Saturday, February 4, 2023

Poll Result: Patrons' Choice Topic for February 2023

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 this time is:

"The Significance of the Big Dipper in Shenmue"

The Big Dipper is what is known as an asterism, which is a recognizable pattern of stars that is not a formal constellation in itself, but can often be part of one. In the case of the Big Dipper, it is part of the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear). In Chinese culture, the Big Dipper is often associated with the mythical creature the Dragon.

The stars and their constellations are a recurring topic encountered throughout the Shenmue games, and are woven into the story. For example:
  • Ancient beliefs: in Shenmue I: the Russiya antique shop in Dobuita, where the owner, Xiuyu Xia, explains the significance that people in China attach to the Big Dipper and other nearby stars.
  • Celestial harbinger: Ryo notices a book about constellations when visiting Shenhua's house for the first time. When Ryo asks about it, she recounts that while observing the Big Dipper the night before, the behavior of a neighboring star gave her an uneasy feeling that something bad had happened.
  • Symbolism: the Sword of Seven Stars that has been left at the Stone Pit by Shenhua's father is inscribed with the same seven-star pattern of the Big Dipper.

Another aspect we will touch on is the extent to which the symbolism and importance of the Big Dipper and other star formations that has been hinted at throughout the first two games, carries through to the third game in the series.

Watch for this article in an upcoming post! Early access will be available for blog patrons.

Become a Patron!

No comments:

Post a Comment