"To Gore Or Not To Gore", known as "Dark Mask's Burden of Fate" in the Japanese version, is the twenty-fourth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It first aired in Japan on October 25, 2017. It became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on the same day.and aired on Teletoon on November 18, 2018.
Dr. Genome uses his "Helixx" Deck to turn the "Gouki" monsters' powerful attacks against themselves, putting The Gore into a pinch. At the same time, the other members of the Knights of Hanoi also show up in LINK VRAINS and indiscriminately attack the citizens...
Gore quickly gets back on his D-Board to continue the duel. Dr. Genome claims to have "unlocked the genetic code to immortality", as he revives "Helixx Necro Darwin" and uses his Skill to blast Gore again. Viewers at the Den City Plaza boo Dr. Genome's move, and a shocked Naoki Shima makes a comment, followed by the MC. Gore's manager sees this happen while still outside McKendrick Kellenbocker's ward in hospital. Skye Zaizen also sees this happen while in her bedroom.
Gore is given another turn. He struggles to stand up on his D-Board. Dr. Genome quips that he would rather the duel continue, than for Gore to be "deleted", otherwise Gore wouldn't be able to tell Dr. Genome what he was looking for - Playmaker's identity. Suddenly, Gore sees Playmaker emerge from the Data Gale above him. Viewers at the Den City Plaza cheer at Playmaker's sudden arrival. Dr. Genome also notes Playmaker's appearance, asking if he brought his Ignis. Ai emerges from Playmaker's Duel Disk and protests that he "runs" Playmaker. This triggers a disapproving comment from the watching Kolter.
Dr. Genome says that his work has been made so much easier, but reminds Playmaker that he cannot interfere with a duel in progress. Playmaker smirks, claiming that he merely came to watch the action close-up. Playmaker taunts Dr. Genome, saying that he's taking more turns to defeat Gore than Playmaker did. This angers Gore, who gets up and shouts at Playmaker, who suggests to Dr. Genome that if DNA determines dueling, then Dr. Genome can just use Playmaker's strategy. Otherwise, Gore can indeed evolve and become stronger. Dr. Genome replies that Playmaker just answered his own question, because Gore is still using the same deck and strategy in a different guise. Dr. Genome then becomes arrogant, saying that when he wins the duel, he'll have proven that he's a genius. Playmaker responds, saying that real geniuses do not claim they are such. They always prepare for the unforeseen. Gore appears to agree with the statement, by saying he cares not for DNA. Just before Gore starts his turn, someone snoops from atop a virtual building.
Gore draws the card he needs, and decides to hover higher. The MC notices that Gore's mask is disintegrating. As soon as his mask fully comes off, Gore bellows. As the duel continues, the MC makes another comment when he sees Gore about to Link Summon again. Dr. Genome is shocked to see Gore's new Link Monster; Gore says he evolved his game, and tells Dr. Genome that he disproved his theories. At the moment "Gouki The Master Ogre's" effect negates those of Dr. Genome's monsters, Ai boasts that Gore only started dueling when he showed up.
Gore's A.I. mentions "Master Ogre's" other effect, and with that, Gore begins battle. "Master Ogre" drop-kicks "Necro Darwin", and then axes the 0 ATK "Helixx Gothiclone". The second attack knocks Dr. Genome off his D-Board and wins the duel for Gore, as announced by the MC. Viewers at the Den City plaza also cheer, while Gore's manager smiles as he looks towards Kellenbocker's ward one more time. Meanwhile, Gore retrieves what he thinks is the antidote from Dr. Genome. When Dr. Genome makes a comment about honor, Gore asks what and where was the honor in spreading The Deleted and ruining the lives of everybody? Dr. Genome just laughs and disappears.
At the hospital, Kellenbocker wakes up and wonders out loud, in front of Gore's manager, whether he was dreaming. Back in the virtual realm, Gore and Playmaker meet at ground level. Gore asks Playmaker if he wished to see Gore lose. Playmaker brushes the question aside. But Gore presses for an answer, because it determines whether they are still each other's problem, or are working together to solve a bigger problem, like the Hanoi. At that point, Blue Angel appears to Playmaker and Gore with determination. Gore asks if she's ready as well.
The next day, after school, Skye Zaizen passes Shima procrastinating on his tablet again. Shima wails after seeing a Knight of Hanoi defeat an innocent duelist via "Cracking Dragon". Another Knight of Hanoi then uses "Hack Worm" to defeat another innocent duelist. A third Knight's "Cracking Dragon" knocks out a female duelist. At the Duel Club, Shima puts his tablet down and asks if any of those around are ready. Hosoda comments that while Shima may have the enthusiasm, he ignored a crucial rule of Yu-Gi-Oh! the previous day. Hosoda says that this mistake is enough to ensure Shima loses his next duel, but admits that none of the Duel Club are good enough to risk themselves, as they would be outmatched by thousands of Knights. Therefore, Hosoda disbands the Duel Club, and has to stop Shima from protesting against the decision.
