Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Lost Judgment

Go To

Spoilers for Judgment and Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lost_judgment_thbt.jpg
The legend of the Yagami Detective Agency takes a dark turn.

"She can't say her peace without a voice. So if I don't raise mine for her, what justice prevails!?"
Takayuki Yagami
Advertisement:

Lost Judgment is the sequel to 2018's Yakuza Spin-Off Judgment. It was released simultaneously worldwide on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on September 24, 2021.note  A PC version was released on September 14, 2022, alongside the original game.

The story follows disgraced defense attorney turned private eye Takayuki Yagami as he finds himself thrust into another grisly mystery: Akihiro Ehara, a defendant represented by Yagami's old lawyer agency, suddenly admits to having knowledge of the murder of Hiro Mikoshiba, a high-school bully who had managed to evade justice for driving Ehara's son to suicide. As the cracks in the Japanese criminal justice system are laid bare, Yagami must get to the bottom of this ghastly case. The stakes, however, have never been higher, as the pursuit of the truth may lead him towards an uncertain fate...

Advertisement:

As with the previous game, Lost Judgment mixes a hard-hitting crime drama story with an equally hard-hitting combat system as Yagami employs a variety of fighting styles to fend off his enemies. This time, however, the hunt for the truth will take Yagami beyond the familiar haunts of Kamurocho to the coastal city of Ijincho, Yokohama — the famous setting for Yakuza: Like a Dragon. As always, a number of side-quests and minigames will also be thrown into the mix to provide levity and fun to the proceedings, with Yagami partaking in boxing, skateboarding, dance-offs, and even going undercover in a high school.

Lost Judgment, for the first time in the Yakuza franchise, also features a DLC expansion titled The Kaito Files, with Yagami's partner and best friend, Masaharu Kaito, as the central character while Yagami is away on a case. Released on March 28th, 2022.

Advertisement:

Announcement trailer, Gameplay Trailer, Intro Cinematic, Sony State of Play trailer Official Detective's Toolkit trailer, Extended Story Trailer English Cast Reveal Trailer

    open/close all folders 

Lost Judgment contains examples of:

