card, Varis negated the attack and destroyed all of Ghost Gal's Link Monsters. Ghost Gal realized Varis could've simply played his card earlier to avoid damage, and all of that was just so he could activate his Skill. Varis mocked her for not being able to predict that, while Ghost Gal returned her "Altergeist Marionetter" to her hand.
Playing a Trap Card, later revealed through similar visual effects to be Mirror Force, Varis negated the attack and destroyed all of Ghost Gal's Link Monsters. To prevent Varis from using his Skill, Ghost Gal activated her, Skill, Secret Cure, to at least raise Varis' LP. Much to her displeasure, she drew the 0 ATK "Altergeist Kunquery". Varis continued mocking her, stating luck has abandoned her. Ghost Gal planned her strategy to deal with Varis' effects and attacks, by using "Altergeist Protocol". Varis simply set Ghost Gal's card off with "Red Reboot", at the cost of halving his LP for using it from his hand. He also let Ghost Gal set a Trap Card from her Deck, but she was unable to play any Trap Cards during his turn. Ghost Gal still hoped in having the LP and field advantage, but Varis mocked her, claiming only darkness awaited her, from which she could not escape from. Varis, after bringing out three dragons, used Storm Access, taking out a Link Monster from the Data Storm, emitted from the purplish sphere. Varis Link Summoned his new monster, "Topologic Trisbaena", and revived "Defrag Dragon" at the position of former's Link Arrow. "Topologic Trisbaena" banished away all of Ghost Gal's Trap Cards and dealt her 1500 LP damage, and attacked her directly. Ghost Gal screamed, as she was defeated. Varis confronted Playmaker, who demanded to know about Ghost Gal's whereabouts. Varis simply proclaimed she became a foundation for the Tower of Hanoi, which was activated. He stated should Playmaker wish to stop it, he'd have to confront him. With the purplish sphere emitting tentacles that destroyed the place, Varis jumped away.
Varis responded to Kitamura's calling, who asked to speak with the Knights of Hanoi's leader. Kitamura was startled to meet Varis, who threatened to erase Kitamura if he wasted his time. Kitamura pointed out there was no media reporter around, and since they were alone, he wanted to propose a secret deal. Kitamura proposed an alliance to rule LINK VRAINS, amusing Varis. Kitamura knew the Knights of Hanoi have the control of LINK VRAINS, and he explained he would maintain their domain, thinking they could even earn a fortune. Varis was intrigued, but in order to have Kitamura join them, he had him undertake a test. Varis went away, leaving Specter to face Kitamura in a Master Duel.
Varis, at his headquarters, approached his unconscious subordinates, who were lying on pods. Varis praised Specter's hard work, and said that his defeat would not be in vain. He noted the tower was getting closer to completion, but knew Playmaker would arrive to face him. He believed this fight started ten years ago, when he launched the attack on Cyberse. He remembered the attempts of acquiring Ignis, even using Blue Angel to do their bidding, and he personally went to face Playmaker, forcing their battle to continue into the Data Storm itself. He noted Playmaker was the enemy that did not forget a single day for ten years, and noted he was his destined opponent. Varis wanted to find Playmaker's identity, even after his father planted the seed to erase all data. Due to that, Varis' subordinates have gone to fight off Playmaker and his allies, all to prevent Varis from becoming the biggest criminal in history, who was too focused on Playmaker. Dr. Kogami approached Varis, asking if he uncovered Playmaker's identity. Varis denied, even though he did see Yusaku's face in footage. Kogami noted ever since the tower was in place, Varis' interest in Playmaker's identity vanished. Regardless, he reminded Varis that even if the world would see them as criminals that took revenge against SOL Technologies, even with all the victims that would soon be erased, he thought one day they would learn the truth of the danger an AI with free will imposed. Varis noted that they were prisoners of destiny, and the fated, final Duel against Playmaker would commence soon, one he intended to win.
Gore was near the Tower of Hanoi, and remembered his promise to his manager. In front of the tower, Gore was confronted by Varis, who came to stop him, and the two noted each other's names. Gore noted Varis would use the tower to destroy the data, and questioned his Goreals. Varis smiled, doubting Gore would understand the Knights of Hanoi's Goreals. Gore confirmed this, since he did not wish to listen gibberish from a "villain", and would never forgive Varis these actions. Varis wondered why Gore came, since Blue Angel has been absorbed already. Warning the same would happen to Gore, Varis let him retreat. Gore was surprised to hear Blue Angel had been defeated, as Varis noted Specter defeated her, but lost to Playmaker. Varis pointed out his enemy was Playmaker rather than Gore. Gore swore to stop Varis, just like Playmaker did to Specter. Varis noted Gore did defeat one of his subordinates, and accepted the challenge. Gore remembered Playmaker's warning about Varis' powerful card, and hoped his refined Deck should suffice. Gore started the first round by Link Summoning "Gouki Thunder Ogre" and supplying his field with three "Gouki" monsters as backup. When Playmaker arrived, Gore claimed he would be the one to defeat Varis, who was unamused Gore was distracted by a bystander. Varis' swarming tactics let him Link Summon "Triple Burst Dragon" and draw two cards with the effect of "Arrow Charge".
To belittle Gore, Varis used Gore's "Gouki Thunder Ogre" for the additional Normal Summon of "Triggering Wurm", and use it to Link Summon "Topologic Bomber Dragon". "Triggering Wurm" was revived from the GY, and Varis used his Dragon's effect to clear everyone's Main Monster Zones. To minimize the damage, Gore tributed "Gouki Twistcobra" to increase the ATK of "Gouki Thunder Ogre" to 4500, and its effect increased its own ATK by 400. Varis boosted his Dragon with "Link Protection" and attacked "Gouki Thunder Ogre", which triggered his Dragon's effect to destroy the ogre and inflict 2200 LP damage to Gore. Gore discarded "Gouki Octostretch" to halve the damage. Varis complimented Gore for this tactic, but wondered how long would that last. Thinking of the children, Gore swore to restore LINK VRAINS. Gore Link Summoned "Gouki Heel Ogre" next to the link of "Topologic Bomber Dragon". The latter's effect was triggered, but "Shadow Ogre" negated its effect and destroyed the Dragon. Gore pointed out he also used Varis' monster to his advantage, which made Varis smirk. Varis banished "Link Protection" and "Topologic Bomber Dragon" to prevent Gore from attacking, unless he had four Link Monsters. Gore made progress by reviving "Gouki Jet Ogre" and bringing out "Gouki The Great Ogre".
Gore swore to stop Varis, who admitted his admiration for Go's passion. However, he reminded he was ruthless, and used a flashing "Mirror Force" to destroy all of Go's monsters, thus intentionally cancelling his efforts. Gore realized that was the card Playmaker warned him about, making Varis laugh. Varis offered Gore to surrender. However, instead of his confidence crushed, Gore became more determined to win, to use everything he had to stop Varis. He played "Gouki Ringtrainer" to resurrect his "Gouki The Great Ogre" that Varis had destroyed. Varis promised to "honor" his opponent by obliterating him. He played "Boot Sector Launch" to summon "Shelrokket Dragon" and "Metalrokket Dragon", using them to Link Summon "Booster Dragon". Varis targeted the effect of "Booster Dragon" to "Shellrokket Dragon", firing the missile to destroy Go's "Gouki" monsters. With no monsters left, Gore took the attack of "Booster Dragon", lowering his LP to 1000. Gore had "Gouki Moonsault" return his "Gouki Jet Ogre" to his Extra Deck, only to Link Summon it later on. He destroyed it to force Varis' monsters in Attack Position, preparing them for battle. He revived "Gouki Jet Ogre" with "Gouki Grit", and used all of his monsters to Link Summon his new monster, "Gouki The Giant Ogre", which sparked Varis' interest. Go's ogre, whose ATK became 5000, attacked "Booster Dragon", reduced Varis' LP by 3100 points, as a "payback" for Varis' actions. While Varis Special Summoned "Triple Burst Dragon" from his GY, Gore claimed he was always improving himself.
Varis summoned a "Magnarokket Dragon", and targeted it with the effect of "Booster Dragon". Varis targeted "Gouki The Giant Ogre" as his target for destruction, who was unaffected by that effect, and the missile bounced off it. Varis became displeased his effort were in vain, claiming Gore was stubborn. Gore reminded he always Dueled in public, and many children were looking up to him. However, he noted currently there was no fan cheering on for him, and now was fighting only for himself. He wanted to prove his strength, and dared Varis to show his own, who creepily smiled. Varis proceeded by summoning "Borrelsword Dragon", surprised Gore actually forced him to summon this monster that would mark his enemy's end. Varis admitted he did not care for whom he fought, for he was just carrying on his goal. The dragon and the ogre clashed, with neither side being indestructible in battle. "Borrelsword Dragon" gained half the ATK that was cut off from "Gouki The Giant Ogre", increasing its ATK to 4500. Varis switched the position of "Metalrokket Dragon" to destroy "Gouki The Giant Ogre". The attempt failed, for the latter's ATK increased by 1000 when its ATK was reduced, thus becoming immune to "Metalrokket Dragon". This, however, allowed "Borrelsword Dragon" to attack once more, and slashed Go's "Gouki The Giant Ogre" and defeating Gore himself. After Gore faded away, Varis reminded Playmaker they were the two last people in LINK VRAINS. Playmaker nodded, for it was time for a final confrontation against Varis.
