Yakuza: Like a Dragon (龍が如く7 光と闇の行方, Ryū ga Gotoku 7: Hikari to Yami no Yukue, lit. "Like a Dragon 7: Whereabouts of Light and Darkness"), also known as Yakuza 7 and previously known as Shin Ryū ga Gotoku (新龍が如く, lit. "Like a New Dragon" or "New Like a Dragon"), is a role-playing game (categorized as a "Dramatic RPG" on SEGA's official Ryu ga Gotoku 7 website) for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC and PlayStation 5.
It has been developed by Ryu ga Gotoku Studio as the eighth main installment (fourteenth overall) of the Yakuza series. It was released in Japan on January 16, 2020 and had a worldwide release in November 2020. The PS5 version was released on March 2, 2021 as a free upgrade for all owners of the PS4 version and as a separate purchase.
Like a Dragon features two massive changes compared to all of the previous main installments. The first is that it is the first game to not feature Kazuma Kiryu as a playable character; the main protagonist of this story is Ichiban Kasuga. The second is that the game's combat is now that of a turn-based RPG, rather than a real-time beat 'em up like the previous games.
There are 15 chapters in this game. The following summaries are taken from the in-game menus; detailed summaries are available in the main articles.
Chapter 1: Light & Shadow
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 1
Ichiban Kasuga, born and raised in a soapland in Kamurocho without ever knowing his real parents. After his life is saved at the age of fiteen by Masumi Arakawa, a yakuza, Kasuga decidates his life to serving the Arakawa Family... until the first day of the 21st century. Kasuga is asked by Arakawa to take the fall for Sawashiro, captain of the Arakawa Family, for a murder he had committed. Convinced that the day has come for him to repay Arakawa, Kasuga happily obliges and turns himself in to the police.
Chapter 2: A Bloody Reunion
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 2
The year is 2019. Kasuga is released after serving eighteen years in prison to find that no one from the Arakawa Family is there to welcome him. He is instead met by Adachi, apparently part of the Kanagawa Police, who shares with him the shift in the state of the yakuza world: The Tojo Clan has perished and Kamurocho now belongs to the Omi Alliance—all by the hands of the Tojo Clan traitor, Arakawa. Full of doubts, Kasuga decides to confront Arakawa, now the acting captain of the Omi Alliance. However, Kasuga finds himself at the other end of Arakawa's gun, and the trigger is pulled.
Chapter 3: The Town at Rock-Bottom
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 3
Kasuga awakens and finds himself in the outskirts of Isezaki Ijincho, Yokohama. He is pained by the bullet wound in his chest almost as much as his betrayal at the hands of his hero, Arakawa. Fortunately, the wound is tended to by Nanba, a homeless former nurse. Kasuga's life is saved, but he has no connection to this new city and must rebuild from nothing. The two men set out to find jobs, and with a little help from Hello Work and a local barfly named Hamako, they find themselves geting back on their feet.
Chapter 4: The Dragon of Yokohama
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 4
Kasuga, Nanba, and the newly-laid off former detective Adachi, need jobs... until they are hired to work at a soapland where the owner, Nonomiya, assigns them to investigate his employee, Nanoha. Digging into her situation, the trio encounter Chairman Hoshino of the Seiryu Clan, who puts a stop to the scam affecting her. Triumphant, the three return to the soapland, where they discover Nonomiya's lifeless body hanging from a noose.
Chapter 5: The Liumang Man
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 5
Nanoha's twin sister, Saeko, works for a cabaret club that was also owned by Nonomiya. She is convinced that Nonomiya's death was very likely staged as a suicide by Mabuchi of the Yokohama Liumang. Swearing to avenge Nonomiya, Kasuga adds Saeko to his party and seeks out Mabuchi. They get hired at a warehouse owned by Mabuchi but only to discover that it is, in fact, a den packed with Liumang ruffians...
Chapter 6: Ignition
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 6
Kasuga and his party are captured by the Liumang, where Mabuchi, Nonomiya's killer, uses them to create a crack in the Great Wall of Muscle. With the delicate power balance between the Seiryu Clan, the Yokohama Liumang, and the Geomijul threatened, it's only a matter of time before disaster strikes Ijincho. The boss of the Liumang, Zhao, advises Kasuga that the only way to stop the impending chaos is to seek out intel from the Korean mafia, the Geomijul.
Chapter 7: The Spider's Web
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 7
Kasuga and his party sneak into the Geomijul, whose imformation network is spread all throughout Ijincho. The leading lady of this operation, Seong-hui, provides Kasuga with solid evidence that links Mabuchi to Nonomiya's murder. He also acquires information about Nanba: he had voluntarily become homeless to find clues about his younger brother's whereabouts after he was taken by the Geomijul. Nanba's sole reason for tagging along this far with Kasuga is to infiltrate the Geomijul. After being exposed, he abandons Kasuga and disappears into the shadows.
Chapter 8: Bleached Black
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 8
The Great Wall was able to maintain the peace for so long thanks to the counterfeit bill printing operations supported by local politician, Ogikubo. The encroaching Omi Alliance uses Bleach Japan, an NPO, to bring this fact to light. Kasuga and his party break into the main office of Bleach Japan, where they learn that the founder is none other than the current governor of Tokyo himself—Ryo Aoki. Seeing Aoki's photo for the first time, Kasuga realizes Aoki is identical to Masumi Arakawa's only son, Masato.
