Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the latest game in SEGA’s wacky and undeniably Japanese action franchise. Although Like a Dragon exchanges the classic beat ’em up combat of previous Yakuza titles for an exciting turn-based fighting system, the game still feels like the Yakuza we’ve come to love. This means an abundance of goofy characters, chuckle-worthy cutscenes, and of course, unforgettable substories. These brief and often wacky sidequests have always held some of our favorite moments in any franchise entry. With the newest game now available on a wider range of systems, including the PlayStation 5, we thought we’d celebrate by listing our picks for the best Yakuza: Like a Dragon substories.
Even when compared to some of the more ridiculous stuff in previous Yakuza games, the Yakuza: Like a Dragon substories can get exceptionally absurd. If you’re diving into the city of Yokohama as the heroic Ichiban Kasuga, don’t miss out on these hilarious Yakuza: Like a Dragon substories!
Note: The substories listed below take place throughout Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Although we’ll do our best to avoid any unnecessary spoilers, consider yourself in light spoiler territory. While the ending of the game and its major plot-points won’t be spoiled, certain characters, locations, and events will be detailed in full. Now, onto our favorite Yakuza: Like a Dragon substories!
The Best Substories in Yakuza: Like a Dragon
1. Who’s That Sujimon?
This early substory begins when Kasuga and his party are flashed on the street by a nude exhibitionist. After beating the flasher senseless, Ichiban and his pals meet the wacky “Sujimon Sensei”, a man who is attempting to catalog Yokohama’s criminal element via Pokemon-style categorization. The Sujimon Sensei urges Kasuga and his team to “catch ’em all”, unlocking the handy Sujidex cellphone app for you to keep track. With over 250 unique Sujimon to find, this substory is more than just a silly distraction. Simply put, the concept of Sujimon adds a lot of personality to even the most repetitive fights, making this one of the best substories in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
2. Baby Don’t Cry
This incredibly hilarious and weird substory pays homage to one of our favorite substories from Yakuza Kiwami 2, “Be My Baby”. At the beginning of the sidequest, Kasuga stops a lowly yakuza thug from stealing a man’s baby formula in broad daylight. Quickly thereafter, the pair hear the sounds of a newborn baby emanating from a nearby building. Worried that a baby is being born in a dirty environment, Kasuga and his new friend rush out to grab a few necessities and lend a hand. When they return and enter the building, instead of discovering a freshly-birthed child, Kasuga and his pal discover a fetish club where grown men wear diapers and flop around like infants. Predictably, things go sideways fast, resulting in a hilarious battle where you beat down these faux babies. Not only is “Baby Don’t Cry” one of the best Yakuza: Like a Dragon substories, but it’s also one of the funniest and awkwardly nostalgic moments in the entire game.
3. Dragon Kart
Yakuza: Like a Dragon wouldn’t be a Yakuza game if it wasn’t packed with mini-games and open-world distractions to enjoy. In this exceptionally entertaining substory, Kasuga approaches a “Dragon Kart” activity stand to inquire about their services. Instead of a traditional go-kart experience, Dragon Kart lets Kasuga drift through the streets of Yokohama in intense Mario Kart-style races, power-ups and all. Better yet, the Dragon Kart substory unlocks the arcade-like racing mini-game in full, allowing you to compete in tournaments against a slew of memorable opponents. You’ll trade paint with professional wrestlers, old ladies, and even other yakuza members. If you’re playing Yakuza: Like a Dragon on PlayStation 5, consider this your go-to kart-racer.
4. Preparing to Suck
The best Yakuza: Like a Dragon substories are often the most ridiculous ones too, which is the case for this incredibly quirky side-quest. In “Preparing to Suck”, Kasuga encounters an eccentric Professor named Okita while stopping for a snack at the Sesil Cafe. Professor Okita, the creator of a house-holding cleaning robot called the “Suji”, requests 1 million yen from Kasuga for his biggest and best sanitary robotic creation yet. If you have deep enough pockets to fund Okita’s project, you’ll be treated with one of the funniest and most engaging boss fights in all of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. If you want to put your skills to the test, stop by the Sesil Cafe and prepare to suck.
5. Fauxno Michio
This Yakuza: Like a Dragon substory brings back the fan-favorite character Michio, a beloved mascot from the Onomichi prefecture, a city first explored in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. With a scummy imposter selling fake Michio merchandise nearby, Kasuga teams up with the mascot’s creator to stop the fraudster and save Michio’s reputation. I won’t spoil the best bits of this substory, but just know that the rewards for completing it are well worth your time. Either way, “Fauxno Michio” is one of the best substories in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and continues to prove why Michio is one of the most kawaii characters in the entire franchise.
6. Forget Me Not
When a young girl in a white dress named Kaede recognizes Kasuga on the street, the pair go out on a date. Although Kaede claims that Kasuga saved her life years prior in the city of Kamurocho, he struggles to remember her at all. What starts off as an innocuous and cute adventure quickly becomes one of the most poignant substories of them all, leaving the player with more questions than answers. “Forget Me Not” is a sleeper side-quest that definitely earns its spot on our list of the best substories in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
7. Fifty Shades of Play
While enjoying a nighttime stroll in the red light district, Kasuga has a chance encounter with one of Yakuza: Like a Dragon‘s most memorable characters, Mr. Masochist. With a legendary reputation in the S&M fetish club scene, Mr. Masochist has spent years of his life being violently whipped and tweaked for sexual gratification. Unfortunately, all this sexy punishment has left Mr. Masochist unable to feel any pain, causing him to become immensely depressed and woefully horny. Of course, Kasuga finds a way to get himself involved, attempting to figure out a way to really hurt Mr. Masochist. After some pretty funny (and oddly heartwarming) events, you eventually acquire Mr. Masochist as a battle-summon, perfectly capping off one of the best substories in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
8. The Masked Murderer
This quick and surprisingly hilarious Yakuza: Like a Dragon substory pays homage to the horror genre and 80s-era slasher flicks in general, so we had to include it on this list. Brief, brutal, and sharp with humor, this substory sees Kasuga tracking down a mysterious killer prowling the streets of Yokohama. Rumored to be covered in blood and donning a hockey-mask similar to Jason in the Friday the 13th movies, the eponymous “masked murderer” leaves an air of urban legend in his wake. When compared to some of the other substories on this list, “The Masked Murderer” is much more simple and straightforward, but provides a hearty enough chuckle that makes it worth mentioning. Plus, we’re pretty big fans of horror games, so this nod to the slasher sub-genre was nice to see.
Those are our picks for the best substories in Yakuza: Like a Dragon! What was your favorite substory? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. Have fun exploring Yokohama!