The Let's Play Archive

Ryuu ga Gotoku: Kenzan

by Egomaniac

Part 10: CHAPTER 5: The One Ryou Request - [Part II]

This time we take a brief tour of Rakugai and make our way to Kouetsu's estate.

Some historical notes:

Kawaramachi is, as noted in the video, a real place situated more or less in the same location relative to Gion that it is in the game. The waterway crossed by the bridge on Shijou Avenue is the Kamo River, the main river for the city of Kyoto.

Here's a picture of the bridge today, facing west down Shijou Avenue, away from Yasaka Shrine.

The arrow indicates where Kouetsu's manor would be located based on the game, although the exact real-life location is unknown.

The real-life Honami Kouetsu was a wealthy patron of the fine arts and an accomplished artist himself in many disciplines. He is most famous for his skills in calligraphy and pottery, with some of his work on display at various national or prefectural museums in Japan. One of his lesser-known abilities was "sword polishing" - finishing swords that had been forged by master blacksmiths. By some accounts this was his family's traditional business, and the Sengoku Era had made it quite wealthy. It would also explain his relatively high standing with the samurai class, despite not being samurai himself. In later years, Kouetsu established one of the first artists' colonies in Japan with the tacit approval of the Tokugawa government.

Even today his name is still at least familiar to many average Japanese people, and obviously revered among artists and craftsmen. His grave still stands in Kyoto, and those wishing to visit will probably find no crowds to contend with.

Gameplay Notes

Sidequests are a major part of every Yakuza game, and Kenzan is no exception. In total there are 100 standard sidequests and 20 kakemawari jobs available over the course of each playthrough. They generally have a much lighter and sillier tone than the main storyline, sometimes to the point of breaking character, in my opinion, and have no impact on the game's main plot, but they do yield cash and experience, unlock opportunities for weapons training and crafting, and completing every single one unlocks a secret boss in the final chapter.

More than any other entry in the series, Kenzan makes it very difficult on the player to actually complete all of these quests as they become available - not because the quests themselves are difficult, but because it can be hard to find them all. New sidequests open up each chapter as you might expect, but they also open up after almost every story event, major or minor, and many can only be completed during one or two of the three times of day featured in the game (daylight, twilight, and night). They're not missable per se, but not every chapter will have an instance of all three time periods, not every chapter allows you complete freedom to travel to whatever area of the game world you desire, and almost all sidequests have prerequisite sidequests that bear no logical connection to the ones they unlock. The same applies to Revelations and technique training, and I think Kenzan was one of the last holdouts in the old era of JRPG design where the keys to starting sub missions and gaining unlockables were purposely designed to be as obtuse as possible to facilitate sales of official strategy guides. There are many times where the momentum of the narrative is such that you really just want to continue on with the main game, but if you don't backtrack and talk to every single townsperson between each and every story event you'll at best lose out on some techniques or heat actions that you would've really liked to have for that big battle or boss, and at worst permanently miss a sidquest and screw yourself out of 100% completion.

For those who haven't played any Yakuza games, don't let this deter you from trying them out. The newer games have largely done away with this onerous system and made it so sidequests are more or less completely unmissable and can be done at your convenience, while the older ones at least didn't have the time of day system like Kenzan so you could always put them off for just one more story event and come right back to them instead of having to wait three more chapters for another twilight instance to roll around.

My solution to this issue for the LP is to do almost all of the sidequests that aren't 90% combat in screenshot format alongside each video update. These are the sidequests that are available at the point the video takes place, and none of them have voice acting or full-motion cutscenes. Revelations, weapon training and the whole two or three sub missions that do actually have unique, voice-acted, full-motion cutscenes will still be in the main videos.

The sidequest section of the update assumes that you've watched the video before reading the screenshot portion.

