That's right. I am the emissary of revenge. I'll crush the Knights of Hanoi.— Yusaku Fujiki
Yusaku is a rangy teenage boy with fair skin, green eyes, and dark blue hair that spikes outward in the back and contains light blue bangs with pink accents. His standard attire consists of a slate-colored jacket with light blue trim over a white dress shirt with a blue tie and a pair of black pants and black and white shoes.
While Dueling in LINK VRAINS, Yusaku wears a black and green bodysuit with a golden stripe going across his body and a grey belt at the waistline. His hair color also changes to yellow and red with pink strips and accents. Occasionally, the golden stripes in his "Playmaker" bodysuit glow.
When he was a child, Yusaku wore a brown jacket with a green shirt. He wore blue pants, brown boots, and didn't have pink accents on his light blue bangs yet.
Yusaku may be the first Yu-Gi-Oh protagonist who is an anti-hero. He is not a bad person, but he can appear cold and apathetic. Yusaku is described as a boy who doesn't like standing out at school, not that he's timid or shy but because he is a hacker. Due to a certain incident, he generally tries to avoid contact with others and only seems to trust Shoichi Kusanagi. However, he gets drawn into encounters with people as he tries out Dueling for once.
Yusaku is calm and collected most of the time. Outside of Duels he is shown to be intelligent and clever, but also calculating, standoffish, reserved, and somewhat anti-social. He prefers to distance himself from others and doesn't usually interact with people, not even remembering his classmates' names after a month in school. When Naoki Shima tried to be friendly with him, Yusaku casually admitted to being a loner and inadvertently irritated Naoki with his observations, then didn't react to Naoki storming off. In public, Yusaku comes off as rather awkward and often doesn't know how to answer questions, leading others to assume things about him, such as when Naoki assumed he wanted to join the Duel Club and Aoi assumed he wanted new equipment from SOL. Despite his aloof and calm demeanor Yusaku can be quite sullen when it comes to dealing with Ai's antics.
Despite his introverted and cold nature, Yusaku is both noble and golden-hearted deep down. He is on well terms with his best friend, Shoichi Kusanagi and shows sympathy or care to others' situations like when he discovers that everything Go Onizuka does is for the orphanage, but refuses to let others get close to him and join his fight against Hanoi out of concern that they may get hurt.
As Playmaker he is shown to have a cold and serious demeanor, but at the same time he displays some noble traits to his personality, such as saving Blue Angel when she was about to be attacked by "Cracking Dragon". Because of the Hanoi Project from ten years ago, Yusaku hates the Knights of Hanoi and swears revenge against them. He didn't hesitate to capture Ai and threatened to delete him in order to challenge the Hanoi. As pointed out by Revolver he has a sense of justice and will help those hurt by the Hanoi. He is also very confident and has lot of faith in his abilities. He is a determined duelist who never gives up.
Unlike most of the previous protagonists, who enjoy Dueling and see it as fun, Yusaku sees Dueling as a tool to eliminate those who are getting in his way. He is also unique in that his motivations for his actions are for revenge, instead of uniting people via Dueling. According to Shoichi Kusanagi, Yusaku doesn't really seem to enjoy Dueling either, as such he tends to reject challenges from other Duelists. That said, when he is either forced to accept a Duel or willingly does so, he will not abandon it, such as when SOL prevented him from logging out when he was forced to Duel Go Onizuka and chose to continue it even when Shoichi made an escape route for him. Furthermore, Yusaku is not above complimenting his opponents, as when he Dueled Onizuka, he claimed that his Duel style, which was meant to excite both the crowd and even his opponent, was first-rate.
He is generally level-headed, serious, aloof and keeps a stoic expression most of the time, though he can give short smiles occasionally. He also doesn't seem to carry animosity towards others, as he stated that he didn't hate Akira for his foul torture, making it clear that he only hates the Knights of Hanoi.
He also has a habit of listing out three reasons for his observations, something he learned from an unknown individual while he was in captivity when he was younger. Yusaku does this to order his thoughts better and clear his mind when confused or feeling discouraged. Oddly enough, Revolver shares this habit.
It is later shown that Yusaku's cold anti-social nature was a result of the intense torture he went through during the Hanoi Project. Despite having undergone years of therapy, Yusaku still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from that incident. Yusaku believes his life is already cut short due to the incident and as such he doesn't need friends or a future.
Yusaku is said to be an intelligent hacker who possesses considerable ability and who solves mysteries in a cool manner. Cool-headed and extremely clever, Yusaku's real skill is in his hacking and cracking abilities. He was able to hack into SOL Technologies' systems to find Ai, which both SOL and the Knights of Hanoi had been hunting, within a few minutes and in the middle of a security scan, and managed to capture it into his Duel Disk while leaving the AI with no means to escape. He has been fighting the Knights of Hanoi for some time without leaving any trace of his actions as "Playmaker", and keeps a dummy deck to mislead others when in public. Yusaku combines his high intellect with his hacking abilities to quickly come up with plans and think on his feet.
An observant individual, he is good at reading people. When Dueling, Yusaku keeps a close eye on his opponent's body language and expressions to know when they're planning something, and as such, he usually isn't surprised when something unexpected happens.
When in a Speed Duel, Yusaku's Skill is Storm Access which allows him to randomly access a never-before-seen card from a Data Storm when his LP are 1000 or lower, at the cost of having to venture into the Data Storm (it would also appear that the more he uses this Skill, the easier it becomes for him to execute it, as when he used it in his Duels against the Knight of Hanoi and Go Onizuka, he struggled greatly, and had to use his left hand to steady his right arm; however, when he used it in his Duel against Blue Angel, he didn't struggle as much, nor did he steady his right arm). The cards obtained using this ability can then be converted into physical cards outside of LINK VRAINS using appropriate technology; also, as stated by Ghost Girl, "Storm Access" is a unique skill that not just any Duelist can use. He can also teleport back to his D-Board should he fall off from it during a Duel, though he would first need to stop his fall to do so.
Yusaku displays a strange ability to sense and see things in the network world when not logged in called Link Sense. Yusaku has had this ability since a young age. Similar to Ai, he can also discern a Knight of Hanoi's presence through their cards, which allowed him to immediately determine that Go was not a Knight of Hanoi and know when Blue Angel had drawn the card that was affected by Hanoi's influence. He can hear and feel the pulse of his Cyberse monsters.
Like the protagonists of the previous five series (Yugi Muto, Jaden Yuki, Yusei Fudo, Yuma Tsukumo, and Yuya Sakaki), his name contains the character「遊」(Yu). In a break from tradition, however, his first name contains three syllables instead of the usual two.
His given name contains the characters "game" (Yu 遊), and "work" (Saku 作). His surname, Fujiki, means "wisteria tree", the blue-and-pink coloring of which matches that of his hair. The kanji of his given name can also be translated as "playing" and "making", which is most likely the pun of his VR name "The Playmaker".
Yusaku was one of the six kidnapped children, who were used for the Hanoi Project. He woke up in a white, empty room, with VR goggles. He placed them on, and was forced to Duel, with the penalties being electrocuted and having nothing to eat if he lost. This repeated on for months, as he tried to Duel on. After six months passed Yusaku collapsed, a voice told him he should not give up, and advised him to think of three reasons why to continue fighting. Yusaku asked who the voice was, but the voice told him he'd soon go home. The system was disbanded, and while Yusaku was rescued, the incident was covered up and not mentioned in the media. Yusaku developed PTSD after the incident and went under treatments to cure it for years, but failed and continuously faced the tragedies that befell him. Instead, he took his Deck to confront his trauma, promising to "face his destiny". While Yusaku refused to believe he was rescued from this project, named "Hanoi Project", though he still took the advice to think of three reasons to continue fighting.
Yusaku decided to hunt down the Knights of Hanoi, whom he believed to be responsible for the "Hanoi Project", under the alias "Playmaker" with Shoichi Kusanagi's help. "Playmaker" soon became a famous Duelist within LINK VRAINS, with no one knowing what his real identity is because he always deleted his activity logs.
At school, Yusaku met Naoki Shima, who started bragging to him about his new Duel Disk. When Yusaku attempted to leave, Naoki offered to teach him how to Duel. Yusaku rejected, saying Naoki did not seem very strong, but probably not a bad person either. Yusaku's remarks annoyed Naoki, but he didn't think much of it. Before leaving, he wondered about a rule set where there are only three Main Monster Zones.
