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Return - Yu Suzuki interview (June 17)

Here's a translation for a Yu Suzuki interview published by Inside-Games on June 17.

Capsule Toys Maniac working on the translation for the second interview with Yu Suzuki they published on June 20.

[E3 2015] Interview with Yu Suzuki following his Kickstarter achievement
June 17, 2015

The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter: the campaign got underway on stage at the SCE press conference held on June 15 (local time), and achieved its minimum goal in the short space of just 8 hours. It is now aiming to achieve stretch goals, and the amount of backing is continuing to increase as it heads towards the deadline of July 17. At the E3 venue we asked the creator of Shenmue, Yu Suzuki of Ys Net, about his most recent thoughts and about the enthusiasm for Shenmue 3.

-- Congratulations on the Kickstarter achievement.

YS: Thank you. At any rate, it’s the first time I’ve done this, so I don’t have much experience with it. When I heard that the sheer number of accesses to the Shenmue 3 project page on Kickstarter caused it to crash multiple times, I knew we would be successful. This may sound bad, but I was happy. I heard that the times it took to reach the $1 million and $2 million levels are a new record within the games category, and second-fastest across all projects. Since it’s my first experience [with Kickstarter], it’s only through those kinds of statistics that I get a sense of the reality.

-- How do you feel at the moment? Pleased? Relieved? A deserved result?

YS: Well, things are really just getting started. I’m always looking to try new challenges, and so in order to take on as many of these as possible, the more budget we can collect the better. We’ve got stretch goals as well, and I’d like to see how far we can go.

-- Is it accurate to say that all of the development funding will be raised through Kickstarter?

---Show to continue reading ---
YS: No, development will be carried out with Ys Net own funding together with Kickstarter. I won’t know the scale of the budget until the Kickstarter campaign has finished, so I can’t comment on it right now.

-- What were the events that led to you being on stage at SCE’s press conference?

YS: It started by my sounding them out to see if they had any interest in the Shenmue 3 project. Actually, it turns out that Shenmue was at the top of their list of software that people wanted to see revived. And so, with that being the case, I had the chance to speak with SCE and (without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet!) they told me “It’s a game of great historical importance; and everyone wants it, so if you were to go ahead and develop part 3, as an exceptional case, we will give you our co-operation”. I had already let them know that I wanted to do this through Kickstarter, and so that’s how it came about.

-- Are there plans for a release on Xbox One?

YS: We don’t have plans for a release on Xbox One. The platforms that are confirmed are PS4 and PC.

-- Was the reason you started development on part 3 due to the voice of support from the fans?

YS: That’s right. For more than 10 years I had been hearing those kinds of requests, and trying to find a way to make it happen. I did things like searching for a partner (company) but did not find one that fit the criteria and so I wasn’t able to make a start. Then came the possibility of realizing it through a combination of self-funding and Kickstarter.

-- I see.

YS: Also there was the aspect of Kickstarter of “creating something together with everyone”. As I stated in my promotion video, it’s the spirit of “within your hands”. Some say that the Shenmue series is the originator of the open-world genre. In reality, with the present amount of $2 million, making a Shenmue that will meet everyone’s expections, even without implementing an open world, is unlikely to be achievable. However, the demand I hear most from the fans is to know how the rest of the story plays out.

-- Yes, that’s something we’d like to know.

YS: In addition, the Shenmue series has a rich portrayal of Eastern and Japanese culture, and so it has quite a different feel to it compared to any other open world games. Because of this, trying to accomplish both the “story” aspect and the “open world” aspects simultaneously is likely to lead to the budget rising higher and higher, and no matter how much time passes it is impossible to get development underway. After thinking long and hard, I have decided to do as much as possible with a minimum level of funding, even if it means creating something story-oriented. Then, if additional development funding is collected, I will add on various elements. And so I decided that development will be based on this kind of scalable approach.

-- This way of thinking is uniquely suited to Kickstarter, isn’t it.

YS: Further, with [development of] any game, there is a piece of it which can easily cost a lot of money to implement; while at the same time it has another piece that doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, namely making it interesting through its ideas and plot. I also think that Shenmue does not consist of merely its story and its open world; it is also fun to play, and I think the way we capture this is vital. Above all, I decided to maintain both the fun and the story aspects, even at the minimum budget level.

-- How much money will be raised is becoming increasingly of interest.

YS: Yes. It’s not that we will not be implementing an open world, but doing so lavishly will cause the budget to shoot up. On the other hand, since I am a creator, I’d like to try new mechanisms. I have set stretch goals with that balance in mind.

-- Compared to 15 years ago, the possibilities for game implementation have greatly widened. Are there any games that have influenced the creation of part 3?

YS: That would be Shenmue 1 and 2.

-- What aspects do you place most importance on, and wish to continue in the new game?

YS: Firstly, the most important is that I want to show how the story continues. As well as that, “nostalgia” is a keyword here: the nostalgic feeling of when we created part 1 and 2, 15 years ago. But even at that time, the setting for part 1 and 2 was the world of 1986. In principle, I believe that going back to an earlier age really brings out the flavor of a region’s culture. That’s the case with the era of the 1980s (and earlier), compared to the current day. Even looking at other countries around the world, as the eras pass by, the scenery of cities all starts to look the same.

-- Yes, that’s true.

YS: This kind of Eastern and Japanese culture, and the spiritual aspect, is what makes Shenmue special. Although though this has given it popularity in the West, what it expresses is certainly not Western. Through thorough creation of so-called Eastern spiritual aspects, culture and customs, I want to bring out people’s interest towards a different culture. There are a lot of things I would like to carry through from parts 1 and 2 to part 3, but through the scalable plan that I mentioned earlier, I want to pay special attention to these kinds of things.

-- Are there any aspects you want to try, given the increase in hardware specs nowdays?

YS: This may not directly answer the question, but actually when we made part 1 and 2, we also completed the plan for part 3. I want to go forward with that exactly as we had planned.

-- Could you explain more?

YS: In part 1, we implemented an open world that we called FREE, and the concept of time passing within the game. In part 2, we greatly expanded that world. In part 3, and this may be giving too much away, but we planned to keep these aspects intact, while making it much deeper. And in parts 1 & 2, while there were elements centered around money e.g. you could “do a part-time job, gamble to increase your money, purchase items at a shop...”, they did not really have any connection with the fighting and skill improvement parts. So when we make part 3, I have in mind to build up those elements; that’s something I would like to try doing.

-- What would be a concrete example?

YS: I’m thinking of a “Technique Scroll” system. Through actions in the game, you can gain new technique scrolls which let you perform special moves. Whether these moves are something you can control directly, or whether they are implemented in a QTE, is something we will be considering and deciding in the future.

-- Please tell us about the release schedule.

YS: Release is planned by the end of 2017.

-- Could you give a message to our readers.

YS: It is thanks to the continous voice of the fans who have waited for the next part of Shenmue across these many years, that we have been able to get started. This is only possible thanks to all the people who give their support. I will continue to put in my best effort, so please give your support and encouragement.

-- Thank you very much.
by Switch
Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:00 am
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Re: 4gamer interview touching the character perspective syst

Great read but I'm kinda bummed that about having Ren return spoiled for me. I think I'm going to stay away from these articles from now on.

