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 interested in the blog a way to support it directly. Plus, receive some great rewards in return, such as exclusive "behind the scenes" content, early access to blog posts before anyone else, and even voting on a future blog topic. We also have a Discord channel for chatting about Shenmue and blog posts.

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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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Comments on Kickstarter Update #82 | Shenhua's new voice actress

Haruka Terui announced as Shenhua's voice in Shenmue 3

Kickstarter Update #82 has been released, announcing the selection for the Japanese voice of Shenhua in Shenmue 3 as Haruka Terui.

Our commentary post about this update is available for early access patrons (or consider supporting us as a patron for early access to posts and more):

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Kickstarter Update #81: Shenmue III Release Window Moved to 2019

Kickstarter Update #81: Shenmue III Release Window Moved to 2019

Today Deep Silver and YS Net jointly announced that the release window for Shenmue III has been moved to 2019 (the precise period has not been given), from the second half of 2018. You may recall that the previous date adjustment was due to Deep Silver's involvement partway through the project, bringing with it additional financial support that allowed for a greatly-increased scope.

The announcement notes that the extra time will be spent to improve and refine the game.

The text of the Kickstarter update is as follows:
"Hello Everyone,
Along with our publishers, Deep Silver, we have an announcement for the release date of Shenmue III. Our report follows with a comment from Mr. Suzuki.
Announcement by Deep Silver:
“ Deep Silver today announce that their upcoming release Shenmue III has been moved and will now release in 2019.
The extra time will be used to polish the quality of the game even further, to the high standards it deserves and release the product in the best possible timeframe. ”
Comment by Yu Suzuki:
To all of our backers, we are very sorry for the delay. After much discussion with our partners, Deep Silver, we have concluded that extending the release will allow us to deliver Shenmue III at its best. We promise to use this time to improve the quality of Shenmue III.
We cannot thank you enough for your enduring support."
Source: Kickstarter Update #81

This news may be seen as unfortunate for those who had been hoping to play Shenmue III as soon as possible, a delay that ensures the product is delivered at its best is something that will surely have the understanding of the majority of backers. From Yu Suzuki's comments at the Magic event in Monaco, we know that the team is working all-out - including throughout weekends - so if a reschedule is required to reach the level he is striving for, then this has my full support.

Shenmue Forever has gathered some initial reactions from the community.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Tour of Dobuita Street in Under One Minute | Hyperlapse Video

Tour of Dobuita Street in Under One Minute | Hyperlapse Video

Take a sub-minute virtual tour of the real Dobuita Street with this amazing hyperlapse footage created by Patrick Fuller (visit him on Twitter).

It captures several locations that feature on the official Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map that will be familiar to fans of the game. See if you can spot all of the following - the pause button may be of help!
  • Aida Florist (real-life: Flower Shop Hanamatsu)
  • Vending machine (100-yen Cokes!)
  • Kurita Military Surplus (real-life: Kakita)
  • Water Dragon Vol.2 (real-life: MIKASA Vol.2 & other jacket shops)
  • Tom's Hot Dog Truck (real-life: Pita Kebab truck)
  • Parking lot on Dobuita Street

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

"Sukajan" Jackets on Dobuita Street | Tax-free for Shenmue Fans

As you walk down the real Dobuita St, one of the shops you will come across is MIKASA VOL.2, which was the inspiration for the Water Dragon Vol.2 Thrift Store in Shenmue. The shop is named after the battleship Mikasa that was decommissioned in 1922 and set up as a museum ship in Yokosuka (it can be visited at Mikasa Park, a short walk from Dobuita St).

As noted in the Sacred Spot Guide Map, MIKASA VOL.2 has been a part of Dobuita for many years, being established over 65 years ago.
A note about the shop "Mikasa vol.2" from the Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map
A note about the shop "MIKASA vol.2" from the Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map
Although the in-game counterpart is a jeans specialist store, the actual shop sells various types of clothing including a range of "Sukajan" jackets.
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Trailer: Learn Japanese through Shenmue

Trailer: Learn Japanese through Shenmue

We have put together a trailer for our new series of Shenmue-themed Japanese lessons, to give a little taste of what to expect.

If you've been interested in learning Japanese, this could be the perfect opportunity to get started while enjoying snippets of conversations and scenes from the Shenmue story.

Lesson #1 Available Now for Patrons

The first lesson will be released here on the blog later this month.

If you can't wait to get started, and would like to support Phantom River Stone at the same time, why not become a patron and get early access right now. You'll also get other patron-exclusive content and rewards!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Phantom River Stone Gets Soupy

PRS got mentions this week on... :)

Phantom River Stone Blog on Dude Soup

To our surprise Phantom River Stone was showcased on the Funhaus show "Dude Soup Podcast" last week, a channel with over a million YouTube subscribers! It was featured in the Hard Nettin' segment, in which the blog's Survey of Red TVs in Shenmue guest post (produced with JCGamer) faced off against the previous week's champion, a forum-based game.

One of the podcast crew is Elyse Willems, who was present in the GameTrailers live stream for E3 2015 that gained instant fame thanks to Michael Huber's exuberant celebration at Shenmue III's announcement:
Michael Huber and team react to 2015's Shenmue announcement at E3.
Here's the podcast segment with their reactions to the post's somewhat... specialized topic! (The video starts where the blog post is brought up).

Happy Console Gamer & the Shenmue Guide Maps

Also recently, Johnny from Happy Console Gamer, who is a big fan and supporter of Shenmue, did a nice little showcase of the Shenmue Sacred Spot guide maps that I sent him earlier in the year. I hope he gets to make a trip over to Dobuita in the near future and experience in person visiting the locations on which the first game was based.

The Shenmue maps are the first item introduced in the episode.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Mystery Posters on Dobuita Street | Shenmue I

Mystery Posters on Dobuita Street

In Shenmue 1, opposite the You Arcade on a side-wall running alongside the Maeda Barbershop on Dobuita Street, are a couple of slightly strange-looking posters. Have you ever wondered what they are about?

The location of the posters
The location of the posters on Dobuita Street
Examining the posters, each has a large written heading under which is a black-and-white image of a lady and a small child, and it looks as though a coloring effect has been applied to make it look like a film negative:

Two mysterious-looking posters
The two mysterious-looking posters
At the bottom is some indistinguishable text and a small map with a location indicated by a red dot.

So what exactly is the poster about?

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