Monday, August 8, 2022

[Part Nine] The Secret of Miao Village: Dialogue Revelations & Sequence of Events (Cont.)

In this post we complete our examination of the Key Story Beats for the Miao Village arc with the final entries 7 to 10, highlighting conversations found in the recent Game Jam prototype of Shenmue II.

Miao Village Story Arc Recap to This Point, Entries 1-6:

Ryo speaks with Zhang, who claims to be Yuanda Zhu's aide and asks Ryo to retrieve the second volume of the Wulinshu martial arts book from a man named Kongzheng Luo who lives in Miao Village. Ryo volunteers to assist the elderly owner at Sunny Capital Pharmacy by delivering some herbs to Miao Village by bicycle, together with his niece Xiaoqing. After carrying out this task, Ryo then asks passers-by as to Kongzheng's whereabouts and learns that he was killed two weeks earlier.

We now pick up again with Ryo looking for a way to get inside Kongzheng's house, which is locked up, to search for more clues about his death.



7A. Finding a Way to Enter Kongzheng Luo's House


Ryo's Current Objective:

Find a way to enter Kongzheng Luo's locked house in order to search it for clues.

Synopsis:

Having learned that Kongzheng Luo was recently murdered, Ryo asks around and learns that the village mayor has a key to the locked house.


Conversation 7A-1: Yumei Yu

Yumei Yu (character ID: GKV)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)


涼「亡くなった羅孔征さんの

ことなんだけど…」

玉梅「…孔征さんのこと?」

涼「わけがあって、

どうしても家に入りたいんだ。」

涼「誰が鍵を持ってるか、

知らないかな?」

玉梅「鍵は村長さんが持ってると思うわ。」

涼「村長さんか…

わかった。ありがとう。」

涼「羅孔征さんの家の鍵なんだけど…」

玉梅「村長さんに聞いてみたら?」

涼「村長さんの家に行きたいんだけど…」

玉梅「2軒となりの家がそうよ。」
Ryo: I'd like to ask about the late Kongzheng Luo...

Yumei: Kongzheng Luo?

Ryo: I really need to get into his house. Do you know who has the key?

Yumei: I think the village mayor has the key.

Ryo: The village mayor... Okay, thank you.
[Ryo now has the objective of obtaining the key to Luo's house from the mayor.]

If Ryo asks further:

Ryo: Where can I find the village mayor's house?

Yumei: It's the house two doors down.

Ryo: Thank you.

Conversation 7A-2: Master Yunhai (Priest)


Master Yunhai (character ID: OSY)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)


涼「羅孔征さんの家に入るには

どうすれば…」

涼「どうしても調べたいことが

あるんです。」

雲海「何か事情がありそうじゃな。」

涼「ええ。」

雲海「まあ、悪い人には見えんし、

教えてもよかろう。」

雲海「羅孔征の家の鍵は

村長があずかっておるはずじゃ。」

涼「村長さんですね。

ありがとうございます。」

涼「村長さんの家へは…」

雲海「寺を下りて、左に行きなされ。

下りて左に行きなされ。」

涼「村長さんの家はどっちですか?」

雲海「馬長老の家なら、

寺を下りて左に行きなされ。」

涼「わかりました。

ありがとうございます。」
Ryo: How can I get into Kongzheng Luo's house? There's something I really need to find out.

Master Yunhai: You must have your reasons.

Ryo: Yes, I do.

Master Yunhai: Well, you don't seem like a bad guy, so I'll tell you. The village mayor has the key to Kongzheng Luo's house.

Ryo: The village mayor? Thank you very much.
[Ryo now has the objective of obtaining the key to Luo's house from the mayor.]

If Ryo engages further:

Ryo: To get to the village mayor's house...

Master Yunhai: Go down from the temple and turn left.

Ryo: Understood. Thank you.

Conversation 7A-3: Xiangqi Long


Xiangqi Long (character ID: SKY)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)


涼「羅孔征さんの家には

どうやって入れば…」

祥啓「なぜだ?

なぜそこに入りたいのかと

聞いている。」

涼「羅孔征さんに会いたいからです。」

祥啓「…入ったところで会えはしないぞ?」

涼「なぜ!?」

祥啓「それは…村長に聞け。」

涼「村長?」

祥啓「俺にはもうこれ以上

答えられることはない。」

祥啓「村長の家はあそこだ。」

涼「あそこが村長の家…」

祥啓「それと!

くれぐれも言っておくが!」

祥啓「つまらない争いに

翠麗を巻き込むなよ。」

涼「争い?