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 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 it was.
Varis gave Playmaker a question why Ai was running away from the Knights of Hanoi. Ai reminded it 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 itself. 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. 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. However, he claimed he had been trying to escape, 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 debris. Drawing "Mirror Force", Varis set it and summoned "Spin-Headed Behemoth". 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. Looking at Varis' set card, he remembered Gore and Ghost Gal's sacrifices, knowing that card must be "Mirror Force". Thus, his Defense Position "Fault Tolelancer" protected his Attack Position monsters from being destroyed by such cards. Varis showed it, indeed, was "Mirror Force", but "Spin-Headed Behemoth" shifted all of Playmaker's monsters to Attack Position. Without the protection of "Fault Tolelancer", all of Playmaker's monsters were destroyed, too. In addition, Varis Special Summoned "Overflow Dragon" and summoned an "Overflow Token".
Despite the lack of trust, Ai reminded he would be destroyed if Playmaker lost, who simply ignored Ai. Going on offense, Varis Link Summoned "Flash Charge Dragon" and Normal Summoned "Blast Powder Dragon", who boosted the former's ATK by 800. Playmaker took a direct attack, falling to his knees as his LP dropped to 900, which concerned Ai. 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. 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". Varis was nevertheless persistent, using "Flash Charge Dragon" to destroy one Token and inflict 500 LP damage to Playmaker. In order to get out of this predicament, Playmaker Link Summoned "Link Disciple" and "Security Dragon" by linking them. The latter's effect attempted to return "Flash Charge Dragon" to Varis' Extra Deck, who instead tributed "Blast Powder Dragon" to prevent that effect from occurring. 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. With Ai's help, Playmaker took out the Link Monster, "Transcode Talker", which surprised Varis. Playmaker Special Summoned "Decode Talker" next to the Link Marker of "Transcode Talker". Their ATK was further boosted with "Cynet Storm". "Decode Talker" slashed "Flash Charge Dragon", and "Transcode Talker" fired out a blast from its cannon to attack Varis directly. Varis Special Summoned "Chobham Armor Dragon" to protect himself, though he took 1650 LP damage. Playmaker gritted his teeth, as Varis reminded him not to underestimate him. When Varis started his turn, Ai came out of Playmaker's Duel Disk, but became smaller, since he recovered from the damage it took. Varis reminded he still had the same Skill Playmaker has, and remembered with the help of his father, he should succeed in taking out a monster from the Data Storm. He proceeded to use his Skill, but was nearly harmed from the density. Knowing Playmaker succeeded in using the Skill, Varis stuck his hand, only to get harmed by the energy. Varis was taken aback from the damage. He still went to use his Skill, as Playmaker and Ai noted he still wanted to win at any cost. Suddenly, the Data Storm stopped, as Dr. Kogami appeared to his son, Varis.
Dr. Kogami admitted he was not a good father to let his son suffer, referring to him as Ryoken, who never complained. He explained he didn't want Varis involved in any of this, but reminded without him, the world would be in chaos. While Playmaker and Ai were wondering about Dr. Kogami's words, the latter decided to lend his strength in helping Varis to win, all to protect the humanity. Dr. Kogami's essence passed onto Varis, who noticed a glitter in the Data Storm, much like the light of the Stardust Road. Varis went through the Data Storm and obtained a new Cyberse monster, but noticed Dr. Kogami's heart was damaged. Varis muttered "Stardust Road", which Playmaker heard of. Varis used "Link Recovery" to recover his "Flash Charge Dragon" and let Playmaker draw a card, with the cost of unable of opening the Battle Phase. Varis used his monsters to Link Summon the new monster he obtained, "Topologic Gumblar Dragon". Noticing Dr. Kogami's heart stopped beating, Varis explained he can't continue the Duel. To wrap things up, he summoned "Drop Draco", triggering his "Topologic" dragon's effect to destroy it and every card in Varis' and Playmaker's hands. For each card destroyed, "Drop Dragon" inflicted 300 LP for each card destroyed, thus causing Playmaker and Varis' Duel to end in another DRAW. Playmaker and Varis were blown away, but the former was more worried about his father.
Varis, having logged out to the real world, was at his father's bed. Yusaku and Kolter drove to his place at Stardust Road, and approached him, with the former mentioning he was 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". Varis introduced himself as Ryoken Kogami. Kolter noted Ryoken was Dr. Kogami's son, but the latter explained his father has just passed away, which made Kolter curse he could not reach him earlier. Yusaku asked Ryoken, referring to him as Varis, for more information that they had the right to know about. Ryoken confirmed that, so Yusaku asked the reason behind his actions, if the Lost Incident had been about creating Ignis. Ryoken explained his father wanted to create a successor, should the humanity be destroyed, for even if it was to evolve and rise, it was still under threat of extinction. He told it is why his father created Ignis, since they did not have limitations the humanity had.
Ai claimed he was not an enemy, but Ryoken did not trust it. Yusaku pointed out Kiyoshi based his views on simulations, and it had no reason to be true. Thus, he asked Ryoken to turn off the Tower of Hanoi to "walk down a new path". He reminded Ryoken about pointing out the three reasons behind actions was Ryoken's idea he passed onto Yusaku during the project. Yusaku admitted he thought that voice had been trapped by the Knights of Hanoi, and wanted to save him. In a way, Ryoken encouraged Yusaku to step forward, an idea the former found ironic. Regardless, 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. Ryoken declared the only way to stop the tower was to defeat him, which made Yusaku hesitate a bit. Without further ado, the two guys logged into LINK VRAINS, to the top of the Tower of Hanoi. Varis admitted he would enjoy Dueling against Playmaker, and the two started their final Duel.
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. Varis activated "Mirror Force" to destroy the attacking monster. In return, Playmaker used the monster's Link Material, "Restoration Point Guard", to Special Summon it on the field and attack Varis directly. The attack pushed Varis away to 3000 LP. Regardless, Varis was amused, knowing he would enjoy this Duel with a worthy opponent. 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". To get rid of Playmaker's "Restoration Point Guard", Varis revived "Metalrokket Dragon" with "Borrel Regenerator", Special Summoning the said monster to a Zone "Topologic Bomber Dragon" pointed to destroy all Main Monster Zone monsters.
Much to Varis' shock, "Restoration Point Guard" was protected from being destroyed once Varis Link Summoned his dragon. The latter attacked Playmaker's monster, but Playmaker sent "Rescue Interlacer" to receive no damage. Regardless, Varis succeeded in giving Playmaker damage equal to the ATK of "Restoration Point Guard", 1000, thus making their LP even. Ai was grateful Playmaker managed to minimize the damage, but 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. Varis was greatly impressed that Playmaker managed to power-up his monsters and protect them from being destroyed. 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. The latter attacked and destroyed Varis' "Magnarokket Dragon". Just as "Transcode Talker" went to attack "Topologic Bomber Dragon", Varis played "Link Turret", which prevented his dragon's destruction. Varis took 300 LP damage, and with "Link Turret", he got five counters.
While Varis summoned "Autorokket Dragon", Ai was concerned about those five counters. Varis noticed the two realized what would happen next, and claimed he fooled Playmaker into his strategy. He revived his "Shelrokket Dragon" and "Metalrokket Dragon" to Link Summon "Miniborrel Dragon". Combined with "Sniffer 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. Playmaker fell to his knees with 800 LP left, while Varis told Playmaker there was no new path for him. He reminded him that they were still chained to their past from ten years ago, and were prisoners of destiny. Thus, Varis promised he would sever that link.
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. Varis used his "Shelrokket", "Metalrokket" and "Miniborrel Dragon" to Link Summon another Link-4 monster, "Borrelguard Dragon". Ai panicked, since they never faced this "friend" of "Borreload Dragon". Using the latter's effect, Varis took control of the monster he destroyed in battle, "Powercode Talker". Repeating his tactic, he used the same dragons to Link Summon "Borrelsword Dragon". Varis even thanked Playmaker for the opportunity, since he did trigger the effect of "Topologic Bomber Dragon" to let Varis set the scene up.
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. Playmaker took 750 LP damage, and survived with only 50 LP left. Varis called that a desperate move, considering his monsters could not attack, and if the card would be destroyed, so would his monsters too.
Varis reminded Playmaker that the latter said Varis saved his life, by offering him advice on thinking of three reasons to continue fighting. Varis pointed out when four turns would be over, he'd annihilate Playmaker, and any attempts the latter would make would be countered. He also reminded the tower would be completed soon and destroy all data. Playmaker was nevertheless hurt, and fell down to exhaustion. Being encouraged by Ai, 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. 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. Upon destruction of "Drop Frame Wedge", it briefly rained in LINK VRAINS. Varis smirked, for he was able to attack from then on. Despite Varis having seven monsters, Playmaker dared him to take his turn.
