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Like a Dragon: Ishin

All Bonds in Rakunai

Nathan Garvin

By talking to NPCs, buying items from shops and occasionally completing introductory Substories, Ryoma can sometimes form bonds with specific characters in Kyo. Continue interacting with these characters and increase your bond with said character - sometimes you just have to patronize their business more, other times you’ll need to appease them in different ways. Maxing out your bond with these characters may trigger various events, oftentimes yielding gifts and virtue. This page will cover how to start and maximize every potential bond in Rakunai in Like a Dragon: Ishin!.

(1 of 3) Talk to the Injured Grandma and she’ll give you some money and send you out on an errand.

Bond with Injured Grandma

Starting in Chapter 3, you can start Substory 15 - The Injured Grandma by simply visiting Teramachi, a riverside area along the eastern end of Rakunai. Upon seeing an old lady in distress, Ryoma leaps into action and offers her aid - contrast this with his reaction to the Servile Beggar on Mukurogai… anyways, this starts and finishes the aforementioned Substory, which is mostly just a device to start up the bond with the Injured Grandma.

To actually advance your bond with the Injured Grandma, you’ll have to travel far enough away to reset her dialog, and the usual trick of entering and exiting Teradaya works. The only problem is that the inn on the southern end of Fushimi is a fair jog away from where the Injured Grandma resides in Rakunai (on the eastern end of the western segment of street that makes up Shinmeicho, just west of the Shogi Parlor). Not only will it take some time to travel back and forth, but you’ll likely end up fighting several random battles along the way, which can quickly grow tedious. Fortunately, there’s a shortcut - just west of the Injured Grandma you’ll find a Palanquin Bearer just outside of Kurogane Smithing. For a mere 550 mon they’ll take you to South Yashikimachi in Fushimi, which is a lot closer than walking. Using the Palanquin Bearers will also increase your bond with them, so it’s a fairly efficient way of working on both bonds.

However you go about it, reset the Injured Grandma’s dialog, then return and she’ll ask you to run an errand for her, giving you some mon to cover the costs. There are three of these errands, and you’ll have to reset her dialog and return after giving her whatever item she asks for. Each time you deliver what she asks for your bond will increase substantially, so there’s no busywork when it comes to building this bond save for the item delivery tasks themselves. Speaking of which, these are what the Injured Grandma will ask for, in order:

  • Ointment: Easy enough, you can find these regularly in pots. If you need to buy one, however, you’ll find them at the General Goods store in Yashikimachi, Fushimi. Buying one will set you back 300 mon, but the Injured Grandma will give you 2,500 mon, earning you a tidy profit.

  • All-Purpose Medicine: You can buy this at Tasshado Pharmacy, in Fushimi Ichibangai, Fushimi. It will set you back 2,000 mon, earning you a net profit of 500 mon.

  • Yokan: Like Ointment, you can buy this from the General Goods store in Yashikimachi, Fushimi for 500 mon. She’ll only give you 1,000 mon this time, but that’s still a 500 mon profit.

Buy all three ingredients and deliver them to max out this bond, earning 2,250 Virtue in the process.

(1 of 3) Use the Palanquin services until your bond is around 70% to learn about some bandit attacks.

Bond with Palanquin Bearer

There are Palanquin Bearers throughout Kyo, but in Chapter 3 you’ll be able to find them in Fushimi (South Yashikimachi - near the Wood Cutter), Rakunai (North Umekojicho, just east of Kurogane Smithing), and Rakugai (eastern end of Karasuma Street). We’re listing this bond in the Rakugai section mostly because of how well it synergizes with the Injured Grandma bond, above. This is a pretty simple bond, talk to the Palanquin Bearers and they’ll charge you 550 mon to fast travel you to any other Palanquin Bearer site you have unlocked. Each time you provide them with your patronage, your bond will increase.

You can just idly toss money at them to take you on trips to boost your bond, but given how obnoxiously high the encounter rate is, it’s often easier to boost other bonds by using the Palanquin Bearers to transport you around, especially if you, say, need to transition time at Teradaya between bond phases. The Injured Grandma is a prime example - you’ll need to fetch her things, after which you’ll have to head far enough away (Teradaya suffices) to get her to reset and give her next request. Instead of walking from Rakunai to Fushimi, you can just take the nearby Palanquin, cutting out most of the wandering time.

However you go about it, once you raise your bond with the Palanquin Bearers to 70% or so, they’ll mention some bandits that have been preying on them. Be wary, as the next time you use the Palanquin Bearer’s services you’ll be ambushed by five bandits. They’re all stronger than your average street thug, but the heavy weapon user is especially dangerous, as he hits like a truck and doesn’t stagger easily. Use ranged attacks if you can, and if you knock him down or otherwise create an opening, use heat to take advantage of it.

After defeating the bandits the Palanquin Bearers will thank you by opening up a new fast travel spot in Sannocho, Rakugai, just east of the Gambling Den. You’ll also earn the customary 2,250 Virtue.

(1 of 3) To build up a bond with the Hanamaru Udon Employee, just buy udon.

Bond with Hanamaru Udon Employee

A fairly straight-forward bond, buy udon from the employee at the Hanamaru Udon shop along the western end of East Shijo Street in Rakunai. Each purchase will increase your bond, so maxing this bond out is really just a matter of burning money on Udon. If you want to be efficient, buy Udon when you’re injured to heal yourself and earn more virtue, but it’s not required. If you buy different meals each time you’ll also make progress towards the achievement I’ll Have One of Everything.

Get your bond up to 60% and the employee will mention working on a special dish for you. Keep buying Udon and at around 80% bond he’ll have finished the udon dish, which he’ll now sell to you. This unlocks the Beef Udon meal for 500 mon. Unlocking it also maxes out the rest of your bond with the Hanamaru Udon Employee, earning you 2,250 Virtue in the process.

