Make a Musou – Yakuza Musou

Hello, and welcome to yet another article in my series on The Story Arc: Make a Musou. I love Dynasty Warriors, the number of times I bring it up, and the multiple Musou related articles I’ve written should be proof enough of that. However, I am currently in a Dynasty Warriors drought as I have no interest in Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, so I thought it was time to flex some creative writing.

But what could I do? When it comes to Dynasty Warriors content you can find whatever you want online already. For the past twenty years, the internet has been filled with character analyses, essays on the storytelling, and gameplay deconstructions. I don’t have much to add when talking about Dynasty Warriors itself. However, there is one question that everyone has had at one point in time: “What if ___ was a Musou game?”

That’s right, it’s time to pretend we’ve gone back to the Tumblr days when imagining your ideal game and talking to people about it wasn’t cringe! I have asked my friends to give me a list of franchises, and I will make a Musou roster out of each and every one of them. Last time I made a Musou roster out of the niche puppet drama Thunderbolt Fantasy. This time though we’re going to be casting a much bigger net as we handle one of my favorite game franchises.

This week on The Story Arc, we shall be making a Musou roster out of the Yakuza series! I bet a lot of you think it wouldn’t work but I didn’t write 10,000 words for nothing!

How we’ll be designing the movesets!

Now, we must discuss how Musou Movesets typically work if we are going to create a wide variety of them. If you have already read my pieces on making a Batman Musou, Pokemon Musou, or Sakura Wars Musou, you may skip ahead to when we start talking about how many characters our roster will have. First, let’s go over the basics of each character’s normal attacks. You all likely know how Musou movesets work on a basic level; you string together combos consisting of light attacks and heavy attacks. However, there is a pattern that movesets typically follow that I feel need some explaining.

Pressing light attacks once and then heavy will knock enemies directly in front of you in the air, allowing for a juggle or for you yourself to transition into an attempted combo.

Pressing light attack two times and then a heavy will perform an attack that while not super powerful will hit enemies close to you, generally on your left and right.

Pressing light attacks three times and then heavy will perform an attack that, while not your strongest, will hit a wide range of enemies.

Pressing light attack four times and then a heavy will perform an attack that is either straightforward or will move you slightly forward

Finally, pressing light attack five times, and then triangle will perform an attack that does plenty of damage in a short range, the perfect attack for enemy officers.

These are the foundations of a basic Musou moveset; however, there is more to explain and think of for our roster.

The bar you have been seeing below or next to the health bars in this footage is the Musou gauge. Once it is full, you are able to unleash your most powerful attack: a Musou attack. So we’ll need to think of a Musou for everyone.

Next, we have the trickiest part of our roster, the R1/RB button. The R1/RB button is used as a weapon switch in mainline Dynasty Warriors, but various spin-offs have used it as a button that activates a unique skill or attack for a character. These attacks can span from being very average to something atypical, so thinking about each character’s uniqueness will be hard.

Finally, we’re going to incorporate something that main modern Musous and Musou clones have, skill attacks. Holding down a button will give you an option of activating a skill. Most of these are just buffs like increased attack or speed; however, many Musous gives characters extra moves via skills. As we want to make this hypothetical game seem as appealing as possible, we shall come up with 3 skill attacks for each character.

And that’s everything! 5 Normal combos, a musou attack, a unique skill, and 3 skill attacks for each character. As we go into this, I won’t describe what each and every character’s individual combos will be but rather just how we imagine them playing with a few combo examples. I will mostly focus on describing every Musou, unique, and skill attack we come up with. A fair warning as well that I won’t talk about some characters as much as others, thinking of a variety of different movesets is difficult

With everything about how we will go about this explained, let’s move on.

Our Roster Size

Before we get into picking our characters, we first need to figure out how big the roster could be. While a true dream would be everyone playable, we’re going to have to be realistic with this. Other licensed Musous started with rosters of these sizes

Berserk Musou – 8 characters
Arslan Musou – 16 characters
Dragon Quest Musou – 13 characters + 1 DLC
Touken Ranbu Musou – 15 characters
One Piece Pirate Warriors – 15 characters

Yakuza is a franchise that while it started niche it has slowly grown to being borderline mainstream! Under normal circumstances I would give it a roster on the higher end of the spectrum, but Yakuza is a special franchise where almost every character is a hand to hand fighter. So in order to make every single person on the roster play uniquely I’m going to need to limit myself.

As such we will be going with a roster size of 12 characters. This will give us room for all the iconic characters in the franchise as well as a few out there picks that I’m personally proud of.

With all of the out of the way, we can finally get into talking about the characters!