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. Varis made his offense, by having "Borreload Dragon" target "Secure Gardna", for even if its ATK decreasing effect would not work, it was to prevent Playmaker from activating his set card. Ai was agitated of Varis' tactics. "Secure Gardna" protected Playmaker's LP, and Playmaker banished "Protection Wizard" to negate his monster's destruction. Varis' "Borrelsword Dragon" switched the position of "Magnarokket Dragon" to destroy "Anesthrokket Dragon", so it could attack twice. 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. 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. Varis commended Playmaker for stopping his attacks, but claimed he had no chance at winning against his Extra Link. Instead, he ordered Playmaker to give up, since the outcome was clear. Playmaker replied he was always alone, and even if he wanted to change his path, he was unable to; the incident tainted his heart, surrounding it with emptiness. Varis had no idea what Playmaker was talking about, who pointed out Varis lived in the same world he did. He also felt compassion towards Playmaker, and went to save him by giving him the advice of three points. 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 this was a way Playmaker begged for his life. The latter denied this, since he found a circuit of victory. Varis questioned Playmaker's words, who firmly believed he could win with the card in his hand. He reminded Varis stated they were prisoners of destiny, without a new path. Standing now, Playmaker believed there actually was a new path. Varis dared Playmaker to show that, who exclaimed his revenge was over, he would soon overcome the darkness left in his heart, and promised the two of them will start anew. Halving his LP to 13, Playmaker banished "Transaction Rollback" to trigger "Recoded Alive" to bring out "Encode Talker", by banishing "Transcode Talker". Varis' "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" destroyed cards in their hands, but Playmaker anticipated this, since "Spam Mail" let him draw a card and return one of Varis' dragons to his hand: the chosen was "Autorokket Dragon". Using "Recoded Alive", Playmaker brought out the banished "Transcode Talker", who summoned "Powercode Talker" back. Finally, using "Encode Talker" and "Swap Cleric", Playmaker Link Summoned "Firewall Dragon".
With three of his monsters co-linked, too, Playmaker expanded the Extra Link. Since "Swap Cleric" was used as Link Material, Playmaker drew his final card - "Zero Extra Link", which boosted the ATK of "Transcode Talker", equal to the number of co-liked monsters times 800. Varis attempted to stop Playmaker with "Link Short", preventing his co-linked monsters from attacking. With a final trick up his sleeve, Playmaker used his Link Monsters to summon "Decode Talker", who was unaffected by Varis' Trap Card. Varis questioned this tactic, since "Decode Talker" still had less ATK. Due to "Zero Extra Link", the ATK increase of "Transcode Talker" was passed onto "Decode Talker". Swinging its mighty sword, "Decode Talker" slashed "Borreload Dragon" and defeated Varis. Varis fell down, and struggled to raise up. Per the agreement, he promised to stop the tower, but, similar to the outcome of his previous Master Duel, swore he would not quit his mission, as long as Ignis remained a threat to the world. The Tower of Hanoi stopped, and Playmaker watched as the data the tower collected was releasing. Ryoken logged out, and Shoichi and Playmaker saw him as he sailed away on his boat. Yusaku knew he'd face Varis someday, since he promised to fulfill his destiny.
In LINK VRAINS, Specter was told of the "new Playmaker", Soulburner, and his corresponding Ignis, Flame. Specter was surprised to hear that during the Tower of Hanoi's construction, someone destroyed Cyberse World. The person, Faust, believed the Ignis have fled, and Dr. Genome commented how troublesome that was. Specter believed Soulburner was also a Lost Incident victim. Varis walked to the group, who bowed to him, confirming that Soulburner's real name was Takeru Homura. Specter pointed out no Ignis came to him, but was reminded that the Ignis won't come to him if he was to hunt them down and exterminate them. Faust explained they know the location of Yusaku and Takeru, proposing an action towards them. Varis refused, stating such problems should be resolved through LINK VRAINS, declaring they should be left out in the real world. Since Playmaker was a tough foe, Varis proposed to simply observe the situation. He believed if the Ignis were to roam free, they'd eventually meet up with the others of their kind, as well as to pursue Bohman, the new foe Playmaker was fighting against.
The Knights of Hanoi analyzed Bohman, pointing out this new foe of Playmaker's used the Link Spell. Varis denied that Bohman was a SOL Technologies' mercenary, unlike Gore, who was just looking for a battle while searching for Ignis. Specter reminded then that Soulburner was also a dangerous target, who had gone with Playmaker through the gate. He ridiculed SOL Technologies for not doing anything about the gate, but did reopen LINK VRAINS. Varis pointed out the public would not know of such things, and swore to defeat SOL Technologies one day to avenge his father. Varis stated the gate was opened by an Ignis, thus eliminating SOL Technologies as a suspect. Specter was nevertheless interested in Blood Shepherd, whom Faust believed to even have some knowledge of Ignis. Varis denied that, for only he, his father and Ignis themselves know of that. Due to the cyberspace the Ignis created, Varis feared they were developing much faster, and would become a bigger threat. He felt Playmaker, who was helping Ignis, was also growing, with his Fusion and Ritual Summoning techniques incorporated. Before they went to deal with Playmaker, Varis asked everyone to come with him.
With everyone logged out and regrouped, the group went to prison. Genome sensed the security system was flawed, and was nothing to the code of Tower of Hanoi, even added a virus so they would go undetected. Aso explained the system was set for them to walk unnoticed, for a time, which pleased Ryoken. Ryoken opened a cell, greeting Kyoko, who was imprisoned. Kyoko expressed her gratitude, sensing there was a fight incoming for her to participate in, which Ryoken confirmed. As the guards noticed Kyoko was gone, Varis and his crew walked out of the prison, as he declared the return of the Knights of Hanoi. Inside the fake Cyberse World, Varis appeared with his new Avatar and stopped Windy's Data Storm. Playmaker and Ai were shocked, while Varis questioned the Ignis if they could've predicted his arrival. With his "Cracking Dragon" and his subordinates destroying the fake world, Varis announced the contiuation of his mission: to destroy Ignis.
Playmaker expressed his shock, as Varis reminded he would've returned. Lightning noted he was Dr. Kogami's son, and emitted a beam to strike Varis, whom Playmaker warned him to run. The latter was unaffected, for Windy reminded Varis knew of the Ignis algorithm, but Varis simply replied he assaulted the headquarters, with certain preparations. Ai realized Varis referred him and Playmaker, who simply wandered in the temple. Varis explained they found them through the network, and his subordinates helped him invade the base. He swore to finish his father's work, but Lightning claimed they were humanity's successors. Varis angrily cut the latter off; seeing that they started regrouping, he swore to destroy them. Playmaker tried to talk Varis down, stating the doom would follow if Varis executed his plans, reminding that his father told that humans were a problem, too. He simply stated if Varis started hostilities, the situation would simply escalate. Varis saw that Playmaker wanted to find a way without hostilities, to keep both sides peaceful. Playmaker confirmed this, stating Varis did show him a new path to exist. Varis, however, regretted doing that, just as his father having created the Ignis.
Instead, he asked Playmaker why the Ignis weren't finding a way to resolve the situation in a peaceful manner, too. He believed Playmaker was underestimating the Ignis, but Playmaker claimed that blind revenge won't bring prosperity. Varis didn't listen to Playmaker, for to him, his father's ideas to destroy Ignis was the only thing that motivated him to continue battling. Windy wanted to belittle Varis' efforts, considering any fact, he wanted 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. Varis turned to Playmaker, exclaiming the Ignis were the threat to the humanity. Playmaker wanted Varis to think of his own and abandon Dr. Kogami's ideas, for he won't move forward with hatred on his mind. Varis smiled, reminding Playmaker sought revenge out, too. He reminded if Playmaker stood in his path, he'd be his enemy, too. Windy wanted to test Varis' skills, who pointed out there won't be a rematch.
Varis playmed "Boot Sector Launch" and summoned two "rokket" monsters, whom he used to Link Summon "Dillingerous Dragon". As Varis set two cards, Windy noted Varis wanted to finish him off quickly, noting that Varis seemed prepared. Windy summoned the Cyberse "Stormrider Griffore" and "Stormrider Hippogriff", using them as materials for "Stormridership Rockbuster". Windy fortified his offence with a "Stormrider Harpiarm" and "Stormrider Turbulence", the latter increasing his monsters' ATK by 300. "Stormridership Rockbuster" destroyed Varis' set cards, much to the latter's surprise, and Windy was amazed that Varis set a "Magic Cylinder". Despite the situation, one of Varis' destroyed cards was "Reverse Engineering" that let him set "Magic Cylinder" back, ready for usage. Windy pointed out he didn't want to battle if he'd take damage, but Varis claimed he could also have his "Dillingerous Dragon" destroy the monster that didn't attack and take damage equal to its ATK. Windy had "Stormridership Rockbuster" attack, to which Varis played "Magic Cylinder". To counter that effect, "Harpiarm" switched to Defense Position to negate that attack; Varis' dragon was destroyed and he took 700 LP damage.
