Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition | Video & Download

Case mock-up art by Shenmue Forever

In this post, we present an improved version of the Kogami Shenmue Undub, brought to you Shenmue Master and Phantom River Stone.


Background


A few years ago we talked about a "100% translation" project that was underway by Shenmue Master and Phantom River Stone to produce an improved "Shenmue Undub" (Japanese audio + English subtitles) for the Dreamcast.

Previous fan builds of an Shenmue Undub had paved the way and already represented great achievements, and the Kogami version in particular was recognized as the most comprehensive version to date. There were however a few known issues still to overcome, such as a small percentage of subtitle lines that remained in Japanese for NPCs and a couple of minor glitches. Also, due to size requirements, the use of (notoriously-unreliable) 99-minute discs was necessary for playing on Dreamcast hardware.

The goal then for this project was to build on optimized version of Kogami's Shenmue Undub that would bring together a complete set of Japanese audio with a fully-translated set of English subtitles, and if possible fit these onto standard-capacity CD-R discs without compromising audio quality or loss of content.

Shenmue Master initiated the project, and reached out to Phantom River Stone to work together to achieve the goal. Work took place over a span of several months and a working version was achieved. However the project was subsequently put into hibernation, due to various factors.

The project team is now pleased to announce the result of the project effort: an updated Shenmue Undub which has been named the Definitive Edition.


Features & General Information


What is the Shenmue Undub (Definitive Edition) all about? Here is a brief list of features:

  • Based on the Kogami Undub: this version builds upon the most complete fan-made Undub version, which was created by Kogami and runs on the Dreamcast.
  • Full English subtitles: the official translated lines are used where available. A small number of the Japanese spoken lines (around 3%) which did not have English equivalent translations available have been translated by hand. A few small corrections were also made to fix specific lines that had incorrect grammar or meaning.
  • Full Japanese audio with no down-sampling.
  • PAL-compatible save files: saves can be carried over to the PAL version of Shenmue II.
  • CDDA audio tracks included: recorded audio tracks play as expected during the game (e.g. the music that plays when Ryo rides home from the harbor with Nozomi on the back of his motorcycle).
  • Coca Cola branding: the branding for the vending machines and soda cans in the game shows the Coca Cola branding, as seen in the Japanese version of Shenmue..
  • Fixes for small glitches identified in the previous Undub version (e.g. conversations when Ryo knocked on house doors did not play out properly).
  • Fits on standard CD-R discs: the images have been stream-lined to allow them to be played on a Dreamcast console using standard CD-R discs, with no missing or cut content.


Notes for Play

  • Enable subtitles before starting play: at the main Shenmue menu screen first go to Options -> Dialog & Text -> and choose "Game Mode". This ensures that subtitles will be shown during all cut scenes and game play. Unless this mode is selected, no subs will be displayed!


Download Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition for the Dreamcast


Disclaimer: to legally use this you must own an original copy of Shenmue for the Dreamcast.

Update: GDI images are now also available below. Many thanks to Guillaume Nunes for preparing these!








Mentions


We're delighted to have had the Shenmue Undub: Definitive Edition covered by The Dreamcast Junkyard with a fantastic website post as well as discussion on the DreamPod podcast: Episode 82: Another Dreamcast News Round-Up. Many thanks to Tom and team for their support of this fan project!

Credits


The Definitive Edition is an extension of the Shenmue Undub version created by Kogami.

This project was led by the team at Shenmue Master who optimized the disc images. Translations for lines not officially available were provided by Phantom River Stone. (Special personal thanks to David from Shenmue Master for all his guidance and technical assistance in merging the additional translations and building test versions).

QA testing was carried out by GameHacKeR.

The Dreamcast case mock-up image was created by Shenmue Forever.

Disc images hosted by Shenmue Dojo.
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53 comments:

  1. Awesome!!! Thanks for finally releasing it! I'll burn the first one right away to play on real hardware, and I'll tell you if something goes wrong.

    Really, thank you and all the team behind this!

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  2. Amazing work! - Tom from Dreamcast Junkyard

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  3. Nice!! It's a shame there's no GDI version, makes using it with DreamShell impossible :c

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! There aren't immediate plans for a GDI version immediately, but it may be a possibility in the future.

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  4. Can I play this on an emulator?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, for example on Demul. Someone has also run it on Redream (after converting to cdi format).

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    2. I tried it on redream (android) but the background music is way too loud, anybody experiencing the same?

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  5. This is fantastic, burning for my console now! I don't think a more definitive version of Shenmue is possible.
    That said I do have to echo the other comments, an emulator-friendly format would be appreciated too (not that you owe us a single thing).

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    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoy it! Regarding emulators it has tried out on Demul and has also been reported to run with GDEMU (copy the images over manually and rename the MDS file to "disc.MDS").

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    2. Is there a conversion guide or tool that converts .MDF to .CDI?
      For now Redream nor Flycast doesn't load .MDF files.

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    3. As a suggestion, try a tool like AnyToISO (which has a free version available) to convert to ISO format which is supported by Flycast. For conversion to CDI, a method someone has used is to mount each image virtually with Daemon Tools and then use DiscJuggler to create a CDI image.

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  6. Anyone have success in converting and burning to CD? Mine have failed to boot on my Dreamcast. Also, is there a Checksum (MD5/SHA1) for the working images? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I've added checksums for the images in the post. The images have gone through a testing process on a real Dreamcast after burning to CD, but it would be good to get an independent confirmation from someone who has burned them successfully.

