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  • Adorkable: Yuki is shy and has a bad way with words, but it makes her all the more endearing.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Gets its own page.
  • Awesome Ego: Miracle Johnson, the Popstar Prince, is quite full of himself but very charismatic and definitely an amazing dancer. Though he rubs Kiryu the wrong way initially, Kiryu eventually warms up to him and even starts imitating him a bit.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Mr. Libido can be spotted in the Odyssey when Majima is scouting out the place. Despite Majima's utter bewilderment, when Majima speaks with the owner, he brings up everything else he observed in the room except him.
    • The Bed of Styx, a Blood Sport of an underground arena that deals with criminals that have to kill a hundred competitors to be freed, pops up in Majima's story with an underwater tunnel transport system straight out of a damn Bond movie in one of the most insanely sudden ways possible; even Purgatory had more context and was at least a recurring area. At most the Styx gets a few lines from the corrupt detective in charge of it, but otherwise it comes out of nowhere, Majima wins three fights in it, and then it never matters again. And for that matter, when Kiryu visits Sotenbori later on, an NPC just offers to let him fight there without even a substory attached, further highlighting how out-of-place it is.
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  • Breather Boss: While he's not exactly a walk in the park and is fought early enough to not stand out too much difficulty-wise, Jun Oda is definitely less of an issue to deal with compared to the two Kuze boss fights he's sandwiched between. Overall the two Kuze fights are far more demanding of Kiryu, being fought after a long drawn out battles against waves of Dojima Goons. Kuze himself in both instances is highly aggressive with quick, tricky-to-predict attacks, surprising footwork and overall mobility, and is fought in areas without any grabbable objects, reducing your options for heat attacks. Meanwhile, Oda is fought after fighting a single group of rather simple Tachibana employees and has attacks that are considerably easier to avoid and land enough hits to build up heat and then grab nearby furniture in Tachibana's penthouse to bash him over the head with and even use damaging heat moves.
  • Broken Base:
    • Although the game is widely held to be an improvement from Yakuza 5, some fans lament that the game has considerably lesser content than its predecessor, including less characters to play as, less cities to visit, and that some minigames such as hostess dating has been simplified or cut down. On the other hand, many fans welcome the change, who felt the increasing amount of content was becoming too big for its own good, resulting in the stories becoming more convoluted, and that reducing the number of playable characters allowed for a smaller but better story. Because of this, not only is the story for 0 considered among the best in the series, if not the best by both critics and fans, but the game also serves as an excellent entry point for newcomers. More on that below.
    • Perhaps due to better marketing and because the game serves as a prequel to the whole series, the game has also attracted several newcomers to the series who are finding themselves surprised on what they've missed out on. Although many fans welcome the fact that the series is getting the attention it deserves, others worry about the series being recognized by modern gamers who won't stop comparing it to other open world games, as well as critics that are taking issue with certain cultural differences. The fact that many jumped on board so late in the series also has longtime fans worried how they'll perceive Kiwami, given how similar it is to 0 in terms of gameplay and graphics, as well as Majima's completely different personality and smaller role that longtime fans are more accustomed to, and Yakuza 6, the story of which continues from the fifth game and is the final chapter of Kiryu's story.
    • Some fans were disappointed that while the game explored how Majima became unhinged, in the main story he was never depicted as going "full-on" crazy on the same level as previous games. Others contend this was only the beginning and by the time the first game came along, the yakuza lifestyle had taken its toll on him. There's also a good portion of newcomers who weren't pleased to discover that Majima's depiction in 0 was unique to the game, and would become something of an unhinged maniac in later stories. Even older fans found it jarring watching his introduction scene in Kiwami following his portrayal in this game.
  • Crazy Awesome: Homare Nishitani makes up for the absence of Majima's trademark craziness in this prequel. He's nuts, doesn't hesitate to tell Majima the thought of fighting him makes him hard, lands himself in jail and goes out telling Majima to live with no regrets just before he spends his final moments going to work on the guard who shot him up.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Officer Kikuchi's substory is either this or Harsher in Hindsight. He suffers from nigh career-ending trauma after witnessing his partner getting stabbed to death, but after his cowardice nearly leads to Kiryu getting stabbed himself, he finally makes headway in getting over his trauma, and decides to get back into shape by volunteering his services on Kiryu's security detail...where he's likely to be stabbed repeatedly by knife-wielding goons.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Kuze for being the game's resident Determinator, will always come to fight Kazuma even after losing fingers or being beaten senseless. That and his theme kicks ass.
