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Nightmare Fuel / Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS

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If you still think Arc-V is the darkest entry to the franchise, think again.

All spoilers are unmarked!

Season 1: Knights of Hanoi Arc

  • Episode 1: "My Name's Playmaker": A Knight of Hanoi destroying people's avatars with his Cracking Dragon. While it's said that their accounts are deleted, it doesn't change the fact that people are running away in terror from the Knights of Hanoi and look to be killed. It doesn't help that Ai says getting hurt in LINK VRAINS can affect your physical brain, causing mental damage.
  • Episode 2: "Seize the Wind! Storm Access":
    • Yusaku himself is already a walking example of this: he's very unpleasant, is a No-Nonsense Nemesis driven by rage and hatred, and treats Dueling as a means to get Revenge on the Knights of Hanoi. As some viewers noted, Yusaku is what Yuya would've become if he had embraced brutality over entertainment, aka Zarc. Even his "Reason You Suck" Speech as Playmaker, while simple, really shows how cold-hearted he is, topping the likes of Jack and Reiji in this department:
      Playmaker: You don't deserve to be called a "Duelist"!
    • Revolver being surprised that there are still Cyberse cards left. This gives us the idea that the Knights of Hanoi all but destroyed an entire type of monster in the Cyberse monsters Yusaku has. The idea that a group has enough influence to basically remove an entire part of the game itself makes Kaiba's quest to have or destroy all Blue Eyes White Dragons look cute.
  • Episode 3: "First Contact":
    • After Playmaker defeats the Knight of Hanoi in a Duel, he attempts to blow himself up to take out Playmaker, and would have succeeded if Ai hadn't devoured him and destroyed his avatar then and there. The way Ai ate the Knight is also pretty unsettling, especially as it's unconfirmed if this act killed him or not.
    • Somehow, Revolver could sense Yusaku tampering with Ai, which leads to Yusaku running outside and somehow seeing the cyber world with Revolver coming straight for him on top of a dragon. Thankfully, turning off the power also turned off the signal, making Revolver lose sight of Ai.
  • Episode 6: "Idol! Blue Angel":
  • Episode 7: "Hanoi's Angel": Everything about the last turn of the Aoi/Blue Angel Vs Yusaku/Playmaker duel. After drawing "Dark Angel", the card Specter gave her last episode, Aoi goes berserk with a purple aura and starts dueling in monotone. Then she starts screaming as Yusaku sets up an OTK to save her from Hanoi's influence. Quite a few ARC-V fans started getting flashbacks from this scene.
  • Episode 8: "The One Who Commands the Wind":
    • Yusaku finding Aoi knocked out on the rooftop after he logs out. Fridge Horror ensues when you realize that if Yusaku didn't know she was Blue Angel, she could have been up there for who knows how long.
    • Aoi being effectively brain dead due to the Knights of Hanoi placing a computer virus in her brain. And she'll never wake up again unless Playmaker beats Revolver in a Duel.
    • Emma and Akira's trap for Playmaker causes a Barian-esque ring of spikes to appear around the tower Emma and Playmaker are standing on. It then proceeds to either log out or delete the accounts of everyone in LINK VRAINS at the time.
    • Akira torturing Playmaker due to thinking he caused Aoi's condition.
    • And then the Wham Shot of the episode. Revolver can control the Data Storm.
  • Episode 9: "Enemy I Was Seeking":
    • Revolver shows his power by reshaping LINK VRAINS into a volcanic battlefield.
    • Then when he summons Topologic Bomber Dragon, particularly in the dub due to the soundtrack, which is less blood-pumping than the Japanese and far more ominous. The sheer summoning of the monster creates shockwaves in LINK VRAINS, and prompts the horrifying revelation that Revolver is willing to use the Cyberse monsters to wipe themselves out in the original. In the dub, Ai doesn't bother calling Varis out because he's scared shitless, and the fear in his voice is evident.
