What is up with the Live Chat minigame in Yakuza 6?

by: Eric -
More On: Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

Note: While the Yakuza 6 demo is currently locked in the PlayStation Store, the Live Chat minigame is accessible in Chapter One, and therefore was included in the demo. Minor spoilers for Yakuza 6 are included.

 Early on in Yakuza 6, players (playing as series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu) come across a guy standing not far from a children’s park, arguing with his girlfriend. The girlfriend is accusing that the guy of spending too much money. She feels that this is an indicator of him of cheating on her. The guy insists that he has been spending the money on “Live Chat”, which technically does not count as cheating. The guy’s girlfriend gets irritated and leaves, causing the guy to try to engage Kiryu in a bit of commiseration.

When Kazuma Kiryu admits that he is unaware of “Live Chat”, the guy on the street immediately launches into a devout sermon about Live Chat and how great it is. The guy insists that Live Chat is better than having a real girlfriend, because Live Chat girls are always in a good mood, and are always happy to see you. Though the guy is clearly a sad and creepy pervert, Kiryu quickly agrees that Live Chat does indeed sound intriguing.

This entire exchange is just a set-up to get players to check out the Live Chat mini-game, which is simultaneously disturbing and hilarious. Kiryu meets the creeper at a “Live Chat Lounge”, where he is given a quick lesson in typing and talking to girls. Apparently, Live Chat girls get super irritated if you ignore them or don’t type quickly enough, so Kiryu is challenged to type in prompts in a timely manner (pressing series of button on the controller while a timer is counting down).

Before you know it, you are picking a girl to talk to, and are entered into a Live Chat session. Much to my surprise, the Live Chat session is with a real human woman, captured in full motion video. She begins by kind of pouting around and breathlessly muttering about massages. My 17-year-old son, who is in the room, ignoring me and playing on his phone, suddenly takes notice of the shift in Yakuza dynamics.

“What is going on here?” he asks, sitting up.

“I have no idea,” I reply.

His five-year-old sister wanders into the room.

“Get out!” we both shout at the same time. Startled, she scurries from the room.

The chat continues, with the Live Chat woman offering suggestions, and Kiryu responding with suggestions of his own. Before long, the Live Chat woman starts pretending to kiss us and has stripped down to a very skimpy swimsuit.

“How far is this going to go?” my son asks.

“I have no idea,” I reply. From the steady stream of increasingly explicit comments and suggestions littering the chat box to the right of the video, it would seem that the other (AI-controlled) participants in the Live Chat are eager for things to go quite far indeed.

“Should I take it all off?” the Live Chat woman purrs.

The five-year-old wanders back into the room.

“OUT!” my son and I both shriek simultaneously.

“Get nekked,” suggests one of the AI participants in the chat stream.

“You want to see it all, don’t you?” the Live Chat woman asks.

While I am uncertain whether or not I do want to see it all, particularly with my son in the room, I find that I am still merrily clacking away at the buttons in an attempt to beat the mini-game. It would seem that my gamer instincts have overridden my parental judgement, and my vague discomfort over the objectification of this pouting Live Chat woman.

I am busy clicking the buttons that I’m 60% sure will lead to the complete disrobement of the Live Chat woman. Suddenly, the video image disappears, and hot pink letters spelling out the word “SUCCESS!” appear on the screen.

“That was weird,” my son says.

“I better get a lot of XP for that,” I say.

On-screen, Kiryu is telling the creeper that he does indeed think that Live Chat is wonderful, and the creeper is responding that he is going to abandon his girlfriend in favor of devoting his entire life to Live Chat.

I'm wondering what else I'm going to come across in the mini-games. I already accidentally wandered into a weird "Sexy Club", where dudes were busy making out with and pawing at women in booths. I amused myself by standing at the end of the booths and staring, dead-eyed, at them while they were making out. The NPCs actually notice your creeper behavior, which causes them to stop their activities in discomfort and try to confront you. Standing there and silently judging is a mini-game all to itself, in my opinion.

Yakuza 6 is weird, y’all.

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