Mr. Shakedown is a special enemy type encountered in Yakuza 0, that is extremely large and tough. Mr. Shakedown is actually several large and muscular men who occupy both Kamurocho and Sotenbori, looking to shake money off of people to further their own ends.
Each Mr. Shakedown varies in appearance and dress different in each town,(Ex. Egashira wears wears a suit, glasses, and fedora in Kamurocho. Kawahashi wears a red tank top and camouflage pants). One feature they all share is a large physique and tall figure, even a few feet taller than Kiryu and Majima.
Despite all Mr. Shakedown having the same fighting style and the same end goal, their personalities and backstories are different between them all.
Hiroya Egashira, the first Mr. Shakedown, has the dream of becoming the strongest being of the universe. To achieve this, he undertakes extremely intense training that a normal human shouldn't ever take (like, for example, fighting sharks underwater without protection but with his bare fists), but since these trainings cost a humongous amount of money, he has to shake down civilians to pay for them.
However, this goal comes to a stop thanks to Kiryu, who keeps beating him, and Hiroya comes to realize that he will never be the strongest being as long as Kiryu is around, so he keeps shaking down people to get even more intense training in hopes of beating him one day.
Unlike Hiroya, Yuki Sato's motivation is far more simple: he simply gets pissed off at Kiryu, and while at first there is no visible reason, it is then revealed that the fact that Kiryu keeps winning against him is the reason he keeps getting angry.
Naoya Kawakashi, the first Mr. Shakedown that Majima encounters, shakes down money from civilians to pay for frivolous pleasures such as drinks and women. After beating him several times, he tells Majima that the reason he shakes down people instead of getting a respectable job it's because his father told him that, since he was now a man, he had to live for himself and never depend on anyone. Much to the dismay of the civilians in Sotenbori, Naoya misunderstood this.
Kenji Oe, at first, attacks Majima for no reason, very similarly to Yuki Sato. At first, it is thought that Oe comes from a very poor background and he simply attacks Majima because he hates rich people.
After beating him several times, it is revealed Oe attacked Majima because he was jealous of his beautiful, long hair, and that the reason he keeps shaking down people is to pay for an extremely expensive treatment to grow hair. Majima tries to convince him that the treatment is a scam, and although at first he is successful, a set of hair puns cause Oe to get angry and get back to the shaking.
In combat, Mr. Shakedowns are the physical incarnations of the Mighty Glacier trope. All of their attacks are very slow and sometimes even downright clumsy, but they have a lot of health (especially after you've beaten them a few times), they deal a lot of damage if they ever land an attack, and have permanent hyper armor, rendering it impossible to interrupt their attacks normally. In fact, even with an inventory maxed out with healing items, fighting a Mr. Shakedown with low base health is nearly suicidal; there are a handful of attacks that the Mr. Shakedowns can use that are one-hit-kills at low, and even "max" (barring Legend style health upgrades or special equipment), base health.
Because of this, it is important to focus on making sure you get hit as little as possible when facing him, be it if you are fighting him honorably (without the use of weapons or even healing items) or pragmatically.
Mr. Shakedown's moveset and the strategies against them can be boiled down as follows:
- His basic combo: A wild right haymaker, an equally wild left kick, and finally a double hammer fist swing. While each individual attack is slow and telegraphed, Mr. Shakedown may or may not combo these attacks at all. Sometimes he'll just punch, sometimes he'll punch and follow it up with a kick, and other times he'll do the full combo.
Consequently, the power of his combo lies in its unpredictability and its exploitation of the player's impulse to punish a missed attack. Unless you have good reflexes, after dodging one attack, you usually have two options: you can wait to see if he's following it up and keep out of range but lose your punish, or you can close in and punish, and open yourself up to a follow up attack if he does decide to chain another attack. The only time when you can guarantee both a safe evasion and a punish is when he follows up his kick with the third and final hit in his chain.
- A wild 180-degree swing with both arms. This is one of his "fastest" attacks and it hits for a wide arc around him, meaning a side dodge could still leave you in range. Getting hit will also throw you off your feet. However, the attack itself is so wild and clumsy that it turns Mr. Shakedown's back to you, and he takes long enough to recover that even if you are hit, he doesn't have enough time to follow up with a ground attack, and the attack lacks in forward range. Consequently, if you can evade this strike (which is quite easy if you aren't caught up in a combo), you will have plenty of time to safely pummel Mr. Shakedown as he recovers from all the momentum.