Let’s get one thing out of the way. You’re probably thinking that this will be the easiest moveset I’ve ever had to make because Yakuza is already a series based around using the square button for light attacks and the triangle button for heavy attacks. Well you’d be wrong! For most of the series Kiryu’s moveset has been 4 light attacks long, not 5 like my movesets need, so I can’t do a simple copy and paste. Plus Kiryu has the additional challenge of being one of the characters in our roster with multiple styles, so I’ll need a way to incorporate all of those too.

Basically what I’m saying is that thinking up a way to translate a character from Yakuza gameplay to Musou gameplay is harder than you might think. Throughout this list there will be many times where I’ll need to get creative to make these characters work.

I also don’t want to over rely on using heat actions in character’s movesets. It would be so easy to just have a character pull out a sledgehammer or a bottle of salt and attack with it in their heavy combos. So easy in fact that I’m putting a rule right here NO HEAT ACTIONS OUTSIDE OF MUSOUS AND ATTACK SKILLS. Now that we’ve set the rules, let’s get to moveset crafting!

Character 1: Kazuma Kiryu

The Dragon of Dojima himself! There was 0 chance that Kazuma Kiryu himself wouldn’t make it onto our roster so we needed to talk about him first. As I said when explaining the rules Kiryu has had multiple gameplay styles in the games because of the style switching system in Yakuza 0, so for his moveset I’m going to try and incorporate all of them.

Because of this, Kiryu is going to be the most balanced character in our roster. He’ll have some attacks that are fast but hit lightly and other attacks that are slow but hit hard. The light attacks of his moveset will be the normal rush combos he does in Yakuza 1-5 but his heavy combos will be pulling from all his styles.

The first heavy combo of Kiryu’s moveset will see Kiryu punch a group of enemies and then use that same hand to lift one of them into the air and throw them back down, referencing an attack from Yakuza 0’s Brawler style.

Then for a second heavy combo I want Kiryu to elbow to his left and then his right keep away any enemies that are too close in those directions.

For his third heavy combo I want Kiryu to swing his arms in a wide arc like his Beast Style attacks in 0, punching and clotheslining any enemies caught in the attack.

Kiryu’s fourth heavy combo will have him do a series of quick punches and kicks within a second directly in front of his, just like the attacks of Rush style in Yakuza 0.

Finally for his fifth heavy combo Kiryu will kick forward at a group of enemies before doing a forward flip and kicking down on them again. This attack is in all Yakuza games and is iconic to me so I needed to include it

For his Musou attack Kiryu shall perform the Essence of Dragon God. He will a punch, a tiger drop, and his fifth heavy combo but with the extra caveat that a giant blue dragon made of flame shall be around him as he does, extending the reach and damage of all of these attacks as they’re performed in succession.

Kiryu’s special skill will be an absolutely iconic attack from the series, the Tiger Drop! The way we’ll incorporate the Tiger Drop here will be to require you to press the R1 button right before an enemy attacks you, if you do it correctly then Kiryu will counterattack with a gut punch that will either completely KO the enemy or take away a majority of their health!

Now that we’re in attack skills it’s finally time to start incorporating some heat actions into this moveset! For his first attack skill Kiryu will charge forward and jump at an enemy, as he falls he’ll grab and headbut them as he lands! Not only will this heavily damage the enemy but the shockwave from the attack will knock others to the ground as well! 

Then for his second attack skill he’ll uppercut a group of enemies into the air and begin to rapidly punch them away.

Finally for his third attack skill Kiryu will charge forward through enemies, knocking each of them away, before throwing one of the into the air, catching them, and then throwing them into the crowd.

Kiryu was a pretty easy character to design thanks to his styles but I did have to be a bit creative to think of his second heavy combo. Our next character though gave me no such trouble.

Character 2: Goro Majima

The Mad Dog of Shimano himself! If Kiryu is the Mario of the Yakuza franchise then Majima is the Luigi. There isn’t a single game this guy isn’t in and he’s been playable in a good number of them. Like Kiryu, Majima also had a fair amount of gameplay styles in Yakuza 0 and I intend to incorporate them all. Although his Slugger style has origins in stuff he actually did in the previous games so it won’t be that noticeable.

Majima will be one of the fastest characters in our roster because even his slowest style in Yakuza 0 is really fast compared to characters like Saejima in Yakuza 4 or even Kiryu in the same game. His light attacks will slashing rapidly with his knife like a mad dog while his heavy combos will reference Yakuza 0 attacks.

Starting off with his first heavy combo, Majima will kick and enemy into the air twice and then

The second heavy combo of Majima’s moveset will have him swing a baseball bat around him, he’ll even flip over it a few times as his does in reference to his Slugger Style from Yakuza 0

For his third heavy combo Majima will begin to breakdance in circles, damaging any enemies as he moves around with his sick moves.

Majima’s fourth heavy combo will be a simple kick forward after a few punches. Pretty boring but it comes from Majima’s Thug Style which is one of the most basic movesets in the franchise so it fits.

