"Tower of Hanoi" is the thirty-second episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It first aired in Japan on December 20, 2017 and aired on Teletoon on December 16, 2018. It became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on the same day.
An ominous tower has appeared in LINK VRAINS. An incident then occurs, where many Duelists get converted to data. Learning this, Playmaker heads to LINK VRAINS, bringing the info Ghost Girl entrusted to him with him. He meets up with The Gore and Blue Angel, and exchanges information with them. The three then split up to search for Varis. However, Blue Angel then runs into Specter...
Kolter and Yusaku witness the rise of the Tower of Hanoi, from the safety of Café Nom. Yusaku offers to look into the data he collected from Ghost Gal just before she was absorbed. Skye Zaizen and George Gore, from home and the orphanage respectively, also witness the Tower of Hanoi's rise. SOL Technologies' security department also witness the tower rising, unable to do anything. Kitamura asks who is responsible, and one of his subordinates tells him that the Knights of Hanoi did it. When Kitamura asks for LINK VRAINS to be shut, another subordinate says it's not possible because they've lost control of it. Kitamura sits back down again, and tries to think of a solution. Meanwhile, avatars still inside LINK VRAINS disappear in pink flashes while running. Kolter and Yusaku notice; the latter believing that the data is being absorbed into the tower. As Skye and George continue to watch in horror, Ai sees that people are unable to log out before being absorbed. Yusaku knows that there will be more casualties than during The Deleted if this lasts any longer.
At the Den City plaza, passers-by notice a breaking news report regarding SOL Technologies' decision to deny access to LINK VRAINS due to a "software issue". The reporter speaks to a correspondent during the report, who says that SOL Technologies believes it will only be a minor issue. As the news continues, Naoki Shima, who caught notice at the very back of the plaza, turns to look at the forums on his tablet, seeing that duelists are calling it "the great apocalypse". Meanwhile, Kolter and Yusaku have downloaded Ghost Gal's data, and see that it is blueprints for the tower. After looking further into the blueprints, Kolter finds the core in the "central shaft". Yusaku then asks about the rings that form the central shaft. Kolter believes the rings are the data store, and are able to fill up fully from empty within an hour, and when all six rings are complete, the data would be released in a massive surge that would fry up every computer that has access to the internet, and potentially, the entire power grid. Kolter warns that civilization in its entirety could collapse. Ai think he will be safe because he doesn't connect to the internet. Yusaku reminds that Varis is doing all this to erase Ai. Kolter believes that the surge will also emit electromagnetic pulses that would destroy every machine, even those not connected to the internet. Essentially, Kolter says, Varis is willing to turn civilization back thousands of years to destroy Ai.
A while later, Kitamura enters LINK VRAINS, demanding to speak to the leader of the Knights of Hanoi. When he doesn't get a response, he starts rambling to himself, only to be interrupted by a voice behind him. Kitamura turns around and asks who he is. Varis isn't impressed because he was the one Kitamura asked to speak to. When Kitamura tries being civil with Varis, the latter takes none of that either and threatens to erase him. Kitamura wastes more time setting out the terms of their conversation, making Varis impatient. Kitamura finally gets to the point, proposing to preside over LINK VRAINS together. Kitamura says SOL Technologies would not allow anyone to destroy LINK VRAINS without resistance, but as the security chief, Kitamura can just tell them not to work and let Varis "win" - but only if Kitamura and the Knights of Hanoi share power.
Varis smirks, agreeing to Kitamura's proposal but wanting to test Kitamura's worthiness first. He turns around and leaves, saying "Good luck". Behind Kitamura, Specter states that he is the test - a Master Duel. Kitamura is shocked, protesting that he doesn't duel. Meanwhile, Pigeon carries Frog in the air over the deserted LINK VRAINS. Frog says to Pigeon that the reason why no one is around is because it is believed they got erased, and didn't want to tell Pigeon in case he panics. Pigeon does indeed panic. As usual, Frog says journalists don't run from danger, they "swoop into it" - something that birds naturally do. Pigeon protests that he may look like a pigeon, but acts like a chicken. He says they should "drop the whole thing" - dropping Frog as he says so. As Pigeon catches Frog and continues to fly, Frog simply says they weren't given the signal to evacuate yet, so they're still allowed to be inside. Pigeon suddenly gets a message from his superior - a command to evacuate - because if they don't, they won't be paid. Frog exclaims. He says it doesn't matter because he does this for the public. Just then, Frog notices a duel on the roof, and has Pigeon move his camera to it.