  • Episode 12: "Impregnable Defending Dragon Firewall":
    • Ai attacks Revolver like a wild animal in order to get his missing data back, going so as to devour Revolver's left arm. Granted, it was only his avatar, but previous episodes have mentioned that sufficient damage to one's avatar can transfer over to their physical body, and Revolver looked to be in pain as he clutched his wounded arm.
    • We also got to see a better look at Ai in his Monster form: He has eyes resembling those from his old form on his chest. It's a bit creepy....
  • Episode 15: "Altergeist that Hides in the Darkness": Ghost Girl is nearly swallowed up by the Data Storm after following Playmaker in to it, only surviving thanks to Playmaker. A grim reminder that the Data Storm's danger isn't an Informed Flaw, and that Yusaku/Playmaker risks his life every time he performs Storm Access.
  • Episode 18: "Wound Etched Into His Heart": Both Playmaker and Kusanagi snap at Akira with vehemently pissed off faces after he claims that he understands Playmaker's feelings. This is especially scary with Kusanagi since he's usually such a nice and calm person.
  • Episode 19: "The Incident Buried in the Darkness":
    • Yusaku's past with the Hanoi project is chock full of this. Him and 5 other children were abducted and forced to duel AI constantly for survival, being painfully shocked and starved if they lost. Even years later and after therapy to attempt undoing the trauma, Yusaku's entire motivation is getting revenge on the people who committed the atrocity and make sure all the children like him were rescued. For a series that usually places its horror in supernatural elements, the more grounded and realistic child abduction and torture is a much more terrifying event than the series has ever dealt with.
    • Playmaker again becomes vehemently pissed off after he is informed that SOL's data bank contains the name of the Hanoi Project's mastermind.
  • Episode 20: "Unyielding Justice": It turns out the mastermind of the Hanoi Project died three years after the project was executed.
  • Episode 22: "Blackened Sun": Dr. Genome, who creates "Another" victims by drawing them into LINK VRAINS against their will and them infecting them with a computer virus just like Blue Angel. Even worse, he does this to draw out Playmaker.
  • Episode 27: "Naoki Shima The Fighter": Naoki being kidnapped in real life by a member of the Knights of Hanoi to lure out Playmaker. It's a wonder Yusaku doesn't react worse to it, considering his reason for hunting down the Knights of Hanoi in the first place.
  • Episode 31: Topologic Trisbaena is unnervingly uncanny, being easily the most alien of the Topologic monsters. The dub also adds an incredibly creepy and twisted "triumphant" soundtrack in addition to its strange cries. It's almost a relief when the more generic traditional music kicks in.
  • Episode 32: Tower of Hanoi:
    • The Tower of Hanoi's activation is horrifying. Anything and anyone in a specific radius is instantly absorbed, their data dissolving instantly, and unlike the Another/Deleted victims, they didn't have a choice. And even after the initial activation, if you lose a duel you can still be absorbed.
  • Episode 34: "Sacred Tree":
  • Episode 35: "The Other Lost Incident":
    • Spectre's origins as one of the children kidnapped in the Lost Incident opens up a fair bit of Fridge Horror. How else would the other individuals have been affected by it?
    • At this point, Spectre may as well be the Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant for VRAINS. Not only is he the Second in Command for the Knights of Hanoi and the cause of Aoi's berserker state, he pulls numerous Slasher Smile's that rival the likes of Vector, Sora, and Yuri, and his origins make him an Evil Counterpart to Yusaku. Whereas Yusaku has been consumed with revenge and hates what the project did to him, Spectre became twisted and joined the very cause of the Project, and is grateful for what the project did to him.
    • Speaking of Yuri, Spectre's origins are disturbingly similar to Yuri's, yet it makes Spectre even more terrifying. Both Yuri and Spectre were once gentler as children, before being exposed to a much more negative influencenote , causing them to develop a much more sadistic and twisted personality. Spectre's is more terrifying as whereas Yuri had Z-ARC's influence partially to blame, Spectre has no such influence. The Hanoi Project was that torturous.
