Famitsu is teaming up with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio to reveal new information about Yakuza 6 every week as we head up to release. They’re kicking off this new feature with an interview with Yakuza’s writer himself Masayoshi Yokoyama!

The whole thing echoes Nagoshi’s interview but we do get some insight into what Kiryu’s been upto since the end of Yakuza 5 and we’ll get to see the orphans from Yakuza 3 all grown up (much to the dismay of the character design team)!

With this being the final chapter I’m hoping all the plot threads come together and bookend the overall plot. The game game even release December 8th 2016, December 8th was the same launch day as Yakuza 1 in Japan creating a nostalgic ending when

Kazuma Kiryu’s arc finally ends.

Thanks again to super fan Chelsea for sending this in!

Q: When did you decide to make this game the “final chapter”?

A: I think that from the time the overall story began to take shape, everyone involved with the script, including Nagoshi (Toshihiro Nagoshi, general director of the Ryu ga Gotoku series) had it in their minds. This game is intently conscious of the story since RGG5, so in that sense it may be the game that puts most focus on continuity in the history of Ryu ga Gotoku. I’ve always thought that we had to make a sequel that would be wholly accepted by those who had played RGG5. In order to do that, we decided to completely depict Kazuma Kiryu the man anew, and in doing so settle things. That’s why it’s “the final chapter in the legend of Kazuma Kiryu”.

Q: Since it’s the “final chapter”, are the creators working on it with the enthusiasm of a sort of culmination?

A: It being a culmination is one aspect of the concept for the story, but in terms of its content we have no intentions of meekly putting it all together; we’re taking on the story and gameplay aspects in quite a hands-on manner. With the script, for example, I’ve assumed a role quite similar to that of a story editor, with the main writer being Furuta (Tsuyoshi Furuta, Ryu ga Gotoku Studio script/production assistant). From there myself and Nagoshi are individually responsible for certain chapters or scenes, and are creating it in a way similar to a TV serial. Not doing it all myself means that there are some lines in there that I couldn’t have written, and I think that creates character. This isn’t just limited to the script; we also have very specially-selected staff working on the battle and motion teams, for example. Now that ten years have passed since the series began and the staff have a shared concept of what “RGG-ness” is, I want us to change the way we make and think about things and come out with something new. Despite it being the “final chapter”, I think you’ll find that it’s a game that exudes a different kind of charm from the one Ryu ga Gotoku has had up until now across the board.

Q: Do you feel a kind of fear with regards to creating the “final chapter”?

A: I don’t. Nagoshi has said this, too: “Since we started it, it’s our duty to end it.” I really don’t want that ending to come about because of the business situation, where a sequel doesn’t come out because it doesn’t sell. Because of this, each time we work on the Ryu ga Gotoku series I’ve always had the “end” in mind as we’ve made them. This game may tout itself as the “final chapter in the legend of Kazuma Kiryu”, but my preparedness to bring an end to the story remains unchanged from how it was with the others.

Q: Why did you choose Hiroshima’s Jingaicho, Onomichi as the game’s setting?

A: I’ve actually spent the last few years searching for a town that fulfils a certain condition. That condition is tied to the story, so I can’t reveal it yet, but what I can say is that it’s not like I said, “Let’s set it in Hiroshima’s Onomichi,” and the location was decided upon. It was a setting that was crucial in terms of telling the game’s story, so I proposed it to Nagoshi myself. When I actually researched it, it turned out to be a town full of things that would make it an excellent fit for a game, so I hope I get the chance to introduce the interesting bits of the real town to everyone before they get to play around in the in-game version (laughs).

Q: What kinds of play spots are there in Jingaicho?

A: So far, the settings have primarily been downtown areas. Even when a town other than Kamurocho appears, the play spots themselves are often fairly similar. In this game, however, rather than portraying a regional red light district that resembles Kamurocho, we’re aiming to create new kinds of fun to enjoy that are only possible using Jingaicho, Onomichi. If you go to the real life Onomichi, you may be able to imagine what they might be. Jingaicho, Onomichi possesses its own charms that Kamurocho doesn’t, so I want use to utilise that to the fullest. Of course, we’re also planning to include large-scale new elements aside from play spots that you could call a full game in their own right.

Q: In what sort of manner will information be revealed for Ryu ga Gotoku 6: The Song of Life. from now on?

A: New information will be coming out bit by bit, but we plan to reveal it continuously. We’re thinking of a bunch of different ways to get it across so that fans don’t get fed up waiting for Ryu ga Gotoku 6: The Song of Life. to be released. Of course, “Ryusoku” in Famitsu will be bringing you new information or some kind of info each and every week, so please join us!

Q: Kiryu was incarcerated for a surprisingly short length of time. For what kind of crime was he imprisoned?

A: Primarily due to the bodily harm, property damage etc. he caused in RGG5. By the way, it’s shown in the intro of the game why Kiryu was the only one arrested for the incident that took place. Two-and-a-half years later, while Kiryu is in prison, things here and there around the town begin to shift slightly. Haruka suddenly vanishes, and that is what sets off the game’s story. We’ve made it so that those who have played RGG5 will be able to remember what happens back then as they play, and also so that those who haven’t played anything up to RGG5 will come to understand what took place, so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Of course, I think it would be easier for you to engage with the game if you play the numbered games up to RGG5 while you have the time.

Q: At the conference, we saw a scene in which Haruka is at Sunshine, the orphanage in Okinawa. Do the children appear in the game?

A: Though primarily during cutscenes, Ryu ga Gotoku 3’s Sunshine and the children who live there do appear in the game. The character team did complain, though – “We’re really going to make them!?” It was really hard work (laughs). You can see them all grown up, so I think that this is one of the things to look forward to for people who’ve played Ryu ga Gotoku 3.

Q: About the five key people who have appeared in previous games – were they connected in some way during the time before this game?

A: I want everyone to enjoy the story through the eyes of Kiryu, who has just come from living in prison for two-and-a-half years, so I can’t really say much at this stage… But something has happened to all of them while Kiryu was in prison. However, it’s Kiryu who connects them, so there aren’t many things that they’re all involved in. The reason that Date, a detective, Akiyama, a member of the public, and people from the Tojo Clan come together is because Kiryu is in the middle of it all. They aren’t friends or anything. These are just people involved in incidents who would never be brought together without Kiryu.

Q: What is the reason behind foreign influence emerging in Kamurocho?

A: The Tojo Clan controlled Kamurocho, but the police began to crack down on the Anti-Organised Crime Law. This has made it difficult for people like Daigo Dojima, Goro Majima and Taiga Saejima to make their moves. The foreign powers, the Chinese and Korean mafias, care nothing for the Anti-Organised Crime Law. It’s at this point that a huge fire breaks out in Little Asia. This causes the expansion of foreign powers within Kamurocho, causing the power balance within the town to crumble.