"A Great Trial" is the ninety-second episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It aired in Japan on March 6, 2019.
A foe appears before Playmaker. It was someone that nobody could have expected... Standing before Playmaker is Cal Kolter, an ally who has been with him through thick and thin. Having been forced to fight since his brother is taken hostage by Lightning, Cal challenges Playmaker to a Duel.
During the aftermath of the duel between Bohman and Blue Maiden, Bohman absorbs Aqua and Blue Maiden's data into himself. Frog and Pigeon wanted to take revenge on Bohman but are too terrified to do anything as they get teleported away. Ai and Playmaker mourns for Blue Maiden as the others also looked on silently.
Back at Link VRAINS, the users trapped inside are beginning to panic as they are still unable to log out of it. Akira then quickly tells Hayami to use any means possible to try to save his sister but was told by Ghost Gal to remain composed and focus on saving the many other users still trapped. Akira then told Hayami to stop his previous order and continue with the main mission of saving and logging out the trapped users.
Meanwhile, Lightning comes to congratulate Bohman's job of defeating Blue Maiden but also reminding themselves that the loss of Harlin and Windy disadvantaged their faction. As such, Lightning plans to test "an interesting plan" that would not hurt their faction. This plan would make use of Playmaker as their secret trump card by introducing an opponent that will stir up the latter's negative emotions of anger, sadness and grief.
As Ai complains on how long are they going to be trapped, Bohman appears before them, with Ai declaring that he will crush him. Bohman then comes here to explain that he is not here to duel Playmaker, but rather, to say goodbye to him, as there will be a big test ready for him soon. Bohman then quotes Lighting's saying that human emotions are a weakness that can be exploited to gain victory. When asked who is the next duelist, Bohman said he doesn't know. Bohman then said that he was created under Playmaker's image and that in the past, he wanted to defeat Playmaker, but now, it has changed. Bohman then left, telling Playmaker that should they meet, he will win against him as Ai angrily tells Bohman to duel them proper.
While discussing on their next opponent, the field around them changed into that of Den City, and Playmaker saw Cal Kolter as his opponent. A few moments ago, Cal heard a transmission from his brother Jin Kolter and after a quick transmission, he quickly logged into Link VRAINS to meet with Lightning. When asked what does Lightning want, the latter wants Cal to do him a favor, which he promptly refused. Lightning then showed Cal, Jin's digital consciousness and told him to duel and win against Playmaker in exchange for the consciousness. However, Lightning also made it explicit that should Cal lose or the duel ends in a draw, he will destroy the consciousness, thereby killing Jin forever. Cal then tells Playmaker and Ai to lose for the sake of his brother.
When Varis, Soulburner and Flame saw this, they easily concluded that Lighting is blackmailing Cal to force Playmaker to fight his friend. As everyone is spectating, Bohman asked Lightning if he really intends to erase his own origin should Cal lose and Lightning simply affirmed, explaining that if Cal won, Playmaker will be absorbed and should Cal lose, the psychological trauma resulting from this will also damage Playmaker.
Meanwhile, the 3 Lieutenants from Knights of Hanoi; Baria, Faust and Dr. Genome received a transmission from Cal. That transmission contains an incomplete program designed to hack into Mirror Link VRAINS and the trio immediately got to work to complete the program. As Playmaker duels Cal, Ai noticed that Playmaker is deliberately trying not to win the battle but Cal does not hesitate to fight as hard as he can. When called out by Ai, Cal said that no matter what, Jin is still his brother and he will fight on if it means saving Jin. Ai then told Playmaker that Cal is serious about defeating him but Playmaker confessed that he just cannot fight Cal.
Featured Duel: Playmaker vs. Cal Kolter
The Duel is conducted as a Master Duel.
Turn 2: Playmaker
Playmaker Normal Summons "Digitron" (1500/0), then uses "Digitron" to Link Summon "Link Spider" (1000/LINK-1/↓) to the Right Extra Monster Zone. Playmaker activates the effect of "Link Spider", Special Summoning a Level 4 or lower Normal Monster from his hand to his zone "Link Spider" points to. He Special Summons "Bitron" (0/2000) in Defense Position to the zone "Link Spider" points to. Since he controls a Cyberse Monster, Playmaker Special Summons "Backup Secretary" (1200/800) from his hand via its own effect. Playmaker then uses "Bitron" and "Backup Secretary" to Link Summon "Protocol Gardna" (1000/LINK-2/←→), then uses "Protocol Gardna" and "Link Spider" to Link Summon "Decode Talker" (2300/LINK-3/↙↑↘) to the Right Extra Monster Zone. Unwilling to attack Kolter, Playmaker ends his turn.
Turn 3: Cal Kolter
Kolter Normal Summons another copy of "Codebreaker Zero Day" (1800/0) and activates his set Continuous Trap "Codebreak Backfire". Kolter then uses his 2 copies of "Codebreaker Zero Day" to Link Summon "Codebreaker Virus Swordsman" (2300/LINK-2/↑↓) to his Main Monster Zone that "Decode Talker" is pointing to. "Decode Talker" gains 500 ATK for each monster linked to it ("Decode Talker": 2300 → 2800 ATK) because of its own effect. Kolter then activates "Virus Swordsman's" effect as it is Special Summoned and co-linked, letting him target 1 Link Monster on the field and Special Summon a "Codebreaker" monster from his hand or GY to to any zone the targeted monster points to. Kolter targets "Decode Talker" and Special Summons "Zero Day" (1800/0) in Defense Position from his GY to the Bottom-Right Main Monster Zone that 'Decode Talker" points to. Kolter then activates "Zero Day's" effect where non-"Codebreaker" Link Monsters that point to this card will have their ATK/DEF increasing effects reversed (except multiplications and dividing). As a result, "Decode Talker" loses 1000 ATK instead of gaining them ("Decode Talker": 2300 → 1300 ATK). As a "Codebreaker" monster was summoned to his field, the effect of "Codebreak Backfire" inflicts 600 damage to Playmaker (Playmaker: 4000 → 3400 LP).
"Virus Swordsman" attacks "Decode Talker", but the first effect of "Backfire" prevents monsters on the field from being destroyed when battling with a "Codebreaker" monster (Playmaker: 3400 → 2400 LP). As it battled an opponent's monster, the effect of "Virus Swordsman" lets Kolter target 1 face-up monster his opponent controls and lower its ATK by 500 ATK for each "Codebreaker" monster on the field as well as inflict damage to his opponent equal to the ATK lost by this effect. As Kolter activated a card or effect that targets a card Playmaker controls, he activates the second effect of "Decode Talker" to negate the effect and destroy that card by Tributing a monster "Decode Talker" points to. Playmaker Tributes "Zero Day" and destroys "Virus Swordsman", which also returns "Decode Talker's" ATK back to normal ("Decode Talker": 1300 → 2300 ATK). Kolter then activates "Virus Swordsman's" final effect, where during the End Phase, if "Virus Swordsman" was in the GY because it was destroyed by an opponent's card effect, it is Special Summoned back to the field, but it will be banished once it leaves the field. He then activates "Virus Swordsman's" effect as it was Special Summoned and co-linked to Special Summon "Zero Day" in Defense Position to a Zone Decode Talker points to, while the effect of "Zero Day" reverses "Decode Talker's" ATK gaining effect ("Decode Talker": 2300 → 1300 ATK). The effect of "Codebreak Backfire" activates (Playmaker: 2400 → 1800 LP).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.