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Re: Random Shenmue Thoughts

The Shenmue series changed my life for the better, it is a videogame series that made me realise the importance of things in life, the small little things shown in the story of Ryo and his quest for vengeance is very emotional and an experience that can never be forgotten. I am only 17 years old and I will be telling you why I love Shenmue.

In 2012 after being convinced all the time throughout my life to play Shenmue 1 and 2 (which I was very keen on doing) by my elder brother that played them both at release, I finally play my brother's copy of the original Shenmue for Sega Dreamcast for the first time, I was only 13 years old at the time. I began the game as I see Iwao get killed by Lan Di and then make my way through the game experiencing a chilling and heartwarming journey through Dobuita and into the Yokosuka Harbor. Meeting many of Ryo's beloved friends as well as new people that hurt (such as the skinheaded Chai) and help on the way. Finally after beating all the thugs called the Mad Angels, they help us find out about Lan Di and his departure. Seeing Ryo leave Japan and board on the boat I was ready to continue the story through action packed Shenmue 2 and I could already feel the energy and bravery within Ryo himself.

Shenmue 2 begins and I am impressed with the very intense and epic boat intro, the music, angles and visual detail was incredibly welcoming and exhilarating. Yet to this day I would say that Shenmue 2 has the greatest opening intro to a sequel ever! I was immediately immersed in the huge new open world in Hong Kong getting robbed and eventually finding the guest house to sleep in. I felt as an actual stranger in a new town full of danger and people I do not know exactly like how Ryo would feel. I made my way through Hong Kong and then eventually to Kowloon then finally meeting Shenhua at Guilin until the stone pit where the game finally ends, I get chills and was ready for Shenmue 3...

Until E3 2015 It was finally announced! I waited 2 years but my brother had waited ever since such as most fans. Me and my brother are absolutely delighted to continue the story thanks to the one and only Yu Suzuki for making this all possible with his masterful vision.

I cannot wait for Shenmue 3!!! I know it will exceed expectations and be one of the greatest games of all time just like Shenmue 1 and 2, we have to give them time and it will be possible I truly believe so.
by Shezmue
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:16 am
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Re: Archive of Shenmue Passport content?

Heya guys, Falco Girgis here. I'm the lead developer of the Elysian Shadows RPG on Kickstarter and I'm the dude from Adventures in Game Development on YouTube.

I've been in contact with an admin here using the Shenmue Dojo YouTube username about this icon restoration endeavor. You might not know, but as part of developing Elysian Shadows and our cross-platform SDK, I've developed a massively-cross platform VMU emulator (ElysianVMU) that will allow people to enjoy Dreamcast-specific VMU content on any device... For example, if you bought ES for steam, you can connect remotely to your iPhone running our EVMU app and it will be used as an additional screen with full filesystem support and even the little beeps, haha.

I've made it my personal mission to make EVMU THE number one emulator for the platform and have gone all-out OCD with implementing a billion features, emulating everything perfectly, and supporting every platform ever. Right now it's in open beta, but it pretty much supports everything and does a WHOLE lot of stuff I've never seen other emulators do.
⋅ Supports the Japanese BIOS packaged with the Katana SDK, so you can emulate the whole system including clock and filesystem mode.
⋅ Insanely accurate LCD emulation, including emulated refresh rate to accurately reproduce pixel ghosting effects and also the grayscale effect that a lot of very advanced VMU games used to create the illusion of multiple shades of black.
⋅ Variable resolution, shitloads of resolution modes.
⋅ 100% accurate buzzer support. Every emulator I've ever seen has half-assed the square wave generation. EVMU is so accurate it even reproduces the VOLUME of the wave, because the VMU does not output every wave at the same volume.
[*}Export feature for VMS icons and eyecatch graphics.
⋅ Save/load state
⋅ .LCD File support for playing animations made with the DC Animator tool
⋅ .DCI Nexus support
⋅ FULL filesystem support, meaning you can load raw .VMU flash dumps of an entire VMU image with game AND save data.
⋅ VMU-to-VMU connection emulated over IP (mate chaos over the internet, lmfao) and even serial, because we're planning on releasing an adapter for connecting physical VMU devices to EVMU.
⋅ Built-in assembler/disassembler and instruction-set reference for developers and disassembling VMU game code to reverse engineer it.
⋅ External USB controller support. Even support for the analog stick. Haha.
⋅ Emulates the "Low battery" signal of the VMU, which can be toggled on and off. Certain games actually give you special screens and notification when your batteries are dying.
⋅ Turbo Buttons
⋅ Speed Up/Slow Down Buttons
⋅ VMI/VMS Header file dumps

The only other big thing that I still need to do is represent the filesystem in a GUI similar to what DreamExplorer is doing. The filesystem itself is already fully emulated and allows for access even remotely. I'm hoping to convince some Dreamcast emulator authors to integrate with EVMU over IP for the full DC/VMU experience.

We're working on a project home page right now, but we have a thread with Dropbox links to downloads and feature requests and bug report discussion here:

In the Dropbox folder, there should be builds of the latest commit available for Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu, and the Raspberry Pi (because why not?) with more coming soon.