翠麗?」

祥啓「わからなければいい。

とにかくあいつに近づくな。」

祥啓「あいつを不幸にするヤツは

この俺が許さんからな。」
Ryo: How do I get into Mr. Kongzheng Luo's house?

Xiangqi: Why? I'm asking you why you want to go there.

Ryo: I want to see Mr. Kongzheng Luo.

Xiangqi: Even if you get inside, you won't be able to meet him.

Ryo: Why!?

Xiangqi: Because... ask the village mayor.

Ryo: The village mayor?

Xiangqi: I can't tell you anything more than this. The mayor's house is over there.

And! I'm warning you: don't involve Cuili in petty troubles.

Ryo: Quarrels..? Cuili..?

Xiangqi: If you don't know what I'm talking about, all the better. Anyway, stay away from her. I will not allow anyone to make her unhappy.
Cuili Ke (character model: SRI)

[Ryo now has the objective of obtaining the key to Luo's house from the mayor.] 

7B. Obtaining the House Key


Ryo's Current Objective:

Obtain the key to Kongzheng Luo's house from the village mayor.

Synopsis:

Ryo locates the house of the village mayor and asks for the key to Kongzheng Luo's house.


Conversation 7B-1: Wenzhong Ma (Mayor)

Wenzhong Ma (character ID: BNC)
Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

涼「この村の村長さんですか?」

文忠「いかにも。わしに何か用かな?」

涼「羅孔征さんの家の鍵を

あずかっていると聞きました。」

涼「それをお借りしたいんです。」

文忠「見知らぬお主に

渡すわけにはいかんのう。」

涼「そこをどうかお願いします。」

文忠「色々と事情がありそうじゃが、

どこから来なすったのかね?」

涼「ワンチャイの文武廟からです。」

文忠「すると桃李少老師の?」

涼「ええ、今お世話になっています。」

文忠「あの方が身元を引き受けて

おられるのなら信用しよう。」

涼「本当ですか?」

文忠「これを持っていくがいい。」

涼「ありがとうございます。」

Ryo: Are you the mayor of this village?

Wenzhong: Indeed, I am. What can I do for you?

Ryo: I heard that you have the key to Mr. Kongzheng Luo's house. I would like to borrow it.

Wenzhong: I cannot give it to a stranger.

Ryo: Please do me this favor.

Wenzhong: Where did you come from?

Ryo: From Man Mo Temple in Wan Chai.

Wenzhong: So you know Master Lishao Tao?

Ryo: Yes, she is helping me.

Wenzhong: If she has accepted you, then I will trust you also.

Ryo: Really?

Wenzhong: Take this with you.
Wenzhong hands a key to Ryo.
Ryo: Thank you very much.
[Ryo now has the objective of searching Luo's house for clues.] 

After this conversation, Ryo is able to enter Kongzheng Luo's house using the key. Inside, he finds a clue in the form of a photo of a young boy.

[Ryo now has the objective of identifying the boy in the photo.]

7C. Identifying the Boy in the Photo


Ryo's Current Objective:

Ask about the photo of a boy, found inside Kongzheng Luo's house.

Synopsis:

Ryo learns that the photo is of Zhengye, Luo's only son. Zhengye has gone to stay with relatives in the White Dynasty Qr., in Wan Chai.


Conversation 7C-1: Wenzhong Ma (Mayor)

Wenzhong Ma (character ID: BNC)
Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

涼「村長さん。」

文忠「羅孔征の家はどうだったかね?」

涼「この写真を見つけました。」

文忠「ふむ、征耶か。」

涼「ご存知なんですか?」

文忠「羅孔征のひとり息子じゃ。」

涼「この征耶君は今どこに?」

文忠「たしか、親戚に引き取られて…

今はワンチャイの白秦街に

いるはずじゃ。」

涼「白秦街ですね。

ありがとうございます。」

Ryo: Mr. Mayor.

Wenzhong: How did you get on at Kongzheng Luo's house?

Ryo: I found this photo.

Ryo shows the photo he is carrying.

Wenzhong: Hmm, that's Zhengye.

Ryo: Do you know him?

Wenzhong: He is the only son of Kongzheng Luo.

Ryo: Where is Zhengye now?

Wenzhong: I think he was taken in by relatives... I believe he is now in Wan Chai, in the White Dynasty Qr.

Ryo: White Dynasty Qr. Thank you very much.
[Ryo now has the objective of speaking to Zhengye Luo in Wan Chai.]


