Friday, October 20, 2017

Evolution of the Shenmue Undub Part 2: The Kogami Release

Evolution of the Shenmue Undub Part 2: The Kogami Release

This is the second part in our series about the Shenmue Undub versions. Last time we covered the original Undub release by Sm1th, and this time we will be looking at a version by Kogami.

This provided Japanese audio together with English subtitles for almost perfectly for the cinematic scenes, but with some issues for the free conversation sections of the game.

It turned out that mixing the audio files from the Japanese Shenmue directly with the subtitle files from an English version would lead to issues since internally their structures did not correspond exactly.

These problems were resolved just a few months later in a separate Undub version that was put together using a similar but extended technique.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Evolution of the Shenmue Undub Part 1: The Sm1th Release

Evolution of the Shenmue Undub: The Sm1th Release

When Shenmue 1 was released, the spoken audio for the game outside of Japan came only in English. For international fans wishing to play with the original Japanese voices, there was no real solution for many years; even importing the Japan release was not much help unless you had a good understanding of the language, as this did not come with English subtitles.

Fans soon became interested in creating their own version of the game that would couple the original Japanese voice-acting with subtitles in English - in other words, an "undub" version of the game.

However this proved to be no easy task, and the situation did not change for more than 13 years after Shenmue's release.

Then, in late 2013, the break-through many had been waiting for materialized at last - the appearance of the Shenmue 1 Undub.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Shenmue Art Book Discount | Retro Import Gamer

If you have been considering adding the Shenmue Art Book to your collection, here is a chance to pick it up at a discount!

The 1998 Shenmue Art Book is a rarely-seen piece of original merchandise that contains a wealth of glossy photos, design diagrams and text (some of which we have shared here on the blog).

Our friends at Retro Import Gamer are currently listing the Shenmue Art Book with a Buy It Now price of just £184.99 - this represents a very reasonable level for this item, which also includes free postage within the UK.

And especially for Phantom River Stone blog readers, we have arranged with Retro Import Gamer a £10 discount on this item.

To qualify for the discount, simply contact them via Ebay with the answer to the following Shenmue trivia question:
  • Complete the password: "Father's Heaven" -> ?
Click here for the Shenmue Art Book listing on Ebay:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Earning Money to Meet Ren | Shenmue 2 Flowchart #2 Translation

Earning Money to Meet Ren

Introduction & Related Post

The "Making of Shenmue" section of the 1998 Shenmue art book contains snippets of actual design documents from the making of the first two games. We will be examining each of these in today's and future posts to see what information they reveal.

We previously investigated a flowchart covering the first part of play in Shenmue II, after Ryo arrives in Hong Kong:

The Second Flowchart Snippet

Today's flowchart snippet is found on the same page as the first, and as with the first it is partially obscured by various other overlapping diagrams and photographs. The section in question is highlighted in red:

The second flowchart snippet from the Shenmue Art book (enclosed in red).
The second flowchart snippet from the Shenmue Art book (enclosed in red). It's quite a jumble!
Image credit: David De Ville.
The context of the flowchart appears to be soon (but not directly) after the first, with Ryo having visited Man Mo temple and become acquainted with Xiuying.

Minor Spoilers
Plot elements relating to some of the initial events in Shenmue II will be discussed.

Click on each image to enlarge.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Shenmue 2 Concept Sketch: "Wharf Near Langhuishan" | Comparison with Released Game

In an interview last year, Yu Suzuki brought along with him copies of several design documents and concept sketches that had been created for Shenmue I and II. Images of these documents were included with the article text but weren't mentioned in the interview itself.

The document we'll be looking at in this post is concept art showing Langhuishan in Guilin, where Ryo heads after leaving Hong Kong towards the end of Shenmue II.


Ryo arrives at Langhuishan.
Ryo arrives at Langhuishan (Shenmue II cutscene).

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Kickstarter Update #75: Face Animations & Subtitles Translation

Kickstarter Update #75 is out, in the form of a "Dev Room Report" video that demonstrates characters' facial expressions.

Here is the full video, which is just under a minute in length:

During the demonstration, we are introduced to two new characters. And in addition, some in-game subtitles are also displayed (in Japanese) during part of the demonstration.

