Tuesday, August 23, 2022

[Part Ten] The Secret of Miao Village: Extra Dialogue & Facts Collected

We will come back to examine this image more closely in this post!

Previously in this series, we walked through the entire sequence of events (first halfsecond half) that would likely have taken place during Ryo's visit to Miao Village, based on the dialogue text files from the Game Jam prototype build of Shenmue II.

This time, we will run through extra dialogue and interactions Ryo can have with various characters. These aren't necessarily part of the main story flow, but they shed more light on the relationships and personalities of the villagers.

Note: in some places in the dialogue files, varied responses from a character can be identified with respect to a single query from Ryo. This may indicate where a different response is picked (perhaps at random) each time Ryo asks the same question.

Miscellaneous Dialogue

Miscellaneous Dialogue: Yiming Ke

Yiming Ke is the elder brother of Rong and son of Cuili. Although his character didn't feature in our previous story summary posts, he is one of the most specific in his directions about how to find certain landmarks, adding to our knowledge of Miao Village's layout.

Yiming Ke (character model: YKM)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)

































































When Ryo asks Yiming where to find Kongzheng Luo's house, he learns that it is not far from the lookout tower. It is not clear where Yiming himself is standing when giving these directions; possibly he may be at the entrance to his family home (the house of the Ke family):

Yiming: To get to Mr. Kongzheng Luo's house,

go to the left,

then go down the stairs in front of the lookout platform.

It's the house on the right.

Ryo: Got it.

Thank you.

If Ryo asks again:
Yiming: Go all the way along to the left.

After going down the small steps, it's on your right.

If you get lost, please ask me again!

Ryo: Thank you.

When asked about Kongzheng Luo's son, Zhengye, Yiming may reply with one of a number of possible comments. One reveals he had a close relationship with the boy.
  • He raised Zhengye as if he was his brother. 
  • Zhengye is lively, bright and a very good kid. 
  • Zhengye was like family to me.
Ryo's response to any of his responses is much as you would expect!
Ryo: I see...

Yiming gives detailed directions when asked how to reach Miao Guang Temple:
Ryo: I'd like to go to Miao Guang Temple.

Yiming: To go to Miao Guang Temple, go along to the right.

When you see the house that's two along from here,

turn right into the road that's just before it.

You will see a long staircase that leads to the temple.

Ryo: I see, got it.

Yiming also talks about Miao Village in general. (This may be a conversation that occurs when he is strolling around the village, since he refers to his house being elsewhere, in the "east part of the village").
Ryo: Um...

Yiming: Yes?

Ryo: May I ask you about this village?

Yiming: Yes, sure!
Yiming has a number of different responses, such as its foundation on martial arts:
Yiming: It is a village with many martial artists

and people well-versed in the martial arts.
Or he may mention its small population:
Yiming: There are only a few villagers.

But they are all good people.
Or the importance of nature:
Yiming: This is a village where everyone

lives in harmony with nature.
Ryo gives the same rather non-committal reply to either of the responses, only to find himself invited to visit Yiming at home (which he politely declines):
Ryo: It's a nice place.

Yiming: If you like, why don't you come to my house?

Ryo: I'd love to, but...

Yiming: I see...

My house is in the east part of the village.

Please visit any time.

Miscellaneous Dialogue: Dieling Miao (Witch Doctor)

Dieling Miao (character model: CHL)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)





苗「絶えず変化し続ける世界と 決別した土地じゃ。

お前さんが求めしものは、 見出せんじゃろう。」



ここも、変化の波が 押し寄せようとしている。


いつまた激動の潮流に 飲み込まれることやら…

大いなる流れは強大じゃ。 ここもいつまでもつことやら…」



Dieling gives Ryo his (unbidden, as usual) thoughts about Miao Village in general, and paints a rather sad picture of a place that has almost run its course, emphasizing the difference between their rural way of life and hustle and bustle of modern cities like they nearby Wan Chai.

Dieling: You wanted to see me?

Ryo: Actually...

Dieling: This village is a forgotten place.

Ryo: Sorry?

Dieling: A land that has parted ways with the ever-changing world.

You will most likely not find what you seek.

Ryo: Oh...

Dieling: However...

Here, too, the tide of change is upon us.

This place will not last forever.

When will it once more be swallowed up by the tide of change?

Great currents are mighty. I wonder how long this place will last...

Ryo: ...

Dieling: You may go.

