Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Song "Winter Sunset" by Shenmue Composer Ryuji Iuchi

Shenmue composer Ryuji Iuchi recently announced via Twitter that he has composed a new track in memory of a fan of Shenmue, the late Rodger Swan.


His tweet reads as follows (my translation):
"When I was looking up this and that late at night, I learned that a fan of the game passed away from illness several years ago. I felt compelled to do something, and worked through to morning on a composition. I hope this melody may be to his liking. R.I.P."
The new song, and others that he has created over the past year, are embedded later in this post.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"You should have come yesterday" | Translation Analysis

It's time to look at another phrase plucked from the English version of Shenmue and see what lies behind its translation.

Translation Analysis: "You Should Have Come Yesterday"

The location is at the Abe Store down the road from Ryo's house, which has been serving toys and snacks to the children in Sakuragaoka for years.

The friendly store owner, Setsu Abe, often teases Ryo with various nicknames (which we'll devote a post to in the future), which he doesn't really like but it's a handy place to try for some rare prizes with the Shenmue Raffle.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rotary Phones & Milk Delivery | Shenmue Realism

In previous posts we looked at some of the details in Shenmue that reflected life in 1980s Japan, such as the washing machines sitting outside the apartments and the heating arrangements during winter.

Today we check out some more typical items from Japan during the '80s, that Ryo encounters as he wanders through the suburbs near his home... starting with telephones.

Realism in Shenmue: Rotary Phones & Milk Delivery

Phones of Many Colors


There are a few different styles of phones that Ryo can interact with in Shenmue, all of which would have been commonly seen in Japan during the time in which Shenmue was set.

The first telephone the player encounters is the domestic-use one at Ryo's home. In addition there are a couple of different types of public phone in Ryo's neighborhood.

Public phones in Japan generally have an easily-distinguishable color, which helps identify the features a phone offers (as technology advanced models were released that offered international calling, push-button "dialing", accepted phone cards as well as coins and so on). Of course, with the ubiquity of mobile phones, public phones are harder to find in Japan these days.

Let's see how their in-game appearance stacks up compared to images of the real thing.

Friday, February 10, 2017

How to View the Passenger Plane and Fighter Jet Cutscenes | Shenmue II

Those who have played Shenmue II will recall the brief cutscene that occurs as Ryo strolls through Wan Chai, where he looks up at the sky to see a passenger airplane pass above him.

But were you aware of how to trigger the similar, but not-so-common, scene that has a formation of fighter jets flying overhead instead? If not, then read on.

In this post we'll cover how to view both of these cutscenes in the game.

Acknowledgement: Thank you to Kiyuu of the Shenmue Dojo for the tip from her old forum post which served as the basis for this recap.

Passenger Plane Flyover Cutscene


The view of the passenger jet is quite impressive due to the plane's proximity as it soars overhead with a roar, its landing gear extended, flaps down and landing lights twinkling.

Passenger plane flying over Wan Chai
The scene has even more impact at night.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Iwao Hazuki's China Visit | Diagram of Relationships & Timeline

During Ryo's travels in Shenmue and Shenmue II, he gradually pieces together clues and information about the mysterious Dragon & Phoenix mirrors and how his father came to possess them.

With Shenmue III in the works, now is the perfect time to consider afresh the circumstances surrounding his father's visit to China by reviewing some of the clues Ryo has comes across.

At the end of the post, we'll attempt to consolidate this information onto a diagram showing the inter-relationships and timelines.

A snippet of the final diagram.
Let's start with a name that is introduced at the very start of Shenmue, in the opening cinematic: Sunming Zhao.