Windy sensed that Varis didn't plan things to go like that, believing Dr. Kogami felt the same way. Varis was still following his path, despite these obstacles. Varis took his turn, reviving "Magnarokket" and "Anesthrokket Dragon" from his GY. Chaining their summoning, he revived "Dillingerous Dragon", and used his monsters to Link Summon his ace, "Borreload Dragon". He planned to finish Windy off with that monster, who claimed the situation could not be always predicted: "Rockbuster" set Varis' "Magic Cylinder" to his own field. Varis exclaimed that tactic won't work, considering he could simply lower his opponent's monster's ATK, and preventing any cards to be activated in that moment. Varis swore to attack and destroy the Ignises, but Windy pointed out Varis would be the one to be destroyed. Playing "Stormrider Turbulence", the effects of "Borreload Dragon" were negated, and the dragon was forced to fight, for Windy exclaimed Varis to "hurt himself". Playing "Magic Cylinder", Windy stopped the attack of "Borreload Dragon", and Varis took 3000 LP damage. Windy boasted that Varis would fail at defeating him. Varis replied Windy was defective, sloppy AI, to think like that.
Windy belittled Varis, and tried to get him to surrender. He claimed he'd acknowledge Varis' coexistence, but he'd had to take control of his mind for that to happen. Varis understood that if humans didn't consider the Ignis as enemies, the latter won't be so harsh on them. Ai exclaimed that Windy's way wasn't a peaceful method, but Windy replied it was better than extinction. Varis pointed out the Ignis know their faults, but didn't understand anything about peace, as he knew that they really don't want humans around. Varis mentioned Windy's partner, and Windy remembered he had one. Ai suspected something happened to him, while Playmaker believed his consciousness was stolen, much like that of Jin Kusanagi. Varis stated that he uncovered the participants of Lost Incident project, and found out Windy was involved in a car accident, using the accident to disable his own partner. Varis pointed out that was the true face of the Ignis, questioning their coexistence with them. However, Windy blamed Dr. Kogami, who initiated the plan to erase the Ignis.
To reverse the situation, Varis summoned "Speedburst Dragon", and regained some of his LP and damaged Windy by the damage he initially received: 3000. Windy was furious, while Varis' dragon slashed "Stormridership Rockbuster", and inflicted a hundred LP damage to Windy. Windy bore hatred towards Varis, who stated his father regretted creating an Ignis that hurt their partner. Windy pretended they were Dr. Kogami's top achievement, but Varis cut his small-talk, for he also bore his father's regret, as well as his goals. Windy ridiculed Varis, questioning why wasn't he chosen to be a part of the project. He continued to belittle Varis, thinking his father had no expectations from his son, who came with a plot to destroy the Ignis. Varis thought of his final moments with his father, and insulted Windy for having bad imaginations, for he'd never understood the family bonds. Windy played "Stormrider Return", Special Summoning the Link Monster that Varis destroyed earlier. Next, Windy summoned a Data Storm, and boasted about his abilities to control the wind itself. He activated the Storm Access skill, despite being in the middle of the Master Duel.
He proceeded to Link Summon, using "Stormrider Harpiarm" and "Stormridership Rockbuster" for the Link-3 "Stormridership Bahamut Bomber". Using the latter's effect, Windy destroyed "Borreload Dragon" and inflicted 500 LP damage on Varis, then destroyed his "Speedbooster Dragon" and inflicted additional 700 LP damage. Windy continued to ridicule Varis, by playing "Stormrider Skyfisher" and letting Varis set a card from his GY, but rendering it unusable. Varis set "Magical Cylinder", which Windy destroyed with his bomber, and lowered Varis' LP to 100. Finally, Windy returned his "Skyfisher" to his hand. As Varis' subordinates arrived, Windy yelled at Varis to go apologize to his father, who wasn't amused by this bad humor. The trio reported that AI they had fought were defeated, which infuriated Windy. The latter doubted in Varis' victory, since his ace monster was gone. Varis remained silent, while Spectre, who came with Soulburner inside the temple, warned the Wind Ignis that Varis was just getting prepared.
Varis was amused to see four Ignis in once place, while Ai, whom Flame freed, became angry at Windy. Windy let Varis play his final turn, and ridiculed him for not being able to destroy his bomber. Varis smiled, for Windy couldn't have predicted Varis' next move. Varis revived "Anesthrokket Dragon", and summoned "Rokket Synchron", whose effect revived "Speedbooster Dragon", too. Varis tuned his "Rokket Synchron" with two of his monsters, performing a Synchro Summon of "Borreload Savage Dragon". "Borreload Savage Dragon" equipped its Link Monster counterpart, and gained four counters, as well as 1500 ATK. Lightning noted that was an unexpected move, which was what annoyed Windy even more. Windy attempted to destroy "Borreload Dragon", which was treated as an Equip Spell to win the Duel. Varis cut Windy's arrogance, for "Borreload Savage Dragon" removed one of its counters to negate that effect. Windy panicked, as Varis declared to pay for his crimes: his dragon fired a beam, destroying "Stormridership Bahamut Bomber", and dropped Windy's LP to zero. Windy was blown away by the attack, and barely muttered Lightning's name. Varis had his subordinates finish Windy off, who fired digital spikes to impale Windy. Ai shouted at Lightning, who grabbed Windy before he would've been erased.
Varis commented that Ai shouted for Windy's help. Thus, he deduced Ai was the same as them, who noted the Knights of Hanoi attempted to erase Windy without hesitation. Varis knew a fight was inevitable, and Lightning agreed with him. Ai tried to reason with Lightning, who summoned Bohman and Haru. Furthermore, he revealed that the silhouette of his partner: Jin Kusanagi, in a new armor. Varis knew that was Jin Kusanagi, and that process was what Lightning meant by controlling humans. Lightning spared no threat from attempting to do the same to Varis. Lightning confirmed that he did have Cyberse World attacked; Varis believed that enabled Lightning to remove the Ignis that thought differently of humans than he did. To that, Lightning simply wished to rebuild the world. He branded Varis as the enemy, for trying to provoke them, and didn't wish to hear his "smooth talk". Varis felt that the Ignis didn't even trust of coexistence with humans in the first place. With Playmaker, Soulburner, Lightning and his allies gone, Varis decided to abstain from the situation. He did note that he and Playmaker shared their enemy. In addition, he had his subordinates contact SOL Techologies of the place.
Kolter was cleaning a table when he received a new customer. Kolter went to serve him, but the customer exclaimed that Playmaker needed his help, and his strength would regress if Kolter vanished. Yusaku came with Ai, shocked to see that customer was actually Varis - Ryoken. 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 exclaimed that someone was watching them in the network, and could only personally give him the program. Ryoken believed Yusaku would suffer the attack, like the one made on Jin Kusanagi, and the program should protect him from that offence. Despite Ai's protests, Yusaku installed the program, and Ai noted a powerful algorithm. He did wonder why Ryoken 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, since then they would be able to face each other to settle their disputes.
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 told them to be careful and left. Specter and Ryoken had a drink near a building when the hacker, Kengo Dojun, came out. The two noticed that the AI bounty hunter, known as Blood Shepherd, rode away in a car. Ryoken feared he could be a great enemy to them. Later, on a boat, Specter informed Ryoken that the LIGHT Ignis has gone into hiding. Ryoken assumed that their enemy was preparing, and Specter reported they were scanning the network. Ryoken thought of a plan to lure them out, but needed more recruits for that, and stated Blood Shepherd was one such fine candidate.
In LINK VRAINS, Blood Shepherd, who thought of Ghost Gal, noted the presence of a Knight of Hanoi: Varis. Varis knew that Blood Shepherd was disheartened after losing his father. Blood Shepherd was alerted that he knew his identity, but Varis sensed revenge within Blood Shepherd, even after his father's death. Blood Shepherd cut the talk, since he still hunted after AI for hurting his mother. Varis noted that, and believed that to be important, hence why they want him into their ranks. Kengo was surprised after Varis told him that some of the Ignis declared war on humanity; he believed this to be a good opportunity to destroy them. Blood Shepherd saw that Varis invited him to join the Knights of Hanoi, but he hesitated a bit. Varis told if Blood Shepherd became disobedient, he'd personally ensure that Blood Shepherd followed his tasks. Blood Shepherd became amused by his confidence, but reminded he could also erase him. Blood Shepherd made his countdown, but Varis appeared behind him, admitting he chose Blood Shepherd for his ruthlessness.
Blood Shepherd grew more intrigued to test Varis' power: the two started a Duel. However, when Varis ended his turn with a set card, Blood Shepherd thought he was mocking him. Thus, Blood Shepherd proceeded on with offense by Link Summoning "Battledrone General", which revived its Link Material, "Battledrone Warrant". Varis suffered the latter's attack, and "Battledrone General" inflicted additional 1200 LP damage by tributing the attacking monster. Blood Shepherd claimed Varis would regret underestimating him, as "Battledrone General" proceeded to attack, though Varis made him doubt if he'd allow such an attack to defeat him. Varis Special Summoned "Checksum Dragon" to protect himself, leaving his LP at 800. Blood Shepherd played "Blitz Drone", and used it to tribute the revived "Battledrone Warrant" to inflict 1200 LP damage. Varis reminded he would not be so easy to defeat, as his "Imperial Order" negated his Spell's effect. Instead, Varis warned Blood Shepherd about Link Spells that the Ignis use. Blood Shepherd became alarmed at this, but Varis reminded like a Spell Card, it could easily be prevented.
