Thursday, June 13, 2019

"Shin Shōryūken" Hidden Move in Shenmue Unlocked After 20 Years By Fan in Japan

Amazing. A fan has successfully created a hack to unlock the previously-rumored "Shin Shōryūken" move (as used by Ryu in Street Fighter III) that developers put into Shenmue but which can't be produced through normal control input. Once unlocked, Ryo uses it against Goro in the harbor blackmail QTE scene.

The existence of the move was first made known last year by a former AM2 developer who revealed that staff came up with it during development as an easter egg (with an immensely-tricky input sequence) but apparently Yu Suzuki, as producer, stepped in and put a stop to it before the final release - although the code was just disabled not removed, waiting to be dug up 20 years later!

Watch the move in action below.


The following excerpts are translated from an online news article that was published in August of last year, when the existence of this move was first revealed:
"It all started with a conversation on the Discord channel of the game information site Gamecast. In a chat room discussing hidden tricks, someone who was involved with development of the original Shenmue let this slip: 'This is something that isn't in Daigirin (a series of tricks & cheats books released in the 1990's) or on the net, but: at the end of the QTE at the harbor, if you input Hado Hado* + A within 3 frames, you'll perform a Shōryūken.' That chat room was immediately buzzing with comments like 'No way' and 'Awesome, I want to tell everyone about it'".
  • "Hado Hado" (or 236 236) refers to performing the command for the Hadoken move from Street Fighter by moving the D-pad down, down-right, right in rapid succession (twice in a row).
Regarding why this kind of easter egg was put in, the article gives these quotes from the developer:
'Although we were employees at Sega, we were far from staid workers, and all we wanted to do was make our games fun. We told ourselves we mustn't ever lose that way of thinking.'

'We attributed a minimum number of various events in parallel to all the characters, so even if the ending is the same, the path to get there will be different for every player. We were trying to do something like that. Quite different from multiple endings. The main story alone was followed without exception, but at the same time we wanted to give all the players a differing experience'.

Mod Details

The mod was created by user "nullpo" who uploaded footage of the move to the Niconico video site almost two months ago on 16th April, 2019. Here is his comment with information about how he created the mod (our translation):
"In the summer of last year (2018) something quietly drew attention: talk of a hidden Shin Shōryūken move that could be performed if you input a "Shinku Hadoken" command sequence (ending with the A button) within the last 3 frames at the end of the harbor QTE.

This Shinku Hadoken command requires at least 6 frames, so apparently it is impossible to perform using legitimate methods, but I was interested and after carrying out analysis I managed to achieve success.

To start with, I was able to identify the flag position controlling the output of the move, so I forced the flag on and the move was displayed. Although in the end, I wasn't able to identify the point in the code that decides if the Shinku Hadoken command has been input within 3 frames..."

Instructions (Binary Edit):

Here are the original instructions for the mod (disclaimer: this change requires a modification to the binary, so please use at your own risk. See the next section for a ready-to-use solution).
  1. Open the following file in a hex editor:
    • disk_xxxxxxxx.tac [Switch: where xxxxxxxx is some hexadecimal number]
  2. Search for the following sequence and change the last number from 0E to 00.
    • Before: 09 50 FF 88 80 26 0E
    • After: 09 50 FF 88 80 26 00

Instructions (Forklift):

Radar of the Shenmue Dojo has created a ready-made file for use with the Forklift mod loader that removes the need for editing, as well as a save file right before the QTE. Link to Shenmue Dojo forum post with the files.

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  1. It appears to be a scripted move that only takes place within this particular QTE sequence, so it doesn't appear in your moves list. No one has come up with a patch for the Dreamcast version yet as far as I know!

  2. when am i supposed to input the command? tried a few times today (on an actual dreamcast, no mods etc) and couldn't get it to work :(

    1. The developers set up the code in such a way that it's impossible to input the command manually (although it would originally have been possible, presumably). You'll need to use a hack like the one mentioned above, to see the move in action!

    2. ah ok. thanks for clarifying. a little disappointing, but glad i didn't try it more than 3-4x lol.

  3. In a way it was hidden in plain sight: Just look at the pose of the capsule toy Dural Gold...

    1. Nice spot! Even the leg positioning matches.