Read on for full coverage of their meaning!

The update also notes that Backer Surveys are still being worked on, and that it will still be "some time" before they are sent out. However a rundown of the surveys can be expected soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

SEGA Dreamcast: Collected Works Kickstarter | Shenmue Special Edition

"SEGA Dreamcast: Collected Works" is a Kickstarter funded book project that aims to be the authoritative resource on the Dreamcast console.

As a sign of immense public interest, the Kickstarter project became fully funded in mid-September after just 50 hours! And with 15 days still to go, pledges are nearing 1.5 times its original goal of £68,000.

Cover rendering of SEGA Dreamcast: Collected Works
Cover rendering of SEGA Dreamcast: Collected Works
Produced in collaboration with SEGA, it will feature hardware and software development documents, photographs of prototypes and rare hardware, in-depth interviews with the original game developers, high-quality game images and more.

Numerous games from the console's library will be covered, including of course Shenmue. (Hopefully an interview with Yu Suzuki can also be arranged, as was the case with the earlier Mega Drive book).

Plus, at the higher end of the reward tiers is a Shenmue Special Edition - further details below.

Sample rendering of the book's contents.
Sample rendering of the book's contents.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gamescom 2017 Photo Report | Guest Post

We welcome yuc02 back to the blog with a photo report on his experience at the recent Gamescom 2017 event in Germany, as he got to catch up with other Shenmue fans not to mention meeting Yu Suzuki himself - and even found himself taking on the role of primary cameraman for several community interviews. He also had a special mission to fulfill on behalf of the Shenmue community...

All photos in this report were taken by yuc02. Click to enlarge).

Gamescom 2017 Photo Report

Hey guys, it’s yuc02 again!

I had the pleasure of going to Gamescom this year, obviously to see Yu Suzuki and the YS Net team, but also to hand him a very special gift.  It was a great few days and I just wished that more of you guys could have been there.  Here’s my take on the 3 days I was there.

Day 1: Wed 23rd August, 2017

After a (very) early start, I finally arrived in Cologne for the 2017 edition of Gamescom, the largest gaming show in Europe.  It was also my first ever games show, so it was quite daunting to see so many people (it wasn’t even the busiest day!)

The Gamescom venue in Cologne
The Gamescom venue in Cologne
Inside the halls
Inside the halls

Naturally I went to see the Deep Silver booth, to try and have a look at the meet and greet area (keep thinking Deep Purple for some reason :P)

It wasn’t massive, slightly tucked out of the way, and was surrounded by SEGA and other Deep Silver products, so was quite cosy! In a way it feels like Shenmue…

SEGA and Deep Silver booths
SEGA and Deep Silver booths in close proximity in the general-admission area

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

YS Net Studio Visit by Koch Media with Blurry Dev Screenshot | Photos

Olivier Comte, the CEO of the French subsidiary of Koch Media, yesterday paid a visit to Yu Suzuki and the development team in Tokyo and has posted up some photos on his Twitter account.

Koch Media is the parent company to publishing label Deep Silver, recently announced as the international publisher for Shenmue III at the recent Gamescom event.

Olivier Comte with Yu Suzuki
Olivier Comte with Yu Suzuki (photo: Twitter)
Olivier also shared a photo of the studio showing the development team at work.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Zhu Yuan Da or Yuanda Zhu? | Character Names in Shenmue I vs II

One question that pops up every now and again in Shenmue forums and message boards is about the difference that can be observed in character names between the first and second Shenmue games when playing the English versions.

In this post we'll look at some of these examples, and then see how they relate to the order for names used in Japan and China.

(MINOR SPOILERS of character identities!)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Shenmue 500K Interview with Yu Suzuki | Gamescom

Shenmue 500K Interview with Yu Suzuki

A new interview out of August's Gamescom event in Germany was released earlier this week by Shenmue 500K, covering Shenmue III and other topics.

The interview was conducted by Sílvia Vila Tarrés and James Hamill, interviewing Shenmue III's director Yu Suzuki together with the game's executive producer Hideaki Morishita.

