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The legend of the Dragon of Rock Bottom begins herenote 

"We'll take the top, and it'll be a happy ending! Just like in Dragon Quest."
Ichiban Kasuga
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Yakuza: Like a Dragon, known in Japan as 龍が如く7光と闇の行方 (Ryu ga Gotoku 7: Hikari to Yami no Yukue, meaning Like a Dragon 7: The Whereabouts of Light and Darkness), is the eighth major entry in the long-running Yakuza series. It released in Japan on January 16, 2020 on the PlayStation 4, with a Western release on the Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One on November 10, 2020, and PlayStation 5 release on March 2, 2021.

This is the first game in the main series following Yakuza 6, the final entry in the story of the legendary Dragon of Dojima, Kazuma Kiryu. Taking over as the leading man of the series is Ichiban Kasuga, of the Arakawa Family within the Tojo Clan. When the family's captain finds himself on the hook for murder, Kasuga happily takes his place, turning himself in to the police and taking the rap for a crime he didn't commit in 2001. Eighteen years later, he finishes his sentence and returns to civilization, only to find no one to welcome him home. Desperate to find out why he was forgotten, he searches for his family, only to receive a bullet from his leader for his troubles.

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Now in the coastal city of Ijincho, Yokohama, Kasuga finds himself with more questions than answers, no one to turn to, and danger around every corner as the fragile peace between the local organized crime groups is threatened by forces within and without. He must now fight his way from rock bottom back to Kamurocho, and find out why the Tojo Clan has forsaken him. Thankfully, he won't have to fight alone: joining him in his journey are a motley crew of misfits from all walks of life, including Yu Nanba, a homeless back-alley doctor; Koichi Adachi, a disgraced former detective; Saeko Mukouda, a tough-as-nails cabaret club mama and barmaid; and others.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon represents the most radical shift of gameplay in the series's history, changing from a free-roaming action-RPG to a more traditional JRPG. A menu-based battle system was originally teased in an April Fools video.

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Even with a new battle system, the heart and soul of the Yakuza series remains strong, as the game weaves a hard-hitting crime drama story with amusing sidequests and a plethora of other amusements to participate in, from new diversions such as go-kart racing to returning classics like karaoke, hostess clubs, and arcade games.

Much like the previously-released spinoff title Judgment, Yakuza: Like a Dragon features an English dub — the first game in the main series to do so since the 2006 original — in addition to an option for the original Japanese voice-overs. Headlining the dub cast are Kaiji Tang as Ichiban Kasuga, Greg Chun as Yu Nanba, Andrew Morgado as Koichi Adachi, Elizabeth Maxwell as Saeko Mukouda, and George Takei as Masumi Arakawa.

In May 2021, Sega announced that with the success of Like A Dragon, the Genre Shift to turn-based JRPG would remain for all mainline games for the series. The original action-RPG brawler format would remain, however, for the Judgment spinoffs, including Lost Judgment.

Not to be confused with the film of the same name, which loosely adapted the first game.

Debut trailer, TGS gameplay trailer, December 2019 gameplay trailer, English dubbed trailer


Yakuza: Like a Dragon provides examples of:

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    #-C 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Even if you, understandably, ignored it, during the final fight with Masato Arakawa, while you are forced into it, you get a fully-leveled version of the Freelancer class.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Character levels and job ranks both max out at 99. You can finish the game at about level 60/rank 30 without too much trouble. Progress beyond that point is just grinding for the bonus dungeons, the hardest of which requires level 99/rank 99.
  • Action Commands: Some attacks have additional prompts that appear during the attack, and if you complete them the attacks are enhanced in some way.
  • Action Girl: Saeko and Eri are the first female protagonists in the series who can participate in battles.
  • Action Prologue: Downplayed. The opening starts off with how Arakawa got his scar and some of his past, before transitioning into a playable chase sequence of Ichiban chasing an adult video seller.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In the prologue, when Ichiban talks about how he fights like he's the hero in Dragon Quest, Mitsuo chastises him for doing so before eventually conceding that, "[he'll] give this gamer shit" a chance. In the English dub, Mitsuo is voiced by none other than ProZD, of all people.
    • One scene has Namba hide in a box with Adachi watching. The latter is voiced by Akio Ōtsuka, who is also the Japanese VA for Solid Snake. David Hayter is also the English voice for the bartender of the Survive Bar... yeah, both of Solid Snake's voice actors are present and accounted for.
    • One of Saeko's job skills is a casino dealer, which involves the use of a roulette wheel. Elizabeth Maxwell was the English VA for Sae Niijima, who has a Shadow version of herself in a casino with a roulette.
      Saeko: Let's play a game!
    • Near the end of Nanba's 4th Drink Link event, a woman named Futaba speaks to Kasuga. Her voice actor? Erica Lindbeck. Now where have we heard that before?
    • As a quick nod in the localization to a well-known gaming role his voice actor was in that is within the same vein as Yakuza, Ryo Aoki is referred to as being unable to "let sleeping dogs lie."
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • A lot of the attack names are this. Ichiban's Stack Slap, Zhao's Dragonfang Decimator and Serpent Strike, Haywire Havoc, Fulminating Forecast, Essence of Bonecrushing Bat, and so on.
    • All of the animals in the "Ringleader Roundup" trilogy of substories are named Catherine, Charlotte, and Clara.
  • Adult Fear: One Man's Trash - the fear of being unable to assist a loved one in an emergency. As with many hoarders in Real Life, the pawn shop owner, Gomi, turned to the behavior after a traumatic loss - his wife, who he ran the shop with, collapsed while he was elsewhere, goofing off; because nobody was there to help her in time, she passed away.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Ichiban's super move during the Shareholder Meeting has him apologizing to the shareholders. Its level 3 version even has Ichiban dramatically jumping out from his chair before grovelling in front of them. Despite the loss of pride, this move deals heavy damage to all shareholders and briefly stuns them.
    Kasuga: My partners and shareholders! Please accept...my most humble apologies!
  • All for Nothing: In a broader series-wide sense. After spending every mainline entry defending the Tojo Clan, it disbands along with the Omi Alliance, rendering all past efforts completely pointless.
  • All Just a Dream: After being blown away by Kiryu, Ichiban dreams of himself wearing knight armor and slaying a dragon based on the man's back tattoo. He even sings the Dragon Quest victory fanfare before he wakes up.
    • The romance scenes with Eri and Saeko are presented as this too - it's not made clear whether what is shown to have happened actually happened, and Ichiban is commented as having been dreaming. Although they seem to think it did happen, since once everyone has been "romanced" they are both enraged that he's been cheating on them and join in with the other women beating the shit out of him as punishment.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Kiryu. Going from his performance in past games he’s more than strong enough to handle the conflict all on his own but is hamstrung by the deal where he has to stay legally dead and therefore can’t draw attention to himself.
  • Almighty Janitor: A variation, but one interpretation of Nonomiya would imply he was not only more well-informed but also more forward-thinking than he let on. After his death, Saeko mentions his dream was a safety net of legitimate business for Yokohama, which is the dream that prompts Ichiban to take up being the president of his businesses. Later in the story, after Saeko tells you this, you learn the leaders of the 3 warring gangs know each other well and cooperated to produce counterfeit cash, an effort which is said to have kept the town together and prosperous despite the gangs being at each other's throats all the time by virtue of each gang being able to contribute and getting benefits from doing so even if they don't know the whole story. If the correct interpretation was that he knew of this story and the operation's role in keeping Yokohama together, then it would mean he was actively trying to build an out for Yokohama in case something ever happened to the single rope holding it all together.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Kiwami skills, being cutscene triggering attacks, can't be evaded or even countered. The same deal applies when bosses use their Kiwami skills which may potentially devastate your party.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Inverted. The Japanese cover (as seen on this page) is colored a sharp red, with Ichiban giving a mean look. The international release instead is colored a vibrant yellow, with Ichiban giving a DreamWorks Face and several goofy enemies and substory characters in the background.
  • An Aesop:
    • As coined nicely by Ichiban in The Stinger -
      Ichiban: Once you're at rock bottom, the only way forward is up. But the bottom doesn't always have to be all dark and gloomy. If you can stand and look up, you'll see the light of hope up there.
  • Anachronism Stew: All of the arcade games at Club Sega are playable during the prologue set in 2000... including Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, which was released in 2010.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In addition to his old man's longcoat for the Hero class, Ichiban and Co. can wear their job outfits outside of battles after beating the game.
  • Anti-Climax: After being released from 18 years in prison, Kasuga loudly proclaiming thanks the people he thought were there to pick him up. When he actually looks around, he realizes that nobody but an elderly woman was in hearing range.
  • Anti-Grinding: A variant. The game awards two kinds of XP: "EXP" and "JP". EXP is the standard-issue experience points, but JP are "Job Points" which go towards improving your job's ranking. Each job can level up to a cap of around thirty, giving you stat improvements and new permanent abilities as you go. However, there are severe diminishing returns for increasing your job rank, as bringing it too high causes the game to slow down the JP gain for each job until you progress through the story and unlock new areas. You're also immensely rewarded for levelling up several jobs over the course of the game and can end up much more powerful by the endgame if you've been switching between multiple jobs.
    • However, this practice actually stops once you reach the endgame. The final few areas are full of very tough, high-level enemies, so the game gives you the incredibly lucrative Sotenbori Tower to run a few times to bring you up to speed. Completing it rewards copious amounts of EXP and JP, meaning it can take only a few minutes of grinding to be able to enter into the final areas and stand a chance.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Ichiban now has unlimited stamina compared to previous playable characters in the series by default as opposed to having to buy the ability first. Also, simply pressing the Sprint buttonnote  is enough for Ichiban to run; you no longer have to hold the button down. This is especially helpful as Ijincho is significantly larger than Kamurocho and especially Sotenbori before it. Both of which also make an appearance in this game.
    • While you do have to search for them across the city, once a Taxi is found, simply interacting with it unlocks a new Fast Travel point on the map for Ichiban to use. Furthermore, any previously found Taxis are now registered in the new Taxi app for Ichiban's smartphone (accessed by pausing the game) and only cost 1100 yen to use.
    • Try as you might, but while you're out and about in Kamurocho and Ijincho, your allies can't be run over by cars, as the cars will stop in the nick of time, or they'll simply teleport out of the way before anything can happen to them.
      • In relation to this, whenever your allies stray too far from Ichiban, they'll automatically be teleported nearby. This is especially helpful if they get stuck in some places right as you get into an enemy encounter.
    • The final boss battle of the game against Masato switches Ichiban back to the Freelancer class. For the players who likely haven't touched that class since unlocking the Hero class, the game will temporarily boost your job level high enough to give you access to all its abilities.
    • You can equip an accessory that prevents enemies from spawning on the street. This comes in useful when the roaming gangs just aren't worth the effort of fighting due to low EXP and JP gains or when you want to find conversation points between the group without running the risk of being interrutped by enemies.
