Saturday, October 13, 2018

Walking Through Walls: Automated Cheat Tool for Shenmue One

While playing Shenmue it's not unusual to wonder what lies behind some of the inaccessible areas in the game. It would be fun to roam around the world of Shenmue outside of the usual boundaries - peeking behind shop counters, strolling over to areas blocked off by walls, or even running out onto the road to play chicken with the traffic.

Over the years, talented hackers and modders in the Shenmue community figured out the changes needed to achieve this in the Dreamcast version of the games. And with the re-releases it turns out that a similar approach can be taken for the re-release games, as described in our earlier post.

Today we present our automated cheat tool for Shenmue I, a program that allows Ryo to walk past the usual boundaries at the click of a button. This tool is for use with the PC (Steam) version of Shenmue I.

Read on for details on how to use it to go exploring for yourself. The download link can be found at the end of the post.

What Is It?

The tool is a short script built in the Cheat Engine (an open-source memory scanner, editor and debugger) that scans through memory to identify boundary data for the current area, and clears it out. Bingo - the boundaries are removed.

The original method for removing collisions in the Dreamcast version was developed by Giorgio of the Shenmue Dojo.

Instructions for Use

Applying the tool is simple, with no technical expertise required.

Step 1: Start/continue a Shenmue I game

Take Ryo to whichever area of the game you would like to start exploring e.g. Ryo's house, Yamanose, the harbor and so on.

Step 2: Run the tool

Run the tool from the location you have saved it (if running the game in full-screen, you may need to use Alt-Tab to switch back to Windows).

The app's window looks as follows:

  • You may like to pin it to the Windows taskbar beforehand for convenient launching - thanks to SkillJim for the suggestion.
  • The tool can also be run before Shenmue; the order is not important.

Step 3: Click "Disable Collisions"

Click the "Disable Collisions" button and allow 10-20 seconds for it to identify the Shenmue process, scan memory and apply the necessary changes. It may appear to freeze for a few seconds during processing; this is fine.

Once the changes to memory are complete, a confirmation message will be displayed.

  • When the game loads a new area, the collision data is reset. Each time you enter a new area, click the button again to remove boundaries. (This may also be necessary after some cut scenes).

Step 3: Explore

Return to the game; Ryo should now be able to roam freely around the current area you are in.

Important: Read Before Downloading

Disclaimer: please use this tool at your own risk.

Note that Cheat Engine needs to control the Shenmue game process and make small changes to memory, so must run in administrator mode. Cheat Engine is known to trigger some anti-virus or anti-malware programs.

The tool itself has been tested in all the main areas of Shenmue I, as well as the interior of several shops and buildings. It updates a small number of memory locations only, and does not make any changes to files on disc. However be aware that there is a possibility of encountering side effects such as an unexpected freeze or crash in the game.

Attention online gamers: users have reported being banned due to Cheat Engine being detected on their computer. Steam, for example, actively run a Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC) for their online games - read their FAQ page for more information. For this reason, please take precautions when using. We advise this tool be run only on a computer you don't use for online gaming; at a minimum, reboot your system before running an online game to clear out any potential trace from memory.

Download Link

The tool has been built using the latest version of Cheat Engine. It is available in two forms:
  • The EXE suffix file: this is a stand-alone executable version of the tool. No other file is needed.
  • Alternatively, the CETRAINER suffix file: choose this if you prefer to download only the script. In this case, you will also need to install Cheat Engine (official website) separately on your system.
Link to the Shenmue One Cheat Tool (Google Drive folder)

Have fun exploring Yokosuka!

Work on a similar tool for Shenmue II is in progress.

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