— Yakuza 0 tagline
Yakuza 0 (龍が如く0 誓いの場所 Ryū ga Gotoku Zero: Chikai No Basho, lit. "Like a Dragon 0: The Place of Oath") is an action-adventure/beat-'em-up originally released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 on March 12, 2015 in Japan and on May 14, 2015 in Taiwan, and exclusively on the PlayStation 4 on January 24, 2017 in North America and Europe. It was ported to Microsoft Windows on August 1, 2018, Xbox One on February 26, 2020, and Amazon Luna on June 24, 2021.
The game was developed and published by SEGA as the sixth main installment (eleventh overall) of the Yakuza series. The game is a prequel to the rest of the series, because it is set in 1988, 7 years prior to the events of the first chapter of the first game. Continuing the tradition brought about by its two predecessors in the mainline series, Yakuza 4 and Yakuza 5, Yakuza 0 features multiple playable characters and main protagonist; these include series staple Kazuma Kiryu, and the recurring character Goro Majima.
A free accompanying game application for PlayStation Vita, titled Ryū ga Gotoku 0: Free to Play Application for PlayStation Vita (龍が如く0 基本無料アプリ for PlayStation Vita?), was released on 26 February 2015.
Yakuza Kiwami, a remake of the first game, was released one year after Yakuza 0. It largely uses the engine, graphical style and combat system of Yakuza 0, and also features some changes to its plot that make greater reference to 0.
Yakuza 0 is set in Japan's bubble era, a period of extremely high property prices in Japan during the second half of the 1980s; it takes place from December 1988 to January 1989. The game's two principal locations are Kamurocho, Tokyo, and Sotenbori, Osaka. These locations are fictionalized versions of Kabukicho, Tokyo and Dotonbori, Osaka, respectively.
There are 17 chapters in this game:
Chapter 1: Bound by Oath
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 1
In December 1988, Kazuma Kiryu is a low-ranking member of the Tojo Clan's Dojima Family. He works in the Tokyo district of Kamurocho under the supervision of his foster father and Family Captain, Shintaro Kazama, who had been recently arrested and awaits trial. One night, he collects a debt from a salaryman by beating him up in an Empty Lot in the middle of Kamurocho at the behest of a Family loanshark. After giving the collected money to the loanshark, he goes out with his best friend and sworn brother, Akira Nishikiyama, for a night of karaoke, drinking, and ramen. The next morning, however, a news story the two see on TV reveals that the man Kiryu beat up had died and police are investigating his murder.
Kiryu reports to the Dojima Family office for a meeting with the Family's three lieutenants: Daisaku Kuze, Hiroki Awano, and Keiji Shibusawa. The lieutenants inform him that they know he assaulted the murdered man and that the police will likely discover this too, so he must turn himself in to keep the police from looking too closely into the Family's operations. However, Kiryu learns from them that the man was killed with a gunshot to the head, not beaten to death, so he insists that someone is framing him for the murder.
The lieutenants don't believe Kiryu and insist that he must turn himself in. As it turns out, the Empty Lot is in the middle of a portion of land that the city of Tokyo plans to buy for a massive redevelopment project. The Dojima Family has been acquiring that land for the Tojo Clan to sell to the city at an inflated value and the murder has complicated those plans, so the investigation must be resolved quickly. When the lieutenants inform him that Patriarch Dojima has offered the position of Family Captain to whichever one of them acquires the Empty Lot for him, Kiryu suspects one of them is behind the murder and is trying to frame him so they can hold his foster father responsible and remove him from the Family as well. After a brief investigation, Kiryu confirms that it was Lieutenant Kuze who arranged for the set-up.
Distraught by the situation, Kiryu seeks advice from Nishiki and their foster father's right-hand man, Sergeant Osamu Kashiwagi. Kashiwagi tells Kiryu that the only way Kazama could avoid being sanctioned for Kiryu's supposed crime would be if Kiryu were expelled from the Family, but that would require the Patriarch's approval. Convinced that this is the only way, Kiryu decides to seek out the Patriarch and ask him for that, despite Kashiwagi and Nishiki's objections.
Kiryu barges into the Dojima Family offices, trying to find the Patriarch, but he is intercepted by Kuze. The two engage in a heated battle until they are interrupted by the other two lieutenants and Patriarch Sohei Dojima himself. Kuze is berated for being beaten by a low-ranking thug and is forced to cut off one of his pinkies as atonement for his humiliation. Kiryu is expelled from the Family by Dojima but is informed that despite this, if the police do arrest him and convict him for the murder, then Kazama will still have to be expelled from the Family. When Kiryu protests, Dojima tells him that he is a civilian now and there is nothing he can do to change his mind.
Chapter 2: The Broker in the Shadows
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 2
While wandering the streets alone, Kiryu is approached by a mysterious one-armed man who claims to want to help him. The stranger takes Kiryu to his luxurious penthouse and introduces himself: His name is Tetsu Tachibana and he too seeks to own the Empty Lot. He learned of Kiryu's predicament and, impressed by his fighting skills and his courage in crossing the Dojima Family, he asks for his help. Kiryu, however, rejects the offer.
