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Re: Corey Marshall Asks Fans To Help Get Shenmue On Conan

I really love how Corey Marshall is so involved with the Shenmue community. It's great!
by Latin King
Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:14 am
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DoriMaga Article: Shenmue takes Best Title award (Mar 2000)

I've just finished a translation of an article from the Japanese Dreamcast Magazine back in March 2000, in which they announced their own "Grand Prix" awards for various Dreamcast software categories. This was a time when Shenmue had recently been released to wide acclaim.

Shenmue scooped the trophy for Best Title (out of all software released for the Dreamcast until that time) and there is an award acceptance interview with Yu Suzuki and Keiji Okayasu.

Here's a link to the blog post:

One comment from Keiji Okayasu that I thought was quite revealing was when he says he thinks Shenmue II development will go "more smoothly than the previous game", hinting at the magnitude of effort and management complexity involved with getting the first Shenmue out the door.

Shenmue featured in several other awards also, so I'll translate these further parts in the future.
by Switch
Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:44 pm
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Re: Need Help finding this image!

The_Fuzileiro wrote:That's just one work to say and it is in my language: "Caaaaaaaaaraaaaaalhooooooo"

Thank you so much guys! For me... it is perfect! I'm gonna cry! :lol:

Thanks a million man! Everybody! Thank you!

Fantastic! Glad you like it. Enjoy your shirt :D
by Jibby
Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:44 pm
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Re: Need Help finding this image!

Some of the detail was lost, so it's not quite as nice looking, but if it's any use to you I was able to convert the picture into vectors and scale it up to a higher resolution:

by Jibby
Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:48 am
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Re: Playstation Experience - December 2016

I would say to look forward to the event.

Spags I've been thinking about it a lot and people need to be careful about MAGIC 17. I haven't booked yet, and despite it being almost a lock that Suzuki-san will be there due to his relationship wit Shibuya Productions, they still haven't announced him as a guest, when he was the first to be announced for 2016. Of course Cedrics reply to Arnaud does seem to indicate he will be there, but we are also still waiting on a PC Paypal option almost a year later after a separate cryptic tweet.

Another reason I would be more inclined to believe he may not be there is because if what I think is going to happen before the year is out does indeed happen , then there's no way they could follow that up with something as equally as impressive a couple of months later at Monaco. Plus, we will be down to the last 10 months of production so it will be full steam ahead, and avoid 15 hour trips around the world.

I'm curious to see how it plays out.

I'm not going to sleep for at least a week because of this phrase, you know that? :-o

Well don't go on my word lol. I'm just trying to keep everyone happy and positive. Yes, YSNET have been quiet with the last proper content drop being 7 months ago, but think about it. They have been working hard and we are getting to the stage where we will see the fruits of that hard work.

Just stay a little bit more patient, and look forward to the future! :D

Spags I've been thinking about it a lot and people need to be careful about MAGIC 17. I haven't booked yet, and despite it being almost a lock that Suzuki-san will be there due to his relationship wit Shibuya Productions, they still haven't announced him as a guest, when he was the first to be announced for 2016. Of course Cedrics reply to Arnaud does seem to indicate he will be there, but we are also still waiting on a PC Paypal option almost a year later after a separate cryptic tweet.
Now that you mention it, Yu doesn't appear on MAGIC Monaco's 2017 guest list, despite being top of the pile in 2016's listings. Not that the incomplete guest list is any smoking gun, but you'd think given Yu and Cedric's working relationship they'd have a good enough idea of whether the production schedule will allow for the trip or not.

I think, even if Yu doesn't turn up, we'll probably get a batch of new screens. MAGIC still gets some exposure thanks to Shenmue III, Yu doesn't have to leave production for a few days; everybody wins.

Another reason I would be more inclined to believe he may not be there is because if what I think is going to happen before the year is out does indeed happen, then there's no way they could follow that up with something as equally as impressive a couple of months later at Monaco. Plus, we will be down to the last 10 months of production so it will be full steam ahead, and avoid 15 hour trips around the world.