Miscellaneous Dialogue: Laifu & Linghua Yu

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

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)




来福「お兄ちゃんも いっしょにやる?」

来福「いっしょにやる? お兄ちゃんも。」

来福「お兄ちゃんにも 教えてやるよ。」






鈴華「おねえちゃんが、 知らない人と話しちゃダメって…」



In the conversations below, Ryo sounds to be encouraging the two children at some activity they are doing - perhaps some kind of exercises or martial arts training.
Ryo: Hi.

You're doing great!

Laifu: You want to join us, mister?

Ryo: Sorry. Maybe next time.

Ryo: Hey.

Hang in there!

Laifu: Mister, want to join us?

Ryo: Sorry. I'm in a bit of a hurry.

These interactions with the children are reminiscent of those that would be seen in the released game, for example in Langhuishan:

In Langhuishan (Shenmue II release version)

In any case, the younger Linghua also has some lines in which she refuses to answer Ryo if he tries talking to her directly (she has apparently been well advised by her older sister Yumei Yu):

Linghua: Um, well.. um...

I'm not allowed to talk with strangers...

Ryo: Oh, right. Sorry about that.

Linghua: Um, ah...

Big Sis says I mustn't talk with strangers...

Ryo: Oh. Okay.

Miscellaneous Dialogue: Master Yunhai (Priest)

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

雲海「ならば4つの武徳も 存じているはず。」




涼「常に怠ることなく、 日々、修練を積み重ねること。」




涼「肝をすえて、冷静に正しく 判断すること。」

雲海「その通りじゃ。 で、残りの武徳は?」



涼「むやみに拳法を使わず、 みだりに技を見せず。」


雲海「桃李少老師の門下の者と 信じよう。」

雲海「だが、武徳はつねに心に とどめておくのじゃぞ。」


雲海「なんじゃ、武徳を 思い出したのか?」


雲海「よかろう。 聞かせてもらおうかの。」




雲海「ふむ。それは大切だが、 武徳ではないのう。」







涼「他人を裏切らず、人から 信頼されることです。」



涼「目上の人を敬い、 礼儀正しく接することです。」

涼「…すいません。 思い出せません…」

Next is a very interesting section of dialogue with Master Yunhai, in which he challenges Ryo to name the Four Wude. You may recall from the earlier posts, that a cut scene was found among the files in which Master Yunhai asks Ryo to recite just two of the Wude (GON and YI) before fetching the Wulinshu, something which would not have required any interaction from the player.

Here is a portion of that cut scene:

The dialogue, however, represents an interactive conversation, suggesting it was being considered as an alternative, rather than an addition, to the cut scene format.

It does not appear to be complete in its current state, and potentially would not integrate well with the rest of Master Yunhai's dialogue lines. Based on this, it may have been left-over text from an earlier design, before it was incorporated in the cut scene - or, alternatively, it was a preliminary draft that was still being worked on at this point, prior to the entire Miao Village content being cut.

In any case, from the nature of the questions and replies, it seems likely that the player was to have been presented with an Action Selector (multi-choice pop-up) each time Master Yunhai prompts Ryo to name another of the Wude. Multiple options would be made available each time, with several "fake Wude" distractions but only one genuine Wude.

LanDC has shared some intriguing background information about the number of Wude that had been originally planned for the game, revealing that some of these incorrect choices may be a throwback to the earlier set:
"There are seven Wude in the original script set for Shenmue II. Some of them are the ones Ryo mentions here. Perhaps this would have been a cute inside nod to the original Legend of Akira script."
The sequence starts with Master Yunhai challenging Ryo to name the Wude:
Master Yunhai: In that case, you must also know the Four Wude.

Ryo: Yes, I do.

Master Yunhai: Well then, let's hear them.
The player might then have been faced with a number of choices, like this:

Master Yunhai quizzes Ryo about the Wude (mock-up image)

If the player chooses the correct choice, in this case GON ():

Ryo: One is GON.

Master Yunhai: Ah. And what does it mean?

Ryo: To keep training daily, without neglect.

Master Yunhai: Hm. How about the remaining Wude?

Another selector is displayed with new choices; this time the genuine Wude is DAN (胆). 

Ryo: DAN.

Master Yunhai: Ah. And what does it mean?

Ryo: Be brave and stay calm to make the right decision.

Master Yunhai: That's right. What about the rest of the Wude?

A selector is displayed with the legitimate Wude being JIE ():

Ryo: JIE.

Master Yunhai: Ah. And what does it mean?

Ryo: Do not be proud. Be disciplined and do not use kung-fu unnecessarily, and do not show your moves thoughtlessly.

Master Yunhai: Well, that's fine.