Finally for his fifth heavy combo Majima will run past an enemy and slash them with his knife before turning around and doing it again before doing it a third and final time. A fast attack that will deal devastating damage.

Majima’s Musou attack shall be the Demonfire Rain. He will jump into the air and begin to throw dozen of knives onto the ground, any enemies lucky enough to dodge this will be in for a rude awakening when Majima lands on the ground and a lightning strike hits all of the daggers, causing a massive attack to hit any remaining enemies.

For his special skill we’re going to actually set the demonfire dagger on fire. This will add a fire effect to his attacks that will each through the health of enemies for a short period of time.

Now let’s get into some heat actions for Majima! His first attack skill will have him run behind and enemy and snap their neck to quickly knock them out.

Then for a second attack skill Majima will jump and wrap his legs around the head of an enemy and use the momentum from that jump to spin with them and damage a whole crowd of enemies.

Finally for his third attack skill Majima will beat an enemy to their knees with his baseball bat and then swing it again, sending them flying into a crowd of enemies.

Majima was the easiest character to design in this entire roster. His insane nature makes him perfectly built for my moveset blueprints! From here on we’re going to be going into protagonists that have only one style so I’ll have much less to pull from.

Character 3: Shun Akiyama

Now that the painfully obvious two are out of the way let’s move on to the characters who are merely expected. First up we’ve got Shun Akiyama, the first character you play as in Yakuza 4! Akiyama quickly rose to be one of the most popular characters in the franchise so putting him on here is a no brainer.

Now as for how he’ll play Akiyama is a speedy characters, his moveset will be centered around him using his legs in various ways to kick around and juggle enemies. His light attacks in our moveset will be kicks that do damage but keep enemies and his heavy combos will launch those enemies in various ways.

For his first heavy combo Akiyama will kick directly upward and send enemies into the air right in front of him, allowing him to continue to juggle them with his light attacks.

Then for his second heavy combo Akiyama will kick to his left one and them his right once, sending enemies in those directions flying.

The third heavy combo of Akiyama’s moveset will have him sweep his leg around him, knocking back enemies that are around him

Akiyama’s fourth heavy combo will have him knee enemies upward but unlike his first heavy combo he’ll jump up with them and begin to kick rapidly with a red aura around him as he and the enemies move forward.

Finally for his fifth heavy combo Akiyama will raise his leg high enough to kick the face of a single enemy and begin to rapidly kick, dealing a lot of damage from a series of light attacks.

For his Musou attack Akiyama will hop off of the head of an enemy into the air before dropping down like a meteor, causing a small earthquake to hurt all nearby enemies.

Akiyama’s special skill will feel particularly smug. He’ll pull out and burn a hundred yen bill as a taunt and then for a short period of time get a speed boost.

Now it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for, Akiyama’s heat actions! To start things off for a first attack skill we’ll have Akiyama punch an enemy and then begin to climb up them before unleashing his knee doward on their stomach.

As a second attack skill Akiyama will jump and kick an enemy in front of him before flipping off them and kicking some enemies behind him.

Next for a third attack skill he’ll knee an enemy into the air before jumping up after them and kicking them back down to earth, creating a shockwave that also hurts nearby enemies.

Akiyama in the main Yakuza games has my least favorite fighting style in the whole Yakuza series but I tried my best to not let that bias me when making his moveset. Now let’s move on to a character who has one of my favorite fighting styles in the main games

Character 4: Taiga Saejima

Our fourth character is also someone who you all expected to be on the roster and is one of my personal favorite characters in the franchise, Majima’s sworn brother Saejima!

Saejima will be one of the slowest characters in our roster, the man is basically a living tank. His light attacks will be slow punches that will hurt hard and knock enemies away while his heavy combos will be deadly looking attacks that will have a long range and deal massive damage.

For his first heavy combo Saejima shall slam both of his fists down on an enemy, causing them to bounce off of the ground and into the air.

Next as a second heavy combo Saejima will grab the face of an enemy and lift them into the air before slamming them into other enemies on his left and right.

The third heavy combo of Saejima’s moveset will have him perform a left hook and then a right hook, both punches will move him a sizable distance so he can hit several enemies.

Saejima’s fifth heavy combo will have him bash both his fists on an enemy’s cheeks and then pull them down to get kneed by him.

His Musou attack will be yet another pulled from Yakuza 7: the Raging Tiger Cyclone! When activating, Saejima will pull a manhole out of the ground and begin to spin around. As he spins, enemies will begin to be drawn in to him and soon a tornado will form, damaging all enemies that were initially sucked into it!

For his special skill Saejima will pull out a block of wood and carve a bear figurine within a second. Reminiscing on his time in the mountains for a brief period of time Saejima’s attack will have an ice trait to them that will freeze them in place so he can land his next hit.