    • Nugget, a chicken that Kiryu can acquire as a manager for his real estate agency is considered one of the things that led to the game developing word-of-mouth popularity in the West to the point that a survey specifically mentions it. He's even featured on the video thumbnail for the Accolades Trailer on Sega of America's Youtube channel.
    • Joy, Makoto's female doctor who is introduced in the climax. She has little screen time or character development but is memorable among players for being one of the most attractive women in the entire game. It seems that she's a prototype for Reina, who has the exact same hairstyle in Kiwami but flipped.
    • Makoto also became a fan favorite, as the poor woman had to endure all kinds of hell she didn't deserve, and many fans shipped her and Majima, hoping they would end up together despite her not appearing in other entries. The ending of their love story serves as one of the most emotional scenes and biggest Tear Jerkers in the whole series. Her arc gets something of an epilogue chapter in Kiwami 2, appearing in Majima's campaign, assuring him and the fans that she found happiness in her life following this game's events.
    • Yuki, despite her potential for growth as a hostess, serves as the head Butt-Monkey for the game. However, she's well-received by fans for being Adorkable and her surprising Snark-to-Snark Combat with Majima. She was also popular enough to appear in Kiwami 2 as the owner of a cabaret club that Kiryu helps her manage. She's still as much of a lovable dork as ever, and it becomes apparent later on that the girl hasn't aged at all in nearly twenty years. She's so popular that she's ranked 10th in a poll to be in Yakuza Online.
    • Homare Nishitani is also beloved for being an even bigger loose cannon than Majima ever was in the latter's later years. So much so that he's ranked in the Top 10 most requested characters to be in Yakuza Online.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: In one of Kiryu's subplots, he encounters a foreign woman who is being coerced into the sex trade by a con-man who took her passport. Predictably, the man shows up and brags that he's done this to many foreign women and doesn't plan to stop. After Kiryu beats him senseless, he confesses emotionally that he actually fell in love with this specific victim, and was scared she would leave him. Kiryu makes him promise to marry the woman to provide her with citizenship, and everyone eats pizza together in what seems to be meant as a touching moment of friendship. It's much less heartwarming when you consider he's still preying on an untold number of other women and Kiryu doesn't seem to care.
  • Even Better Sequel: While Yakuza 5 was liked well enough, many features some longtime fans disliked like a somewhat awkward combat system (Haruka's segments are a major factor in this, though some like her gameplay) and a low framerate on PS3. 0 runs at 60FPS in 1080p, has what many fans claim to be the best combat system in the series (so much so that Yakuza Kiwami retains the stance system), along with having a story that both longtime fans and newcomers can enjoy that eschews most of the Narm of the PS3 games in favour of telling a more serious crime drama, while still retaining its trademark weirdness and hammy dialogue. The quality of the localization is also a step-up from previous titles. There are proper translated enemy names on the screen before the fights, which hasn't been done since Yakuza 2. Although some problems were present (Lao Gui having a different voice in his boss fight for instance), they were addressed with a patch.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Dojima family lieutenants are all very well-received amongst the fanbase for being intimidating and ruthless, yet at the same time have complex personalities and just being badass in general. The fact that they're all portrayed by three popular actors known for their roles in various yakuza films doesn't hurt either.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Upgrading your abilities is a pain in the ass? You need a total of 50 CP for exchanging at the shrine to get Mr. Shakedown's Deep Pockets Upgrade, which is exclusive to Kiryu. After getting it, beat the substories "The Show Must Go On" and "Miracle on Tenkaichi Street" (9 & 12). Later in Chapter 5 when you're introduced to Money Island/Real Estate Royale, do the "Miracle in Maharaja" (23) substory and pick the black box to get the Encounter Finder, which allows you to see Mr. Shakedown on the map. Get into a fight with him and lose so he can take ALL the money you obtained. If you go into a building or fight some thugs, Mr. Shakedown will reappear in a different spot so you can fight him again, but this time FIGHT HIM. Having a lot of Staminan Royale and a knife is recommended since you can spam weapon Heat actions, and Quick-Change Clothes also does wonders in the fight. Defeat him and you'll earn a TON OF MONEY. Repeat and you can earn a ton more money so you can upgrade your abilities and spend your money on Money Island/Real Estate Royale. After meeting Mr. Moneybags as both characters, you can also send money to Majima to buy properties and accessories for the Platinum Hostesses in Nightlife Island/Cabaret Club Czar.
      • Mr. Shakedown is also weak against the Slime Gun and Zap Gun, and many prefer using them to take him down quickly. Like getting the Encounter Finder in Chapter 5, you can go to the Dragon & Tiger restaurant in Kamurocho, but you have to search for equipment as Majima in Sotenbori and unlock the Slime and Zap Guns before they become available for Kiryu. This also works well on LEGEND Difficulty since Heat Actions do less damage.
