Yakuza is known for two things: 1), being incredibly Japanese, and 2) being FREAKING AWESOME.
Games with their own pages:
- Holy. Freaking. Unbelievably. AWESOME. The HEAT moves in the Yakuza series are brutal, incredibly well shot, deal LOADS of damage, and just look freaking cool. Special note goes to Kiryu's, who seems to have a natural affinity for beating people within an inch of their life.
- Akiyama's involve kicks that crush opponents faces in a mangled, bloody display of awesome kickpower.
- Some of Kiryu's in the fifth game are hilarious, such as gluing two unfortunate saps together.
- Kiryu does these with alarming frequency, as does most of the cast. A few good examples include, surviving numerous gun battles with limited or no access to firearms, defeating well over a dozen elite enforcers, assassins and government agents, and finally, killing two tigers with a punch to the skull and a hammer blow to the groin respectively.
- He can also take on lions in the arena, for Christ's sake.
- This HEAT action from Kenzan!... while it can be used in any fight after learning it from a Revelation, the timing, setting and music are just perfect; the only downer is that it wasn't the killing blow.
- If the HEAT action above was perfect, than this HEAT action from the same game is transcendent!
- The Battle Aura most characters have. It's quite awe-inspiring to see seemingly mundane gangsters radiating with intense heat energy during a fight. Especially with bosses during their last phases, and they become even stronger.
- Baba and Kanai especially get a mention with their golden heat aura. Their strikes literally seem like they're made of fire.
- Karaoke becomes this when you realize that the songs are sung by their actual voice actors. You'll find more arguments about who is the better singer as opposed to who is the strongest character!
- The iconic Dynamic Intros to Boss Fights are a much beloved hallmark of the series with good reason. Any time a flashy, stylistic, cinematic animation introduces a boss fight as their Boss Title pops up is guaranteed to get your blood pumped for another intense brawl, especially when its the Final Boss.
Yakuza 1 / Yakuza Kiwami
- Kiryu's crowning himself the fourth chairman of the Tojo Clan to stop Jingu's plans. All this occurring when the Tojo was heading to a downhill spiral of ruin throughout the game.
- This actually extends to later games too: Despite Kiryu stepping down by the first game's ending, his reputation stuck, to the point where he's revered as a legend!
- The flashback sequence of Kazama/Fuma rescuing Kiryu from Lau Ka Long. The man proves not only is he a Parental Substitute to Kiryu, but he's a Papa Wolf as well, storming in guns blazing.
- The added cutscene in Kiwami showing Nishiki finally Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. Matsushige finally gets on Nishiki's last nerve by grumbling that, even though Kiryu killed Dojima, he'd rather work under him while Nishiki is mourning the death of his sister. Nishiki stands and drives his knife into Matsushige's stomach, twisting it for good measure, and tells Matsushige that it was him that killed Dojima, not Kiryu. He then pulls his knife out and Matsushige's blood splatters him from head to toe, Nishiki tosses the knife to the side and looks down at his bloody hands...and then slicks his hair back with it. Never has an Expository Hairstyle Change been so hardcore.
Yakuza 2 / Yakuza Kiwami 2
- Another in the second game. Daigo Dojima gets one for fighting Ryuji Goda first before Kiryu. Considering Ryuji's role here, that's pretty impressive and goes to show that Daigo's sticking around for this game.
- Hiroshi Hayashi returns for one of the game's more memorable fights. When he's had enough of Kiryu kicking his ass, he grabs two active pipes from the wall, yanks them both out single-handedly, and twirls them around him with shockingly impressive skill that would have anyone else saying, "Bring Me My Brown Pants".
- One such moment from the second game is Goro Majima taking on a contingent of Sengoku's Kansai gangsters single-handedly... and winning. Kiryu can follow the trail of trashed thugs all the way to Majima himself in the aftermath.
- Again, because you have to see it to believe it, when two tigers are set upon Kiryu, he takes them on with his bare hands and punches one out with a Megaton Punch.
