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This article is about the 2020 video game.

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)[1] 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.

Synopsis[]

Setting[]

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is mostly based around the Yokohama district of Isezaki Ijincho, but it also features the Kamurocho, Tokyo and Sotenbori, Osaka districts from previous Yakuza titles. Most of the game takes place in late 2019.[a]

Plot[]

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. Notice: The following summaries are taken from in-game menus, which use "Seong-hui" and "Joon-gi" rather than the written forms of the names used later in the series.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Yakuza: Like a Dragon follow. (Skip)

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 dedicates 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 information 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 [Seonhee] 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, [Joongi] 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.

SPOILERS END HERE. (Return)

Gameplay[]

Like a Dragon is the first main installment of the series to be entirely turn-based, as opposed to the direct action brawler style of previous games. Like Dragon Quest that the game references multiple times, characters have multiple stats, equipment, and skills to choose from.

Stats[]

The main stats are as follows:

  • HP (Health Points): The vitality of the character. If a character's HP drops to 0, they are knocked out, or in the case of Kasuga getting knocked out, the battle is entirely lost.
  • MP (Mental Points): The pool of points that skills draw from for their use.
  • Attack: Increases damage with physical attacks, as well as any skill that uses Blunt, Blade, or Firearm damage.
  • Defense: Decreases damage from enemy attacks.
  • Magic: Increases damage with magic attacks.
  • Healing: Increases the effectiveness of heal skills.
  • Dexterity: Increases accuracy, evasion, and critical hit rate.
  • Agility: Influences the turn order in battle.

It is possible to max out every party member's stats by using multiple stat boosters after they have hit level 99; every stat other than HP and MP will even go past the displayed cap of 9999.

Jobs[]

Jobs are the class system for Like a Dragon that gives characters different skills to choose from. Every character has at least one default Job (Kasuga has 2) and, by Chapter 5, a selection of other Jobs based on their gender, and either character traits (for Kasuga) or their bond level with Kasuga. Each Job also has 2 "character" skills that can be transferred over to other Jobs.

The male exclusive jobs are:

  • Bodyguard
  • Host
  • Breaker
  • Foreman
  • Musician
  • Chef
  • Enforcer
  • Fortuneteller
  • Devil Rocker (DLC)

The female exclusive jobs are:

  • Hostess
  • Idol
  • Night Queen
  • Dealer
  • Matriarch (DLC)

Battle[]

On the party's turn, each character has several options:

  • Attack: Selects a target to attack with their weapon.
    • If there are objects between the party member and the target, they will attempt to kick the object at the target before attacking, dealing minor damage in advance.
      • On Kasuga's turn, if there are still objects around him when he reaches the target, he will use those to attack instead. These weapon attacks often hit multiple enemies, as opposed to the default single target.
    • If the character gets stuck or is otherwise too far from the target, they will automatically teleport to the target.
    • If there is another enemy between the party member and the target, the enemy can interrupt the attack and deal minor damage to the party member, effectively wasting the turn.
    • If the target is knocked down when the attack starts, an Opportune Attack will occur, which will deal increased "critical" damage (indicated by the yellow jagged text). A true Opportune critical hit will have a red outline on the damage number.
    • Depending on the bond level with Kasuga, other party members may follow up on the attack, dealing extra minor damage.
  • Guard: Sacrifices their turn in order to significantly reduce damage taken.
    • A Perfect Guard can still be performed during any enemy attack by timing a Guard button press to the enemy's attack to slightly reduce damage regardless if one guarded or not, but cannot be performed if the party member is knocked down.
  • Skills: Selects a skill to use on a target. Some offensive skills require the target to be standing in order to fully land, while others automatically stand the target up to be hit by the skill. Perfect Attack prompts are also present on most offensive skills, which either consist of mashing a button or timing a button press to increase damage; the button assigned for either prompt can be customized.
    • Unlike regular attacks, enemies in the path between the party member and the target cannot interrupt skills. The target can only interrupt the skill if they are in specific counter states.
    • Essences, which all contain a skippable cinematic, are the most powerful skills and do not have any Perfect Attack prompts, but usually require the most MP.
  • Etc: Selects one of many options, including items, party swaps, and for Kasuga, Poundmates.
    • Poundmates are introduced in chapter 4, and effectively act as summons. The first time a Poundmate is summoned, it is free, but every subsequent summon costs money depending on their grade, with the cheapest being 1,000 yen and the most expensive being 1,000,000 yen. Bronze Poundmates have a 2-battle cooldown, Silver Poundmates 4, and Gold Poundmates 6. Some Poundmates also have a restriction on their use; these range from only being available in the day or at night, and being usable on humans only. Additionally, there is a random chance for the Poundmate to deal more damage and make their secondary effect guaranteed on most non-bosses (or double their effect if it is non-damaging); this is indicated by an exclamation mark on the Poundmate's icon. Like Essences, Poundmates also feature skippable cinematics.

While deciding on an option, both the party and enemies will roam around the battlefield somewhat freely. Characters can randomly quickstep (which can disrupt any animation, including an attack when it was intended), and when knocked down while their turn is next, they will automatically do a Komaki recovery.

Escaping From Fights[]

There is also an option to run away from fights; if the fight is escapable and not required (i.e. a boss fight), successful escapes are almost entirely dependent on the amount of space behind the character and having no obstacles or walls in their way, along with some random chance. Kasuga and Yu Nanba's running animation is exaggerated and elongated, which makes them require more room than anyone else to successfully escape fights.

Smoke Bombs allow for guaranteed escapes as long as the character has proper vision on their target.

Turn Order[]

When a battle starts, the turn order is roughly determined by whether or not the enemy has initiative (some enemies will always go first), followed by a party member's Job (which, in some cases, can almost completely ignore the Agility stat), then their Agility stat, and finally a random roll.