  • April Fools' Day: On April 1, 2019, Sega streamed gameplay of a Yakuza game that played more like a JRPG than a brawler. A few months later, however, Sega confirmed the battle system they had presented then was legit, even demonstrating it in a TGS 2019 gameplay trailer.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only 4 party members out of seven playable characters can participate in a fight. Nonactive characters can swap with active characters during battle using the tag-out mechanic, however.
  • Arc Words: "Rock Bottom", which is used for Ichiban to describe his underdog status as well as for the bottom barrel of society that he inevitably ends up standing up for.
  • Area of Effect: Various classes are capable of AoE attacks. However, given that enemies will move around randomly, the attacks have to be timed and aimed properly in order to hit the most targets within range.
  • The Artifact: Gameplay-wise the Kamurocho and Sotenbori maps are this. While the two cities are visited at key-points in the story they lack any sub-stories, and contain no unique mini-games that can't already be found in Yokohama. Their restaurants aren't even counted in the completion-menu. What is to be found are several party-chats and the odd collectible like honk-honks and Tojo crests.
  • Aside Glance: In the sidequest "Fast Times at Ounabara", deals with an American tourist, Ichiban will talk about how he can't speak English. If a player has the English dub enabled, Ichiban then turns his head towards the camera while giving a thumbs up.
  • Ass Kicks You: The flasher enemies use their butts to perform melee attacks.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Essence of Orbital Laser, a magic skill that Ichiban earns for completing the Business Management side story. It's the highest damaging thunder-based magic attack in the game, which makes it especially helpful against the penultimate boss. However, it costs a whopping 200MP to use, a cost high enough that Ichiban likely won't have enough MP to cast it at all when it is first unlocked. Even at a higher level and without excessive grinding, you'll likely only be able to cast it once or twice per battle without having to start draining through your MP restoration items.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Rather bizarrely, Joon-Gi Han is alive and well in Ijincho, despite being shot in the head by Toru Hirose in Yakuza 6. Subverted, as this one is a replacement body double named Yeonsu Kim, acting as such after the original's demise.
    • Just as bizarre is Kashiwagi. Yes, the same Kashiwagi that got hosed by a minigun. He doesn't outright reveal his identity, however; the clues provided by the Survive bar's owner are enough, given his scar and that he once mentions facing an armed helicopter. Kashiwagi's feet are also not obscured by miasma in Daigo's summon, something shared with the Sixth Chairman who is supposed to be the only one left of the original Tojo powerhouses at that point.
    • Lau Kau Long gets shot in the head in Yakuza 3. However, Ichiban can meet a weapons merchant named Chau Kau Long who looks like Lau with a different hairstyle and alludes to being in hiding from Kiryu.
    • In a more metaphorical sense, Kiryu resurfaces after Faking the Dead at the end of 6 in order to act as a bodyguard for Daigo and Watase.
  • Backup from Otherworld: One of Kasuga's Poundmates is Daigo Dojima, who summons the spirit of his father Souhei Dojima, along with Futoshi Shimano, Osamu Kashiwagi (except not really), and Shintaro Kazama. And they're all packing heat!
  • Bathos: As is the norm in the series, this game has plenty of it. The very first ten minutes alone when you start the game are a prime example. We're first introduced to a young Masumi Arakawa being on the wrong end of his abusive mother (who is also likely the one who gave him the scar that he has on his face), and then when Masumi and Toshio go out to get some Peking duck, an otherwise heartwarming moment between the two is cut short by Toshio's sudden death. And just a few minutes later after a flash-forward to 2000, we're introduced to Ichiban chasing down a porn peddler, the latter of whom proceeds to call him a cum stain.
    Ushio: What, and get caught?! Get fucked, you cum stain!
  • Battle Aura: For the first time since Yakuza 0, this is mostly averted. Ichiban and his teammates don't have any inexplicable battle aura surrounding them in combat, but returning characters like Kiryu, Majima and Saejima still do.
  • Beef Gate: Much of the northern parts of Ijincho is blocked off by high-level enemies that require the player to level up a bit before being able to properly explore them.
  • Big Bad: The Governor of Tokyo Ryo Aoki, a.k.a, Masato Arakawa, and by extension, the entire Bleach Japan movement are the key source of all the conflict in the story. The Omi Alliance are also supporting antagonists once more, being the muscle behind Bleach Japan's back.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Joon-gi Han makes a return from Yakuza 6, being the one to free Ichiban from the clutches of Mabuchi's goons after being an Unwitting Pawn in one of his schemes. Or so it seems .
    • Just when it looks like Watase, also returning from Yakuza 5, is about to be skewered by one of his own men, out comes a mysterious man in a suit and glasses, punching the shit out of Watase's would-be killer. Just who is this mysterious man, exactly? Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima and Fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, of course.
    • Ichiban finds himself to be this many, many times in a lot of his Substories. Whether it's saving a couple of down-on-their-luck teenage bikers from some vicious yakuza or putting an abusive boyfriend in his place, you can always count on Ichi to be there. In the main story, he also does this inadvertently to Saeko by saving Nanoha's (who is later revealed to be Saeko's twin sister) father from Sunlight Castle.
  • The Big Guy: Adachi is big-boned and has the highest health of the party.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Ichiban delivers quite an emotionally charged "Shut up!" to Masato in a very heated moment after the latter's defeat.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The Ijin Three are hardly saints. The Geomijul are thieves who employ scare tactics and Big Brother Is Watching security all over the city, the Liumang are brutal against all enemies (skinning people is brought up multiple times) and the Seiryu Clan are a Yakuza clan with all that implies. Nevertheless they do allow people who 'fall through the cracks' a life and keep the city safe from the more brutal crime families like the Omi Alliance. When the 'Great Wall' falls the city becomes more dangerous and every character is apprehensive of the Omi Alliance swooping in with the power vacuum.
  • Black Comedy: In the English version the fourth chapter's achievement can combine this with some very severe Mood Whiplash. the chapter focuses on you working for a soapland, a kind of "brothel light", and trying to help them out with one of their workers going through a crisis. Come the end of it, after a rather heavy resolution to the worker plot, the party of three comes across the manager they've been working for hanging in his own side room, dead for a decent while. The achievement for completing the chapter? "Soap on a Rope".
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Not that the previous games never had any amount of violence, but some of the most visceral bloodshed in the series to date goes down in Yakuza 7. Highlights include Sawashiro gouging out a Tojo patriarch's eye with his thumb and two young Seiryu Clan yakuza being gunned down in the middle of the street. The second instance is especially protracted, with the camera lingering on the two as they're shot again and again before cutting to a first-person shot of Mabuchi executing one after he finally collapses.
  • Blade on a Stick: Not only does Mabuchi come after you with a Guandao, his Sujimon entry claims it's the Green Dragon Crescent Blade wielded by Guan Yu.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Masato's plans have been stopped, his allies arrested, and Ichiban has clawed his way up back to the top. However, both Arakawas have perished (even if Ichiban was the real one instead of Masato), and the impossible has happened: Both the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance have been officially disbanded. Fifteen years have been spent defending the Tojo, only for it to amount to nothing in the end. In addition, with Hoshino dead and the Ijin 3 in disarray, it's ambiguous as to whether peace will remain in Ijincho. As one story with the Tojo clan and the traditional Yakuza way ends, another begins with Ichiban and his group.
    • And while the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance are both now disbanded, Daigo and Watase have joined together to form a legitimate security company staffed by former members of both groups, which can give them all an honest living, if nothing else.
    • While the Ijin 3 have lost most of their resources and will likely never be as strong as they once were, they are also on the road to rebuilding. Ichiban and his friends have also chosen to stay and act as its protectors, so the situation isn't completely hopeless.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Millennium Tower (which already serves as The Very Definitely Final Dungeon) becomes the "Final Millennium Tower" in the post-game, including refights against amped-up versions of main storyline bosses, climaxing with a battle against who else but Shin Amon. Beating that turns it into the "True Final Millennium Tower", which is even harder.
  • Bookends:
    • Masato's story begins and ends at the same set of lockers that had led to his condition and ultimately sparked the events of Ichiban's arrest, pointing a gun at a Yakuza after a Despair Event Horizon.
    • In a metaphorical sense, Masato began life in one Arakawa's arms and it ended in the arms of another Arakawa (since Ichiban is revealed to be Masumi's biological son.)
    • The first and final fights of the game are one on one fistfights with a member of the Arakawa family, with Ichiban using the Freelancer class.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Made specifically for the English dub is an animation of Kasuga giving the camera an Aside Glance, and a thumbs up, when talking with the English speaking tourist.
    • Kiryu's final speech after beating Amon in the Final Millennium Tower is all but a direct rebuff to people disappointed that he's no longer the protagonist, saying that Ichiban isn't Kiryu's "replacement" but someone following his own, different path.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • The In-Universe version is Poundmates, the game's Summon Magic, which costs in-game money to Summon Bigger Fish via hiring powerful mercenaries.
    • The real-life versions come in the form of several purchasable packs that give you materials, stat-boosting items, Management Mode employees, or extra jobs. All of this is included in the Legendary Hero Edition of the game.
  • Brick Joke: In the prologue when we're first introduced to him, Ichiban is chasing after a porn peddler, who proceeds to call him a cum stain. In a later scene where Ichiban and Nanba are cleaning up their new apartment, one of the tissues that they pick up happens to be one full of, well... cum. And when Bleach Japan come by to protest Hamako's brothel, Ichiban threatens to dump a cum bucket onto the protesters, who proceed to run their asses out of there in disgust.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Final Millennium Tower that's only available in Premium Adventure has higher level enemies, along with rematches with shadow versions of Saejima, Majima, Tendo, and Kiryu. Beating it then unlocks The True Final Millennium Tower, which is even harder, as every enemy is now level 99, and can KO a party member with two or even just one hit if not Perfect Guarded. Because of that that it's pretty much a must for Ichiban to use Peerless Resolve in every battle. Shin Amon also becomes more challenging, as he will summon Saejima, Majima, Tendo, and Kiryu to assist him when he reaches a certain HP level, and taking Amon down doesn't end the battle, you still have to take down the shadows to truly win.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Characters from the Kiryu saga make an appearance, including Goro Majima and his blood-brother Taiga Saejima. Kazuma Kiryu, himself, also makes an appearance.
    • Quite a few characters from Kiryu's saga, even minor ones, feature as Poundmates Ichiban can literally call on by phone.
      • Susumu Gondawara, the ABDL patriarch of the namesake family from 2. He is an offensive Poundmate who inflicts debuffs on enemies with his infantile wailing.
      • Gary Buster Holmes is another offensive summon, throwing force punches with the spiky fist maces he wore in 2.
      • Korean soap opera actor Il Yu-Jin is an offensive Poundmate who can inflict the "Cold" status effect on enemies by reenacting a scene from Winter Sonata with a female costar via his "Subzero Sonata" special.
    • Fujisawa, a.k.a., Pocket Circuit Fighter (and later known as Dragon Fighter), once again makes an appearance here since Yakuza 6 (this being his fourth appearance since his Yakuza 0 debut), which took place in 2016. This time around, he's in charge of Dragon Kart, serving as the Final Boss of that side story.
    • Ono Michio, like in Judgment, also makes a return from 6. Yes, just like Kiryu, Ichiban gets to wear the suit while fighting a knock-off of the mascot. Even further, both Ichiban and his Party Members have access to Michio's Head!