Conversation 7C-2:  Laifu & Linghua Yu

Note: As in the release version of the game, Laifu and Linghua are found together. Amusingly, as can be seen in the conversation below, even if Ryo addresses Linghua she is tongue-tied, and her elder brother steps in to continue the conversation.

Laifu Yu (character ID: RFK) and Linghua Yu (character ID: MAO)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

涼「ちょっといいかな。」

リンリン「えっ…」

来福「ん、ナニ?お兄ちゃん。」

涼「この子のことを聞きたいんだけど…」

来福「征耶兄ちゃんがどうかしたの?」

涼「征耶兄ちゃん?

もしかして、

羅孔征さんの息子さんか?」

来福「うん、おじさんが死んだから、

遠くに引き取られたんだ。」

涼「遠くって?」

来福「ワンチャイの白秦街って所。」

涼「白秦街…

ありがとう。」

Ryo (to Linghua): Hi.

Linghua: Er...

Laifu: Hm? What is it?

Ryo: Can I ask you about this boy? (shows photo)

Laifu: What about Zhengye?

Ryo: Zhengye? Would he be the son of Kongzheng Luo?

Laifu: Yes, he was taken far away after his father died.

Ryo: How far away?

Laifu: Wan Chai, in a place called White Dynasty Qr.

Ryo: White Dynasty Qr... Thanks.
[Ryo now has the objective of speaking to Zhengye Luo in Wan Chai.]

Conversation 7C-3: Dexi Zong

Dexi Zong (character ID: TKY)
Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

涼「写真の子供について

何か知りませんか?」

徳喜「それは孔征の一人息子の征耶だよ。

いい子でねえ…

よく見舞いに来てくれたもんさ。」

涼「この子は、どこに?」

徳喜「村を出ちゃったよ。

知りあいを頼ってワンチャイへね。」

徳喜「白秦街の屋台で働いてるらしいよ…」

涼「…そうですか。」

Ryo: Do you know anything about the child in the photo?

Grandmother Zong: That's Zhengye, Kongzheng's only son. He's a good boy... he used to come to visit me.

Ryo: Where is he?

Grandmother Zong: He left the village. He went to stay with someone in Wan Chai. Apparently he works at a stall in the White Dynasty Qr.

Ryo: I see.

 [Ryo now has the objective of speaking to Zhengye Luo in Wan Chai.]


Conversation 7C-4: Xiangqi Long

Xiangqi Long (character model: SKY)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

涼「ここに写っている子供のことを

何か知りませんか?」

祥啓「これは征耶…」

涼「征耶?」

祥啓「ああ。羅孔征さんの息子だ。

今は白秦街にいると聞くが…」

涼「白秦街…」

祥啓「ちょっと待て、

お前征耶に何の用だ!?」

祥啓「まさかあんな小さい子供まで

手を出す気じゃないだろうな!?」

涼「違います!

少し話を聞きたいだけです。」

祥啓「…どうだかな。

ヨソ者の言うことだ。」

涼「信じてください。」

祥啓「…もういい。

それ以上なにも言うな。

俺もこれ以上答える気はない。」

涼「そうですか…」

祥啓「この村でだけは

騒ぎを起こすなよ。」

Ryo: Do you know anything about the child in this picture?

Xiangqi: This is Zhengye...

Ryo: Zhengye?

Xiangqi: Yes. He's Kongzheng Luo's son. I hear he's in the White Dynasty Qr. now...

Ryo: White Dynasty Qr...

Xiangqi: Wait a minute, what do you want with him? You're not going to hurt a little kid like that, are you?

Ryo: No! I just want to ask him a few questions.

Xiangqi: I don't know... You're a stranger, after all.

Ryo: Please believe me.

Xiangqi: ... Alright, alright. Don't say anything more. And on my side, I'm not answering any more questions.

Ryo: I see...

Xiangqi: Just don't make a scene in this village.

[Ryo now has the objective of speaking to Zhengye Luo in Wan Chai.]

8. Talking with Zhengye Luo


Ryo's Current Objective:

Look for Zhengye Luo in Wan Chai.

Synopsis:

Ryo returns to Wan Chai to talk with Kongzheng Luo's son, Zhengye, in the White Dynasty Qr, from whom he learns some of his father's possessions are being looked after by the priest at Miao Guang Temple.


Conversation 8.1: Meizhu Rong

Note: the character of Meizhu Rong appears in the release version as the owner of a fruit & vegetable stand in White Dynasty Qr in Wan Chai. 