He literally says “レンやシェンファ” which means characters “like Shenhua and Ren”

I'd just like to point out that this doesn't necessarily mean that Ren is actually returning. The phrasing is ambiguous. It could mean that characters like Shenhua and Ren (as in main supporting cast characters) are playable. Ren could have merely been used as an example.
by Thief
Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:06 am
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Re: Rough transcript of the interview on Twitch

Translation of the Interview on Twitch

Ok, I'm done! Here's a translation of Yu Suzuki's actual answers for comparison. Overall I think the translator on the Twitch session covered the information pretty well, except for maybe some minor detail.

Q: What is Sony’s involvement with Shenmue III?
YS: Sony is providing us with support in various ways including marketing, funding and promotion, and they’re our most important partner; they’re also our largest and most valued backer.

We plan to invest all the money collected from everyone through Kickstarter on development, excepting the Kickstarter fees and costs for the rewards. No portion of the collected money will flow to Shibuya Productions or Sony.

Q: PS4 physical reward?
YS: This is one of the most requested rewards, and it’s the reward I most want to make happen. Um... Please be patient!

Q: How will Kickstarter funds be spent?
YS: Please take a look at this pie chart which I’ve prepared.
[Fees: 8 - 10%, Game development: 65 to 72%, Backer rewards: 20 - 25%]

Q: Ryo’s appearance...
YS: We’ve had a lot of comments about how Ryo’s face looks, but we’ve just got started and so it is still under development. Personally, I’m not satisfied at all either, and so even now we’re continuing to improve it. Today I’ve brought a slightly improved version to show you – it’s not the final version, and we’ll be improving it even further, but I wanted to show you it.

For comparison, we’ve included two shots of Ryo from Shenmue II.

The one at the front is the slightly improved version for Shenmue III. Again, I’m not completely happy with this Ryo – the shape of his mouth is not quite right – and I’d like to make further refinements.

As well as the shape of his face, his facial expressions and his actions also add to his personality and his attractiveness. So going forward I’d like to work on facial expressions and movements in making an attractive Ryo.

Q: Will the original voice actors reprise their roles?
YS: I auditioned Masaya Matsukaze and Corey Marshall for Shenmue I & II, and I believe their voices are perfect for Ryo’s voice. So I’d definitely like to have them reprise the role again this time. We’re currently in negotiations and I’m sure they will both be happy to do so, so please look forward to that.

Q: Can PayPal payment be added?
YS: I’m considering funding methods other than Kickstarter, including PayPal.

Q: Will a DRM-free version be made available?
YS: It’s something that is under consideration at the moment. However it’s not something Ys Net can decide by ourselves, and so discussions are taking place with various parties.

Q: Will HD versions of Shenmue I & II be released?
YS: I think that if Shenmue I and II could be released before Shenmue III, people would be able to understand the backstory and enjoy Shenmue III even more. And so I also personally strongly want this to happen, but as the rights are held by Sega I’m not really in a position to be able to comment. However I will also express to Sega that that I really would like for them to be produced.

Q: Details of new rewards?
YS: There has been feedback that there are not enough rewards, and so we have added additional rewards. We have prepared $1000, $2000 and $5000 grab bags. The bags will continue various items of Shenmue merchandise, and I think these will be quite exciting. And also at the $5000 level will the one-only prototype of the watch worn by Ryo in the Shenmue games. I have it here to show you... This is the Timex watch worn by Ryo, and it has the YS and Shenmue logos on it. It’s a very rare item.

Q: Details of the grab bags?
YS: It includes various things such as special figures of Ryo, watches... these watches are not quite as valuable as the one-of-a-kind one mentioned before; they’re more casual and they also have the Shenmue logo. Anyway, there are a variety of different items included.

Also, we have prepared some of the original art drawn by our main character designer, Miyawaki. These are quite valuable, and are a great reward I think.

In addition to the rewards we have added today, we will be continuing to add further ones in the future, so please look forward to them too.

Q: Tell us about the stretch goals up to $3.6m?
YS: Firstly, I’ll talk about the stretch goals up until around the $3.6m mark, which are the most basic goals. The stretch goals up to $3.6m will achieve a story-oriented Shenmue. As further goals are reached, the content for various areas will be correspondingly expanded, but even with the story-oriented version, the plot will develop to reach a confrontation with the 4 leaders {of the Chiyoumen}.

Also, game features like the Rapport system and the Skill Tree system will be included.

Q: Rapport system
YS: With the Rapport system, various data on your interactions with Shenhua will be tracked, such as her level of trust and rapport with you and so on, according to your actions toward her and the way your conversations progress. Later, this will affect how cooperative Shenhua is toward you, for example. I think we’ll be able to express a new and exciting angle to Shenmue that wasn’t present in the previous games.

Q: Skill Tree system
YS: In Shenmue 3, you will be able to obtain move scrolls {“technique scrolls”} in various places – for example, in shops, mini-games, part-time jobs, gambling, quest events. You’ll be able to make immediate use of move scrolls in battle QTEs – for example, once you get a new scroll, you’ll be able to use it straight away as a QTE appearing during a fight. Being able to use it as soon as you have collected it will make it easy and satisfying to use. I think it will be fun to have it appear and be used when fighting. Advanced moves and Arcane scrolls will be managed in a tree structure; these will not become immediately available after obtaining them. Instead, a likeness can be drawn with learning of actual martial arts, where you build up to reach an advanced move through the accumulation of several moves; in a similar way, you will need to build up moves in the tree in order to reach the advanced moves, and I think filling the moves in the tree will be fun.

But you won’t have to build up to the advanced moves by actually participating in fighting (which can become tiresome); instead you just need to accumulate the necessary move scrolls to fill the tree.

Q: Stretch Goals up to $5m
YS: If the $5m mark is reached, we will focus on the area of Baisha There will be new types of play here which were not present in Shenmue I & II. Typical classical war strategies from the historical Three Kingdoms period of China, such as seiges and infiltration, will be incorporated.

Features such as “infiltration” may sound as if they will make the game too complicated, but they will be implemented in a way that is in keeping with the feel of the Shenmue games and will be easy to enjoy and engage with for anyone.

As another feature, I am planning a Character Perspective system. To put it simply, it is being able to change the character you play, but in Shenmue it will be done a little differently from other games that have this: in Baisha there will be an event where you will be able to change character in order to accomplish the mission. The player will be able to control not just the character of Ryo, but also other characters such as Shenhua and Ren; Ren has his own distinct personality, and Shenhua as a female has her own viewpoints and decisions; the choices will be different depending on the character you play. So it won’t simply be changing of character, but rather each character’s personality will be expressed and I think this will make for an enjoyable experience.

Q: Stretch Goals to $11m
YS: Currently further stretch goals have been announced through to $11m (such as the expanded battle system and so on), I’d like to leave it until next week to talk about these.

Q: Shenmue III at the Current Funding Level (around $3.6m at time of Twitch) vs $10 million
YS: At the current level of funding, as I mentioned earlier the game will be focused on the story. However once we reach $5 million we will be able to introduce aspects such as the Three Kingdoms “war strategies” mentioned earlier which will set it apart from the first two Shenmue games. This is actually the part I would most like to accomplish. If we can go above $10 million, the town of Choubu will be significantly enhanced. The town of Choubu has scenery that is somewhat like, for example, the Dobuita and Yokosuka areas of Shenmue I, and this will open up various options for amusement there. So, above $10 million, we will be able to include both game features that I would like to take on the challenge of including, as well as making the game “open-world like” with an even wider range of choices available.

