Yakuza: Like a Dragon - how to unlock Eri, the optional party member
Despite the series making the transition from action-adventure to full-blown RPG, Yakuza: Like a Dragon doesn't hold back on those RPG elements. That means that there's a range of party members you'll get to know and fight alongside - and another role-playing staple is carried over with one of the party members, Eri Kamataki, being an optional character.
Eri has to be unlocked to join your party, you see - and though she's a more limited character than many of the others, she's worth having in your party if only to have another woman in the cast of fighters and to hear some different battle barks in voice-over and the like. Unlocking her is simple enough, but it's also something you can miss if you're not careful.
We've got plenty of help with Yakuza: Like a Dragon if you need it, including Ounabara Vocational School Exam Answers, how to raise your personality stats, and mapped out locations of the Kappa Statues and Lost Cats for those highly rewarding scavenger hunt quests.
How to unlock optional party member Eri Kamataki in Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Despite being an optional party member, you'll encounter Eri naturally during the progression of Like a Dragon's story. She'll appear in chapter five, after a significant story death, and in cutscenes she'll then ask for Ichiban's help running her family business. Yakuza series fans will know where this leads: the Company Management mini-game.
The company management mini game is initially accessed via the Ichiban Confections store, which is to the south of the Bar District, on the far western edge of the map of Isezaki Ijincho, just above the Tsurukame Bridge. You'll be guided through the early stages of this quest, where the goal is to take your company from ranking in the hundreds up to being the number one company in Yokohama.
Eri is a trusted sidekick throughout this major but optional plot line in Yakuza: Like a Dragon - and if you advance it far enough, she can join your party. If you ignore the minigame, Eri stays in the office as a plain old NPC. Anyway, just talk to Eri inside the Ichiban Confections building to play the minigame.
Tips for reaching the point where you unlock Eri
The point at which you'll need to unlock Eri is when your company reaches the top 100 ranking of companies. That means you're going to have to play several rounds of the mini game - so here's some quick tips to help you through it, even if this element of the game doesn't interest you:
- The mode is played by buying & upgrading business properties, and then likewise hiring & training staff to run those businesses. You begin with one property - the original Ichiban Confections business.
- If you have designs on playing the entire Company Management minigame, you may want to expand. But for the purposes of hitting the top 100, you can do this with just the Ichiban Confections business alone.
- To get to Eri as a fighter quickly, invest everything you can into Ichiban Confections. Hire the best staff you can (having completed Substories helps here, as it unlocks additional staff applicants), and keep them happy with pay rises or bonuses - they perform better when happy. Always hold back a bit of cash for this purpose - so you can fire out some bonuses when the staff mood begins to drop.
- After four sales reports, you'll have a meeting with Shareholders. Take your best employees to this and use their traits to fight back against the arguments of the shareholders. This is color coded in a Rock-Paper-Scissors fashion - Red > Green / Green > Blue / Blue > Red. The aim is to come to the end of the 'battle' with a high approval rating - getting 100% isn't difficult.
This is almost a tutorial stage, and so within 5 'cycles' (that's a run of four business periods and a single company meeting), you should easily reach Rank 100 if you just follow the above.
When you do hit rank 100, Eri will go to Survive Bar, the bar in the north where your party hangs out. Go there and speak to her - she'll then join the party!
Eri as a Party Member: what you need to know
As we said earlier, Eri is a fully-fledged playable party member but she also functions slightly differently to the rest of the Yakuza: Like a Dragon cast.
She's a more basic character; since she isn't guaranteed to be in the story, she rarely has much to say as part of story sequences that aren't about her or company management. Also, her Bond links with Ichiban all take place strictly as part of Company Management - so if you want to raise her Bond to unlock classes and other bonuses, you'll need to return to that minigame.
Speaking of Classes, if you take her to Hello Work Eri can change class to an Idol (always available), Dealer (level 15+), Hostess (level 20+ & bond level 2) and Night Queen (level 25, bond level 4).