Sega released a new story trailer for Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth revealing that a number of characters from the older games will return as part of a subplot centered entirely around Kazuma Kiryu.
Some of these characters we already knew were coming back as Poundmates (aka summons) thanks to a previous trailer. It turns out they won’t just be glorified cameos, though, and will actually get to reunite with Kiryu after he faked his death in 2016’s Yakuza 6.
How this subplot will be integrated into the main story isn’t clear, but the trailer sees Kiryu writing a bucket list so that he can “tie up any loose ends,” perhaps suggesting he’s actively seeking out his old friends.
So far, the confirmed returning characters are:
- Date, Kiryu’s old police buddy who’s been a recurring character since the very first game and agreed to keep the fact Kiryu’s still alive a secret.
- Akiyama, a former playable character and moneylender who debuted in 2010’s Yakuza 4 and regularly aided Kiryu.
- Kaoru Sayama, a policewoman and former love interest of Kiryu from Yakuza 2 who moved to America.
- Yuki and Koyuki, a pair of hostesses Kiryu befriended in Yakuza 2 (specifically the Kiwami remake).
- Yuya, a character from the first Yakuza who appears to have returned to running the Stardust host club.
- Komaki, an old martial arts master who regularly mentored Kiryu and taught him new fighting moves.
The list doesn’t end there, as it seems Pocket Circuit Fighter (who used to run the Pocket Circuit minigame before moving onto go-karts in Yakuza: Like a Dragon) will appear too. Kiryu will even get to meet the bartender of Survive, who is heavily implied to be his old boss, Kashiwagi, who Kiryu thought had died in Yakuza 3. Also, while she isn’t seen, I’m convinced we hear the voice of Haruka, Kiryu’s adopted daughter, near the end of the trailer. With all these old faces coming back, it makes perfect sense for her to reappear one last time too.
Surprisingly, there’s no sign of Kiryu’s old Yakuza buddies Majima, Saejima, or Daigo, although all three were confirmed to be making an appearance in a previous trailer. Whether they’re more intrinsically tied to the main story, are secret party members or summons, or are just cameos is something fans can only speculate about for the time being.
Combined with Kiryu’s cancer diagnosis, Infinite Wealth really does feel like a final swansong for the character before he exits the series, even more so than Yakuza 6. While that game was billed as the final chapter in Kiryu’s story at the time, it never offered this level of fan service. Characters like Kaoru haven’t been seen in years, and as someone who’s played every mainline game in the series, it is heartwarming and bittersweet to see them all again for a final hurrah.
This game is guaranteed to make long-time fans cry. The trailer alone honestly makes me weepy already. Hopefully, Kiryu will get something remotely close to a happy ending, and he and the fans will be able to move on with no regrets.