Chapter 9: A House of Cards
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 9
After abandoning his previous identity over ten years ago, Masato is now Ryo Aoki. Kasuga suspects that his debut in the political world is merely a front. Meanwhile, Omi Alliance members disguised as Bleach Japan protesters infiltrate Geomijul to reveal the counterfeit bill printing facility to the public. Kasuga and his party fend off these intruders, but Seong-hui is ultimately left with no choice but to burn down the facility to get rid of any evidence.
Chapter 10: Justice Tempered by Mercy
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 10
After interrogating the delegate for Bleach Japan, Ogasawara, it is confirmed that Aoki and Masato are one and the same. Moreover, the Omi Alliance has been funding Aoki and his mandate for their invasion of Ijincho. When a coup d'état breaks out within the Great Wall of Muscle, Kasuga fights to suppress this conflict alongside the now returned Nanba and Geomijul's second-in-command, Joon-gi Han. Amidst the chaos, Kasuga's former subordinate, Mitsu, appears and leaves behind these words: Arakawa will need strong allies.
Chapter 11: The Odds
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 11
Governor Aoki visits Ijincho, and Kasuga grasps this opportunity to meet with him. During their meeting, Kasuga is shocked to learn that he had not taken the fall for Sawashiro eighteen years ago, but for Masato. Aoki warns Kasuga to never go near Masumi Arakawa again, but Kasuga refuses and resolves to fight for Ijincho.
Chapter 12: The End of the Yakuza
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 12
Hearing that Arakawa is headed for Osaka, Kasuga and his party pursue his trail. Not only do they find Arakawa, but Daigo Dojima and other Tojo Clan patriarchs who have been planning to dissolve the yakuza as they knew it. Agreeing to their plan, Ichiban clashes with the opposing side in a fierce battle. After the smoke clears, the dissolution of the Omi Alliance is officially declared, and Kasuga makes his return to Yokohama alongside Arakawa.
Chapter 13: Coin Locker Baby
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 13
Kasuga is overtaken by grief after Arakawa's body is found in the Port of Yokohama. His murderer can be none other than Aoki. In order to make contact with Aoki again, Kasuga registers himself as a candidate to run in the political race. Sawashiro, the apparent assassin, appears before Kasuga and reveals that, when Masato was born, there was a swapping of infants—Masato is not Arakawa's son, but Sawashiro's. Furthermore, he explains that there is a very high likelihood that the other infant, Arakawa's real son, is Kasuga.
Chapter 14: Passing the Torch
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 14
Kasuga almost loses himself to his anger towards Aoki until the legend himself, Kazuma Kiryu, appears and brings him back to his senses with an exchange of blows. Kasuga learns that Ishioda, an officer of the Omi Alliance, has snuck into Ijincho. Since Ishioda is likely responsible for issuing the order to assassinate Arakawa, Kasuga infiltrates Ishioda's hideout. There, he learns that the one who actually took Arakawa's life is another officer named Tendo. Shortly after, bombs that had been set up by Tendo detonate, and Kasuga is caught in the explosion...
Chapter 15: To the Pinnacle
- Main article: Yakuza: Like a Dragon/Chapter 15
Kasuga is spared yet again as he narrowly escapes the blast. Kasuga lures out Tendo and exacts vengeance. Aoki appears afterward, and the final showdown unfolds. Kasuga rises victorious. Right as Aoki has a change of heart, his life is taken by Kume, blinded by his devotion to Bleach Japan's cause. The curtains not only descend on Aoki's life, but also on his ambitions with the Omi Alliance. Kasuga, deciding not to return to Kamurocho nor Osaka, swears to live the rest of his days in Ijincho.
- Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi appeared at the Yakuza: Like a Dragon conference at Akihabara UDX Theater and the Yakuza: Like a Dragon stall at the Tokyo Game Show 2019. He did this against medical advice, as he had recently had heart surgery and was suffering from broken ribs as a result.
- This game is the first one in the main series that:
- Does not feature Kazuma Kiryu as a playable character (though he still appears as a boss character). Because of this, the main series games prior to Like a Dragon can be called the Kiryu Saga, and LAD can be seen as a sequel to that saga.
- Was released in English in the same year as the Japanese version. (However, Judgment had a smaller waiting time for the English version release.)
- This is the first game in the series to debut on Xbox and PC on the same day as its PlayStation 4 release in the west.
- Like a Dragon is the second game in the main series to feature an English dub; the only other one was 14 years prior for the original release of the first Yakuza.
Official Art & Render
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon Not Launching Alongside the Xbox Series X in Japan - Siliconera
- 龍が如く7 光と闇の行方(PlayStation®4) | セガ公式サイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 Sep 2019.
- 『龍が如く7 光と闇の行方』は横浜・伊勢佐木異人町がメインだが、東京・神室町と大阪・蒼天堀にも行ける (in Japanese). IGN Japan, 14 Sep 2019. Retrieved 17 Sep 2019.
- Tetsuya Inamoto (29 Aug 2019) "「龍が如く7 光と闇の行方」発表会レポート。シリーズで培ったアクションをコマンド入力式のバトルへと昇華。仲間との絆を描く物語にも注目 - 4Gamer.net" (in Japanese). 4Gamer.net. Retrieved 23 Sep 2019