Yusaku later met up with Shoichi Kusanagi and discussed how both SOL Technologies and their enemies, the Knights of Hanoi, were chasing after an AI program in LINK VRAINS with him. Upon learning that SOL Technology had scheduled a full scan of Link VRAINS that evening to try and find the AI, they quickly started working on a trap to catch the AI themselves. Although Yusaku successfully captured a reluctant Ai in his Duel Disk, one of the Knights of Hanoi threatened to destroy LINK VRAINS. Yusaku quickly entered LINK VRAINS as Playmaker and saved Blue Angel from the Knight's "Cracking Dragon". He then challenged the Knight to a Duel, putting Ai at stake. Ai voiced his doubts that Yusaku's Deck could beat "Cracking Dragon", then stirred up a wind in Link VRAINS, starting a Speed Duel between Yusaku and the Knight.
As Playmaker rode the Data Storm winds, Ai explained how Speed Duels differ from Master Duels. When Ai mentioned there are only three Main Monster Zones, Yusaku wondered if he already knew about Speed Duels. Ai offered to help Playmaker Duel the Knight, but Playmaker refused, reminding Ai that he was his hostage. The Knight took the first turn and swiftly Summoned "Cracking Dragon". Yusaku wondered how to counter "Cracking Dragon" and failed to notice a building until Ai told him to dodge it, reminding him that Speed Duels have obstacles besides just the Duel. Playmaker summoned "Cyberse Wizard", surprising everyone watching that he had Cyberse monsters. Playmaker used the effect of "Wizard" to change "Cracking Dragon" to Defense Position and inflict damage to the Knight, but failed to destroy "Cracking Dragon". Ai noticed Playmaker wasn't particularly surprised that "Cracking Dragon" couldn't be destroyed, to which Playmaker said that the Knight didn't react to "Cyberse Wizard" so he figured the Knight was planning something. A tornado formed within the Data Storm.
The Knight activated a Skill, which angered Yusaku because Ai didn't mention skills. The Knight used "DDoS Attack" to inflict 1600 Damage to Playmaker and knock him off his D-Board. Blue Angel saved Playmaker by using her whip to throw the D-Board back at him. Ai noted that a fall from that height could've killed them. The Knight reduced Playmaker's LP to 400 and the Data Storm tornado sucked him. Inside the tornado, Yusaku figured out that this was part of Ai's calculations. Ai revealed that powerful monsters reside within the Data Storm, and that Playmaker's skill "Storm Access" allowed him to obtain those Monsters when his LP is below 1000. Playmaker obtained "Decode Talker", which he used to win the Duel. As the Knight fell off his D-Board, Yusaku declared that the Knight had no right to call himself a Duelist.
Playmaker attempted to interrogate the Knight, only for the Knight to attempt to kill him by self-destructing. Ai saved his life by devouring the Knight. Go Onizuka and Blue Angel appeared and challenged Playmaker, but he simply said he wasn't interested and logged out. Yusaku and Shoichi spent the next few days trying to figure out Ai's programming and gave him the nickname "ai". Yusaku discovered some video logs that were actually Ai's memories. Ai said he didn't understand those memories because most were damaged when he was reduced to an eye, but he did recognize The Knight's of Hanoi's leader. Later that night, messing with Ai caused the Knight's leader to sense their location and travel there, Yusaku asked Shoichi to shut down Café Nagi's power to prevent them from being found, though he caught a glimpse of the Knight's leader.
The next day a Knight of Hanoi appeared at LINK VRAINS while Ai was back at Yusaku's house, so Yusaku skipped school to go get his Duel Disk and face the Knight. On his way there, Shoichi gave him the "Decode Talker" card which had materialized. Upon arriving at LINK VRAINS, Yusaku quickly figured out that the Knight was an impostor. The Knight revealed himself to be Go Onizuka, who wanted to defeat Playmaker and recover his title as "VRAINS' hero", Playmaker rejected his challenged but SOL triggered a program that stops Playmaker from logging out until he defeated Go. With no choice, Playmaker started the Duel. When Go made an intentional misplay and took damage, Ai questioned why he would make such an illogical move, to which Playmaker said that humans' hearts make them do illogical things. Ai was confused by that but Playmaker didn't explain what it meant because Ai's algorithm-based thinking wouldn't comprehend it.
Go Link Summoned "Gouki The Great Ogre" and reduced Playmaker's LP to 100. Playmaker could've reduced the damage he took but chose not to, and refused to use the escape route that Shoichi had built. Ai again was confused by why humans make illogical contradictory choices. Yusaku stated that Go's Duel was meant to entertain the audience and Yusaku himself and that he wouldn't quit the Duel. Playmaker proceeded to win by Link Summoning four times in a row and attacking "Great Ogre" three times with "Decode Talker". After the Duel, Shoichi suggested they should recruit Go for their fight against Hanoi, but Yusaku rejected the idea, saying that he didn't want Go to face the danger of fighting against them.
When Shoichi uncovered Aoi Zaizen's identity as Blue Angel, Yusaku realized that Aoi was a student at Den City High School and his classmate. Shoichi suggested meeting her in order to find out if her brother Akira, who was the Security Manager at SOL Technologies, knew anything about Yusaku's past or Shoichi's brother. However, he then started teasing that talking to Aoi would be impossible for Yusaku because of his lack of social skills. Nevertheless, Yusaku managed to track her down with Ai's help, and followed her to the Duel Club, where Naoki caught up to him. He feigned ignorance when Naoki inferred that he wanted to join the club, and when Hosoda invited him in, he nervously tried to opt out until Ai said thanks on his behalf, which upset him. Yusaku introduced himself to the rest of the club, and the other members introduced themselves as well, including Aoi. When another member, Sato, showed him his Duel Disk, he pretended to be interested, commenting on the fact that it was the latest model. Aoi remarked that he knew a lot, but he said it was only because Naoki had bragged about it earlier. Meanwhile, Ai tried to start a conversation with Aoi's Duel Disk, which made Aoi notice that Yusaku's Duel Disk was a card-loading model, the same as Playmaker's. When she asked to see his Deck, he obliged, but handed her his dummy Deck instead. Ai later complimented him on this, but Yusaku told him to be quiet, as a meeting was in progress.
That evening, he watched Blue Angel issue a public challenge for Playmaker to come out and Duel her. Ai suggested that he should accept, but he refused, since he only approached Aoi attempting to acquire a lead on his stolen memories, and he only Duels against Knights of Hanoi, which she wasn't. Despite this, he was visibly embarrassed when the MC declared that Playmaker wasn't a man if he didn't accept. The next morning, Ai read various posts on social media making fun of Playmaker for not accepting. He soon bumped into Aoi again, and they said good morning to each other. While walking to class, Aoi asked him why he wanted to join the Duel Club, not believing it was because he loved Dueling. When Yusaku tried to ask about her brother, she replied that people only ever approached her to ask if her brother could give them a new Duel Disk or a job at SOL after graduation. She lamented that her brother didn't trust her, and ran off. Soon after, Ai tried to warn Yusaku about a problem he'd noticed with Aoi's Duel Disk, but Yusaku wouldn't hear of it.
In class, Ai suddenly told him to hold up, and Yusaku scolded him for being too loud. He was surprised, however, when Ai said that a Knight of Hanoi had appeared. He went to the balcony behind the Duel Club to enter LINK VRAINS, but instead of a Knight of Hanoi, he found Blue Angel, who remarked that he had finally made his decision about her challenge. He was initially oblivious, but realized that Ai had sent Aoi a text message on Playmaker's behalf challenging her. He became angry, thinking Ai had tricked him, until Ai told him that Blue Angel had Hanoi's card in her Deck, which shocked him. He realized that this was what Ai was trying to tell him earlier, but wondered why Blue Angel would join Hanoi. Ai suggested that Hanoi might be using her to lure Playmaker, and asked what he would do, since he wanted to defeat all Hanoi. Soon after, a Data Storm appeared, and the Duel started.