Intrigued by how Tachibana knew so much about him, Kiryu and Nishiki decide to look into him and his mysterious company, the Tachibana Real Estate Agency. Through some digging around, the pair learn Tachibana Real Estate has been acquiring land all around Kamurocho through various unscrupulous means. One of Tachibana's agents, Jun Oda, catches onto Kiryu and Nishiki's investigations and invites Kiryu to meet with him at the company's offices. However, when Kiryu does visit him, he is attacked by Oda and several of the company's thugs.
After Kiryu beats him, Oda reveals that this had all been a test to see if Kiryu had the cunning to find out more about them and the strength to take them on in combat. Tachibana joins the pair and tells Kiryu that he is actually working with his foster father, Kazama. As it turns out, Kazama fears that Sohei Dojima is becoming too powerful and that the acquisition of the Empty Lot will make him too wealthy to stop. He wishes to prevent this from happening but must do so through a proxy in order to avoid being expelled from the Clan for betraying his boss, which is why he is acting through Tachibana's company. Finally understanding what Tachibana's intentions are, Kiryu decides to join his company and aid in stopping Dojima's acquisition of the Lot. However, Tachibana discloses that neither he nor Dojima knows the identity of the Empty Lot's owner.
Chapter 3: A Gilded Cage
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 3
In the Osaka district of Sotenbori, Goro Majima runs the Cabaret Grand as punishment for his role in the failed assassination of Yoshiharu Ueno three years prior. He is under orders from his boss, Futoshi Shimano, to deliver increasingly higher profits every month, lest he be returned to the torture dungeon where he spent a year after the failed hit. Supervising his punishment is Shimano's sworn brother from the Omi Alliance, Tsukasa Sagawa, who constantly belittles Majima and reminds him that he can have him returned to Shimano's dungeon any time he pleases.
After dealing with an unruly patron who groped one of the club's hostesses and poaching the top-earning hostess from a rival club, Majima returns to his tiny slum apartment. While having a smoke and glancing over the city from his building' rooftop, he sees multiple people observing him from various buildings and streets around him: Sagawa's goons are always watching him.
Chapter 4: Proof of Resolve
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 4
After another day of managing the Grand, Sagawa calls Majima to a meeting at a noodle stand. There he makes Majima an offer: He can be immediately reinstated to his former position within the Shimano Family if he carries out a hit for them. The target is a pimp called Makoto Makimura, who has been supposedly operating in Sagawa's territory without paying him tribute. Despite his initial reservations about killing, Majima agrees and is given three days to carry out the murder.
Majima begins trying to track down Makimura and immediately finds information that contradicts the story Sagawa told him. Apparently Makimura isn't the ruthless pimp Sagawa made him out to be, but rather a bodyguard of sorts for the city's sex workers. Majima eventually figures out that Makimura operates a massage clinic in southern Sotenbori and decides to break into the place to ambush him. After carrying out the break-in, however, he gets found by one of Makimura's assistants: A quiet blind girl who initially mistakes him for a thief. After convincing her that he's just a walk-in client, Majima stays for a massage session while he waits for Makimura to arrive.
Eventually, Makimura shows to the clinic and, seeing Majima's yakuza tattoos, he immediately identifies him as an assassin. After Makimura convinces his unwitting assistant to fetch him some cigarettes while he works on their "client", Majima and Makimura get into a fight. However, they are interrupted by the sudden arrival of more yakuza. These new assassins reveal something to Majima: The man he thought was Makoto Makimura was actually a Chinese gangster named Wen Hai Lee and the real Makoto Makimura was the blind assistant. When the real Makimura returns from the store, the hitmen kidnap her and shoot Lee. Majima pursues them and eventually rescues Makimura, taking her to one of his hiding spots. Though he briefly contemplates killing her, he finds that he can't bring himself to do it.
Chapter 5: An Honest Living
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 5
As part of his initiation to Tachibana Real Estate, Oda takes Kiryu to a meeting with a client at the Café Alps. The client requests that they help him get rid of a squatter occupying a property he recently bought at auction. Kiryu and Oda meet with the squatter, who at first refuses to vacate, even when offered a sizeable cash offer. However, after Kiryu beats up the yakuza thugs who put him up to the squatting deal, the squatter leaves.
In order to celebrate, Oda tells Kiryu to meet him later at a bar called Serena. Kiryu goes to the bar and is surprised to find Nishiki there, since he is coincidentally a regular at the place. The two friends, together with the owner, Reina, have a fun evening of drinking and chatting until Oda arrives. The realtor shows up severely beaten and accompanied by Lieutenant Awano and a few of his goons. As it turns out, the thugs who hired the squatter were his employees. In retaliation, Awano forces Kiryu out to the alley behind the bar and sets several of his thugs on him. After Kiryu dispatches the mooks, Awano warns him that, if he keeps intervening in Dojima Family business, he'll be killed even if he is a civilian. Since this incident was not the first time that Tachibana messed with Dojima Family schemes, Awano offers to spare Kiryu if he turns him over. When Kiryu refuses, Awano departs, telling Kiryu that he's been warned for the last time.
Chapter 6: The Yakuza Way
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 6
After the encounter at Serena, Kiryu meets with Tachibana on the Empty Lot. The realtor tells Kiryu that he believes he's discovered the identity of the Empty Lot's owner, but needs time to verify it. He tells Kiryu that if he manages to acquire the Lot, he'll have enough leverage over the Tojo Clan's headquarters to force them to stop Dojima's expansion.
