Part 23: More sidequestsIf we go north on Hanami Lane, near where we paid off that snitch in the previous chapter or where Kiryuu broke the fake sword that guy was trying to scam people with, there's now a newspaper salesman we can talk to.
I'm told that, while there weren't newspapers in Edo Period Japan, there were a kind of cheap wooden "news blocks" that served the same purpose, although obviously they fit less in for more money. The literacy rate was of course not what it is today, but it was certainly far better than most western countries in the middle ages.
Newspaper, sir? Only 15 mon.
I'll take one.
(Let's take a look....)
Newspaper Headlines posted:
Daughter of Nagaya Street's Mutahira-san has Birthday
Yawanaka-san Injured in Kiyomizu Fall
Most Popular Dango Stands in Town
(That's some pretty boring stuff.)
Sorry, I know it's not very interesting.
Is business not good?
Well, there's a new newsman up on Shijou Avenue called Shinkichi. He's always reporting lots of exciting stuff, and somehow he always gets the news first. That makes his paper pretty popular. I have to gather all my news by myself and there's only so much I can do. How can I compete with Shinkichi?
Well, let's go check out this young Mike Wallace and see if his paper's really as good as they say.
For a modest price you too can know everything that's going on in Kyoto! One for you, sir? That's it, folks, I'm all sold out! See you next time! Now I'm off to track down the hottest scoops for your reading pleasure! You won't believe what's in tomorrow's edition, I guarantee it!
Shinkichi and his crowd evaporate before our very eyes.
Now the next part is a little hard to figure out. You have to go near the Rakugai weapons shop.
When you do you'll see Shinkichi squatting in the shadows and cackling to himself.
When this place goes up in flames it'll be the story of the year!
(That's Shinkichi the newsman.)
Hmm, what should the headline be.... I've got it! "Ebisu Street Blaze! Neighborhood Thrown Into Chaos!" Has a nice ring, if I say so myself. Ha! It'll be my biggest seller yet!
What are you doing over there?
Shit! I can't let this get out, so I guess I'll just have to shut you up.
Another 3-second battle.
He's unarmed, and we cut him down like grass.
Why were you trying to set a fire?
I think we've all already guessed the answer to that, Kiryuu.
I want to build up my newspaper business, so I need to come up with big news fast.
Build it up? Don't you already sell enough papers? This is really going overboard.
Heh. I couldn't sell at all until recently. All I had was the same old boring stuff day in and day out. Now that there aren't any wars going on there's not much out there to get people talking.
That's true. But you can't expect exciting news all the time. Besides, what seems boring to some people might be interesting to others.
You're right. I never thought of it that way before. I always just worried about being the most popular. Then it made sense that if there wasn't anything important to write about I could make something happen myself.
You mean manufacturing your own news?
I always knew it was wrong, but once I became the number one paper it felt like I couldn't afford to stop. I gave it up once, but right away I started worrying about sales again. It really gnawed at me.
Yadda yadda yadda, he learns the error of his ways and decides to report real-life, useful news from now on.
I'm sorry. Please, take this.
Received [True Rainbow Stone].
Still no XP. That means we have to go back to the first newsman to finish this up.
Oh! Thanks for before.
Looks like you're getting more popular now. What happened?
I got a huge scoop! Shinkichi was manufacturing his own news! Once I reported on that all of his old customers came over to me.
But, you know, I didn't actually do anything special. I'm worried they won't stay with me for long.
I think I'll try to get in touch with Shinkichi. If we work together we could have the best newspaper in town! I know he did some bad things, but I don't want to turn out like him and shut him out.
That's good. Maybe from now on people will realize not to believe everything they read.
Let's hope. I'll do my best.
Got 1500 Experience Points
Next up is a sidequest that we could have started back in Chapter 6, but couldn't have completed until now.
Our old friend the chili girl is back.
Spicy hot red chili peppers! They're delicious!
You don't have to yell, kid. The lady's three feet away from you.
I'll take one, please. I like to use them as a hint of spice in my cooking to stimulate the appetite.
Here you are. Thank you very much.
If we bother her maybe some thugs will show up with fortuitous timing and we can beat the snot out of them. There's been a lower than average density of face-stompings in this update.
Oh! Hey, you're the guy who saved me from those scary mean jerks the other day!