Playmaker was quickly at the mercy of Blue Angel's Trickstar Deck, which repeatedly dealt him effect damage while powering up the ATK of her ace monster, "Trickstar Holly Angel", and he noted that this offensive strategy was very efficient. He Summoned "Decode Talker" and attacked "Holly Angel" with it, but the attack failed and "Decode Talker" was destroyed instead. Ai commented that Blue Angel was putting pressure on them, but Playmaker noticed that Hanoi's presence was getting stronger. At that moment, Blue Angel drew "Dark Angel", Hanoi's card. During Yusaku's next turn, he was reduced to less than 1000 LP, allowing him to use his Skill and gain access to "Encode Talker", which he promptly Link Summoned. Blue Angel realized that Playmaker was taking advantage of the damage that she was inflicting on him, and tried to end the Duel by using her Skill, but failed because Playmaker was protected by "Defect Compiler". In response, she played "Dark Angel", and immediately fell under Hanoi's influence. She entered into a berserk rage and started screaming, much to Playmaker's and Ai's concern. He ended the Duel as quickly as possible by destroying "Holly Angel" with "Encode Talker", defeating Blue Angel in one hit, but not before she succumbed to mental damage from "Dark Angel" and fell unconscious.
Playmaker then found Blue Angel unconscious while Ai devoured the Hanoi card. He was forced to logout when security bots were incoming and found Aoi in a comatose state on the roof. He proceeded answer Aoi's phone when Akira called and took Aoi to the hospital. He then met Akira who thanked him and questioned his relationship with Aoi, to which he responded that they were just classmates. Yusaku, Shoichi, and Ai then discussed Aoi's condition and a possible cure. Ai said that when he devoured Hanoi's card he detected that Aoi's brain must be infected by a virus, and that the only ones with the appropriate anti-virus would be Hanoi themselves. "Blue Angel" then appeared on the city's screens challenging Playmaker to a rematch. Despite knowing that it was an impostor and most likely a trap, Yusaku claimed it was his responsibility to rescue Aoi; if the impostor was a Knight of Hanoi he could get the anti-virus, on the other hand if it was a SOL agent he could explain them what happened to Aoi. After logging in, he identified Blue Angel as a fake and was trapped by her. She revealed herself to be "Ghost Girl", who accompanied by Akira who proceeded to entrap and torture Playmaker believing him to be responsible for Aoi's condition, despite Playmaker and Ai's claims of innocence and that they were looking for an anti-virus, Revolver appeared and claimed that he would challenge Playmaker for Ai. After threatening Akira that Aoi will never wake up unless Playmaker defeats him in a Duel, Akira released Playmaker and vanished. Before Playmaker took his leave, Akira pleaded with him to save Aoi, despite hating him for his brutal treatment towards him. Playmaker stated that he doesn't hate Akira, he only hates the Knights of Hanoi, much to Akira's surprise.
As Playmaker and Revolver rode off the Data Wind to commence the Speed Duel, Playmaker expressed his desire to battle the Knights of Hanoi and uncover their true identities. Revolver replied that he didn't care about his opinion and stated that his only goal was to retrieve Ai. Both sides agreed on several conditions for their Duel: if Playmaker won, Ai would eat the program from Revolver to get Aoi's body back, while if Playmaker lost, he would give Ai to Revolver. After that, Revolver declared his hatred for AIs and his belief that Ai would lead everyone to destruction. Revolver also blamed Playmaker for assisting Ai and swore to eliminate him. Revolver then waved his hand, causing the LINK VRAINS to be crushed and replaced with lava rivers and fiery lakes, as the Duel finally began.
As the Speed Duel progressed, Playmaker defeated Revolver's "Cracking Dragon" with "Decode Talker" once more, until Revolver revealed that he had the very same skill as Playmaker's and Ai's: "Storm Access". With it, Revolver summoned "Topologic Bomber Dragon", and began to gain the upper hand. Fearing they might lose, Ai led Playmaker to another Data Storm, where the two obtained a dragon. However, Revolver activated the Trap Card, "Remote Rebirth", and combo-ed it with the effect of "Topologic Bomber Dragon", ending the Speed Duel in a DRAW. Following that, Revolver dragged Playmaker and Ai inside a Data Storm, where they began a Master Duel. As the Duel went on, Revolver activated the effect of "Fire Prison", eliminating all Cyberse cards from the field, as well as making Ai seemingly vanish into thin air.
As the Master Duel progressed, Revolver gained the upper hand once more by summoning "Borreload Dragon" and attacked Playmaker directly. Just as Playmaker was on the verge of giving up, he remembered the words someone told him long ago: having three reasons to live and win Duels. Playmaker then called out to Ai, asking him to lend him his power, as he proceeded to Link Summon Firewall Dragon, and ultimately destroyed "Fire Prison," as well as return Ai to consciousness. Ai was amazed to see the two dragons, until Revolver used the effect of "Borreload Dragon" to take control of "Firewall Dragon", but Playmaker countered with "Cynet Refresh" to destroy and revive it back on his field. He then activated "Recoded Alive" to banish "Decode Talker" from his GY to Special Summon "Encode Talker" and declared the real battle was just beginning.
When Playmaker's "Firewall Dragon" used its effect to return "Borreload Dragon" from the field, Revolver informed him that it couldn't be targeted by effects. Playmaker targeted "Magnarokket Dragon", whose effect caused "Firewall Dragon" to be destroyed. Instead, Playmaker's "Cynet Refresh" protected his dragon from destruction. Revolver was amused, and ended his turn. Much to Revolver's surprise, Playmaker had "Firewall Dragon", protected by "Encode Talker", attack "Borreload Dragon", who had more ATK. With "Battle Buffer", "Encode Talker's" ATK was raised, and impressed Revolver for such a strategy. To counter that, Revolver targeted "Encode Talker" with his dragon to reduce the ATK, causing "Encode Talker" to be destroyed and Playmaker's strategy to backfire. While "Firewall Dragon's" ATK was raised by "Battle Buffer", Revolver's "Rokket" dragons regained their effects. Revolver 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 "Magnrokket Dragon". Using "Recoded Alive", Playmaker revived "Decode Talker", whose ATK was boosted up to destroy "Borreload Dragon". However, Revolver used "Borrel Refrigeration" to make "Magnarokket Dragon" destroy itself to blast away "Decode Talker". Revolver 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 wanted to save the person that saved him. Revolver was surprised that Playmaker was involved in an incident 10 years ago , He replied he was "that emissary of revenge". Revolver claimed Playmaker was a fool to help SOL Technologies out without knowing the truth.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 defeated Revolver.
After Playmaker defeated Revolver, he demanded that Revolver reveal his true identity and those of the Knights of Hanoi. He was shock when he witnessed Ai eating Revolver's arm in order to get his data back. Before Revolver left, he gave the antidote for Blue Angel's coma to Playmaker. Playmaker accompanied Ghost Girl to where Akira and Blue Angel were, using the antidote to cure Blue Angel to allow her to log out of Link VRAINS. Akira thanked him for saving Blue Angel, but Playmaker logged out before Akira could finish. Yusaku became tired and distressed as he logged out. He asked Shoichi if was Aoi alright before collapsing. When Shoichi showed him the footage on how Aoi was doing, Yusaku fell asleep. Ai commented how lazy Yusaku was. Shoichi told Ai that heroes needed rest too. Yusaku dreamed about Revolver's words regarding Ignis with free will, which caused him to wake up. Shoichi sensed he was thinking about what Revolver told about Ai. Since they could not prove that Ai was actually alive, Ai made that assertion. Ai used the program he obtained from Revolver to regain his full body. However, Ai's size didn't impress Yusaku and Shoichi, who tried to determine if Ai regained some of his memories. 
As Yusaku was eating hot dogs, he witnessed Emma Bessho visiting Café Nagi to order chili dogs and a coffee. She inquired Shoichi about a Charisma Duelist and mentioned she was interested in Dueling Playmaker, intriguing Yusaku. After Emma left, Yusaku noted how stress Shoichi was and decided to help him delete the files regarding Playmaker. As they were deleting files, Shoichi asked where Ai was. Yusaku told him that he left Ai at home because he was annoying. Despite this, Yusaku wondered about Revolver's words about AI with free will. Knowing Revolver unleashed the attack on Cyberse and searched for Ai, Yusaku claimed Revolver destroyed the Cyberse world. Still, he wondered if it was wise to seek Revolver out for answers about Yusaku's past, and about Shoichi's brother. He then inadvertently deleted a big scoop that would have revealed everything Playmaker and Shoichi knew involving Ai and the Knights of Hanoi, which was about to be published by Frog and Pigeon.