    Base Game 
  • Actor Allusion:
  • An Aesop: As hammered home throughout the story, bullying ultimately does damage to everyone involved in the long-run, so it's better to intervene before it can get worse.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: In chapter 1, as Tsukumo is discussing the bullying cases piling up, he mentions just how primitive and ancient bullying is by saying that it serves both a hormonal function in people's brains and it was the first form of societal justice - those who did not conform or contribute to society were ostracized.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Once again, Saori. She's briefly playable in Chapters 6 and 11. This time around, the player does have some more control of her, such as being able to play as her from a third-person perspective (as opposed to being restricted to a first-person view in the first game), save your game, or promptly pull out your phone and take a picture with Hoshino, Genda, and/or Yagami. However, it's still pretty restricted, as Saori can't freely explore Kamurocho and she obviously can't fight to the degree that Yagami does.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Lots.
    • Like in the last game, Yagami has unlimited stamina, so you can keep running around Kamurocho and especially Ijincho to your heart's content.
    • Carrying over from Yakuza: Like a Dragon, you can now simply fast travel with a taxi straight from your phone (the pause menu) instead of finding the nearest one, which is especially handy in Ijincho, due to its massive size.
    • This game introduces the skateboard for Yagami, which is a very helpful tool to get around Kamurocho and Ijincho much quicker. It also carries the added benefit of preventing any unwanted enemy encounters while in the streets.
    • Style switching is now near-instantaneous like it was for Kiryu in Yakuza Kiwami, allowing Yagami to juggle enemies seamlessly in the air.
    • After a different gameplay segment (e.g., parkour, chasing), any health lost during that segment will be restored when going into actual combat immediately afterward.
    • There is now an ability (Battle Bonus) that increases the SP payout after every enemy encounter, earning you upwards of 1,000 SP depending on your playstyle. However, it also comes at the expense of inflation compared to the previous game, as these skills are also some of the most expensive in the game.
      • Post-battle rewards as a whole also work very similarly to those of Yakuza 0's, where you have a list of different actions that will net you varying amounts of SP (e.g., "Legend Conqueror" for defeating enemies using all three styles in a single encounter).
    • The Snake style allows you to relieve any armed enemies of their weapon (Circle/B while grabbing them), which is especially helpful against enemies armed with swords or guns.
    • If you're unsure of what you're looking for during the Active Seach Mode segments of the game, there is now a button (L2/LT) that allows Yagami to stop and think about what he's looking for.
    • With the boss fight against Akutsu in Chapter 7 being a No-Gear Level, Yagami won't have access to any of his healing items or even Extracts to level the playing field with. Fortunately, there's also a fair bit of health pickups scattered throughout the arena to make the fight less tedious.
    • While not stated within the game itself, you can also use the directional pad instead of the analog stick during the Quick Time Events that require tilting the analog stick (such as during either of Tesso's encounters). Especially if your inputs are imprecise during said QTEs.
  • Asshole Victim: Deconstructed. Kuwana's targets are all bullies who had driven their victims to commit suicide. However, just because the bullies were terrible people does not mean they were exempt from any meaningful connections. Kuwana's killings eventually get the RK on his trail, which results in an innocent woman's death after she attempts to look into one of his murders.
  • Bag of Spilling: Just as with the mainline Yakuza series, Yagami starts with far less health, skills and money than he would’ve had at the end of the first game,though this is played with - unlike in the first game, he starts out with maxed-out combo speed and the Charged Attacks from the Tiger style right off the bat, which had to be unlocked originally. He also gets a new style upon visiting Yokohama for the first time, in Snake, with Kaito even asking if he's taken up aikido at a certain point between this game and the previous one.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: In the penultimate chapter, Soma pulls a gun and shoots Akane in the stomach to the horror of all present, only for Akane to lift her hands from the injury and reveal that he shot her with a paintball instead of a bullet.
  • Battle in the Rain:
    • Tesso's first boss encounter takes place in the rain.
    • After Yagami and Kuwana meet outside Sawa's apartment in Chapter 7, it starts raining not too long after Akutsu and his RK goons show up.
    • The first section of the final Long Battle with RK, like in the first game, is also set to a rainy backdrop.
      Kaito: Hey, anyone else getting some good deja vu from kicking a bunch of asses in a downpour?
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kusumoto ultimately turns herself in for the murder of Kuwai at the cost of possibly never seeing her son again, but Mitsuru assures her he'll stand by her side. Kuwana goes into hiding so that Soma and Bando will face justice for their crimes, but Yagami seems to have given him a change of heart as he soon gives out an anonymous tip of the locations of the bodies he buried. Also, while there still remains a bullying problem in Seiryo, most of its ex-bullies and former victims have now taken steps to curb the problems on their own.
  • Bonus Boss: The Amon clan returns, only this time you're fighting Shin's brother Juzo.
    • Doubles up in the "Detective Essentials DLC" where you gain an additional Gauntlet fight against "Super Amon". It's essentially the same fight only you have no access to healing/buffing items.
  • Bookends:
    • The Bullies (Matsui, Akane, and Sakaki) are introduced by trying to goad an innocent shop owner into attacking them so they'll humiliate him online. In the final chapter, just before Yagami Detective Agency heads to where Kuwana is located, they once again do this, only this time, it's to help distract some corrupt cops as YDA make their escape after Yagami helped them earlier. Finally, their final scene has them interacting with the shop owner again, only this time to team up and drive off a new gang of bullies that are harassing another student.
    • "Rasen" by jon-YAKITORY and Ado both opens and closes the game - being played during the intro and end credits.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Some enemies on the street will have purple icons over their heads, indicating that they're much tougher than the normal goons Yagami faces. The Nouveau Riche enemies have also been upgraded from the walking piggy banks they were during Kiryu's time, now with a health pool comparable to some early bosses and attack strength to match.
  • Boss Subtitles: In addition to the usual Dynamic Intros, the boxing minigame has their own spin on this, with each opponent having a fancy title. For some examples:
    Go Todoroki: Todoroki Boxing Gym Coach
    Yuma Iwashita: Jaw Crusher
    Kenya Oshikiri: (First fight) Mysterious Trainee / (Final Fight) Optimistic Trainee
    Kenya (Second Phase): Unhinged Trainee / (Third Phase) Supernova of Hope