- A guarded charge not unlike the one found in Kiryu's Beast style. This attack covers a lot of forward range and Mr. Shakedown actually moves quite fast for his size, so if you aren't careful, you will be knocked down. This attack is dangerous not just because of the damage it deals, but because getting hit by it will knock you down right next to him, opening you to his devastating ground attacks.
- A monstrous stomp attack that he uses when you are down. If it connects, at the very best it will take out a huge chunk of your health. At worst, it's a one-hit kill, especially when you're not the walking beatdown that's attainable only after billions of yen spent in self-investment. In later fights, a Mr. Shakedown in his "orange" heat state will one-shot you even at max health (barring Legend style health upgrades or special equipment) with his stomp attack.
- A less powerful ground attack where Mr. Shakedown picks you up by the leg and slams you on the ground.
- A pounce attack that is easily avoidable, but if caught, will absolutely guarantee your defeat unless you have either upgraded your Legend health to an absurd level, or you have equipped a sacrifice stone (a piece of equipment that restores your health to full when it hits zero, but gets consumed afterwards). The attack is telegraphed by Mr. Shakedown angrily pumping his arms before he leaps at you.
If you evade the pounce, you will have a short window to punish him - but because he will stumble forward quite a bit of distance after missing the pounce, you'll have to chase after him following your evasion, or else you'll just be punching air.
If you get caught by the pounce, Mr. Shakedown will knock you over (dealing quite a bit of damage), straddle you, raise his arms and shout in victory, and then precede to turn your face into mashed potatoes as you are prompted to mash a button rather uselessly - uselessly because each punch that Mr. Shakedown lands in this beatdown does about the same damage as that of a stomp attack, and not only does he land six of them, but, assuming you survived all this, he'll pick you up by the leg and slam you on the ground, dealing further damage.
In short, never let him land the pounce, at all costs.
- A "counterattack" that comes in two forms: one of the type that Kiryu's Brawler style features, where Mr. Shakedown just tanks your attacks, flashes red, and hits back; and another type where Mr. Shakedown just reaches forward and grabs you, lifting you up in the air to stop your combo. In the latter case, your character automatically escapes his grasp before he can literally rip you in two.
As you defeat Mr. Shakedown more and more, he will get stronger and faster and richer alongside you. In the late game, Mr. Shakedown has upwards of six health bars and can carry more than 2 billion yen, even more if he's taken your money in the past and/or you unlocked upgrades for him to carry around more money.
Like all boss-type enemies, once he has taken enough damage, Mr. Shakedown will enter Heat Mode. He has a fire-type heat mode like Kuze. In Heat Mode, he will not be staggered by any non-Heat attacks; he hits harder and moves faster; attacks that normally stagger you will knock you down, and attacks that normally knock you down will send you flying across the map.
If you try to grab him normally, he will immediately slap to you the ground and do either the stomp or the grounded throw. However, special grabs like the Bear Hug in Beast style or the Dragon of Dojima style Finishing Throw will still work on him. Majima's counters in Thug and Mad Dog of Shimano will also work through his hyper armor, as they count as grabs.
Battle Bonus Reward
The following items have an impact on 'Shakedown' Battle Bonus Reward, which determines the amount of Mr. Shakedown's money.
- Avarice Shirt (+0.2)
- Debt Collector's Necklace (+0.2)
The best tactic for beating Mr. Shakedown is using the Zap Gun or Smoke Gun (once you have access to them at the weapon shop) and shooting him twice in the back after dodging his charges, repeating until he is defeated. More than two close-range shots can be risky with his haymaker. Two Zap Guns usually do enough damage to bring him down even at his strongest, while only one Smoke Gun would be needed. Three Slime Guns should work similarly until the better shotguns are unlocked. Other shotguns, including the Golden Shotgun, deal little damage, while pistols do a reasonable amount but will run out quickly. The Golden Pistol, when shooting it quickly, is surprisingly effective.
Be sure to take him on in a large area to better dodge his charges. However, in one Climax Battle, you are forced to battle him in a tight space with a weak Majima. In this case, it should be noted that until he is in Heat Mode, you can actually block the charge and the first part of his basic combo without getting guard broken.
- Like many of the NPCs on the game, Mr. Shakedowns are somewhat bugged. After draining a sleeping Mr. Shakedown, no interaction is possible with anything until he wakes up and follows the player.
- Their fighting style is recycled for Futoshi Shimano in his first boss fight in Yakuza Kiwami.
- Their fighting style is also used for certain heavy enemies in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise.
- All Mr. Shakedowns are named after the actors who portray them.
- All Mr. Shakedown models are actually upscaled regular models, which are automatically shrunken down during your Heat Actions.