"Playback", known as "Fierce Battle's Record" in the Japanese version, is the thirteenth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It first aired in Japan on August 9, 2017 and aired on Teletoon on October 13, 2018. It became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on the same day. Pluto TV aired it January 1, 2021. This episode is a clip show.
After his fierce battle against Varis, Yusaku analyzes the information about Ignis together with Kolter. Meanwhile, Ghost Gal, the mysterious Duelist who witnessed Playmaker, receives an interview in LINK VRAINS. She starts talking about the Knights of Hanoi’s attacks, as well as Playmaker’s battles.
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Emma visits Shoichi's food stand. Shoichi welcomes her and is ordered to give her some coffee and two hot dogs. Emma suspects Shoichi is a fan of Charisma Duelists, since he does have a stand here. Shoichi confirms this, and states a lot of people are talking about Playmaker. Emma knows well he is the mysterious person that saved Link VRAINS. She admits she is a fan of his, and wants to battle him someday. Yusaku hears this conversation as he eats a sandwich. Emma confirms she is also a Duelist and goes away with the bag Shoichi gave her. Shoichi is surprised with Emma being a Duelist, seeing looks can be deceiving. Shoichi yawns, and Yusaku notes he didn't get much sleep. Shoichi states he was awake all night to delete all the videos people posted about the battle Playmaker had. Yusaku promises to help out about that.
Inside the stand, Yusaku tells Ai was being annoying and left him back home, since he needs to think. Shoichi knows Yusaku is troubled by Varis' speech about AI-s with free wills. Since Varis unleashed the attack on Cyberse and even tried to search for Ai, Yusaku deduces Varis destroyed Ai's world. He thinks Ai, the Data Storm and Knights are Hanoi are connected with each other. He wonders if seeking Varis out would provide more information about what happened to himself and Shoichi's brother in the past. Shoichi explains he hasn't found any free will in Ai, but Yusaku is concerned if AI have free will, what will happen next? Shoichi thinks Yusaku is overthinking things, claiming if Ai has free will, then he is sad to be alone back home. Ai, however, flexes his muscles to impress Roboppy. Roboppy claps, while Ai thinks how cool he looks to "dumb" robots. Roboppy exclaims that is the forbidden word, but Ai promises when he is complete, he'll "start to do that", and swears to make Roboppy smarter, and both start blushing.
The frog and pigeon, in LINK VRAINS, have arrived to an alley. They are nervous, because *she* is coming. The person approaches, stating she is quite charming than a gang meeting. The pigeon and frog start panicking, as the person, Ghost Gal, is a treasure hunter travelling throughout LINK VRAINS. Ghost Gal gives the two a card, which extends into footage of the Duel between Varis and Playmaker. The pigeon notes Varis is the leader of Knights of Hanoi - a cool villain. The frog taps the device to send cash to Ghost Girl, who gives him another card, containing all of the footage of that Duel, plus her interview that addresses their questions. Ghost Gal bids them farewell and logs out, while the two go to work. The two come to the editing room inside LINK VRAINS, as the frog had someone persuaded to install this, to make quick transmissions and edits. The pigeon wonders if Ghost Gal gave too high a fee. Frog confirms this, as they had to pay their future bonuses away as well. Pigeon panics, but the frog assures him they'll get a lot of money by selling this program, featuring Playmaker's videos.
