Saturday, July 27, 2019

Analysis: Examining the In-Game Rewards Screenshots (Part One) | Shenmue 3

A new Shenmue III update has been released, and it is packed with images of how the Kickstarter / Slacker Backer rewards will look in the game itself, as well as photos of the physical rewards.The images of the in-game rewards are worth particularly close examination as they appear to have been snapped directly from the game.

There's a lot to go over so I'll spread it across two posts.

In-Game Reward: Telecom Card

The first reward shown is the international phone card (part of the Kickstarter $80 reward tier). The original description of this reward was: "This item will unlock phone conversations and flashback scenes available only to Kickstarter Backers".

A closer view of the card:

As appropriate for something with "VIP" in large gold letters on it, the name of the card in Ryo's inventory is "Special Phonecard." Presumably this card will provide unique features compared to an ordinary phone card that may be available for purchase during the game. Its in-game description is:
"Telephone card for backers that allows you to make an unlimited number of international calls."
Along the top is "Chobu Telecom" (using the Japanese pronunciation of the town of Niaowu) with a logo of a flying dove. The bottom reads "Niaowu Tourism Association" in Chinese characters.

The card is illustrated with the return of the friendly yellow "mohawk bird" mascot we've met several times before in other Kickstarter updates, against a background of the harbor area in Niaowu. Perhaps this bird is the town's mascot character.

Apart from the phone card itself, there is another area of interest in the main image, which shows under the category of "Key Items" in Ryo's inventory - items integral to the story that he has collected along the way during his time in Japan and Hong Kong. I'm pleased to see that even small items, such as the white leaf and mysterious scroll Ryo discovers in the basement at the Hazuki Residence are included. The question of what items would carry across to Shenmue III has been a long-standing topic of discussion among fans, and it is great to see that these have been retained.

Here's a brightened image, with labels added:

Note that there are two item slots at the end which are covered by the phone card graphic. One of these is no doubt the Sword of Seven Stars. As for the other...? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

This next screenshot we'll look at shows the imposing entranceway to a fancy-looking red building, the scenery suggesting a location in Niaowu.

A plaque sits above the doorway with the words "Save Shenmue" (there is also an unidentified guy wearing dark glasses hanging around outside, dwarfed by the massive doors).

The next screenshot of the interior show a vast hall with a high ceiling, wooden floor and spotlights highlighting various objects and paintings on display inside. On a round pedestal is a large figure of Chibi-style Yu Suzuki (as featured in this year's announcement about E3), illuminated brightly.

It is indeed an exhibition hall dedicated to Shennmue and the backers who helped make Shenmue III possible. What a wonderful concept!

One of the art pieces on the wall can be identified as an early piece of Shenmue concept art showing Joy on her motorbike, and there is another of Xiuying sitting under a flowering plum tree (this one is new to me).

In-Game Reward: I Am Shenmue 3

In the background are display cabinets with rows of photos in them:
This is likely to be part of the $1500 "I Am Shenmue 3" reward tier: "Be immortalized in world of Shenmue with your picture in the harbor waiting area for the Choubu passenger boat."

In-Game Reward: Dice Dude Capsule Toys

The $700 Kickstarter Reward tier offered the chance to be a Dice Dude: "Be in the newest Shenmue capsule toy collection as your own block figure for the in-game capsule toy machines".

This screenshot shows a row of such Dice Dude capsule toy machines:

One toy costs just 1 yuan (assuming that the cute panda mark next to the slot represents yuan currency).
Coin slot detail
The name on the front of the machine - which carries the SEGA logo, a nice nod from Yu to a company he still maintains ties with today - is its name in Japanese: "Dice Man 3". Beneath that is written "Kh~Mu", perhaps indicating the alphabetized range of backer surnames contained in this machine. The illustration shows a number of head-and-shoulder photos obscured by colorful question marks. As with all the capsule toy machines, the YS Net logo is also present.

Interestingly, the capsules that can be seen inside the machines are a mix of capsule toys from various sets: within the transparent case of the machines, capsule labels can be seen with Japanese text for the Shenmue Character set as well as the Fire Fighter set - although presumably only the correct type of toy will be dispensed!

Giant Chibi-style Shenhua and Ryo figures sit on blue cushions behind the toy capsule machines. The the figures have been placed on display tables, which can be seen at a wider angle in the screenshot section below. More capsule toy machines can be seen extending the row and continuing along the next wall.

On other tables in front of the capsule toy machines are large transparent cubes encapsulating an illustration of Ryo - no doubt the "Dice Dude" version of Ryo.

In-Game Reward: Lucky Hit Game Board 

The "Be a Lucky Hit Game Board" reward tier was a $4,000 tier, with backers who selected this tier being immortalized with their faces on Lucky Hit game boards:

Note that although the Kickstarter site indicates two backers at this level, three boards in total can be seen in the screenshot above. (Might the obscured one be of Cedric Biscay, whose face appeared in the reward illustration...?)

The name of the games is Circle Two, with the hidden left board offering a x4 return, the center has two win slots for a x8 return, and the right board has only a single win slot at x28. The female Lucky Hit attendant, standing nearby to make sure no cheating is going on, is dressed much classier than the street vendors Ryo met in Hong Kong.

We will wrap up the first part here, and continue with the remaining images in the next post.

Source: View the official Kickstarter Update here
Become a Patron!


  1. Some superb observations dude! Looking forward to this building in the game to try and spot my photo :)

    1. Be sure to post up a "virtual tour" for your in-game photo on YouTube when the game's out!

  2. The other key item is the Special Phonecard itself, which is currently selected (and a blue-ish halo can be seen around that selection). -G.

    1. Aha, that totally makes sense! The mystery is solved. :D

  3. I absolutely love these in-depth articles, Switch! Keep up the great work!