In Yakuza: Like A Dragon, you have to worry about more than just yourself since managing the party is essential for getting through the game’s tougher fights. That means money plays a much bigger role than in previous Yakuza games–it’s not just about stocking up on Staminan Royale drinks anymore. You have to purchase weapons and gear for various party members to keep them well-equipped, and you’ll need to invest in the crafting workshop to unlock better gear.
More importantly, there’s a specific point late in the story that requires you to have three million yen on hand in order to progress. Yes, there’s a hard progress gate in Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Chapter 13), and if you haven’t had money on your mind, it’ll catch you off guard and leave you unexpectedly grinding away to get that cash mid-chapter. Here, I’ll outline the best and most efficient ways to make money throughout your journey.
Ichiban Confections, The Business Management Sim
I found that investing time into the business management minigame, first called Ichiban Confections, is pretty much essential. It’s introduced as part of the main story in Chapter 5, taking you through its backstory and basic mechanics, but afterward, you don’t necessarily have to worry about it as it becomes more of an optional venture.
But pay close attention to when its introduced since it’s also a tutorial, it’ll pay off big time (literally). Basically, you have to manage different properties (stores, restaurants, nightlife, etc.) by investing in them and hiring employees to work there. Certain businesses require employees with certain levels of skills, all of which is measured in the minigame’s menus.
The goal is for them to turn a profit every time you open them for business–once your employees and properties are set, then you watch the money roll in. Over time, you have to worry about employee salary and keeping them happy to make sure business runs smoothly.
You rake in money for the business accounts, but not your own pockets during these phases. Where you will make the big bucks for yourself is during shareholder meetings, which take place periodically.
After several instances of opening businesses and raking in the dough, you’ll then be challenged to a regularly scheduled shareholder meeting. This acts as a separate minigame that can get pretty frantic. You basically have to race against a clock to argue against shareholders to convince them that the business is in good hands.
This boils down to having staff members on your panel to take care of the problem. Each staff member has a certain expertise, which is color-coded, and certain shareholders also have the same expertise with the same corresponding colors. When they begin to question you, break their argument with a staff member and then hammer away at them during the short window of time to drain their “health” bar. Matching the expertise color lets you rack up more damage and break their arguments faster.
However, each staff member consumes a limited resource (shown at the bottom of the screen) that only slowly recovers during the meeting. The challenge is making the most of these resources. You can also use the apologize mechanic that buys you time, does a bit of damage to the shareholders, and replenishes some of your resources. Time is limited as you have one minute and 30 seconds to earn as high a support percentage as possible.
Why am I outlining all of this? One, because it’s a bit overwhelming to handle all these mechanics at such a rapid pace without some guidance, and two, your success in the meetings puts money directly into your pockets. After each shareholder meeting, you’re rewarded with money–it’s not much early on, but the higher you make it up the capitalist food chain, the bigger the check will be.
Becoming Ichiban Holdings
If you can get a basic grasp of how both the business management and shareholder meetings work, you can quickly reach higher rankings and earn more money without sinking too much time into it or banging your head against its mechanics. Eventually, Ichiban Confections will become Ichiban Holdings, and the earnings will begin to skyrocket.
Each tier you climb up in the business chain, you can manage an extra property, but Ichiban Holdings has you playing with big bucks. The actual mechanics don’t change, but expectations get bigger and shareholder meetings get tougher. However, you’ll be pulling in bonus checks for yourself upwards of 600,000 yen or more per meeting, which will set you up nicely for earning the money necessary when the time comes. (Again, three million yen in Chapter 13, remember that.)
You should also be in a good position to gear up with the latest and strongest equipment and items, because the boss battles in these later chapters can be extremely challenging.
You can take this business management minigame as far as you want starting in Chapter 5, so you can be flushed with cash early on. Overall, it’d be wise to come back to it every now and then as you head into the late-game chapters to maintain a reasonable pace–unlike me who scrambled to build up Ichiban’s businesses right when I found out I needed that elusive three million yen.
Part-Time Hero, Full-Time Job
Chapter 5 just lays on a lot of good content–one of which is the Part-Time Hero side gig. It’s pretty simple–people around Yokohama are in distress and need help fending off bad dudes in fights or finding things around town. Locations for these jobs are marked around your map so they’re easy to find, and the phone menu shows the rewards for each job.
Early jobs as a part-time hero don’t yield that much cash, but better opportunities will start to open up the more you do it. The first set of these will get you about 5,000 to 10,000 yen, but will eventually turn into jobs that pay 50,000 yen and even 100,000 yen just for fighting off relatively easy enemies. While it might be the best option for earning that three million yen I keep mentioning, these part-time hero gigs are great for quick cash, especially in the early game; some decent gear and items will keep your party afloat.
Substories For The Plot (And Money)
The series’ signature substories are back, which are hilarious side quests that unlock great perks like summons in battle and additional in-game features. They also pay relatively well early on in the game, which can come in handy for gear and items.
The locations for substories are marked on your map with white quote bubbles, and once they’ve been initiated, the location to continue them are then marked with blue quote bubbles.
One good substory to do early once you get to Yokohama is the one that unlocks the pawn shop, which is located in the front of the store (it’s covered in trash at first). The pawn shop is the only spot in Yokohama that lets you sell items, and can net you some easy money fast.
Grinding The Combat Arena
Another good way to rack up money in the late-game is the combat arena that opens up in Chapter 12. Giving you its location would be a spoiler, but don’t worry, it’s introduced within the main story questline. You may not think much of it when it gets introduced, but it’s essential to take on the combat arena’s challenges–not just because it’s the best way to grind up levels, but its battles reward you fairly handsomely in yen.
The fights here aren’t too difficult if you have a good grasp of the combat system (which by Chapter 12, you probably do), though you will have to play smarter as you progress further in it. You can run through it as much as you’d like, and there are checkpoints after a certain number of fights where you can restart and grind through the more rewarding battles multiple times.
More Sweet Yakuza Content
For more on RGG Studio’s new game and first foray into RPGs, check out my Yakuza: Like a Dragon review. If you’re already playing and need a few pointers, be sure to read our Yakuza: Like a Dragon beginner’s guide. Becoming an RPG also comes with many intricacies in combat, so make sure you read through our Yakuza: Like a Dragon job guide that goes in-depth on which jobs are best in battle.
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