The next day, Kiryu is attacked by Awano's goons, under instructions to take him to their boss. Kiryu fights his way across the city streets until he stumbles upon a sex worker who takes pity on him and tells him of a secret tunnel in the sewers leading out of Kamurocho. This turns out to be a trap set up by Kuze. The lieutenant tries to run over Kiryu with his motorcycle in the narrow tunnel, but he fails and instead resorts to attacking him with a lead pipe. After Kiryu defeats him for a second time, an embittered Kuze tells him that, no matter how many times Kiryu beats him, he'll keep coming after him. Kiryu leaves the unconscious Kuze and exits the sewer tunnel, only to find himself in Awano's disco, where the lieutenant is dancing with a woman and drinking champagne. Awano repeats his offer to Kiryu: If he turns on Kazama and Tachibana, not only will his life be spared, but he'll be promoted and get to enjoy the same luxurious life Awano does. A disgusted Kiryu rejects Awano's offer, insisting he'll never betray the people who helped him when he was in need.
As Kiryu leaves, he runs into Nishiki, who'd been trying to find him before Awano's crew. The pair ride out of Kamurocho in Nishiki's car, with Nishiki promising to take Kiryu somewhere safe. Instead, Nishiki takes Kiryu to a deserted forest path outside of Tokyo and pulls a gun on him. He tearfully tells him that Dojima has hundreds of men searching all over town, intent on capturing and torturing him to death. Nishiki tells Kiryu that, since he can't stop Dojima's men, all he can do for him is give him a quick death. A distraught Kiryu agrees, but begs Nishiki to take his head to Dojima afterward, so that he can rise among the Tojo's ranks and become powerful enough to change the Clan. Ultimately, Nishiki can't bring himself to actually kill him. Mournfully, Kiryu tells Nishiki to forget about him, since they are no longer brothers, and then departs.
Chapter 7: A Dark Escape
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 7
In Sotenbori, Majima has hidden Makimura in a club storage warehouse. In search of answers, he tracks down Lee to a small underground clinic run by a Chinese doctor. Surprised that Majima is actually helping Makimura, Lee tells him that doesn't know why people are after her, but that he's working on a plan to trick the yakuza into believing that she is dead.
Majima gets some takoyaki and takes it to Makimura to comfort her. While they have lunch, the pair talk about their lives. Majima describes his desire to return to the Tojo Clan, while Makimura says she's originally from China and that she came to Japan in search of her older brother, who'd left her hometown and left her only his old watch as a keepsake. When Makimura's blindness comes up, she explains that it was caused by psychological trauma that she doesn't want to discuss.
To keep up appearances, Majima goes to work at the Cabaret Grand. After work, he returns to the warehouse to find that Lee is already there to tell him about his plan: He says he knows of a woman who looks almost identical to Makimura and whose disappearance would probably go unnoticed. He proposes that they murder her, disfigure her corpse's face and put her in Makimura's massage clinic uniform to make it look like Makimura has been murdered. Majima is horrified by the plan, but Lee insists that there is no other way and that he has to save Makimura at any cost. Lee then tells Majima about the traumatic incident that caused Makimura's blindness: A few years prior, she'd come to Osaka looking for her estranged older brother, but she was tricked by a man and sold into sexual slavery for a Korean crime group. When Lee became disgusted with his gang's operations, he killed his old partners and released all their captives. Makimura, however, had gone blind from the trauma she suffered, so Lee has been helping her ever since. The two men have a fight, which Majima ultimately wins. He takes Makimura's uniform to keep Lee from carrying out his plan and departs. Majima dumps the uniform in a nearby park, but a man who'd been following him picks it up.
The following morning, Majima meets with Lee and the duo sees a news report that reveals that someone else carried out Lee's body double plan for them. Immediately afterward, an anonymous man calls Majima and claims to be the one responsible. He requests to meet him at the Cabaret Grand, where he is already waiting for him.
Chapter 8: Tug of War
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 8
Majima goes to the Grand to find the place entirely rented out by the mysterious caller: Homare Nishitani, Patriarch of the Kijin Clan. Nishitani tells Majima that it was his men who'd tried to kidnap Makimura the night he was sent to kill her and that he'd been keeping him under watch ever since he thwarted his plans. Nishitani tells Majima that he's fascinated by his skills and determination, so he asks him for two things: He wants him to hand over Makimura, since he's been hired to take her alive, and he wants Majima to fight him. When Majima refuses both offers, Nishitani calls the police on himself, saying that he's robbing the Grand. Insisting that Majima now has to fight him since he's robbing his business, Nishitani attacks him with a dagger, but Majima holds him off long enough for the police to arrive and arrest him.
Just after the police's intervention, Sagawa also arrives at the Grand to talk to Majima about the job's completion. Sagawa is satisfied with the results, but he is concerned that Majima didn't call him as soon as the job was done and that he left Makimura's face in such an unrecognizable state. After their talk, Majima realizes that the body double will only deceive Sagawa for a time.
