Yakuza 4 (龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの "Ryū ga Gotoku 4: Densetsu o Tsugumono"?, lit. "Like a Dragon 4: Successor of the Legend"), is a video game developed and published by Sega exclusively for the PlayStation 3. The game was announced on July 24, 2009. A promotion video was presented at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show and a preview presenting the main story was released on January 13, 2010. The game is the sequel to Yakuza 3 and was released on March 18, 2010 in Japan. A playable demo was released to the Japanese PlayStation Store on March 5, 2010. The game was released in Europe and North America in March 2011.
The game received an Award for Excellence from the Japan Game Awards 2010, and received a score of 38/40 from Famitsu. It currently holds a rating of 80% on GameRankings based on 39 reviews, and 78 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 59 publications.
The game begins with Shun Akiyama, a loan shark infamous for giving out interest-free loans with no collateral, going to collect several debts. He is sidetracked at one point and is involved in a quarrel at a bar, where he beats a medium ranking member of the Ueno Seiwa Clan, Ihara. Shun is then met by Arai, a high ranking yakuza member, and Kido, a friend who works at a rival loan office. Ihara, intent on revenge, attempts to hold up the group with a gun, and ends up grazing Arai, and escapes, being chased by Kido. Akiyama is ordered to go back to his loan office by Arai, and on his way there, gets a call from his secretary, Hana, who informs him of an armed man fighting with another man outside there office. Rushing back, Akiyama discovers Arai standing in front of the corpse of Ihara, having shot him moments before. Knowing that this will trigger a war, Arai flees, and Akiyama is confronted by an unnaturally relaxed detective named Tanimura, and is taken into custody on suspicion of murdering Ihara. After being released due to Hana covering for him, Shun heads back to his office, and during a flashback, it is revealed he was homeless, and is seen catching money from the explosion of the Millennium Tower (an event occurring in the original game). A woman comes into his office, who he recognizes as being eerily similar to a photograph of a former lover of his. The woman, revealed to be named Lily, asks for ¥100,000,000, which Akiyama agrees to, but tells her she must go through a test of character and willpower before he gives her the yen. Akiyama sets her up to work at a hostess club, where she must earn the club ¥3,000,000 in three days. Akiyama meets with Kido during this time, where he reveals that his boss was killed, seemingly by a woman, due to having his shirt off and finding lipstick near his body, and Akiyama sends him to find Arai, who's killing of Ihara has caused the Ueno Sewai to make giant demands that Daigo Dojima must agree to in order to avoid a gang war. Following several events, Akiyama discovers the bar where Lily previously stated she worked, but discovers it is an all transsexual oriented bar, and inside, discovers the corpse of the bar owner, as well as a stand of lighters missing one, with the lighters resembling the one Lily used. Confronting Lily, who has passed his test, he tells her he knows about her killing the bar owner, and he implies that she killed Kido's boss. Lily, angered at this, does not give a reasoning for the murders, and leaves. Afterwards, Akiyama is informed his hostess club is being harassed by Yakuza looking for Lily. Going to the club, he beats the Yakuza, and meets with Goro Majima, who begins to tell him why they are looking for Lily.
Taiga Saejima is shown to be a yakuza member in the mid-1980s, and is friends with Goro Maejima, who regularly visits him and his sister. Saejima and Maejima are tasked with killing the head of the Ueno Family and anyone who gets in the way. Waiting outside the building where the target is in, Saejima attempts to contact Maejima, who has not shown up yet. After several minutes of waiting, Saejima goes alone, and proceed to kill all members in the building, despite being briefly stopped by a bodyguard, the target is killed and Saejima escapes, later revealed to have been captured. Skipping forward 25 years, Saejima is taken to another prison, being shuffled around as his execution is approaching. Meeting Goh Hamazaki, who was put into prison for his attempted murder of Kiryu in the last game, the two plan an escape together. As their plan is set into motion, the two deal with an implacable prison guard, and after defeating him several times and reaching their escape, he comes back again and shoots Hamazaki, who then dives over the prison walls into the ocean with the guard. Saejima follows, but is lost from him and passes out. Coming to on a beach, it is revealed Taiga is at Sunshine Orphanage, and has a tense meeting with Haruka, and eventually placates Kazuma Kiryu into letting him stay after a brutal brawl between them. While Kiryu is out, Saejima travels to Kamurucho to confront Majima for betraying him on the day of the shooting. Along the way he gets involved with the homeless of Kamurucho, helping them establish a haven underground, and the mafia that supports the homeless, who he uses to track Majima and his sister Yasuko. Taiga tracks down Mejima, who sends his entire army of Yakuza footmen to defeat him, which he defeats, and makes his way into a center for batting practice, where Majima fights him one on one. The two fight each other brutally with baseball bats, and after an extended fistfight, Taiga bests Goro. The two former friends yield to each other, and Majima explains why he did not show up to the assassination. He was kidnapped by Shibata who had to make sure Majima did not partake in the hit lest his presence cause a huge gang war. Majima refused, though he was subdued by Shibata's men and lost his left eye as a result. Though Majima is certain the hit was a setup by Shibata his chances of knowing are low due to Shibata having been killed.