Q: When is Shenmue III going to be reLEEEAASED?
YS: By the end of 2017.

Q: Will Shenmue III end the story?
YS: In terms of the 11 chapters that form the basis of the Shenmue story, we have only traversed a little way through these in Shenmue I and II. I did consider completing all the remaining chapters within the third game, but it would mean skipping a lot of the good parts and would not result in a satisfactory game. There were a lot of people who want to know the ending of the story, but in order to make the game as high quality as possible, the end of the story will not be reached in Shenmue III.

Q: Release Date of Demo Version
YS: Providing this at an early stage will be difficult because we need to develop various systems and the game to a certain extent first. It is likely not to be until the latter half of the development period.

I think it won’t be until 2017.

Q: Final Comment
YS: I always love doing new things and taking on new challenges, and so I would like to aim for the goal of $10 million in order to produce a Shenmue that is both the one I want to create, and one which everyone wants. I really hope to somehow bring it to reality, and so I would like to ask for everyone’s continued efforts and cooperation. Thank you.
by Switch
Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:32 am
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Re: Translation requests here!

Spanish language interview with Cedric Biscay:

Q: First I want to ask you how did you meet the saga. What does it means to you as a player and as a developer ?
A: I first played Shenmue in the Dreamcast, japanese version, year 2000, and of coourse, it was kind of a revolution: the posibility of being "free" in a videogame y a lot of other interesting elements, like QTE, minigames, and of course, a deep story. I was a "hardcore" player when I was young, and it wasn't a problem playing many hours in japanese, even though I didn't understand all the story details.

Q. When did you meet Yu SUzuki and how did you get to an agreement between YSnet and Shibuya productions for the development of SIII? Can you tell any curiosity of the process ?
A. I met Yu -san for many years in his office. It was a real pleasure for me to meet the legend ! We exchanged views on the gaming industry in general. Later , I invited him to some events in Europe, and it was amazing for visitors to meet with the head of OutRun , Afterburner , Virtua Fighter, Shenmue , and so on . Of course , he always got questions concerning Shenmue 3 .

In 2013 , in Monaco , we spoke of the possibility of actually making Shenmue III . I remember it well because it was at a dinner party I organized with Mr. Go Nagai, creator of Grendizer or Mazinger Z.What a rare moment ! Then we discussed the possibility many times, in Tokyo, San Francisco and Napa Valley. The project had many forms until finally happened. When the game was announced , people were crying around me , and that is something I will never forget .

Q. What media plan you have for the game? Are you going to show it in each fair ( Gamescom , PlayStation Experience, E3) ? Will we see something before MAGIC , the event held in Monaco on February 27, 2016 , or have considered this event as a kind of ' premiere' to show the first real trailer ?
A. We of course have a plan to visit all the major world events . However, it is too early to tell specific dates. Surely, I will visit the Tokyo Game Show in September, and there is a great possibility for GDC . Yu -san will decide whether to display something before MAGIC . Of course , since I am the organizer of this event, I would like to have exclusive things as far as possible, but I will not force anything. Respect for fans above all , and I know they expect us to show something before that date . Last but not least, we are considering a streaming during conference MAGIC .

Q. Shenmue is the perfect example of something with an Eastern philosophy that is very dear in the West and, interestingly, Shibuya Productions has plenty of that, to the extent that it is a European company with strong ties to Japan. The question is: Do you have a specific role to make the game more 'understandable' for Western audiences?
A. over thirteen years ago, I created Shibuya International, a cross-culture consulting firm, established in Japan and France. Yet I direct the company and at the same time, I manage Shibuya Productions, so yes, we can say that we are sort of specialists in bringing things Japanese or Asian to Western philosophy. I think Yu Suzuki knows how to make games for a global audience, so we never interfere in the game as such. Obviously, sometimes, I can give advice as an experienced player, depending on the case. What is clear is that the fact that Shibuya Productions is on board the project allows Shenmue 3 be closer to the fans and the players international vision.

Q. I know this depends exclusively on Sega, but do you have hope in the possibility of a remastering of the first two installments ? I think it would be absolutely necessary , in order to attract a large number of users to the third installment .
A. Well , it is a somewhat difficult question to answer because I do not want to give too much hope and then nothing happening. From an employer point of view , I would say there's no reason that Sega does not make it ... Thanks to the success of the Kickstarter of Shenmue 3 , Sega can understand the potential of the saga. If you choose to launch an HD version of the first two installments in the coming months , it would be a success for sure. The choice is theirs.

Q. Shenmue is one of the few franchises based on a linear story that continues with each delivery. That's great, but it can also be a problem in order to attract those users who speak (assuming Sega does not release Shenmue HD) . How do you plan to attract people who are not familiar with the story of Ryo Hazuki , Lan Di and Shenhua ?
A. As you say , the best way is to have Shenmue I and II in HD. If that's not possible, we will have to make on our own an animated short film or something similar. In any case , fans have to understand that we have permission to make Shenmue 3 , but everything else on the Saga is Sega's decision because it is the owner of the IP . The best we can do is give ideas to Sega.

Q. Kickstarter campaign was a great success in its first two days, but then progression fell ... until you announced a physical version PS4 as a reward, which was a success in the face of recruiting new donors. The question is: Can we expect a similar update for the last days of the campaign, knowing that many projects experienced a big boost in that stretch? And what about new partial goals for the game?
A. Honestly, I think the Kickstarter campaign has been a great success, not only the first two days. Of course, I know the first few days were insane. We are now around 4.5 million, which is not bad. For my part, I hope that Shenmue 3 is the most funded Kickstarter history of the game. There are more updates on the way, as the team is working hard to add some rewards. As for the partial goals, I can not answer: It depends on the money we get.

Q. Is there any chance of seeing a version of the game for Xbox One? In the question and answer section of the Kickstarter , it seems not deny that possibility. Is it really possible, given that , on the other hand , Sony will give some support in marketing ?
A. As for today , I know nothing about a version for Xbox One.

Q. Many people I asked about the possibility of adding the PayPal option to Kickstarter or even to continue funding the project in the future. Have you considered that?
A. Yes .

Q. Once Kickstarter ends, how you will keep you in touch with backers? Would you periodically show material, or Will you ask them for opinion? If so, how will you do it? Perhaps through the official website of the game? And what of the demo you have promised to those who have contributed $ 100 or more?
A. Of course we will keep in touch with funders and care for their opinions. We know that everyone wants to see new updates, but at the same time, we do not want to spoil the game. We'll find a good balance!

Q. YsNet and Neilo are working with Unreal Engine 4. What level of realism can expect, considering the experience of Yu Suzuki with technical innovations? Will we see a new graphic milestone, as in the first two games, or be a more modest project?
A. Shenmue 3 can't be a modest game. The reason why I like the series is that it is not just a game with good graphics. It is deeper than that. Personally, today, I'm tired of the games that only rely on graphics. The gameplay and technical innovations are some of our strengths.

