You Will Love These Yakuza 0 Substories

Updated on March 7, 2018
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Geek, gamer, writer, graphic artist. Yong’s favourite movies and games are those that allow him to enjoy the world from his bedroom.

Yakuza 0 is also known as Ryu ga Gotoku 0: Chikai no Basho.
Yakuza 0 is also known as Ryu ga Gotoku 0: Chikai no Basho.

This list is arranged in chapter appearance order.

Kiryu Substory #2 - Arakure Quest (Chapter 2)

The Arakure Quest does a great job in orientating you around Kamurocho.
The Arakure Quest does a great job in orientating you around Kamurocho.

This substory, available early in Yakuza 0, is a wonderful example of how such quests complement the main story in games. It begins by bringing you all over town, familiarising you with the layout. The perseverance Kiryu displays then gives a clear idea of his personality. Finally, there’s the twist ending, during which the quest suddenly transforms into poignant family drama. In short, this substory is a splendid representation of the colourful tales found within the Yakuza series. Tales that are not just simple fetch-and-bring quests, but events that full up the holes left by the main story. In my case, these stories greatly contribute to me falling in love with the Yakuza series.

The Arakure Dialogues

If you're playing the Japanese version of Yakuza 0, the various dialogues are also wonderful examples of how Japanese sentences could so easily be chained into hilarious tongue twisters.

Kiryu Substory #10 - How to Train Your Dominatrix (Chapter 2)

It's not what it looks like. This Yakuza 0 substory is more humour than sleaze.
It's not what it looks like. This Yakuza 0 substory is more humour than sleaze.

The Japanese are fascinating in many ways. They are utterly devoted to their jobs. They have truly weird solutions for life crises. There are also incredibly tolerant of sexual fetishes, with this tolerance often baffling foreigners given the emphasis Japan places on social conformity. This substory combines all of these idiosyncrasies into a hilarious, conversation-based quest between Kiryu and a trainee dominatrix. Be advised. Don’t be too disturbed if you score all the right answers at first go. Consider it as telling of who you might really be.

Kiryu Substory #12 - Miracle on Tenkaichi Street (Chapter 2)

Who is this legendary artiste from the 80s?
Who is this legendary artiste from the 80s?

I love this Yakuza 0 substory for one and one thing only. The pop icon Miracle parodies. More so than any other substory, this quest completes the impression of the 80s. And how it brings back fond memories while at that! If you love 80s culture, if you are a fan of the superstar Miracle represents, I’m sure you would love this substory too. You will also love his associated tune, available in the quirky disco dancing mini-game.

Majima Substory #63 - The Man with the Stranger's Face (Chapter 4)

The Man with the Stranger's Face is one of the most touching substories in Yakuza 0.
The Man with the Stranger's Face is one of the most touching substories in Yakuza 0.

Substories, or side quests, are not unique to the Yakuza series. What differentiates those in Yakuza 0 and other episodes is how elaborate they often get. While none stretches beyond half an hour of gameplay, a good number does contain enough story elements to fill up a television feature or a novella. The Man with the Stranger’s Face is one of these, at the same time also one of the most touching. This story strongly reminds that a Yakuza’s life is seldom just glory and action. Very often, it is a life suffused with irreversible tragedy.

Majima Substory #64 - Toilet Talk (Chapter 4)

Toilets are full of deliciously dirty little secrets, agree?
Toilets are full of deliciously dirty little secrets, agree?

I have a dirty little secret. In younger days, I used to linger in public toilet cubicles to read the graffiti. Do you not agree they could be so fascinating? The wild stories, the outrageous claims, the many promises … This substory offers a prediction of what might happen if you succumb to the temptation of responding to such graffiti. A word of warning here. The story turns dark quickly. You need to be ready for violent surprises.

Majima Substory #78 - The Doll Girl (Chapter 3)

I groaned when I first saw this UFO catcher mini-game in Yakuza 0.
I groaned when I first saw this UFO catcher mini-game in Yakuza 0.

To be honest, I hated this substory at first. I’ve never won anything at a UFO catcher. Now I have to struggle with one using a joypad! The effort, however, pays off eventually, with the revelation of the whiny girl’s background. It also show a side of Majima that’s never seen before in later episodes. In all, it is a sad hint at what the Mad Dog of Shimano could have become, had he not been trapped as a Yakuza.

Majima Substory #54 - Disciple of the New Order (Chapter 4)

Shooreh Pippi! The only chant you need to reach paradise!
Shooreh Pippi! The only chant you need to reach paradise!

The substories of the Yakuza series often discuss Japanese social-political issues, with this one being a humourous and subtly ominous depiction of one of the worst phenomena to haunt Japan today; the popularity of messianic, doomsday cults. You might laugh at Majima’s comical handling of the cultists. You might also find the cultists utterly ludicrous. But remember, the worst terrorist attack Japan ever suffered was staged by one such cult. There is a grim message behind this substory. This is a message Japan is still coming to terms with.

Spoiler

I'd just say the story of shooreh pippi neither begins nor ends with Yakuza 0.

Majima Substory #81 - Gandhara Employee (Chapter 4)

What chilling secret hides in this desolate corner in Sotenbori?
What chilling secret hides in this desolate corner in Sotenbori?

This is one of the oddest substories in Yakuza 0, and I’m not saying so because of the sleaze involved. The tale revolves around a certain urban legend, and right from the start, you know it’s going to get downright weird if you investigate further. What exactly happens? What’s the truth behind that legendary item so many men crave and need? I leave that to you to discover yourself.

Kiryu Substory #11 - The Shrink-Wrapped Dream (Chapter 6)

The magnificent machine central to this substory.
The magnificent machine central to this substory.

Older male players will appreciate this hilarious story. I certainly did! Remember those pre-Internet days when you tremble in fear each time your mom cleans your room? Remember the ridiculous schemes you cooked up in order to secure new treasures for that marvellous stash under your bed? Dear old Kiryu shares golden advice about such schemes with a young friend, albeit somewhat unwillingly. It’s outdated advice, yes. But outdated nostalgia? Not at all.

Kiryu Substory #19 - Heir to the Family (Chapter 6)

The future sixth chairman of the Tojo clan was quite a cute kid.
The future sixth chairman of the Tojo clan was quite a cute kid.

Rokudaime Daigo Dojima might not be the most popular supporting character in the Yakuza series, but he is arguably the closest mirror of Kiryu Kazuma. Like his aniki, Daigo is an honourable man and burdened for life by family heritage. Often, he also prefers harmonious solutions over open conflict, though he is never one to shy from necessary combat. This brief substory offers a glimpse into Daigo’s difficult childhood, and through that, reveals what made Daigo into the man he is in subsequent episodes. You will feel more for the Sixth Chairman of the Tojo Clan after playing through this story. Who knows? He might even become your favourite supporting character.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Kuan Leong Yong

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