Job choices, Agility equipment, and the random roll can disrupt the turn order, and enemies can easily go ahead of the party if the party's Agility is insufficient.

Status Ailments[]

Some attacks, both from the party's skills and the enemy's attacks, have secondary effects. On attacking skills, most of them occur 25% of the time.

  • Stun/Sleep/Charm: The target cannot move, attack, or defend themselves. Usually lasts 2 turns, but can occasionally disappear upon hitting the target again, or pushing past them to attack another target.
  • Burn/Cold/Poison/Bleed: The target takes damage at the beginning of each turn. Burn and Cold damage can be resisted with Fire and Ice resistance respectively. A Cold can additionally spread to other enemies, though this Cold will only deal 5 damage per turn. There are also different levels of each, and applying a higher level effect will override the weaker effect.
  • Paralyze: The target rarely misses their turn and periodically stops in place. Can occasionally disappear upon hitting the target again.
  • Drunk: Depending on the level of drunkenness (from buzzed to shitfaced), the target either occasionally misses their turn or attacks randomly (including allies). Usually suppresses skills as well, but is not guaranteed to. Can occasionally weaken or disappear entirely upon hitting the target again.
  • Fear: The target cannot attack or defend themselves, but can move. Usually lasts 1 to 2 turns, and can be inflicted by non-damaging skills.
  • Brainwash: The target attacks their allies. Usually lasts 1 to 2 turns.
  • Rage: The target focuses on the character that inflicted the status. Usually lasts 2 to 3 turns, but can occasionally disappear upon hitting the target again.
  • Silence: The target cannot use skills. Usually lasts 2 turns.

Certain objects from the environment can also cause Stun, Bleed, or Paralyze. Each party member has an innate resistance to certain ailments:

  • Kasuga: Depends on his character traits. Higher Passion increases Silence resistance, Confidence increases Sleep resistance, Intellect increases Brainwash resistance, Style increases Charm resistance, and Kindness increases Rage resistance. Charisma does not seem to increase resistance to anything.
  • Adachi: Increased Rage, Fear, and Sleep resistance.
  • Nanba: Increased Poison and Cold resistance.
  • Saeko: Increased Fear, Charm, Silence, and Drunk resistance.
  • Eri: Increased Sleep and Rage resistance, but a weakness to Stun.
  • Han: Increased Charm, Brainwash, and Rage resistance.
  • Zhao: Increased Bleed, Fear, Rage, and Silence resistance.

Most bosses have an increased resistance, if not an immunity, to all status ailments except Poison.

Hidden Mechanics[]

  • Whenever a character is knocked into low HP (their portrait will be glowing red), there is a very small chance for the character to briefly flash yellow. This gives them a guaranteed critical hit on their next physical or non-elemental magic attack. This is occasionally forced in the Sotenbori Battle Arena.
  • As previously mentioned, objects in battle can also inflict status ailments or even damage.
    • Knocking an enemy into a bush can cause a very weak Bleed effect, a window smash can cause extra Blade damage, a large lit-up sign can cause Paralysis, and most large weapons Kasuga can use to attack can cause Stun.
    • If the fight occurs on the road, cars passing by during an attack or skill can deal an extra 100 damage.
    • Some overworld objects such as parked cars, parking blocks, and even stairs can prove to be obstacles, making skills miss.
  • Essences bypass most counters that some enemies are capable of using, either passively or via skills. However, if an item, even a healing one, is used too close to an enemy in a counter state, the item usage can be countered entirely. This seems to happen because even item usage is counted as an "attack".
  • Rarely, offensive Essences and Poundmates can miss without the game showing the "miss" text if the animations are skipped. It seems to be a result of an entirely missed damage calculation, rather than an actual accuracy check, as this miss can occur even with maxed Dexterity.
  • Rarely, certain enemies become guaranteed to survive even if the attack would have defeated them in one hit. This is most prominent in the 2nd tutorial, where Kawahara and Iwashita have only around 10 HP, but can rarely survive a Tenacious Fist regardless.
    • Most bosses have multiple phases that require them to have used certain skills for the fight to be won.

Exploration[]

Like a Dragon introduces the ability to taxi anywhere, at the cost of extra yen, making fast travel much more convenient. However, in Isezaki Ijincho, Kasuga must have previously interacted with the taxis in order to have access to them. Like Takayuki Yagami in Judgment, Kasuga can sprint indefinitely, but does not have access to any overworld shortcuts and cannot vault over obstacles. He will also take a flat 100 damage (or have his set his HP to 1 if below 100) if a car runs him over.

Development[]

The development of Yakuza: Like a Dragon has been based around new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga. This includes the new style of logo, which was made to reflect Kasuga's personality.[2]

Trivia[]

  • Yakuza series creator Toshihiro NagoshiWP appeared at the Yakuza: Like a Dragon conference at Akihabara UDX Theater and the Yakuza: Like a Dragon stall at the Tokyo Game ShowWP 2019. He did this against medical advice, as he had recently had heart surgery and was suffering from broken ribs as a result.[2]
  • 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.
  • Yakuza: 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.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the first Japanese version in the series to have credits written in English, with the later-released spin-off Lost Judgment adopting the same theme.
  • The font used in the English logo for Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a modified version of AnyMale by Dee Signator
  • The fonts used in the Japanese logo for Yakuza: Like a Dragon are:
    • RoG2サンセリフStd U by Motoaki Okuizumi
    • DF極太明朝体 W10 by DynaComware Corp.

Gallery[]

Alternate Boxart[]

Logos[]

Official Art & Render[]

Promotional Screenshots[]

Videos[]

Notes[]

  1. The events of Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, which are concurrent to those of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, take place in late 2019.

References[]

External links[]

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