Majima goes to the warehouse and informs Lee and Makimura about what happened at the Cabaret, insisting they must leave town immediately. The trio sneaks to Lee's massage parlor, avoiding more of Sagawa's men on the way, to get to Lee's van, which they intend to use to leave the city. However, when Lee gets on the van to start it, he sets off a bomb that Sagawa had rigged there, getting killed in the ensuing blast. Majima and Makimura are injured in the explosion but survive. They are confronted by Sagawa, who'd been lying in wait for them. Before he can kill them, however, Sagawa is shot from behind by a stranger in a white suit. The stranger knocks out both Majima and Sagawa and then takes Makimura away by himself.
Chapter 9: Ensnared
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 9
In Kamurocho, dozens of Dojima Family thugs prowl the streets searching for Kiryu, who is trying to keep a low profile after seeing his apartment get firebombed by Kuze's thugs. While making his way through a park, Kiryu runs into Reina. Feeling sympathy for his plight, Reina offers to let him hide at Serena for the time being.
Unfortunately for Kiryu, since the Dojima Family knew that this was Nishiki's favorite bar, they'd been keeping an eye on it. Kiryu is attacked by Awano's thugs and forced to flee to keep them from attacking Reina. In the street outside the bar, he finds Kuze, Awano, and Shibusawa already waiting for him with dozens of their goons. Kuze and his men descend on Kiryu, but he once again fails to beat him. Awano pulls a gun on Kiryu but, before he can kill him, Tachibana speeds down the street in a sports car, forcing the Dojima Family thugs to get out of the way. Kiryu hastily gets in the car and Tachibana drives them both away, taking refuge in an underground parking lot.
While they wait for Oda to pick them up in a more inconspicuous car, Tachibana expresses admiration for how much Kiryu is willing to risk for the people he cares about, lamenting that he's never been able to do the same. Just as Oda arrives in his own car, Tachibana loses consciousness. Oda tells Kiryu that Tachibana needs emergency dialysis, so they need to get him to their safe house immediately. The two men load Tachibana into Oda's car and drive away.
Chapter 10: A Man's Worth
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 10
Oda and Kiryu take Tachibana to an underground clinic in Little Asia, where Tachibana is given dialysis. Oda tells Kiryu that Tachibana requires this treatment daily due to the blood loss he suffered after losing his arm. He also says that Tachibana lost his arm defending him from Omi Alliance thugs he'd infuriated, back when they led a gang together in Osaka. Both men are then called into a meeting with Little Asia's local triad leader, Elder Chen. The Elder informs them that Tachibana and Oda will be granted refuge because Tachibana is part Chinese and because of all the help they've provided to Little Asia's people. Kiryu, however, will not be granted sanctuary since he is an outsider, and harboring him would bring the Dojima Family's wrath down on Little Asia.
With no other place to go, Kiryu takes shelter with the homeless of to West Park, who also owe Tachibana a favor. The next day, Oda picks up Kiryu from the park and takes him to the Tojo Clan headquarters, where Tachibana has arranged for them to meet with the Clan's Second Chairman, Takashi Nihara. Tachibana requests that the Chairman pardon Kiryu's life, offering one billion yen in recompense. Nihara is skeptical, questioning why he should spare the life of a yakuza who flagrantly acted against his own boss. Tachibana argues that Kiryu only acted to stop the uncontrollable expansion of Sohei Dojima's power, which he knows the Chairman is also interested in stopping. Tachibana promises that, if Kiryu is spared, all three of them will carry out Tachibana's plan to stop Dojima's power grab. Swayed, Nihara agrees to pardon Kiryu. However, as the three men leave, the Chairman sends dozens of his men to attack them as a test to see whether they have the might to face off against Dojima. Despite heavy resistance, the three men manage to escape with their lives.
In Little Asia, Tachibana tells Kiryu and Oda that he has confirmed the identity and location of the Empty Lot's owner, claiming that they live in Sotenbori. However, he warns that the third Dojima lieutenant, Keiji Shibusawa, has been sending men to Sotenbori, so he may know as well. Faced with this, Kiryu and Oda decide to go to Sotenbori to fetch the owner and escort them to safety. Satisfied with this plan, Tachibana tells Kiryu that the Empty Lot's owner is his sister: Makoto Makimura.
Chapter 11: A Murky Riverbed
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 11
In Sotenbori, Sagawa has taken Majima captive and has spent the night torturing him in retaliation for his betrayal. However, after realizing that he has no leads about the identity of the man in the white suit who took Makimura, he releases Majima and tells him to find out where the woman is.
Since Nishitani was the only other person who'd demonstrated interest in capturing Makimura, Majima concludes the man in the suit could be working for him. After roughing up some Kijin thugs for info, Majima learns that Nishitani is still in jail after their fight and that the only man who can help him get into said jail is Nishitani's uncle, a corrupt cop named Detective Billiken. Majima gets in contact with Billiken, who agrees to take Majima to Nishitani, but only if Majima participates in three fights in the Bed of Styx, an underground fighting arena that Billiken operates. Majima handily defeats his three opponents and Billiken takes him to the jail where Nishitani is being held.