- The Big Damn Villains moment at the end of the game courtesy of Ryuji. Once Takashima puts a gun to Kaoru's head, the Dragon of Kansai gets up and unloads an entire clip on him, putting nineteen bullets in him before putting the last one in his head.
- In Kiwami 2, the many new Dynamic Introductions for boss fights in this game alone bring the hype. Majima's Dynamic Intro deserves special mention.
- Kiwami 2 gives us DIO- er, we mean Kei Iibuchi. A Smug Snake that is revealed to be the catalyst for the events of the game. Only two words can describe his Dynamic Intro against the Mad Dog of Shimano himself - Fuck. Yes. Update With Gunfire gloriously compliments an already epic dynamic intro, giving you just the motivation you need to really piss Iibuchi off.
- The whole final fight qualifies as well: The whole game has been hyping this moment, Goda vs Kiryu, having similar wounds, a Dragon tattoo from legendary masters, the title of "The Dragon", totally exhausted, alongside a bomb that's about to explode, fighting no longer because of ideals or revenge, they fight because they respect each other, to see which one is the best, and just doing it because of their pride (regardless of the outcome, as far as they know they'll die because of the bomb) so they're only fighting to prove who's the best to themselves and only themselves, to show who's worthy of bearing the title of "The dragon".
- The final Bouncer Mission in Kiwami 2, Pandaemonium, in which Kiryu by himself fights around a hundred Mooks and three Amon brothers at once while the game's theme "A" by SIM blares in the background is all kinds of awesome despite lacking story context.
- Kiryu becomes an internationally known badass. So much so that the CIA shuttles him around in a prototype spy plane to help track down an intelligence unit gone rogue.
- At the climax of the game, Kiryu, Mine and a currently comatose Daigo Dojima are cornered on a rooftop by Richardson and his henchmen. Things look bad, and then Daigo rolls off his hospital cart, picks up Mine's gun and takes out two of the goons before shooting Richardson, proclaiming "I can't afford to die just yet".
- The Final Boss Yoshitaka Mine having the honor of giving the series its first Dynamic Intro which would become a beloved staple of the series going forward.
- Nakahara, the tubby, wrinkled patriarch of the Ryudo Family, FLIPS A BULL BY THE HORNS. WHILE RECOVERING FROM A GUNSHOT WOUND. Holy crap! Kiryu repeats the same insane feat moments later to prove no one can take his status as the king of badass.
- Hell's Floor, the final boss finisher Kiryu can learn in 3: a German suplex, followed by an arm bar, followed by a triangle choke, followed by an ANACONDA choke, followed by a GUILLOTINE choke, finished with a mounted punch to the face. Just the chokes would probably leave the opponent's trachea reduced to the consistency of a burger.
- Saejima's chapter has him fighting against non-other than Kiryu himself, who proves to still pack a punch. To his credit, Saejima appears to be one of the only few characters in the series to match Kiryu in strength and durability, and the fight ends in a tie.
- Saejima channeling Maximus Decimus Meridius in a deathmatch arena.Saejima: SHUT YOUR FUCKING HOLES!
- For context: Saejima is forced to participate in a deathmatch in front of a crowd of cheering people. After he wins the match, the rowdy crowd is yelling at him to kill his beaten opponent. He is tossed a sword to kill the opponent with the audience egging him on, one guy asks him since he's killed eighteen people, and what's one more. At that Saejima snaps and yells at the crowd to shut up as detailed in the above entry. He then delivers a speech that is both Shaming the Mob and "The Reason You Suck" Speech as he tells them that none of them know what it's like to have killed someone before and to live with it; knowing that you have taken a life and scarred their families forever, all the while Manly Tears going down his face as he still has nightmares from that day 25 years ago and relives it every night, remembering their dead fearful faces. This silences the crowd, and he tells both them and the man who put him up to the match that this is bullshit and he's out of here.