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Yagami and Kuwana and his various supporters make very compelling arguments. On Yagami's side, the killers are going around killing people, no matter how justified, and their actions are roping in innocents that they refuse to acknowledge, while Kuwana and Ehara are also right that Barbaric Bullies like Mikoshiba showed no remorse for pushing kids to suicide and were never properly charged for their crimes, so they felt betrayed by the law Yagami upholds. In the climax, Yagami's best friend Kaito lampshades this, wondering if there's even a right way to settle this.
  • Broken Aesop: At the end of the day, behind all the criminal conspiracies and action, the game ultimately has a staunch and clear anti-bullying message by depicting how ugly such behaviour can be, how anyone is capable of putting a stop to it, and the very real ramifications of either committing it or letting it go unchecked. However, while the point is well-emphasized, some can feel it's this in regards to Hoshino; Having been thrown back into his previous Butt-Monkey role, Hoshino become a No-Respect Guy who either gets severely reprimanded for minor slights or mistakes, or sometimes for not doing anything wrong or things outside of his control, with none of the other characters receiving any comeuppance unlike the bullies in the story. While it's all Played for Laughs, it can be hard not to see it as something resembling workplace bullying that goes unpunished, especially his relationship with Saori, who's cold, neglectful and sometimes even cruel behaviournote  towards him could be seen as emotional abuse.
  • Broken-Window Warning: White Masks hired by Kuwana employ this trope against the Yokohama 99 office as part of a complicated gambit to try and scare them off the Mikoshiba case.
  • Bullied into Depression: Suicides resulting from bullying plays a major role in the plot and serves as a motivation for various characters.
  • Bully Hunter: A given considering how central school bullying is to the plot. Yagami actually engages in this throughout the main story and Substories while investigating Seiryo High. Thanks to the series' patented Gameplay and Story Segregation keeping any serious harm from occurring, you're free to wail on some pretty unpleasant students with impunity. It takes a darker turn with the murder of Mikoshiba and Kuwana's murderous crusade against bullies, as it raises the question if vigilante murders are justified when dealing with individuals the flawed legal system refuses to prosecute.
  • But Thou Must!: Unlike the first game, if the player gets a girlfriend’s confession even then there’s no option to say no. If you try to refuse them then Yagami will say he came there to accept and the player can only say yes. This means that if the player wants to complete their entire quest log then they have to be a cheater. Though it's worth noting that Yagami only has one girlfriend to choose from in the base game as opposed to the original - that being Emily S. Mochizuki. The rest - Tsukino, Minato, and Hakase, are all DLC instead.
  • Bystander Syndrome: This trope is specifically discussed as a major factor in why bullies tend to get away with the things they do, since the bystanders often believe that attempting to ignore the problem is better than getting involved.
  • Call-Back:
    • Kaito at one point tells Yagami that in the West the word "Mole" is used to describe undercover agents, which he finds mildly amusing.
    • During a side case, Yagami hides from a café robber by using a box to do so. Yu Nanba in Like a Dragon also did this during the main group's raid on the Seiryo Clan's HQ as well. Both characters are also voiced by Greg Chun in their respective English dubs.
    • Just like Ichiban does to Tendo during his Dynamic Intro, Yagami kicks Akutsu square in the chest only to No-Sell it during his final encounter.
    • The finale to this game is also very similar to the first game, where Yagami Detective Agency arrive at the site where the Big Bad Ensemble (Kuroiwa and Shono in the first game, Kuwana and Soma in the second) are located and it starts raining at the start of the final Long Battle. Lampshaded by Kaito as mentioned above in Battle in the Rain.
    • During the "Curse of the Amasawa Family Heirloom" side case, Yagami is escorted by Amasawa while traversing the map between objectives. This acts as one of the only instances in the game where spoken dialogue is shared between Yagami and one of his allies, which is depicted with the same miniature dialogue boxes used during Party Chat segments from Yakuza: Like a Dragon. It shows up again during the "First Errand" side case, this time between Yagami and Kaito while tailing their mark.
    • There's also quite a bit of references to the last game's substories. To wit:
      • Kim-san, the owner of Beef Zone in the previous game, makes an appearance as the third-to-last opponent that Yagami faces in the Made in Heaven School Story. He still owns Beef Zone in Kamurocho and he seems to be doing quite well after Yagami's efforts weakened the Keihin Gang's operations in Kamurocho, too.
      • Speaking of which, Tashiro recalls "The Golden Mouse" substory where he and Yagami fought Koga together along with Tamago (aka, "Mr. Try and Hit Me"), Ryan Acosta (who also returns in this game in another substory), and Ryo Suzaki quite fondly. Even going as far as adding their likenesses into Dice & Cube... albeit without getting their consent first.
      • Relating to the above, Tashiro is still not happy about Yagami robbing him for his clothes in the last game to infiltrate the Matsugane Family office with. Even Yagami can't help but apologize for that one.
      • After receiving a beating from Yagami to protect Takanashi during the Dancing Bunnies School Story, Kasai remarks that Yagami left him so broke to the point he's forced to sweep vending machines for pocket change. Ichiban would definitely attest to that one.
      • As with the previous game, completing all of the School Stories (this game's stand-in for the first Judgment's Friend System) leads to one big finale where Yagami calls upon the help of all of the students he had helped to find and rescue the Professor. From the Robotics Club successfully relieving Koga and his cronies of their weapons, to Todoroki and his pupils dealing with any Neo Keihin fodder, to even the Seiryo Rabbits managing to locate where Koga has placed the Professor, Yagami is rewarded for his efforts through pure, unbridled teamwork.
      • Juzo Amon, before starting his deathmatch with Yagami, suddenly and instantly changes the arena from the initial starting location of Hamakita Park to the roof of Seiryo High at night. When Yagami asks Juzo how he pulled off such a feat, he retorts by telling Yagami what Shin told him in the last game, verbatim. Except this time Yagami actually asks Juzo to elaborate on the details.
  • The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House: When Yagami and Kaito arrive at Kuwana's uncle's bar, Soma calls the landline from nearby to create a distraction so he can stab Kaito with an ice pick.
  • The Cameo: Various characters from Like a Dragon show up all over Ijincho.
    • Tianyou Zhao, one of Ichiban's party members and the former leader of the Yokohama Liumang, makes an appearance in a later scene where Yokohama 99 are having a bite to eat at his restaurant.
    • The Bartender (actually Osamu Kashiwagi from the mainline Yakuza series) is also still working at Survive Bar.
    • Eri Kamataki's grandmother is still running the front of Ichiban Confectionary.
    • Michiyo, the former Champion District drunk that Ichiban helps during the prologue of Like a Dragon is still in the location that she was two years prior and is now an active merchant in this game… though she only sells one item.