As it turns out, Nishitani has the entire jail on his payroll and uses it as his headquarters. After another fight between the two, which Majima wins again, Nishitani agrees to tell him everything he knows. Nishitani and the man in the white suit weren't working together, but based on his description, Nishitani tells Majima that the man is Masaru Sera; patriarch of the Nikkyo Consortium, a dangerous and secretive Tojo Clan family. Nishitani also tells Majima that he only tried to kidnap Makimura because lieutenant Shibusawa of the Dojima Family paid him to do so.
Nishitani offers Majima a position within his family because he's impressed by his fighting skills, but Majima refuses, since insisting he has a duty to remain in the Tojo in case his imprisoned oath brother, Taiga Saejima, is ever released. Nishitani tells Majima that he needs to start living for himself instead of others and proceeds to open the jail cell where both had been locked up. Before the pair leave, however, one of the jail's guards guns down Billiken in front of a horrified Nishitani. The guard tells Nishitani that Shibusawa ordered his death for his failure to capture Makimura and then shoots him repeatedly. However, Nishitani doesn't immediately die from the gunshots and beats the treacherous guard to death before succumbing to his wounds.
Chapter 12: Den of Desires
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 12
Majima attempts to find Sera on his own, fearful that if Sagawa finds him and Makimura, he'll kill her to fulfill Shimano's orders. However, Sagawa finds him as he's trying to leave Sotenbori and forces him to take him with him when he goes after Sera.
Majima and Sagawa track Sera down to a luxurious brothel known as the Camelia Grove, which the Nikkyo Consortium uses as its base in Osaka. The duo split up to search for Sera and end up having to fight their way through the many guards that patrol the building. Majima ultimately finds Sera at the brothel's roof garden but discovers that Makimura is no longer with him. Sera is surprised by Majima's determination to help Makimura, even though killing her would be far more beneficial to him, so he insists that if he's going to tell him where he sent her, he must test his resolve. Sera attacks Majima, who fights back in self-defense and ultimately subdues the Nikkyo patriarChapter
Convinced of Majima's pure intentions, Sera reveals Makimura's ownership of the Empty Lot, thus explaining why Dojima wants her, and that he sent her to Tokyo under the custody of a Tachibana Real Estate employee, since he's been working with them as their liaison in Osaka. Just as he offers Majima the business card of said Tachibana employee, Sagawa shoots Sera from behind, critically wounding him. Sagawa informs a distraught Majima that now that they know where Makimura is, they'll both go to Tokyo together to kill her. The Omi patriarch hands Majima the business card Sera intended to give him, revealing that the Tachibana employee who transported Makimura to Tokyo was Kazuma Kiryu.
Chapter 13: Crime & Punishment
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 13
A few hours prior, Kiryu and Oda had met with Sera to escort Makimura to Tokyo. Sera tells Kiryu that he is an old friend of his foster father and that he too intends to prevent Dojima from becoming the Tojo Clan's next chairman. Makimura agrees to go with Kiryu after he tells her that he works for her older brother and that he'll reunite her with him. The trio travels back to Tokyo by car but are ambushed by Shibusawa and his goons, who attempt to shoot and ram them off the road. After gaining some distance on their attackers, the trio pulls out of the highway and hide in a nearby construction site.
When Oda momentarily departs to look around the site, Makimura tells Kiryu that she recognizes Oda's voice, since she's already met him before: He's the man who kidnapped her and sold her to the Triad several years prior. Oda overhears her, pulls a gun on them both, and takes Makimura hostage. Oda reveals that his sale of Makimura happened before he met Tachibana and that later, when he realized that the woman he'd sold was his best friend's long lost sister, he resolved that he could never let them reunite. Oda tells Kiryu that he made a deal with Shibusawa prior to their journey to Osaka: He would give him Makimura and, in exchange, he and Tachibana would be spared, though Kiryu would still be killed.
Before Oda can shoot Kiryu, Makimura pulls a hidden blade out of her walking cane and stabs him in the leg. Taking advantage of his distraction, Kiryu charges Oda and takes away his gun. Immediately afterward, Shibusawa's goons arrive, having been tipped off by Oda. Kiryu and Makimura flee, leaving Oda behind while he begs that they do not tell Tachibana the truth. Kiryu and Makimura fight their way through Shibusawa's men, narrowly escaping capture. Shibusawa arrives and has his men savagely beat Oda for his failure, before finishing him off with a shot to the head.
Chapter 14: Unwavering Bonds
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 14
Once again in Kamurocho, Kiryu leaves Makimura hidden with the homeless of West Park until he can get in contact with Tachibana. Kiryu finds him in Little Asia, but the place is attacked by Shibusawa's goons, who found the hideout's location from a card on Oda's body. Kiryu and Tachibana defeat Shibusawa's thugs but they are then ambushed by a mysterious assassin, who shoots Kiryu, severely wounding him. The assassin claims to be acting on direct orders from Patriarch Dojima to capture Tachibana alive. Tachibana agrees to go with him, but only if he spares Kiryu.
Hours later, Kiryu awakens back in the Little Asia clinic, being looked over by Elder Chen, who's had his men tend to his wounds. The Elder tells Kiryu that the man who took Tachibana is an infamous Chinese assassin named Lao Gui and requests that Kiryu help rescue him. Kiryu agrees and leaves, only to be spotted by more of Shibusawa's men, as well as Nishiki. The Shibusawa goons tell Nishiki to prove that he's still loyal to the Family by killing Kiryu. Nishiki refuses and instead attacks the other Family men, beating them back with Kiryu's help. Kiryu explains what happened in Little Asia and begs Nishiki to help him rescue Tachibana. The two men investigate and find the abandoned building where Tachibana is being held by Kuze and his men.
