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I don't trust AI. The internet world is a fiction. What's important is the breath and heartbeat of life.

— Varis[3]

Ryoken Kogami (こうがみ りょうけん, Kōgami Ryōken), also known as Varis (Revolver (リボルバー, Riborubā) in the Japanese version), is the leader of the Knights of Hanoi and the main antagonist in the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime.[4]

Design

Appearance

Revolver

VR avatar

While in LINK VRAINS, Varis is a man with dark crimson hair and red highlights. His ears are pierced with Egyptian-style earrings with a blue diamond and a gold bullet "token". Varis wears a tan-colored visor giving him yellow featureless eyes, designed with a white casing and a diamond-shaped pattern of white dots with red centers, linked together by a white circle that surrounds a white dot in the center of Varis' forehead that suggests the barrel of a gun. The visor of his mask can be covered with a dark lens to protect him from bright lights.

Varis wears a white jumpsuit with a black elongated "T" shape tracing to the bottom of his chest, red ovals overlaying black ovals on the sides of the torso, and a v-shaped line of green where a belt would be. He wears a white trench coat lined with green with golden lines patterning both the inside and the outside of the coat. The sleeves are green white shoulder-pads and red diagonal bands on the bicep, making it unclear whether or not they are part of the jumpsuit or the coat. Varis also wears a small white mantle with a black line tracing around the middle, and a green ornament attached at the front on either side of his neck and at the back by red gems. Varis wears white-elbow length gloves with red diamond shapes on his forearm, and black boots with green heels and red patterns on the front that may be part of his jumpsuit.

Revolver As A Young Boy

Varis as a child, with his father.

In real life, Varis is a tall young, fair skin man with light-blue eyes and has white hair that spikes backwards at the sides, with purple-blue highlights. On his right hand, he has a tattoo of a red triangle. He has at least two outfits, the first consisting of a white buttoned shirt and black trousers, while the second consists of a pink v-neck shirt underneath a light grey suit jacket, with black trousers that ends above his ankles.

As a child, he wore a grey hoodie over a dark pair of pants.

Personality

Much like the other Knights of Hanoi, Varis is a ruthless individual that seeks Ai. He bears a great hatred towards Ai and the Cyberse world considering them a threat to the real world, a notion he developed from his father's research into AI-human interactions. His resolve to rid the world of Ai leads him to take drastic measures, including endangering the entire VRAINS networks and many human lives. However, Varis claims that his actions are so that he can fulfill his promise to his father to save humanity.[5] He shows his strong resolve numerous times during the show, notably his willingness to plunge into a Data Storm far out of his league to activate "Storm Access" to compete against Playmaker during their Duel at the Tower of Hanoi, which would have severely wounded him if it had not been for his father's assistance.[6]

Although he's a fair duelist who honors his words, he has shown at the same time to take hostages like he did with Blue Angel and several of the Another victims and not concern himself very much with the collateral damage his actions. In fact, he justifies this as being for the greater good of humanity. These strongly held ideals and his extremists actions make him akin to a terrorist.

Unlike most hackers, Varis distrusts LINK VRAINS and the people that, to him, are dedicating their lives to it and make false relationships with other people. He values a person's life more. He distrusts Artificial Intelligence, to the point where he does not have one installed into his Duel Disk. Due to that, he looks down on the internet world as false. Despite his hatred towards VRAINS, Varis isn't against using the Cyberse for his own benefit. When Ai called him out on that, Varis described it as "counteracting poison with poison".[3]

Varis shares Yusaku's habit of listing out three reasons for his observations, although he doesn't do it as frequently as Yusaku. As he mentions during Yusaku's confrontation, Varis was the voice that taught Yusaku the three reason method.[1]

While Dueling, he shows loads of confidence and plans ahead well, often confusing his opponents with a seemingly inefficient strategy.[7] Varis tends to belittle 'unworthy' opponents at times, which Gore noted as arrogance. When pushed into a corner, Varis pushes himself to his limits only to win, even if that harms him.

Abilities

Varis can summon Data Storms at will.[8] He is also a professional hacker and can even infiltrate the system of LINK VRAINS, stating he could even destroy it. He shares the same Skill as Playmaker, "Storm Access" which allows him to add a random Link Monster from a Data Storm to his Extra Deck when his LP are 1000 or less.[3]

Varis is also a cunning person, being able to predict his enemy's movements and lead them into a trap and counter them.[9] Varis can also regenerate his body inside LINK VRAINS.[2]

Etymology

Varis' first name, Ryoken 「りょうけん」, means "idea". It can also be translated to "discretion" or "forgiveness/tolerance".

Alternately, it can be a reference to the Japanese name for the constellation Canes Venatici 「りょうけん座」another astronomical reference to his character as he resides next to Stardust Road.

His dub name, Varis, is an allusion to the word "virus", hence his status as a hacker.

Biography

History

Revolver and friends

A young Varis with Faust and Baira.

Ryoken lived with his father, Dr. Kogami, at Stardust Road. The two occasionally watched the phenomenon, when the light of the plankton shined in the sea.[6] Ryoken was a friend to Baira and Faust, and the latter considered Varis as his younger brother.[10] When he was eight years old, Ryoken watched the progress of the Hanoi Project. He did not understand much about it, but Ryoken trusted his father's research. He even helped a boy, Yusaku, gain his confidence by telling him about finding three points to continue fighting. However, Ryoken was overwhelmed by the pain of the children, and reported the project to the authorities, thus stopping it. In doing so, Ryoken's father was imprisoned. Ryoken waited for three years for his father to return. His father was infected with a virus and fell into a coma, but during that time, he finished his project, and created the AI with free will, Ignis. Some time after, with the help of his subordinates,[1] Ryoken saved his father, Dr. Kogami, from a comatose state, after he was infected by a virus from SOL Technologies following the Hanoi Project, by recreating his father's mind and placing it within the network. Kiyoshi formed the Knights of Hanoi, with the intent of eradicating all the Ignis within the network, believing that they were savage creatures with the intent of destroying the world, rather than saving it. At one point, after the Hanoi Project, Varis, as a child, met Spectre at the site of the Lost Incident, and recruited him into the Knights of Hanoi.[11]

Unfortunately, Kiyoshi told Ryoken that Ignis, who would progress, would eventually destroy the world. He believed Ignis would improve humanity's lives, and instead, he saw the AI would eventually supervise humanity. He feared the humanity would see AI as an enemy, a life-form they would want to conquer, and this would also make the humanity as Ignis' enemy. Kiyoshi told Ryoken SOL Technologies knew of this threat, but they only infected him with a virus.[1] Together, Varis and the Knights of Hanoi worked to find Ignis, who became a threat to the world, once they found out the AI learned how to lie. Thus, Varis aimed to find Cyberse World and eliminate the Ignis that created it.[12] Varis launched an attack to Cyberse with three of his "Cracking Dragons". The entities of Cyberse were sealed off and could not retaliate, except for Ai. Ai claimed he was their "savior", noting others have been trapped. Regardless, he claimed being hated had its uses, but promised to save all of them. Varis and the "Cracking Dragon" chased Ai, who escaped Cyberse and severed the connection with that place. Others realized he wanted to hide Cyberse at the price being unable to return. Just as Ai succeeded and gloated, Varis' "Cracking Dragon" ate him, though his eye was lost in the network. Varis had his team search for Ai's remains, for only he knew the location of Cyberse.[13]

Hanoi

Five years later, SOL Technologies' security were searching for Ai. Varis smiled, seeing he could exploit this situation. He summoned a Knight of Hanoi, ordering him to capture Ai before the SOL Technologies could. He watched the situation and was intrigued how the Playmaker arrived to challenge the Knight of Hanoi and bet Ai for the Duel.[13]