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    2. JasonX Write the discs using Alchol120% Free Editon and use the default settings and it should work perfectly, Also for good messure write using the slowest speed.
      I've also heard that if your dreamcast has the number 2 on the bottom next to the pal\ntsc mark the selfboot copies don't work so make sure your dreamcast has the numbers 0 or 1 next to the pal\ntsc mark.
      I hope you get the game working on your end :)

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    3. Theres the download link for Alchol 120% Free edition :)
      http://www.filefacts.com/alcohol-120-free-edition-info

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    4. Thanks for the replies. Will try the Alcohol route on a my XP machine (I was using AnyToISO on my Mac before).

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  7. Great work! Is there any form of compression going on since "the images have been stream-lined"? Would it be possible to release a fully uncompressed version if so?

    Myself and many others would be playing this on a GDEmu, so storage space isn't an issue. Please consider it, if it is technically possible.

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    Replies
    1. There were some optimizations to reduce the size (by removing unused files etc) but there hasn't been any down-sampling or degradation of the content. You are still getting the full experience. :)

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    2. Glad to hear it! No reason to hold back from playing it then!

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  8. Well done is it possible to do a release with English voices ?
    Can't wait the french version :-)
    well done.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! It's not planned although it's an interesting idea and technically would be possible. You wouldn't gain a great benefit over what is available with US Shenmue (mainly some minor extra translated text and Coca Cola branding).

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  9. Some good news for those who were asking: a GDI version is now available as a download link in the post, courtesy of Guillaume Nunes who kindly converted the images!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this Switch, plus thanks to Guillaume Nunes!

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  10. can someone provided an cdi version of this for dl along the mdf/msd & gdi versions?

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  11. Been waiting for the last 3% to be done for years now. Can't believe it's finally out! Absolutely fantastic job! Thank you

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  12. Will there be a Shenmue II one or we don't really need and the native version is just fine as is?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, if you play the European version of Shenmue II on Dreamcast it provides English text with Japanese audio, so it's effectively already an "undub".

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. I've come across some lines with Kayoko (when she's playing at Sakuragaoka Park), in which she'll still reply using the official -and erroneous- English Dub.
    Her original Japanese reply is 'はい' (Hai/Yes); in English it's "I won't" but out-of-context...

    *Original Japanese*
    Ryo: "Watch out for speeding cars."
    Kayoko: "Haaai!"

    *English Dub*
    Ryo: "Watch out for speeding cars."
    Kayoko: "I won't."

    That "I won't" was meant for "Don't go off with any strangers".

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    Replies
    1. Good catch! I remember running into a lot of cases during the What's Shenmue fan translation too, where the same line is reused in the Japanese but applies differently in English. In this case perhaps Kayako could reply with something like "Okaaay!" to cover both situations.

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    2. Exactly.
      If there's an update, will it be featured just here, or also on ROMhacking.net?
      They have the most extensive library of translated games, so it'd be good to have it archived on more than one domain.

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    3. We are certainly fine to have it archived in multiple places.

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  15. Is the third of the GDI version really the third CD? Looking at the binary data (of track03.bin file), I see it defined as GD-ROM2/4 instead of GD-ROM3/4.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. We haven't had any feedback about any issues with the gdi disc 3 image, but if anyone is able to confirm it works as expected using an appropriate save file, that would be appreciated.

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  16. Playing in redream emulator, space harrier runs slow despite showing 60fps, it's too easy too now.

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  17. Hey, thanks so much for realizing this project! I remember when the Kogami Undub was the best at the time and the closest to an authentic experience, so it's really neat to see this definitive undub complete the dream. It's awesome that this fits on a standard CD-R, too! One question! Are there any plans to update this project with any small fixes caught after the initial release? I noticed someone pointed that there's a line at Sakuragaoka Park about watching out for cars that doesn't fit.

    Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. It's great to hear feedback on the Undub, as everyone involved poured a lot of spare time into it, so thank you! I have to say that there are no immediate plans as the members of the original team have moved on to various other projects. But if people can continue to report any small issues found here in the comments, that will be a good start for a potential future update.

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  18. I noticed the other day when Ryo speaks to a blonde woman in Dobuita she says that she doesn't speak much Japanese bit the caption was something totally different.

    I'll try and reproduce it and report exactly what the mismatch is.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a wire got crossed somewhere there! Any further information would be great.

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    2. Yeah, I'm keeping my eyes open for the same woman every time I run down Dobuita main street - yet to see her again though!

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  19. Hi, will you undub The Movie too?

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    1. Hi, remaking The Movie as an undub would be an interesting project! But this project scope was just for the game.

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  20. Hello! Any thoughts for 99mins(900mb) version near in future?

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    1. Hello there! Is there something in particular you had in mind? This version should contain all the information that the old 99-minute version had.

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  21. I keep getting "Attempt to load game unsuccessful.Retry loading of the game file" message when I try to start a new game. How may I go about fixing this? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. This can happen if the VMU has a Shenmue save file on it from a non-PAL version of the game (e.g. Japan or US). Try a newly-formatted VMU, or one with a PAL region Shenmue save file on it.

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    2. I'm using redream and I currently don't have any save files of the game on my macbook which I'm emulating on. Thanks for the previous reply!

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    3. Hm, is it the latest version of redream? I tried running it up on the latest version of redream (v1.5) and the new game started fine. That was on a Windows PC though. Perhaps the Redream discord could offer advice if you still get the message.

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