  • Canine Companion: Yagami can occasionally borrow the services of Ranpo, a Shiba Inu belonging to the Head of the Mystery Research Club.
  • Central Theme: Three of them.
    • Bullying. Lost Judgment explores just how damaging bullying can be if left unchecked and unpunished. Much of the game's plot happens because the court of law ended up failing those who desired justice, causing them to take matters into their own hands.
    • Law and Order. How does Order become more important to authorities than the Law, even when children are killing themselves over ignored bullying? How does breaking the Law justify keeping Order or forcing a change in Order? And when the Law finally demands justice for the crimes committed, what is the response?
    • True justice. As detailed above, much of the game's plot happens because of the law's failure to punish certain wrongdoers, and the conflict between Yagami and Kuwana persists solely because of their different views on what is right and wrong.
  • Charged Attack:
    • Both the Tiger and the Snake styles' Finishing Blows (e.g, Square, Triangle, Triangle) can be held to deliver a much more potent (and often guard-breaking) strike.
    • Flux Fissure also makes its return from the previous game, though it's been Nerfed in terms of its damage output, it can now be used out of a Perfect Guard while in the Tiger style and still carries the satisfying benefit of knocking opponents flat on their ass.
  • Combat Breakdown: The end of the second battle between Kuwana has Yagami and him going from fancy martial arts to an exhausted slugfest. Tesso even tells Sugiura to just let them tire themselves out.
  • Content Warning: Lost Judgment does not pull any punches with its themes. Thus, this warning is on display.
    This game includes depictions and/or discussions of suicide, sexual assault, and bullying. Please exercise caution before playing and take breaks as needed.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Critical Status Buff: Many upgrades and EX Moves are only open to Yagami in the event his health is in the red. These include buffs to his attack power, the effectiveness of Mortal Reversals, and powerful near instant-kill EX Attacks.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: A minor example, but Yagami mentions when talking to Tsukino (in the DLC) that the two of them became more than friends, implying she’s the canon girlfriend given there’s no mention of the other three. The reason they’re split is due to her moving and losing touch.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: While Yagami is naturally able to wipe the floor with normal Mooks in a Curb-Stomp Battle manner, one special outcome is his final fight with Kuwana. With the fact that he is so close to getting justice for Sawa's death, he finally decides to show Kuwana his full might and delivers enough of a one-sided fight that Kuwana is left battered and on the ground while Yagami is at worst only slightly more injured and winded than before.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though the last game had grisly murders, the overall scenario was something the average player could comfortably distance themselves from. This game by contrast tackles much more immediately uncomfortable subject matter including society's culpability in school bullying, student suicides and the turmoil it leaves their parents in, and even sexual assault.
  • Dead All Along: The squirrel graffiti questline ends by strongly implying that Futaba, the little girl that has been looking for the squirrels, is actually the ghost of the graffiti artist's daughter.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Tesso invokes the trope by declaring Yagami a brother after their second fight, though he quickly admits that it's just the easiest way for him to save face.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • During the moments you play as Saori, you can take out her phone to take selfies like in other games and even have goofy expressions. If Yagami is around, he'll start posing like other the party members in Like a Dragon will when they're in the shot.
    • In the unlikely event you show up to a race while you're completely drunk, the game will give you this warning before promptly sending you away:
      Use better judgment than to drink and drive.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Most of the DLC. Particularly the School Story Expansion Pack which gives you some very effective items to use for the Robotics Club and Biker Gang School Stories, as well as a powerful new fighting style in Boxer that can be turned off at any time. For the latter in particular, see the YMMV page for more details.
  • Dramatic Shattering: Kaito spills a drink and knocks the glass on the floor while collapsing after being stabbed by Soma.
  • Driven to Suicide: Both Mitsuru Kusumoto and Toshiro Ehara were, prior to the events of the game, driven to attempt suicide due to cruel bullying. Mitsuru was fortunate enough to survive, but is in a coma. It's highlighted throughout the story that this is unfortunately far from an uncommon occurrence in high schools.
  • Duel Boss: In his first confrontation, Soma invokes the trope deliberately by stabbing Kaito with an ice pick and a stiletto blade, taking him out of the equation and leveling the playing field by forcing Yagami to fight one-on-one.
    Soma: Kaito's down and you're by yourself... Should be easy.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While the main story's ending is pretty bittersweet, the School Stories are unabashedly more optimistic. Yagami and Amasawa call upon all of the clubs that they've helped to seek out Itokura and free her from the clutches of the Neo Keihin Gang, and the Character Development that got them to become far better people show in spades. In the end, the Neo Keihin fall (even though Soga comically swears revenge), and Itokura turns a new leaf after clearing the air with her former colleagues on the festival committee. The MRC resume their operations to see what other cases are left in store, and Yagami still intends to keep on his role at outside advisor after not just getting the chance to help out more people in need, but in finally getting a slice of high school life he wasn't able to as a teenager.
  • Evil Power Vacuum:
    • The dissolution of the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance in Yakuza: Like a Dragon created a void in Kamurocho's underworld, with the new gang "RK" eager and willing to fill it.
    • The ministry of Health has gone under fire after the events of the first game and while Ichinose's replacement seems to be a good change to clear it up a lot of political enemies want to keep the corruption under another name.
  • Final Boss: Jin Kuwana/Yu Kitakata, for a total of three fights against the same character.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: The audience's first indication that Mitsuru is about to wake up.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Just like in the previous game, Yagami gives no leeway to those who are murderers or accessories to murder regardless of their motivations. Though he acknowledges that the justice system is flawed and in need of reworking, he opposes Kuwana's murderous crusade against bullies because of how it leads innocent people such as Sawa to get caught in the crossfire. He also shows no sympathy for the bullies who were blackmailed into being accessories to Kuwana's murders because they showed no remorse for bullying a student so badly that it drove him to commit suicide.