After Playmaker had won the Duel, Varis admitted he didn't expect his opponent to be that strong. Spectre arrived, explaining it was still better to let Playmaker have Ai than to be in possession of SOL Technologies. Varis knew they were going to unmask Playmaker soon, noting Playmaker hated the Knights of Hanoi, was one of few people that had Cyberse monsters and eventually would come and seek him, as the leader of the Knights of Hanoi, out. Varis was nevertheless pleased, and actually wanted to prepare himself for the battle against Playmaker. Later, as Yusaku and Kolter were looking at Ai's memories, Ai started to malfunction. Varis sensed his location, while Kolter turned the electricity of the van they were in. Yusaku went outside, and watched as Varis flew on a gigantic dragon to find Ai. While Varis did not find the AI, Yusaku felt that Varis saw him. Ai explained Varis was the leader of the Knights of Hanoi. Varis returned to his base, displeased that he could not find Ai, as the connection was severed in the last moment. He was approached by Dr. Kogami, who promised to make a new program, but needed more time. Varis stated that the ones holding Ai could not decipher him properly, but didn't want to give them too much time. Dr. Kogami said that they had to draw Playmaker out once more and defeat him properly. Varis heard an alarm, and logged off. In the real world, Varis, a young man, approached his father, who was resting inside a pod. Varis promised he would make his father's wishes come true and touched his arm, revealing a red triangle symbol on his right hand.[5]

Revolver in eye

Varis orders Blue Angel to use the Hanoi card.

Seeing how Blue Angel wanted to challenge Playmaker, Varis was amused by her. Spectre claimed they could use her, and went off to give her a special card.[14] During her Duel against Playmaker, Blue Angel fell in a trance and Varis told her she was a Knight of Hanoi, prompting her to activate the effect of "Dark Angel".[15]

Revolver summons Data Storm

Varis summons the Data Storm to destroy the place.

When Blue Angel was defeated, Varis was certain that Playmaker would have to comply to his demands. Dr. Kogami said Ai had to be destroyed and Varis was concerned about Kogami since he designed Ai. Kogami told Varis it was a painful decision to destroy the AI, while Varis reminded the importance of destroying Ai and Cyberse. When Akira Zaizen and Ghost Girl captured and interrogated Playmaker, Varis appeared before them and demanded him to be freed, as he was challenging him to a Duel. When Akira refused, Varis showed his power by summoning a Data Storm and obliterating the place. He also threatened to destroy LINK VRAINS, but stated that was not his intention, since he was interested in Ai that Playmaker had in his possession. When Akira refused to hand over Ai, Varis revealed they placed a computer virus inside Blue Angel as a hostage and only they had the ability to reverse it. Varis admitted they could've placed the virus into anyone, but Blue Angel was the most efficient target to draw Playmaker out. Varis also knew that Akira, as the Security-in-Chief, had to take Ai back, but doing so would make Blue Angel - Akira's sister - under permanent effect of the virus. Thus, he promised to hand over the program if Playmaker defeated him. Hesitant at first, Akira freed Playmaker while Varis left to wait for Playmaker to come and Duel him.[8]

Revolver and Playmaker battle

Varis faces Playmaker in the Speed Duel.

As the two rode off on the Data Wind, Varis reminded Playmaker he interfered a lot of times in the Knights of Hanoi's plans. Playmaker promised to defeat him and uncover their identities while Varis didn't care much for Playmaker's since they had many enemies. He declared their mission was to retrieve Ai and was surprised that Playmaker had no knowledge of Ai as an AI. Ai promised to eat Varis' program and reclaim his body back, while Varis stated if he were to win, Ai would be his own. Varis admitted he didn't have an AI for his Duel Disk, as he didn't trust them, claiming the internet was but a fiction. He valued the personal values of man, and didn't trust the fake relationships and dedications over LINK VRAINS; in his words, such ignorance would destroy the world, as would Ai and declared Playmaker as his enemy for helping Ai. Before the Duel began, Varis waved his hand causing the current LINK VRAINS environment to be crushed and replaced with lava rivers and fiery lakes.[3]

Revolver's Storm Access

Varis uses the Storm Access skill.

Taking the first turn, Varis used "Dragonoid Generator" to Special Summon two "Dragonoid Tokens" and Tribute Summon "Cracking Dragon". He then summoned the "Dragonoid Tokens" on Playmaker's field and used the effect of "Cracking Dragon" to deal him damage. Despite this, the Playmaker managed to turn around the tables by Link Summoning three monsters and destroying "Cracking Dragon" with "Decode Talker", lowering Varis' LP to 1400. Despite having the advantage, Playmaker noted that Varis was vigorous and would not give up. Varis thanked Playmaker for clearing his field, as he brought out "Twin Triangle Dragon" and revived "Cracking Dragon" back, at cost of it unable to attack and losing 500 LP. Varis sensed a power inside the network and, summoning a Data Storm, showing off the same Skill Playmaker had, "Storm Access". With this skill, Varis obtained "Topologic Bomber Dragon" and promptly used all of his monsters to Link Summon it, amused at the fact of his using a Cyberse monster against other Cyberse monsters. Using "Dragonoid Generator", Varis had "Bomber Dragon" use its effect to destroy a "Dragonoid Token" and Playmaker's "Capacitor Stalker". Despite the latter's effect causing Varis' LP to be lowered down to 100, the ATK of "Decode Talker" was lowered as well and Varis had "Topologic Bomber Dragon" destroy it. The effect of "Topologic Bomber Dragon" then activated, which would cause Playmaker to take damage equal to the ATK of "Decode Talker". Varis claimed that Playmaker lost the Duel and smiled as his dragon executed its effect.[3]

Revolver adds card

Varis obtains his father's card.

To stop the effect, Playmaker activated "Link Restart", and even revived "Decode Talker". Varis noted how tough Playmaker was to avoid this situation, as "Dragonoid Generator" summoned another Token to Playmaker's field. As Playmaker had Ai conjure a Data Storm, Varis was glad they did that, since he expected them to do that. He mused how his goal for the Speed Duel was completed. After Playmaker used Storm Access, Varis was impressed, considering how mighty the Data Storm was. Playmaker went to Link Summon, but Varis stopped that with "Remote Rebirth", summoning a monster from Playmaker's field to one of zones "Topologic Bomber Dragon" pointed to, with the intention of using his dragon's effect to destroy every monster in the Main Monster Zones. The effect of "Capacitor Stalker" once again dealt 800 Damage to both, causing both Varis and Playmaker's LP to fall to 0. Ai suspected Varis wanted the Duel to end in a tie, but Varis denied this, declaring he could predict their every move. Suddenly, Varis and Playmaker were pulled to the Data Storm, as the latter realized Varis actually planned this. Varis and Playmaker were separated from their D-Boards, and entered the center of the Data Storm - a calm place, filled with floating rocks. Varis declared the place to be their new stage of battle, as a shining card Dr. Kogami sent to LINK VRAINS was added to his Deck. Varis explained they would have a Master Duel that had more Monster and Spell & Trap Zones, fitting for them to show off their Link Monsters' prowess.[9]

Having the first turn in the Master Duel, Varis took on defense by playing "Fire Prison", "Twin Triangle Dragon" and "Linkbelt Wall Dragon" to make it harder to Link Summon and attack. Playmaker was worried about these defenses, and suspected it could be a part of Varis' plan. Instead, Playmaker summoned "Encode Talker" and had it attack "Twin Triangle Dragon". Due to the effect of "Linkbelt Wall Dragon", the attack was redirected to itself, making Playmaker's attack nullified. However, he did summon "Interrupt Resistor"; Varis realized Playmaker was preparing for a new Link Summon, but swore that strategy would cost Playmaker dearly. Varis Link Summoned "Three Burst Blast Dragon", surprising Ai, since Varis could've summoned "Topologic Bomber Dragon" instead, and was even more surprised he targeted "Backup Secretary" instead of "Encode Talker" for an attack target. Since "Three Burst Blast Dragon" negated the effect of "Encode Talker", Playmaker had "Interrupt Resistor" boost the DEF of "Backup Secretary" to take less damage from Varis' dragon's piercing effect. Playmaker sensed that Varis would bring out a different monster than "Topologic Bomber Dragon". To stop that, Playmaker summoned "Decode Talker" to take out "Linkbelt Wall Dragon". Varis anticipated this, and used the effect of "Fire Prison" to negate every Cyberse card as if it didn't exist, causing "Encode Talker" and "Decode Talker" to vanish, and even make Ai disappear.[9]

Fire Prison destroyed

Varis' "Fire Prison" is destroyed by its own effect.