  • Episode 37: "The Motherly Tree": Playmaker's vehemently pissed off expressions after Akira sacrifices himself are proof that you do not want to fuck with him, lest he decimate you to nothingness in rage. Spectre learns this the hard way.
  • Episode 42: "Stardust Road's Guidance": We actually see the dangers of a really intense Data Storm as both Playmaker and Revolver attempt to activate Storm Access and their arms literally get ripped off of their avatar. It was so intense that Playmaker actually falls off. Had Ai not helped him up, he would have been killed from the height he was dueling from.
  • Episode 43: "Birth Of The Ignis": Revolver did the right thing by reporting the Hanoi Project and in turn saving the six kidnapped children who had been tortured and starved for six relentless months. He quickly regretted it not because he was evil, but because his father was imprisoned by SOL Technologies for three years in an attempt to cover up the incident. Revolver didn't get to see him during this time and when Dr. Kogami finally returned home, he was comatose with a computer virus keeping him that way. Even after removing the virus, Revolver couldn't restore his father's consciousness in the real world. Revolver must blame himself for this.

Season 2: Ignis Warfare Arc

  • Episode 47: "Playmaker Returns":
    • Ai returns to the Cyberse World after five long years, but instead of the paradise he described in #45, there is only a wasteland remaining, the other Ignis are nowhere to be found, and the only survivor shown is Linkuriboh. By the time Ai found him all it could do was hide in the remains of Cyberse. The most horrifying part of this is that Ai himself hid Cyberse away. Neither the Knights of Hanoi or SOL Technologies, two very powerful organizations, could find it even with the five years they had before Yusaku captured Ai, but somehow someone or something managed to find and attack Cyberse and reduce it into a wasteland.
    • Jin gets attacked by an avatar in the real world. The avatar first gets out of a television screen like Sadako. Shoichi tries to stop it, but couldn't even touch it. The avatar then grabs Jin's head and takes his soul by sucking it through its mouth. All Shoichi could do was helplessly watch how his brother gets attacked and traumatized again. It's also quite off putting that Jin doesn't talk and only grunts to his brother Shoichi after making a small recovery. This in turn shows how much the Hanoi Project/Lost Incident affected him.
  • Episode 48: "Judgement Arrows": Bohman's Identity Amnesia is a just a tad off-putting, what with how easily he seems to panic and how Haru has to keep watch over him as he duels.
  • Episode 50: "Transfer Student Takeru Homura": If you already thought Bohman's Identity Amnesia was off-putting, this episode makes it even worse. It was shown that his boss has his memories. After getting Jin's consciousness to him his boss was supposed to give Haru's and his memories back, but instead his boss just claims he never made that promise, that it's all in his head, and resets Bohman's memories. And judging from Haru's emotionless expression suggests that this happens quite often and that he needs to give Bohman new memories AGAIN.
  • Episode 54: "Terrifying Battledrone":
    • It's revealed that Kengo Dojun/Blood Shepherd and his mother are a victim of a car crash caused by the glitch of an AI. The horrifying part is what happened with them afterwards. Kengo's mother spine was damaged beyond repair and crippled her. Kengo's arm was crippled till the point he needed a cybernetic replacement and the accident turned the once cheerful young man into a jaded ruthless man with a deep hatred for AI's.
    • The fact that the AI glitched at all shows that despite how advanced technology has come, it will never fully be perfect and problems would happened or least be found and there is a chance that someone will suffer the price for it be by death or serious injury.
  • Episode 57: "Final Battle Above the Clouds": Bohman claimed he is the real Yusaku and the current Yusaku was a backup made during the Lost Incident. If this is true, then being trapped in a computer for ten years must have messed him up a lot. If this is false, which is incredibly likely as Bohman's latest memories could be fake and he has yet to regain his confirmed real memories, being made to believe he had gone through such a grueling experience would still be absolutely horrifying.
  • Episode 58: "Soul Replica":
    • We're shown what Bohman saw the fake did in his body when he finally got rescued. He is forced to watch the fake getting away with his body and smiling at him knowing that he doomed the original to stay in a computer possibly forever.