    • You need 74 more CP (Majima is 141 CP in total) to upgrade your Dragon of Dojima (Kiryu) or Mad Dog of Shimano (Majima) styles, allowing you to reset the upgrade tree once you buy all its upgrades and purchase more. Leveling up your abilities to 999 allows you to make Amon into a piece of cake EX boss fight!
    • Even without significant leveling, Majima's Mad Dog of Shimano style is incredibly broken due to the unlockable counter move, which is supposed to require a full bar of heat to perform, but due to Good Bad Bugs you can pull it off at any point. It takes off a ridiculous amount of health, meaning as long as you can get the timing right you can make quick work of even endgame bosses. The goofiest thing about it is you can get all the necessary requisites for it as early as Chapter 7 (out of 17).
      • The same can more or less be said of the Twist Counter (hold the Stance button to focus on an enemy, then press the Grab button just before an enemy's attack connects) from Kiryu's Dragon of Dojima style. While it's not as effective as its successor, the Komaki Parry, in later titlesnote , it's still a solid counter in its own right, doing excellent damage and leaving the opponent stunned on the floor long enough for Kiryu to curb stomp them, grab them while they're floored, or use his Ultimate Essence '88 Heat Action on them. Even better is that the timing for it is significantly more lenient than the above-mentioned Mad Dog of Shimano counter.
    • Both Kiryu and Majima have very powerful counter moves in their regular movesets that can turn random encounters and even some bosses into a cakewalk. Kiryu's Counter Hook is available as soon as you defeat Leisure King, and it can drop almost anyone on the floor, especially if you have no Heat at all. Majima has two counters: Harsh Lesson which he learns from Komeki, and Essence of Strut (Elbow) he can acsess after defeating Kanehara. Elbow Counter works exactly as Kiryu's Counter Hook, while Harsh Lesson requires you to have 3 bars of Heat to easily drop the opponent to the ground and use a Heat move on them right after.
    • Majima's Slugger style in general is unarguably the best of the normal stances in the game for several reasons. Unlike most fighting styles it works equally great against crowds and against single targets whereas others have a specific advantage against one or the other (Rush is great for single targets but will get easily swarmed by crowds and Breaker will handle hordes of enemies easily but will be lacking when it comes to fighting single strong targets). Slugger's only weakness is that if its hard attacks hit a wall it bounces off and you lose heat but most fights are typically in more open areas so this weakness never really hinders you all that much and a later ability can nullify this weakness. But the main reason it is so powerful is that it allows you to instantly do a heat attack on an enemy with no prerequisite. Using this on Mr. Shakedown with lots of heat items on hand turns the fights into jokes allowing Majima to get insane money in the early game and level up all his abilities immediately, making the rest of Majima's sections pretty easy due to the massive amount of attack and health you can have before even the first fight with Lee. The Bat Nunchaku attack also pretty much breaks the AI. Enemies will just stand there as you pummel them to death with an easily spammed combo which penetrates guards and can hit multiple enemies if done well. You can just endlessly spam this ability against even bosses and win fights without so much as a scratch. The Big Swing ability can also easily batter your enemies into submission, with its generous super armor and massive damage it deals.
    • Majima's Breaker style has his low spinning kick, which makes him difficult to hit, trips up enemies and even hits them multiple times on the ground, making it great for shredding large groups of enemies. The only downside is that it takes a while to get to it in a combo.
    • The last Battle Bonus items are this themselves, Golden Gun and the War God Talisman. For the former, it has unlimited ammo and is very powerful, so you can end most fights not long after they start just by shooting everyone; and for the latter, it can regenerate your heat so you can spam heat attacks without wasting items, for the above mentioned Slugger and Mad Dog of Shimano styles.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: SEGA mentioned in press releases that Yakuza 0 sold well in Southeast Asia. The game also became a surprise breakout hit in the west, enough to become a "Playstation Hits" title, a first for the series.
  • Goddamn Bats: Any mook with a knife or a gun. Knife-wielding mooks can inflict a decent chunk of damage and stun you. Gun-wielding mooks can the same thing from a distance (though, thankfully, they have much less health). Fortunately, Kiryu and Majima can learn Heat Actions that counter knife attacks, while Majima can also learn a Heat Action that counters foes with guns.