  • Foreshadowing: Kuwana puts up a good show by repeatedly stalemating Yagami, but Yagami seems oddly unworried over the idea of tangling with him despite the fact that he is hardly ever matched in a fight. As it turns out, Yagami had been holding himself back the entire time and when he finally has had enough, he proves to be the stronger one and hands him his ass while in a battered state.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Kuwana goes from an ordinary schoolteacher to a martial artist with underworld clout who just so happens to also be a vigilante serial killer with a complex method of pulling off his numerous kills and evading detection. Even though they're obviously shady, the true extent of their secrets still comes as a shock to the detectives.
  • Game Within a Game:
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • In Chapter 7, Yagami ends up losing his phone after he's taken away by RK. Sure enough, during the third boss fight against Akutsu in the same chapter, pausing the game will instead do just that with the message, "You don't have a smartphone right now!", appearing on the screen.
    • At the end of Chapter 8, Kaito is put into the hospital after getting stabbed by Soma. Because of this, Yagami will not be able to spar with him in the Boxing Club until he recovers a few chapters later.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Just as Mikoshiba's about to get his throat slit in the leaked murder footage, we cut to Yagami's horrified reaction, with only the sounds of Mikoshiba choking on his own blood indicating it's happening. When we cut back, he's dead with blood briefly spraying from the wound.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • In this game, some mooks will occasionally pick up one of their comrades and throw him at Yagami.
    • Yagami himself is able to do this with a few of his EX Actions, be it using his own body to land on top of three mooks or to throw one mook into another after a Wall Jump.
  • He Knows Too Much: The stated reason for Sawa's murder. She was getting too close to connecting Kuwana to Mikoshiba's death, and potentially Kawai's as well.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: The reason why Yagami is so confident in his ability to deal with Kuwana? It turns out even though Kuwana stalemated him twice, he's been holding himself back from truly finishing him off the both times they fought as he has no personal grudge towards him and simply wants to resolve matters with him as peacefully and non-violently as he can. When they fight it out one last time, with Kuwana making it clear he will never just let Yagami achieve justice for Sawa's death, he finally decides enough is enough and shows the difference in strength between them: Even though he has been battered while Kuwana is in fresh condition, Yagami still handily defeats him and is standing tall while Kuwana is barely able to walk by the end of it.
  • I Can See You: Kuwana's uncle calls Yagami while seated in a taxi not twenty feet away. Kuwana does this himself from time to time.
  • Improvised Weapon: As is customary for RGG's action-oriented titles, Yagami can grab any number of objects and wield them against his enemies. Yagami also employs this tactic in cutscenes; when attacked by White Masks outside of Plage, Yagami fights back with nearby patio furniture such as chairs and umbrellas.
  • In the Back: Soma's preferred method of attack, both in cutscenes and in combat. Sawa and Akaike both fall victim to this, and Kaito narrowly escapes a similar fate.
  • I've Come Too Far: Part of Kuwana's justification of why he won't turn away from his quest for vengeance.
  • Jury and Witness Tampering: One of the big reasons why Ehara's lawsuit against the school fell through. Mikoshiba's teacher and the school's lawyer pressured Sawa out of testifying about what Toshiro confided in her, robbing the investigation of crucial evidence. Yagami mentions the concept by name.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Passed out by Kuwana as he personally deals with bullies who have gotten away with their horrible actions that led to the tragedies of others. Case in point, his former students who bullied Mitsuru to suicide were completely unrepentant for what they caused by selling out Kawai, the lead instigator, just to cover their own asses. After much time passes when the students made good lives for themselves, Kuwana returns and reveals he possessed video recording of them tormenting Mitsuru, using it to blackmail them into doing his dirty work or else he will completely destroy their happy lives if he makes their past crimes public. Those grown up students now constantly live in fear that Kuwana will carry out his threat.
  • Last-Second Chance: Yagami never stops trying to convince Kuwana to give up his misguided quest for vengeance, even after he threatens to blow them all to kingdom come if it keeps Reiko's secret safe.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The game makes no attempt to obscure the Tojo Clan's disbanding, which only happened at the end of Like a Dragon.
  • Le Parkour: New to this game, Yagami can now scale buildings and rooftops to proceed forward, as shown in the gameplay trailer. Though compared to games like Assassin's Creed or Sunset Overdrive, it's mostly in scripted sequences rather than having the entire city open for Yagami to treat like his personal jungle gym.
  • Look Both Ways: Like Ichiban, if Yagami isn't careful around cars in Kamurocho or Ijincho, he'll be on the wrong end of a bumper for his troubles. Fortunately, though, he only loses a meager amount of health whenever he gets hit as opposed to Ichiban losing 100 hit points (which can be pretty painful in the early game of LAD). Yes, Yagami can also be run over during a fight though, in turn, he can also weaponize Japanese traffic to his advantage as Ichiban did.
  • Malevolent Masked Man:
    • Yagami is accosted by several over the course of the story. The first batch belong to the Liumang while the second are bullies that Kuwana has blackmailed into working for him.
    • The Geomijul members that Yagami meets are wearing a third type of mask, and while they aren't hostile, they do threaten to kill Yagami and Sugiura if they trespass on their territory again.
  • Market-Based Title: Subverted from the first game, which was called JUDGE EYES in Japan. Lost Judgment is the game's title in all regions, albeit with a subtitle in Japanese.
  • Metal Slime: Nouveau Riche are back in this game and are much, much stronger in this game than they were in any other Yakuza game before this one. They're effectively mini-boss encounters that net you anywhere between ¥50,000-¥100,000 depending on if you're lucky enough to find two within the same vicinity of each other.
  • Mirror Boss: Kuwana, who manages to surpass Kuroiwa in this regard from the previous game. Like Yagami, they have three distinct stances that are color-coded to match Yagami's own stances - a blue stance that puts emphasis on agility similar to the Crane style, a red stance with hard-hitting strikes like with Tiger, and a parry-centric stance just like Snake.
  • Mistimed Revival: Played with. Mitsuru awakens from his coma mere moments after his mother resolves to do the right thing and turn herself in for Kawai's murder. Her beloved son's miracle recovery changes her mind rather quickly, as she can't bear the thought of losing him a second time.
  • Morton's Fork: Two of them, which are related to each other.
    • For Kuwana, arresting him will not only have Sawa's death go in vain, but he'll be offed by Public Security in some shape or form, their actions will go unpunished, and he'll be framed for the one murder he didn't commit (Sawa.) Letting him walk away, on the other hand, will instead put Soma behind bars, avenging Sawa in the process while also putting a stop to Bando's schemes for good, though Kuwana will have to disappear without answering for the people that he did kill. This, however, is zig-zagged a little in that while Kuwana more or less walks off into the sunset after everything he's done, he does give an anonymous tip of the bodies that he left behind, indicating that Yagami got through to him in some shape or form.