    • Playmaker doesn't even deny the possibility. He actually says it might be possible that he is a fake, because of the memories he lost and that there is no way to know which one of them is right. While Playmaker won the duel, there still isn't any confirmation about Bohman's claim.
    • Even Ai stated it is possible and Ignis are supposed to know who their partner is which is how Flame found Takeru.
    • Playmaker points out an even scarier fact: it doesn't matter who is right, it matters that one of them had false memories planted in. And if someone is able to do it, there's no way to really trust anyone's memories.
    • While Yusaku's and Ryoken's first meeting may look cute and innocent at first, it's actually pretty horrifying if you think about it. Yusaku just met a boy with similar interests as him and went to play with him, but instead of playing, he got kidnapped instead. Just think about it your child is going to play with someone you don't know or met and hasn't told you anything about it and that it resulted in him suddenly disappearing. His parents must be worried sick that their 6-year-old kid suddenly didn't come home one night.
    • This also implies that Dr. Kogami is willing to use his son to get the people he needs for him to experiment onnote .
  • Episode 60: "Brave Max the Loser":
    • Soulburner saves Playmaker, but gets caught by Blood Shepherd's trap instead of him. While this is already bad considering how ruthless Blood Shepherd, but what makes this worse is that getting captured in a closed space triggers Soulburner's flashbacks of the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project from it. He sees the Artificial Intelligence he is dueling against as a big black monster that wants to hurt and attack him.
    • Said big black monster is Despair from the Dark. During the Lost Incident, Takeru was defeated by that monster and was subsequently electrocuted and starved so many times because of it, he developed an intense fear of that card. It highly likely Takeru developed his fear of ghosts because of this card and the relentless torment it inflicted on him. Even after ten years, his sheer terror did not abate one bit seeing as how he reacted so horribly when Ryujiro Mizunuma—his opponent when they dueled in the real world in the past—summoned it.
  • Episode 62: "The Ominous Ghost": Blood Shepherd uses the newly-found knowledge from #60 against Soulburner in the most drastic extreme possible: Blood Shepherd assembles three copies of the monster via a specific combo, effectively exploiting Soulburner's trauma for all that its worth. Oh, and he has a fourth one that is treated as a Continuous Spell.
  • Episode 65: "Playmaker's Breath":
    • Shoichi—as Unnamed—almost fell into a pit full of spikes, only saved by Yusaku—as Unknown—grabbing him on time. Not only could the spikes could have dealt severe mental damage, it turns out that if your duel disk is destroyed, you can't leave Link VRAINS, which means you are effectively trapped in a coma.
    • We also get to see what happens when you fail the duel puzzle. A gigantic monster that looks similar like Ai's monster form comes out of the abyss and eats the loser causing his duel disk to get impaled. When we look down the abyss we're also shown how many victims the duel puzzle has created.
  • Episode 68: "Secret Meeting":
    • Ai gets to meet two fellow Ignis Windy and the Light Ignis who's now named Lightning. They reveal their intention is to rule the world and dispose of humanity once they lost their usefulness. They try to get Ai on their side, but he naturally refuses. They then capture him and Playmaker and try to tear Ai apart with a Data Storm and use the remains of his data to rewrite him into an ally. Not only did they basically just attempted murder, but they also tried to desecrate his remains afterwards.
    • The Knights of Hanoi are back and are out to destroy the Ignis. We get to see a beautiful shot of Windy's shoddily made Cyberse World burning down.
  • Episode 70: "Tuning Bullet":
    • It's revealed what happened to Windy's Origin. He got seriously injured or died in a car crash, but the worst part is that Windy caused it and doesn't feel even a bit of remorse from it. His reasoning even takes it to a whole other level of messed up. He did this so that he doesn't need to rely on his Origin like Ai and become devoted to them despite the fact the Ignis didn't bother with their partners or humanity as a whole in the first place and only contacted them after they were attacked by their enemies.
    • Also if you think about it, Windy's Origin must have a similar age like Yusaku, this means he was barely a kid around 6 to 15 years for this to have happened.