Heat action time! While thinking up his normal moveset was hard, Saejima’s heat actions were no issue at all because he has some of the most brutal and iconic ones in the series!

For his first attack skill Saejima will pick up an enemy and begin to use them as a battering ram before finally throwing them into a crowd of enemies.

Saejima’s second attack skill will have him bounce an enemy on the ground similar to his first heavy combo but follow it up by breaking their spine with a fierce uppercut as they fall down.

Next for his third attack skill Saejima will roll an enemy on the ground through other enemies and as the enemy rolls snow will stick on their body, the attack ending with them becoming a snow man.

I love Saejima and his chapters in both Yakuza 4 and Yakuza 5. His fighting styles rocks but unfortunately his slow gimmick low number of attacks in the main games made him one of the hardest characters in the roster to design. Comparatively, our next character was a lot easier.

Character 5: Tatsuo Shinada

Hey so remember how I criticized the idea of having characters just pull out weapons in their moveset because it would be too easy to write? Well, I lied! Shinada in Yakuza 5 had two gimmicks riding on his shoulders: a grab based moveset and a weapon based moveset. Because he has to juggle both of these things, many people misunderstand how to play as Shinada in Yakuza 5 and claim he has a bad moveset.

In order to simplify Shinada for our roster we are going to mostly drop one of those gimmicks, that gimmick being grabbing (Don’t worry, I have another grab based character further down in the roster). So for Shinada’s light attacks he’ll unleash a barrage of slow punches but for his heavy attacks he’ll pull out a bunch of weapons from the franchise and attack with them.

The first heavy of Shinada’s moveset will have him pull out a tonfa and uppercut a group of enemies into the air with it.

Shinada’s second heavy combo will have him pull out a pair of nunchaku and begin to swing them around on his left and right, damaging enemies near him in those directions.

For his third heavy combo Shinada will pull a ten foot pole out of his pocket and spin it around, smacking the faces of enemies in all directions.

As a fourth heavy combo Shinada will pull out a giant fan and slam it down on the ground, causing a huge burst of wind to send enemies flying forward.

Finally for his fifth heavy combo Shinada will put on a pair of brass knuckles and unleash a flurry of punches on a single enemy before knocking them into a crowd with the final punch.

For Shinada’s Musou attack we’re going to actually reference his grabbing gimmick from the game by making his Musou attack his first climax heat from the game: My Meteor Tackle! When activating his Musou attack Shinada will charge forward and grab an enemy and then continue running. Before long he will finally stop but not before he flips over the enemy, dealing damage to them and any others he ran over during the initial charge!

As a special skill every one in a while you can press R1 as Shinada and he’ll pull out some takoyaki and eat it. Having eaten his first meal in days he’ll gain some extra defense for a short period of time.

Heat action time! Like the other protagonists so far Shinada’s attack skill will be heat actions he uses in Yakuza 5, but I’m going to stick to the weapons gimmick we have going and represent a few more from the games. Such as what he’ll be using in this first attack skill: a milk crate! When activating this attack skill Shinada will shove the crate onto the head of an enemy and begin to spin it around rapidly until it explodes!

Shinada’s second attack skill will be an old classic: salt in the eyes! When activating, Shinada will grab an enemy and begin to pour salt from a bottle into their eyes. It won’t do much damage but it is funny.

Finally as a third attack skill Shinada will hop onto a bicycle and begin to ride toward a group of enemies, knocking them down as he approaches!

Shinada has a good fighting style in Yakuza 5 and I will die on that hill, but hopefully you nonbelievers are at least satisfied with my weapon based moveset for him here.

Character 6: Ichiban Kasuga

Next up we’ve got one of the most beloved JRPG protagonists in quite a while: Ichiban Kasuga from Yakuza 7! Ichiban always wanted to be a hero like a Dragon Quest protagonist and treats both life and fights like a JRPG. While I can’t exactly incorporate the JRPG combat like how something like Dragon Quest Heroes does without needing to go on a long explanation about how to change the entire game system for a single character and make up an excuse for why that would be justified. I can however try to incorporate his jobs into his moveset and say there are numbers above the enemies as he attacks them to represent that he is doing a lot of damage!

Ichiban’s light attacks will be punching enemies incredibly slowly with his fists via the Freelancer job from the original game. His light attacks will not only be slow but do very little damage, however his heavy combos will compensate for this in spades. For his heavy combos Ichiban will use techniques from his various jobs that will hit super hard and super fast!

Ichiban’s first heavy combo will have him pull out a bottle of champagne and open it, the contents of the bottle will begin to burst from the top and send enemies in front of Ichiban flying into the air.

Then for a second heavy combo Ichiban will pull out an Enforcer’s shield and bang it, causing a small shockwave to knock away enemies too close to him.

