Despite being a spin-off away from the main series, the question of whether there are Yakuza characters in Judgment will have undoubtedly crossed your mind on at least one occasion. After all, the though of Yagami crossing over with Kiryu or, god forbid, Goro Majima, would get all but the most lapsed Yakuza fans fired up. Below, we’ll let you in on a secret and answer definitively whether any Yakuza characters appear in Judgment, either in a main or recurring role, or just as a little bit of fan service. Mild spoilers follow.
Are there Yakuza characters in Judgment?
It’s time to be blunt: There are no Yakuza characters in Judgment. Kiryu doesn’t drop by to say hi in the main story, nor does anyone else in the series show up. At all. That includes everything from Friend Events, to Side Cases, and even passers-by in the street. Judgment is very much its own beast.
This is backed up by words from project lead Toshihiro Nagoshi, who said during a TGS 2018 Livestream (via IGN) that: “I wanted it to be a new game, so while the game is set in Kamurocho, no characters from Yakuza will appear in the game… It could draw people out of this new experience, so that’s why I didn’t want to include them.”
Of course, as Nagoshi mentions, there’s the small matter of Kamurocho (in its Yakuza 6 guise, no less) providing the setting. If you wanted to stretch the boundaries of believability, you could feasibly make the case that Kamurocho itself is a character in Yakuza also appearing in Judgment.
You could, but I’m not going to; it’s merely the only tenable link between the two series. With the game set two years after Yakuza 6, it would be hard to reconcile the idea that several mainstays from that franchise would waltz on over to Judgment‘s period of 2018-19.
So, that’s it. No Kiryu, but Yagami and pals are eager to stand on their own two feet. Sob.