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Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth's Japanese talk radio may prove RGG remembers Yakuza 5's forgotten protagonist

We haven’t forgotten about you, Shinada, you wonderful baseball man.

Kazuma Kiryu in Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth.
Image credit: VG247/SEGA

Spoilers for Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth lie ahead.

Among the nine million things RGG Studio has packed into Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth are some fun little talk radio stations, and it turns out one of them might well prove that the developer hasn’t forgotten about the only Yakuza 5 protagonist we haven’t heard from since that game concluded.

Yes, if you decide to take a breather from following the main quest, grinding dungeons instead of buying one of the game’s numerous DLC booster packs, or having fun with its massive array of minigames, you can kick back and listen to some good old-fashioned radio in Infinite Wealth. As it turns out, tuning in to one of the talk stations on offer may offer you an update on the life of a character who’s been absent from the series since playing a starring role in Kazuma Kiryu’s fifth mainline outing.

The station in question called After6junction. It broadcasts solely in Japanese, and, sadly, as players have discovered, doesn’t come with any English subtitles. Thankfully, user Hetares over on the Yakuza subreddit has had a go at providing a rough translation of six episodes of it, which seem to consist largely of easter egg-style tales alluding to characters and mechanics from the series we all know and love.

While all of the episodes look to be pretty hilarious, the fifth one in particular, which features a number of listener call-ins, looks to be of interest to long-time Yakuza fans. According to Hetares, one of the tales told by a listener centres around a character referred to as “S-kun”, who manages to pay back some debts by winning all of the prizes at a batting center, using a bat bought via a loan from a friend.

Someone who’s very good at baseball, has debt problems, and has a name beginning with S, you say? Yakuza fans reckon all of those traits point to Tatsuo Shinada, the debt-saddled former pro baseball player who hasn’t made an appearance in the series since Yakuza 5, despite being that game’s fourth protagonist - alongside Kiryu, Taiga Saejima, and Shun Akiyama. We’ve seen and heard from all of those folks since then, but this weird little radio reference in Infinite Wealth - a game full of cameos from Yakuza characters we haven't seen in a little while - is all RGG has deigned to give Shinada, assuming it is actually about him.

It’s pretty cool for those of us who’d been wondering how Kineicho’s premiere nightlife journalist was doing, even if an in-person cameo might have been better. All we need now is an update on Yakuza 4’s Masayoshi Tanimura, so here's hoping Infinite Wealth has one that’s just waiting to be discovered.

If you’re currently scything your way through Infinite Wealth, make sure to check out our guides to its best jobs and how to unlock them, as well as substories like the one that sees you tasked with delivering a love letter to someone buried neck-deep in sand.

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