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Shortly after joining up with Adachi again, Ichiban's party meet some homeless men outside of Hello Work. They instantly recognize Adachi as the cop who busted their burglary ring, the Yokohama Pink Panthers, and are itching for payback. Adachi doesn't recognize them, and barely remembers busting their ring when they bring it up by name.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • During "The Crawfish Caper", Ichiban realizes that Ebihara wanted Nancy the crawfish to make food out of. As Ebihara brings the knife down, the camera cuts to Ichiban's face, and a box with three choices pops up, all of which are "Wait a minute!".
    • Unlike Judgment, Ichiban isn’t allowed to choose whether to romance all the girls or remain friends. Substory completion requires that he cheat on all 6 women at which point the final substory unlocks with him getting the ever-loving tar beaten out of him not unlike Joker from Persona 5note . It even ends with the Survive bartender calling up all of the jilted women and somehow managing to bail Ichiban out similar to how Sojiro does so.
  • Call-Back:
    • Much like Yakuza 0, the game starts off with the player character on a collections job. Solidifying the connection is Ichiban stating he wouldn't kill someone during a simple collections job, a point that is very relevant to Kiryu's role in 0.
    • When Ichiban comes to Shangri-La after his time in prison, which is now abandoned, Adachi tells him how it's been out of business since some moron (Majima) drove a truck into it.
    • The kick that Kiryu does towards the end of his summon is quite familiar to longtime Yakuza fans as well as those that have played Yakuza 0. Receive You ~Tech Trance Arrange~ from the aforementioned game also makes its triumphant return during said Summon as well.
    • Ichiban has a substory involving a chicken as well, this one being called Omelette.
    • The tutorial party chat, where Ichiban explains to Nanba that his tattoo is a dragonfish rather than an ordinary dragon because only the top of the Yakuza food chain are worthy of wearing a dragon on their back, is called "Weight of the Dragon." That same name is given to the end game cutscene where Tendo reveals that he has a dragon tattoo before the boss fight against him.
    • The way in which Ichiban and Tendo trade blows with each other after the latter's defeat is quite reminiscent of the Dynamic Intro between Kiryu and Nishiki in Yakuza Kiwami.
    • Early in the game, Ichiban and his party are distracted from an investigation by a band of punks trying the same "bump-into-you-and-claim-you-broke-their-bones" scam some other goombas attempted to pull on Kiryu. It ends just as poorly for them.
    • During the Ono-Michio storyline, Hironaka wonders out loud where he could possibly find somebody who's both reckless enough to check a bunch of potentially-explosive knockoff toys, and also has a crazy enough hairstyle to not look too different if he guessed wrong. The way he asks the question, while staring right at Ichiban, is a direct callback to a substory from Yakuza 0. In said substory, another citizen wonders where he might possibly find a suitably shady-yet-inexplicably-trustworthy individual in the exact same way, this time referring to Majima.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Kasuga must always be in the main party at all times.
  • Cash Gate: At the start of Chapter 12, Ichiban is tasked with getting 3 million yen to fund an election campaign against Kume. Assuming you've been doing plenty of the Management minigame, this isn't as hard as one might think.
  • Cast from Money: Poundmates are free for the first time you use them, but cost money after.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cats Are Mean:
    • It wouldn't be a Yakuza game without a boss fight against a tiger.
    • Kasuga can also summon a kitten who turns into a giant tiger.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Some questions of the Vocational School exams reference quite a few Sega franchises and games. Specifically:
  • Chest Monster: There are trash bags that turn out to be enemies in disguise. Literal trash mobs, you might say.
    • The optional dungeons also have safes, which are functionally treasure chests, and have a chance to contain a "degenerate" who will leap out an initiate a battle with the party.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Any dungeon that is not Yokohama and Kamorocho Underground Dungeon has no save point at all, meaning it needs to be done in one sitting. This is especially bad when inside The Very Definitely Final Dungeon as it can take over three hours to complete: fight your way to the top of the tower, cutscenes, penultimate boss, cutscenes, final boss, more cutscenes, credits, even more cutscenes, The End, now you may save.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Each class in the Job System gives Kasuga and his mates a unique outfit: the "Yojimbo" class dresses him in a badass black suit, while taking on the "Host" job gives him a flashy jacket.
  • Climax Boss: Yosuke Tendo. Also overlaps with Marathon Boss as he has the highest health out of any major boss encounter in the entire game.
  • Combination Attack: Aside from an always-available Tag Team attack that calls upon all your current party members to beat down an enemy, by maxing out a party member's bond Kasuga can perform a unique Kiwami Action with them.
  • Color Motif: All of the party members have a certain color in all of their base Job outfits.
    • Ichiban is red.
    • Adachi is blue.
    • Zhao is yellow.
    • Eri is grey.
    • Saeko is white.
    • Han is black and silver.
    • Nanba is green.
  • Conflict Ball: At the end of Chapter 5, Seong-Hui's insistance on arresting and/or killing Nanba eventually proves to be the fault line in the Great Wall of Muscle, and eventually leads to the Omi Alliance outright invading Ijincho when Nanba turns traitor as a direct result. All of this happens because Seong-Hui refuses to give Nanba any information about his brother - even when he explicitly says that he just wants to know if his brother is at least still alive. This information is well within Seong-Hui's capacity to give, but she refuses to explain anything about what she's doing to Ichiban and his team, with dire consequences for everyone involved.
  • Continuing is Painful: Losing a battle costs you half of your on-hand money.
  • Continuity Snarl: A minor one in regards to Dragon Quest being referenced to. In Yakuza 0, they used a parody name (Arakure Quest), while in this game they use the series name proper. This is mainly because Toshihiro Nagoshi got permission from Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii to do so.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Hoshino point out to Ichiban that it's only by pure coincidence that Ichiban and friends are involved with the main plot. Mabuchi could've killed anyone to trigger the war between Liumang and the Seiryu Clan, but he chose to kill Ichiban's boss, Nonomiya—the person with a personal connection to the Big Bad.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Non-human opponents such as Excavators, or Tigers are completely immune to any Grapple Moves.
  • Cool Old Guy: Kanbe, the janitor actually Director of Hello Work. He bends the rules to help out Ichiban and his party, and effectively uses Dragon Quest metaphors to help Ichiban understand what kind of work he's able to offer them at the time.
  • Counter-Attack: When Kiryu is low on health, he'll use his signature Tiger Drop counter against any physical attacks that don't trigger a cutscene.
  • Counterfeit Cash: Kasuga finds a defective counterfeit bill stuffed in his suit pocket after being dumped in Ijincho with no clue on how it got there. As it turns out the entire plot of the game revolves around Ijincho's counterfeit cash making industry, with both the Ijin Three and the local politcal party leader in on it in order to make Ijincho into a grey area.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: During Adachi's fourth drink link, he and Ichiban meet with the man who claims Takashi scratched his car's bumper. After the man rants about how he saw Takashi's bike pedal scratch his import sedan from England, Ichiban says that actually seeing Takashi scratching his bumper would be impossible from his point of view. The man then tries to claim the steering wheel was on the left, but then Adachi says that Japanese and British cars have the steering wheel on the right. All this proves that the man was making things up.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Kasuga felt the Self-Proclaimed Hero's Bat was a weapon for a hero, and many jokes were made at his expense (even the name of it was one). When you meet Sumire, however, it turns out he was kinda right, since it was from a special Hero Series.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Mr. Masochist has developed an indestructible body that Feels No Pain, which is less than desirable for someone who actually enjoys physical pain. His Poundmate special has him induce this on your party.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Kaede from the Forget me Not substory. Foreshadowed by the fact that she claims to have known Ichiban from before he went to prison and yet she looks like a teenager or young adult (and hinted at by outside perspectives of their date showing Kasuga all by his lonesome).
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The battle with Ryo Aoki a.k.a. Masato Arakawa, is very easy, with Aoki dealing very little damage and even missing his attacks somewhat frequently, causing him to stomp his feet in frustration. During the QTE sequence after the normal battle however, he's shown doing fairly well against Ichiban, landing quite a few blood-spilling punches. Somewhat unusually for this trope, the gameplay depiction makes more sense in-universe than the cutscene, as Aoki was wheelchair-bound until receiving surgery and soon afterwards began focusing on politics, leaving little room to gain experience with fistfighting.
    D-H 
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: There is a side quest in which our hero Kasuga can invest in a giant street-cleaning Roomba. When the inventor demonstrates it, he turns on the "forbidden high power mode," the Roomba starts sucking in cats and old ladies, and you have to fight it.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt:
    • Saeko wears one.
    • It is part of the outfit for the Idol, Hostess, Bar Maid and Dealer jobs.
    • Seong-hui wears one, and her outfit is available for party members through paid DLC.
  • Denser and Wackier: It is by far the wackiest out of the mainline Yakuza games (Dead Souls and Paradise Lost were spinoffs), with giant crabs, defeating enemies with music and turn-based combat. Averted in regards to the actual story, which is just as dramatic and serious as prior entries, only offset by the fact that Kasuga would participate in the more light-hearted moments rather than being an observer.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Kiryu, Saejima and Majima are not present in the final chapter, the former due to having to keep a low profile and the latter two having to protect Daigo and Watase from Omi reprisals. Considering how strong they’re shown to be in this game alone they could’ve easily taken down Tendo and Aoki if even one of them were present.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • It's common knowledge that Kasuga's base class is called Freelancer. That said, if you look at it during the first two chapters, you'll see it actually starts off as Yakuza, then changes to multiple names, including Arakawa Loyalist and Deadbeat, then finally ending as Freelancer.
    • An early sidestory is about a pawnshop owner who refuses to throw anything away and thus trash is piling up in the street. One of the suggestions Ichiban can make is buying said trash to which the owner demands 10 million yen, a price that the player is unlikely to have unless they saved the sidestory for way later or are in New Game+. Assuming you do have the money, however, Ichiban will agree and the representative who asked for help will incredulously ask if Ichiban’s really homeless with that much cash on hand.
    • Ichiban really only starts visualizing the more absurd enemy designs after he picks up his bat and switches to the Hero class. This includes Nanba who doesn’t wear his hood and wears his regular outfit even during combat.
    • In keeping with the fact that Kiryu doesn't like to fight women, he will never attack Saeko or Eri directly during his boss fight, though they can still get hit if they're too close to his intended target.
    • During the substory where you unlock the vocational school, Ichiban meets an English-speaking tourist trying to find the train station, whom Ichiban can't understand. If you're playing with the English dub on, he does an Aside Glance when he realizes the tourist is speaking English.
    • There's been some noticeable attention to detail paid in Chapter 1, which is set in 2000.
      • For obvious reasons, the Millennium Tower is still under construction.
      • Another thing that's fairly obvious is that due to smartphones simply not being around at the time (as well as cell phones not quite at the stage where they've gotten cameras yet), you can't pull out your phone (Up on the D-pad) to take a picture.
      • Bantam is still called Bacchus since the events of the first game that led to its rebranding have yet to happen.
