Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Ryo's Band-Aids Found at Tomato Mart: Shenmue Cut Content | Dragon & Phoenix Project Discoveries

Another new discovery by LemonHaze reveals that a special item of merchandise had once been planned for inclusion among the stock at the Tomato Convenience Store, one that is a key component of Ryo's visual identity: a packet of band-aids.

Ryo stops in at the Tomato Convenience Store to buy a quick item on his way home. (Mock-up)

Let's look at exactly where this extraordinary finding was made.

Tomato Convenience Store: Poo Magazine & More

The Tomato Convenience Store is packed with a range of useful everyday items, from snacks such as Shenmue-branded chocolate through to the gripping content of Poo magazine.

Poo magazine. (The origin of the magazine's title is unknown. It has been suggested that it might refer to the Japanese expression "Pooh-Taro", describing someone who lazes around all day long).

An importance difference between the type of merchandise that can be found is that some items can be picked up and purchased by Ryo, such as the snacks, while others like magazines are purely scenery and stay fixed in place at at all times.

It turns out that there is a special text file that the game uses to help define all the objects in the store that can move, and this is where the new discovery is contained.

Dynamic Objects Definitions File: mpk00.chr

All of the items for sale at the store are to be found in a single text file on the game disc, called mpk00.chr. "This is sort of like a definition of the dynamic objects in Tomato Convenience Store" explains LemonHaze.

Here's a sample of a section for Shenmue Caramel. Note that there is a comment that gives the name of the item, written in Japanese:

A section of the file that defines the dynamic objects in the store

In this example, the file "CHRM400G.MT5" defines the object model which can be found elsewhere on the game disc.

Disabled Band-Aid Entry

It is inside this file, just underneath the definition for Shenmue Chocolate, that LemonHaze discovered the following unused entry - バンソウコウ written at the top means "adhesive bandage", commonly known as a Band-Aid!

Here is how the definition looks in the file (the "#" marks at the left indicate that all lines are been turned into non-active comments):

Evidence that an adhesive bandage was once a purchasable item at the Tomato Convenience store

There is even an object model filename specified, BANM400G.MT5, but unfortunately this file is no longer to be found among the files to see what it would have looked like.

Tomato Convenience Store Early Design Document

(Added 3 January, 2023)

An early design document that details the contents of the shelves at the Tomato Convenience store in Dobuita also holds a clue.

Early design document of the shelves at the Tomato Convenience Store

There are text annotations in Japanese: the black text indicates the general category of goods for each shelf, while those in red show items that can Ryo can buy. One item in red is of particular interest...

Here the document with the text translated into English:

An unexpected item in the Tomato Convenience Store design document (English translations)

As can be seen, one of the shelves was to have been dedicated to first-aid goods, with Band-Aids being a purchasable item! It is nice to have discovered an additional reference to this early design.

Mockup Image

In the absence of the actual model, we will have to imagine its design, perhaps similar to the "first aid bandage" that was produced to promote Shenmue III...

Final Words

This small yet amazing finding by LemonHaze has revealed another trace of content that was once in the game at some point during its development. It is amusing to think that Ryo might have once been able to purchase a replacement band-aid during the game. Perhaps it was something that the developers had fun building and was never intended for release.

We hope someone will ask Yu Suzuki about this in a future interview!

About the Shenmue Dragon & Phoenix Collection

LemonHaze leads the highly-anticipated Dragon & Phoenix Collection fan mod project, which brings Shenmue I and II onto Unreal Engine. It is an engine replacement mod for the 2018 release of Shenmue I+II for PC that replaces the original engine with Unreal Engine 4, allowing for massive improvements across the board. 

Find out more about this exciting project here:

Become a Patron!

No comments:

Post a Comment