Masayoshi Tanimura is a police officer in the Kamurocho Police Department searching for Yasuko Saejima, she having been an informant his father was supposed to meet with the day before he was found murdered. He manages to track her down, but she's taken by Shibata henchmen to the docks. After an intense gauntlet, Tanimura manages to find her where she's being held by Shibata and Arai. The two had been conspiring with Katsuragi and Shibata never cut off his finger as penance for Ihara. Shibata wants to interroate Yasuko as to why she was killing his men, but he's killed by Arai who reveals his allegiance to Katsuragi. Tanimura intervenes, though Arai gets away.
Back at Homeland, a restaurant in Little Asia Tanimura uses as a hideout, Yasuko says she was to meet with Tanimura's father but he never showed that day and thus she fled. She also admits that she was coerced into killing Shibata's men by Katsuragi as he said he could get her brother's case reexamined if she either eliminated certain targets or she gave him 100 million yen. Tanimura takes the money to Katsuragi the next day (Yasuko having left for Okinawa to see her brother) and asks him about if the Ueno hit was connected to his father's murder. Katsuragi denies any connection, instead saying what got him killed was finding out about corruption in the police force. Tanimura offers the money to Katsuragi, but Katsuragi instead refuses and has his men attack Tanimura as well as Katsuragi admitting the real killer in the Ueno hit was himself. Tanimura is saved by the intervention of Detective Sugiuchi and races to Homeland to find Chief Hisai already there.
Hisai says due to Tanimura's father investigating corruption in the force the two go to Police Headquarters. Tanimura discovers that Sugiuchi was working on the Ueno hit alongside his father. He then takes the money back to Akiyama who recognizes Tanimura from the night Ihara was killed. The two of them exchange information, coming to the conclusion that Katsuragi has only recently been killing of co-conspirators due to someone forcing them. Akiyama then tells Tanimura to go to the docks to find Mishima, Ihara's friend from the other night.
Tanimura discovers that Mishima and Ihara were ordered to cause trouble at the club and that Mishima was ordered dead. Sugiuchi kills Mishima and is revealed as a Yakuza mole in the police, something Tanimura suspected of him. After an intense fight with Sugiuchi, the Yakuza spy admits he was the one who killed Tanimura's father. He also reveals that Saejima's guns during the Ueno hit were loaded with experimental rubber bullets that merely knocked the Ueno Seiwa men out while Katsuragi killed them in order to move up the ranks. He also reveals that Deputy Commissioner Munakata was aware of it, but kept silent in order to have Sugiuchi introduce him to Katsuragi. Sugiuchi laments his double agent status, saying he actually started to like being a cop. He is then fatally shot, but manages to tell Tanimura of another traitor. Chief Hisai informs Munakata of Sugiuchi and Tanimura's deaths and in turn commits suicide instead of killing Tanimura's Chinese friends.
The plot switches to Sunshine Orphanage where Hamazaki has finally arrived. Kiryu tends to his injuries, asking why Hamazaki has come. Hamazaki says he wants to turn over, having been inspired by Saejima's trust in him. He also reveals what he stole from the prison: a ledger revealing that the 10 billion yen that set off the events of the first game was meant to be used for the prison. The ledger also reveals that the Ueno Seiwa and the police have been planning to get rid of the Tojo clan in order to get Kamurocho Hills and build a new police HQ. Hamazaki goes to the police department to turn himself in, but shockingly Yasuko is already there asking about her brother. Realizing her connection to Saejima, Kiryu and Hamazaki decide to talk to her. They reveal everything they know about Saejima, but are interrupted by Saito. Kiryu beats Saito and his guards and goes to Kamurocho with Yasuko. Hamazaki stays behind and collapses from a gunshot wound.
At Homeland Akiyama meets with Tanimura, revealing his office is under investigation by the district attorney for coercion due to his tests. He then says he has an idea to present to Tanimura. Yasuko stays at New Serena under the eye of Date while Kiryu goes to Millennium Tower to meet with Goro Majima only to find him being placed under arrest. He says the one who got him arrested was Daigo and warns Kiryu that the Ueno Hit, the 10 billion yen from five years ago, and Yasuko are connected. At the Tojo headquarters, Daigo is meaning with Munakata who presents Daigo an offer: promote Arai to a lieutenant as a liaison within the Tojo and he’ll eliminate the Ueno Seiwa Clan, Arai being revealed as an undercover police officer. At Purgatory Katsuragi has captured Saejima and reveals that Kido is working under him, having taken Akiyama’s 100 billion yen fortune from his secret vault.
