Saturday, October 24, 2020

Shenmue III Soundtracks Announced | Summary of Editions

Just as Shenmue fans are recovering from the excitement of the announcement of a Shenmue Anime comes news of an upcoming release of... the Shenmue III soundtrack!

Recent Shenmue soundtrack releases have been for the first two Shenmue games, such as the vinyl releases by Data Discs, and the Shenmue I & II Sound Collection that originally accompanied the Japanese Limited Edition release and has more recently been made available digitally.

While those releases comprised a limited selection of the soundtrack music, the Shenmue III soundtrack release will make available a huge 195 music compositions - some original to the game, and some that were also present in the two earlier games. This collaboration between YS Net, Brave Wave Productions and Limited Run Games will allow fans to fully enjoy the music that permeates the game, and each track has been remastered for maximum audio quality.

A number of options have been prepared to suit different budgets and formats, with the vinyl sets in particular offering a diverse selection:
  • Formats: Digital, CD and Vinyl
  • Vinyl editions include a Complete Collection, a curated 33-track "Music Selection" set, a "Bailu village" set and a "Niaowu" set.
The physical editions include a booklet of liner notes (in both English and Japanese) by Yu Suzuki and "other members of the Shenmue community", as well as archival artwork. In the case of the vinyl editions, these also come with a digital download key.

Of particular interest to collectors will be the special limited-edition Complete Collection vinyl set (500 units only) which includes an exclusive A4 poster signed by Yu Suzuki. These are likely to be snapped up when pre-orders commence for them on November 20.

Here's a handy summary table we put together to help compare the various options at a glance, based on the current details on the Brave Wave site.

Which to choose...?

Shenmue III Soundtrack Vinyl Mock-ups

These mock-up illustrations have been released for the vinyl editions showing the box styles, with a note that the artwork is not final and is subject to change. (A mock-up for the CD Edition is pending).

Shenmue III Original Soundtrack Music Selection

Shenmue III The Definitive Soundtrack Vol. 1: Bailu Village

Shenmue III The Definitive Soundtrack Vol. 2: Niaowu

Shenmue III The Definitive Soundtrack Complete Collection

Pre-order / Release Dates

The Digital Edition is scheduled to be available on November 19. Pre-orders can be made on the Brave Wave Bandcamp.

Update on November 11: pre-orders are now being taken for the Digital Edition! The following 5 tracks are available for free preview:
  1. Shenmue Theme - Piano
  2. Hide & Seek
  3. Main Theme Kokyu (Erhu) Solo
  4. Boundless Lands
  5. Happy Convenience <- The Tomato Mart Theme!

All other editions are scheduled for release in Spring 2021 (pre-orders from November 20).

See the official links at the end of this post for the latest information.

That Popular Jingle is Included!

Josh Fairhurst from Limited Run Games, who is also a huge Shenmue fan, has confirmed (for those who may be worrying) that composer Ryuji Iuchi's popular - yet missing from soundtracks to date - Tomato Convenience Store theme music will indeed be included!

This is the one! Ryuji Iuchi playing the Tomato Convenience Store song live. Don't forget to subscribe to his channel for other Shenmue song performances and game playthroughs.

Official Links

Visit these links for the latest official information on pre-orders, availability & version information:

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  1. Super excited for these! I'll be mopping them all up, and worrying about the cost over the next few decades :D

    1. Haha, the sheer variety is both a blessing and a curse for collectors! Each one of these sets looks amazing and unique.

  2. Hello, it says on here that pre-orders will be available on Bandcamp from November 6 however I went on Bandcamp and I can't seem to find it. Do you have a link for it by any chance?.

    1. Hello, yes you're right, it is not currently available for pre-order on their Bandcamp page. BraveWave announced yesterday that they will need "just a bit more time" for preparing their Generation Series digital titles for November release, with Shenmue III specifically mentioned, so this is likely the reason. I'll put an update in this post also.