"Contact", known as "First Contact" in the Japanese version, is the third episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It first aired in Japan on May 24, 2017, and aired on Teletoon on September 8, 2018. It became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on June 1, 2017. Pluto TV in the US aired it on November 27, 2020.
Yusaku begins to examine the information hidden in the Mysterious Lifeform. Meanwhile, after his Duel against the Knights in the network, he became famous as the hero who saved LINK VRAINS. Learning that the lifeform is with Playmaker, SOL Technology sets up an operation to capture it...
Viewers at the Den City Plaza cheer Playmaker's victory against a Knight of Hanoi, including Naoki Shima. Playmaker gets off his D-Board and interrogates his defeated opponent, who smirks in response and sets off a detonator. The Ignis in Playmaker's duel disk proceeds to consume the Knight of Hanoi, to Playmaker's surprise. At that point, The Gore and Blue Angel both arrive at Playmaker's location. Playmaker brushes off their requests and logs out, to the surprise of both of them.
Akira Zaizen notices this, and calls for a thorough investigation from the staff at SOL Technologies. Meanwhile, at the Knights of Hanoi's base, Playmaker's escape with the Ignis is also noted. Specter informs the leader, who he calls Varis, that there are still no leads to Playmaker's identity in the real world. Varis knows that it will be easy to track Playmaker down - eventually he will come to them.
The following morning, workers move the plaza billboards away as a news report is aired, which lauds Playmaker's victory from the previous night. Meanwhile, inside LINK VRAINS, Pigeon meets up with Frog, a fellow virtual reporter. Both notice the large numbers of virtual reporters looking for scoops on Playmaker. Suddenly, they are alerted to his presence again. However, they are then confused by the sudden appearances of two other Playmakers claiming to be the real one.
Meanwhile, at Café Nom which has parked at a remote location, Kolter is recreating the card that Yusaku used to defeat the Knight of Hanoi. Meanwhile, the Ignis in Yusaku's duel disk talks again, so Yusaku presses for information on the Knights of Hanoi, especially their leader. He doesn't remember, so Yusaku hacks into the Ignis' source code, while also tasking Kolter with finding a means of muting the Ignis. Kolter suggests that they give their captured entity a name so as to not confuse it with other forms of artificial intelligence. Yusaku initially refuses, but decides to call the Ignis "Ai". Back in LINK VRAINS, two duelists ride their D-Boards on a remnant of the Data Storm still present. However, a security object notes that they are in violation of a safety rule, so it absorbs them, to the shock of others that were watching. The security object then logs out the violators indefinitely.
At SOL Technologies, Akira consults his higher-ups. Bishop is worried that the Data Storm has returned. Knight says that LINK VRAINS would have to be shut down due to the safety concerns regarding Speed Dueling. Akira warns against shutting down LINK VRAINS, as it would mean Playmaker would not be able to log in. Without Playmaker, SOL would not be able to capture the Ignis he is holding. Akira notes that they can use, to their advantage, Playmaker's hatred of the Knights of Hanoi. Akira's superiors decide to trust his strategy, but warn that they will not tolerate failure.
At a traffic junction, Akira lowers the back-seat window of his chauffeur's car to greet Emma Bessho, the woman on the motorbike who agreed to meet him there. Not caring for what Emma thinks of Playmaker, Akira simply tasks her with what she can find out about him. After this, the traffic signal changes and Emma parts ways. Meanwhile, Gore grunts during training at his warehouse. He refuses his manager's suggestion of taking a break, because of his jealousy of Playmaker's sudden popularity. His manager therefore suggests a different tactic of mastering Speed Dueling so that he can remain the top duelist in LINK VRAINS. Just then, someone arrives in front of the warehouse. That someone introduces himself to Gore and his manager, as Akira Zaizen, SOL Technologies' chief of security. Akira proposes to hire Gore in exchange for a D-Board, so that Gore can chase after Playmaker in LINK VRAINS and get his A.I. program, because it is the intellectual property of SOL. Akira also warns that the Knights of Hanoi are after the same A.I. program, which they would use to destroy LINK VRAINS. SOL would reward Gore handsomely should he succeed in defeating Playmaker. However, Gore is insulted at the notion of him being hired, and demands Akira to leave.
Deep into the night, Kolter and Yusaku continue to hack Ai's memories with limited progress. However, Yusaku then discovers a lead. He shows Kolter a video clip, in which "Cracking Dragon" appears to destroy a tall structure. Yusaku believes Ai has encountered the Knights of Hanoi before. Kolter then notices the unknown duelist in command of "Cracking Dragon". At that point, Ai goes into overdrive and causes the electrical systems in Café Nom to also go haywire. Yusaku orders Kolter to trip off the power while he goes outside to see what's happening. He notices a dragon flying towards him. As the dragon passes over Yusaku, Yusaku spots who is on the dragon's head - the same duelist from the video. As soon as the dragon flies off, Kolter comes out to check on Yusaku, and is told of what Yusaku saw. They agree that they were tracked down by said duelist. Back in Café Nom, Yusaku unmutes Ai and forces him to answer who the person in the video was. Ai replies that his name is Varis, and he is the leader of the Knights of Hanoi.
Varis returns to his base, cursing his luck. He asks a familiar person from before for updates on his own project. That person replies that he still needs time. Varis then logs out, and wakes up in the real world. He goes into a secret room where another person, with their head concealed, is resting unconscious. Varis addresses that person as his father.
During another lecture at school, Yusaku gets bored. He notices that there were no Data Storms in LINK VRAINS before Ai emerged - the entity that identified the leader of the Knights of Hanoi, which he declares as his next target. Naoki Shima snaps Yusaku out of his trance. He goes on another ramble about Playmaker, then suddenly notices Yusaku left his duel disk at home. In Yusaku's home, Ai catches the attention of Yusaku's cleaning android, Roboppy, and asks it to unlock the case he's been sealed in. Meanwhile, as Gore logs in to LINK VRAINS, Pigeon flies around, still unable to find Playmaker. He ends up staring down a Knight of Hanoi appearing in front of him. At the same time, Shima is about to show Yusaku the current live stream of LINK VRAINS. He is shocked at what he sees, but is reprimanded by the lecturer for interrupting the lecture. At the same time, Shima notices that Yusaku went missing. Back in LINK VRAINS, as onlookers become scared upon a Knight of Hanoi's sudden appearance, said Knight of Hanoi awaits Playmaker.
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.
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