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|“||You're the first one to see it. No one else knows this clan exists yet. The entire clan is the Void's avatar. A messenger that's come to spread the shadow. Through all life on Cray and Earth... Travelling across space and time, it signals destruction. It's existed for millions of years to reach this point. It's evolved into its ultimate form. An entity of unspeakable power.||„|
|~ Takuto Reverse describing the Star-Vaders to Toshiki Kai.|
|“||We have locked the laws of the world. We shall become the new law.||„|
|~ Star-vader, Nebula Lord Dragon.|
The Link Joker are a major antagonistic faction in the Cardfight!! Vanguard anime. It is the embodiment of Void, an evil entity that consumes planets and drains them of their life force. The invading force sent by Void are known as Star-vaders. Prior to the beginning of the series, the Star-vaders had destroyed at least three planets. Star-vader units are recognized by their prominent black rings with red auras.
After the defeat of Void and the destruction of Link Joker's Seed, the protector god of Cray, Harmonics Messiah purified Link Joker as benevolent beings who now wish to atone for their sins, these pure Link Jokers are known as Messiahs.
There are two other factions within Link Joker, which have only appeared in the manga and its adaptations, namely the 2018 reboot and the movie, Neon Messiah. These factions are: Deletors, which are an invading force sent from the wandering planet Brandt, and Starhulks, which are the creatures native to planet Brandt.
Link Joker is most notable for their "Lock" ability, both in their Vanguard card forms and in their invader forms.
|“||The forces which have taken over Star Gate should not exist on this planet, this galaxy, or even this dimension.||„|
|~ Strike Star-vader, Krypton.|
Link Joker was created by an evil entity known as "Void" to be its main army to invade and consume planets. The inhabitants of Planet Brandt the "Deletors" were also made into part of the Link Joker organization. Whenever Void would begin consuming a Planet Link Joker would then invade the planet directly, during the invasions they capture and posses the inhabitants of those planets, who would then become Void's slaves, a process known as "Яeverse". Beings infected by the "Яeverse" phenomenon become more powerful but quickly lose their free will and eventually become part of Link Joker, symbolized by them having the same black rings featured by Star-Vader units. At least three planets had fallen to the Link Joker.
Void's next target was Planet Cray, which is inhabited by powerful creatures and civilizations, who initially attempted to fend off the invading darkness but Void would consume approximately 50% of the planet's surface. However, due to Planet Cray's psychic connection with Earth through the game "Cardfight!! Vanguard", the god Harmonics Messiah was able to intervene via a being named Takuto Tatsunagi, who gave selected humans the power PSY-Qualia, which allows them to control the events of Cray reflected by their actions when playing the game Vanguard. This allowed humans to help Cray's population to fight off Void, Void manipulated Leon Soryu into sabotaging Cray's resistance by promising to restore the lost clan Aqua Force in return but once Leon learned that Void was the one responsible for Aqua Force's disappearance he sided with Tatsunagi and assisted in protecting Cray which forced Void to retreat temporarily.
Infuriated by its initial defeat, Void decided to take a more direct approach and sent Link Joker to invade the planet once more, converting many units into "Яeverse" slaves. Void also exploited Cray and Earth's connection to invade Earth by having Link Joker appear in the form of Vanguard cards and begin Reversing humans as well. Whenever a Cardfighter would lose a fight against a Яeverse cardfighter, the loser also becomes a Яeverse, this was also reflected by several Vanguard cards becoming Яeverse cards, which Яeverse units. Whenever there's a large concentration of Яeverse fighters, Link Joker's Black Rings would also appear.
An envoy of Link Joker took over Takuto Tatsunagi's body in order to exploit his power and accelerate the process of taking over Earth when the black Link Joker rings became large enough to cover the entire planet, this also leaft the real Takuto as a disembodied astral projection unable to do anything to stop Link Joker. Toshiki Kai was made into one of the first Яeverse Fighters on Earth who would then proceed to spread the Яeverse invasion across the world.