I'm curious to see how it plays out.
Now this is interesting. You're in a better position than any of us to know what's coming, so you're probably going to be right about this. I can't wait to see what they have up their sleeve for Shenmue III.

I'm trying not to read into what you're saying too much (and you're probably locked up under an NDA, right?), but it's very encouraging that you're talking about the "last 10 months of production" in a very definite way. I guess they're a lot further along than any of us have seen?

No, no. None of us at the dinner are tied into an NDA, but we may as well have. We were given trust by Suzuki-san and YSNET and I would never breach that. All I would say is just be a patient for a little while longer, and that concept video we seen last year, and those level of graphics which people still seem to base an opinion of Shenmue 3 on.... throw them out of your mind, keep it clear like a polished mirror and look forward to the (possibly near) future.

I feel.comfortable enough saying that because Cedric has already more or less said the same things on Twitter.
by Peter
Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:36 am
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Re: What are you looking forward to in Shenmue III?

Well... just in case I die in the near future... my name is Nilo, I live in Marília, São Paulo Brazil. And the way of checking if I still alive is checking my activity here. If I'm more then 3 months without getting online on the forum... than I'm probably dead! Adding my whatsapp number 55 14 997496677 is a nice way of getting in touch with me. If I don't answer you... I'm dead.

My final words for Shenmue III credits are: "Fuck you SEGA, thanks for the license given to Yu Suzuki anyway"

I won't stand for this! If you die Nilo, then I will not play Shenmue 3 as show of solidarity!
by SMDzero
Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:42 pm
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Re: What are you looking forward to in Shenmue III?

Being alive when I get to play it.

Not to sound morbid, but I very much second this. It's so strange... I've started looking twice before I cross the street and stuff like that. I know it's not exactly a healthy frame of mind, but it would just be my luck to finally make it this far and give so much of my life to Shenmue for something bad to happen right before release. I'm going to hell anyways which is bad enough, but if I get down there before Shenmue 3 then they will have to redefine the concept because I will fucking wreck the place.

It's not morbid, Peter. I developed bad eye floaters 7 months ago from a drug I took (for fitness purposes). I now see my floaters in all lighting conditions and sadly, even when playing games! Sucks to know I won't be able to truly relax and fully appreciate the surroundings in S3 because I'll be too busy avoiding the bright colours like the sky to avoid directly seeing my floaters so prominently. Severe eye floaters are a debilitating condition... anyway, I don't want to bring this place down so I won't mention them again unless asked, but rest assured you are sensible to look twice before crossing! Live healthy and enjoy S3 when it arrives! :-)
by ShenmueForeseen
Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:19 pm
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Re: Shenmue III and Red Dead Redemption 2 launch window

My money is on Shenmue 3 being delayed.
by Peter
Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:07 pm
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Re: Shenmue III and Red Dead Redemption 2 launch window

The tough competition around Christmas 2017 was predictable but Rockstar has no equivalent in gaming hype aside from Blizzard, Valve and E3. And it's RDR, a contemplative action-adventure game like Shenmue. The situation could have been better.
by Yokosuka
Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:30 am
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Re: Shenmue III and Red Dead Redemption 2 launch window

i STRONGLY RECOMMEND they delay it. Die hard fans will most certainly buy it, but we want to attract new fans and the younger generation. If they have a choice between Shenmue 3 and Red dead. 100% they're going for red dead.

The marketing of red dead will destroy shenmue 3 marketing. Might as well wait a few months and continue to market shenmue whilst the red dead hype dies down, then release it.
by ShenSun
Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:55 pm
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Yu Suzuki on Shenmue III ( interview, Nov 2)

Japanese site today published a new interview with Yu Suzuki, in commemoration of the release of the recent Powerdrift 3D on the Nintendo 3DS, centered mainly around various arcade games he worked on at his time with Sega.

The good news for Shenmue fans is that the interview contains mention of Shenmue 3 in a few places, including some direct comments by Yu Suzuki.

I've extracted and translated the relevant parts here:

My favorite part is where he states that his ideal graphical vision, going back to the early arcade days, has never changed - and he gives a Shenmue 3 image as an example of that ideal.
by Switch
Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:56 am
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Re: Digital Foundry Retro: Shenmue 2 - A Masterpiece Revisit

Thanks a lot Dark1x, Can I ask you some questions?