At the abandoned building, Kuze's right-hand man, Yoneda, tortures Tachibana but is unable to get him to reveal his sister's location. After being taunted, Yoneda inflicts a fatal wound on Tachibana, causing Kuze to kill him for his insubordination. At this point, Kiryu and Nishiki barge in, defeat Kuze's men and discover a dying Tachibana. Nishiki rushes to go bring Makimura over. Tachibana tells Kiryu that Kuze claimed the one who framed him for the murder in the empty lot was Sohei Dojima himself. A battered Kuze confirms this and also reveals that the empty lot is no longer just a Dojima Family issue; since there is a traitor somewhere in the Tojo who is trying to sell it to the Omi Alliance. Kuze advises Kiryu hand the girl over, else he may make an enemy of the entire Tojo Clan, but Kiryu angrily refuses and threatens to destroy the Dojima Family if they harm Makimura.
Kiryu takes Tachibana outside of the building, into the Empty Lot. Nishiki arrives with Makimura just as Tachibana passes away, with Makimura not being able to greet her brother before he dies.
Chapter 15: Scattered Light
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 15
Majima and Sagawa travel together to Kamurocho to find Makimura. There, Sagawa reveals that Shimano intends to sell the Empty Lot to the Omi Alliance, which will let the Omi steal the Tojo's participation in the Kamurocho Redevelopment Project and give them enough funds to go to war with the Tojo, in exchange for making Shimano the next Tojo Chairman as an Omi subsidiary once they've taken Tokyo.
Majima and Sagawa are approached by Shimano Family men, who take them to meet with Shimano himself. He reveals that he knew Majima wouldn't be able to go through with murdering Makimura, and would instead protect her and gain her trust. Now Shimano needs Majima to use that trust to get her to sell him the Empty Lot. In exchange, Shimano promises not to kill Makimura and to restore Majima back into his Family.
Majima wanders the city in search of Makimura, furious at himself for how easily he was manipulated by Shimano, but also aware that having her give him the Empty Lot is the best way to keep her safe. He finds his way to Kazama's offices, where he confronts Kashiwagi and demands to know where Kiryu and Makimura are. Kashiwagi refuses to give them up, leading to a fight where Majima proves victorious. When Majima threatens an unconscious Kashiwagi's life, one of Kashiwagi's men tells him Kiryu might be at Serena.
Majima goes to the bar and, while he doesn't find Kiryu, he does find Nishiki. When questioned about Makimura's location, Nishiki attacks Majima, believing him to be another of Shibusawa's goons. After Majima beats Nishiki in a fight, he clarifies that he's trying to help Makimura and that he's the one who saved her from Shibusawa's men back in Sotenbori. Nishiki regretfully tells Majima neither he nor Kiryu knows where Makimura is. Apparently, after witnessing her brother's death, Makimura requested that they bury Tachibana in the Empty Lot and, while Kiryu and Nishiki were doing the burying, she snuck away. Having no further leads, Majima goes to the Empty Lot in the hopes that he can pick up Makimura's trail from there. Much to his surprise, he sees Makimura standing on one of the nearby rooftops. When he climbs up to where she is, Majima realizes something's changed about her: She's started gaining back her eyesight.
Chapter 16: Proof of Love
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Chapter 16
Makimura tells Majima that the shock of hearing her brother die in front of her triggered something and now she can see the outlines of things, but her vision isn't fully back yet. She also insists that she needs to seek revenge on Dojima's lieutenants for the deaths of Lee and Tachibana, the two people dearest to her. Majima tries to dissuade her from her intentions, since going against the Dojima Family could get her killed. Realizing that in their time together, he's developed feelings for Makimura, Majima offers to run away with her and go somewhere neither Dojima nor Shimano can find them. Makimura is hesitant about this, but ultimately agrees. However, while Majima is distracted getting some takoyaki for her, Makimura slips away again, leaving a message with a nearby homeless man saying that she is determined to seek revenge. After an encounter with some of Shibusawa's men, Majima learns that Makimura has turned herself over to Shibusawa and he's taken her to Patriarch Dojima's penthouse.
At Dojima's penthouse, Shibusawa presents Makimura to Patriarch Dojima at a meeting where Lao Gui, Kuze and Awano are also present. Dojima congratulates Shibusawa and promotes him to Family Captain. Makimura offers to give Dojima the Empty Lot for next to nothing if he executes his three lieutenants. Much to the lieutenants surprise, Dojima briefly considers the idea, before turning Makimura down. Dojima tells her that he doesn't actually need her to sell the Lot to him. Since the property is so small, the Kamurocho redevelopment project can go through without the Tojo Clan acquiring it, as long as its owner doesn't oppose it. Just as Majima arrives at the penthouse and fights his way past Dojima's guards, Lao Gui shoots Makimura at Dojima's behest. Before Majima can attack Dojima and his lieutenants, they all get into an awaiting helicopter and flee the scene. Infuriated, Majima savagely beats all of Dojima's guards who remained behind, leaving many of them close to death. He then tries to resuscitate Makimura and scrambles to carry her back to the elevator. Much to his surprise, Sera and a group of his men arrive soon after, with Sera having survived Sagawa's attack in Osaka. Sera's guards load Makimura into one of their cars and transport her and Majima to an underground clinic, where a distraught Majima breaks down in tears while he waits for the emergency surgery to take place.
