Life of a Taxi Driver – Yakuza 5

Yakuza 5 Cast

In the Fukuoka Prefecture of Japan lies the lesser-known city of Nagasugai.  One of the big allures of Nagasugai is that people are allowed to actually drive in town.  Lucky for you, you’ve got your license in order and are employed by a local taxi company.  You may only have six months of training but, being ex-yakuza, you know how to follow the rules.  Do not go past the speed limit, stop at all stop signs and – for the love of all – be on the lookout for pedestrians!  Seriously, they’re like deer.  They’ll stand at crosswalks and wait until you’re just about to pass through before making their move.  And when you see one pedestrian mow through a crosswalk you should be prepared to stop because there’s bound to be more that follow.  I recommend driving around with your high beams at night so you can have a bit more time to react when pedestrians dart across the road.  And don’t try to give the police officers the excuse that the pedestrian hit you because no matter what it will ALWAYS be YOUR fault.

Sometimes you get to pick up pedestrians and take them for a ride.  Then they can see first-hand what it’s like trying to avoid these collisions, but when you look back they’ll be staring down at their cell phones and not paying attention to what you’re doing.  Case in point!

Yakuza 5 p1.2So while you’re driving around trying to prevent all these near-death collisions your passengers will also decide that they want your complete undivided attention for conversation purposes.  If you don’t keep up a good conversation then you won’t get a tip (which is odd as I thought tipping was considered rude).  Being ex-yakuza, you’re much more familiar with staring menacingly at people with an air of silence that says skulls are about to be cracked, but that doesn’t work on this type of opponent.

The best type of customer you can hope for are the ones that entertain themselves.  You know… the ones that can keep a one-sided conversation going.  They’ll keep talking your ear off and then – BAM! – you get hit by the person behind you on the highway.  When someone bumps you on the highway the driver’s manual states that this is to be interpreted as a racing challenge.  If you win, you get bragging rights and the right to demand compensation for gas.  If you lose, then you’re likely to be shaken down for all you’re worth.  Luckily, my first time getting such a challenge I just so happened to have a cop in the backseat that actually wanted me to take this punk on.  He said he’d just arrest the guy if I lost so either way it was a win-win situationYakuza 5 p1.1 for me.  So I popped in my sweet Euro pop music which got my blood pumping and put the pedal to the metal.  Fun fact:  Did you know that all taxi cars come equipped with a hidden nitro boost button?  Apparently my opponent was not aware of this because he ended up choking on my exhaust at the finish line.  Afterwards he said something about his friends challenging me but I told him about how much dishonor he just brought upon his family that he quickly sulked away.

After a hard day’s worth of taxi driving, there’s lots of places to go eating and, being ex-yakuza, you really know how to work up an appetite.  Lucky for me, my boss decided that he wanted to take me out to dinner.  Did you know that all the diners in Nagasugai have menus with pictures?  It is really hard to turn down food when you have such an appetizing collage to go with it and when your boss is footing the bill.  Before I knew it, I’d ordered one of everything on the menu and I was so full and my Yakuza-5-Chapter-1-pt.-2-Screen-Shot-2014-01-11-12-06-51boss so drunk that we decided to hit up a hostess bar.  Nothing goes better with being buzzed than being babied by cute hostess girls and, being ex-yakuza, you really have a way with the ladies.

Before I knew it, we were thrown out of the bar for getting in a fight.  It was then that I realized the night was no longer young… we were no longer young.  Saddened by this revelation, my boss and I parted ways.  It was then that I was faced with a tumultuous decision, should I blow my hard-earned cash on video games and prize machines at Club SEGA or the electronic allure of the local pachinko parlor?  Being ex-yakuza, you know which choice you’d make.

(Note: Nagasugai is a fictional city in the game Yakuza 5.  It is based on the city of Nakasu, which is also located in the Fukuoka Prefecture.)

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