The questions were asked on behalf of members of the Shenmue 500K Facebook group, and some highlights include:
  • Whether there will be a Tomato Convenience Store in Shenmue III (Yu is thinking about setting one up in one of the story's locations - check out the interview to find out which!)
  • How far the Shenmue prototype for the Saturn had progressed? ("Thirty percent").
  • An amusing windsurfing anecdote recounted by Yu, from the time of Shenmue I & II's development, featuring composer Takenobu Mitsuyoshi.

Impressions from the Audio 

On a personal note, it was my pleasure to help out on this interview by providing a translated transcription of Yu's responses from the audio recording (since taking video footage of the interview was not permitted).

What made an impression on me from the audio recording is the enthusiasm and humor that carried across in his voice, despite this being one of many scheduled meetings and interviews during the event.

Both Yu and executive producer Morishita-san also took great care in answering the questions, clarifying their meaning with the interviewer when needed, really reflecting their respect for the fan community.

Interview Link

The interview has been written up in a friendly, narrative style making the article a pleasure to read - and the photographs and animated pictures liven it up even further. The questions are also varied and feel fresh, branching outside the ones Yu was most commonly asked about by the general media at the event.

Head over now to the new Shenmue 500K website to read the interview here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Recap: Shenmue III Japanese Media Interviews | Gamescom 2017

In addition to the Shenmue III teaser video and latest images that came out of Gamescom 2017, there were a great many interview articles published with Yu Suzuki which contain tantalizing details about the game.

During the event we posted up full translations of five interviews from the Japanese video game media to the blog, and now that the event is over it's a great time to recap the points of interest from each. (Some points have been omitted where repeated).

Even if you have read through these interviews before, you may find one or two points that may catch your attention anew.

(Don't miss the bonus fan-made teaser at the end!)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ryo's Arrival in Hong Kong | Shenmue II Design Document Translation

Ryo's Arrival in Hong Kong: Shenmue II Early Flowchart

The "Making of Shenmue" section of the 1998 Shenmue art book contains snippets of actual design documents from the making of the first two games. We will be examining each of these in today's and future posts to see what information they reveal.

This is a great opportunity to gain some additional insight into the early stages of the design of the first two games.

The document we will look at in today's post is an early Shenmue II diagram that steps through the initial plot in Shenmue II, starting with Ryo's arrival in Hong Kong through to meeting Xiuying in person.

Minor Spoilers
Plot elements relating to some of the initial events in Shenmue II will be discussed.

Friday, September 8, 2017

"Easter Egg" Characters Discovered in Shenmue III Teaser

When You See It...
Image credit: Shenmue Forever
A jaw-dropping discovery has been made in the recent Shenmue III teaser video by Shenmue Forever (via Twitter). It is so subtle that it went completely unnoticed until now, despite the intense scrutiny the video has received.

Yu Suzuki has been known to enjoy hiding Easter eggs within Shenmue III material in the past.

In late 2015, a presentation Yu gave at the Chuapp event in China also contained a small Easter egg. At the end of this video clip demonstrating the interior of a room in Shenmue III, the figure of Ine-san (the Hazuki residence's housekeeper from the first Shenmue game) can be glimpsed standing in the doorway. Yu's comment to the audience, with a smile, was "Fan service!"

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Shenmue Art Book - Characters Section | Shenmue Merchandise

This post covers the Characters section of the Shenmue art book. Several key characters to appear in the the first two games are introduced, as well as one that notably still has yet to appear.

You will notice that some of the character descriptions match those in the Shenmue I and II English-language manuals. For the other characters, the translations from Japanese are my own.

Ryo Hazuki

"Having lost his mother at an early age, Ryo has devoted his entire young life to rigorous martial arts training under the guidance of a strict but loving father. Despite a tendency to be reckless and a bit too quick to fight, Ryo has a tremendous amount of potential and an iron-strong volition. Determined to uncover the mystery of his father's murder, he begins a journey that will eventually take him west to a land he has never seen... China. What fate lies in store for Ryo?"

Ryo Hazuki

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Shenmue Art Book: Overview of Contents | Shenmue Merchandise

In today's post we'll look at one of the rarer pieces of Shenmue merchandise, and one that remains somewhat shrouded in mystery even today, ever since its publication back in 1998.

