Tuesday, December 31, 2019

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

It is hard to believe that over two 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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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

What's On the Menu at the Manpukuken Ramen Restaurant | Translation

What's On the Menu at the Manpukuken Ramen Restaurant | Translation

This topic was selected by the Phantom River Stone blog patrons via our monthly poll on Patreon.

Although Ryo is never seen eating in Shenmue, the attention to detail is just as present with the restaurant interiors as with any of the other locations in the game. They have bottles of sauces and condiments for customers on the table, water dispensers, air conditioners, television sets - and menus showing the names of various dishes, and their prices, served at each establishment.

In this new series of posts, we'll be visiting the restaurants scattered around the Dobuita Street area in the first game to see exactly what they have on offer.

For today's shop, we will be visiting...

Manpukuken Ramen


Manpukuken Ramen is a casual Chinese diner operated by Junko Yamamoto, that opens in the late afternoon and does not close until the early hours of the morning.

Let's take a seat at the counter and see what they have to offer - the second part of their name is a give-away as to what they specialize in!

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Monday, January 21, 2019

Shenmue 3 to Include Previously-Cut "Chapter Two Content" - Yu Suzuki

Yu Suzuki: Shenmue 3 to Include Previously-Cut "Chapter Two" Content

During his visit to China for the G-Fusion event last month, Yu Suzuki carried out a number of interviews including an audio interview for a podcast by GameCores.

This post is a sneak-peek of part of the full interview, courtesy once again of yuc02 (who can be found on the Shenmue Dojo forums ). In this extract, Yu talks about the origin of the codename for the project, "Project Berkley", and the meaning behind the name of the ship Ryo takes to Hong Kong. Finally, he reveals plans for Shenmue III to incorporate certain content that had been cut from earlier in the story due to constraints.


Background:


According to a 2001 interview, the name of the cut chapter was to have been "Chapter 2 - The Boat", covering Ryo's journey from Yokosuka to Hong Kong, and was to have involved an encounter with Chai. In the end it was scrapped, however it did remain in the form of one of an official Shenmue Side Story manga entitled "Chai & Ryo" that was included with the Xbox version of Shenmue II.
First page of the Shenmue Side Story "Chai & Ryo" that was originally intended to be a playable chapter.
The interview extract starts below.

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Interview with Yu Suzuki on Shenmue 3 [Gamersky]: Full Transcript - Part Two

Interview with Yu Suzuki on Shenmue 3 [Gamersky]: Full Transcript - Part Two

This is Part Two of a full interview transcript with Yu Suzuki held in China, carried out by Gamersky.com and translated by yuc02 (contact him at the Shenmue Dojo).

The interview continues below. Go here for Part One.



Shenmue 3 Director Yu Suzuki Interview - Fighting System’s Complete Revamp [Part 2]


Original text from https://www.gamersky.com/news/201812/1135488.shtml

YS = Yu Suzuki

Q: You announced that Shenmue 3 would be released in China via WeGame for the PC and Oasis Games for PS4. How did you assess and decide on these two partners?

YS: Shenmue had not yet been officially released in the Chinese market prior to this, so it was important for us to find a reliable partner to expand the series. WeGame is the biggest PC gaming platform in China, with a large player base, so we along with Deep Silver believe that WeGame will be very influential to us in reaching out to new players and markets. In addition we believe as a platform WeGame provides very good marketing and localization services for the developers, which would be very helpful for a new IP like ours. As for the console version, Shenmue used to be a console-only game, and many console players have a lot of affection towards the Shenmue franchise. Sony gave us a lot of help during the Kickstarter process, and as Oasis Games is an important Chinese partner to the PlayStation business, we therefore have a lot of faith in them.
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Monday, January 14, 2019

Interview with Yu Suzuki on Shenmue 3 [Gamersky]: Full Transcript - Part One


We recently posted a translation by yuc02 of a report summarizing an interview held with Shenmue III director Yu Suzuki and animation producer Hiroaki Takeuchi at the recent G-Fusion Tour event in Xiamen, China.
    Today's post, kindly translated once again by yuc02, is a full interview transcript, carried out by Gamersky.com.

    The translation starts below. Part Two to follow in a separate post.