Blood Shepherd asked why was Varis warning him about this. He was told, since he disliked AI, he would be an attack target for the Ignis. Thus, Varis asked Blood Shepherd to join him, to prevent that demise. Blood Shepherd refused, since he didn't want anyone to order him around. Varis became disappointed with his pride, and took his turn. Due to "Imperial Order", he paid 700 LP to keep it. Varis summoned "Gateway Dragon" and "DMZ Dragon", and used them, as well as "Cheksum Dragon", to Link Summon "Topologic Trisbaena". Blood Shepherd's "Capture Drone" tried to limit Varis by negating his Link Monster's effects, and make it unable to attack. Varis smirked, as he played "Vulnerability Dragon" to destroy the Link Monster he just summoned. Blood Shepherd was shocked, but Varis made this move to allow his Link Monsters to attack, since "Capture Drone" was destroyed by its own effect. Next, Varis summoned "Rokket Synchron", which revived "Checksum Dragon". Summing his dragons to Level 8, Varis Synchro Summoned "Borreload Savage Dragon". The latter, with its own effect, equipped "Topologic Trisbena", its ATK raised to 4250. Varis' Synchro dragon attacked "Battledrone General", inflicting 1950 LP damage to Blood Shepherd. By banishing "DMZ Dragon", Varis made his Synchro dragon attack once more, this time defeating Blood Shepherd.
Blood Shepherd, kneeling, noted this was the power of Hanoi. Varis reminded he could not stop Link Spells. Blood Shepherd replied that he didn't need any advice, and swore to pay Varis back someday, who noted he was not the type of guy that would leave his debts behind. Blood Shepherd logged out, but Varis remarked his individualism. Lightning watched the videos of their confrontation. However, the videos were soon deleted, as Lightning suspected that Varis' involvement. Specter saw that someone was scanning the network for Ignis' presence. He and Ryoken saw it was Blood Shepherd, who decided to hunt the Ignis alone. As Specter saw that Playmaker and his team went through the portal, Varis believed the Light Ignis was beyond that portal. He decided to observe that Duel, as his responsibility, and Specter decided to accompany him. The two logged in to LINK VRAINS, and observed the Duel. Specter noted the two were an interesting matchup, while Varis stated that he gave Blood Shepherd a hint on Link Spells, and wondered how would he counter them.
Specter wondered if Blood Shepherd had the advantage after destroying "Judgement Arrows", but Varis reminded that the Light Ignis anticipated this move. In fact, Varis saw he was correct, for Lightning played "Armatos Lex" to return "Judgement Arrows" back to his Deck. Specter saw that Blood Shepherd fired attacks, cornering Lightning at 200 LP. Varis became impressed, as Blood Shepherd overcame his expectations. Blood Shepherd was overwhelmed and defeated; Varis noted Lightning was a formidable foe, since Blood Shepherd made no mistakes. Specter alerted Ryoken, who saw the Gore Duel Playmaker. He noted the Gore set a goal to improve himself, but this strategy had failed Dr. Kogami. He noticed the EARTH Ignis has been incorporated into the Gore, and looked at Specter, who was disturbed by this. Specter added that the Gore did an unpredictable move by Dueling with an AI, while Ryoken stated he must break beyond expectations to win. As Playmaker made another attempt at using Neo Storm Access, Ryoken said that he really did risk his life to achieve victory.
Before he went to conclude his mission, Varis managed to find Lightning's free will through his data - a task he did for many years. Varis went to a desolate place: the old LINK VRAINS. Later, he contacted Yusaku, to meet with him in LINK VRAINS. As Playaker, Soulburner, Blue Maiden and Ghost Gal 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 Blood Shepherd to join them, who refused, but still gave him the advice on how to fight the enemy. He reminded that Blood Shepherd's Dueling was perfect, but the Light Ignis was more powerful, and ended up taking Blood Shepherd's consciousness.
He knew the enemy was plotting something, and they had act immediately on finding them. Ai sensed that even Varis feared Lightning. However, Soulburner distrusted Varis, due to the involvement of the death of his parents. Soulburner blamed Varis for the condition he was in. Varis stated that he knew how he felt, but Soulburner didn't think so, and demanded a revenge Duel for his parents. Varis closed his eyes, and accepted the challenge. Soulburner swore to hold Varis responsible for all the misdeeds of the Lost Incident if he won, or else he'd surrender Flame to him. Varis calmly accepted the challenge, and the two started a Duel. Soulburner immediately Link Summoned "Salamangreat Heatleo" with "Wolvie", "Parrot" and "Falco". Flame noticed that Soulburner's feelings took control of him, and reminded him it was somewhat irresponsible and put Flame at risk of being taken away. Soulburner reminded Flame this was revenge for his parents, but swore he wouldn't lose. Varis drew a card, and ended his turn, surprising Soulburner.
The latter 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 of 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 revealed that he was Ryoken Kogami, son of Doctor Kiyoshi Kogami, who initiated the Lost Incident. 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 incident, and he felt guilt about it. Ai noted that Varis actually saved them, and that Doctor Kogami had passed away, which frustrated Soulburner.
Varis told him they would be working together only to defeat the Light Ignis and his allies. He stated that once that was done, they would return to being enemies, since they still protect their Ignises. Soulburner calmed down, while Varis proceeded 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 tricked them. Varis snapped his fingers, conjuring a portal for the group. They went to the place that Varis had recently visited, the ruins of the Tower of Hanoi. Soulburner realized they were in 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. In fact, by scanning the network, Varis believed they could find his hideout. However, he needed a programmer that knew about the Ignis algorithm. Ghost Gal noted that was the reason why he sought Blood Shepherd out.
Blue Maiden sensed the risk of using the Tower of Hanoi, since Varis could simply use it as a weapon to delete everything, as he did with Ghost Gal. Varis showed them a program that they could use to simply stop the tower's reconstruction. Playmaker accepted this deal, since they all had to work together to build a new future. The frog and the pigeon were shocked to see Playmaker and Varis teaming up, and wanted to make a news story out of it. However, Varis knew they were hiding behind a rock; to stop them, he locked them up. The next day, Playmaker, Soulburner, Blue Maiden and their Ignises went to old LINK VRAINS with Specter and Varis. Blue Maiden mentioned that Ghost Gal stayed in new LINK VRAINS, to report to Akira in case of a disaster. Specter mentioned that their fellow Knights had remained logged out, to support the group. The group raised their hands, as they triggered the program. As the Tower of Hanoi was reactivated, Varis shielded the group 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. Varis wanted Frog and Pigeon stay out of the conflict, but they changed his mind, since they could report about this battle. The group advanced through the portal, the passage to the other cyberspace. The group advanced through the portal, and reached Mirror LINK VRAINS. Inside, Specter released Frog and Pigeon, but reminded them of the danger the world posed. Suddenly, the group faced copies of the BitBoot AI, which started a Duel. Varis defeated the AI with "Borrelguard Dragon". Playmaker informed his allies to split up and search for Lightning, but the cyberspace started to tremble. The data material disappeared, causing Varis to descend down from his D-Board, to a plains-like world. Suddenly, Kolter's program activated, as the latter saw everyone's progress, and sent the link to Varis' allies. Suddenly, he saw a live footage of Specter, who faced Lightning and Jin Kusanagi. He was amused when Specter took control of "Judgement Arrows" from Lightning. Varis continued watching the Duel, and was impressed when Specter surpassed him in forming an Extra Link of seven monsters. However, Lightning managed to defeat Specter, and Varis shouted out his name. With the video link severed, Varis promised that Specter's sacrifice would not be in vain. A new footage was shown to him, regarding Soulburner facing Windy. He continued watching the Duel, but was silent about Soulburner's progress.
After Soulburner's victory, Varis didn't care much, for he believed all Ignis should be deleted. Soon after, he saw a broadcast of Blue Maiden facing Bohman. He noted that Blue Maiden's life was also changed, due to her close friend's involvement in the Lost Incident. He was alerted when Blue Maiden lost the Duel. Upon seeing Playmaker facing Jin's brother, Kolter, Varis was angry that Lightning was blackmailing them. Still, he wondered what Playmaker would do about that. Varis wondered if Playmaker would attack and lose his friend. However, upon the summon of "Extended Decode Talker", Varis saw that Playmaker's new monster symbolized that he decided to take a step forward. Varis continued to despise Lightning, who attempted to get Playmaker back up so he could Duel him. Suddenly, the barrier surrounding the players disappeared, due to the work of Varis' allies in the real world. Varis applauded his team mates, and forwarded the data that the knights sent to him to Lightning. However, he had one more request from the Knights of Hanoi. Varis asked of Dr. Genome and Aso to find Cal Kolter, inside a hot dog truck in Den City plaza. Varis continued watching the Duel, and was shocked when Soulburner lost the Duel.
Varis stood silent, as Jin and Lightning appeared. Varis smiled, knowing the Ignis would eventually appear. Lightning questioned his message, and frowned when Varis mentioned that he knew his secret. Lightning proclaimed he had no secrets, but Varis saw him annoyed when Spectre felt that even Lightning had a secret. The latter asked of Varis to stop testing him, and to look down on him, either. Varis continued on, stating that the Ignis were imperfect, and was why he created Bohman, and destroyed Cyberse World. Lightning confirmed this, but was asked why did he believe the Ignis to be imperfect. Varis claimed he knew the answer: he saw a simulation, the same one Lightning did, too. Lightning's eyes widened, shocked of Varis' answer. Varis exclaimed that Lightning used foul tactics, and had led the rest of the Ignis astray. Lightning attempted to silence Varis, and had decided to finish him off personally, and the two started a Duel. Lightning summoned "Gladius", and added the "Armatos Colosseum", which he immediately played.
