Monday, May 15, 2023

Suka Pass RELEASE v1.9: Free Market!

James Brown (from the Shenmue Dojo) and myself have just released a new update for Suka Pass, the fan-made app that recreates the Shenmue Passport for your mobile device, so we wanted to let you know what it's all about.

Version 1.9 introduces the Free Market, which was a section of the Passport that let you exchange capsule toys for various animal toy prizes. The screen below shows the original screen in the Passport for the Dreamcast.

Oishi-san has set up a stand at Suzume Park, and the board behind him explains which type of capsule toy is needed to swap for a toy on the table (the cloth color on which the animals sit indicate the type of toy).

The original Free Market section of the Shenmue Passport

The Free Market in Suka Pass has been recreated with the same concept, together with some added twists.

17 capsule toys have been hidden inside the app to find, and they can be unlocked by performing certain actions. Once a capsule toy has been found, visit the Free Market to trade and start your animal toy collection.

An additional bonus item is awarded if you can successfully find them all!

James has put together a fantastic video showcasing this new feature, as well as giving an overview of the the app's other sections.

Suka Pass is available for iOS and Android devices.

Head over to the official Suka Pass site for download links!

We'd love to hear how people get on with locating the capsule toys. James has made a thread about the new release over on the Shenmue Dojo forums for any feedback or comments.
Become a Patron!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Phoenix & Dragon Mirrors: Lore at a Glance | Mind Map

In our recent lore-related posts, we carried out a detailed examination of the lore surrounding the Mirrors, and all the various events, beliefs, clues and motivations surrounding them that we as players have learned (along with Ryo) during the first three Shenmue games. These were also covered in depth by SkillJim in his stream for the Shenmue Dojo channel (which are linked at the end of each post).

Mind Map:

As a summary of what was covered in these posts, and to make it easier to visualize how the various pieces of the puzzle fit together, here is the complete "mind map" diagram illustrating how these concepts relate to each other.

The diagram can be seen as a preview below.

There is also this direct link to the image for easier viewing and zooming. It has been saved as a high resolution image to retain the text detail, and will require zooming in close!

Mirror Lore Mind Map

A few elements have been highlighted in yellow on the diagram as they represent some of the core recurring themes seen in Shenmue: the Prophecy that Shenhua recites, the symbolism of the Dragon and the Phoenix together with the Mirrors, and the mysterious "Treasure" they may point to whose nature is unknown.

Hopefully it will not be long before we can see how the mystery of the Dragon and Phoenix mirrors and the lore surrounding them plays out in the rest of the Shenmue story.

Become a Patron!

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Free Guy: Interview with Yu Suzuki, Keiichiro Toyama & Kazunobu Sato by IGN Japan (2021) | Video

In 2021, IGN Japan invited three legendary Japanese game creators (Yu Suzuki, creator of Shenmue and numerous hit arcade games; Keiichiro Toyamacreator of the Silent Hill, Siren and Gravity Rush franchises and Kazunobu Sato, producer of The Last Guardian) to a private viewing of the newly-released film Free Guy.

While the interview is based around the movie, several themes that relate to game creation are explored and discussed.

Free City Interview Video

We have added translated subtitles in English to the interview video below. A written transcript also follows the video.

Interview Transcription

IGN Japan: Hi everyone, this is Daniel from IGN Japan. Today we'll be asking three game creators for their first impressions and thoughts on watching the movie Free Guy, which was released on 13th August (2021). This video is a promotional tie-up with the movie.

Let's start by introducing our guests. Firstly: Yu Suzuki. Thank you for being here.

Suzuki: Thank you.

Become a Patron!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Poll Result: Patrons' Choice Topic for May 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:

"Sacred Spot Guide Map - Shenmue The Animation version"

Ever since the first version was released by Yokosuka City (with Sega's cooperation) in December 2017, the Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map has been a must-get item on the list of Shenmue fans visiting the Dobuita St area. The map provides a guide to various real-life locations that are said to have been the inspiration behind places in the first game, the shrine and Kurita's military surplus store on Dobuita St.
The map was refreshed the following year, being released at the Tokyo Game Show in 2018 with a new cover and other smaller changes commemorating the release of Shenmue I & II.

This brings us to June 2022, when a two-month event was held on location in Dobuita to celebrate the launch of Shenmue the Animation. As part of the celebrations, a third new version of the Sacred Spot Guide Map was launched.

This updated version of the Guide Map features art from Shenmue the Animation prominently on the cover.

In this post, we will examine the changes and differences between this version and the previous versions. 

Coming soon to the blog!
Become a Patron!