  • Goddamned Boss: If you manage to get used to fighting off the incredibly powerful yet predictable Mr. Shakedowns, they become this. You'll basically be repeating the same short combos on them after dodging every move since anything more would be too risky unless they perform the spin attack that leaves them open to longer combos. It only gets worse since they get more and more health with each defeat until they're on par with the final bosses of the series. Kiryu and Majima do have several specific upgrades and barehanded heat actions that give you more options to bring their health down but you'll have to engage with the Real Estate and Cabaret questlines to access most of them. Also as with most bosses, having multiple weapons on hand can help cut down the tedium as well since using varying heat actions is encouraged due to diminishing returns on repeated heat actions.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The English localization, due to being based on the Chinese localization, still had Sam Lee's voice acting for Lao Gui in the Chinese version in the files, causing his clips to get played during the boss battle against him.
    • In the Ultimate Battles 5 Boss Rush challenge, Kiryu's Final Boss can be kicked off the arena for a One-Hit KO. Obviously, the bosses are supposed to be immune to this Heat action.
    • The PC port added the ability, after editing a certain ini file, to save anywhere, a feature that was previously in Ishin!, returns in Kiwami and has stayed for future titles . Unlike Ishin and Kiwami however, this "save anywhere" ability extends to the middle of fights as well, and saving during and/or reloading a save made in the middle of a fight can have cause the game to behave in very unpredictable ways. These issues led SEGA to disable the ability in future patches, to the disappointment of numerous players.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Kiryu and Nishiki's relationship becomes this and a Tear Jerker for longtime players who have played the first game, and really get to see how close the two were prior to that fateful night in 1995.
      • In the finale, Nishiki stops Kiryu from killing Shibusawa, saying words that cut much deeper knowing the events of the first game:
    Nishiki: You can't, Kiryu! You can't cross that line... You cross it once, and you can never go back! What does killing this guy get you? A whole lot of nothing! Don't go getting ahead of me... Hold out. Someday... if the time ever comes where you have to cross that line... then I'll cross it with you!
    • In the “Shining Example” substory, you get to meet a young Shinji Tanaka and Kiryu tells him he wants Shinji to outlive him. Fans will know Shinji never does.
    • "The Doll Girl" friendship substory, where Majima has to put up with a little girl who insists on calling him her "daddy". In the end, after he rescues her and her mom from some thugs, he comes to like the thought of being called "daddy". Which is more heartwarming than anything, unless you've played Yakuza 5 and learned that Majima actually would have been one had his wife (at the time) not terminated her pregnancy without telling him. This story was one that widened the Base-Breaking Character status for her.
    • The karaoke song, "Rouge of Love" can be this for Majima as well. It becomes a karaoke song for his blood brother Saejima in 5 and in the previous game his sister Yasuko dies after going through so much hell to try and see him again.
  • He Really Can Act: Hidenari Ugaki's role as Goro Majima primarily portrays him as an Ax-Crazy madman or a zany comic relief character whose antics usually alleviate the tension from the franchise's more melodramatic and darker moments. But in Yakuza 0, Ugaki truly shows his acting chops in showing Majima's more human side. But it is during his breakdown when Makoto gets hospitalised that we get to see a tearjerking performance from the usually goofy Majima.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Quite a few commentary videos enjoy the idea that Kiryu and Nishiki are a little more than just Blood Brothers with everything they do together in the game. Perhaps foreseeing this reaction, one of the nicknames Kiryu can supposedly pick for his radio substory is "I Heart Nishiki", although he won't go through with it. Of course, longtime fans know their friendship would indeed turn into something else, and not for the better.
    • Not so much subtext as outright text, but Nishitani is very open about the fact that Majima gives him a boner. The strangest thing is Majima isn't even that put off by it, wishing he met Nishitani earlier so they could've been friends.
    • Oda is very devoted to his position as Tachibana's (almost literal) right-hand man, and seemed to enjoy getting beaten up by him a little too much back in the day. Towards the end of the game he admits to being in love with Tachibana upfront, to the point letting Oda know is his last wish, and in fact a lot of the evil that he commits throughout the game is motivated by a jealous desire to keep Tachibana to himself.
    • At the conclusion of Kokoa's substory her father is so impressed with Majima that he asks him to date her for real. When Majima refuses, he asks if he's willing to date him instead.
