Since 2005, SEGA’s Yakuza (or Ryu Ga Gotoku in Japan) series has given players rich stories of the Japanese mafia and a lifelike depiction of some of Japan’s most famous pleasure districts. Even though the real-life Japan tends to be ranked as one of the safest countries in the world, the virtual world of Yakuza begs to differ. At nearly every street corner, some random punk will always try to pick a fight with you. If given the room and proper timing, you can run away from these fights. If not, anything goes! The novelty of the combat system of Yakuza is the heat action techniques.
If Kiryu or any other playable character has a certain light blue meter filled up, depending on the proper position, you can dish out the most damaging techniques that you may be tempted to want to try if you find yourself in a real fight. Some of these techniques are just generic fighting moves and depending on your positioning, you can use the walls, stairs, and other environmental factors to deliver the most brutal of beatings. Some can also be used with whatever weapon the character is carrying! So for today’s top 10 list, we give you the most devastating heat action moves Yakuza has to offer.
10. Salty Tears
This is one of the heat action moves that emphasizes on the series’ dark humor. Taking some influence from professional wrestling, most notably legendary bad guy Mr. Fuji, there are instances you can use salt as a heat action weapon. It’s pretty much what it is. If you have a grain of salt equipped and ready to dish out some heat, just get your character positioned in front of the opponent, push the button, and get some laughs. All it is just pouring salt into the opponent’s eyes. It really does no significant damage but allows you to take advantage after while the opponent is blinded.
9. Burn Notice
For some of you readers that are unfamiliar with Japanese style cooking, they have portable stoves in most households and traditional restaurants to make sukiyaki and shabu-shabu. Many of them are gas powered and don’t require any electric plug-ins so they can be convenient in that sense. But in the world of Yakuza, one man’s tool is another man’s weapon.
Usually, when you are fighting near areas where people throw away equipment, these can be instantly accessible. Thankfully, some of these portable stoves can still turn on and the best (or maybe worst?) thing about these stoves as a heat action move, you can burn your opponent’s face with them! Animation wise in terms of angles, it is very similar to salty tears. It does more damage but the emphasis is more on the comedy as opposed to the brutality.
8. Essence of Super Glue
Glue as a weapon? You think we’re kidding, right? This technique shows a very great example of how creative some of the heat action moves can get in a comedic definition. The great thing about this tool, you can take out two opponents at once with it! So the character headlocks an opponent and douses their head with superglue. Then the character gets another enemy and gets their heads stuck together.
In order to break free, one kicks the other with full force delivering damage to both. So if you want something entertaining and gets the job done, super glue may have its use you’d never expect.
7. Nunchaku Attack
Want to be the next Kung Fu fighting legend? Thankfully some versions of Yakuza allow you to use the nunchaku as your weapon. With this heat action technique, it plays great homage to martial arts icon Bruce Lee with his stance and movement.
The animation is an excellent representation to not only Bruce Lee, but also how the nunchakus can be used for both its speed and power. Granted it is a little cheesy, but it brings the cinematic and realistic traits that nunchakus in martial arts movies are made iconic for.
For some of you pro wrestling fans that are reading, yes, it is the same technique made famous by WWE Hall of Famer, Jake The Snake Roberts. For some of you readers that are not familiar with professional wrestling, a DDT (allegedly short for Damien’s Dinner Time, with Damian being the pet snake of Roberts) is when you grab the opponent with a front face headlock, and with your weight concentrated to your lower body, you drop yourself backwards to the ground while having your opponent in the front headlock fall head first with the force of your drop.
While the pro wrestling ring offers the safety of a mat, on pure concrete, forget about a three-count, it’s lights out!
5. Essence of Heavy Weaponry
In the crazy world of this SEGA hit, you can use nunchakus, baseball bats and other weapons of similar force. But what if you have the strength of Saejima Taiga? Well, you can use motor scooters at your disposal. So if you find yourself in a bad mood against an opponent who rubbed you off the wrong way, this is the best weapon that best demonstrates the character’s brute strength.
This move is demonstrated in two steps. First, Saejima swings the bike into a standing opponent’s midsection knocking them down and then follows it up by smashing it into the opponent breaking apart both the bike and your foe.
4. Wall Crusher
Find your opponent cornered up against the wall? Use that to your advantage! Various characters have their own approaches to this. For some characters, they grab their opponent by the head and smash their heads up against it. For others, it doesn’t stop there.
They go onto to deliver a few more body punches and for some characters, they can finish the combination with one more kick to the head using the force to hit the wall! Some versions present these combinations as QTEs so please be ready at all times! This technique is one great example of the brutal world of street fighting and the rage that comes with it.
3. Face Stomp
Some of you may hate the idea of kicking someone when they’re down, but as we said before, there are no rules. So no matter who you play as in any installment of Yakuza. When your heat gauge is up and your character’s feet is next to the head of a downed opponent, look for that triangle button to pop up for you to push, and with full force, you can stomp your opponent’s head into the concrete. The face stomp is always shown up close and in various installments and is presented in different angles for dramatic purposes. Sometimes it is from the side and in other instances, it is from an upper view.
The frame rate and speed of the attack perfectly mixes fear and amazement. No matter what, you always see blood come out of the mouth and depending on the opponent’s life meter, it can either instantly put him out of commission or cause bodily harm. The fact this move carries over since the first game shows how iconic and realistic it is in conjunction with the core of Yakuza.
2. Designated Hitter
In your average fight, you may be outnumbered anywhere from three or six to one. When you find yourself against these odds, it is always nice to have an equalizer. Some helpful tools can be a baseball bat, a led pipe, or mini-flag poles for stores. When you have the opponent facing you, you can use a filled up heat meter to push the triangle button once again to swing full force to the face of your opponent.
Whether it would be the baseball bat, the pipe or small flagpole, the animation is always the same. The character will assume a batter up stance by even raising their front knee to put more power into the swing. And with the right distance and timing, it’s as if you’re hitting a home run. Outside of boss battles, this is an instant killer and sometimes remaining opponents can cower in fear.
1. Essence of Throwing
So do you want a heat action move that guarantees an instant win against regular grunts? Well, this is the ultimate move that uses your environment to your advantage. So if you find yourself next to a body of water, by a flight of stairs or balcony and you got your heat gauge up, just grab your opponent drag them over to the edge, push triangle, and overboard to an instant win! The panning and angles to the animation perfectly display the power and adrenaline needed to pull off this move.
If you’re by a body of water, you throw your opponent into the water! If you’re upstairs by a balcony, you can throw your opponent all the way down to the first floor! It doesn’t matter if the opponent has a full health bar or not, you throw them overboard they’re gone! The first time you pull this off, you’re definitely going to be chanting some explicit language out of surprise, excitement, and fear. So if you want to win no matter what the cost, throw them over!
Many of these techniques take influence from pure street fighting, legitimate martial arts, and both professional and hardcore wrestling. Last, we would like to disclaim that when possible, always avoid confrontations. A good majority of them aren’t worth it. And don’t even think about doing them in your backyard wrestling league. The techniques that we have listed are likely to get you arrested, get someone hurt and possibly even killed. But if you find yourself in a situation that you can’t run away from, then hey, any means necessary.
They all provide a nice flavor to the action and bring a very balanced mixed of comedic and dramatic flare. Some instantly end a fight, and others cause heavy damage. They are all distinct and entertaining depictions of the brutality of real fighting outside of a ring or cage, and why you don’t want to mess with the yakuza. So for some of you readers that are Yakuza fans, what are your favorite heat action movies? Feel free to write in the comments.