Friday, June 26, 2020

The Official Shenmue Jigsaw Puzzle | Timelapse Video by James Brown

The Official Shenmue Jigsaw Puzzle | Timelapse Video by James Brown

The Shenmue jigsaw puzzle is one of the lesser-known pieces of officially-licensed Shenmue merchandise, released in 1999 ahead of the launch of the first game in the series, and there is very little to be found online in the way of information or even images.

But it's now possible to see the jigsaw up close, thanks to avid Shenmue collector and PRS patron James Brown, who has created a superb timelapse video showcasing the jigsaw and showing the start-to-finish process of solving and framing the jigsaw. The many hours of effort it took to finish can be enjoyed in minutes!

About the Shenmue Jigsaw

The jigsaw was released as a licensed product of SEGA Enterprises in 1999.
  • Size: 750 x 500 mm
  • Pieces: 1000
  • Manufacturer: Yutaka, with "PUZZLE COMPANY" branding
  • Box contents: bag of jigsaw pieces, general information sheet, glue & sponge.
  • Serial number: N3100-001
  • Country of manufacture: Japan
  • Year of release: 1999
The jigsaw image is a composite of characters from the Shenmue series: Ryo Hauzki, Shenhua, Xiuying, Lan Di, Iwao Hazuki, Niao Sun, Chai and Ren. At the bottom right is the Shenmue logo, and a smaller YS logo.
Box cover
Box cover

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Exploring Kowloon's "Magic Rooms" [Part 3] | Jcgamer

Exploring Kowloon's "Magic Rooms" [Part 3] | Jcgamer

Welcome to part 3 in this series on the "magic rooms"  to be found within Kowloon's skyscrapers in Shenmue 2, in which we present the findings made by Jcgamer who has thoroughly explored the Kowloon rooms and taken screenshots of all the individual items found inside, and finally carefully sorted these into categories for our enjoyment!

The previous parts revealed the great variety the developers put into populating the rooms:
Today we turn our attention to the categories of Electrical Appliances, Bottles, Ceiling Fans & Light Fittings and House Plants.

Category: Appliances

The main types of electrical appliances to be found in the rooms are television sets and refrigerators. 

The fridges show the greatest variation, with different colors (white, green, red, yellow), sizes (full-size, half-size) and doors (one-door and two-door styles). The family photos taped to the front of one of the fridges are a nice touch.

The variation in the TVs is more limited, with some having cabinet doors underneath, but only a single style of set to be seen.

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Yu Suzuki Celebrates His 62nd Birthday

Yu Suzuki celebrated his 62nd birthday.yesterday, on June 10th, and tweeted out a photo on his personal account.
Happy birthday to Yu!
Happy birthday to Yu! (Source tweet)
His tweet reads (translation):
Thank you everyone for your wishes!
I have turned 62.
I'll keep giving my best.
The icing message on the cake reads "WanWan Happy 62nd". The meaning of WanWan (わんわん) is not clear, but it means "bow wow" in Japanese. Yu was born in 1958 which is Year of the Dog in the Chinese Zodiac, so perhaps that is the connection..?

We also sent our own message of congratulations to Yu on behalf of the Shenmue fans, and we wish him an amazing year to come.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Shenmue I & II Sound Collection Online from SEGA

SEGA has today made the #Shenmue I & II Soundtrack collection available online!

The full collection of 40 songs can be streamed for free, or purchased through one of the many services.
Here is the title list in English:

Enjoy listening to the collection now on...

YouTube Music

The complete collection can be purchased for 1580 yen (about $15 USD).

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Bailu Village Secrets Part 2: Ranking Boards at Martial Hall | Guest Post by Dave Matthews (SalsaShark)

Bailu Village Secrets Part 2: Ranking Boards at Martial Hall

Hello again everyone and welcome to part two of Bailu Village Secrets! If you missed it, in part 1 we took a look at the ema housed in Man Yuan Temple and the stories they tell about the village and its inhabitants.

Related post:
Today I want to focus on Martial Hall. Situated on a picturesque overlook with a gorgeous view of the Verdant Bridge, Martial Hall is the first building Ryo encounters in his descent from Shenhua's home down into Bailu proper. Here Ryo can practice his horse stance and one-inch punch on the wooden training dummies out front and polish his fighting techniques by either sparring with or challenging the five resident monks.  

Five Tigers
Five Tigers
Ryo starts out unranked and must defeat each monk in turn - from Red Tiger at 1st duan to Gold Tiger who stands alone at 5th duan – if he wants to reach the top of the rankings posted on the dojo wall.

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Shenmue 3 Developer Interview with Implausible Industries

Following Shenmue III's release, the number of interviews and reports has naturally dwindled, so wouldn't it be great to hear some behind-the-scenes stories about the development process from people who actually worked on the game?

For Shenmue Day we present a new community interview with two developers from Implausible Industries, who were part of the development team that worked on the creation of Shenmue III and kindly agreed to answer questions from the fans about their experience. (A shout-out to mjqjazzbar from the Shenmue Dojo forums for getting the ball rolling on the idea!)

Shenmue 3 Developer Interview with Implausible Industries:

Implausible Industries is a Tokyo-based software house formed in 2013 by a small team of highly-experienced developers, who specialize in consulting and development of games on Unreal Engine. 

The questions for the interview were gathered from the fan community on social media, and the two developers answering this fan interview are:

Daniel Markiewicz
Shenmue 3 Role: Level Designer


Kees Gajentaan
Shenmue 3 Role: Shader Artist

(Also part of the development of Shenmue III was a third Implausible Industries team member, Chris Willacy).

The interview begins below.
Shenmue III logo
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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Poll Result: Patrons' Choice Topic for June 2020

Every month Phantom River Stone holds a poll among our patrons to choose a topic for the blog in the coming month. After tallying the votes (including accumulated votes from previous months), the the winning topic for May is...

"The 1999 NETWORK JUNGLE II Digitaliland Exhibition & the Shenmue Forest demo".

Network Jungle II was the name of an event held at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center from May 1st to May 3rd in 1999. It consisted of several different areas, which were called "forests" such as the Game Forest, Communications Forest, Forest of Education and Forest of Tomorrow. Its aim was to bring the world of multimedia to the general public by providing hands-on experiences. Shenmue was was previewed at the event, and it even had a virtual demo that ran on Dreamcast hardware, called Shenmue Forest.
We will take a look at this topic in more depth in an upcoming blog post.

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