Ryuji Goda (郷田 龍司, Gōda Ryūji) is a recurring character in the Yakuza series. He is first introduced as the main antagonist and final boss of Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2. He is later featured as a protagonist in both Yakuza: Dead Souls and Ryu ga Gotoku Online. In Yakuza 0, he makes a cameo appearance as a delinquent preteen.
As an adult, he is the son of the fifth Omi Alliance leader, Jin Goda. He is also the second patriarch (succeeding his father himself) of the top Omi subsidiary, the Go-Ryu Clan. His recognition for his militance and strength as a yakuza, combined with the dragon tattoo on his back, has earned him the nickname "The Dragon of Kansai" (関西の龍, Kansai no Ryū) - making him a rival to the Dragon of Dojima, Kazuma Kiryu.
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.
Baby Ryuji is shown in the flashbacks in the second game to be black-haired, meaning that he's been dying his hair blonde at least since he was 12, as he has blonde hair in all of his other appearances including in Yakuza 0.
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.
In Yakuza 0, Ryuji sports a red sweater under a khaki colored overcoat, a black school backpack, brown pants, and white sneakers. Despite being only 12 years old, Ryuji is taller and more muscular than many full grown adults.
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. He dislikes being called the "Dragon of Kansai" as he believes there is only room for one dragon, and warns his subordinates to never use that alias.
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. Ever since, Ryuji desired power because of how alone he felt.
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 he happens to meet Kazuma Kiryu by chance, right after a fortune-teller told Kiryu that he and a young man (Ryuji) would meet and have their fates entangled.
Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2: 2006
In 2006, Ryuji conspires with the Jingweon Mafia, as both of them are trying to destroy the Tojo Clan. On a phone call with Tsumura, they discuss the fire they plan to set on Kamurocho. Daigo mentions that Ryuji provoked him to fight him five years prior, causing him to be arrested and sentenced for five years for possession of firearms.
While drinking at the Cabaret Grand with his men, Ryuji is infuriated at Yamada calling him the "Dragon of Kansai". He reprimands his subordinate and threatens to injure him, however, Kazuma Kiryu repeats what Yamada referred to him with. 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 the two introduce themselves, Ryuji recognizes Kiryu's name, but he denies being the Tojo Clan's 4th Chairman. Ryuji believes him, as the Dragon of Dojima would have been busy preparing for war between the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance. He informs Kiryu that at midnight, Kamurocho will see "the biggest damn fireworks show ever", and tomorrow, the Dragon of Dojima dies. He tells Kiryu to enjoy his evening, but before leaving, he tells him that he "reeks of blood". The Millenium Tower is later bombed, and with it the offices of Osamu Kashiwagi destroyed.
During Omi's truce agreement meeting, Ryuji and his men step in as he makes his dramatic entrance, realizing Kiryu is indeed the Dragon of Dojima. Here, Ryuji and the Go-Ryu Clan declare their separation from the Omi Alliance and kidnap Ryuji's father Jin Goda. After defeating Daigo, Ryuji has his first showdown with Kiryu, which he ultimately loses, and he flees the scene.
Ryuji and the rest of the Go-Ryu clan continue to serve as hostile enemies to the Tojo Clan and Kiryu, eventually declaring a war on Kamurocho. One of the members recruited by Ryuji is the expelled Omi Alliance member Hiroshi Hayashi, who is defeated by Kiryu in the basement of the Millennium Tower. Ryuji allies himself with the Omi's Toranosuke Sengoku, but when Sengoku resorts to kidnapping a child and ignoring a temporary truce Ryuji declared, Ryuji slashes him up with a katana and throws him off a balcony to his death. During Ryuji and the Go-Ryu clan's assault on the city, he comes face-to-face with Kiryu in Stardust, and just like in his confrontation at Sengoku's castle, Ryuji refuses to attack Kiryu and tells him to confront him at the Kamurocho Hills construction site the next day so they can have a true battle there.
There, with Jin present, Ryuji had already been aware of his Korean/Jingweon origins, but learns for the first time that he has a sister - Kaoru Sayama. Despite the pleas of Sayama who had been heartbroken after losing her father, Ryuji is not persuaded from his mission and fights Kiryu once again, only to be defeated, and falls unconscious.
At this point, Yukio Terada appears and reveals himself to be Daejin Kim, the leader of the Jingweon Mafia. Having faked his death and working from behind the scenes throughout it, he conspired to have the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance fight an all-out war in order to give the Jingweon Mafia its revenge. Then, Ryo Takashima, a fellow collaborator of both Terada and Ryuji, betrays Terada and reveals his own plot to destroy the Jingweon and rule over the nation's yakuza. Takashima kills both Terada and Ryuji's father, shoots Kiryu, and takes Kaoru hostage; an enraged Ryuji shoots him to his death, but not before Takashima is able to put multiple bullets in him, thus sealing his fate.
Due to a nearby bomb set to go off soon making escape infeasible, Ryuji and Kiryu resolve to have one final battle to determine who the true dragon is before they die. In this battle, Ryuji loses a third and final time to the Dragon of Dojima. In Kaoru's arms, his dying words to his sister were that her smile reminds him of his mother. He passes away, causing Sayama to cry out in sadness. The bomb is revealed to have been disarmed, allowing Ryuji's sister and rival to survive.
Yakuza: Dead Souls: 2011
Goda follows an alternate story in which he survived his wounds after losing his fight with Kiryu. He lost an arm and was then expelled later from the Omi Alliance due to the ruckus he caused. After expelled, he was chased around by some people whom he pissed off in the past. However, he managed to survived thanks to a prosthetic arm that can transform into a gattling gun/minigun called "Kuroganemaru" that was created by a certain Gunsmith, 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 Nikaido, DD and the zombies.
Ryuji is the protagonist of the story arc Wanderings of the Golden Dragon.
Ryuji is a character in the Yakuza stage play based on the original Yakuza game. He is introduced while Terada and Akira Nishikiyama are discussing the Tojo Clan's missing ten billion yen, and antagonizes Nishikiyama when he calls him the Dragon of Kansai. Further on, Ryuji replaces Terada as a member of the conspiracy to kidnap Haruka along with Lau Ka Long and Futoshi Shimano.
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.
- Ryuji appears as a guest character in Taiko No Tatsujin DX. He also appears as a bonus playable character in LINE Rangers and Binary Domain.
- Ryuji's likeness was featured in Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight as a DLC costume for Ryuji Sakamoto.