The frog starts editing, to make this a LINK VRAINS special about Playmaker. They note how Playmaker always appears when there is a Knights of Hanoi attack. They remember how Playmaker saved Blue Angel and confronted the Knight of Hanoi, bidding Ai in the Duel. In addition, Ai released some data to create the Data Wind for the Speed Duel. While the Knight of Hanoi summoned "Cracking Dragon", Playmaker entered the Data Storm and used Storm Access, per Ai's proposal, to add a card to his Extra Deck. The card was "Decode Talker", which helped Playmaker win the Duel by destroying "Cracking Dragon". Frog and pigeon continue going through the videos, and find Ghost Gal's interview. Ghost Gal exclaims she does not know Playmaker's identity. Still, she knows Playmaker mentioned an incident about ten years ago, which she is currently investigating. She does know, however, that he has an AI that decides LINK VRAINS' future, and is why SOL Technologies are chasing him. Playmaker obtained Ai, and even swore to delete it if the Knight of Hanoi did not accept his Duel. Due to that, SOL Technologies contracted GO Onizuka to take Playmaker down and obtain Ai. The two summoned their aces, which clashed with each other. Yet in the end, "Gouki The Great Ogre" was defeated, and GO Onizuka lost. The next one sent was Blue Angel, who sent "Trickstar Holly Angel". However, she started behaving strangely, and her angel was defeated by Playmaker's newest ace, "Encode Talker".
Ghost Gal explains Blue Angel was actually infected by a virus from Knights of Hanoi, and was given a card to defeat Playmaker with. Due to a misunderstanding, Playmaker was captured by Ghost Gal, posing as Blue Angel. It wasn't soon when Varis appeared in a flash of lightning. Like SOL Technologies, Varis also sought out Ai. Varis intimidated Akira and demanded of him to let Varis Duel Playmaker, and if the latter won, Blue Angel's virus would've been removed. Akira let Playmaker go, and was surprised how Playmaker even went to face Varis to save Akira's sister. Playmaker stated he didn't hate anyone but the Knights of Hanoi. Varis soon set the scene and showed his Skill, Storm Access. The monster Varis obtained was "Topologic Bomber Dragon". Playmaker had to use Storm Access to defeat Varis, who prevented that card's summon. "Bomber Dragon's" effect destroyed all monsters in Main Card Zones, which triggered Playmaker's "Capacitor Stalker's" effect, causing the Duel to end in a DRAW. Instead, Varis summoned a Data Storm, which took him and Playmaker inside. Pigeon panics how the Data Storm swallowed them, while the frog speeds the footage ahead.
Ghost Gal admits she was unable to enter the Data Storm. However, she states she was lucky enough that a portal was opened and managed to get inside the Data Storm. She heard how Varis told about Ignis, an AI with free will inside LINK VRAINS. Playmaker refused to believe in that, and Varis didn't care much if he did or not. Still, he summoned "Borreload Dragon", and due to "Fire Prison", Playmaker had no defenses left. "Borreload Dragon" made a direct attack, "Thunder Barrel Cannon", on Playmaker, inflicting 3000 LP damage. Playmaker remembered he still had the new card he obtained from the Data Storm, and called upon Ai. Playmaker swore he sensed Cyberse monsters' presence, and summoned "Firewall Dragon". "Fire Prison" was destroyed, and Ai returned to Playmaker. Playmaker swore to stop Varis, due to the incident 10 years ago, to regain the time he had lost and even to find the friend that had saved him. Varis recognized Playmaker as the one from that incident, who swore revenge on Knights of Hanoi to learn everything. Declaring "Tempest Attack", Playmaker had "Firewall Dragon" destroy "Borreload Dragon", thus causing an OTK on Varis. Before he left, Varis gave Playmaker the virus-removal program for Blue Angel, but swore the two would meet again, for their battle would continue as long as Playmaker had Ai by his side.
This is how LINK VRAINS was saved, by Playmaker's victory. Ghost Gal wonders what is Ignis, what are Knights of Hanoi's plans and Playmaker's incident 10 years ago. She gives out a kiss, bidding them farewell until the next special interview. The pigeon is thrilled about this video, while the frog promises to make the next scoop. Seeing Shoichi asleep, Yusaku swears to go home. Before he does, he finds another video and deletes it. As frog and pigeon celebrate, they see their video is being deleted. The two panic and cry, seeing all of the footage was banished.
The following cards appeared in this episode. No cards debuted here.
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