Ryuji Goda (郷田 龍司, Gōda Ryūji) is a recurring character in the Yakuza series first introduced in Yakuza 2. He is the main antagonist of Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2, as well as one of the protagonists of Yakuza: Dead Souls and Ryu ga Gotoku Online.
He is the second patriarch of the Go-Ryu Clan. The dragon tattoo on his back has earned him the nickname "The Dragon of Kansai" (関西の龍, Kansai no Ryū).
Ryuji has a tall build which is apparent even during his days as a schoolboy. He has blond hair and a large scar on his face, and his tattoo depicts a golden dragon.
He wears a beige suit (pinstriped in Kiwami 2) over a dark brown shirt, matching suit pants, and a pair of white wingtips. Additionally, he wears a light beige coat with a strip of black fur all around the collar and down the front.
In Dead Souls, he wears an off-white long crocodile-skin coat over his attire. The right sleeve of this coat and his suit is torn off the first time he opens up his Gatling gun.
Ryuji is depicted as a goal-driven and ambitious person, especially evident when he aimed to defeat Kiryu in order to take the title of the "one true dragon" and his ambition to wage a war between Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance. Ryuji can be quite ruthless but, unlike many other yakuza, he adheres to a strict, personal moral code: Ryuji believes that strength is the ultimate virtue and that only those who demonstrate strength deserve to wield power. He has very open contempt for people who resort to underhanded, manipulative tactics to seize power, like Toranosuke Sengoku and Ryo Takashima.
In terms of fighting, he prefers a head-on approach and has a sense of honor, considering Kiryu as a worthy opponent. Not only does he considers him a great opponent, but Ryuji also doesn't enjoy an unfair victory as evidenced when he had the opportunity to kill Kiryu, who was exhausted and vulnerable, he stayed his blade in order to fight him one-on-one on equal ground.
Ryuji proves to be selfless as he doesn't hesitate to take bullets to protect his half-sister and Kiryu. He is self-aware of his flaws, notably his tendency to be impulsive (and considers that a real man sometimes has to act before they think), acknowledging that he always believed he'd die young.
Ryuji is a proud man, evidenced by him challenging Kiryu to a fight in his final moments. This was right after he took bullets he knew was fatal. Kiryu, in a rare instance, showed immense respect to an opponent by calling Ryuji "the man I thought you were" and stating that he would go all-out in response to Ryuji challenging him to a fight.
In the end, he expressed regret that he and his sister didn't get to spend more time with each other. That and the fact that he deeply cherishes the memory of his mother proves that family bonds are sacred to him.
Fleeing to Sotenbori, she met Jin Goda, whom she told her story. Running from the mafia and exhausted from keeping her son safe, Jin took them in. When she meets Jiro Kawara, Jin begs for her to leave Ryuji with him. She obliges and Ryuji is adopted by Jin.
Yakuza 0: 1988
Ryuji Goda appears in Sotenbori during his elementary school years. Goro Majima encounters him when he hears rumors of the "Bontan Hunter", who has been starting fights with high school students and stealing their pants.
He picks a fight with Majima but is easily beaten. After their fight, Majima learns that Ryuji was fighting to avenge his classmates who were bullied by the high schoolers.
Even at age 12, Ryuji looks quite close to his later appearances in the series timeline, and towers over his peers, thus not leaving others to assume he is an elementary school student.
Ryuji also takes a field trip to Kamurocho where be has a brief encounter with Kazuma Kiryu after a fortune-teller tells the latter that he and a young man he will talk to shortly would have entangled fates.
Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2: 2006
During the prologue, Ryuji was phone calling with Tsumura about setting the fire on Kamurocho. While travelling to Sotenbori, Daigo mentioned to Kiryu that Ryuji Goda was the one who set him up five years prior, causing him to be arrested and sentenced for five years for possession of firearms.
As he and his men were drinking at the Cabaret Grand, Ryuji was frustrated Yamada called him by his nickname "Dragon of Kansai" which Ryuji warned everyone to never say the nickname in front of him. Despite Yamada's clumsy memory, Ryuji told Yamada to sit down and drink, pouring him a drink over full, then smashed the bottle on his head. Ryuji threatened him with the broken bottle, demanding him to repeat what he called him. However, Kiryu repeated Yamada by stating that he referred to Ryuji as the "Dragon of Kansai". His men attack Kiryu for eavesdropping, but he easily defeats them, which Ryuji congratulates and apologizes to him for, buying him a drink for his trouble. As Ryuji and Kiryu introduced themselves, he asks if Kiryu is the Tojo Clan's Dragon of Dojima. Kiryu denied the question, acting like he wasn't the man Ryuji asked. Ryuji stated if he was the Dragon of Dojima, he would've been busy preparing for war between the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance. He then explains why he hates being called the Dragon of Kansai, stating that there is only room for one dragon. He also tells Kiryu that at midnight, Kamurocho will see "the biggest damn fireworks show ever", and tomorrow, the Dragon of Dojima dies. Realizing he was talking too much for Kiryu, he stands up and tells Kiryu to enjoy his evening, but before leaving, he tells him that he "reeks of blood".
During Omi's truce agreement meeting, Ryuji and his men step in as he makes his dramatic entrance, realising Kiryu was the Dragon of Dojima.
In the zombie spin-off Yakuza: Dead Souls, Goda follows an alternate story in which he survived his wounds after losing his fight with Kiryu, thanks to a bionic arm created by a Gunsmith. He was then expelled from the Omi Alliance , and drifted around before making his name at a takoyaki shop. He is set to succeed the owner, before returning to Kamurocho during the zombie outbreak.
He later finds the owner, infected and turned into an octopus-like monster and, having no choice, kills him using the technique taught to him by his beloved takoyaki master.
Subsequently, Ryuji helps his old rival, Kazuma Kiryu, as they work together to defeat DD and his zombies.
Ryuji will be the next protagonist playable after Ichiban's Arc from Ryu Ga Gotoku Online.
Ryuji appears as a bonus online player in Binary Domain.
In contrast to other fighting styles such as Kiryu's, Goda uses a "sloppy" street fighting style. He uses an array of haymakers, wild punches and back kicks to attack. His grapples consist of mostly knees to the gut. Later in the game, he will use a Katana to attack, causing a lot more damage. He swings it in a wild manner, without any real technique or skills, using one hand to do so. In the final battle against him, he will use his regular fighting style, with the addition of a few more punches.
In Dead Souls he no longer fights barehanded but instead uses a Gatling gun that folds out of his bionic arm. He can still use kicks and tackles to keep the zombies at bay, and can also pick up weapons such as bats, pipes and more. His Gatling gun is the fastest weapon in the game.