Originally posted on 20 March 2016
Source: page 12-13

Ryu Encyclopaedia

Ryu ga Gotoku

A 10 billion rain falls on Kamurocho

Ryu ga Gotoku
Platform: PlayStation 2
Release: 8/12/2005
Price: 6,800 JPY (tax excl.)
Ryu ga Gotoku PlayStation 2 the Best
Platform: PlayStation 2
Release: 26/10/2006
Price: 1,800 JPY (tax excl.)
Ryu ga Gotoku 1&2 HD Edition
Platform: PlayStation 3/Wii U
Release: 1/11/2012 / 8/8/2013
Price: 4,980 JPY (tax excl.)
Ryu ga Gotoku 1&2 HD Edition (PlayStation 3 the Best)
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release: 11/12/2014
Price: 1,800 JPY (tax excl.)

The memorable first entry in the series, which entered the world on 8 December 2005. Set in Tokyo's red light district of Kamurocho, full of people and extreme hustle and bustle, it vividly portrays the way of life of the protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, who is part of the world of the yakuza. The ultimate characteristic of the game is the way you are able to move freely around Kamurocho, created like a sandbox. At the time when it was released, very few games were set in modern day Japan, and it also drew attention for the way it had the criminal underground at the heart of its story. It was packed with things to do, like going off the beaten path for substories or to play at play spots like pachislots or the batting centre. As a result, it received support from many players and achieved 1,000,000 units shipped in February 2009. On 1 November 2012, Ryu ga Gotoku 1&2 HD Edition was released, with markedly improved graphics.

Story and character correlation chart

October 1995, Kamurocho. Kazuma Kiryu receives word that Sohei Dojima, boss of the Dojima Family, has kidnapped his childhood friend, Yumi Sawamura. Kiryu shakes off the attempts of Shintaro Kazama, his yakuza "father", to stop him and heads for the Dojima Family office. There, he finds his best friend Akira Nishikiyama holding a pistol, a terrified Yumi, and Dojima's corpse. Kiryu resolves to take the fall for the sin of "patricide" instead of Nishikiyama, and ends up spending ten years in prison. There, he learns of Yumi's disappearance and his excommunication.

Ten years later - December 2005. Kiryu returns to Kamurocho, having been released from prison, finds that his situation has completely changed. Masaru Sera, third chairman of the Tojo Clan, has been assassinated, and Nishikiyama has established the Nishikiyama Family. Kiryu manages to reunite with Kazama for the first time in a decade, but is shot and gravely wounded. Kiryu forms a partnership with Makoto Date, a detective with whom he became acquainted after the incident, and receives assistance from Reina, an old friend of Kiryu's who manages a bar called Serena. Kiryu and the others use Serena as a base of operations during their search for Yumi. It is during this process that he meets Haruka, the beloved daughter of Mizuki, younger sister of Yumi, who has come to Kamurocho to look for her mother.

Afterwards, the situation becomes more complicated. Information comes to light that Yumi is the one who stole the Tojo Clan's 10 billion. Kiryu visits the Florist of Purgatory, legendary informant, in order to obtain more information, learning of Nishikiyama's movements and why Haruka is being targeted.

Haruka is then kidnapped by Goro Majima, "Shimano's mad dog". Heading to rescue her, Kiryu clashes with Majima. In their fight, it is revealed that Haruka's pendant is the key to the location of the missing 10 billion. Soon after, Haruka is once more kidnapped by a mysterious organisation. Kiryu uses the pendant left with him by Haruka as a bargaining chip, narrowly managing to protect her.

Kiryu finally reunites with Nishikiyama. Seeing Nishikiyama twisted and going after Haruka, Kiryu chooses to part ways with him. Then, he is informed that Haruka has been kidnapped for a third time. This time it is the Snake Flower, a Chinese mafia that has joined forces with Futoshi Shimano, boss of the Shimano Family, who are targeting Haruka. Kiryu storms their headquarters in Yokohama, defeating their leader, Lau Ka Long, and rescuing Haruka.

Information from Shinji, a yakuza under Nishikiyama who idolises Date and Kiryu, reveals the mysterious organisation after Haruka is the MIA - an organisation under the direct control of the Cabinet Office - and the source of Nishikiyama's information was Reina. Kiryu heads for Serena, but Reina has already vanished, leaving behind only a letter of atonement.

Shinji then makes contact. Kiryu follows after Reina, who has fled after betraying the Nishikiyama Family, and Shinji, who tries to protect her. However, all that awaits him is their corpses.

Through contact with the Florist and information gleaned through the fight with Majima, it is revealed that Kazama is being cared for by Yukio Terada, director general of the Omi Alliance. After being helped to reunite with him by Terada, Kazama tells Kiryu many truths. He learns that Haruka is the daughter of Yumi and Kyohei Jingu, who later became the head of the MIA; that Jingu had been plotting the killings of Yumi and Haruka, who were in his way; and that it was Kazama who had given Yumi the name of Mizuki and helped her to escape. It is also revealed that the Tojo Clan's 10 billion was originally Jingu's money, and that Kazama had stolen it in order to suppress his rampage. Immediately afterwards, the Shimano Family attacks and Kazama is killed.

In order to put an end to it all, Kiryu and Haruka head for the Millennium Tower where the 10 billion is hidden. Awaiting them there is a reunion with Yumi, a battle with Jingu and the attacking MIA, and a decisive fight with Nishikiyama. Kiryu uses his fists to defeat Nishikiyama, but Jingu, on the verge of death, shoots and kills Yumi. Jingu is then defeated at the hands of Nishikiyama. In order to make amends, Nishikiyama blows up the safe with the 10 billion inside. As bills flutter through the Kamurocho sky, the legend of the vanished 10 billion draws to a close.

(Click to open a larger version.)