  • Iron Woobie: Goro Majima. After enduring a whole year in a hellhole of a cell, he constantly has to put up with Sagawa who constantly has him under surveillance. Then, he falls in love with Makoto whom he was tasked to kill, and instead devotes his life to protect her. He then discovers that he was made a pawn by Shimano, and helplessly watches as the girl he swore to protect his gunned down seconds before he could save her. And at the end of it all, he leaves Makoto so she could have her happy ending even though it's clear he's heartbroken by his own decision.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Keiji Shibusawa is one of the three lieutenants of the powerful Dojima Family, and runs its business operations. Son of a disgraced political aide forced to be The Scapegoat for his boss's crimes, Shibusawa became convinced the only way to succeed in life is to rise to the top. With family Captain Shintaro Kazama's recent arrest, whoever succeeds in locating the owner of the Empty Lot, Makoto Makimura, will become the new Captain. Framing Kazama's adopted son, Kiryu, for murder, Shibusawa uses Kiryu an Unwitting Pawn to edge his fellow lieutenants out of the competition. Shibusawa finally emerges from the shadows as the victor in the race to get the Empty Lot, and thus wins the vacant position of family Captain. When Dojima orders Makoto killed to keep silent the existence of the Empty Lot, Shibusawa secretly begins to act against his orders and kept her as a hostage instead, planning to use her as leverage against his boss and bait to draw his enemies out of hiding. Thwarted by Kiryu in their climactic battle, Shibusawa urges Kiryu to finish him off, hoping to turn Kiryu into a ruthless man like him as a final act of spite against his rival Kazama. Ruthless and cunning, all that matters to Shibusawa is a title — to be feared and respected by all as the first Dragon of Dojima.
  • Memetic Mutation: Can be found here.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • On top of scamming money and brainwashing, the revelation that the cult leader Munan Suzuki extorts sexual favors from his female disciples (many of whom are half his age, or even underage). The furious beatdown Majima deals him and subsequent Laser-Guided Karma the dirtbag is hit with as his starry-eyed followers decide to follow his teachings and pray for his health rather than taking him to the hospital is VERY satisfying indeed.
    • Kiryu encounters a bunch of teenage punks who march into a homeless-filled park to beat people with baseball bats without caring if they die or not just to get their kicks, even explicitly wanting to murder him when he punches back to see what it's like. They even specifically cite that being minors, they'd not see a day of jail time for it, while claiming that no one can legally hit them back - and it's stated they've been visiting the park to do it repeatedly. Kiryu puts them in their place so hard that they're utterly terrified and don't dare to report him. The worst part is that not only does this happen a lot in real-life, but usually no one really gives a damn about it either.
    • After collecting a few toys for the Doll Girl, Majima discovers that a loan shark and his lackey tore up one of them and kidnapped her mother with the intent of forcing both of them into prostitution to pay off an outrageous debt that's over ten times what the mother initially borrowed, outright ignoring her pleas to at least spare her daughter. The only downside of getting to beat them down is how short the fight is.
  • Narm:
    • For those fluent in Chinese, Lao Gui's original Evil Sounds Deep voice loses a lot of its intimidation as his Japanese actor botches the pronunciation of his lines, and unlike the other Chinese characters, he doesn't speak Japanese or any other language to explain why his native language is so rusty.
    • When the game was initially released in the west, Lao Gui's boss fight used Sam Lee's voice clips (who voiced and portrayed him exclusively for the Chinese version), which doesn't fit the assassin's creepy face at all. It was later addressed with a patch.
    • The line "Holy shitballs..." has gained some notoriety, with a lot of players rolling their eyes at the translation team for killing the moment when Majima realizes who Makoto really is after Lee is shot by having him respond with a Totally Radical phrase.
    • During Chika's substory, Majima tells her the reasons he hired her, including how she was treated earlier, but ends it by saying he probably fell in love with her as a hostess. It sounds more tacky than it does romantic.
    • At the end of Cabaret Club Czar, Kotomi asks Majima if he thinks she can turn things around and live an honest life. He thinks she can, and tells her that a woman's strongest weapon is her smile, not her tears. Although the next shot does show her smiling, the camera is directly focused on her chest, which takes up most of the screen.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Anything that comes out of Bacchus' mouth. "HEYY, BOYYY!" "OOOooh!"
    • Kiryu saying "That's rad!" shortly before learning the Rush Style. It seems completely out of character for Kiryu at that point in the game, but not only is it funny, but after seeing more of him, it becomes clear how dorky and oddly fitting it is for him.
  • Never Live It Down: Young Ryuji Goda's depiction in this game as a bontan pant thief has turned into Memetic Mutation levels of fans jokingly claiming that, above all else, whether Ryuji is fighting against Kiryu in Kiwami 2, or Raoh is fighting against Kenshiro (voiced by Ryuji's and Kiryu's voice actors respectively) in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, both blond-haired brutes are after one thing and one thing alone: their pants. It was finally lampshaded in-universe in Kiwami 2 by none other than Majima himself.