The item I am referring to is one that has become known to fans as the "Shenmue Art Book". This it not an official name, since the front cover simply reads "Shenmue". The YS logo of Yu Suzuki adorns the back.

Front and back cover of the Shenmue Art Book
Front and back cover of the Shenmue Art Book.

What Is the Shenmue Art Book?

It can be best described as a high-quality, full-color booklet consisting of 36 generously-sized glossy pages and is cram-packed with photos, concept art, maps, development flowcharts and text (in Japanese) relating to the first two Shenmue games.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Yu Suzuki Interviewed by Shenmue Dojo | Gamescom

The fansite Shenmue Dojo has released a brand new interview with Yu Suzuki which took place at the recent Gamescom 2017 event. (I was able to contribute in a small way by translating Yu's responses into English).

Although brief, the interview packs in a lot of information from Yu Suzuki on topics such as the reasons behind the timing of the teaser release at Gamescom, and his thoughts on the handling of colors in Shenmue III using Unreal Engine 4.

The interview was held by Peter of the Shenmue Dojo, who commented that it's "always an honour to be in the company of Suzuki-san".

Peter from the Shenmue Dojo with Hideaki Morishita & Yu Suzuki
Peter from the Shenmue Dojo (left) with the Shenmue III executive producer Hideaki "Harry" Morishita and director Yu Suzuki.
Following the interview, as a surprise gift to Yu Suzuki a superb piece of framed fan art was presented on behalf of all of the Shenmue community. The illustration, drawn by @r_wuying, shows Yu as a band member of one of his favorite bands, Van Halen.

Yu with his gift of fan art
Yu with his gift of fan art.

Link to the interview with Yu Suzuki

Read the interview and write-up by Peter at the Shenmue Dojo here.

Related posts: we have translated several interviews with Yu Suzuki at Gamescom, conducted by Japanese media.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Masaya Matsukaze Visits Yu Suzuki | Photo

Earlier this week, Masaya Matsukaze tweeted a photo of himself with Yu Suzuki at the YS Net development studio, where he caught up on the latest state of Shenmue III.

Masaya Matsukaze is of course the original voice & motion-capture actor for the character of Ryo Hazuki in the first two Shenmue games, and it was confirmed early on that he will be reprising his role as the voice of Ryo for Shenmue III.

Masaya Matsukaze with Yu Suzuki
Masaya Matsukaze with Yu Suzuki.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Best All-Time Game Poll Results | Famitsu 1500th Edition

Best All-Time Game: Famitsu Poll Results

Back in July Famitsu held an online poll for the Best Game of All Time. Although the poll was in Japanese, it was open to global participation and we put up a brief guide to filling it in for English speakers.

As a reminder, the main rules for this poll were:
  • Vote for up to 3 games, with weightings being 3 points for your first choice, 2 points for your second and 1 point for your third.
  • Announcement of the results to be published in the printed edition of the Weekly Famicom magazine's September (and 1500th) edition. 

Cover of this month's Weekly Famicom magazine, the 1500th edition.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kickstarter Update #74: New Ryo Pics

Kickstarter Update #74 has just been released for the end of August.

In addition to some photos of the recent Gamescom event and a message of thanks to Shenmue fans for their support, of particular interest are these three new images of Ryo which were not released at Gamescom.

For the first time, we get to see Ryo standing on the main street of Choubu.

Check out the images below (high-res versions; click to enlarge).

"The look of gallantry!"
"The look of gallantry!"

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Seven Interesting Details from the Shenmue III Teaser | Gamescom

Seven Interesting Details from the Shenmue III Teaser

The Shenmue III teaser video that was unveiled at Gamescom contains several scenes and images, many of which flash pass by in an instant.

In this post we'll pause and take a closer look at seven points within the teaser which hint at promising depths beneath the surface of the game.

1. Masks on Display

Shortly before the camera sweeps down through the main road of the riverside town of Choubu, a line of colorful and distinctive masks is shown -  presumably merchandise for sale at one of the shops Ryo will be able to visit. Masks of other designs can be observed in the background.

Masks on display in Choubu
Masks on display in Choubu.
It turns out that the design of these particular masks, which are carved from wood, originates from the Indonesian island of Bali.