      • Relating to the above, Shangri-La is still shown to still be doing well and still in business, what with it being Ichiban's childhood home and all.
      • One obvious thing that they missed, however, is that Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown both has posters advertising it and is playable in arcades, even though the initial VF5 wasn't released until 2006, with FS itself being released in 2010.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Several can be found, true to series tradition, for both Management Mode and the base game.
    • For the game itself:
      • In early Chapter 3 to 4 if you are decent at Mahjong, you can easily make several hundred thousand by winning the Citron Mahjong Tournament which gives you access to mid tier gear early which in turn makes you invincible.
      • Eri can be unlocked as early as Chapter 5 (roughly a third into the game) and is quite a capable party member in her own right. She has much higher damage output than Saeko by default while also having more health and access to the same classes as her. And given how you spend about four chapters with only two other party members in Adachi and Saeko because of Nanba's absence, she becomes all but essential during this period. On top of that, she's considered great with the Dealer Job, which allows her to use it's Dart Airstrike skill to clear a ton of enemies in turn 1 because of her high speed. This is doubly so because, as long as you have enough Charisma, you can nearly immediately get her the Dealer's Infinity -1 Sword through one of the secret casinos.
      • The Idol class becomes available when Saeko is at level 15 (or level 1 for Eri) and is borderline essential for the late game, as by Job Rank 6 (which is trivial to reach) it carries a skill that can heal all party members to 100% for negligible MP cost, by rank 12 it can debuff and potentially charm all enemies at once, and it has a number of unique weapons available to it which restore MP with attacks.
      • Completing the Company Management storyline not only maxes out Eri's potential job prospects, it gives a great way to grind cash, and make sure you can easily max out Romance Workshop, as well as anything else that requires money.
      • The Stat Boost set given with the Legendary Hero Edition gives an early boost to Kasuga's social stats, allowing early access to various areas and classes normally reserved for leveling those stats up, and syncs well with his Hero class, itself considered a Game-Breaker, since a number of his specials scale in power depending on his social stats.
    • For the company management minigame:
      • Hanayama. His substory is unlocked at the same time as the aforementioned activity itself and is right near Ichiban Confections, just due north. He's a Rank S employee and has favorable stats as well as high Persuasion, making him ideal for Boardroom Meetings.
      • The DLC employees for the Company Management storyline are unlocked from the get go, have negligible salaries once you get your businesses going a bit, make the Shareholder meetings a cakewalk with their high Persuasion abilities, and, long as they're properly placed, become incredibly profitable workhorses with their amazing stats.
      • In a similar vein to Hamayama, Ikari; he can be unlocked around the time the player is likely to be taking a serious look at Management Mode. What sets Ikari apart is his outrageously low Command Cost, a paltry 5 points, in exchange for a very good Charisma stat that allows him to do reliable damage to nearly any Shareholder, let alone those he counters.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Ichiban almost loses a pinky because he used money Masato gave him to cover for the debt collection. Even if Jo thinks he begged for money this is a ridiculous punishment and confirmed to stem from Jo hating Ichiban and always looking for a reason to punch him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Bleach Japan takes a lot of influence from certain movements in contemporary American politics. This is reflected in their general modus operandi, which amounts to "cause as much trouble as possible and rely on positive media coverage to shelter you from criticism." Ogasawara outright lampshades this; "No one would criticize someone shouting for equality".
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Ichiban getting a beatdown from all six women in the final substory is portrayed as justified and played for laughs despite him looking worse off afterwards than in many story fights. While it might be considered karmic considering he did cheat, the fact that the player isn’t allowed to choose whether to cheat or remain faithful can make it come across as excessive and unearned. Especially since Saeko and Eri actually don’t confess to Ichiban but still act as jilted as the other women.
  • Duel Boss: The first boss fight against Sawashiro and the final fight against Masato have Kasuga fight against them one-on-one.
  • Dueling Player Characters:
    • Han is fought in Chapter 6. However, he's notable in that he's fought long before he becomes a playable character.
    • Nanba is fought alongside Ishioda in Chapter 9.
    • While infiltrating the Omi HQ, Kasuga and his gang run into Majima and Saejima, who decide to pick a fight with them.
    • Later on, Kiryu challenges Kasuga (and to a lesser extent, his team) to a fight in order to test them.
  • End of an Era: After being the central mainstays of the series, the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance disband by the end of the game.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: The business side-activity this time around involves Ichiban becoming president of the coincidentally-named Ichiban Confectionery and attempting to make it the biggest business of Yokohama through hiring employees, buying up assets and dealing with shareholders.
  • Evil Knockoff: They're not robots, but several enemy classes are basically antagonistic versions of Jobs available to the player's party.
    • The Vagrant enemy line to Nanba's base class, Homeless Guy. They use many of the same animations, and also wield a "staff" weapon.
    • The Chef enemy line to the identically-named Player Job, unsurprisingly.
    • The Laborer enemy line to the Foreman Job; they have several of the same skills, although theirs are watered down - for instance, they can toss dynamite, but they need to prepare for a turn before doing so.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Just before the climax, Ichiban visualizes the Millennium Tower in a fashion reminiscent of the Shinra HQ Tower.
  • Exact Words: Subverted. At the start of the game, Sawashiro tasks Ichiban with recovering the wallet from a debtor who needs money for his ailing mother. Ichiban takes the wallet, but lets the debtor keep the yen. However, he replaces the missing yen with the money that Masato gave him. Unfortunately, Sawashiro recognizes the bill strap as being from Masato's bank and nearly cuts off his pinky for disobedience anyway.
  • Experience Booster: For each job, there is an equippable item which gives a 50% boost to job XP from battles.
  • Fastball Special: Majima and Saejima use a wide-ranging variation in their Boss Fight where Saejima swings Majima around so he slashes away at surrounding enemies, then throws him at the primary target as a feint to double-team with a brutal punch/knee combo.
  • Feels No Pain: Mr. Masochist got into so much kink play that his skin hardened to the point he feels no pain. Knives can't even scratch him at all, and none of your own attacks do a lick of damage. As a masochist, he's naturally quite depressed over it. His Poundmate Special allows him to impart some of his ability to nullify pain via cringing at him.
  • Fetch Quest: Many Part Time Hero missions are of this type. Gather some items, and either take them to a Part Time Hero representative, or to whoever in the city needs them.
  • Fictional Political Party: The Citizen's Liberal Party is a pretty clear send-up of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (actually a fairly hardline conservative party) who have been the driving force in Japanese politics since World War II. Their long tenure in power has given the party time to connect on many levels with both industry and underworld figures, leading to regularly surfacing scandals when things come to light.
  • Final Boss: Ryo Aoki/Masato Arakawa.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Tons of it during the party's chat with Seong-Hui at the end of Chapter 5, shortly before Nanba's treachery is revealed.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The angry crayfish that you can summon to claw the hell out of enemies is named Nancy. The cat that turns into a tiger is Robson. You also have a bear, a tiger, and a chimp that give Ichiban a lot of trouble in the "Ringleader Roundup" series of substories. Their names being Catherine, Charlotte, and Clara, respectively.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: It's entirely possible if not likely for your party to be at around level 30 when you first go to Sotenbori and fight Majima and Saejima, and they're level 50 at that point you will get beaten senseless. The game gives you a selection of different dungeons to fight through to level up in at least, although these have their own detractors.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The parallels between Arakawa and his father, and Arakawa and Kasuga, when planning a special Peking Duck dinner, along with their similar skin tones, foreshadows Kasuga being Arakawa's real son surprisingly well.
    • In Ichiban's flashback when he was waiting to get Arakawa's approval, a teenage Masato is also shown. However, he appearance bears extreme resemblance to Ryo Aoki, who is Masato's new identity, with the exception of wearing his glasses.
    • Why would Akane seal the locker instead of leaving it open so Arakawa could get their baby quicker? She didn’t. Sawashiro’s flashback later on shows that the locker next to Masato’s wasn’t locked, which makes more sense for a woman on the run who had to be pressured to leave her baby behind.
    • During a bit of exposition about the Ijin Three from Nanba in Chapter 3, Kasuga throws out a wild guess that the three gangs' leaders were faking the cold war and taking it easy. Nanba dismisses it as unlikely. Midway through the story, this turns out to be one of the crucial secrets to Ijincho's independence from outside forces.
    • During the prologue, Arakawa scolds Ichiban for laughing, because the only time a Yakuza laughs with his teeth is when he's in deep trouble, or when he's with family. Well ....
  • For Want of a Nail: A lot of the main plot hinges on Masumi Arakawa opening the wrong locker, and unknowingly gaining Sawashiro's then-disabled baby as his son. Had he opened the locker right next to it, he would've gained Ichiban, his actual son, and, since Masato likely would've died as a baby then, the whole plot involving Bleach Japan would've never happened.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Your party members don't take damage from AOE skills and attacks from their teammates unless the skill explicitly states that it will cause friendly fire damage, but are still affected in some way. For example, if a party is in the AOE of Ichiban's Mega or Giga Swing, they'll get knocked down along with any enemies within the AOE, which can put them in a world of hurt if they tumble next to an enemy that's having their turn after Ichiban, as this opens them up to a critical hit from said enemy. Averted when objects in the environment are thrown or kicked around, both your party and enemies can damage their own teammates with a flying crate.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Against all odds it seems like Kiryu and the Amon’s relationship has become this considering their chat after Ichiban’s party beats Shin Amon. Ichiban and Shin’s relationship appears to be developing into this as well since neither side holds any animosity to the other and even during rematches Ichiban is eager to fight while Shin never holds a grudge for being beaten again.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • While Ichiban is asking Nick Ogata for a startup loan for Ichiban Confections, Eri's chewing on a rice cracker bigger than her head.
    • After Ichiban manages to defeat Clara (who was operating a digger), the construction workers that had previously gone out to lunch come back to find their digger up in flames, with them panicking as Ichiban and Yasuda are talking with each other.
    • Due to some Good Bad Bugs involving NPCs, you can often see some NPCs immediately turn around whenever Ichiban is talking to someone, whether it's before or after a fight, leading to some rather amusing moments. This isn't too surprising, however, as this has also been seen across multiple games in the series.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Initially, the English menu was Skills, More, Guard, and Attack. After a fan suggested it, due to the appropriate acronym, the devs went Sure, Why Not?, and changed it to Skills, Etc., Guard, Attack.note 
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Reflecting Kasuga's love of Dragon Quest, the game is much more traditionally turn-based, with other common RPG elements given a Yakuza makeover. Even the Japanese subtitle, "Whereabouts of Light and Darkness", is similar to the kind of subtitles found on Dragon Quest games. Furthermore, the game actually goes out of its way to justify it as much as possible, like saying Ichiban has a habit of letting his opponents get a slug in (to justify the turn-based combat), and everything looking like an RPG is because everything is seen Through the Eyes of Madness.
    • This game has by far the most varied and quirky enemy variety in the series, ranging from simple thugs and punks to murderous otakus, con artists who smack you with briefcases, hobos disguised as trash bags, and hammer-wielding men twice Ichiban's size. This is explained to be due to Ichiban's out-of-control imagination, and the rest of the party see the enemies as standard thugs.