Link Joker's invasion was stopped when the non-Яeverse cardfighters around the world banded together to fight against the many Яeverse fighters, while the Cardfighters with PSY-Qualia faced against the envoy of Link Joker controlling Takuto's body. Eventually Takuto and Link Joker were defeated by Aichi Sendou with the help of the real Takuto, forcing the invading army to leave Earth but not before implanting a "seed" into Aichi's body which would consume his soul over time and make him into the new host of Link Joker. Similarly, the Link Joker invaders in Cray were defeated ending their invasion, however a small group of Link Joker survivors went into hiding scheming their return.
Aichi, fully aware that he was doomed to become the next Link Joker leader, decided that the only way to prevent Link Joker's return was to seal himself away forever alongside Link Joker and erase everyone's memories of his existence so that no one could ever unseal him and unintentionally reawaken Link Joker. Aichi recruited the four best Cardfighters around the world to form the Quattre Knights which would guard his seal and attack anyone who would attempt to find him. Known to Aichi, one of the Quattre Knights, Raul Serra, was secretly planning to backstab Aichi and steal Link Joker for himself.
Toshiki Kai was the only one who didn't lose his memories of Aichi, and began recruiting other close friends of Aichi to help him find Aichi by also reactivating their locked memories. The Quattre Knights soon became aware of Kai's motivations which began a conflict between the two groups. Serra manipulated the event to culminate with most of Kai's group being defeated but also have the Quattre Knights defeated as well to have Aichi's seal broken while also eliminating any opposition who could stop him from taking Link Joker for himself. Serra somehow obtained a Link Joker deck for himself to use once he revealed himself to be a traitor.
Serra's schemes were stopped when Kai and the other Quattre Knights joined forces to stop him, which also erased all of Serra's memories of Link Joker. Despite Serra being defeated however, Aichi was now fully awakened and Link Joker was just about to consume his body. Aichi and Kai had one final cardfight, after Aichi was defeated the seed of Link Joker was preparing to infect Kai as its new host but Aichi's key unit Blaster Blade intervened and slashed the Link Joker seed multiple times over, after which the fragments attached themselves to all the people in the area while others traveled to Earth. Blaster Blade explained that the Seed cannot be permanently destroyed, but by having it be severed over and over Link Joker's will to be invaders under Void's control would also be weakened over time eventually Link Joker becomes just another clan in planet Cray.
The last remainders of Link Joker were taken under Harmonics Messiah's watch, who then proceeded to recreate the clan with himself as the new leader to be the guardians of Planet Cray. On Earth, Messiah presented himself as a Link Joker deck to Kouji Ibuki, a man who once attempted to destroy Vanguard before through the use of the Link Joker faction known as the Deletors, as a means to redeem himself. Ibuki prominently used the Messiah deck to protect Vanguard and Cray from future threats.
A small group of Star-Vaders who remained evil, led by Chaos Breaker Dragon, managed to escape from planet Cray. Chaos Breaker joined the Apostles and assisted in their plans to revive the Dragon Deity of Destruction, Gyze, Messiah's archnemesis who would attempt to destroy both Cray and Earth when awakened.
Link Joker is once again present as a major antagonist in the 2018 reboot of the anime, however because Void and the Star-Vaders are absent, Link Joker's orgin is different. In the Reboot Link Joker's main faction is the Deletors, the native inhabitants of Planet Brandt. The Deletors made their way to Planet Earth by presenting themselves as a Vanguard deck to Kouji Ibuki, a man who held a strong grudge against the game. The Deletors convinced Ibuki to use the Link Joker deck to "Delete" other Vanguard fighters by defeating them in Cardfights which in turn severed their connection to Planet Cray. The leader of the Deletors, Waving Deletor Greidhol also took control of Takuto Tatsunagi and began an outbreak of "PSY-Qualia Zombies" to facilitate Brandt's invasion of Earth as well as Cray.
