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Yakuza: Like a Dragon

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Overview

A JRPG set in the Yakuza franchise, starring a brand new protagonist.

Plot

In 2001, Ichiban Kasuga, a junior member of the Tojo Clan’s Arakawa Family, is asked by the family’s patriarch Masumi Arakawa to go to prison for a murder that he did not commit to protect the presumed killer, Jo Sawashiro, his right-hand man that Arakawa considers indispensable. Kasuga agrees, hoping that this will make him a hero in the Tojo Clan, and is eager to repay Arakawa for saving his life in his youth. Eighteen years later, Kasuga is released from prison only to find that nobody remembers him, and no one from his family is even waiting to meet him when he gets out. Instead, he is met by ex-detective Koichi Adachi, who explains that while Kasuga was in jail, Arakawa’s son Masato died from an illness. Arakawa betrayed the Tojo Clan by revealing their operations to the police, allowing the rival Omi Alliance to move in and take over Kamurocho. Arakawa himself has since risen to be the de facto leader of the Omi Alliance. Adachi teams up with Kasuga, as he suspects Arakawa bribed a police commissioner. With Adachi’s help, Kasuga crashes a meeting Arakawa is holding but is shot.

Three days later, Kasuga regains consciousness in Ijincho, saved and nursed back to health by Yu Nanba, a local homeless man, and a former nurse. Kasuga quickly learns that somebody deliberately dumped his body beyond the Omi Alliance’s reach due to the Ijin Three’s presence, a tenuous alliance between the Chinese Liumang, Korean Geomijul, and Japanese Seiryu Clan criminal groups. Kasuga also discovers someone smuggled a counterfeit bill in his pocket for unknown reasons. Adachi manages to reunite with Kasuga and Nanba, and they begin taking odd jobs to earn a living while helping people in need. However, one of their bosses, Nonomiya, is murdered by the Chinese Liumang group. Kasuga and his friends investigate one of the Liumang’s officers, Akira Mabuchi. Saeko Mukoda, one of Nonomiya’s employees, joins the group to help with their investigation.

Kasuga and his friends become embroiled in a conspiracy involving a massive counterfeiting ring being run by the Ijin Three at the behest of Yutaka Ogikubo, one of Japan’s most powerful politicians. Tokyo Governor Ryo Aoki is also involved, as he uses his connections with the Omi Alliance to wage war to undermine the Ijin Three’s power while at the same time propping up the anti-crime activist group Bleach Japan to bolster his public image. However, Kasuga recognizes Aoki as Masato, who admits he faked his death and assumed a new identity to purge his yakuza past and become a politician. It is also revealed that he is the real reason Kasuga ended up in jail eighteen years ago. Aoki exposes the Ijin Three’s counterfeiting operation, ruining Ogikubo’s reputation and paving Aoki’s way to take his place as the party chairman. Despite Kasuga and his friends’ best efforts, they fail to stop the Omi Alliance from crushing the Ijin Three. With their factions in tatters, the former Liumang leader Tianyou Zhao and Geomijul agent Yeonsu Kim join Kasuga’s party. Afterward, Seiryu Clan leader Ryuhei Hoshino reveals to Kasuga that the counterfeit bill smuggled in his pocket is a secret message from Arakawa, proving that Arakawa is still concerned about Kasuga’s safety and shot him to fake his death.

With the Omi Alliance set to take over Ijincho’s underworld, Aoki sets his sights on taking over Ijincho’s politics by putting one of his Bleach Japan loyalists, Souta Kume, in the running for regional representative. With few other avenues of resisting Aoki, Kasuga comes up with the idea of running their own candidate to defeat Kume in the election, denying Aoki his victory. During their preparations, Kasuga hears of an important Omi Alliance meeting in Osaka that Arakawa will attend. He infiltrates the meeting and finds Arakawa with Daigo Dojima and other ex-Tojo Clan members. Both Arakawa and Dojima reveal that Arakawa is a double agent who had been weakening the Omi Alliance from within. Arakawa also reveals that when the real leader of the Omi Alliance, Masaru Watase, is released from prison, they will make a joint announcement to formally disband both the Omi Alliance and Tojo Clan to prevent them from being used as tools of the government. The announcement goes as planned, which enrages most of the Omi Alliance members, and a brawl begins as Kasuga and his allies protect Watase and Dojima. Kazuma Kiryu also makes a return as Watase’s bodyguard.

After the successful yakuza dissolution, Kasuga meets with Arakawa, and the two reconcile. However, Arakawa ends up being murdered later that night, with the main suspect being Aoki. Kasuga runs against Kume in the election in an effort to draw out Aoki, but Aoki instead orders Sawashiro to assassinate Hoshino as retaliation. Kasuga is unable to prevent Hoshino’s death. However, Sawashiro turns himself in to the police and reveals that Aoki is his son, and Kasuga is Arakawa’s son, but both children were switched at birth due to an unlikely coincidence. In order to stop Aoki permanently, Kasuga and his friends raid the Arakawa headquarters to find evidence they can use to incriminate him. They trick Aoki into ordering a hit on Kasuga and leak the recording online, exposing his true nature. Kasuga pleads with Aoki to give up, as he let his reckless ambition destroy everybody close to him. Aoki is about to come around but is fatally stabbed by Kume, who had suffered a psychotic break after learning of Aoki’s criminal actions.