    • Ichiban's Hero class begins the game as a strong damage-dealer, but eventually progresses into becoming a healer/buffer hybrid with some damage on the side. This reflects Ichiban's real strengths of empathy and compassion coming to the forefront over his fighting skills.
    • In the one time the party has lost their equipment Ichiban will be forced back to the Freelancer class since his bat was also taken. During Saeko’s side story she also keeps her Nanoha disguise in combat regardless of her class.
    • Majima and Saejima claim they were holding back against the party despite how difficult they were to fight and the way they attack reflects this. Anyone familiar with their movesets from past games will notice that they don't execute their combos fully and leave some of their most devastating attacks (such as Saejima's charge attacks or Majima's knife counter) off the table. They also avoid using some of their more painful Heat moves, outside of a single Kiwami attack.
    • The Chef Job is considered to be extremely weak when used on anyone except for Zhao, who makes it work, and the Chef job is one of his best jobs aside from his Gangster job. Appropriate, since his base of operations is a restaurant, and Zhao, himself, is a Supreme Chef.
    • The fact that the game's a traditional Turn Based RPG in the vein of Dragon Quest, Persona, and so on is reflected in story by the protagonists being glorified Elite Mooks compared to previous main players, and having to be Weak, but Skilled to succeed.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Nanba, Saeko and Adachi are in most cutscenes despite that they don't need to always be in your party. Likewise, Eri never shows up in main story cutscenes at all and there are times Joon-Gi-Han and Zhao are inexplicably absent despite never leaving the party after joining.
    • Ichiban is almost always alone when undertaking substories despite the fact that he always has a party with him. When combat inevitably starts his party just appear then disappear after the fight ends like Ichiban fought all by himself.
    • A minor point in chapter 4 is that because Ichiban's phone was dead, Adachi couldn't track him using its GPS. However the smartphone functions fine in gameplay.
    • Nanba tries to dissuade Saeko from joining in a fight during a story cutscene because she’s a woman. Nevermind the fact that the player has likely gotten into at least a couple of battles with Saeko in the party by that point due to random encounters and it’s impossible to get to that cutscene without triggering the Part-Time Hero substory which requires two fights.
    • As always, guns are treated as extremely deadly threats in cutscenes, while in gameplay they’re not nearly as dangerous... unless you're Ishioda, anyway.
    • By the end of the Management minigame, Ichiban will effectively be a captain of industry who owns a powerful Megacorp with billions of yen in revenue and properties all over the city, but since that is completely separate from the story he can't use any of that supposed corporate power when it really matters.
    • Related to this whenever the topic of money comes up Ichiban always acts like he’s poor and that gathering money will be an issue.
    • Cutscenes always depict Ichiban fighting with his bare hands like previous protagonists despite the fact that he switches to the bat-wielding Hero class early on and it’s unlikely players will return to Freelancer since it can’t equip weapons. The same applies to party members who just put up their fists before combat starts, even Nanba and Saeko.
    • Kiryu joins as a Poundmate after Chapter 14 despite explicitly telling Ichiban that he can’t get involved at all any more than he already has. While the other Poundmates already stretch believability Kiryu is the only one who has no reason to ever come to Ichiban’s aid.
      • Even more perplexingly, you can summon Kiryu as a Poundmate against Shin Amon, who Kiryu is shown to be talking to and in the same room as.
  • Game Within a Game: Like in previous titles, classic Sega arcade games such as Virtua Fighter and Super Hang-On can be played in arcades. Like with previous games, this also applies to SEGA's UFO Catcher Crane Games.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: The classes are segregated by gender, meaning that you can't have Ichiban be an Idol or have Saeko be an Enforcer. Neither Saeko or Eri can use Electric attacks unless they have Night Queen's Electric Whip.
  • Genre Shift: From open-world brawler to turn-based JRPG, as shown in the TGS gameplay trailer and the associated demo.
  • Ghostly Goals: Played straight with Kaedo from the substory Forget Me Not. The reason she's lingered in the mortal realm was to thank Ichiban for being one of the only people who ever cared about her when she was alive. Once she's accomplished her goal, she's able to move on to the afterlife, with Ichiban expressing his intent to find her after his own death.
  • Good-Guy Bar: The Survive Bar serves as the gang's hideout much in the way that Serena did in the previous games. Serena itself becomes this once again once the heroes get to Kamurocho.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: The Host job's standard attack is this, and, in specific, is Kiryu's light, light, heavy string from Kiwami 2 and 6.
  • Government Conspiracy: There's more than one at play. The first you learn of is how Yutaka Ogikubo, the chairman of the Citizens' Liberal Party, colluded with the Ijin Three to help them run a money counterfeiting scheme. This conspiracy, however, is of a more benevolent nature, as Ogikubo's aid helped to maintain the peace between the Ijin Three: with the counterfeit money, the Liumang could import goods and supplies with help from the Seiryu Clan's printing operation, while Ogikubo had access to significant capital to maintain his political career and remain in a position to keep the peace. The Geomijul eventually entered the fold when they brought with them the means to circumvent the anti-counterfeiting measures new Japanese currency began to use. The other conspiracy is perpetuated by Tokyo governer Ryo Aoki (aka: Masato Arakawa), who founded Bleach Japan, an NGO that gained meteoric popularity for their platform of cleaning Japan of the "grey zones". After revealing the first conspiracy, he was able to oust Ogikubo and take over as the CLP's chairman, using his political clout to take control of the entire country.
  • Graceful Loser: Oddly enough, Shin Amon bucks the usual trend of the Amons by being almost proud of Ichiban and his party for beating him. Even during rematches he just says that Ichiban is worthy of being the new Dragon.
  • Grand Finale: Another one to the Kiryu saga, in a sense. After eight games with them, the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance disband and are gone by the end of this game.
  • Gratuitous English: In one substory, a generic American tourist asks Kasuga for the way to the station. Kasuga doesn't understand him, but then a passerby butts in and gives directions at the top of his lungs with a Japanese accent:
    Diligent Man: "Go! Straight! And! Turn! Right! Go, go, go! Go your way! Believe yourself!!"
    Foreigner Man: "Oh! Alright! Thank you!"
    Diligent Man: "You are welcooome!"
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • You know how Masumi's father was murdered in his backstory, and that led to a chain of events that eventually brought that Kabuki actor into the Yakuza, and, by extension, all the tragedy surrounding his family and associates as a result? His own mother's greed was the cause of it.
    • The Omi Alliance is ultimately responsible for the Ijin Three going to war.
    • During his own pursuit of power, Juro Horinouchi unkowingly caused Masato's decision to become Ryo Aoki and create Bleach Japan.
  • Groin Attack: Ichiban's "Atomic Drop", Saeko's "Jewel Breaker" and Night Queen's "Vital Vibration".
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The game never tells you that, if you want to explore every nook and cranny you can, it's mandatory to give Kasuga the Foreman job at least once (don't have to level it, just gotta assign it to him), since it immediately grants you the Demolish skill, which can break down barriers.
    • While the game gives you a pretty basic overview on how to carry out the Business Management sidequest, you're still largely left to your own devices in how to turn Ichiban Confections into a profitable business. There's also a number of Cash Gate moments you will encounter during side content note , and one notable moment in the story will require you to donate 3 million yen in order to advance the game. The quickest method to acquire money is by completing the Business Management sidequest.
    • The Vocational School is the fastest way to increase Ichiban's personality. However, completing the exam demand extensive knowledge from various field of study from sports, maths, fashion, music, history, science, knowledge of previous Yakuza games, SEGA franchise and console history, and many more. Fortunately, you only required to get 3 out of 5 correct answers to pass, except for the hardest exam that includes questions from every other category where you need to get all of them correct. Ikari also sells you a special pen and trains you how to intently concentrate on the test which strike out 2 incorrect answers and gives you an extra 30 seconds once per exam, respectively.
    • Some aspects of the battle system are not in the help files, and are either explained once when they first appear, or not at all:
      • Critical hits: what your base chance is, how to increase it, and when they have happened (by inspection, it's a critical hit if the numbers are in a different font).
      • The game tells you if an enemy is weak or resistant to an attack type or an element, but doesn't say how much of a difference this makes.
      • It's fairly obvious what the Attack, Defence, Magic and Healing stats do, but Agility and Dexterity? (Agility influences turn order, Dexterity dodging).
    • The game helpfully has character profiles and story summaries. In the settings menu, which many players won't look at after starting.
  • Has a Type: Several of the women Kasuga can win the hearts of have a specific personality type that's needed to talk to them more. Kasuga notes that he can chat with them more if he were to become more of a certain adjective, with the adjective being the maximum for a specific one of his social stats.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose:
    • How the fight with Kiryu plays out. You have to win the fight, but it ends with Ichiban's entire team all completely winded and Kiryu looking only slightly bruised by comparison. Then Ichiban makes one final charge only to wake up after a bizarre Imagine Spot, having been knocked unconscious.
    • To a similar extent, the fight with Saejima and Majima also count. Just like the above Ichiban’s party looks exhausted after the fight while the worst they get is Majima having some blood on his lip. Saejima doesn’t even have that.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Adachi is technically the second party member you get, but he's soon left behind in Kamurocho. Not long after the game properly begins, you recruit Yu Nanba, a Squishy Wizard with Healing Hands as a default ability.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In a more series-wide sense, what's left of the Omi Alliance and the Tojo Clan go from a crime family to a security contract company. While the Tojo Clan has always been portrayed as 'good' - or at least less evil compared to other factions - across the series this is the first time they fully leave crime behind for legitimate work.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment: Kiryu's grand return during the large brawl following the announcement of the Tojo and Omi dissolution. Majima, in particular, is beside himself with joy.
  • Hero of Another Story: Kiryu really gives off this feeling. Even the way he meets with Ichiban in Chapter 14 is reminiscent of a side-story with Ichiban being one of the NPC’s he has to help.
  • History Repeats: A yakuza takes the fall for a crime he doesn't commit, only to return from his prison sentence to find the Tojo Clan in turmoil? Sounds very much like Kiryu's story...
  • Honor Before Reason: When Aoki asks Ichiban to meet him alone, everyone including Ichiban himself knows that it's definitely a trap. But Ichiban still goes there alone, stating that he won't stoop to Aoki's level. Unsurprisingly, when Ichiban rejects Aoki's demand to leave him and Arakawa alone, Sawashiro and his goons shows up to kill Ichiban. Fortunately, his friends went against his back and rescue him.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The sleep spirits that the Seagull Cinema minigame is based around, combined with Animalistic Abomination. The REM Rams, named for REM sleep, try to widdle away at Kasuga's will to stay awake, and the Alarm Cocks keep him awake as long you avoid hitting them. They're both types because their heads are their respective animals, and everything neck down looks like a Japanese Salaryman (presumably, they're doing their jobs, so it's a Visual Pun of them being Punch Clock Villains and Punch Clock Heroes).
  • Hurricane of Puns: The "Golden Opportunity" substory can't resist making a bunch of urination-based puns.
    Police Officer: "But we've already drained plenty of resources looking for him, and I'll be damned if we piss away more."