Varis told Playmaker it was his fault for listening to Ai that made Cyberse cards unusable. Since Playmaker did not know about Ai, Varis told how there were tests to create life forms inside the network, but most attempts lacked free will. However, there was one person that succeeded, and that product was Ignis, the first AI with free will. Playmaker did not believe in this story, but Varis ignored him. He stated the most important thing was to capture and destroy Ai, who had created the Cyberse and wanted to conquer the network. On his next turn, Varis used the effect of "Three Burst Blast Dragon" to summon more Dragons, all to bring out his ace, "Borreload Dragon". Playmaker recognized it as the same dragon Varis rode on when he was searching for Ai when Yusaku and Kolter hacked it. Varis, who placed a safety mask on, declared a direct attack with his dragon, causing 3000 points of LP damage to Playmaker, even causing the blast to come out of the Data Storm. Since Playmaker was knocked out, Varis smiled, seeing the match had ended. However, Playmaker stood up, and Varis saw he failed to crush his confidence. As Playmaker played "Cynet Universe", Varis claimed it was a pointless move, since there were no Cyberse monsters. Playmaker denied this, since he could sense their pulses; Varis was greatly displeased, and shocked how he used two of his ace monsters to Link Summon "Firewall Dragon". Varis realized that was the card Playmaker had obtained from the Data Storm, and with its summoning, "Fire Prison" vanished. "Firewall Dragon" destroyed "Linkbelt Wall Dragon", which frustrated Varis, as Playmaker's "Parallel Port Armor" made his dragon untargetable and indestructible by battle. He took the next turn, replenishing his hand and bringing back "Anesthrokket Dragon" and "Autorokket Dragon". He then used the effects of "Borreload Dragon" and "Autorokket Dragon" in concert to send the latter to the GY to destroy defenses of "Firewall Dragon". He then attacked, surprising Ai and Playmaker with "Borreload Dragon" effect causing "Firewall Dragon" to switch over to Varis' field. Varis, intending to have Playmaker's own Cyberse card defeat him, had "Firewall Dragon" attack directly, but the attack was canceled by "Cynet Refresh". Still, Varis boosted his defenses by reviving two of his "Magnarokket Dragons". Playmaker brought back his "Encode Talker" and "Firewall Dragon", declaring the true fight had only begun.[7]

When Playmaker's "Firewall Dragon" used its effect to return "Borreload Dragon" from the field to the hand, Varis informed him that it couldn't be targeted by effects. Playmaker targeted "Magnarokket Dragon" instead, prompting Varis to activate its effect and attempt to destroy "Firewall Dragon". Playmaker responded with "Cynet Refresh" to protect his dragon from destruction. Varis was amused, and ended his turn. Much to Varis' surprise, Playmaker had "Firewall Dragon", protected by "Encode Talker", attack "Borreload Dragon", who had more ATK. Playmaker used "Battle Buffer" to raise the ATK of "Encode Talker", a strategy that impressed Varis. To counter it, Varis targeted "Encode Talker" with his dragon to reduce it's ATK, causing "Encode Talker" to be destroyed and Playmaker's strategy to backfire. While the ATK of "Firewall Dragon" was raised by "Battle Buffer", Varis' "rokket" dragons regained their effects. Varis claimed the match was over, as Playmaker could not attack anymore. The latter made him doubt that, since he could not use the effect of "Magnarokket Dragon". Using "Recoded Alive", Playmaker revived "Decode Talker", whose ATK was boosted up to destroy "Borreload Dragon". However, Varis used "Borrel Cooling" to activate "Magnarokket Dragon" effect to destroy "Decode Talker". Varis smiled, seeing how close he was to his victory, with Playmaker having no cards nor attacks to execute. Playmaker refused to lose, and claimed he wanted to uncover the events that had happened 10 years ago, to recover the time he had lost and to save the person that saved him. Varis was surprised that what happened 10 years ago involved Playmaker, who replied he was "that emissary of revenge". Varis claimed Playmaker was a fool to help SOL Technologies out without knowing the truth.[2]

Revolver's defeat

Varis defeated by Playmaker.

Revolver retreats

Varis flees from the scene.

Playmaker refused to listen and, using "Parallel Port Armor", he had "Firewall Dragon" attack once more to perform a One Turn Kill. The attack destroyed "Borreload Dragon", and Varis was slammed into a rock as his LP fell to zero. He then lost his avatar's arm when Ai became vicious and tried to devour Varis. Varis was pulled up to be logged out, but as promised, he threw a card that would remove Blue Angel's virus. Before leaving, Varis stated as long as Playmaker had Ai, their Duel would continue on. Varis returned to his base and Dr. Kogami was surprised how Varis let his guard down, seeing it was about that incident Playmaker spoke of. Varis apologized to him as his father, and as his hand recovered, claimed that next time would be different. His father stated that Varis didn't need to think of that, and seeing how they could not retrieve Ai, he went to execute the other plan, and needed time to make preparations for that. Varis nodded, and recalling Playmaker's speech pattern of three points of analysis, he wondered about his connection to him.[2] Varis and Kogami went to a deep pit, where Kogami showed him a seed shaped like a cube, which would grow into a "fruit" that would destroy the whole network, including LINK VRAINS. Varis watched Kogami release the seed, which fell into the pit.[16] Varis was still at the pit, with his father absent. He remarked that the battle for humanity would begin soon enough.[17]

Another

As the Another victims were being infected, Varis was worried if the Hanoi program was activated, the Lost Incident records would be deleted, and he'd never uncover Playmaker's identity. He was contacted by his father, who reported the Hanoi program would soon be finished. Varis was still sad, as he wished to settle things with Playmaker. He told he wouldn't move on until he defeats Playmaker, and his father permitted him the rematch, as long as it didn't take too much time. Later, Varis watched as the Knights of Hanoi forced people to Duel, preventing them from logging out. Varis was unamused, considering a thousand people that joined the Knights of Hanoi were mere grunts, who wanted self-promotion by opposing LINK VRAINS. He was visited by Faust and Baira, who informed him Dr. Genome was making his move, and gave him the Data Gale.[18] After Baira released the virus-removal program and logged out, she appeared next to Varis, who punished her.[19] With all three of his subordinates - Genome, Baira, and Faust - defeated and resting inside pods, Varis left his headquarters in LINK VRAINS. In the real world, at Kyoko Taki's apartment, Varis removed a flashdrive from its hiding place and looked at the video recording on it - Yusaku and Kolter in Baira's room witnessing Blue Angel defeating Baira. Ai appeared in the video and Varis smiled, as he learned that Playmaker was Yusaku.[20] Varis was at the pit, and proclaimed the time has come that he would risk the fate of the humanity on the Tower of Hanoi.[21]

Revolver looks at Yusaku

Real-life Varis looks at Yusaku, before proceeding with his plan.

