After taking down Yakuza stalwarts Majima and Saejima in chapter 12, another big test comes in the form of Kazuma Kiryu in chapter 14. As the hero of the previous titles in the series, it’s no surprise that Kiryu is one of the strongest foes in the game. His high HP, raw power and various combat stances mean you are in for a stern test if you’re unprepared.
Kiryu may be an absolute badass, but he can actually be beaten quite easily with the right tactics. Here’s everything you need to know about how to beat Kiryu in Yakuza: Like A Dragon.
- RELATED: Yakuza: Like A Dragon Review
Kiryu never attacks female characters
The Dragon of Dojima is a true gentleman who doesn’t attack women, but this is a double-edged sword. If you place Saeko and Eri in the party, then Kiryu will always attack ichiban and your other male party member. Since it’s a game over if Ichiban is defeated, having Kiryu focus more attacks on him is somewhat risky. However, on balance this is still worth doing, as we’ll discuss in the next section.
As an interesting sidenote, it’s actually well-established that Kiryu’s canon refusal to hit women is the reason he hasn’t made it into the likes of Smash Bros and Tekken by now!
Recommended party and jobs
The recommended party for this battle is Ichiban, Joon-gi, Saeko and Eri. If you haven’t unlocked Eri, then it doesn’t really matter who else you choose. I’d probably go for Adachi due to his higher HP.
As always, Ichiban should retain the Hero job, which hopefully you’ve been using up until now. This provides important healing skills as well as Peerless Resolve.
Joon-gi’s default Hitman job unlocks the Phantom Shift character skill at rank 24, which means you can use it with other jobs once it’s learned. This grants a hefty boost to evasion, and is a great tactic to waste Kiryu’s turns. If Ichiban and Joon-gi are the only male members, then there’s a good chance he’ll attack Joon-gi and miss. Joon-gi also has Poison Shot as a skill learned at level 35 regardless of job, which is a helpful way of chipping away at Kiryu’s health.
Kiryu is weak to ice/cold attacks, which means the Hostess job is your best friend. Even if you haven’t used the jobs at all for Saeko or Eri up until now, then you should still equip it on both. At rank 1, it provides the Sparkling Cannon attack which can hit Kiryu’s weakness. Saeko and Eri won’t be attacked whatever happens, so it doesn’t matter if you’re using a low-ranked job. Sparking Cannon may be the lowest-MP ice option but I actually found it generally does more damage than the more costly ice attacks at higher ranks, so you should keep using this even if you have other ice attacks to save MP in the process.
Also, be sure to fully stock up on as many Toughness, Staminan and Tauriner items as you can – you’ll probably need them.
Kiryu is level 57, but you can beat him on lower levels than this. In fact, as a solo opponent he’s probably not as hard as the Majima and Saejima battle, so you should be fine.
I would recommend being around level 55, but don’t worry if you are a few levels below – with the tactics we’ll discuss you should still be able to triumph.
How to beat Kiryu in Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Kiryu has four distinct phases, where he mirrors the different fighting styles he has used in previous games. Each one comes with some different strengths and attacks. However, Kiryu is weak to ice in all phases. Here’s each phase taken one by one.
Kiryu boss first phase – Brawler style
Kiryu’s first phase isn’t anything special. He’ll simply opt for some moderately powered melee strikes which shouldn’t put you in any immediate danger.
Hit Kiryu with your ice attacks, and try and poison him with Joon-gi. Once Kiryu has been poisoned, use Phantom Shift to keep Joon-gi relatively safe from harm. In theory, Ichiban will now be the only party member in any trouble so keep him healed whenever he falls below half-health.
Use Peerless Resolve with Ichiban early on to protect him from a fatal attack. This won’t be necessary just yet, but in the later phases of the battle it will give you an insurance policy in case Kiryu takes down Ichiban with his stronger skills.
If you have Essence of Orbital Laser, you probably don’t need to waste MP and MP recovery items just yet. It is more prudent to save it for the latter phases when it’s more important to take Kiryu down faster. Just keep using Sparkling Cannon with Eri and Saeko, and any other Essence attacks with your male characters when you get the chance.
Kiryu boss second phase – Rush style – 3/4 HP
At around 3/4 HP, Kiryu will shift his stance to Rush style. This isn’t drastically different, but Kiryu will get a bit stronger and faster. He’s unlikely to get consecutive turns, and generally attacks with Uppercut, which can hit for well over 200 damage. He can also use Stun Combo, which has the potential to annoyingly stun your character if hit.
You’ll often get just only one turn in between Kiryu’s attacks, so keep an eye on HP. You should still be fine until it drops below half when it’s time to start healing. With Saeko and Eri safe and Joon-gi dodging often, Ichiban should still be the only one in any potential danger.
Keep the exact same tactics as before – continue using ice attacks like Sparkling Cannon, maintain Kiryu’s poison status with Poison Shot, and refresh Joon-gi’s Phantom Shift whenever it wears off. You might have to start replenishing MP during this phase, which is fine because the battle is about to get harder.