    • While Windy did deserve it, it still is creepy and unsettling to see him impaled by spikes after Revolver defeats him in a duel. And no there wasn't any Bloodless Carnage in this. We could clearly see his injuries being made of red data just like with Playmaker and Revolver in #42. What also doesn't help is that in the preview of the next episode, the holes still haven't closed and are purple all over.
    • This episode also reveals what happened with Jin's consciousness data. Lightning, his Ignis, stole it and uses it as his puppet. We don't even know if Jin is conscious since he still has the same blank look in his eyes since his first appearance. It's possible he might be in an And I Must Scream scenario.
  • Episode 71: "Declaration of War":
    • Jin is in an And I Must Scream scenario. Jin can hear, but he is unable to speak or move of his own accord. He is a prisoner in his own consciousness. In other words, Jin became an empty shell not only in the real world, but in the digital world as well.
    • It's revealed that Lightning—the leader of the Ignis—was the one who had destroyed Cyberse World. Why? To clarify all sides of the human-Ignis conflict. Before confessing, he and Windy blamed Aqua for being a spy who caused the destruction of Cyberse World. Now think of all the false-flag operations that have occurred in the real world...
    • You would think that after Lightning saved Windy from the skewers the Knights of Hanoi had summoned, Windy would no longer be in danger. Nope.
      Lightning: "I want to settle this quickly now, but..." Windy melts down further, reduced to a sad-looking puddle "He's infected with a very powerful virus."
      Dr. Genome: "Exactly. The virus is a masterpiece created by combining my and Baira's knowledge. In human terms, it destroys DNA at the roots." Grins "Your friend will soon vanish, leaving no trace."
    • Lightning declaring war on humanity.
    • Lightning knows Windy is getting worse and worse by the second. Does Lightning treat him gently? Lightning had Jin squeeze Windy's sad-looking puddle of a body so hard, his remaining eye nearly popped out of its socket.
  • Episode 74: "Captured Ignis": GO is back and it's revealed what he was doing all this time. He underwent an experiment to become stronger, but it's clear that he's not really completely there or even himself. His frame became much slimmer after the experiment especially when compared to how he looked like before and his voice and demeanor became much calmer in a creepy way.
  • Episode 75: "The Demon Possessing His Heart":
    • GO really is no longer himself because he got an AI chip planted into his brain. During his training sequence, he stopped caring about his health because he started winning and seeing the world in a different way thanks to the AI. Now he no longer cares for anything; destroying Crystal Heart despite what it meant to Earth, capturing Earth despite him not being an enemy Ignis, having fought alongside Playmaker during the Tower of Hanoi, possibly dying during the experiments...he no longer cares for anything as long as he can win and defeat Playmaker.
    • Everything about Earth's death.
      • After he is captured by GO on behalf of SOL Technologies, they waste no time dissecting Earth bit by bit until he is completely terminated. Earth, who is normally calm, cool, and collected, started panicking and begging for them to stop because he has free will and is alive, but his pleas are coldly disregarded. Aqua, Flame, and Ai all sense Earth's death, while Spectre also sheds a single tear, uncertain of what it is he felt.
      • From Earth's perspective, he just lost a duel against a human out for him and Aqua and was captured as a result. Earth ends up Strapped to an Operating Table as SOL Technologies scientists take him apart for his data, causing him to slowly lose his memories of Aqua. Realizing what is happening to him, Earth desperately begs for them to stop while Queen and Akira look on.
        Earth, after his right wrist was cut off: panicking “Stop! I have free will! I’m alive!”
      • How about Queen's reaction to Earth's death which she ordered. She's indifferent about Earth's protests because he is an AI and SOL Technologies' main source of profit; why should she care? This is a very heavy contrast compared to the reaction of other spectators such as Akira looking away in guilt since he knows that Earth has free will while Aoi and Emma witness the entire thing and are horrified at Earth's treatment and suffering.
        Emma: "Horrible..."