At New Serena, Kiryu finds Date on the floor, having been drugged by Yasuko. Kiryu tracks her to Purgatory, but is stopped by Akiyama and Tanimura who he defeats. By the time he gets to Purgatory, Yasuko and Saejima have already been taken. Back as New Serena, the men convene and come up with a plan: Kiryu will meet Katsuragi with the ledger revealing the police department’s involvement in the secret prison in exchange for Yasuko, Saejima, and Akiyama’s money. However Katsuragi demands Kiryu come alone and must fight his way through the entire Ueno Seiwa clan. Kazuma makes it to the top of the construction site and hands over the file with Katsuragi giving Yasuko. Kido looks as if he’s about to shoot Kiryu and Yasuko, but instead shoots Katsuragi. He then gives the file to Arai who shoots Kido. Yasuko and Kiryu free Saejima who reveals Katsuragi had been wearing Kevlar vest like back during the Ueno hit. While Saejima decides killing Katsuragi isn’t worth it, Katsuragi shoots Yasuko in the back in turn kills Katsuragi before dying in Saejima’s arms. At Munakata's office, Arai gives him the ledger though Munakata is angry that Arai didn't get the 100 billion yen. He then orders Arai to kidnap the children under Kiryu's care, but Arai refuses and shoots Munakata with the untraceable gun he had been given.
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After each character's stories end, they all meet together to confront each of their antagonists at the Millennium Tower, where Akiyama has put all of his remaining money on top of to lure them there. At the helipad of the tower, each member separates to fight their own enemy, with Akiyama taking Arai, Saejima taking Kido, Kiryu fighting Daigo, and Tanimura fighting the police chief and a large squad of their specialized SWAT members. After they are all defeated, the chief, who has been presented a newspaper already released to the public that reveals his crimes, takes out a gun and shoots Akiyama, killing him. After the remaining three restrain him, they go to Akiyama's body, which stirs, and it is revealed that the bullet was stopped by his last stack of money in his coat pocket, saving his life. The chief, who the three had again forgotten to remove his sidearm, takes his gun. The camera pulls away as he shoots. It is later shown in a newspaper that Munakata commits suicide.
The epilogue, which takes place a few months after the final battle, shows the character's situations after. Akiyama, still working in his loan office, is greeted by an unknown woman, which he recognizes soon after to be Hana, who has lost a large amount of weight following the game's events. Saejima is living through life as a free man and now a yakuza member again, and has gotten over Lily's death, and will go back to prison for 3 more years instead of continuing his life sentence. Tanimura and Date are shown outside of the loan office, and it is revealed Date has rejoined the force, with Tanimura working with him, and that the chief did not shoot any of them, but instead committed suicide to avoid justice. Kiryu is reunited with Haruka, with it being implied he will find a new orphanage owner and live with Haruka, ending the game.
Three new locations have been added since Yakuza 3 – a rooftop area, which stretches across a large area of the town; the back streets of Kamurocho, known as "Rojiura" (路地裏?); and a third area called the underground (or "chika" (地下?)), which includes the city's sewers, parking lot and shopping arcades. The underground area is also known as "Kamuchika" (カムチカ?), short for "Kamuro Chika" or "Kamuro Underground".
There are three new main protagonists alongside Kazuma Kiryu, the main character since the original Yakuza game. These are Masayoshi Tanimura (Hiroki Narimiya), Shun Akiyama (Kōichi Yamadera) and Taiga Saejima (Rikiya Koyama). These four men all become connected during the game's plot. Other new characters include a Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department detective called Junji Sugiuchi (Kenichi Endou), a Tojo Clan yakuza called Hiroaki Arai (Ikki Sawamura), a high-ranking police officer called Seishirō Munakata (Kinya Kitaoji) and a woman called Lili (Maju Ozawa). Returning characters are Haruka Sawamura, Goro Majima, Makoto Date, Daigo Dojima and Goh Hamazaki.
The available mini-games are pachinko, fishing, onsen bath, table tennis, hanafuda and karaoke (now including duets with certain NPCs). "Haruka's Wish" also appears in the game, in which the player must perform actions to raise Haruka's trust level. Each main character also has his own "side-game" or goal that must be completed to earn 100% completion, most of which are related to a trophy.