At home, Yusaku thought about Revolver's words about AI with free will in his hidden room. Shoichi called him to come to Cafe Nagi, where Shoichi showed him an encrypted message on an Internet forum, sent to him from Ghost Girl. Shoichi explained that he had created a program to help Ghost Girl enter the Data Storm during the Duel with Revolver. The two read how she requested a Duel from Playmaker, with Ai as the wager. Yusaku accepted, stating that she offered a backdoor to SOL Technologies' data bank, and Shoichi confirmed that fact, showing she did send a bit of the data as proof. Yusaku asked Shoichi to reply that Playmaker would accept her challenge. Ghost Girl soon entered LINK VRAINS, and Yusaku went to do the same. Shoichi wondered if Yusaku would really go and Duel her, since she could've set another trap. Yusaku claimed he had to uncover the truth behind the incident, hoped in the data bank there was some information about Knights of Hanoi, and sensed some determination in Ghost Girl, despite her weaknesses.
Playmaker quickly met up with Ghost Girl and she showed him her program she set as a stake for the Duel. Playmaker wondered why wouldn't she access the data bank, and was told Ghost Girl wanted his Ai, so she could sell it to SOL Technologies. She admitted she grew more interested in Playmaker after his latest Duel, and wanted to battle him as a cyber treasure hunter. Despite Ai's warnings, Playmaker accepted her Duel, as the two rode off on the Data Wind. In her first turn, Ghost Girl Summoned "Altergeist Marionetter" and Set two cards. Playmaker had his "Cyberse Wizard" attack, but was stopped by Ghost Girl's "Altergeist Kunquery". Despite his attack, Ghost Girl was intrigued how he dared to attack, despite her Set cards. Ghost Girl Summoned another "Marionetter", Set another card, then Link Summoned "Altergeist Primebanshee". She swapped one of her "Marionetters" for "Meluseek". Ghost Girl ended her preparations, and aimed to defeat Playmaker before he could use his Skill. As Ghost Girl initiated the Battle Phase and claimed she would win in that turn, Ai laughed, as she would make 2400 LP damage. Both Playmaker and Ghost Girl scolded Ai for such thinking; Playmaker claimed no Duelist would make that simple math error, making Ghost Girl wonder why everyone was after "this dumb AI" which causes Ai to get angry, Playmaker then told him to not to get angry when she is telling the truth about him. Regardless, "Meluseek" attacked directly and sent "Cyberse Wizard" to the GY, allowing "Marionetter" to attack directly, and allowing "Primebanshee" to do so as well. Ghost Girl smiled, feeling her dreams grow larger, and ordered Playmaker to brace himself for his defeat.
Ghost Girl had "Primebanshee" attack Playmaker directly while he Special Summoned "Lockout Gardna". Ai knew they would have enough LP to continue and even use Storm Access, and exclaimed how "bad" this would be. However, Ghost Girl knew Ai was just pretending, and decided not to attack. Ai was in shock, and Playmaker told him his acting was horrible. On Playmaker's turn, Ghost Girl swapped "Meluseek" with "Altergeist Silquitous", by using the effect of "Primebanshee", and also added an "Altergeist Kunquery" to her hand. Playmaker attempted to destroy her ace by Tributing "Backlinker", but was prevented by Ghost Girl's "Altergeist Protocol". Ghost Girl claimed she could anticipate their every move: Playmaker attempted to revive "Backlinker" with "Striping Partner", but was stopped by "Altergeist Silquitos". Using "Lockout Gardna", both effects were negated, though Ghost Girl had one final trap prepared. She noted how Playmaker was an interesting person, as she suspected. Playmaker Link Summoned "Underclock Taker" and tried to weaken "Primebanshee". Ghost Girl countered that with "Altergeist Camouflage", and protected "Primebanshee" from attacks, stating Playmaker had reached his limits.
Playmaker paid 1000 LP to activate the effect of "Balancer Lord", making him eligible to use Storm Access. Ghost Girl refused to let him activate the Skill and used her Skill, Secret Cure to increase both players' LP. Playmaker Special Summoned "Scan Doll", and paid 1000 LP to use "Protocol" on "Silquitos". However, Ghost Girl believed he simply forgot about "Kunquery" she still had in her hand. Playmaker used Storm Access, but Ghost Girl went with him into the Data Storm. However, she lost control of her D-Board and fell off of it, Playmaker saved her and reminded her their Duel was not over yet and let her go back on the D-Board. Playmaker Link Summoned "Excode Talker", whose effect made two of Ghost Girl's Main Monster Zones unusable, and Tributed "Scan Doll" to make his "code Talker" attack twice. Since all of Ghost Girl's monsters could not be targeted for an attack target, "Excode Talker" attacked Ghost Girl twice, and Playmaker won the Duel. Later, Ghost Girl watched the moon, even if Ai reminded her that was just data. Ghost Girl, as promised, gave Playmaker the program to enter the SOL Technologies' data bank, and left. Yusaku logged out of the network, and Shoichi started to analyze it. However, Yusaku was too tired and fell asleep.
Shoichi analyzed Ghost Girl's program, showing Yusaku the schematics, looking like a maze. They both wondered how skilled Ghost Girl was to have managed to hack into SOL Technologies' data bank, and Shoichi promised he would finish by the time school was over for Yusaku to enter the mother computer system. While at school, Yusaku wondered where Aoi was, as he and Ai thought her brother forbade her from entering LINK VRAINS, to protect her from any danger. Ai noticed Yusaku actually cared about her; Yusaku simply stated one should not give up on Dueling this way. As school was over, Yusaku went to Shoichi's van. Shoichi showed the path to the data bank, but warned a lot of traps were set to stop anyone. Yusaku started hesitating, and analyzed that Ghost Girl also wanted something if she gave him the program, even if the information Yusaku could find there may not be that important. Still, he accessed the LINK VRAINS to enter the mother computer system - an eerie, dark place. To protect himself, Playmaker used a device to navigate himself, and a rope to disguise him from security programs. Once the security programs started to go after Playmaker, he launched three "Sphere Kuriboh" to shatter them without alerting anyone. Passing the first corridor, Playmaker arrived to the second one, in which a Data Storm was located. Playmaker was pulled towards it, and his rope broke, alerting the security chief, Kitamura. The latter sent two AI prototypes to hunt after Playmaker, who managed to elude them. However, one of the AI-s caught up with him, and initiated a Duel with Playmaker. The AI prototype brought out "Tentacluster Nautilus", and tributed his "Tentacluster Drillworm", making Playmaker discard all of his cards. Playmaker drew a card, but had to sent it, due to "Drillworm", ending up with no cards to play. The other AI prototype arrived and started attacking Playmaker, intending on grabbing his Duel Disk. Much to everyone's surprise, Blue Angel arrived, using her whip to grab the AI prototype. Playmaker muttered her name, as she declared she would be the one to defeat Playmaker, and started a Duel with the other AI prototype.
Playmaker muttered Blue Angel's name, who came to repay him for curing her. Playmaker claimed he never indebted her; regardless, Blue Angel started the Duel with the other AI prototype. Continuing the Duel, Playmaker banished "Dotscraper" and "Linkslayer" to Special Summon "Dual Assembwurm" from the GY, with its ATK halved, and brought "Dotscraper" with its effect. Using "Cynet Defrag" to summon "Flick Clown" and use the latter's effect, Playmaker had 1000 LP left to use his Skill to grab a Link Monster from the Data Storm. Using his three Cyberse monsters, Playmaker summoned "Vector Square Archfiend", and summoned "Cyberse Wizard" from his hand; the two monsters attacked the prototype's "Tentacluster" monsters, damaging it to 1100 LP. He Tributed "Cyberse Wizard" to use the effect of "Vector Square Archfiend" to revive "Tentacluster Nautilus" and gained another attack. He then destroyed "Tentcluster Nautilus" and defeated the AI prototype, who vanished into thin air. Playmaker entered the Data Bank, and was surprised to see Akira, who expected him to be there. Playmaker questioned Ghost Girl and Akira, as to why they were in the data bank. When Ghost Girl explained that they were after the data, Playmaker figured out that he was just used as a decoy for them to enter the data bank. He ordered Akira to move, who refused, and admitted that he obtained the data, thus knowing what happened to Playmaker ten years ago. Akira claimed he had the right to know about the incident and Playmaker asked of him to hand the data over. Instead, Akira asked Playmaker to hand over Ignis and disperse, wanting to shed some light over the incident, and Ghost Girl added Akira was demoted, due to the incident with Revolver. Yusaku claimed he would be the one to reveal the truth since it didn't personally involve Akira and challenged him to a Duel. He bet Ai for the data, and Akira accepted, seeing this was the only way to defeat Playmaker.