Meizhu Rong (character ID: KYJ)
Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

涼「すいません。」

梅竹「はいはーい、どうぞどうぞー!」

涼「征耶って子を知りませんか?」

梅竹「知ってるわよー。」

涼「その子は、どこに!?」

梅竹「あっちにいるわよー。」

涼「征耶って子は…」

梅竹「あっちで物売りしてるわよー。

向こうで物売りしてるわよー。

今日もあっちの方で

物売りしてるわよー。」

Ryo: Excuse me.

Meizhu: Yes, welcome! Come on up!

Ryo: Do you know a boy named Zhengye?

Meizhu: I know him!

Ryo: Where is he?
 
Meizhu Rong points the way (release version)

Meizhu: [pointing down the street] Over there!
Ryo: Thanks.
If Ryo asks again:
Ryo: About the boy Zhengye...

Meizhu: [pointing along the street] He's selling things over there!

Ryo: Thanks.

Ryo continues along the street until he finds a stand with a young boy - it is Zhengye.


Zhengye Luo & the Shenmue Premiere Footage

The character of Zhengye Luo does appear in the release version of the game, where he runs a stall selling ducks in the White Dynasty Qr., and Ryo rescues him being bullied by the members of the Yellow Heads in a short QTE fight sequence:

Zhengye is threatened by gang members (release version)

In fact, the character of Zhengye is introduced by name in early video footage from the Shenmue Premiere, well before the game's release (as pointed out by NPC guru Stuart!). His appearance is very similar to his release model, apart from a slight redesign to the collar of his shirt:

Early Zhengye model

In this early footage, the street and shop scenery is quite different however, and Zhengye is shown leaning against a small rack of merchandise, looking around despondently:

Early video footage featuring Zhengye

The voiceover in the video introduces him as follows:
"Zhengye. Wan Chai, Hong Kong. You meet a boy. Perhaps he is waiting for someone, although the sun is already starting to set".
The fact that his character is given a special introduction in the video suggests that he was to have played a significant part in the story, which can be explained by the Miao Village subplot that was cut.


Speaking with Zhengye


Although conversational dialogue with Zhengye does exist in the Game Jam prototype files, it no longer contains any reference to the Miao village subplot.

However, it can be conjectured that Ryo learns from Zhengye that his father entrusted a certain item to Miao Guang Temple before his death.

[Ryo now has the objective of returning to Miao Village to visit Miao Guang Temple and enquire about Luo's belongings.]


Conversation 8.2: Dieling Miao (Witch Doctor)

Note: this conversation takes place at Miao Village if Ryo approaches Dieling Miao, to prompt the player to return to Wan Chai.

Dieling Miao (character model: CHL)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

苗「征耶に会ったかい?」

涼「いえ、まだです。」

苗「早く会いに行っておくれ。

あの子を救うのは

お前さんしかいない。

あの子はいま、

さまよっている。

助けてやっておくれ

それが、お前さんの

道を開くことにもなる。」

涼「はい。」

苗「白秦街というところじゃ。」

涼「わかりました。」

苗「助けてやっておくれ。」

Dieling: Have you been to see Zhengye?

Ryo: No, not yet.

Dieling: Go see him as soon as possible.

You are the only one who can save him.

He's lost right now. Help him, and it will pave the way for you.

Ryo: Yes, sir.

Dieling: He's in a place called the White Dynasty Qr.

Ryo: Understood.

Dieling: Help him.

 

9. Cut Scene: Visiting Master Yunhai at Miao Guang Temple


Ryo's Current Objective:

Visit Miao Guang Temple to enquire about the belongings of Kongzheng Luo being kept there.

Synopsis:

Back at Miao Village, Ryo asks the way to Miao Guang Temple, where he speaks with the priest, Master Yunhai. He obtains the second volume of the Wulinshu that had previously been in the possession of Kongzheng Luo.


Cut Scene with Yunhai:

[This cut scene triggers on entering the Miao Guang Temple building]

Master Yunhai (character ID: OSY)
Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

涼「あの…」

雲海「何かご用かな?」

涼「征耶から聞きました。

こちらで羅孔征さんの遺品を&預かっていると…」

雲海「確かに。」

涼「見せてもらえませんか?」

雲海「なにゆえに?」

涼「武林書という本を探してるんです。」

雲海「その本をどうするつもりかの?」

涼「できれば、お借りしたいと…」

雲海「あの本はいずれ文武廟に&預けるつもりじゃ。」

涼「文武廟なら、&今、世話になっている所です。」

雲海「桃李少老師をご存知と?」

涼「はい。」

雲海「ならば、お聞かせ願おう。功とは?」

涼「日々、おこたることなく&鍛練すること。」

雲海「義とは?」

涼「正しいことのために、&ためらうことなく行動すること。」

雲海「待っておれ。」

涼「これだ…」

雲海「羅孔征から預かった品じゃ。」

涼「お預かりしてよろしいですか?」

雲海「思えば、羅孔征を襲った連中も&これが目当てだったのかも…

お主を信じようかの。よろしく頼む。」

Ryo: Er...