Q. One of the most beloved things of the first two installments were the arcades. So far, you have not said anything specific of them for Shenmue 3, so ... Will we see those again? Do you have permission to use Sega arcade games like Hang-On, OutRun, Space Harrier, Afterburner or even new titles, especially AM2, the former studio of Yu Suzuki? It would be great to see Virtua Fighter, Virtua Racing and Virtua Striker.
A. I can not answer that.

Q. And the last question: we know that the estimated release date is December 2017, but many people are concerned that many Kickstarter projects always get delayed. What can you tell them? Incidentally, if the game is a great success,
Do you think that all this done for the next 2 and a half years will be useful for having Shenmue IV ?
A. It is impossible to say now if the game is delayed or not. What is certain is that we have tried to be realistic according to our knowledge and experience: December 2017 is not crazy. Indeed, if the game is a success, it will be quite easy to make Shenmue IV. Now, all risks are on Shibuya Productions and Ys Net, but not surprised to have new friends for the fourth installment if this is succesfull (laughs).
by shredingskin
Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:56 am
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Concept Art Thread

Seems like there's a lot of new exciting Shenmue III concept art come out, thought I'd put it all in one place. This thread is for post-Kickstarter ("new") concept art only. Will update as necessary.

This is getting big, let me know if you have any suggestions for the layout.

Latest Updates, 31st August: Ys Net (aka Ryo) hard at work :D

Update History: 27th July: The White Tiger? Background image from (Thanks Ziming)

17th July: Busy day! Various Ryos and Ming Ming

16th July: Doodles, 白沙間欠泉 (Geyser, Baisha), Crystal Memories Product Pledge Reward

15th July: A Jail! Filed under "Unknown/NPC(s)" because we don't now where it is yet.
Also added the fishing pole and Switch's translations of the Charcoal Maker image

Update 14/07: Charcoal Maker's Hut, Baisha

Update 13/07: New image of unknown male

Update 12/07: Two images from mid-June Famitsu Scans that I'd overlooked. Ryo/Shenhua walking and Ryo staking out Chiyoumen.

Update 11/07: Ryo as Student

Update 10/07 (2): KS Promo Video Storyboards

Update 10/07: 2nd Floor Plan of Choubu Hostel

Update: 08/07: Choubu Hostel Room plan/Ming Ming!

Update 07/07: Choubu hostel room

Update, 03/07 (2): Physical packaging images, Lucky Hit and one Ryo image I missed.

Update, 03/07: Choubu boat landing

Main Characters

17th July:
Ryo (Twitch Countdown Streaming Video)

17th July:
Ryo AGAIN (Yu-san wants 6 Million)

$5.6M突破しました。 強化バトルが見えて来ました。$5.6 Million Exceeded! Advanced Battle is in Sight!

17th July:
Ryo Hazuki (>$5.5 Million thank you from Yu Suzuki's Twitter)

$5.5M突破しました。 ファンのみなさんありがとうございます。 $5.5 Million exceeded! Thanks to all our fans!

17th July:
Ryo Hazuki (60k Backer thank you, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)
バッカーのみなさんが6万人を超えました。 サポートありがとうございます 60,000 Backers! Thank you for your support!

17th July:
Ming Ming (Kickstarter Update Video)

11th July:
涼(アキラ)の学生時代 (Ryo/Akira as a Student- Flashback Scene! Twitter Q&A Part 2) 一章で涼の学校生活を描く計画はありましたか? また、Ⅲで学校生活の回想シーンを入れる考えはお持ちですか? 涼の学生服姿を見てみたいです!

29th June/8th July:
Ming Ming, a new character! :) (KS Update Screenshot)
Now confirmed as Ming Ming (08/07), a new character! "One of the more appealing characters...whose story will tie up with Ryo's"

2nd July:
シェンファインプルーブ計画 ("Shenhua Improvement Plan", Yu Suzuki's Twitter)
Likely photoshopped, proof of concept?
主な変更点 涼しい眉、意志の強い目、顎のラインで年齢のイメージ下げる、首をの調整で可憐さ、髪の質感をアップ、袖口を開いて腕を出し女性らしさをアップ

Changes: cooler eyebrows, stronger-willed eyes, younger jaw, more delicate neck, textured hair, feminine open cuff

26th June:
Ryo and Shenhua in Bailu Village (KS Update Screenshot) Where's the band-aid?!

23rd June:
白鹿村さくら (Ryo and Shenhua in Bailu Village, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)

18th June:
Ryo and Shenhua on a mountain path (Famitsu Scan)
This image shows the figures of Ryo and Shen Hua walking on a mountain path. Note that Ryo has changed clothes from the leather jacket he wears in the first and second parts of the series.

15th June:
Ryo Hazuki (Kickstarter Art Book, Backer Reward)


13th July:
Fishing (Concept, Kickstarter Reward)
SHENMUE BAIT & TACKLE - $1,800 Get to name a fishing rod or lure. When your item is purchased, it will get a close-up and reaction from Ryo. + Receive the in-game item you named. Let’s get... fishy! Includes the $600 Reward.

3rd July:
Lucky Hit :D (Concept, Kickstarter Reward)
Pledge $4,000 or more
Do you want to be a game of lucky hit? Get your face and name on an in-game Lucky Hit board.


~Bailu Village~

26th June:
House in Bailu Village (KS Update Screenshot)

25th June:
白鹿村さくら (Cherry Blossom Tree in Bailu Village, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)


16th July: 白沙間欠泉 (Geyser in Baisha, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)

14th July:
バイシャ炭焼き小屋 (Charcoal Maker, Baisha, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)
"Charcoal maker" is probably a more natural translation.

Bottom right: Charcoal maker's hut (bird's eye view)
Bottom left: image of kiln for making charcoal

26th June:
Báishā Concept Design (KS Update Video Screenshot)

18th June:
Ryo stakes out Chi-You-Men compound (Famitsu Scan)
2) Using a telescope, Ryo observes buildings below a cliff. According to Yu Suzuki, before Ryo lies the enemy’s camp, which Ryo is searching for a way to infiltrate.

鸟舞 :?: Translation :?:

EDIT: thank you, Hyo Razuki:

:arrow: Used in Video (Japanese pronounciation?): 鸟舞 = Niao Wu = "Bird Dance"?
:arrow: Chinese: Chóu bù = 绸布 = "Silk Fabric"?

Where did you get these 绸布 characters for Chobu from? These are not the characters used in the video. See for yourself. The video uses these characters: 鸟舞. They read niao wu - bird dance (WTF?!) ~Chóubù~

10th July:
鳥舞旅社2F (Choubu Hostel 2nd Floor Plan, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)
Thank you, Switch!

8th July:
鳥舞旅社1F (Choubu Hostel 1st Floor Plan, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)
"Ryo's Room, Choubu Hostel"
Thank you for the translation, Switch! 8)

7th July:
鳥舞旅社 (Choubu Hostel, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)
"Ryo's Room, Choubu Hostel"

3rd July:
鳥舞 船着場 (Choubu Boat Landing, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)

T [/quote ]

1st July:
鳥舞 客船 (Choubu Passenger Boat, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)

26th June:
Chóubù Concept Design (KS Update Video Screenshot) Early lay out/plan/design?

Those look like arrows on the bottom right to me- point of entry?

By boat?