Playmaker Link Summoned "Decode Talker" and used its Link Materials - and "Stack Reviver" - to revive "Cyberse Gadget" and summon a "Gadget Token". Playmaker prepared his offence, but Akira tributed "Tindangle Base Gardna" for "Tindangle Hound" to weaken his monsters and activated "Lemoine Point" to prevent Playmaker from attacking face-down monsters. Playmaker used "Cyberse Gadget" and "Gadget Token" to Link Summon "Flame Administrator". The latter's effect increased "Decode Talker's" ATK, enough to destroy "Tindangle Hound". Akira flipped "Tindangle Angel", reviving "Tindangle Hound" in face-down position, and forced Playmaker to end the Battle Phase. Akira, however, spoke about his and Aoi's past, and didn't wish that Aoi was captured by strangers like Playmaker was. Akira told he would set things straight, and asked for trust. Shoichi and Playmaker became furious, seeing Akira understood nothing about them. Playmaker trusted that Akira was a good person, but doubted he knew anything about the pain he bore. Akira Flip Summoned "Tindangle Hound", and set "Tindangle Angel" into face-down position and gained its attack, plus weakening Playmaker's monsters. Akira attacked Playmaker's "Flame Administrator" and halved his LP. Playmaker used "Limit Code" to bring out "Encode Talker", at the cost of reducing its and "Decode Talker's" ATK. Playmaker saw Akira knew nothing of his goal, as he Link Summoned "Firewall Dragon".
"Tindangle Hound's" effect caused "Firewall Dragon's" ATK to be reduced. Using "Linkage Hole", Akira's monsters were destroyed, leaving him open for direct attacks. After Akira got directly hit by "Decode Talker", he destroyed the latter with "Tindangle Delaunay", and immediately brought out his ace, "Tindangle Acute Cerberus". The latter attacked "Firewall Dragon", whom Playmaker protected with "Doppler Phase Coating". Akira protected his own monster with "Gergonne's End"; Playmaker noted Akira's Deck was quite difficult to figure out with such complex strategies. Playmaker tried to have "Firewall Dragon", enhanced with "Alert Lancer", attack "Tindangle Token" to finish the Duel. However, Akira prevented damage with "Morley's Shield", and to counter Playmaker's strategy, used "Nagel's Protection" to protect his Tokens. "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" attacked, causing Playmaker's LP to be lowered down to 500. Ai yelled to Playmaker to do something, and even wondered if there was anything that can be done to get them out of the situation. Playmaker asked of Ai to stop panicking, asking if it even was an AI, making the latter furious why he was so calm. Playmaker claimed if Ai was so worried about losing, it should consider about finding a new home. Ai replied he didn't think of that, since he had Playmaker as a friend to help him out. Playmaker claimed they were not friends, stating Ai should behave like other AI-s. This crushed Ai, seeing Playmaker was colder than AI-s.
Playmaker swore he would not lose, since he wished to uncover the truth. He looked at his deck, commenting it contained his feelings over the past ten years. Playmaker drew a card and set it, while Akira commented that was his destiny. Akira asked of Playmaker to stop this revenge and go to school to cherish these memories, rather than trying to uncover the truth, which Akira would reveal. He claimed Playmaker was too conceited in the past, and he would not feel happiness, just like Akira didn't. Blue Angel came to hear the story, though Playmaker wished that Akira did not tell the story. Akira spoke about the incident, mentioning that Playmaker was rescued. Playmaker refused to believe he was rescued, and swore he'd uncover the incident, for the sake of the families hurt in the incident, and wished to rescue the person whose voice that encouraged him to fight may still be trapped. Playmaker claimed even if Akira believed revenge was pointless, he still discovered that the Knights of Hanoi had involvement in the project. Akira also stated the SOL Technologies' data bank contained the name of the mastermind behind the Hanoi Project. Playmaker was shocked, and yelled out for the name of the mastermind, but Akira remained silent.
Playmaker demanded the name of the mastermind, but Akira refused to give out the name, fearing this would only feed Playmaker's desire for revenge and hatred. Akira decided to conclude the Duel by having "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" attack "Firewall Dragon". Playmaker avoided the defeat by banishing his dragon with "Cynet Backdoor" and with "Doppler Phase Coating" gone, Akira's Battle Phase ended. Akira turned the tables by using "Euler's Circuit", preventing Playmaker from attacking, and allowing one "Tindangle" monster to be switched to Playmaker's field. Playmaker was frustrated, and noted this was a Duel for justice. Akira swore to take the data and track down the ones responsible. Playmaker doubted he knew anything, as he trusted his own justice that would make him prevail and win. Drawing a card, Playmaker used "Draconnet", "Bitron" and "Digitron" to bring out "Link Spider", "Recovery Sorcerer" and "Security Gardna". Akira pointed out the pointlessness of summoning the monsters, as Playmaker was unable to attack. Since "Security Gardna" was placed on the top link of "Tindangle Acute Cerberus", Akira used "Gergonne's End" to nuke all monsters linked to inflict massive damage on Playmaker, believing the latter has lost hope in winning.
The effect activated, dealing 4500 LP damage to Playmaker. Akira turned around, but was surprised to see Playmaker survived as "Security Gardna" prevented all effect damage during that turn. This trap destroyed "Euler's Circuit", and allowed Playmaker to attack. Despite the advantage, Playmaker used "Recovery Sorcerer" to bring back "Security Gardna". Ai questioned this, as Playmaker could simply make a direct attack with "Firewall Dragon", but was told a Duel is more than just winning or losing. Playmaker made "Firewall Dragon" return Akira's "Tindangle Hound" and "Tindangle Angel" from the GY to his hand, thus forcing "Tindangle Acute Cerberus'" ATK to drop to 0. Declaring "Tempest Attack", "Firewall Dragon" attacked "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" and defeated Akira. Playmaker then walked pass by Akira and Blue Angel, having Ai eat away SOL Technologies' data. Before leaving, Playmaker asked of Akira not to follow him, or else he'd walk the path of darkness. Akira wanted to know why Playmaker didn't attack directly with "Firewall Dragon". He explained "Tindangle Hound" and "Tindangle Angel" represent Akira and his sister, who should rather turn around and walk to the light. He went on the D-Board and logged out of the mother computer system. Outside, Shoichi praised Yusaku and Ai, the former giving out the data he acquired. The two hacked into Ai, and found out the Hanoi Project's leader was Dr. Kiyoshi Kogami, an employee from SOL Technologies, who alone worked on the project in secrecy. The two concluded SOL Technologies covered up the incident, or else the company's reputation would've been ruined. Ai doubted the man could have done this on his own, and thought Akira was involved, but Shoichi reminded him Akira, back then, was 16 and was not employed at SOL Technologies at the time. Shoichi and Yusaku failed to find the project's goal, but most shockingly, they discovered Dr. Kogami died seven years ago.
With the food truck positioned at the coast, Yusaku was doing research. Shoichi invited him for a break, and gazed upon the ocean. Yusaku pointed out Shoichi won't get many customers at that place, but Shoichi assured him the famous coast was named Stardust Road, known for the luminous plankton that rarely gather at night, and thought the person living near the coast may have seen that. Shoichi failed to gather new info from SOL Technologies' data, and Yusaku saw that data from ten years ago was actually deleted. Still, they knew the company was involved, even if Akira knew nothing about the incident before. Shoichi felt a bit relieved that Dr. Kogami passed away, thinking their revenge was over. Yusaku reminded him they still didn't know about the goal of the incident, and Shoichi still wanted to rescue his brother from darkness, even if they had no clue where to continue. Yusaku still remembered Revolver knew some things. Shoichi stated Revolver was not seen recently, but Yusaku believed he was not the type that would simply disappear.
