Thursday, June 27, 2019

Analysis Part Two: Shenmue III Scenes from PS4 Kiosk at Walmart

Welcome to the second half of our analysis of the Shenmue III teaser that was unexpectedly discovered by Shenmue fan Cebman at a US Walmart on a PS4 demo kiosk earlier this month.

If you have not yet read the first post, go here to read our analysis of Part One.

Here is the full video as a refresher (note that the release date at the end of the teaser is incorrect: it shows the old release date of 27th August; which now changed to 19th November. Footage credit: praj from the Shenmue Dojo.

And now let's continue on with the analysis of the final scenes.

Scene 4: Encounter with Chai

The next scene starts as Ryo turns quickly away from a closed metal door towards the camera, perhaps having been disturbed by a sound.

Set into the door near eye level is a viewing slot that is reminiscent of the one in the door of the cell where Ryo and Ren were confined at the Yellow Head building in Shenmue II.
The door has some kind of slot with a sliding cover set into it.
The next instant, Ryo finds himself confronted with a ghastly yet familiar figure attacking him from a height - Chai is back! Ryo ducks out of the way of the blow, and this part plays out in slow motion - perhaps this represents a QTE in the final game.

Looking at the the background, a powerful light hanging from the ceiling and railings suggest an industrial environment.
Behind Chai: an industrial-style lamp and railings.
As the camera angle changes, stacks of cardboard boxes and other objects can also be seen. While not an exact match, they point to a warehouse environment as seen in of one of the screenshots revealed at MAGIC 2018 that featured the "Mr Muscles" character.
Similar environments? Various stacked cardboard boxes and other objects.

Scene 5: Ryo at the Pier

The next scene is a very brief sequence. We see a close-up of Ryo's feet and legs, with the coiled rope and rough wooden boards a feature recognizable as one of the piers at the Niaowu waterfront. Ryo then takes a few steps and leaps down towards the camera.

Although this scene doesn't reveal Ryo's destination, it seems likely he is jumping down to investigate one of the small boats.
Top-left: Ryo stands on the wooden pier. Top-right: Leaping down from the pier. Bottom: for comparison, a section of the Niaowu wharf released at the MAGIC 2018 press conference.

Scenes 6 & 7: Sparring

The next two scenes will be familiar from the "Ryo and Master" trailer that was revealed at MAGIC Monaco 2019, showing Ryo training in Bailu village.

In the first, Ryo spars with a female opponent, and goes on the offensive with punches and kicks. The clip is a slightly-shortened edit of the MAGIC one but otherwise identical.

In the second, Ryo evades punches being thrown by a rather rotund man. Again, the footage is the same as that in the MAGIC trailer.

Scenes 8: Lan Di

At first glance, the next clip shown of Lan Di appears to be identical to the one seen in The Prophecy trailer from Gamescom 2018, where Ryo faces Lan Di in a luxuriously-decorated room. However, there are some small differences between them.

As can be seen in the comparison shot below, the camera position starts lower in the Walmart teaser, so Lan Di fills more of the screen (indicated by the diagonal lines). And interestingly, the rectangular Chinese-style lamp at the left (arrowed) has horizontal wooden slats in the Walmart clip, which were not present in The Prophecy clip.
Walmart teaser vs The Prophecy trailer: the camera position differs between the two clips (indicated by the diagonal lines) and the detailing on the rectangular lamp at the left (arrowed) is different.
The last few seconds also reveal some differences. The hanging lamp in the Walmart clip has patterning on its sides, whereas the one in The Prophecy did not. The lighting effects on Lan Di's face also appear more subdued and natural in the Walmart clip. (Also there is no cross-fade effect to the next scene, unlike The Prophecy where Shenhua's face fades in during the last few seconds)
Walmart teaser vs The Prophecy trailer: the lamp has some patterning that is not present in The Prophecy trailer, and there is no cross-fade to the next scene.

Scene 8: Ryo & Shenhua

Next we see Ryo and Shenhua standing together in some kind of building, with Ryo resting one arm on a handrail. Shenhua asks him: "Where are you going to go next?"

There are several notable features around them. There is a room or alcove behind Shenhua that has framed pictures hanging on the walls, each illuminated by a small spotlight as in an art gallery. Behind Ryo is a closed sliding door. The handrail and identical wall lamps suggest that they are in a corridor, and the direction of their gaze is downwards, so they may be on the balcony of an upper floor.

There are several decorative features to be seen behind Ryo and Shenhua - but what could this building be?
One possibility for the location is an accommodation building.

In 2015, Yu Suzuki shared plans of Ryo's accommodation in Niaowu (or Choubu as it was known then) together with a sketch of his room and the corridor outside it. While the plans are far from being an exact match with this screenshot, they did also feature an open-to-the-sky internal courtyard that can be viewed from the upper floor. Furthermore, the corridors in the sketch of Ryo's room (shown below) also features similar wooden pillars and wooden strips running along the corridor walls.
A possible location for Ryo and Shenhua's conversation? A sketch of accommodation in Choubu, shared by Yu Suzuki in 2015.
See our previous post on Choubu Inn Floor Plans for more information on these plans.

Scene 9: Ryo & Ren

In the final scene from the Walmart footage, we see Ren moving away from Ryo, turning slightly to wave a casual hand and utter the words "The rest is up to you".

Fans of Ren's voice in the first two games (where it was voiced by Eric Kelso) will detect that the character has a new voice actor, but a similar tone has been kept.

This is the same room location as the clip of Lan Di above, as seen in The Prophecy trailer from Gamescom 2018. In that trailer, Ren could be seen standing at the doorway as Ryo faced an opponent. 
Screenshot of the same location in The Prophecy trailer, with Ren at the doorway.
This latest clip may be part of that same encounter. At a guess, perhaps Ren has helped Ryo to find the den but (in typical Ren fashion) declares that he's not going to get involved with any trouble that may come up there, hence: "The rest is up to you!

Final Comments

This completes our analysis of the "leaked" Walmart kiosk teaser that was intended to promote the game for its old August release date. The teaser overall packs a lot in without being too spoiler-ish, including a look at Chai, a good mixture of action clips (including the forklift driving), and snippets of English voice acting for main characters like Shenhua and Ren. Let's hope that a direct feed of the teaser may be released in the future for improved image quality.

With the release date now having been moved to 19th November, it will be interesting to see if parts of this teaser are mixed into a new trailer in the future and, if so, what changes can be spotted.

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  1. It's a shame that Eric Kelso won't be returning as Ren as I found him to be really good as him as well as the other characters he voice acted as well...

    1. I agree, Eric did a superb job at voicing the characters and it would have been nice to see him and the other original voice actors back. However from the snippets we've heard of the voice acting for Shenmue III so far, we won't be disappointed.