In these sections my comments will be in standard text. At this point I don't plan to add any original character dialogue, but if I change my mind in the future that will be in italics. So without further ado, here are the sidequests for Chapter 5-B:

Last time we had an unfinished contract in Gion. Something to do with a cynophobe. So let's head back to party town and make sure he hasn't been turned into kibble while we were away.

But en route we're accosted by yet another damsel sex tourist in distress!

Is something wrong?

I put my luggage in one of these coin lockers, but a cat ran off with the key and I have no idea where he went.

I see. Well, there certainly are a lot of cats around here.

Hey, you wouldn't mind taking a look for it, would you? There'd be a reward in it for you.

(A coin locker key, huh.... Maybe somebody else saw something.)

The cat couldn't have eaten it, so I'm sure it's still around. You might want to check the rooftops. Of course, even if you find the key you won't be able to pick it up if you can't reach it. Get close and make a grab. I'm counting on you.

Fetch quest ahoy! Despite the vague reward though, this is one of the most important and simultaneously easiest contracts to complete.

It's just a quick jog over to Suiten Inari...

It's hard to see in the picture, but there's a shiny just over Kiryuu's head.

(Looks like something's here.)

[Locker Key I-2] acquired.

[These locker keys have been in every game since the original. Kenzan is the first one to put them in out of reach places like on rooftops and over fences, but the last not to have the first person view mode from Yakuza 3 and 4. That means finding keys and other goodies is just a matter of getting close enough to the item and hitting X when the prompt appears, whether you can actually see the sparkle or not.

Also, if you didn't see the key up there, there's a guy standing right nearby who points it out to you.

Kiryuu does his best John Travolta impression in celebration of his victory over the nefarious feline.

Once he's gotten himself back under control, we head straight back to the lockers and deliver our find. Hooray for static camera angles!

I think I found it. Is this your key?

Handed over [Locker Key I-2].

Oh! That's it! You've really saved me!

....or so I was about to say, anyway. Actually, I don't need what's in there anymore. You can go ahead and take that key as a reward. Help yourself to what's inside.

Received [Locker Key I-2].

I was going to give it to the yuujo who stole my heart, but her contract was just bought out. Ha ha!

You know there are probably a lot of careless guys like me dropping their locker keys all over the place every day. Maybe you can find more of them if you keep your eyes open. Just remember, if you can't see it, you can't get it. Well, see you later!

(Locker keys, eh? I'll keep an eye out.)

Got 1000 Experience Points

What incredible goodies await us inside?

[Offering Book of the Water God] acquired.

Why it's something that's absolutely useless to us at the moment!

Actually, at base it's a book of weapon crafting recipes. If we have access to a blacksmith (we don't), the right ingredients and enough money, the following 3 weapons can be made now that we have this:

Offering Book of the Water God posted:

The tachi [Bidoromaru] can be made from a [Chrome Katana], using 1 [Tengu Stone] and 1 [Gold Tortoiseshell].
The [Water God Tachi] can be made from the [Bidoromaru], using 1 [Water God Stone] and 1 [Dragon Whiskers].
The [Holy Fountain Kodachi] can be made from a [Chrome Kodachi], using 1 [Tengu Stone] and 1 [Essence of the Lustful Waterfall].

Who the hell uses a sword made of chrome? Whatever, that's 2 lockers down and 48 to go. What makes this quest so important is that the collectible locker keys won't appear in the game until you've completed it. Now that we have, the other 48 will be in fixed locations all over the game world, sometimes very far away from Gion. It'll be quite a while before we can get them all, but a good half of them or so are in Gion, Rakugai and Kawaramachi. I'll be collecting those that are in my way in the videos and then just sweeping through off-screen later to get the rest.

Off to put out the next fire. The letter said our dog-hating client was hanging out near the Gambling Hall. That's in an easily missable clearing accessible through a small break in the line of torii gates in the southeastern part of town.

Did ya read my letter? I've been waiting! That dog's sitting on top of my scent bag and I dunno what to do!

