Saturday, March 31, 2018

Diorama of the You Arcade: Interview with its Creator

Diorama of the You Arcade: Interview with its Creator

Earlier this year, a talented Shenmue fan and model hobbyist in Japan completed an amazingly-accurate scale model diorama recreation of the interior of Shenmue's You Arcade.

Diorama of the You Arcade: view from the front.
We got in touch by email with the fan who created the diorama, Hiroaki Suzuki - who coincidentally shares the same surname as the series' creator - to ask what prompted him to embark on such a project and find out exactly how it was made.

(All images and videos of the diorama were included with the creator's kind permission. Note that the responses have been translated from Japanese).

An image and video gallery follows the interview.
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Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Survey of Red TVs in Shenmue | Guest Post

A Survey of Red TVs in Shenmue

We have previously noted the presence in the Shenmue world of old red 14-inch TVs, which are often found sitting in the corner of Chinese Restaurants as outlined in this Shenmue design document. It turns out that there are many more of them in the games than one might casually imagine.

In this collaboration post, we present a definitive survey of all such red TVs throughout Shenmue 1 and 2, based on the results of a thorough investigation by regular reader JCGamer who has tracked down and logged every appearance!

Shenmue 1

Apart from being found in the Chinese restaurants in Dobuita, the red television also turns up in a few other locations in the first game. (It seems that Abe-san catches the daily soaps on a set behind the counter of the Abe Store).

Red TVs in Shenmue 1

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Erhu Concert by Ryuji Iuchi & Hiroko Suzuki

This week Shenmue composer Ryuji Iuchi performed in a special evening concert featuring the erhu (a two-stringed instrument also known as a "Chinese violin"), an instrument whose sound is so memorable from the soundtrack of the first two Shenmue games.

Entitled "Spring Sky: Erhu Melodies Echoing Beneath a Starry Sky", the concert had Ryuji Iuchi on piano and synthesizer, accompanying erhu performer Hiroko Suzuki (with whom he has worked before - read on to find out when!)

The venue was the intimate interior of the Discovery Park planetarium, and with a capacity of 165 attendees the concert the event was of course sold out well in advance. The planetarium is located in Yaizu city, Shizuoka, which is Hiroko Suzuki's hometown.

The photos below from the planetarium's Twitter account, show the magical atmosphere of the event.

Ryuji Iuchi and Hiroko Suzuki perform beneath a canopy of stars
Ryuji Iuchi and Hiroko Suzuki perform beneath a canopy of stars

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Yu Suzuki's MAGIC Conference in English | Transcript & Video

Yu Suzuki attended the MAGIC 2018 event held in Monaco on 24th February, and took the stage for a one-hour conference. Topics covered included Shenmue's early history, features of Shenmue III, and the revelation of four new images. Questions were asked in French, with an interpreter present to convey the questions to Yu, and translate the responses back from Japanese.

An official English translation was not provided at the conference, but through the joint efforts of the Shenmue community we are happy to present a subtitled video and transcript of the questions and Yu Suzuki's words at the conference.

Enjoy! Note that the conference proper starts at 4:17 in the video.

Video footage by Peter Campbell (hosted at the Shenmue Lounge YouTube channel)
Translation of questions by Shenmue Forever
Translation of Yu Suzuki's responses by Phantom River Stone.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Yu Suzuki MAGIC Conference in English | Progress Update

Over the past weeks we have been working, together with others in the community, to put together a full English translation of Yu Suzuki's one-hour conference at MAGIC 2018. Thank you for your patience!

The translation work is now complete, and the final task of adding subtitles to the video footage is now in progress.

A subtitled conference video and a written transcript of the conference session will be posted up tomorrow (Thursday).

Yu Suzuki on stage at MAGIC 2018

P.S. We will also be making another exciting announcement tomorrow on a separate topic relating to the Phantom River Stone blog!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Be Credited in SEGA's Upcoming Mobile Game "Kotodaman"

If you would like to have your name in the official credits of a SEGA game in which Ryo Hazuki appears, here is your opportunity. Read on for details.

Recently SEGA confirmed a cameo for Shenmue's protagonist Ryo Hazuki in their upcoming word game for mobile devices Kotodaman, thanks to the efforts of Shenmue fans in helping reach the target number of registrations of interest.
Concept art of Ryo for the game
(from the game's official Twitter account)

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Promotional VMU Sticker Sheet | Shenmue Merchandise

Today we introduce something I've never seen discussed in the Shenmue community, and in fact I didn't know this existed until recently.

It's a genuine Dreamcast item that was released by Sega, being a sheet of game-themed stickers / decals with which to customize the appearance of a Visual Memory Unit.

VMU Custom Sticker Sheet
VMU Custom Sticker Sheet

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