Sometime later, the evidence found in Arakawa’s headquarters leads to the arrest of all of the corrupt officials he conspired with. Kasuga attends Arakawa and Aoki’s funeral. Rather than take Watase and Dojima’s offer to join him in Osaka in a new legitimate security firm consisting of former Omi and Tojo men, he decides to remain in Ijincho to stay with his friends keep watch over the city.

Main Characters

  • Ichiban Kasuga – The main protagonist, a low-level bagman, working under the Arakawa family in the Tojo Clan, until the day when he is forced to confess to the murder of another Tojo yakuza. After emerging from prison 18 years later, Kasuga tries to find answers to what happened and why the Arakawa patriarch now refuses to acknowledge him.
  • Koichi Adachi – A former Detective Sergeant in the Kanagawa Prefecture was demoted to the traffic department after butting heads with his superiors on a case where they did not want to admit their mistake in sending an innocent man to jail. After being fired days before his retirement with no pension, Adachi joins Ichi in his quest while hoping to find out more information on the police chief who demoted him.
  • Nanba – A black-market nurse who was fired after allegedly stealing drugs from the hospital he worked at, Nanba now resides in a homeless encampment in Isezaki Ijincho in Yokohama and saved Ichi from the verge of death.
  • Saeko Mukoda – Nanoha’s twin sister who came to Isezaki Ijincho to mourn the death of a mutual friend, later joins Ichi’s group.
  • Eri Kamataki – The clerk and acting CEO of Ichiban Confections who seeks Ichi’s help to bring her company back in the black. Eri is an optional party member who can be gained through the Ichiban Confections subquest.
  • Joon-gi Han – The #2 man of the Geomijul, a Korean syndicate, within Isezaki Ijincho. He reports directly to Seong-hui.
  • Tianyou Zhao – The leader of the Liumang, a Chinese gang, with surprisingly good cooking skills and a laid-back demeanor.

Classes

Unique to their respective character:

  • Freelancer – Kasuga’s starting class, a basic fistfighter and grappling class that cannot equip weapons.
  • Hero – Kasuga’s unique class (after Chapter 3), a Paladin-type job that wields a bat with plenty of powerful blunt and AoE attacks, as well as Party-wide buffs that get stronger the higher Kasuga’s social stats are.
  • Detective – Adachi’s unique class, with plenty of single-target attacks that can enrage or stun enemies. Equips a police baton,
  • Homeless Guy – Nanba’s unique class, a mage-type job useful for casting magic and debuffing skills, with some minor healing techniques. Equipment includes umbrellas or staves.
  • Barmaid – Saeko’s unique class, a support class that offers good stats in Magic and Healing but weirdly focuses on blunt attack skills. Wields a purse in combat.
  • Hitman – Joon-gi’s unique class, an assassin-style class that uses a mix of powerful blunt-force strikes mixed with a deadly karambit that can cause Bleeding or a pair of pistols. Equips gloves or brass knuckles in combat.
  • Gangster – Zhao’s unique class, a very agile job that makes use of blunt and blade attacks and can debuff in different ways. Zhao equips a Chinese saber in combat.
  • Clerk – Eri’s unique class, making use of office supplies to cut through enemies, and has skills to debuff enemies’ Accuracy and Evasion. Wields boxcutters or sharp rulers.

Available to male characters

  • Bodyguard – A class that specializes in wielding a katana and skills that cause bleeding, or get stronger the lower their HP is.
  • Breaker – A class that wears magical anklets, using their extreme dance skills to buff themselves and deliver multiple hits to the enemy.
  • Fortuneteller – Sage-type class that specializes in using their crystal balls to buff and revive friends, or deal heavy magical damage to enemies.
  • Enforcer – Knight-type class that equips a special riot shield (with additional baton) to defend themselves and swing against enemies.
  • Musician – A bard who strums their guitar and can build up “Voltage” to enhance their own attacks, or provide buffs/debuffs to others with their singing.
  • Host – Carries a custom wine bottle with them, can steal items or debuff enemies with their skills.
  • Foreman – A strong class that can attack enemies with a large hammer or fiery explosives. Letting Kasuga at Level 1 of this job unlocks the “Demolish” ability, which can be used to smash through flimsy barricades outside of battle.
  • Chef – Wielding dual spatulas or spoons, this class makes use of a wide assortment of tools to leave enemies bleeding or burning.
  • Devil Rocker [DLC] – Attacks with an electric guitar and skills that can debuff enemies in multiple ways.

Available to female characters

  • Hostess – Similar to the Host job above, a class that can debuff enemies or damage them with ice-based attacks. Wields a magical makeup pouch.
  • Idol – A support class that mostly focuses on healing allies with some skills that can charm enemies. Wields a large microphone.
  • Dealer – A high risk, high reward class that can deal heavy damage or debuff enemies if luck is on their side. Wields a deck of very sharp cards.
  • Night Queen – A dominatrix with several abilities that can brainwash enemies while damaging them, or even a chance to instantly KO weaker enemies. Wields a whip.
  • Matriarch [DLC] – A Yakuza Queen who can heavily damage enemies with her naginata or gun-based skills.

Development

The game had previously been teased during the announcement of Yakuza Online and Project Judge. It has since been officially unveiled on March 20th, 2018, where Sega has also set up an audition for young actresses set to play Ichiban’s female partner.

Latest On Yakuza: Like a Dragon

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All game data on this page is sourced via Giant Bomb.

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