Varis was at Stardust Road, ordering food from the Café Nagi food truck, his face still hidden. He told Kolter, who was still unaware of his true identity, that this would be the last time he would order from him. Kolter asked him if he was moving away; Varis replied that his reason was something like that before leaving. Varis returned to LINK VRAINS where he met up with Spectre, lamenting the loss of Dr. Genome, Baira, and Faust. He explained he was too focused on Playmaker. Despite this, Varis told the three were the core for his plan. Spectre asked if Varis was fine with the fact that they still didn't know Playmaker's identity. Varis proclaimed the plan had to resolve, even if it cost him his life, promising to defeat anyone that stood in his path. Later, he met Ghost Girl at the reprocessing plant, and was surprised to find her there. Varis noted Ghost Girl was snooping again, who promised to leave. However, Varis raised the barrier, stating he can't let her leave this place. Ghost Girl used the rope to reach a different exit, but Varis barred her. Ghost Girl questioned Varis what would he do with her after she would be captured, suspecting she would be in trouble. Varis offered her a Duel to shape his Deck out, allowing her to leave if she would win. Ghost Girl attempted to leave, but Varis pointed out logging out was disabled. Thus, being forced to fight, Ghost Girl initiated her first turn in the Speed Duel.[22]

Varis applied his swarming tactics to bring out monsters to his field. Ghost Girl noted Varis did not bring an AI for his Duel Disk, as Varis stated trusting an AI is foolish. Ghost Girl remembered Varis spoke that Ignis would destroy the world, but Varis ignored her, considering her as a mercenary that would not understand that. Ghost Girl reminded herself of Varis' ace, and noted the longer the Duel lasted, the more she would be at a disadvantage. Varis quickly brought out "Topologic Bomber Dragon", as Ghost Girl sensed Varis wanted to quickly end the Duel. Varis' dragon attacked Ghost Girl's "Altergeist Marionetter". To prevent this, Ghost Girl played "Altergeist Kunquery", and sealed off the dragon's effects. Ghost Girl questioned Varis about the energy sphere, and Varis simply replied something unimaginable was bound to happen. Ghost Girl brought out "Altergeist Primebanshee" and Kidolga". Her "Altergeist" monsters attacked Varis directly, dropping his LP to 400, and even took Varis' "Twin Triangle Dragon" to defeat him. Ghost Girl gloated in her victory, but Ghost Girl gloated in her victory, but Varis called her a fool. Playing a Trap Card, Varis negated the attack and destroyed all of Ghost Girl's Link Monsters. Ghost Girl realized Varis could've simply played his card earlier to avoid damage, and all of that was just so he could activate his Skill. Varis mocked her for not being able to predict that, while Ghost Girl returned her "Altergeist Marionetter" to her hand.[23]

Revolver outsmarted Ghost Girl

Varis smiles, having led Ghost Girl into his trap.

Revolver prevents the attack

Varis uses his Trap Card to prevent his defeat.

Playing a Trap Card, later revealed through similar visual effects to be Mirror Force, Varis negated the attack and destroyed all of Ghost Girl's Link Monsters. To prevent Varis from using his Skill, Ghost Girl activated her, Skill, Secret Cure, to at least raise Varis' LP. Much to her displeasure, she drew the 0 ATK "Altergeist Kunquery". Varis continued mocking her, stating luck has abandoned her. Ghost Girl planned her strategy to deal with Varis' effects and attacks, by using "Altergeist Protocol". Varis simply set Ghost Girl's card off with "Red Reboot", at the cost of halving his LP for using it from his hand. He also let Ghost Girl set a Trap Card from her Deck, but she was unable to play any Trap Cards during his turn. Ghost Girl still hoped in having the LP and field advantage, but Varis mocked her, claiming only darkness awaited her, from which she could not escape from. Varis, after bringing out three dragons, used Storm Access, taking out a Link Monster from the Data Storm, emitted from the purplish sphere. Varis Link Summoned his new monster, "Topologic Trisbaena", and revived "Defrag Dragon" at the position of former's Link Arrow. "Topologic Trisbaena" banished away all of Ghost Girl's Trap Cards and dealt her 1500 LP damage, and attacked her directly. Ghost Girl screamed, as she was defeated. Varis confronted Playmaker, who demanded to know about Ghost Girl's whereabouts. Varis simply proclaimed she became a foundation for the Tower of Hanoi, which was activated. He stated should Playmaker wish to stop it, he'd have to confront him. With the purplish sphere emitting tentacles that destroyed the place, Varis jumped away.[23]

Varis responded to Kitamura's calling, who asked to speak with the Knights of Hanoi's leader. Kitamura was startled to meet Varis, who threatened to erase Kitamura if he wasted his time. Kitamura pointed out there was no media reporter around, and since they were alone, he wanted to propose a secret deal. Kitamura proposed an alliance to rule LINK VRAINS, amusing Varis. Kitamura knew the Knights of Hanoi have the control of LINK VRAINS, and he explained he would maintain their domain, thinking they could even earn a fortune. Varis was intrigued, but in order to have Kitamura join them, he had him undertake a test. Varis went away, leaving Spectre to face Kitamura in a Master Duel.[24]

Varis, at his headquarters, approached his unconscious subordinates, who were lying on pods. Varis praised Spectre's hard work, and said that his defeat would not be in vain. He noted the tower was getting closer to completion, but knew Playmaker would arrive to face him. He believed this fight started ten years ago, when he launched the attack on Cyberse. He remembered the attempts of acquiring Ignis, even using Blue Angel to do their bidding, and he personally went to face Playmaker, forcing their battle to continue into the Data Storm itself. He noted Playmaker was the enemy that did not forget a single day for ten years, and noted he was his destined opponent. Varis wanted to find Playmaker's identity, even after his father planted the seed to erase all data. Due to that, Varis' subordinates have gone to fight off Playmaker and his allies, all to prevent Varis from becoming the biggest criminal in history, who was too focused on Playmaker. Dr. Kogami approached Varis, asking if he uncovered Playmaker's identity. Varis denied, even though he did see Yusaku's face in footage. Kogami noted ever since the tower was in place, Varis' interest in Playmaker's identity vanished. Regardless, he reminded Varis that even if the world would see them as criminals that took revenge against SOL Technologies, even with all the victims that would soon be erased, he thought one day they would learn the truth of the danger an AI with free will imposed. Varis noted that they were prisoners of destiny, and the fated, final Duel against Playmaker would commence soon, one he intended to win.[25]

Gore was near the Tower of Hanoi, and remembered his promise to his manager. In front of the tower, Gore was confronted by Varis, who came to stop him, and the two noted each other's names. Gore noted Varis would use the tower to destroy the data, and questioned his Goreals. Varis smiled, doubting Gore would understand the Knights of Hanoi's Goreals. Gore confirmed this, since he did not wish to listen gibberish from a "villain", and would never forgive Varis these actions. Varis wondered why Gore came, since Blue Angel has been absorbed already. Warning the same would happen to Gore, Varis let him retreat. Gore was surprised to hear Blue Angel had been defeated, as Varis noted Spectre defeated her, but lost to Playmaker. Varis pointed out his enemy was Playmaker rather than Gore. Gore swore to stop Varis, just like Playmaker did to Spectre. Varis noted Gore did defeat one of his subordinates, and accepted the challenge. Gore remembered Playmaker's warning about Varis' powerful card, and hoped his refined Deck should suffice. Gore started the first round by Link Summoning "Gouki Thunder Ogre" and supplying his field with three "Gouki" monsters as backup. When Playmaker arrived, Gore claimed he would be the one to defeat Varis, who was unamused Gore was distracted by a bystander. Varis' swarming tactics let him Link Summon "Triple Burst Dragon" and draw two cards with the effect of "Arrow Charge".[26]

To belittle Gore, Varis used Gore's "Gouki Thunder Ogre" for the additional Normal Summon of "Triggering Wurm", and use it to Link Summon "Topologic Bomber Dragon". "Triggering Wurm" was revived from the GY, and Varis used his Dragon's effect to clear everyone's Main Monster Zones. To minimize the damage, Gore tributed "Gouki Twistcobra" to increase the ATK of "Gouki Thunder Ogre" to 4500, and its effect increased its own ATK by 400. Varis boosted his Dragon with "Link Protection" and attacked "Gouki Thunder Ogre", which triggered his Dragon's effect to destroy the ogre and inflict 2200 LP damage to Gore. Gore discarded "Gouki Octostretch" to halve the damage. Varis complimented Gore for this tactic, but wondered how long would that last. Thinking of the children, Gore swore to restore LINK VRAINS. Gore Link Summoned "Gouki Shadow Ogre" next to the link of "Topologic Bomber Dragon". The latter's effect was triggered, but "Shadow Ogre" negated its effect and destroyed the Dragon. Gore pointed out he also used Varis' monster to his advantage, which made Varis smirk. Varis banished "Link Protection" and "Topologic Bomber Dragon" to prevent Gore from attacking, unless he had four Link Monsters. Gore made progress by reviving "Gouki Jet Ogre" and bringing out "Gouki The Great Ogre".[26]