    Shenmue 3 Director Yu Suzuki Interview - Fighting System’s Complete Revamp [Part 1]


    Original text from https://www.gamersky.com/news/201812/1135488.shtml

    Following WeGame’s invitation, the author had the privilege to meet with Shenmue 3 director Yu Suzuki (YS) and animation producer Hiroaki Takeuchi (HT) in Xiamen, and with fellow journalists conducted an interview about the state of the game.

    Shenmue 3 director Yu Suzuki (left) and animation producer Hiroaki Takeuchi (right)
    Shenmue 3 director Yu Suzuki (left) and animation producer Hiroaki Takeuchi (right)
    Q: Apart from the location of Shenmue 3 being set in Guilin, what other aspects of Chinese culture will be represented? The first two games in the series contained the Chinese martial art Bajiquan; will Shenmue 3 introduce more martial arts styles?

    YS: In my early game development years I visited China numerous times, and learned Bajiquan from Master Wu, with whom I still keep in touch and meet every year, although not on this occasion. I am quite familiar with China, and have visited Xiamen’s Kulangsu for cultural studies, and learned about Chinese architectural styles for the game. We did not carry out any studies on new martial arts, but have incorporated other Chinese styles such as Xingyiquan in the game, although these will not be part of Ryo’s repertoire; rather they’ll be styles owned by other characters.

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    Saturday, January 12, 2019

    Shenmue Documentary: Japan Visit Production Stills

    Last week the team behind the Shenmue Documentary (officially title: "A Gamer's Journey: The Definitive History of Shenmue") posted a Kickstarter update displaying some production stills from footage and interviews captured during their December visit to Japan which really conjure up a taste of how the documentary will feel.

    This first image shows Eigo Kasahara, who was planning director on the original Shenmue games, being interviewed at the SEGA head office. Kasahara also worked on the Japan localisation of the re-released Shenmue I & II, and has participated in several Shenmue related events including last month's Shenmue fan meeting that was held in Yokosuka.

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    Friday, January 11, 2019

    Yu Suzuki's China Interview Report Part Two: Early Game Development Years [YouYanShe Publication Group]

    This is the second part of a translation by yuc02 of a recent Chinese-language article reporting on an interview held with Shenmue III director Yu Suzuki and animation producer Hiroaki Takeuchi at the recent G-Fusion Tour event in Xiamen, China. The report was published on sohu.com.

    Part Two below focuses on Yu Suzuki's earlier years in game development. Go here to read Part One.

    Dialogue with Yu Suzuki On the Birth of Shenmue - Part 2


    Original text & images from http://www.sohu.com/a/283337668_628730

    Aside from Shenmue, we also talked with Yu Suzuki about stories from his early game development years, as well as his views on the video gaming industry. Although his iconic status as one Sega’s top developers in the 80s and 90s has meant that much has already been written about him, it was still fascinating to hear his views and stories in person.

    Prior to working on Shenmue, Yu Suzuki’s work mainly revolved around arcade gaming. At that time many titles were developed from his AM2 studio (Outrun, Space Harrier, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop etc.). One can say that he’s worked in, as well as advanced, almost every gaming genre available.


    But in actual fact, he was still not fully satisfied, and wished to try more things on the home gaming front. Yu Suzuki explained that “At the time the golden rule with arcade games is that average play times must be limited to 3 minutes per credit, and given the 30 seconds or so for changing between machines, that left around 2 mins 40 seconds for the developers to showcase the game".

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    Thursday, January 10, 2019

    Yu Suzuki's China Interview Report Part One: Shenmue III Details [YouYanShe Publication Group]

    Today's post was contributed by yuc02, who has translated a recent Chinese-language article reporting on an interview held with Shenmue III director Yu Suzuki and animation producer Hiroaki Takeuchi at the recent G-Fusion Tour event in Xiamen, China. The report was published on sohu.com.

    The article translation is in two parts, with this being Part One.

    The translation starts below.



    Dialogue with Yu Suzuki On the Birth of Shenmue - Part 1


    Original text & images from http://www.sohu.com/a/283337668_628730

    “A video game is a reconstruction of reality, but it doesn’t mean that the game will be more addictive the more realistic it is. What interests gamers the most will always be the gameplay.”
    On December 16th, following an invitation by WeGame, publication group YouYanShe arrived in Xiamen, and participated in the G-Fusion event along with Shenmue’s creator Yu Suzuki. Aside from the announcement that WeGame will publish the Simplified Chinese version of Shenmue 3, we also chatted with Suzuki-san, and learned many things about Shenmue, Chinese culture and his experiences during the early development years.

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