You seem like you're doing well. How's business?
Hmm, I'm not very good at this yet so I'm not selling too much.
You don't have any parents to help you out?
I do. Mom died, but my dad's still around.
He is? Then if you're here working all alone where is your father?
He hurt his back and can't get out of bed, so I'm selling these instead.
I see. That's too bad. I hope he gets better soon.
Oh, that's right! When I told Dad about how you helped me out he said I should bring you back home if I saw you again. He says he has something to give you. Would you come with me now?
Sure. Lead the way.
Really? Great, let's go!
We're teleported to the front of her house. Get your bearings and remember where this place is or else when you want to come back you'll have to run all over town hugging the walls and waiting for a prompt to show up since it looks like every other building in Rakugai.
This is my place. There's nothing inside but chili peppers, so don't be shocked.
I'm home, Dad! This is the guy who helped me the other day.
Oh, welcome home. I'm sorry you had to go out and work for me again today. Please make yourself at home, sir samurai.
I heard what you did for my daughter when those thugs accosted her. You have my deepest gratitude for that. This isn't much, but I'd like you to have it.
Received [Chili Sampler].
I wish I had more to give you. With my back the way it is and my daughter working so hard for the both of us things are very tight right now. I hope I recover soon. If I had a lot more money I think I could buy some medicine, but right now that's just impossible. All I can do is lie here and hope that my injury mends itself. I want to get better and ease some of the burden on my daughter.
We're free to move around this little room or leave if we want. We can talk to either one of them again, but that won't progress the sidequest (although it will give you some hints about what to do next). The only way to move forward is to go all the way back to Gion....
Gyoutensai has something on his list of proto-inventions that wasn't there until Chapter 7, which is why we had to wait until now to complete this quest. He'll comment on the fact that we have the [Chili Sampler], and there's only one thing on his list that uses it.
This is [Back Medicine], and it requires one [Chili Sampler], one [Fine Paper] sheet (which we got last night from that artist's sidequest), and one "an adhesive", which is left up to us to figure out. There's a guy in Rakugai near the sake shop who sells stuff for the turtle racing minigame like food to boost their power and one of the things you can buy from him is a kind of algae that fits the bill.
Now back to the little girl's house....
My back still hurts. I wish there was some kind of treatment. Do you know of any?
What's that!? Your inventor friend made a compound for me out of chili peppers?
I'll try this right away.
A little while later....
Wow, it's starting to feel a less painful already. I think I might just recover after all!
We're booted outside with no reward or experience, so we're not done. We have to wait awhile for the father to recover. It doesn't seem to be tied to any progress through the game or sidequests, so it must depend either on the PS3 clock or on how many times you leave and re-enter Rakugai. Either way it doesn't take very long.
Eventually, when you go back to where you first met the chili girl you'll find a surprise.
Hot chili peppers! Delicious and spicy!
Plus lower back compresses, made from fine all-natural ingredients! Chili peppers are good for what ails you!
I sure hope Gyoutensai's getting royalties for this.
Hey, it's you two! It looks like your back's better. That's nice to see.
Thanks, you really helped us out. Now I'm all fixed up and my daughter doesn't have to support us all by herself anymore. Plus I talked to that inventor and we set up a sales deal. Now business is better than ever!
This is for you, mister. If you ever hurt yourself this should help.
Thank you again. You not only fixed my back - you also warmed my heart.
Thanks a lot!
Got 1500 Experience Points
Alright, now for a moderately unusual sidequest, beginning in the sake shop.
Inside there are three bandits talking at a table and we can eavesdrop on them.
Man, we came all the way to Gion, we got some money together for drinks and girls and all that shit, and then they want us to pay just to go in!?
Yeah, you're right.
I never thought a yuujo'd be so expensive. All our cash wouldn't even be enough for one of us. This sucks.
You're right, yeah.
Man, Boss Shishido barely gives us any of the take.
Yeah, that's right.
But if you bitch about it he makes you pay. Better to keep your mouth shut.
Yep, you got it.
That reminds me. The other day I was in the boss's room and I found this scrap of paper lying around.
That looks pretty old. What's it say?
Uh, I can't read. You know how?
Well, not the big words, but some of 'em, yeah. Give it here.
Good idea, yeah.
"The link between Heaven and Hell.... big letter bonfire.... fired in a line." What?
