SEGA has launched the official website for Yakuza 0 today and released the first batch of screenshots and story synopsis.
The events in Yakuza 0 kick off on December 1988 in a Kamurocho frequented by people unassumingly going about their lives with their brand name suits, shoes, luxury watches and so on. It’s an age when people took it for granted that they could get anything they desired. But a select set of men knew that, even in this town where money was the law, that there were things that even money couldn’t buy.
…it all started with a small empty lot that came about, in a town otherwise packed to the brim with concrete, purely from coincidence.
At around this time the Japanese underworld set about with their “21st Century Re-Development Project.” And this project was the central focus of a power struggle for authority that was bubbling beneath the surface […]. This project threatened to shake-up the status quo of who controlled Kamurocho. But there’s a piece of the puzzle that’s missing; who’s going to provide the land for the upcoming giant trading building “Millennium Tower”?* The fight for control over Kamurocho is just beginning.
This is a Kamurocho where lust for money is characterized openly by the ordinary person [described above], and secretly by men who’ve taken their lust one step further, fighting over rights [over Kamurocho’s various facilities: stores, restaurants, clubs, etc.]. Kamurcho is held together by the miraculous balance between “open” and “secret,” and “black” and “white.”
In one corner of Kamurcho there’s a young man who’s not yet entirely black or white. Prone to half-assing things, he’s a Tojo Clan, Dojima Family member—Kiryu Kazuma (20-years-old). He’s more than competent but not particularly likable. Added to that, he doesn’t even have the smarts to trick people; problematic because he lives in the underworld where the power of money and violence are a necessity, a world which he isn’t capable of skilfully navigating.
And yet this Kiryu Kazuma goes about eking out his living, conducting his “part time job” of reclaiming loan payments in shadowy alleyways. He doesn’t even know what he wants. He has no dreams. He’s just a young yakuza left stumbling around aimlessly in life by the wave of greed that’s a sign of the times*. This is the man known as Kiryu Kazuma… or it was until one evening when a certain event occurred: A murder case.
It happened in a small empty lot in the center of Kamurocho that was nestled in the space between buildings. Kiryu, one of the suspects in the murder, is suddenly dragged into the whirlpool of desire of men who have their eyes set on obtaining power. And all this happens without Kiryu aware of the incredible conspiracy centering around the Tojo Clan and Dojima Family that’s unfolding in the background.
The shadow of disquiet envelops Kamurocho, but Kansai’s Soutenbori, which is in the heat of its own struggles, bears striking resemblance to Kamurocho. Soutenbori, much like Kamurcho, is lined with neon signs and people flowing with the good times. And just as Kamurocho has its underside in the form of the Tojo Clan, Soutenbori too has its own underside; the biggest yakuza alliance in Western Japan also known as the Omi Alliance.
There’s a man that goes by the title “The Emperor of the Night”. He’s the manager of Soutenbori’s number one cabaret club, a club he brought back from the brink of closing down. The owner’s name is Majima Goro (24-years-old). His posture is refined and graceful and his dedication to seeing that “the customer is always right” is borderline insane. Money, acclaim—Majima Goro has it all, to many he’s an exemplary example of someone making his way in the world.
But this is all a facade. Majima Goro doesn’t choose to live in the public eye, he has to; a punishment for an act of betrayal he once made. He’s an outcast who defied the orders of his clan. A decision which led to him being tortured and subsequently forced out of the underworld.*
His punishment is to live, making money in the giant cage that is Soutenbori, all the while being placed under surveillance. As Majima shoulders his punishment he waits, he waits for his best friend to get out of jail, but also for his chance to get back into the underworld. And one day Majima gets a once in a lifetime chance to escape his cage. But taking that chance means making the choice to go past the point of no return.
The two men left behind by the times will be dragged into the vicious fight over that one empty lot by the various interests at play. One generation may be ending, but two legends are about to be born.