Video Interview with Cédric Biscay by Team Yu | Gamescom

Interview in progress (via Cédric Biscay on Twitter)
Interview in progress (via Cédric Biscay on Twitter)

While in Cologne for Gamescom last week, Team Yu spoke with Cédric Biscay, President and CEO of Shibuya Productions and co-producer of Shenmue 3.

In the interview, Cédric talks about topics such as Shibuya Productions' role, the new Shenmue III teaser video and why Shenmue I and II remasters need to be released by SEGA ahead of Shenmue III.

Watch the 10-minute interview video below, or read Team Yu's summary write-up on Facebook here.

For information on how to participate in the #SaveShenmueHD Tweetathon on the 3rd of every month, head over to the Team Yu website.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

4Gamer Interview with Yu Suzuki @Gamescom | Full Translation

We're pleased to present another fresh interview with Yu Suzuki from the Gamescom event, this one by the Japanese site 4Gamer.

The interview translation begins below.

Release Date Extension For a "Pretty Positive Reason"

Q: Thank you for your time today. To get started right away, there was a teaser trailer released to the public for Gamescom. Why Gamescom and not E3?

YS: If the contract with Deep Silver had been completed prior to E3 2017, that might have been an option.

Time was needed for the final signing, so the trailer's release timing ended up being Gamescom.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Dengeki Online Interview with Yu Suzuki @Gamescom | Full Translation

Dengeki Online Interview with Yu Suzuki

This is a full translation of an interview that was held with Yu Suzuki by Dengeki Online at the Gamescom event.

The interview begins below.

Q: How is the current state of development?

YS: Progress on the environments and stages is very good. I would say overall they're at around 70%.

Lighting settings are also in good shape, and we're now adjusting the indoor lighting. We're still at the stage of fine-tuning for dealing with changes over time.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

GAME Watch Interview with Yu Suzuki | Full Translation | Aug 22

GAME Watch Interview with Yu Suzuki

This is a full translation of an interview that was held with Yu Suzuki by GAME Watch at Gamescom on August 22nd, 2017.

The interview begins below.

Q: I have really been looking forward to today's interview, and getting the chance to ask you about Shenmue III after so long.

YS: Would you like to watch the video? Not the 90-second version released on the internet, but the long one that's two-and-a-half minutes.

Q: Yes, please.

[The trailer starts to play]

Game*Spark Interview with Yu Suzuki | Full Translation | Aug 23

Game*Spark Interview: Shenmue III Development

This is a full translation of an interview that was held with Yu Suzuki and Hideaki Morishita (Shenmue III's executive producer) by Game*Spark at Gamescom.

The interview begins below.

Q: What shape is the current development status of Shenmue 3 in?

YS: The other day we announced a change to the release date, but at that point talks of a publishing contract with Deep Silver were already advanced.

Working with Deep Silver also means increased stability on the budget front, and since I had been thinking in a scalable manner from the start, we have been able to set our sights a bit higher. Since that brings with it a corresponding increase in things we need to do, I extended the deadline a little.

With this new upward revision to the original plans, the number of developers has also grown slightly.

Currently, we are in full production mode.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Famitsu Interview with Yu Suzuki | Full Translation | Aug 22

This is a full translation of an interview that was held with Yu Suzuki by Famitsu at Gamescom on August 22nd. (The accompanying images are not from the original article).

The interview begins below.

Q: To start with, could you tell us about the current state of the development?

YS: When we announced the revision to the release schedule the other day, our discussions with Deep Silver were already advanced. With Deep Silver to become our partner, I realized that we would be able to aim even higher than our initial goals. However, for that additional development time would be needed, so in order for us to adopt these, I set the release timing to the last half of 2018.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Shenmue III Logo Designed by Yu Suzuki | Kickstarter Update #73

In the most recent screenshots and publicity material, the appearance of a new Shenmue III logo has been the source of some confusion.

Following feedback on the "Papyrus font" logo style that had been used at the initial Kickstarter project launch, YS Net announced at the end of June (see previous post) that the logo would change to the "classic" Shenmue style. And now, at Gamescom, a third, handwritten-style logo has been presented.

