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Nightmare Fuel / Yakuza

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Despite being known for being chock full of badass moments and lightheartedness, the Yakuza series also likes to remind you that you're dealing with Japan's own criminal underworld, regardless of liberties taken. And as the page picture shows, ruthless gangsters aren't the worst things stalking Kamurocho...


Games with their own pages:

Series in general

  • The very practice of yubitsume, in which one cuts one of their fingers off in order to formally apologize to a superior that they've disgraced. While the camera usually cuts away from anything too gory, the player is still privy to the crunch of bone and screams of agony...
  • If one is sensitive to violence, these games are not for the faint of heart. The HEAT system alone has your character breaking faces, ribs, and backs, stabbing people with swords or broken beer bottles, tossing them off of buildings or into rivers, and blood galore (though thankfully averting Gorn by not genuinely showing damage to the body). Majima in particular has his infamous Neck Snap move by grappling his poor target from behind and squeezing until the Sickening "Crunch!". Is it any wonder that the protagonists of this series often terrify their enemies?
    • And while in gameplay no one usually ends up fatally harmed (Kiryu never killed anyone, after all), in the story cutscenes anything's fair game. Several people get plugged with bullets to the head in the first title alone, with an aversion of Pretty Little Headshots, there's explicit amounts of brutal torture that sometimes even gets depicted on-screen, and the more villainous Yakuza are straight up the kind of monsters that are genuinely Truth in Television as they kill any and everyone that slights them or happens to be in their way to their goals, civilian or foe alike. Hell, in certain games the villains are seemingly regular civilians, government workers, or corporate individuals that can completely slip by people's attention until all hell breaks loose.
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    • There's also usually the big climatic battle between Kiryu and a game's villain where both characters tear off their shirts in a proud declaration of their tattoos and ways - which is moreso an excuse for the developers to actually show how fucked up they get from some of the downright most brutal battles in the entire franchise. Both parties inevitably end up bloodied and bruised to an excess until one of them stands no more.
  • The sheer surreality the games occasionally dip their toes in with each game, while funny, is incredibly jarring when you contrast it with the relatively realistic atmosphere of the games. And people thought Ichiban was crazy.

Yakuza 2 and Yakuza Kiwami 2

  • If you thought the photobombing substory in 5, the videotape substory in 0 OR the graveyard substory in 6 were scary enough, they got nothing on the videotape substory in Kiwami 2. In the sub story "Rising from the Shadows", a distraught man gives Kiryu a video tape and instructs him to watch it before running off in a panic. Confused, Kiryu goes to the video parlor to watch it. All it shows was what looked like an old recording of one of the Kamurocho parks at night. It statics in an out, but each time, a strange woman in red appears standing or sitting in different places. At the last static, the woman is in an extreme closeup of her face right in front of the camera with black eyes and a Slasher Smile. Also take note the camera is from a high angle shot.
    • Shortly afterwards, you meet an fake exorcist who offers to help you at a hefty price. Given how he seems to know the details of the curse, you'd expect that the whole thing was a setup, right? WRONG. The exorcist spots the woman in red right standing behind Kiryu, and promptly beats it. If you watch carefully, the woman seems to be laughing to herself at the con artist's terror. Then the woman starts to walk towards Kiryu and from behind with her arms outstretched as if she's about to strangle him. Fortunately, Kiryu accidentally drops the video tape a mere second before she could grab him, causing the woman to disappear.
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Yakuza 3

  • One subquest involves Kazuma fleeing for his manhood from a trio of drag queens. With dire consequences should he fail.
  • Then we have a scene towards the end of the third game, when calm and collected Mine suddenly flips out and stabs one of his men's hand with a butter knife for badmouthing Daigo. The camera then decides to have a close-up of the batshit insane expression on his face as he screams at his poor goon in pure rage. It really catches you by surprise to see the normally unflappable Mine act like a screaming madman.
  • Starting with this game and continuing onto 4, beating up your enemies makes them show the beatdown inflicted. Kiryu's knuckles and arms will be caked in blood with enough fisticuffs, and the sheer amounts of the red stuff from broken noses and bruised faces will utterly stain the clothes of most of your opponents when you're done with them. It really highlights just how brutal Kiryu's fights can be.

Yakuza 4

  • The first real boss of Yakuza 4 in Akiyama's story, Midorikawa, starts off with just trying to shoot you with a pistol. Beat him in the first stage of the fight, he runs back into another room while some henchmen try to knock Akiyama out. Fairly standard fare, so far. Then Midorikawa comes bursting through the door with a chainsaw, fully intending to just cut you into meaty shreds. This is a severe contrast to every enemy thus far, who either attacked you bare-handed or with a more mundane melee weapon. The fact he's bathed in a fiery Battle Aura and cannot be even stunned just nails home how ungodly pissed he is with Akiyama. To make matters worse, on the rare occasions where Midorikawa stands still during this stage of the boss fight, you can see him standing there, hunched over with his head twitching like a madman.
  • The Kappa that inexplicably appears under a sewer grate. While it might be a little hilarious, the fact that it even exists in the first place is enough to make anyone question reality. He only appears just ONCE.

Yakuza 5

  • One of Kiryu's heat moves, The Essence of Face Grating, is a top contender for the most brutal heat move in the series where Kiryu slams a guy's face in the pavement before grating it back and forth, complete with squeamish sound effects that are not fit for the faint of heart.
    • One of Shinada's Climax Heat Actions, My Essence of Dragging, takes it a step further by having him trip his opponent over before grabbing by the legs and dragging his face across the ground for a considerable distance.
  • Hiroshi Kugihara is an Ax-Crazy Sadist who takes pleasure in subjecting Saejima to Cold-Blooded Torture. His introduction even has him driving his fingers into Saejima's wounds and licking the blood off them. His unsettling appearance doesn't help matters.
  • One of Akiyama's substories, "The Cursed PrintCircle" is centered around a seemingly harmless prank of a photobombing youth with a screamer mask but it becomes something much more ominous at the very end. After chasing down said youth and subsequently letting him go, Akiyama finds out that the person in question was run over by a car years ago after a frustrated customer tried to chase him down. So either the guy was a look-a-like trying to honor the youth's legacy... or an actual ghost terrorizing the photo booth beyond the grave.
    • There's also an effective and subtle Jump Scare with the guy just lurking behind Akiyama's shoulder after Akiyama finishes investigating the cursed photo booth which can catch players off guard. Although Akiyama himself remains unfazed.

Black Panther / Kurohyō

  • The protagonist, Tatsuya, is a top contender for the most brutal and pragmatic fighter in the entire series between his combat style and his downright cruel Heat actions. One highlight is kicking the back of an opponent's head through a vending machine's glass panel, then twisting his leg to drag them face-first across the glass before bringing their skull down into the pavement. And keep in mind that he's not a burly ex-Yakuza or anything like that, but a teenager (seventeen in the first game, nineteen in the second) fighting to survive against the seedy underworld's toughest combatants.
  • In the second game, the violence is more detailed than usual in the series for some handheld game. Enough face hits will mess up noses and discolor cheeks, and if someone's going shirtless, you get to see their torso gradually turn red and purple as you give them the beatdown of their lives.

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