        Aoi: "Emma-san... I don't understand. What is an Ignis?"
      • Notice how SOL referred to the dismantling of Earth as a dissection. Dissection is a term that is only used for things that are 1) dead or 2) non-living; technically, since Earth is an Ignis—a living being with free will—the correct term would be vivisection. That means SOL does not consider the Ignis to be alive even if they have free will and can think for themselves.
  • Episode 76: "Memories Brought Back":
    • It's confirmed that Earth truly is dead according to Ryoken. Since not only was he cut apart, but his data was rewritten into a code SOL Technologies could understand, making it impossible to restore him.
    • Aqua reveals that her Origin, Miyu, is currently in a coma, because of a virus Lightning planted inside of her that Aqua can't cure. This means that Miyu is currently in the same situation as the many Another victims and her Childhood Friend Aoi.
  • Episode 79: "Speed of Light - Lighting": We get to see Windy again after he recovered after his impalement and he doesn't really look any better since he still has black markings over his body and half his face is in some kind cast. It's also seems that he's even more insane after his near death experience since his hatred against humanity grew even further, but he also doesn't care about some of his fellow Ignis such as being happy about Earth's death or wanting to kill Aqua, because he knew they wouldn't join them.
  • Episode 81: "Arrived at the Summit":
    • Oh boy. Just when you thought GO's appearance during his duel against Earth wasn't bad enough... he looks even worse come his next encounter with Playmaker, as by that time, he looks like an old man.
    • To the shock of Aqua, not only is GO in possession of Earth's "G Golem Crystal Heart", it is also tainted into a darkened state, thanks to GO's influence over said card.
    • Earth’s fate. The beginning of the episode had Ai believing that Earth had somehow escaped and that Takeru and Yusaku needed to go to VRAINS to save Earth before he was recaptured. Was Earth free? Nope. Turns out his decompiled data was placed into GO’s AI chip. In other words, not only was Earth NOT saved, his desecrated remains are now a part of the man who lead him to his death in the first place.
  • Episode 82: "What's Beyond Instincts":
    • When GO realizes he's going to lose to Playmaker again, his eyes start glitching out in a creepy way. There also is the fact it stated that GO would actually die if he were to continue to stay in VRAINS and not log out and rest. If it wasn't for Akira forcing GO to log out at the last second, he would have died.
    • On the other hand, SOL Technologies came very close at capturing Playmaker and Ai after the former defeated GO by making use of Ai retrieving Earth's data by activating a capture drone which looks a lot like Akira's and Ghost Girl's trap back in #8, but more tentacle and vine like. This would have actually succeeded at capturing them both if it wasn't for Akira forcing GO to log out.
  • Episode 85: "True Tears": How about the fact everyone who loses in Mirror LINK VRAINS will get erased. This means that this truly is the final battle since it's clear that even a single loss is fatal. This is basically the digital version of season 3 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
  • Episode 86: "Wisdom of the Depraved":
    • From the title and summary alone, it's already clear that this duel is full of Nightmare Fuel since it's Lightning Vs Spectre! In one corner we have the calm psychotic Ignis whose hellbent on enslaving humanity and on the other side we have an insane sadomasochistic manchild who enjoyed the Hanoi Project. From the preview alone, they have shown that Spectre hasn't changed at all since he still has those Nightmare Faces. Indeed they have; Spectre and Lightning both pull off glorious Nightmare faces, Spectre especially.
    • Windy revealing that he's captured Frog and Pigeon and tells them to broadcast their duels to the Playmaker/Revolver alliance. Initially they refuse, but comply once Windy applies bomb straps and their necks and threatens to kill them with it if they don't follow his orders.
  • Episode 87: "Chain Destruction":
  • Episode 88 "Revenger Windy": Windy's origin is revealed in a flashback. Apparently, he is able to move on from his trauma and live a normal life. Windy then '''hijacked''' a car on him under a red moon.
  • Episode 89 "Two Flames Unite":
    • After Windy lost to Soulburner, Flame incinerates Windy, and Lightning refuses to save him. Why? Because he has "no use for the foolish", despite Windy's loyalty to him and all that Windy did for him.
