Monday, December 31, 2018

[Pinned] Announcement: Phantom River Stone is on Patreon!

It is hard to believe that over one-and-a-half years have passed since the Phantom River Stone blog launched. We've made more than 200 posts on our favorite subject: translations of community interviews, magazine articles and design documents, notes about everyday items and culture reflected in the game, photos of real locations around Yokosuka... just celebrating the awesomeness that is Shenmue.

In order to sustain this rate of output, and dedicate the time needed for the translations and posts, I wanted to offer a way for blog readers who wish to help contribute to do so.

And so, I am excited to announce our new Patreon page for Phantom River Stone!

If you're not familiar with Patreon, it’s an easy way to give those who find the blog of interest, a way to support it directly.

Plus, you will receive some great rewards in return, such as exclusive "behind the scenes" content, early access to blog posts before anyone else, and monthly voting on a future blog topic. We also have a Discord channel for chatting about Shenmue and blog posts & I look forward to chatting with you there.

There are several different reward tiers, which you can check out in detail on the new Patreon page.

Thank you for considering becoming a patron of the blog, and regardless of whether you are in a position to offer financial support, thank you for being a reader of the blog!

Click to open the Phantom River Stone page on Patreon!


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Friday, October 19, 2018

[Early Access Post] Out of Bounds in China: Automated Cheat Tool for Shenmue Two



In this post, we present our automated tool for Shenmue II that will let Ryo step right through walls, fences and boundaries as if they didn't exist. It is a companion tool to the one for Shenmue I (which can be found here).


What Is It?


The tool is a short script built in the Cheat Engine (an open-source memory scanner, editor and debugger) that scans through memory to identify boundary data for the current area, and clears it out. Bingo - the boundaries are removed.

The original method for removing collisions in the Dreamcast version was developed by Giorgio and BlueMue of the Shenmue Dojo.

We've also added an extra function to adjust Ryo's position in the area he is in. The following keyboard shortcut keys can also be used:

  • Insert / Delete: move Ryo forward/back in the X direction
  • Home / End: move Ryo forward/back in the Y direction
  • Page Up / Page Down: adjust Ryo's height (note, disable collisions first)

The tool is available now for Phantom River Stone patrons! 

https://www.patreon.com/posts/out-of-bounds-in-22121135
Not a patron yet? Click the button below to support Phantom River Stone on Patron - just $2 gets you advance access to this post and all premium posts published during that month, plus other cool rewards like weekly Shenmue news recaps & more! Plus, if you join this month at any level, you will automatically be entered in a draw to win a Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map Give-Away

It's a prize give-away! All our patrons have an equal shot at winning a shiny new Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map, fresh from the 2018 Tokyo Game Show. There's no better time to become a Phantom River Stone supporter ($1 at the lowest tier). The entry period closes at the end of this month on October 31st.


Join us here: https://www.patreon.com/phantomriverstone

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Prototype that Served Its Purpose: Thoughts on the Leaked Footage for a "Full HD Remaster" of Shenmue I & II


Yesterday, a video was released by Digital Foundry, showcasing leaked footage of a partially-completed remastered version of Shenmue I & II (which we'll refer to as a prototype) that was eventually shelved in favor of a version in which the enhancements were more manageable. This version was also worked on by d3t, the same development company who went on to develop the Shenmue I & II re-release that was released earlier this year.

The footage takes the form of a number of camera "fly-bys" around certain locations from the games (the Hazuki Residence, Yamanose and Dobuita from Shenmue I, and a few street areas in Hong Kong), highlighting comprehensively remodeled graphics.



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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Ryo Lost in the Golden Qr | Mods & Hacks

"I'm looking for the Yin Tan apartments". Ryo climbs a nearby street light for a better view.


This picture was taken using a hack for the PC version of Shenmue II that lets Ryo walk through walls - and in the air.
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Monday, October 15, 2018

The New Shenmue Guide Map: The Differences

The New Shenmue Guide Map: The Differences


The Shenmue "Sacred Spot" Guide Map is a multi-page tourist pamphlet highlighting locations of interest to Shenmue fans around Yokosuka and is a collaborative effort between Yokosuka City and SEGA. It was originally released at the end of 2017 in both English and Japanese versions (see our video about the map with links to their pdf downloads).

A new edition of the map has made an appearance at SEGA's booth at the 2018 recent Tokyo Game Show in September.
Shenhua shows off the new edition of the map at TGS 2018.
Shenhua shows off the new edition of the map at TGS 2018.
In this post we compare the new version directly with the original, page by page, to see what differences there are.

The language of the new version is Japanese (whereas the original map also had an English version). This is understandable, given its purpose as a promotional item for the release Shenmue I & II in Japan, as we shall see.

Note: an official pdf of the new map is not available, so photos have been used which may introduce some color variation.
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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Walking Through Walls: Automated Cheat Tool for Shenmue One


While playing Shenmue it's not unusual to wonder what lies behind some of the inaccessible areas in the game. It would be fun to roam around the world of Shenmue outside of the usual boundaries - peeking behind shop counters, strolling over to areas blocked off by walls, or even running out onto the road to play chicken with the traffic.

Over the years, talented hackers and modders in the Shenmue community figured out the changes needed to achieve this in the Dreamcast version of the games. And with the re-releases it turns out that a similar approach can be taken for the re-release games, as described in our earlier post.

Today we present our automated cheat tool for Shenmue I, a program that allows Ryo to walk past the usual boundaries at the click of a button. This tool is for use with the PC (Steam) version of Shenmue I.

Read on for details on how to use it to go exploring for yourself. The download link can be found at the end of the post.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Exploring the Road Outside New Yokosuka Harbor | Video


In recent posts we've seen a few interesting places Ryo can go once the in-game boundary restrictions are removed: such as over to the warship in the harbor, or even behind the mirror in the Russiya China shop in Dobuita.

This time Ryo is out exploring the road in front of New Yokosuka Harbor, for which access is normally limited to the area in front of the bus stop. Along the way he greets an abusive guy pushing a trolley, and witnesses some questionable driving.


Related post:
  • See our post about our one-click tool for information on how to easily turn collision detection off in Shenmue I, allowing Ryo to literally walk behind the scenes. 
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