Gore swore to stop Varis, who admitted his admiration for Go's passion. However, he reminded he was ruthless, and used a flashing "Mirror Force" to destroy all of Go's monsters, thus intentionally cancelling his efforts. Gore realized that was the card Playmaker warned him about, making Varis laugh.[26] Varis offered Gore to surrender. However, instead of his confidence crushed, Gore became more determined to win, to use everything he had to stop Varis. He played "Gouki Trainer" to resurrect his "Gouki The Great Ogre" that Varis had destroyed. Varis promised to "honor" his opponent by obliterating him. He played "Boot Sector Launch" to summon "Shelrokket Dragon" and "Metalrokket Dragon", using them to Link Summon "Booster Dragon". Varis targeted the effect of "Booster Dragon" to "Shellrokket Dragon", firing the missile to destroy Go's "Gouki" monsters. With no monsters left, Gore took the attack of "Booster Dragon", lowering his LP to 1000. Gore had "Gouki Moonsault" return his "Gouki Jet Ogre" to his Extra Deck, only to Link Summon it later on. He destroyed it to force Varis' monsters in Attack Position, preparing them for battle. He revived "Gouki Jet Ogre" with "Gouki Grit", and used all of his monsters to Link Summon his new monster, "Gouki The Giant Ogre", which sparked Varis' interest. Go's ogre, whose ATK became 5000, attacked "Booster Dragon", reduced Varis' LP by 3100 points, as a "payback" for Varis' actions. While Varis Special Summoned "Triple Burst Dragon" from his GY, Gore claimed he was always improving himself.[27]

Varis summoned a "Magnarokket Dragon", and targeted it with the effect of "Booster Dragon". Varis targeted "Gouki The Giant Ogre" as his target for destruction, who was unaffected by that effect, and the missile bounced off it. Varis became displeased his effort were in vain, claiming Gore was stubborn. Gore reminded he always Dueled in public, and many children were looking up to him. However, he noted currently there was no fan cheering on for him, and now was fighting only for himself. He wanted to prove his strength, and dared Varis to show his own, who creepily smiled. Varis proceeded by summoning "Borrelsword Dragon", surprised Gore actually forced him to summon this monster that would mark his enemy's end. Varis admitted he did not care for whom he fought, for he was just carrying on his goal. The dragon and the ogre clashed, with neither side being indestructible in battle. "Borrelsword Dragon" gained half the ATK that was cut off from "Gouki The Giant Ogre", increasing its ATK to 4500. Varis switched the position of "Metalrokket Dragon" to destroy "Gouki The Giant Ogre". The attempt failed, for the latter's ATK increased by 1000 when its ATK was reduced, thus becoming immune to "Metalrokket Dragon". This, however, allowed "Borrelsword Dragon" to attack once more, and slashed Go's "Gouki The Giant Ogre" and defeating Gore himself. After Gore faded away, Varis reminded Playmaker they were the two last people in LINK VRAINS. Playmaker nodded, for it was time for a final confrontation against Varis.[27]

To stop Varis, Playmaker and his opponent went on their D-Boards to have a Speed Duel around the tower. This displeased Ai, since they were Dueling in a dangerous area. Playmaker reminded Varis about his goal to destroy Ignis, and pointed out he would throw the world into chaos by destroying the network. Varis explained he would not have been forced to do this if Ignis was given him from the start, and would not have anyone stop his plan. Varis promised to destroy Ai, who was feeling unpleasant. Since Varis defeated many people, Playmaker swore to stop him through this Duel. Ai motivated Playmaker, who took the first turn by summoning "Decode Talker". Ai was glad the monster was summoned, though Varis simply smiled. Playmaker used "Stack Reviver" to bring back "Backup Secretary" and boost the ATK of "Decode Talker" for a bit. Ai warned Playmaker about the floating debris, which nearly hit them. Ai was nevertheless enthusiastic, believing that his teamwork with Playmaker would prove no match against Varis. Ai started to practice punching, which made Varis remark what an arrogant AI it was.[12]

Revolver speaks about Ignis

Varis speaks about his goal and the threat of Ignis.

Varis gave Playmaker a question why Ai was running away from the Knights of Hanoi. Ai reminded it was its existence on the stake, while Playmaker remembered Ai had few memories when he first found it. Varis explained Ignis was coded by Dr. Kogami, and since Playmaker could not decode it, he only believed what Ai told him. Varis explained through the data he acquired, Ai still had memories of its past. He claimed that Ignis' ID was "IGN006", an AI linked to the sixth test subject, shaped after Playmaker itself. Varis continued, explaining six test subjects were used for Dueling to create six artificial intelligence units, which was the goal of the Lost Incident project. He told Ai learned through Playmaker's actions; its original goal was to save humanity, but they evolved quickly, to the point of creating the Cyberse World, which Ai hid to protect other Ignises. Varis pointed out Ai, in fact, was misleading Playmaker, lying that it lost its memories. Due to the fact it could lie, Varis branded Ignis as a threat to humanity, and why the Knights of Hanoi were determined to hunt it down. Varis questioned Playmaker would he continue trust Ai, who tried to explain when he saw Playmaker, Ai knew it was the same person he observed during the Lost Incident. However, he claimed he had been trying to escape, and could not trust anyone.[12]

Varis was angry Ai continued lying, but Playmaker reminded this had no bearing on their Duel. Ai feared what would happen to his friendship with Playmaker, who brushed him off, reminding Ai was just a hostage, and felt no friendship towards him. Varis swore to defeat Playmaker and crush Ai, who warned them about another debris. Drawing "Mirror Force", Varis set it and summoned "Spin-Headed Behemoth". Ai pointed out how suspicious it was that Varis summoned a low-ATK monster, but Playmaker shushed him. Playmaker, per Ai's warning, dodged a debris, which scratched a part of his face, which quickly regenerated. Looking at Varis' set card, he remembered Gore and Ghost Girl's sacrifices, knowing that card must be "Mirror Force". Thus, his Defense Position "Foal Tolelancer" protected his Attack Position monsters from being destroyed by such cards. Varis showed it, indeed, was "Mirror Force", but "Spin-Headed Behemoth" shifted all of Playmaker's monsters to Attack Position. Without the protection of "Foal Tolelancer", all of Playmaker's monsters were destroyed, too. In addition, Varis Special Summoned "Overflow Dragon" and summoned an "Overflow Token".[12]

Despite the lack of trust, Ai reminded he would be destroyed if Playmaker lost, who simply ignored Ai. Going on offense, Varis Link Summoned "Flash Charge Dragon" and Normal Summoned "Blast Powder Dragon", who boosted the former's ATK by 800. Playmaker took a direct attack, falling to his knees as his LP dropped to 900, which concerned Ai. Ai still reminded Playmaker would be at least down to 100, until Varis' "Blast Powder Dragon" had its ATK doubled. Varis proclaimed Playmaker's doom, as, once more, his dragon attacked him directly.[12] Remembering his promise to his father, Varis' "Blast Powder Dragon" attacked Playmaker directly. Ai feared this would be the end, but Playmaker used "Spool Code" to stop the attack and summon three "Spool Tokens". Varis was nevertheless persistent, using "Flash Charge Dragon" to destroy one Token and inflict 500 LP damage to Playmaker. In order to get out of this predicament, Playmaker Link Summoned "Link Disciple" and "Security Dragon" by linking them. The latter's effect attempted to return "Flash Charge Dragon" to Varis' Extra Deck, who instead tributed "Blast Powder Dragon" to prevent that effect from occurring. Ai was disappointed the strategy failed, and upon counting 400 LP that Playmaker had, realized he could activate his Skill.[6]