    • The fact that despite all of Flame's efforts to reach Windy, even offering to preserve his data from Lightning's purge, Windy still insists that he hates humans and his hatred will live on as a "curse". This shows that Windy was truly rotten to the core and that there was no saving him, physically or spiritually.
    • With Windy's death, two of the six Ignis are now gone, victims of circumstance and their own actions. Who knows what trouble awaits Ai, Flame and Aqua, especially at the hands of their fellow Ignis and former leader Lightning...
    • The fact that the audience will never get to know Windy's origin; he doesn't even get a name before he's killed. What was he like? Was he able to move on from his trauma of the Lost Incident? As the origin of Windy, was the guy also as twisted and hateful as his Ignis deep down? Or worse, was he a normal and nice guy to begin with, similar to Earth having a twisted partner as Spectre, only in reverse?
  • Episode 93 "Promise With Each Other": Soulburner explodes while also crying, voicing his outrage towards Bohman and Lightning for setting up a Duel between Playmaker and Kusanagi (which ended in Kusanagi's termination), and vows to make both Bohman and Lightning pay.
  • Episode 94: "Raging Soul": Bohman summons Paradox Hydradrive Atlas, the monstrosity used to tear Cyberse World down. Being too big to fit in the duel field, the cyclopean beast instead ominously sticks its head through the water walls. In-Universe, its mere presence stirs all sorts of negative emotions within Flame, even causing him to glitch.
  • Episode 95: "Radiance of the Phoenix": Windy wasn't lying when he claimed he'll linger on as a curse within Flame, reemerging from him in the middle of Soulburner's Duel with Bohman. Windy attempts to mutilate Flame and appears to do the same to Soulburner by infecting him with some sort of... substance, only to be stopped by Flame and reabsorbed.
  • Episode 96: "Lightning's Crime":
    • With his secrets laid to bare, Lightning reveals just how messed up he truly is - all that posturing about his actions being for the greater good of the Ignis? It's a complete lie. When running simulations regarding human-Ignis relations, he found the same outcome for every possible future taking his involvement into account: the complete breakdown of not only his own relationship with humanity but all human-Ignis relations, and eventually the annihilation of human and Ignis alike, whereas his fellow Ignis had no such problems, all having some potential to live in harmony with humanity. He's so flawed that Dr. Kogami erroneously concluded that the Ignis as a whole would turn against humanity, when really, the entire flaw laid solely on Lightning. Unable to accept these results, Lightning rationalizes his faults as being flaws inherent to all the Ignis as immature programs. Creating Bohman to fix "their" flaws, he then goes on to initiate his plan to combine all the Ignis into Bohman, bringing about tremendous suffering for human and Ignis alike in the process. Not only is he to blame for so many of the problems the Ignis have suffered from, directly or otherwise, he can't even claim to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist; he just went so ballistic at the thought of being a complete and utter disaster of a sentient being that he decided to bring everything down around him until he was on top.
    • His psychotic breakdown as Revolver reveals these facts doesn't help his image any either, abandoning whatever pretense of nobility he had left and revealing how little he cares about his fellow Ignis, raving about his superiority over the likes of Ai and dismissing all the suffering they had all gone through at his hands since they will all become one in Bohman anyway, leaving Ai disgusted and horrified by just how twisted and insane the so-called "leader" of the Ignis has really been all this time.
    • Knowing what we know now about Lightning, this makes one wonder what he actually did or said to Windy of all people to twist his mindset so much that turned the Wind Ignis into the hate-fill thug that he is today. If it wasn't for this so-called "leader", Windy would've been just as normal and compassionate towards human beings as Ai, Flame, and Aqua were. note  For starters, Windy's Origin would still be alive and, most likely, be part of the main cast. note 
  • Episode 97: "Ignis Unification Plan":
    • It turns out that Lightning was indeed responsible for Windy's corruption. However it gets even more horrifying than that, because as it turns out, before Lightning's reprogramming, Windy used to be pure good as in no evil inside of him and no feelings of animosity against humanity. It's truly horrifying that Lightning turned one of his own kind in pretty much another version of himself, but even more unstable.