Huh? I mean, I can read it, but what the hell's that mean?
I bet there's some kinda buried treasure in our cave is what. Probably some big battle a long time ago and the losers hid it so it wouldn't get taken.
Oh yeah, must be.
So this is like a clue how to find it? But I don't get what is says at all. What're we gonna do?
At this point Kiryuu can stick his nose in and see what's going on.
Hey! You! You been listenin' to us!? Get outta here!
That's right, yeah.
Wait, aren't you the guy who beat the boss? Kiryuu, right?
Whoa, you're right! It's really him!
Yep, that's right.
Hey, I got something to give ya as a kinda prize then. We don't know what the hell this thing means, but it's not just a piece of paper. We're thinkin' maybe it's a clue to some kinda buried treasaure.
Hey! I gave you that, ya know! Don't show it to this guy!
Nah, it's fine. Here, you take this, Kiryuu-san. It's just a bunch of crazy talk. If these guys're right and there's treasure you can go find it if you want. I think it sounds like a buncha shit and I don't wanna waste my time. We're outta money, so we're going home. Later.
And they're gone. We're not told what to do, but we know where their hideout is so let's get over there right away.
It's hard to tell, but this is the same guy from the sake shop.
So didja figure out what that paper was all about? You think maybe there's treasure in the cave after all? You wanna come in then?
Yeah, I do.
Alright, knock yerself out.
This is the first time we've been allowed back in here since the end of Chapter 5. Only this room is available though, even if the back gate looks open. If we give up on the search we can talk to that bandit by the entrance to leave, but it should be pretty easy to figure out since there's a sparkly in the treasure spot.
There's a beam of light hitting the well where the chain was running down in the action stage.
The paper said "The link from Heaven to Hell.... huge flame.... run in a straight line." So the light - the sun? - is the "huge flame". And maybe it's this part here that "runs in a straight line". And "from Heaven to Hell..." That's it! It's the chain that held the gate!
Looks like there's something down here....
This is a money box!
[VOICE OFFSCREEN]: Hey! You found it!
Hey, so the story's true! But that paper was ours, so give the treasure here.
We just wanted you to figure this out for us is all. And we've been waitin' here 'till you did.
Yeah, that's right.
Now we're done with ya! We're gonna beat you and take that treasure!
Shit! Man, if you could take the boss we should'da known you'd take us out easy. I think you broke my tooth!
You win! Take all the treasure, if you want, but at least let us see what's inside. I'm just dyin' to know.
....fine. I'll open it here.
Wait, what is this? There's just an eyepatch in here.
It's the boss's patch! ....... So does that mean the boss is the one who wrote that paper?
That's right. I remember him saying he got it custom made at the best shop in Kyoto and goin' on about how proud he was. I guess it's a treasure to him, but it's nothin' to us.
If he has this fancy patch why does he keep it in the ground and then wear an old sword guard over his eye instead?
Man, all that trouble for nothing! We're never gonna get a yuujo now!
That's right, yep.
Ah, nothin' to do but laugh I s'pose. Here, you take it.
Received [Shishido's Eyepatch].
I'm outta here.
And that's it. It's a weird sidequest because we don't get any experience points. Or maybe we do and the message just doesn't pop up because I didn't check the total before going into the cave. The eyepatch is also completely useless as far as I can remember. Oh well, it still counts toward completion.
Anyway, our next stop is that little shrine in the center of town where we met the "Dual Swords Style" guy that one drunken night long ago.
There's an old lady gossipping in front.
I dreamed it three times, I tell you. A pure white snake slithering down this very road, and whoever catches it will have great luck in business.
Sounds like an omen to me. Can't be a coincidence if you dreamt it three times like that.
Why don't we go find that snake and put it in our shop?
Ha! Who says it even exists?
It sounds hard to believe, but maybe it's magic or something?
Hey! You said something about a white snake? Well it's right over there!
Really!? I'm gonna go catch it!
Huh? No way! I'm getting it first!
They all go running off except the old woman.
It's true, you know. If you catch that white snake your business will be a huge success.
As seems to be the case more and more lately, we're given no hints about where to go next. You can just run around Rakugai poking your nose into every nook and cranny.... or you can just look at the wiki like I'm pretty sure I did the first time. The guys who ran off seemed to be going east, so I guess that's a clue, if you can trust they were animated that way on purpose.