He summoned his decurion, and the colosseum's effect re-summoned "Gladius" to the zone "Decurion" pointed to. After summoning "Speculata", he used it and "Gladius" to bring a "Centurion" out. Using his decurion and centurion, Lightning Link Summoned the new Link-3, "Armatos Legio Plumbum Trident". Suddenly, Playmaker and Bohman arrived, which made Varis glad, since he could expose the Light Ignis' crimes to them. Playmaker and Ai were curious, thinking Lightning had made other crimes. 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.
He pointed out that the AI kept their memories as data, which Varis could look into to see their motivations. He admitted he found Lightning's free will: knowing that the Ignis were imperfect, Lightning created Bohman to be their host. 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. 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 spoke that based on the simulation, Lightning saw many possibilities, where Ignis and humanity could cooperate. However, Lightning could not handle that information that each Ignis could help humanity. Ai became surprised, pointing out that Dr. Kogami stated that Ignis would destroy humanity, thinking his predictions were wrong. Varis stated that his father's simulations were accurate, as long as the Ignis were grouped together. However, individually, the Ignis could help humanity, except one: Lightning.
Lightning frowned, as Varis claimed that Lightning's actions were to hinder the others Ignis' progress on helping humanity. In fact, that fact was not apparent yet, but Varis pointed out that Lightning was not made smart, unlike he currently was. Lightning yelled out Varis to stop, who reminded that even Specter could sense darkness inside the Light Ignis. Playmaker realized this was Lightning's complex, which led to his downfall. 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. 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.
Varis, clenching his fist, declared he'd destroy the Light Ignis, for the free will was too much for him to bear, which turned out to be motivated by selfish desires. Varis started his turn, playing "Boot Sector Launch" to summon "Magnarokket" and "Anesthrokket" dragons. Using these two, Varis Link Summoned "Booster Dragon". Varis summoned "Gateway Dragon", then played "Cross Linkage Hack" to draw two cards. Next, the effect of "Gateway Dragon" brought out an "Autorokket Dragon". Lightning thought Varis could use the latter to destroy "Judgement Arrows", and used "Armatos Gloria" to prevent destruction or banishment of any card on the field. Lightning claimed he was an elite AI, but Varis chided him for believing a simple protection made him a great Ignis. Using his three monsters, Varis summoned his ace, "Borreload Dragon". Varis braced Lightning to have his monster punish him. His dragon reduced the ATK of Lightning's "Plumbum Trident" by 500. "Borreload Dragon" attacked and destroyed Lightning's monster, inflicting 1300 LP damage to the Ignis. Lightning applauded Varis for his logical choices, but believed that made his moves predictable. In fact, due to the destruction of "Plumbum Trident", Lightning added "Judgement Arrows" to his hand. Moreover, Lightning placed that monster as a Link Spell in his Spell & Trap Zone, and boldly stated he'd show Varis that he's the one walking down the path of doom.
With his new Link Spell, Lightning returned the "Decurion" in his GY to summon a "Centurion" from his Extra Deck, and chaining the colosseum to its summon, Lightning revived "Segmentata" and "Gladius", then used the latter to bring a decurion out, so he could use "Judgement Arrows". Lightning promised that Varis would see his demise, who boldly stated he had more ways to counter "Judgement Arrows". Playing his set "Mind Crush", Varis declared "Judgement Arrows", a card that Lightning had in his hand to force him to send it to the GY. This move infuriated Lightning, who swore to crush Varis with all of his might. Using his three monsters, Lightning Link Summoned "Armatos Legio Magnus Dux". Lightning also paid 1000 LP for the effect of "Segmentata", to have it, "Decurion" and "Centurion" returned to his deck. Moreover, Lightning returned the rest of his "Armatos Legio" monsters to force Varis to choose "Judgement Arrows" to be returned to Lightning's hand. Lightning also exclaimed he had more ways to deal with that card, and claimed Varis was wasting his time. He placed "Judgement Arrows", and had "Magnus Dux" attack. To minimize the damage, Varis' "Borreload Dragon" reduced 500 ATK from Lightning's monster before its ATK was doubled. Despite this, Varis' LP was halved by the attack.
Lightning was proud of the card he made, "Judgement Arrows", and mocked Varis for being a monkey, as he unable to destroy it. Ai was shocked to hear that Lightning referred humans as monkeys. 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. Varis pointed out that its personality was changed. Staring at Lightning, Varis told it was the latter that changed Windy's program. In fact, Windy was never programmed to be a threat, and Lightning went out far to even have it take revenge on Flame, knowing the former would lose. 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. Lightning refused to listen, thinking it was destined to have humanity under the AI's control. Varis exclaimed the AI grew stronger in collecting memories, but not as species. In fact, Varis thought his father was wrong, for humans were living beings instead of the AI, who had no sense of fear, and was why they chased after dreams, knowing their lives were short-lived.
Lightning reminded that unlike humans, he was not made of flesh or bones that degraded him, and that was what made them better species than humans. Varis declared he would gladly correct Lightning, and to delete him. Using "Boot Sector Launch", Varis brought back his "Magnarokket Dragon", then summoned "Estrangement Dragon". Lightning belittled Varis for summoning weak monsters, but the latter decided to exceed their expectations. The "Estrangement Dragon" summoned another copy of itself, but on Lightning's field. Next, Varis, using the two Level 4 dragons, built an Overlay Network to use them as materials for Xyz Summon. He brought out "Borreload eXcharge Dragon", despite Lightning not thinking much of it. Varis used one of its Overlay Units to drop the ATK of "Magnus Dux" by 600, and to revive "Borreload Dragon". "Borreload eXcharge Dragon" attacked "Magnus Dux", and Varis used the Quick Effect of "Borreload Dragon" to reduce 500 ATK from "Magnus Dux". With 1400 ATK left, "Judgement Arrows" doubled "Magnus Dux's" ATK, but it was not enough to match the 3000 ATK "Borreload eXcharge Dragon", who destroyed it. Since Varis could not attack directly due to the latter's effect, Lightning realized that he summoned "Estrangement Dragon" just to attack it. Since Lightning had 1500 LP left, an attack from "Borreload Dragon" would finish him off.
As Varis was to declare the attack, a hole opened underneath Jin, and Lightning laughed as he executed his move. Jin briefly glowed, and was restored back to his usual self: Lightning declared he linked himself to Jin, and if he were to be deleted, so would Jin. Varis gritted his teeth, as Lightning questioned his next move. While Ai was angry at Lightning, the latter became smug, as he was using a hostage to his advantage. In fact, Lightning admitted if he were to be defeated, Specter would be gone, too, thinking of it as good use of weaklings. Varis hesitated, while Lightning reminded that Varis once wanted to sacrifice everything to get rid of the Ignis, and tempted him to do so once more. Varis gritted his teeth, and as he went to announce the attack, Playmaker reminded him not to revert back to his usual, destructive self. He pointed out that Varis did change for the better. The latter noted that they did know they had to make sacrifices, and pointed out that Playmaker did defeat Cal Kolter for that. Playmaker nodded, but reminded that Kolter was prepared to make such a sacrifice, while Jin does not, who was simply dragged into this ordeal. Explaining he'd make another victim, Playmaker also reminded Varis that he also chose not to fight Soulburner. Lightning laughed, thinking that the enemy Playmaker was saving his life. Playmaker refuted that, stating he only wanted to stop more tragedies.
Lightning admitted that the moment he took possession of Jin, he learned how to terrify people. In fact, during the Lost Incident, Lightning managed to give false hope to Jin before scaring him, which caused his soul to be crushed. Varis pointed out that Lightning was evil, and should not even exist, and swore to annihilate him. Lightning continued being smug, since he'd also crush humans his data was linked to. Since Varis spoke of Ignis' free will, he wanted to see what Varis would do next. Thus, Varis cancelled the attack, set a card and ended his turn, causing "Estrangement Dragon" to be sent to the GY by its effect. Lightning chuckled, seeing that Varis made a foolish decision by sticking to justice. Thus, Lightning decided to make a finishing move to end Varis. As Lightning went to make his move, Bohman stepped in and took Jin and Specter's data from Lightning, since he was disappointed that Lightning reverted to cheating, and asked of him to fight Varis fairly. Despite this, Varis didn't want to thank Bohman, who understood. Lighting clenched his fist to defeat Varis, who swore he'd never forgive him for all the atrocities he had done. Lightning summoned "Armatos Legio Sica", using it as Link Material to summon the Link-1 "Armatos Legio Decurion", then tributed it for "Armatos Fulgur", swapping it for "Armatos Legio Eques Flamma". He then used "Plumbum Trident" to swap a decurion for "Magnus Dux" in his GY, Special Summoning it.
