Ryu ga Gotoku Studios excels at crafting memorable character introductions
Yakuza 0 is the chronological first title within the long-running Yakuza collection, a prequel created after the discharge of 5 mainline titles. The Yakuza collection — presently rebranding its title within the west to Like a Dragon to be extra in keeping with its Japanese title — particulars the exploits of the Tojo Clan of Tokyo, a prolific organized crime household. The collection has surged in reputation due to its emotional narrative, memorable characters, convincing voice performances, and its infamously zany and offbeat facet content material.
The problem confronted by prequels in any medium is methods to inform a narrative that may be accessible to newcomers whereas balancing sufficient stakes and contemporary twists for collection veterans who ostensibly understand how the story goes to play out ultimately. Yakuza 0 handles this problem with aplomb. One scene that illustrates this success is the introduction of Majima Goro, the breakout character of the Yakuza/Like a Dragon collection.
For its first two chapters, Yakuza 0 has you enjoying as Kiryu Kazuma, a straight-laced Yakuza soldier with a coronary heart of gold on his journey to find the true id of a assassin in against the law for which he was framed. Although Kiryu is immensely likeable by his pure goodheartedness, he’s a stoic character who’s as a rule compelled into the “straight man” function as craziness unfolds round him.
Enter the sport’s third chapter, the place we shift areas from the red-light district of Tokyo to the bustling nightlife of Osaka. The scene is a well-liked cabaret membership, the place a rowdy buyer sexually harasses the hostess. Enter Majima Goro, the supervisor of the membership who additionally occurs to be the sport’s second playable protagonist.
This introduction left new followers of the Yakuza to surprise in regards to the capabilities of the supervisor, whereas longtime gamers might be intimately accustomed to Majima’s unhinged and chaotic nature from the prior video games on this collection.
Majima handles the offending buyer courteously and style, with no hint of his thick Kansai accent, but the shopper continues to escalate, ultimately pouring his drink on Majima. Majima stays calm all through, and reiterates that the “buyer is king.” When the shopper makes clear that the one method to resolve the state of affairs is thru fisticuffs, Majima’s dialect slips again out, and his bombastic nature with it, as he indicators the jazz band to present him “one with a beat.” With the bouncy jazz accompaniment behind him, Majima wears out the shopper into submission with out laying a finger on him. To cap it off, Majima refuses to name the authorities on the disruptive man, as an alternative enjoying on the shopper’s guilt by coercing him into paying for an evening’s libations on the membership.
The brilliance of this scene is that it really works for newcomers and veterans alike.
For the newbies, Majima represents the right foil to the intense Kiryu, and this scene is the right establishing character second for the mad canine chained to the function of cabaret membership supervisor. The charisma and functionality of this smooth-talking membership supervisor, who has one thing to cover beneath the floor, charms these new to the collection.
For many who are accustomed to Majima’s status due to enjoying different video games within the collection, the sequence represents a subversion of expectations with this new facet of Majima. We see hints of the carefree and wild Majima effervescent beneath the floor, however we discover that expectations and guidelines require he retains this facet of him beneath wraps as he performs the function of the well mannered and flattering man of the service business.
It’s solely by enjoying by Majima’s story in Yakuza 0 that longtime collection followers find out how Majima develops his trademark wild persona. We observe him combining his want to reside untethered and free with the traits of the foes he encounters all through his journey (the ruthless Sagawa and the hedonistic, borderline psychotic Nishitani).
Majima’s story in Yakuza 0 serves as a stupendous re-contextualization of the character, because the creators of the collection have jumped off Majima’s optimistic reception within the sport by leaning into the character’s dichotomy in newer Yakuza video games. Which Majima is the “actual” one? The composed and succesful membership supervisor, the unhinged showman, or someplace in between?
Collection creator Ryu ga Gotoku Studios is aware of the attachment that followers must Majima — he persistently claims the highest spot in character reputation polls, in spite of everything — and capitalized on this fascination by offering a backstory worthy of the character in Yakuza 0. The lynchpin of Majima’s success as a personality in Yakuza 0 hinges on that introductory scene on the cabaret, endearing everybody to him. If there’s a greater character introduction scene in video video games, it’s not from any sport I’ve performed.
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