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 he 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
Technically, Ryuji's introduction is actually in the flashback shown at the very beginning of the game; he is the young boy being cradled in the arms of Suyeon Jung who is saved by Jiro Kawara. Baby Ryuji is shown to be black-haired; as he is blonde in all his other appearances (including as a delinquent), this would mean he started dying his hair at some point.
He also appears in voice only during the prologue, on a phone call with Tsumura, conspiring about the fire they plan to set on Kamurocho. While Daigo was traveling to Sotenbori with Kiryu, he mentioned that Ryuji Goda was the one who set him up five years prior (by provoking Daigo into falling for a trap), causing him to be arrested and sentenced for five years for possession of firearms.
Ryuji's proper introduction, where he appears visually as an adult, is in the game's second chapter. While drinking at the Cabaret Grand with his men, Ryuji was infuriated at subordinate Yamada calling 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 that overflowed the glass, before smashing 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". Kiryu quickly later learned that Ryuji wasn't bluffing, as he stepped outside to discover the Millenium Tower 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, realising Kiryu was 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. He flees the scene while Kiryu meets Kaoru Sayama for the first time.
Throughout the rest of the game, Ryuji and the rest of the Go-Ryu clan continued to serve as hostile enemies to the Tojo Clan and Kiryu, eventually declaring a war on Kamurocho. One of the members recruited by Ryuji was expelled former Omi Alliance member, Hiroshi Hayashi, who desired to see Ryuji rise to the top only to be defeated by Kiryu in the basement of the Millennium Tower. Ryuji allied himself with the Omi's Toranosuke Sengoku, but when Sengoku resorted to kidnapping a child and ignoring a temporary truce Ryuji declared, Ryuji slashed him up with a katana and threw him off a balcony to his death. Ryuji's clan was also revealed to have been conspiring with the Jingweon Mafia, as both of them were trying to destroy the Tojo Clan in Kamurocho. During Ryuji and the Go-Ryu clan's assault on the city, he came face-to-face with Kiryu in the Stardust club, and just like in his confrontation at Sengoku's castle, Ryuji refused to attack Kiryu here and told him to confront him at Kamurocho's highest point the next day so they could have a true battle there.
There, with Jin present, Ryuji learned for the first time that he had a sister - Kaoru Sayama. He had already been aware of his Korean/Jingweon origins, but he never knew he had a sister. Despite the pleas of Kaoru who had been heartbroken after losing her father Kawara (who she also learned to be her father only recently), Ryuji was not persuaded from his mission and fought Kiryu once again, only to be defeated and fell unconscious.
At this point, Yukio Terada appeared and revealed himself to be Daejin Kim, the leader of the Jingweon Mafia. Having faked his death at the beginning of the game, and working from behind the scenes throughout it, he conspired to have the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance fight an all out war in Kamurocho, in order to give the Jingweon Mafia it's revenge. Then, Ryo Takashima, a fellow collaborator of both Terada and Ryuji, betrayed Terada and revealed his own plot to destroy the Jingweon, absorb the Tojo Clan into the Omi Alliance, and rule over the nation's yakuza. Takashima killed both Terada and Ryuji's father, shot Kiryu, and took Kaoru hostage; an enraged Ryuji shot him to his death, but not before Takashima was 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 resolved to have one final battle to determine who the true dragon was before they died. In this battle (which is the final boss fight of the game), 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 turned out to have been disarmed, allowing Ryuji's sister and rival to survive.
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. 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 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.
- In Yakuza Kiwami 2, Majima refers to Goda as the "kind of crazy fuck who'd kill you then steal ya pants", alluding to his Yakuza 0 substory and showing that Majima apparently remembered him 18 years later.
- Although he is taller, Ryuji is actually eight years younger than Kiryu.
- It is stated that after his death, Yakuza 5 character Masaru Watase became the most militant member of the Omi Alliance. Watase referred to Ryuji as the strongest guy he knew.