Master Yunhai: What can I do for you?

Ryo: I spoke with Zhengye, and he said that Kongzheng Luo's belongings are being kept here...

Master Yunhai: That's correct.

Ryo: May I see them?

Master Yunhai: For what purpose?

Ryo: I'm looking for a book called the Wulinshu.

Master Yunhai: What are you going to do with that book?

Ryo: I would like to borrow it, if possible...

Master Yunhai: I was planning to leave that book with Man Mo Temple, eventually.

Ryo: Man Mo Temple is actually the place that is helping me at the moment.

Master Yunhai: Then you know Master Lishao Tao?

Ryo: Yes, I do.

Master Yunhai: Then, tell me: what is GON?

Ryo: To practice everyday without neglect.

Master Yunhai: What is YI?

Ryo: Always act without hesitation to do what you perceive is right.

Master Yunhai: Wait there.
Master Yunhai leaves and returns with a large reddish-brown book, the second volume of the Wulinshu.

The Wulinshu Vol. 2 can be identified in one of the AM2 screenshots.
Ryo: This is it...

Master Yunhai: It was given to me to look after by Kongzheng Luo.

Ryo: May I take it with me?

Master Yunhai: Come to think of it, this may have 
been what the gang who attacked Kongzheng Luo was after... I'll put my trust in you. Take care of it.
The snippets of conversation seen previously in the AM2 screenshots (above) can now be placed in context.

[Ryo's objective is now to return to Wan Chai and meet up with Zhang at the Dou Jiang Diner.]

10. Delivering the Wulinshu to Zhang


Although no corresponding dialogue has been found in the game files, the final part of this story arc would presumably be as follows:
  • Ryo returns to Wan Chai and makes the Chawan Sign once more at the Dou Jiang Diner. Upon  meeting Zhang again, he hands over the second volume of the Wulinshu.
  • Zhang thanks him for preventing the book from falling into the hands of the Chiyou Men, and the conversation moves onto the topic of Ryo's mission to find Yuanda Zhu.
  • Zhang informs him that Dou Niu of the Yellow Heads is also seeking Yuanda Zhu, and suggests that Ryo locates Ren of Heavens in Aberdeen. 
Zhang at the Dou Jiang Diner (release version)

At this point, the story would have continued as seen in the release version of the game.

Closing Comments


That completes our examination of the Miao Village story arc. Once rearranged in a sensible order, the dialogue content that was left on the Game Jam version of Shenmue II reveals the events that had been planned for the cut Miao Village section in more detail than ever seen before. Each of the characters has been given a distinct personality, relationships with other villagers, and amusing quirks that can be felt in their interactions with Ryo.

Overall, I was surprised at the extent to which the dialogue content for this sub-plot had been implemented, and at how fleshed-out the characters feel.

An interesting consideration is whether the main story would have differed had this subplot had been kept - would new secrets involving the mirrors and the Chiyoumen's motivation have been revealed to Ryo from this second volume of the Wulinshu? Or, given that Ryo would likely not have been able to interpret the Chinese text without assistance, would the main story have continued in the same way as the release version, after the book is returned to Zhang? The latter case is perhaps more likely, and would support the reason this subplot was able to be dropped completely at the development stage with little affect on the main plot.

The Miao Village topic will not be completely set aside yet, as in a coming post we will explore some additional optional conversation snippets, summarize some details about the village that Ryo has learned through the various conversations, and reflect on how well fan theories to date held up when compared to the actual content that has now been revealed.

Acknowledgements


This exploration of the dialogue and storyline was built on initial discoveries and analysis posted to the Shenmue Dojo by LanDC. Thanks to LemonHaze and Stuart (Miles Prower) for their helpful consultations on technical aspects and character profiles.

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2 comments:

  1. Thanks very much again for the great analysis on this, and for translating the conversation with NPCs in Miao Village. Looking forward to the next post on this topic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Terry! There are a few more fun dialogue snippets to look at it.

      Delete