The business management minigame is by far the most reliable way to make significant money in Yakuza: Like A Dragon. Starting as a modest little sweet shop, Ichiban Confections can become a multi-million, multi-business venture with the right management decisions.
The most important aspect of your climb to the top of the rankings is the shareholder meetings. Unfortunately, this can be pretty complicated and overwhelming at first. There are so many numbers springing out that it can be hard to remember what they all mean.
Rest assured, here is everything you need to know to understand the game and impress the shareholders. Following this guidance will help propel the company to the top of the tree. snagging Ichiban some massive bonuses along the way.
A shareholder meeting has a number of different facets. The shareholders line up and pepper your employees with questions. I found myself thinking of this like a battle against some monsters. Each shareholder is an enemy with a set amount of HP, and your four employees are the party members.
With the clock ticking, you pick shareholders to ask their questions one by one. You then pick an employee to answer the question. Landing enough hits successfully appeases the shareholder, opening them up to attacks. You are then free to repeatedly pick employees to land further hits, which can defeat the shareholder for good.
Ichiban himself is the wild card who can turn the tables with an apology, which gets gradually stronger the longer you wait. Doing this deals damage to all shareholders whilst granting your party a useful boost.
Beating all shareholders within the time limit wins you full approval of the board. Even if you fail to do this, you’ll be fine as long as the approval rating is sufficiently high.
This may be a controversial opinion but once I got to grips with this, I thought it could be a great foundation for an actual battle system. I might be the only one here, but I really loved taking on the shareholder meetings.
What are the most important stats and numbers?
To win approval at the shareholders meetings, you’ll need to grasp the many, many numbers popping out. Though Yakuza: Like A Dragon provides a lengthy tutorial for this, it can still be pretty hard to digest. Not only that, but the tutorial doesn’t exactly break down how to efficiently win.
At the meeting, there is a large bar in the centre of the screen that reduces every time you pick an employee (the bar that reads 49/49 on the above screenshot). These are your command points, best thought of as an ATB/attack gauge, and the points within are effectively used to act. Each employee costs a set number that will reduce your gauge. In the above screenshot, the employees respectively cost 7, 5, 9 and 10 points . When the gauge is expended you’ll just have to wait, which leaves you vulnerable to shareholder questions.
In the Employee section, you’ll note that employees possess a number of stats. The important numbers assigned to your employees are as follows:
- Command cost – the number of points your bar will be reduced when you pick the employee to act – this is very important
- Charisma – the amount of damage your employees will deal when questions are answered whilst the shareholders are vulnerable – this is also important
- Tenacity – this is essentially your employee’s HP. If you fail to answer a question, then employees can be struck and could be ejected from the meeting. Those with low tenacity are at the highest risk. However, in the whole game this literally never happened to me. If you apply the right tactics you will virtually never be hit so tenacity is not very important
Your employees will also be assigned a type, which is denoted by a colour. This is also absolutely vital, and is ultimately the key to winning approval at the meetings. These types are personnel, money and property, but the names don’t really matter. You only need to pay attention to the colours, which work on a rock-scissors-paper basis as follows:
- Red (personnel) beats green (money)
- Green (money) beats blue (property)
- Blue (property) beats red (personnel)
If you fail to permanently beat shareholders within the allotted time, you’ll need to have an approval rating over 50%. This is tracked by the Support percentage in the bottom left hand side of the screen. However, you do not need to pay attention to this. Just follow the advice and this will invariably be high enough. More often than not you’ll beat the shareholders anyway, which means this gauge holds no relevance.
The final thing to note is Ichiban’s apology, which charges up automatically in the bottom right hand side, getting gradually stronger as time goes on. You literally don’t need to do anything with this except use it at the right time. More on this below.
Who do you pick for the meeting?
Based on the above explanations, you should always aim to have one employee of every colour. This covers you against every eventuality.
To simplify, the vast majority of the time you should pick:
- A green employee with high charisma and low command cost
- A blue employee with high charisma and low command cost
- A red employee with high charisma and low command cost
- A fourth employee of ANY colour with high charisma and low command cost
This is a balancing act between charisma and command, but I would suggest command is slightly more important than charisma. Aim for employees with a command cost less than 10.
For example, if you have an employee with 500 charisma and 10 command, versus an employee with 400 charisma and 8 command, I would pick the latter. This is because the only time you are really vulnerable is when your command points run out, which is more likely with high cost employees.
A good example to illustrate this is Omelette the, err, chicken. He only costs 5 command points to use, and whilst he doesn’t have great charisma his low cost will outweigh this against most other blue employees early on.
Many of the best employees are unlocked by completing substories and finding people around town. Some of them will not be available until later in the game but you can still easily conquer the minigame without these. I suggest beating the business management game as soon as it is available. The normal employees available within the minigame will be more than sufficient, provided you’re following the right tactics.
What to check before the meeting?
Before each shareholder meeting, you should have a look at any new employees and see if they trump the existing employees in your shareholder meeting team.