Lightning calculated that "Judgement Arrows" will raise the ATK of "Magnus Dux" to the point that Varis' "Borreload Dragon" lowering ATK effect won't make a difference, as Varis' LP would be 0. Before his attack, Lightning wanted to tell Varis about his father, Dr. Kogami. He explained that SOL Technologies didn't punish Dr. Kogami, but he did, to prevent him from finding out that Lightning would be the cause of the Ignis-humanity war. Nevertheless, Lightning was amused that all this time, Varis didn't even realize who his real enemy was. Varis clenched his fist, while Lightning promised he'd meet his passed-away father soon. "Magnus Dux" went to attack, and its ATK was decreased by "Borreload Dragon". Varis also played his set "Borrel Ring", tributing "Borreload Dragon" to place 4 counters. He immediately removed one, which decreased the ATK of "Magnus Dux" by 300. Varis avoided the defeat, as 4400 ATK "Magnus Dux" attacked "Borreload eXcharge Dragon", dropping Varis' LP to 600. Varis pointed out that Lightning didn't manage to defeat him, who was still prideful he'd attack the next turn. Varis simply asked him why wouldn't he accept the defeat, knowing it was closing in on him.
Varis used the Overlay Unit of "Borreload eXcharge Dragon" to bring back "Borreload Dragon" and reduce the ATK of "Magnus Dux" by 600. As his Xyz Monster went to attack, Varis had "Borreload Dragon" decrease the ATK by 500. Lightning became extremely annoyed, as he used "Magnus Dux" to add "Armatos Gloria" to his hand, causing all his monsters to be destroyed. Because of "Eques Flamma", Lightning and Varis would took damage, equal to the ATK of the monster it was co-linked with: the 3000 ATK "Magnus Dux". However, Lightning swore he would not be defeated by an inferior life form, while the Ignis should transcend humanity: the effect caused both of them to be knocked out in defeat. 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.
After Bohman's defeat, Varis was reformed back in LINK VRAINS, along with the rest of the victims. Looking at Playmaker, Varis was impressed by his actions. Later, Ryoken and Specter visited Cafe Nom, to see Yusaku and Takeru. Ryoken explained they didn't need to sympathise with them over the losses of their AIs. Yusaku and Takeru were alarmed at their presence, as the latter remembered Varis stating his true name - Ryoken Kogami. Ryoken explained that the AI were still a threat, for humanity was the dominant life form. To maintain peace, Ryoken felt that humans should stay as the dominant species. As a result, Ryoken ordered the Knights of Hanoi to continue monitoring the network, as he still believed the Dark Ignis to be a threat to humanity, since it was very different from humans. Yusaku disagreed, for the previous threat had appeared because of Lightning's ambitions. Ryoken simply stated he still distrusted the Ignis, unlike Yusaku, whose life Ai saved during the battle at the Tower of Hanoi.
Ryoken exclaimed that their pact had been broken, since they had no common enemy anymore, and promised he would not show mercy the next time they would meet. Takeru stated that he still had a quarrel with Ryoken, who acknowledged that and walked away with Specter. Akira met up with Varis in the Knights of Hanoi's base. Varis admitted his surprise that Akira came alone, who simply quoted Varis that they were allies now, with a common enemy. Varis smiled, and asks about Ai's whereabouts. Akira explained he could not find him, and Varis reminded him that not even the knights could find him for five years after his disappearance. Akira feared his life would soon be over if they could not find Ai. Much to Akira's surprise, Varis swore to find the DARK Ignis. Varis snapped his fingers and summoned an AI, created to hunt the Ignis: Pandor. Akira was reminded of the myth, where the knowledge of the gods, shaped like fire, had been shared with humans. However, the gods were angry, and sent Pandora, an agent to bring calamity to humanity. Varis explained that this AI had free will, but with certain bounds: it had a program that held back the free will, and erased thoughts of humanity being the enemy.
Akira saw Pandor multiplied into four forms, which shared their acquired data with each other. One of them was integrated into Akira's Duel Disk, to share knowledge about their enemy's possible moves. Akira was counting on Varis, who had one more thing to ask of him. Sometime later, Varis and the rest of the knights appeared before Akira, who called them for help in hunting the Ignis. Ghost Gal asked why they didn't hate SOL Technologies, to which Varis stated that the LIGHT Ignis revealed his true colors, and that their thirst for revenge had faded away. Blue Maiden reminded everyone of their crimes, of which Varis was aware of. Soulburner thought they'd turn themselves in to the police, which Varis confirmed, but only after they hunted the Ignis down. At that point, Varis thought they would have no reason to exist as an organization, and would atone for their crimes. Soulburner, regardless, felt conflicted. Ghost Gal realized that their actions would show SOL Technologies was involved as well, and Akira would take the blame, too, despite having no actual involvement. Akira simply stated that was how companies were built, and decided to take that risk, which saddened Blue Maiden.
Akira showed pictures of the cyberspace, believing Ai and Roboppy were near it. He showed two routes out of the central station. Akira showed pictures of the cyberspace, believing Ai and Roboppy were near it. He deployed Soulburner and Varis to the route's entrances, as guards. Before going, Varis gave Pandor to Blue Maiden, Ghost Gal, and the Gore to help them out. Varis also noticed that Playmaker had logged in, and was pleased by his arrival. Soulburner rode with Varis around cyberspace. They were joined by Playmaker, and the trio went to confront Ai and Roboppy. Suddenly, the radar showed more opponents approaching, to which Varis swore he would show them no mercy. However, Ai met up not only with Varis, but with Playmaker and Soulburner at the same time. Ai confronted Varis, expressing his amuse to see Varis helping SOL Technologies. Varis simply stated it was his desstiny to fight and delete Ai, whosmiled, 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 AiLand" to swarm his field, Link Summoning "Fire Phoenix @Ignister" against all three opponents. Ai also played "AiAi 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. Varis muttered it was a lockdown. He also realized Ai wanted to stall them, and Ai complimented "Professor Varis" for that observation.
Varis continued to Duel one of Ai's copies. After hearing from Kolter that Ai and Roboppy were going to Akira's location, Varis had "Borrelsword Dragon" defeat Ai's copy. Ai noted that copies could not defeat them, but they surved their purpose of stalling them. Varis regrouped with Playmaker and Soulburner at Akira's location, but saw nobody present. Varis explained Akira and Blue Maiden were never here, as their forms manifested in a different location, where nobody could reach them: an airplane, protected by a program that Varis had developed. Varis sensed Ai managed to board the airplane. Playmaker became shocked, but Varis assured him he made some countermeasures to stop Ai, in form of Pandor. He noted she had the advantage over Ai in the Duel. Playmaker asked what'd happen if Ai lost, to which Varis bluntly told he had no compassion towards the Ignis.
Ai summoned Playmaker, Soulburner and Varis to watch his Duel, linking their data to the cyberspace he was currently in. However, upon Ai used "Judgement Arrows", Varis became surprised. When Ai declared he had no Ignis friends, because they whave been permanently terminated, Varis stated that free will was based on reflection of friends and society, which toughens one's mind, else they can't control that will. He noted Ai was crushed by his own emotions. Soulburner did note that Ai was fighting because he had nothing to lose, but Varis reminded Ai was still their enemy. He told Soulburner he shouldn't feel sympathy, who glared Varis. Varis noted that Blue Maiden could've inflicted 100 LP damage with "Marincess Bubble Reef", but instead chose to banish "Crown Tail" to raise her defenses; with the 5000 ATK "Marincess Great Bubble Reef", Ai could not stop his own defeat, if the attack would go through. When Ai defeated Blue Maiden and Akira, he absorbed Akira's data and gained the code key. Varis clenched his fist, and declared he would erase Ai without hesitation.
Yusaku Fujiki (Playmaker)
When first informed about a hacker named "Playmaker" who was defeating Hanoi members, Varis initially suspected Playmaker was an agent from SOL Technologies but rejected the idea because SOL would act more publicly and dismissed Playmaker. It wasn't until Playmaker captured Ai that Varis became interested in him. Varis then switched all his efforts into defeating Playmaker before SOL did, as doing so was the only way to capture Ai.
Playmaker, on the other hand, hates Varis for being Hanoi's leader and vowed to defeat him and discover his true identity. During their first Duel, Varis claimed that he wasn't interested in Playmaker's identity and considered him to be just one of the many people who hated the Hanoi. However, during their second Duel, Varis recognized Playmaker's speech pattern of listing out three reasons and was disturbed when Playmaker mentioned about a certain incident that happened ten years ago. He chides Playmaker for siding with SOL Technologies without knowing the truth and, after the Duel, is eager to uncover Playmaker's true identity, to the extent of requesting more time from his father before the completion of Hanoi's program.
After learning about Playmaker's identity, he strangely does not reveal this fact even to Specter or his father, instead lamenting that he was too preoccupied in searching for his identity that his three lieutenants were defeated whilst he was doing so. After defeating Ghost Gal, Varis eagerly tells Playmaker to defeat him if he wanted to stop the Tower of Hanoi.