- Kiryu taking on both Akiyama and Tanimura at the same time and mopping the floor with them.
- Not only does he handily beat them, he catches Tanimura WITH ONE ARM (while carrying Akiyama over his shoulder) and slams them to the ground when they double team him!
- The dynamic intro of the fight is pretty cool too, with Kiryu blocking both their attacks simultaneously.
- While most characters use their cellphones (or a handbook, in Tanimura's case) to record their Revelations, Saejima instead takes a wooden log out of Hammerspace and proceeds to carve a wood statue depicting his new Heat move.
- The final chapter is full of this:
- Arai gives Daigo a ruthless "The Reason You Suck" Speech for partnering with the Tokyo police and selling Majima out to the Big Bad.
- The four protagonists, having come together, arrive on a helicopter to confront their opponents. They then casually pick their specific targets. Cue a four-part Boss Rush.
- Arai serves as the Final Boss for Akiyama, and uses a similar kick-based fighting style. Right before the fight he does a Battle Strip, and once he charges to Akiyama, the latter grabs him and throws unto a lower platform. The fight ends in a brutal QTE sequence which climaxes in Akiyama crushingly kicking Arai to the ground if succeeded.
- The boss fight against Kido, Saejima's Final Boss, is no slouch either. Despite being younger and less experienced than the physically imposing Saejima, Kido is an Almighty Janitor who can give the elder man a run for his money. The fight even starts with Saejima encouraging Kido to do his best and them headbutting each other. As with Arai, the fight finishes in a furious action sequence before Saejima delivers a devastating kick to Kido's face.
- The fight against Daigo, who serves as Kiryu's Final Boss, doubles as a Tear Jerker given the two men's history. While Kiryu is... well, Kiryu, Daigo might be the strongest out of the four boss fights, and holds up well against his Big Brother Mentor. Their fight climaxes in an epic Punch Parry which can throw either of them to the ground.
- Munakata himself is less impressive than his fellow antagonists, but his boss fight serves as one huge moment of Awesome to Tanimura, who proceeds to fight off his horde of highly-trained bodyguards all by himself before mopping the floor with Munakata. This also marks the first time in the series that the true Final Boss is not taken on by Kiryu.
- The Stinger is a Awesome Moment of Crowning, which shows Saejima getting re-inducted into the Tojo Clan while founding his own family.
- When Kiryu finally comes to Kamuroucho to do something about this Zombie Apocalypse nonsense, what's his first plan of action for dealing with the undead? The same solution as everything else: beat the living shit out of them with his bare hands! Granted, it doesn't work, but it takes some serious balls to go up against zombies with nothing but your fists.
- Dead Souls features some awesome HEAT attacks of its own, centered around using Improbable Aiming Skills for maximum damage. This ranges from simple things like shooting mutants in the head moments before they attack, to shooting exploding barrels, to shooting gas lines and fuse boxes and letting flames and electricity do the work for you, all the way up to shooting gas tanker trucks for big explosions and cranes to drop steel beams on the deadheads below.
- A special trailer reveals that some familiar faces will be joining Ichiban to restore passion and justice to Kamurocho, who receive some dynamic introductions and Big Damn Heroes moments. Akiyama flies out of nowhere and kicks an armed thug in the face, and a Mr. Shakedown-sized yakuza gets taken out with a baseball to the teeth courtesy of Majima with Saejima at his side. And perhaps the big shocker is Haruka, who is actually fighting some thugs in her idol uniform and shows that she's just as capable as kicking as much ass as any of the others (and boy, do they look shocked). Not to be upstaged, a man in the shadows appears and announces that he won't let anything big happen in Kamurocho without his involvement. A sleeping dragon awakens once again to everyone's surprise, particularly Haruka, who thought he was dead.
- The Passing On The Torch moment from Kiryu to Ichiban, having none other than Nishiki's seiyuu voicing him is also a crowning moment of Awesome. It is as if Nishiki has finally become a dragon at long last.