26th June:
Guìlín Concept Art (KS Update Video Screenshot)


17th July:
Unknown Mystical Woman/Man (Is it the Mystical Woman from the other post?) (Final 24 Hour KS Update Video)

15th July:
牢獄 (Jail/Prison, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)

13th July:
??? (Unknown Man, Yu Suzuki's Twitter) So the guy who appeared in the trailer with Yu Suzuki appears again!

29th June:
村老婆 (Village Wife, Yu Suzuki's Twitter)
"白鹿村老婆" = " White Deer; Village Wife "

26th June:
"Master of Nanquan"(KS Update Video Screenshot) Ziming?

15th June
White Tiger? 白虎- Bai Hu? ( Background Image, thanks Ziming)

Physical Product Art

16th July:
"Crystal Memories" Light-Up Figure Stand (Concept, Kickstarter Reward) CRYSTAL MEMORIES - $2,500 Become the proud owner of a highly collectible, laser engraved crystal sculpture of Ryo and Shenhua. Commemorate Shenmue 3 in style. Comes with an LED stand (requires 3 AAA batteries) that illuminates the design within. Crystal: W50mm×H80mm×D50mm, w/ stand: W66mm×H112mm×D66mm, total weight: 556g. Includes the RYO VOICE MESSAGE BY COREY MARSHALL Reward. [/quote]

3rd July:
Playstation 4 Physical Box Art :!: (Concept, Kickstarter Reward)

15th June:
Soundtrack CD Design (Concept, Kickstarter Reward)

15th June:
PC Physical Box Art (Concept, Kickstarter Reward)


31st August: Ys Net (aka Ryo) hard at work :D

16th July: White Board Doodling (Kind of Concept Art) (Ryo/Nozomi Phonecall, Wishing Plaque, Guestbook Reward): This image shows the front & reverse sides of a "wishing plaque". This is a small wooden plaque, often having an illustration of the current year's animal from the Chinese Zodiac. A visitor to a shrine or temple writes a prayer or wish they want to come true (passing an exam, good health etc) onto the plaque.

10th July:
Kickstarter Video Concept Art (Presumed Setting: Guilin) Loving the depth-of-field :evil:
^^Grabbed/highlighted text from another shot^^

2) The pair of figures become more distinct.
The sound of their voices gradually gets louder.
(Autumn leaves are dancing in the air)

The camera passes Ryo and closes in on Shenhua.

4) Shenhua: "Ryo, can you jump across?"

by NeoShredder
Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:30 am
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Re: Yu Suzuki Live on Nico Nico Douga 07/12

Ok, here's the plan for handling the translation at the moment.

SquallAdv will be doing a live "as-it-happens" summary translation of the stream into English, and I'll be extending this afterwards as a full transcript to capture the detail.
by Switch
Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:08 am
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Sega Europe comments on Shenmue

"Now my biggest challenge as marketing director is to make sure people are aware that Sega isn’t just this heritage brand that made all the Sonic games but we’re making cutting edge adult narratives such as Alien Isolation too. Not a lot of people realise we make Football Manager either – that has to change.”
“We’ve had some great successes on mobile – our Sonic Dash game has over 100 million downloads – but mobile is an overcrowded market and being truly innovative in that space isn’t easy,” he adds. “The strategy at Sega is to focus on producing great content first and then decide which platform it works best on afterwards.”

Admitting that Sega has not done a “great job over the last four years” in communicating its brand values and “Yes, we want to innovate and back smarthphones and virtual reality but our key purpose is to go back to what the brand used to stand for and I think the buzz around Shenmue 3 shows that people love our legacy,” adds Rooke, who says Sega is exploring ways to re-release the original two Shenmue titles.

“Sega was an innovator, the Dreamcast was offering online gaming as early as 1998. But perhaps back then we were pushing boundaries a little too soon. Nowadays we know what we’re good at and the strategy is to be more gradual. Over the next few years, we want to use engaging content and marketing to remind the public why they fell in love with Sega in the first place.”
by mjq jazz bar
Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:45 pm
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Re: Monaco Magic 2016 - Official Discussion Topic

Dear all,

My name is Rob Scharr, and I am one of the Kickstarter sponsors joining with Yu Suzuki and Shibuya productions this weekend here in Monaco. It was also a great pleasure to meet Peter and a few others from Shenmue Dojo last night. I hope to fully become a part of this community going forward and hope to speak with as many of the other Shenmue supporters as possible.

I studied Japanese for six years and Chinese for three years, but I am a political scientist by trade, and I will have earned my PhD in that field after a few more months. As wild and wacky as the political situation in my home country- the United States- has become, I will have plenty of reasons to do my best in this field going forward. But a prominent US political figure said something a few years ago that stuck with me. He said, "People don't succeed because they are smart, or wealthy. They succeed because they have passion for what they do. Passion is what really makes all the difference." And as soon as he said this, the first thing that came to my mind was Yu-Suzuki and Shenmue, and I hoped that someday, I could translate my latent passion for Shenmue into results.

I should come clean about one thing. With only a handful of sporadic exceptions, I have not gotten deeply involved in gaming for the past 15 years, and therefore I probably know much less about the ins and outs of the Shenmue universe- and gaming in general- than just about anyone in this community. In fact Shenmue I was one of the very last games that I delved into on any meaningful level, and for reasons I will go into another time, the game changed my life. A couple years after that, my college gaming friends all went their separate ways and I for the most part lost the community with whom I had shared then Shenmue experience in 1999/2000. I was also deeply demoralized by the way Sony and the gaming press dispatched the Dreamcast simply by lying about how much more powerful the PS2 was supposed to be; all Sony had to do was say "55 million polygons per second," and all of the third-party developers flocked to the PS2 like stupid sheep. I was furious at Sony for years, and since Sony had basically remade the entire gaming industry in their own image and I frankly wanted no part of it. Given how much Sony is doing to support Shenmue now, I don't quite hold a grudge against them like I used to, but that's another story. Bottom line, I basically removed myself from the gaming world after the Dreamcast's early demise.

On top of that, Aspect, Sega of Japan's publishing arm, released a book under Yu Suzuki's name that was heavily autobiographical in 2001, entitled "Game Works: Volume I.". Yu Suzuki himself didn't sit down and write the book himself; rather, he was interviewed by a man named Akira Nagae, who in turn compiled a series of interviews with Yu Suzuki with some brief commentary in between. There was never a "Volume II" and I had no idea what plans they had- they might have gone back to Suzuki for more material, or they might have gone to Yuji Naka or someone else at Sega. The book, as it was put together, had a few quirks, the cover was bland as could be, and I might have chosen a different title had it been up to me. From what I can tell, the book sold extremely poorly in Japan, even though it was packed with good information. If Shenmue taught us anything, it is that we cannot necessarily rely on the collective senses of the Japanese gaming masses to know a good thing when they see it, and if the book had have been released in North America and Europe with a few adjustments, I believe it could have easily sold tens of thousands of copies.

With this in mind, shortly after finishing my undergrad in 2002, I translated the entire book into English. Despite Aspect's and my best efforts to find a U.S. publisher, it never happened. At that time, the only gaming-centric publishers (such as Prima) focused only on strategy guides, and mainstream publishers, none of whom knew the first thing about games, all refused to touch it. Efforts took place on-and-off over the years to revive the project, but nothing ever came of it, and after that disappointment, aside from a brief stint teaching Japanese at DigiPen Institute of Technology (which is Nintendo of America's school), my involvement in the gaming industry went back to zero and pretty much stayed there until last year when Shenmue III was announced.

