Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Shenmue Premiere Blue Tri-fold Pamphlet (1998) | Shenmue Merchandise

In our on-going series on Shenmue merchandise, today we will be looking at the large blue-covered tri-fold pamphlet that was part of the merchandise handed to attendees of the 1998/1999 Shenmue premiere.

The cover of the pamphlet has the game's title in the Japanese katakana alphabet, with kanji (Chinese characters) beneath it, overlaid on a dragon motif with a pinkish tinge on a blue background.

The front cover of the Blue Tri-fold Pamphlet (Shenmue II version)
The front cover of the Blue Tri-fold Pamphlet (Shenmue II version)
In fact, there exist two versions of this blue pamphlet, as we touched on briefly in our earlier post about the Shenmue Art Book: the one we will look at today contains artwork for Shenmue II while the other introduces Shenmue I (this version has the words "Chapter One: Yokosuka" on the cover).

Being tri-fold, the pamphlet opens out to six sides, and inside can be found a mixture of images from the game as well as introductory descriptions about its features.

The inside pages of the pamphlet.
The inside pages of the pamphlet.

The pages are glossy and show off the full-color artwork nicely.
"A setting that is fit for a grand saga".
"A setting that is fit for a grand saga".
It is an interesting thought that that these images would have been produced in 1998, well before Shenmue II's release in 2001, so it may be possible to identify minor difference compared to the final game.

"A man's putting up a sign..."
"A man's putting up a sign. He's doesn't have anyone helping and it looks like he's in a bind. Let's give him a hand."
On the back of the pamphlet is a poetic message hints at the story to come:

Message on the back page of the pamphlet.
A poetic message on the back page of the pamphlet.
Translation (by Switch):
"The depths of despair; sadness welling up from inside.
Then, a decision.
A young boy sets off west to an as-yet-unseen land.
The adventure begins.
Pride; anxiety; expectations... and betrayal.
The boy tries to take in the unknown world around him.
An encounter with a mysterious young girl.
The endless lands embracing the two of them; new courage is budding.
The ones you love. The moment of fate. A battle of life and death.
Companions. Friends. And... love.
He thinks he felt a flicker of love.
Something begins to gradually flow into a frozen heart.
He is not alone anymore. A brand new journey begins.
Keep friends, those you love, close to you."
Our thanks to the folks at Retro Import Gamer for use of the images in this article.

It Could Be Yours!

If you would like to add the Shenmue premiere blue tri-fold pamphlet to your own Shenmue collection, Retro Import Gamer have one available right now on their online store.

Click here to head over to their website at retroimportgamer.com and check out their listing!

They also have several other interesting Shenmue-related items worth checking out, and are also happy for people to contact them directly through their site with a query or offer on one of the items.

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