1- In your opinion, how long or how hard would be to port Shenmue 2 to current gen platforms?
2- The release of this video in this very week (PSX, S2 the movie) was a coincidence or have you chosen by a special reason?

1 - I think it is quite doable BUT I do think it might be challenging. I'm sure the game uses a lot of very low-level code designed for the Dreamcast (and Xbox, I suppose) which might be difficult to work with. I can't imagine there was a lot of documentation or record keeping done on that so the team might be challenged there. It uses a lot of old data formats as well which could be tough to deal with. Still, I'm positive it can be done. It just needs a decent budget and a talented developer. I have high hopes that it will happen some day!

2 - Heh, it was a mix of both. Really, though, I made a promise to those that enjoyed the first video that I would do one for Shenmue 2 before the year was out and I finally had the time to make it happen.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed it because I love highlighting games like this. I feel like a lot of the retro talk from large sites tends to be very Nintendo-centric but I was more of a Sega/PC guy back in the day and wanted to really highlight those types of games.
by dark1x
Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:14 pm
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Why Sega Stopped Shenmue - The Real Reason

Sega higher-ups are part of Lan Di's gang! Proof below!


From the Nintendo Switch event last night. Clearly suspicious. :-#
by Telekill
Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:11 pm
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Iwao Hazuki's China Visit Diagram

In Shenmue I & II Ryo gathered various pieces of information about the visit father made to Hong Kong & Guilin all those years ago, so I've tried to bring these together into a diagram showing some of these relationships and timelines.

The diagram includes some assumptions / guesses, which I talk about here:

Blog post:

The character of Yuanda Zhu is quite enigmatic, as he seems to change what he says depending on who he is talking to. I don't think he has bad intentions towards Ryo, but I get the feeling he is hiding the true circumstances around the death of Sunming Zhao. It will be interesting to see how (or whether) this is developed in Shenmue III.
by Switch
Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:51 pm
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Re: December 2017 is fastly approaching!

I would say yes. You guys don't have to believe us, but what Spaghetti was saying about smoke and mirrors, and what they have revealed in Kickstarter updates compared to what we have seen, they are playing their cards very close to their chest. No bullshit or joking about here, and Adam, Matt, George, Jessica and Joe will back me up on this 100%.

Understand how much money i personally had to give, and the sacrifices i am still having to make to this day, to be sitting there on that bus. Do you really think Yu and the gang turned around and said, "peeps we are fucked here. We only have a shitty Ryo model and a fishing pond to show ya, but please, big it up to the hills when you get back and make it seem like we know what we are doing. Thanks buddy.". If i seen something i wasn't happy with, then trust me they would have heard about it. In fact, there was one thing that i was unhappy with, but i wasn't going to say anything. But after talking with Matt (sitting beside me) he brought up the same thing. Did we say something? Damn right we did. It was about the QTE sequence we seen and we were not happy with aspects of it. Yu himself humbly apologised..... Let that sink in. Yu Suzuki is fucking apologising to us?? That's how humble he is. He knows what he needs to do, and how demanding us hardcore Shenmue fans are. He knows what we want and expect. He assured that it was still early testing and that it was being worked on, like every aspect of the game. But this was a fully rendered and animated QTE sequence with black suits, much in the style of the White Dynasty QTE sequence from Shenmue 2.

Do i think the game is going to be delayed? Of course. What game isn't these days. But the reasons i have are the opposite, in that the game could probably be released in December on schedule, but i know Yu will agonise over EVERY detail and pixel in this game. Every line of dialogue and how it's spoken. How the animations look, how the cut scenes are directed. I think this game will be delayed because for the lack of resources he has now compared to what he had at Sega, he will still try and make sure this game goes out looking as ambitious and grandeur the originals were.