By the time the Ignis declare war on humanity much of Varis and Playmaker's relationship is the same as before but Varis is more considerate and helpful to the latter at times. This is seen when Varis gave him a program to protect against an attack from Lightning, while saying that "the enemy of my enemy is a friend," signifying his continued amonsity towards Playmaker. He also informs Playmaker of Earth's demise at the hands of SOL Technologies and tells him to be careful, showing how he cares for Playmaker's well being just like the other Lost Incident victims. Varis noticeably shows concern Playmaker during his duel with Kolter. When Varis was about to attack Lightning and Jin, Playmaker talked him down, reminding him he wasn't the same person he used to be. He soon gives in and ends his turn. After being defeated he smiled at Playmaker, telling him a bit more about his past before being turned to data, trusting the latter to stop Bohman.
Despite learning his real name, Ryoken still refers to Yusaku by his LINK VRAINS' nickname, Playmaker.
Dr. Kogami is Varis' father. He cares for him as he tends to him while he is comatose and promises to complete his ambition of eradicating the Ignis for the sake of humanity's survival. It is later revealed that it was Varis who saved his father from death, after SOL Technologies turned on Dr. Kogami, and infected him with a virus in order to cover up for the Hanoi Project. In his third Duel with Playmaker, after Varis attempts to use Storm Access on an incredibly dense Data Storm, Dr. Kogami, using the last of his strength, helps Varis use his Skill, and gain a new Topologic monster. Before his passing, Dr. Kogami tells Ryoken that he has always been a good son, despite all the hardships he put him through.  After logging out, Ryoken mourns the loss of his father, but still promised to carry out his father's dream, regardless of the consequences. 
Varis and Specter met in person after the Lost Incident, after which Specter joined the Knights of Hanoi and eventually came to be Varis' assistant. Varis trusts Specter strongly as a comrade and believes in his skill as a Duelist, sending him after Blue Angel and Playmaker during the preparation of the Tower of Hanoi.
Despite Specter's faith in Varis being seemingly unconditional and without end, he does not seem to exploit this in any malicious way. After Specter's defeat and comatose state following his defeat at Playmaker's hands, Varis praised him for his excellent work and promised him it would not be in vain, showing honest grief.
During Specter's duel against Lightning, Varis praised him for his brilliant strategy of stealing Judgement Arrows and for surpassing him by creating an Extra Link: Full Mode. He called out to Specter when he was defeated and erased showing how much he trusts and cares for his comrade.
Since Ai is an Ignis, Ryoken was devoted to eliminating him. He was willing to put others in harms way to do, such as implanting Blue Angel with a virus and constructing the Tower of Hanoi. Varis revealed to Playmaker that Ai had all his memories and was created from him during the Lost Incident, proving he could lie. This trait is one of the reasons he did not trust the Ignis. Even though he was defeated, Varis vowed to return to finish what he started.
By the time of the second season, the two had become situational allies. Varis inadvertently saved Ai from being reprogrammed by Lightning and Windy, though he still said his mission was to wipe out all Ignis. Later, Ai manages to convince the other members of the team to hear Varis out about teaming up. While dueling Lightning, Varis revealed the truth about Lightning's actions to Ai and Playmaker, much to the Dark Ignis's shock and frustration. Before he was turned to data, Varis entrusted the future to Playmaker and Ai, referring to the latter by name for the first time.
After the fight with Bohman, Ryoken continued his mission to eliminate Ai. He even created Pandor to fight him. When Varis encountered one of Ai's copies, he once again proclaimed it was his destiny to destroy him. During Ai and Pandor's duel, Playmaker asked what would happen to the former if he lost, which Varis simply replied he had no compassion for the Ignis. Despite this, he did appear sympathetic when he saw how Ai was emotionally crushed by the guilt and loss of his friends. When Ai defeated Akira and spared Blue Maiden to make her suffer emotionally from losing her brother, Varis was enraged and vowed to destroy Ai and without hesitation, abandoning all traces of kindness and respect he had for Ai once it became clear that he's an enemy.
Varis uses a DARK Dragon/Power Deck, which also includes "Rokket" monsters. His overall strategy centers on swarming lesser monsters in order to bring stronger monsters and overwhelm his opponents through sheer force or mass destruction, while controlling the field. Varis is also a very flexible Duelist who can shift strategies between duels, particularly between Speed and Master Duels, making him an unpredictable opponent.
For Speed Duels, Varis uses various DARK Dragon monsters such as "Dragonoid Generator", "Gateway Dragon" and "Sniffer Dragon" to swarm the field and set up Link Summons for various Dragon Link Monsters, such as "Triple Burst Dragon" and "Flash Charge Dragon" and the Cyberse "Topologic" Link Monsters he obtains through his Storm Access Skill. Many of these monsters also come with burn damage effects, which Varis uses prominently to chip away at his opponent's LP before finishing them off.
During Master Duels, where the extra Zones allow for a more complex set-up, Varis uses his ace monsters prominently. These Link-4 "Borrel" Link Monsters ("Borreload Dragon", "Borrelsword Dragon", and "Borrelguard Dragon") utilise his "Rokket" monsters as literal cannon fodder, using their self-destruction effect in tandem with the "Borrels"' targeting effects to punch holes in his opponent's field. "Booster Dragon" serves the same purpose, albeit in a more modest, less versatile manner.
In addition to "Rokket" and Dragon-specific support cards, Varis skillfully techs in several more generic cards, such as "Mirror Force", which counters Link Spamming after baiting his opponents into bringing multiple Monsters, as well as "Fire Prison" to counter Playmaker's Cyberse monsters.
Varis continues to use his DARK Dragon Deck and his "Rokkets", which he now supplements with new Link Monsters such as "Dillingerous Dragon", which accelerates his ability to climb into his Link-4 "Borrel" monsters. Likewise, he has also included some new traps such as "Magic Cylinder" and "Imperial Order", which he uses to goad his opponents into mind games and counter opponent's moves.
He has also added Synchro and Xyz summoning to his repertoire, in the form of his new ace "Borreload Savage Dragon", which can equip a Link Monster from the GY to negate opponent's card effects and power up its ATK for a decisive finish, and "Borreload eXcharge Dragon" which can revive his Link monsters in the GY. He supports this with his new Tuner monster, "Rokket Synchron", that can summon high Level Dragons to the field to use as material. He's also added additional hand trap monsters who can reinforce his field and replenish his life points as needed. Several of his deck changes were made with the specific intent to counter the dueling methods of the Ignis such as the use of "Mind Crush" to take "Judgement Arrows" from his opponent's hand.
|Emma Bessho/Ghost Gal||30-31||Win|
|George Gore/The Gore||39-40||Win|
|Kengo Dojun/Blood Shepherd||78||Win|
|Takeru Homura/Soulburner||84||No result|
|Bit and Boot||86||Win|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 43: "The Reveal"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Link the Circuit"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 9: "Malicious Mayhem"
- ↑ "The Organization". YGOrganization. April 18, 2017. https://ygorganization.com/finallyanairdatewoolawd/.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "Contact"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 42: "Storm Access"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Neutralized"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 8: "A Storm is Coming"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10: "Eye of the Storm"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25: "Suture the Circuit"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 98: "The AI that Crossed the Line"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 58: "Soul of Replica"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 35: "The Hollow"
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 41: "Truth and Consequences"
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 97: "Ignis Unification Plan"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: "Seize the Wind!"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "True Blue"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Fallen Angel"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20: "A Piece of the Puzzle"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 21: "Story Time"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 22: "The Deleted"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 26: "Diagnosis: Deletion"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 28: "Bugging Out"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 29: "Kolter's Khronicles"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 30: "Under VRAINS"
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 31: "Showdown in the Sewers"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 32: "Tower of Hanoi"
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 38: "Looking Back"
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 39: "Ring the Bell"
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 40: "Gore at War"
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 32.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 44: "Illusion of Hope"
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 45: "Standing Tall"
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 46: "Link to the Future"
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 35.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 59: "Hanoi Returns"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 68: "Secret Meeting"
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 69: "Mission That Must Be Accomplished"
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 38.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 70: "Tuning Bullets"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 71: "Declaration of War"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 73: "Light Blade that Slices Despair"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 76: "Memories Brought Back"
- ↑ 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 42.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 78: "Rebellious Bounty Hunter"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 79: "Speed of Light - Lightning"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 80: "Bounty Hunter's Duty"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 81: "Arrived at the Summit"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 82: "What's Beyond Instincts"
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 47.4 47.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 96: "Lightning's Crime"
- ↑ 48.0 48.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 83: "Irregular Meeting"
- ↑ 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 49.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 84: "A Turbulent Past"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 85: "True Tears"
- ↑ 51.0 51.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 86: "Wisdom of the Deprived"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 88: "Windy the Revenger"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 89: "The Uniting Two Flames"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 90: "Creator of the Next Generation"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 92: "A Great Trial"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 93: "Promise With Each Other"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 94: "Raging Soul"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 95: "Radiance of the Phoenix"
- ↑ 59.0 59.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 103: "Journey to the End"
- ↑ 60.0 60.1 60.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 105: "Intercept"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 106: "Good Luck, Roboppy!!"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 107: "Slay the Demon"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 108: "Indomitable Spirit"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 109: "The Ignis Hunter"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 110: "Ai's Sad Frustration"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 111: "Wanting to Fight Each Other"
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 9.
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 42.
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 31.