The rubble started hitting Playmaker, as Ai noted that was a dangerous move. Playmaker sensed a lot of density in the Data Storm, and there was no other way to defeat Varis, who thought Playmaker would destroy himself with that move. With Ai's help, Playmaker took out the Link Monster, "Transcode Talker", which surprised Varis. Playmaker Special Summoned "Decode Talker" next to the Link Marker of "Transcode Talker". Their ATK was further boosted with "Cynet Storm". "Decode Talker" slashed "Flash Charge Dragon", and "Transcode Talker" fired out a blast from its cannon to attack Varis directly. Varis Special Summoned "Chobham Armor Dragon" to protect himself, though he took 1650 LP damage. Playmaker gritted his teeth, as Varis reminded him not to underestimate him. When Varis started his turn, Ai came out of Playmaker's Duel Disk, but became smaller, since he recovered from the damage it took. Varis reminded he still had the same Skill Playmaker has, and remembered with the help of his father, he should succeed in taking out a monster from the Data Storm. He proceeded to use his Skill, but was nearly harmed from the density. Knowing Playmaker succeeded in using the Skill, Varis stuck his hand, only to get harmed by the energy. Varis was taken aback from the damage. He still went to use his Skill, as Playmaker and Ai noted he still wanted to win at any cost. Suddenly, the Data Storm stopped, as Dr. Kogami appeared to his son, Varis.[6]

Revolver's fail of Storm Access

Varis fails at his attempt to use Storm Access.

Dr. Kogami sacrifices for Revolver

Dr. Kogami sacrifices himself to help Ryoken at using his Skill.

Dr. Kogami admitted he was not a good father to let his son suffer, referring to him as Ryoken, who never complained. He explained he didn't want Varis involved in any of this, but reminded without him, the world would be in chaos. While Playmaker and Ai were wondering about Dr. Kogami's words, the latter decided to lend his strength in helping Varis to win, all to protect the humanity. Dr. Kogami's essence passed onto Varis, who noticed a glitter in the Data Storm, much like the light of the Stardust Road. Varis went through the Data Storm and obtained a new Cyberse monster, but noticed Dr. Kogami's heart was damaged. Varis muttered "Stardust Road", which Playmaker heard of. Varis used "Link Recovery" to recover his "Flash Charge Dragon" and let Playmaker draw a card, with the cost of unable of opening the Battle Phase. Varis used his monsters to Link Summon the new monster he obtained, "Topologic Gumblar Dragon". Noticing Dr. Kogami's heart stopped beating, Varis explained he can't continue the Duel. To wrap things up, he summoned "Drop Draco", triggering his "Topologic" dragon's effect to destroy it and every card in Varis' and Playmaker's hands. For each card destroyed, "Drop Dragon" inflicted 300 LP for each card destroyed, thus causing Playmaker and Varis' Duel to end in another DRAW. Playmaker and Varis were blown away, but the former was more worried about his father.[6]

Varis mourning

Varis mourns his father's death.

Varis and his dead father

Varis explains his father passed protecting his son.

Varis, having logged out to the real world, was at his father's bed. Yusaku and Kolter drove to his place at Stardust Road, and approached him, with the former mentioning he was Varis. Varis noted Playmaker has found this place. He already knew Yusaku Fujiki's name, and that of Jin Kusanagi's brother, Kolter. Ai shouted he was present, too, but Varis simply stated "Ignis". Varis introduced himself as Ryoken Kogami. Kolter noted Ryoken was Dr. Kogami's son, but the latter explained his father has just passed away, which made Kolter curse he could not reach to him earlier. Yusaku asked Ryoken, referring to him as Varis, for more information that they had the right to know about. Ryoken confirmed that, so Yusaku asked the reason behind his actions, if the Lost Incident had been about creating Ignis. Ryoken explained his father wanted to create a successor, should the humanity be destroyed, for even if it was to evolve and rise, it was still under threat of extinction. He told it is why his father created Ignis, since they did not have limitations the humanity had.[1]

Ai claimed he was not an enemy, but Ryoken did not trust it. Yusaku pointed out Kiyoshi based his views on simulations, and it had no reason to be true. Thus, he asked Ryoken to turn off the Tower of Hanoi to "walk down a new path". He reminded Ryoken about pointing out the three reasons behind actions was Ryoken's idea he passed onto Yusaku during the project. Yusaku admitted he thought that voice had been trapped by the Knights of Hanoi, and wanted to save him. In a way, Ryoken encouraged Yusaku to step forward, an idea the former found ironic. Regardless, Ryoken refused to turn off the Tower of Hanoi. Ai reminded the sixth level of the tower was to be completed soon, and asked of Yusaku to force Ryoken into LINK VRAINS and stop him. Ryoken admitted he was going back to LINK VRAINS, for the sake of his friends, who believed in Ryoken and his father. Ryoken declared the only way to stop the tower was to defeat him, which made Yusaku hesitate a bit. Without further ado, the two guys logged into LINK VRAINS, to the top of the Tower of Hanoi. Varis admitted he would enjoy Dueling against Playmaker, and the two started their final Duel.[1]

Varis immediately mass-summoned his Dragons to Link Summon "Voritcular Drumgon", and Tributed it for "Link Coin". Ai wondered if that was a move worth using, until he saw Varis picked "Mirror Force" from his Deck. Playmaker summoned "Linkslayer" and sent a card from his hand to destroy "Mirror Force". Varis smirked, for the card was actually "Mirror Force Launcher", which allowed Varis to set that card back and "Mirror Force", too. Ai sensed Varis researched Playmaker's Deck thoroughly to have anticipated this move. Playmaker Link Summoned "Restoration Pointguard", a move Ai questioned, due to "Mirror Force". Playmaker proceeded to Link Summon "Excode Talker", and have it attack directly, ignoring Ai's warnings. Varis activated "Mirror Force" to destroy the attacking monster. In return, Playmaker used the monster's Link Material, "Restoration Pointguard", to Special Summon it on the field and attack Varis directly. The attack pushed Varis away to 3000 LP. Regardless, Varis was amused, knowing he would enjoy this Duel with a worthy opponent.[1] Ai counted less than an hour before the tower was finished, and Playmaker agreed with him that the tower had to be stopped. Varis summoned "Sniffer Dragon", and with Link-3 "Vorticular Drumgon", Ai and Playmaker predicted Varis would summon a Link-4 monster. Varis did that, by Link Summoning "Topologic Bomber Dragon". To get rid of Playmaker's "Restoration Pointguard", Varis revived "Metalrokket Dragon" with "Borrel Regenerator", Special Summoning the said monster to a Zone "Topologic Bomber Dragon" pointed to destroy all Main Monster Zone monsters.[28]

Much to Varis' shock, "Restoration Pointguard" was protected from being destroyed once Varis Link Summoned his dragon. The latter attacked Playmaker's monster, but Playmaker sent "Rescue Interlacer" to receive no damage. Regardless, Varis succeeded in giving Playmaker damage equal to the ATK of "Restoration Pointguard", 1000, thus making their LP even. Ai was grateful Playmaker managed to minimize the damage, but Varis used "Mirror Force Launcher" to take the "Mirror Force" from his GY. Playmaker admitted Varis made a powerful combo, but noticed a way to break through. He Link Summoned "Transcode Talker" and brought back his "Excode Talker". Varis' dragon's effect was triggered to destroy all Main Monster Zone monsters, but Playmaker played "Shield Handler" to stop Varis' dragon's destructive effect from occurring. Varis was greatly impressed that Playmaker managed to power-up his monsters and protect them from being destroyed. Ai announced an attack from "Transcode Talker", but Playmaker stopped him, for he Link Summoned his third Link Monster, "Powercode Talker". Ai was happy, and believed Playmaker had a chance at winning. The latter attacked and destroyed Varis' "Magnarokket Dragon". Just as "Transcode Talker" went to attack "Topologic Bomber Dragon", Varis played "Link Turret", which prevented his dragon's destruction. Varis took 300 LP damage, and with "Link Turret", he got five counters.[28]

