Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Poll Result: Patrons' Choice Topic for October 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:

"Examining the Maps from the Shenmue Premiere Art Booklet: Unused Canal & Island Locations"

During the showing of the Shenmue Premiere in 1998/1999 in various cities across Japan, ahead of the game's original release on the Dreamcast, a 36-page art book was one of the items of merchandise made available. It was filled with concept art, photographs, design diagrams and other materials related to the making of the games.

In past posts on this blog we have analyzed some of the fascinating snippets of early design documents that can be glimpsed in this booklet, such as:
Such charts and drawings are used as background images to accompanying pages describing the making of the game. As such, they are often partially obscured and hard to decipher.

On the following pages of the booklet, two maps representing towns can be found that are not of places Ryo has visited so far in his journey. One is in blue ink, and the other in black ink:

The page with the mysterious maps (image credit: Shenmue Master)

The blue one appears to be a city that has canals running through it, while the second looks to have buildings built out upon water, surrounding a mountainous island.

In this upcoming post, we will examine the maps and the labels in detail to see what hints they may shed on Ryo's once-planned - or future - travels.

To be published in a future blog post!

Cover of the Shenmue Premiere Art Booklet

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