  • Polished Port: The PC version has support for 4K, can run up to 240 FPS, can be modded to restore the copyrighted music, replace the models, and upgrade the visuals, and is, overall, a great introduction for the series to PC gamers.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The underground catfights are really a glorified game of Rock–Paper–Scissors heavily dependent on a Random Number God determining the damage inflicted and the overall outcome of each tournament. Even if you tie and you're prompted to mash the button, often the game lets you think you're winning before it comes back and dominates you no matter how well you're doing.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer:
    • Par for the course for the series, there is a plethora of ways to amuse oneself outside of the story missions, from playing Space Harrier at arcades to cutting the rug at the disco, from racing slot cars to managing side-businesses. Since you will practically always be flush with cash, you may find yourself playing these minigames for ages.
    • While the crime drama of the main story was well received, many newcomers found the mini-games and the substories to be the heart and soul of the game, showing not only the more human aspects of our main characters, but the more humorous and playful side of its designers.
  • Signature Scene: Both Majima and Kiryu have moments in their stories that tend to define the game whenever it's discussed.
    • For Majima:
      • Majima's introduction at the Grand, which depicts him in a much different light than what fans are used to. Calmly dismissing the taunts of an angry drunk and able to cool him down without resorting to violence, convincing the audience to forgive him while getting him to pay for their drinks - by the end, no one will be left questioning why he's known as "Lord of the Night".
      • Majima's "24-hour Cinderella" Karaoke Imagine Spot is often referenced as a prime example of how over-the-top the series' tone can become at times.
      • Majima Storming the Castle and beating up everyone in the Dojima family's headquarters to get to Dojima himself. No matter what they throw his way, Majima muscles through it; One-Man Army action at its finest. This is taken Up to Eleven if you've unlocked Majima's Legendary style, which allows you to cut loose in a way few other fights in the game do, and really show why Majima is so feared and respected by the time of Yakuza 1.note 
      • The ending scene with Majima and Makoto, which is widely considered one of the biggest tear jerkers in the entire series.
    • For Kiryu:
      • The introduction of Kuze's second fight, where he ambushes Kiryu in a sewer on a motorbike, pipe in hand, and crashes after knocking Kiryu down with his weapon. Along with his Badass Boast, this is is considered one of the most memorable scenes in the game, and probably the most badass introduction for a boss in the whole series.
      • The scene in the woods with Kiryu and a very conflicted Nishikiyama, largely due to Kazuhiro Nakaya's performance.
      • The scene where Kiryu tricks Kuze into expelling him from the family, and then proceeds to open a can of whoop-ass on every piece of muscle in his way. This is considered by many to be the point where the Dragon of Dojima first starts to awaken.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • "Heartbreak Mermaid", one of the karaoke songs available for both characters, is a clear parody of the real Japanese 80s song "Samishii Nettaigyo" ("Lonely Tropical Fish") by Wink.
    • Ditto "Friday Night", one of the disco songs, and "DAYS" by Flow (to the point where SilvaGunner made mashups of one song using the other's melody).
      • This seems to be the song "Friday Night" is based on, and this might be the song "Koi no Disco Queen" was based on.
  • That One Attack:
    • Surprisingly, the most damaging attack a Mr. Shakedown has is them stomping on you when you're on the ground. This will shave off most of your life, and comes out fast. If you're not up by the time the Mr. Shakedown is next to you, prepare to be inches away from death. It's downright a One-Hit Kill on higher difficulty. They also have an attack or two that is going to come out while you're in mid combo that can knock you straight on your ass, with a follow up foot stomp or a throw down that will take all your health.
    • Vengeful Otake is certainly one of the tougher, more damaging of the weapon-based fighters in the Bed of Styx, using the heavy, powerful moveset of the Kamon Kanai during Akiyama's Final Boss fight against him in Yakuza 5, but he also has a pistol on hand as well. If he gets knocked to the ground, one thing he can do is pop up and unload an entire clip on you. Not only does this take a huge chunk out of even a fully-upgraded healthbar, it has two different speeds with the quicker variation being nearly instantaneous, giving you nearly no time to react and avoid such a damaging move.
  • That One Boss:
    • Your first fight with Kuze, who also qualifies as a Wake-Up Call Boss. Most of your enemies beforehand are just a bunch of Dojima mooks with simple and predictable attacks and not a lot of health. Kuze, on the other hand, hits hard and fast, making him far more difficult to predict and is the first enemy with two full bars of health, both factors can catch particularly new players off guard. There are no objects for you to use against him, you have yet to unlock Beast Style, and it's unlikely that you've unlocked much in the skill tree to assist you.