Finale: Black & White
- Main article: Yakuza 0/Finale
The newly-promoted Shibusawa wishes to consolidate his position as Dojima's second-in-command, so he orders his men, as well as Awano and Kuze, to kill all of former Captain Kazama's supporters. Elsewhere, Kiryu gets wind of what transpired at Dojima's penthouse from Sera. He tells him Makimura survived the gunshot and that he'll be keeping her safe at the Nikkyo Consortium's hidden headquarters in Shibaura Wharf.
Soon after his conversation with Sera, Kiryu hears about Dojima Family goons heading for Kazama's office and correctly assumes that Shibusawa is making his move. Kiryu goes to the Kazama office, but is stopped in the street outside of it by Kuze, all on his own. After all the humiliations Kiryu subjected him to, all Kuze wants is to defeat him in order to recover his lost pride. The two engage in a final battle and, despite Kuze's determination, Kiryu bests him once again. Just afterwards, Nishiki and Kashiwagi emerge from the Kazama office, having defeated Kuze's men inside. A defeated Kuze admits to himself that he'll never beat Kiryu and then warns the three that Shibusawa knows about Sera's hidden base and is mobilizing his men to attack it. Kiryu and Nishiki decide to go ahead and warn Sera, while Kashiwagi goes to gather Kazama's men to provide back up.
Elsewhere, a furious Majima heads for the Dojima Family's offices, but is interrupted by Sagawa and some of his crew. When Majima tells him of his intentions, Sagawa threatens him, telling him that if he attacks Dojima, it will have negative consequences for Shimano and the Omi Alliance. Majima, no longer intimidated by Sagawa, quickly beats him and his men back before continuing towards Dojima's offices.
By the time Kiryu, Nishiki and Kashiwagi arrive at the Nikkyo's base in a docked yacht, Shibusawa's attack has already begun. While Kashiwagi and his men hold back Shibusawa's goons, Nishiki and Kiryu head aboard the yacht, where Shibusawa is searching for Makimura. Kiryu eventually manages to reach Shibusawa, who is holding an unconscious Makimura hostage. Shibusawa explains that, after years of being passed over for promotion because of more charismatic yakuza like Kazama, Kuze and Awano, he is finally getting the recognition he feels he deserves, and he won't let a low-ranking thug like Kiryu threaten that. Kiryu goads Shibusawa into a fight by calling out his power-lust and, after an extended duel, defeats him and rescues Makimura. Kiryu considers killing Shibusawa, but he is stopped by Nishiki, who insists killing a man once he's already been beaten would make Kiryu just as monstrous as Dojima and his goons.
Back in Kamurocho, Majima breaks into Dojima's headquarters. Since most of the Family's men were sent away for Shibusawa's attacks, Majima fights his way towards the Patriarch's office single-handedly. However, before he can get to Dojima, Majima is stopped by Awano, who recognizes him as one of Shimano's enforcers. Awano is puzzled as to why Majima would risk so much for a woman he barely knows, to which Majima responds by saying that he's come to enjoy living dangerously. Impressed, Awano challenges Majima to a duel, which he ultimately loses. The two are interrupted by Patriarch Dojima and Lao Gui, who attacks them both due to Awano's failure. Awano dies in the battle, but Majima ultimately manages to beat Lao Gui, much to Dojima's terror. Before Majima can kill Lao Gui, he is stopped by Sera, who arrives to inform Dojima that he's already lost, since Makimura awoke from her coma after being rescued by Kiryu and signed over the Empty Lot to him.
In January 1989, one month after the Empty Lot was obtained by Sera, the Tojo Clan's top patriarchs gather at headquarters. Chairman Nihara informs those present that, due to the police interest generated by Patriarch Dojima's recent troubles (including the arrest of both Kuze and Shibusawa), he is being removed from handling the land acquired for the Kamurocho revitalization project. Instead, Patriarch Sera is being given control of the land due to his acquisition of the Empty Lot and he's being made Clan Captain: His successor as the next Chairman when he dies. Sera accepts the promotion and a humiliated Dojima is forced to comply.
In Sotenbori, Majima bids goodbye to Sagawa, who is impressed that Majima survived the entire ordeal. Though Majima says that having to deal with Sagawa's coercion helped him learn to live like a real yakuza, he never wants to see him again. Moments after Majima departs, a dejected Sagawa is confronted by Omi Alliance hitmen and promptly executed.
At Serena, Nishiki and Reina are shocked upon hearing from Kiryu that he is rejoining the Dojima Family. Kiryu insists that he's not fit for civilian life and that, since Kazama will soon be released from prison, he's going to need help from both Kiryu and Nishiki in running the family's operations.