  • Hypocrite: Despite claiming to follow the law to the letter, Bleach Japan as a whole rarely practices what they preach. They harass businesses, incite violence then cry assault when they get beaten, and are (albeit unknowingly) in bed with the Omi Alliance. Even when they see Ishioda attacking the party with a crane none of them protest the fact that one of their own is trying to commit murder without any hint of guilt. Granted, at that point, most of Bleach Japan members are basically disguised Omi Alliance Members.
    I-R 
  • I Ate WHAT?!: During "The Crawfish Caper", a man named Ebihara gives Ichiban a small plate of greens to eat, which Ichiban remarks looks like boiled spinach. After Ichiban eats it, Ebihara says that he's glad the road weeds he cooked happened to be safe. Ichiban gags and tells Ebihara to test his weeds on someone else.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Ichiban is an absolute mess after his final boss fight against Masato, tearfully begging the young master to give up his scheming and pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The weapons and armor from the Sotenbori Battle Arena are the second strongest in the game but can’t be upgraded. A scant few other of these weapons come from other sources, such as being sold by the weapon shop Le Marche in Kamurocho for 10 million yen, or bought with a lot of points from various minigames like the Batting minigame, Shogi, Can Quest or the Gambling Hall.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Specific weapons like Ichiban’s starter bat are the best in the game once upgraded. Almost all of the best weapons for each job actually start off very weak and require millions of yen in upgrades to become the best. They also require the above mentioned weapons to upgrade to their final iterations.
  • Insane Equals Violent: The "Imp Patient" is speculated to be wildly hallucinating.
  • Interface Spoiler: Four blacked out menus when you pause the game in the earlier stages not-so-subtly hide the fact that Business Management, Dragon Kart, and Part-Time Hero all exist, as well as Ichiban being given a smartphone to use by Adachi.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: THE GAME. Not even taking into account the main story, which is filled to the brim with many moments like these, you've also got the Substories and even some of the minigames like can collecting or Vocational School. Whether you're fighting against tigers (again) or telling a foreigner how to get to a train station while your character doesn't speak a single lick of their language... there's plenty of laughs to be had here!
  • Job System: There are a variety of classes that Kasuga and his comrades can take on. Played for (literal) laughs as you're required to go to an employment agency to change a character's job. They include:
    • "Yakuza/Arakawa Loyalist/Deadbeat/Freelancer", a balanced class for Kasuga focusing on fisticuffs.
    • "Hero", an offensive class for Kasuga that specializes in wielding a baseball bat as well as healing and buffing the party. Also has skills that improve with Kasuga's personality stats.
    • "Homeless Man", Nanba's base class, which allows him to summon pigeons to attack enemies or breath fire with liquor.
    • "Detective", Adachi's base class, which lets him pummel enemies with a baton, toss them about, or counter their attacks.
    • "Barmaid", Saeko's base class, which gives her AOE attacks and allow her to inflict status ailments.
    • "Hitman", Han's base class, which involves attacking at close and long ranges with a wide variety of damage types.
    • "Gangster", Zhao's base class, which lets him attack with a lot of forward momentum via the use of martial arts or a sword.
    • "Clerk", Eri's base class, which specializes in speed and large hit counts.
    • "Bodyguard", a heavy-damage class that grants its users a sword and utilizes attacks that deal damage to both themselves and the enemy.
    • "Breaker", an offensive job that has access to attacks that buff the user and wide-range AOE's.
    • "Host", a supportive class that can empower allies and debilitates enemies.
    • "Idol", a class for Saeko and Eri that lets them use music to heal their allies and debuff enemies.
    • "Foreman", a class that involved low speed and movement that can cause heavy damage and big arcs. Can be used to break open locations with sledgehammers while free roaming.
    • "Musician", a long ranged offensive job and team buffer.
    • "Hostess", jack of all trades Job with a wider range of attack types.
    • "Enforcer", a tank job that grants massive amounts of health and defense.
    • "Dealer", a long-ranged Job with randomized effects.
    • "Chef", a jack of all trades job, with a bias towards giving you a wide range on attack effects.
    • "Fortuneteller", a Job resembling a Mage that can brainwash enemies, cure the party's status conditions, and revive fallen allies.
    • "Night Queen", A high-damage, single-target job, obtained at the cost of either Saeko or Eri’s support skills from the other Jobs.
    • "Devil Rocker", a DLC offensive job with a wide range of attack types. Mainly focuses on applying high damage to enemies in front of you.
    • "Matriarch", a DLC offensive job with a focus on massive arcs of attacks and longer range.
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: Pressing the Guard button just as the enemies' attack are about to connect grants you Perfect Guard which slightly reduces damage taken and prevents you from being knocked down.
  • Karma Houdini: Mabuchi is one of the biggest instigators of conflict for much of the plot. He also instigates a gang war between the Seiryu Clan and the Yokohama Liumang by brutally executing two young Seiryu gangsters in the middle of the street, riddling them with bullets for several seconds straight before executing them with a sadistic grin. The only form of punishment he receives is being kicked out of the Liumang and beaten within an inch of his life, but even after he comes back for more, Zhao refuses to finish him off and allows him to leave town with his life.
    • Yamato Totsuka has been running an organized euthanasia ring where people unknowingly play millions of yen to have their loved ones executed. This is first shown when an orderlie wheels a visibly-terrified, wheelchair-bound old woman into the Excellent Room as she screams for mercy. Totsuka, despite being the ringleader, gets off with only a beating; he doesn't even lose a finger.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Attacking a downed enemy will guarantee a critical hit. So you're encouraged to do that.
  • Kill Sat: Completing the Management plotline grants Ichiban the "Essence of Orbital Laser", which has him call down a death ray from a satellite via his phone. It deals massive electric damage to all enemies and may inflict paralyze, but it's also the single most expensive skill in the entire game to the point that if the story is completed early Ichiban will simply not have enough max MP to cast it. Shin Amon can also use this against your party.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Anti-yakuza laws and enforcement of them have become strong enough to the point where major crime lords can be incarcerated for simple rebellion or actions that they may not even have control over. With the Tojo and Omi at risk of becoming government pawns in the current climate, Daigo Dojima and Masaru Watase instead decide to disband their factions and start a security company to allow yakuza to reintegrate into society.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: All over the place, this being a watershed title for the series.
    • The protagonist is no longer the stoic, badass, and all-powerful Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima. Ichiban Kasuga, the bombastic, charismatic, and all-loving underdog known as the Dragon of Rock Bottom, is the new protagonist from this game onwards.
    • The genre's been flipped to a turn-based RPG, bringing with it deeper RPG mechanics, a party of multiple playable characters at once, including female fighters, and a Job System.
    • The primary setting is now Isezaki Ijincho, a much larger area than Kamurocho with roads traveled by cars that can hit you if you aren't careful. Though Kamurocho and Sotenbori do make a return in this game as well, Ijincho is replacing the former as the main setting for the series going forward.
    • Unlike prior installments in the series, new skills and Heat Actions are now automatically acquired as you level up both your Experience Points and your Job Points instead of having to buy them first. As a result, certain miscellaneous upgrades such as the Substory Finder or Unlimited Stamina are now unlocked by default.
  • Leaked Experience: Any characters not in the active party still gain a portion of experience from battles. How much they gain depends on their bond level with Ichiban with a full bond meaning they they get full experience.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Several times, unsurprisingly.
    • After beating Shin Amon in the Final Millenium Tower, Kiryu has a private conversation with him, where he says that Kasuga is "less a replacement, and more his own hero walking his own path." That, combined with the Aside Glance to the camera, suggests that it's both a conversation between two friendly rivals, and Kiryu explaining the devs' intentions to the player.
    • After he and Ichiban get their own room to live in, Nanba has a hearty chuckle over Ichiban telling him he wanted to be The Hero when he grew up, finding the idea of him wanting to be a videogame character hilarious.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Increasing a character's level or their job rank also fills their HP and MP. It can come in handy in a pinch.
  • Limit Break: Kiwami skills, gained through leveling either a character or class high enough (or, in the case of Essence of Orbital Laser, completing the Company Management sidequest) are Always Accurate Attacks that bring the pain massively with appropriately-animated cutscenes showing them off. They're so powerful, in fact, that spamming them is considered optimal play for higher-level content, for the most part.
  • Lip Lock: Averted. Regardless of whether the English or Japanese voiceovers are selected, the characters' lip movements are animated to match.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Masato isn't Arakawa's son. Ichiban is.
  • Made of Explodium: One substory is about a spate of knock-off talking Ono Michio action figures, which are so poorly made that they literally explode in the user's face.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Joon-Gi Han's reappearance after his death in Yakuza 6 is Hand Waved this way; he's not the original, but the child of a Jingweon Mafia member.
  • Magikarp Power: The best weapons in the game start of as low level, weak gear that require millions of yen and rare materials to upgrade to being the best weapons. Ichiban’s starter bat is the best example since it’s the first weapon he can equip.
  • Market-Based Title: Notable since the subtitle in English is the series' name in Japanese ("Like a Dragon").
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Downplayed, but the universe of Yakuza can be a surreal place at times. Combined with Ichiban daydreaming about everything being an RPG, this sometimes makes it hard to tell what is actually happening and what isn't.
  • Meaningful Name: In a substory, there's a pawnshop that is surrounded by so much garbage that it's unrecognizable as a pawnshop so people just call it a trash mansion. The pawnshop owner's name is given as 五味, which is pronounced Gomi, which also happens to be a pun on garbage, which is also called Gomi.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Subjugation-kun enemies which the Flavor Text describe them as a next-gen security robot, with some models being stolen and re-programmed for criminal use.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • The Musician Job has a special Voltage meter that can be filled up to three levels, and powers up certain attacks the job uses.
    • The Foreman Job, when given to Kasuga, is the only one with a Character Ability given at Level 0. It gives the Demolish ability, which is used in the field to open blocked paths.
  • Metal Slime:
    • There's the Invested Vagabond, which usually only takes a single point of damage per attack, is usually found in the optional sewer dungeons, and, unless you're lucky, or can take it out in one turn, can easily run from you. That said, just one can give upwards of five levels worth of xp for both your character level and job level. This said, most characters have some means of doing a single point of damage many times in a single turn...
    • Ichiban also brings the trope up in one of the Bonding Events with Joon-Gi Han, where he can compare Han to a Metal Slime in how he's trying to escape people trying to hunt him down. Fortunately, Han understands the reference and decides to take it as a compliment.
  • Meteor-Summoning Attack: The Fortuneteller's Essence of Divine Punishment, which does Blunt damage.
  • Mirror Boss:
    • Pun unintended, Mirror Face, who is fought alongside Ishioda in the latter's final encounter with Ichiban and his crew, uses Adachi's Detective class.
    • Like his predecessors, Shin Amon fights using a variant of your party member's skills and Kiryu's four fighting styles.
  • Monster Compendium: Known as the "Sujidex" in this game, the compendium is filled out whenever you defeat an enemy and you'll get rewards for milestones.