To reiterate, you’re looking for a good balance between low command cost and a high charisma stat. You may find there is an employee you’ve recently recruited who has a lower or equivalent command cost, but better charisma.
You will also be able to see the colours of the shareholders before the meeting so you can tailor your approach accordingly. Although the most important thing is covering all bases with one of each colour, you can add a fourth member who suits the shareholders better. For instance, if there are two red shareholders it’s probably best to have an extra blue employee.
Finally, always boost morale before a meeting! This will give you an automatically 10% approval rating, and will make the employees a little more efficient within the meeting itself. You can use the Auto Care option in the Employees section.
There are other bonuses for your net worth and sales based on the previous business period, but don’t stress about this – you are obviously trying to maximise these anyway during your general management. Even if you don’t do well on these, your morale boost will usually balance it out.
What is the best strategy to win every time?
The first few meetings will only have three shareholders, which are easy to dispatch. However, as time goes on you’ll be up against five. To top this off, one of these will often be significantly stronger than the others.
The key here is remembering the rock-scissors-paper mechanics of the colours. This is handily displayed on the screen at all times.
As soon as the meeting starts, quickly pick your first shareholder. It doesn’t really matter which as there is plenty of time.
- When the question appears, take note of the colour of the speech bubble. Pick the employee with the colour that hits the weakness and you will destroy/answer the question in one go (if you pick the wrong colour, it will take additional turns which are a waste of action points)
- If the question is in a green speech bubble, pick a red employee to answer
- If the question is in a red speech bubble, pick a blue employee to answer
- If the question is in a blue speech bubble, pick a green employee to answer
- NOTE: If the ticking clock flusters you, pause the game. It blurs out the screen a little but you can still make out the colours and remind yourself.
Once the question is answered – hopefully in a single attack – you’re granted an opportunity to counterattack and deal damage.
- When the question disappears, the shareholder’s weakness will appear. This is sometimes the same as the colour you have just used to answer the question
- NOTE: The game tells you the colour you need to pick towards the left hand side of the screen next to ‘Counter Chance Up’. The colour in the top right is the shareholder’s type. You should just look at the ‘Counter Chance Up’ section to save you from having to work anything out.
- Now just pick the employee with the correct colour and attack
- Select the same employee over and over until you run out of time
- The damage bonus will increase with each attack, and in the vast majority of cases you will KO this shareholder in one go by repeatedly attacking
- If the shareholder has a long HP bar and still isn’t beaten by the time the damage bonus hits 2.0x, then you can switch over to the party member who has the highest Persuasiveness (displayed below their HP bar)
- If you haven’t KO’d the shareholder before the counterattack opportunity is over, no harm done – you can finish them off next time
When the counterattack is over, take a quick look at your command bar. This gradually refills but you don’t want to be left too short. If you still have a lot of points remaining, crack on with the next shareholder immediately and repeat the exact same pattern.
Once your points start getting low, you can start waiting a while between turns. The shareholders each have a little gauge that takes a few seconds to fill. Wait until a shareholder’s gauge is nearly full before attacking again, as this will allow a chance for your own gauge to replenish a little.
This fairly simple strategy will generally do most of the business. But Ichiban can turn the tables if it starts going against you…
Nail the timing of Ichiban’s apology
This is a useful tool which has no downsides to use. The only thing to consider is your timing.
In the bottom right hand of the screen is a gauge that denotes Ichiban’s apology level. This has three stages, and simply fills up over time without you doing anything.
- At level 1 (one circle lit up), it deals a little damage to all shareholders
- At level 2 (two circles lit up), it deals a bit more damage to all shareholders, incapacitates them and restores some of your command points
- At level 3 (all three circles lit up), it deals heavy damage to all shareholders, incapacitates them for longer and fully restores the command bar.
You’ll want to use this when your command gauge is low, but be smart. For example, if you have a level two apology available but you aren’t far off earning level three, it’s worth hanging on. The difference between level 2 and level 3 is quite drastic.
I would personally never waste your first apology at level 1, and more often than not found that using the level 3 apology towards the end of the meeting invariably gave me the boost needed to finish everyone off.
Everything you need to know in a nutshell
To simplify, here’s the winning formula:
- Auto Care employees before the meeting to boost morale to maximum
- Ensure one of each employee type (ie, colour) is on your team
- Pick employees with high charisma and low command cost
- When questions are asked, take note of the colour of the speech bubble and use an employee with the colour that hits the weakness
- Once this is done, look at the colour that appears next to ‘Counter Chance Up’ and pick an employee of the same colour (it can be the same employee you used to overcome the question)
- Pause if you forget the weaknesses, and take a look at the legend in the bottom left to remind yourself
- Rinse and repeat until all shareholders are KO’d
- If/when you run out of command points, utilise Ichiban’s apology to deal damage, buy time and restore points
By following these methods I beat every shareholder, every time. It can all look confusing at first, but once the rules click, it’s actually pretty fun. Good luck!
Check out our Yakuza: Like A Dragon review here.