So what if it's delayed. Big deal. Are they liars and cheaters! No they are not, and if i see anyone brand the team with slurs like that, they will be warned. What difference does it really make, except for good things. We don't know what's happening, and if 2 fully HD remasters are due to be released over the coming year or so, then by all means take your time YSNET. We have 2 games to keep us preoccupied. We don't know that for sure, but have some faith. Everything will be fine. Before you know it's you will have completed this game over a matter of hours. See when you have completed it, that's when to worry about if there will be a Shenmue 4 or where the future lies. Right now, you know what's coming, so enjoy the ride and the excitement of Kickstarter updates and major gaming events because very soon, it will all come to an end. Stop thinking and worrying about the future and live for the now.
by Peter
Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:35 am
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Re: Shenmue III Update #67: Developer Room Update 3

I personally don't understand all the fuss over a clearly unfinished character model.

Maybe this is why we aren't seeing a lot of backer updates. If this is what it's like on the Dojo I daren't even guess what the KS comments are like. I'd expect this sort of behaviour from ill-informed 'journalists' from IGN or Eurogamer, but not those claiming to be Shenmue fans.

It's like football you know.
Around World Cup time.
500 million fans, 500 million coaches... and every single one knows better than Yu. :mrgreen:
by Kiske
Tue May 30, 2017 9:36 am
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Re: Submit your question for Eric Kelso interview

Great to see all the questions that have been submitted so far (here & elsewhere)!

The submission period is open until Wednesday, so there is still time if you want to add a question.
by Switch
Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:30 am
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Re: [Closed] Submit your question for Eric Kelso interview

Update: the interview has been completed and covered a good number of the questions gathered from everyone's submissions earlier, which I'm really happy about. The transcript is being worked on and should be posted up on the blog within the next few days.

Eric even kindly recorded this short promo as Ren. :)
by Switch
Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:01 am
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Re: Extra Story content?

It's to add the much requested zombie mode.
by Let's Get Sweaty
Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:36 am
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Re: New Ryo & Shenhua models from press release

Peter wrote: Image

Comparing the first image to a place I've been to (Wuzhen):


Happy days :D
by yuc02
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:27 am
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Re: Update #78: Then, Now and Tomorrow

I always appreciate that they do something to have these regular KS updates, and I don't want to sound like an ungrateful ass, but, to be honest, this was, once again, pretty pointless. Not to mention that this "conversation" was nothing but an obviously scripted interview. I mean, they made it look like "Look, we got Hiroaki Takeuchi (here's his bio, by the way) for a chat with Yu Suzuki. It's gonna be interesting!", but, in fact, any random person could have asked those questions.

Anyway, all this interview did was leaving me a bit worried about the battle system. Yu Suzuki has been (vaguely) talking about his ideas for the game's battle system in several interviews and it seems to me that that will be the biggest change we see in the game, when compared to Shenmue 1 and 2, so I've always been intrigued by what Suzuki-san has in mind, but, this time around, more than intrigued, I'm a bit worried, as he made it sound like the whole thing would be akin to a fight in a point-'n-click game or something...
But I'm hoping he's just having a hard time explaining it (or simply doesn't want to go into too much detail right now, as it's still too early and a lot can change).
Shenmue had a great battle system, which in my opinion, should be refined, not ditched. I mean, in a game which revolves a lot around martial arts, a proper fighting system is paramount, in my opinion. But, of course, this is Suzuki-san's work, not mine, so it's up to him. At the end of the day, I just hope it turns out to be something fun, no matter how different. And, since, so far, Suzuki-san has given me no reason not to trust him, I'll trust him.

Also, once again, I get a strong feeling that there's no way the game won't be delayed once again.
by O Rei do Frango Assado
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:14 am
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Re: Random Shenmue III Thoughts

That's my first post, it's been years i've been reading the Dojo Forum, you're a real great community. I was always too shy to register cause of my english level.

I'm more than ok to see Ryo forgiving and not killing Lan Di. It reminds me the movie Nevada Smith, with Steve Mac Queen.

