Friday, March 31, 2017

The Bamboo Fountain in the Hazuki's Garden | Shenmue Realism

The Bamboo Fountain in the Hazuki's Garden

The ornamental pond in the corner of the garden at the Hazuki residence is an oasis of tranquility. Flowering water lilies bob gently on the surface, rising and falling as Japanese carp glide lazily by underneath. Birds twitter in the trees and the water trickles continuously into a bamboo water fountain.

The scenic garden pond
Time stands still at the scenic garden pond.
Every so often, the bamboo spout of the fountain pivots over, spilling its collected water into the pond, and makes a distinctive "clonk" as it returns to its original position. The sound can be heard from other parts of the garden as Ryo walks around.

Let's look at how the fountain works, what its name is in Japanese and finally some in-game footage of the fountain in motion.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Anecdotes About Yu Suzuki From Yuji Naka | DenFamiNicoGamer [14 Feb, 2017]

Yuji Naka Anecdotes

In February, SEGA legend Yuji Naka was a special guest on an informal talk show streamed live online by the Japanese site DenFamiNicoGamer.

Some of the inside stories he shared about his early days at SEGA also mentioned Yu Suzuki, who was working there at the time. In particular, one previously-unheard episode ended up with the two not speaking for a couple of years!

I have translated excerpts of the stories involving Yu Suzuki into English below.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Shenmue Documentary Update Video | Chasing Shenmue: EP03

Chasing Shenmue Episode 3

The third episode has been released of "Chasing Shenmue", a podcast series keeping the community up to date with the in-progress Shenmue documentary "A Gamer's Journey: the Definitive History of Shenmue". The episodes are fronted by Adam Sipione, the project originator and hardcore Shenmue fan, and executive producer Randall Lobb from Fauxpop Media, the company working with Adam to make the documentary.

This post is a brief overview of what Episode 3 brings, with the full video at the end of the post. This episode also includes a short bonus teaser of new video material!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Guide to SEGA Japan's Twitter Questionnaire [Closes March 26, 2017]

SEGA Japan has put up a new online questionnaire to gather feedback on the topic of "Twitter". The submission period runs for the next few days and closes at the end of day on March 26th Japan time.

Questionnaire link: [now closed]

Sonic wants you to fill out the SEGA Online Questionnaire
Submission is not limited only to people within Japan, however the questions are in Japanese. As the questionnaire is run by SEGA Japan, there is a certain focus on SEGA Japan's Twitter account. 

As Google Translate often leads to some puzzling output, in this post I'll provide a translation of the questionnaire's questions.

Of particular interest are questions that give the opportunity to highlight a certain special campaign or game / franchise that is close to your heart.

The whole questionnaire contains 24 questions in total, and should only take around 6-10 minutes to complete.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Naming of Phantom River Stone | Translation Analysis

The mysterious mirrors that lie at the heart of the Shenmue story were crafted from a substance with an equally mysterious-sounding name: "Phantom River stone". (Which is, of course, from where the name of this blog was taken).

Now, although its name is Phantom River stone in the English Shenmue games, in fact this differs slightly from its Japanese name in the games.

"Phantom River Stone" on Japanese Shenmue.

In this post we'll look at what it is called in the Japanese version of Shenmue.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Thoughts on Kickstarter Update #65 [Dev Room Progress Report Vol. 2]

A new Kickstarter update - number 65 - has just been released, and it is full of enticing snippets of footage! It is the second Development Room Progress Report update, sub-headed "The Game Designers", following the first one that was seen back in Update #59 in August.

Thoughts & Observations on Kickstarter Update #65

Now it has been a while since the the last official update (at Christmas, or the New Year counting the New Year's Greeting posted only on the site), but it has been pleasing to see that we fans generally coped patiently with the wait, understanding that the dev team has been knuckling down and pouring their efforts into the game development.

The dates on the "Loading" screens range from February 22nd through to February 27th, so based on these dates we are being shown very recent footage. And we are treated to some tantalizing glimpses of those efforts in this latest Development Room Progress Report video update.

I was able to translate a few of the words on the screen in the Dialogue Meeting (section 3), which might be considered minor spoilers so I have hidden them behind a Spoiler button for those who don't wish to learn too much! 
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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Interview with Cédric Biscay at MAGIC 2017 | [Mar 9, 2017]

Co-producer of Shenmue III, Cédric Biscay, was recently interviewed by Japanese magazine Famitsu at the MAGIC 2017 event.

Famitsu article interviewing Cédric Biscay

The interview covers Cédric's background and reasons for starting his company Shibuya Productions, and he talks about some of the guests and goals of the MAGIC event.

And of particular interest for Shenmue fans, at the end of the interview Cédric is asked about Shenmue III and he replies positively regarding the current development progress.

I have translated the article from the original Japanese, starting below.

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