I hate dogs, so I've been keeping an eye on him from here. Please, you gotta help me get rid of him. Maybe you can try giving him a snack or something?


(He doesn't look too dangerous. Should I give him something to eat like that guy said?)

Luckily I stopped by the Arigataya Market and picked up some snacks earlier.

Do doggies like manjuu, I wonder?

Question asked, question answered.

(I don't think he wants it. What should I do now?)

Why give him another one just like the first of course! I'm sure he was just being polite. After all, they say it's customary in Japan to refuse an offering of food twice before accepting.

Well, crap!

[VOICE OFFSCREEN]: Hey! Pochitaro!




Well, whatever. At least everything worked out. Thanks for helping me get my bag back. And here's the reward I promised.

Got [5000 mon].

Got 1500 Experience Points

That's one of the lower paying jobs. These kakemawari contracts average around 1 ryou.
In case you were wondering, it doesn't matter what food you give the dog as long as you make two attempts.

We're done playing handyman for now, so it's time to buckle on our swords and pay a visit to Rakugai for some less formal (read: unpaid) sidequests.

Down at the west end of Shijou Avenue, where the entrance to Kawaramachi is, there are a few merchant stalls that are mostly there for background.

This guy, however...

Hello, and welcome! I'm the street vendor Craaaaazy Tanaka, and today I'm offering an extraordinary one-of-a-kind product just for you!

Step right up and take a look! Picture this: you've just come out of Gion, you had a great time, but now your wallet is feeling light and your last few coins are lonely!

But never fear! Have a look at this [Magic Wallet]. It's not just any old pouch! There's nothing to it! Just drop your money in and BAM! The next time you peek inside you'll see ten times what you put in!

And now for a limited time, this wallet is half off! I'm asking only a meager 200 mon! There's not another shop in town with this kind of deal!

But wait, there's more! You think wallet, you think savings. You think savings, you think economizing. You think economizing, then I have something for you! This [Sparkling Dust Cloth]! And it's free with your purchase today!

This cloth can wipe any surface clean in the blink of an eye! Keep it washed and you'll be able to use it again and again. Talk about economizing!

I have everything for the saver in you! Act now and get two [Sparkling Dust Cloths], plus the [Magic Wallet], all for just 200 mon! At a price like that these fine products are sure to be gone soon! Don't miss this opportunity!

Whew! So after we've heard his totally legitimate and not at all shady spiel, what are we gonna do?

Here you are, sir. Thank you very much!

[Magic Wallet] acquired.

[Sparkling Dust Cloth] acquired.

Thank you again. Please check back for more one-of-a-kind products! See you soon!

We should probably step away before Tanaka convinces Kiryuu to pay 1000 mon for his [Enchanted Ballscratcher].

(Shall I put some money in the [Magic Wallet]?)

Of course!

Put some money in and peeked inside....

There appear to be ten times the coins there were before!

....but the wallet is lined with a reflective material, giving the illusion of a fuller pouch.

Got 1200 Experience Points

Well, chalk that one up to being cooped up in Gion for about four years. Kiryuu's just not used to dealing with the hucksters and shysters on this side of the tracks. Let's head down to the other end of Shijou Avenue and see if better fortunes await us there.

There appears to be a strange hunchbacked dwarf with a terrible sunburn on the left up ahead. The poor thing! Surely there must be something we can do to ease his suffering.

Delicious hot peppers for sale!

Scratch that. It's a small child who apparently got lost on her way to the 4th grade class play. This year's theme: The Food Pyramid.

Hahhh.... I can't make a sale, I'm tired of standing, and I'm starving!

Hot chili peppers! Delicious peppers for sale! Why won't anyone buy these yummy peppers? Oh, I'm so hungry!

Wait, I know! I'll eat some of these myself! There are a lot of them so it's okay if I have a few.

HOT HOT HOT! Wahhh! Owie owie ow!

Kiryuu is understandably hesitant.