3 guys killed his parents and he decided to revenge them. MacQueen will kill 2 guys and let finally the last one live. While he was hunting them, some guys told him to stop to be so angry and stop his quest of vengeance...It will happen the same to Ryo, he's not a cold killer.
by Pollito Diablo
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:50 am
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Shenmue – 2000 Developer Interview

I came across this translated interview with Yu Suzuki and many main Shenmue developers a few days ago, and I wasn't sure if it was posted here before or not, so I did a quick search and I couldn't find it here. I recaptured the screenshots used in the original article and decided to share it with you especially that it isn't a long interview and totally worth another read, I hope you enjoy.

This Shenmue interview from 2000 goes over the general design process of the seminal Dreamcast game. Highlights include alternate titles, the special role of the interior designer Sega hired, and the origins of a certain cat. There is also a special focus on the music and sound effects in the latter half of the interview.

This interview was found at the GSLA , a Japanese a website that, among other things, preserves game developer interviews from older, now-defunct print sources. The GSLA often redacts the original interviewer questions, so the text ends up reading more like a narrative than an interview.

Shenmue – 2000 Developer Interview
with Yu Suzuki, Manabu Takimoto, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi and more

Yu Suzuki – Producer
Keiji Okayasu – Director
Masanori Oe – Main Designer
Manabu Takimoto – Interior Designer
Eigo Kasahara – Planner
Takenobu Mitsuyoshi – Sound Director
Yuzo Koshiro – Composer

Names and Titles

Suzuki: Kasahara made up a lot of the names, including Ryo Hazuki, Xiuying Hong, and the title Shenmue itself. He really did a lot there.

Kasahara: I probably have more Chinese magazines and reading materials under my desk than you’d find in your local bookstore. (laughs) I decided early on that kanji would be a better fit for Shenmue, so I pushed for that image with the rest of the team. I liked the euphony of the kanji, and the characters themselves could carry their own meanings.

Suzuki: Kasahara’s favorite title was actually Genpuuki [玄風記] (“Tale of the Mysterious Wind”), not Shenmue.

Kasahara: Genpuuki was almost chosen, but at the very end of the development we realized it had some problems. The kanji were too difficult to read, and we weren’t sure it would appeal to a mass audience. Shenmue had the advantage of being a new title that no one had ever heard before, and it had a nice ring to it. As for genpuuki, I still really loved it, so I asked Suzuki at the end whether it could stll be used somewhere, and he allowed me to use it as the name of the ship Ryo departs Japan with, the Genpuumaru [玄風丸]. That satisfied me. (laughs)

Suzuki: There were a lot of different candidates for the title. There were titles in English, Italian, even Greek. (laughs) We had every kind of title imaginable.

Kasahara: As for Ryo’s name, to be honest it wasn’t decided until just before the announcement party. Late one night I was called into the Suzuki’s office, and on the board he had two names written: Ryo Hazuki and Ryo Kamizaki. He asked me which I thought was better, and we talked it over for a long time. In the end it was Ryo Hazuki that was chosen.

The ship Genpuumaru, an homage by planner Kasahara to one of the early possible titles for Shenmue, “Genpuuki”

Design and Characters

Oe: The thing we took the greatest care with for the design was, as you might imagine, capturing a sense of reality. I think we really did all we could there. It wasn’t just about creating realistic pictures: the important part came after the drawings were done. The key was whether it would look realistic in-game. We’d try creating new visuals, then we’d have to talk it over carefully with the programmers… that whole process was very difficult.

In pursuit of this greater sense of realism, we also made sure every street was consistent with Suzuki’s overall vision. All our designs had to be carefully coordinated with the events of the game too. The event team would tell us such and such an event would take place here, so our designs had to be very detailed.

Suzuki: I think there are over 300 different characters in Shenmue.

Oe: We had a very short time to create all the people of Yokosuka City, but we were able to do it because of a suprisingly efficient method we employed.

Takimoto : We just took people’s full names and personality profiles at Sega. (laughs)

Oe: Even Takimoto shows up as a character! He kept saying “make me an F1 racer!!” but he ended up as some guy living near a construction site. (laughs)

Suzuki: Kasahara is responsible for the Shenmue Passport disc.

