Yakuza 0 (2015)

by Ji-yeong
6 minutes read


Yakuza 0: A Prequel that Expands the Yakuza Universe

Released in 2015, Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the long-running Yakuza series, taking place in 1988, two decades before the events of the first game. The game follows the stories of two protagonists: Kazuma Kiryu, a young yakuza member trying to make a name for himself, and Goro Majima, a former yakuza lieutenant who has been forced to work as a cabaret club manager.

Despite being a prequel, Yakuza 0 is a standalone story that can be enjoyed by newcomers to the series as well as longtime fans. The game features a deep and engaging narrative, a diverse cast of characters, and an addictive blend of action, adventure, and minigames.


Yakuza 0’s story is told in two parts, each focusing on one of the protagonists.

Kazuma Kiryu’s Story

Kiryu’s story begins with him being tasked with collecting a debt from a local businessman. However, when the businessman is found murdered, Kiryu is framed for the crime and must go on the run to clear his name. Along the way, he uncovers a complex web of corruption and betrayal that reaches the highest levels of the Tojo Clan, the yakuza organization to which he belongs.

Goro Majima’s Story

Majima’s story begins with him being demoted to the position of cabaret club manager after a failed attempt to assassinate the Tojo Clan’s patriarch. Forced to work with a group of incompetent and misfit employees, Majima must find a way to make his cabaret club profitable while also navigating the treacherous world of the yakuza.


Yakuza 0 is an action-adventure game with a heavy emphasis on melee combat. Players can control either Kiryu or Majima, each of whom has their own unique fighting styles and abilities. The game also features a wide variety of minigames, including karaoke, pool, darts, and gambling.


Yakuza 0 features a large and diverse cast of characters, including:

  • Kazuma Kiryu: A young yakuza member with a strong sense of justice.
  • Goro Majima: A former yakuza lieutenant who is now working as a cabaret club manager.
  • Makoto Makimura: A cabaret hostess who becomes Kiryu’s love interest.
  • Saejima Taiga: A Tojo Clan member who is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit.
  • Ryuji Goda: A powerful yakuza boss who is Kiryu’s main antagonist.


Yakuza 0 explores a number of themes, including:

  • Loyalty and betrayal: The game shows how loyalty and betrayal can be powerful forces in the yakuza world.
  • The importance of family: Both Kiryu and Majima find solace and support from their families, whether they are blood-related or not.
  • The power of redemption: Both Kiryu and Majima are given the opportunity to redeem themselves for past mistakes.

Critical Reception

Yakuza 0 received critical acclaim upon release, with many reviewers praising the game’s story, characters, combat, and minigames. The game was also a commercial success, selling over one million copies worldwide.


Yakuza 0 is considered to be one of the best games in the Yakuza series. The game’s success helped to revitalize the series and attract a new generation of fans. Yakuza 0 has also been credited with helping to popularize Japanese culture and entertainment in the West.


Yakuza 0 is a must-play for fans of action-adventure games, crime dramas, and Japanese culture. The game’s engaging story, diverse cast of characters, and addictive gameplay make it one of the most memorable and enjoyable games of its generation.

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