  • Moral Guardians: One of the chief antagonistic forces in the game is Bleach Japan, a non-profit founded by the current sitting governor of Tokyo that is dedicated to cleaning up the "gray zones" in the country by stamping out government corruption and criminal enterprises. Unfortunately, they aren't above finding loopholes to abuse to accomplish their goals, if not just outright using violence. It also doesn't help that their founder is the son of a yakuza boss...
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Due to Ichiban being a manchild with an overactive imagination he imagines everything as part of an RPG, from attack names flashing on the screen for special attacks to him using a bat not unlike a fantasy hero's sword.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Hamako is absolutely disraught when she finds out that the women she encouraged to go to the new Bleach Japan housing centers were deported instead of being offered work and visas as promised.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: How Adachi and Ichiban initially chase off Bleach Japan from Otohime Land: Kume argues that he's never broken a single law in his life, no matter how minor, challenges them to prove it, presents them a permit that allows Bleach Japan to stage a protest march and then walks up to them to further rub it in. Ichiban and Adachi first counter by reminding him that he's now technically standing on Otohime Land's property instead of a public area, causing him to back off, then remind him that only up to 10 protesters are allowed and there's currently more people than that present, and that the definition of a "march" means that you need to keep moving and not stop and hold speeches. Kume tries to argue back that the difference of 5 people in the number of participants isn't significant enough for the police to interfere if they're not causing a scene and that all protest marches will inevitably hold a speech at some point, to which Ichiban reminds him that what he's describing are "gray areas", something Bleach Japan is obsessed with getting rid of, leaving Kume with no counterarguments and forcing him to tell the group to move on and keep marching.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Joon-gi Han's default class, "Hitman", prominently features dual handguns. Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise villain Targa also wields handguns, and both are voiced in Japanese by the same actor, Yūichi Nakamura. Han even has a Kiwami action that replicates the QTE in Targa's first fight.
      • Relating to the above, his "Head Trauma" attack, which he starts out with when he's unlocked in Chapter 10, is taken straight from Yakuza 6, where it served as the original Joon-gi Han's throw animation.
    • The "Assassin" enemies are based on Tohru Hirose from 6 and are not only dressed like him but use his boss animations.
    • Ichiban Confectionary's company pet is a chicken by the name of Omelette, who is reminiscent of Nugget from 0. Aside from being an employee, it is also a Poundmate that can be summoned to restore HP or MP via one of it's eggs.
    • Ono-Michio once again returns after featuring in Yakuza 6 and Judgment, this time with Ichiban forced to deal with a shipment of explosive knock-off figures mixed in with some real, high quality ones. The real ones speak with Kiryu's voice. And yes, you do get to wear the costume, too. Complete with being able to give your party members Ono Michio's head to seal the deal.
    • Recovery Points, which restore your party's HP and MP to the max, are mini-fridges packed to the brim with bottles of Staminan; anybody who's played the previous games will be familiar with Kiryu's habit of slamming bottles of it to heal and charge his HEAT during battle.
    • Some speakers around the city play "We're Long Hua Expedition" from Yakuza 0.
    • The Romance Workshop's garage door has a manufacturing-themed take on Karaoke Kappa from Yakuza 0, swapping his microphone out for a wrench and his CD hat out for a nut.
    • The bar in Millennium Tower you pass through right before confronting Tendo is the very same one Kiryu and Someya's final battle takes place in Yakuza 6.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The "Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble" substory has Ichiban encountering a naked man who got trapped on the streets after he got an urgent call saying his grandma's in the hospital and he hurried out of the soapland he was in without a second thought. Ichiban must escort him to the nearest clothing store white avoiding water, since the water will wash out the Censor Suds covering him and the man will be arrested for Streaking.
  • Nature Tinkling: The "Golden Opportunity" substory has Ichiban being enlisted by a cop to help stopping a man that frequently urinates on the Ijincho river. After picking the right guy out and then beating him up, the situation seems to be resolved... until Ichiban himself realizes he needs to take a leak. He's just about considering doing what he beat the guy up over before deciding to just go find a restroom instead.
  • Never Learned to Read: According to Zheng a lot of the Liumang's muscles are illiterate because unless they are from a legal immigrant family like him they aren't allowed to go to school.
  • No-Sell: Kiryu doesn't even flinch when Kasuga punches him straight in his forehead in the intro of the boss fight against him. Tendo one-ups Kiryu by not even budging when Kasuga delivers a full-on dropkick to his chest.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: Like Judgment before it, enemies, crowds, and some minor NPCs retain their Japanese voices when playing with the English dub.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: By the end of the game, both the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance have disbanded, putting an end to two long-established pillars of conflict in the series.
  • Notice This: As well as the usual sparkles and arrows, there is a distinctive "fwip" sound when you are near to an item you can interact with.
  • Old Save Bonus: If you have a save from a previous Yakuza game, Judgment, or Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, you get a Legendary First Aid Kit as a gift.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. "Adachi" is a name that several random mooks can have despite Koichi Adachi being a party member. Ichiban Confections also happens to be the name of the company Ichiban Kasuga becomes the president of, and their sharing a name makes the latter think it's destiny.
  • One-Winged Angel: Parodied. After the boss fight against Kiryu, Kasuga imagines Kiryu as a giant silver fire-breathing dragon and himself as the Knight in Shining Armor complete with full armor and sword and shield ready to vanquish the monster.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Early on, Ichiban and his gang come across a bat stuck in the ground. Ichiban is the only one capable of pulling said bat out, which fuels his inner chuuni and unlocks the "Hero" Class for him.
  • Panty Shot: Averted, despite the profusion of Dangerously Short Skirts. On the rare occasions that the camera will let you look "up there," you will only see shadows.
  • Passing the Torch: Chapter 14 is called exactly this with Kiryu handing the reins over to Ichiban both as the new protagonist and the one to deal with Aoki’s plot. Beating Shin Amon will also have him and Kiryu chat with the latter saying that Ichiban isn’t meant to be his replacement but rather his own hero.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • Kamurocho Underground B2F. It's home to Invested Vagabond. Which provides tons of EXP upon defeat. Grinding there will get your party to level 99 pretty fast.
    • Sotenbori Battle Arena is a good place to grind for money if you don't like the business mini game: the final boss drops four million yen if you use the "Miracle Donation" Poundmate. He's on level 30, but you can re-enter from level 26 after the first time you beat him, which makes things faster.
  • Phonýmon: The whole Sujimon sidequest, where Kasuga has to help a "Sujimon Sensei" research Sujimon, his term for suspicious people (sujimono). He can even pick out which of three similar Sujimon the professor brought for him to fight first.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Nanoha accidentally pays Totsuka to euthanize her father, according to him. She assumed that when Totsuka said that he'd end her father's suffering, that he'd cure him with an expensive surgery, while Totsuka thought that Nanoha was joking about not knowing what she was paying for. However, his face during the flashback and the fact that he euthanized an old woman while she was still awake casts doubt on this.
  • Potty Emergency: A series of Part Time Hero quests has you help out an unlucky fellow who keeps ending up in bathrooms with no toilet paper.
  • Press X to Not Die: Curiously, only the final boss features a quick time event sequence to finish the fight.
  • Previously On…: Saeko's first drink-link opens with a montage of the situation with her sister and father. This is baffling, since the player is unlikely to have forgotten unless they've REALLY been putting off party chats.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Sujidex claims that Mabuchi's guandao is, in fact, the Green Dragon Crescent Blade itself, IE the one wielded by Guan Yu.
  • Punny Name:
  • Racing Minigame: Dragon Kart is of the "I Can't Believe It's Not Mario Kart!" variety, complete with Ichiban and competitiors getting in miniature karts to race in the streets of Ichinjo, pickups like boosters, bazookas, and machine guns, and four cups to compete through.
  • Rare Candy: There are rare consumable items which will increase a job's rank by one when used.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All of the regular enemies have glowing red eyes.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Masato, after Ichiban pleads with him to come to his senses, finally pulls a Heel–Face Turn. Shame that Kume wasn't about to accept that from a man who betrayed him and Bleach Japan.
  • Regional Bonus: The intro to one sub story has Ichiban asked for directions by a white man in English. He speaks perfect English in the Japanese dub, but in the English dub he was given an exaggerated "foreigner" accent. Kasuga gives a brief Aside Glance as to acknowledge the absurdity of a currently-English speaking Japanese person not understanding English.
  • Relationship Values: By battling and chatting with his teammates, Ichiban can increase bond with them. Higher bond levels increase the amount of Leaked Experience they gain when benched, the chance that they follow up with an attack of their own if you knock an enemy down with a normal attack and also unlocks new jobs and skills for them.
  • Reset Button: After the final substory where Ichiban's numerous lovers take out their frustrations out on him one could expect that a number of different, crucial NPCs would now be implacably hostile to Ichiban. Never mind: Bartender makes sure to ring around and tell everyone that it's all a misunderstanding and that it's all fine after all. Eri brings up that he was demonstrably cheating on her with a mutual friend in the same room and is quickly shouted down, and the whole thing gets dropped for good.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • During chapter 1's flashback of Arakawa rescuing Masato from the coin lockers, Sawashiro and his girlfriend are visible in the crowd that gathers around to watch.
    • In the cutscene where Ichiban returns to Kamurocho after being released from prison, there's a video screen showing footage of Ryo Aoki.
    • You can also spot Tendo and Ishioda in the restaurant scene where Ichiban confronts Arakawa after his prison release.
  • Rooting for the Empire: An In-Universe example where if you take Nanba to see Shark Vacation, he says he was actually cheering for the shark, who he calls Mr. Fins, to eat the dumb college kids.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The shot of Masato putting the revolver in the locker, with Ichiban standing behind him at the very end is a reminder that the two are not so different from each other after all. Ichiban carrying Masato after Kume stabs him is also a reminder that Ichiban couldn't be any more like Arakawa, with Masato's life beginning in the arms of one Arakawa and ending in in the arms of another.
    S-Z 
  • Sad Battle Music: Light and Darkness, the theme that scores the final fight against Masato is noticeably sadder and more melancholic than The Way of Life before it in Yakuza 6.
  • Serious Business: Jin, the yakuza racer in Dragon Kart, attempts to cut off his pinky for dishonoring his clan upon losing the rematch against Ichiban, but is talked out of it when he points out to Jin that the yakuza code doesn't apply to things like racing.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • The boss fight against Kiryu has four phases based on his fighting styles from previous games. At first, he uses his Dragon of Dojima Style from the Dragon Engine games. He then switches to his Rush Style that favors long combos and a lightning-fast uppercut. He switches to his Beast Style and starts utilizing and throwing nearby objects. In his last phase, he uses his original pre-Dragon Engine Dragon of Dojima Style, with the original 4-hit combo and devastating Tiger Drop.
    • The first boss fight versus Sawashiro has him switch from Good Old Fisticuffs to a shard of broken glass halfway through. His second fight starts with him wielding a katana. He switches to a cane around a third of the way through, then wields the broken remains of the cane and katana during the final phase.
    • Partway through Tendo's fight, he puts on knuckle dusters to boost his attacks.
