Saturday, January 8, 2022

Ryo Hazuki's White Timex Watch | Unused Asset

Ryo's trusty Timex watch is a familiar sight to players of the the original Dreamcast and Xbox versions of the first two Shenmue games (although in the Shenmue I & II re-releases, the Timex branding on the dial was replaced with the Sega logo for licensing reasons).

The design was closely based on an actual Timex Expedition T43371, which was released in 1999 just before Shenmue's publication. Hence it did not actually exist at the time of the game's setting of 1986 - something that is not unheard of in Shenmue, with the Sega Saturn at the Hazuki household being one example!

The Timex Expedition (left) served as a model for Ryo's watch in the game (center, right).

The real-life watch is an unusual combination of analogue and digital: the alarm is set by rotating the bezel and triggered by physical contact of wires as the hands move, which triggers an electronic alarm sound.

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Friday, January 7, 2022

Poll Result: Patrons' Choice Topic for January 2022

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 winning topic that has been voted in to help kick off 2022 is:

"Interview with Shenhua's Theme song vocalist IOLI" (translation)

In early 1999, to mark the upcoming release of Shenhua's Theme as a CD single, Japan's Dreamcast Magazine featured a short interview with IOLI, the singer who performed the moving vocals on the track.

There is not a great deal of information to be found about this singer online, even on Japanese-language sites, so this short snippet of history will make a welcome addition.

We will also look at what can be found about the path her career took following her involvement with Shenmue.

Coming soon to the blog!

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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Ys Net Animated Ryo & Shenhua Greeting Illustration 2021/22

Ys Net has continued their tradition of Shenmue-themed greetings this season with a new animated illustration, this time featuring Ryo and Shenhua. The image was shared on Twitter by Gameblog's senior editor Romain Mahut, who received the greeting card from Ys Net last month.

Shenhua is wearing a Santa hat in addition to her scarf and mittens, and her earring glistens in the snowy air. Ryo also has on gloves, and stands with his familiar bag-over-shoulder pose - but this time he appears to be taking on the role of Santa's helper by carrying a large sack, presumably packed with presents.

The Shenmue III logo is also present - hopefully the day will not be far away when we see a Shenmue IV logo in its place on new illustrations!

Here are other Shenmue seasonal greeting illustrations from past years that we have covered on the blog :

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