Kasahara: For Shenmue, we actually created detailed backstories for all the characters and locations. With the Shenmue Passport players can learn about the details and connections that we couldn’t show in the game. There’s a lot of hidden relationships, for example.

Takimoto: The cat Ryo finds is actually modeled after my cat. I had a picture on my desk of him when he was a little kitten, and one day a designer came by and asked if he could borrow it. The cat’s name was Sasuke, by the way.

Suzuki: Ah, I remember that. We called him Sasuke during the planning phase too. We knew it had been modeled after Takimoto’s cat, so we wanted to leave the name as Sasuke, as a remnant of that. (laughs) But eventually someone was like, “Who named this cat Sasuke?!” and we had to change it. (laughs)

The orphan cat in Shenmue, designed after Takimoto’s own kitten,“Sasuke” (interestingly, the one name Ryo cannot give the cat in-game!)

Working with an Interior Designer

Suzuki: Takimoto assisted us with the interior design for the world of Shenmue. Since the player can walk around this world freely, we thought having an architecht design the buildings would help us achieve a totally new level of realism.

Takimoto: The first thing I did was make several conceptual sketches for the buildings, and once those designs got approved, I helped out with various details as the work progressed, checking things here and there.

Suzuki: After that we had him stick around in the development room, as a player. (laughs) We wanted the perspective of someone who’s not in the game industry.

Oe: The work Takimoto does in the design industry is actually very close to what we did here: he creates the conceptual illustrations that match people’s vision, and then others do the modeling and finishing work.

Takimoto: I began working on the Shenmue development around March of 98. I took the basic designs they had and made a variety of sketches on them, about 200 in total I think.

Suzuki: The first thing we wanted to know Takimoto’s design process. We had a lot of questions about the “rules” of interior design.

Takimoto: Imagine you enter a room and no one is there. But you want to have the player recognize, through the “traces” left by objects in the room, that someone was here. It was sort of like, “how do we create the scent of a human here?” (laughs)

Suzuki: Ryo’s house is designed to look like an actual house from 1986. Conceptually, our image was a Japanese buddhist temple (otera). We wanted the building itself to evoke the image of a 500 year old temple.

Oe: And we also added various touches that would make players feel the nostalgia of that era. Put all that together and you’ve got the Hazuki residence!

Producer Yu Suzuki at the Shenmue announcement event in December 1998.

The Sounds of Shenmue

Suzuki: Since Shenmue is a game you play at a relaxed pace, we wanted music that wouldn’t be too noisy or distracting to the player. That’s why I told Mitsuyoshi, “why don’t you try listening to some sutras first.” (laughs) For example, take the babbling of a stream, the sound of footsteps, or a bird’s warbling… these are sounds that no one is bothered by, and they have no melody to them. But to the extent that there is a melody, after listening to it for 3 or 4 hours, it will start to wear on your mind and annoy you… as such, my closest image for the music of Shenmue was buddhist sutras. There’s something mysterious about them, and I asked Mitsuyoshi to try and match that image.

Mitsuyoshi: What I tried to achieve for Shenmue was not “Takenobu Mitsuyoshi’s music.” Rather, I tried to find the melody that lies in the sound effects themselves, something that used sound effects for melody and rhythm. When you design the music for an arcade game, your goal is to get the customer in the game center to stop and take notice of your game. Basically, it's kind of like you’re trying to make a “commercial” for the game: how many people can you draw in, in the short span of time they hear the music? That was what I pursued, compositionally, in my previous work.
With Shenmue I’m creating the total opposite. It’s music that you don’t really notice, but if it wasn’t there, the scene would feel barren. It was very nuanced, detailed work, and very challenging in many ways. But because the scale of this project was so large, it did afford me a lot of opportunities to experiment. As a composer I feel like I leveled up in a big way.

Suzuki: We had a huge number of requests for the sound effects this time too.

Mitsuyoshi: Yeah. Actually, this was the first time we hired and worked with an outside company that specializes in sound effects. They created the sound effects, then we would figure out how to add them to the game. This is a small thing but I think it shows how Shenmue has raised the bar for us in terms of the game development process. This sound fx company’s approach is very different from ours, you see. They do sound work for movies and dramas, so they have a totally different perspective from us, and I think we learned a lot about sound from them.

Suzuki: Thanks to all the voicework, the biggest struggle for us was the amount of memory.

Okayasu: Which is funny, since we started off saying how easy it would be! (laughs)

Suzuki: Yeah… we miscalculated there for sure. I don’t know who made that estimation, but they were off by an order of magnitude: we needed a full 20x more space! At first we said it would all fit one disc maybe, then 2 discs, then 3… and we kept adding new things to the game, it was getting crazy.

Okayasu: All of a sudden things got really busy, and there were a lot more people on the team. (laughs)

Suzuki: Yeah, now that you mention it, that’s true.

Okayasu: No one ever explicitly said we were ramping up… it just happened without anyone noticing. (laughs)

Oe: Everyone was really excited at the announcement party though. We put a lot of effort into that!

Suzuki: It was certainly a long project though. We had to pull many overnighters and weekend trips together as a team.

Kasahara: Every Friday was our regular “Shenmue Weekends.” We’d use the lodging Sega had in Zushi and work on it all weekend.

Working with Yuzo Koshiro

Koshiro: Actually, back when I was a gamer I created a Spacer Harrier-ish doujinshi . (laughs) I brought it to Sega and showed it to Yu Suzuki. Even though I was just some random player, he listened to me like I was someone close to him. That left a huge impression on me, just how attentive he was to players, and how important that is. As for the Shenmue team, I joined in August 1998. Mitsuyoshi asked me to be his pupil. (laughs)

Takenobu Mitsuyoshi and Yuzo Koshiro.

Mitsuyoshi: Hah, no way, it wasn’t like that. (laughs) I talked with Yu Suzuki about bringing Koshiro on board, and it went from there. Before Shenmue started, I had met Koshiro once before when we shared the stage at a Roland event. After that Suzuki asked me, “Do you want to try working with Koshiro?” And of course I did! I’ve long admired Koshiro and thought he was cool. I’ve followed his work pretty closely for the last 10 years. (laughs)

Koshiro: This time I did an arrange version of Mitsuyoshi’s Shenmue theme. I wish I had more time to work on it though.

Mitsuyoshi: We didn’t have much time to record these songs, and I remember you had difficulties with the recording environment.

Koshiro: It was my first time making music with headphones. I knew I’d be playing with other musicians here at Sega so it made sense, but normally I always listen to the sound through speakers in my sutdio as I write. So using headphones exclusively was a challenge, but I think it was a good experience for me.

Mitsuyoshi: Koshiro came to Sega about once a week. He knows a lot about hardware, so amazingly he was able to complete songs entirely on his own and bring them in, ready for playback on the Dreamcast.

As for the composition process, I would say it was less sequencer-based, and more track-based with waveforms, like you’d do in a DAW .

Koshiro: It worked out alright–I mean, I get bored if I always do the same thing. (laughs) I like to try out as many new approaches as I can.

Mitsuyoshi: We’d have “sound meetings” every week, and everyone would present the songs they’d finished that week. Everyone was writing their own songs. Koshiro would come in with a song and it was like, “oh, he was thinking of the same scene.”

Koshiro: For Shenmue, the music was written before the scenes were completed, you see. When I was writing we only had some preliminary mock-up images. But it was like, what are we supposed to do with these? (laughs) No one knew. One picture they gave us, for instance, was of a drainage ditch covered with old boards. What song is supposed to match this? No one knew. Since it’s these dirty old boards, should it be a “dirty” song..?

Shenmue 2

Suzuki: Shenmue 2 will be the next evolutionary step for the Shenmue series; I think of the first game like an egg, in that sense. The egg of a new genre. I want to take this new direction and go further for Shenmue 2. I also want you to be able to carry your data over from the first game. The things you do in Shenmue, therefore, will affect the events in Shenmue 2. Of course you’ll be able to start from the sequel too. If you’re someone who has played this first chapter, though, the sequel will deepen your experience. That’s our plan.

by masterchan777
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:39 pm
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