    • Once Majima reaches half health, Saejima joins the fun and they become a Dual Boss.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: When Kasuga and Nanba go to a Hello Work jobcentre early in the game, they're turned away for being homeless (because job applications require a contact address). Immediately afterwards, a mysterious old man tips them off about a grey-market job at a nearby bar that pays suspiciously well, and a savvy viewer will immediately assume they're being set up for something ghastly and exploitative. After they leave, the clerk who rejected them confronts the man for soliciting in the office because he's her boss, and she's annoyed at him bending the rules for people he likes.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Skirts and Ladders: While in a dungeon, the party have to cross a chasm by walking on a bundle of power cables.
    Adachi: That's the only thing you were worried about?
  • Spot the Imposter: Happens when Adachi gets wrangled into a struggle with Mirror Face, an assassin disguised as him. Since Adachi worked at the DMV, Ichiban decides to quiz them on traffic laws, with one answering accurately and the other being utterly baffled by them. Ichiban proceeds to punch out the one who answers accurately, leading to Mirror Face lying on the ground wondering how someone like Adachi even kept his job in the first place.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Mage-like "Fortune Teller" job has the 2nd lowest health in the game. Namba fits this trope overall, as he has the lowest health but highest MP and magic damage of all the males.
  • Stone Wall: The Enforcer is the resident tanking class, complete with a riot shield.
  • Summon Magic: ...well, not quite magic, but the idea is the same. Through the Poundmate delivery service Kasuga can call in help for a nominal fee from a variety of allies. The allies include a swarm of angry crustaceans, a masked man named Jiei, Il Yu-Jin, a man in a diaper (Gondawara), a tiger, Daigo Dojima and even some of the previous protagonists; Taiga Saejima and Goro Majima, alongside their longstanding ally, Kazuma Kiryu.
  • Surprisingly Good English: One substory features a generic American tourist who speaks English completely naturally. In the English dub, the tourist instead just yells awkwardly.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Lampshaded by Adachi when Ichiban asks him why he didn't just call instead of suddenly showing up in the middle of the night, to which the former points out that when someone is shot and left for dead, charging his phone isn't exactly a priority.
    • When Ichiban and his friends fight a crowd of Japan Bleachers after Nonomiya's untimely death, Kume once more tries to rally the surrounding businesses in a mob against Ichiban. Given that Bleach Japan rarely practice what they preach and actively harass the kinds of businesses that surround Otohime Land, take three guesses as to whose side the neighboring businesses take.
    • Zheng admits that despite being part of the Liumang he doesn't speak Chinese. When asked why, he explains that being born and raised in Japan he and most of the second and third generation of Liumang don't speak Chinese.
    • Upon first learning that there's a local job center, Ichiban tries to rally the local homeless to go and get a job together only to be chastised by Nanba, who tells him that were it that easy they wouldn't be homeless in the first place and how many of them are where they are due to circumstances outside of their control. Surely enough, Ichiban's first attempts to get gainful employment go poorly due to him being an ex-yakuza who's spent the last 18 years in prison with no confirmed address.
    • On a more humorous note, as soon as he gets out of prison, Ichiban attempts to get his old punch perm back. The hairdresser is a young woman who has no idea how to do a complicated hairstyle from 20 years ago and thus completely botches it, giving Ichiban his now signature messy hair.
  • Taking the Heat: The story begins with Kasuga accepting an offer to go to prison for a shooting committed by his family's captain.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: All over the place. Two boss fights in the main story involve Ichiban and his friends fighting an excavator and a wrecking ball. There's also a sizeable amount of Kiwami moves that involve the use of some pretty powerful weaponry (e.g., your own wrecking ball, a Kill Sat, or a Call of Duty-style airstrike) as well. Though this is played with in that, for one thing, all of this is a part of Ichiban's overactive imagination and, for another, this is par for the course of the Yakuza series.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Much better at it than previous games. Due to Ichiban being a confirmed Unreliable Narrator in combat with the over-the-top moves being in his imagination it’s much easier to swallow the absurd attacks not killing any of the opponents. He also can’t do very questionable HEAT moves like throwing people off buildings.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: A relatively lighthearted version justifies the game being a Turn-Based RPG. It's all through Ichiban's Dragon Quest-influenced imagination that everything looks like a RPG. Heck, the first battle after he gains the Hero class, his overactive imagination makes the enemies look like they transformed into monsters, whereas the rest of the party see them as normal. Though oddly some strange enemies, like the Pseudotrash, look the same out of combat (minus the Red Eyes, Take Warning effect), suggesting they really are that weird.
  • Title Drop: The name of the achievement you get if you get Kasuga to level 70?, Ryu Ga Gotoku.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Suzumori, the yakuza Ichiban took the fall for killing died taunting Masato into shooting him, thinking it was a toy gun. He even forced the barrel to his forehead.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The long story trailer reveals Masato Arakawa to be the founder of the antagonistic Bleach Japan movement, with him now going by the name Ryo Aoki. It also spoils Kiryu's appearance in the game ever since 6 supposedly ended his story arc.
  • Translation by Volume: In the English dub of Fast Times at Ounabara, the foreigner speaks loudly and slowly.
  • Trash of the Titans: The substory "One Man's Trash..." has Ichiban run into a mountain of garbage in Yokohama. It's supposed to be a pawn shop and the garbage outside is "merchandise," but it smells terrible and attracts bugs. The town officials have tried to make the owner move the heap, but he threatens to sue if they touch his property. It's revealed that the owner's wife died while working on the store, and he refused to sell all the items as he saw them as Tragic Keepsakes. The situation is resolved when Ichiban convinces the owner that running the pawnshop is what would truly honor the dead wife's memory.
  • Turn-Based Combat: This game switches from beat-'em-up to turn-based RPG, a first for the series. This is actually justified in-universe - Ichiban insists on letting people get hits in, since that's what the heroes from Dragon Quest do.
  • Unblockable Attack: Grab based skills will goes through your opponent's Guard. Enemies' Grapple Move also can't be Perfect Guarded against.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Kasuga eventually inspires this in his crew, to the point where when he and Arakawa meet again, they all get between the two, willing to take the bullet for Kasuga.
    • Kasuga's like a modern day samurai in that he's unerringly loyal to both his lords, Masumi and Masato Arakawa. It's even to the point where his Batman Gambit to end Masato's campaign as Ryo Aoki was done for Arakawa's own good, and, despite being willing to murder Kasuga, and admitting he always hated the guy, Ichiban still considers Masato his brother, and still loves the young master with all his heart.
  • Unfinished Business: Kaede, from the sidestory Forget Me Not. Her unfinished business is to thank Ichiban for the kindness he showed to her when she was still alive, and possibly to express the romantic feelings for him she never got to show before her untimely death; at the end of the substory, she's finally able to move on, with Ichiban promising to find her once he's passed on.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: As per tradition, the Millennium Tower is where the game's climax takes place after Ichiban bluffs Aoki into sending Tendo and his gang to find (nonexistent) incriminating evidence. The game and the characters give you very definite warnings to clean up any loose ends before you tackle it.
  • Villainous Gentrification: Bleach Japan is an NGO dedicated to gentrifying the "Grey Zones" of Japan regardless of what happens to the people who have nowhere else to go. It's also merely a tool for Governor Aoki's rise to power to achieve both "Front-facing" (political influence) and "Back-facing" (influence over the underworld) power, using a conveniently "disposable" scapegoat to rile up a bunch of xenophobic middle-class Moral Guardians into granting him unwavering support.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Chapter 12's fight against Majima and Saejima can very easily catch a player off guard if you're not prepared, as it is quite a bit more difficult than any major fight up to that point and the game definitely spikes in difficulty after it.
  • Walking Spoiler: Kiryu's entire existence in the game, since his story was officially finished in the last game, and this game was meant as a soft reboot.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You!: If Kasuga is KO'd, you automatically lose the current battle. If it's a random street encounter, you lose half of your hard-earned yen. If it's a story battle, you'll have to either do the battle over again, or reload a save, unless you have in your possession either one of two self-revival items to be used specifically to avert this.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 12: The End of the Yakuza. The title alone should tell you why.
  • Where It All Began: The coin locker. It's where the life of both Ichiban and Masato began and their final confrontation takes place in the same coin locker.
  • White Mage: The female job Idol is the most effective job for healing.
  • Whole Plot Reference: There are a considerable amount of comparisons that can be made between the game's overarching plot and the Ryo Murakami novel Coin Locker Babies; the shared backstories of both The Hero and the Big Bad start with them literally being left in coin lockers as infants and being adopted, and one of them serves as a stronger underling to their weaker superior. While one is imprisoned early on as an adult, the other, using the power of drugs (as a weapon for Kiku; as a means of Throwing Off the Disability for Masato/Aoki), wreaks havoc across Japan. The sole distinction being that the character who has a Compelling Voice becomes the antagonist rather than protagonist... in a less literal way, at least. Heck, it's even to the point where one of the chapters is literally called Coin Locker Baby.
  • Willfully Weak: After the boss fight with Majima and Saejima, both reveal that they were holding back the entire time to Ichiban's completely exhausted party. Just when it seems like they're about to fight for real, Arakawa interrupts. Sawashiro also proves much stronger in his rematch, easily matching Ichiban’s entire party.
  • A Winner Is You: Parodied with the True Final Millennium Tower. After going through one of the comically hard dungeons in the whole series, that requires grinding all your characters' levels and job ranking to 99 at the bare minimum (read: not including raising additional jobs to 99), you are treated to a 5-second unvoiced scene where Ichiban and his party knock out Amon, who congratulates them on their triumph, and... that's it. An appropriate throwback to the days of brutally hard NES games with really short and uneventful ending screens.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Most of the enemies, as Saeko and Eri are potential party members. This includes Majima and Saejima, surprisingly enough.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In the boss fight against Kiryu, he won't attack your female party members, Saeko and Eri, at all. He does hit them if they hit him during his counter phase but they will take no damage. There are also no female enemies.
  • Wretched Hive: Ijincho is described as "the city at rock bottom", a place for those who have nowhere else to go, from the homeless to outcast yakuza, from illegal immigrant to sex workers. It is for this reason why Ijincho is in Bleach Japan's crosshairs.
  • "X" Marks the Hero: Nancy is a crawfish whose main distinguishing feature is an X-shaped scar on her back. After a Substory, she becomes a Poundmate who has the ability to poison foes.
  • Yakuza: Well, duh! It's a game about them! If you couldn't tell by the title...
  • You Are Too Late: A heroic variation. During The Stinger, Adachi finally gets his chance to take down Horinouchi, confronting him with hard evidence of his corruption. When Horinouchi is about to have him arrested, Adachi tells him he sent the evidence to the media before even confronting him; the police officers then proceed to arrest Horinouchi instead.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When interrogated at Ichiban's mercy, Ogasawara pretty much spills everything that there is to know about Bleach Japan's activities, as well as what Ryo Aoki is planning. Aoki, being Aoki, ends up having to silence Ogasawara while also using his death as an opportunity to bolster his approval ratings as party chair.
  • Zerg Rush: The "Essence of Labor Parade" for the Foreman job has the character call lunchtime, causing the enemies to be stampeded by a gang of hungry construction workers.

 
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In the Tojo Clan's darkest hour, the legend steps out from the shadows...

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