While Varis summoned "Autorokket Dragon", Ai was concerned about those five counters. Varis noticed the two realized what would happen next, and claimed he fooled Playmaker into his strategy. He revived his "Shelrokket Dragon" and "Metalrokket Dragon" to Link Summon "Miniborrel Dragon". Combined with "Sniffer Dragon" and "Gateway Dragon", Varis Link Summoned his second ace dragon, "Borreload Dragon". Ai was smug, since they had a monster with a higher ATK. Playmaker saw Ai forgot about that dragon's effect. "Borreload Dragon" lowered the ATK of "Powercode Talker" and took control of "Transcode Talker". Ai grasped his head, remembering the terrifying effect once more. "Topologic Bomber Dragon", powered up by "Transcode Talker", destroyed "Excode Talker", and "Powercode Talker" fell to the same fate by "Transcode Talker", too. Playmaker fell to his knees with 800 LP left, while Varis told Playmaker there was no new path for him. He reminded him that they were still chained to their past from ten years ago, and were prisoners of destiny. Thus, Varis promised he would sever that link.[28]

Playmaker gasped, and Ai was sad their defense was broken so easily. Varis swore to crush them and fulfill his father's wishes. Thus, he promised to show something that was incomprehensible in the Duel. He tributed Playmaker's "Transcode Talker" he took control of to summon "Miniborrel Dragon", and used "Link Turret" to revive his "rokket" monsters from his GY. Ai noted Varis could summon five "rokket Dragons", but believed that was just a preparation for his next turn. Varis laughed Ai off, as Playmaker sensed Varis intended to finish them off in his current turn. Ai doubted that, since Varis used up his Battle Phase. Varis used his "Shelrokket", "Metalrokket" and "Miniborrel Dragon" to Link Summon another Link-4 monster, "Borrelguard Dragon". Ai panicked, since they never faced this "friend" of the "Borreload Dragon". Using the latter's effect, Varis took control of the monster he destroyed in battle, "Powercode Talker". Repeating his tactic, he used the same dragons to Link Summon "Borrelsword Dragon". Varis even thanked Playmaker for the opportunity, since he did trigger the effect of "Topologic Bomber Dragon" to let Varis set the scene up.[29]

Varis' dragon brigade

Varis forms the Extra Link with his dragons.

Varis sent "Mirror Force", through the effect of "Borrelguard Dragon", to revive "Excode Talker". Ai was surprised Varis would get rid of his ace card, but Playmaker realized Varis wanted to summon something else. By removing the final counter from "Link Turret" to revive "Anesthrokket Dragon", Varis performed a fifth Link Summon. With his Extra Monster Zone co-linked to the Main Monster Zones, Varis made a final co-link by Link Summoning "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" to the other Extra Monster Zone, thus forming the Extra Link with five Link-4 dragons. With "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" being Extra Linked, Varis had it destroy Playmaker's cards and inflict 3000 LP damage that could not be negated. Ai screamed at this effect, as Varis proclaimed Playmaker's end, as the dragon attacked. Much to Varis' frustration, Playmaker used "Drop Frame Wedge", which quartered the damage. Playmaker took 750 LP damage, and survived with only 50 LP left. Varis called that a desperate move, considering his monsters could not attack, and if the card would be destroyed, so would his monsters too.[29]

Varis reminded Playmaker that the latter said Varis saved his life, by offering him advice on thinking of three reasons to continue fighting. Varis pointed out when four turns would be over, he'd annihilate Playmaker, and any attempts the latter would make would be countered. He also reminded the tower would be completed soon and destroy all data. Playmaker was nevertheless hurt, and fell down to exhaustion. Being encouraged by Ai, Playmaker swore he also had things to do, and barely stood up. Varis called Playmaker stubborn, and undervalued his efforts, since he had few LP left and no cards in his hand. Ai pointed out they could not attack, but was reminded Playmaker could take a severe blow from "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" if he kept a card in his hand. Playmaker set his card. Varis, however, summoned "Autorokket Dragon", which filled up his Main Monster Zones. He had "Autorokket Dragon" targeted by the effect "Borreload Dragon", destroying to destroy Playmaker's set card. Varis fulfilled his promise to seal away their moves.[29]

Playmaker thought it was still a miracle he and Ai were still standing, and confirmed they had to do something, lest they lose. Ai noticed Playmaker was laughing, who thought of nothing else but that to do in their current predicament. He used "Arrow Change" to draw two cards. Ai started to pray for good cards, even if he was reminded by Playmaker that AI-s do not pray. Using "Disconnect Linker", Playmaker took back "Restoration Pointguard" and used it to summon "Secure Gardna" to protect himself, and prevent Varis' "Topologic" dragons in Extra Monster Zones from attacking. Upon destruction of "Drop Frame Wedge", it briefly rained in LINK VRAINS. Varis smirked, for he was able to attack from then on. Despite Varis having seven monsters, Playmaker dared him to take his turn.[29]

Varis knew already that "Secure Gardna" could prevent damage to Playmaker once. Ai shouted they knew that, so Varis saw Playmaker was counting on something else. Playmaker exclaimed it was his determination to defeat Varis once and for all. Varis applauded him for that, since that was what made him a rival, hence why he'd use all his strength, too. Varis made his offense, by having "Borreload Dragon" target "Secure Gardna", for even if its ATK decreasing effect would not work, it was to prevent Playmaker from activating his set card. Ai was agitated of Varis' tactics. "Secure Gardna" protected Playmaker's LP, and Playmaker banished "Protection Wizard" to negate his monster's destruction. Varis' "Borrelsword Dragon" switched the position of "Magnarokket Dragon" to destroy "Anesthrokket Dragon", so it could attack twice. Playmaker swtiched to defense, by banishing "Cluster Congester" and "Secure Gardna" to fill his entire field with "Cluster Tokens", which could inflict 1500 LP damage on Varis if he did not stop them. Varis destroyed a Token, and dared Playmaker to show his Set card. Much to his dismay, Playmaker's "Transaction Rollback" copied the effect of "Mirror Force".[30]

Varis thought this could've been the case, hence why his Extra Linked "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" stopped his dragons from being destroyed. His dragons destroyed all of Playmaker's Tokens, leaving Playmaker with no cards left on the field. Ai felt tense because of that, but denied he would give up. Playmaker admitted he could not give up, either, but Ai ordered him to stop smiling and become serious, like he always was. Playmaker swore to do so, and bet his victory, his fate of the incident, and the safety of the world on the final draw. Varis commended Playmaker for stopping his attacks, but claimed he had no chance at winning against his Extra Link. Instead, he ordered Playmaker to give up, since the outcome was clear. Playmaker replied he was always alone, and even if he wanted to change his path, he was unable to; the incident tainted his heart, surrounding it with emptiness. Varis had no idea what Playmaker was talking about, who pointed out Varis lived in the same world he did. He also felt compassion towards Playmaker, and went to save him by giving him the advice of three points. Ai believed Playmaker wanted to become Varis' friend, and that would mean Ai would have to befriend his enemy.[30]

Playmaker confirmed this, shocking Ai. Varis laughed, believing this was a way Playmaker begged for his life. The latter denied this, since he found a circuit of victory. Varis questioned Playmaker's words, who firmly believed he could win with the card in his hand. He reminded Varis stated they were prisoners of destiny, without a new path. Standing now, Playmaker believed there actually was a new path. Varis dared Playmaker to show that, who exclaimed his revenge was over, he would soon overcome the darkness left in his heart, and promised the two of them will start anew. Halving his LP to 13, Playmaker banished "Transaction Rollback" to trigger "Recoded Alive" to bring out "Encode Talker", by banishing "Transcode Talker". Varis' "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" destroyed cards in their hands, but Playmaker anticipated this, since "Spam Mail" let him draw a card and return one of Varis' dragons to his hand: the chosen was "Autorokket Dragon". Using "Recoded Alive", Playmaker brought out the banished "Transcode Talker", who summoned "Powercode Talker" back. Finally, using "Encode Talker" and "Swap Cleric", Playmaker Link Summoned "Firewall Dragon".[30]

Varis blown away once more

Varis, once more, despite his brilliant tactics, loses to Playmaker.

