|This article is about a/an hero turned ally in VR Troopers.|
Tyler Steele is Ryan Steele's father. In the middle of season one, in the four-part "Defending Dark Heart" series, it was revealed that Grimlord's warrior Dark Heart is actually Tyler himself, after being captured and brainwashed. When Ryan brought Dark Heart to the lab in part 2, the Troopers decided to transfer memories (mostly of Ryan's childhood and the VR Trooper project with the Professor) from the lab's computer and their VR Visors to Dark Heart to get him to remember. The transfer was successful and Dark Heart had become Tyler Steele in mind, but not yet body. But even after that, Dark Heart decided to return to Grimlord's dungeon. In part 3, after attacking the lab, Grimlord sent Ryan an invitation to rescue his father without the aide of his two fellow Troopers, and Ryan accepted knowing it was a trap. In part 4, he successfully rescued Tyler on his VR Turbo Cycle and, as Grimlord's forces continued the attack on the Professor's lab, the two headed to a long and forgotten secret lab in the mountains to restore him to human form. Grimlord's forces attack that lab, so they headed to the Virtual Dungeon, with Grimlord threatening to self-destruct the dungeon and replace the oxygen with poison in an attempt to destroy the Steeles. Tyler was successfully restored to his human form, but was recaptured by Grimlord and taken back to virtual reality. During the time that followed, Ryan fought for video footage and the proof that his father was still alive in the episode "Message from Space". Ryan saw his father in the episode "Trooper Out of Time" when he traveled to the past and saved his younger half from Strickland in a Skug fight, but had to return to the present before having a chance to speak to him. In the five-part "Quest for Power" mini-series, Grimlord transferred all of Tyler's knowledge of virtual reality into a green energy prism to upgrade to the Virtual Dark Fortress and build a new army; Ryan attempts to rescue him as Grimlord successfully self-destructs the Virtual Dungeon, but gets trapped in the explosion and eventually survives. When Tyler was held prisoner with the other two Troopers in a cavernous temporary dungeon in reality, Ryan, knowing his powers were almost gone, went against Professor Hart's advice and headed to the cave to battle Grimlord's remaining old army to rescue all three of them. The rescue was successful, but even though the Professor recharged Ryan's powers before sending him to battle, the battle itself ultimately resulted in the loss of his powers and the melting of his Virtualizer. The Troopers then turned to Tao to revive Tyler, who then began work on Ryan's new powers, which required a perfectly-structured crystal for Ryan's new Virtualizer. In the episode "The Negative Factor", he would appear on the lab's screens to inform Ryan about the new VR Troopertron, a robot created using the Skybase. Ryan would later see his father again in the episode "The Disk" featuring a scientist and his daughter who brought a computer program that, while programmed to destroy Grimlord's world, also contained glitches in the Troopers' powers; the reunion was short-lived as Tyler had to travel with the scientist to Norway to work on a new computer program designed to destroy Grimlord's world. His final appearance since his rescue was in the Christmas episode "Santa's Secret Trooper", in which he got to ride in Santa Claus' sleigh. All appearances of him thereafter were in flashbacks.
Dark Heart (voiced by Kerrigan Mahan in the first appearance, Richard Epcar in the second appearance) was the fiercest of the mutants (aside from General Ivar) in Grimlord's army as well as a key lieutenant. He retains some of his human traits such as a belief in fair play. His battle with Ryan resulted in failure however. With Grimlord disappointed, he arranged for Dark Heart's execution. Dark Heart escaped with Ryan's help and joined him in assaulting the Virtual Dungeon. Both of them managed to escape before the Virtual Dungeon self-destructed and Dark Heart was eventually restored to human form after being wounded by Decimator. However, his freedom was short lived as Grimlord transported him back to Virtual Reality as Grimlord still needed Tyler Steele for his next plot. Outside of that, Dark Heart fits the category of Zelton's army.
Appearances: VR Troopers Episode 31-34
"Darkheart" is a playable character in the VR Troopers video game. His special moves are Blast, Cloak, and Shield.
- Violent Spirit Top Gunder - counterpart in Choujinki Metalder. See comparison page. (primary counterpart)
- Doctor Ben - counterpart in Jikuu Senshi Spielban. See comparison page. (secondary counterpart, former villain role)
- Shingo Ogi - counterpart in Choujinki Metalder. See comparison page. (tertiary counterpart)
- Dr. Ryuichiro Koga - counterpart in Choujinki Metalder. See comparison page. (creation of VR powers)