Comparison of logos
Top: the old "Papyrus font" style from the Kickstarter launch.
Middle: the "classic" Shenmue style, as revised at the end of June.
Bottom: the latest logo design, seen at Gamescom.

Shenmue III Title Screen Image | Game WATCH

An intriguing new image has been released among the Shenmue III screenshot images on the Japanese site Game WATCH that I have not seen elsewhere.

Although no comment is provided, it appears to show the Shenmue III title screen in Japanese: the golden Shenmue III logo (using the new design, and in Japanese characters) over the backdrop of a dragon and phoenix motif.

Beneath the main title are the words (in Japanese): "Chapter 3  Guilin".

This subtitle suggests a return to the style of naming of the first game - where the game's full name in Japanese was "Shenmue Chapter 1: Yokosuka". It would make sense for the public numbering to be separate from the mysterious internal chapter numbering that Yu Suzuki is known to have assigned to various sections of the game's story.

Shenmue III - Japanese title screen?

Just looking at the screenshot, you can almost feel the motif spinning before your eyes, ready for Ryo's adventure to continue.

New Shenmue III Character + Promo Screenshots | US PlayStation Blog

In addition to the set of images of Ryo and Shenhua (see previous post), a new set of in-game screenshots has been released.

The first shows what appears to be a new character, in the form of a grey-haired elderly man, while others are a mixture of scenery and character screenshots.

Click on each image to enlarge.

Update: this post originally contained images sourced from the Japanese site Famitsu, however a PlayStation blog post contains higher-resolution versions, so the images in this post have been refreshed accordingly.

Ryo and a grey-haired old man - learning a new martial arts move?

Ryo & Shenhua Images on

A new set of images of Ryo and Shenhua was posted up today on, accompanying their brief article about the recent Shenmue III trailer release at Gamescom.

The article, which is in Japanese, is brief and does not contain any specific comments on the images.

Check them out and leave comments below.

Images of Ryo released by
Images of Ryo released by

Yu Suzuki's Journey to Gamescom | Photo Selection

Here is a selection of recent photos of Yu Suzuki's journey to Gamescom, hot off the Twitter press.

Yu Suzuki departed from Haneda airport (picture in this previous post) outside Tokyo on Sunday evening, arriving in Frankfurt the following morning. From there he caught the ICE high-speed train and arrived at the Gamescom event venue in Cologne.

The first two photos are from Yu Suzuki's own Twitter account, and the last two were posted by a member of the Deep Silver team, Will Powers.

"Heading for Cologne by train @Frankfurt"
Yu at the station platform at Frankfurt airport terminal.
Twitter message: "Heading for Cologne by train @Frankfurt".

Shenmue III Video "The First Teaser"

In conjunction with Yu Suzuki's attendance at Gamescom, a brand new Shenmue III teaser video (entitled "The First Teaser") has been released!

The video description on the Playstation YouTube channel:
The first teaser of Shenmue III is built from a small slice of an in-development build of the game, and it delivers small peeks in new look of main characters, new characters, and feels of Shenmue world. 
As mentioned, the video shows in-development footage, something to keep in mind when viewing.

We will be putting out an additional post on the blog covering the teaser content in more depth, but for now... sit back and enjoy.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Close-up on the New Shenmue III Art | Kickstarter Update #72 [3/3]

Close-up on the New Shenmue III Art

Having got the "real-world" focused updates from the recent Kickstarter update #72 out of the way in previous posts (namely, the confirmation of Yu Suzuki's meet-and-greet schedule at Gamescom and the announcement of Deep Silver as publisher), in this third post we at last turn to an aspect that relates entirely to the Shenmue world - in the form of the surprise inclusion of new art from the game, contained in the press release material.

A benefit of waiting a day or two before posting on this topic is that I have had time to examine the images carefully and let my thoughts settle.

Let's run through the new images, as sourced from the press releases.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Yu Suzuki Selfie: "About to Head to Gamescom"

Yu Suzuki has just tweeted this photo of himself, captioned "I'm about to head to Gamescom".