Where we have to go is very near the exit onto the Forest Road.
When you get reasonably close to this little alcove Kiryuu will comment. Of course, the snake is visible too.
(....... hm? Is this that white snake she was talking about?)
We can choose whether to catch it ourselves or leave it alone, but nothing will happen if we go with option #2.
Could you please let me have that snake? My family has a tea house, but it's not doing very well. We got a loan to open it up, but the interest is growing and we haven't been able to make our payments. But if we have that snake it's supposed to bring us good luck. Please, mister, can I have it?
I found that snake first! Um, I had it, but.... it got away from me. Yeah, that's it!
Don't give it to that filthy little urchin! It's rightfully mine. If you'll just hand it over I promise you as much as you can carry from my shop here in Rakugai. No charge!
But I need that snake! I want my mother not to have to work so hard. Please give it to me.
There's a choice, but only one leads to a "complete" result. I kind of doubt the old guy would really give us anything anyway.
Here, you can have it.
Thank you so much!
Whaaaat!? How dare you!? Didn't you hear my offer, you bastard!? If you won't listen to reason and you won't take a bribe, I'll just have to get it by force!
Ahhh! Take it! I don't need that snake! Just let me go!
Can I really have it?
Yes. I don't have a use for it.
Oh, thank you! Please come to our shop sometime. It's a little tea house at the start of the Riverside Road. I'd like to give you something for helping us.
Got 1500 Experience Points
He will give you a (modest) gift if you show up there, but the quest counts as complete whether we visit or not.
Now off to Kawaramachi for a few more sidequests.
Just across the bridge there's a brightly dressed man we can chat up.
Excuse me. How did you get such an incredible body?
That's.... a very forward way to begin a conversation.
Your strength seems to be of a unique kind - not the animal strength of your usual fighters.
I am the classical painter, Ranzan. Perhaps you have heard of me?
You have inspired me today. Would you mind if I painted you? If you agree I am certain I can create a masterpiece that will be known in the world long after you have left it. This is a once in a lifetime chance and I don't want to miss it. Please.
Might as well leave something behind for posterity.
Alright, I'll agree.
Excellent! This must be fate. Please come with me to my studio. It's this way.
I apologize for the mess. I just don't ever seem to get around to cleaning it up.
He begins sizing Kiryuu up.
Now let's see.... Yes, I think I see.... Hmm.... Hm.... I've got it! I'm sorry, but would you mind taking off your clothes? Just the outer layers, of course. I need to see what I'm working with, so to speak.
Excellent, very good.
Beautiful! Your form reminds me of the cool waters of a glacial falls.
Hmm.... Hm.... I see. I apologize, but I think I must ask you to please remove your undergarments as well. Would you mind?
There's no option given this time.
Not on your life!
But, you've already come this far! We can't stop now! If you won't take them off yourself I'll have to make you!
Uhh.... The sword is mightier than the pen, it seems....
What the hell are you trying to do!?
As soon as I saw you I couldn't tear my eyes away. It wasn't just a mild infatuation.... It was love!
I'm sorry! I don't want you to hate me. Let me make it up to you. Unfortunately, I don't have any money here. How about one of my pictures? I don't have much myself, but you may choose one that you like best.
We're given three choices: [Warrior Picture], [Actor Picture] and [Famous Location Picture]. It doesn't really matter what you take. They're worth a small amount of money either way, although I've read that the third one is completely worthless.
Received [Warrior Picture].
Parting is such sweet sorrow, and I shall await the day we meet again. Be well.
Got 1000 Experience Points
And here we were having such a nice run of non-homophobic updates. Oh, Sega....
Right, then. Moving on down the main drag of Kawaramachi, we find an odd man surrounded by cats.
My name is Tsuchiura Keibun. I have a little job for you - that is, if you like cats. I'd be happy to pay you, of course.
I can't think of any good way to depict this in English (not that I spend much time mulling it over) so I'm just going to lay out an explanation. The guy here has a bunch of cats, is talking about cats, and peppers his speech with little nya or nyan sounds, which are the Japanese equivalent of "meow". This fits a lot more unobtrusively into Japanese text than it would if I just typed meow all over his dialogue, so I"m not going to try. Furthermore, his name is given in kanji and then sounded out for the player on-screen as "Tsuchiura Keibun". That's because an alternate reading of the 4 kanji could be "Doraemon", the cartoon cat that is Japan's answer to Bugs Bunny, only without the diminished appeal to modern audiences. Doraemon's as popular as ever.
