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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Monday, August 20, 2018

Shenmue 3 Announcement & Video Tomorrow at Gamescom

A short but exciting Kickstarter update, entitled "Gamescom 2018 Update #1", has been released announcing the news that a Shenmue 3 announcement is planned for the opening day of the Gamescom event tomorrow. Furthermore, a video is also being prepared for the announcement.

Key details:
  • Shenmue III announcement/video planned for Tuesday the 21st, at 11:00~13:00 CEST (17:00~19:00 JST) Correction: the time in JST converts to 18:00~20:00 JST.
  • Livestreaming available at the Gamescom official website

Below is a high-resolution version of the image that accompanied the update. In the background we see the Shenhua character model at the left (with her hair in plaits), and on the main monitor is a night scene of what looks to be a ferry at the Choubu habor, with a full moon and star-studded sky behind. An identification number, M06_S0006, appears in the top-right corner; similar to the ones seen in previous cut-scene stills.

Although it is hard to see clearly, it appears there may be figures standing on the wharf... No doubt this will become clear in tomorrow's video!



Source: link to official update
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Friday, August 17, 2018

[Early-Access Post] "Don't you know that blackmail is waaaay uncool?" | Translation Analysis

"Don't you know that blackmail is waaaay uncool?" | Translation Analysis

"Don't you know that blackmail is waaaay uncool?" One of the most recognized lines from the English version of Shenmue, you may have wondered whether the line sounds more convincing, or have any difference in meaning in its original Japanese version. Phantom River Stone attempts to answer that question.

The Scenario


A bus pulls up at the bus stop, and the back doors open. Ryo Hazuki steps out and looks around him at the barbed-wire fencing and commercial buildings of Amihama. After getting his bearings, he locates the main entrance of the harbor area, and walks through.

As Ryo enters the harbor compound, his attention is caught by the sound of thuggery...
As Ryo enters the harbor compound, his attention is caught by the sound of thuggery...
As he does so, the snarling voice of a thug reaches him:

"Hey you! I said, hand over all your money!"


Continue reading via the early access link: https://www.patreon.com/posts/20792965
If you're not a patron, get early-access and support Phantom River Stone for just $2/month. This grants you advance access to all premium posts published during the month, along with our weekly Shenmue news recaps & more!
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Sunday, August 12, 2018

New Series: Yu Suzuki's 1993 Research Trip to China Part 1 | Kazunari Uchida's Blog Post Translation


In 1993 Yu Suzuki spent two weeks in China gathering material for his upcoming Virtua Fighter II game, and his findings also greatly influenced his creation of Shenmue. In this first part of a new series, Phantom River Stone has translated blog posts by the person who accompanied Yu on this journey.
Today's post topic was selected by Phantom River Stone patrons in our monthly poll for a topic suggestion for the month of July. 

In the year 1993, Yu Suzuki made a trip to China to research and gather material that had a direct impact on his creation of the Virtua Fighter games, and also on his later concept for "Virtua Fighter RPG" which eventually came to be known as Shenmue.

To date there has not been a lot of information available about this trip. Yu has made mention of this trip during presentations, notably his talk on Shenmue at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco at which he shared photos of some of the places visited. Then during my investigation for this article, I came across some posts on a personal blog that were written by the person that Yu made the trip together with - and who later worked with him on the actual Shenmue project: a man by the name of Kazunari Uchida.

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

"What is Shenmue" SEGA Video Series | Parts 1 & 2: Storyline and Characters


SEGA Europe has released two videos narrated by Corey Marshall, the voice of Ryo Hazuki in the English version of Shenmue. The first part details the storyline of Shenmue and what makes it so compelling. The second part delves deeper into the characters encountered during the journey.

The videos showcase footage from the soon-to-be released Shemue I & II (its release date is August 21st for most regions outside of Japan).



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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Poll Result: Patrons' Choice Topic for August

Every month Phantom River Stone holds a poll among our patrons to choose a topic for the blog in the coming month. The results are in for August, and the most highly-voted topic (including accumulated votes from previous months) was...

...a look at that iconic line from Ryo Hazuki: "Don't you know that blackmail is waaaay uncool!"

If you've ever wondered what the original Japanese line said (does it sound just as cheesy as the English line?) then this article should satisfy your curiosity!

Ryo admonishes Goro at their first encounter.
Ryo admonishes Goro at their first encounter.
We'll be releasing it on the blog later this month. If you're interested in reading it early, check us out on Patreon - the $2 tier will get you early access as soon as its ready, plus access to all early-access posts for the month.
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Masaya Matsukaze Looks Forward to Meeting Shenmue Fans | Photo

Masaya Matsukaze, the Japanese voice of Ryo Hazuki in the Shenmue games, recently tweeted that he will be attending the Otakon event in Washington this week.

His tweet is accompanied by a photo of himself signing one of the First 4 Ryo Hazuki figurines, and he seems to be looking forward to meeting Shenmue fans at the event, writing (our translation):
"Shenmue 3 is in development; Shenmue I & II has been announced for a November release in Japan, and sooner for overseas. I wonder if I'll meet Shenmue fans again in America? (^o^)/"
Masaya Matsukaze signing a Ryo Hazuki figurine
Masaya Matsukaze signing a Ryo Hazuki figurine
  • Otakon is an annual event which describes itself as "a celebration of Asian pop culture and its fandom," covering anime, manga, music, movies, video games and more.
Source: Twitter

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Shenmue I & II Japan-Exclusive Limited Edition: Details & How To Order

The official website for Shenmue I & II in Japan
The Shenmue I & II release date in Japan has been announced - together with a special edition! Phantom River Stone summarizes the key information.
What a fitting announcement for Shenmue Day (on the 3rd of every month) - SEGA knows Shenmue fans will be paying close attention.

The release date for Shenmue I & II in Japan for the PS4 has been announced today on SEGA Japan's Shenmue I & II website as Thursday 22nd November, and together with this they have announced a special Limited Edition! Read on for details.

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