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The Creepiest Things We Found In Yakuza Games

The Yakuza series has been going strong since 2005, all the while weaving a complex story of love, war, and betrayal amidst the organized crime families of Japan. With multiple sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and enhanced remakes, the franchise has had plenty of opportunity to get real weird, delivering some truly memorable characters and some of the oddest side missions and substories in gaming history.

While many of these games aim for dark comedy or melodramatic theatrics, the series can get downright uncomfortable and spooky. Yakuza blurs the line between earnest crime drama and bonkers action, so it may not come as a surprise that things occasionally slip into the realm of the supernatural. Let's take a look at the moments when the Yakuza games weren't content to merely entertain us, but also disturbed us. Here are the creepiest things we found in the Yakuza games.

How to Train Your Dominatrix - Yakuza 0

"How to Train Your Dominatrix," one of the substories in Yakuza 0, revolves around a down on her luck dominatrix named Ayu who just can't seem to figure out how to do her job properly. Naturally, she asks protagonist Kazuma Kiryu to help her with this and give her pointers on how to talk to her clients. This is already an odd proposition, but things get even weirder when the pair adjourn to a local park to continue her training. 

In front of a group of children, Kiryu suggests things for Ayu to say, including such gems as: "Who gave you permission to speak, pig!?" The kids playing in the park come over to see what the commotion is all about. Kiryu suggests Ayu should take advantage of the awkward situation, telling her to respond as though the children had appeared while she was with a client. It's all played for laughs, but you're more likely to be squirming in your seat as you take part in one of the more unfortunate and uncomfortable sequences in the Yakuza games. 

Majima Everywhere - Yakuza Kiwami

Goro Majima is one of the more interesting individuals within the Yakuza storyline. He first appears in the series as an antagonist, a loose cannon who cannot be trusted. In the early days of his friendly rivalry with Kiryu, Majima protected Kiryu from harm, determining that only he had the right to end Kiryu's life.

Yakuza Kiwami, an enhanced remake of the first game in the series, takes this aspect of Majima's character and pushes it to the extreme with the play mode Majima Everywhere. This features Majima stalking and attacking Kiryu at random intervals and locations, usually while wearing some kind of elaborate disguise. During these sequences, Majima may pop out of a manhole or come after Kiryu while dressed as a zombie. In fact, after he's defeated in his "zombie form," you can still occasionally find this version of Majima wandering around in the streets. It's an amusing feature that will quickly put you on edge, expecting every shadow or suspicious NPC to be Majima in disguise like he's the villain in the world's goofiest slasher flick. 

The video tape - Yakuza Kiwami 2

The Yakuza Kiwami 2 substory "Rising from the Shadows" includes one of the series' more blatant brushes with the supernatural. In a nod to The Ring, Kiryu receives and watches a video tape. The footage shows what appears to be the ghost of a young woman moving around a lonely playground in the dead of night. Right before the video cuts out, the woman appears directly in front of the camera (which, by the way, appears to be way too high up for someone to stand in front of it) and gives an eerie smile before vanishing. 

What follows is a bizarre mission that involves Kiryu posing as an exorcist and helping the old man who gave him the tape to rid himself of the ghost that follows him. The whole storyline is spooky, but nothing beats the chill of seeing that video tape and the dead-eyed grin of the ghostly woman for the first time. The jump scare at the end of the tape is particularly unforgettable.

Toylet humor - Yakuza Kiwami 2

There are a few mini-games in Yakuza Kiwami 2 that can only be played at arcade urinals called Toylets. These games are controlled by the pressure of your characters' — ahem — stream, so make sure you've had plenty to drink before entering the arena that is the men's restroom. One of the games is called "Milky Nose" and the goal is to blast your friend in the face with milk. That's bizarre already, but "The North Wind and the Sun and Me" veers into creepier territory.

In this game, your stream powers the winds themselves as you attempt to blow the clothes off of a young woman. This may sound amusing, but there's something more than a little off-putting about the realization that you are playing a video game within a video game where you're trying to make a guy pee so hard that someone's clothes fall off. As pointed out by GameSpew, these kinds of games actually exist in the real world. So, the next time you feel the call of nature, fellas, you'd better try for a high score.

ZOMBIES! - Yakuza: Dead Souls

The spinoff Yakuza: Dead Souls was essentially the series' tribute to over the top action-horror games like House of the Dead and Resident Evil, complete with hordes of zombies and science experiments gone horribly wrong. While much of Dead Souls favors high-octane action over genuine scares (much like some of the later entries in the Resident Evil franchise), the game includes more than a few unnerving moments. 

The Crying Woman enemy type, a ghoulish female who howls like she's in pain and summons other zombies to swarm the area, is particularly creepy. Beyond that, it's also interesting to see which characters flourish following the zombie apocalypse. In a weird way, the game helps inform how you may see these characters in the main games, particularly Goro Majima, who makes his playable debut in Dead Souls. Majima seems right at home fighting endless waves of undead.

The Running Girl - Yakuza 5

Poor Haruka. She just wants people to take her seriously, but she keeps getting stuck with one embarrassing job after another. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Yakuza 5 substory "The Running Girl." Haruka attends an audition and quickly is given a job by an oddly enthusiastic director: run. Just run for them. 

The assignment itself raises some red flags and leads to a mini-game of sorts where the you must press the correct prompts to avoid the many hazards in Haruka's way and keep her running in the right direction. And ... that's it. What kind of show is this? Who is the target audience? What time is it going to air (presumably accompanied by commercials for the Dead or Alive Xtreme games)? The different camera angles are all rather close up on Haruka, either right on her back or in her face, pushing this further into creepy territory. The whole production makes it look like she's not only being exploited, but chased. After all, someone has to be holding the camera in this scenario.

The woman in white - Yakuza 0

In the Yakuza 0 substory "Gandhara Clerk," a store clerk tells you an urban legend concerning a young woman dressed all in white who supposedly hangs around the area. He asks you to find her and to get a very "special" video tape from her. Sure enough, not long after, you encounter a young woman in white who will complain about the cold. Giving her some soup seems to make her feel much better, and she'll hand you a video tape in return before seeming to vanish from the scene. If you return to the clerk with the tape, he'll invite you to watch the video with him. 

Much like "Rising from the Shadows," the tape is not the dirty video the characters may be hoping for. Instead, the actual picture of the video is garbled, with only the voice of a woman complaining of the cold. When you leave the room, you discover the woman in white with an eerie smile on her face, telling the empty room that she's not cold anymore. While it's never quite explained, it's clear that something supernatural is afoot here.

Finger-shortening

In the Yakuza games, getting into one of Japan's organized crime families is almost as difficult as getting out. Nowhere is this more evident than the multiple moments in which characters find their fingers severed as a show of loyalty and remorse. Despite the high levels of violence in these games, this act is usually not shown onscreen, with the camera instead opting for extreme closeups of the characters' faces, accompanied by painful shouts and squishy sound effects, which is honestly more upsetting in some ways. Anything you can picture in your head is probably worse than whatever the game could have shown you.

The most upsetting thing about this is that it is practiced by the actual Yakuza. It's called yubitsume, which means "finger-shortening." This is done as a form of atonement for any perceived wrongdoing on the part of the family. It's also done to remind the offender that they must rely on the family for their survival, especially now that fighting or holding any kind of weaponry will become more difficult.