For Ichiban’s third heavy combo he will pull out a huge sledgehammer and spin it in a circle, any enemy not defeated by this attack will be sent flying far away.

The fourth heavy combo will have Ichiban pull out a Fortune Teller’s crystal ball and roll it forward like a bowling ball to knock down enemies.

Finally for his fifth heavy combo Ichiban will pull out a spiked bat and began to his a single enemy with it three times.

There’s really only one thing I can do for Ichiban’s Musou attack: The Essence of Mayhem! There’s only one member of the Yakuza 7 party other than Ichiban on my roster but I want all of them to be represented in some way and conveniently Ichiban had an attack in his game where he worked together with them! When activating his Musou attack all of Ichiban’s party members except the other one on this roster will appear and begin attacking enemies in their own unique ways before quickly vanishing.

For his special skill Ichiban will pull out an acoustic guitar and begin to psyche himself up, increasing his attack for a short period of time

Ichiban’s heat actions are going to be fun to describe here. For his first attack skill Ichiban shall be using the Essence of Diabolic Slash. He’ll pull out a sword and several flame pillars will rise behind him (these flames should hurt enemies) then he’ll swing the sword downward and an energy beam was push forward, knocking away enemies.

His second attack skill will have him pull out a frying pan and begin to cook something before quickly tossing the food into the air where it will land on enemies around him.

Ichiban’s final attack skill shall be the orbital laser he owns. With the simple push of a button a giant laser beam will rain down on enemies in front of him, annihilating them!

Ichiban had no shortage of attacks and heat actions to pull from for this moveset! I’m almost sad that I had so little slots because I had even more ideas. Ichiban was also the final protagonist in our roster, so where do we go from here? Well our next four slots will be side characters from the series who I believe I can make movesets out of.

Character 7: Haruka Sawamura

Some of you are already commenting about how I shouldn’t have even considered Haruka for this roster, but hear me out here. If Yakuza 7 can have an idol job that can fight enemies, why can’t I put Haruka on the roster of a silly little hypothetical Musou spinoff?

Anyway, Haruka is an idol as of Yakuza 5, well ex-Idol now but Idol nonetheless. So her moveset in our roster will completely involve dancing with her light combos involving her hit kicking enemies with dance moves as they approach her and her heavy combos either having her hit an enemy particularly card or have her effect enemies in another way, it’ll make more sense as I explain things.

The first heavy combo of Haruka’s moveset will have her kick her leg upward behind her like she does when she has a revelation and unknowingly knock enemies into the air.

The second heavy combo of Haruka’s heavy combo will have her stretch her arms to the left and right like she does in Dance Battles and end up jabbing enemies with her arms.

Haruka’s third heavy combo will have her do a little twirl and knock away enemies around her in all directions.

For her fourth heavy combo Haruka will point her finger like a gun and a pink heart will shoot forward and damage enemies as it passes through them.

Haruka’s musou attack will take inspiration from one or her most impressive Dance Battle skills but with an added twist so it can actually hurt enemies. Haruka will do a flip and then pose as she lands, not realizing she has landed on top of a group of enemies.

As a special skill when pressing R1 as Haruka she will bring her hands close to her chest and close her eyes, recovering a small amount of health.

For Haruka’s attack skills we’re going to take some influence from Yakuza 7’s Idol job. For her first attack skill Haruka will pull out a baton and begin to twirl it around, damaging nearby enemies as it continues to hit them.

Then for her second attack skill Haruka will use the Essence of Idol Spirit from Yakuza 7 by pulling out a giant syringe larger than her and sticking it into enemies, but instead of healing them like it’s supposed to it will damage them!

Finally for her third attack skill Haruka herself won’t attack but rather a bunch of her fans will charge forward with glow sticks and stop the enemies from hurting her by hurting them instead.

And that’s Haruka’s moveset! The idea of her not knowingly beating enemies because Sega really doesn’t want her to commit an act of violence was surprisingly easy for me to work with, but while Haruka was easy the next character was easily the hardest character to think up attacks for.

Character 8: Daigo Dojima

Okay now we have a character who reasonably should be on the roster but will be the hardest character to think up a moveset for. See, Daigo spend a good 80% of the franchise either kidnapped or asleep but at the same time he has had a few fights so I can’t be as creative with him as the characters who will come afterwards!

I have exactly three boss fights to pull from for Daigo’s moveset as well as a select few cutscenes where he fights. Now how does Daigo fight? The one bright side of this situation is that he is at least consistent in how he fights in each game where he isn’t unconscious. Daigo has no grace in his attacks compared to someone like Kiryu. He’ll swing his arms rapidly in various directions and try to kick while vulnerable. He’s also fond of grappling and trying to headbutt opponents. Basically Daigo is a thug even post-2

The way I imagine Daigo working on this roster is for his light attacks to be normal jabs of his fists but once you do a heavy combo he’ll lose all elegance and began to swing or kick rapidly.