Playmaker and Ai watched an eclipse blocking the virtual sun in LINK VRAINS. Ai remembered people in the ancient past were scared of such events, and was surprised people, even today, were still afraid. Playmaker replied people remain the same, unlike technology that advances. The latter proclaimed the light was blocked by darkness, and confirmed to Ai he meant about the Lost Incident. He would not let the incident be buried in darkness, and would uncover the truth. Later, Yusaku was at school, and remembered how someone spoke to him during the Lost Incident project. Naoki called out to Yusaku, reminding him the class was over, and thought he was one of the "Athnoers". Yusaku walked away, and Naoki told him "Athnoers" were people trapped in LINK VRAINS, noting a lot of students haven't attended the school. He believed it was due to cursed Duel Disks, which, at midnight, emit white hands that drag people into LINK VRAINS, leaving the people's bodies "hollow". He thought no person would return back to their old-selves, even if they were taken to the hospital. Ai thought this had relations to Blue Angel, but Yusaku shushed him, since Naoki could hear him. Naoki doubted Yusaku would become a victim, since they were usually people with promising Dueling future. Yusaku advised him to stay away from the Duel Disk and walked away from Naoki, who wished Playmaker would set things straight. Before leaving, Yusaku corrected him the term was "Anothers", not "Athnoers", which made Naoki furious, since Yusaku knew everything already. Inside the van, Shoichi showed to Ai and Yusaku the footage of a camera, when a person turned into an Another, which happened six minutes before midnight. Ai noted there were no white hands taking the person into LINK VRAINS. Shoichi told them the person had not recovered yet, and showed pictures of more Another patients in the hospitals. Ai and Yusaku knew this was the same accident with Blue Angel, who was infected by a virus.
Shoichi believed someone wanted people to be turned into mindless people, but has not find out what happened to their LINK VRAINS' avatars. Shoichi showed more data, and Yusaku analyzed all of the Anothers were great Duelists with old-type Duel Disks, and all of them were hackers, too. The trio realized Playmaker, or Ai, were the targets. Yusaku reminded the importance of uncovering the truth behind Lost Incident, and as noted by Ai, they had to stop people from becoming Anothers. Ai noted Yusaku was a cool hero of justice, even if the latter claimed that was unnecessary. Shoichi showed a list of possible targets, from which the first was Makoto Kimishima. Yusaku traced the person to his house, and saw lights at his window. Yusaku broke through into his room, and saw he became a victim. In addition, he and Ai watched Makoto's avatar inside LINK VRAINS being confronted by a person, who wished to know if he was Playmaker and had Ignis. Yusaku and Ai saw the person casted some glitter, causing Makoto to fall asleep and fall off the cliff, but was saved by Go Onizuka. Playmaker watched as GO confronted the person, Dr. Genome, who placed the virus into Makoto, only to draw Playmaker out. Yusaku came to the hospital, where he heard Go Onizuka swore to defeat Dr. Genome. Go saw Yusaku and realized he was also concerned about Makoto, who attended the same school. Yusaku gave out his name to Go, and left. At the van, Shoichi and Yusaku watched the Knights of Hanoi Dueling people, and turning them into Anothers. Yusaku decided to go into LINK VRAINS, even if Shoichi believed he would be at a disadvantage, and Ai wished to feel secure. Surprisingly, they saw "Playmaker" battling the Knights of Hanoi, by stopping their programs and tossing them away from their D-Boards. Dr. Genome confronted "Playmaker", who revealed himself to be Go Onizuka. The latter stated he came to save Makoto, and knew Playmaker's identity, which displeased Yusaku and Shoichi. Yusaku did not know if GO really knew his identity, but was still frustrated. The group watched as Dr. Genome activated the Data Gale, conjuring black tornadoes for the Speed Duel.
Yusaku, Shoichi and Ai watched Go confronting Dr. Genome. Since Go claimed to have known Playmaker's identity, Shoichi remembered Yusaku did run into Go at the hospital, but Yusaku claimed it was impossible. Once Go equipped himself with a mask and declared himself as "Dark Onizuka", Ai thought that was a tacky thing to do. Yusaku and Shoichi realized Go changed his battling style to a heel, and would not hold back. Ai was surprised to see Go actually had his "Gouki Riscorpio" attack "Helixx Marmotroll", causing the former to be destroyed, since it had less ATK. However, Ai noticed this was to have Go gain an advantage, as 500 LP was inflicted on Genome, and Yusaku added that was how a heel fights. Ai noticed Go started using his brain to win, while Yusaku noted Go still wanted to win, in his own way. Just as Go was to win, Genome played "Regeneration Cure" to stop the damage, and everyone saw Genome had the advantage. As Genome tributed "Helixx Necro Darwin" to defeat Go, Yusaku became displeased. Ai suggested he could enter LINK VRAINS to save Go. Yusaku who saw Go barely saving himself with "Gouki Octostretch's" effect, decided to take Ai's advice.
Yusaku and Ai logged into LINK VRAINS and Playmaker motivated Go in a sarcastic manner, which made him to defeat Genome. After Go defeated Genome, he then approached Playmaker and realize that Playmaker didn't come to mock him. Instead, he came to motivate him but Playmaker didn't give a straight answer. Go then told him that he wanted to team up with Playmaker and defeat Hanoi. They saw Blue Angel, and Go also offered her to join forces with them. The next day Yusaku didn't go to school and teamed up with Go, defeating various Knights of Hanoi. After defeating another knight, Playmaker and Ai then interrogated him about the removal program that can cure the victims of Another. However, before the knight could explain, he was erased by someone. Go then asked him about Blue Angel's whereabouts, but Playmaker didn't know where she was, and remembered she left all of a sudden. The two then discussed about the creator of removal program. Sometime later Yusaku, Ai and Shoichi then watch Kitamura making a public announcement that he developed an army of AI Duelists to confront the Knights of Hanoi.
At the van, Shoichi analyzed that if the Knights of Hanoi took over LINK VRAINS, they'd soon find Playmaker. Yusaku believed they could prevent that by looking into the origins of Anothers virus. The next day, at the van, Shoichi woke Yusaku up, reminding he had to go to school, and promised he'd continue working. After Yusaku returned, Shoichi found nothing new. Yusaku let Shoichi rest, who went to cook some fries and cheese dogs. Yusaku and Shoichi ate the food, and watched Blue Angel confronting Baira. Ai noted Blue Angel was cornered, but Yusaku shushed him, since they were still working. Shoichi and Yusaku analyzed the videos, and the latter saw Baira behind one of the Anothers victims. Yusaku and Shoichi then hacked into Baira's profile and found out her real identity as Kyoko Taki, a doctor who works at Den Hospital and they were able to find out her home address. Yusaku then went into her apartment and Ai warned him it could be Hanoi's headquarter as he went inside he was greeted by a security guard robot, who asked him who does he want to visit. But, Yusaku remained silent as Ai told him to say something before anything get suspicious the robot then threatened him if he doesn't answer he would be held under suspicion. When Shoichi took control of the guard and guided him to Kyoto's room, Yusaku found her in LINK VRAINS and watched Blue Angel defeat her. He and Shoichi also witnessed the victims of Another getting cured and logging out of LINK VRAINS. As Baira suddenly disappeared, they thought she logged out and decided to interrogate her about the removal program but witness her getting purged by Revolver.
Despite Another victims being purged from the virus, Yusaku was still worried, since he only fought the Knights of Hanoi inside LINK VRAINS, and Shoichi confirmed one last mastermind left to be fought against. The next day, Yusaku spoke with Naoki, who wished to battle the Knights of Hanoi alongside Playmaker and Blue Angel. Naoki pointed out the Duel Club forbade entering LINK VRAINS. Yusaku warned him there was a website with the list of Anothers, and since Naoki had no plan, he would instantly fail. Yusaku also sensed fear inside Naoki and felt he'd ask Yusaku to join him. Naoki was furious and stormed out, and Ai noted Yusaku went too far on him. When Yusaku came to the van, Shoichi showed him someone has played his "Cyberse Wizard". Shoichi identified him as Lonely Brave, which Ai thought as a cool name. When Yusaku showed his "Cyberse Wizard", Ai touched it and sensed the data from the card was missing. Ai thought Lonely Brave was the mastermind, and defeated the Knight of Hanoi to lure Playmaker out. They soon found Naoki was Lonely Brave, who changed the name to "Brave Max". Despite this, Yusaku feared Naoki was in danger, should the mastermind find out he used the Cyberse card. Not long after, Yusaku and Shoichi found Brave Max, with Faust, the mastermind, who called out to Playmaker to come and Duel him. The former claimed he received "Cyberse Wizard" from Playmaker, which surprised Yusaku. Yusaku went to grab his Duel Disk, but saw it was gone. Ai logged on the screen, and showed he was on the Duel Disk, which Roboppy modified it with a drone. While Yusaku noted the device felt heavier, Ai explained he was searching for Naoki, though the data of "Cyberse Wizard". Yusaku realized Ai even knew this would happen, which offended Ai, seeing Yusaku was even accusing him. Regardless, Ai showed the location, where Naoki was captured. Yusaku called out to him, and Ai returned to the van. Yusaku grabbed the Duel Disk and left Shoichi to rescue Naoki, while Yusaku logged in to LINK VRAINS.