    • The Media King, the last of the Five Billionaires in the Real Estate Royale storyline, is considerably much more difficult than the previous kings. He hits like a truck, will evade several of your attacks, and the ones he takes are usually a No-Sell and even has Super Armor to break through them easily, being accused of being a boss with Fake Difficulty. Unlike the others, you also have no objects around to make short work of him through Beast mode. Many players found themselves relying on rare weapons to beat him, but mastering the deeper aspects of the fighting mechanics (such as evading upon hitting) has allowed some to make short work of him.
    • Tsukiyama, the leader of the Five Stars in the Cabaret Club Czar storyline. Like the Media King, he's also accused of having Fake Difficulty as he'll evade almost the entirety of Thug combos and several other attacks too, will counter with ones that do sizable damage, and has Super Armor to break through your offensive. It doesn't help that you fight in a narrow alleyway. He'll have the upper hand against your Thug and Breaker styles, but he's vulnerable against your Slugger style and weapons in general.
    • The hardest Climax Battle (and one of the toughest challenges in the game as a whole) is widely considered to be Ultimate #2, all because of the monstrously strong version of Sera that you have to fight at the end. He can counter Majima's Breaker low-spinning kick combo which can make short work of any other Climax boss (and most bosses in the game in general), he hits like a truck, is insanely fast and can stun you very quickly, which means if your reflexes are slightly off he can shave off half your HP very fast (not to mention that you have to fight 2 bosses before him, which means that your HP may not be even be full when you start fighting him).
    • David Diabol, the absolute toughest enemy to fight in the Bed of Styx and even considered by fans to be one of the series' nastiest boss fights. He uses Taiga Saejima's fighting style with all the monstrous strength that implies, but he's also shockingly quick and aggressive too. He can perform an evasive roll that lets him avoid attacks and sometimes strafe around you completely which he can even perform right after a combo, catching players off guard since you'd expect him to be vulnerable at that point. From a distance, he can suddenly perform a lightning fast shoulder charge that knocks you to the ground, giving him the opportunity to do some extra damage while you're down. Probably most aggravating is that he's completely immune to grapples and can't be knocked down with combo finishers which especially hurts the Majima's ability to do damage to him since he can only be fought bare-handed and a decent chunk of Majima's kit is based around weapons while most of his best unarmed abilities are reliant on being able to grab the enemy and/or consistently knock them to the ground. It gets even worse when he Turns Red, and he gains Super Armor.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • One of the PlayStation trophies in this game is earned by winning ten catfight tournaments. Too bad the outcomes of said tournaments is determined by a Random Number God who is very wrathful.
    • When it comes time to take over the Media King's properties, you'll have to deal with each one being at least 900,000,000Y. Not to mention that investing in said properties is the slowest out of all the territories. This will result in the takeover becoming a very long grind as you wait for payouts which will likely only tally up to half of the price for a single building, unless you abuse several get rich quick strategies (Getting good at beating Mr Shakedown for one). Heaven help you if you lose the Disco contest against the Media King and get a 10% setback...
    • Want to earn a platinum trophy and 100% the game? Have fun playing mahjong as it expects you to play really well, which is challenging for most players who want to get it for the Achievement List. The completion requirements for mahjong include earning a total of 10,000,000 yen, which only goes quickly if you can win at the high rollers' table; forming a hand 10 times; forming particularly high-scoring hands (5 of Mangan rank and 1 of Haneman rank); scoring a Riichi Ippatsu (declare riichi, then hope the tile you need appears within a single go around the table), and Full Straight (form a hand that includes every numbered tile of a suit, 1-9). Simpler games like koi-koi or cho-han can also prove incredibly frustrating if you have an unlucky run or don't understand the rules.
    • The challenges from the Five Billionaires in Real Estate Royale can be rather difficult, in which you lose a share in the area. Many struggled against the Electronics King's challenge (get 5 million points in OutRun), to the point where many simply took the loss, and the Gambling King's challenge is, as one may expect, completely luck based. The disco battle against the Media King is also considered one of the most difficult challenges compared to the other kings, but considering how expensive the area is, most considered the cost for losing to be too great.
    • Many players struggled with the disco battle against Ogita, a difficult opponent in an already difficult mini-game. It doesn't help that there's not really a consistent strategy to beat him; sometimes he'll dance exceptionally well and other times he won't.
    • The final substory of the Pocket Racing Circuit, the race against Pocket Circuit Fighter himself. Most players had to rely on a guide to create a build that could stand up against him, and even then the car would likely fly off the track at the very first obstacle, which is also obscured by the camera angle and making it difficult to save.