I believe that you are a student of Master Lishao Tao.

However, be sure to always keep the Wude in mind.
Interestingly, the fourth Wude, YI (義), is not to be found in this dialogue file, suggesting an incomplete set of lines.

Let's move on to the incorrect options (some lines have been arranged to form a meaningful order). In the dialogue file, among these incorrect answers are some whose meaning Ryo is able to give an explanation for: ZHONG (忠), XIN (信) and LI (礼).
Ryo: One is ZHONG.

Master Yunhai: Ah. And what does it mean?

Ryo: It means to respect and serve one's master.

Master Yunhai: Hmm. That is important, but it is not one of the Wude.

Ryo: One is XIN.

Master Yunhai: Ah. And what does it mean? 

Ryo: Do not betray others and be trusted by others.

Master Yunhai: Hmm. That is important, but it is not one of the Wude. 

Ryo: One is LI. 
Master Yunhai: Ah. And what does it mean?
Ryo: To respect one's superiors and treat them with courtesy.

Master Yunhai: Hmm. That is important, but it is not one of the Wude.

There are also some other incorrect options that the player may select, but for these Ryo is at a loss to explain their meaning: The following conversation pattern is used for REN (仁), YAN (厳) and XIAO (孝).

Ryo: One is REN / YAN / XIAO.

Master Yunhai: Ah. And what does it mean?

Ryo: It's... it's...

Master Yunhai: What's the matter?

Ryo: I'm sorry. I can't remember... 

In any case, if Ryo gives an incorrect answer, Master Yunhai ends his questioning:

Master Yunhai: Come back again when you're ready.

In the case Ryo has failed, he may return to be tested again, with the following opening exchange:
Ryo: Master.

Master Yunhai: What, have you recalled the Wude?

Ryo: Please give me another chance.

Master Yunhai: Very well. Let me hear them.
As mentioned, this entire section appears to duplicate the more abbreviated interaction Ryo has with Master Yunhai in the cut scene examined previously.

Miscellaneous Dialogue: Xiangqi Long

Xiangqi Long (character ID: SKY)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)


お前の気は 否が応にも争いを呼び込む類の物だ。

頼むからこの村に 災いを持ち込まないでくれ。


あいつをこれ以上、 不幸にしたくない…」





Xiangqi tells Ryo about Miao Village (and, as usual, can't help mentioning Cuili Ke again, as we saw in the main story flow conversations):

Xiangqi: This is a village where peace is valued above all else.

You may not realize this yourself, but...

Your chi is the kind that brings about trouble at every turn.

I beg you not to bring misfortune to this village.

Especially not to Cuili...

I don't wish her any more misfortune than she has already...

Ryo: Cuili?

Xiangqi: Never mind... it's not your worry.

Anyway, please leave here as soon as possible.

Ryo: I see...
Cuili Ke (character model: SRI)

Although Cuili's dialogue file does not contain anything obvious relating to her situation to which Xiangqi alludes, perhaps it had been planned to have her reveal more about this to Ryo during his time at the village.

Miscellaneous Dialogue: Dexi Zong

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





徳喜「村の鎮守様にわざわざ 手を合わせてくれるのかね?」

徳喜「村の鎮守様なのに ずいぶん荒れてしまってるからねえ。」

徳喜「村の鎮守様のそうじにでも 行ってくれるのかね?」



徳喜「お見舞いに来てくれたのかい? あんたいい人だねぇ…」


徳喜「ありがとうね。 私は大丈夫だよ。」

徳喜「心配しないでも 私は大丈夫だよ。」

徳喜「ありがとうね。 私は元気だよ。」

徳喜「心配してくれるのかい? うれしいよ。」



徳喜「あんたみたいな人が 私の息子だったらねぇ…」

涼「いやぁ… お大事に。」


徳喜「今日は調子がよくて ちょっと外に出てみたよ。」

徳喜「せっかく調子がいいんで 今日は外に出てみたよ。」


涼「そうですか。 よかったですね。」


涼「いえ… お大事に。」


If Ryo asks Dexi about directions to Miao Guang Temple a second time, Dexi ponders on what reason he may have to want to go there:

Ryo: About Miao Guang Temple...

Dexi: What do you want at that temple?

Dexi goes on to suggest the reason she thinks Ryo may wish to visit the temple:

Dexi: Are you going all the way there to pay homage to the guardian deity of the village?

Although its the village guardian, it's become very dilapidated now.

The alternative line below would perhaps have been used if Ryo speaks to her again:

Dexi: Are you going to go clean the village guardian god statue?
Ryo responds vaguely.
Ryo: No, it's just something...

