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Yakuza’s Project K: Story Details From the Family

May 11, 2010 Written by Heath Hindman

In April, we reported on Project K and showed some screens as well. Now, a few more details about the plot have come forth from the initial Famitsu article.

As mentioned previously, the game will not star Kazuma Kiriyu, but an 18-year-old named Tatsuya Ukyou. The game will, however, take place in the familiar territory of Kamurocho, so perhaps some cameo appearances will take place. (With Skies of Arcadia characters showing up in Valkyria Chronicles and Phantasy Star Portable characters being playable in Valkyria 2, among other crossovers, this would not be out of character for Sega.)

Tatsuya is a hothead, seemingly always looking for a fight. He didn’t come from the best upbringing and before the game gets into full swing, players will learn that his temper and violent antics got him sent to juvenille hall and even expelled from his high school. These did little reform Tatsuya’s attitude, and he has been making his way as a street fighter in Kamurocho — a highly feared one, at that.

The character’s rough 18 years of life have lead him to place far more faith in himself than anyone else. With the info released so far, it appears there are not many people truly close to him, but even if there are, he is prone to rely only on his own strength. Gamer will see an example of this early in the game, as a key plot point in Project K‘s opening has Tatsuya plotting the robbery of an infamous loan shark. Members of his own gang back out, but Tatsuya storms in solo, where he is amushed by a high-ranking member of the Tojo Clan (a huge gang) and his cronies.

Perhaps his faith in himself was not inappropriate, as Tatsuya comes out on top in the fight. This may or may not be the scene depicted in this screenshot, which has Tatsuya standing powerfully over defeated foes and boldly laughing, “Wa ha ha ha ha ha” in purple text.

And speaking of the animation, the story of Project K will be told in a different way than the console-based Yakuza titles. Rather than the CG cinemas that populated prior series entries, this portable take will more frequently resort to animated still shots, often with accompanying voice acting. Tokyo-based studio Spooky Graphics was recruited by Sega to draw these scenes, which will play out somewhat similarly to “watching manga.”

Project K is scheduled for release in Japan this fall, under new title. The creators are not entirely sure what to call the game as of yet. Yakuza 3 for PS3 arrived in North American retails stores this past March, the same month in which Yakuza 4 hit Japan, where the series is called “Ryu Ga Gotoku.” Neither Project K nor Yakuza 4 have officially received North American release dates s of yet.