For his first heavy combo Daigo will kick forward in front of him twice and send enemies flying into the air.

The third heavy combo of Daigo’s moveset will have him unleash a rapid assault of punches and barely not lose his footing. As he nearly falls over between each punch he’ll move around and hit a wide range of enemies.

Daigo’s fourth heavy combo will have him charge forward at enemies while he unleashes a storm of punches, pushing away any enemies who aren’t knocked out by this attack.

Finally for his fifth heavy combo Daigo will grab one enemy and headbutt them three times in an attempt to knock them out.

For his Musou attack we’ll have Daigo use the Guns of the Forefathers from Yakuza 7. He’ll hold his fist to his chest and the ghosts of various Tojo Clan members such as Futoshi Shimano and Shintaro Kazama will appear and begin to unload on a crowd of enemies with various different guns before vanishing.

When pressing R1 as Daigo he’ll put on his old jacket from Yakuza 2 briefly, enemies that see him wearing it won’t believe that this man was the leader of the Tojo Clan and be inflicted with a Morass status effect that will slow their movements for a few seconds until Daigo takes the jacket off.

I’m going to be completely honest. I’m pretty much 100% making up Daigo’s attack skills here. There just isn’t enough to go off for him, but I’ll do my best.

As a first attack skill Daigo will light a cigarette before throwing the lighter at an enemy and then spitting the cigarette at them.

Daigo’s second attack skill attack will have him pull out his cellphone and suddenly a sheet of glass will fall from the sky and land on enemies, with the implication being that some Tojo goons dropped it.

Finally for third attack skill Daigo will snap his fingers and from somewhere offscreen some Tojo goons will fire a rocket launcher at enemies near him.

Daigo was the hardest character to think up a moveset for and the last person on the roster I finished. He’s just done so little in the franchise despite being one of its most vital characters! Our next character was only in a single game and I had a much easier time with them than Daigo!

Character 9: Nair

I guarantee that 90% of the people reading this article just asked “Who?” And the remaining 10% asked “Why?”. Let me defend myself again. Nair is Tanimura’s training master from Yakuza 4, training with her teaches him more techniques to use in battle. Why is she on my roster? Because there’s a 0% chance that the Yakuza franchise will ever acknowledge Tanimura’s existence ever again but I want a character with a grabbed based moveset. Nair does have some more reasons to justify her placement on this roster though, for one she is one of few masters in the franchise to have an entire storyline with her training, it even ends with a fight and boss on top of the millennium tower!

For her light attacks Nair will unleash a rapid assault of punches while her heavy combos will involve grabbing enemies. Now grabbing may inherently be a type of attack that should only hurt one enemy but since this is supposed to be a hypothetical Musou we need these grabs to hurt multiple enemies. The way I propose to handle this is to have all the grabs have a shockwave effect that hurts any enemies near the one she grabs but not as much as the one taking the full force of the grab. In summary Nair will be a speedy grab based who would specialize in heavily damaging one enemy at a time while lightly damaging all others.

For her first heavy combo Nair will grab an enemy by their shirt and throw them into the air where they’ll soon land on other enemies.

Nair’s second heavy combo will see her grab an enemy and then throw them into another to either her left or her right.

The third heavy combo of Nair’s moveset will have her grab an enemy and swing them around in a circle before throwing them.

Then as a fourth heavy combo Nair will grab an enemy and then flip them forward in front of her.

Finally for her fifth heavy attack Nair will grab an enemy and twist their arm to do massive damage, the sound from the twist being timed together with the shockwave that will hurt nearby enemies.

Nair’s musou attack will be one of Tanimura’s trickiest heat actions. She will kick an enemy to their knees and then hold them face down on the ground as she puts a pair of handcuffs on them. This should incapacitate any enemy other than a commander.

When pressing R1 as Nair a blue aura will surround her for a short period of time, if attacked during this period of time Nair will perform a maneuver where she’ll dodge the attack and be put behind the enemy where she will begin a light attack combo.

Now while I pulled Nair’s grab attacks from various different characters her heat actions are going to be entirely from Tanimura’s Yakuza 4 moveset. As a first attack skill she’ll grab an enemy, turn them upside down, and then have them land backwards behind her.

For a second attack skill she’ll grab an enemy’s arm, break it over her shoulder, and then throw said enemy over her shoulder.

Finally for a third attack skill she’ll latch her legs on an enemy’s neck, bring them down to the ground, and then twist their neck.

And that’s Nair! I hope the dozen or so Tanimura fans in the comments aren’t too mad at me for this moveset. Our next character is thankfully someone you’ll actually know though.

Character 10: Joon-Gi Han

Next up we have the second most attractive guy in the series: Joon-Gi Han! Joon-Gi Han made quite the impression when he debuted in Yakuza 6 and then his body double became an integral part of Yakuza 7’s party much to the joy of fans.