Hahhh! I ate some peppers because I was so hungry, but now my mouth hurts! They're really spicy, but really good. Won't you buy some? Ten to a set!

Gotta hand it to the little lady for pulling off her pitch despite the bleary eyes and runny nose. Note she doesn't quote us a price, but it's not more than 100 mon or so.

Well, I guess I can.

[Chili Peppers] acquired.

Yaaay! Thanks a bunch! Now I feel a lot better!

Even if they're not selling now, don't give up on it. Good luck.

However, just as we step away, a pair of Ravenous Douchebags draws near!

Hey, you, girl wearing the pepper! What're you selling here?

These are delicious chili peppers. Would you like to try one?

What, you mean you're giving it away free? Shit, I'll take that! Don't look like much though.


HOT HOT HOT! What is this!? My mouth.... I feel like fire's gonna shoot outta my throat!

Hey kid, what'd you feed the boss!? He can't help himself around food, so don't give him anything to eat!

Wahhhh... My face's still on fire.... This kid's selling some nasty shit!

Look at her pissing around here with that stupid outfit. You're hurting my eyes! If you keep wearing it your eyes are gonna turn red as a rabbit's, then what're you gonna do, huh?

You gotta pay us to sell your junk here! 300 mon for now! If you can't pay then hand over all your stuff and get outta here!

What!? I'm not gonna pay that! Somebody.... Somebody help me!

Batman away!

What do you want!? If you get in our way you're gonna get your ass handed to you!

Yeah, you tell him! Get outta here! Don't try to be a hero or nothing.

Wahhh! Please help! These guys are scaring me!

There was technically a choice whether to help, but WWKD? (What Would Kiryuu Do?)

Beat the everliving shit out of them, of course!

Have a few highlights:

They're punks who go down in a matter of seconds, as is par for the course on sidequests.

Ahhhh! It hurts! We're really, really sorry! Really!

Ow ow ow! Yeah, what the boss said! Please don't hit me anymore!

Fine. How many chili peppers are you going to buy from this little girl to show me how sorry you are?

Lots! I'd be happy to! I can't get that delicious flavor out of my head! Hey, pay the girl already!

I think I oughtta go back home for the rest of the day.

Yes sir, boss! Gimme as many of those things as this will buy, little girl! I just wanna get outta here!

Yay! Are you really giving me all this money? In that case you can have my entire stock! Yes! It's the first time I've ever sold out.

Oh... Oh really? Well, that's great! 'kay bye!

Yeah bye!

That's pretty much the classic Yakuza sidequest. Punks push somebody around, Kiryuu gets in their face, Kiryuu punches their face, punks run away.

Thanks so much for getting rid of those guys. And I could sell all my peppers, too. See you!

Got 1500 Experience Points

Right. Heading south and then west on the southernmost road we find a little boy studying outside.

Is something wrong?

Well, I just started elementary school, but I have no idea what the teacher is talking about. On top of that, I don't understand the homework assignments and I can't answer when the teacher calls on me in class. Even the little kids make fun of me. I mean, I am stupid, so I guess I should just forget about it.

He actually attends a terakoya, which was a school for younger children based in a Buddhist temple and taught by monks. Education wasn't mandatory in the Edo Period, but it was available through shrines and temples for those who had the time and lived close enough but weren't able to afford private tutors like the nobles had.

Can you really just accept things the way they are?


Don't you think you're a little young to just call yourself stupid and give up?


If you study hard now a time will come when you're an educated man. You don't want things to be like this forever, right?

Hey, mister.... The homework today is really hard and I don't think I can do it by myself. Could you give me a hand?

Again we can choose whether or not to help him, but we didn't come over here to turn him down.

Thanks mister!

What's your name?

I'm Mametarou. Um, here's today's homework.