Behind him is the Edo-themed restaurant and souvenir area of the Haneda international airport terminal.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Global Publishing Partner Announced for Shenmue III | Kickstarter Update #72 [2/3]

Shenmue 3 Global Publishing Partner Announced

One of the major announcements in the latest Kickstarter update is that YS Net has formed a contract with Deep Silver, a company headquartered in Germany and owned by Koch Media, for publishing Shenmue III.

The press release states: "The global publishing deal will cover the release exclusively on [the] PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and PC, both physical and digital versions."

YS Net and Deep Silver logos

Friday, August 18, 2017

Meet Yu Suzuki at Gamescom 2017 | Kickstarter Update #72 [1/3]

Meet & Greet schedule

Kickstarter Update #72

We are now heading into the last few days before the Gamescom event in Cologne (Aug 22~26, general admission from the 23rd) in which Shenmue III will be participating, and a new Kickstarter update has just been released that has set social media and fan sites buzzing.

The new update, Kickstarter Update #72, covers three main news items:
  • Confirmation of the schedule for Yu Suzuki's "meet & greet" sessions with fans during the event;
  • Announcement of a new global publishing partner; and
  • New art from the game revealed!
In this post we'll take a look at the first, with the other topics to follow in separate posts.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

List of Ryo's Goals | Shenmue Passport Disc

With our recent Shenmue Passport disc hack, some interesting sections of the disc can now be easily accessed.

One of these is the Data Review section, which spits out statistics on almost every imaginable aspect of a played game, from the number of game saves made, down to the number of times Ryo has walked into a wall(!).

Within this data is an item called "Present Goal" that describes what Ryo is currently trying to do - for example, after his battle with Chai in the arcade, it reads "Searching for the suspicious guy":

Ryo's Present Goal in the Data Review section
Ryo's Present Goal is displayed on the Data Review screen of Shenmue Passport.
Below is a list of all the goals, extracted from the Shenmue Passport disc. Reading through makes you appreciate the amount of effort Ryo - and you, the player - expends in the first game in his hunt for Lan Di!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Shenmue Passport Unlocked! | Hack to Skip Dial-up Check

Shenmue Passport Unlocked

I'm excited to be able to share a hack I've put together which allows easy access to the online section of the Shenmue Passport disc - without the standard requirement of a Dreamcast console + internet connection.

It is in the form of a small, targeted patch to apply to the Shenmue Passport disc which effectively skips the check for an internet connection, thus allowing the "online" section of the disc to be accessed and browsed (to the extent possible while offline).

Read on for an overview of the unlocked content - and see the end for simple instructions to patch the Shenmue Passport disc image.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Two Dazzling Shenmue-Inspired Projects: a Rock Opera & a Fan Manga

Two Dazzling Shenmue Art & Music Projects

The talent and creativity of Shenmue fans know no bounds! Demonstrating this are these two recent fan-made projects that have been inspired by the game: one is musical and the other visual art. The artists' love for Shenmue shines through in the care and attention given to the works.

We'll be introducing these two amazing fanmade projects:

  • A Progressive Rock Concept Album: "The Samurai Boy Saga: 1986" by Andy Hughes
  • A Shenmue Manga: "Shemmue Doujinshi" by Sebastian Riera

Links are provided in the descriptions to find out more about each. So, let's get started!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tai Chi in Shenmue II

Today we present a guest post written by Shenmue Dojo member and Kickstarter super-backer yuc02, with an analysis of Tai Chi moves encountered by Ryo in Shenmue II.

Tai Chi in Shenmue 2

About the Author

"Hello, I'm yuc02! You may know me from the Shenmue Dojo forums, or from the Monaco dinner event as one of the $10k donors. Shenmue really changed my life, so I felt I had to do something in return for what Suzuki-san gave to me.

Since playing Shenmue I've started to learn Tai Chi and have also visited the famous Yokosuka with a guided tour given by Switch. My favourite game of the series is Shenmue 2 (of course), favourite characters are Ren and Xiuying. Also useless but cool trivia: I share the 'Yu' part of my name with Suzuki-san (though it's my surname)!"

One of the main themes in Shenmue is martial arts, and while Yu Suzuki re-used various styles found in the Virtua Fighter series, he also decided to add several others into the mix.