    • The telephone club substories, not for their difficulty but the randomness of which date you get. To get all the substories you need to get all seven dates, including the bad ones. The problem is that the dates are not only completely randomized but completing them doesn't take them off the list meaning that you can and will get repeats multiple times. The only tip given is that each girl has a slightly different voice than the rest to differentiate them, but good luck telling the difference.
    • Kamoji's training to unlock Rush style moves requires you to last 60 seconds against a challenger without being allowed to retaliate, and you lose if you get knocked down even once. However, the "arena" this is held in is small, limiting the room you have to move in, and almost every hit that connects will knock you down. Both the earlier Kuze and compulsory Mr Shakedown fights were more generous in these regards. To make things even more frustrating, whenever you fail - and you almost certainly will at least once unless you're an old hand with this genre or got a lot of practice off earlier fights - you need to go through a lengthy sequence just to try again.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Some people feel this way about Homare Nishitani. He only gets a handful of actual onscreen appearances, despite it being heavily implied Majima based his "Mad Dog" persona off of him, so fans were hoping he would have more time interacting with Majima.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Related to the above, a major hook of this game is showing a sort of origin story for the Majima we know from the other games. To really highlight this, it starts off with a Majima who is almost the complete opposite from what we're familiar with. While an interesting initial premise, nothing truly comes of it, as there's no real transition from this new Majima to the original Majima. Similarly, Majima's obsession with Kiryu is teased as they almost cross paths on multiple occasions, but when they finally meet in the epilogue, Majima already acts obsessed with him for no reason.
    • In the main story, Kiryu only fights three different characters as bossesnote , while Majima fights at least sevennote . Although five of his boss fights are against Kuze and few fans have complaints about fighting him, many believe Kiryu's story could have benefited from more characters to fight. One missed opportunity was another fight against Jun Oda following the car chase, once the truth about his involvement is revealed.
    • For Kiryu and Majima's Legendary Fighting Styles, many players felt like they should have been unlocked as part of the story, rather than hidden behind Real Estate Royale and Cabaret Club Czar.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: A lot of the bronze hostesses are pretty underwhelming (not surprising, since you can just buy most of them for CP,) but Chizu is by far the worst. While her HP is astronomical for her level, all of her other stats are abysmal, ensuring that even in the Club Mars area you'll be struggling to pair her up with anyone, and exploiting Fever Time is the only way to level her up in any reasonable amount of time.
  • Too Cool to Live: Lee, Nishitani and Tachibana.
  • Tough Act to Follow: As the first entry in the series to gain widespread acclaim outside of Japan, it was inevitable that every follow-up to 0 would be compared to it, and often unfavorably (such as Kiwami having less content or 6 and Kiwami 2 having a simplified combat system).
  • Uncanny Valley: Stephen Spining. When he gets wide-eyed with a huge grin on his face, it looks like Steven Spielberg was put under some kind of curse that turned him into a creepy ventriloquist dummy.
  • The Woobie:
    • Makoto, so much. Her entire backstory and the circumstances behind her blindness are bad enough as it is, but it only gets worse from there. For much of the game, everyone's out to get her for reasons she doesn't understand, and she's not able to do anything about it due to her condition. She even loses Lee, the man who saved her and protected her, and her own brother falls victim to the Dojima family's torture. She's also shot by Lao Gui when she confronts Dojima, and falls into a coma in critical condition near the end. It's no wonder that Majima is willing to sacrifice almost everything and burn every bridge out there just to protect her. Although their story ends on a bittersweet note, Kiwami 2 reveals she's discovered happiness since.
    • Tachibana gets this as well, when it's revealed that one of his arms is prosthetic and resulted in severe kidney damage and he's basically dying everyday. But the waterworks come into play when it's revealed Makoto is his sister, and their childhood of having to endure prejudice by both Chinese and Japanese is seriously heartbreaking. Despite initially wanting to keep her distant and safe, he tearfully reveals how badly he wants to see her again. He's later captured by Lao Gui and subjected to torture by Kuze's family, and while he's rescued by Kiryu and Nishiki, he dies before they're reunited.
    • Bacchus becomes one once you find out his backstory. One of his boxing proteges beat one of the mafia's star boxers in the ring, so as payback they bought said protege right out from under him, burnt down his gym, and then went on to kill a second protege of his (hence his concern about Kiryu getting a knife in the ribs.) Even his debt to the mafia isn't his own fault, as it was just a normal loan that Bacchus took out after the gym burnt down that the mafia swooped in and bought so they could keep him under their thumb. Then it's revealed that the reason they don't just outright kill him is because they realized that his skills as a talent scout are too valuable, so instead they stalk him wherever he goes and steal away any fighters he takes interest in.

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