Akiyama may create a "Friendship" (馴染み Najimi?) with certain NPC characters by buying them items, or certain shop owners by being a regular customer. These characters will then help out at the start of battles that start nearby, by throwing an item to use as a weapon. Befriending the man at Asia enables the player to pick the kind of girl they want to see dance.
Akiyama's other mission, "Create a No. 1 Hostess!" (No.1キャバ嬢をつくろう！ No.1 Kyabajō o Tsukurō!?), is to scout girls for the cabaret club he owns – Elise, opposite the Millennium Tower – and, through dressing them up and training them, turn them into the No. 1 girl at the club. There are three girls to train, and after they become number one the player can choose a final outfit before them, after which they appear as a regular cabaret girl at Elise. A similar challenge was in the Japanese version of Yakuza 3, but was cut from the subsequent overseas releases.
Saejima's mission, "Create a Fighter!" (格闘家をつくろう！ Kakutōka o Tsukurō!?) is to train fighters to compete in, and win, tournaments, within 50 rounds of training. Training involves building up training move-sets, with different actions having different effects. This game can be found at the dojo next to the Children's Park.
Tanimura's mission, "Resolving Police Radio Disputes" (警察無線トラブル解決バトル Keisatsu Musen Toraburu Kaiketsu Batoru?), is to keep the peace on the streets of Kamurocho; occasionally a report will come through on his radio telling him where to find the incident. The player must then defeat the perpetrator. Each unique case must be completed to "clear" the task.
In Kiryu's mission, "Team Encounter Battle" (チームエンカウントバトル?), various gangs from around town will attack Kiryu, who will have to fight members of the team in order to get to their leader. There are seven teams to defeat.
Each new character has his own style of fighting and special moves. The game engine features an enhanced Chase Battle and it is now possible to use items as weapons during the chase sequence. The player no longer needs to hold down the R2 button to sprint as the character will now automatically run at full speed.
- Takaya Kuroda as Kazuma Kiryu (桐生 一馬)
- Kōichi Yamadera as Shun Akiyama (秋山 駿)
- Hiroki Narimiya as Masayoshi Tanimura (谷村 正義)
- Rikiya Koyama as Taiga Saejima (冴島 大河)
- Maju Ozawa as Yasuko Saejima (Lily) (リリ)
- Kenta Kiritani as Takeshi Kido (城戸 武)
- Satoshi Tokushige as Daigo Dojima (堂島 大吾)
- George Takahashi as Goh Hamazaki (浜崎 豪)
- Kazuhiro Yamaji as Makoto Date (伊達 真)
- Kenichi Endou as Junji Sugiuchi (杉内 順次)
- Ikki Sawamura as Hiroaki Arai (新井 弘明)
- Kinya Kitaoji as Seishiro Munakata (宗像 征四郎)
- Hidenari Ugaki as Goro Majima (真島 吾朗)
- Rie Kugimiya as Haruka Sawamura (澤村 遥)
- Aya Hirano as Hana
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The theme song, played during the introductory video upon starting the game, is called Butterfly City and is sung by Japanese hip hop music artist Zeebra featuring Ryo the Skywalker and Mummy D. (Rhymester) with music by DJ Hasebe (a.k.a. Old Nick) The music video was posted on Ariola Japan's official YouTube channel which revealed that R&B singer Double had contributed vocals to the song. The CD was released by Ariola Japan (SME) on March 17, 2010 as a regular edition (BVCL-89) and a first press limited edition including a bonus video DVD (BVCL-87) and an alternate cover featuring Kiryu. Zeebra first contributed to the series with Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan!'s opening theme Bushido.
Adverts for various other companies (such as Nico Nico Douga) can be found within the game, especially on the walls in the underground. Promotional flyers can be found in certain places, such as the underground of bowling alley, some of which offer discounts on in-game products. There is now also advertising on both sets of coin lockers. A staff member at Volcano, the pachislot building, will ask for a password that can only be obtained from 777town's website. There are also various topics of conversation that can be learned from listening in on Kamurocho residents' conversations. These can be used on the hostesses, and some of them feature promotion for companies such as 777town.
On August 31, 2011, two new Yakuza games were announced: Yakuza 5 and a sequel to the PSP game, Kurohyō 2. Yakuza 5 was released in japan December 6th 2012, but despite popular demand from fans, the game has not been released in North America or Europe.
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- Yakuza 4 PlayStation 3
- 山口 浩介（GameSpot Japan）. "「龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの」の舞台・神室町がパワーアップ！-地下道や路地裏といった怪しげな場所にも進入が可能に". Japan.gamespot.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
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- Butterfly City Promotional Video[dead link]
- Gameplay Digest Trailer/ゲームプレイダイジェスト編 (3rd trailer)
- TGS 2009 w/English subtitles (1st trailer)
- Yakuza 4 Story Trailer [English]