Rise Of The Ronin Yokohama
Image: Team Ninja

Should you be Pro-Shogunate or Anti-Shogunate in Rise of the Ronin?

What's the deal with the Shogun in Rise of the Ronin?

Rise of the Ronin is set during a tumultuous period in Japanese history, and you’ll be forced to choose a side in the ongoing conflict between Pro-Shogunate and Anti-Shogunate factions during the main storyline.

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While not every mission involves this conflict in Rise of the Ronin, most of the missions in the game will force you to choose between a Pro-Shogunate and Anti-Shogunate route with different allies, objectives, and boss battles. There’s no way to see everything during one playthrough of Rise of the Ronin, so which faction should you ally yourself with?

Do Your Choices Matter in Rise of the Ronin?

Despite Team Ninja’s previous RPGs not placing a huge emphasis on story, Rise of the Ronin is a massive RPG with a sprawling narrative that changes depending on your actions. Your choices absolutely do matter in Rise of the Ronin, especially the decision to support the Shogunate or rebel against it. While there are only two major routes to take in Rise of the Ronin’s main story, there are still several smaller branches that you can follow by making certain choices during main missions and side quests.

Pro vs Anti-Shotgunate Differences

Rise of the Ronin is set during Japan’s Bakumatsu period. This period was rife with anti-Western sentiment as the United States and other nations sent ships to Japan in an attempt to force the nation to end its isolationist policies and open itself up to the rest of the world. Matthew Perry, one of the first bosses you encounter in Rise of the Ronin, was a driving force behind this movement.

Rise Of The Ronin Matthew Perry Revolver
Image: Team Ninja

At the time, the Japanese Emperor initially wished to repel the foreigners entirely. The Shogun (military leader) of Japan wanted the opposite, fearing the West’s cannons and naval might and hastily signing a treaty that many opposed. During this period of history, however, the Emperor was mostly a figurehead while the Shogun held most of the real power. Because of the huge policy shift after the Black Ships arrived, some began to question if the Shogunate was really best for them.

That’s where the Pro-Shogunate and Anti-Shogunate factions in Rise of the Ronin come into play. The Pro-Shogunate forces want to maintain the status quo, while the Anti-Shogunate forces want to restore the Emperor’s power over Japan. It’s up to you to decide who to ally yourself with while you search for answers on your journey.

Anti-Shogunate Storyline Explained

If you follow the Anti-Shogunate route by choosing missions marked with a green icon in Rise of the Ronin, then you’ll work alongside Sakamoto Ryoma to unite several prominent figures under one banner to dismantle the Shogunate and restore power to the Emperor. This involves assassinating Pro-Shogunate forces and Western ambassadors, so you’ll need to get your hands dirty.

Rise Of The Ronin Tobaku
Image: Team Ninja

Completing Anti-Shogunate missions will increase your Bond with Sakamoto Ryoma and the other Anti-Shogunate faction members, which will unlock new gear for purchase at the faction vendor. The Anti-Shogunate vendor sells traditional Japanese equipment and clothing, so you’ll be treated to kimonos and samurai armor if you go this route.

Pro-Shogunate Storyline Explained

If you want to support the Shogun and take on Pro-Shogunate missions marked with purple icons in Rise of the Ronin, you’ll work against Sakamoto Ryoma and his clan and instead ally yourself with Taka Murayama, a Geisha from Yokohama’s pleasure district who clearly knows more than she’s letting on.

Rise Of The Ronin Sabaku
Image: Team Ninja

She’ll send you on missions to intercept communications that could harm the Shogunate, assassinate Anti-Shogunate nationalists, and do everything in your power to maintain the Shogunate’s centralized rule. You’ll also work alongside the Shinsengumi, the Shogun’s elite group of samurai featured in Like a Dragon: Ishin.

Completing Pro-Shogunate missions will increase your Bond level with Taka Murayama and other Pro-Shogunate faction members. You’ll also unlock new Pro-Shogunate gear at the faction vendor. The Pro-Shogunate vendor sells Western-inspired gear like suits and pants plus modern weapons like rifles and bayonets, which is the complete opposite of what the rival faction sells.

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Diego Perez
Currently serving as a Senior Staff Writer at PC Invasion, Diego Perez has been writing about video games since 2018, specializing in live service games like Destiny and Final Fantasy XIV. His work is featured at publications like Game Rant and Attack of the Fanboy (where he served as Associate Editor), but PC Invasion is home to his best work. When he's planning content or writing guides, he's yelling about Ape Escape or grinding Lost Sectors in Destiny. Plus, he has a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Media Studies for Texas A&M University.