I have no idea if the name "Mametarou" is a reference to something, but it literally means "Bean Boy". "-tarou" was and is a common suffix for male names, but I don't think "mame" ("beans") is usually used for humans. Maybe it's because he looks kind of like a bean? Actually, the dog at the orphanage in Yakuza 3 was called Mame in the Japanese language version of the game, but he was renamed Rex or something for the English language edition.

Kanji reading, eh? Which one don't you understand?

There are 3. First, how do you read this one:

The answer is in spoiler tags in case you know some Japanese and want to play along. The game gives you three options.

1. hito
2. inu
3. neko

The answer is inu - dog.

Huh. Oh yeah! I remember it now!

How about this one?

1. katsuo
2. same
3. iwashi

The answer is katsuo - bonito.

Oh. Wow, this is hard.

How about this one?

1. yutanpo
2. kotatsu
3. anka

The answer is yutanpo - hot water bottle.

Yeah, I didn't know that one before playing this game and would never have gotten it cold without having three to choose from.

I see! Now I can read it! Wow, you're really smart, mister. You must know everything! Did you study real hard when you were a kid too?

Uh, yeah, kind of....

Everything he needs to know he learned in kindergarten: how to knock people down and kick them in the face. And apparently some basic reading too.

Now if the teacher calls on me tomorrow I'll be ready! Thanks!

Got 1000 Experience Points

Heading back east along the road there's a dispirited old man standing in front of his home.

What's the matter?

My doors keep getting holes in them and I don't know what to do. Every day I have to replace the paper.

They're actually shouji, the sliding paper doors for which Japan is famous.

Hey, would you mind standing watch for awhile? There'd be a reward in it for you.

Sure, I can do that.

Ah, sorry to ask you to do such a strange job. This business with the door is really bothering me. Thank you.

Kiryuu takes up position across the street and waits for the dastardly hole-poker to show himself.

Which he does, in short order.

Heh heh... This must be the place!

(Is that the guy poking holes in the door?)

I think we may have history's first griefer on our hands. If this guy were alive today he'd probably be living in his parents' basement, team-killing in Call of Duty and jumping off buildings in Left 4 Dead.

Hey! What're you doing?

Huh? Oh shit!

Wait! Get back here!

The suspect barely gets around the corner before he's out of breath. We're obviously dealing with a real live ninja.


Give it up!

Damn! I'll teach you!

He's an even bigger pussy than the two guys harrassing the chili girl. Also note that you can stab and slash guys in sidequests and random battles all you want but they're just fine and dandy after it's all over. In story missions though Kiryuu kills just about everyone, even when he's using hand-to-hand.

I'm s-sorry!

What were you doing at that old man's house?

Wait, I was just....

Actually, forget it. You're coming back there with me and you're going to apologize to him.

Y-Yes sir....

Well, um, there's a rumor going around that you can see a woman bathing if you look through these holes.

Sorry I caused you so much trouble.

A woman? In my house...? Hey, Otsuru!

Hmm? What is it?

This is the only woman who lives here.

Huh? What are you talking about?


This man came here to peek at you while you're bathing.

Is that so? If you like what you see I'd be happy to show you more....

Whoa! Um, no thanks....

Where did you hear the rumor?

Uh, from a guy named Shigeyoshi, near the gate to Gion.

At the gate, huh?

Please put a stop to that man's lies.

In other words, go find that heartless gossip and smash his face in!
We already know he's at the big gate so it's just a matter of jogging over there.


(Is that the Shigeyoshi who was spreading those rumors?)

Don't ask me how he knows this guy from the half-dozen others milling around the area, but I guess Kiryuu just has a kind of sixth sense for knowing whose balls to break.

Huh? Whaddya want?

Are you the one spreading rumors that you can see a woman bathing at the old man's house?

What? How did you....? Shit!

Aren't you going to run?

Fuck you!

Always trust Face-Punch Sense TM


Get up. We're going back to the old man's house.

So you want to peep at me too?


Why did you start those rumors?