    • For Reiko, should she turn herself in, the above will also play out as it does, but Mitsuru - who had just woken up from his coma after thirteen years as a result of his Bungled Suicide - will not only have his mother taken from him, but he'll also be branded the son of a murderer by the public in the process. However, should she do the opposite, Kuwana will take the fall for everything, Bando will do whatever he pleases with the Ministry's pension, and once again, Sawa's death will go without any kind of justice.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Yagami, Kaito, Sugiura and Tsukumo are seen walking towards Seiryo High while disguised as maintenance personnel in slow motion. Some people were wondering if they're men on a mission.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The game takes place in December 2021, a few months after the game's release date.
  • The New '20s: The first game in the Yakuza/Judgment universe to be set in the decade, taking place in December 2021 (with the final chapter being set in January of 2022), two years after Like a Dragon.
  • No-Gear Level: Chapter 7 sees Yagami losing his smartphone when he's hauled away by RK. During Akutsu's third boss fight in the same chapter, should you try to pause the game, you won't be able to use any healing items or extracts that you had on you beforehand.
  • Official Couple: Yagami and Tsukino were this, judging by Yagami’s comments. Their dates are also framed like two exes reuniting compared to the other three. Though in terms of the base game, Mochizuki is the only option that Yagami has at all, since the other three are DLC.
  • One-Hit Kill: EX Surrenders are a non-lethal variant. No matter how much health an enemy has, as long as they're terrified, Yagami can take them out of the equation instantly if he has meter available while in Snake style. Note that this only applies to standard mooks, however, as story bosses like Kuwana or Soma are immune to EX Surrenders as well as the above-mentioned minibosses.
  • Out of Focus:
    • The Geomijul is still one of the major powers in Ijincho, but they only make a brief appearance in this game.
    • The Seiryu Clan, the other major power barring the Liumang and Geomijul, are also a no-show aside from a few passing mentions. (You can't even access the immediate vicinity of their headquarters in this game like you could in Like a Dragon, either.note )
    • Mafuyu also gets this treatment, since she's only around for a few scenes as opposed to being more prominent in the previous game.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Ijin Street, just due east of Northern Isezaki Road and close to Yokohama 99's office in the Commercial District. Enemy encounters here are very frequent and when paired with the later game and the Battle Bonus family of skills, will be netting you upwards of 2,000+ SP depending on whether or not you encounter stronger mooks carrying weapons or even mini-bosses.
  • Previously on…: Like with the first game, after the end of every chapter, you have a recap of events from the chapter that you just completed before moving on to the next, which is handy if you close the game and then come back after a while.
  • Promoted to Playable: In the post-launch "Kaito Files" DLC, Kaito, who was Yagami's non-playable partner in the first game, is the main player character.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Higashi, Sugiura, Tsukumo, and Saori are in the game's opening credits sequence, after being absent from the first game's opening. Bafflingly, Hoshino doesn't appear in the opening credits despite having way more screentime and plot relevance than Mafuyu.
  • Punny Name: The receptionist of Paradise VR returns from the original Judgment, complete with her name changing based on the localization. In English, her name is Naisu Daisunote . In Japanese, her name is "Rokkaku Aya"note . When Yagami assumes that the name is part of a character she is playing, she says that it really is her name, and that it was a key selling point for her at her interview.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Extracts. At the very least they're significant boosts to Yagami's capabilities. At worst, they completely break the game in half. Hwever, they're difficult to craft, requiring rare and/or expensive ingredients, and the game imposes a hard limit on how many you can possess at any given time. Additionally, Extracts are by far the best way to fight Juzo Amon, who also utilizes Extracts against Yagami.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • The tracks that are tied to the Drone League (e.g., "Open The Drone League" and "BUZZY") are the same as they were in the first game.
    • Likewise, much of the tracks associated with the Dice & Cube minigame (such as "Dive In") are still present.
  • Revenge Is Not Justice: Discussed. All the way to ancient times All of the Other Reindeer was invoked on those that did not contribute to society, and even today people are inspired by self satisfaction to bully those that unintentionally cause them trouble. And at the start of the game, Ehara even said that Mikoshiba deserved a thousand deaths for what he did to his son. And of course, Kuwana is hunting bullies to ensure what happened to Mitsuru never happens again. But Yagami constantly points out, what they're doing is in no way justice, or justifiable.
  • Revisiting the Roots: As opposed to the mainline Yakuza series committing to the JRPG genre as of Like a Dragon, Lost Judgment carries on the series' patented action beat-'em-up gameplay, with all of the EX (Heat) Actions and ass-kicking that you'd expect.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Averted hard. School bullying can be considered the root of the all the problems in the game. In fact, the School Stories sub-scenario has Yagami infiltrate Seiryo High School as a outside Club Advisor in order to investigate the rampant bullying problem. The Big Bad thought this was the case in-universe, but learning it wasn't and the death that came from ignoring it prompted his actions in the game against bullies.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Kuwana has an entire group of them blackmailed into working for him as revenge for their role in the suicide of Mitsuru, one of his former students. Though many of them have gone on to live stable lives with families and careers of their own, none of them show any remorse for what they did to Mitsuru.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: An accidental one - one of the school side cases is investigating a rumor about a haunted body model that rummages through the classrooms at night. As it turns out, the model is a student named Naito, who uses body paint to hide in the biology classroom until night so he can copy answer keys.
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: At the end of the Robotic club stories, the team has to be ready for their adversaries to either go for total annihilation tactic, or just securing tiles and defending their zone. Since they don't have the material and time for two machines, they make a robot with detachable armor so they can go from defense to offense during the game.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The whole current main crew might as well be an indirect shoutout to Cowboy Bebop. We've got Spike/Yagami, who are both snarky kung-fu masters with frizzy hair, who are also bounty hunters/detectives, who take on various bounties/cases to stay afloat, and they have pretty upsetting pasts. Jet Black/Kaito, who are seasoned Hot-Blooded big guys who were once part of a bigger organization, which is the police force/the Tojo Clan, and are also best friends with the main protagonist. Faye/Sugiura, which are both overly cocky, agile and flamboyant, with unnatural hair colors, and have names that might not be even theirs, and Edward/Tsukumo, which both are highly-skilled and rather eccentric Playful Hackers, and both groups are accompanied by an overly competent Canine Companion. Oh, and did we mention that Higashi is voiced by Steve Blum, the voice of Spike, in the English dub?