Kiryu boss third phase – Beast style – 1/2 HP
At half health, Kiryu changes to Beast style and this is where things start getting serious. Kiryu can now attack with Beast Throw, smashing your characters with a barrel and doing heavy damage. Worse still, he will start to get consecutive turns. It’s not uncommon for him to have two turns, followed by another one straight after your turn.
As such, it’s imperative to keep Ichiban’s health ever higher. Kiryu’s consecutive attacks can inflict KO if he strikes Ichiban back-to-back, so heal as soon as it drops to around two-thirds. Beast Throw is dangerous but relatively easy to perfect guard, so keep your focus and try to block as much as possible. It can hit multiple party members at once, and sometimes it’s not immediately obvious that it’s hit someone else.
At this point in the fight, it is probably best to have a dedicated healer who spends their turn healing every time such as Ichiban using Hero’s Compassion or Hero’s Embrace. Keep using the ladies to attack with ice and only let up when you need someone’s turn to restore MP with an item. If your healer doesn’t get a turn in between Kiryu’s attacks, you’ll simply have to use some items. For instance, if Kiryu attacks Ichiban twice and the only turn you get before his next one is with a non-healer (Hostess job doesn’t have healing skills unless you have learnt them elsewhere), you’ll need to toss an item at Ichiban. As a worst case scenario, Ichiban’s Peerless Resolve will keep him alive from a fatal hit, so cast it again immediately if it gets used up.
If you get a chance, now is the time to let loose with Ichiban’s Essence of Orbital Laser. Do this when Ichiban has his turn whilst on high health, and obviously be sure to replenish his MP soon after so he can go back to healing where necessary. With Joon-gi, continue the pattern of poisoning Kiryu and keeping Phantom Shift active. It is also handy to debuff attack power during this phase, but not strictly necessary. Chip away with Sparkling Cannon until you reach his final phase.
Kiryu boss fourth phase – Dragon of Dojima style – 1/4 HP
Once Kiryu is reduced to a quarter of his HP, he’ll be enveloped in blue flames that denote his most dangerous, final phase.
In Dragon of Dojima style, Kiryu continues to hit hard and again can easily string together consecutive turns, making it imperative to keep HP high. The tactics should largely be the same as the third phase with an important caveat – do not use physical skills with male characters – Kiryu will dodge and counter, which is the last thing you want.
He is particularly dangerous when he uses Dragon’s Gaze, where he’ll prime himself ready to counter. Once again you should refrain from using physical skills here, but Essence attacks are safe. On his next turn he’ll relax, and sometimes he completely wastes consecutive turns by activating Dragon’s Gaze and deactivating it immediately after!
You’re nearly there, so continue the ice magic attacks with Saeko and Eri, and Essence skills whenever anyone else is free to attack – including Orbital Laser. Maintain the same approach with healing – Ichiban above two-thirds health as much as possible. Eventually you will take him down and win the Kiryu boss fight.
If all else fails, use these cheap tactics
There’s no wrong way to win, right?
If you keep losing and you’re getting desperate, you can try something a bit different – go with Ichiban, Adachi, Saeko and Eri.
Since every single attack will be focused on Ichiban and Adachi, just Guard with them both on every turn. Make sure one of the ladies is a Hostess, and the other one is in a job that has healing skills, such as an Idol.
Use Peerless Resolve on Ichiban early in the battle, and equip him with a Sacrifice Stone as a back-up plan. Have your Hostess attack with Sparkling Cannon every turn, and heal the men with your other female member whenever they are anywhere near half health. In the last two phases, heal more often when Kiryu is more likely to string together consecutive turns.
As long as you keep guarding, you should be able to withstand many attacks, and you’ll also be able to heal with Ichiban if it’s an emergency. When MP is starting to run low, sacrifice your Hostess’s turn to use a Tauriner to replenish.
Rinse and repeat in every phase and you’ll slowly but surely win the battle. This strategy is not pretty, and it will take a bit more item useage and a lot more time. However, it does work in the end.
Here’s a simplified recap of the strategy of how to beat Kiryu in Yakuza: Like A Dragon:
- Stock up on HP and MP healing items
- Put Eri and Saeko in the party, both in the Hostess job (even if you’ve never used it before)
- Use Joon-gi as your other party member; have Ichiban in the Hero job
- In all phases, keep hitting Kiryu with Sparkling Cannon with Eri and Saeko
- In all phases, keep using Poison Shot and Phantom Shift with Joon-gi to keep both effects active
- Use Peerless Resolve on Ichiban and generally heal when he’s under half health
- In Kiryu’s final two phases (from half-health onwards), heal more regularly due to Kiryu’s consecutive turns
- Don’t use melee skills with male characters in Kiryu’s final Dragon of Dojima phase
I love how Yakuza: Like A Dragon respects the history of the series by ensuring Kiryu is just as legendary as ever. The music for the fight is also awesome. Hopefully by following this guide, you’ll be able to get the better of him and move closer to the game’s finale.
As a welcome bonus, beating the Kiryu boss fight and completing Chapter 14 will later unlock him as a Poundmate for the bargain price of a million yen! At least you get a freebie first usage.
Check some of our other Yakuza: Like A Dragon tips below: