"Parallel Paths" is the one-hundredth-and-seventeenth episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It aired in Japan on September 4, 2019.
After finding out where Ai is, Yusaku heads to an island located in the outskirts of Den City, all by himself. Ai has already started making copies of himself on the island, using the SOLtiS he acquired from SOL Technologies. Ai reveals his motive for attacking humans, as well as all the thoughts he's been keeping to himself. And now, with the future of the world on the line, Yusaku and Ai begin their first and final battle.
Turn 1: Playmaker PlaymakerNormal Summons "Garbage Collector" (100/1900). He then activates the Continuous Spell "Cynet Optimization", letting him Normal Summon 1 Cyberse Monster during his Main Phase. He Normal Summons "Flame Bufferlo" (1400/200). Playmaker then activates the effect of "Garbage Collector", letting him return 1 other Cyberse monster he controls to the hand to Special Summon a Cyberse monster from his Deck with the same Level but a different Attribute. He returns "Flame Bufferlo" to the hand and Special Summons "Sea Archiver" (300/2100) from his Deck in Defense Position. Since "Flame Bufferlo" left the field, its effect lets Playmaker discard a Cyberse monster to draw two cards (although not shown it was later revealed to be "Clock Wyvern" during during part two of the duel). He uses "Garbage Collector" and the WATER "Sea Archiver" to Link Summon "Splash Mage" (1100/LINK-2/↗↘). Playmaker activates the effect of "Splash Mage", letting him Special Summon 1 Cyberse monster from his GY in Defense Position once per turn. He Special Summons "Sea Archiver", then uses it and "Splash Mage" to Link Summon "Decode Talker" (2300/LINK-3/↙↑↘) to the Extra Monster Zone. Playmaker sets a card.
Turn 2: Ai Ai Normal Summons "Pikari @Ignister" (1200/600). As it was Summoned, its effect lets Ai add "Ignister A.I.Land" from his Deck to his hand. Ai then uses "Pikari" to Link Summon "Linguriboh" (300/LINK-1/↙) to the Extra Monster Zone. Ai activates the Field Spell "Ignister A.I.Land". As he controls no monsters in his Main Monster Zones, the effect of "AiLand" lets him Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "@Ignister" monster from his hand, but he can only Special Summon Cyberse monsters for the rest of the turn. Ai Special Summons "Doyon @Ignister" (400/1600). As it was Summoned, the effect of "Doyon" lets Ai add 1 "@Ignister" monster from his GY to his hand. Ai adds "Pikari". Ai then activates the Continuous Spell "CompromA.I.se", allowing him to once per turn place 1 "@Ignister" monster he controls in his Spell & Trap Zone as a Continuous Spell. He targets "Doyon". As he controls no monsters in his Main Monster Zones, Ai activates the effect of "AiLand" again to Special Summon "Pikari" from his hand. As it was Summoned, its effect lets Ai add another copy of "AiLand" from his Deck to his hand. As a monster was Special Summoned, the other effect of "CompromA.I.se" lets Ai Special Summon 1 "@Ignister" monster from his Spell & Trap Zone. He Special Summons "Doyon" then uses it, "Pikari" and the DARK "Linguriboh" to Link Summon "Dark Templar @Ignister" (2300/LINK-3/↙↓↘). As he controls no monsters in his Main Monster Zones, Ai activates the effect of "AiLand" again to Special Summon "Achichi @Ignister" (800/800) in Defense Position to a zone "Dark Templar" points to. As a monster was summoned to a zone his Link Monster points to, the effect of "Dark Templar" lets Ai Special Summon as many Level 4 or lower "@Ignister" monsters as possible with different names from his GY to zones his Link Monster points to. Ai targets "Dark Templar" and Special Summons "Pikari" and "Doyon" to the remaining zones it points to. He then uses "Pikari", "Doyon" and the FIRE "Achichi" to Link Summon "Fire Phoenix @Ignister" (2300/LINK-3/←↓→) to a zone "Dark Templar" points to. Ai activates the Link Spell "Judgment Arrows" (↖↑↗) in the Spell/Trap Zone the bottom Link Arrow of "Fire Phoenix" points to.
"Fire Phoenix" attacks "Decode Talker", but Playmaker activates his set Continuous Trap "Code Hack". While "Code Hack" is face-up, "Code Talker" monsters cannot be destroyed by card effects. The attack continues but since a "Code Talker" monster he controls is battling, Playmaker activates the other effect of "Code Hack" to reduce the ATK of the monster it battles to 0 until the end of the Battle Phase ("Fire Phoenix": 2300 → 0 ATK), prevent both monsters from being destroyed by battle and reduce all Battle Damage any player takes to 0. The attack fails and neither monster is destroyed. "Dark Templar" attacks "Decode Talker", and since the effect of "Dark Templar" prevents it from being destroyed by battle with a monster that has the same ATK, only "Decode Talker" is destroyed. At the end of the Battle Phase, the effect of "Code Hack" ends, so the ATK of "Fire Phoenix" returns to normal ("Fire Phoenix": 0 → 2300 ATK). Ai sets a card.
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