With that announcement, the passion very suddenly began rushing through my veins again, and I made the decision to stretch myself to my financial limits and make the $10,000 contribution on Kickstarter so I would have the chance to thank Yu Suzuki in person. And so here I am in Monaco ready to spend the day with Suzuki-san and my fellow contributors Chao and Amir, both of whom are outstanding people from the UK. Today, I plan to discuss with them what plans they have for voice acting, and I will ask Yu Suzuki- who himself knows much about history, how the end of the Cultural Revolution in China and how the beginning of the economic reform era will manifest itself within Shenmue III's environment. And when the Japanese script for Shenmue III is finalized, we will need people with have not just good language ability, but with a deep and visceral connection to Shenmue in order to do justice to the game's message. Whether I will be one of those people that makes this happen is entirely up to Suzuki-san and his team, but at any rate, I don't feel that we will be well-served if this game's translation is left entirely to contractors with no real connection to Shenmue, as is the case with most games these days.

We all have our own professions, and going forward, I will be the most competent political scientist I can be. But also, going forward, I will go above and beyond whatever is asked of me by Suzuki-san and his team for this game and others that follow; at the end of the day, this isn't about me, but about realizing Yu Suzuki's vision, but I think I speak for all of us when I say that we will do whatever it takes to make this game the kind of success it can be. Even post-release, our work won't be done. It will especially be up to sites like Shenmue Dojo- and in particular, people like Peter, to make sure the press treats Yu-san fairly and also to make sure we pull out all the stops in spreading awareness of (and providing word-of-mouth publicity for) this magnificent endeavor.

Therefore, I hope to become part of this community, even after my long hiatus from the scene.

Thank you.

Rob Scharr

I wish I could post more, but my brain has literally flatland. It did a while ago during the day to be honest. I am going to try and get some sleep, fly home tomorrow, and then sit and try to type out anything I can remember from the past few days. It was so crazy, I haven't been able to do what all of you guys have been doing all day, and actually digesting the new information and images, as well as going nuts about them.

One thing I can remember and can be open about, is that when the "surprise" part of the confrence happened, and Cedric brought Suzuki-san back on stage, and the video of the Shenmue tree as well as the interior of Shenhuas home.... It legitimately almost brought me to tears. It's the best video I have seen yet, and I was unbelievably blown away by how faithfully it had been recreated, down to the last pot and pan. That blew my mind beyond words, and it's the video that has filled me with the most confidence about this game yet.
by RScharr
Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:24 am
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Re: Monaco Magic 2016 - Official Discussion Topic

Ok, so i am at the airport now, ready to fly back to Ireland and the reality of mundane life. Of course, i don't want this weekend to end! But it must, and since i have quite a bit of time to kill i will try to go through an entire play by play of the weekend. I have no ides where this post will go, how long it will be, or if its even interesting. I just hope it gives you all an insight what it was like to be here in Monaco, and also at such an even like MAGIC, where Shenmue 3 was presented.

So, Thursday morning - 3am. I left Belfast by coach to Dublin where i flew to Nice from. The usual no sleep related fatigue, mixed with adrenaline and excitement! I arrived in Nice airport around... 10 i believe, and David DeVille had messaged me beforehand and we had worked out him and Maki (his wife), would be arriving from Paris around the same time! So i waited outside the terminal and shortly after, David and Maki arrived! It was great to finally meet David aster talking for so long online over the years. We spoke for quite a while, about the conference, and other things. So much so, that they missed their bus to Nice! Oops lol. So we came back inside and sat for a while longer chatting, but we all knew how tired we all were so we said our goodbyes and let him get to Nice to prepare for his bay day on Saturday.

Getting the coach to Monaco was pretty standard, and the Hotel was decent enough. I knew i hadn't splashed out top dollar for a 5 star hotel, so it was fine by my standards. So after getting settled, it was time to do the whole trail run practice, to the Grimaldi Forum, but since i was pretty tired i didnt make it that far on Thursday. Monaco is small, but its very elevated per road and street, so the walking was very demanding, even for 0.5km. I will be the first person to admit that i am not a fitness guy, so my legs are killing me right now in the airport lol. I had researched the quickest way to the Forum, and essentially walked about 3/4 of the way there. Getting lost of course the first time. Monaco is all very hidden, from winding roads, to every shop being underground or inside an unmarked building. Trying to find a place that sold toothpaste or body deodorant was a nightmare!! Plus, Monaco is of course, home of the rich. Its extravagance can be seen visually everywhere, with the same amount of car show rooms on every street corner as much as there is a pub/bar on every street corner in Ireland. Bentley, Ferrari, McLaren. They are all here. As well as property shops, with their ad cards in the windows, escalating from 3 million to 250 million was the most expensive looking in the window i can remember. Think the cheapest place i did see, was an apartment with a monthly rental of 30,000 a month. Alrighty then! You also have the fashion labels at every corner. Prada, St Laurent, Rolex, Gautier, Hillfiger, Vuitton, Armani..... More of these shops, and easily more recognisable than a shop where you can buy a loaf of bread thats for sure.

Anyways on Friday, it was finally time to meet the Grimaldi Forum. Inside the foyer, having my picture taken beside the MAGIC banner out of the corner of my eye i seen someone who looked like Yu Suzuki on the escalator going up to my level. He went past a pillar, and i was like, "nah. I hope thats not him" As i froze on the spot, Yu Suzuki and Cedric Biscay walked towards me and i shat enough bricks to build a house in Monaco. I wasnt ready to meet them! I turned the opposite direction and pretended not to notice them as they walked out of the Forum, behind me lol! After pacing around not knowing what to do, and with the shock of seeing them for both the first time, i decided to visit the Japanese Gardens across the way from the Forum, and as i entered, i seen them again!! They were having their pictures taken for the local press! Fuck that, i just turned around and left lol!

Friday night was when guys, Remy, Emmanuel, Catherine, David, Arnaud, and Mickael were to arrive and we had arranged to meet. But i knew they would be tired so we arranged to meet up at the Forum in the morning.

Then finally the big day arrived. With little/zero sleep, 6am hit and i was awake and ready. Met up with everyone from Shenmuemaster and it was great! Just being with other Shenmue fans who you have talked to, known of, or seen over so many years of posting online within the Shenmue community was an experience merited of making the trip as awesome as it was already. As we were standing at the door, Rob introduced himself and it was great to finally meet someone who was not only going to one of the Kickstarter dinners, but also the on in Monaco! We also then seen David and Maki arrive so it was great to have a quick chat with them again before letting them get inside before us since he had a lot of work to prepare for.
So skipping over a few details, we get inside, and head downstairs to the Conference Hall. It was great, being greeted by a HUGE projection screen with the MAGIC logo on it. (You can use the instagram pics for reference lol). I completely forgot to get one of those translation earpiece devices, so i legged it quickly outside to grab one. We all sat relatively near the front and before long Sebastian Abdelhamed appeared for the introduction. All of the guests were brought out individually, from Kavinsky, to Peter Cross, as well as Yu Suzuki! Also Cedric have a brief speech. Following that, the stage was set up for the Shenmue presentation, and away we went! You guys probably can remember it all right now, more than i can, because i havent watched any footage i recorded on my phone, or Shenmans posts here yet, and its all a blur. But the emotions felt sitting there listening to Yu and then his translation work by Kenji is as you can imagine. No words. Instead of watching an E3 video, or GDC video.... you are really there. Its insane.