Kolter and Yusaku notice the stray broadcast from LINK VRAINS. Yusaku notices Kitamura engaged in a duel, and then says "he" seems to be one of the Hanoi - without specifying who. The duel ends with Kitamura's defeat. Specter towers over his opponent, saying that he failed his test, adding that Kitamura is a man without principle and only seeks to rule by himself. With that, he bids goodbye. Kitamura asks why Specter isn't leading the Hanoi, and asks if he can still be of service. Specter says yes, and clicks his fingers, turning Kitamura into data. He then turns to his left and grins at Frog and Pigeon, who cry out in shock. Specter tells Pigeon's running camera that the Knights of Hanoi have LINK VRAINS under control, and they say, "No entry". Yusaku, Skye and George all notice this while watching the broadcast. Frog and Pigeon flee in the air. After another argument, they get swept away by sand. Meanwhile, George decides to leave the orphanage while the orphans are sleeping, and Skye is clenching her fist. Yusaku announces that he must log in, and asks if his D-Board is ready. Kolter says there won't be enough data for Speed Duels. Nevertheless, Yusaku knows he has less than six hours, and logs into LINK VRAINS at the same time as Skye and George.
Frog and Pigeon emerge from the sand that swept them away, and notice the tower. Frog immediately yells that it's his last chance for a scoop. Playmaker also sees the tower from a distance, and are joined by The Gore and Blue Angel. Playmaker claims that they're not allies, and Gore agrees, reminding Blue Angel of the time she turned around and left. Blue Angel says she came to save LINK VRAINS from the Knights of Hanoi. Gore is pleased with that statement, saying that he came to do the same thing. When Gore gets into an argument with Ai, Playmaker interrupts both of them and states his three reasons, the third of which involves Ghost Gal. Blue Angel and Gore hear, for the first time, what happened to Ghost Gal after she lost to Varis. Gore asks if it will happen to him as well if he loses, and Playmaker confirms, saying that in less than six hours, the tower will destroy the world and consume LINK VRAINS. When Blue Angel asks how, Playmaker says it's not good use of the time to explain. He says the only way to stop the tower is to beat Varis, and he will do it alone.
Gore and Blue Angel are disappointed. But then they say they can split up to find Varis three times quicker. After all, Playmaker said how long they have left. Playmaker sighs, saying they can do as they please. He also warns Blue Angel and Gore of a "powerful new card" that Varis defeated Ghost Gal with. Blue Angel and Gore note that down, and split up. Frog and Pigeon see this from above a building, and Frog believes he has the perfect scoop... only for Pigeon to admit he didn't turn on the camera all this time. They then see that Playmaker has also disappeared.
At Blue Angel's location, she calls for someone watching her to come out. Emerging from an alleyway is Specter, the person Blue Angel knows has defeated Kitamura. Specter smiles, saying that they have met before, and clicks his fingers. Blue Angel sees the "Dark Angel" card flash across her mind, and then realizes she was brainwashed by Specter. She asks Specter to let her through. Specter refuses, saying that he is Blue Angel's biggest fan and wants to duel her. Blue Angel says she doesn't have the time for it. Specter says she has no choice, because Varis ordered him to get in the way of anyone who opposes the Knights of Hanoi. He says Blue Angel should know what happens to the loser, though he is honored to be Blue Angel's last opponent. Blue Angel barks that those without honor are those who trash talk. Specter challenges Blue Angel to prove it, and their Master Duel gets underway.
Specter vs. Kitamura
The Duel is conducted as a Master Duel.
Duel is shown from an unspecified turn.
Blue Angel vs. Specter
The Duel is conducted as a Master Duel.
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.