Planet Brandt's invasion against both Cray and Earth was stopped when Harmonics Messiah merged himself with Blaster Blade in order to create "Messianic Lord Blaster" who proceeded to defeat the invaders. Link Joker was once again purified by Harmonics Messiah after the god took Planet Brandt under its care giving it a proper home. Messiah then gave Ibuki a new Link Joker deck, albeit based around the Messiah archetype. This new Messiah Link Joker deck had the power to undo the Deletion that Ibuki had inflicted on other Cardfighters, Ibuki used this deck to atone for his previous wrong doings.
Chakrabarthi Divine Era
The battle against Gyze destroyed large portions of Planet Cray and caused Harmonics Messiah to fall into a state of hibernation, this in turn caused Cray's civilization to collapse as the six nations crumbled without Messiah's guidance and the Clans dissolved. The era without deities lasted for 3,000 years, Cray's civilization slowly recovered and new nations were formed in what is now known as the "Chakrabarthi Divine Era". Link Joker joined the other clans that once belonged to the Star Gate nation and formed the new Brand Gate nation, where Link Joker's inhabitants now reside and protect Cray from otherworldly threats.
Powers and Abilities
- Lock: Star-Vaders and Messiahs are able to temporarily imprison weaker beings within black energy fields made up of Void energy surrounded by the signature black rings associated with the clan. Beings imprisoned by Lock are completely unable to do anything until the Lock wears off, stronger Link-Joker units are able to harness the ability "Omega Lock" which makes a Lock never wear off, leaving the being inside it trapped forever. The Messiahs use Lock for different purposes; they Lock themselves to store energy then unleash it when they are unlocked.
- Яeverse: Certain Star-Vaders are able to grant creatures from other species huge amounts of power from the Void, at the expense of their own free will. These beings are known as Яeversed, and as Link Joker's slaves, will obey any order from Link Joker commanders. Creatures can only be Яeversed if they have a surge of negative emotions in their heart, or if they intentionally submit themselves to the power of Link Joker, such as with Cocytus, the Imprisoned Necromancer and Ashlei, the strongest Jewel Knight. Chaos Breaker is the only Link Joker commander who is shown to have this power. Units that are Яeversed are given a black ring aura similar to the ones carried by Link Joker units. In the case of Blaster Blade, he was corrupted by Link Joker in a similar fashion but without becoming a Яeverse himself. On Earth, humans are Яeversed when they lose a cardfight to someone using a Link Joker deck or to another Яeversed human, at the same time however if a Яeversed human loses the Яeverse is undone.
- While creatures have shown to be able to break free from Яeverse's control after the defeat of the Star-Vaders, it often causes permanent damage to their bodies, as seen with Luquier and Cocytus.
- World End: "Omega" Glendios, the doomsday weapon created by Chaos Breaker, is able to instantly obliterate a planet, should there be enough locked creatures within.
- Rewriting History: Garnet Star Dragon and Photon, both members of the Star-Vaders, were able to erase Blaster Blade's existance, after capturing him and corrupting his mind and body.
- Delete: Exclusive to Deletors, this ability allows them to instantly disintegrate any being they can get their hands on. If a cardfighter loses a fight when their Vanguard is Deleted this has the side effect of severing their connection with Planet Cray rendering unable to use Vanguard cards again, which in turn weakens the connection bewteen the two worlds.
In the actual card game itself, Link Joker cards have a red aura effect over the name "Link Joker" printed in the clan box section of the card. Link Joker is the only clan in the game that features a unique effect in the clan naming.
- Яeversed units in other clans feature the same red aura effect in the word "Яeverse" in their name box as well.
- In the Overdress series, the Brandt Gate nation has a blue neon light effect in the name box which is reminiscent to the Link Joker red aura effect; fittingly the now purified Link Joker is part of Brandt Gate.