Meanwhile, Gore takes out another Knight of Hanoi inside LINK VRAINS, to the cheers of his supporters watching the screens across Den City. One of the supporters decides to log in, after seeing Gore's accomplishment. He struggles to get on his D-Board, and as soon as he finds his balance, a Knight of Hanoi tails him. Besides the stray supporter is Playmaker, who urges him to exit LINK VRAINS. Ai adds that the stray supporter can't even help himself. After the stray supporter leaves, Playmaker turns around and confronts the Knight. The supporter that logged out returns to his friend, exhausted. His friend is visibly cross. At the Duel Club, Skye is bored out of her mind as Shima cheers Playmaker on once more. Hosoda decides to dismiss the Duel Club for good; thus, all except Shima start to leave the classroom, although Skye hesitates after hearing Shima mention Gore and Playmaker out loud.
By then, Playmaker demolishes the rest of his opponent's 2800 Life Points with an unspecified attack. Playmaker immediately demands the antidote from the fallen Knight. When the Knight denies knowing of it, Ai threatens to eat him up. Before the Knight can reveal who is responsible for the virus, that very person deletes him from inside Hanoi's base. Playmaker sees the Knight dissolve in a black shade. Just then, Gore runs up and asks if there's any progress on Playmaker's side. When he hears "no", Gore regrets that Blue Angel walked away from them just after she appeared in front of them. Playmaker gives his three reasons for why they cannot fail, and Gore agrees.
At night, Skye is having dinner with her brother - for the third night in a row, according to the Zaizen housebot, because of Akira's "embarrassing demotion". However, Akira is not displeased, for he gets more family time. Skye initially hesitates at what this means, but decides to agree that Akira makes her happy. Just then, the show the Zaizens were watching is interrupted by breaking news from SOL Technologies. With people on the streets stopping to watch, Kitamura announces that his army of artificial intelligence has been dispatched to deal with the Knights of Hanoi, although he says so with such arrogance that, in the dub, he repeats his own name for each letter in it. Kitamura's arrogance irks Akira enough to want to turn the TV off. Akira figures out that artificial intelligence cannot be victims of The Deleted, like Skye was. Because of his worries, Akira begs for his sister to not get involved, and she nonchalantly accepts her brother's request.
Meanwhile, SOL Technologies are preparing to deploy Kitamura's security bots. Kitamura believes that he has learned from their duels against Playmaker and Blue Angel, and enhanced his A.I.'s performance by "over 4000%" (dub). Kitamura gets the signal to deploy them, and his army of security bots appears inside LINK VRAINS, marching in lockstep. The MC makes a commentary as the Knights of Hanoi begin to clash with Kitamura's army, which are cheered on by Naoki Shima and the other Den City Plaza viewers. Kolter decides to quietly close up shop for the day. He goes back inside Café Nom where Yusaku is still trying to track members of the Hanoi that have antidotes. The MC continues to commentate as viewers, including the Zaizen family and Gore inside his old orphanage, watch the battle unfold. The MC's commentary appears to show Kitamura's army crushing its enemies in impressive numbers. Suddenly, Kitamura sees his army's numbers fall at an increasing rate. One of Kitamura's subordinates says that their research showed the tide turned when two new members showed up. She shows a live feed of the two in question. Within moments, all of Kitamura's army is down, and Kitamura falls to his knees.
Meanwhile, Akira gets dressed. He tells Skye that he wants to be of some help, having witnessed Kitamura's failure to contain the Knights of Hanoi. Once Akira leaves, Skye recalls the conflicting words of Gore and her own brother. Her fists tremble at one set of those words.
The Gore vs Dr. Genome
Turn 5: Dr. Genome
Genome activates the effect of "Helixx Necro Darwin" (1800/LINK-2/←↑) in his GY, to Special Summon it to a zone a Link Monster he controls points to. He Special Summons it to the Bottom Link Point of "Helixx Gothiclone" As a Link Monster was Special Summoned from the GY, Genome activates his Skill "Preserve Species", to halve the ATK of one of The Gore's monsters, and inflict damage equal to half of The Gore's LP. He halves the ATK of "Gouki Thunder Ogre" ("Thunder Ogre": 3400 → 1700 ATK; Go: 200 → 100 LP).
Turn 6: The Gore
The Gore draws "Gouki Face Turn" and subsequently activates it, destroying a "Gouki" card he controls to Special Summon a "Gouki" monster from his GY. He destroys "Gouki Dark Mask" to Special Summon "Gouki Suprex" (1800/0). The Gore uses "Thunder Ogre" and "Suprex" to Link Summon "Gouki The Master Ogre" (2800/LINK-4/↑↙↓↘) to the Extra Monster Zone. As "Suprex" was sent to the GY, The Gore activates its effect to add a "Gouki" card from his deck to his hand. He adds an unknown card. The Gore activates the Spell Card "Gouki Re-Match", Special Summoning two "Gouki" monsters with different Levels from his GY in Defense Position. He Special Summons "Gouki Twistcobra" (1600/0) and "Gouki Riscorpio" (2300/0). The Gore activates the effect of "The Master Ogre", returning all "Gouki" monsters it points to to his hand to negate the effects of monsters Genome controls until the End Phase, up to the number of monsters returned. He returns "Twistcobra" and "Riscorpio" to negate the effects of "Gothiclone" and "Necro Darwin".
"The Master Ogre" can attack all monsters Genome controls, but it must attack the monster with the highest ATK. "The Master Ogre" attacks and destroys "Necro Darwin" (Genome: 2300 → 1300 LP) and "Gothiclone" (Genome: 1300 → 0 LP).
The Gore vs. Knight of Hanoi
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.