Any way, the point is that I've invested a bunch of time into loading and displaying the VMU save file icons in EVMU. I want to help with this endeavor, and I can add any kind of feature that can help facilitate this process or make your lives easier.

The "dump-to-PNG" feature does fully work for icons, but it's only dumping it as separate PNG images for each frame. I am actually internally constructing the full animation with proper timing for my display... Is it the animated GIF format you guys are hoping to use? Are they animated? What can I do to help?

Also does it use the "eyecatch" extra graphic? Apparently some games have a higher resolution special "eyecatch" in the VMS header that is displayed in the detail view in the Dreamcast BIOS file manager... I have implemented the ability to dump these eyecatches, but I don't know of a SINGLE Dreamcast game that uses them, so it has never been tested... the image output could be garbage, and need a little debugging... Anybody know of a game that uses them?
by Falco Girgis
Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:26 am
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Re: Archive of Shenmue Passport content?

Heya buddy, I have a surprise for you! I implemented the animated GIF exporting! This actually turned out to be a pretty sweet feature!

So I'm not exactly sure what file type "vms00.bin" is, but judging by the name, I'm assuming it's simply .vms. If that's the case, you are going to have to change the extension before trying to load it into EVMU, and I'm really not sure why the hell they are just using a .bin extension...

Once you have the emulator opened and the file loaded, there are a few features that are going to make your life so much easier.

Here's a link to the Dropbox folder with all of the latest builds:

Recording an Animation
From the file menu, go to Tools->Capture Animation->Record to begin recording, or simply push CTRL/CMD+R.

You should see the red "recording" icon, and a little message. Once you see that, everything that's happening on the VMU is being captured for the animated GIF.

Once you're done capturing whatever it is that you want, either stop recording from the file menu or the shortcut again. The animated GIF should automatically be generated and should be opened with the default program. If you want to actually view the files, they're located at:

Windows: C:/Users/YourUserName/ElysianVMU
MacOS: /Users/YourUserName/ElysianVMU
Linux: /home/YourUserName/ElysianVMU

The files should be named the same thing as the ROM image, and every new recording should simply append a number to the previous recording output.

Halt and Advance Frame
I decided that I should also implement these two, because you might be capturing a very quick/precise segment of an animation, and you want to only record the relevant frames. By Halting the emulator execution, then slowly advancing the frames until you've run through everything you want to capture, you can more easily record precise segments.

From the file menu, the Emulation->Playback menu should have the actions for both Halting and Advancing the frame, or the shortcuts are F2 and F3 respectively.

Note that "halting" or slowing down the execution does NOT actually effect the timing of the animated GIF output, so don't worry about screwing up the timing. "Advance Frame" basically advanced the emulator 1/20th of a second, which is usually a single frame for a ROM. This may be only half a frame for certain ROMs, so you may have to advance twice to get a full frame.

Note that the output GIFs are EXTREMELY optimized and efficient, since the VMU is at such a low resolution and only has a 2 color palette. You can record fairly long, complex animations without the file size getting more than a few KB. I figured that the exported resolution should probably say the VMU's native 42x38 to keep the file small and to allow you to stretch/scale as you see fit later on. Didn't want to introduce any inaccuracy at the raw output level.

Note that this whole feature was developed on MacOS, but it should work fine on Windows. Let me know if anything is wrong or you run into any bugs.

Here are a few animations that I captured:

EDIT: Oh yeah, if you want the BEST POSSIBLE TIMING, with minimal frame glitches, be sure to load the "jap_bios.bin" from File->Load BIOS along with the ROM. Without the exactly timings used by the official Sega BIOS, it's possible some frames may update in the middle of drawing, so you might see a bit of flickering or half the screen updating like this... although looking at the Shenmue animations, they're so slow, I highly doubt this will really matter.
by Falco Girgis
Tue May 09, 2017 8:34 am
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Re: Archive of Shenmue Passport content?

From what I've been told these vmu character animations were only attainable by getting the winning can from the game and then connecting online with the Shenmue passport disc. I've tried see if these VMU icons were somewhere in the passport disc itself but found nothing. Unless we find someone who managed to get every single vmu character downloaded through the passport back then we're stuck with the current incomplete set. Since many were using dial-up internet in those times i think finding someone with a complete set will be very difficult.
Yeah, I highly doubt you will find actual "images" with VMU animations on them like that. The VMU doesn't really "load" images. It takes a bunch of coding to even get a single image to show up, because you have to swap XRAM banks just to access all of the pixels, so it's not like a 1-to-1 binary mapping like that. Looking for physical animations is probably not the way to go.

I think you would have better luck with a hex editor and looking at the save file from Shenmue itself. You would want to try to isolate the byte or data segment that determines which VMU animation gets saved to the VMU. It may very well be just as simple as a plain number, where changing the number to a different number will cause Shenmue to save out a different VMU animation.
by Falco Girgis
Tue May 09, 2017 10:56 am
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Re: Archive of Shenmue Passport content?