Playmaker arrived to LINK VRAINS, and assured Brave Max he'd face Faust. Before he did, Brave Max returned "Cyberse Wizard" to Playmaker. Playmaker placed the card in his Deck, and noted Faust was the final Another mastermind, who stole the data of "Cyberse Wizard" and gave it to Brave Max, to lure him out. Faust did not know what Playmaker was talking about, since he did not do that. Ai assured Playmaker that wasn't important, and only had to defeat Faust. Faust declared his mission was to retrieve Ignis, and used the Data Gale to conjure a stage for their battle. Playmaker noted it was just like during Blue Angel and Go Onizuka's Duels, and Ai noted this prevented them from returning home. Playmaker raced with Faust and jumped on their D-Boards to start their Speed Duel. Faust started the Speed Duel with summoning three "Motor Worm Tokens", and Ai sensed Faust was going all-out from the start. Playmaker went to confront Faust's "Motor Worm Spreader Queen", by Link Summoning "Decode Talker". Faust smirked, and protected his queen by destroying the "Motor Worm Token", using "Wormhole Defense". Since the token was destroyed, the queen's ATK fell down, allowing "Cyberse Wizard". Faust was inflicted additional damage, yet revived his queen with "Worm Revival". Playmaker found out Faust wanted him to destroy the queen, as Faust used "Egg Clutch" to turn "Cyberse Wizard" into an Insect monster, thus boosting the queen's ATK. Ai wondered if there was nothing they could do, and repeated this to Playmaker when he ended his turn. Faust played "Motor Worm Gate", to allow his queen to attack directly if Playmaker only controlled Insect monsters. Ai pointed out they still had Cyberse "Decode Talker", which his queen destroyed, inflicting 1700 damage to Playmaker. Faust used his Skill, Double Bite, to have the queen attack once more and finish Playmaker off.
Playmaker barely survived with 50 LP and crashing into a building, by halving the damage with "Urgent Link". Despite this, Playmaker told Ai it was still enough to battle. He also went to Link Summon, but Faust's "Wormhole Defense" prevented the Insect tokens to be used as Link Material. Faust declared he would obtain Ignis on his next turn, but Playmaker hoped there was still a way to turn things around. He used "Cybersal Cyclone" to banish "Decode Talker" to destroy the queen, though Faust had a token destroyed in her stead. Playmaker smiled, since the card he played allowed him to destroy "Wormhole Defense". Faust declared he still wouldn't lose, though Playmaker made him doubt his words when he went into the black Data Storm to use Storm Access skill, and Link Summoned that monster, "Powercode Talker". Reviving his "Space Insulator", Playmaker also negated the queen's effects, thus making her ATK return to 1000. Before Playmaker went to attack, Faust tried to warn him of Ignis being a threat. Ai told Playmaker to ignore Faust - "Powercode Talker", who doubled its ATK by tributing "Space Insulator", destroyed "Motor Worm Spreader Queen", and defeated Faust. Before vanishing, Faust tried to warn Playmaker he may have just doomed the humanity's future. Playmaker repeated Faust's final words, though Ai didn't know anything of that. Before logging out, Playmaker told "Brave Max" he should seek his own path out, if he was brave enough. Yusaku, who logged out, came to Naoki, who was actually released when Faust lost the Duel, at the warehouse district. Naoki was glad to see Yusaku came to rescue him, and told about Playmaker's ordeals. While Naoki continued talking, Yusaku concluded Faust didn't want Naoki to be turned into an Another. He also thought Ai could've been the one that sent "Cyberse Wizard" to Naoki, believing the Ignis put him in danger.
Since Yusaku felt uneasy, he could not sleep and went to Shoichi's van. Ai smiled at Yusaku, thinking how cute he was, but Yusaku ordered him to be quiet. Regardless, he also agreed with Yusaku something bad would soon begin, as Yusaku believed Revolver would make his move soon. Yusaku and Ai, in real life, sensed something wrong in LINK VRAINS. Later, after Shoichi served a customer, Yusaku noted that the Knights of Hanoi have been purged from LINK VRAINS. Shoichi noted Anothers' incident has been resolved, but also reminded Revolver was still out there. Ai thought Revolver had retreated, but Yusaku doubted that. Instead, Yusaku questioned why Revolver didn't make an appearance, thinking he had a reason to do so. Suddenly, Yusaku and Ai felt a pulse within LINK VRAINS, and the latter noted Yusaku had Link Sense. Yusaku asked Shoichi to scan through the network. Shoichi worked on scanning, and just as Yusaku and Ai sensed another pulse, Shoichi saw the LINK VRAINS infrastructure was changing. Yusaku decided to visit LINK VRAINS, even if Ai felt a bad omen ahead. Yusaku noted Revolver acted always in public, but this wasn't the case recently. Yusaku promised to find him, and sensed something big would happen soon. Inside LINK VRAINS, Playmaker rode the Data Wind. Ai tried to convince Playmaker things would go bad and they should return home, but Playmaker was focused on finding the cause. Once again, they sensed the pulse coming from the network. Finding some data fireflies, Playmaker traced them to a spot. As the data fireflies stopped, Ai thought they were taking a break. The two were visited by Ghost Girl, who wasn't particularly pleased Ai and Playmaker were present, too.
Ghost Girl admitted the data fireflies lead her to treasure, and were reliable, too. Playmaker warned her the path ahead was dangerous, and advised her to log out. Ghost Girl thought Playmaker would steal her treasure, explaining the greater the danger, the greater the reward. The data fireflies opened a path, though which Ghost Girl entered, and Playmaker joined in, too. The two walked in a data sewer, through which many unimportant data flew to a reprocessing plant. Playmaker was surprised Ghost Girl knew of this, who explained she was a treasure hunter that visited many virtual worlds. Finding a fork in the path, Ghost Girl saw her data fireflies went to the path on the right. Ai thought they could settle this with a game, which amused Ghost Girl, who credited the AI. Ai explained he had a name, and Ghost Girl thought his name was just a pun. Finding a fork in the path, Ghost Girl saw her data fireflies went to the path on the right. Ai thought they could settle this with a game, which amused Ghost Girl, who credited the AI. Since Ai chose a wrong card, Ghost Girl declared herself as the victor and let Playmaker go on the left path. Ai was displeased he chose "Fake Trap", but Playmaker knew that Ghost Girl cheated, by using a Deck filled with bad cards. Ai was even more depressed he was cheated off once more, but Playmaker reminded the importance of their mission, and continued on. They were ambushed by a data giant, who went after them, making Ai even panic.
Shoichi is one of the very few people Yusaku actively interacts with. The two are close friends and work together to fight The Knights of Hanoi. Yusaku shows trust in Shoichi's hacking abilities and even gave a brief smile when talking to him. Likewise, Shoichi hopes Yusaku can one day enjoy Dueling again. Shoichi also teases Yusaku about his poor social skills.
When they met, Naoki tried to befriend Yusaku and Duel him, but Yusaku showed little interest and irritated Naoki by criticizing his Dueling and analyzing him, despite Yusaku saying Naoki isn't a bad person. Despite their initial encounter, Naoki continues his attempts to befriend Yusaku and he often sits with Yusaku during class, much to the latter's annoyance. Naoki is a big fan of "Playmaker", unaware that he's Yusaku. Yusaku has a tendency to forget Naoki's name repeatedly and keeps ignoring Naoki due to his belief that he doesn't need friends. However, when Naoki was kidnapped by Faust, Yusaku showed genuine concern for him.
Knights of Hanoi
Yusaku holds a deep grudge against the Knights of Hanoi and believes they're the culprits of the Hanoi Project. He swears revenge against Hanoi and fights them whenever they make an attack. The Hanoi consider "Playmaker" to be a threat and plan to defeat him in order to retrieve Ai which "Playmaker" had captured.
