Should You Join Kondo or Katsura in Kyoto in Rise of the Ronin?


Rise of the Ronin is a game filled with decisions to make, including whether to join Kondo or Katsura in Kyoto. This choice occurs fairly deep into the game, once you’ve unlocked the Kyoto region. It’s ultimately a choice between pledging allegiance to Japan’s Shogunate traditions or lobbying for change and social upheaval. Here are the key differences!

Join Kondo or Katsura in Kyoto Differences

The choice between Kondo or Katsura occurs during the Rise of the Ronin mission called Parting Ways. At this point, you’ve already unlocked Kyoto, and have seen the pro and anti-Shogunate forces competing for dominance in the region. Then, you get to choose Kondo (the Shogunate path) or Katsura (the anti-Shogunate path) as your main allegiance. Speak to Ryoma after the cutscene to make your decision.

Image Source: Team Ninja

Join Kondo

Choosing to go down Kondo’s path, and accepting his offer of staying to fight with the Shogunate, will see you side with the ruling government in Rise of the Ronin. Characters like Katsura become enemies, and you take on faction-exclusive missions involving action against rebel troops.

Equally, it means that you never make an enemy of the Shogunate and the powerful officers within. Missions such as the Ikeda Inn Incident change quite drastically, particularly the boss fights at the end of it.

One thing to note, though, is that the ending of Rise of the Ronin is the same no matter which option you select. Instead, this choice changes the characters you complete missions for, and your prior bonds build up so far in the game.

Join Katsura

Heading down the anti-Shogunate path, Kondo will shun you and tell you to leave his base. After that, the middle acts of the game play out fairly similarly, up until the Ikeda Inn Incident mission. This is where you save Ryoma from death, provided you’ve completed enough Bond Missions.

This plays through as it always would, up until you attempt to leave the base after it’s besieged by Shogunates. Kondo comes out onto the courtyard and challenges you to fight. Katsura will fight alongside you until you deplete Kondo’s HP bar and he yields.

Kondo then offers you one last chance to change your mind and rejoin the Shogunate. Doing so will return you to the status quo as detailed in the section above, with no consequences for temporarily abandoning Kondo.

That’s all you need to know about this key decision in Rise of the Ronin. For more on the game, check out whether to kill or spare Naosuke Ii. We’ve also got guides on the best ways to raise character bonds and whether to join Taka or Katsura.

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