You gotten around to trying it yet? It's totally cool if not, no rush. I'm just wanting to make sure you haven't run into an issues with getting that .bin file loaded or with the animation tools...

I develop all of EVMU on a Macbook Pro, but I have an automated build server that shits it out for other platforms like Windows and Linux and runs automated tests to make sure the builds are at least sane, but they are definitely not covering anything. :lol:

EDIT: Oh yeah, make sure that you keep ALL OF THE DLLS AND OTHER FILES in the same directory as the ElysianVMU.exe file. Download the full directory and run the .exe directly from there. In the future, I will distribute ElysianVMU as an installer, rather than all of the files individually, but for right now, when I'm releasing new builds constantly, it's better to do it like this so you don't have to keep uninstalling and reinstalling.
by Falco Girgis
Thu May 11, 2017 2:30 pm
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Re: Created some hi-res Shenmue logo PNGs for general use.

the mirrors

The mirror logos

I've also this one but it's a Shenmue III massive spoiler :

I don't have the Tiger art.
by Yokosuka
Tue May 16, 2017 11:15 pm
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Shenmue Music Remixes by Farah Productions

Hi Shenmue dojo and shenmue family,

Check out my remixes :D :heart:
Shenmue dojo, Please upload my remixes on the Youtube Channel!

Streaming River of Languishan ~ Shenmue II Remix

Download -

Serenity of the Morning Wave ~ Shenmue II Remix
Download -

Shenmue II~Bright Morning in Guilin Forest Remix

Download -

Evening in Green Market Remix~ Shenmue II

Download -

Enjoy! :) Shenmue 3 is coming
by FarahProductions
Sat May 27, 2017 1:30 pm
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Re: Kickstarter Update #69: June Report

No way, they're coming to Germany? Just a while ago I was asking myself if Yu Suzuki ever set foot here and now this opportunity, if he somehow attends the show himself. No matter how there's no excuse this time, I have to get there somehow!

And finally the real Shenmue III logo. Even though it's still thin on content this update is the best one so far! =D>
by BlueMue
Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:22 am
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Re: The Samurai Boy Saga: 1986 by Andy Hughes

We've listened to many music covers. This is a pretty unique work. Loving It, especially track 10 ;-)

There's currently an error in the link to Bandcamp from the original post btw ... aga-1986-2
by Niowiad
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:29 am
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Re: The quest for offline Passport access

Update! I've managed to make a small hack of the 1ST_READ.BIN file to skip the dial-up check on the Passport disc.

Now the various Passport disc screens can be accessed from the main menu, without needing to simulate dial-up.

Most of the screens display at least some images and other data, although there's obviously no online data displayed.

I'll put a post soon on the Phantom River Stone blog with the details.

Before hack:

After hack:
by Switch
Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:50 am
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Game Watch Interview with Yu Suzuki @Gamescom [Translated]

Game Watch published a very interesting interview with Suzuki-san, the interview took place during Gamescom 2017 and includes some really insightful and interesting information about Shenmue III, here's a short summary of it:

⋅  The released Shenmue III teaser footage is real-time in-game graphics.
⋅  All charterers models are temporary and subject to change.
⋅  Facial animations were initially implemented but have been removed about a month ago.
⋅  The teaser was especially made for Gamescom 2017, no further plans to show more of the game at this year's Gamescom or Tokyo Game Show. However, a full-scale promotion will take place next year.
⋅  Deep Silver will publish the game internationally, and they'll provide budget and promotional support. A publisher for Japan is to be decided.
⋅  Suzuki-san would like to continue the series in Shenmue IV if possible.
⋅  Suzuki-san is not interested in forcing the Shenmue story to complete in Shenmue III.
⋅  Shenmue III will take around 30 hours of gameplay to complete.
⋅  The fighting engine in Shenmue III is being built from scratch, and unlike Shenmue II it won't use the Virtua engine.
⋅  A system that allows phone calls with characters from Shenmue and Shenmue II is planned for Shenmue III.
⋅  Suzuki-san would like to bring as many voice actors from the previous games as possible, but some are retired now, he will audition a new voice actress for Shenhua.
⋅  OST from Shenmue and Shenmue II will probably be reused in Shenmue III.
⋅  The new partnership with Deep Silver is strong and it's aimed to improve the Shenmue III experience beyond what was initially planned on the Kickstarter.

Finally, Suzuki-san asks the fans to continue their support, and promises to do his best to make a good game out of Shenmue III.

I have a very strong feeling that 2018 will be the year of Shenmue ...

Switch has kindly translated the original interview

Here it is, a full translation of the GAME Watch interview. Enjoy!

by masterchan777
Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:03 pm
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|Shenmue 3 Hype| Shenmue Combo/FREE Battle Compliation

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In celebration for Shenmue III coming out this year(God willing), I've compiled up a combo video showing off the amazing Virtua Fighter FREE Battle System featured in Shenmue I and Shenmue II. Let's get sweaty!
by TheKenjitoMaster
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:46 pm
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