Ryoken sails away

Ryoken sails off on his boat into the unknown.

With three of his monsters co-linked, too, Playmaker expanded the Extra Link. Since "Swap Cleric" was used as Link Material, Playmaker drew his final card - "Zero Extra Link", which boosted the ATK of "Transcode Talker", equal to the number of co-liked monsters times 800. Varis attempted to stop Playmaker with "Link Short", preventing his co-linked monsters from attacking. With a final trick up his sleeve, Playmaker used his Link Monsters to summon "Decode Talker", who was unaffected by Varis' Trap Card. Varis questioned this tactic, since "Decode Talker" still had less ATK. Due to "Zero Extra Link", the ATK increase of "Transcode Talker" was passed onto "Decode Talker". Swinging its mighty sword, "Decode Talker" slashed "Borreload Dragon" and defeated Varis. Varis fell down, and struggled to raise up. Per the agreement, he promised to stop the tower, but, similar to the outcome of his previous Master Duel, swore he would not quit his mission, as long as Ignis remained a threat to the world. The Tower of Hanoi stopped, and Playmaker watched as the data the tower collected was releasing. Varis / Ryoken logged out, and Shoichi and Playmaker saw him as he sailed away on his boat. Yusaku knew he'd face Varis someday, since he promised to fulfill his destiny.[30]

Relationships

Yusaku Fujiki (Playmaker)

When first informed about a hacker named "Playmaker" who was defeating Hanoi members, Varis initially suspected Playmaker was an agent from SOL Technologies but rejected the idea because SOL would act more publicly and dismissed Playmaker. It wasn't until Playmaker captured Ai that Varis became interested in him. Varis then switched all his efforts into defeating Playmaker before SOL did, as doing so was the only way to capture Ai.

Playmaker, on the other hand, hates Varis for being Hanoi's leader and vowed to defeat him and discover his true identity. During their first Duel, Varis claimed that he wasn't interested in Playmaker's identity and considered him to be just another of the many people who hates Hanoi. However, during second Duel, Varis recognized Playmaker's speech pattern of listing out three reasons and was disturbed when Playmaker mentioned about a certain incident that happened ten years ago. He chides Playmaker for siding with SOL Technologies without knowing the truth and, after the Duel, is eager to uncover Playmaker's true identity, to the extent of requesting more time from his father before the completion of Hanoi's program.

After learning about Playmaker's identity, he strangely does not reveal this fact even to Spectre or his father, instead lamenting that he was too preoccupied in searching for his identity that his three lieutenants were defeated whilst he was doing so. After defeating Ghost Girl, Varis eagerly tells Playmaker to defeat him if he wanted to stop the Tower of Hanoi.

Dr. Kogami

Dr. Kogami is Varis' father. He cares for him as he tends to him while he is comatose and promises to complete his ambition. It is later revealed that it was Varis who saved his father from death, after SOL Technologies turned on Dr. Kogami, and infected him with a virus in order to cover up for the Hanoi Project.

Spectre

Varis and Spectre met in person after the Lost Incident, after which Spectre joined the Knights of Hanoi and eventually came to be Varis' assistant. Varis trusts Spectre strongly as a comrade and believes in his skill as a Duelist, sending him after Blue Angel and Playmaker during the preparation of the Tower of Hanoi.

Despite Spectre's faith in Varis being seemingly unconditional and without end, he does not seem to exploit this in any malicious way. After Spectre's defeat and comatose state following his defeat at Playmaker's hands, Varis praised him for his excellent work and promised him it would not be in vain, showing honest grief at Spectre's demise.[25]

Deck

Revolver and his monsters

Varis with his "rokket" monsters and "Borreload Dragon".

Varis uses a Power/DARK Dragon deck, also including "rokket" monsters. His overall strategy centers on swarming lesser monsters in order to bring stronger monsters and overwhelm his opponents through sheer force or mass destruction, while controlling the field. Varis is also a flexible Duelist who can shift strategies between duels, making him an unpredictable opponent.

He uses cards like "Dragonoid Generator" to generate Tokens for a Tribute Summon or for other utilities, as well Dragon monsters such as "Gateway Dragon" and "Sniffer Dragon" in order to gather Link Material quickly.

Even after his initial play is interrupted, Varis has shown he is capable of rapidly recovering. For example, after "Cracking Dragon" is defeated, he can use "Twin Triangle Dragon" to reutilize it as material for his stronger Link Monsters like "Topologic Bomber Dragon", whose destructive effects can allow him to defeat his opponents after having their LP depleted by "Cracking Dragon".

During Master Duels, where the extra Zones allow for a more complex set-up, Varis uses his ace monsters prominently. These LINK-4 "Borrel" Link Monsters ("Borreload Dragon", "Borrelsword Dragon", and "Borrelguard Dragon") both utilise his "Rokket" monsters as literal cannon fodder, using their self-destruction effect in tandem with the "Borrels"' targeting effects to punch holes in his opponent's field. "Booster Dragon" serves the same purpose, albeit in a more modest, less versatile manner.

For Speed Duels, Varis instead uses many DARK Dragon monsters to set up Link Summons for various Dragon Link Monsters, such as "Triple Burst Dragon" and "Flash Charge Dragon", and the Cyberse "Topologic" Link Monsters he obtains through his Storm Access Skill.

This difference in strategy between Speed and Master Duels is more noticeable with him than with other characters in the series that have Dueled in both formats. Example is the difference in strategy between his successive Duels with Gore and Playmaker; in the Master Duel with Onizuka, the "rokket" monsters were an almost exclusive focus to his strategy, while in the following Speed Duel with Playmaker, not a single "rokket" was used.

In addition to "rokket"- and Dragon-specific support cards, Varis skillfully techs in several more generic cards, such as "Mirror Force", which counters Link Spamming after baiting his opponents into bringing multiple Monsters, as well as "Fire Prison" to counter Playmaker's Cyberse monsters.

Deck

Duels

Opponent Episode(s) Outcome
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 9-10 DRAW
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 10-12 Lose
Emma Bessho/Ghost Girl 30-31 Win
Gore 39-40 Win
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 41-42 DRAW
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 43-46 Lose

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 43: "Birth of the Ignis"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Impregnable Defending Dragon Firewall"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 9: "Enemy I Was Seeking"
  4. "The Organization". YGOrganization. April 18, 2017. https://ygorganization.com/finallyanairdatewoolawd/.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "First Contact"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 42: "Stardust Road's Guidance"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Roar of the Magazine Varreload"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 8: "The One Who Commands the Wind"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10: "Impact! Cyberse Vanishes"
  10. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25: "Virus Deck Operation"
  11. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 35: "The Other Lost Incident"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 41: "The Distorted Truth"
  13. 13.0 13.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "My Name is Playmaker"
  14. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "Idol!! Blue Angel"
  15. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Hanoi's Angel"
  16. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20: "Unyielding Justice"
  17. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 21: "Embers of a New Battle"
  18. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 22: "Blackened Sun"
  19. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 26: "Three Draws Leading to Hope"
  20. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 28: "Final Commander of the Three Knights"
  21. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 29: "Kusanagi Report"
  22. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 30: "Doorway to the Abyss"
  23. 23.0 23.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 31: "The Final Trigger"
  24. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 32: "Tower of Hanoi"
  25. 25.0 25.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 38: "Hanoi’s Recollection"
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 39: "Bullet Buried in Darkness"
  27. 27.0 27.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 40: "The Thirst for Victory"
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 44: "Prisoner of Destiny"
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 45: "Duel in the Extreme Domain"
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 46: "The Circuit That Draws the Future"

Notes

  1. This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 9.
  2. This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 42.
  3. This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 31.