After that, we left and of course were all in shock at what we had just seen. Yu Suzuki, Cedric Biscay, Shenmue 3 HD screens, videos, the music as loud as you could want it bellowing around the auditorium. It was amazing. We walked over to another area where interviews and the signings would be happening later, and as we were hanging around there, Cedric walked past and i gave him a shout. We shook hands, and when i said Peter he knew who i was, probably from annoying him on Twitter all the time lol. We chatted, and i had brought him a gift for all the work he has done for getting Shenmue 3 going. He looked surprised by it, so i hope he liked it. We took a picture and i let him get back to the event, since it was his day and i knew he would be busy lol. But before he left, he said to "make sure" to attend the "Crazy Time" segment he was presenting. It seemed strange, but it was easy to begin to think he was saying that specifically since there may be more Shenmue material to come! After that, i met quite a few Shenmue fans in that area, of course wearing a Shenmue 3 t shirt helped. It was great! So many enthusiastic people just as happy as i was. I wish i was more composed and organised to have taken pictures and get their names written down, but it was so chaotic all day, with conversations jumping from between 3 -10 people in quick succession! I still cant even keep up now!

Skipping some more details again, we went up to ground level and we all chilled out. Grabbed some fresh air etc, and i met Julien from A really nice guy, and we had an in-depth chat about all things Shenmue, the gaming industry, our backgrounds, the dinner, Shenmue 3, his visits to friends in Ireland and e-cigarette advice which we went outside for a while to partake in lol. He gave me his business card and also exchanged details so hope to see him the next time he travels to Ireland!

We then went back downstairs to where Yu was doing the signing, and it was great to stand before him and get a few items signed. Although it was only 2 items per person, i went twice as i had stuff for other people to get signed who couldnt make the trip lol. Suzuki-san still seemed very jolly and laughed as i approached for the second time, and also commented on the specific pen i gave form him to sign something. It was a great interaction.

After some sitting down and relaxing, time came to attend the "crazy time" event Cedric had told us about. When we got in, the results of the Cosplay competition were being held, so it was great to watch that. There were some AMAZING outfits, so hats off to those guys!! The event was running late, and i looked at the manual to see what was going on. Crazy Time was next, so pretty soon, Cedric appeared on stage, and they started off with bringing out Peter Cross (played Spocks Father in the Star Trek remakes) to talk about his directed feature with Shibuya. He seemed like a nice man, and spoke in English which was always appreciated lol. It was confusing sitting there, since we didnt know what was coming! But then, after him, we heard Shenmue being mentioned and the excitement welled up inside! Suzuki-san was brought back on stage by Cedric, along with the interpreter, Kenji, and thats when we seen the Shenmue House trailer in full HD with the music cranked up to the max. I swear, thats when it hit me the most, like a tonne of bricks. This game is really, really going to justify Shenmue. It was unbelievable. I could not get over it, seeing the Shenmue tree, the cows and woks outside the house, then as the camera panned inside thats when my heart pounded and i could feel my eyes well up. Shenmue music is so emotional on its own (i have the soundtrack on right now, blasting in my headphones as i type this), but combined with how faithful, and BETTER Shenhuas home looked was simply astonishing! Yes, its not a full blown trailer, but we are only 7 months into full development, and my expectations were on such a level of what to expect and what not to expect. The new weather trailer, as well as the fishing pond trailer were excellent, and i expected something like that, which i was more than happy with. BUT that second trailer really went above anything i expected to see. Just, no words....

After that ended, the shenmuemaster guys had some things still to do, so we hung around for a little while longer and i seen Suzuki-san with them. David called me over for a picture, and after that i chanced my arm to get a picture of just me and Yu. Wow!!!! Where do i begin? I cant. I cant even speak about it, when i look at that photo each time...... maybe one day i will be able to tell you more lol.

I forgot i had to return the headset and get my passport back, so i went back downstairs and after returning it, Cedric was walking by again, so quickly said goodbyes, shook hands and said thanks for coming! Awesome ending! It wasnt too late, and despite being tired, i took everyone to McCarthy's Irish bar (hey, its what we do!!) and we all had a beer. Mostly everyone had a Guinness which was amazing lol! We then all said our goodbyes, and that was that. Back to the hotel to lie in bed and try to get my head around everything that had taken place that day. Rest assured, there is more information to come about the day, but not quite right now... i just wanted to give you guys an initial update on how the day went, and an insight into some of the thoughts and emotions of attending a live event with Suzuki-san present, and new Shenmue 3 material announced. I am now at the airport and all good things must come to an end. But fortunately we still have a very long road ahead, so enjoy it! Dont get bogged down in Shenmue HD, or wheres a full trailer! Or voice actors, or logos. Try and enjoy it, because one day this will all be over!

Final thoughts, i have to give heaps and heaps of thanks to all of the shenmuemaster gang. Trent was fantastic to chat to, and i hope again we can meet again in the future, and have more time to just sit down and relax instead of it being such a chaotic day! David is so jolly, and great to be around. My go outside for a smoke buddy lol. So passionate and motivating, it was great sitting beside him during the conference, and seeing the fist pumps of excitement and thumbs up when we got good info lol. Kenji and Catherine were a delight, and it was great to finally talk with Kenji after seeing his interview videos over the years! Mickael was great, and like Trent, a great balance to talk total Shenmue on a more intimate level. Last but certainly not least, Shenman (or Arnaud). You guys already know him from the guy having 4G inside the conference and posting the updates to twitter! He did such an amazing job, and it was great to meet him! He was so helpful during the day, taking my photos with Cedric and Yu, as well as being a huge Shenmue collector, and has also been to Tokyo! All of the guys were amazing, and hope to meet them again soon! Next year guys??? ;)

Of course, David DeVille was a pleasure to meet, and of course his wife. I wish them all the best in the upcoming months with their new addition to the family! He did a fantastic job, not just onstage, but the entire conference, working behind the scenes all day helping out Suzuki-san during his schedule. I hope he can get some kind of work in the Shenmue 3 team, and he is as passionate about Shenmue as anyone i have met!

Also have to say good luck, and enjoy, to Amir, Rob and Chao at today's dinner! It was great meeting you guys, and again i wish the day wasnt as chaotic as it was to get a more relaxed chat with you all. Today will possibly be one of the biggest days of your life so enjoy it!! Also to all of the Shenmue fans i met, it was amazing, and hope to do something like this again! E3?? Who knows! But this trip has definitely given me the thirst to attend more gaming events across the world if the money allows it.

Hope you enjoyed the write up. Any questions, i will do my best to answer, and stay tuned for more to come over the coming weeks!
by Peter
Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:16 am
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PART 1: Yu Suzuki Interview (May 9 Bessatsu Shonen Mag)

Here is a translation of part of a Japanese magazine interview with Yu Suzuki that was published in the May 9 (2016) edition of the Bessatsu Shonen magazine. The article scan was obtained by Ziming.

(Original scans provided by Japanese Shenmue fan @da34ss on Twitter)

In this part, Suzuki talks specifically about Shenmue III, although it is pretty short.