Months pass and Majima is reinstated to his position within the Shimano Family. As he patrols the streets, he runs into some of his own thugs harassing Makimura and one of her friends. Angered, Majima beats the thugs for pestering civilians. Since Makimura never managed to see him clearly before they parted, she doesn't recognize him. As he wants her to move on from her ordeals, Majima doesn't tell her who he is and instead walks away.
In a post-credits scene, Makoto returns to the Empty Lot to leave some flowers for Tachibana when she hears soft music coming from the burial mound. As she digs in that spot, she finds her brother's old watch, which she'd lost back in Sotenbori. Elsewhere, in the game's final scene, Majima and Kiryu finally meet face-to-face in the streets of Kamurocho.
The game was first announced in a special Yakuza event on 24 August 2014 together with a trailer. A Chinese-language localization of the game was announced in 2014 and eventually released in Asia in May 2015.
On December 5, 2015, at PlayStation Experience 2015 in San Francisco, Sony Computer Entertainment's Gio Corsi announced thatYakuza 0 will be coming to the Americas for the PlayStation 4. While a trailer for the game was released that ends with the statement that it will be releasing in North America and Europe, later that day Sega posted a tweet, on Twitter, saying "We know the Yakuza series is loved by all its fans in Europe but unfortunately at this time we're not able to confirm a Yakuza 0 EU release". The YouTube trailer for the game was edited to remove the word Europe. In July 2016, the developers confirmed that the game would be released in both the Americas and Europe in January 2017.
The game was released worldwide on PS4 on January 24, 2017. It was well received by the western market, with Metacritic giving it a score of 85/100. During E3 2018, Sega announced that both Yakuza 0 and Kiwami would be coming to PC. Yakuza 0 was released on Steam on August 1, 2018, becoming the first title to be officially released on PC.
A variety of mini-games are present in Kamurocho and Sotenbori. Classic Sega Arcade Games from the 1980s are included and can be played in Club SEGA, along with classic mini-games such as Bowling and Karaoke. The following games are included in both cities:
- Super Hang-On
- Space Harrier
- Fantasy Zone
- Pool (2-Player)
- Darts (2-Player)
- Disco (2-Player)
- Bowling (2-Player)
- Pocket Racing
- Batting Center
- Cabaret Club Management
- Telephone Club
Yakuza 0 debuted at number 1 on the Japan software chart in its first week of release. The PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4 version sold 146,000 units and 90,000 sales respectively. PlayStation LifeStyle's review of the PS4 version was a 9/10, calling it the best in the series and "the result of 10 years spent not just perfecting a formula, but adding to it." The game received a 36/40 from Famitsu on both platforms.
Yakuza 0's popularity in the west was such that it caused somewhat of a renaissance for the English-localized series, which had nearly died after the poor critical and commercial performance of Yakuza: Dead Souls. SEGA's official English-language Yakuza Facebook page grew in size from around 2,000 fans to in excess of 50,000 in the weeks after Yakuza 0's western release in early 2017. Since then, the series's momentum in the west has continued to grow, to the point that Kamurocho-based spin-off Judgment was released with multiple European-language text options and even an English audio option, something that has not happened since the release of the original Yakuza in 2006.
As of June 2015, Yakuza 0 has sold over 500,000 copies within Japan and Chinese-speaking regions of Asia. Sega president Haruki Satomi stated that the Chinese version of the game sold more than originally expected.
The Japanese version of Yakuza 0 won a Japan Game Awards Award for Excellence in the Future Division in 2014. The "Future Division" is dedicated to pre-release games that have been featured in the Tokyo Game Show.
- The English version of the game would change how the chapter titles, character introduction text, and encounter text would be displayed in any entry released in Western territories in the future. For chapter titles, the original Japanese characters would be displayed with transparency, shortly after followed by the English translation, which is written with a new font. Character introduction text and encounter text were replaced with English text (in said font) entirely, something that has not been done since Yakuza 2.
- In the Chinese version, Lao Gui's face was changed to resemble Hong Kong actor Sam Lee, who also gave a new voice to the character. He is also present in the game's cover.
- Similarly to Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin!, released a year prior, most of the Japanese version of Yakuza 0 is blocked from recording using the share button on PS4, whereas the Western version only has restrictions on the final chapter.
- Retail copies of the Japanese version of Yakuza 0 come with a user manual, whereas the Western version only comes with the disc.
- This is the first mainline Yakuza game to not feature The Florist of Sai, Haruka Sawamura, or Makoto Date. It is also the second game where Goro Majima does not appear as a boss fight, but rather as a playable character (the first one being Yakuza: Dead Souls)
- This is also the first mainline Yakuza game to not feature the Millennium Tower. This is because the tower didn't exist in 1988, and was built during the 17-year period separating Yakuza 0 and the rest of the series. Central to this game's conflict, however, is the Empty Lot, which is part of the land on which the tower was built.
- The first and final long battle (i.e., extended sequences of battles against non-boss enemies) of the game both take place in the same location. The first one, in the first chapter of the game, takes place in the Dojima Family building and is done by Kiryu. The final one, in the final chapter of the game (and also the final gameplay in the game before the final boss sequence), takes place in the same building and is done by Majima.
- On Xbox Series X and S consoles, the game was given an FPS Boost to run at 60FPS.
- "Sega president on current console market, potential Tokyo Game Show announcement". Gematsu. July 7, 2015.
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