The main story spans over twelve chapters plus a prologue. As with the earlier games, each chapter is preceded by a cinematic, called an "event scene", which later becomes available in the Gallery mode. Skipping these scenes using the Start button can only be done after enabling the scene-skipping option in the menu, which is switched off by default. The western version of Yakuza 3 features 295 minutes of cutscenes according to the BBFC.
Six sub-scenarios (Date's Pride, Two Fathers, Hometown Girl, The Finishing Touch, Silver Screen Dragon and Murder at Café Alps) are special missions featuring "event scene" cinematics. Holding R1 and pressing the X button will activate an automatic mode that skips the cutscene dialogue.