Like a Dragon: Ishin!

From West Elmira Computers Museum
Like a Dragon: Ishin!
DeveloperRyū ga Gotoku Studio
SystemsPS3, PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Series X/S
ReleasedPlayStation 3
JP: February 22, 2014
PlayStation 4
JP: February 22, 2014
WW: February 21, 2023
PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
WW: February 21, 2023
Added to
PS4 JP: October 26, 2018

Like a Dragon: Ishin! (龍が如く 維新!, "Like a Dragon Restoration!"), is an entry in the Like a Dragon series that is a prequel to Yakuza. It was released for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan on February 22, 2014.

A remake, titled Like a Dragon: Ishin! Kiwami in Japan and as Like a Dragon: Ishin! elsewhere, will be released worldwide in 2023. This is the first time the game has been released outside of Asia.


On December 10, 1867, Sakamoto Ryōma, a samurai who was destined to change Japan, was assassinated. It was revealed that he was a doppelganger, as he was killed by Sakamoto Ryōma himself, going under the name "Saitō Hajime".

Saitō explained the events that led to that day. Just a few years prior to Ryōma's assassination, Japan had been ruled by the Tokugawa Shogunate for 300 years. Their reign started coming to an end when the black ships of the Western civilizations came to Japan and the shogunate didn't have the means necessary to defeat their advanced weapons. The samurai couldn't sit idly when their leaders appeared weak, so this led to a civil war.

On May 4, 1862, Ryōma returned by boat from Edo to Tosa for the first time in about a year. He saw a mother who had a daughter who was ill. She was told by a doctor that she had appendicitis and only a doctor who utilized western medicine could treat it. The doctor intended to get the girl help, but samurai of high social class, the Joshi, appeared at that moment. Japan at that time had a strict social hierarchy and people of a lower class were expected to stop and bow as the Joshi came by. The mother tried to rush by them, but she was stopped by the Joshi. She tried to tell them that her daughter needed a doctor, but the Joshi refused to let her by. Ryōma, a samurai of a lower class, the Goshi, stepped in and told her to get her daughter to a doctor as he fought the Joshi.

Ryōma was jailed in Kochi castle and was rescued, by Yoshida Tōyō, from execution at the hands of a Shirafuda Goshi, a samurai of a social class between the Goshi and the Joshi. Tōyō was a high ranking member of the Tosa government and Ryōma's foster father. Tōyō tells Ryōma to head to Kengoshi Academy, which is the secret training grounds of the Tosa Loyalist Party. Ryōma reunites with Takechi Hanpeita, who saved Ryōma from the fire that killed his family 15 years prior. Hanpeita announces to his men that Ryōma is second in command of the Tosa Loyalist Party, which doesn't sit well with the other members. Ryōma fights several men led by a samurai named Okada Izō, and proves that he is worthy of the title.

The next night, Tōyō is at the castle with 500 Tosa Loyalist Party men to force the old governors out and enact change in Tosa. As they are about to put their plan into motion, a masked man enters and kills Tōyō with a style of martial art that neither Ryōma nor Hanpeita had seen before. Hanpeita chases after the man, and Tōyō, with his dying breath, tells Ryōma that the future of Tosa is in his hands. However, the castle guards blame Ryōma for the murder of Tōyō, and Ryōma has to fight his way out of the castle. Ryōma tells Hanpeita to stay out of sight, or he'll be accused of murder as well. He then dives off a cliff, fleeing the guards, and vowing to track down the man who murdered Tōyō.