If I'm getting paid, I'll do it.
Thank you. My cat is missing. He was right here, but now I don't know where he's gone and I don't have the energy to look anymore. I'd like you to go looking for me. Let me give you this to help. It's catnip.
That's how I got all these cats to begin with. But my own doesn't look like he's coming back. All I need you to do is search the area. When you find a cat, approach it with that catnip and bring it back here. But the scent won't last forever, so you have to hurry. The more cats you find, the more I'll pay you. Is everything clear?
Yes. Find the cat before the scent wears off.
Exactly. For now, just go out and find one. Good luck!
So we run around Kawaramachi looking for escaped kitties. Each round has exactly one and it's always in a fixed location. You seem to have a couple of minutes before the time runs out too.
The first cat is just behind Tsuchiura, on the grounds of Kouetsu's estate.
We snatch him up and Kiryuu automatically brings him back.
You got one! Thanks a lot.
Time for another. This time it's at the end of the bridge on the near side.
That's another. Do you want to keep looking?
We can decline and still complete the quest at this point, but there's money to be made!
I'll keep looking.
In that case, good luck!
This time we can find the third cat all the way at the other end of the bridge, near the Rakugai exit.
His dialogue doesn't change this time. The fourth feline is literally right in front of him. We just turn around and hit X.
And one more time. The last cat is on the western end of town, just by the exit to the Yoshioka Dojo area.
You found another one! I think that's enough cats now. Here's your payment.
Received [2 ryou 5000 mon].
That's a pretty good haul for a quick and easy sidequest like that.
So is your cat one of these here?
Huh? Oh! Yes, it's, um.... this one! The one with the little collar here. Thank you so much for finding him.
Well, see you!
Got 10000 Experience Points
That brings us to Level 31, I think?
Crossing the bridge again, there's a little girl we can talk to who wasn't here before.
It's dinner time, but my cat hasn't come home yet. She always comes to me when she's hungry. Is she just out playing maybe?
I think we can all see where this is going.
My cat's a calico named Tama-chan and she's wearing a collar with the same pattern as my kimono. Have you seen here anywhere, mister?
We can lie to the sad little girl looking for her lost kitty, or we can not be a heartless monster and tell her the truth.
I've seen her.
Really!? Where was it? Do you remember?
Again we can tell her it "slipped our mind", but we won't.
I remember. Someone hired me to collect some cats for him, so I did.
Oh Kiryuu, you mercenary, you!
There was one with a collar like your kimono in the group of cats I handed over to him. He said it was his.
Eh!? Oh no! Was that person a man who liked to say "meow" a lot?
Remember that his cat-like speech pattern is something I just chose not to translate.
2. I can't remember
He did have a kind of funny way of speaking. A little bit cat-like.
That was the shamisen-maker Tsuchiura Keibun. I'm sure of it.
I have no idea whether it's common knowledge or not, but a shamisen is a lute-like instrument used in Japanese folk music, similar to the biwa.
He's going to kill my poor cat! W'ahhhh! You know what they make shamisen out of, don't you, mister?
Another choice, but it doesn't matter whether we do or not.
I do. They're made of cat hide.
Exactly! And that man is going to turn my precious little kitty into an instrument!
So that's why he wanted so many. I thought he was just an animal-lover.
He's famous as a shamisen-maker, but there's been a rumor going around that he steals people's pets for his work. They say he thinks that domesticate cats have a better sound than the wild ones. And you gave my cat right to him! Well if she's still alive you have to get her back!
We can refuse, but the little girl's got a point.
Alright. I'll get her for you.
Thanks, mister. I hear that Tsuchiura likes to relax at the Riverside Road. I hope he hasn't done anything to Tama-chan yet.
So now we run to the Riverside Road.
There he is, enjoying a cup of tea.
Thanks again for all your hard work earlier. Now my precious pet is with me again. Did you have some other business with me?
You're the shamisen-maker! Before you told me that cat belonged to you, but I know her real owner is a little girl in Kawaramachi, and she asked me to come get her back. Now hand her over.
This is my cat. She even has the collar I gave her. How can you prove she isn't mine?
There are a few choices, but the obvious one is the collar.
You didn't give her that collar. It matches the kimono of her real owner.
Shit! I never figured there was anything special about that collar! Alright, I admit it's not my cat and that I'm the shamisen-maker. I use cat skin to make my instruments. No one ever wanted to help me collect these animals, so I made up that story about losing my pet. I feel guilty about my work sometimes, so if people ask for their pets back I'll usually hand them over.
But this one's special. She's been raised with care and attention, fed the finest food. She'd make a shamisen like you've never seen! I could be a rich man selling such a fine instrument. So if you want her back it's going to cost you 5 ryou.
This sidequest is full of choices, isn't it?
1. Pay 5 ryou
2. Ask for a discount
If there's one rule to Yakuza sidequests it's never pay.
Why should I pay you to give back something that isn't yours? Hand her over.
That's too bad. If you won't pay then I guess I have no choice. My big brothers are here and they'll have to teach you a lesson. Come on out, guys!
This cat was born to make music, and you're not going to get in his way! Get him!
Please! Let me go! You can have the cat!
Fade to black, and we're teleported back to the bridge in Kawaramachi.
Oh, Tama-chan! I'm so glad you're okay! I was worried he'd already killed her. Thank you so much. Here, you can have this.
Received [Dried Saury].
Fish, huh? I guess that was the cat's dinner.
C'mon Tama-chan, let's go home. Bye-bye.
Got 1500 Experience Points
Only one more sidequest for this update (but we're maybe halfway through the total for Chapter 7.)
Back on the Riverside Road, if we run about halfway from Rakugai to the tea house....
....a little boy comes running up to Kiryuu.
Master! Please allow me to be your disciple!
He's asking Kiryuu to take him on as a formal apprentice in the Way of the Sword. Also I used the same character portrait as for the previous quest because it's essentially the same character model, not because it's supposed to be the same boy.
Sorry, but I can't take care of a little boy. Find somebody else.
I won't give up that easily! I want to be a great man! Please accept me as your student, and I can do all kinds of things to assist you.
(I guess I'll have to try another tactic.)
Look! There's a ghost behind you!
....... What did you say, Master? There's no such thing as ghosts.
Please take me! I want to be a strong swordsman like you! I'll take on any task, complete any training! I beg you!
Hm.... Anything, you say?
Yes! Whatever you think I should do, I'm willing!
(This should get rid of him.)
In that case.... Jump off the top of Kiyomizudera.
You did say you'd do any kind of task, right?
Yes, sir! I'll do it!
If I do it, you'll make me your apprentice? Then I'm going right away!
He runs off.
(Uh-oh. He's really going to do it. I'd better go and check on him.)
Now we make our way to Kiyomizudera.
(He's up there already!? I thought he'd jump from the balcony, not the top!)
Remember back in the Chapter 4 video I mentioned how people used to leap from the balcony thinking it would make their wish come true. There were a good number of deaths and injuries of course, but people generally survived it. Not so much if they jumped off the top of the building.
Master? Is that you? I wasn't lying! Here we go!
No! Don't jump! It's okay, you passed the test!
Huh? But I haven't done what you said yet.
You did enough. I see now how dedicated you are. Come down from there.
So I can really be your apprentice now?
Yes. So climb down.
Yay! Thank you, Master!
Get down from there already!
A promise is a promise. But I think we've done enough for today. Go home for now and we'll begin your training soon.
Okay! Thank you again, Master!
(Whew. I never expected to have a student of my own.)
Got 1000 Experience Points
And so begins another sidequest chain. The real-life Miyamoto Musashi did in fact have an apprentice who left a monument to him after his death, which is one of the primary sources of reliable information about his accomplishments in life. While our apprentice in-game is not named, the historical Musashi's was named Iori, who later became his adopted son. The Yoshikawa novel depicts Iori, as well as an earlier (fictional) apprentice named Joutarou, and in both cases it is their complete devotion to following and trusting their master, frequently flying in the face of common sense, that endears them to him.
Anyway, that's a wrap for now but there's almost half again as many sidequests to be found in the next update. And that means I'd like to get to yet another new page before that post goes up. Until next time then.