    • A side case in Kamurocho has Yagami hide inside a box to sneak up on an unsuspecting crook trying to rob a café. He even precedes this by saying that it's "time for some tactical café action!"
    • Several references to Film Noir fiction are made - such as Amasawa quoting Sherlock Holmes and naming her dog Ranpo, among other things.
    • One of the Side Cases has a dojo run by a Russian foreigner whose motto ends with "Believe It!" Sound familiar?
    • At the start of the skateboarder school story, Yagami asks if he is supposed to walk up to the kids with a skateboard and ask them how they are doing.
    • Sawa is a homeroom teacher for Classroom 2-2. This usually tends to be the homeroom number for most Persona protagonists, particularly for Joker. All the more amusing considering that Sawa shares a voice actress with Futaba in the English dub, and the fact that she's pretty much the Judgment version of Sadayo Kawakami, good looks and kind-hearted nature included.
    • Adding to the Persona references, the site that The Professor uses throughout the School Stories to commit various crimes with is essentially an Evil Counterpart to the Phan-Site created by Mishima. For bonus points, Itokura, the site's creator, shares a voice actress with Morgana, ironically enough.
    • What do you get when you piss off an ex-wrestler like Ebisu? An overweight Heihachi Mishima, apparently.
    • The Trophy/Achievement list has a few:
    • Kamehameha and Special Beam Cannon are referenced by name in Yagami and Minato's Boke and Tsukkomi Routine in one side case.
  • Snuff Film: Mikoshiba's murder is leaked onto the internet and goes viral on social media.
  • The Stakeout: Yagami and Kaito are in the middle of one as the game begins, watching a restaurant in their designated stakeout van.
  • Stance System: Once again, Yagami can switch between fighting styles in combat at the tap of a button.
    • The crowd control-based Crane Style returns from the previous game, with wide sweeping attacks meant to hit as many targets as possible and having incredible evasion and movement capabilities, considerably buffed from its role in the previous game.
    • The single-target bashing Tiger Style also returns, with its hits delivering massive power and focus on guarding rather than evasion.
    • The banner new style for this game is Snake Style, which while not having a lot of power or evasion, does have a lot of options focused around throws, holds, Counter-Attacks, and parries. It also allows Yagami to use "EX Surrender" actions, which can take enemies out of the fight immediately.
    • The "School Stories Expansion DLC" includes Boxer Style, based on the training in the Boxing Gym as part of the School Stories side content. It combines many of the strengths of the other three styles, having a lot of speed, power, and evasion, as well as brutal counter-attacks.
    • In the "Kaito Files" DLC, Kaito's two styles are the brute-force oriented Bruiser and the defense-oriented Tank.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The game throws in a few where Yagami can either subdue enemies by getting close enough to them (provided they haven't seen you already, of course) and pressing a button, or distract them either by throwing some pocket change or by throwing the occasional smokescreen powder in their face.
  • Take That!: Tsukumo has a subtle one towards "resellers" (e.g., scalpers) early in the game:
    Tsukumo: I bought a limited edition copy of a game at three times its original price! I didn't want to give in and support the stupid resales industry, but I just had to have it!
  • Tap on the Head: Lampshaded. Yagami is knocked out via bat to the skull and suffers no ill effects, though Soma makes a point of commenting on how this method is highly unreliable and tends to end up just killing people instead.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Hoo boy, the game does not mince words about how cruel high school students can be to each other. The source of every problem in the game can be traced back to school bullying so bad that it ends up driving the victims to commit suicide.
  • Tiger by the Tail: Yagami mentions the trope by name while informing Ehara that he and Kuwana have invoked RK's ire with Mikoshiba's murder. The chapter in which this conversation takes place is even named 'Catch a Tiger'.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the previous games, the Nouveau Riche enemies were little more than walking piggy banks, being able to be taken down with no more difficulty than any other enemy their size. Here, they're basically mini-bosses, with far more health than any regular enemy in the game, and attack strength comparable to or even greater than several main story bosses.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The announcement trailer heavily implies that someone dear to Yagami ends up dying along the way. The trailer, however, keeps in the dark on who exactly this person is. That someone turns out to be Yoko Sawa, one of the schoolteachers at Seiryo as well as an innocent bystander murdered as collateral for a much bigger, more heinous conspiracy.
  • Vehicular Kidnapping: Several examples. Amusingly, Yagami and company are responsible for a decent percentage of them.
    • In the prologue/tutorial case, Yagami and Kaito handcuff Kosuke and toss him in the back of their van to squeeze him for information.
    • A recurring element of Kuwana's bully-killing MO that allows Yagami (and others) to connect the dots between seemingly-unrelated crimes.
    • Yagami and Sugiura also employ a less nefarious example in order to have a private chat with Reiko Kusumoto in a taxi.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Deconstructed to a possibly greater extent than Judgment as part of a Central Theme. In Judgment, the killings were an attempt to create a cure for Alzheimer's from a drug that is poisonous to humans that in reality hid the mastermind's narcissistic inability to accept that his experiments were a failure, while in Lost Judgment, the villain is a school teacher who failed to stop bullies from pressuring a student to commit suicide, becoming a violent vigilante who hunts any with this MO. All of the protagonists vary on reaction but agree that in the grand scheme their objectives are just, even making sure the murdered are Asshole Victims. However, the belief that they're in the right keeps the killers from realizing or accepting their responsibility in getting innocent people roped in, who wind up getting killed indirectly because of their actions. This quote sums it up perfectly:
    Yagami: And from that point of view, everything you do feels justified. It's why... That's why you're able to look past the sacrifice... and the damage you cause. That won't work. She can't say her peace without a voice. So if I don't raise mine for her, what justice prevails!?
  • Wham Shot: The footage of Mikoshiba's murder ends with the killer taking off his helmet to reveal that he is Ehara, who was somehow in two places at once.
  • Womanchild: Ayaha, one of the worker's at Girls' Bar, likes Tokusatsu.