If there is no particular topic for Ryo to ask about, Dexi assumes that he has come to check on her health!
Ryo: Um...

Dexi: You've come to check on me? You're a good person...

Ryo: No, I...

Dexi: Thank you! I'm doing fine.

If only I had a son like you...

Ryo: Ah... Well, take care of yourself.

Although most conversations with Dexi seem to occur at her house, she can also be found outside:
Dexi: Oh, it's you again!

I'm feeling better today, so I've come out for a bit.

Ryo: I see. I'm glad to hear that.

Dexi: Thank you...

Ryo: Not at all... Take care of yourself.

See you.

Miscellaneous Dialogue: Rongli Ke

Rongli Ke (character ID: EYR)

Tap for Original Dialogue (日本語)







This snippet of dialogue text suggests that Rongli may be found drawing, perhaps in the dirt in front of her home (we can see children carrying out a similar activity in the release version of Shenmue II, in Langhuishan, as well as in Shenmue III).

Ryo: Hello.

Rongli: Hello...

Ryo: What are you doing?

Rongli: Drawing...
Rongli points out the person she is drawing, which may be one of two possibilities: either her elder brother, Yiming:
Rongli: This is my big brother...

Or - rather interestingly - Yumei (Yu), the elder sister of the two young children Laifu and Linghua:

Rongli: This is Yumei...
Yumei Yu (character ID: GKV)

The premise of a child drawing pictures in the dirt remained in the released game, with the child drawing in the dirt at Langhuishan village in the Guilin section (and again, many years later, in Shenmue III's Bailu village square). 
A child drawing in the dirt at Langhuishan.

Miao Village: Facts Collected

While a three-dimensional model of Miao Village has unfortunately not been found on the Shenmue II Game Jam prototype, various clues about its geography and layout were able to be observed in the responses of the characters to whom Ryo has spoken.

Let's wrap up this post with a summary of details we know about Miao Village:

  • Miao Village
    • An ethnic minority village south of Wan Chai [Zhang]
    • A small village of the Miao people, in the mountains [Fushou Liu]
    • Reached by a mountain road past Sunny Capital Pharmacy, at the end of South Carmain Qr in Wan Chai [Yangming Dong]
    • The mountain road runs through a grassy plain before ascending into the mountains [former Shenmue developer Mazin]
    • The village has many martial artists and those well-versed in martial arts [Yiming Ke]
    • The villagers study martial arts as part of their daily life [character designer Kenji Miyawaki]
    • It is a village where everyone lives in harmony with nature [Yiming Ke]
    • A "forgotten place", "a land that has parted ways with the ever-changing world." [Dieling Miao]
    • It has a temple, Miao Guang Temple, which sits on a small hill within the village
  • Grandmother Zong's House
    • Located on the outskirts of the village [when Ryo arrives at the village]
    • Smoke can be seen rising from its chimney [when Ryo arrives at the village]
    • A bridge nearby leads on towards the village square [Dexi Zong]
  • Miao Guang Temple
    • It is a temple dedicated to the guardian deity of the village.
    • Located at the top of stairs found at the end of a path [Xiangqi Long]
    • From the Ke family house, go along to the right then turn right into the first small path upwards. You will see a long staircase that leads to the temple [Cuili Ke, Yiming Ke]
    • On leaving Grandmother Zong's house, go right then up a slight hill [Dexi Long]
  • Village Mayor (Wenzhong Ma)'s House
    • Two houses along from Yumei's house [Yumei Yu]
    • Can be reached by turning left after descending from the temple [Master Yunhai]
  • Kongzheng Luo's House
    • Situated across a field from the Ke family house [Cuili Ke]
    • Can be reached by going straight ahead after descending from the temple [Master Yunhai]
    • There is a small set of steps near the watch tower; descend these, and it is the house on the right.
    • Has flowers laid outside it [Xiangqi Long]
    • Closed up and locked, with the village mayor holding the key [Ryo's investigations]
The most concrete direction tying in with one of the AM2 released screenshots is the clue that Kongzheng Luo's house can be reached by going down steps in front of the watchtower. In the image below, beyond the watchtower can be seen the roof of a house peeping above ground level (circled). If Ryo were to continue along this wide path, we can imagine there may be steps leading down to Kongzheng Luo's house.

Kongzheng Luo's house is said to be reached by going down steps in front of the watchtower: perhaps the roof that is visible at the end of this path?

In the next part, we'll revisit earlier fan theories about Miao Village.
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