Note: the rest of the article covers topics like Suzuki's background in designing arcade games, the gaming industry in Japan, and how RPG and text adventure games of the time were influences on his design for Shenmue etc. I selected the part below as a priority for translation since it relates most to Shenmue III and the other topics have been discussed in previous talks & interviews.

We Talk With a Gaming Legend!

Shenmue III, the Game the World Eagerly Awaits, is in Development!

Game Creator Yu Suzuki Envisions
the Future for the Game Industry

Yu Suzuki developed the Shenmue series for the home console from 1999 through to 2001, and is a game developer respected by video game fans and game developers the world over. Reporter Ikeda from the MMR* investigation team has carried out this personal interview as Suzuki works with youthful enthusiasm on his latest game, Shenmue III. Suzuki speaks with passion about Shenmue III and the Japan game industry.

* MMR stands for "Magazine Mystery Reportage", a manga series involving investigation of mysteries and the unknown.

Interviewer Profile
⋅ Name: Ikeda
⋅ Reporter for the Weekly Shonen Magazine “Magazine Mystery Reportage”. During the 1980s he wrote under the pen name “Akira Hibiki” as a game journalist.

Growing Anticipation for Shenmue III

What Lies Behind the Veil of Secrecy?

Q: Getting straight to the point, what kind of game will Shenmue III be?
YS: With Shenmue III, I have taken a different approach compared to Shenmue I and II. Normally, a video game is planned around a pre-determined budget, but with Shenmue III money collected through crowd funding is allotted to the development budget, so I designed it so the design could scale flexibly to match. In addition to the open-world gameplay aspect (which I termed "FREE" at the time of the first game), I also prepared new and attractive features that could be incorporated elsewhere. In saying that, the creation of a video game that can be packed with open-world style elements will always be swayed by the development budget. Rather than there being say 10 mini-games to play in a certain town, an even greater number like 20 or 30 is more enjoyable, right? However, creating a game this way has a direct impact on the cost.

Q: The development cost of Grand Theft Auto, a game which popularized the open world concept, is said to have been over 10 billion yen (US$100m).
YS: Trying to compete directly with Grand Theft Auto and its vast difference in budget would be like a puny 10kg guy taking on a 100kg sumo wrestler. In which case, the video game fans may as well just play Grand Theft Auto, wouldn’t you say? (laughs)

Q: Trying to compete in terms of quantity would be a losing proposition, wouldn’t it.
YS: The story for the Shenmue series is made up of the 11 chapters that I planned out, with Shenmue in 1999 being Chapter One, and Shenmue II in 2001 being Chapter Two. Actually, my intention for Chapter Three has always been for a scenario that digs down into a single theme. Across the course of the first two games of the series, the player’s degree of freedom increases, their field of exploration widens and the scale of the game grows to having around 450 NPCs. By comparison, although Chapter Three will give the appearance of growing further in scale, it will focus on digging deeply down into one particular matter, just as I planned out almost 20 years ago. And I’m aiming to do so in a way that the fans will enjoy, placing importance on originality.

Q: What do you have in mind when you say “originality”?
YS: For example, when characters are talking to each other, it would be weird for them to stand almost touching if they’re meeting for the first time, right? In real life, they would maintain a certain distance between each other.

Q: Their personal space... That’s true, if someone you haven’t met before stands too close it’s threatening rather than friendly.
YS: Conversely, when you’re with someone with whom you get on well... when you are with your girlfriend, you’ll be closer together, right? So if we introduce a new “intimacy” parameter setting, for example we could set the distance between characters according its value. If the game contains many of these subtle but natural experiments then I think it will make for a much more believable world. It will give the game a more gentle feeling. Right now I’m working on overlaying these kind of subtleties.

Q: It makes me look forward to Shenmue III even more! And finally, actually there’s something I want to ask personally: I’ve heard that when deciding the name of the hero of Virtua Fighter, Akira Yuki, the “Yu” in his surname was taken from your name. If that is the case, how about “Akira”?
YS: Well, I took it from the pen name you yourself used when you were a gaming journalist: Akira Hibiki.

Q: What... really?!
YS: It’s true. Both “Akira” and “Yuki” sound cool, don’t you think? I think the name of the hero of a game should sound cool. Akira Yuki sounds way better than say “Torao Daimoji” (laughs).

Q: To me, Torao Daimoji sounds pretty cool too though. It sounds like the name of a heavy-set guy with chiseled features (laughs).

<End of article>
by Switch
Fri May 20, 2016 7:32 pm
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Shenmue Dev Team Expanding - Leaflet Translation

Today (1st October) I want along to a single-day event in Yokohama for Unreal Engine put on by Epic Games, with the venue being Pacifico Yokohama, the same conference center where Yu Suzuki held the Shenmue Premiere so many years ago.

A number of talks on developing with Unreal were held through-out the day by companies such as Capcom and Square Enix, as well as exhibition booths and even a stall selling Unreal stickers and other merchandise.

But the main reason I was there was for to get my hands on this Shenmue leaflet:

Positions being advertised:

And I'm thinking this looks like a new image...? (Or is it recycled?)

I've put up a translation of the leaflet on my blog:
by Switch
Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:39 am
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Re: Digital Foundry Retro: Shenmue 2 - A Masterpiece Revisit

Hope you guys enjoy some of it. I gave a shout out to this very forum since, really, this is THE place for Shenmue info. I'm amazed at how in-depth some folks have gone into pulling the game apart. It's awesome!

If I had time, I would have gone into more depth on emulation and, perhaps, point out more of those weird Xbox/DC differences (like all the modified signs and whatnot). Ah well.
by dark1x
Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:00 am
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Part Three! YS Interview + images [DenFamiNicoGamer 26 Dec]

Edit (Feb 1, 2017) :
Part Three of the interview translation is now ready.

Read the translated article here on the Phantom River Stone blog:
Part One:
Part Two:
Part Three:
Part Four: Coming soon

A glimpse of a new illustration for Shenmue III plus some original images / documents from the days of working on "Virtua Fighter RPG" / Shenmue I & II.

These are from a new Japanese-language interview with Yu Suzuki & Katsuhiro Harada (from the Tekken series) published online at

Regarding an English translation of the Shenmue-related parts of the article, I am working on this and will post up a separate thread about it once ready.

For now, here are the Shenmue-related images from the article:

Shenmue III: Yu showing Tulou illustration

"Ren's hideout"

"Pier at Langhuishan"

"Shelves at Tomato Convenience Store"

"Suspension bridge"

"Interior of Hong Kong restaurant"


"Hong Kong: Bird Street"

"Part Time Job: Breaking Tiles" [translated version]

”Fishing” [translated version]

"Washing spot" [translated version]

"Interior of the Yuki Dojo"

Article source:
by Switch
Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:30 am
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Re: KS Update #82: Shenhua finds her voice! JP VO begins.

Hmm, an interesting update. However, I have to say, they've got Masaya Matsukaze's face all wrong. It's simply not what I envision when I think of Masaya Matsukaze working in a recording studio. I've taken the liberty of making big improvements upon the work of whoever designed him. I think everyone will agree - particularly everyone who hangs out in the depths of Youtube comments sections, the 'GAF crowd, and other prestigious comments fields across the internet - that what I'm presenting is the definitive headshot of Masaya Matsukaze.
by Centrale
Thu May 24, 2018 9:29 am
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