    The Kaito Files 
  • A Day in the Limelight: As the name implies, this DLC expansion sees Kaito, Yagami's trusted partner and the other half of Yagami Detective Agency, as the main player character.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Compared to Yagami, if Kaito gets caught during stealth segments, rather than leading to an instant Game Over, he can actually fight back and knock out the enemy who caught him, at the expense of some health (which can be easily restored) in doing so. This only applies during the stealth segments involving Bato Detective Agency and Crimson Lotus, however, as the second segment involves the police, where Kaito can't fight back.
    • Since Skills aren't as plentiful for Kaito as they were for Yagami in the base game, much of the collectibles grant anywhere from 500 to 2000 SP once found. Additionally, Kaito also gets more SP per encounter before upgrades than Yagami does.
  • Ascended Extra: Fudo Oshikiri (aka, Fudo the Killer), Kenya Oshikiri's father and one of the bosses of the Boxing Gym School Story in the main game, serves as a boss encounter in the main story here.
  • Battle Strip: The final battle features the first example of the Judgment games doing the Yakuza shirt rip, with Shirakaba challenging Kaito for Mikiko and Kaito answering in response.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Once Kenmochi and the other Crimson Lotus members start succumbing to Kyoya's poison, they all start throwing up blood.
  • Bonus Boss: Kaito can fight three masked men by equiping the bloody crest. After defeating all of them and getting every ability, Kaito can challenge a fourth masked man.
  • Call-Back:
    • Just like the first game, this DLC's introduction sees Kaito dealing with a competing (and corrupt) detective, being disguised as a regular patron in the cafe with Hoshino having a hand in catching the detective in the act. You even get into a chase sequence afterward, though that comes before the tutorial to Kaito's fighting styles... just like in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
    • Also in the first game, Tashiro gets Mugged for Disguise by Yagami in order to sneak into the Matsugane Family office. The poor guy can't catch a break, as it's now Kaito that mugs him for his disguise yet again, only this time to sneak into the party being hosted by Sadamoto and Crimson Lotus. And just like before, he doesn't make it easy.
    • Kaito delivers a running dropkick to a group of thugs just like he did in the previous game (or more accurately he does it for the first time, as he does it in a flashback to protect Mikiko). It even uses similar camera angles just to drive the point home.
    • A lot of the expansion's plot beats make for interesting parallels to the original Yakuza title. Notably - a Tag Along Kid (Haruka/Jun) that belongs to a former love interest of the main protagonist (Yumi/Mikiko), and the main antagonist and Climax Boss turns out to be none other than said kid's father (Jingu/Sadamoto). Furthermore, Sadamoto is every bit as irredeemable and smug as Jingu was on top of his attempt to kill his own child, just as Jingu did with Haruka throughout the course of the first game/Yakuza Kiwami. Fortunately, unlike Y1/Kiwami, the expansion ends on a much happier note, with everyone but Sadamoto and Kenmochi surviving to the end.
  • Central Theme: Actions and Consequences. A number of events in the game are a walking example of "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot due to people not taking their actions into account. It all started with Kaito running out on Mikiko to defend Matsugane honor, resulting in him being left single and her a mother married to another man. Shirakaba also grips onto this given that his Love at First Sight with Mikiko caused him to hide the truth from her about her family for years. But the worst offender is Kyoya Sadamoto, Mikiko's husband, who firmly believes Murder Is the Best Solution, which ends with him killing dozens of people and him strangled to death by Kenmochi, a loyal friend he tricked into burning Mikiko's family alive that he poisoned.
  • Climax Boss: Kyoya Sadamoto, the one who offered Kaito the job in the beginning to find Mikiko and also the one who orchestrated everything throughout the expansion, is the second-to-last opponent Kaito faces in the story.
  • Final Boss: In an unexpected, but no less welcome twist, Shirakaba, the kind doctor that helped Kaito and Mikiko throughout the expansion, serves as the final opponent in Kaito's solo outing.
  • Happy Ending: A rarity in the Yakuza franchise, which has no shortage of Bittersweet Endings. After the death of Sadamoto and the fall of Crimson Lotus, Kaito accepts Shirakaba's proposal for a duel to see if the former still has a torch for Mikiko. Naturally, Kaito wins, and both he and Mikiko reconcile, all while Shirakaba quietly steps aside and leaves Mikiko to Kaito.
  • Hero of Another Story: Yagami's still getting up to shenanigans judging by his text messages to Kaito. What little we hear of it indicates that he's chasing after a divorced father who kidnapped his son, that the search party somehow ran into a bear (which he implies he fought), and it ended with a chase on swan boats with Yagami peddling.
  • Mundane Solution: When faced with the problem of Bato Detective Agency ambushing them in the Yagami Detecitive Agency office, Kaito decides to take the easiest solution. Calling the cops on BDA for breaking and entering then letting them handle the trespassers.
  • Once per Episode: Including this expansion, this marks the third time Yagami Detective Agency has been broken into - the first time being by The Mole in the first game to hide Shintani's carcass in Yagami's wardrobe, the second time in the base game where Kuwana waits inside for Yagami to have a private chat, and now here by Bato Detective Agency as part of an ambush on Kaito and Jun. Fortunately, however, Kaito was once step ahead and did the sensible thing of calling the cops to have them deal with BDA.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: The DLC appears to be an experiment to see how well Kaito might do as the protagonist of future entries, on account of Sega's legal disputes with Kimura's talent agency putting the likelihood of Yagami returning into question.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Yagami is out of town during the events of the DLC to write around the fact that Kimura could not reprise the role.
    • Genda, Saori, and Sugiura are also mentioned as being busy with other issues and don't appear in the DLC, with Saori only making a cameo via photograph.
  • Sad Battle Music: Inverted. The theme for the final boss, "決闘",English  is actually a very uplifting and wistful track, which perfectly captures the feelings that Kaito and Shirakaba have for Mikiko.
  • Stance System: Like in the base game, Kaito has two fighting styles to pick from - Bruiser, which is an all-rounder that is Kaito's equivalent of Kiryu's Brawler style, and Tank, his version of Beast.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Hoshino in the prologue, as part of an act. Senda mocks him for this and points out that wearing sunglasses at night makes him look even more suspicious.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • As mentioned above, this expansion has quite a bit of parallels to the first Yakuza title - Kaito standing in for Kiryu, Jun for Haruka, Mikiko for Yumi, Sadamoto for Jingu, and to a lesser extent, Shirakaba standing in for Nishiki (at least his Y0 counterpart, anyway).
    • Kenmochi serves as a mix of Majima and Akutsu for Kaito, but with a more tragic backstory.
    • Crimson Lotus serve as this for RK in the base game, being a hangure group that are employed by the Big Bad to do his bidding and are promptly disposed of towards the end.

Top