The Joon-Gi Han of our roster will be the body double from Yakuza 7 because he is both a more active character in the series and I’m willing to bet he has more fans than his counterpart. Using the body double will also let us use a weapon type I have been very careful to keep away from everyone’s movesets and heat actions: guns!

Joon-Gi Han is going to be a very speedy character, he’ll almost always be moving around enemies as he attacks. I don’t really have a way to distinguish his light attacks and heavy attacks in words because they’ll both involve attacking enemies with his dual handguns.

For his first heavy combo Joon-Gi Han will aim his guns at an upward angle and send enemies flying into the air where he can continue to juggle them with more bullets from his light attacks.

Joon-Gi Han’s second heavy combo will have him poin the gun in his right hand to his left and the one in his left hand to his right and shoot in those directions.

The third heavy combo of his moveset will have Joon-Gi Han start shooting directly in front of him but then begin to spread his arms out and shoot in a wide arc, hitting many enemies.

For his fourth heavy combo Joon-Gi Han will point his guns forward and let out a few rapid shots directly in front of him.

Joon-Gi Han’s musou attack shall be the Essence of Trick shots. He shall look down at the ground for a second before beginning to slide around in a large circle around enemies, constantly letting out shots and hurting nearly everything in the arra he is circling around.

For his special skill Joon-Gi Han will raise one of his guns into the air and lightning will strike it. For a short period of time his attacks will have a lightning effect where if an attack his an enemy it will also hit other enemies near them.

As his first attack skill Joon-Gi Han will perform the handgun heat action from Yakuza 6 and Kiwami 2 by getting up close to an enemy and quickly unloading six shots into their stomach.

For his second attack skill Joon-Gi Han will stead one gun forward with both his hands and let out one shot that will do massive damage to an enemy

Joon-Gi Han’s third and final attack skill shall be pulling out the other type of gun this franchise let’s you use, a shotgun! When activating the attack Joon-Gi Han will shoot three shots in random directions and hit a wide range of enemies.

Joon-Gi Han is hot and thankfully the trouble I had making his moveset didn’t effect my opinion on that at all. He’s also the last side character on our roster, but we have two slots left right? So who will get these last two slots? I felt it appropriate to include two bosses from the series who have left a major impressfranchise. Franchise.

Character 11: Masaru Watase

Now some of you may argue that Watase doesn’t deserve to be on this roster, to that I say…I put Nair on here, you have much bigger things to complain about. Watase is notable for being one of the only Omi Alliance members to appear in more than one game and he was a boss fight in Yakuza 5 so I think that makes him roster worthy!

Watase will be a balanced character like Kiryu. He’ll have some slow attacks that hurt hard and some fast ones that don’t do much damage. I don’t know how I would describe how to differentiate his light and heavy attacks so let’s just get into describing some combos!

For his first heavy combo Watase will uppercut an enemy into the air and then kick them forward.

As a second heavy combo Watase will perform a sweep with his leg similar to Akiyama’s second heavy combo. Look, I made it to the second to last character without directly reusing an attack give me some credit, okay?!

The fourth heavy combo of his moveset will have Watase perform some fast paced fisticuffs as he moves forward through enemies.

Watase’s fifth heavy combo will have him pull out a bottle of champagne and pour it on the head of an enemy before smashing their head with it.

For his Musou attack we’re going to pull out the final Yakuza 7 reference in our entire roster. Watase will begin to rapidly punch at the stomach of an enemy at the speed of a Fist of the North Star character before finishing then off with a punch to the face.

If there’s one iconic Yakuza thing missing from our roster it’s the raw feeling of someone taking their shirt off in an iconic moment. Well let’s let Watase do that! When pressing R1 as Watase he will rip off his shirt to show off to the world that he has a Yakuza tattoo and his attack will increase exponentially for 30 seconds, however he will only be able to do it once per stage.

For Watase’s attack skill I’m going to do something that not even RGG does, reference other members of the Omi Alliance! Yes, for each of his attack skills Watase will order another Omi Alliance member to attack for him.

Watase’s first attack skill will have him summon Naoki Katsuya. Katsuya will do a few midair kicks around Watase to knock enemies away from him before vanishing.

For his second attack skill Watase will summon Kamon Kanai. This complete bulldozer of a man will charge through enemies and carve a path for Watase to coolly walk through.

Finally for his third attack skill he’ll call upon the legend himself Hiroshi Hayashi. Hayashi will appear and begin to beat a wide range of enemies with two steal pipes before vanishing.

Watase is cool, this is just a fact. When we all got fooled by a fake leak about a Watase prequel game we all got excited. We want more Watase in this franchise so hopefully the idea of him in a hypothetical Musou is enough for you now.

