The Let's Play Archive

Ryuu ga Gotoku: Kenzan

by Egomaniac

Part 4: CHAPTER 1: Miyamoto Musashi - [Part II]

This time we fight through our first action stage and wrap up Chapter 1.

Some historical notes:

Samurai of the Sengoku Era were consistently employed because of the continual power struggles. Those who displayed talent at a young age or who came from respected families would have studied combat or strategy in a dojo under one of the many recognized masters, and competition for entry was fierce. The name of the school a man studied at and the degree of certificate he obtained from his master was one of the most important qualifications for becoming a retainer to a powerful household. These schools would teach their own particular swordsmanship (or lance, etc.) style, named by or after the master. That Musashi did not study at such a school and has learned no famous swordsmanship styles makes him seem like a liability. After all, he is basically an untrained country samurai.

This is more or less true to life, as the real Miyamoto Musashi was never a student at a famous dojo, although it's thought that his father was an instructor, perhaps in the jutte. He claimed to learn by observation and experience, and wrote that rigidly adhering to a style left one in a precarious position. By following specific techniques too closely the swordsman leaves himself open to exploitation of its weaknesses.

Words to Know:

No special vocabulary this time, but I thought I'd list some of the suffixes/honorifics we come across from time to time and their meanings. For the most part these are all gender-neutral and I'll make a note when that's not the case:

-sama: The highest term, reserved only for gods and feudal lords, i.e. anyone who has the power of life and death over you. Even the emperor isn't usually called this (he has his own term, "tenno").

-san: Everyone probably knows this one already, but it's the standard polite suffix for dealing with strangers or those not especially close to you. Strictly speaking, one uses this term with another who is a slight superior or an equal whom you respect enough to treat as a superior, which means that a pair of people may well call one another -san in the same conversation.

-sensei: Of these this is the only one that can also be used by itself, not just after a name. It's usually translated as "teacher", but is mostly used toward anyone far above you in perceived talent or ability, i.e. anyone you look up to. This does not have to be a distant superior, and in fact you probably wouldn't call your company boss this no matter how low you are on the totem pole unless he's acted as a kind of personal mentor to you. It also implies a formal and distant relationship. That is, you might know as much about this person as you do about your own father, but you are not relaxed and friendly with him.

-dono: As mentioned in the previous video, a respectful term for one's rank inferior. Marume uses this term for Musashi because they are both swordsmen and he is impressed by Musashi's skill, but Marume is still many levels above him in social position.

-chan: Usually used toward children and young women, it implies a very familiar relationship. In the other games Majima calls Kiryuu "Kiryuu-chan" because the two are close and Majima is the older and more senior. (Kiryuu calls Majima "aniki" or "Majima-niisan" - "big brother".) The familiar relationship caveat applies towards women as well, so don't call a woman you just met at work "Keiko-chan" or something even if she's the janitor and you're the company CEO. In social situations you can call her that if that's how she's introduced to you by her friends.

There are others, but these are the ones that come up in the game that I can remember off the top of my head.