What do you give someone who has everything? Corned beef. What do you give someone who doesn’t have everything? Also corned beef. We’ve been applying that philosophy to Like a Dragon Gaiden’s FMV hostesses and it’s fast become our new in-game pastime.
Why? Because, as long-time Like a Dragon/Yakuza players, we find the game’s hostess clubs both fascinating and alien. A real life phenomenon in Japan, people visit hostess clubs for temporary companionship though that’s where, by most accounts, it begins and ends.
As explained by Japan Today, patrons are “…not just paying to look at the eye candy, but for the hostesses to sit and chat with them as they drink.” That’s how the Like a Dragon series handles it, anyway.
So, when one early-game mission had us visiting such a club, ‘Club Heaven’, and we were asked if we wanted to give the girl a gift, there was only one thing to do – present them with a tin (or tub) of Nozaki’s Corned Beef.
Actually, that’s not remotely true. There’s plenty of other things we could have given them. But Like a Dragon Gaiden turns these segments into full FMV, which adds another layer of odd, as if you’ve punched through to a different dimension.
So when we spied it just sitting there in our inventory we had the urge to hand it over, just to see what she’d make of it. As the FMV showed, protagonist Kazuma Kiryu even went so far as to wrap it in up a neat box, complete with bow.
At least, that’s what we thought at the time. But, looking at the screenshot, there’s no way that tub fit in there. It seems more likely he just scooped it all out into the box and squished the lid down. That’s the way we like to imagine it, anyway.
A little disappointingly, she was a consummate professional and took our gift without saying a word. But it was still enough to begin our descent into corned beef-gifting madness.
Heading over to Poppo, Like a Dragon Gaiden’s convenience store, we filled our pockets with Nozaki’s finest. By our calculations we could afford 765 tubs, but for some monstrous reason Poppo would only let us buy 10.
Then, we went on a Hostess Club crawl, ordering only water, because we are just the worst. Each conversation varied but we concluded each encounter by handing over our beefy bounty. And then we did it all over again, and again, and again.
Do we have an endgame in mind? Not really, no. Though we’re guessing ‘Joryu’ is now known as the Corned Beef Cheapskate or something along those lines. And each club we visit is accruing a massive pyramid of corned beef, along with a possible rodent problem.
We grin every time we hand over our gift, imagining the eye-rolling each hostess must be holding back as we hand her our ‘gift’. Are we terrible for doing this? Maybe. Are we going to stop? Never. If obsessively gifting corned beef is wrong we don’t want to be right.
On the bright side, we haven’t gone full Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal, approaching the TV with a spoon full of processed meat. Though, now we think about it..