I was very conflicted on who should have this final slot so in order to make the decision easy I left it up to friends. I gave them a poll of 4 different characters and made them vote on who I should put in last. So who won? Let’s move on and find out!

Character 12: Daisaku Kuze

As I said before this final character was polled on by my Twitter followers (although I didn’t tell them why I was polling them) Their choices other than Kuze were Makoto Date, Osamu Kashiwagi, and Lau Ka Long. While all of these characters are important to the franchise Kuze just barely beat Date by one vote, and who could blame him? Kuze may only be in one game but it’s hard to argue that any character has left as big an impression on fans as him.

Now how can I justify putting a Yakuza 0 character on this roster when I also put Yakuza 7 characters? Isn’t the time jump between 0 and 7 large enough that Kuze wouldn’t be in action anymore? Surprisingly, no! Thanks to Yakuza Online we know that he’s still around! He may have cut ties to the Tojo Clan but when the business pulls him back in he can still fight like the best of them.

Making a moveset for Kuze will be incredibly easy compared to other bosses on this roster like Daigo and Watase for one simple reason: you fight this guy a LOT. Kuze may have been in only one game but the only boss you fight more than him in the entire franchise is Majima. Even Yakuza 0 itself jokes about this by having a boss rush of only Kuze fights in the Climax Battle menu!

So how will we have Kuze play in our roster? The man is a boxer but as we know the yakuza game is nothing like boxing. For his light attacks he’ll hit enemies with light strikes of his brass knuckles while his heavy combos will be more fierce attacks likes hooks and the occasional dirty kick.

For his first heavy combo Kuze will uppercut enemies and then continue to juggle them with his light strikes.

As a second heavy combo Kuze will quickly perform a right hook and a left hook to his sides and knock away enemies too close to him in those directions

Kuze’s fourth heavy combo will have him kick an enemy forward and then begin an assault of punches, moving forward with each punch.

Finally as a fifth heavy combo Kuze will grab an enemy and push them down on his knee, the shockwave from this attack will knock away any enemies that weren’t directly hit.

Kuze’s musou attack will be a recreation of what’s probably his most iconic moment. A motorcycle shall appear from nowhere under him and he’ll begin to ride it forward, smacking enemies is a lead pipe, before it quickly vanishes.

For his special skill Kuze will briefly remove his brass knuckles and show off his lack of pinky. Upon seeing they are dealing with a Yakuza veteran all nearby enemies will be inflicted with a fear status effect that will make them cower away.

I had to stretch really hard to think of attack skills for Kuze. Because he has a very consistent style for how he fights in his boss fights I kind of used most of what he can do in his moveset. However I do think I can pull out a few more cool things for his attack skills.

For his first attack skill Kuze will let out a yell of anger to encourage the enemy to fight him, but the yell will send enemies flying back, damaging them.

As a second attack skill Kuze will pull out a sledgehammer and bash an enemy in the side of the head, dealing devastating damage!

Kuze’s third and final attack skill will have him grab an enemy and slam their head into the ground as a pool of blood forms.

I love Kuze, you all love Kuze, my Twitter and Discord friends who voted on him in that poll clearly love him. He was a hard character to make a moveset for but at the end of the day I think I accomplished something great.


We’ve finally finished! This was a surprisingly fun roster to make. I expected thay I would need to reuse attack far more often than I did because of every character being a hand to hand fighter.

I feel I did pretty good with character variety as well. 6 protagonists, 4 side characters, and 2 bosses. Who would they fight in the game though? I dunno, my job is to think up movesets not stories or stage design. However Yakuza has always been a franchise with fights where the protagonists need to fight a large amount of goons, I’m sure someone tasked with making this wouldn’t need to think too hard to justify it.

Thank you for reading my Yakuza Musou, please tune in next week where I will post another hypothetical Musou roster! In the meantime why not click the Make A Musou homepage and read some of the other rosters I’ve made!

1 thought on “Make a Musou – Yakuza Musou”

  1. Okay, three DLC Characters.

    And, unusually for my selections, I’m going to go with 2 characters canon to the series (Yakuza doesn’t have a super stacked deck of still living characters) and a guest pick for flavour.

    Canon Picks:

    Masayoshi Tanimura (The only “player character” of a numbered Yakuza game that’s missing. Obvious pick.)
    Yu Nanba (Range fighter using breadcrumbs, pigeons and flaming breath is fun.)

    Guest Fighter Pick:

    Millie, From Helluva Boss. (What? Imagine a reveal trailer with Goro reacting to a tiny imp walking out of the shadows of an alley with THAT AXE. THAT’S. HYPE. Certainly more than Takayuki Yagami or Kaito (I like him in that Lost Judgment expansion, but mechanically it’s just, oh, a Saejima Clone?), so, yeah.)

Leave a Reply