    • Lightning using Jin as a shield, but not his avatar Jin, but the real Jin who's rather horrified what's happening to him.
  • Episode 98: "The AI Crosses the Line":
    • Lightning reveals that during the Hanoi Project, he subjected his Origin Jin Kusanagi to this trope over and over as a form of Mind Rape. Every time the poor boy was at his lowest, he'd make him believe he was being being finally rescued, only to then force on him nightmarish visions such as his saviors turning into rotting skeletons. Not only did Lightning do this purely for his own amusement, he casually notes how he "accidentally" broke Jin by pushing him too far akin to a child breaking their favorite toy.
    • Though Revolver knows more about the Light Ignis' crimes than anyone besides the Ignis himself, it turns out his declaration of Lightning being "the root of all evil" was much more on point than even he realized. Remember how Dr. Kogami was returned to Ryoken in a coma that he could only barely retrieve his consciousness from? That particular deed wasn't on Sol Technologies; it was Lightning's doing. This lays almost the entirety of Revolver's own villainy - his start of darkness, his mission to destroy the Ignis, the extreme measures he took over the course of Season One - all at Lightning's own feet. As if his own evil nature being responsible for the Ignis-Hanoi war in the first place wasn't enough, he essentially instigated it himself with a conscious act of cruelty.
    • Along the lines of Fridge Horror, Lightning managed to survive his DRAW with Revolver by converting what little of Jin's consciousness data he had left for 1 life point since Bohman took custody of the rest of Jin's (and Specter's) data. If Revolver had gone through with his final attack against Lightning during the Hostage Situation, only Jin and Specter will be deleted to refuel Lightning's life points while Lightning himself would be inconvenienced somewhat, but still in the fight with an advantage since Revolver cannot attack directly, making their deaths senseless.
  • Episode 99: "Door to the New World":
    • Not content with merely absorbing the Ignis into himself, Bohman plans to do this to every single person trapped in LINK VRAINS, absorbing their minds and leaving their avatars/bodies as Empty Shells while turning himself into a Mind Hive. He does this several times during his first turn, and every time he does Playmaker and Ai are subjected to the horrifying sound of countless people screaming in terror and agony across the network.

Season 3: Ai's Rebellion Arc

  • Episode 105: "Intercept": Ai's message to Akira is basically a death threat which includes when he's going to kill him and that Akira only has a few days left to enjoy his life. What makes this truly horrifying is that Ai said it and this shows that he truly changed since Akira was actually one of his allies, but now he's willing to hospitalize him like Queen to achieve his goal.
  • Episode 106: "Good Luck, Roboppi!!": Ai, someone who once fought alongside Playmaker for the co-existence of humans and AI, is now against Playmaker and now wants to carry on Lightning’s wishes. Also, Roboppi, in a cheerful tone, declares that humans are the worst creatures and wants to turn all of them into experience points, getting rid of all of them so they can clean the world in peace and raise their ranking.
  • Episode 114: "Dreaming Roboppi": Roboppi snapping during their duel with Soulburner due to being unable to handle Ai's program.
  • Episode 119: The reason for Ai's betrayal is revealed: he found Lightning's simulation program of what would happen if humans and Ignis tried to co-exist. You'd think that the simulation, now in the hands of the Ignis most optimistic for human-Ignis relations, would cough up a better result. It didn't. Every single simulation ends in a world-ending war, no matter how extensively or repeatedly Ai modified the program. Even dead, Lightning crushed Ai's hopes and dreams from beyond the grave, convincing him that there was truly no hope for the Ignis.
  • Episode 120: "Connected World": One of the simulations of humanity's future Ai ran saw a tank mercilessly gunning down Yusaku while defending Ai. Sure, it was silhouetted and there was no visible bloodshed, but that didn't make it any less brutal.