Well, actually, I'm a door repairman. Business hasn't been so good lately, so I figured these rumors might help things pick up a little.

....... You'd better give back whatever you charged them to fix their doors.

Okay.... I'm really sorry about this.

Thanks for your help.

Here's something for your trouble. I've had it for a long time, but I don't have any use for it. Maybe you can find some purpose for it.

Received [Chrysanthemum Pattern Incense Burner].

I'm pretty sure the only use for this is as a gift to any of the yuujo you may want to romance, but like all Yakuza games gift-giving is by far the least cost-effective way of winning them over. We can also sell it for 7000 mon, which is probably the more sensible choice.

Thank you again. Ha ha! It feels great to know I won't have to repair my door any more!

Got 1500 Experience Points

With that clear we have just one more stop to make: Higashiyama Street, where the vendors hawk their wares.

At the entrance to the street, Kiryuu can hear a small child whining about candy. This of course calls for a samurai's assistance.

Hey mister, could ya do me a favor?

What is it?

Buy me some candy! I really want some. My dad died and there's a special kind that reminds me of him.

The last thing he did for me was buy me that candy. Please get some for me!

Alright, I'll get it.

What, the kid doesn't like chili peppers or dust cloths? Because those we have.

Yaaay! There's a candy seller near here. I'll show you.

Right there, mister. Get me some of that special candy, okay?

I'll take some candy.

Of course. What kind would you like?

There are a few choices, but the kid will only be happy with the most expensive one, [Gold-colored Candy].

Thank you. Please come again.

Did you get the kind I wanted?


Oh boy! This is it, the one my dad bought for me! Thanks mister! Well, see you later.

Got 1500 Experience Points

Kiryuu jogs off in search of more greedy children to feed, but....

Nice work, dad! Here, you can have this candy back. I want my cut!

Oh, right. Uh, how about some candy instead?

No way! That's baby stuff!

Ha ha! Then do you think you can earn us some more money today?

Well, I'll keep trying, dad.

("Dad"? So his father isn't dead?)


Hey, is this your son?

What are you talking about? I've never seen this kid before in my life! Nope, not once!

We... We just met. Right? Isn't that right, boy?

Right, dad!


Whoa! Wh-What are you talking about!?

Oh no! I'm getting outta here!

So you were using your own son to trick me?

Seriously, what is it about Mr. Always-scowl-never-smile-200-pounds-of-muscle Kiryuu that makes people think Whoa, there's a sucker if I ever saw one!?

Huh? Trick you!? Even if I did, isn't it your fault for falling for it? Besides, was it really so bad? You got to feel like you did a good deed, everyone walks away happy!

What? You gonna ask for your money back? Well if you think I'm just some dumbass candy man you're in for a big surprise! It's hard work making this stuff and it's taught me a move or two, so get ready to be pounded into syrup!

For that matter, what makes people think this same man is going to be such a pushover in a fight? Oh well, time to smash the candy man like a pinata.

W-W-Wait! I'll give you money! Just please stop hitting me!

Received [1 ryou].

I spent too much money in Gion and now I can't pay back my debts. My wife left us, and I have to make a living to support my son.

Sorry mister. Please don't be mad at us.

You need to run a more honest business and take care of your customers.

I.... I understand. My apologies.

Got 1000 Experience Points

A fitting reward for knocking out all a man's teeth in front of his son, I'd say.


And that brings us to the end for this section, but by no means to the end of the sidequests available in Chapter 5. In fact, just by speaking to Kouetsu we've unlocked a good number more, as well as a few more Revelations, all of which we'll be collecting next time.

The Chili Girl
Crazy Tanaka Appears
Homework: Reading
Holes in the Door
Taste of Candy 1: Memory
Taste of Candy 2: Secret

Kakemawari Jobs:
Kumanosuke's Debt (in Chapter 5-A)
The Immovable Man (in Chapter 5-A)
Storage Locker Training
Shooing the Dog