(1 of 3) After making your first purchase, Ryoma will test the competence of the Don Quijote Employee.

Bond with Don Quijote Employee

Starting in Chapter 3 you can start building a bond with the Don Quijote Employee, just buy something at the aforementioned general store along the northern end of Shijo Street in Rakunai. After making your first purchase, Ryoma will test the competence of the Don Quijote Employee, a challenge the latter is more than ready to meet - pick any object from the list provided (your choice here doesn’t matter) and the Don Quijote Employee will demonstrate his knowledge.

After this, you’ll build up your bond with the Don Quijote Employee in the usual way - by making repeated purchases at the Don Quijote general store. Again, the number of good purchased at a time or the overall money spent doesn’t matter, just the number of transactions. If you want to save yourself some money, you can get away with just buying oranges for 50 mon a pop. This is a tedious process, as you gain very little bond per purchase, but stick to it and 35 oranges later your bond will hit around 70%, at which point a “Customer” will mistake you for an employee and ask where to find hay bales. Head outside the shop and search along the southern wall (running along Shijo Street) to find what the lady is looking for.

Return to the Don Quijote Employee and talk to him and apologize for the incident, giving you a Gold Plate (sells for 2 ryo, 5,000 mon). This will also max out your bond with this NPC, earning you the customary 2,250 Virtue.

(1 of 2) Buy any meals from the Sushi Zanmai shop to boost your bond,

Buy any meals from the Sushi Zanmai shop to boost your bond, (left), at around 50% bond you’ll be told about some fresh tuna. At 75% bone you’ll need to leave and return to finish filling out the bond meter. (right)

Bond with Sushi Zanmai Chef

Starting in Chapter 3 you’ll gain access to Rakugai and Rakunai, both of which can be found north of Fushimi. To start this bond, seek out the Sushi Zanmai shop along the northeastern edge of Rakunai, which can be found just east of a Palanquin fast travel spot, northwest of Nichibuza. Like most shops, all you have to do is buy something - the price or number of items ordered doesn’t matter, only the number of transactions. Unfortunately the food served here is pretty expensive, ranging from 525 mon and 3,150 mon. You can boost your bond just by ordering the cheapest meal (Chawanmushi) multiple times, but if you feast on some of the more premium dishes you’ll gain Prize Tickets as well as the food’s benefits (healing) and bond. If you want to make this less of a pure money sink, come here to eat when you’re injured to heal yourself, which will also earn you extra virtue.

However you manage it, keep boosting your bond until it’s around 50%, at which point the Sushi Zanmai Chef (AKA “Employee”) will mention an incoming tuna delivery. Good to know. Fill your bond meter to 75% and at this point you’ll need to trigger the Sushi Zanmai Chef’s dialog to reset, and as usual this can be done by heading to Teradaya, entering and exiting, then returning to Sushi Zanmai. Use the nearby Palanquin Bearer to significantly shorten the trip if you wish, and when you return you’ll be treated to some blue fin tuna at its peak quality. This doesn’t have any in-game benefits, but it does max out your bond meter, earning you 2,250 Virtue.

(1 of 3) Make a purchase at the Ecchudo Pharmacy and you’ll be asked to test out some novel medicine.

Bond with Ecchudo Apothecary

Once you have access to Rakunai (starting in Chapter 3) you’ll be able to visit the Ecchudo Pharmacy in Kawaramchi, just west of Nichibuza and southeast of the Sushi Zanmai restaurant. Like most shops, you’ll begin the bond with the Ecchudo Apothecary by making a purchase - he sells a variety of restoratives, but you can get away with buying the cheapest item, a Passion Pill, for 500 mon.

After the purchase, the Ecchudo Apothecary will ask you to be a guinea pig for his experimental medicine, the “Medicine of Longevity and Vigor”. Agree to test it for him and after a scene, Ryoma will be reduced to 50% HP and the concoction will be exposed as a dud. This refreshingly silly exchange makes up the majority of the bond with the Ecchudo Apothecary - a nice change of pace from the usual “buy two dozen items to max out your bond” relationship you have with most shopkeepers, not in the least because aside from the initial purchase, this doesn’t actually cost you any mon. That said, you do suffer HP damage from participating in these trials, but you can always just head northwest to the Sushi Zanmai shop and buy one of their dishes to heal up and make progress on that bond simultaneously.

Subject yourself to the Ecchudo Apothecary’s experimental medicine three times for similar results. Each time you do this your bond with the Ecchudo Apothecary will increase by around 20%, so this shouldn’t be a time-consuming bond to max. On the fourth visit, Ryoma’s reaction to the tweaked medicine is especially deleterious, dropping you down to 1 HP. Be sure to consume some healing items or carefully make your way back to Sushi Zanmai to get some healing, as any encounter with your health this low can be fatal. Finally, return for a fifth time and try out the medicine again. This time it’s a success, although something of an anticlimactic one. Still, avoiding the lows of the former is worth sacrificing the highs. You’ll be given a Longevity Pill for your efforts, and from this point on you’ll be able to purchase more Longevity Pills from the Ecchudo Apothecary for 8,000 mon a pop. These drugs fully heal your HP and Heat, making them quite potent - if expensive. This will also max out your bond with the Ecchudo Apothecary, earning you 2,250 Virtue.

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  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
    PS4, PS5, Steam, XB One, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    17 February 2023
  • Last Updated
    20 March 2023
    Version History
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Like a Dragon: Ishin is set in 1860’s Japan during the Bakumatsu era at the end of the Edo Period. Take up the sword of Sakamoto Ryoma, framed for killing his father, and restore honor to his name while dealing with the political intrigue that he gets thrown in to. This guide for Like a Dragon: Ishin contains the following:

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