A Judgment PC mod restores the original actor for Captain Hamura in the Yakuza spin-off game after he was removed following drug charges in Japan. The surprise arrival of Judgment on PC along with its sequel, Lost Judgment, has opened the door to a variety of user-made tweaks, and this one was always likely to be on the cards. The news of a Judgment actor change at the time of the game’s release was rather dramatic. Pierre Taki, the original Japanese voice actor and likeness for Kyohei Hamura – one of the action game’s most prominent characters – was pulled entirely from the game in dramatic fashion after admitting to cocaine use.
Drug use carries much stronger weight in Japanese culture than in many western countries, with several famous figures becoming essentially ‘persona non grata’ after being found to have used illegal substances. Often, such cases lead to people being wiped from even previous performances. Taki’s arrest led to sales of Judgment being halted by SEGA shortly after the game’s initial release, and the actor was recast alongside the replacement of several of Taki’s other roles including his voice work as Olaf in the Japanese release of Disney’s Frozen.
Taki’s likeness and voice work were replaced with that of Miou Tanaka – who by all accounts does a stellar job in the role of the sneering Matsugane family captain (voiced in English by Fred Tatasciore), especially given the short notice with which he stepped into the position. However, fans of the series who might be looking to replay the game following its release on PC may be interested to see the original performance, which was previously only accessible through initial copies bought in Japan at release prior to it being pulled from shelves.
Interestingly, SEGA previously said they had “no plans to bring Judgment to PC” – something that was reported to be connected to concerns about the likeness of its star Takuya Kimura, former member of best-selling J-pop boyband SMAP. It appears that SEGA was able to overcome any concerns that might have been raised and bring the pair of games to PC players, but it certainly didn’t take long for mods to begin springing up. If you’re interested in seeing Pierre Taki’s performance in Judgment for yourself, you can check out the Pierre Taki restoration patch on Nexus Mods.
If you’re a fan of Yakuza games, you’re about to be spoilt for choice. The series, which has now rebranded to adopt its Japanese mantle ‘Like a Dragon,’ has three new entries on the way courtesy of RGG Studio. Main series entry Like a Dragon 8 stars returning Yakuza 7 protagonist Ichiban Kasuga alongside series mainstay Kazuma Kiryu, while Like a Dragon Gaiden explores what Kiryu got up to following the events of Yakuza 6. Meanwhile, a remake of Edo period spin-off Like a Dragon Ishin is coming to the west for the first time.