Like a Dragon: Ishin! has numerous RPG elements, and aside from the ability trees, craftable, upgradable weapons and gear are perhaps the most robust of these elements. Naturally, you’ll start out with the weakest equipment in the game, and as you progress through the game you’ll acquire higher-quality swords, guns and gear. This isn’t a strictly linear process, however, and if you know where to look and what to do, you can skip a few tiers and acquire some powerful weapons long before you encounter any enemies strong enough to withstand them. This page will provide information on how to obtain one such weapon, the Golden Gun, as early as possible.
Where to Find the Golden Gun in Like a Dragon Ishin
The Golden Gun is a prize offered at the Gambling Den in Sannocho, in the Rakugai district. You won’t be able to access this area until Chapter 3, but once Chapter 3 starts you can beeline to this den of inequity at your leisure. Once inside, talk to the Trader and he’ll sell you a Golden Gun, a weapon with 515 Attack, which is a far sight better than the 80 Attack Model 2 you start out with.
Unfortunately, to walk away with a Golden Gun you’ll need to trade 100,000 Wooden Tags, which you can buy at a painful rate of 100 mon per tag, or 1 ryo per 100 tags. Getting 1,000 ryo is out of the question, so instead of buying the wooden tags you’ll need directly, you’ll have to gamble for the vast majority of the wooden tags you need.
How to Gamble 100,000 Woden Tags for the Golden Gun
1,000 ryo is outrageous, but getting 100,000 wooden tags via gambling is much easier, although it’ll take some seed money, time, patience, and perhaps a judicious bit of save-scumming. It’s a multistep process that’ll see you graduate from playing low stakes Texas Hold’em, then high stakes Texas Hold’em, before finally betting on the outcome of chicken races. A lot of this process is covered in the page Best Ways to Make Money in Like a Dragon: Ishin, but we’ll provide a stream-lined version here.
Chop Wood for Seed Money
Before you can play Poker, you need to get a starting pool of wooden tags - 200 or so will suffice. Still, this will set you back 2 ryo. If you don’t have the money, play the wood-cutting minigame along the southwestern end of South Yashikimachi in the Fushimi district. One log cut will earn you 100 mon, or 150 mon if you already maxed out your bond with the Wood Cutter. It’s not a lightning-fast way to make money, but it’s not bad - a few minutes will see you through 100 pieces of wood, netting you 1 ryo (or 1,5 ryo). When you have at least 2 ryo to burn, talk to the Bookie in the Gambling Den and buy 200 wooden tags.
Play Low Stakes Poker
Now that you have wooden tags, go play Texas Hold’em and choose the low stakes (5/10 points) option. You’ll be dealt two cards, and you’ll have to choose to fold (quit and forfeit whatever you’ve bet), call (meet the bets made by other players) or raise (up your bet and force other players to do the same). Unless you start out with a pair of the same card, just call to start, meeting other player’s bets if necessary. After this round the dealer will draw and display three cards, and your goal is to make various hands out of the cards you have and the cards the dealer puts into play. Most games will come down to 2-of-a-kind, 3-of-a-kind, 2-pair or similar low-tier, high-probability hands. If you get a pair, raise until every other player matches you, or forfeits. If you get nothing, check or call as you must to get to the next round as cheaply as possible, On the next round the dealer will draw a fourth card - repeat the process above and a fifth and final card will be drawn. If you don’t end up with anything with all seven cards on the table, fold. Cut your losses. Reload, try again. If you have a pair (or better!) keep betting and raising until you enter a showdown, and if you’re lucky your hand will be the strongest, earning you the entire pot. If you lose, reload (or keep betting, depending on how many wooden tags you have), if you win, exit and save.
Repeat this process and you should earn a few hundred wooden tags when you win. This varies highly between games, of course, but the goal is to keep going until you gear around 2,000 wooden tags. Once done, it’s time to move to high stakes poker…
Play High Stakes Poker
When you’re around 2,000 wooden tags, quit low-stakes poker and switch to high-stakes poker (50/100 points). This will cost more wooden tags per bet, but since this affects everybody, your winnings will be much, much higher. Otherwise high stakes poker functions identically to low-stakes poker, so repeat the process above until you have over 7,000 wooden tags.
Bet on Chicken Races
All that poker served one purpose - building up a stockpile of wooden tags sufficient to properly bet on chicken races. You’ll find the Chicken Racing den along the western end of Rakugai, in the Umekojicho area. Save your game before entering, and when you’re inside it’ll be time to bet on some birds!
There is some complexity to this minigame, and if you want more details check out the page How to Win at Chicken Racing in Like a Dragon: Ishin!. For our purposes, details are less important than results. Tell the Chicken Race Receptionist that you’ll play, then select “Buy Tickets”. First note that there’s a timer - you only have two minutes between races to place bets. When you select “Buy Tickets” you’ll get a host of options - ignore them for now and instead check out the list of named chickens on the right. Specifically you’re looking for two things, first is “Payout”, the lower the payout, the safer the bet. We’re not here to gamble on miracles, we’re here to use the information provided to make big gains fast and reliably. Find the chickens with the lowest payouts (read: best odds), and if it’s close between several birds, check out the “Condition” column. Chickens in good condition are more likely to get speed boosts and avoid slowdowns, especially on longer races. This isn’t an exact science, and RNG will cause contenders to overperform or underperform, so don’t fret over race distance and condition too much, but if the odds are close and one bird is in better condition (arrow pointing up = good condition, down = bad condition), bet on that one instead.
Pick the two birds you feel the most confident in primarily based on their payout (again, lower payout is better) with condition being a tiebreaker when the payout is otherwise close. Remember their numbers and go down to the “Dividend List” option, where you’ll want to put bets on BOTH of your birds taking the top two spots. For example, if chicken #1 and chicken #4 have the lowest payout and best condition, you’d want to make the following bets:
Yes, that’s a lot of bets. Just use / or DualSense-R1 / to swap between the three screens where all the bets are located and put the max bid of 300 wooden tags on each of the bets listed above (you can just press to instantly go from zero to max on each bid). With 23 different bets maxed out at 300 wooden tags each, that’ll set you back a whopping 6,9000 wooden tags each race.
If you lose, reload, as you just don’t have the wooden tags to suffer a hit like that… and nobody wants to go back to playing poker again, right? Since you’re betting on two out of five birds to win, there’s a 40% chance you’ll get at least SOME prize money. One of your birds winning will likely earn you 1,000 wooden tags - not anywhere near enough to cover the bet. On the plus side, if both of your birds place in the top two spots, regardless of order, you’ll win between 40,000 and 50,000 wooden tags. A healthy profit if ever there was one.
If you win, save your game and keep playing. In our experience, we won big around ¼ of the time we played, making it possible to just keep betting and absorbing losses after the first win. If you don’t mind save/loading, however, you’ll probably find that approach faster. There’s a lot of downtime during races followed by a frantic two minute window of placing bets, which makes this minigame grind kind of tedious - it’s a bit too involved to do passively, but not engaging enough to actively pay attention to.
Persevere and walk away with at least 100,000 wooden tags, then return to the gambling den where you won your seed money playing poker and talk to the Trader. Exchange 100,000 wooden tags and you’ll walk out with a Golden Gun, which should leave you strong enough to thoughtlessly just shoot down most enemies you encounter.