Ai sees Yusaku as a partner, but Yusaku considers Ai to be nothing more than an object he needs to gain the upper hand against the Knights of Hanoi. He threatened to delete Ai in order to challenge a Knight, and ignored his pleas not to go back to VRAINS. Yusaku has little patience for Ai's antics and often doesn't let him talk. Nevertheless, Ai supports Yusaku in his Duels, though he claims to do so out of a desire for survival. Ai also seems to enjoy teasing Yusaku, but knows when things get serious. Likewise, Yusaku follows Ai's advice when needed. Despite being rude to Ai most of the time Yusaku slowly grows to care about him to some extent; this was seen when Ai was affected by Revolver's "Fire Prison". Ai seems to have gradually warmed up to Yusaku and is keen on treating him like a friend, though the feeling is not mutual.
Aoi Zaizen (Blue Angel)
Aoi and Yusaku are classmates, though Aoi is not aware of his alter-ego but she seems be suspicious of his identity as Playmaker after noticing he has the same duel disk as him and asked to see his deck in order to confirm his identity. As "Blue Angel", Aoi is shown to develop an interest in Yusaku's alter-ego, "Playmaker", after he saved her from a "Cracking Dragon". She is shown to be grateful for "Playmaker" for saving her and she even saved him in return after he fell from his D-Board.
After Shoichi figured out that Aoi is "Blue Angel", Yusaku tried to get close to her in order to get a lead on Akira Zaizen and SOL Technologies regarding his past memories. Aoi on the other hand believed Yusaku wanted her for her connections to SOL Technologies as many others had tried (which is technically correct, though not for the reasons she assumed), so she quickly dismissed him.
Yusaku was shocked when he discovered that Aoi may have ties to the Knights of Hanoi showing that he never thought of her as an enemy, but he was still willing to duel her. He was visibly disturbed when Hanoi's card began damaging Aoi so he rushed to end the Duel as quickly as possible, out of concern for her well being. After the Duel, Yusaku felt it was his responsibility to help Aoi recover from her coma and willingly walked into a trap set by Ghost Girl.
Yusaku is shown to deeply care for Aoi after he logged out following his duel with Revolver he asked to Shoichi if Aoi is alright and after she recovered from her coma Yusaku is shown to be worried about her safety and well being that she doesn't attend school regularly and since her duel with him she stopped coming to LINK VRAINS. Ai also teases him for being worried about her or being linked with her which causes him to dodge the subject.
After hearing about Yusaku's traumatic past, Aoi felt a great feeling of sympathy for him.
Go Onizuka (GO Onizuka)
At first, Yusaku was indifferent to Go who considers his alter-ego, "Playmaker", to be his rival. Go was mad at Playmaker for stealing his spotlight and this grew worse when the children at the city orphanage, which he volunteered and donated to, started seeing Playmaker as a hero instead of him. After defeating him, Yusaku acknowledged Go as a worthy opponent and started to respect his Dueling style, and even admitting to have enjoyed Dueling him. When Shoichi suggested recruiting Go for their fight against Hanoi, Yusaku objected by saying that he did not want Go to face this kind of danger.
Despite having a brief interaction with Yusaku at the hospital he was grateful to him for locating his sister and informing him about her comatose status. He questioned Yusaku about his relationship to Aoi and the latter responded they are only classmates.
On the other hand, Akira dislikes Yusaku's alter ego "Playmaker" for having stolen Ai. Akira grew to utterly hate Playmaker after his Duel against Blue Angel which resulted in Aoi falling comatose. Akira immediately assumed that Playmaker was the culprit for Aoi's predicament and worked with Ghost Girl to turn all of LINK VRAINS into a trap to capture Playmaker. Akira then mercilessly tortured Playmaker and refused to believe Playmaker's explanation that it was Hanoi's fault for Aoi being comatose. However, upon being informed of his mistake by Revolver, Akira reluctantly freed Playmaker and was surprised that Playmaker didn't hate him for what he did. He was to grateful for Playmaker for saving Aoi from the virus.
In their next encounter inside SOL Technology's database, Akira displayed pity for Playmaker after discovering the data he was after, even insisting that Playmaker trust him and reveal the truth in his stead. Compared to their previous encounter, Akira even demonstrates sadness for Playmaker, especially when he figured out that Playmaker is around Aoi's age. Akira felt that Playmaker shouldn't waste his youth chasing after the Hanoi Project and wanted to handle the situation himself, only for Playmaker to immediately refute Akira's claims and mantained that he deserved to learn the truth himself.
When first informed about a hacker named "Playmaker" who was defeating Hanoi members, Revolver 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 Revolver became interested in him. Revolver 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 Revolver for being Hanoi's leader and vowed to defeat him and discover his true identity. During their first Duel, Revolver 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 their second Duel, Revolver 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, in which the latter agrees under the condition it did not take too long.
Emma Bessho (Ghost Girl)
Emma showed an interest in Playmaker. After witnessing his duel against Blue Angel, Ghost Girl caught him in a trap under Akira's orders to interrogate him about Aoi's condition. Her interest continued to grow after watching him defeat Revolver and dueling him herself even admitting that he exceeded her expectations.
Yusaku uses a Cyberse Deck. His main strategy involves using methodically calculated moves to overwhelm the opponent with Link Monsters. His early turns are usually slow, with him setting up his bigger combos for later while analyzing the opponent's strategies. Once his field is set up, he Link Summons multiple weak Link Monsters at once to then use them as Materials for his stronger ones such as the "code Talkers", and "Firewall Dragon". His other Link Monsters can also act as support for his primary ones.
After capturing Ai and unlocking the "Storm Access" Skill, he can obtain new Link Monsters when his LP are 1000 or below during a Speed Duel when a Data Storm is near. To this end, he usually allows himself to drop below 1000 LP. The Link Monsters gained this way expand his arsenal of monsters for the current Duel and future Duels alike and typically help turn a disadvantageous situation in his favor. As shown with "Decode Talker", the data of the Link Monsters added by his Skill can materialize into real cards with the proper equipment. In case the opponent tries to prevent "Storm Access" from activating by not dealing damage, Yusaku also uses cards with effects that require him to pay LP to get around it.
During his Duel with Go Onizuka, spectators likened this strategy to Go's habit of letting his opponent take the lead, then making a comeback from a pinch.
Additionally, Yusaku has a LIGHT dummy Deck for situations in real life where he has to show his Deck to other Duelists. The Deck is poorly built to make it seem like Yusaku is an untalented Duelist.
|Unknown Duelist||11||Lose (flashback)|
|Unknown Duelist||19||Lose (flashback)|
|Unknown Duelist||19||Lose (flashback)|
|Knight of Hanoi||1||Win|
|Knight of Hanoi||2||Win|
|Aoi Zaizen/Blue Angel||7||Win|
|Emma Bessho/Ghost Girl||14-15||Win|
|Knight of Hanoi||24||Win|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Impregnable Defending Dragon Firewall"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "The Organization | [Jump Festa 2017] Latest Information Stage: 6th Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime". YGOrganization. December 17, 2016. https://ygorganization.com/jump-festa-2017-latest-information-stage/. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 19: "The Incident Buried in the Darkness"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Roar of the Magazine Varreload"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "My Name is Playmaker"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: "Seize the Wind! Storm Access"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "First Contact"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 4: "Charisma Duelist Go Onizuka"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5: "The Three Count Rings"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "Idol!! Blue Angel"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Hanoi's Angel"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 8: "The One Who Commands the Wind"
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 9: "Enemy I Was Seeking"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10: "Impact! Cyberse Vanishes"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 13: "Battle Record"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 14: "Ghost Girl's Invitation"
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 15: "Altergeist that Hides in the Darkness"
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 16: "Infiltrate SOL's Cyber Fortress"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 17: "Flawless AI Duelist"
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 18: "Wound Etched Into His Heart"
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20: "Unyielding Justice"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 21: "Embers of a New Battle"
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 22: "Blackened Sun"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 23: "Genome's Giant"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 24: "Dark Mask's Burden of Fate"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25: "Virus Deck Operation"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 26: "Three Draws Leading to Hope"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 27: "Naoki Shima the Fighter"
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 29.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 28: "Final Commander of the Three Knights"
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 30: "Doorway to the Abyss"
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 2.
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 7.
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 15.
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 10.
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 28.
- ↑ This card is obtained via Storm Access in episode 17.